Essay/Editorial

Top 15 Superhero Films (10-6)

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It’s only been one full month into 2016, and we’re already getting started on the superhero film onslaught that awaits. Starting with Deadpool, and ending with Doctor Strange, there are a total of eight comic book flicks this year – and the numbers are only increasing over the next few years. Truly it is the golden age of Superhero films. So, as a minor countdown to the first flick of this genre this year (one about a certain merc with a mouth) I have decided to compose my personal top 15 greatest superhero films. I should note that the only requirement for this list is that the films must involve a superhero, regardless if they are a comic book movie or not (sorry Scott Pilgrim and others, you don’t make the cake!). The other day we went through 15-11 (which can be found here), but now we move on to the next five!

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Fair is film and film is fair –Cinema and the Shakespeare Adaptation

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It is no debate that Justin Kurzel has crafted something wicked in his Macbeth: this is a savage Scotland where Shakespeare’s words flourish under a camera and cast that mingles cinema with sin. If you wish to know my thoughts on this Macbeth solely as a film, I suggest you read Jack Blackwell’s review as I share his opinion. My observation however, was that for a film so loyal to the setting of the Red King, Kurzel is not always faithful to the Bard himself, and is often open to remaking the plot altogether. This sparked a curiosity in me about this bizarre sub-genre that resides in film and has only continued to grow in popularity: The Shakespeare Adaptation.

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Within this Wooden Odeon? : Theatre and Screenings in the UK

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Theatre these days appears to not be on the stages of the Globe or the National, but before the comfy screens of an Odeon or a Curzon. All big West End blockbusters eventually settles in select screenings across the UK now: I know I can miss any Hamlet or Cumberbatch because I can catch up on the action in a month or two at my local Odeon. But does that cheapen the experience? I know people who have paid up to a hundred pounds to see some plays in London, yet I could eventually get them for under a twenty. I have been wondering if this digital embrace from the arts has broadened the demographic horizon, or if, in reality, it’s encouraged regular theatregoers from switching to the more affordable option.

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An alternative look at Mr Turner – Self-congratulatory whilst saying nothing

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Guest written by Dylan Edwards

 

I like some of Mike Leigh’s films a lot, and used to love him; he used to have things to say, and semi-interesting methods with which to say them. Didn’t he? The older I get – and, though I hate to say it, perhaps the older he gets, too – the more I begin to see him as perhaps the single least vital or urgent filmmaker of all of today’s ‘major’ world-stage players; a thinking-man’s cinema for the thinking-man totally uninterested in cinema itself, more in something familiar and unchallenging masquerading as cerebral and complex, two things which Mr Turner is emphatically not. Mr Turner is a profoundly superficial and simplistic film even judged by the biopic conventions and artless structure it rigidly prescribes to. (more…)

The Watching Between the Lines 2014 Oscar Predictions Mega-Post

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With only a few hours to go until the obviation of all 2013-14 Oscar predictions, the Watching Between the Lines Gang thought it would be worth posting their collective predictions. The politicisation of the Oscars is often touted (and abundantly apparent), and these predictions don’t necessarily reflect what our team thinks should win, but what films we predict the academy will award. For some categories, favourites clearly emerged, but some distinctions of opinion appeared. Hopefully between us, we get ’em all right.

Let’s get this awards show on the road, from last to first.

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Michael Bay should stop making films. Full stop.

Michael Bay is a filmmaker who has received a vast amount of criticism from cinema-goers and critics over the years. Personally, I feel Michael Bay is given far too much money to make his films, as his ‘blockbusters’ always seem to turn out very disappointing results on the screen. I don’t understand the psychology behind film executives that continue to fund him. Is their belief that the more money thrown at him, the better his films will become? This may seem like an outright attack on Michael Bay, but I am simply demonstrating how Michael Bay fails to deliver any films of quality despite being overindulgently funded. Out of the twenty films he has either directed or produced, only two of them have scored above 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, therefore it is safe to conclude that the majority of them are rotten if not worse. However, one cannot be too critical of Bay given his accolades, as he is the recipient of five MTV Movie Awards and four nominations for Worst Director at the Golden Raspberry Awards. Clearly, he is about as well-decorated as an igloo.

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