Friday, October 10, 2014

The Literary and Cinematic Origins of Dracula

Vampire books and movie surround us today in our society, Books, and films as recent as "The Vampires Assistant," "Twilight," and many others all who owe Irish author and playwright Bram Stoker, for writing the horror masterpiece "Dracula." Although I have seen the Bela Lugosi as the dark Count, Frank Langella as the romantic Dracula, and Christopher Lee's version of the character, but it wasn't until High School that I got around to read Bram Stoker's "Dracula." My personal copy of the Bram Stoker classic is the "Leonard Wolf Annotated Dracula," version where Mr. Wolf provides the introduction, notes, and bibliography. The artist Sätty provides the artwork that adorns the pages of this book. Gothic lithographs and beautiful maps of England and Romania help create the illusion of reality that Stoker brought to the pages in 1897. Released on May 26, Stoker wrote a novel, that I found absolutely creepy and nightmarish when I first read it. Unlike most novels written in second or third person narrative form, Stoker creates a world of utter believability by writing "Dracula" in the form of letters, diary entries, or newspaper clippings. As if he, Stoker, was the editor, piecing together an event in history and providing us with evidence of the account, creating in a fashion, a found footage narrative. The story of an English solicitor traveling to the dark woods of Transylvania to conduct a real estate contract between a Eastern European noble, Count Dracula, and his firm. The solicitor, Jonathon Harker becomes drawn into a world that, in Stoker's time, confined to tales told at night beside the fireplace.  

Tod Browning telling of "Dracula" in 1931, for a long time was the version that many remember to this day. Taking liberties with the story, and turning Renfield into the solicitor that travels to Castle Dracula, and then captured by the Count, changed the story in a way that simplified its telling for the audience. The star, Bela Lugosi, embodied the character of Dracula throughout his career and into the grave. For audiences of the time, at a time as the United States was entering the Great Depression, Dracula was an escape into the dark eerie world of the supernatural. By 1958, the story had changed a bit more turning Harker, not as a solicitor, but into a librarian. Peter Cushing ("Star Wars") starred as Doctor Van Helsing, and Christopher Lee ("The Fellowship of the Ring," "Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack of the Clones") as Dracula, together they made unforgettable adversaries. By the time I was in High School, Frank Langella ("Lolita, "The Ninth Gate") starred in director John Badham's romantic version of the count. "Dracula" is now less a monster and more of a romantic figure seducing the women and inciting them into a venereal lust.  

Not until Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 version, captures not only the spirit of the novel, but to some degree more or less the literalism of the book as well. For me, the appeal to Coppola's version is that he creates a backstory for Dracula that seems quasi-plausible in light of history of Vlad the Impaler. In this version, screenwriter James V. Hart tells us at the beginning of the film, that when the Eastern Roman Empire capital of Constantinople fell in 1453, the Ottoman Empire, led by Sultan Mehmed II swept throughout Eastern Europe. On June 17, 1462, Vlad III, of the sacred order of the Dracul (Dragon), a Prince of Wallachia in Transylvania, made the daring "Atacul de noapte de la Târgoviste" or Night Attack, engaged Mehmed on the battlefield. While Vlad III is victorious on the battlefield, Coppola turns to folklore to take the story a step further. A defeated Turkish soldier shoots an arrow into Vlad III's chamber with a note attached to it saying that Vlad Dracul is dead. His wife Elisabeta flings herself into the river below, committing suicide. Vlad Dracul is shown as a Christian Knight who upon realizing that the Orthodox Priests refuse his wife burial on holy ground, blasphemies against the Church and God, causing a cross to bleed. Upon drinking the blood that flows from the religious symbol, he takes on immortal life and the curse of the need to feast on the blood of the living. With an all-star cast with Gary Oldman as the infamous Count, he leads Winona Ryder as Mina Harker, away from her true love Jonathon, played by Keanu Reeves. 

