Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Man On Wire: Reaching For a Dream


In all honesty, I wasn't very interested in "Man On Wire" in the beginning. The visuals weren't very appealing to me and I found the plot to be very slow. But as the movie progressed, I started to become more engaged in Philippe Petit's story and the way it tied into our studies of the "American Dream." Similar to "Rocky" and "Sugar",  Man on Wire focuses on a young Frenchman named Philippe's dream to tight rope across the Twin Towers in New York City.

The beginning of the documentary creates a mood of suspense as Philippe and his crew sneak into the World Trade Center with fake documents. But before the viewer sees the plot unfold, the documentary delves into Philippe's early life in France and how his dream manifested over time. We see clips of Philippe practicing on the tight rope with his girlfriend and Philippe walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. Pictures are also shown of Philippe tight-roping across the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The epiphany moment in the documentary was when Philippe was waiting in the dentist office and he saw the picture of the Twin Towers in the magazine. He quickly ripped out the picture and fled the dentist office with a newfound dream to travel to Manhattan and tight rope across the Twin Towers.

We have discussed the "American Dream"and the "Underdog" numerous times in class. In "Rocky",    Rocky Balboa was the inexperienced, "southpaw" in the boxing match against Apollo Creed. In "Sugar", Miguel was the newcomer to America, trying to make his way in professional baseball. In this documentary, Philippe is an underdog in the sense that not many people support his dream and believe that he is reckless and crazy. With "the Establishment" against him, Philippe has to plan carefully with a few trusted individuals to get into the World Trade Center and walk across the towers. In the documentary, one of Philippe's accomplices stated, "What we were doing was illegal, but not evil."

I am very curious to see how Philippe's story will continue to unfold as we left off where he was hiding under the tarp at the top of the World Trade Center, while the security guard was snooping around. Will Philippe be able to fulfill his dream? At what cost?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Life on the Edge

While watching Man on Wire, I initially thought that Philippe was crazy for trying to perform such a dangerous stunt: to walk on a thin cable that stretched from one of the World Trade Center buildings to the the other one. But then I also didn't see the big deal with crossing such a wire, and quickly became bored with the documentary. But then shortly after it ended, I realized something greater: it's not necessarily about what Philippe did when it comes to the task, but more about the triumphant nature of it. In other words, what matters is the fact that he accomplished this task, which is definitely not easy to do. A million and a half things could've gone wrong: he could have fallen hundreds of feet to his untimely death, for instance. There could have been an issue with the cables; what if they weren't tied down well enough to support his weight?

This all ties in to risk-taking. Life is about taking risks and challenges. Nothing is certain in life for anyone, regardless of your income, ethnic background, gender, or any other characteristics. You can either be successful, or fail. It's part of the American Dream. People who are living the American Dream didn't just stay within the confines of their comfort zone their whole life. They didn't just do whatever was "easy" for them. Philippe fits this description perfectly. He was living the American Dream, capturing the world's eyes with his daring stunt. Much like with Sugar and Rocky, Philippe faced a lot of adversity, but that didn't stop him from, as Rocky said, "going the distance". Literally.

I was amazed as I watched him walk on the rope, and even lie down on it. I wonder if he was afraid at all, if he was nervous. It had taken so much time to set up the rope, but it was all paying off. That's another important aspect of the American Dream: patience. It takes time and patience to achieve your goals, you can't do everything overnight. Success may not come quickly, but it's worth the wait. Learn to value the process, not just the result.

Thoughts on Man on Wire

Man or Wire seems pretty interesting so far. I'm not really a fan of documentaries but I have seen a few that I really liked. In this film, Philippe Petit's dream is to high wire walk across the Twin Towers. He has loved to climb his whole life. He seems pretty confident and set on doing it, even if he is doing something illegal. It's pretty crazy that someone would do something so risky and at that height, especially when one mistake could cost him his life. I'm excited to see him make it across. I'm also really excited to see what movie we are watching after this because since it's October we will probably start watching horror/suspense movies, which are my favorite.

Shawn Luzzi: Man on Wire First Impressions

Man on Wire First Impressions

Shawn Luzzi

For our first documentary we're watching in Film Studies, this particular film is interesting, especially in who the movie is chronicling, Philippe Petit. Philippe is best known for the famous high-wire student across the twin tower roofs, and for himself being a high-wire artist. When watching the film, it was particularly interesting to see that Philippe seem to not be afraid of the enforcement officers that would come and arrest him for what he had done. That, and Philippe always seemed to do these stunts in the most populated places, along a bridge, then along two tower roofs. 

A bit of text on my part, Philippe is definitely a trained and brave man. Especially when he has the bravery and practice to be able to merely lay down on the wire without slipping off the wire, that, and do other small tricks while on the wire such as juggling. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Final thoughts on Sugar

As we continued the film, Sugar was still struggling and even resulted to using drugs to play better. This didn't really make his situation better and no matter how hard he worked it became too much pressure for him so he decided to quit and move to New York where he got a new job in a restaurant.
This ending of Sugar left me wondering about what's going to happen to Sugar in the future. I was a little disappointed in him for quitting his dream to play major league baseball. I wasn't expecting the movie to end the way it did. I was somewhat confused at first at why this happened. I thought he would end up going back. However, this film shows a more realistic ending. In reality, not everyone can always be the best and achieve their dreams. Sometimes you try your best and you still don't succeed. Also even though he didn't end up as a huge major league baseball player, he continued to play by joining a local baseball team at the end of the film.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shawn Luzzi lasting impression of sugar (Spoiler yo)

Shawn Luzzi: Last Impressions of Sugar

Watching the rest of the film, I was satisfied with the small amount left in the film and its ending. At first, it seemed that Miguel would forever give up on this baseball career over mishaps that had happened during the season, and that he would spend the rest of his life working in New York. However, after a handful of events, such as a talk with his own mother. Miguel started to straighten up, and go back to pursuing his baseball career by simply joining a new team. 

I felt satisfied with this ending as for one: this isn't a standard "Hollywood" ending, there was no big game or anything that Miguel came close to losing that had happened in the film. The conflicts that had happened were more realistic rather than fantasy. Second and lastly, Miguel is able to continue his baseball career, despite his past mishaps.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Journey

Last class, we had our final viewing of Sugar. From the beginning of the movie to the end, I saw a common theme: struggle. Miguel "Sugar" Santos came from the Dominican Republic, an impoverished country, to the United States in hopes of becoming a successful baseball player. In my previous post, I had mentioned that this aligns with the American Dream. However, I also mentioned that, in order to achieve success, one must work very hard, and adversity is an inherent component. This theme perpetuated throughout the entire movie. Sugar found out very quickly that the road to success has many bumps and turns. There are a lot of wrong decisions that could be made when the pressure is on. Sugar decided, like numerous athletes have, to take steroids (Speed) in order to boost his performance. However, this didn't work out so well for him, as he quickly learned.

It wasn't long before Sugar had given up on baseball, frustrated by his poor performance in the game. He travelled to New York City, and got a job as a busboy at a diner. I found it very disappointing that he had quit baseball, since that was his whole reason for coming to the United States in the first place. Back in the Dominican Republic, he had done so well, what was the problem in America? I think the reason why is that it became overwhelming for him. It was different from where he had grown up. I began to understand all of this, and realized a key component of the American Dream, and life in general: it is not about winning, but about giving it your all. As Rocky Balboa said, all he wanted to do was to "go the distance". Even though he had not won the fight, he achieved something much more significant. He had done something that he never thought would be possible, and that in itself is an example of success. I can relate Rocky's experience to Sugar's in this respect. Sugar didn't become famous by any means, but he definitely went the distance. Sometimes, it's not about achieving your goals, but about giving an earnest effort. No one can win everything; it's unrealistic to even think so. 

Sugar's move to the United States wasn't a complete waste either, since he did get that job at the diner, and met a guy named Osvaldo, who helped him make a table, which he had promised would be sent home to his mother. Being that he's so young still, he has a lot of potential, but he just has to start small, and work his way up. That's what life is all about. 

Julianna's Initial Film Experience

Film itself is like a certain canvas in a specific art. I know that lighting, music, and the cinematography can all have a potential play on the story and emotions the director and producers are trying to convey.

In my experience at Metro alone I've taken a number of technology classes, including Multimedia Productions, Broadcasting and I'm currently in Advanced Broadcasting. I have experience in lighting and filming, learning the ropes of what to light, when to light, when to pan the camera, and the different rules of composition, as well as thousands of other techniques that surely add up.

It is evident that the tones of a person's voice are not the only things that can show an emotion in a story. It is evident that the film itself can have a million and one different messages, but it is about how we catch the viewer's attention, and what really sticks out to the viewer that determines whether or not the film is a successful piece.

I know unabashedly that each person can see a movie in different ways. There are different things to take from it based on interest. Even simple movies in a theater could have different impacts on people. One could focus on the simplicity of the contained love story, or one could focus simply on the more metaphorical meaning, or the bettering of the planet--whatever the messages may be.

It's difficult to give a movie a direction, because to direct is to see a vision. It's like making a written letter come to life.

In all of my experience, I know as I had previously mentioned, that film itself is like a certain canvas in a specific art.

