Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Final thoughts on Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde #alethiamoore

I realized this film was very old-fashioned due to the way they met, cars, guns, etc. During the movie I was surprised about the way Bonnie and Clyde interacted with each other!

Clyde's perspective on love contrasts with Bonnie's; this  proves that they were two different people coming from two different sides of the planet. The diversity in their personalities helped me to realize the clashes and reasons they worked so hard together.

Clyde was the type of person who cares about what people think and how they portray him in the media; I feel that Bonnie was trying to fit the image of a female mastermind due to the fact that Clyde was the male mastermind, and she wanted to be his lover.

One thing I was wondering is what happens to CW after the killing of Bonnie and Clyde [Malcolm, his father, cut a deal with Texas Ranger Frank Hamer to get CW a reduced sentence]? I ask this because he was well a [took an active role] part of the robberies like Bonnie and Clyde, and I just feel like he did deserve some kind of punishment.

Overall I enjoyed the film and found it very interesting. I would love to see the modern [more recent/contemporary] version to compare the two movies soon, so keep that in mind lol !!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Tables Have Turned

Throughout the beginning of Bonnie and Clyde, the duo travels throughout small Missouri towns, robbing banks for petty cash. Along with the infamous couple is Clyde's brother, his reluctant and annoyingly shrill wife [nice observation; by the way actress Estelle Parsons won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Blanche], and a mechanic named C.W. Moss. At first, it is clear that they all are in positions of power, to some extent. Despite the fact that the police are after all of them, they manage to elude them for quite awhile. There were several times when Bonnie and Clyde encountered law enforcement, but the cops didn't stand a chance against them. They even went to the extent to hold one officer captive and pose for pictures with him. At this point, I realized something; everything that Bonnie and Clyde did was mostly for publicity [good]. They didn't go around robbing banks just because they wanted money, but because they wanted fame. That's why they were always posing for photographs so often [always followed by so often is redundant], and that's also why they announced who they were to each bank that they ransacked. If they were truly evil, they could've easily killed that officer that they captured, but instead they let him go. This would end up being detrimental to their career [not just their career but seems to have an adverse effect on their lifespan as well], however.

The police began to "get serious" as the movie progressed, shooting Clyde's brother to death, and severely injuring the couple. To me, it was remarkable to see these two in such a vulnerable position, because usually that's how they made everyone else feel. Clearly, the tables have turned.

Things only got worse for the dismantled gang when Blanche, Clyde's brother's wife, had snitched on C.W. Moss when she was in police custody. She had revealed this to that same officer who was held captive by Bonnie and Clyde, and you can bet that he was happy to hear this information. At this time, Bonnie and Clyde were staying at C.W. Moss's father's house. There's no doubt that his father was pissed off at the couple for corrupting his son, especially when he saw his new tattoo, which explains why he was quick to work with law enforcement when they had found that he was hiding Bonnie and Clyde. He didn't want to be involved in their crime spree at all. So, he helped the police kill them, and that's how the movie ended. Now if your partner ever says, "I hope one day we'll be like Bonnie and Clyde," kindly remind them that Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death. I don't think you want that [nice conclusion Malik].

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bonnie and clyde

I always heard Bonnie [Parker] and Clyde [Barrow] was a ride or die couple. People admire their relationship because they are one (nice observation).  I actually enjoyed watching this movie because it's one of my favorite genres, action. I enjoy watching these two rob banks together to make money. I like  how they stick together through hard times. What shocks me is that they rob banks and think it's funny. They tell people they rob banks like its a career.

They pick up a few more people to help them rob a couple, Blanch and Buck [Clyde's older brother], and an auto-mechanic CW Moss. They picked CW up at a gas station, and they peer pressured him into joining up by telling him "he don't got what it takes to rob banks." Buck and Blanch joined because they are on bonnies [sic] family line. I think they all make a good team because they have different skills. Bonnie and Clyde are the ring leaders, Blanch is the nervous wreck, Buck is the one back up Clyde and CW is the all american guy fixing cars stealing cars and driving cars.

Bonnie & Clyde by Dean

So far, this is probably my favorite movie that we have watched in film studies so far. I really enjoy the style of the movie and how the couple does illegal things. For some reason I feel like in the movie people will idolize the team of criminals because they dont hurt the people for the most part. For example in the movie when they were robbing a bank, Clyde let a man keep his money that he took out because it wasn't the banks money, so this might make their reputation not as bad. But than again they do steal a lot of peoples cars in the movie. Something else I noticed was Bonnie's fear of death, in the movie they had a couple they picked up in their car, and the man said he worked as an undertaker and so Bonnie kicked them out of the car. But yes so far this movie is excellent and I'm looking forward to finishing it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Life on the Run

Today was my first viewing of Bonnie and Clyde. I had heard about this movie before, including references in several songs (Jay Z and Beyonce's duet "Bonnie & Clyde". It's a well-known tale in the United States, and this 1967 movie is just one of the many versions of the story. But being the curious person that I am, I couldn't help but wonder about the real story. Who were Bonnie and Clyde? I decided to do a quick Google search, and I found a Wikipedia article all about them. In the 1930s, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow travelled throughout the South, especially in Missouri. They robbed several small country stores and gas stations, and often posed for pictures of themselves to spread the word of their robberies in the newspapers around the country. They definitely wanted people to know who they were.

Many of these details were beautifully replicated in the film. Of course, as with all urban folklore, there are always a few ambiguous details, but the key points are clear. It started out with Bonnie in her bedroom, undressed. From her second floor room, she looked out of the window and saw Clyde attempting to steal her mother's car. Even though this was literally the first five minutes of the film, it was easy to tell that Bonnie had a strong attraction to Clyde. It's truly amazing what love can make you do if you let it: at first, Bonnie was definitely no criminal, but that all changed quickly when Clyde walked into her life. I remember that she didn't even know how to use the gun, but he taught her well. 

In the blink of an eye, Bonnie and Clyde were driving around Joplin, Missouri, holding up banks. It was great that we took advantage of nearly the entire period to watch this movie today (besides the technical difficulties) as we watched Bonnie and Clyde narrowly escape from law enforcement. One of my favorite moments was when C.W., a freshly-recruited mechanic, had been put in charge of driving the car. He made one of the worst mistakes of a thief: he parallel parked the escape vehicle, leaving him stuck between two cars. Who does that? 

When it comes to visual effects, the rustic cars, old-fashioned clothing, and antiquated buildings all contributed to the atmosphere of this movie. This was definitely not 2014. Despite the fact that this movie itself is ancient, it is very well-done, and I can't wait to see how these two lovebirds end up. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Final thoughts on Chicago

    Chicago is a very interesting movie, it focuses on woman which a lot of Movie don't do because males always play the protagonist or main character. One thing that I found very surprising about this play was the fact that majority of the woman in the prison committed a crime involving killing the males in their lives, some for good reasons and some for not good reading. For example Velma killed her husband for having an affair with her sister and another lady in the prison killed her boyfriend for popping chewing gum. You don't find it often where the woman is committing harmful acts to the man but in this play that seem to be a norm taken place at the time. Another thing that I found interesting is how woman killed the dominate gender and still managed to cheat the system to get out of the situation. One thing that I loved about the play was how it kept switching to theater and then reality in the characters loves and point of views. This surprised me because each scene was related to the reality of people's live. These are my final thoughts Chicago! See you soon 👋

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Dark Side of Fame

Fame has a short attention span. One day, almost everyone around the world is talking about you, and the next day you are left in the shadows of the next shining star. In Chicago, this is highlighted in an exaggerated manner. In the last viewing of the film today, it started out with Roxie's trial. Her lawyer, Billy Flynn, only cared about money, but he also said that his clients never lose their court cases. This held true when Roxie was proclaimed innocent. Normally, being given an innocent verdict is pretty exciting, but this was no so for Roxie. She wasn't directly upset that she had won the case, but she was upset that now, everything was over, and this included her fame. Chicago was "done" with her, readjusting its focus on another woman, who had walked out of the courtroom with a gun in her hand, shooting several people. I immediately had a flashback to when Roxie had shot her husband, and when the imprisoned women told their stories of why they murdered their husbands as well. I thought "these women are crazy", because who in the right mind walks down the steps of the courtroom shooting people in broad daylight?

