Monday, December 10, 2012

Kung Fu Hustle

The special effects in this movie lighten the mood and make it cartoonish and funny. It was a refreshing change from the Kung Fu films i've seen in the past.

Raging Bull

I was really impressed by Robert De Niros acting in this film, he embodied the character so well! As the movie starts to pick up so does his jealousy which ends up plaguing his life and tearing apart he and the woman he was so fearful of loosing. It's hard to watch him get physically pummeled by boxers in the ring while he mentally pummels himself but if you can handle some bloody scenes I would recommend this movie.

Dark Knight Rises

Is it the final Batman film or are there still more to come? I really want there to be a continuation involving Robin, because that ending was the best part of the movie. I enjoyed that Bruce overcame his old age to save the day once again. Some of my peers did not appreciate that Bruce was vulnerable in this movie, but I think that that was the whole point. The producers needed a segway into the new age of Batman. As always, the film score was amazing. Hans Zimmer always comes through with good music. Sometimes I think the music is what makes a film, although I know most people would disagree with me.

Skyfall

For anyone who appreciates Bond, you will not leave this movie disappointed. Some of my peers said that they didn't like it because it wasn't "modern" enough, but I think this is where they are mistaken. The whole point was to bring back the classic elements of the old Bond films. Armed with just a radio and a handgun, Daniel Craig does a fantastic job. There are also no steamy erotic scenes, but I think that this keeps things classy.

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is one of my favorite movies, so I'm glad we got to watch it again. Last year I was actually in London for Guy Fawkes day, so watching this again was a reminder of that fun holiday. I'm glad I didn't get blown up on my tube ride home after the fireworks! Natalie Portman gives one of her most convincing performances in this film, and her struggle to cope with a madman is so believable. There are many themes in this film, and they include fear, love, anger, and contempt. London is also a wonderful place to film, and I think that the setting tied this movie together. Especially for us Americans, watching films set in different places is eye opening as well as entertaining.

Adaptation

This was another film we watched in which there was a central element that I have not previously come into contact with. In "Blow Out", the element of film making was sound, in this one it was screenwriting. Honestly, I went through the whole movie kind of thinking that there was going to be some dumb twist where one of the twins actually didn't exist, and in fact it was some sort of multiple personality disorder thing. I'm glad that that didn't happen. I also appreciated Meryl Streep's acting. She's a great actress and this was a new kind of role for her. She really can mold herself into almost anything and she's what made this movie interesting for me.

Raging Bull

Raging Bull was very depressing, in my opinion. I don't usually choose to watch films that I know will make me sad. This one combined drama with boxing, which is a sport I really know nothing about, and am not really invested in either. I think it's an important point to note that if a movie combines elements you don't like, regardless of how well it is made, you may find yourself still not able to enjoy it.

Blow Out

At first, I knew I was going to be skeptical of this movie because I am definitely not a fan of John Travolta. However, as it went on, I realized that it was somewhat exciting. The chase scenes were done well, and I think that's important with a film such as this. It was interesting to watch something that involved elements of film, in this case the main element was sound. I don't think I've ever watched something about the type of situation that this film detailed. Or rather, I don't think I've watched something before about a movie technician like this one.

Adaptation

Adaptation is the perfect example of a seemingly "offbeat comedy." That fact that so much turmoil and conflict revolves around Orchids - a rare plant, yet trivial in comparison to most other factors in life, is comical /ironic by itself. However, the tragic demise of characters over the course of the story brings a sense of crude reality to the surface.  Also, the concept of illusion versus reality pertains to Susan Orlean's novel. Unlike how her novel plays out, Orchids had a negative impact on her life in the long run.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Alien

Alien was a first of a kind. The first to blend graphic horror and science fiction, as well as the first to feature a female action hero. This coupled with that gradually intensifying atmosphere makes the movie a classic. My favorite part about the film was how restricted our view of the alien was, it left room for the viewer to get their imaginative juices flowing. 

Adaptation

Adaptation has to be the most meta-influenced film I have ever seen. The entire film is centered around a nonfiction book that needs to be adapted into a screenplay. Kaufman takes this idea of adaptation to the extreme and creates a film that embodies the idea of turning text into film. The film is constantly writing and rewriting itself as Kaufamn encounters and discovers the "true" Susan Orlean. After a while, the "real" world and the fictive one become so entangled with one another that it seems to mirror the absurdity of trying to justly translate one medium into another. The mixture of the literal idea of biological adaptation to that of screenplay adaptation was very interesting, even if not fully fleshed out. Then again, having a clear meaning would ruin the point of the film. Still, Adaptation was funny, surprising, and always a bit confusing (but in a good way).

The Bicycle Theif

I liked this movie but I only realized how much after it was over. Really powerful message (although very sad) about a very tough time in history. His relationship with his son shows just how hard things were. The little boy was forced to grow up so fast

Duck Soup

Duck Soup was a great movie. It must have been revolutionary for a movie of its time, considering it was produced in 1933! It is funny how the jokes they used back then are still funny today. This movie reminded me a lot of the three stooges sort of humor. This movie was written during the events leading to World War 2, so it was interesting that they included a war at the end of the movie. It is interesting to see how much movies have changed over time, but yet in some ways have stayed the same. If this movie was made in color, I would have a hard time telling it apart from some of today's movies. My favorite character in this movie was the main character Firefly. I wish that this movie lasted more than  an hour, but i guess that was probably an average running time for a movie back in the 1930's!

Chinatown

As many people have been saying, Chinatown isn't the type of film I would usually find myself watching. Nonetheless, I'm glad to have done so since I've been planning on doing so for years since it is kind of a classic. The plot and acting was great and pretty engaging, but the ending really upset me. I guess films don't have to end on a happy note per se, but this one is tied with Blow Out as "feel-bad film" of the semester. Poor Evelyn.

V For Vendetta

Years back when V For Vendetta first came out, I really wasn't able to engage with the film. It seemed too "super-hero" driven. Obviously I was missing the bigger picture of the film and the political and moral implications it is steeped in. Now, on my second viewing, it has become clear that this is a film both very important for its aesthetic qualities as well as moral. Yes, it is an action film in the classic sense, but the allegorical message it carries is just as thrilling. The visuals and film-making in general are breathtaking, which can sort of mask the deeper meanings of the film, but once you do dig those up, the film as a whole becomes something both unnerving and awe-inspiring. The final scene where hundreds of people pile in dressed up as V gave me chills that lasted for hours after the film ended. Perhaps it was the way it visually looked, or perhaps knowing the context of a society under oppression finally reclaiming its homeland, but either way it has left a lasting impression on me.

