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The Atomic Bombshell Debate

Who is the real star of Barbenheimer?
The+Atomic+Bombshell+Debate

On July 21st, 2023, both Barbie and Oppenheimer were released in theaters. The simultaneous release of both movies, along with many moviegoers watching both movies on the same day, has been referred to as Barbenheimer. Barbie has become the highest-grossed comedy film ever, while Oppenheimer became the second highest-grossing biographical film and R-rated film ever. However, these two movies could not be more different. Barbie was announced before our youngest students were born, while Oppenheimer was announced when half of our student body were already high schoolers. Barbie is fictional, light-hearted, and fun, while Oppenheimer is biographical, heavy, and serious. However, while both movies are smashing successes, a question remains: which movie is better?

Among people who have seen neither movie, there seems to be a general preference for Barbie. “I never watched both, but Barbie just because,” noted Sarene Son (11). However, this preference is not limited to those who have not seen either movie. “I preferred Barbie because it was really funny and I love comedies. Oppenheimer was good too, but it was long and serious so I wouldn’t want to watch it again for a while,” remarked Tariq Shahid (11).

Oppenheimer has its fans as well. ¨[I] personally liked Oppenheimer better just because it’s more my cup of tea,” revealed Aashi Patel (11). As for Alex Xu (11), “I would be a biased source because I have only watched Oppenheimer and would be unable to compare the two, however; withholding any comments in comparison to Barbie, I found Oppeneheimer to be a pretty excellent movie. I think it is both entertaining/intense and informative as a sort of biography on Oppenheimer’s life, and I did not think that the movie was almost 3 hours long when it ended. I found the cinematography quite unique and unlike just about every other movie I’ve watched, although I admit I don’t go to the movies frequently. Again, I have not watched the Barbie movie, so I can’t say anything comparing the two, but I’m certainly happy that the most popular movies aren’t ones from Marvel or Pixar or those major big companies, but from more independent producers – if I’m getting my facts straight. Not that I really care that much about who made a movie, so long as the movie is good, I feel joy that the movie business might not be dominated by these corporate giants as much.”’

The responses do not paint a clear picture about which film is better. Notably, none of the respondents had anything negative to say about the other movie. Their responses indicated that their decision was a matter of their film taste rather than a flaw in the other movie. Both films have been wildly successful, which legendary director Francis Ford Coppolla has described as “a victory for cinema.” He’s right in his assessment. The films are geared towards two different audiences, so someone’s preference on the movie only really reflects the audience they fall under. In conclusion, both of these movies are spectacular, but are indisputably inferior to Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.

This article was previously published in the October 2023 print edition. 

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About the Contributor
Max Averbach, Staff Writer, Online Editor
Max, a junior, is excited to be entering his second year as a member of The Trumpet staff. He currently is one of The Trumpet's two KSJC Representatives and the SNO Site Manager. He enjoys writing about sports and politics. In his free time, he reads and plays baseball and basketball.
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