Tag Archives: Guardians of the Galaxy

Ten Movie Themed College Courses That Should Exist


Scandinavian Studies 101 (Left) and American History From WWII-Present (Right). Image via Hollywood Reporter

Earlier today, news got out that a new course is being taught at University of Baltimore which centers around Marvel movies. It was hailed as the first of its kind, unless you count the Marvel class taught by my friend (Professor of Comics on the podcast) at Syracuse last year. I get it, once Upstate New York gets a show as good as The Wire made about it, then people will remember it exists.

As somebody who mainly occupied the communications and liberal arts buildings, I have taken some odd college courses. I once took a philosophy class where two people argued whether or not a cat had a tail or not for 45 minutes. For some reason, I never dropped it.

Besides that, I typically liked the classes that some might consider “BS.” I liked to learn about history and even write an essay. One of the best classes I took in college was about horror movies. Now, I’m a horror convert.

Making a class about blockbusters might seem odd, but Marvel has such a big impact on modern movies that it’s about time we got past the spandex and Stan Lee cameos and tried to figure it all out. This inspired me. I decided to think about some other film-related courses I would like colleges to adopt.

So without further adieu, here are some movie themed college courses that should exist:

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Six Best Films of Summer 2014


Nowadays, the pervasive narrative is that film is dead and television is better. This statement is only half true. While television is better than ever before, cinema isn’t doing too badly, either.

Most of my film experiences this summer were nothing but pleasant. Besides anything Michael Bay had his name on, there were very few complaints to be had about the intelligence of Hollywood blockbusters (in retrospect, I even enjoyed Winter Solider). In the art house world, some directors were doing things with the form that nobody has done before. Well, that happened in the blockbuster world as well.

Film is in a transitional period. This was the summer of On Demand, where a lot of films were available on your TV set the same day they were playing in select theaters. While I still prefer a trip to the theater any chance I get, it was nice to have access to the sort of films that usually don’t expand nationwide. It is too bad this wasn’t around when I was a high schooler yearning for my hometown to be a hip, indie place.

Here are my top six films of summer 2014. I choose six because math is irrelevant to me:

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Top 10: Movies Based On Comic Books



The comic book movie is alive and well, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

For a bit of time, I tried to resist it. Maybe I just wasn’t used to living in a world where it was cool to like comics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As long as knowing the score to the Giant game isn’t a necessary element of small talk, I can get used to this new world order.

It makes sense why Hollywood would want to adapt graphic novels and comic books onto the big screen. After all, comic books are kind of like storyboards but with a lot more onomatopoeias. Today’s breed of comic book movies go well beyond superheroes. There’s anti-heroes, talking trees, and even Canadians.

Comic book movies have become a genre of their own, albeit one that encompasses many other sub-genres. With Guardians of the Galaxy out this week, shattering box office records and bridging the divide between fan boys and critics, it is as good a time as ever to celebrate comics. I have dabbled in reading comics, but my knowledge of them comes more from film. Here are the rules in order to be qualified for this list:

1. Must be adapted from either a comic book or graphic novel.

2. Either it is the best possible representation of a comic book on the screen, or it does something completely unprecedented with the format.

3. It is just plain f***ing awesome.

4. It does not star Ben Affleck. Sorry, buddy.

Read my complete list below:

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Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy


Guardians of the Galaxy marks the first time in a long time in which I was actively rooting for the arrival of another Marvel feature. That might have just been from the odd sight of a raccoon and a tree interacting with one another. Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest film to come out of the Marvel Universe, and it almost feels like they hit the restart button with this one, and got nearly perfect results.

I had an inkling, which turned out to be very wrong, that Guardians of the Galaxy might completely reinvent both superhero and action movies. I was wrong. Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t reinvent any genre, and it doesn’t even try to do so. Guardians of the Galaxy is a product of Marvel, yet it also bears director James Gunn’s incredibly original voice. James Gunn worked the system: he made a fun summer blockbuster that also happens to be an auteur piece.

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Five Most Anticipated Summer Movies


Round up the usual suspects! Image via Paste Magazine

Just like March, summer goes in like a lion (whatever giant franchise offering Disney has to offer in June) and out like a very wimpy lamb (whatever Paranormal Activity spin-off is lated for release in the last week of August).

It would be unfair to immediately dismiss this summer’s entire lineup just because it doesn’t contain many original ideas. For now, originality is dead in Hollywood. That is a well researched fact, just like the how dogs are better than cats and Jaden Smith is terrible at grammar. Instead of rejecting it, it is better for a cinephile’s psyche to find the silver linings.

While there will still be plenty of sequels, prequels, remakes, and adaptations this summer, some of the worst qualities of modern Hollywood are starting to go the way of the dinosaurs and M. Night Shyamalan. For instance, this summer will give us a few major blockbusters that don’t hit the three hour mark, as well as a worldview that is more fun than gritty. Gritty is for Oscar season. Summer is for fun. Smart fun, if that is in anyway possible.

Here are the five movies coming out in the summer of 2014 that I look forward to the most:

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