Flight

Flight is the story of an alcohol and drug-addicted pilot named William "Whip" Whitaker, who manages to land a crashing plane under the influence of numerous substances. He is hailed a hero, but once the word of his possible intoxication leaks out, his true nature and motives behind his life-choices becomes revealed in a surprisingly disturbing manner. Once out of the hospital from the crash, he meets a heroin addict named Nicole. They both sort of team up and tackle their addictions together. I was honestly expecting Flight to be more of an action-driven film as the trailer suggested. Instead, Flight turned into a character study, where we are forced to see Whip deteriorate both physically and mentally. It becomes a bit much too handle after a while, because nothing seems to happen but him destroy himself in front of the camera with booze and drugs. It would have been nice to see more of a double-plot with both Whip and Nicole, which was employed in the beginning of the film. That might have taken away the relationship between the two and show how one can recover and one can slip further into self-destruction, but it would have been more artsy and more entertaining. Nonetheless, this was a very harrowing film that definitely will make the awards season go crazy over it. It just wasn't what I was suspecting. My friend who I saw it with summed it up perfectly: "God that was depressing. Now I need a drink."

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D


“Come to Silent Hill” is sprawled in blood on the wall of Heather Mason’s house. Any sane person would run as far away as possible, but Heather makes the conscious choice to venture into the world of “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”. Unfortunately for the viewer, it’s too late to go back.
             Teenager Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father Harry (Sean Bean) have been on the run for years from malevolent forces. Now on the day of her eighteenth birthday, these forces have kidnapped Harry and beckoned Heather back to Silent Hill, an alternate world populated by perverse monsters and a cultist group that is hell-bent on Heather being their “savior”. With the help of a classmate named Vincent (Kit Harrington), Heather travels to Silent Hill to save her father. What she discovers about her past and true identity is something she could’ve never imagined.
“Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” is adapted from the Silent Hill videogame series (primarily Silent Hill 3) and an indirect sequel to the original “Silent Hill” film. It’s likely that only viewers who have previously immersed themselves in the games and first film will fare a chance of keeping up with the confusing plot. It’s also the fans of the series that will be severely disappointed by the way “Revelation” is portrayed. There’s nothing wrong with Hollywood-izing an adaptation, but “Revelation” is stripped of the psychological horror and mystery that made the games so popular.
As much as “Silent Hill” tries to explain itself, it ends up only adding more outlandish layers. The screenplay (penned by the film’s director Michael J. Bassett) relies too heavily on exposition, which interrupts action sequences that could potentially be intense. The dialogue ends up being more frightening than the scenes. It seems like director Michael J. Bassett doesn’t understand how to balance these aspects to be both engaging and coherent. Bassett’s previous film “Solomon Kane” succeeded in this regard, so it’s baffling how he fell flat on his face this time around.
If “Revelation” has anything going for it, it’s the cinematography and set design. Silent Hill is once again in its industrial rust-caked glory, but not even this hellish atmosphere can save it from the mess that takes up residency. The monsters (particularly a mannequin spider that does some ungodly things to its prey) are for the most part creepy-looking, but their screen time is far too brief. Akira Yamaoka, the composer for the Silent Hill games, adds his gritty touch to the soundtrack. Unfortunately, after a while it’s nothing more than white noise.
            The 3D aspect of this film was obviously implemented to draw in more viewers. Nowhere in recent memory has any film (especially horror) successfully employed 3D to engage the audience in a film. “Revelation” is no exception. There’s the cliché “pointy objects coming right at you” and a few severed limbs flying out of the screen, but nothing that will summon more than a groan from the viewer. The 3D glasses suddenly feel clunky and not worth the additional $6 added to the ticket price.
            The actors really do try their best to work with the material given to them. Newcomer Adelaide Clemens is believable as a terrified teenager and Kit Harrington is sympathetic as her counterpart. Acting veterans such as Carrie Anne Moss (The Matrix Trilogy) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) are captivating as always, but their screen time is too brief for it to be memorable. There’s only so much the actors can do and unfortunately it’s not enough to save “Revelation”.
At the climax of the film Heather is trapped on a flame-engulfed carousel, confronting a ghoulish incarnation of herself. “Go to Hell!” Heather screams. ‘We’re already here,” her double growls. By the end of “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”, the viewer truly does feel like they’ve been put through hell, and they’re not in any hurry to go back either.

13 Assassins


I am HUGE Takashi Miike fan. I got first turned on to him through the film Audition (which I wasn’t a huge fan of), but then was blown away Ichi the Killer. Ichi was unbelievably violent, but so aesthetically pleasing it was hard to look away. I never imagined Miike creating a period piece, especially because of knowing his track record. Since this is my second time watching 13 Assassins, I tried to pay particular attention to the camera movement and usage this time around, particularly in the epic battle scene. Miike makes sure that you never miss a beat of what is happening. If someone is going to die, you’re going to see explicitly how. The camera follows these assassins through EVERY single death in the entire battle scene, making it seem like you are a part of the action. I almost felt unsafe being so up-close to it. That’s what sets this apart from any other action film I have seen: even thought he POV is not of the assassins themselves (usually), you feel like you are fighting along with them. It’s hard to explain, but an amazing feeling once you get it.

What I noticed during my second viewing also was that Miike really relies on character development just as much as action. Since the first hour or so of the film is just a lead up to the battle, we are thrown into the lives of these assassins. By doing so, they don’t become just mere killing machines, but instead real people who you can sympathize with and want to survive. Even if the mass slaying does not seem very just as a whole, you come to realize that these men are truly fighting for a greater good out of their OWN goodness. The enemies may not be bad and are just doing their jobs as well, but we are indebted to the assassins. When the enemies die by the handful, it doesn’t leave much compassion. But when one of the assassins dies, it is very heart wrenching, because you almost get the feeling that they are immortal.

Miike is a genius. Watch Ichi The Killer or Audition. They'll totally mess with your head.

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari


When I first sat down to watch this film, I really was expecting a strong horror aspect to it. Of course, my horror aspect is based off of countless viewings of SAW and Halloween, so this film made me think of horror in a more artistic way. Since I was not able to hear anything besides the music, I had to become more engaged in the visuals themselves. What I noticed was that the sets and scenery were very sharp (literally, like triangles) and dream-like. In context of this being all a hallucination, it definitely helps create an unreal quality to the film. The sets are also imperfectly painted, which makes the eeriness of the actions seem even more peculiar. Everything seems extremely unrealistic, but if it were made to look very realistic, it wouldn’t create that sense of unease that is necessary for an audience that can focus only on the images right in front of them without assisting dialogue and sound. Once knowing the twist ending, the unnatural visuals themselves seemed to serve a larger purpose. This film was not frightening in the least, but definitely created tons of eeriness through its visuals alone.