Now that this next woman was under the spotlight, Roxie's fan base had flocked away yet again. How would she get it back this time? Velma Kelly was the answer to her dilemma. But at first, Roxie was so hesitant to work with her, saying "I hate you", while giving her a sassy facial gesture. If that were me, I would've felt the same way, because Velma was rude to Roxie earlier on in the film when she had still been famous. At that time, Roxie was struggling to become famous, and Velma didn't even attempt to help her. But now she expects Roxie's help? That's ridiculous, and I'm glad Roxie didn't continue to let Velma use and abuse her. But here's the thing: despite the hostility between them, they both needed each other. Neither of them were famous anymore, and it would be very hard for Velma or Roxie to become solo performers. So, why not perform a duet?

In an exciting finish, Roxie and Velma brought a beautifully balanced amount of energy to the stage. As I was watching it, I couldn't help but notice their amazing dance moves, and I thought to myself that it must have taken some serious choreography and practice to pull this off. Both of them danced nearly identically; it was great.

Regardless of the well-executed performances throughout this film, I couldn't help but frown upon the way fame works. While Chicago may be a movie, many aspects of it are strikingly realistic. In real life, there are countless cases when celebrities (Justin Bieber anyone??) commit a crime or, in simple terms, do something stupid in order to regain their former glory. That's how the system works: people tend to prefer the negatives over the positives, especially the Media. Chicago brings up the fact that this cycle of fame is nothing new, it has existed for nearly a century, if not longer. To me it's ridiculous, but it's not going to stop any time soon.


This movie Chicago was very different from other movies that I watch because it had many different perspectives such as: when their talking to one another but their really singing and dancing about the situation. I didn't enjoy the movie because I couldn't get a connection from the point of view of the movie. I felt I was just watching a play that talks about women killing men then getting sent to jail and saying a number of lies saying it wasn't their fault or they didn't do it. Maybe I would probably liked the movie if there wasn't any dancing and singing.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Ruthless World of Celebrity

In our last class, we finished watching Rob Marshall's Chicago (2002). To be completely honest, I had higher expectations for the ending and felt that it seriously lacked depth. As I stated in my previous blog post, a major theme of this screenplay is the power of the media and how it manipulates the public's perception. We left off at Roxie's solo number, as she basked in her new-found celebrity. With her new popularity, Roxie became extremely arrogant and pompous, even going as far as to question the judgment of Billy, who made her  a star in the first place. Roxie received a stern reality check when Kitty Baxter was introduced. Violent and remorseless, Baxter shot both her boyfriend and his paramours in cold blood. She immediately captures the attention of the media, leaving Roxie angry and horrified. Roxie received her second reality check when the Hungarian inmate, Hunyak, was hanged. Ironically, Hunyak was the only inmate who asserted her innocence until the end.

Subsequently, Roxie faked a pregnancy to get back into the media's sympathies. During her trial, Billy skillfully tore down the prosecution, discredited witnesses, planted evidence, and even staged a fake reunion between Roxie and Amos. When Velma came forward during the trial with Roxie's incriminating journal entries, Billy discredited the evidence, claiming that the prosecuting attorney was the one who planted the evidence. Flynn was able to get both Roxie and Velma acquitted.

Roxie is excited by the new prospect of her new fame until a woman shoots her husband right outside the courthouse, leaving her in the dust. Following the trial, Roxie struggles to become famous, getting turned down time after time. Eventually, Roxie meets back up with an equally struggling Velma. Through substantial convincing, Velma and Roxie join together to form their own act. At the end of the movie, Roxie and Velma perform "Nowawdays /Hot-Honey Rag" and receive a standing ovation from the media and crowd.

In all honesty, I didn't care for the ending because I felt like there was no character growth. Roxie was still weak, shallow, and attention-starved at the end. She manipulated her husband, Amos, who stood by her loyally. Why should she get what she wanted at the end? I guess that's how the world works. But I can't pretend that I think it is okay.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Birds by Walatsebi Kofi-Mensah Lomotey

I absolutely hate birds. I despise them and this movie made my fear even worse. When I see birds gathering, I start running!!

If the film's protagonist Melanie Daniels (as portrayed by former super-model Tippi Hedron) would of just stayed in San Francisco none of this nonsense would have ever happened. Melanie just wanted to play a prank on Mitch because he played one on her. So she decided to drive all the way out to a small town of Bodega Bay in northern California.

Once she got there, the birds started acting up. It all started at a little girl's party [Melanie was actually attacked by a gull crossing the bay after trespassing and planting the love birds in Mitch's mother's house]. Birds started flying around every where and attacking the children but that wasn't it. The first first big attack happened in town. Cars started blowing up, birds flying around everywhere and killing people.

It all came down to the final scene. Mitch, his mother, his younger sister, and Melanie were boarded up in the house and just when they got comfortable and felt like everything was okay, the birds came. Thousands of them. They started pecking at the windows and even trying to get through the boarded up doors. Melanie almost got killed cause her dumb self wanted to go into a room where the birds got into. She almost got pecked alive. I wish she died, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Then Mitch walked outside and got the car so they could get out of town and the birds, thousands of them were just sitting outside watching and stopped attacking.

Somehow Mitch was able to get the car and leave with them and that was the end.
This movie was most definitely not the best movie Alfred Hitchcock made. Psycho was ten times better. I hate how there was no suspense at all. No suspense sounds or music just silence. I also hate how from the beginning of the movie you can't tell its even a Horror film.

Psycho by Walatsebi Kofi-Mensah Lomotey

I have always wondered where that shower killing scene and the killing scene on the stairs came from, and now I know its [they are] from Psycho. I saw a remake of these two murder scenes in the show "Psych."

Anyways, this movie is about a lady that stole 40,000 dollars and ran away. This part of the movie was a little deceiving because I thought the main idea of the movie was going to be whoever gets the money, but the money was nothing. When she stole the money she ran off to the Bates hotel that was owned by a man and his mother that was practically abandoned. This lady got killed in the famous shower scene by the man's Mother. The Mother also kills the detective on the famous killing on the top of the stairs. Throughout the movie there was always something strange about this man and his mother.

It turns out that the man's mother has died... a long time ago!!! The man thinks he is both his mother and himself. This multi-personalty man killed three people because he thought that his mother told him to but it was really all just himself. This is CRAZY!!!

This movie wasn't that scary, but it was really unpredictable which I liked a lot. In the movie I was completely convinced that Norman's mother was actually alive, and he was doing all this just to please his mother. Well I was completely fooled.

Alien by Walatsebi Kofimensah-Mensah Lomotey

I NEVER watch horror movies for the simple fact that I get scared easily. If I am not companied by someone else I will not even think about watching it. Alien is about a space crew that is gets attacked by an alien... typical right. The alien attacked the crew member and latched on to his face. HE IS STILL ALIVE BUT IS BEING SUFFOCATED BY IT!! The alien got away and they couldn't find it. What they didn't know is that it grew. The crew members started searching for it so they could kill it. The Alien started killing every member from the crew except for 1.
Even though it was a scary movie I liked it. I like how I was always at the edge of my seat never knowing exactly what was going to happen. This movie always had you wondering whats going to happen next.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Manipulating Her Way Into the Public's Heart

The screenplay, Chicago, directed by Rob Marshall is by far one my favorite films we have watched in class. From the vibrant, flashing lights to the powerful musical numbers to the strong female characters, I am extremely impressed by this film! The film takes place in a bustling 1920s Chicago full of jazz music, flapper hair-cuts, and a vibrant sense of social freedom.

