Can You Kill Shakespeare

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:52 PM 0 comments
Posting's been tough this summer with school then moving then working. In the meantime, here's a link to a profile I wrote about the creators of this comic book called Kill Shakespeare. Check it out, lemme know what you think.

Films of 2010 thus far

Posted by Tim Posada On 2:19 AM 0 comments
This is truly the worst year for the mainstream film. I'm not fully up to date on the smaller budget films but I hope they're doing better than everything else. Let's a take a look at the year in film thus far to truly understand how bad the year's additions have been.

The Book of Eli: cute premise with a boring outcome. It masks religious depth with superficial action that's more insulting than inspiring.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Greek mythology is great, but Chris Columbus has last his directing flare. Bad acting and a storyline that just felt too insulting.

Shutter Island: Martin Scorsese is becoming too predictable, creating a film that, while a branch out for the director, treads on territory better suited for someone like Christopher Nolan.

The Wolfman: I'll never know how Anthony Hopkins, Benecio del Toro, Hugo Weaving, and Emily Blunt all signed off on this one. Even worse, this is the director for the upcoming Captain America film. I fear for the future of my favorite superhero.

Alice in Wonderland: While cute and moderately enjoyable, Tim Burton has done so much better work than this. Remember Big Fish and Sweeney Todd. The film's uneven and largely uninteresting despite a large amount of CGI wonders.

Clash of the Titans: Let's just face it. The original wasn't that amazing and the remake was far worse. Sam Worthington is a promising actor but the director needed a screenplay worth telling. It tried to be 300 without action, decent acting, or good pacing. So boring.

Date Night: Fun stuff but largely disappointing considering the star power of Tina Fey and Steve Carrell.

Iron Man 2: I saw Iron Man three times in the theaters. I could barely sit through one screening of the sequel. It was enjoyable but far too slow, cliche, and riddle with unnecessary scenes. Plus, the film score was almost satiric. I still have faith the third installment will be better and the upcoming Thor film looks amazing.

Robin Hood: It was Gladiator with a jumbled plotline. In the end, who cares.

Prince of Persia: Fun video game and a dull, and rather racist, film with great actors trying to pay the bills on their summer homes.

Shrek Forever After: A sad end the a franchise that started so well. Old jokes and a plotline that cheapened any sense of character development for everyone except Shrek.

Get Him to the Greek: Forgetting Sarah Marshall was a fantastic comedy, but this spin-off greatly needed the original screenwriter to keep the magic alive. Funny moments, but nothing that caused my stomach to hurt.

Eclipse: The Twilight films are nothing but disgusting examples of filmmaking, proving that tween audiences greatly need to branch out and find something with more artistic worth...with less sexist storylines.

The Last Airbender: I'm pretty the sure the year climaxed with this pile of shit. It dishonored the cartoon it was based on. Just awful, awful, awful.

Amidst the year that will go down in the books as the death of the blockbuster, there were a few gems...just a few. Kick-Ass was wonderful. The Losers had good action and fun wit. Toy Story 3 debunked the myth of the terrible third film. The real winner of the year though is How to Train Your Dragon. Finally, Pixar will be properly dethroned at the Oscars and the Dragon is the one to do. It remains the only truly great film in 3-D.

I'm saddened by how bad this year has been, thus I've turned to TV shows for refuge. Sons of Anarchy, Nip/Tuck, Supernatural, and The X-Files. Hopefully, when the weather cools down, Hollywood might rediscover entertainment. Until then, I remain very annoyed. Hopefully Despicable Me, Inception, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will change my mind.

TV After "Lost"

Posted by Tim Posada On 8:11 PM 0 comments
So the series finale of Lost aired last night, and I was only slightly disappointment. After six years of this show, I never thought it would end the way it did: three parts ambiguous, one part answers. But perhaps letting us know everything would ruin it. Show creator J.J. Abrams's Cloverfield monopolized on the mystery of the unknown, having a huge monster simply show up and destroy. Just like a viral video, a bunch of people filmed something horrifying and we never discovered the reason why anything happened. Lost functions is a similar way, allowing the audience more power in the interpretation process than other shows provide. However,much like the ending of Battlestar Galactica, I'd prefer a few more answers. What I like about TV shows to begin with is the time needed to develop stories and make the conclusions that much more satisfying, but many of them don't seem get there. Answers, perhaps I'll post more on this later. For now, still processing the end. My Lost friends and I will all have to find a new show to watch. Wipeout here we come.

Reflections on Academic Blogging

Posted by Tim Posada On 3:31 AM 0 comments
Over the past semester I've been attempting to be more aware of the direction of my blog writing, creating the feel of an academic blog. This isn't entirely new for my writing hear as my first post was a two-part argument where I claimed that church worship music represented Adorno's idea of standardization. Based on my personal experience of church music as a worship leader, I went into detail about a genre of music I felt was created based on a different standard of music making, one that tried to create a "neutral" sound, like elevator music or anything else that ignores cultural roots. Since then, the blog has existed between discussing my academic career and simply posting whatever I want, like my favorite post about using a women's bathroom and just writing about it as a story akin to something on This American Life. This semester, I tried to consider using the blog both more frequently, posting 10 times, and trying to examine what I'm posting about in a more academic way. For myself, academics comes in my personal approach to fan-related topics and attempting to contemplate their deeper meaning. I think I was successful in this on most posts, while others were posting because I just wanted to write about something and other venues just wouldn't cut it.

I've been blogging since 2005 on this site and I'll continue to do it now and in the future. One of my favorite moments remains when author David Dark (one of my favorites) found me and posted that he was intrigued by my enjoyment of first-person shooter video games coupled with one of my favorite books by a pacifist author, John Howard Yoder. This has been a wonderful space to be a part and I hope turning into a more academic blog will help me find the community that comes with it online, something I haven't been able to really do yet. Welp, it's been a great semester learning how use technology in more academic settings. Here's to more of it in the future.