The Ambiguous Future

In our last viewing of Sugar, Miguel "Sugar" continued to struggle playing baseball in Iowa and desperately attempted to regain his momentum. Out of desperation, Sugar took Speed pills to improve his focus and skill. Sugar turning to drugs to enhance his performance is another testament of the cut-throat, competitive nature of professional baseball and the dangerous lengths individuals will go to stay at the top of the game. Looking at Sugar from a visual or cinematographic perspective, the scene where Sugar is playing in the baseball game under the influence of Speed skillfully uses diegetic and non-diegetic sound. At the beginning, you can hear the faint noises of the crowd and the the game carrying on. All of the visuals are very blurry and distorted. The audience is hearing the sounds that Sugar is hearing as he is under the influence of Speed. After Sugar hits the batter and a fight erupts between the two teams, non-diegetic music is played as Sugar walks off the field solemnly.

Fed up with continuing to perform poorly and being overshadowed by his once good friend, Salvatore, Sugar decided to hop on a bus and travel to New York City in the hopes of finding friend who had been released from the team in Iowa. Upon his arrival, Sugar was quickly overwhelmed by the bustling, fast-paced New York culture. Initially, when Sugar decided to leave the team, I was disappointed. Like Sugar's mother who told him, "I didn't teach you to quit," I believed that Sugar gave up way too easily and should have stuck it out a little longer. But then, as Sugar started to slowly find his way in New York, my perspective began to change. The film made great use of montage to highlights Sugar's personal growth. The montage showed Sugar working hard as a bus boy in a fast food restaurant and making a table for his mother back in the Dominic Republic.

I thought it was powerful in the scene where he was talking to the owner of the wood-shop/carpentry place and he quoted Roberto Clemente. Sugar said something along the lines of, "If you have an opportunity to help someone, take it." This was a very powerful moment because it showed that Sugar was beginning to really understand the importance of being involved in something that is bigger than his baseball career; something even bigger than himself.

Although Sugar quit the team and isn't on the path to becoming a major league baseball player at this point, the movie conveys a sense of hope and anticipation that something amazing is going to happen. Is the New York Yankees in Sugar's future, perhaps? Who knows what is going to happen? I am excited to find out!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sugar to Yankee ?

Last week as we continued to watch the film "Sugar" . We were introduced to various personallity traits about Sugar that we weren't introduced to earlier in the film. Sugar has began to go down hill since he's be transferred to Kanas City as an I-A player. Are water jugs just used for drinking from or punches bags as well ? In a glimspe of the film , Sugar had began to become highly upset due to the fact that he had become very disheveled with his fast ball. It seemed to be that he was unable to control his pitches. He rapidly stormed into the locker room an began to use the water jog as a punching bag. Coach immediately spoke with Sugar and told him that he needs to learn how to control his anger and not have tentratantrums. Futher along in the movie Sugar decides it would be a great idea to take speed pills. Pros to taking the pills his pitch does in fact increase but as far as cons Sugar begins to sweat uncontrollably from just throwing one pitch. From the film I've gathered that they due in fact cause your pitch to be increased , but from watching Sugar in just those couple minutes there are definitely side effects that he wasn't prepared for. As Sugar continues to play coach notices something isn't right. Without an explanation he demands Sugar to have a seat on the bench. Coach immediately has Sugar's friend take his place. At this point , Sugar is feeling tons of emotions. From mad to confused to disappointed in himself. Sugar then decided to leave Kanas and head to where I believe Yankee Stadium. 

Deana Tavares Sept. 22, 2014

The most important part of this section of  sugar to me was when Miguel called his mother.  He had called his mother to tell her he's quitting baseball.  She responds by telling him that he can do it and that she did not raise a quitter.  However, her words were not enough to lift his spirits and get him back to playing baseball.  After speaking to his mom that day, he didn't realize it would possibly be his last.  He has been calling her and she hasn't answered since the day he had told her he was quitting baseball. 

Shawn Luzzi dives into Sugar (Spoiler shtuff lel)

Shawn Luzzi dives into Sugar

Intro to film studies 9/22/14


Watching more on Sugar, and taking my learnings from class and putting them into thought, I do find that some elements of film-making are put into play in this film, specifically three things: Diegetic sound, Non-diegetic sounds, and montages. Montages can be seen in this film after Miguel was given headphones for "TV on Radio" and the music from the radio became non-diegetic sound as the scene transition for a montage of Miguel being very successful at baseball. In a way, this could also be foreshadowing, as success could come crashing down eventually. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sugar

Continuing on in Sugar, Miguel's skills are starting to decline and he is becoming very frustrated. He asks the coaches for help, but they just tell him to train harder and it's like he's stuck in this loop because he tries his best, still can't live up to their expectations, asks how to get better and they just say train. So to cope with the fact that he is failing and that they've replaced him, Miguel does steroids, but only for one game. After that the pressure must have finally made him crumble because he packed up and left to New York. I predict that he'll stay in New York for some time and probably get a job and when he has enough money, fly back to the Dominican Republic or he'll have some profound break through and manage to get back into baseball and be amazing and live a=happily ever after with that white chick who's name I can't remember.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Myles Darius; Sugar So Far. ❥

Myles Darius; Sugar Movie, The Main Purpose. 


As my class has been watching the movie 'Sugar' I have been noticing a lot about how it can connect to real life issues and such. In the movie, Sugar comes to the United States not really knowing much and to me, that shows a symbol of loneliness. Sugar has to learn to speak a whole new language, and not many people can communicate with him.  

In one scene, Sugar goes to the diner by himself to order some breakfast, but couldn't really explain to the lady how he wanted his eggs, so he wanted to get just French Toast to make it all less complicated; the lady was nice enough to bring the eggs out to him im three different ways that he can have it. I feel like that scene shows how people are gonna be able to help Sugar while he's on his journey here, although he may feel alone, he isn't. Random strangers are even by his side to make sure he doesn't feel any less of a person because he's fully adapted to the United States and their language. The full overall purpose Sugar came to the U.S was to support and family and help bring himself and them out of poverty by playing baseball in the minor league. Back in his village, everyone acknowledges him for his baseball talent, and to his family, Sugar is their hope and shining star. This shows that Sugar is doing something that reveals he's a caring person, he doesn't wanna see anything happen to his family, so he's doing whatever it takes to make sure they are taken care of. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sugar CVL

While watching Sugar, I've been paying attention to how Sugar's actions and things that happen to him show how he feels about the U.S. and being in a strange new place. One of the first scenes that caught my attention is the one where Sugar is alone at the diner trying to order food, and decides to try something other than french toast. But when he cannot say what kind of eggs he wants, he just gives up and orders french toast. The waitress then brings him all three types of eggs on the house, and explains all of them to him. This scene really showed how lost Sugar was at the start of his journey, and I'm sure that the fact that he was alone at the diner was a symbol to show that he was alone in the U.S. as well. The second part that I felt also fit into this theme was the montage of Sugar doing things in the U.S. after his games. This part shows Sugar beginning to grasp some concepts and start to adapt to life in the U.S.. It shows him doing things like ordering food, cashing checks, things the everyday American would do. He's learning how to do these things because they're things he has to do, but you learn that he still struggles with things he hasn't had to deal with yet, but I'm sure Sugar will rise to the occasion.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Azucar!

Sugar


As we progress through the movie, Sugar, there's this reoccurring theme of the "The American Dream" in the film. Miguel is a baseball player from the Dominican Republic, heading to the US to play professional baseball for the Kansas City Knights. When he first came to America, he was loving it. He was amazed with the utilities in his hotel room. He was really excited to be in Kansas. We went and got beers and went out to eat. When Miguel and his teammates from the Dominican Republic went to a diner celebrate. One of Miguel's teammates knew how to speak fluent English so he understood the waitress and asked for French Toast. Miguel and the rest of his friends ordered the same thing because they did not know English. One day, the waitress was teaching Miguel English. She taught him the difference between scrambled, easy over, and sunny side up. She also gave him the plate of eggs for free. Miguel thanked her and she went off with a smile on her face. As time went on during Miguel's season, his skills as a pitcher weren't improving. One of his friends back from the D.R. made it to the Minor League. He was slowly taking over Miguel's spotlight as starting pitcher.

Is Rocky an American Hero?

Is Rocky an American hero? Well I suppose that depends on what you think an American hero is. If your idea of the American hero is a little like the Gilded Age's common conception, the average Joe becoming a J.D. Rockefeller through hard work and determination, I'd say yes, Rocky is totally an American hero. But, if your idea of an American hero is a little bit more modern, you'd most likely believe that Rocky isn't an American hero, he was just an underdog boxer. Nowadays, a common idea of an American hero is someone who makes a great sacrifice for the people they love. I think that this idea comes mostly from soldiers, people who give the ultimate sacrifice for their land and their people.It takes a lot to be a soldier, and calling them American heroes is perfectly honorable in my book.