In the beginning musical number, we meet the two main female characters: Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart. Prior to her performance, we see a frazzled Velma lock herself into her dressing room and frantically wash blood off her hands. We are introduced to Roxie as she watches Velma's  sultry burlesque performance in a reverential trance.  During Velma's performance, the police arrive, but the viewer doesn't see what happens next. The plot picks up pace when Roxie goes home with her secret lover, Fred Casely. In the aftermath of their coupling after Roxie inquires about his promise to help her become a star, Fred coldly rejects her. Furious at his betrayal, Roxie shoots Fred in cold blood.

Following Fred's murder, Roxie is sent to a women's prison, where she is unprepared for meager meals and a cold jail cell. In my favorite musical number so far, The Cell Block Tango, the female inmates, dressed in scanty black leotards, all tell their stories. Each story involves the woman killing their significant other, all of whom are men. We meet Velma again, who reveals that she shot both her husband and sister after catching them in a compromising position

In this film, Roxie and Velma have an interesting relationship. Roxie idolizes Velma and longs to be a famous performer like her. Velma rejects Roxie's attention and views her as sort of a weakling. Plus, Velma's too preoccupied by the media attention she is gathering, as she is being represented by Defense Attorney,  Billy Flynn (Richard Gere). Out of all of the women he has represented in court, Flynn has never lost a case. Due to the extremely violent nature of the crime, Roxie is set to do the maximum sentence. With the help of her blindly loyal husband, Amos (John C Reilly),  Roxie is able to get Billy Flynn to represent her.

This film is not just about jazz music, burlesque dancing, or even murder. It highlights the power of creating an image and using it to influence the way people think. The first thing that Billy does with Roxie is formulate a fake background story. Roxie Hart is transformed into a simple, mild-tempered country girl who had to defend herself against a violent lover. She puts her hair into little blond curls. Places light blush on cheeks. She stands with a smile and nods her head as Billy speaks in front of the flashing lights and moving pens of journalists. The musical number in which Billy was a ventriloquist and Roxie was his puppet, complemented the nature of their relationship.

Overnight Roxie becomes a media sensation, as shown through her jail cell filled with flowers, gifts, love notes, and various newspaper articles praising her. You can sense Velma's jealously as the attention that she once received has been shifted towards Roxie. I am curious about how this film will progress. Will the public continue to be swayed by Roxie's good-girl image? Or, will they see the truth?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Rising Star

In my latest viewing of Chicago, some pivotal moments in the film took place. Roxie rose to fame, and it was at this point that I saw the negative, dark, twisted side of fame. Roxie had to alter her story behind shooting her husband in order to not seem, well, crazy. There were several iterations of this account of her assassination, including the performance of "We Both Reached for the Gun" where the lawyer, Billy, acted as a ventriloquist. Towards the end of the day's viewing, she ended up firing him, hating the fact that she had to be so dishonest with everyone, and how he was so controlling. On top of that, all he cared about was his money.

Her fame took a turn for the worse once the attention was on a new murderess: Kitty Baxter. She had just been convicted for murder. Velma had already fallen to an all-time low, to the point of asking Roxie to do an act with her - a desperate "I Can't Do It Alone", to which she refused. It was clear at this moment that tables had turned. Before, Velma was the start of the show, who treated everyone the way she wanted. She couldn't stand Roxie, especially when she touched her laundry. Roxie was innocent and vulnerable, but this all changed when she became a star. It is ironic that Velma had come asking for help, especially to someone like Roxie. But once Kitty came along, she absorbed all of Roxie's energy like a magnet. But being the clever girl that she was, Roxie quickly drew media attention when she faked being pregnant, and you can bet that Velma was pissed.

In the back of my mind, I was still thinking about how crazy all of these trigger-happy women were. 


When we started the film Chicago, at first it reminded me of the movie Burlesque because the main character, Roxie Hart, fantasized about being a star on the stage just like the main character in Burlesque wanted to also perform on stage. The stage in general with the dancers really seemed similar to Burlesque so I assumed the plot would be similar. However, I was wrong. Out of no where Roxie suddenly shoots the man she was having an affair with, Fred Casely. Then she is taken to prison. I wasn't really expecting it to turn out this way. I had heard of the musical, Chicago, before however, I never really knew what it was about. This beginning intrigued me to want to watch more. 

The theme that sticks out to me the most in this film is corruption. One example would be the character, Matron "Mama" Morton, played by Queen Latifah. As we heard from her song "When Your Good To Mama", she'll do favors for the women in the prison as long as she gets something in return such as money. 

Something else I noticed is that most of the women are crazy. They murdered people without having good reasons. One that really surprised me was the one woman who shot her husband for popping his gum. It was pretty funny but insane. I'm also enjoying the music so far in this film. Chicago is pretty different from the musicals I have seen, but it's keeping me entertained. 

I'm shocked that the media actually believed the story from what Roxie and her new lawyer Billy Flynn said about what happened when she shot Fred Casely. Then it was bizarre how she became an overnight sensation. She is also gaining more attention then Velma and I can tell there is a rivalry brewing between them. 
I'm curious to see what is going to happened next with Roxie and Velma and there rivalry between each other. I can't wait to watch more!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Birds- Nyasia B. Langley


Watching this movie [The Birds, director Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 follow up to his hit Psychowas funny; I remember when I was younger my mom used to tell me about this movie. She was scared of this movie as a child, and after watching it I couldn't understand why [how old was your mother when she saw it for the first time? Could your difference in age possibly account for this discrepancy?].

The ending left you [should read me, not you] with a lot of questions. This was true of earlier parts as well. as throughout the movie. This was a cliffhanger [what do you mean by this? Please explain], and I absolutely hate cliffhangers to stories and movies, especially when I already had [had or have?] so many questions I thought will be answered at the end of the movie.

It wasn't scary at all and the attacking killer birds part didn't quite make sense either.

Chicago...Fire?; Julianna Migliaro

The movie, Chicago (2002), directed by Rob Marshall, is by far one of the more interesting movies I've ever watched, especially in Metro's Film Studies class. I say this because it's really a game-changer for me as far as musicals go. Typically I find musicals to be irritating, but something about the way they come into play in this movie really makes it entertaining. I have heard both this point of view and the opposite around the classroom.

One observation I've made thus far is that the musical numbers begin usually to introduce specific characters. I've also found that the main character really imagines important, potentially life changing, events as these musical show-like numbers. It's almost as though her passion for performance clouds her judgement. This is also shown when she murders the furniture salesman for lying to her about her career.

Symbolism in this movie is very important, as well as the use of lighting. For example, every time the main character is living in her realm of fantasy, she has an audience, but only an audience of mannequin-like figures. I believe this shows very well that it is not in fact real. Often, as well, the lighting only shows her in almost an infinity of darkness around her as she performs. Maybe this could represent the depths of her mind.

I look forward to viewing the rest of this movie and finding out just what it is that happens to the main character as she lives through her stay at "Murderers' Row." I wonder if her husband comes back into her life, and I wonder if there's any interaction between her and the man she killed's family.

