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Adventure Films: Your Ticket to the Extraordinary



During the COVID-19 pandemic people all over the world have used films more than ever as a form of escapism, giving themselves a break from day-to-day life to experience the extraordinary, whether that’s to get their pulse racing watching a horror or to be transported to another world in a sci-fi.

While films can straddle multiple genres, films that most comfortably fit within the adventure genre quite often occur in places that we’re familiar with but where something unexpected or out of the ordinary happens.

Take 2004’s National Treasure for instance. Several scenes take place in well-known locations across America – including the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, where hundreds of thousands of people have visited – but suddenly these locations are revealed to hold secret clues to a fabled treasure. 

There are two films and one series that come to my mind when thinking about adventure films:

The Indiana Jones series (1981, 1984, 1989, 2008)

A still from the film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Raiders of the Lost Ark [Paramount Pictures]

Indiana Jones, portrayed by Harrison Ford throughout the series, needs no introduction, but in case you’re unfamiliar with him, he’s an archaeologist and college professor who spends a lot of time ‘out in the field’ searching for lost artifacts.

The first film takes places in the 1930s and throughout the course of the series we follow along as Indiana hunts for the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, as well as taking on Nazis and working alongside his father, Indiana Jones Sr., memorably played by Sean Connery.

A still from the film Romancing the Stone.

Romancing the Stone [20th Century Fox]

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone is a joyful, fun film with likeable characters, plenty of comedic moments and a very Eighties soundtrack. Michael Douglas stars opposite Kathleen Turner as a roguish treasure seeker who begrudgingly chaperones Turner’s romance novelist when she arrives in Colombia on a quest to help her kidnapped sister.

Danny DeVito co-stars and it has all the hallmarks of a great adventure film: our heroes get into plenty of scrapes but always live to tell the tale, and while there is a romantic element, it never gets too schmaltzy.

The Mummy (1999)

A still from the 1999 film The Mummy.

The Mummy [Universal Pictures]

The Mummy is another example of opposites attracting, as Brendan Fraser’s American explorer, Richard ‘Rick’ O’Connell, discovers when he meets a beautiful British librarian, Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn ‘Evy’ Carnahan, who has accidentally revived the mummified corpse of an Egyptian priest intent on destroying the world.

Rick O’Connell bares many similarities to Indiana Jones but he’s more of a swashbuckling extrovert rather than Jones’ almost antihero personality. As with elements of the Indiana Jones series, The Mummy takes inspiration from history, referencing ancient texts such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

The future of adventure

A running theme throughout all these films is that while there is always an element of peril, everything ends well. There may be moments that frighten us, and there is usually a love interest, but the focus firmly stays on the adventure.

Someone who is rapidly building their adventure film star credentials is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Johnson has a varied portfolio, frequently appearing in more light-hearted films alongside roles in the Fast & Furious franchise and the upcoming Black Adam from DC Studios.

Walt Disney Studio’s Jungle Cruise, which Johnson stars in opposite Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, is scheduled to be released in July and looks like another fun ride that is firmly set within the adventure genre; Johnson’s riverboat captain Frank Wolff will escort Blunt and Whitehall’s brother-sister duo as they search for the magical Tree of Life.

The rebooted Jumanji series, which stars Johnson opposite Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas, is also another fun-filled adventure series that looks set to continue to thrill audiences for years to come following both critical and audience acclaim for the first two films.

The future looks strong for this always-entertaining genre. 

  • What are some of your favourite adventure films?

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Why ‘Return to Oz’ is one of my favorite films now



I have said it once and I’ll say it again. Nothing could match the sheer brilliance of the 1939 Judy Garland-led film The Wizard of Oz, but there is another film that was flown under the radar that was forgotten by many Oz fans after its release. That film was Return to Oz.

The movie is the unofficial sequel to the 1939 classic film. It follows a young Dorothy Gale six months after she came back from the Land of Oz. She is sent a key by the scarecrow via a shooting star and gets back to the magical land of Oz using a raft on a floating river. She is accompanied by a talking chicken, a metalhead named Tik-Tok, a Gump and Jack Pumpkinhead. 

The gang battles the evil Princess Mombi and her boss the Nome King. They must find the Scarecrow and unfreeze all of the inhabitants of the Emerald City. 

The film bombed at the box-office and only received mixed reviews, but, over the years, it has gained popularity, thanks to the internet and other Oz fans. 

As a child, I have always been fascinated with the idea of a person or a group of people traveling to a distant and fantastical land of wonder and amazement. That’s why I love movies like Alice In Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and The Chronicles of Narnia but this Walter Murch film from 1985 seems to capture my attention whenever I’m on Disney+ trying to kill some time. 

