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Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – MOONFALL (2022, Roland Emmerich)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema (if I inevitably decide to do my MSc Dissertation on this topic).

And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie?

Here we go again. It is 2022, and we get a new Michael Bay movie AND a new Roland Emmerich movie. And not just any kind of Emmerich movie, but a disaster movie. The genre in which Emmerich attempts to outdo all that came before.

After ending the world (again) in 2012, how else can he go bigger? Well in INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE he revisited the alien invaders that skyrocketed his name into the Blockbuster pantheon. And it was unmemorable (I honestly cannot remember anything about the sequel..), and left a sour taste in the mouth.

MOONFALL on the otherhand, well… it has the Moon falling into the Earth. Yeah…

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THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS (2021): The Metatextual Red Pill

18 years after REVOLUTIONS, we go back to where it all began. Back to THE MATRIX. But going back is not as simple as repeating. The pull and push of creativity and finance is less forgiving than ever. And for a filmmaker like Lana Wachowski (and her sister Lilly), how does Hollywood, the audience, play within that?

I have seen/heard comparisons with GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH and WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE, in how this fourth entry is more interested in the text around the film, and not the lore of itself. I would also add in THE LEGO MOVIE as a favourable comparison, and bring up the worst ‘film’ I have ever seen SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY.

Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. Lets talk about THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS.

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

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BOY (2010): Through a child’s eyes

I have been putting off watching this film for quite some time. The response from those when I mention I haven’t seen it has been one of bewilderment. Repeated statements of it being Taika’s best film, of it surpassing similar films.

The reason hasn’t been because I don’t want to, or that because the hype was putting me off, it is because I took one read of the synopsis, and knew that this film would be perhaps the most relatable film I have ever seen.

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SAW (2003) – Short Film of the Day

Would you like to play a game?

It’s only taken me 15 years or so, but I have finally hacked my way through the SAW franchise. The reason? Morbid curiousity.

So here is the ‘Short Film of the Day’, 2003’s SAW. Oh, and some thoughts on the franchise as a whole (excluding the new Chris Rock one as I haven’t seen it yet)

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

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Mulvey & The Contemporary Blockbuster

[This article is an edited version of an assignment originally written for my MSc.]

Laura Mulvey’s 1975 essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, took issue with the patriarchal society which was being represented in film at the time. She argues that the male gaze “projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly.”  This is an exhibitionist role that women are fulfilling, their appearance is coded “for strong visual and erotic impact”, meaning that they are on screen to be passive and a part of the spectacle. This is the opposite to the male on screen, who is active and a part of the narrative, they are the subject of the look, the point of view of which we view cinema. Mulvey argues that Hollywood classical cinema reinforces the male gaze. But how does this relate to the contemporary Hollywood blockbuster?

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JAWS: Beyond The Sea

[This article is an edited version of an assignment originally written for my MSc.]

Arguably the first summer blockbuster, Jaws is an Ahab-like tale of a journey to kill a shark which has been terrorising the waters of Amity Island. The film, which starred Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, grossed $470.7m worldwide in the box-office from a production budget of $12m.

However, I want to go explore how the film has more beneath the surface than just it being the blockbuster classic it is viewed today. As I will go into more detail, I feel that Jaws tells more of American attitudes, American politics, and also the values held by the movie studios of the era, than what is immediately shown.

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A Cosmatos Odyssey – The work of Panos Cosmatos

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.]

There is a danger in calling him ‘the son of George P. Cosmatos’. Because even though he worked on Tombstone as the second unit director (the residuals of which he used to finance his work), he holds no through line to the director of Cobra, and Rambo: First Blood Part II. In Beyond The Black Rainbow and this year’s festival hit, Mandy, Panos Cosmatos has already dictated a style of filmmaking that is unique, but at the same time a stew of influences and styles.

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