4. V for Vendetta
“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” This line has become one of the most quoted pieces of dialogue in government studies, and it can all be traced back to “V for Vendetta”.
Written by Alan Moore in the late 1980s when Margaret Thatcher’s reign as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom saw hints at propelling the country into oppressive territory, Moore sought to do two things: critique the parliament for letting this situation arrive and promote his own anarchist ideology.
Adapting this heavily British work for more international audiences was no easy task, but the Wachowskis, along with director James McTeigue, managed to do just that. Starring Hugo Weaving as the vigilante “V”, who fights against the fascist society around him under the guise of a Guy Fawkes mask, the film was a massive cultural success, going on to influence worldwide political movements, including “Occupy Wall Street” and “Anonymous”.
3. Spider-Man 2
Devoting your entire career to being a superhero is one thing, but finding the time to balance saving people against having a personal life is another. This latter scenario was what drew millions of college readers to the Spider-Man comics back in the 1960s.
Unsure about where they were going in their future, these students were able to relate to the character of Peter Parker, and his daily struggles with everyday mandates like paying bills, getting good grades, and caring for family members.
Sam Raimi’s 2002 “Spider-Man” was an unprecedented success, setting the bar high for the inevitable sequel that would come. Drawing upon the original Ditko/Lee run for inspiration, Raimi managed to tell a story that reinvented these prevalent issues in a new light. Peter Parker was now attending Columbia University, finding it difficult to simultaneously be Spider-Man, a college student, and dutiful romantic interest.
Combining this emotional and sexual frustration with the fact that the city seemed to show no appreciation for Spider-Man’s antics, Raimi gave us a narrative very reminiscent of a John Hughes film, blending comedy, drama, and mature themes into an acclaimed work.
Heroes exist all around us. Firefighters, policemen, EMTs, and even security guards all willingly put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the general public.
However, suppose the line between hero and superhero was blurred. Suppose that, for every weak person in the world, there was an exponentially stronger person on the opposite end of the spectrum. These were two very interesting scenarios that writer/director M. Night Shyamalan blended in the cult favorite “Unbreakable”.
Starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in two very restrained roles, “Unbreakable” was a refreshing origin story, showing the burdens and joys that come with accepting one’s place as a savior.
1. The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” did more than just restore its titular character’s image after the travesty that was “Batman & Robin”. By grounding the character in the realistic world of Frank Miller’s “Year One”, it set a standard that other movies followed, including: “Casino Royale”, J. J. Abrams’s “Star Trek”, and Legendary’s “Godzilla” reboot.
Creating an equally compelling sequel was an intense task, but Nolan, along with writer David S. Goyer, managed to do just that. 2008’s “The Dark Knight” explored an idea touched in Grant Morrison’s “Arkham Asylum” graphic novel about whether Batman was doing more harm than good, developing it further by showcasing the negative effects this had on the Gotham populace as a whole. Featuring a brilliant performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker, “The Dark Knight” revealed how superheroes could take on the form of an epic crime saga.
Author Bio: Red Stewart is big fan of the entertainment industry, with insights into film, television, and video games for starters. Despite growing up in the 21st century’s era of modernization, he prefers many retro era ideas over the current trends found in many of today’s media. Personally he’s an introvert who loves reading as much as gaming.