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Posts tagged ‘movies’

The most beloved character type in modern literature

Anyone who writes or enjoys reading stories has at least a general idea of the various character types that make up the basics of virtually any story, novel, play or movie.

Of course, there are the villains, as more technically refereed to as the antagonists.  And just as obviously there are the heroes, technically termed the protagonists. Just perhaps the most beloved character type that is in use more now than ever is the figure known as the anti-hero.

Some people may be familiar with this type of character but in the event that you are not one of them, an anti-hero is essentially a protagonist that is anything but perfect.

Gone are the days with squeaky clean heroes who always make the right decisions and never cross any moral lines. Writers and readers have come to embrace protagonists with faults, personal struggles and other serious and not so serious issues that they must face.

So why is the anti-hero so popular? I would venture to guess that it’s because he or she is a character to which people can more accurately relate. Quite frankly, they are more realistic. Even the most shinning examples of humanity struggle with their own issues from  time to time. Nobody does everything right or always makes the right call pertaining to a moral or ethical situation.

Some famous examples of anti-heroes include:

Books -

Holden Caulfield – “Catcher in the Rye”

Scarlett O’Hara – “Gone with the Wind”

Movies -

John McClain – “Die Hard” series

Frank Martin – “Transporter” series

Television -

Patrick Jane – “The Mentalist”

Emily Thorne – “Revenge”

Plays –

Lady Macbeth  - “Macbeth”

Comics -

Batman

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Movie inspiration and the beauty of dogs

I was flipping through the channels this morning when I came across one of the non “Fast and Furious” films that stared the late Paul Walker. It was a 2006 movie entitled “Eight Below” and having remembered it vaguely, I decided to watch the last half an our or so.

Being a dog owner and nature lover, I can tell you that this movie really pulls at the heartstrings. Though sad in some ways, it is also quite inspirational. And in honor of this film and the amazing creature that is the dog, it seemed like the right time to post some beautiful and artistic pierces showcasing these truly amazing creatures. I hope you enjoy them.

siberian husky

1310-blue-eyed-wolf-husky-wallpaper-wallchan-1600x1200

husky laying

Classic fantasy movies that launched Hollywood careers

Every actor or actress in Hollywood got their start somewhere. But sometimes, prolonged and successful careers have come out of arguably one of the most interesting and creative film genres - fantasy films.

I happened to run into a friend the other day who is a major fan of one such movie and we got to taking about the subject. That being the case, I thought I’d take a quick look back at a few that really stood out for me, especially in the 1980s, and the starts that now enjoy household names who were part of these very cool projects.

The Princess Bride – 1987

Arguably one of the most beloved fantasy films of all-time, this fairy tale/action/love combination directed by the talented Ron Howard showcased Robin Wright (before she became Robin Wright Penn) and featured the long-time Criminal Minds series star Mandy Patinkin.

Labyrinth – 1986

With a creepy, evil David Bowie as her rival, movie fans discovered the beautiful and talented Jennifer Connelly playing the role of a 15-year-old unexpected heroine. While the movie didn’t do well at the box office, it has since enjoyed a massive cult following.

Willow – 1988

Although he had a few earlier roles (including in the film Top Gun with Tom Cruise) Val Kilmer began to capture the eyes and hearts of fans in this unusual adventure.

“Won’t Back Down” – a powerful and inspirational movie

Have you ever had one of those experiences

in which you hear about a movie coming out and think to yourself – “wow, that looks pretty good” but somehow life gets in the way and the film slips from your mind. I think we’ve all been there. But sometimes, we’re lucky enough to come across that movie again months or even years down the road. This was the case for me with the film “Won’t Back Down.”

First off, considering it is based on a true story and set in my hometown of Pittsburgh, I knew there would be lots of Pittsburgh scenes and that’s always something I enjoy in  a movie. The subject matter seemed interesting the film features a talent-filled cast including Maggie GyllenhaalViola Davis, Holly Hunter, Ving Rhames, and Rosie Perez just to name a few.

The plot focuses on a failing public school within the city’s district and one desperate parent’s fight to do something about it. That parent encounters resistance from the principal, teachers, some other parents, the school board and the powerful teacher’s union along the way. But she never gives up and her determination wins over and inspires others in the process.