Chicago By: Joel Martinez

I truly do not like musical, you can say i HATE THEM. They are not my cup of tea, but this movie seems to have a good story behind it. The woman kills husband and goes to jail really got me interested and it would of been nice if they made a movie with that story. The musical aspect of the movie really doesn't interest me but i have to live with it. The part i did find interesting is that "Mama" played by Queen Latifah gives the girls that she gets along with and gets payed from a lot of freedom. That really got me thinking if female prisons are really like that in real life. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


This movie was really interesting to me because I liked the suspense and the mystery of how they never knew where the aloe was and they didn't know what it was going to do next. The part that really surprised me was when the group of people found out that the guy was actually a robot because it was like a twist in the story. It took the attention off of the alien for a while. This movie was also interesting because all the people were working together to kill the alien and at the end there was only one survivor. After they set off the power to self destruct it was pretty cool how they had to rush and go into the emergency shuttle. 
The only part of the movie that was annoying is how the last survivor was already in the shuttle and she left it to go find her cat so it won't die when the place self destructs. I knew that once she left she was going to give the alien a chance to get into the space shuttle and that's what happened. Even though the alien still got in the ship I thought it was going to kill her until I saw that she went into the closet and put the space suit on. Her idea of throwing the alien back into space and kill him with the fire that makes the spaceship move was pretty smart because honestly if that was me I wouldn't have thought of that. 

Man On Wire

I don't really like documentaries and this one was pretty boring but interesting at the same time. I thought that it was pretty cool how Phillipe tied the wire at really hight places and walked and did tricks on them. At first I didn't really like the movie but once he said he wanted to tie the wire to both the twin towers and walk across it I was interested. I though that it was impossible for someone to do that because they were the tallest towers. Once they started setting up the wire I was thinking how was he going to do that, that he was going to fall. While they were setting up the wire they had some problems because the wire had slipped, Phillipe and the others helping him set up had to pull over 100 feet in wire back up. I thought that it was it, that they weren't going to have it set up in time but they did. Once Phillipe started walking on the wire across I thought that he was going to fall but when he made it across and when he kept walking back and forth to avoid the cops I thought that what he did was pretty amazing. 

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

The movie Plane, Trains, and Automobiles was really funny movie. It's about a man named Niel who is trying to make it home to his family for thanksgiving dinner. On his way home he runs into a shower curtain ring seller named Del. They both end up having a tough time getting home because they bump into some trouble. 
They first start off trying to get a cab to the airport. When Niel finally gets a cab Del takes it from him and Niel has to find a way to get to the airport in order not to miss his flight. Once he gets to the airport he runs into Del again when he notices they're on the same plane and are sitting next to eachother. This is just one of the things that happen to them. 
They have a lot of ups and downs throughout the movie but in the end they become good friends and Niel makes it home just in time for thanksgiving dinne, but when he gets there he brings Del with him because Del didn't have a home and Neil took him in. 

Planes, Trains, and Hurricanes...I Mean Automobiles...Sorry

"You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you... but I don't like to hurt people's feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I'm not changing. I like... I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get"

Looking for a light hearted comedy to watch with your family or best friend on a late night? This is definitely the movie to pick up. Full of comedy and moments that are sure to make you wonder whats going to happen next, this movie proves itself to be a holiday classic. When it comes to monologues such as the one given by John Candy, the delivery is so rich and believable that you truly begin to develop feelings for the characters on a deeper level. Not to mention the unpredictable plot that our protagonists must go through which leaves the audience on the edge of their seats.

Throughout the movie the characters struggle to achieve their destination of Chicago to enjoy a thanksgiving dinner with their family. This goal is of course halted by constant mistakes and unforeseen events that happen to occur to them constantly. Some of these events include, having their car burst into flames, loosing all their money in said fire, etc... Ultimately, they reach their destination and in a twist they end up enjoying a wonderful thanksgiving dinner together. 


Man on wire by Walatsebi Kofi-Mensah Lomotey

Phillipe is crazy!!!!! What kind of hobby is this! I would never do this even if you gave me a million dollars. Phillipe Petit is THE Man on Wire and also THE craziest sane (I think) person I have ever seen.His hobby, actually his lifestyle is walking on a wire really high up in the air, like hundreds of feet. The first building he walked across is the Notre Dame. Norte Dame is 315 feet tall!!! I'm afraid of heights. Just watching this would have man my stomach turn. Then he wants to go on and walk across the twin towers!!!! Phillipe es muy loco! THATS 1,362 FEET!!!! Thats 1/4 of a mile high into the air! Im scared when I go on downtime at lake compounds, imagine how I would react when I'm that high in the air.
This was a pretty good movie. I don't usually enjoy documentaries but this one was really interesting.

Sugar by Walatsebi Kofi-Mensah Lomotey

Sugar is a dominican baseball player that had the chance to play in america. He was a pitcher with a nasty curve. American baseball is very competitive. Sugar competed as much as he can. Being a pitcher is one of the hardest position in baseball. If you mess up your form, its easy to get injured. Sugar was good, at first. He was on a roll and made a pretty good name for himself where he was. Then he downgraded until the point that he started using drugs to make him play better and focus. He was so desperate and performing badly that he was replaceable and before his team got the chance to send him back to the dominican republic, he snuck off the bus and went to New York to go find his friend that was once in the same situation. I think Sugar made the right choice because he wants to be... free. I would have done the same thing.
So when he got to New York he found a "job." He had the chance that most people in south America wish for and that is a chance to work had in the US and send money back to his family.
I think the moral of this movie was that you don't have to "Make it in the big times" to be successful. There is always some good in what you do as long as your trying.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Seductive Sensations

Far different from any other film we have watched so far in Intro to Film Studies, Chicago is a musical centered around two aspiring performers: Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. But there's one big obstacle that stands in their way: they both are murders. Roxie slayed her spouse, and Velma slaughtered her sister (say that three times fast) along with her husband as well. At first, I wasn't too sure if I would like this film, but as it progressed, I began to catch onto it. The movie is set up in a way in which reality and the womens' dreams of becoming actresses go hand in hand. It's a mix of real life and a stage show, which can get confusing at times until you realize what the director's intention is.

One common theme that I noticed in this film is that the women have the power. This was extremely evident when all of them were singing in jail, while on death row. They put on a huge production, called "Cell Block Tango". Each of them told their story about why and how they killed their husbands, and I found it hilarious that one of them got so aggravated when her husband was chewing (no not chewing, POPPING) his gum. I mean, who kills someone over gum? At least the rest of the women had more valid reasons, such as finding out that their husband was cheating, or being accused of cheating themselves. But either way, it was clear that the men weren't very powerful in their relationships. In another one of the songs, the lawyer (Billy) was the star of the show, yet his voice wasn't very powerful. I could barely hear him, yet the women were loud and clear. No character summarized this better than Queen Latifah, or should I say, Mama, as she commandingly strutted across the stage singing: "when you're good to Mama, Mama's good to you".

There's just one thing that threw me off a little bit with this film - it is set in the 1920s, yet the video looks so high-quality since it was filmed in 2002. It felt a little weird to me, especially since I've gotten accustomed to watching older movies in Film Studies, but undeniably, it isn't set in modern times. There are no smartphones, no HD televisions, no computers, and none of the other modern commodities that most of us live by. But there are cameras and newspapers (what are newspapers? People actually used to read those?) as well speaker systems and microphones.

I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in Chicago, and how Roxie and Velma end up. Will they rise to fame? Or will they fall to the death row...? 


I really enjoyed how suspensful this movie was. It really kept me hooked on it because it was a mystery who the killer was. Honestly I thought it was the guy from the beginning but the part of when the "mom" comes out the room and kills the detective really threw me off and also when the owner of the hotel was carrying his mothers body downstairs made me think it was really her. 
I liked the part where the lady entered the house looking for the mother because I really thought she was alive. After she saw her and noticed it was a dead body I knew her son was going to try and kill the lady. 
It was pretty cool how he was him and his mother at the same time because when he talked in her voice it makes it seem like it's two people having a conversation. 


