How Dostoevsky and ironic process theory can help us understand Nicholas’s journey

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David Fincher’s The Game is full of twists and turns from start to finish. At no point during our initial viewing of the film are we sure what is real and what is fake—in other words, what isn’t part of “the game” and what is. And because of that, the plot of The Game can feel abstract and difficult to crack.

Once we finish the movie, however…the plot of The Game is pretty straightforward, right? Seemingly, everything is explained at the end by Nicholas’s brother, Conrad. For the entire film, Conrad tells Nicholas that everything has been planned out. While it may seem unbelievable, we simply have to accept the movie’s logic and believe that every confrontation, every mishap, every shootout has been part of an elaborate scheme set up by Conrad to make Nicholas believe he was playing a game. So, if we take the movie at face value, then there’s not much to understand. …


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As racial tensions continue to grip the United States, we’ve witnessed several parties feel the growing movement’s wrath. The Flash star Hartley Sawyer was fired due to his offensive tweets, Fox cancelled it’s long-running and highly profitable program Cops, and President Donald Trump has experienced a dramatic shift in the polls.

But perhaps one of the most significant moments came when the newly established HBO Max pulled one of this country’s most famously racist movies, Gone With the Wind, from its digital library.

With Da 5 Bloods hitting Netflix on Friday, I can’t help but think of Spike Lee’s last feature film during a moment like this: BlacKkKlansman. As an incredibly thought-provoking film regarding the black experience in America, that Oscar-winning movie directly addressed the dangerous mentality that was born from entertainment like Gone With the Wind. …


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On the 15th anniversary of the 1996 Woodsboro massacre, Jenny Randall and Marnie Cooper—two students at Woodsboro High School—are brutally murdered. And it just so happens that the woman at the center of the original massacre, Sidney Prescott, is back in her hometown. Needless to say, she becomes the main suspect of the killings.

What seems like nothing more than a simple plot device to kickstart a movie is actually an incredibly clever, satiric take on movie remakes. In Scream 4, Sidney isn’t just back in her hometown for the first time in many years—the killer is back. The movie is, effectively, back. …


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On May 16, 2002, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones made its theatrical debut. Set ten years after the events of the first Star Wars prequel film The Phantom Menace, the latest project from the visionary mind of George Lucas was all anybody talked about that summer. One firm predicted that companies would lose more than $320 million in productivity because so many employees would call in sick in order to attend a screening. That year, Attack of the Clones generated $310.7 million in the U.S. (which currently ranks 81st on the all-time domestic box office list) and $653.8 …


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“Cross the room if you like candy,” says Samantha.

Nick stares into oblivion.

“OK, well how about something harder. Cross the room if you’ve ever been in love.”

Nick remains stoic, but reality creeps into his wistful eyes.

“Cross the room if you’ve ever lied. Cross the room if you’ve ever not gotten along with your family members. Cross the room if you’ve ever been blamed for something you didn’t do.”

Slowly but surely life seeps back into Nick as he crosses the room back and forth, back and forth, back and forth with his classmates. This truth. That truth. Back and forth. Back and forth. The oppressive surroundings lose their weight, lose their weight as Nick confronts reality. Confronts the future. Confronts himself. Back and forth. …


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After premiering at Sundance Film Festival last month, Horse Girl made its streaming debut on Netflix today. The film starring Alison Brie became available this morning—and yeah, it’s a doozy. What seems like a simple set-up about mental illness at first quickly becomes a rabbit hole of sci-fi jargon and conspiracy theories.

Brie’s character, Sarah, opens the film as a seemingly awkward, lonely girl who has trouble making friends—a common struggle for many. But the strange, surreal path Sarah takes us down is anything but relatable. She wakes up in the middle of the night in random places; she has prescient dreams where she sees people she’ll soon meet; she begins to believe that she’s regularly abducted by aliens. …


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Last year was one hell of a time for Disney, right? Moving past juggernauts like The Lion King and Frozen 2, 2019 was the fifth straight year that saw a Star Wars film: The Rise of Skywalker. It was also a year that saw three new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (although one of those wasn’t a Disney film), including the top-grossing movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame.

But as we enter 2020…there are no Star Wars movie planned. And we’re only getting two Marvel movies, one of which is a comic book most of us have never heard of ( The Eternals). …


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SPOILERS AHEAD

Ki-taek lays lifelessly on ground, staring into the sky as his eyes glaze over. His home, his belongings, his entire identity has drowned in a sea of sewage that has overtaken the grimy, dank alleyways where he and his small family reside in their South Korean city.

Hopeful for a solution that will solve all their problems, Ki-taek’s son Ki-woo asks if his father has a plan.

“Ki-woo, do you know what kind of plan never fails?” Ki-taek asks. “No plan at all. If you make a plan, life will never work out that way.”

Ki-woo and his father are crammed close together in a local gym with other low-income families who have also lost their homes—yet, it feels like these two couldn’t be further apart. The young Ki-woo clutches onto his scholar’s rock, which he believes will bring him and his family great fortune in the future. While Ki-taek stews in his misfortune, hopeless that he’ll ever be able to break his family out of such a debilitating lifestyle. …


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Following the release of Man of Steel back in 2013, director Zack Snyder took pen to paper and outlined what he believed would become the basis of the DC Extended Universe: a five-film blueprint that continued with Batman v Superman and closed out with an epic Justice League trilogy.

And…well. Many of us know what happened from there (as is well detailed in this Wall Street Journal piece). After Batman v Superman was universally panned by critics, the Justice League trilogy was effectively stripped from Snyder’s grasp. After a family tragedy removed the polarizing director from post-production, Warner Bros. brought in Joss Whedon to oversee operations—which included reshoots that aimed to spruce up Justice League with a little bit of that classic Whedon humor that worked so well for the Marvel franchise. …


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The Disconnect with Critics

Sitting in her black SUV atop in a rooftop parking lot, Syd is suddenly ambushed by several hitmen. After her partner is struck by a bullet, Syd shoots the man who shot her partner, then leans over from the passenger seat, thrusts her hand onto the gas pedal and books it out of the building. As the hitmen hop in their cars to chase after Syd, detectives Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey—along with several other members of the Miami Police Department—join the chase as well.

What follows in one of the early scenes of Bad Boys II is a gorgeously choreographed car chase filled with ludicrous banter, an unrealistic array of gunfire and untold amounts of damage inflicted upon the city of Miami—all part of the Michael Bay formula, ladies and gentlemen. From moment to moment, there is a single second of dullness washing over the screen. Colors, gunfire, yelling—it’s all nonstop for the next 10-or-so minutes. …

About

Travis Bean

Writer for Forbes | Founder of Colossus | Host of Your Brain on Film

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