The following analysis contains spoilers for Alien.
Alien is a movie about humans.
In the 1970s, the world got its fair share of sci-fi phenomena through Star Wars and Star Trek. These large-scale, fantastical adventures were awe-inspiring and depicted space as something full of mystical little discoveries waiting to be unearthed. Then, Alien came along and perverted the entire concept.
Alien made the unknown of space something to fear, and it did this by subtly leaning into its themes — themes revolving around the most terrifying thing we could be faced with: our own humanity.
On the surface, Alien scares…
The following article contains spoilers for the entirety of The Wire:
Baltimore is The Wire’s main character, and it is a depressing one.
The foundation of a good character is complexity. A character needs highs and lows. They need flaws and virtues. Nothing in The Wire embraces this idea more than Baltimore. By showing us all the different conflicts pulling and tugging at the city, it’s given life. The show takes this one step further, making Baltimore an active protagonist, constantly shaping the course of the plot.
Characters are changed by Baltimore. Baltimore is not changed by other characters.
The following article contains spoilers for Prisoners, Blade Runner: 2049, and Sicario.
The nature of all things is cyclical.
Everything must be created, serve its purpose, and then cease to exist. Within that exists a number of smaller cycles that lead us to our inevitable end. However, a cycle of violence is something that is unique to living creatures. In his films, Denis Villeneuve presents the idea of cycles of violence as a notion cemented into the very foundation of our society. …
The following article contains spoilers for Interstellar, The Prestige, and Memento:
A goal is what drives every film.
Every character wants something. The lengths to which a character will go to achieve that goal is what makes us relate to them or pity them. Christopher Nolan’s films are full of characters that work towards the things that matter most to them or fail to recognize what they are. Despite being so widely accessible, Nolan’s movies are interesting character studies where the plot can take a back seat to the characters. …
The following article contains spoilers for True Detective season 1:
It says a lot that realism has become synonymous with pessimism.
The world of True Detective is a dark one. It is filled to the brim with gruesome murders, unhinged psychopaths, and grim philosophies. As Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) navigate this world, their ideals conflict with one another in a way that is darker than that of your classic buddy cop drama. …
The following article contains spoilers for Better Call Saul up to season 5, episode 9, and Breaking Bad:
Is life worth living if not lived to its fullest?
It’s an interesting, albeit incredibly hefty, question to tackle. Ambition is what drives us as people. We set goals to work towards fulfilling and it gives our life true purpose. We want to live the best possible versions of our lives, so we’re willing to put in the work to make it happen. We’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices. …
The following article contains spoilers for the entirety of Mr. Robot.mov:
Above all else, reality is the central antagonist of Mr. Robot.
Our characters dread it, fight it, and sometimes, they lose to it. While it can’t take a physical form, the way our characters react to it communicates the evil presence that reality has. Throughout the show, it is made clear to the viewer that no matter what anyone tries to do, there is simply no way to defeat it. No matter how many bombs go off or how many unprecedented hacks are pulled off, reality hits back harder…
The following article contains spoilers for the entirety of Star Wars including The Rise of Skywalker:
In 1977, the world was introduced to a battle in a galaxy far, far away. It was a battle of conflicting ideologies, of an ancient order and a threat to the galaxy. It was a battle between good and evil.
But, that was a long time ago. Since then, Star Wars has evolved alongside its audience. With each passing movie, there have been attempts made to turn the simple concept of the franchise into something more thought-provoking. The story has always followed the conflict…
The following article contains spoilers for Nightcrawler:
We all strive to be successful. We all want to make something of ourselves. That’s what we have in common. What sets us apart are the lengths we go to in order to achieve our common goal — whether or not we’re willing to cross the line, and just where we draw that line to begin with.
Nightcrawler follows the story of Lou Bloom, a hard-working and off-putting man with dreams of breaking into the journalism industry. The thing about Lou is that he embodies so many qualities that we associate with admirable…
The following article contains spoilers for Breaking Bad and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie:
Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are dead.
Both were once men on the run, whether it be from their inevitable death or from the law, and the only way to escape was a new life. So, of course, when they were offered a second chance — a chance to start over — their arms were open. See, the story doesn’t revolve around the fact that these characters get a second chance, it revolves around how they use it. …
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