LIH Editorial: Musing about the Action-Adventure Genre

9 Jun

As popular as it has been, take some time to try to describe the Action-Adventure genre and resist admitting how difficult it is to define.  It turns out, diversity is its calling card and as much as it’s male fan base wants to ignore it; fashion plays a huge role in its popularity.  This fashion shouldn’t be confused with the garment industry or anything that springs from it.  We’re talking about all of those attributes about it that demand our attention for periods of time then fade for equally mysterious reasons.  Great examples of this phenomenon might be the popularity of genres such as:  pirate films, westerns, and war films.  Those of you who want to propose that all of these genres are making a massive comeback please be patient; this editorial might actually verify your opinion. In keeping with the musing tone of this article a trip was taken to Blockbuster.com to make sure this genre was understood in all of its complexity. This is the list of topics that were collected to describe many of its requisite categories:

  • Western Films
  • Sea Adventures Films
  • War Films
  • Law Enforcement Drama’s
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports Films
  • Martial Arts Films
  • Crime Drama Films
  • Spy Films
  • Fantasy Films
  • Super Hero films

Please evaluate this list to make sure each genre is properly understood and feel free to correct, modify, or amend the list and its constituent parts if there is an omission. Despite the enormous amount of money funneled into this industry, the incalculable range of talent necessary to produce the work, and the indescribable distribution range for audiences (those that exist today and many who are not yet born) we don’t think these subjects are impenetrable.  Since this subject matter is largely creative, we will invest in our own definitions as opposed to referencing others that might be available.

WESTERNS:

Hopefully this description is not culturally biased but most westerns tend to describe the settling of the American west and mid west.  There are historians who could point to westerns that may have chosen Spain or other locales as an environment but I think most western audience would likely favor the American west as a most likely wilderness.

What movies typify this genre; historically I would say “Unforgiven,” “True Grit” and current films of this like might be “Django Unchained.”

Here’s a clip from “Django Unchained”.

SEA ADVENTURE FILMS:

Before you presume this whole editorial is a farce, consider that in the past this topic really was an important genre.  We may not understand why but all should know it did happen.  If you do not believe us check this website out.

http://www.stuff.tv/news/past-and-future/movie-classics/25-best-pirate-movies-ever

Most sea adventures use drama on the high seas as their primary locale.  Whether they are traditional or anti-heroes, pirates have frequently been popular with audiences.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”, and fairly present-day examples of the same could be episodes from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. If you’ll forgive us for looking ahead; the movie “Noah” will likely fit into this category. 

Here’s a clip from “Pirates of the Caribbean.

WAR FILMS:

Maybe better-dubbed military adventures, this reviewer thinks this genre has gone through a recent renaissance in realism.  Its recent popularity at yearly Oscar ceremonies help give the sub genre a well appreciated boost in (previous) appraisal.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say “The Hurt Locker”, and current films like this could be the “Zero Dark Thirty.

Here’s a clip from “Zero Dark Thirty.

LAW ENFORCEMENT DRAMA’S:

Different from another similar sub-genre this one tends to focus on the trials and tribulations of law enforcers.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say “LA Confidential,” and more recently I would claim “End of Watch” was similar.

Here’s a clip from “End of Watch.

SCIENCE FICTION:

An extremely popular genre, that none-the-less has hit a pretty sad summer down turn, sci-fi is a perennial favorite regardless.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say episodes from the “Star Wars” franchise, for our time one could say “District 9.

Here’s a clip from “District 9”.

SPORTS FILMS:

Movies featuring athletics have been popular since the golden age.  Though the sports are just as likely to be influenced by fashion or trends, the thrill of participating in someone else’s athletic journey rarely looses its appeal.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say episodes from the “Rocky” franchise, and a late examples of the same might be “The Fighter.

Here’s a clip from “The Fighter”.

MARTIAL ARTS FILMS:

Similar to the sports films, martial arts films allow audiences to participate in the physical exploits of athletic warriors.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” franchise, and contemporary one could say “The Man with the Iron Fists.

Here’s a clip from “The Man with the Iron Fists”.

SPY FILMS:

Unlike Martial arts or westerns, spy films are rooted in any specific nationality.  Usually if you’re watching the exploits of a heroic personality who embroiled in the intelligence or adventures of any national government you are probably watching the spy genre.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say episodes from the “James Bond” franchise, and possibly more up to date might be an episode of the “Mission Impossible” series.

Here’s a clip from “Mission Impossible”.

FANTASY:

Coinciding with improvements in film technology, many fantasy series have come about in recent years that weren’t filmable prior.  

What movies typify this genre; historically I would say episodes from the “Harry Potter” franchise, or more recently episodes from the “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” series.

Here’s a clip from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”.

SUPER HERO FILMS:

Also coinciding with improvements in film technology, many super heroes series have come about in recent years that weren’t filmable before.

What movies typify this genre, historically I would say episodes from the “Superman; the Movie”, and more currently one could refer to the “The Dark Knight”. 

Here’s a clip from “The Dark Knight.”

Obviously we’ve been using Oscar wins and nominations as a quality standard for judging the value of movies.  Hopefully these have been useful and please write id you have anything to add.

Articles This Week

Monday-Toss-Up-

Tuesday-Discussion on Monday’s article

Wednesday-2nd article on the Starsucker documentary-by Ozzie

Thursday- Discussion on Wednesday article

Friday-Open discussion on Monday & Wednesday’s articles.

 

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: