History SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism / Film

31st May '18 7:35:14 AM DariusRiggs
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* Creator/JohnHughes has films that can be either very cynical or idealistic, but not towards people, but rather an idea. However, all of his films feature relateable and sympathetic characters, and there's always enough humor to go around. For example: he directed both ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'' and ''Film/HomeAlone''.

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* Creator/JohnHughes has films that can be either very cynical or idealistic, are usually rather a lot of harsh realism, but not towards people, but rather an idea. However, all of his films feature relateable and sympathetic characters, and there's always enough humor to go around. For example: he directed both ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'' and ''Film/HomeAlone''.''Film/PlanesTrainsAndAutomobiles''.
24th May '18 9:27:09 PM siberia82
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* Throughout the ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'', Professor X and Magneto are traditionally at the opposite ends of this scale, but in ''Film/XMenApocalypse'''s denouement, they have both taken a step towards the middle. Xavier's actions during the FinalBattle are a subtle acknowledgement that in extreme circumstances, he'll do ''whatever'' it takes to SaveTheWorld, even if it means committing murder. Erik appreciates this new, hardened edge in his old friend, and his respect for Charles is even greater than in the original timeline. [[spoiler:Because they've reconciled,]] it hints that Magneto intends to tone down his warmongering and will be more open to negotiation with the Professor the next time there is a major incident between mutants and humans. From director Creator/BryanSinger's commentary:

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* Throughout the ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'', [[Characters/XMenFilmSeriesProfessorCharlesXavier Professor X X]] and Magneto are traditionally at the opposite ends of this scale, but in ''Film/XMenApocalypse'''s denouement, they have both taken a step towards the middle. Xavier's actions during the FinalBattle are a subtle acknowledgement that in extreme circumstances, he'll do ''whatever'' it takes to SaveTheWorld, even if it means committing murder. Erik appreciates this new, hardened edge in his old friend, and his respect for Charles is even greater than in the original timeline. [[spoiler:Because they've reconciled,]] it hints that Magneto intends to tone down his warmongering and will be more open to negotiation with the Professor the next time there is a major incident between mutants and humans. From director Creator/BryanSinger's commentary:
21st May '18 3:23:09 PM FGHIK
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** ''Film/BatmanReturns'' on the other hand is even more cynical to the point of nihilism despite not being as dark as the original with more jokes and campy idiots instead of corruption. However Batman losses the girl, ends up being forced to do even more killing, the one person he loves ends up being morally ambiguous, and everyone hates him again thanks to The Penguin via the murder of The Ice Princess.

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** ''Film/BatmanReturns'' on the other hand is even more cynical to the point of nihilism despite not being as dark as the original with more jokes and campy idiots instead of corruption. However Batman losses loses the girl, ends up being forced to do even more killing, the one person he loves ends up being morally ambiguous, and everyone hates him again thanks to The Penguin via the murder of The Ice Princess.
21st May '18 3:20:43 PM FGHIK
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* ''Film/ShortCircuit'' had this kind of conflict between the idealistic Newton Crosby ([=PhD=], who wanted to capture the wayward Number 5 intact and unharmed to study why it was acting the way it was) and the cynical Captain Skroeder (who had a bit of a [[GeneralRipper technophobic streak]] and was understandably wanting to take the robot out before it could do any harm with its ''fully armed and combat-ready laser weapon''; WordOfGod has even admitted that despite being the villain for the movie, he is still doing the right and logical thing by trying to destroy Number 5). Also, the crew purposely used this trope in combination with WhatMeasureIsANonHuman, wanting to get away from the "idealistic" approach of having the characters treat their start as always being "alive" and instead explore the question of how people would react to [[InstantAIJustAddWater artificial intelligence]] in real life (their answer being that no one would believe it for a second).