Sugar: Finding His Way In the "Land of Opportunity"


As our class has been watching the movie, "Sugar", a variety of themes keep jumping out at me. The two major themes that continue to resonate with me are "the American Dream" and "the Ruthless Nature of Professional Sports." In the movie, Sugar not only works incredibly hard to get recruited in America and play professional baseball, but he also is challenged by the pressure to continue proving his skills with the sobering awareness of stiff competition and talented players from his own country ready to take his spot.

In the beginning of the movie, Sugar is playing baseball at a training camp in the Dominican Republic with the dream of one day making it to the "States".  A scene that stuck out to me from the movie was when Sugar came back to visit his family from the training camp and all the little boys in the neighborhood rushed to see if he had any bats and baseballs to play with. All of the little boys seemed to look up to Sugar and sort of aspired to be in his position. I think that baseball in the movie is more than just a simple sport or past-time to Dominican culture. Baseball is more like a ticket out of poverty and destitution, especially for young men growing up in the Dominican Republic. In the scene where Sugar is had a conversation with his girlfriend about what he would do if he got recruited to the United States, he talked about his desire to have a nice Cadillac and send money to his family, so that they could live in better conditions. For Sugar,  "the American Dream" is fulfilling his desire to become a  successful baseball player and giving himself and his family the stability and luxuries they have always dreamed of. Sugar's conception of the American Dream draws a parallel to Rocky Balboa's conception of the American Dream in the sense that they both consist of the idea that hard-work and persistence are they keys to success in America.

As the movies progresses, Sugar performs so well at the training camp in Arizona that he is recruited to play for the Iowa Swing baseball team. At the beginning of his stay in Iowa, Sugar struggles with acclimating to living with a white, religious family and familiarizing himself with the language and culture of the United States. In the scene where Sugar is having trouble ordering food at the restaurant, the waitress brings out three different types of eggs and teaches Sugar the word for each one. Despite her kindness, Sugar's vulnerability is as clear as day and it is obvious that his disconnection with the English language is a tremendous burden. The movie highlights a budding relationship between Sugar and Anne, the young girl whose family is housing Sugar. Although Anne is able to connect with Sugar better than anyone in her family, he still can't truly fit in to her circle of friends and enjoy the same activities.

Not only is Sugar affected by the immense challenges of adapting to American culture, but he quickly realizes the cut-throat nature of professional sports as well. He got his first taste when his good friend and mentor was cut from the team because he wasn't playing well as a result of a leg injury. Sugar believed his friend's release was unfair and that he deserved a second chance. But soon Sugar realizes that there are rarely second chances in baseball. Subsequently, Sugar's other good friend from home is recruited to the team and quickly moves ahead of Sugar in terms of skill . I think it was ironic how Sugar advised his friend when he arrived to "not take himself too seriously because it's just a game." Eventually, the cheers for Sugar turn into boos, and Sugar finds himself desperately trying to reignite the flame that got him to where he was.

Our class stopped at the scene where Sugar was being reprimanded for destroying the training area as the pressure became too overbearing. I am looking forward to seeing if Sugar will be able to regain his momentum or eventually be released from the team. Can Sugar find his way in the  "Land of Opportunity"?

Thoughts on Sugar so far

At the beginning of Sugar, it seemed a little boring and I wasn't really interested but as we went on it seemed more interesting. In class I think we are almost half way through it. It reminds of Rocky and the American Dream theme. Sugar is from the Dominican Republic and gets invited to a baseball training program in Kansas. His dream is to be on a Major League team. He really tries his best to work hard even though he can't speak that much English. I noticed this issue caused him as few problems such as a fight in the bar. Also when he was in the restaurant he didn't understand what type of eggs were which. However, the waitress was really nice and she showed him the different kinds and gave him them for free. He seems to be having a difficult time in Kansas but I hope by the end he manages well.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sugar

As we continue to watch the film Sugar, I continue to get more an more into it and anxious to see what happens next. So far Sugar has been playing baseball at a training camp where he learned how to throw a fast ball. Joy and happiness began to dawn on Miguel due to the large sum check that he has received. Abruptly Miguel is assigned to a division I-A team where he's feeling nervous , worried , and highly concerned. Luckly , he is placed with a host family who is very welcoming. As the elderly woman shows Miguel to his room she begans to lay down rules an expectations for living in her home. While the elderly woman and her husband are very aware that Miguel doesn't speak fluent English they accommodate to him by speaking slow and informing him that there are no girls allowed in the house. As Miguel asks to be excuse he calls home to assure his mom that he is some what comfortable. The conversation is then cut short due to it being dinner time with Miguel's host family. The elderly woman prepared meatloaf which then caused a converting between the family determining whether or not Miguel was sure of what he was eating. A girl named Ann then adds that maybe Miguel does know what it is but not by that particular name. As the movie continues , Sugar part takes in his first game. His host family decides to attend for support and encouragement. Before Suagr can make his pitch he kisses kid crusifix in my opinion symbolizing luck and faith. Through the movie we are seen with glimpse of the team interacting with Sugar making him feel more welcome. In conclusion , I enjoy watching this film and can't wait to see what happens next. 

Rocky (An American Hero?)

    Do I think Rocky is an American hero? Honestly no, from what I took away from the film Rocky did not show any traits of an "American Hero". When I think of an American Hero in today's day in age, I would say they are those who are being sent off to the Army, Navy, Air Force to fight for American citizens, for us to remain having the privledges and advantages the nation has today. They also protect a citizen's "American Dream", in my opinion the American dream is the typical thought of how an American citizen should live thier lives. Freedom Justice and Liberty. A cliché example of the American dream is a house living in it, a wife, a husband, their two children, and a dog with the white picket fence caging in the front lawn. 
    What I did notice in the movie was how Rocky had two sides to him. I noticed watching the movie only for a short period of time that he was in fact a compassionate person.At one point he had the hardcore boxer in him and the other he had the loving pet caretaker that had a huge crush on Adrian, owner of the pet store Rocky goes to. When Rocky is speaking to Adrian she is very shy, this may be because she has feelings towards Rocky that seem evident that it was mutual.
    Another thing I noticed was that in the rink Rocky wasn't that good but when the part in the movie came up when he was beating up the frozen meat to train he was actually better and more aggressive. I analyzed this as, since Rocky has a compassionate side hitting the meat was easier than hitting an actual living person. I'm not sure if this means anything but this is how I perceived parts of the movie where Rocky compassionate side was being shown. 

            - Nyasia B. Langley 


Post #1 - Nyasia B. Langley

    Coming to this class I expected to be watching films and jotting down notes about what's going on. Essentially that is what we're doing but it is more complex than that, yes we do watch watch movies and write down notes, but in order to stay on top of the class and understand what's going on you have to really study the movie and analyze the events that is happening because it'll help you realize things that are not actually being said in the movie but shown throw action and/or emotion, "show, don't tell"

    Throughout the year I expect to do better in the class because I did come off to a rocky start. For the most part I enjoy the class and the purpose behind it. I also enjoy watching movies that I wouldn't normally go and watch at home or the movies, it gets me familiar with other genres besides horrors,thrillers and suspenseful movies. 

         - Nyasia B. Langley 



Rocky American Hero ?

In my opinion , Rocky is not the ideal  " American Hero" but he does fill the lines as an "Underdog". Despite his struggles and his choice of life Rocky still had the courage and stamina to go glove-to-glove with the best boxer out there. An Underdog to me isn't someone who is tough and ruthless , but someone who is able to continue their dreams apart from what others may perceive . The altercation between Mickey and Rocky was one of the many speed bumps in Rocky's path that determined whether or not he was a true Underdog. Freak Luck is what Mickey called it. Mickey felt as though this was an opportunity too good for Rocky , apart from that he continued to offer Rocky tips and technique for his big day. As Rocky's apartment slowly began to emerge into a personal boxing rink , he suddenly questions Mickey regarding why he wants to help him train all of a sudden. Could it be that Rocky might make it big time an Mickey wanted a percentage or could it be that Mickey actually cared for Rocky an wanted to see him live up to his full potential. Either way Rocky had asked for help before and Mickey wasn't there. It seemed to Rocky that everyone wanted to help now that he's been handed the big "title " opportunity. This altercation was where Rocky had to determine whether or not he wanted to continue this journey on is own or travel with useless passengers the remainder of the way. From then on Rocky was a one man show. Waking up the crack of dawn , eatting raw eggs , training in the ice box and no nasty with Adrian untill his big day pasted. To everyone else defeating Apollo may have been unrealistic , but in Rocky's eyes being the Underdog he is , he saw it as I can do an I will do regardless of what everyone thinks can defeat the great an be the great. Rocky The Underdog wanted to go the distance. 

