Category: Film


Ben Affleck is Batman

Oscar-winning director Ben Affleck to portray Batman in the new Superman-Batman film. Zack Snyder is poised to direct the Man of Steel sequel starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Ben Affleck. Snyder said of Affleck, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.

“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character,” Warner Bros. exec Greg Silverman said in the announcement.”, said Greg Silverman, Executive of Warner Bros.

Ben Affleck is Bruce Nolan (Image by: jacarandafm)

Ben Affleck is Bruce Wayne
(Image by: jacarandafm.com)

From Daredevil to Superman, Ben Affleck is back in the superhero genre. Are you excited to see Affleck as the new Bruce Wayne? How do you think he’ll perform alongside Henry Cavill? Too much handsome on one screen? Check back for the latest information about this new Batman/Superman tag-team.

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Film 101 Lesson 2: Pan’s Labyrinth

I’ll be taking over for Pat this week. With my opportunity to give my very own “Film Lesson”, I’ve chosen to enlighten the masses with a movie that’s, without a doubt, one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of all time: Pan’s Labyrinth. Pan’s Labyrinth, in Spanish “El Laberinto del Fauno”, is nerd-guru film director Guillermo del Toro’s crowning achievement.

Ophelia entering the Toad's Tree in Pan's Labyrinth (Image by: hdwallpapers.in)

Ofelia entering the Toad’s Tree in Pan’s Labyrinth
(Image by: hdwallpapers.in)

The story takes place in post-war 1944 fascist Spain. It shows the power of imagination and innocence. Ofelia, the stepdaughter of a sadistic Spanish military thug, fabricates an intricate adventure through the labyrinth guided by the faun Pan, the God of Nature. She is given three gruesome tasks. Pan promises that upon completion, she is to be returned to her true father, the “King”.

Pan consoles Ophelia in the Labyrinth  (Image by: confusedmatthew.com)

Pan consoles Ofelia in the Labyrinth
(Image by: confusedmatthew.com)

Del Toro’s movie masterpiece combines childlike elements of mythology and the perpendicular adult views of mysticism and paints the two with a dark, haunting hue. Together, the elements form a terrific adventure for the imaginative child and the audience alike. Del Toro has described himself as a “history buff”, which shines through in this film. The Spanish Civil War represents a brutal, horrific time for the people of Spain. Ofelia’s intellectual retreat spawns horrifying creatures such as the Monstrous Toad and the Pale Man.

Guillermo del Toro's Pale Man, who only feeds of "the blood of innocents" (Image by: culturepopped.blogspot.com)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pale Man, who only feeds of “the blood of innocents”
(Image by: culturepopped.blogspot.com)

Each creature symbolizes the essence of Captain Vidal, Ofelia’s stepfather. Ofelia discovers the Monstrous Toad in the base of a V-shaped tree, with it’s curved branches meant to represent her pregnant mother’s fallopian tubes.  The Monstrous Toad’s demolition of the towering tree represents Captain Vidal’s child inside the womb of Ofelia’s sick, tender mother. This imagery is furthered by the bloody tendrils that line the pages of Ofelia’s Magic Book. This dark, horrific imagery is laced throughout the entirety of Pan’s Labyrinth. Guillermo del Toro presents horror in a memorable, yet believable way, by portraying gore and terror for emotional impact, not pure spectacle. Be sure to check this film out because it truly is one of the greatest cinematic creations of all time and my favorite film. Alright Intellects, Class Dismissed.

Who Will Be Remembered?

About two weeks ago, I went to my university’s bookstore. On my way out, I noticed a sign with the theme of this summer’s freshman orientation. What the theme was doesn’t really matter, but it made me think. “I wonder,” I said to myself, “what the theme was back in 2007. With a year like that, they should’ve done something with James Bond. I mean, it’ll be close to another thousand years before another year ends in ‘007.’” But then a more sobering thought struck me. “What’s the chances that people will still remember James Bond in 3007? Or, for that matter, any of the pop culture characters that I love?”

Which brings me to the topic of this article: Who will be remembered?

Before I start throwing out characters at random that I’d like to be remembered, let’s first look to the past, to determine what sort of characters have had the longevity to exist across millennia.  So who are some characters that come to mind? Many are religious in nature. Of course, we have the major players in the big religions that still exist, such as Krishna, King David, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad (arranged chronologically), some of whom have existed for close to 5000 years. We also have the myths of religions that aren’t practiced as widely or at all any longer. For example, we get figures such as Zeus/Jupiter from Greek/Roman mythology, Ra from Egyptian myths, Sigmund from Norse myths, and Beowulf and Arthur from England. All of these characters have been remembered far longer than many others, so it could be safe to assume that any traits that they share could be the reason for their longevity. So what are their shared traits?

  • Supernatural abilities: almost all of the above characters have some sort of supernatural ability. Whether this ability comes from the fact that the character is a god or just supremely talented (especially true for Sigmund, Beowulf, and Arthur), doesn’t seem to matter much.
  • Lack of moral ambiguity: It doesn’t appear that there’s any sort of gray area in morality for characters that are remembered for millennia. There is only room for Jesus and Satan, so to speak.
  • A place in a larger universe: All of these characters exist in a world where they are surrounded by other characters who also share the above two qualities. All of the polytheistic religions mentioned have a pantheon of gods; Arthur had his round table; Beowulf had Grendel and his mother; Jesus had his apostles. For whatever reason, it seems that characters are made more memorable if they have other memorable figures to interact with.

So, applying these three qualities, who will be remembered? Here’s what I think:

  • Unless something changes drastically between now and 3007, all of the characters (with the exception of Bond) that have been mentioned so far in this article will continue to be remembered.
  • Harry Potter and Voldemort will be remembered. The Harry Potter novels will most likely still be read, but these two characters will be known even by people who have not read them.
  • Many of the characters from Star Wars will continue to be remembered, as most characters are either totally good (Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker) or totally bad (Darth Maul, Emperor Palpatine). One very notable exception to this is Darth Vader, who we see rise, fall, and rise again. However, since Star Wars shares many similarities with epic poetry that had lasted for thousands of years, chances are this will be over-looked.
  • Many of the characters from Tolkien’s world will go on for ages, especially Frodo, Bilbo, and Gandalf.
  • I think some of our more popular superheroes will continue to exist in some capacity, especially the characters that are in the Justice League and the Avengers. However, if I had to pick only one superhero, I think it would most likely be Superman. Superman gave us the idea of the superhero, and he is perhaps the quintessential costumed hero. He is the character that often comes to mind first when we hear the word “superhero,” and is responsible for many phrases that we use all the time (“Put an ‘S’ on your chest,” “You’re not Superman,” “Kryptonite,” “Brainiac,” and “Bizzarro”).

These are the characters that I think humanity will still be talking about in the next millennium. Of course, there will be more literary works that will continue to be studied. Perhaps college professors in 3000 will be teaching about Holden Caulfield in their “Ancient Literature” class. However, I think that these characters are the ones that are the most likely to continue to remembered by the average person, not just in academia.

What do you guys think? Have any other ideas? Let me know in the comments below.

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