"oh wow i just noticed the women had guns" - Shawn Luzzi, as he does this blog post during some free time.

I have to be the one to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of musicals, especially ones that have musical scores right after one another. However, this film is definitely shifting my mind set, if by just a little bit. The premise of this film seems to be that two specific women, Roxie (left) seems especially desperate to hit the big stage, and ends up getting thrown into prison after a mishaps with a random stranger, Freddy, who promised her to help her get to the big show in turn for some LOVELY INTERCOURSE.

What caught me the moment I watched this film is that the music scores are always films seperate from the story in the film. Like, the singing and such will happen on a random stage while sometimes the shot may go back to the story for some other shots and such. Though it kinda seems out of place, and may through some off of the movie, what pulls me back in is how creative these musical numbers are, especially "We both reached for the gun", as the reporters and Roxie are visualized as puppets with Billy (middle) controlling her as the rest of the reporters. This could introduce an interesting theme of control, especially as he bends the real story of how Roxie got arrested into a fantasy to help her become famous.

Either way, this film has interested me, and I'm curious to see what the rest of this musical has in store. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rocky by Walatsebi Kofi-Mensah Lomotey

Rocky is a movie of the american view of an under dog. American is known as the ultimate underdog when the 13 colonies took down big bad Great Britain. Rocky is a small town "south paw" fighter that fights because he can't sing or dance. He got heavy feet but a strong punch and nicked named The Italian stallion. This low time fighter has the chance to fight the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world, APOLLO CREED!!!!! I love Apollo Creed, thats my boy!
One thing I found interesting about Rocky is that he gets hit in the face like crazy. He doesn't block punches yet he has never broken his nose. Thats ridiculous!!!
For those of you that don't know, this movie is based on the fight Chuck Wepner vs Muhammad Ali. Chuck Wepner, the real rocky, went fifteen rounds with the "The Greatest".

Heres a clip of the real rocky.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When Two Paths Collide

In our latest viewing, our class took a break from fast-paced Sci-Fi flicks, deep film noir, and Alfred Hitchcock thrillers for John Hughes' comedy, "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles." Although very predictable, I really enjoyed the film. I found it extremely humorous, eye-opening, and touching. While viewing this film, the important message that resonated with me was people come into our lives for a reason to teach us important lessons that help us grow.

In this movie, Neal Page played by Steve Martin was an overworked business man who was trying to get to Chicago in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family. But fate proved to be very unkind as Neal encountered set-back after set-back in his quest to get home. Neal got his first taste of  bad luck when his taxi to the airport was taken by a mysterious man. Later at the airport, Neal met the mystery man again who incessantly apologized and introduced himself as Del Griffith played by John Candy, a happy-go-lucky shower rings salesman. Initially, Neal was put off by Del's loquaciousness and obnoxious behavior. Much to Neal's dismay,  he had to endure the long flight with Del, which was diverted to Wichita as a result of a blizzard in Chicago. 

With no contacts or direction, Neal had no choice but to rent a car with Del and stay with him  in a run-down motel. Tensions came to a head in the motel with Neal exploding on Del for his continued annoying behavior, with Del firing back. In an emotional moment, Del proclaimed that he liked himself for who he was, and that Neal couldn't change him with his words or cynicism. As the movie progressed, bad luck continued to crush Del and Neal's plans, forcing them to rely on each other and build a strong bond, despite their frustration. I noticed that by spending time with Del,  his character began to transform. Neal became less uptight and more care-free, learning how to effectively cope with  setbacks. A scene that stuck out to me was when Neal got on the train in Wichita and made brief small-talk with the girl sitting next to him. Although subtle, this scene showed change in Neal's character because at the beginning of the movie he was thoroughly annoyed by Del's chatter on the airplane. In this scene, he was behaving just like Del. 

The ending of  "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" was extremely powerful to me because both Del and Neal realized how much they had grown to care for each other. While Neal was on the train home, a montage was used to highlight Del and Neal's journey, and how much they had been through together.When Neal found Del at the train station all alone, I was shocked to find out that Del was homeless and his wife had been dead for eight years. I was very moved when Neal invited Del to share Thanksgiving dinner with his family. 

I really love this movie because it embodies the true essence of Thanksgiving and emphasizes showing love, compassion, and empathy to others. Although everything wasn't roses between Del and and Neal, the struggles that they shared together brought them closer and formed an unbreakable bond. Del came out with a true friend. Neal came out not only with a good friend, but a softer heart. We can all learn from this film. Every person that we cross paths with, good or bad, implants something in our hearts that we take with us throughout our lives. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Birds: A Mystery Ending

After finishing director Alfred Hitchcock's follow up to  Psycho, The Birds, I felt a little disappointed. I spent the whole film questioning why this was happening and what was causing the birds to attack. The film was pretty good. Unfortunately, I missed some of it, but I was able to view some clips on YouTube. The parts where people were getting attacked were pretty interesting to watch. The more I watched, the more I desperately wanted to know what was going on with the birds. It was an extreme let down when I found out that they never revealed the reason why.

I did some research on this movie about the ending and found a few theories on what might have happened to cause the birds to attack. One theory was that the birds had lost their way when trying to migrate and it caused them to become confused, panic and attack people. I don't really agree with this one. Another theory was that they were being fed bad chicken feed. This could be possible, however, I don't believe that was the reason. One theory that does make some sense to me is that they are attracted to the light (they had said this in the film), however, there were no early problems with the birds in the film related to being attracted to light. Personally, my own theory would be that Melanie was the one causing the birds to attack. Wherever she went, the birds seemed to attack next. Her character seemed really suspicious to me throughout the film. I felt like she acted strange in most of the scenes. However, this theory can also be contradicted because on the radio they had talked about different places that were being attacked and there was also the attack on that chicken farmer.  

Even though I was a little disappointed with the ending, The Birds, was still an okay film. The scenes where the birds were attacking people were pretty entertaining. The ending leaves the audience thinking of an answer to the question everyone is wondering. Why are the birds really attacking? We may never know the real reason.

Touch of Evil: What Not To Do When Interracial Dating!

       "What does it mean to truly touch evil? pick up a copy of this movie and you will know"

In this crime mystery movie the wife of a well known Spanish detective is kidnapped and held as a result of the racial tension around during the time period. To be honest this movie didn't really resonate with me and as a result my review and opinions of this movie may be EXTREMELY biased and negative. However, I do know some people who actually did enjoy the movie during the viewing and were able to gain some type of meaning from this movie. Also in most movies I can understand how the director chose to do something daring in how he/she envisioned the scenes but in Touch of Evil all of the frames seem basically regular to me and have nothing that stands out to the point in where it drastically affects the movie.

I honestly believe that Touch of evil has a simple plot. Honestly compared to other works of Wells such as Citizen's Kane & The Third Man, Touch of Evil in my opinion is extremely pale.
Between the stale dialogue and the oblique camera angles this movie fails to stir up any feeling of depth within the audience or at least for me it didn't. While it is true that for some aspects of the movie Touch of Evil is a groundbreaking success, the majority of the movie discloses itself to me as a movie picture not worth revisiting or remembering ever again.

Psycho: OverProtective Mom X1000

             "I mean I like birds as much as the next guy, but this guy may just be a psycho"

Imagine you are on the verge of reuniting with your forbidden lovewith a car full of stolen $40000. Now imagine that your master mindplan is brought to an abrupt halt after a psychotic mother stabs youto death in the shower. Now all you have to do is throw in thebrilliant directing of Alfred Hitchcock. These are the key ingredientsto creating the immensely mind boggling thriller/horror classicPsycho.

