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New Escapist Column! On How the Summer of 2011 Changed Blockbuster Cinema, Forever…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Because it was Labour Day on Monday, officially marking the end of summer, it seemed like an appropriate opportunity to take a look back on the summer from a decade ago. The summer of 2011 was arguably the blockbuster movie season that defined the modern cinematic landscape.

Many observers would trace the root of the modern blockbuster era to the summers of 2008 and 2012 with epoch-defining smash hits like Iron Man and The Dark Knight or The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. However, these movies were exceptional. They were seismic. Doing something like that was an innovation and a miracle. However, the key for Hollywood is to find a way to make these sorts of models sustainable and reproduceable. That is why 2011 was such a big year, because it marked the season that Hollywood found a way to mass produce movies like Iron Man and The Dark Knight.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

That One Scene…

You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one scene in a bad movie that really got you, that managed to suggest that maybe there was a bit more to the film than met the eye. If it came towards the start of the film, it probably built up expectations that the finished product couldn’t meet. If it appeared in the middle, it made sure that you didn’t quite nod off towards the end. If it closed out the movie, you probably left feeling more satisfied with the movie-going experience than you really should. Often, however, these sequences are just frustrating because they just end up teasing what could have been.

Mauled by critics...

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Non-Review Review: Green Hornet

Green Hornet is an interesting film, if only because it’s hard to figure out the potential audience. It adopts a brutally cynical approach to the types of superhero films that have been released over the past few years, while remaining steeped in their trappings. It’s a comedy, but it doesn’t venture too far into slapstick or laugh-out-loud moments (though there are more than a couple). Instead, it seems to smirk its way through the movie, deconstructing the sort of plots, characters and dialogue that superhero films give us, but never completely tilting its hand. It’s hard to tell if this is a parody of a standard superhero film, or a straight-forward example of one – the movie fluctuates between the two extremes, but never really picks one and engages full throttle.

A bomb...

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Why Not Every Superhero Has To Be “Dark and Edgy”…

News surfaced earlier in the week that reported Sony are reportedly less than pleased with how The Green Hornet is turning out. What are they unhappy about? Oh yes, the fact that the movie from Seth Rogan and Michael Gondry about a man who fights crime in an emerald business suit with a domino mask and a Japanese man-servant might not be delivered with the poe-faced gravitas that the very concept deserves. Apparently, it’s campy.

Wait, what?

Darker and edgier, what?

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