Tag Archives: humans are flawed

Kids with Guns (1)

When I wrote about the Marysville School Shooting two weeks ago, I discovered this list on school shootings on Wikipedia and it fascinated me endlessly. I wasn’t sure why until I started doing research because I wanted to write more about this topic. It’s fascinating to see that while almost all of those incidents are reported in the news, it often isn’t more than the initial “someone has been shooting at a school” report, but rarely any follow-ups. So it’s very hard to learn what was behind those shootings, to read about motives or reactions. I guess that’s not surprising for our media that it is only interested in the shock value of such news and doesn’t dare to dig deeper. Still, there are some follow-up articles and as I realized I might get obsessed with this topic because I endlessly wanted to look up everything, I decided to turn this into a series, focus on a couple of incidents and come back to that long, long list again (and again).

You can read the full post here.
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Knowing (2009)

(spoilers ahead)

Knowing is a hokey sci-fi-thriller but a very entertaining one. Its concept and often the execution are very over the top, but for some reason the movie still works. One reasons is Nicolas Cage, I think, who is quite good here. But whenever the movie drags a little with its somewhat clunky story, there is a set piece of a disaster that looks amazing and is very intense, especially the two-minute take of a plane crash. It’s disaster porn, sure, but it’s effective. The research scene of Cage finding out what the numbers mean that his son found is also compelling. I’m sure this movie has a smaller impact on a second viewing, but for what it is, it’s quite good and could have been much worse.

You can read the full post here.

Go Play: Escaping, Assassinating, Warring

Go Play: Escaping, Assassinating, Warring

I realized I look at so many different things here, movies, music, books, comics, etc., I should include something else. Sure, I could also narrow my focus, but I’m not good at that, I want the big picture, all of it. So, today I want to look at video games. Why? Well, just like all the others, they are an essential part of our cultural canon, especially (but not exclusively) for younger people.  More than all the others, they engage you actively in an activity, thereby shaping your ideas and values in a different way than other mediums. I’m not saying they have a bigger impact, but it is a more unique impact than just consumer media. Anyway, I think video games have a different way of portraying and transporting cultural ideas. So, I thought I face them now. Here’s my plan: I look at the list of upcoming games (from Wikipedia, all the quotes are from there), pick some games and see what’s there to see.

Read the full post here.

Comics Are for Everyone: 2012 Edition – Occupying Jokers, Transgender Aliens and the Web of Life [2012 Week]

As I mentioned before, 2012 had a lot of comics in it and I read many of those. So I thought today I spent some time flipping through more than 1,000 issues to see what is noticeable in those comic books. What, you say that’s crazy? Too much? You’re right, actually. I’ll try to focus on which current events were portrayed in some of those comics and also look at some interesting messages regarding humanity. So, the usual.

It’s fascinating to see how 2011 creeps into the comics of 2012, which is the fastest comics can deal with current events.

Batgirl #5 (Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf)

Batgirl #5 (Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf)

Detective Comics #5 (Tony S. Daniel)

Detective Comics #5 (Tony S. Daniel)

You can read the full post here.

 

Comics Are For Everyone: The Last of the Greats/Avengers vs. X-Men #6

    The Last of the Greats CoverAvX Cover“Humans are flawed and this is why they destroy the earth.” Would anyone doubt that assumption? Probably not. I do because I think it’s not humans but culture that is flawed. Anyway, I want to look at two comic books today that ask the question: What would happen if all the problems in the world could be solved? What would humans do then? Those are intriguing questions that revolve around the notion of humans being flawed or not. If they are not flawed, solving all the problems would save the world. If they are flawed, all the problems will just come back. Looking at these questions are Joshua Hale Fialkov and Brent Peeples in their mini-series The Last of the Greats, published by Image in 2011 and 2012, and Jonathan Hickman and Olivier Coipel in the best issue of the event comic Avengers vs. X-Men (or just AvX because it’s so cool), published in 2012 by Marvel (which was written by every major Marvel writer but was quite a mess overall).

Continue reading Comics Are For Everyone: The Last of the Greats/Avengers vs. X-Men #6

Our Life Is a Movie: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

     cabin_in_the_woods_poster(spoilers ahead)

Cabin in the Woods is a very clever movie that seems innocent and surely will fly by many people. But it’s so many things at once. It’s a decent horror movie, a comedy, a great work of metafiction and, most importantly, an amazingly intriguing comment on our society. It’s extremely well made and acted, and all in all a really bold movie. Since it appears in this series, I obviously love it.

Continue reading Our Life Is a Movie: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Lady in the Water (2006)

  lady_in_the_water  (spoilers ahead)

Lady in the Water is not a misunderstood movie. It bombed when it came out and Wikipedia says since then it has been more appreciated than critics did then, but seeing it for the first time now, it’s easy to see that it’s a big failure and the definitive tipping point for director M. Night Shyamalan. Sixth Sense was great, Unbreakable maybe even greater, Signs I still liked a lot (even if I was suddenly alone), The Village is not good but somewhat enjoyable, but Lady in the Water hit a new, very low level. It has its few moments, but overall it’s a complete mess. The opening is already confusing and goes on for too long, the movie then goes back and forth on the same ideas over and over again for what feels like forever only to end with one of the most absurd endings ever seen. The bad thing about the ending is that it is supposed to feel grand and spectacular, but you can only sit there and wonder if all of this really happened. The biggest reason for disbelief for the end is that the movie tries to be some kind of metaphor most of the time, but throws of all that out of the window for an effects-heavy fairytale ending that is just laughable.

You can read the full post here.

Prometheus (2012)

prometheus_poster_LARGEPrometheus seems to be one of the most discussed movies of the last couple of years. You find an endless amount of posts about its general meaning, the ending, individual scenes or just lines. I find it fascinating that a movie can have such a strong reaction that is not simply love or hate but thought. People think about this movie to figure it out and even people who don’t like it mostly do because of unanswered questions that bother them. How often does a movie get that kind of feedback, especially one that cost more than $100 million? It is a rare example of a movie full of ideas (even if the execution is not perfect).

Continue reading Prometheus (2012)