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THE 5TH ANNUAL SUMMER MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA

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By Big Red & Shiny


 

@ THE MOVIES: INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
by BEN SLOAT & MATTHEW NASH
@ THE MOVIES: HAROLD & KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY
by BEN SLOAT & MATTHEW NASH
@ THE MOVIES: IRON MAN
by BEN SLOAT & MATTHEW NASH
@ THE MOVIES: THE HAPPENING
by CHRISTIAN HOLLAND & MATTHEW NASH
@ THE MOVIES: AT THE THEATRE WITH THE AISHMANS
by HEIDI & STEVE AISHMAN
@ THE MOVIES: WALL-E
by CHRISTIAN HOLLAND & MATTHEW NASH
@ THE MOVIES: HELLBOY II
by JAMES NADEAU & CHRISTIAN HOLLAND
THE “MAMMA MIA” GUIDE TO A SUMMER WEDDING
by CHELSEY PHILPOT
@ THE MOVIES: THE DARK KNIGHT
by JAMES NADEAU & CHRISTIAN HOLLAND
THE DARK KNIGHT: "I CAN'T KILL YOU... YOU COMPLETE ME"
by MICAH J. MALONE
IRON MAN, DONNA HARAWAY AND THE CYBORG-ATHON 3000
by JAMES NADEAU
THE DARK KNIGHT: THE JOKER AS ID TO BATMAN'S EGO
by PRIYANKA BOGHANI

The printed word that initially dominated the language of cultural interfaces is becoming less important, while the part played by cinematic elements is becoming progressively stronger. This is consistent with a general trend in modern society toward presenting more and more information in the form of time-based audiovisual moving image sequences, rather than as text. As new generations of both computer users and computer designers grow up in a media-rich environment dominated by television rather than by printed texts, it is not surprising that they favor cinematic language over the language of print.
Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media

As Manovich states above, it is both unsurprising and clearly evident that the time-based, image-driven narrative of cinema and television has overtaken the printed word as the common "literature" of a certain generation. The narratives and characters of popular shows and movies dominate conversations of cultural commonalities, along with debates over the merits of these experiences. While the printed word has not disappeared, it sometimes seems that more and more of it is being devoted to discussing the moving image, and less and less for the creation of new ideas and experiences. Consider the numerous entertainment magazines, the large sections of newspapers devoted to television and cinema, and the huge sub-category of writing devoted to the obsessive observations of the stars of our movies and shows.

If cinema has become the new literature, then it is not a shock to notice that many of the summer blockbusters are based on comic books. Comics, despite their increasingly complex and mature narratives since the 1980s, have always been the happy-go-lucky kids of the literary world. Frank Miller's Dark Knight may be moody and brooding, but he's no Raskolnikov. Even movies that are not based on comic books are still light and fluffy, this is summer after all and there's no need to get too deep. Let the movies about the Holocaust and corporate espionage, heartbreak and survial -- let those come later, in the autumn or winter. Summer is a time for fun.

As we do every year, this July Big RED & Shiny turns its critical eye to these summer blockbusters. In much the same way that we love to discuss art, it can be fun to occasionally turn that type of critique toward the cinema. As the summer blockbuster season coincides with a quieting of the galleries, why not?

This year, we've introduced a new format for movie reviews: Big RED At The Movies -- a series of short video critiques featuring our writers and editors. These require the Quicktime plugin to view, and are available in hi- and low-resolution versions. We also have some reviews in essay form for your enjoyment. So, grab some popcorn and a box of candy, silence your cell phones, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.


THE FOURTH ANNUAL SUMMER MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA by BIG RED in issue #67
SUMMER MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA III by BIG RED in issue #45
2ND ANNUAL SUMMER MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA by BIG RED in issue #25
SUMMER MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA by BIG RED in issue #10

 

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