I Walked With a Zombie


The most impressive part about I Walked With a Zombie was the way both the house and its inhabitants and native lands worked off each other. Here we have a world of supposed civility and morals, while right outside there is the primal land of the natives. Having this really showed how the “civilized” house was really far from it: a woman has been put into a comatose state on purpose, a man wishes to commit infidelity on his zoned-out wife, and a man has become a major drunk after committing infidelity with said zombie-sister-in-law. The dichotomy between both of these worlds made me think about the true nature of humans. This being that how on the surface, people and civilizations may seem classy and without fault, but when stripped away of their facades are shown to be no different than those whom they shun for being “inhuman.” I would have liked to have been left with less ambiguity at the end of the film though. We are given much to take in and analyze, but are given no clear answer. Perhaps the point of the film was less about answers as it was about questions, such as I was talking about prior with being civilized.

Black Narcissus


Black Narcissus is a film that grew on me after the first viewing. Initially, as others have posted, the pacing was a bit offsetting. This slower pacing, though, really made the climax of the film much more intense, even though an ultimate letdown. We are slowly given glimpses into the deterioration of these Sisters’ minds and morale. The most important I believe is that of Sister Clodagh’s past love and its similarities to Sister Ruth’s actions. Our book talks a lot about how films have a certain ABAB structure (or something similar) to them, and how this helps drive a story along. We are given numerous flashbacks that reveal Sister Clodagh’s desires of love prior to joining the convant, which further amplifies this sexual desire being brought back to the surface by Mr. Dean. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, then, that Sister Ruth unleashes this pent-up passion at the end of the film. Although the structure plays towards more of Sister Clodagh’s desires of love, it becomes embodied radically in Sister Ruth. This mode of revealing sexuality through Sister Ruth is what ircked me about the film. It seems that nothing was learned from her passionate outburst. Sister Clodagh could have had some sort of revelation from seeing Sister Ruth’s extreme desire for male companionship and utilized it to have a nice relationship with Mr. Dean that was like the one she desired prior to the convent. Instead she leaves without any self-reflection. Perhaps this has some deeper signifigance than I can see, but it would have been a nice way to round off the structure of the film to have Sister Clodagh be a chaste form of love, one that Sister Ruth let get out of control.

Blow Out


I am on the fence with this film. On one hand, it was unique and unnerving, but on the other hand it was quite frustrating. I really liked the mystery of this film through the idea of sound, which is something I’ve never seen utilized in film so heavily as in this one. I had to focus on both the visuals AND the sound at the same time, because they both equally important in the way the film unfolded. The way the film is structured reminded me of classic thrillers, but with far more engagement for the audience. You’re relentlessly being dragged through the scenes (in a positive way) and with the twists and turns. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. But the ending! Oh my god, the ending infuriated me. It’s not that a film needs to have a happy ending per se, but Blow Out set you up to really believe that Sally would survive. At the beginning of the film, Jack is searching for that perfect scream. Well, he found it, and that final scene where you hear Sally’s scream left me feeling extremely uncomfortable. If that was De Palma’s goal, then he certainly succeeded.   

Black Hawk Down


I’ve been meaning to see Black Hawk Down for quite some time. I like war films and mini-series (such as Letters from Iwo Jima and Band of Brothers), but I haven’t watched many that focus on modern-day wars. I tried to focus on the editing aspect of this film, because it is very prevalent throughout. I found the film’s manic editing to be kind of confusing and distracting. Half of the time I couldn’t tell who was on screen and who had just been killed. This may have been done on purpose to show the chaos and confusion that ensues when you’re actually in a war battle, but as a viewer I would’ve liked some more clarity. This really is a good film though, and it keeps you entertained because the action is relentless. 

Kung Fu Hustle


Kung Fu Hustle

I remember seeing Kung Fu Hustle years ago and not being very entertained by it. I was more into mind-numbing horror films, and reading subtitles seemed too tedious. Thankfully, this viewing I absolutely loved it. I never realized the amount of effort put into the choreography, even though it is very over-the-top.  On the subject of mise en scene, I found it very interesting that nearly everything in the set during fighting sequences was utilized in some way or another. It’s pretty evident that the creators were intent on utilizing everything. I have a feeling that had to do with budget constraints (it was a $20-million film), but either way it was something I haven’t seen too often before. I also have yet to see many action-comedies that are actually funny while being engaging and intense. Kung Fu Hustle succeeded in drawing out laughs during fighting without becoming slapstick. I wonder if Shaolin Soccer is as good as Kung Fu Hustle. Might have to check it out.  

Becoming Santa

The other day I was bored and feeling christmasy.  So i decided to watch a movie from the christmas section of Netflix.  I turned on Becoming Santa, a documentary on a man who is training to be a mall santa.  I was surprised to find that I liked the movie.  Not only did you see how people train to take on the role of santa but it was filled with the history behind the man in the red jacket.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Momento

This movie is very under rated. Christopher Nolan directed it before he became very fameous for The Dark Knight. The plot is very interesting, the main character is a man who can not make new memories and has to tattoo information allover his body. The man is looking for the person who killed his wife. The movie is unique in the fact that it is backwards. When a scene ends the following scene will end upon the begining of the previous scene. I had to watch this movie a few times to comprehend what was happening.

Pulp Fiction

 I saw this movie over the weekend, I have seen it close to 10 times and it never gets old. I still cant seem to figure out the plot as it is allover the place. The cast is amazing with Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. It is bloody, violent and packed with action. The characters are somewhat weird. It has somewhat of twisted humor throughout the whole movie. This is one of my favorite movies and one that I will see again and again.

