Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dark and Gritty - The Current Era of Film

Ever since a little film called The Dark Knight was released in 2008, everyone in Hollywood has been trying to copy the style, tone and ideas of Christopher Nolan and co. Considering the fact that The Dark Knight had a very dark and gritty tone, Hollywood has adapted this concept to essentially a whole new style which is being adapted to every big budget film in recent memory. This is ludicrous and shows just how desperate Hollywood is for cash.

After completing our final readings and considering our film screening - you decide: what new era is American cinema in today? Feel free to come up with your own name, and also please explain what defines this era. How is it different from previous eras (or perhaps how is it the same?)? What are those changes in criteria (biz, technology, culture) and how have they affected the art form? Are we in the middle of a transition, and if so what might be in store for the future?

Ever since the change from the over-exaggerated, cheesy action films of the 90's, such as Speed, Point Break and Top Gun, there was an interesting transitional period during the early to mid 2000's. This was full of more serious actions films as well as the death of the original Blockbuster, which was replaced with remakes, adaptations, reboots, re-imaginings, sequels, prequels, threquels to a much greater extent than in the past. This all ramped up to one of the most influential films of the 21st Century, The Dark Knight.

Nolan's comic book/superhero masterpiece changed the game by having one of the greatest performances of all time, The Joker by Heath Ledger, as well as establishing a dark, gritty version of Batman that no one had ever seen before, especially in comparison to the Joel Shumaccer versions. After its massive success, studios changed their styles and tones to match that of The Dark Knight.

Films that are considered "darker versions," "gritty reboots," "realistic takes on old ideas," etc. include but are not limited to, Dredd, Sin City, The Road, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine, MAN OF STEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLL, X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Star Trek: Into Darkness, THE AMAZING SPIDERMANNNNNNNNNNN, SKYFALLLLLLLL, the later Harry Potter films, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman, etc.

All of these films had a darker, more grounded, more dark side, implying how much of an impact TDK had.