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* ''Film/ShortCircuit'' had this kind of conflict between the idealistic Newton Crosby ([=PhD=], who wanted to capture the wayward Number 5 intact and unharmed to study why it was acting the way it was) and the cynical Captain Skroeder (who had a bit of a [[GeneralRipper technophobic streak]] and was understandably wanting to take the robot out before it could do any harm with its ''fully armed and combat-ready laser weapon''; WordOfGod has even admitted that despite being the villain for the movie, he [[VillainHasAPoint is still doing the right and logical thing thing]] by trying to destroy Number 5). Also, the crew purposely used this trope in combination with WhatMeasureIsANonHuman, wanting to get away from the "idealistic" approach of having the characters treat their start as always being "alive" and instead explore the question of how people would react to [[InstantAIJustAddWater artificial intelligence]] in real life (their answer being that no one would believe it for a second).
14th May '18 11:03:12 PM Robotnik
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* Most films by Creator/QuentinTarantino average out somwhere in the middle of the spectrum, leaning more towards, perhaps counterintuitively, the idealistic side; violence that would otherwise be very cynical becomes strangely idealistic through either absurd BlackComedy or righteous motivation, and characters who behave cynically nonetheless usually manage to achieve their goals and be "good" (relatively speaking); if they don't, they'll probably at least FaceDeathWithDignity. See ''Film/DjangoUnchained'' or ''Film/PulpFiction'' for examples.

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* Most films by Creator/QuentinTarantino average out somwhere somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, leaning more towards, perhaps counterintuitively, the idealistic side; violence that would otherwise be very cynical becomes strangely idealistic through either absurd BlackComedy or righteous motivation, and characters who behave cynically nonetheless usually manage to achieve their goals and be "good" (relatively speaking); if they don't, they'll probably at least FaceDeathWithDignity. See ''Film/DjangoUnchained'' or ''Film/PulpFiction'' for examples.
12th May '18 8:38:20 AM MetroidPeter
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* Films by Creator/JohnHughes are usually very cynical about something but are still feel-good or heartfelt movies with a warm emotional sentiment somewhere.

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* Films by Creator/JohnHughes are usually has films that can be either very cynical about something or idealistic, but are still feel-good or heartfelt movies with a warm emotional sentiment somewhere.not towards people, but rather an idea. However, all of his films feature relateable and sympathetic characters, and there's always enough humor to go around. For example: he directed both ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'' and ''Film/HomeAlone''.



* ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'' is extremely cynical in its view of high school life and humanity in general. Parents and authority figures are portrayed as [[AdultsAreUseless apathetic at best]] or [[{{Jerkass}} scumbags]] at worst, and its hard to say by the end which of the characters has the least controversial amount of metaphorical blood on their hands.
* Compare ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' with ''Film/KingKong''.

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* ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'' is extremely cynical interesting in its view of high school life and humanity in general. Parents It's cynical in that parents and authority figures are portrayed as [[AdultsAreUseless apathetic at best]] or [[{{Jerkass}} scumbags]] at worst, and its hard to say by the end which of the characters has the least controversial amount of metaphorical blood on their hands.
hands. However, the film does show that not all adults are always horrible, and despite the main cast all having their own set of problems, it doesn't mean that they can't change or learn from the mistakes of both themselves and those around them. This makes way for a surprisingly idealistic in hindsight ending where, although it's unclear if The Breakfast Club remains friends after their detention, they will never forget their experience together, and it's evident that when they grow up, they will not be the useless adults that their parents and the staff are.
* Compare Contrast ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' with ''Film/KingKong''.



* So far as the story goes, ''Film/TheHungerGames'' is on the cynical side of the scale, showing the ugly nature of most of the Tributes and the people of the Capital, revealed in and out of the killing game program in question, as well as relatively nicer ones being wiped out ruthlessly. Although it does contain some idealistic redemption, it barely brings the plot to a bittersweet conclusion at best, which in turn implies an even darker terror awaiting in its sequel, ''The Hunger Games: Catching Fire''.
** After two years of [[spoiler:losing a lot of people close to her, after inspiring a nation to rise from oppression, after seeing an innocent 12 year old girl die in her arms,]] Katniss and Haymitch have no problems at all sending twenty three innocent children to their deaths, just for revenge. But those children Katniss and Haymitch oppose are [[KidsAreCruel hardly innocent]].