La Strada

I was almost uncomfortable watching La Strada. Gelsomina was clearly mentally unstable and needed a more structured life. She seemed to be in love with the man who took her from her family, (forgot his name). It reminded me of Stockholm syndrome, when someone falls in love with the person who kidnapped them. It is awful and made me very uncomfortable. She also seemed like she had bipolar disorder; she would be crying and upset one minute and then happy and laughing the next. I really did not like nor had respect for this movie.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Study List for the Final Exam

Here is a list of terms to know for the final in addition to what we discussed in our last class.  These are items we covered earlier in the semester.  There may be questions on some of them


Formalism
Realism
Expressionism
Surrealism
Frame
Frames Per Second (sound – 24, silent – 18)
Persistence of Vision
Academy Aspect Ratio – (1:1.33)
Widescreen – (1:1.85, 16x9)
Scope – (1:2.35)
Shot
Angle – (High, Low, Bird’s Eye)
Distance – (ExLS, LS, MS, CU, ExCU)
Depth of Field – (Shallow, Deep Focus)
Camera Movement – (Pan, Tilt, Dolly/Tracking, Crane)
POV (Point of View)
High Key Lighting
Low Key Lighting
Key Light
Fill Light
Back Light
Montage
Mis en Scene
Continuity Editing
Jump Cut

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

La Strada

This was kind of a weird film mostly because of Gelsomina(?).  She was a very hard character to follow and I couldn't really figure out why she was always making faces and what she really wanted.  I was kind of shocked that she decided to to stay with Zampano.  The end of the movie was kind of heart breaking, though because Zampano only really knows then how much she meant to him.  It was heart breaking to see him just break down like that.  So, it was a kind of a sad movie in my opinion.

Monday, December 3, 2012

V for Vendetta

Prior to class, I had never viewed this film before. I was excited to see it because I was told it was intense. I found this movie to be better than expected. I think Natalie Portman did a wonderful job in the lead role. She played a great character and even shaved her head for the film. I find this to be true dedication for a actor or actress to do. What I found most interesting about this movie was the character V. His mysterious attitude throughout the whole film was fascinating to watch.

The Bicycle Thief

Instead of complaining about all the qualities I thought were slow and drawn out in this movie, I will say it was pretty good for a movie of its time.  I of course would have preferred to watch it in English that way i could focus more of my attention on watching rather than reading. I found the relationship between the father and son very interesting. I was surprised at how he treated him. He acted as if he was far more mature than a person of his age is capable of. I did find the movie somewhat depressing because of all the unfortunate events that happen to the main character. He loses so much all because of a bicycle thief.

True Grit

I didn't really like this movie all that much.  I don't generally like these kinds of movies all that much anyway.  The main character girl(can't remember her name) was a really annoying character.  Just the way she acted all high and mighty and how she always expected people to listen to her was a very irritating trait of hers.  But yeah, I didn't like this movie.

Chinatown

I thought this movie was pretty good.  It definitely wasn't bad, but it wasn't the type of movie I would generally watch. The ending was pretty depressing since he couldn't do anything.  But geez, did the police really have to shoot her in the head?? I'm guessing they were supposed to be aiming for the wheels, but still.

V for Vendetta

I thought that this movie was pretty awesome.  It's one of those movies that really make you think about things after you watch it.  I really liked the character of V, he was pretty cool.  I thought it was kind of cruel that he was the one who tortured the girl(I can't remember her name), but I guess it had to be done and she even seemed fine with it after she calmed down and thought about it.  There sure was a lot of symbolism in this movie.

Duck Soup

This movie made absolutely no sense to me.  It was kind of funny at first, but the jokes kind of wore off.  I don't really understand why Firefly was made the leader of the country.  He's a complete idiot when it comes to running the country.  He even put them into a war because he didn't want to apologize for being a jerk.  And the two spies were just puzzling. I mean, are they even real spies?  I don't know.  This movie was just weird.

The Bicycle Thief

This movie was kind of slow for me, but I thought that it was alright.  I felt really sorry for the main character because he finally got this nice job in the city and then he loses it because some jerk stole his bike.  And then he never gets it back either! It was kind of a sad movie.

The Bicycle Thief

This movie first captured my attention because it is Leonardo DiCaprio's favorite movie, and he is my favorite actor.  I have always wanted to see it even though, this is not usually a genre of film I would watch.  The plot was interesting, and made me want to know what happened to the man's bike.  However, I thought it was a little slow and drug out.  The main character had a very interesting relationship with his son (calling him a man, drinking wine with him, despite his extremely young age.) Overall, this movie was pretty good.

Shakespeare in Love

A comical story about Shakespeare and how he came to write Romeo and Juliet, Williams inspiration budding from his own relationship with the wealthy Gwyneth Paltrow. It was a sweetly romantic crowd pleaser, but not exactly worthy of being named Best Picture of 1998.

The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari

Very strange. Must have been even stranger to the audiences in the 1920's. All the make-up, skewed doorways and crooked windows add to the strong expressionist style.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rashomon

I had seen a few Akira Kurosawa films before this one.  This film seemed much simpler than the others I had seen.  I enjoyed hearing the differences in everyones stories only to find out that it wasn't a amazing battle, a story about a girl who had all the odds against her, or a tale of a samurai who was honorable and proud.  It was a pathetic brawl started by a spoiled girl that ended in a lucky shot.  The ending was interesting and a happy way to end the movie.  Just as the monks faith in man is reaffirmed so is yours.  This movie had a lot of drawn out silence and shots that only took in the actors emotions but lasted a while.  I will probably watch it again in the future so i can better understand the complex themes that are most likely in this film.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Duck Soup

This movie was quite confusing to me. I couldn't rap my head around why the four most annoying wise guys held the most powerful positions. I'm assuming that it is a metaphor for citizens blindly appointing people to power... but perhaps I'm just not used to the humor. I didn't find it funny, very hectic and redundant, but not funny.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Iron Man

This movie was awesome, it was filled with action packed scenes from start to finish. I have seen this movie many times and it never gets old. Tony stark is a billionaire who has a life threatening experiance with the very products he sells. He creates an iron suit and uses it to fight against evil.

V for Vendetta

I really enjoyed this movie. It thought that Natalie Portman went above and beyond in this film by shaving her head. The plot was great, V was a freedom fighter in a socialist society. I would definatley watch this movie over and over again.

Duck soup

I am not a fan of old movies. This one in particular was somewhat commical. I found the plot to be somewhat confusing and strange. This movie was all over the place, I would not watch it again.

The amazing spider man

I recently watched this movie and thought it was just ok. The movie deviated from the origional plot significantly. I was not a fan of the new story line but thought the visual effects were good. I dont think i would watch this again.

Prometheus

This movie was very exciting and at some parts spooky. To my knowledge it was supposed to be the prequel to the Alien movies with Sigourney Weaver. The movie had awesome special effects. It was set in the future during a space expedition in search of "our makers". By then end of the movie you see what created the human race and how they died. The aliens from the movie alien were created as a weapon. Very cool movie that I will definatley see again.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman

The new Spiderman was AWESOME. I loved the change in the story; it followed the original plot which was great and easy to follow. The new storyline was interesting and much more modern. It was a little more Sci-Fi with the lizard-man but still very good.