"Dracula 2000" tells another origin story. The main characters are thinly veiled versions of the well-known characters of Mina, Johnathon, and Lucy, the characters of Dracula and Van Helsing are solid. In this version, Dracula is none other than Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ. For two thousand years, he suffers the curse of immortality. Gerard Butler ("300," "Phantom of the Opera") is Dracula, while Christopher Plummer ("The Sound of Music” "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country") is Abraham Van Helsing. All of these versions of the Dracula character have something for fans of the vampire genre. However, they are merely plot points in the larger story arc of good against evil.

In "Dracula Untold" director Gary Shore gives a fleshed out account of Dracula's attempt to hold back the Ottoman Turks. In doing so, he needs to call on a higher power, a darker power, for help in his fight against the invading Muslims. Luke Evans ("Immortals") plays the Romanian Voivode (warlord) and Sarah Gadon ("The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ") plays his wife Mirena. Dominic Cooper ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") is the Sultan Mehmed. Drawing from Slavic folklore, screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless introduce us to a Baba Yaga, an ugly witch disguised as a beautiful woman. In this version of Dracula, he has a son played by Art Parkinson and his name is Ingeras. Vlad had three children by two women. His first wife's name isn't documented anywhere other than folklore. His child with his unnamed wife was Mihnea cel Rău. He lived to be about 50 and spent much of his time trying to regain his father's throne. He was assassinated while attending Mass in Sibiu in the historical region of Transylvania in Romania.

Dracula is a folk hero to the Romanian people, but to the West, he is known as Vlad Țepeș the Impaler. As a young man, Vlad and his younger brother Radu (the handsome) were Turkish political prisoners. The Turks trained the young noblemen in horsemanship and in war. While Radu embraced his Turkish overlords, Vlad despised them. As Prince of Wallachia, he terrorized the Turks and impaled thousands of them at one time, that the locals considered him bloodthirsty. In "Dracula Untold," Vlad makes a deal with the Master Vampire, Caligula played by "Game of Thrones" Charles Dance. In this version, Dracula is a hero, rather than the monster that Bram Stoker made him to be. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Taking Move Fandom to the Next Level, Create Your Own Costumes

A Look at How Movie Fans Shows their Love for their Favorite Films.

Did you know that the word fan comes from the word fanatic and is defined as, "a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.” Movie fans are a different breed of people all together, like me, for example. In my years of being a fan of a certain films, I have found myself inspired to manifest my passion for the film outwardly. Some people, however, in my opinion adopt film fandom as part of their lifestyle. The lifestyle movie fans never leave their favorite movie characters personas, going to work as that character every day, their bosses accept their quirkiness, and they do respectable work. I will leave those types of fans for another article. This article is about a fan's passion for how Star Wars, drove this author to want to instill that love of film and creativity in the next generation. Here, is how to do it.

A fan of the Star Wars franchise for many years, I would stand in line, waiting hours for tickets, just to get into the theater for the midnight showing of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. In trying to inspire my children to enjoy films, as much as I do, I decided to dress up for the first time several years ago to show my kids that with a little imagination, they too can create any movie costume for themselves. The month before Halloween, I set my garage into my private fortress of solitude, where every night I would cover my work with a sheet, keeping my family in the dark what I was building. I actually had two projects going on at the same time.

The Light Saber

"Not clumsy like a blaster, an elegant weapon for a more civilized time, before the emperor, before the dark times," says Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars IV, A New Hope. Building your own blaster takes some effort and a tiny bit of skill and a lot of patience. Light Saber parts are all available at your local hardware store, and auto parts shop. The main body for my light saber is a sink tailpiece, purchased at my local Home Depot. Next short length PVC, and a pack of “ELCO” 1" D-rings (picture hanging equipment), a metal hole plug for the back end of the light saber, thumbscrew also in the small parts section at the hardware store. Also, needed are a plastic Fujifilm 35mm film canister, some small rubber slip joint washer,    Rubber beveled faucet washer, and a brass-knurled nut. I cut the wiper refills into four equal sections and after drilling eight sets of small holes around the metal tube, and drilled two equal distant holes in the wiper pieces themselves, using a rivet gun, I bolted them onto the handle. Next, I cut off the opposite end about 3.5 inches. The PVC pipe servers as an emitter and I cut that into a 5 ¼-inch piece, and then cut off a forty-degree angle off the other end. After I had bolted the pieces together, I ended up with an elegant looking Light Saber, for just under $25.00.

