Why America Loves Superheroes

  • July 26, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell

As kids, most of us can remember borrowing one of our mother’s towels, draping it over our shoulders and attaching it in the front with a clothespin.  The transformation was instantaneous.  With that addition of a makeshift cape we could instantly become a superhero—at least in our own childlike mind.  Why did we want to be one of these caped heroes?  Did donning that cape somehow empower us?

This past week the feature film Captain America came out in movie theatres across the nation.  Moviegoers everywhere can’t wait to see the latest adventures of this well-known, patriotic superhero. The popularity of movies that feature superheroes doesn’t seem to ever wane--in fact, these movies seem as popular as ever.  What is it about these characters that we love?  What do these heroes mean to us, even as adults today?  Before you head to the theatre to see Captain America or any of the other great films out there featuring these shining superstars, there’s a few things for you to consider.

Superheroes help us to escape reality:  Life can be and is difficult at times.   The recession has brought with it hard times and struggles for many.  Getting away from the realities and the harshness of life for a few hours to watch something uplifting can be very therapeutic.  In superhero movies, good almost always prevails over evil and that is a pleasant and rewarding thought process for most.  Superheroes live in a wonderful fantasy world that can be a great escape from the realities of the present moment.

Superheroes can offer hope to your own life:  No matter how strong and powerful the superhero is, his situation is often fraught with various dangers and perilous situations.  It’s never really easy to be a superhero and even though the hero usually comes out on top, they often come dangerously close to losing it all.  Fighting through difficult challenges and never giving up are uplifting messages for everyone.  Learning that perseverance through difficult challenges often pays off offers hope to keep trying when things get really tough.

Live Vicariously:  Superheroes do things that no human being could ever really do, at least not yet (unless of course you're wearing a superhero costume!)  It’s fun to imagine the possibilities, however, and to imagine what it might be like to scale up walls like Spiderman, or fly through the air like Superman.  The inspiration for the world’s greatest inventions started as a simple dream—where will you go with yours?

Believe you can make a difference:  Every single person can be a hero to someone, whether it is in a very small way, or by doing something that has a much a greater magnitude.  Simple gestures such as an encouraging word to a co-worker or reading a book to a child can create a lasting impact.  Never underestimate the sphere of your influence, as it’s probably much greater than you might think.  No one expects you to duck into a phone booth, make a quick clothing change and then fly up to the top floor to pull desperate people out of a burning building.  Your heroic acts are likely much smaller and although they may feel insignificant, may have lasting meaning to those on the receiving end.

A strong moral figure:  People like believing in something that is bigger, stronger, and better than they are to inspire them.  Seeing someone who is fighting for right and trying to fight against evil is inspiring.  This type of example gives each of us something to look up to as well as try to emulate.

Inspiration:  Superheroes offer each of us the opportunity to recognize heroic traits that are still lying dormant within us.  Some of the qualities we see in superheroes through their acts of strength and bravery can make us realize that some of these characteristics actually already lie within our own selves.  With a little inspiration, perhaps each of us will believe we can be much better people than we currently are. 

Making dreams into reality:  There’s a passionate dreamer in each of us.  Having the chance to think outside of the box and imagine the possibilities that exist in every facet of life is a good thing.  Superheroes offer us the chance to dream about something a little bit bigger than we really are.  Where that dreaming takes you of course, is entirely up to you.

The final word:  There is a quote from May Parker in the movie Spiderman that sums up what superheroes mean to us quite well. It goes like this:   “Everybody loves a hero.  People line up for them, cheer their names, and years later they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them to hold on just a second longer.  I believe there’s a hero in all of us.  It keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride.”

Everyone needs a hero.  Go out and be somebody’s hero today.

10 Reasons To See A Movie This Summer

  • July 13, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell

Mid-summer has arrived and perhaps the initial excitement of the seasons is wearing a bit thin.  Maybe the kids are starting to get antsy or perhaps your planned family vacation isn’t soon enough-- or even worse it’s already over.   A great escape for the entire family that takes little effort and planning is an outing to your local movie theatre to see a really great summer blockbuster.

The latest edition of Transformers was released this past week and soon the film Zookeeper as well as the latest (and last) of the Harry Potter films will be coming to a theatre near you.  These are all movies you are going to want to see come alive on the big screen.  If you still aren’t convinced that going out to the movies should be on your summertime agenda, here is our list of 10 reasons why it should be! 