Deana Tavares Sugar (Mid-Film)

We have gotten to approxamitly the middle of the movie Sugar. I'm really growing to love this movie it's something I would personally watch at home. After entering into America the baseball players still didn't know much English, only baseball terms used while playing.  I thought it was hilarious when their, what I would say, tour guide, took them to a diner/restaurant and he ordered French toast. All the baseball players didn't know what to order because they cannot speak English and in sync they said "French toast." I noticed that when sugar came back to his dorm with all his fellow baseball players, he found out that he was seperated from his friends, league wise.  Allthough his friends were sent to the rookie's and he was being sent to the a- league, they were happy for sugar and congratulating him on his acheivemen.  However, sugar was still a bit upset that his friends were being left behind him. I believe that shows how selfless and caring he is of the people that surround him. :) 

Deana Tavares 9/12/14

Sugar so far is actually very interesting to me. At the very beginning I made a physical judgement thinking they were Africans until I heard them speaking Spanish and found out that the beginning setting was the Dominican Republic. I noticed how hard all of the baseball players were working however the baseball scout that came to see them was arrogant. He tried to show him a different technique when throwing a curveball. Of course it was his first time trying this new technique so it wasn't a successful pitch.  The scout laughed at him and told the player to "keep practicing," making it seem like the player was not that talented over something he was never taught.  But I do like that this movie is already showing the determination and perserverence of the baseball players that are trying to make it big and join the major leagues eventually.  

Sugar (Mid-Film)

So far we have only gotten through about half of the movie, Sugar. I actually like the movie somewhat. I believe that the character, Sugar, is very interesting and amusing to watch. I have noticed that he has had issues with romance, and controlling his anger. I look forward to seeing how these two issues will progress throughout the movie.
To be honest, I had trouble paying attention to the movie at some points. For example, I am not sure what his issue with romance was and I also do not know why he acted out on that water dispenser. But from what I've seen, yes, the movie is pretty interesting. I especially enjoy the parts (for some reason) that emphasize how not well at the English language Sugar is. For example, in the restaurant when they ordered French Toast because that is what their guide, Jorge I believe, said. I also enjoyed the part where the white man told Sugar they he needed to work harder, then the man proceeded to say that everyone works hard and asks Sugar if he thinks he is the only one who works hard on the baseball team, Sugar then answered in Spanish that he was speaking too fast and he couldn't understand.
Again, Sugar has been a pretty interesting movie, but I have had trouble paying attention to it. Possibly, as the movie progressed the movie will be able to grasp my attention more and I can give a more in depth opinion on what I think of it.

My first day in class

My first day was ok  at first I didn't really kno wat was goin on but I cought up 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Newcomer

While watching the first portion of the movie Sugar, a theme stood out to me: The American Dream. This is exactly the same theme that I saw in Rocky, however it takes on a different form in this movie. Sugar is about a baseball player, named Miguel "Sugar" Santos, who dreams of playing Major League Baseball in the United States. He had aspirations of owning a Cadillac, as he told his girlfriend, as well as sending money over to his family living in his impoverished home country, the Dominican Republic. Fortunately, he was invited to a baseball program in Arizona, where he could begin to live the American Dream.

So what exactly is the American Dream? It's the belief that, through hard work, anyone could become successful in the United States. Sugar is a classic example of someone living out the American Dream, coming from a poor country in hopes of becoming a successful baseball player in the United States. However, he has several obstacles standing in his way. This adversity is a crucial part of the American Dream: being successful is quite a challenge. It's one that requires a lot of effort and persistence regardless of what stands in your way. 

First of all, Sugar does not know much English yet, and neither do some of the other baseball players from the Dominican Republic. When they all went to a diner, the one person who did know some English ordered french toast. When the waitress asked everyone else what they wanted, they also said "french toast" since that was all they knew how to say. The next morning, Sugar went to the diner by himself to order breakfast. He requested eggs, but had no idea that there were different ways that eggs could be served, such as scrambled, sunny side up, and over easy. Kindly, the waitress had all three dishes made up for him to sample, and said that they were "on the house". She even helped him pronounce each of these dishes.

When I watch movies like this, it always strikes me how hard it is to move from one country to another, especially when you've lived in your home country for so long. The language barrier is an extremely challenging one, and it's evident in the movie that Sugar felt uncomfortable at first in America, since it was so different from the Dominican Republic.

Unfortunately, there are always people who you meet that don't respect you simply for the fact that you don't know much English. Sugar was recruited in Iowa to play baseball, and he was given a host family, who would take care of him during baseball season. When giving them a rundown of the rules, they made fun of the fact that he mainly spoke Spanish, with a horrendous pronunciation of "No chicas in the cuarto". It did make me laugh though, and it is perhaps one of the most memorable lines from this movie. But fortunately for Sugar, the daughter in the family isn't ignorant like her parents are, so she will help him out when he needs it. At the same time, there is an indication that she's attracted to him, which could become an issue since he already has a girlfriend.

In the fast-paced, bustling world that is the United States, will Sugar be successful? Or will he have wasted his time? I'm looking forward to finding out in the next couple of classes. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sugar so far... (Spoilers, yo)

Sugar so far... (Spoilers, yo)


Shawn Luzzi

Intro to Film Studies

I didn't know what to think of this movie at the start, but as the film went on, a library of emotions flew through me as I watched this Dominican baseball player try to live his life in America. He's not use to American life, as he lived in the Dominican Republic before. As Miguel was accepted into the spring program, happy emotions flew through me as I found his family celebrating loudly, as Spanish Music and loud cheering was heard. 

However, I began to feel a bit anxious for Miguel as he arrived in America, as he was very new to the territory. But the feelings began to lower in a good way as he sat in a dining restaurant by himself, and he wasn't able to order the eggs he wanted simply because he didn't understand the words. Right after, the waitress arrived with the three types of eggs available, and helped Miguel with pronouncing said eggs and stated it was "On the house." 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sugar

So far Sugar has been an interesting and unique movie. The boy Sugar and some other boy were invited to the states for their careers in baseball. Apparently, it was there first time there since they didn't know about certain stuff and there was even someone helping them get the gist of things. I think my favorite part so far was when they were in the restaurant and the waitress asked what everyone wanted so the only one who spoke fair English said, "French Toast" so every else who didn't speak decent English said the same. It was very humorous to me.

Rocky Balboa: An Inspiration

To me, Rocky is a very inspiring character. He went through much hard times from his relationships with friends and even his relationship with Adrian. Rocky remained very strong and is definitely a character to look up to.

Rocky Balboa: "Beating the Odds"


As I have mentioned before in previous blog posts, two major themes in "Rocky" are "the American Dream" and "the Underdog". Undoubtedly, Rocky embodies the spirit of the "Underdog" through his struggle to prove himself as not just a "bum from the neighborhood", but someone who has the strength and ability to go toe-to-toe with one of the greatest boxers in the world. The viewers watch as Rocky begins to train harder and get stronger and stronger leading up to the big fight. The movie effectively uses the workout scenes to demonstrate Rocky's determination and "heart" . A scene that stuck out to me was when Rocky finally made it up the long stairs and held up his arms in triumph. As Rocky locked out into the distance, the sun was setting over the city, and you could just feel the pride radiating off of him. In that moment, it was like Rocky ruled the world.

Focusing on the big question: Is Rocky an "American Hero", I would definitely say yes. Although the qualities of a hero vary from person to person and some might not find Rocky's story particularly inspiring, Rocky fits the mold of "American" heroism and the values and ideals associated with it Rocky is a hero because he works incredibly hard to prove himself worthy even in the face of adversity and doubt of all the people around him. Even at an early age, Rocky was constantly told that he didn't possess much intellectual ability, so he could only be successful at something that requires the use of the body. But as the movie unfolds, we can see that Rocky is not only a great boxer, but has a wiser perception of the world, than most people around him.

A pivotal moment that demonstrates Rocky's wisdom was when he realized that the chances of him beating Apollo Creed were unlikely. Even with that realization, Rocky's is still determined to "go the distance" with Creed and stay in the fight as long as possible. Ironically, the events of the movie unfolded as Rocky said they would. He didn't win the fight, but he lasted all the rounds and possibly gave Creed the fight of his career. It was extremely powerful at the end of the fight when the interviewers were bombarding Rocky and all he cared about was finding Adrian. Once they found one another, they admitted their love and just embraced. This is not how you would expect a stereotypical sports movie to end. And because of that, I think "Rocky" is such a great movie. It defies the conventional structure of movies about athletes, where the underdog wins at the end and gets all the glory. Rocky accomplished his goal of "going the distance" and got the woman he loved. And he seems content with that.

So, is Rocky an American Hero? Yes, because he went into the fight as a nobody, with every force against him. Although Rocky didn't "win" the fight, he beat the odds and proved himself a worthy contender. Isn't beating the odds intrinsic to the American spirit?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rocky: An American Hero? 9/10/14

After finishing the movie, I do feel that Rocky was somewhat of an American hero. I thought he was heroic because he had the courage to fight Apollo Creed and he was able to last in the ring with him. Even if he didn't win, Rocky still trained hard and succeeded in lasting through the fight. He was able to represent the American Dream by training hard and being brave enough to go through with the fight. I thinks this make people proud of Rocky and happy that even though he didn't win the fight we still feel like he succeeded in making it to the top and being known by the world.