The mostly homemade Darth Vader suit. 

 You can buy a cheap Vader costume on line for around $30.00 dollars, or you can buy an expensive one for $600 dollars: or more, however, you can also use your imagination and make your own. Movie props and costumes are usually not terribly impressive under scrutiny: however, most folks are too impressed with the fact that suit is homemade to nit-pick. Most movie fans generally show a certain amount of latitude for the do-it-yourselfers to quibble about the exactness of a costume. However, if purchased, then the critics do come out and it is a free for all. For the Darth Vader's costume, I started with the shoulder armor, by creating it out of strips of vinyl place mats, cut into strips and hot-glued together, placing black stripes over the grey. At one point, I thought about using some hockey or football shoulder pads, but they didn't look right. I created the chest piece out of a sturdy gift box, antenna parts, star-shaped cookie cutters, some I/O ports from an old computer, and two Scrabble pieces, one painted red, and the other blue. My next-door neighbor hemmed and sewed Darth Vader's cape, and a piece off black faux-leather material for the 'inner shirt.’ Over that I used an old black graduation gown with sleeves cut off to simulate the robe that Vader wears under his armor. Black pants, tall black boots, and a nylon belt from the craft store finish the main outfit. To accessorize, I purchased off eBay, the belt buckle, and the Darth Vader helmet. Taking too project boxes form Radio Shack, I inserted a few red and green LEDs into them, found a circuit board pattern and a switch. A few touches of the soldering iron and I had a two boxes I could mount on the belt that would light up. The price of this costume was more expensive due to the price of the helmet and the belt buckle. The fun of finding the parts around the store and the satisfaction outweighed the cost for parts, and the time to assemble them. However, the look on my kid's face when Darth Vader strode in from the garage was... Priceless.

Trick-or-treating with R2-D2 

My son who was six at the time, wanted to be R2-D2 for Halloween, and as far as I could see at the time, none were available. Going out to Wal-Mart and grabbing a dome covered white plastic trashcan, I created a costume for my son. By drilling out the bottom, and using a hole-drilling die, I cut arms into the sides of the can. I used balsa wood for the eyepiece and a piece of plastic piping for the actual camera "eye."

Film Premakes

Other forms of extreme fandom manifests in other ways too. For example, Ivan Guerrero, of the whoiseyevan website on YouTube creates entertaining movie trailers from favorite movies. A sort of,’ what if,’ take on some popular films. Ivan has a unique take on films like Raider's of the Lost Ark, doing a 1950's look by taking old film footage and adapting it to the theme of the movie. Called Premakes, Ivan sometimes takes various genres and mashes them together, creating a "mash-ups.” Check out the whoiseyevan website to see Ivan's premake of Star Wars 1947 and other amazing premakes.

Whether you create a costume as intricate as Darth Vader’s, or something more simple, let these examples of film fandom inspire your creativity and this summer, take a risk show your love for your favorite movie.

Orginally published on Associated Content by Robert Barbere on 5/26/2010

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Interstellar: This World Is A Tragedy

Interstellar: Poster| A Constantly Racing Mind.
Before you know it we will be heading into November and into theaters to witness Christopher Nolan's great space adventure, as we watch as humankind ventures into the far reaches of the holy void of space.  Here is another "Interstellar" trailer to feast your eye upon and tap your foot impatiently waiting for October to end. 

Academy Award Winner Matthew McConaughey,  and Anne Hathaway from "The Dark Knight Rises" team up to travel billions of miles in search of a new home for humanity.  Since the industrial revolution, human beings pollute the Earth at a rate that grows exponentially each year. With certain gases in the atmosphere blocking heat from escaping, other gasses that linger in the atmosphere do not change in temperature and 'force' climate change.  From ice melting at the polar caps, to drought and dust storms throughout the world, it is clear that we are quickening our own doom.  The Earth as McConaughey's character Cooper says in the the film, "It's been telling us to leave for a while now."