Unparalleled picture size and Surround Sound:  The most obvious reason to see a movie in the theatre is to see the film up on the big screen.  There really is no other way to feel as wrapped up in the film as you will by seeing the movie up on the largest screen available.  The sound system is always going to be incredible and will enhance the movie to perfection.   All films are most enjoyably seen in the theatre but in particular, some films are almost considered  “must sees” in this fashion.  Your favorite action films that are filled with mesmerizing special effects would be the obvious front-runners for large screen theatre viewing.

Audience reactions:  Although there is always the risk that you will have someone kicking your seat or talking loudly at inappropriate times, generally speaking, having a large audience makes movie –watching much more exciting.  The laughs are more raucous, the sighs become quite audible and the screams are louder than ever--making your whole movie experience much more thrilling.  Having a packed movie theatre to share in your movie viewing experience is bound to create a contagious excitement and will add to the fun.

Snacks:  As soon as you walk into a movie theatre you can smell the buttered popcorn.  There is something about movie popcorn that is unlike popcorn made anywhere else.  Movie theatres have a full staff at your disposal to prepare and serve you not only crunchy popcorn, but gooey, cheesy nachos as well as hot dogs with all trimmings.  Don’t forget a really big drink to wash it all down and of course, something chocolate.

Getting out of the house:  There is something about getting out of the house that can give you a nice psychological boost.  Watching a movie in a theatre feels more like an event than watching one at home while plopped on the couch.  Taking some time away from your phone, computer, work and front doorbell is a good mental break.  Of course once you walk into the movie theatre don’t forget to turn your cell phone off to complete your communication silence!

Still a bargain:  Even though the cost of going to the movies has continued to rise, it is still a bargain compared to other social outings.   Live theatre tickets, concerts, etc. are still much more expensive than attending a movie which still is considered by most to be affordable.  Matinee show times are often discounted, so if your budget is restricted, attend your favorite movie during the daytime.

Previews:  Most people forget about these until they are sitting in the theatre waiting for the show to begin.  Watching clips of upcoming films is an unexpected treat that can get you really excited about what is new and exciting in the world of film.  Previews can also give you some ideas about what movies you’d like to see on your next outing.  Obviously previews are designed to get movie-goer’s intrigued and enthused about what’s going to be coming out in the near future so you definitely won’t want to miss out on these if you are a real movie buff.  On the flip side, sometimes a preview will give you enough information about a movie so that you can actually decide to pass if a particular show isn’t for you. 

Easing first date jitters:  Although we are generally not an advocates of going to the movies on a first date, sometimes if you are very young or extremely nervous, going to a movie for a date is the perfect solution to getting through the experience in one piece.  Sitting in silence in a movie theatre isn’t awkward like it may be in other circumstances and you won’t have to force any small talk.   Watching a film with a date (whether it’s good or bad) will give you something to talk about afterward and hopefully by that point you will be more relaxed and into a date night groove. 

Selection:  All you have to do is look at the marquis at your local cinema to see that there are many choices and types of movies to go and see.  If your family is not necessarily in total agreement you may even be able to coordinate your viewing so that you can split up and see different movies at the same time.  At your local theatre right now there is something for everyone as well as many choices that the entire family will enjoy together. 

Water cooler conversation:  If you want to see the latest and the greatest movies out there, you are going to have to see them in the theatre.  By the time most films come out on DVD they are fairly old and nearly considered yesterday’s news.  People are always going to be super excited and will clamor to see the big movie blockbusters every season.  Going to the theatre to see the latest films ensures that you are going to know what all the fuss is about in the media as well as having something fun to discuss at the water cooler.  Hitting the theatre ensures that you will be one of the first to see what everyone is talking about when it comes to a new movie. 

Cure for the summertime blues:  Hopefully by now you are convinced that going out to the movies is a great idea and could be the perfect break up of any summertime monotony you are experiencing.   If your kids are hot, tired, bored and restless a movie break might be just the perfect thing to improve everyone’s mood as well as their frame of mind. 

With so many exciting summer movies in the theatres, now’s the time to get out of the heat and head to the nearest air-conditioned theatre for a few hours of really great entertainment.   See you at the movies! 

PS: Be sure to cast your vote in our Summer Movie Blockbuster contest! You could win a $250 online shopping spree just in time for Halloween.