Prometheus

Last weekend I saw Prometheus for the first time. I had not seen Alien in a long time, (the movie you should watch before Prometheus), and so had forgotten a couple of key events in Alien. If I had watched it, Prometheus would have been amazing. Such a great Sci-Fi movie. Noomie Rapace the edish actress originally from the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo films did such a great job like she normally does in every movie I have seen her in. Not a fan of Charlize Theron's character. Overall great movie.

Duck Soup

Duck Soup was so ridiculous and annoying. Probably one of the worst movies I have seen in a while. Wikipedia was the only way I was able to even understand the movie. The random outbursts of singing made no sense and sounded awful. The characters all clashed and did not cohesively work; the scenes and dialogue came off short and not connected. Overall, bad movie.

Duck Soup

This movie was not at all what I expected when I read the synopsis from IMBD. I was surprised when it turned out to be a slapstick comedy rather than something serious. While it wasn't terrible to watch, it's not something I would watch again. I realize that there was a deeper meaning to the film, but it was hard to focus on that when people kept getting kicked in the shin or slapped in the face. Though I would have to say that my favorite scene in the film would have to be the mirror scene. Even though it was completely ridiculous (like most of the movie) I did find that scene particularly funny.

Duck Soup

The random singing caught me off guard. The other actors looked a bit condescending when the Secretary started singing, and then the others started singing. It was odd. But I smiled and laughed at the "Can't you see what I'm trying to tell you I love you!" line. Because it's such a famous line and I've heard it a lot, but I'm glad that I know where it's from now. I liked that one of the spies was wearing a deerstalker. I found the mirror scene towards the end interesting, not because of the scene itself, but because of the decision to have no audio whatsoever. It was odd. Overall I liked it. It was funny, lots of good, quick-witted dialogue, and the Marx brothers are very well versed in physical comedy.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Duck Soup




Duck Soup was clearly a comedy but within the comedy there was suppose to be a greater message. I did not recognize or clearly understand the message on my own but I think it is because of the time period I was raised in.  I do not generally find this type of humor funny but I can see where it is meant to be funny. The constant joking of a man who is suppose to be serious and has great importance. Parts of the movie also reminded me of the three stooges. I can see where this movie would be important to the genre of comedy in film and am fortunate that people have become much funnier in present day. Overall the movie was bearable but was not something I would choose to watch again.

The Gold Rush

The only thing you hear in this movie is the sound of a piano, playing along to the emotion of whatever situation this "lone prospector" got himself into. Initially, it was hard to get used to watching a silent film but it had me laughing out loud after the first ten minutes. It was full of timeless humor and had an interesting plot. The "lone prospector" finds himself in a few tight situations on his journey to get rich and gets side tracked by a beautiful but uninterested woman. Classic Comedy that I would recommend to all. 

Duck Soup




This comedy is not like anything I would watch on my own. Although that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it for what it is. I did a little research on this movie and many scenes have been used in future comedies. It seems like it is a stepping stone that paved the way for  other comedic films. The jokes didn't exactly resonate with me. The slapstick humor and the silliness was slightly amusing. The film made political statements that I tried to understand but a few may have been lost on me. Overall I value the film and think it's part of comedic history.

Duck Soup

I thought that this film really showed the evolution of comedies.  Today it is rare for comedies to not be loaded with inappropriate humor.  Honestly, it took me about 30 minutes of watching to adjust to this slapstick style of humor, however by the end I was laughing out loud (some scenes were just very strange, i.e. the horse sleeping in the bed).  I enjoyed this movie, even though it is not what I would typically watch on my own.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chinatown





This movie felt like a film noir. It had elements of crime, adultery, and mystery. The style was gritty and the lighting added to its effect. I liked that Jack Nicholson was the main character, since I enjoy his acting. I don't like crime movies very much so the violence and such wasn't too appealing to me. I did appreciate the mysteries as the were uncovered and the sad twist towards the end. The old style of the film was neat but at the same time it seemed to wash out some aspects of the movie. Overall I recognized the drama caused by the particular types of conflict in the film and found it interesting as it unfolded.

Chinatown

I found Chinatown to be an extremely impressive movie. Although it was a little over 2 hours long, it held my attention throughout! The acting was what I was probably most impressed with. Nicholson was incredible and played his role perfectly. The plot was full of surprises. Just as I thought I knew exactly what was coming- something new would arise! The dialogue and interactions between characters were very expressive and easy to follow. One of my favorite elements of this film was the use of the car horn as Evelyn rested her head on the steering wheel [the first time] and sounding a quick honk of the horn and then at the end of the movie when she's shot in the back of the head, her head slams the horn and sounds a long, drawn out honk. I found this use of sound to be very clever! Great movie overall!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chinatown



Chinatown is definitely a mystery movie, there were more twist than I expected and I eventually found myself pretty intrigued. I have never seen Jack Nicholson act in his younger years before and was very entertained.  I actually enjoyed the performance of the majority of the cast and can see why it won an academy award for screen play.  The cinematography was great. The lighting techniques were strong and fit the mood appropriate. For example: the contrast between the desert and daytime scenes.  Some of my favorite shots from the movie are below. 








Lady and the Tramp

After watching the movie 101 Dalmatians, I was inspired to watch another animated dog Disney movie, The Lady and the Tramp. This movie really speaks to me, considering I have two golden retrievers back at my parents house in Denver. This Disney movie was much more closely related to 101 Dalmatians, I thought than the older Disney animated films like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. 

101 Dalmatians

The other day I wanted to revisit my youth by watching a Disney movie. Missing my dogs, I decided on 101 Dalmatians. I love this movie. Disney movies are some of my favorite to watch; they encompass great themes while also having a light-hearted, fun story. I felt  like the design of this movie was a lot different from the previous animated Disney films like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. It felt less stiff, like there was more movement in the characters and in the background. 

Adaptation

Adaptation was an interesting movie, and it was different seeing Nicolas Cage talk to the other character he played most of the movie. I actually did not realize that he was imaging his brother all of the movie until the discussion we had after the movie. The plot was not what I had expected, it was a interesting decision that Donald and his brother made to go down to Florida to track down Orlean. Although this movie is not a movie that I would have picked to watch, I still did enjoy it.

Kung-Fu Hustle

Kung-Fu Hustle was hilarious. I love foreign movie humor especially in Asian films. I had seen it once before, but not the whole movie. The special effects were very well done. The point of view in the movie was great you could see all of the special effects while still seeing all of the other actors not involved in the action. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

8 1/2

At first when Prof Hammond was describing the movie 8 1/2 I felt like I had heard or seen the story before. The movie 9 is a revamped version of 8 1/2. Daniel Day Lewis plays Guido, the star and basis for the movie. I believe that the movie 9 is much easier to understand. I enjoyed the movie 8 1/2 because I already knew the plot and understood the story. I really like seeing the original version and in its original language, Italian. I can see how it would be hard for people to understand if they have not seen the updated version prior to the original, though. 