If you like movies with both entertainment value and a message, you really should check this one out.

won't back down movie

Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and others in Won’t Back Down Courtesy of EV.com

The resurgence and modernization of the fairy tale

One of the most creative forms of literature, which began long ago out of the desire to tell stories to the children of the world, is that which is commonly called the fairy tale. For a while, it might have seemed like the fairy tale had been relegated to the basement of the proverbial library, all but removed from the minds and hearts of readers for generations.

But, it would seem that perhaps the tide is changing. And as a creative writer myself, I’m curious to see how all of this turns out.

Where and when did this resurgence begin? We’ll that might be hard to pinpoint with any level of exactness. However, in my humble opinion, I’d venture to say that it really started in early 2012. Some might say that animated films like those of the “Shrek” series kick-started things but I’m not so sure that is the case.

In March 2012, Relativity Media released the film “Mirror, Mirror,” a new, yet not too far-fetched, version of the tale of Snow White. Soon after, a number of adjusted fairy tales began to emerge on the silver screen, all with new twists on the classic stories.

Lily Collins Snow White

Some of these include:

Snow White and the Huntsmen (2012) - This movie is a bit more action, driven with a darker side to it.

Hansel and Gretel: Which Hunters (2013) – This one appears to focus on the chosen careers (as which hunters) after the original story. It is certainly of the action adventure variety.

Jack the Giant Killer (2013) – Also an action-oriented film, this take of the original looks to be a visual spectacular.

Other movies in development include revised versions of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Peter Pan and “Pinocchio” among several others.

As far as I can tell, most of these movies seem to be geared toward a more grown up audience with more graphic and mature themes.

At the very least, it should be interesting to see how all of this plays out and whether or not this current trend will be welcomed by the masses or simply turn out to be yet another fad of sorts within the entertainment industry.

Guest blogging/posting

For those of us who consider ourselves creative people and also try to get the word out there about our creative ambitions, guest posting or guest blogging can be a good opportunity.

With that being said, I’m looking to both guest post for other blogs as well as feature other people’s posts on mine. If you own or run a blog and are interested in in either of these possibilities, please let me know either in the comments section or via e-mail at trcapromo@gmail.com .

What I’ll accept for this blog:

Anything arts related in any way. It must be original work and at least 250 words (unless it’s poetry or a visual submission like photography or a drawing). I’ll provide one backlink per poem or visual submission and up to two per written other form of written post.

What I can provide:

Having worked in journalism as well as the arts, I am up for providing mostly anything. However, if possible I’d like to keep the topics related to:

Poetry and writing

Photography and the visual arts

Movies and video

Music and the performing arts

Goth, emo or punk subcultures

Body modification

Graphic design

Maybe we can make this work out well for everyone!

 

“The Dark Knight Rises” and its place in the Batman series of films

To date, since the 1989 “Batman” film starring Michael Keaton and the legendary Jack Nicholson, there can be said to have been seven follow-ups including the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises.”

While many may argue that the Dark Knight Trilogy if you will, can be considered a separate series of films than its several predecessors,  for this purpose I’m going to classify them in the same grouping.

Clearly the aforementioned 1989 film set the standard. The 1992 sequel “Batman Returns” was a decent follow-up but as is typical, sequels rarely live up to the original.

Then we get into what I personally consider the disposable Batman films, 1995′s “Batman Forever” and 1997′s “Batman and Robin.” Both featured a notable lineup of Hollywood big names but as we all know, that’s no guarantee of a quality film. To the contrary, these movies seemed to feature second-rate acting, less structured plots and somewhat laughable villains. Val Kilmer was OK in the lead role but as has been typical of his film career, George Clooney bombed.

At that point, it looked like the franchise had sunk into a death spiral from which there would be no return. That was until Christopher Nolan decided to resurrect the series with the film “Batman Begins” in 2005. The new lead actor Christian Bale restored the series to its original glory and possibly even more. And Heath Ledger’s amazing portrayal of the Joker in 2007′s “The Dark Knight,” kept the top-notch productions going.

So here we are, just days away from the release of “The Dark Knight Rises,” partially filmed in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.  While of course I haven’t seen it yet, I have to presume it will keep with the trend of the Nolan versions and be another masterpiece. But of course, only time will tell.

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