In the trailer below we see Cooper (McConaughey) finding a crashed drone and discusses with his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) what to do with it. Next we see images of the Earth as seen from a rocket taking off and jettisoning one of its rocket stages. Similar to many scenes we've seen on TV with the Apollo missions and in films like "Apollo 13" with Tom Hanks. "Your daughter's generation will be the last to survive on Earth.," says Michael Caine's character. Images of our solar system display while a soft piano plays over a fast beat of violins playing in the background as Cooper and Brand (Hathaway) prepare to enter the wormhole and leave our galaxy. Their rocket ship descends toward a planet and next we find them walking on a new planet. Next, we see some amazing scenes of this alien other world. Cooper exclaims, "Our mission does not work if the people on Earth are dead by the time we pull it off."  Then we see a shuttlecraft landing on water and both Brand and Cooper in the water. At the end, Cooper declares that humankind will "...find a way, like we always have."

 Here is the synopsis from IMDB and Wikipedia:
A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. Among the travelers is a widowed engineer (McConaughey) who has to decide to leave behind his two children to join the voyage with the goal of saving humanity
Look for Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is due out on November 7, 2014 in the United States.


Movie Data
Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi 
Year:  2014
Staring:  Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine 
Director: Christopher Nolan
Producer(s): Christopher Nolan, Lynda Obst, Emma Thomas
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Rating: Not Rated Yet
Running Time: Unknown
Release Date: 11/7/2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner: Poster | A Constantly Racing Mind
Director Wes Ball takes James Dashner's 2007 novel "The Maze Runner" and along with 20th Century Fox turns it into a Young Adult action adventure tale for the whole family. "Teen Wolf's" Dylan O'Brien stars as a young man sent into The Glade that resides within the middle of a gigantic concrete maze. "The Maze Runner" is a film that has a formula found in recent YA Fiction.  Films in this genre typically originate from a novel, the main character is "chosen" and usually there is a mystery surrounding the protagonists origin. However, Ball's adaptation will resonate not only with the young adult audiences, but with adults as well.

“The Maze Runner” starts with a chaotic caged elevator ride to the surface. Inside the cage is a disoriented and scared youth. A group of teens roughly his own age greets the boy once the elevator reaches the top. As they open the top cage door of the elevator, we can see canned goods and other provisions in the cage with the boy. The group asks the young man for his name, but he can't remember. When they pull him out of the cage, he dashes away from the group. When he sees the enormous concrete wall, he stumbles and falls. The boys in The Glade are pf various ages and races. There is Alby (Aml Ameen - "Lee Daniels' The Butler"), the first to arrive in the Glade and welcomes the new kid to the group. Then there is Gally played by Will Poulter ("We're the Millers," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,") who  is more antagonistic toward this new kid, whom they name Greenie. Having no memories is disorienting at best, panic inducing at worst. This is a new world for the kid and Alby explains the rules to him. First rule is that no one goes into the maze. However, the new kid notices that he sees two other boys wake up early and waits for the maze to open, which it does daily, and then they run in it. Alby explains that they are Maze Runners and it is their job to map the maze and look for a way out. That night the boys enjoy a tribal atmosphere as the boys light a bonfire and wrestle in the dirt. Gally is there fighting with another boy. As Alby and the boy pass, Gally challenges the kid to a round. Gally is the clear champion, however, the new guy makes a good go at him. Gally slams the kid to the floor. As he hit the ground he hits his head, and the boy remembers that his name is Thomas (O’Brien) and as he gets up, he shouts out his name. He is a person now. 

The Maze Runner: Arrival | A Constantly Racing Mind
No one offers the boys and the audience a reason for the maze and for their existence there. Although Thomas has memories of his past life, they are at best fleeting. Most of the first half of the film takes place in The Glade. This gives us time to get to know characters like Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who is the voice of Ferb in "Phineas and Ferb," and plays Jojen Reed in “Game of Thrones.” Newt is amiable and instantly likes Thomas and has his back. Minho (Ki Hong Lee), the other Maze Runner, who helps Thomas when the maze trapped the two overnight. Blake Cooper ("Prosper"), short and stubby, Cooper's Chuck reminds me of Piggy in William Golding's "The Lord of the Flies." Finally, we meet Teresa (Kaya Scodelario - "Moon," "Clash of the Titans," "The Truth About Emanuel"), the only girl in The Glade. Teresa’s arrival brings some amusement, but along with it, a foreboding on the horizon. Thomas is clearly the chosen one, the hero of this story. O'Brien, however, plays the role of Thomas as very one dimensional, while others around him seem more solid. Looming in Thomas's fuzzy memory is Ava Paige played by Patricia Clarkson ("The East," "Shutter Island," "The Green Mile," "Jumanji") . Thomas isn't really sure who Paige is, but he does remember her telling him that "Wicked is good."