Is rocky an American hero? (Victor)

Honestly I don't think so. I have many reasons why I don't think rocky Bolboa was an "American hero". Why would we consider him an American hero? What has he done to the United States or Have a name for himself besides making great movies. Yea you can say his movies are great Americana but I don't see why we would consider him a hero. An great example of a hero would be Martin Luther King Jr. He's done and changed a lot in the United States that if it wasn't for him, segrigation would most likely STILL be happening. He got  killed for this. That's what I consider an American Hero. So NO 

The Dark Horse


Before the film studies classes began watching the film Rocky, we were introduced to a theme: The American Dream. At first, I was unsure as to how this would relate to the film, however, as it progressed, the realization came to me that this theme was an undercurrent throughout the entire film. To me, the American Dream involves rising from rags to riches. From being a nobody to being a somebody. From living a life of poverty to one of financial comfort and luxury. The idea is that, with enough hard work and effort, anyone could become successful in the United States of America. If this sounds like you, then you are living the American Dream. 

There is no doubt that Rocky represents the American Dream. In the movie, when talking to Adrian about his upcoming fight with Apollo Creed, he said that he wanted to "Go the distance". He was "The Dark Horse": the underdog. He faced tons of adversity, including from Creed, but found a way to overcome it. If that's not an example of the American Dream, I don't know what is. That quote alone accurately represents the American Dream. At the end of the film, while it was hard to tell, it looked as though Apollo Creed had won the wrestling match, but the American Dream is not all about winning, per se. Even if you lose like Rocky did, you still win, but in a different sense. You still "went the distance". You still worked hard, and were given a once in a lifetime opportunity. While the odds seemed to be against you, and you didn't feel so confident in the beginning, you made the wise decision to take on the challenge, and that alone is worthy of recognition.

As Rocky was preparing for the fight, I noticed that look of determination on him. At first, he had tried speedwalking up the stairs, which proved to be very hard for him. He couldn't climb them quickly, and was out of breath by the time he reached the top. But it wasn't long until he scaled those steps with ease. Even though he was just a character in a movie, I felt proud of him.

Since I am a student in the Thunderclap Pathway, I also took the time to notice the way the scenes were edited. While training, fast-paced music (non-diegetic sound) was playing, along with accurate tracking shots, both of which made me feel as if I was a part of the scene myself. For an older movie, this was very well done, and I appreciate the use of the Steadicam as well.

Time was running out; it was the last night before the day of the fight. Despite all of the vigorous training that he had done, and the high level of confidence he displayed along the way, Rocky still had his insecurities and doubts about the fight with Apollo Creed, which he told Adrian. The chemistry between her and Rocky became even clearer at this point, because she was the only person that he shared his emotional side with. He was much more comfortable with her than anyone else.

It was time to fight. Apollo Creed came in gracing the ring (or at least, that's what he thought he was doing with his ridiculous outfit). While shaking hands with Rocky, he called him "chump" twice, and during the fight, he taunted Rocky. Usually I am not one for violence, but I really hoped that Rocky would do some damage to Creed, because he was being an absolute jerk. His whole intent for fighting Rocky in the first place was for publicity. He wanted to make a fool out of him, and earn his grossly-large paycheck. He even enticed the audience to support him by throwing them money, which he clearly had plenty of. This is completely against what I believe the American Dream should be. The American Dream is about being real, honest, sincere. They shouldn't work their way up to success by deceiving people, and by partaking in publicity stunts. People living the American Dream are role models who inspire others to succeed.

Fortunately for me, Rocky definitely did some damage to Creed, despite the fact that he lost the fight. That's karma in action. Creed had such a big ego, thinking that Rocky was going to be easy to fight with. He was wrong. Dead wrong. 

Rags To Riches: Rocky Balboa

The American Dream

The movie Rocky Balboa had a major theme throughout the duration of the film; The American Dream. The idea of having a Philadelphia local boxer, duke it out on the ring with the World Heavyweight Champion represents that theme. This idea was thought of the champion, Apollo Creed. Creed chose Rocky Balboa solely based on his ring name, The Italian Stallion. Creed explained that the name of Rocky was important because it brings curiosity and attention to the fight. At first, Rocky denied the offer because he felt as if he was not worthy enough to face a boxer such as Creed. Leading up to the fight, Rocky has done everything, and anything to train so he can be prepared for the fight. Rocky was the first boxer to ever knock Creed off his feet. Rocky was also the first boxer to be able to last the entire 15 rounds with Creeds. This is a huge accomplishment because no one, not even professional boxers, have done. And to have an amateur boxer from Philadelphia is extraordinary. This will really bring some publicity to Rocky and his boxing career.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Déjah: Rocky (An American Hero?)

Do I think Rocky is an American hero? I honestly don't know, he could be and he couldn't. Maybe people believe that he is one because at first he was nervos and scared and doubting himself saying that he couldn't win against Apollo when all he had to do was try his best and believe in himself and eventually everything would work out in the end, as it did. I think that'll make him heroic because it shows confidence and it proves that anyone can do anything and succeed if they put their mind to it, like Rocky did. I'm not sure how we should feel towards Rocky... Proud? 

Shawn Luzzi, More Rocky Thoughts (Spoilers, ye)

More Rocky thoughts (Spoilers ye)

Intro to Film studies 9/9/14

Shawn Luzzi

Watching more of Rocky, I have to say that I am quite impressed with this movie so far, especially in terms of the characters. With the upcoming fight against Apollo Creed, the champion boxer, it's obvious that he thinks highly of himself. With the montages of Rocky's training coming and going, Apollo is always seen lounging around in his office. This may also connect to Apollo's own name, as the name Apollo comes from a Greek God. 

Other than Apollo, Adrian makes some more interesting character moments as she keeps breaking out of her shy shell. She seems to be talking more, being with Rocky more, and especially standing up to her brother Paulie when he suddenly takes out a bat and telling Adrian that she owes him. When suddenly she grabs him by the collar and yelled back, "WHAT DO I OWE YOU?!" And listing off that she helps him, not vice versa. 

Sept 2 Deana Tavares

So far in film studies I am really enjoying watching these movies. I like how Mr. Monohan points out things that I might not have caught while watching the movie that could be a key point or show some kind of sign for something else going on in the other scenes of the movie.  I'm excited to keep blogging about the movies we watch. I get to look back and see what I've written before that I can connect to what is going on after watching a part of the movie.  Altogether I'm looking forward to this class and having a great year with Mr.Monohan. 

Sept 4 Deana Tavares



I have never watched all of a Rocky movie but I it is interesting to me. i really like how Rocky's personality contradicts with his physical appearance. Rocky is physically seen as a well built boxer, with a deep, scary voice. It kinda gives off that "gym is life" vine. But he really isn't like that. In the first scene, he was in a boxing match and right after the match, he went into the locker room and asked for a cigarette from someone in the room. He also seems like he likes to drink because I was drinking while he was walking home. A normal athlete knows that drinking and smoking is bad for you and will slow your skill down especially as a fighter. 


My favorite movie

My favorite movie is edge of tomorrow it's very interesting how the main charecter gets to learn how to beat the robots like it was stages and he grew stronger faster && more knowledgeable on how to servive because each time he died he had to start over 

Sept 5 Deana Tavares Rocky

As the movie played i saw how more of Rocky's character changed. I noticed interested and respectful Rocky was towards Adrian, others didn't take the time to acknowledge her. Another specific thing I noticed was that Rocky said Thanksgiving was just Thursday to him. I feel like this was important because it showed me how he must've didn't celebrate the holiday because he's by himself and doesn't see the point in it. 

Rocky and Adrian seem like very similar characters. They have both been looked down upon as if they are some type of underdogs. Adrian is smart and shy while Rocky is tough and more outgoing. In that case I can say opposites attract. I believe Rocky enhances and brings out the good parts of Adrians personality. 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Some Things I Noticed/Class Discussion 9/5/14

As the movie went on we got to see more of Rocky's and Adrian's character development. I noticed how nice and respectful Rocky was toward Adrian unlike the way others treated her. Another specific thing I noticed was that Rocky said Thanksgiving was just Thursday to him which made me feel bad that he had didn't celebrate it and probably had no one to celebrate it with.

Rocky and Adrian seem like very similar people. They have both been put down by other people and have been called losers even though they aren't really losers. Adrian is smart and shy while Rocky is tough and more outgoing. However, they are both good people and fit as a couple. Adrian was also really quiet and not confident around Rocky at first, but the more he talked to her made her feel more comfortable and brought out her character more.

At one part in the movie, Adrian had compared Rocky's fighting situation with how Einstein failed school twice and Helen Keller. This implies that Rocky does have a chance even though he is the underdog and Adrian has confidence in him. I'm intrigued to watch more and see what will happen next.

Class Discussion September 5th

While watching the movie, I noticed that slowly Rocky was getting his life together and deciding what he wanted and didn't want. When trying new things and meeting new people, he saw that he didn't want to continue hurting people. He started drifting away from his work and started focusing on his love and social life. I think this shows that the people he knew like Mickey were trying to drive him to just focus on work and nothing else. They wouldn't let him try to get social and friendly with others, instead just telling him what to do. That is why they had such conflict in this part of the movie. Mickey saw that Rocky didn't like his way of work and that he didn't want to do certain things. Rocky was finally getting happy with a girl.
Talking about the girl, Adrian, she is not very confident about herself, hiding and trying to go unnoticed, but Rocky tries to bring her out. When ice-skating, Rocky said he didn't want to hurt himself,  so he said he wouldn't skate. But he still stood by her the entire time, showing he cares about her. Also, Adrian gets confident enough around him that she goes into his house. This can also show they are slowly bonding and getting closer to each other.