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* So far as the story goes, ''Film/TheHungerGames'' is on manages to slowly, painfully, and agonizingly claw its way from the cynical side end of the scale, scale to the idealistic end. The series starts by showing the ugly nature of most of the Tributes and the people of the Capital, revealed in and out of the killing game program in question, as well as relatively nicer ones being wiped out ruthlessly. Although it does contain some idealistic redemption, it barely brings the plot However, when Katniss' sister Prim is reaped, she doesn't hesitate to a bittersweet conclusion at best, which in turn implies an even darker terror awaiting in its sequel, ''The Hunger Games: Catching Fire''.
** After two years of [[spoiler:losing a lot of people close to her, after inspiring a nation to rise from oppression, after seeing an innocent 12 year old girl die
[[HeroicSacrifice volunteer in her arms,]] place]], knowing full well she probably won't survive. During the games, she makes good friends with [[CheerfulChild Rue]], who helps her out tremendously in her survival. And even when Rue dies, she isn't simply cast aside, she becomes a symbol of hope for Katniss and Haymitch have no problems at all sending twenty three everybody else in the districts. Even as things go FromBadToWorse over the course of the trilogy, the series does ultimately culminate into a [[EarnYourHappyEnding well fought for ending that]], [[BittersweetEnding while far from perfect]], goes to show that even when innocent children to their deaths, just people die, and the world looks bleak, things can change for revenge. But those children Katniss and Haymitch oppose are [[KidsAreCruel hardly innocent]].the better.
16th Apr '18 10:32:27 AM TompaDompa
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* ''Film/{{Deewaar}}'': The brothers occupy different points along the scale; Ravi is closer to the idealistic end, and Vijay is closer to the cynical one. The film itself skews cynical.
11th Feb '18 5:00:00 PM ElectroKraken
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** ''Film/TheTrumanShow'' could be said to have even bigger dystopian cynical moments. And that's also forgetting Allie Fox, his most cynical hero, in ''Film/TheMosquitoCoast''. ''[[Film/Gallipoli]]'' is also cynical with WarIsHell as it's main theme.

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** ''Film/TheTrumanShow'' could be said to have even bigger dystopian cynical moments. And that's also forgetting Allie Fox, his most cynical hero, in ''Film/TheMosquitoCoast''. ''[[Film/Gallipoli]]'' ''Film/{{Gallipoli}}'' is also cynical with WarIsHell as it's main theme.
6th Feb '18 11:46:00 PM veronchung27
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* WWII ''Film/PlayDirty'' starts out with the (Allied) captain of a group of murderers and rapists being bribed by a general (who himself has the ethics of a sewer snake) to not [[UnfriendlyFire murder his commanding officer]] on his next mission. It only gets more cynical from there as the suicide mission they're sent on proves to be completely pointless mission is proved to be completely pointless, and chucks in a downbeat ending of casual brutality that just hammers home the point. It's the kind of war movie that could only have been made in the midst of the Vietnam War.

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* WWII ''Film/PlayDirty'' starts out with the (Allied) captain of a group of murderers and rapists being bribed by a general (who himself has the ethics of a sewer snake) to not [[UnfriendlyFire murder his commanding officer]] on his next mission. It only gets more cynical from there as the suicide mission they're sent on proves to be completely pointless mission is proved to be completely pointless, and chucks in a downbeat ending of casual brutality that just hammers home the point. It's the kind of war movie that could only have been made in the midst of the Vietnam War.
21st Jan '18 11:32:16 AM nombretomado
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* Critics accused ''Film/ValentinesDay'' of being a bit too much on the cynical side for a romantic-comedy (one reviewer compared it to "expecting milk chocolate but getting baking (bitter) chocolate instead"; another compared it to "getting bad Valentine candy from a pretty/handsome person" in reference to the brilliant but wasted AllStarCast), especially compared to its {{spiritual|Successor}} [[FollowTheLeader predecessor]] ''LoveActually''.

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* Critics accused ''Film/ValentinesDay'' of being a bit too much on the cynical side for a romantic-comedy (one reviewer compared it to "expecting milk chocolate but getting baking (bitter) chocolate instead"; another compared it to "getting bad Valentine candy from a pretty/handsome person" in reference to the brilliant but wasted AllStarCast), especially compared to its {{spiritual|Successor}} [[FollowTheLeader predecessor]] ''LoveActually''.''Film/LoveActually''.
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