Many people question the meaning of life and some philosophies point in the direction of happiness as the ultimate goal in life. However, that leads to the next question; what is happiness, while other worldviews have more hedonistic values. In "The Maze Runner,"  the boys' existence in The Glade is a metaphor for our existence on this planet, and that the reason for being is a grand test. Not only are we being tested for our will to survive, but also for our worthiness of survival. If we pass the test, there are greater glories that we can ascend to. Part of the test is solving the mysteries in life, finding those little clues that hint at at something more than just what we are and will lead us to the next level. 

Having the teens wake up with no memory is a metaphor for us as humans in that we arrive on Earth with no memories of any previous existence (if there is one). That we are on this Earth with little or no direction and have to determine our own set of rules and create our own societies and civilizations. Alby, the first, tells about a time when life in The Glade was chaotic and turbulent before rules. Alby the lawgiver, made the rules, and that following them was important or people will die. Like in the early days of the human history, we made up laws that, at the time, made sense. Rules like "don't eat pork" because you had to cook pork properly to kill all the bacteria that incubate within their systems. Or laws that define sex between male and female(s), because in the ancient world the tribe needed a constant supply of new members while forming a self sustaining society by providing workers, soldiers and children. Remember, there is safety in numbers. Rules that don't necessarily apply in today's world. 

In the metaphorical world of "The Maze Runner," Teresa serves as a sort of Eve to Thomas's Adam. While Thomas is not the first person to enter The Glade, which represents a sort of Garden of Eden, he is the first to have a spirit of adventure and a quest for knowledge. Prior to his arrival, the residents of The Glade, including the current Runners, 
only explore the maze in a passive manner; because it is their role so they do so. 

In traditional religious texts, which maligns the role of women, the author here too twists the role of women to serve the narrative as the harbinger of doom. In Greek mythologythe ancient Greek poet Hesiod, wrote the poem "The Works and Days.” In the story,  the Greek gods created Pandora as a punishment for man. Pandora is the similar the Eve character in The Bible. In The Glade, the residents live in relative peace, protected from the Grievers at night (because the Maze doors close at night), and if they follow the rules,and  work together, they too will live as prisoners in a peaceful world. With the arrival of Teresa, the creators have both literally and symbolically sent her with a mes declaring that "she is the last". But also like Pandora, she also brings with her -- hope. 

After pulling out a small metallic cylinder from a dead Griever, a biomechanical spider/scorpion creature, the teens discover a clue to their existence, and possibly to their escape. Many religions and charismatic speakers claim to have found The Way, some have visions like the Apostle Paul, or John of Patmos, or others like the Prophet Mohammed, who has claimed instruction from angelic beings, while others find these clues in golden plates hidden in the Earth. Thomas and Minho try to decipher the mystery of the symbol and the electronic 7 that glows on the side of the cylinder labeled with the letters WCKD. Gally is the Doubting Thomas and Judas combined into one character. He is intent on the keeping current social structure and like many conservative voices today who preach the horrors of change, he clings to the myth that what we have in this world is the best we will ever have. Chuck is our innocence lost. His instant liking for Thomas and his willingness to break the rules on his behalf by bringing him food when Thomas is in the punishment pit, tells us he aligns himself with what is good in the story. 

Wes Ball has four directorial credits with three of them being short films. Most of Ball's experience in the film industry is in the art department working on documentaries creating behind the scenes special features. Ball worked on "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant - Guide to Becoming a Vampire," "Star Trek: Aliens" and a whole slew of graphics for various "Star Trek" documentaries. His first special feature was for the 2004 version of Tony Scott's "Man on Fire" titled "The Making of 'Man on Fire'." As his first feature length film, Ball gives us a fine introduction into the world of James Dashner's trilogy of "Maze Runner" novels. 