The story is so simple that it takes the journey of the hero and breathes new life into the marvelous land of Oz and the films that inspired it. It has a certain kinship to the nostalgic movies that I previously watched as a child in the 2000s. 

Another reason that I love this film so much is because of the magnificent score by David Shire. His music is so beautifully crafted that it makes one weak in the knees and the heart. Each note is a transformative thrill into Murch’s vision of what L. Frank Baum’s Oz was. The film uses every single strand of filmmaking techniques that the 1939 film originally hosted. 

Since its release, it has been acclaimed as a cult classic and its nostalgic charm is what makes it so likable and watchworthy. 

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Five Reasons To Love ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ 



Back in 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened into theaters with a mixed reception from critics and audiences and has been deemed as the least desirable of the Spidey movies. In the film, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) must face off against another villain who has been given the name Electro. Moreover, our brave hero uncovers some bizarre mysteries surrounding his parents.

Many fans of the series view the film as an overcrowded mess, but I think it might be the most entertaining of all the Spidey films, until No Way Home arrived, and here are five reasons why that remains true.

Andrew Garfield

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Credit: Sony Pictures]

First and foremost, Garfield is always a delight to have in the Spidey outfit. His charisma and witty banter is almost what makes the film truly great. I have always said that he was the best Spider-Man and this movie proves it with his ability to elevate any scene from dull slog to a comedic venture. 

Spidey, in this particular movie, embodies the hero in the original comics with his incessant need to make a fast-talking quip to one of his enemies. There is nothing better than a comic-book character sticking true to his essence and spirit of its source material.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Credit: Sony Pictures]

Despite what many people say about the villains, Jamie Foxx as the supercharged baddie Electro proves to be a formidable opponent for the web-head, with his omnipotent powers and overly-powered nature. More than that, Max Dillon is depicted as a quiet, shy loner who is invisible to other people. He is essentially a nobody, until he falls into a vat of electrically-charged eels and becomes the sinister villain Electro. 

To better understand a villain, you must understand their plight and Electro’s plight is that of a rags-to-riches success story and the visual effects are certainly something to marvel at. 

Action Sequences

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Credit: Sony Pictures]

This article wouldn’t be complete if I decided not to talk about the exhilarating action that embodied the film. Whether we see Spidey chasing down a truck with Oscorp’s product or a massive fight inside a grid that seems like a colossal feat for any Marvel film, the film can take a lot of pride in its action sequences. 

One can also never forget the massive and iconic battle sequence between Electro and Spidey in Time Square that seems impossible to be made. 

Green Goblin

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Credit: Sony Pictures]

While he remains a secondary villain, Dane Dehaan’s Green Goblin is still noteworthy. Dehaan portrays Harry Osborne who is left with his dead father Norman’s life work and stumbles upon a Goblin serum that enhances his speed, strength, and intelligence. 

His little spat with Spider-Man is certainly befitting for the dark, moody tone of the film and entertaining for plenty of comic fans with zippy action and certified intensity. In the end, he is also responsible for the death of Spidey’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy. 

Gwen Stacy Death

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Credit: Sony Pictures]

Speaking of Gwen Stacy, this is the only Spidey film that features his love interest dying. As he battles the Green Goblin, Spidey attempts to hold on to Stacy, literally, by a thread in the clocktower. However, when the thread snaps, Spidey is able to snag her in mid-air but the whiplash of the fall snaps her neck, killing her. 

What might be the saddest moment in any Spider-Man film, was brought to life in this extraordinary scene that silenced an entire generation of Spider-Man fans. 

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‘1883’ Spinoff Series ‘Bass Reeves’ Adds Dennis Quaid to Cast



Dennis Quaid (Far from Heaven, The Day After Tomorrow) is the latest star to join the cast of Bass Reeves, a new drama series coming from Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, Tulsa King) and Paramount+, according to DeadlineBass Reeves was announced as a spinoff to the Yellowstone prequel, 1883 back in May 2022 with David Oyelowo (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) attached to star as the legendary lawman.

Bass Reeves will follow Oyelowo as someone who is known to many as “the greatest frontier hero” in American history in his own series on Paramount+. The streamer already houses so many Sheridan-fronted programs, most recently, Mayor of Kingstown starring Jeremy Renner returned for its second season while CIA drama, Lioness added to its cast with Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman. Some believe that Reeves served inspiration to “The Lone Ranger” having worked as a peace officer for Indian territory capturing over 3,000 criminals on that land. Quaid will play Sherrill Lynn, a Deputy U.S. Marshall within the show.

Quaid most recently voiced the character Jaeger Clade in Disney’s animated feature Strange World which is currently available to stream on Disney+. He’ll also star in Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming HBO Max series Full Circle alongside Zazie Beetz, Claire Danes and Emmy-winner Jharrel Jerome. 

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