By Musammat Fatima Begum

Cruella

The first on this list is cute puppy murderer, Cruella De Vil, played by award winning actress, Emma Stone, in Disney’s live action of 101 Dalmatians. The jaw dropping prequel aimed to show fans how the cold hearted villain turned from Estella, a young aspiring fashion designer, into Cruella De Vil, a cruel and devilish woman desperate for a Dalmatian coat.

To the fans, Cruella De Vil is one of the most hated villains who kills innocent cute puppies to make clothes, but to Disney she is a symbol of female empowerment. In this live action, Disney turned a puppy murderer to a feminist icon and “ready to make a statement” according to Emma Stone.

For an aspiring fashion designer Cruella did have fabulous outfits throughout the film that were ‘ready to make a statement’ indeed… In the original remake of 101 Dalmatians, Cruella’s outfit was inspired by camp, however in this live action movie, it was inspired by 80s punk fashion.

The University of Greenwich campus features heavily throughout this film with much of the action taking place in and around King William and Queen Mary, including the finale scenes. The fountain between Dreadnought and King William was even used as a historic dupe of the Regent’s Park fountain of Estella’s youth.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Pirates sailing into Greenwich was long overdue. Pirates of the Caribbean on this occasion far more like Pirates of Greenwich !

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides, the legendary pirate, Jack Sparrow, played by award winning actor, Johnny Depp, embarks on an adventure to sail to the fountain of youth in London. His journey consists of many dangers, travelling through mermaid waters, fighting zombie pirates and Captain Blackbeard, “the pirate all pirates fear” according to Johnny Depp. The climax of the film is the epic battle between Blackbeard, Sparrow and his old nemesis Barbossa in search of the fountain of youth.

As Johnny Depp said, Captain Blackbeard was in fact “the pirate all pirates fear”. The villain in this film was based on the most notorious pirate of the 17th century, Captain Edward Teach, famously known as Blackbeard.

As you can see from the cut in the image above, both King William and Queen Mary make prominent features during Sparrow’s journey. Look, also, how many extras there are!!

Bridgerton

This series is a wonderful watch for Black History Month; the series is set in London’s regency era where people of colour and white people were treated as equals in society. Two great actors of colour, Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), and lead male played by Rege-Jean Page (Duke of Hastings), both enter this series with great force, Queen Charlotte over the people of her kingdom, the Duke over majority of the on-screen women (and most of us watching from home too). This risqué Netflix series most definitely requires a pair of headphones if your parents are in the next room, it gets very steamy at points!

Dear reader, if there is a scandal Lady Whistledown will uncover it. An anonymous local writer, who went by the alias ‘Lady Whistledown’, writes about the never ending gossip of ‘the ton’, Britain’s high society of the Regency period. Whilst Lady Whistledown is covering the towns darkest secrets, the Bridgeton’s, a large family of eight who lead the series, desperately search for true love and for survival, taking along with them many of the other ladies in the ton. Needless to say, when the Duke (eighteenth-century bachelor babe) comes to town, he is spoilt for choice with many women declaring their interest, giving Lady Whistledown lots of gossip to spill. Gossip Girl, eat your heart out!

According to Nextflix, Bridgerton was confirmed to be their most watched series in 2021, with a whopping 82 million viewers of season 1. Filming for Season 5 recently began on campus, we can’t wait for it to drop, although rumour is it won’t be until 2022. All we can do is hope that actor Rege-Jean Page has changed his mind and will return after all.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Both brains and beauty, Lara Croft, action woman extraordinaire is played in this film by one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses, Angelina Joli, who is most known for her role as antagonist, Maleficent.

The British archaeologist, Lara Croft, embarks on a quest against time, along with her arch nemeses, they aim to save very powerful ancient artefacts from falling into the hands of evil villains. Lara Croft is a “tomb raider”, she retrieves ancient artifacts from temples worldwide for a living. She is quite the dare devil, eventhe most terrifying near death experiences do not stop her from collecting relics.

This film focuses on a secret society, going by the name of Illuminati, who are on their own secret mission to retrieve an ancient item that carries the abilities to control time. Lara mysteriously receives a letter from her father, who has passed away, warning her about the Illuminati’s schemes, and so it becomes her mission to find the key quickly and destroy it before it falls into the wrong hands.

This film was based and inspired by the Lara Croft video game series. She can be considered as the female Indiana Jones as her quests are jam packed with action, danger, and killer hot outfits. Unlike the other films featured in this article, you can see that the directors of this film took advantage of an indoor location – the Painted Hall – which looks suitably ancient and crammed with relics here.

Thor: The Dark World

Need help? Try chanting “Avengers assemble” on the maritime campus. You never know, you might just see Thor (a girl can dream).

Last on this list of Greenwich based block busters, is the Avengers focus on Thor, played by award winning actor, Chris Hemsworth, who is also known for his role as the same character in the Avengers film series. Thor fights to save Earth and the Nine Realms of Asgard from a dark threat that existed before the dawn of time, but the ruler of the Dark Elves, Malekith, has other plans for Thor. With a mighty powerful enemy that Asgard could not stop, Thor is left to sacrifice everything to save the universe from darkness in the ‘battle of Greenwich’. 

Thor was ranked by fans as the most powerful Avenger, tied with Hulk according to CBR, the world’s top destination for comic related news. Stan Lee said Thor was originally created as a character who would be a compatible rival to Hulk’s incredible strength. Although Thor may visibly lack the strength needed to defeat Hulk, he has other superpowers making him a possible victor against Hulk in battle.

Thor returns us to the exterior of the university campus, captured here on the square between King William and Queen Mary, the Maritime Museum also looking very regal in the background. Of all of the films featured, this one seems to mask the location the least, campus looking very much as we know it.

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