Scriptwriters Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, and T.S. Nowlin provide the viewer with plenty of action, adventure, and mystery. The scriptwriters renders Dashner's novel into something that theater goers can digest in just under two hours, by weeding out plot points that work well as literature but fail miserably in cinema. There is plenty of questions to answer, and just enough clues enticing us to see what happens next in "The Scorch Trials." John Paesano's ("When the Game Stands Tall," "DreamWorks Dragons") score is brassy and loud, giving the film a very full and mature feeling. Enrique Chediak's ("Europa Report," "Repo Men," "28 Weeks Later,") cinematography establishes the world of the "The Maze Runner" as visually stable and impressive. I found “The Maze Runner” is a fun adventure film, but a story that one can reflect about our purpose in life and who is really running the show.

Movie Data
Genre: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Year:  2014
Staring: Dylan O'Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster,Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter Patricia Clarkson
Director: Wes Ball
Producer(s): Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Gotham Group, Lee Stollman, Lindsay Williams
Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin, James Dashner (novel)
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 113 minutes
Release Date: 8/8/2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Third Day

B lood, Hair, and Eyeballs strewn across the battlefield floor,Arms, Legs, and muskets lying over the dead bodies, gore.Seeing through the haze of smoke, the stench of death rises up.A young boy gazes out vacant, in death’s stare, alone.Burnt flesh, hate, agony, all rolled up as the day ends cold.Glory, Honor, and Country left behind on the battlefield floor.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How Does IMDB Influence Your Choice In Movie Watching?

I know that when I look at the rating system on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes or even the Metacritic aggregate, I understand that I am looking at biased opinions of others who may or may not understand the genre, the context of the film or even what I like when I go see a film. Cinema is art and is subjective, yet I also know that many people who love to go to the movies, find the cost prohibiting, and therefore, must make relatively sound financial investment on the time they sit in a theater. Watching trailers is always a good idea, but one must be forewarned, the trailer is an advertisement showing off some of the best scenes in the film. Unfortunately that leaves the rest of the film with less than the best scenes.  Even that statement is subjective. Looking at the score on IMDB is also a risk because as noted before, there is no real standard for why a user votes for how many stars a film should get.  

We live in a world where the technology of the internet allows everyone to have a vote on a subject.  The real intent for Amazon and IMDB is to allow the user a sense of participation. This is the century of Web 2.0 and as much as IMDB serves the populace, the goal for Amazon (owners of IMDB and Box Office Mojo) is to help influence the sales of digital downloads, Blu-rays and DVDs. Keep that in mind. 

So, where does that leave us? Do we turn to critic reviews from major newspapers?  Even then it is still a crap shoot. Although some of the folks that become critics are educated in film aesthetics, it doesn't necessarily mean they understand what is necessarily entertaining. Also, genre films usually take a beating because these critics typically review for the average mainstream person. They don't really understand horror, or any of the many sub-genres of Science Fiction. Like anything in this world that we invest our money in, and have a passion about, one probably can use these rating systems as a gauge. I think finding a film critic or reviewer for each genre (comedy, drama, sci-fi, and horror) who understands and is passionate about those genres, is also a way to judge perhaps not the quality of a film, but whether it is entertaining for someone like you. If you find that reviewer and follow their advice, must still understand that as a viewer, you are ultimately accountable for your choice. IMDB also offers 'external reviews' on their site and in many cases; the reviews are geared mostly toward that genre.

Overall, when it comes to any form of artistic expression, one cannot say that the book, film, or painting is good or bad. One can only say that they liked it or not. Talk to friends about a film, look at the ratings from the various sites, look up the film reviews with the genre as the keyword, and get a feel for what people are saying. Ultimately, you decide to see a film and you like it, tell others. If you found the film enjoyable, tell other people why you enjoyed it. If you hated the film, say why you didn’t care for it. Be specific if you can, it just helps others in making their own decisions. Either way, I think it is better to be a participant in the cinematic discussion, than just being a bystander.