My latest project

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:23 AM 0 comments
After much blood and tears, I've finished my first paper of the semester. For my Visual Research Methods course I had to create a space for it online. I love creating web space stuff even though it is a very frustrating process. Anyways, click here to read the paper.

Words of the semester

Posted by Tim Posada On 1:48 PM 0 comments
This is my second semester at Claremont Graduate University in the cultural studies program. I'll be finishing up my second master's degree this fall and hopefully moving into the PhD right after. My former degree in theology and culture gave me a very different take on cultural studies, thus I learned much about the discipline last year, learning about such key ideas as the culture industry, understandings of the bourgeoisie, subaltern studies, and many other concepts. I though it'd be fun to list those special key terms that continually come up this semester and have guided my research.
1. Cultural capital: my thesis focuses on fan studies, specifically fanboy culture, and the idea of cultural knowledge attained that provides various groups with power and status keep appearing everywhere I turn.
2. Authenticity: through studying Digital Storytelling and other forms of media that focus on portraying groups, the idea of something being "authentic" provides me with new ways to analyze not just non-fiction but fiction as well.
3. Diaspora: sure I'd heard the term before but my Transnational Media Theory course provided deeper insight into its use.
4. Double consciousness: D.E.B. Du Bois coined phrase provides exciting possibilities for my future studies on various groups and migration but also can be used for my specific focus in superhero studies, examining the duel role of a costumed hero and an "everyday" person moving through life split between two opposing identities.
5. Reappropriation: like the work "juxtaposition," I was just really excited to learn how to use it in a sentence.
6. Agency: understanding the role media texts play in people's lives, moving past simple explanations of escapist consumption.
7. Hybridization: I'm still working on what it means exactly in reference to idealized understandings of the effects of globalization, but its use continues to intrigue me.
8. Participatory culture: I've already learned about active reading and the more I read by Henry Jenkins and John Fiske help me understand this idea of engaging culture and making it a more active, rather than passive, part of daily life.
9. The Lesbian gaze: I've heard and read about the male gaze, but learning hot to distinguish between a lesbian and transgender gaze in cinema was new and incredibly helpful for understanding how the camera function in film.
10. Visual culture: I didn't know the phrase existed before this semester and I continue to want to know more about it. I did an video essay on an aspect of visual culture at the beginning of the semester and I'm a little bummed because I really would've loved to write more about it.

A fanboy waxes academic

Posted by Tim Posada On 3:19 PM 0 comments
So lately, I've been rather excited about the future of many things superhero related. First, off they just released the first image of Thor in the Marvel Comics movie scheduled to hit theaters next year. I love the character because of his relationship to my favorite superhero team the Avengers (featuring such characters as Iron Man, Captain and America later on starring my favorite line up in the New Avengers: Buck Barne's Cap, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Hawkeye), but I've also respected their choice on approach. Rumor were that the role of the Norse god of thunder would be done by a WWE star, but they chose to go a very different direction. The film large features a British cast with Thor cast as an Ausie actor. Further, Kenneth Branagh, known for his Shakespearean film directing and acting is overseeing the project. The film will also tie into the crossover universe they're creating between other Avengers character films like Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America, all leading up an Avengers film. Now, they've cast comic book film familiar face Chris Evans as Cap in his solo film and my jury's still out on this choice. However, many of my concerns were appeased after he provided a hysterical performances in the Vertigo/DC Comics film The Losers that came out last weekend. Here's a link to my review on the film for my newspaper job. Let's hope he can buff up and be serious as the star spangled hero who's captured my heart (even though I never consider myself a patriotic person...I'm still fleshing that one out).

This all then leads me to some news about this universe I'm more excited about, Marvel's choice of Joss Whedon to direct The Avengers. Whedon may seem like an odd choice to many since his only feature film job was the 2005 film Serenity, based on his canceled TV show Firefly. This is the man behind such wonderful cult following endeavors as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel (to of my favourite TV shows), and the webisode experience Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. He also has history with Marvel Comics, writing for the series The Astonishing X-Men, along with writing continuing comics volumes for his TV shows. All that to say it's exciting to see someone direct this film with a personal investment in the characters and Marvel Universe.

This is all very exciting to discuss for two reason. First, May 7th will mark the third comics film this year with Iron Man 2 (The Losers and Kick-Ass came out over the past couple week). Second, I've been finishing up my thesis on fanboy culture. As you can probably tell, I approach the subject with great bias and it's been a challenge to address that bias in an academic way. I've spent so long trying to take first-person out of my paper writing and leave it to blogging and film reviews (even with film reviews, I waited over a year to use personal pronouns, allowing myself time to develop an audience that would be OK hearing my me personally in such a setting). My thesis has been both fun and exhausting, trying to determine what research to use and when to back off the scholarly works and tell the story myself. I'm proud of the direction it's taken and plan to try to publish it. Without providing too much spoilers for it, I'm taking up the challenge of determine what fanboys like. By collecting and categorizing user responses to superhero films I attempt to understand how fanboys (myself included) interpret popular superhero films. The project began with the questions of how do fan communities oppose popular film texts they find insulting. The project morphed into something very different as my sample group showed less signs of resistance to the media production system (somewhat to my dismay because I greatly hoped to find that fanboys (I do addressed the gendered use of the term as well) resisted the idiocy of Transformers 2 as much as I did). Instead, I learned more about what constitutes a good superhero film for the group. I'll leave it at that for now and simply close with, "It's a good time to be a fanboy though I do hope he does get a little smarter."