The many elements that Hitchcock utilizes to create a symphony ofconfusion is pure genius and in my opinion deserves the highestapplause. From the beginning of the movie we are given a falseprotagonist played by the lustrous Janet Leigh. As she is given theopportunity to steal a large amount of money, she takes it and fleesthe city. Not only is she pursued by a cop but her suspicious natureraises alarm back at home where the crime is being realized. She seeksrest at the bates motel right off the road. It is here where she meetsa brutal death and her body is thrown into a tar pit.

As our true protagonist Norman bates is revealed, Alfred takes the artof confusion past the threshold by introducing Norman's mother as acharacter without ever showing the viewer her face but simplysupplying us with what we assume is her voice. The rest of the movieprogresses as people looking for our false protagonist arrive at thebates motel to simply meet the same fate. Eventually however, Normanbates is caught and it is revealed that he has internally split hispersonality between himself and his mother who he murdered viciouslyin a jealous rage.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Alien: A Guy Gets Pregnant In This Movie!

       "Never has a movie given me more of a reason to cheer for the protagonists than this one."

Let's face it, the whole aliens attacking earth bid has been done time and time again. As a result, the entire genre is not only boring but painfully predictable. Thus, upon my first viewing of Alien I went in with somewhat of a negative preconception. Gladly, this movie takes the genre of alien movies and injects some fresh vitality directly into its veins. Aliens is the result of when a fresh new idea is done right and the films accolades allows the film to speak for itself.

The movie Alien takes place in the year 2122 where a group of space cadets are sent to explore and retrieve any extra-terrestrial life forms on another planet. Upon arriving onto the planet in question the group of cadets stumble upon a nest of alien babies. One of the cadets is then infected with the baby alien and allowed on board by an android scientist. Even though Ripley, played by the awesome Sigourney Weaver, protests this breach of safety she allows the cadet to come aboard. The movie finally picks up the pace when the baby alien spurts out of the cadets stomach and uses the ventilation system to hide and hunt its prey. 

After eliminating most of the crew, Ripley escapes in a pod and self destructs the ship. However, in an unforeseen twist the alien actually sneaks its way into the pod before the ship exploded. Realizing this, Ripley uses the garbage disposal feature to create a vacuum effect and send the alien drifting into the big unknown. Throughout the movie there are countless examples of how alien sets itself apart from its genre brethren. This is the movie that started the series that set an abnormally high bar for both production value, story telling, and special effects.



I am actually truly getting into this movie which is really weird and shocking to me. Like I said in my first post I do NOT like sci-fi films >.< ! But I am starting to like this one. Being that the movie was made in the 70s or 80s, they did a great job creating alien characters and had pretty awesome effects. They weren't where they are today when it comes to technology but I thought it would still be more like the movie pyscho and it wasn't. I still don't like the woman character. And I really think that only a few people are going to die on the ship and the rest will get away. Now that the alien is inside the ship and they can't find him, they're being stupid enough to go in the tight, hot vents and try to kill it off in there. They have no clue what kind of power it has and how much more advanced it is than humans, I mean hellooooo it's an ALIEN.


I really don't feel like I'm going to like this movie. I'm giving it a chance but ever since I was little  I never liked anything that was sic-fi related. The only thing that interests me about aliens is the documentaries they do on the history channel. So far I'm not interested but I promise I'm trying my best to stay focused. I already don't like the woman character that kind of holds the main character position. (I'm really not good with names sorry :/) I find her very arrogant as if she knows everything and that she would be the type to throw her important job in peoples face because she has that superior power on the ship. Altogether I'm not very into this movie hopefully my mind is changed next viewing session in class.


I honestly loved this movie. I love how the man acts so suspicious when the sister and boyfriend go looking to find the detective and Marion. The movie wasn't even so much about the fact that Marion stole the money anymore. It was more about the mother being a killer and what was going to have to happen in order for this movie to have an ending. I was so shocked by the ending of the movie. When I found out that the man was the real killer and had double personalties, one being his mother that had been dead for a very long time, it made me connect to AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM SEASON. I connected it to this show because someone like him would be in that asylum being that both took place back then. But it makes me wonder how the death of his mother and his mental being wasn't investigated. Altogether it was a great movie and like I said before I'd love to watch the second one. Oh and to add on, I liked how at the end of the movie when he was in the cell, he turned on his mothers personality in his brain and talked basically saying he wasn't finished with what he had started.


I wonder exactly what happened that made his mother pyscho? Why was she killing women? And why hadn't he admitted her into a ward or something? These are the questions that were coming to mind when the mother had killed Marion in the shower. The way they filmed the killing was kind of funny because back then they didn't have the advanced effects and makeup skills we have today. However I feel like something isn't right about the movie. I'm not even sure what is it to be honest I just have a weird feeling that something is going to surprise me at the end. When he pushed the car with the money into the lake I could already predict that at the end of the movie they would most likely pull the car out and find everything. So far I like this movie and I know that there's a part two, hopefully Monahan will show the second movie to us this year :)


I was really just not impressed by this movie. ESPECIALLY the ending. When the movie was finished all of us were like "Are you serious, this is the end?" Like the movie didn't end correctly and if I went to go see this movie in theaters I would be demanding for a full refund. I didn't understand why the birds were even attacking in the first place. When the woman ( I keep forgetting her name ) passed out while getting attacked by the birds, I was getting so mad because she had PLENTY of chances to get out of the attack. Not only that but you aren't going to just go into shock by birds biting you, it just didn't make any sense to me. And the fact that the birds didn't attack when they came out of the house to leave makes no sense. Why wouldn't they take that opportunity. The movie would've had a better ending if they just attacked them and they all died. I don't mean it in a bad way but it would've been a better ending to be honest


Unfortunately I was not able to watch this part of the birds with the class :(. This was because I needed to finish a resume for the Yale nursing internship. Thank you for letting me use that class period to get it  all fixed up and done Mr. Monahan :)


I already am sick of this movie to be honest. It's like a cheap horror movie and for me to laugh at something that's supposed to be scary is pretty sad. I'm very picky about the scary movies I watch because that's my favorite genre of movies. I watch them all the time on Netflix and the second I feel like the movie isn't scary enough for me, I automatically stop watching it and look for another scary movie to watch. When the birds attacked all the children at the little birthday party outside I'm sorry but I was cracking up laughing the entire time. The way the birds were attacking the kids was honestly hysterical to me. At one point a seagull attacked a kid and was pecking the back of the kids neck and it was the funniest thing in the world. You'd think that the kids would run toward the house where they could get away but no instead they run up the little hills closer to the sky where birds fly -___-. That aggravated me because it's a perfect example of how badly the people who wrote the script created it. Clearly only the ignorant would run to a high up area in the wide open.


So far this movie has been confusing for me. I don't understand why the woman brought love birds to the mans house. I noticed how horrible the "photoshop" was back then. You could totally tell when the background scenery was fake and it was pretty funny to me. When the first bird attacked the woman it made me think something about her is making them want to attack but I am still not exactly sure what to think of this movie yet. I also noticed at the beginning of the movie how they used the sound of birds attacking which really bothered my ears and annoyed me making me not want to watch the movie from the very start.


