Tag: James King

The Last Jedi – The “most divisive” Star Wars film

James King, Correspondent

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the most divisive film in the main canon of the franchise. To say that it split the fan base would almost be an understatement. Ever since this movie came out fans have been arguing whether it’s the best or the worst the franchise has put out. Now personally I do have my problems with it, but I feel that it’s a bit overzealous to say that this is a bad movie by any metric. Though, I feel that this movie is all about subverting your expectations as a Star Wars fan, taking what you know about the franchise and flipping it on its head.

Continue reading “The Last Jedi – The “most divisive” Star Wars film”

‘Abominable’ movie – abominable or amazing?

James King, Arts & Entertainment Correspondent

Abominable is about as fuzzy as the marketing would lead you to believe. I am a big fan of animation, though the pickins have been a bit slim for animated movies I have wanted to see this year and admittedly, this one wasn’t on the top of my list. 

Continue reading “‘Abominable’ movie – abominable or amazing?”

Hot Take: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” … the best movie ever?

James King, Arts & Entertainment Correspondent

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the best Star Wars movie that has ever come out of the franchise. I know that may sound like an exaggeration, but after catching up with the franchise so far, it has become my favorite entry in the franchise. 

Continue reading “Hot Take: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” … the best movie ever?”

History of superheroes in films

James King, A&E Correspondent

Hollywood has been making movies about costume superheroes for almost as long as there have been moving pictures. The idea of a costumed bigilante with special abilities who stops crime on screen is not really a new idea.

The beginnings of the genre started in the 1920s with the early Zorro movies, beginning with the “Mark of Zorro”. In the 30s and 40s, America saw the irth of characters like The Shadow and Dick Tracy, pulp detectives with special abilities and gadgets. They were all basically sort of like the proto-superheroes of their day. They were vigiliantes who chased down the crooks that the police couldn’t.

It wouldn’t be until 1941, that the first superhero movie came to the big screen with the serial “The Adventures of Captain Marvel” (know to modern audiences as “Shazam”). Serials, which are typically fictional stories that are divided into parks that continue on each episode, were basically television before television was as widespread as it is today. People would go out to theatres to see a serial before a movie and later they would come again to see the next episode.

This was followed up with a small boom of superhero movies, including “The Batman”, “Captain America” and “Superman”. These serials kept going steadily until the 50s, when chepaer televisions finally started to kill the movie serial. In 1951, “Superman and the Mole Men” became the first feature-length theatrical film based on a comic book superhero.

The genre went quiet after that until the 1960s In 1966, the feature-length pilot of the Adam West “Batman” series came to theatres. It was one of the most popular shows of its time, it even helped save the ten failing ABC network and spawned all sorts of merchandise; just a few short years in 1968 it was cancelled due to low ratings.

In 1989, Tim Burton’s “Batman” would be released and take the world by storm. The dark, gritty take on the character was just what fans wanted to see. Many fans of the original Batman comics were disappointed by the bright and silly 60s version of the character.

This new version would influence many of the big-budget superhero movies of the 90s like “Spawn” and “The Crowd”. After the next Batman sequel bombed, Joel Schumacher picked p the reins of the franchise and his two sequels “Batman and Robin” and “Batman Forever” killed superhero movies until “Blade” attracted interest back into the genre.

The X-men movies and Sam Raimi Spiderman films would help revitalize the genre in a big way from there. The Nolan Batman movies set the golden standard from which all superhero movies are judged and Iron man would start the Marvel Cinematic Universe to show us everything could be connected through comic-like continuity. Continuity other companies like Sony, Warner Brothers and Universal would try to emulate to mixed results.

Superhero movies are breaking records as “Avengers: Endgame” has become the highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation), with many other Marvel Studios films taking similar top spots. It’s not a genre that looks to be slowing down in popularity and there are plenty of new superheroes getting their own time to shine, and their future is looking bright.

Photo courtesy of DC Entertainment

Episode III: the strongest prequel

James King, A&E Writer

This is the Star Wars movie I’ve been wanting to see since beginning this look at Star Wars movies. It’s not the strongest movie in the Star Wars canon, but after the wasteland of boredom that was the first two movies in the prequel trilogy, it’s definitely the strongest of the three. The movie does have a few big flaws, but its enjoyable enough that I wasn’t as bored by it as I was with the other two prequels. The movie basically is one big action flick, but it was a welcome turn after the first two movies focused on the politics of the characters. This was honestly the only prequel movie I would recommend actually watching, because other than character introductions and set up, it’s the only prequel that really gives any of the characters something to do.

The story in this movie has problems with pacing. Some parts of the movie feel like they skipped over way too fast; like Anakin’s ultimate turn to the dark side or the deaths of the villains. These parts should have held a lot of emotion, but are not set up enough for the audience to really care. The movie also doesn’t give you much time to breathe in between scenes of war and scenes of dialogue. The fast pace does help strengthen the movie, though as it keeps the movie from dragging which has been a major problem in the last couple of movies.

This movie was also one of the better-looking Star Wars, it’s a CGI fest, but it never is as distracting as it was in the Phantom Menace and it has aged pretty well. The beginning war scene is a visual feast with tons of robots flying through space and giant space ships exploding. The dialogue isn’t as strong as it has been in some of the previous Star Wars films. I have problems remembering anything the characters said beyond a few lines from Obi-Wan towards the end of the movie. It’s not enough to drag the movie down, but worth mentioning since the dialogue has been the best part of Star Wars.

It’s not one of the strongest movies, I feel like that honor goes to The Empire Strikes Back. Revenge of the Sith does have some of the strongest acting of the prequels. I wasn’t begging the actors to emote like I was with the first movie or just bored with the acting like in the second. I actually was actually much more engaged with the story this time. It makes me really looking forward to watching the modern Star Wars movies to see how they stack up to the other movies.

I am still not quite caught up with all the movies I still need to watch The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens for that, but it has been fun catching up on the various trilogies. These movies mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Much like the way they describe the force in these movies, they connect people and brings them together.