Rocky- thomas

Yes, I do think rocky is a american hero. I think this because he is always doing the right thing, he sets an example and is really nice.

We are suppose to feel happy about rocky, what shapes that is like what I said before he is nice, does the rights thing and he wins the fight.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Myles Darius; Rocky vs. Mean Girls


Even though my class has just started to get into the movie "Rocky", I can already tell that this is a movie that I am anticipating to see more and more of. While evaluating this movie, I've discovered various parts that I feel have a deeper meaning towards it, e.g when the boxing trainer/coach yells at Rocky, he's yelling at Rocky to give him a reality check, and he feels as though Rocky is wasting his potential tone an amazing fighter. I feel as though this part specifically is important because sometimes in life, we all need a reality check to help us evaluate our life and what we actually want to do with it. 

Rocky doesn't remind me any movie in particular, but it does allow me to connect to the movie "Mean Girls". I can connect to the movie Mean Girls because if you pay attention closely to the movie Rocky, you can see that there are two parts that are very similar -- for example, as i said before, the coach giving Rocky a reality check, reminds me of when Janice Ian saw that Cady was changing fully into a actual mean girl, she had to yell at Cady and really open her eyes. Another scene that is in Rocky that is similar to Mean Girls, is when Rocky looks in the mirror at his picture, thinking of the past, there is a scene in Mean Girls where Aaron Samuels, looks at Cady's pictures of the person she used to be back when she was in Africa, and thinks about the person she is now. 

I actually am very interested in my Intro to FilmStudies class. I'm sure that this class will open my eyes to what's really happening in the movies and leave me eager to learn more about them. 

Rocky

Watching Rocky I notice more things as the story unfolds. At first I notice Rocky was aggravating and a very loud rambunctious dude. But that is his character. After a few scenes I find that Rocky has a crush on Adrian. There you see more of calm careful and romantic Rocky. 

Rocky's Character

So, as we're progressing through Rocky we get to the scene were Apollo Creed asks Rocky to fight him in the bicentennial fight. You would think Rocky would jump on this opportunity to prove that he has at least what it takes to take on Apollo maybe not defeat him, but give him a good fight. However, Rocky declines almost immediately because after so many people calling him worthless he believes it. He believes that he isn't good enough to fight Apollo, just to spar with him. However, even though Rocky seems to think that he is worthless, he always goes out of his way to help people such as the girl that was hanging out with the guys on the street. It will be very interesting to see where Rocky's character goes by the end of the movie.

"The Underdog"


After watching more of  "Rocky" in class last Friday, a lot more was revealed about the characters, especially Rocky and Adrian. More character development was also made to the boxer, Apollo Creed and the viewer begins to learn more about this huge bicentennial boxing match. Two themes that stuck out to me from this viewing of Rocky were: "The American Dream" and "The Underdog".

Looking at the "American Dream" first, the setting of the movie alludes to this theme because it takes place in 1976 Philadelphia. 1976 marks the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A scene from the movie that really elaborates on this idea of "the American Dream" is when Apollo Creed is in the office with the promoter after he finds out that his opponent has a broken hand and decides that Rocky will be the perfect replacement. In this scene, Apollo comes up with the idea of getting a local, inexperienced boxer to fight him in the match. A quote that stuck out to me was, " I am going to put his face up on this poster with me. I’ll tell you why.‘Cause I’m sentimental. And a lot of other people in this country are just as sentimental. And there’s nothing they’d like better than to see Apollo Creed give a local Philadelphia boy a shot at the greatest title in the world on this country’s biggest birthday.” 

Apollo Creed's quote really sheds light on America's fascination with the "Underdog", which is interconnected with "the American Dream". America began as an underdog when it was fighting for its independence against England. But as we know, America was triumphant in the end. Generally, Americans root for underdogs because they are "sentimental" in the way that Apollo explains and feel like they can relate to them. Watching this scene, I was surprised by how business-like Apollo Creed was and intrigued by his use of marketing psychology to draw more attention to the boxing match. This movie does a great job of dismantling the stereotypes people tend to have about boxers and athletes in general. Not only is Rocky more sensitive and compassionate than he appears, but Apollo Creed is more intelligent and clever than you would think a boxer could be. 

Rocky and Adrian's ice-skating scene was a major scene in terms of character development . In this scene, both Rocky and Adrian open-up a great deal. While skating, Adrian asks Rocky why he fights, and he replies, "My father said I didn't have much of a brain, so I needed to use my body." Adrian replied with the opposite, "My mother said I didn't have much of a body, so I needed to use my brain." On the surface, it seems like Rocky and Adrian are misfits as a couple, but they have a lot in common. This scene sheds light on the way that the people in Rocky and Adrian's lives have put them down, even at an early age, and explains why they both deal with self-esteem issues. As +Malik Harris best put it, Rocky sees Adrian as a human being, and vice-versa. Rocky can see past Adrian's shyness and Adrian can see past Rocky's tough guy persona. That is ultimately why they make a good fit. 

On a closing note, I paid close attention to the way Rocky's felt about himself in this viewing. I noticed in his conversations with Adrian how he constantly referred to himself, as "dumb" and a "moron". When Rocky got the offer to fight Creed, he replied, "I don't have what it takes. I'm just a ham-and-egger type of guy." Even after accepting the role as Creed's opponent, Rocky still doesn't have much confidence in himself, as shown in the press conference where Rocky is painfully passive and let's Creed take several jabs at him. Throughout the movie, Rocky constantly asserts that other people's insults don't bother him. But after leaving Adrian and Paulie's house after watching the press conference, he revealed to Adrian that Creed's words did "hurt" him. This is an extremely powerful moment because it is the first time we see Rocky admit to feeling bad about what other's say. I liked the way the camera shot Rocky from a side angle, with his head down and you can see the blur of Adrian's red sweater as she is standing on the steps. It really captures the moment and makes you feel it from Rocky's perspective.

Shawn Luzzi Rocky Character Development (MORE SPOILERS AHEAD!)

Rocky Character Development (SPOILER WARNING)

Shawn Luzzi

Intro to film studies 9/7/14

Watching more on Rocky, this time I noticed a ton of character development, especially between the relationship of Rocky and Adrian. When the audience first meets Adrian, she is seen as a very shy women that seems to try and avoid society as a whole. Rocky himself tries to force himself a bit on Adrian to try and get her to date him. That all changed on Thanksgiving night when Paulie practically forces Adrian to go out with Rocky as he throws the baked Turkey out of the nearby window. 

After Adrian goes out with Rocky to a closed Ice Skating rink, Rocky tells Adrian all about him, all while helping her try to Ice Skate for about 10 minutes (Mind you, Rocky doesn't even have Ice Skates on.) All while this conversation is happening, Adrian seems to become attached to Rocky, as she starts to join into the conversation with him. By the time they both return home, and after a (admittedly awkward) make out moment, both Adrian and Rocky become a couple! What I took from that is Adrian went from a shy anti-social women to a rather more social and interesting women character.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Material Covered in Class

Idk lol we learn about vocab words and Acters.

Déjah: Rocky (Film)

                       Rocky

       Rocky Balboa is a boxer who did work for the mob when he wasn't working. In the movie Rocky was provoked as a tough guy who had no feelings at all but when he was with Adrian and at home with his turtle he was a whole different person. It seemed that Adrian and anyanimals would bring out Rocky's soft and passionate side out, a side that you wouldn't even think he had. This movie shows that besides all the fighting & the tough things he had to do for the mob he was a very nice person who has a heart. When he was send out to break someone's thumb for not paying back he didn't do it because he knew that deep down inside that wasn't him. Mickey even told Rocky that he could've been a good fighter but instead he was just throwing his life away working for troublemakers.

Experience with Film

A film that relates to this movie is any movie that tells a story and has a moral. 

Rocky (Character)

I find the character of Rocky to be very interesting. He is a pretty big guy, who fights, gets people to pay back loans, likes animals, and has a somewhat romantic side. Not often have I seen anyone who can neatly balance all these things into one person, it is very interest peaking, well in my opinion anyway.

Movies

One movie that is adapted from a book is Mockingjay from The Hunger Games series.
I actually read The Hunger Games series in its entirety and enjoyed it fairly well. I'm excited to see the movie because, I'm proud to say I read all the books, I really like Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) and Jena Malone (Johanna Mason) and especially the character Jena Malone plays, Johanna, who is my favorite in the entire series. Something about her character is attracting to me. In addition to these, I am also excited because Catching Fire was actually my favorite book and the way it came out on film pretty much if not exceeded met my expectations. Mockingjay is supposed to come out in November.

Rocky (Film)

So far, I think the film, Rocky,  is decent. Not my favorite, nor would I watch it in my spare time, but it is decent.
I actually have not seen Rocky prior to this class and I was somewhat excited to finally get to see it. There are ways I can see how it has gotten so popular; it has many different traits. To name a few: romance, comedy, and violence. It caters to almost everyone's interest, just isn't really satisfying mine.
Maybe as we continue watching the movie in class I will grow more interested and perhaps even watch the other following films.