Honestly this was the worst movie that we've watched this quarter. I understand that a man walking across a wire between the two twin towers is pretty amazing but to make an entire movie on it was too much. I found the documentary very boring and I couldn't even understand most of it which really sucked. I feel like maybe if I could understand what they people with the french accents were saying I would've maybe been more interested in the movie itself. Alltogether the movie just wasn't appealing to me and when it comes to documentaries I prefer watching ones on controversial topics. Although I do believe that the man was an amazing and talented person for what he did, lord knows I can barely balance standing on a floor but thats besides the point. I just don't think this movie had any real uniqueness to it which made me lose all focus while watching it.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: I love this movie

When I found out the next movie we would be watching would be Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, I was very disappointed. I was expecting an extremely boring movie about planes, trains, and cars. However, when I saw the image for the front cover of the movie which was this:

I was surprised and curious as to what this movie was about. I assumed it was a comedy because the two main characters were Steve Martin and John Candy, who I have seen in different movies before that were mostly comedies.

The film starts out with Neal, played by Steve Martin, who is trying to get home from New York to Chicago for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, a lot of things go wrong for him, such as losing a cab and his plane ending up being delayed. The cause of most of his frustration is because of a strange guy he met named Del, (John Candy). Throughout the movie, he ends up going on an unwanted, crazy trip with a stranger who sells shower rings and it's pretty hilarious.

This scene really stood out to me. Neal rants about Del's annoying habits and you can see how hurt Del is by the look on his face. I can see two sides to this scene. I can see the comedic side of the story as Del does annoying things in the bed and Neal gets extremely frustrated and starts complaining about all the annoying things. This part was pretty funny. However, then the scene turns sad when you see Del's face. He is clearly hurt by Neal's words and when he says what he feels it made me feel bad for him. He may be weird or annoying, but he is a nice guy and a good person. You have to accept people for who they are. You have to look for the good inside others. 

This was probably the funniest and most surprising scene. After Neal gets a rental car to see that it's not there, he has to walk all the way back to the airport. I wasn't expecting Neal to freak out like that and dropping a ton of F bombs out of nowhere to the lady at the desk. The last thing she said to him made this scene even better.

By the end of the film as they are finally departing ways, the mood seemed sad. Neal gets on his train and starts thinking about his family. Then he starts to think about Del and how he said he hadn't been home in years. He immediately goes back to the train station and Del is still there sitting alone. He admits to Neal that his wife has been dead for eight years and that he has no home. This part broke my heart and I could tell from Neal's face what was going to happen next. Neal brought Del to his house for Thanksgiving. This ending was really great and I loved it.

This is probably one of the best comedies I've ever seen. I couldn't stop laughing at certain funny parts and the ending was so touching, I teared up a bit. I would rate the film a 10/10. I'm really glad we watched it and I hope we watch more comedies in the future.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stranger Danger

 Neal Page is having a bad day. His goal is to get home in time for Thanksgiving, but he just can't seem to get there...
In the hilarious comedy, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Neal Page is in New York City, ready to catch his flight home. But first he must take a cab, and in the blink of an eye, Del Griffith, a shower curtain ring salesman, "steals" it from him. So much for catching his flight on time. When he finally gets to the airport, he disappointingly finds out that he is taking the same flight as Del, whom he already holds a grudge with. Arguing with the flight attendant, he ends up getting sent to the coach seats on the plane, and guess who he is next to? None other than Del Griffith. 
The whole time he is there, Del is obnoxious. Neal, being the uptight business man that he is, was in no mood to talk to anyone, yet Del keeps running his mouth. Aside from that, his large frame squeezes Neal's slim body into the middle seat. This is going to be a long ride...

The journey is perpetuated when the flight gets diverted to Wichita, Kansas, and Neal scrambles to find a hotel room. This reminded me a lot of Home Alone [interestingly the writer-director of PTaA John Hughes also wrote Home Alone, and the exterior shots of the MacAllistor Chicago home and Neal's house are one in the same; excellent observation/connection Malik], when Kevin's mother vainly attempted to get a flight back home once she discovered that he had been left all by himself. I find it interesting that these movies' plots are polar opposites: in this movie, the main character (Neal) is trying to get back home to his family, and in Home Alone, the family is trying to get back to the main character (Kevin).

But the two films share one similarity: it took a while for each of the families to be reunited.

Since all hotels were booked, Del offered Neal to stay in his room, and of course, he had no other choice but to. Unsurprisingly, he quickly became annoyed at Del's personality. He had terrible hygiene, smoked, and snored obnoxiously as he slept. Oh, did I mention that they shared a queen size bed? Yeah, it wasn't pretty.

Neal eventually reached his breaking point, and yelled at Del for his annoying behavior. Del was on the verge of crying, and he asserted that he was not going to change. He liked who he was, and so did his family. Predictably, the hostility settled after a while, and the two men became semi-friends (frenemies). As they were sleeping, a woman had come into the room, and stole the money out of both of their wallets. Neal had over $700 with him, and Del had over $200. Neal accused Del of stealing his cash, but he sound found out that he was wrong. Del really wasn't a bad person - he was unintentionally obnoxious. He would never steal anything from Neal; he unknowingly "stole" the cab back in NYC by accident.

Despite their financial loss, the Neal and Del hitched a ride to the train, which would take them back to their families in Chicago. Unexpectedly, the train broke down. Once again, so much for getting home to his family for the holiday. Let's try Plan C: a Trailways bus. Fun.

The title of this movie is very deceiving: it sounds boring, but in reality, it is not. As soon as I heard it, I assumed that this would literally be a documentary about planes, trains, and automobiles. But it turned out to be a hilarious 1987 comedy. Thanks Mr. Monahan [You are most welcome; it is a pleasure to have you as a part of MBA's film studies]

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sugar: The Dream, The Goals, The Vision

     "Making diamonds requires an enormous amount of pressure, this theme is proven in Sugar"

The movie Sugar starts off by illustrating for the viewer an image of the baseball camp in the Dominican Republic. From the very beginning we get a glimpse at the amount of importance baseball has in the community and for the families. Sugar, the protagonist comes off as a dreamer whose future not only affects him, but his entire family. After improving upon his already harnessed skills Sugar is recruited by an american minor league team. Not only is this his first time in America but this is also his big shot at making it to the major leagues.

Sugar starts off doing well as he takes all of the things he's learnt in the D.R. and fully utilizes it to the most of his ability. Along the way however, as most star immigrants, the pressure rushes to his head. After he is seriously injured his rapid decline from the road to fame begins. Sugar realizes this as he tells his mother that he is planning to stay in America and pursue other careers outside of his baseball dream. Even though his mother expresses her concern for her son's future, she ultimately tells him to follow his own path and find his dream.

Lastly, Sugar quits the team by abandoning his bus as he tries to find some sense of meaning in his life. This strong desire leads him to a carpenter shop when he gets a job and once again feels as though he belongs. While he past relationships with others besides his family seemed genuine, they soon proved false as events unraveled. Sugar's search for authenticity is finally solved with his "new family" and even his take on life. The movie ends on the note of Sugar realizing that he can do the things he loves for himself without the approval of anyone.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Uncertain Future

In our last class, we finished Alfred Hitchcock's thriller, The Birds. As I stated in my previous post, I was extremely excited to see what would happen next. I was particularly hankering to find out why the birds were attacking the people of Bodega Bay and if Melanie was the cause of the chaos as the movie subtly hinted at. We left off at the scene when Melanie and Mitch found the schoolteacher, Annie Hayworth, dead on her front-porch after the bird attack. Following this traumatic and highly emotional scene, Mitch, Melanie, and Cathy retreated to the Brennan home. Mitch frantically boarded up every crevice of the home as the birds ruthlessly tried to break through the doors and windows. 

