If you’ve seen Wes Anderson’s 2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel, you’ll likely recall its ensemble cast and Ralph Fiennes’ stellar performance as a concierge. However, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a lot heavier than the comedy it appears to be at face value. Anderson’s film won four Oscars from myriad nominations and was unanimously well-received by critics, to the point that it was ranked 21st on BBC’s “100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century” list.
Ruben Fleischer’s Venom may have released to mixed reception, but there are certain things that the film executes undeniably well. In particular, it offers a relatively fresh take on the anti-hero that doesn’t use a jaded hard-boiled persona as a crutch for a “baddie” tag. Venom juxtaposes two very different kinds of anti-heroes in a way that makes them interdependent. This structure could go one of two ways—it can push the hero forward, or it can unleash the anti. It does the former, mostly, but it’s the tension between the two that makes the dynamic of this juxtaposition worth looking at.
Light Yagami, the protagonist of Death Note, is a perfect example of the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In the world of Death Note, people can obtain powerful notebooks owned by Shinigami—Japanese Gods of Death. If somebody writes a person’s name in the notebook with that person’s face in mind, they will die.
Dark Souls and Bloodborne are titles that tell wonderfully weird stories in a fragmented and ambiguous way. Dark Souls is a series in which humanity attempts to manifest itself in a world that has forgotten it. The player plays as an Undead warrior, tasked with determining the fate of mankind in a world of fire and monstrosity. Bloodborne, on the other hand, combines cosmic horror with a Victorian Gothic aesthetic, in which beasts run rampant in a place called the Nightmare. The player is a hunter who must traverse the realms of the Nightmare in order to put a stop to the Scourge of the Beasts.