Rocky

The movie rocky wasn't the best movie I've watched because it was a little too old of a movie to me, it didn't peek my interest. 

Rocky + Fav book and screen adaption

We learned that Rocky has a soft side to animals and people he like. He may seem tough on the outside but he is kind hearted. He may of grown to be the person he didn't want to be, but he will still be the person he is on the inside. I hope to see more development of him in the movie, see him grow and be the person he will want.
I didn't really like the movie, I am more into animation then live action. I like more "adventure" and "mystery" movies rather than something like this movie. But that is okay, I feel like later on the movie will get funnier and very nice. But since I have only seen about 20 minutes, I can not say much. The movie reminded me of Outsiders, because it had the same feel. Just because a child seems strong and wild, does not mean they can be caring and loving on the inside.
I think that if we saw more of the movie, we could see how Rocky is a different from everyone else. He didn't break the guys thumb, because he didn't want to. Making up a white lie by saying "he wouldn't be able to work anymore". He also let him keep his coat, even when the guy begged him to take it. It shows that he wasn't into doing what he did, all he wanted to do is take the money and go, not get into a mess. Later on in the movie, we may see more of this, and see him not take the stuff he doesn't need.

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My favorite book is Harry Potter, and for the screen adaption, it was alright. A lot of the characters weren't described as they look in the book, but its hard to fine perfect actors. It also missed many details. One of the biggest details is how Voldemort died. In the movie, Voldemort died like a demon, he turned to ash and was never seen again. While in the book, Voldemort died like a human, he had a corpse and everything. This is much better that what happened in the movie. It shows that no matter what, Voldemort was a human from the beginning.
Also, how they showed Dumbledore was wrong. In the book Dumbledore was sweet and kind. He cared for his students and wouldn't even yell at them. He talked to them in a soft voice. While in the movie he would yell at them and get angry. It is very different and for the people who only watched the movie get a different character out of him.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

CVL 1 + 2

9/4/14

One movie I'm really excited to see is the Sly Cooper Movie. The animation looks really nice and the voices sound spot on. I doubt it will be very good, but I used to play this video game with my cousins all the time when I was little and I love that it's still relevant enough today to make a movie out of it.

9/4/14

The Lord of the Rings has always been one of my favorite book series, and also one of my favorite movie series. The movies were impressively close to the books, and the things that they changed tended to be small and unimportant. One thing I wish was in the movie adaptations of LotR, would be the hobbits meeting Tom Bombadil in the Old Forest. Their interactions with Tom in the forest and in the Barrow Downs were interesting and added some depth to the start of Frodo's journey.

The Wayward Wrestler

What comes to mind when you hear the word "wrestler"? To me, I picture a tough, toned, well-built person who is both mentally and physically strong, although they might not be very well educated. Rocky Balboa fits this description very well, however, this movie also gives viewers a look into the other aspects of the wrestler's life. It quickly becomes apparent that he has a different, more gentle side to him. But also, he appears to be lost. He seems to lack motivation and self-confidence, and the cinematography only enhances his personality. When asked to challenge Apollo Creed, for example, he seemed very reluctant to accept the offer out of fear that he would lose the competition. But eventually, he was persuaded into fighting Apollo. It seemed like it was very easy for people to push him around, for them to coerce him into doing something whether he wanted to or not. His coach, Paulie, removed his belongings from his locker without even asking him, despite the fact that he had been using that locker for years. He often called Rocky a "bum", and was always in a bad mood whenever Rocky was around him. But Paulie wasn't the only one, because several other characters treated him like he was a worthless loser.

What really struck me was his calm nature. He didn't seem like the stereotypical wrestler type. He had a surprisingly gentle personality, and this is shown several times throughout the film. When he brought Adrian to the ice skating rink, and then to his apartment, he was very kind to her. He treated her with respect, despite the fact that people always treated him with disrespect. For the first time in her life, she had been treated like a human being.

As Johnna said in her post, he was subconsciously lifting himself up while also lifting Adrian up, much like he did with the young girl on the street corner. It was very evident that Adrian's loudmouth brother wasn't very nice to her at all, yet Rocky was kind and caring. The time they spent together that night was definitely the best time of her life. This reveals a lot about his character, because instead of seeing her as the awkward girl who worked at the bird store, he saw her as something more: a person. A living, breathing person, with feelings and emotions. That's how a real man treats a woman.

Books to Movies I Can't Wait to See

Melissa Poulin
Entry #2
B3
9/4/14

I've read quite a few books that have been or are being turned into movies. I have recently seen excellent adaptations of books such as Catching Fire and The Fault in Our Stars, two of my favorite books. They were both pretty accurate with the books and had great actors. Usually movies that were based off books tend to disappoint me, however, these two contained most of what I was expecting to see and I enjoyed them. These are a few new books to movies I'm really excited for this year.

Mockingjay Part 1:
The third book in The Hunger Games Trilogy is finally coming out as a movie around November this year and I'm hoping it will be as good as the second one. Although I did enjoy the second book more than this one I'm sure it's going to be great.  

The Maze Runner:
A really great series I read a few years ago and was ecstatic to find out that it was being made into a movie. I can't wait to see the maze and the characters come alive in this movie. It comes out right around my birthday, which is when I will probably go see it.  

If I Stay: 
I remember reading this book freshman year and I loved it. The book really made me think about how your life can completely change in an instant and discusses the difficult choice between life and death. I wasn't even expecting it to become a movie. I haven't gotten the chance to see it yet, but I hope I will soon.

Rocky Balboa

Rocky

I have never seen a Rocky movie. However, I am really enjoying it. What i like the most about the movie is how Rocky's personality contradicts with his physical appearance. When you first meet Rocky, you see a well built boxer, with a strong muscular voice. This gives you the impression that he mainly cares for himself and would have a very short temper. But in reality, he is the complete opposite. In the first scene, he was in a boxing match, in which he won, and right after the match, he went into the locker room and bummed a cigarette off someone. Also on his way home, he was drinking from a beer bottle. Athletes, would not do this after a match/game it will harm their body.

Another scene that stuck out to me was when Rocky finally arrived at his apartment. In this scene, the first thing he does is go feed his pet turtle. As he is feeding his pet, he sparks up a conversation stating, "Oh I did great you should have been there." He makes sure his pet turtle has enough to eat before he walked towards a mirror, and rehearse a joke he was going to tell a sweet young lady at the pet store.

Rocky

Melissa Poulin
Entry #1
B3
9/4/14

So far, the movie Rocky seems interesting. I have seen some parts of this movie before and the other Rocky movies because my dad likes to watch them. However, I have never really watched the whole thing so I didn't really know the story line. I'm really enjoying it so far. I love Rocky's character because you would assume that he is a tough guy because of fighting, but on the inside he is really soft and a good person. I can tell that he is a caring person because of the way he treats his pets and the way he acts with other people. For example, he talks to the underage girl about how she should hang out with better people and also talks to her about respect. He also doesn't hurt the guy who he was collecting money from even though he was scolded for not doing what he was told. I'm looking forward to see what else is going to happen next.

Rocky

I have never seen any of Rocky's movies before we started watching it in class, but I like it. He never takes any shit from anyone also stands for the right message.

Arielle Outlaw:Journal Entry 1

One movie in particular that I would never  cause me to be weary is " Baby Boy ". In this film a middle-classed man named Jody wants to be entitled as a man when he continues to live as a child. He opens up with a fact stating from a female doctors studies about how black men according to her theory due to the system of racism a black man in America thinks of himself as a baby , a not yet fully formed human being. Jody is faced with many obstacles through out his journey of becoming a man ; trying to raise his two kids , drama with his mom's new boyfriend , trouble with his girlfriend and in the mist of all his probelms pandering where he's going to get the funds from to support his family. In the beginning , of the film Jody is informed that his girlfriend Yvette is pregant an by the look on her faces knows things are only going to get more stressful. 

Yvette has been trying to push the issue of having Jody move in and becoming a family with their child. Jody is currently staying with his mom and her new boyfriend Melvin. Jody stays with his mom rent and stress free. Melvin and Jody don't have the best relationship , but they're cordial with each other respect for Jody's Mom. As Jody's mom is heading to the car to enjoy a night with Melvin , Jody shouts to his mom to bring him back a fat burger with chesse adding lettuce tomato following by Mom yelling to go inside as if he is a child. In my eyes this movie is undineably my " gulity pleasure " despite the fact that I love the actors and plot in this movie , I'm able to make personal connections to various parts in the film. 

So far I am enjoying Intro to Film Sudies. I feel as though the class is causes me to look at situations in films on a different level. I'm looking forward to watching various types of films in class and the class discussions that we may have. A couple of suggestions I have for class is maybe we can compared old films that were remade today. For example , The Great Gatsby and King Kong past and present are two movies I would love to watch an compare the differences and similarities between the two.

Rocky (Dean Artusa 09-04-14)

I really like this movie, I feel that the movie has some irony in it because usually a fighting movie would be more serious but this movie has a good mix of funny stuff and serious parts. One of the things that is funny is the way Rocky talks to people.