When the bird attack unexpectedly ceased, every one was left physically and emotionally shaken, wondering if the terror would ever stop. Soon after, everyone fell into a much-needed, but cautious slumber . In conventional fashion of horror movies, Melanie went upstairs to the attic after she heard some strange noises characteristic of birds. When Melanie opened the door to the attic, the birds viciously rushed at her, pushing and pecking until she was left bleeding on the floor. Fortunately, Mitch and Mrs. Brennan were able to save Melanie from the attack. The brutal attack on Melanie is the breaking point for everyone, and Mitch makes the executive decision to leave Bodega Bay once and for all.

But to leave, they must get past the birds. When Mitch opens the door of the house to get to the car, he is faced with the horrifying image of thousands of birds scattered in front of him, almost waiting in anticipation. Surprisingly, Mitch was able to safely get past the birds and get a radio signal from the car. The radio reported that other bird attacks had happened in small areas surrounding Bodega Bay, and that the U.S military would possibly get involved. At the end of the film, Mitch and Mrs. Brennan are able to get a severely traumatized, Melanie, in to the getaway car. But before leaving, Cathy requests to bring the love-birds because "they didn't harm anyone". The film ends surprisingly with Mitch driving the entire family away from  the home. We see a long-shot of the the truck driving into the distance across the narrow dirt-road. Night is just about to break.  The ending shot is eerie as the birds begin to squawk frantically when the car is no longer in sight.

Like my peers, I was perplexed and slightly disappointed by the loose strings left at the end. There is no resolution to the bird attacks. Most notably, it is never revealed why the bird attacked. Although mildly frustrating, I appreciate the ending of The Birds because it enhances the bizarreness of the movie and leaves a lot to the imagination. In my opinion, horror movies are all the more terrifying when there is no resolution to the problem because you feel as if that problem exists after you leave the theater, even if it is fiction. 

In my personal opinion, I think that the love-birds were the cause of the birds attacking because wherever Melanie went with the love-birds, the other birds started acting strangely. I noticed at the beginning of the movie as Melanie was walking in the city towards the pet shop, the birds were flying strangely in the sky, which captured her attention. This was before she even arrived at Bodega Bay. We can speculate all we want, but we will most likely never find out the truth, as that is what Alfred Hitchcock probably wanted. Ambiguous endings really mess with the mind, and I find that oddly intriguing and powerful. The unknown has always fascinated me.

Hitchcock v. Hitchcock

Watching the movies The Birds and Psycho, you can see the distinctive qualities of Alfred Hitchcock's work. Straight off the bat, however, these two movies contrast one another in the fact that Psycho was in black and white, where The Birds is in color. I find the fact that Hitchcock made Psycho black and white for the sake of art and realism admirable.

I question, however, how it was that black and white was considered more realistic than that of color.

In both of these movies, it's evident Hitchcock's love for playing with one's mind. For example, in Psycho, the director keeps the viewer on edge with suspense and wonder on just how it is that the mother's supposedly dead, but is yet shown murdering numerous people. In The Birds, we never really know why the animals are attacking humans. The ending is left more open-ended than anything, leaving people to come to their own conclusions.

In both movies, it was a minor observation to note that the main characters each have mother problems, whether it was abandonment or death, or even a mental instability. Also, both movies incorporate some form of a love story, whether it cause a murder in Psycho, or serve as a source of strength in The Birds.

If I had to review the works of Hitchcock as an individual, I'd say that his movies were the most interesting and intriguing movies we've watched so far.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Unfinished Ending

Today I watched the final part of The Birds, which left me both disappointed and curious. Where I had left off last class, the massive flock of birds had fled the house, or at least that's what I was fooled into believing...

Alfred Hitchcock is notorious for being the "master of suspense", a title which he is undoubtedly deserving of. Suspense was definitely implemented in the final part of the film, as Melanie made her way around the dark house, slowly. Every thirty seconds or so, she heard a sound, definitely emanating from a bird. The birds were somewhere in the house. But where were they hiding? With my eyes glued to the screen, I saw Melanie slowly walk up the stairs, and I could tell from the sound that the birds were behind the door to the right. She creeped towards it, and slowly opened the door. She gasped when she noticed that the birds had torn through part of the roof, and that is when they unleashed their fury and attacked her. She tried to reach for the door handle, but wasn't able to turn it. Luckily, Mitch came to her rescue, but another obstacle stood in the way: as it turns out, the birds hadn't left the outside of the house either. 

They were all sitting around, surrounding the house, perfectly still. Mitch eased his way out into the horde, being careful as to not make any sudden movements or noises, and managed to get to Melanie's car, which he would use to take her to the hospital. Cautiously, he drove up to the front of the house, and gently closed the car door. He was going to escort Melanie and his mother to the car; immediately I was worried that one of the women, if not both, would scream out of fear, and cause the birds to attack once again. Fortunately, they stayed quiet, and carefully drove off into the distance. The end.

Whoa wait! Did this movie seriously just end like that? It's like one of those books that is a great read for most of the way, and then cuts off all of a sudden, leaving you in eternal suspense, forever asking all of those unanswered questions. The end.                                                                                                                                                                                         

Monday, November 17, 2014

When Birds Attack

In our viewing of  another Alfred Hitchcock thriller, The Birds, we watch as pandemonium ensues when birds start attacking the small town of Bodega Bay, California. Set in 1963, the main character, Melanie Daniels, meets a wealthy lawyer, Mitch Brennan, in a local pet shop. In their first meeting, the attraction between the two is as clear as day. While viewing this scene, I was very intrigued by Melanie's impetuous, spur-of-the-moment behavior. Not only does she initially pretend to be a salesperson in the pet shop and let a bird out of the cage without much thought, but she decides to purchase two lovebirds and bring them to Mitch for his little sister, Cathy. Personally, I think it takes a lot of guts to find a stranger's address, drive all the way out to their home, and try to secretly deliver a present. In my opinion, Melanie is a very unconventional female lead because she goes after what she wants, particularly her love interest. Often times in films, the male lead is the one to make the first move and approach the woman. That was just a little tidbit I noticed.

Looking at the bigger picture, when Melanie arrives in Bodega Bay, the birds in the area become increasingly aggressive and hostile. In the first incident as Melanie is rowing her boat into the Bodega Bay harbor, a gull comes bites the top of her forehead, breaking the skin. In a second incident while the kids are playing at Cathy's birthday party, the birds promptly attack again. All seemed tranquil and normal until one night when Melanie and the Brennan family were lounging in the living room. Suddenly, a massive amount of birds started swarming the house from the chimney. For the time period, I think the visual effects of this scene were pretty awesome. The use of isolated diegetic sound also enhanced this scene and made it all the more intense. When Mitch reported the incident to the sheriff, he failed to believe them.

True to the dark and sinister nature of Hitchcock films, things continue to get worse. When Melanie visited the schoolhouse to pick up Cathy at the request of a shaken Mrs. Brennan, she noticed a large flock of crows starting to gather on the school playground, almost like they were waiting to begin their terror. Melanie quickly informed the teacher, Annie, who instructed the kids to behave as if it were a fire drill and run home as fast as they could. As soon as the children fled the school house, the birds began to attack, viciously biting and knocking everyone down in sight. Melanie and the viewers realize that something is definitely not right with the birds.

In our last viewing of The Birds in class, Melanie and the other people in the restaurant were arguing over  whether or not the birds were attacking purposefully. The semi-peaceful mood is broken when a bird smashes into a gas pump, causing gasoline to flow out into the parking lot . Ironically, a man was smoking a cigarette as the gasoline was nearing his car, which resulted in a major explosion. Chaos ensued as the birds started to attack again. In one of the most harrowing moments of the film, Melanie and Mitch find Annie dead on the stairs of her home. What a way to end!

I am very excited to continue watching this movie in class. I want to know why the birds are attacking and, if and how they will be able to stop them. Is Melanie responsible for the birds attacking as the film is hinting at? How much worse can things get?