Midnight Cowboy

I thought this was a good film. I can see how the sneak-peak into the low-lives of Manhattan would be shocking to people in 1994 because it was odd for a film to show any compassion to the types of characters in this movie.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Avengers

I have not seen this since it was in theatres but recently watched it on DVD. This movie is awesome, it has tons of action and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Marvel did an incredible job on bringing in all of the action heroes. I could watch this movie over and over again.

Black Hawk Down

This film has some gritty combat scenes and great visuals that make it interesting to watch. I think the director should have done a better job of helping the audience form a relationship to some main characters though. In my experience the characters were hardly distinguishable until the middle of the film.

8 1/2

 This movie was very confusing and hard to follow. I was lost the whole time and was very confused as to what the plot was. The characters threw me off as well. I could not tell what was a dream and what was reality. Overall I did not enjoy this movie, it was old, boring, and confusing.

Monday, November 12, 2012

High Noon

The wide shots help capture the rugged terrain and scenery that steotypically made up the Midwest at the time. Most importantly, the theme of time plays a crucial role, for it serves as underyling tension throughout the movie. The music seems to coincide with time....repetitive and contributing to the build up of conflict...ect.  

Chinatown

I personally thought that this movie was a little too long, and a bit confusing.  However, Jack Nickolson  did a great job with the character.  I also liked the style in which it was filmed. The ending surprised me a bit.  I usually expect happy endings (I thought the woman and Jack's character would run away together.)  This was not the type of movie I would typically watch on my own, but it was alright!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

High Noon

This film was definitely an old classic. As I was watching it, I knew I'd watched it with my dad when I was younger. I sometimes find the way that older movies are filmed distracting, especially during the night scenes, and I had this same reaction during this film. I did like the sound though. With the outdoor scenes, you can always hear all the extra little noises that they cut out of film in today's age.

Shakespeare In Love

I liked this movie, it was what we discussed in class about character vs. self and character vs. society. It was character vs. self because Shakespeare is conflicted about the relationship because he knows it's wrong. But he's also going against society because back then, when marriages were arranged, it was sort of like "that was that". I also liked this movie because it brought a little humor into Shakespeare, which usually makes for some dry reading material.

True Grit

This film was surprisingly witty for such a sad story. I really liked the cinematography by Roger Deakins and the work by the composer, Carter Burwells. The audio and visual components of this film mesh exceptionally well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

V for Vendetta

"Remember, remember the fifth of November." -V

Now, if you are familiar with this film, it is never out of the question to view it on such a night as the fifth of November. It's famous line is really what brings viewers into its world. "Remember, remember the fifth of November" is such a famous line now that it has sparked a revolutionary tradition among movie-viewers.

However, this may not be the only attraction that this film offers. V's carefully executed monologues and actions mark the entire movie up for its writing and script development. It reveals how much work was actually placed into such a film.

But what is it really that drives us back to this film? Is it V? Natalie Portman? Perhaps the action and violence? The writing?

It really comes down to a film that has excellent writing staff and script.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shakespeare in Love and the Creative Process

Sure. Lots of people are going to get trapped in a hole that all historical fiction movies have: the "fiction" part. That there is no account that Shakespeare fell in love with some noble woman and then the girl ended up getting ship wrecked and all that (and I'm pretty sure there would've been a much bigger scandal in real life than was made in the movie if a woman really had stepped in on stage). But I think that this film demonstrates this really simple idea of how the creative process can work, because many of the scenes that were in Romeo and Juliet were directly from the movie and Shakespeare's encounters with Viola. And speaking as a writer myself, I can say that things like that do happen. I do often take bits of my life and people and my experiences and put them directly onto the page, with little or no change. That's what I really like about this movie, is that it demonstrates inspiration and muses perfectly. How Shakespeare is constantly inspired by a specific person or thing, and when he has that thing, he writes like crazy. On a different note, I loved the little nod at the end to Viola being ship wrecked, and Shakespeare starting his next play with her as the lead in Twelfth Night.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Shakespeare in Love

Though i found this movie to be a bit corny, it was fun to watch.  The acting was well done.  I liked the twist towards the end where she played Juliet and William played Romeo.  The ending was a bit confusing to me though.  I thought they would end up together, but i suppose this ending was more in the style of Shakespeare's plays.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Raging Bull

Raging Bull was very entertaining to watch.  I found Robert Deniro's character very difficult to like.  Throughout the film you have a feeling that he will end in tragedy.  His pain seemed to come from his own doing so I never really felt bad for him.   By far my favorite parts of the movie were the fight scenes.  They seemed different from any other fight scenes i have seen before.  The slow down and speeding up was very cool.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Raging Bull

I thought Robert De Niro's acting was incredible in this film. He was able to capture the psychological downfall of the boxer, Jake LaMotta, as he lets the violent, confrontational nature of his game slip outside of the boxing ring and into his daily life. Vengeful, envious, and ill tempered, he loses many of his relationships. Despite how upsetting the tragic demise of Lamotta's character is, I cannot help but appreciate how engrossed he was with his career. As depicted in the film, he took his passion to an extreme intangible to most.

13 Assassins

I've never been a huge fan of violence and bloodshed. Consequently, the second half of the movie, which mostly consisted of consecutive, gruesome battle scenes, was repetitive and unenjoyable. I do appreciate the build up to the climatic point of the film, that was the breakout of violence. The development of characters and various themes reinforced and foreshadowed what was eventually going to take place.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Black Hawk Down

Exceptional cinematography, use of sound, and color palette..One of the most powerful depictions of war!

Kungfu Hustle

As one of my favorite films thus far, Kung Fu hustle covers a wide range of film tactics and emotions. In combination with its consecutive action-packed scenes, there is an inclusion of comical characters  and witty dialogues. In modern times, special effects seem to rob the film industry's concept of reality. Yet, in Kung Fu Hustle, both appear to thrive off each another, for many of the characters in this film are relatable despite their supernatural characteristics.

I walked with a Zombie

Thought this quote captured the essence of this film. On the way to the Island,  Mr. Holland describes his melancholic, dark view of the world around him to Betsy, the new nurse. His words not only reflect the film's underlying, pessimistic tone, but the conflict between reality and ambiguity.

It’s easy enough to read the thoughts of a newcomer.  Everything seems beautiful because you don’t understand.  Those flying fish…they’re not leaping for joy…they’re jumping in terror…bigger fish want to eat them.  That luminous water…It takes its gleam from millions of dead bodies. (plankton) There’s only death and decay here….