Rocky

I haven't seen any rocky movies. But from what I got from the first few minutes of it is that he is independent about himself. Like no matter what he goes through he doesn't take anything from anyone. He doesn't care what he heard from everyone, all he cares about is goal of being the best that he can be.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Rocky Balboa: "The Enigma"


Although our class has only began to watch the movie, "Rocky", I am extremely interested in it and ready to see more. I find the character, "Rocky" extremely fascinating. On the outside, Rocky appears to be this big, tough Italian boxer and loan shark, but he is a much deeper person. As we discussed in class, in the scene where Rocky goes back to his apartment after the boxing match, you get to see a glimpse of his softer, more vulnerable side. A powerful moment in the apartment scene was when Rocky was looking in the mirror at himself, and the picture of himself as a young boy. In this scene, I think that Rocky is really evaluating his life, goals, and dreams. Another aspect of the movie that really highlights the sort of "contradiction" in Rocky's personality is his relationship with Adrian, who works at the local pet store. He puts a lot of effort and time into trying to impress Adrian and defends her when her brother speaks negatively of her. Rocky is an enigma in the sense that he lives this very hard-life, earning little to no money getting beat up and dealing with people calling him names such, as "loser" and "bum", but still has the ability to care for other people and give out powerful advice about life.

A scene that stuck out to me from the movie was when the young girl was hanging out on the street corner, cursing and behaving inappropriately with a group of guys. Rocky pulled her away from the situation and talked to her about "self-respect" and "reputation.  I think it was powerful how he wasn't shaming her for cursing or putting her down, but he was rather advising to be true to herself and not behave in a certain way to impress others. It was interesting how he talked  to her about people's perceptions,and encouraged her to show how good she is, instead of creating a "reputation" for herself. I feel that Rocky was not only giving advice to the young girl, but speaking to himself as well. Sometimes when we are trying to lift other individuals up, we are subconsciously trying to life ourselves up.

I am really looking forward to watching the movie in class next Friday. I would like to know more about Rocky's background and how his life has evolved to this point. I am also curious about how Rocky and Adrian's relationship will grow as the movie progresses.

Humans v. Apes: Black and White? Or Somewhere In Between?


Undoubtedly, Matt Reeves' "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was the best movie I saw this summer. In all honesty, the movie's prequel, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" didn't leave a major impression on me, so I didn't have super high expectations going to the movie theater. To my pleasant surprise, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was an action-packed, thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat, while compelling me to reevaluate my conceptions of good and evil, and love and hate. I enjoyed the movie so much that I saw it a second time with a group of my friends.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" takes place ten years after "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", in which a significant percentage of the world has been wiped out by the "Simian Flu", a side-effect of a drug created to cure Alzheimer's disease. Under the leadership of Caesar, the apes that escaped in the previous movie are now living in a complex village outside of San Francisco. The apes have not been in contact with humans for years and believe that they are completely gone. Caesar, an ape that had lived comfortably with a kind-hearted man in the previous movie,  still has some compassion for humans and worries about them, to an extent. The movie picks up pace when Caesar's son, Blue Eyes and his friend, Ash go hunting in the woods and encounter a group of humans, who end up shooting Ash. From that point on, things will never be the same for humans or apes. I will stop right there and not spoil the rest of the movie for the individuals who want to see it.

Looking at the movie from an analytical standpoint, there a plethora of recurring themes throughout the movie.. In the movie, there is not only tension between humans and apes, as that is obvious, but there is also conflict within the individual groups themselves. Like most people, I went into the movie thinking that it would be a full on war between the apes and humans, but that is not what the movie is about all. From my perspective, the movie is about love and hate, and how it impacts all species, not just humans. In the movie, there are apes like Caesar who do not hate humans, while there are others who are out for revenge, like Koba. There are compassionate humans, such as Malcolm and Ellie, who want to maintain peaceful relations with the apes, while there are those who will kill the apes in a second, if it means they can get access to their resources.Suffice it to say, human or ape, we choose whether we will forgive and love one another, or carry hate in our hearts and destroy each other.

Good movies don't draw clear lines between good and bad; they blur them. For example, the ape, Koba, who in short betrayed Caesar and lit the match that started the violence between the apes and humans, has a story, too. Often times in movies and books, we are not told what the antagonist has experienced or given any background information about them. Prior to "Dawn", Koba was a lab ape who was severely abused and left emotionally and physically scarred. A powerful moment in the movie was when Caesar remarked, "Let them do their human work," in reference to the humans trying to fix the dam for power, Koba pointed to the scars on his body and angrily replied, "Human work. Human work!" Although Koba ultimately chose the path of hate and betrayed Caesar as well as his fellow apes, you can't help but feel bad about what happened to him.

I left the theater wondering: Can we truly choose our path in our lives? Or are we products of our experiences, despite our best efforts? Maybe it's a mix of both. I will never know.

Shawn Luzzi Rocky thoughts (So far, atleast...SPOILER WARNING!!)


Shawn Luzzi

Intro to Film Studies 9/3/14

Rocky initial thoughts so far... (SPOILER WARNING!!)


I'll be honest, I have never watched a Rocky movie in my life, though I have heard of its popularity and pop culture references as I lived my life. Being able to watch this film, I began to just get a bit suspicious as Sylvester Stallone, whom was the actor for Rocky, was the writer for this film himself. I was afraid he'd make Rocky more of a "Gary Stu", as in a really overpowered character with no problems and get's all the ladies. However, that wasn't really the case as the movie opened up with Rocky getting repeatedly jabs in the face by his enemy boxer in the ring. The camera and the motions, as well as the run-down setting of what seemed like a church being used for a boxing arena instead is what made Rocky seem very small, even after he was able to triumph over his opponent by savagely beating him down. 

Another point I had notice as well was Rocky's reaction towards insults and such. At first, with the crowd calling him a bum and a loser, he seemed to shrug it off in the ring. But after collecting money for a boss of his and getting called a meat-head, he seemed to snap. Perhaps this is an example of holding it in, I'd have to watch the rest of the film to assure that. Also, the Camera angles also do a nice job in the beginning to make Rocky seem very small compared to the rest of the world, making the boxer seem like a minuscule ant instead of a famous and powerful boxer. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Into the Storm

Ever since I was a young kid, I have been interested in weather. Whenever there was heavy rain or thunderstorms, I would often race to the window, open the curtains and blinds, and watch mother nature in action. Several summers ago, my mom dug out an old VCR tape from a container in my basement. It was the classic tornado movie, Twister. I loved that movie. But when I watched it again earlier this year, I realized how old the special effects were. What had once amazed me was no longer impressive. The tornadoes didn't look real at all, and I had wished that a modern version of Twister was created, considering how life-like today's special effects are. About six months later, I saw an advertisement on tv for this exciting movie, called Into the Storm. My dreams had come true!

About a month later, on my birthday, my mom, sister, and I went to the theater to go see it. The theater was quiet, and I had arrived early just in time to view all of the previews. They had always annoyed me. While some movies looked interesting, I was always so eager to see the film that I came to the theater for in the first place. Finally, after about fifteen minutes, the previews had stopped, and the film had started. I hoped I wouldn't be disappointed.

As it turned out, I wasn't. I loved the movie from start to finish. It was like riding a rollercoaster: there are some calm points, and just when you think everything is over, another huge hill to climb and race down comes into view. The special effects were fantastic, and the storyline was very well developed. Like most disaster movies, the beginning starts off calm; everything is normal. Life carries on as usual. But then, everything changes, and for the characters, life will never be the same. In the aftermath of the cataclysmic disaster, just about every single structure that had stood tall in the town had been flattened like a pancake. Lives were lost, precious irreplaceable items had been demolished forever. But it was truly amazing to see a change in the characters. The father, who was the principal of the school (knocked down by the tornado) was no longer so uptight, so rigid. Students from the school who had previously, in my opinion, acted like jerks changed completely. Forgetting all of the hostilities and insecurities, everyone was just thankful to be alive.

The Silence was Very Loud

Just a few weeks ago was my birthday, on August 18th. A few weeks prior to my birthday, I had seen the trailer for a new movie, called Into the Storm. Knowing that my birthday was only a few weeks away, I definitely wanted to go see the movie; judging from the trailer (which sometimes can be deceptive) it was going to be a great, action-packed movie. 

On August 18, my mom, sister, and I headed to the Regal Cinemas in Branford. It was a Monday, and the parking lot looked just about empty. As I entered the theater, I noticed how empty it was. There was literally no one else there except for us, along with the employees. It was so quiet; all you could hear was the sound of the popcorn machines. We bought our tickets, and headed to the theater. Usually there is a person standing at the podium who checks to see if you have purchased your tickets, and points directs you to the theater where your movie is being shown. This time, there was no one standing there. So we headed down the empty hallways, into an empty theater. It was early, it had been several years since I actually arrived to a movie on time. A few minutes passed by, and a few other people entered the room and sat down, quietly. After that, no one else came in. Never before had I been in a theater that had so few people. It felt so strange, but at the same time, it was really nice. It was like a day at the beach, a hike in the mountains: relaxing. The silence was very loud. It was almost as if I had the theater all to myself.