Summer Movie Retrospective: Heroism

Hollywood frequently focuses on superhero movies during the summer. This past summer Hollywood again turned to the theme of Heroism, but three very fine movies about heroism broke the mold a bit. These were Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, and War for the Planet of the Apes. Each does something that Hollywood hero tales have seldom done – focus on a woman in the case of Wonder Woman, on the little guy and the collective in the case of Dunkirk, and on a non-human hero in the case of Planet of the Apes. Ken and Leslie met to take an extended look at these somewhat unusual cinematic explorations of the theme of heroism. We hope you enjoy their conversation.

You can read more of Leslie’s thoughts in two recent blogs on Wonder Woman and on Dunkirk.

We also decided to rummage around a bit in our archives, where we found more reflections on Hollywood Heroes. Among the buried treasure, we found a fascinating discussion between John and Ken about Batman vs Superman as superheroes that was recorded when they were guests on OPB’s Think Out Loud a few years back. Listen and share in the comments section below whether you yourself belong to Team Batman, Team Superman, or some other team entirely.

We also came across a couple of old "Philosophy Talk Goes to the Movies" clips about summer movie heroes from the not too distant past. Just goes to show how often Hollywood returns to this tried and true theme when they want to make a summer blockbuster. Fortunately for us, though, they sometimes manage to generate a little food for philosophical thought in the process.