.  

The Black Narcissus


      First and foremost, the location of this film plays a crucial role. The Black Narcissus, which was filmed back in 1947, took place in a new Anglican institution located in the Himalayas. Sister Clodagh's task to supervise this institution was precarious to say the least, for she, a long with the other nuns, are unfamiliar with the institution's people and surroundings. As expected by most viewers, the institution has its fair share of abnormalities. 
        The nuns' isolation in such a remote area leads to their psychological downfall, that is the conflict between their passion and moral obligation. For example, while the nuns feel obligated to follow their duties from the Dean, his appealing looks and masculine personalty prove too distracting. This movie  essentially captures an issue that many disciplined occupations struggle with to this day. Other conflicts and factors caused them to stray away from their duties as well. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Raging Bull

Raging Bull was definitely a drama. The acting was spectacular and I found myself getting very absorbed in the story. I can't truly say I enjoyed this movie, but I absolutely loved it at the same time. It was like watching something that you so desperately wanted to look away from, but just couldn't! De Niro and Moriarty worked so spectacularly together. A lot of the scenes between De Niro and Pesci were very powerful and it was hard to believe that a lot of those scenes were improv. Overall, very glad I can say I've seen this movie and I'll definitely be suggesting the title to friends, but with a warning.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Midnight Cowboy

This movie reminded me of some I used to watch with my dad when I was a kid. He loves movies with western elements. This was a kind of "western element with a twist". I found the lighting to be somewhat distracting at times, which was surprising because the movie is not as old as some that we have previously viewed. Because Joe is so naive, you as the audience member find yourself feeling sorry for him. Overall, I found this interesting to watch. And, I realized that I had watched this with my dad when I was younger. However, at the time, I hadn't been able to comprehend what I am able to now.

Midnight Cowboy

I found this movie very interesting.  It was funny yet sad at the same time, and unlike any movie I have seen before or typically choose to watch. Overall I enjoyed it.  The cinematography was great, and it was interesting watching the young Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman.  Voight did a great job at making his character seem incredibly naive.

Midnight cowboy

Midnight cowboy probably would not be a movie that I would chose to watch by myself, but the movie was interesting. It was confusing at times when Joe was having flashbacks and it would flash random pictures and clips. It was hard to understand what had happened in Joe'e past from the information that was provided, such as why he feels comfortable dressing like a cowboy. It is interesting how Joe chose to associate with Rizzo considering his odd behavior.  I also thought it was funny how he thought money was spelled M-O-N-Y from looking at a building.

Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down was a very well made movie. This is the type of movie that makes you think that you are actually inside the location in which the movie presents. I have seen Black Hawk Down before, and seeing it one more time makes it that much better. The story line seems to progress very well and every scene seems to be well placed. One of my favorite scenes is when the chopper crashes and there is one man left to fight it out with many people coming to invade the helicopter. I am looking forward to seeing more movies such as Black Hawk Down!

Midnight Cowboy


"Midnight Cowboy" is a great film. I had seen it once before, but it was a few years ago and I definitely didn't get as much from the film then as I did now. John Voight is definitely one of my favorite actors and his performance in this film is amazing. I really liked the use of expressionism and I think Voight worked very well acting it out. I'd like to point out that Schlesinger does an amazing job of using New York city for everything it has. It would have been pretty easy to film this without the use of strong settings available in the city but he didn't. Some of my favorite scenes come out of the abandoned apartment that Joe and Ratso temporarily live in, but my favorite of all the end when they reach Miami.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Midnight Cowboy



This film was very different from something I would choose to watch. I recognized both of the main actors, and I liked them in other films separate from this particular film. I can't say that I enjoyed the film. Although I could appreciate the 'vintage' cinematography and moments of expressionism. The flashbacks were not clear, and provided less background information than I would have liked. The relationship between the characters was inspiring yet very sad.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Midnight Cowboy


Strange and somewhat sad, are my first thoughts when reflecting back on this movie.  I have never seen a movie like Midnight Cowboy before.  It was interesting to see Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman acting in their youth.  I have only ever seen movies where they were older.  In this movie I noticed quite a bit of expressionism, especially in the party scene with all the other actors and actresses in New York.  When he smokes weed the images he sees are examples of that.  My favorite scene is in the end when they are riding the bus to Florida and are both laughing together because Rico peed his pants.  He is pathetic and very ill but they manage to find light in the situation and share a last moment of happiness together.  Personally, this is not a movie I would ever watch more than once, but I did enjoy it more than a silent film.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blue Velvet

We talked about this movie in class a few weeks ago. When it was discussed it sounded very weird and dark and sinister. The professor also said it was somewhat perverted. I got bored last week and decided to watch it just to see what it was about. I watched the trailer on youtube and then the whole movie without moving from my desk. This movie glued my face to the computer screen. It is definatley weird, sick, twisted, and perverse. However I did enjoy watching it. After it was over I didnt really know what  I just viewed. Overall is was very interesting and was also cool to see Dennis Hopper in a movie when he was younger.

True Grit

I had never seen the original version but really liked this movie. It had an incredable cast and a fantastic plot. I love western movies and this one is at the top of my list. This movie was alot of fun to watch, there was plenty of action and intensity.

Black Hawk Down

This movie was awesome, I have seen it many times prior to the assignment. This movie is truly star studded. Black Hawk down keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. When I was watching the movie I noticed that throughout the entire movie there was somewhat of a green or yellow color. Everything in every scene had some sort of green or yellow in it. This movie is one of my favorite war movies and is a film I can watch over and over again. It is incredable to think this movie was made 11 years ago, this film seems timeless.

Monday, October 15, 2012

True Grit

I really love this movie. I saw it when it came out in theaters and it was wonderful to see on the big screen. After watching it again I looked for things that I missed the first time around and realized that this movie has a wonderful soundtrack. I think often times people take music for granted in movies, but it really is an important element in any film. Anyone who has seen a movie clip without music (when there is supposed to be music) knows how awkward it looks. It's always very clear when the music is missing. I found a great interview with the True Grit composer Carter Burwell. Enjoy!

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2484574745/

True Grit


I saw this movie when it was in theaters and I am glad I got to witness it on a large screen. It is the kind of movie where if you let it it will take you along with its adventures. I had also seen the original true grit, so I knew the story line fairly well. I prefer the new 2010 version to be honest. I liked the clear picture, along with the coloring and lighting. The setting of this film was beautiful, and the landscape shots were often haunting. I appreciated the humor throughout the film, it was a great mix of action, adventure and wit. It also helps that I enjoy several of the actors that play the main characters, I think they did a great job portraying the characters. This is the kind of movie I would add to my collection because its classic and stands alone as a strong remake.

