I just watched 2 films that were essentially the same movie within 24 hours;
They are remarkably similar-
Both are Road Movies,
Both feature a protagonist who is delusional and clinging onto their past
Both are chasing a dream they cannot fulfill
Both are late 90s/ early 2000s characters that were brought back (actually that is every film these days)
Both are Comedies,
Both follow the hero’s journey plot structure
Except there is one big difference- one is really good and one is amusing but clumsily executed.
Woody and David Brent are rather different characters- but essentially in these films, they have the same Hero's journey;
I guess all films revolve around a protagonist coming to a realisation, but having watched these so close together, they just seemed so similar.
With Toy Story 4 there is a much deeper element; the notion of being thrown away and becoming junk (the plastic spork, the antique shop, the defective toy, the toy that a child no longer plays with). Woody is now not wanted by Bonnie, he is desperately trying to remain important, but its over and he needs to learn to accept this. The audience eventually realise Woody is trying too hard, but that is because he has always been right the previous movies so they route for him, and then feel sorry for him- thus when Bo Peep loves him for who he is, not what he is trying to be, it is a beautiful ending.
David Brent is not really wanted anywhere; most people he works with think he is irritating, he is desperately trying to be an entertainer, but needs to accept it is over- this is clear from the start of the film, there are no overarching themes or subtle storytelling, the audience know Brent is a joke and they laugh at him accordingly. Yes, he has something of a resolution and the audience are happy that he has found a potential date who likes him for who he is, but has he earned this?
Both films are funny, both are entertaining, but only 1 is going to make people cry and cheer… and it’s not Life on The Road
People don’t like this film, I don’t know why- I think it’s one of Marvel’s best.
Writer/ director Shane Black has made at least 2 other great films: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Monster Squad (or as I like to call it, Stranger Things from the actual 80s- look at the trailer!)
Tony Stark’s character arc (Tony's St-arc?) is brilliant;
Iron man 1, he is selfish and uncaring. Narcisistic, arrogant, arms dealer.
Iron Man 2, his arrogance returns, he becomes grandiose about being a superhero- Iron Man becomes bigger than Tony
Avengers Assemble, despite what Captain America says about him not being willing to make the ultimzte sacrifice, he makes the Ultimate sacrifice and nearly dies after throwning a nuke into a worm hole
Iron Man 3 he has PTSD, he has to go back to basics striped of his wealth and tech. His previous bad behaviour is his downfall, even though he’s morally beyond that. The woman he had a one night stand with and a man he humiliated through his arrogance. Even though he’s now a good guy, his hubris from before still haunts him. He discovers that it is Tony Stark and his compassion and love that is super, not the Iron Man suit
then a million other things happen- but consider Civil War and ENd Game and tell me this is not increadible story telling!
Knowing the End Game, this is a very significant part of the story. It is here he first has a patriachal relationship with someone- setting up Spiderman and parenthood in End Game
Random thoughts (minimal spoilers)
I love the iconography with The Mandarin’s videos, he’s such a mishmash of different cultures and religious symbols- he is all about appearance and perception- it all fits intot he theme of armour and outside perception
The theme of having armour and/ or how you are perceived. Tony loses the suit, which became an unhealthy obsession (he's made 40 odd, he is only focused on that and not his girlfriend or company)- but Harley (the child) makes him realise it is his skills in engineering and invention that make him special, not the suits.. The Mandarin is not what he seems, people are fixed by the serum to look fine on the outside. But on the inside they are endangered. The serum can fix the outside, but not the inside- the people grow back the limb they lost, but on the inside they are damaged still- same problem Tony has
Finally, if you ever want to write about or do a comparative study on superhero movies- I recommend William irwin’s The Avengers and Philosophy. Chapter 1 is about Tony Stark's ethics (and Captain America's and Thor's)
The Innocents is a British Horror film from 1961, it is an adaptation of The Turn of The Screw by Henry James
Genre- horror, suspense thriller
Clip of where it is Brilliant-
It'd be great for a comparitive study in the genre of horror, especially looking at use of sound or literary adaptations.
You can see a great number of horror tropes here-
The film being in black and white gives it a better depth of field than a colour film (this is 1961, it could have been made in colour, although most British films in this era were blakc and white as it was cheaper and also seen as more artistic)