Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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
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.
Man on Wire First Impressions
Thursday, September 25, 2014
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: Last Impressions of Sugar
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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.
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
Shawn Luzzi dives into Sugar
Intro to film studies 9/22/14
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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"?
Monday, September 15, 2014
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.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
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)
Thursday, September 11, 2014
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
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.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
More Rocky thoughts (Spoilers ye)
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
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.
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.
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
Rocky Character Development (SPOILER WARNING)
Intro to film studies 9/7/14
Friday, September 5, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
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.
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.
Intro to Film Studies 9/3/14
Rocky initial thoughts so far... (SPOILER WARNING!!)
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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.