True Grit

This is my favorite western film by far. I watched a lot of them growing up with my grandfather, and I remember going to the theater to see True Grit the day it came out.  Hailee Steinfeld did a phenomenal job, especially considering her age.  The end of the movie though, in my honest opinion, was terrible.  However, I suppose it was realistic, and very much in characteristic of western movie endings.  I at least hoped that the girl would stay with the men. I noticed a lot of close ups and extreme long shots throughout the film.  The editors definitely used angles and lighting to visually portray the emotions of the characters.  I thought the coloring was beautiful.   Aside from the sad ending, this was a great movie.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

True Grit



True Grit was one of the only western movies I actually enjoyed.  The charaters were strongly developed.  I enjoyed watching the relationships form between the young girl and the two men she travelled with.  They were all three very stubborn characters and argued often throughout the journey to find her father's murderer.  I found myself even getting excited during the scene where Rooster charges the 4 men with a gun in each of his hands towards the end.  This movie was very well-made which grabbed my attention. My favorite part of the movie was at the end when Rooster and LaBoeuf form an unexpected alliance, working together to save the girl and finally catch Chaney. I was actually somewhat sad at the end when Mattie did not get a chance to say goodbye to either Rooster or Chaney after the journey. Besides the plot, I did notice many shots and lighting techniques that we have learned from class.  For example: when they are riding the horse at the end to find a doctor for Mattie.  They show the silhouette of the horse running along the open dessert.  This was extreme long shot with a backlight and wide frame.  I also noticed the many close ups and angles from below looking up. This is not a movie I would have chosen to watch on my own time so I am glad it was assigned.  It allowed me to explore a new genre of movies that I normally wouldnt venture to try.
Below I have attached some pictures of scenes in the movie where I noticed terms we learned in class:



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Greet Dictator Speech

Came across this great clip on YouTube.com from the movie The Great Dictator (1940) staring Charlie Chapman. The clip has been chopped and edited with modern clips but the speech is all Charlie. I've looked for the movie but haven't found it yet. Reviews of the film state that the movie is a comedy but this clip seems to me to have a real serious meaning. The movie was created in the WWI era, but I feel the clip has prevalence today. Awesome clip!

Some films I watched this past weekend

I spent the weekend with my best friend and we decided to rent some movies that looked funny and not to serious. The first one was I Don't Know How She Does It which stars Sarah Jessica Parker. It was about a Mother who as the title suggests "does it all". She has a demanding career and a family and has to figure out how to balance both. She has a nanny unlike many of us and I thought this film was very predictable and kind of boring. Greg Kinear must have had nothing else going on to take this part because I usually find his films and his roles interesting but since Pierce Bronson was also in it I should have known better.

The next film was The Five Year Engagement starring Jason Segal and Emily Blunt. This film was funnier but also predictable. I did like how it poked fun of Michigan and the acting was not bad either. I found myself laughing at many scenes even if they were not realistic but what movie of this type is?

The third movie was called Darling Companion and I was looking forward to seeing this because of all the good actors that were in it and because the story line involves a dog. I was highly disappointed. The plot of the movie involved a family coming together over searching for the main character's lost dog. This could have been a much better film. It seemed that they just took a bunch of good actors and rushed through the production or the writing was lacking..something was missing. They also had a very annoying character that took away from the film instead of the intended purpose which was to bring the family together.

V for Vendetta


This was my favorite movie that we watched in class this term. I had never seen it before and did not have much interest in it although I really like Natalie Portman. The film kept me interested from start to finish and I think it addressed issues that many people think about, but don’t always know how to articulate these thoughts. I will definitely watch this one again.

Duck Soup


Duck Soup was funny, but I’m not a big fan of this type of “slap stick” comedy. I was never a fan of “The Three Stooges” and have actually never seen an entire episode. My mom actually did not allow me to watch it as a child because my sisters and I beat up on each other enough and did not need outside influence. I am not a fan of the singing in this movie either. I do think the mustache is hilarious. Over all, this is probably my least favorite of all of the films we watched in and out of class.

V

Still of Natalie Portman and Jeremy Woodhead in V for VendettaStill of Hugo Weaving in V for VendettaStill of Hugo Weaving in V for VendettaStill of Natalie Portman in V for VendettaStill of John Hurt in V for VendettaStill of Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta

I loved this film. The acting was superb, the cinematography was stunning and the story and theme kept me at the edge of my seat through the entire movie and left me wanting more. The film had so many themes and metaphors that you could analyze it for hours yet it was not difficult to understand. I do not know how I missed this movie but I am so glad we got to see it it in class and I will watch it again. I think Natalie Portman did an excellent job and was very believable in this role. In fact all the actors drew me in. I tend to be drawn to films such as these because I believe strongly that people should not just follow someone that they perceive to be powerful either in government or in their own life. This film depicted many events in history that have happened and I found it extremely powerful.

Duck Soup - Politics Wrapped in Humor

“Duck Soup” is a very entertaining movie. My son and I watched it and decided that we needed to embrace and see past the juvenile, slapstick humor to understand the irony of the story. The story is a farce, and far-fetched, but resonates with interesting messages about war, greed, and, in some ways, elitism.
Roger Ebert sums it up by writing:
“[The Marx Brothers brought an] essentially Jewish style of humor into the dominant note of American comedy. [T]hey were as surrealist as Dali, as shocking as Stravinsky, as verbally outrageous as Gertrude Stein, as alienated as Kafka… ‘As an absurdist essay on politics and warfare,’ wrote the British critic Patrick McCray, ‘”Duck Soup” can stand alongside (or even above) the works of Beckett and Ionesco’” (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20000709/REVIEWS08/7090301/1023)
Samuel Beckett: (1906-1989) “[A]n Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life…His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Beckett).
Eugene Ionesco: (1909-1994) “[A] Romanian and French playwright and dramatist, and one of the foremost playwrights of the Theater of the Absurd. Beyond ridiculing the most banal situations, Ionesco’s plays depict, in a tangible way, the solitude and insignificance of the human existence” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A8ne_Ionesco).
Additionally, I think viewers need to take the historical time-frame into account when watching this movie. Many ideas expressed—individuality, the ridiculousness of war and government—were newly expressed to mass amounts of people at the same time in movie theaters. This could have been viewed as “Un-American.”
I love the mirror-image scene:


Here is the same scene performed by Harpo Marx and Lucille Ball on "I Love Lucy:"