Editorial: Adoption joke in THE AVENGERS draws ire from oversensitive complainers

Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, in The Avengers

In THE AVENGERS, a particularly intense scene occurs wherein Thor, in an attempt to defend his brother Loki, is struck down by Black Widow, who simply states, "He killed 80 people in two days." Taken aback, Thor smiles meekly and replies, "He's adopted?"

Those two words have apparently struck a nerve, with some crying foul at Whedon's disrespect toward the adopted community, with their logic being that adoption = bad guy. As is typical of the Internet, commenters came out in full force to tell the creator of the petition, Jamie Berke, to "lighten up."

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The New Continuity: How to handle prequels during movie marathons


Prequels are a big part of mainstream cinema these days. They can give additional insight to the original film(s), or even tell the story from an entirely new perspective. Either way, they can be a really engaging part of a broader story.

Alternately, they can also cause quite a debate when planning a series marathon: Should the films be watched in chronological order based on release, or based on the story itself?

This question came up when a friend posted on her Facebook page about what order she should watch all six STAR WARS films. Should she start with the original trilogy (Episodes 3-6) or the prequel trilogy (Episodes 1-3)? Many people were championing the original films first, but the answer wasn’t that easy for me to muster. Continue reading

Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles? A look at Michael Bay’s comments and the ensuing backlash

To the dismay of many, it was recently announced that Michael Bay and his crew at Platinum Dunes would be rebooting the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES franchise, with director Jonathan Liebesman sitting behind the camera. Given his past efforts with remakes and reboots, most cried foul at the news, especially when word broke that he intends to alter the TMNT origin story to make them aliens. Speaking at the annual Nickelodeon upfront presentation last week, Bay said:

"When you see this movie, kids are going to believe one day these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable."

For the uninformed, the ninja turtles are the result of four ordinary turtles becoming covered in a green goo colloquially referred to as “ooze,” resulting in their mutation into anthropomorphic turtles with a penchant for pizza and the word "cowabunga". It is soon revealed that the ooze was created by a group of aliens known as the Utroms. Naturally, changing their origin story from mutated turtles to aliens has drawn a lot of ire.

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Modern Times: Technology, Family, and Film Education

Rain slams up against a closed window in a dimly lit living room, as if it were a group of captives trying to break out of a glass container.

A Christmas tree stands to the left of a full length couch, naked of any sort of gaudy bells or whistles.  A bald man sits, anxiously rocking back and forth as the opening credits of the day’s movie begin to roll.  An impressionable young child lies on his belly, head in his palms, equally anxious to see what is on today’s cinematic menu.

A VHS copy of IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT begins to roll, in all of its grainy, low-fi beauty. Continue reading

I’m Still Film: I’M STILL HERE and the drive for fact in a fiction-based medium


What is a face, really?  Its own photo?  Its make-up?  Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter?  That which is in front?  Inside?  Behind?  And the rest?  Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way?  Deformations simply do not exist. ~Pablo Picasso

What is reality? What is reality in the fiction-based medium that is narrative storytelling?

Those are just a few of the questions sparked by the hotly-talked about piece of performance art that is the Casey Affleck-directed film, I’M STILL HERE.

Now, while most of the conversation surrounding the film (and we’ll get into a discussion if it’s even right to call it that) has been keenly focused on the film’s validity, the film’s director, Affleck, has decided to take control of this discussion, and has thus sent the world of film and those who talk about into a complete and utter tizzy of the most surreal proportions. In an interview with the New York Times, the filmmaker said that the film, which looks at a year in the life of actor Joaquin Phoenix after leaving his career as an actor to become a rap artist, is indeed a “fake,” but that he “never intended to trick anybody.” Continue reading

Shouting in Cinema: Five actors with high volume performances


The other day I was watching CARLITO'S WAY and it hit me: "Al Pacino yells a lot." I started thinking back on all my favorite films of his where he's ripped someone a new one with his vocal chords: SCARFACE, SERPICO, HEAT, and DOG DAY AFTERNOON... just to name a few. And with that I thought, "Why not compile a list of people in cinema that can yell and can yell convincingly well?" So I did.

After the break is my list of people who I think are the most convincing yellers in cinema. There's a lot out there, and a lot of good ones, but I've narrowed it down to the people that I think have done this heavy job in interesting ways and in quite a few films, listing the ones that stood out to me. Before finalizing this list, I asked myself a few questions: "What makes a good yeller? Is it convincing?" And in some cases, "Did it make make laugh like it was supposed to?" Once I analyzed these questions with the people I chose, my list was made and ready to go.

Oh, and don't worry, there are quite a few honorable mention one-liners in there. I tried to make sure to get them all. Check it out after the break, and let me know what you do or don't agree on. Let's talk. Enjoy! Continue reading