Friday, October 31, 2014


After watching birds for the first 4-5 minutes i really was confused on why did this woman wanted to know who this man was who came into the pet shop. I guessed she was obsessed with him because she tracked down his licsences plate by heart to call the operator to identify him. Did all that work to drop some birds off at his house. Im really not interested in the film because its all about birds so far but hopefully i can change my mind down the road.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Psycho: Myles Snider

Myles Darius: Marion Is My Favorite.

While watching the movie Psycho, I noticed that there's a theme of "Embezzlement". In the movie, Marion is fairly not happy with her boyfriend who is a divorcee who offers her to take the afternoon off, but she rejects his idea and rushes to her office, where she meets this man named Tom Cassidy, a wealthy customer who gives her $40,000 to put in the bank for him. However, Marion doesn't deposit this money in the bank, she goes on the run with it. She then turns off a road without realizing and meets Norman Bates, a proprietor at the Bates Motel, who then asks her on a date. After wrapping the remaining money inside a newspaper, Marion overhears a intense argument between Norman and his "mother" about letting Marion into the house.
While listening to Norman talk about his mother being mentally ill, Marion realizes that she is stuck in a trap and the only way she can escape it is if she takes responsibility for stealing the money.
I can totally connect to Marion in this situation because there have been times when I have stolen the littlest things such as a pen from someone (trust me, i'm not a thiefand it literally made me feel like a horrible person and when I'm in a situation like that, I feel really stuck and the only I feel I can come out of that place is if I really own up to it, and just from that connection, it can be revealed that Marion and I are really in touch with our own conscience.


Psycho. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock AKA
             the master of suspense. Perf.
             Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates)
             and Janet Leigh (Marion Crane)
             [Suzie Vargas in the touch of evil] )
             Universal, 1960
          Nominated for four Academy awards
             (Sub-categories for B&W)

Psycho was very great film full of suspense. I wasn't disappointed  at all while watching it.I was looking forward to every A3 class to began watching because during lunch i was predicting what would happen next.
Psycho was the first movie i ever watched with narratives meaning you follow one character for the first 40 minutes than the next for the rest of the movie. That's what really confused me after Lila Crane dies by Normans "So called mother" i really thought the movie was over or that that was going to replay even further from the beginning but they did what nobody else did put another narrative after the scene so they can solve the missing persons case. I really thought Normans mother was still alive because i would see her in the window or hear he voice i even seen Norman carry her down the steps. The domination of  Normans mother was so strong on Norman that he would try to be his mother. I found this out when Sam grabbed Norman and snatched his wig off. That scene is what made me realize Normans mother was just a skeleton and he was both characters.


For my first veiwing of psycho I was definitely drawn in by Marions character. Her facial expressions showed how nervous, anxious, and possibly scared she was.  
I still was very confused as to why the police officer followed Marion all the way to the car dealership. I understand that she looked suspicious but to follow her after already speaking to her on the side of the road was too much. 
I also noticed that there was a lot of intense music in random scenes that weren't needed which kind of annoyed me because I was getting ready to be scared or shocked and I wasn't.  
Now that she's met Norman it seems that he's developed a crush on her.  And I wonder as to why his mom flipped out about having her eat dinner with the family because it was pooring. It seems as if the family is hiding something and that his mother got defensive towards Norman for even thinking it would be a good idea. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Psycho by Elijah Mendez

The ending of psycho was really shocking. Finding out that Norman had actually murdered his mother and her husband really caught you by surprise. To protect himself from the pain of what he had done he (metaphorically) gave half his life to his mother. Switching personalities from her to himself in the matter of seconds. After watching the ending I reflected on the film and there are several parts in the movie where you can point out that the mother was not there. For example when norman was arguing with his mom every time one of the two personalities talked one had to pause to Norman could switch to the other. Also when Norman was carrying the deceased body of his mother down the stairs, she was telling him to let go but wasn't moving at all her body was completely limp. I really enjoyed the suspense and irony of this movie. I view this film as a true, horror classic that can still be watched and enjoyed even in today's developing and more improved cinema.

Phyco by Dean Artusa

This movie was interesting because it was kind of a crime investigation type movie but yet it had some jump scares that actually got me even though its an old movie. For example a scare that got me was when the victims sister went into the phyco's basement and found his mother in a chair, when she turned the chair it was just a skeleton and this got me because I expected it to look like a recent death, not someone who has been dead for years and years.
In the movie they made the phyco seem like a suspect because of how nervous he was when he was being questioned and he wouldn't answer everything or have short / undescriptive answers.
I thought it was strange when they debriefed the situation and said that he thought he was two people and that's what caused him to act so crazy, I found it interesting because I never would have thought that's what was wrong with him, he even dressed up as his mother.
Its important to notice things such as in the beginning of the movie she had on a white bra but then around the time when she stole the $40,000 she had a black bra which could symbolize evil, compared to when she had on white which makes you think more positive.

Alien: Final Review-Julianna

In my previous post about the movie Alien, I was sure to highlight that the genre of aliens is typically that of laughing stock, as I find that I cannot take them seriously. However, this movie didn't exactly disappoint.

The amount of suspense kept the film entertaining, and from class to class had me wondering and interested on what exactly would happen next.

In the case of observation, I had also mentioned in my prediction of the ending that there would potentially be one character living, typically in other films, the most innocent. Usually it is a blond haired woman, fair skinned with light eyes to represent that innocence, but in this case it was quite different. The last living character was in fact a woman with fair skin, but a woman with brown hair and dark eyes as well.

Overall it is safe to say that the movie itself was satisfying. The effects weren't all too bad either, though you can definitely see the influence Star Wars had on the movie. Between the design of the ship, the robots, the creatures--they can all be compared.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Touch of Psycho

As I watched it, I noticed that ending of Psycho is very similar to the ending of Touch of Evil. Norman was very similar in character to Quinlan, but in a more psychotic way. I could tell early on in the movie that Norman wasn't normal, something was wrong with him. He had a look in his face that just didn't look right; it would be accurate to say that he had a few screws loose in his head. Towards the end of the film, his character began to come out even more. Sam, a former lover of Marion, and Lila, Marion's sister, went to the Bates Motel to investigate Marion's disappearance. All signs were pointing to Marion being at this place, and Norman's suspicious behavior certainly didn't turn anyone's eyes away. In my previous post, I discussed how terrible of a liar he was: he said one thing, and then the evidence that the detective found said another. It was clear that he was hiding something, and it was definitely something significant. 

This same strange behavior took place when he dealt with Sam and Lila. They asked to check into a cabin. Usually, guests have to sign a register, but Norman, knowing that Marion's name was on it, hesitated to hand it over to Sam. After a few tense minutes, Sam and Lila made their way to Cabin 10, where they were assigned. Norman wanted to keep them as far away as possible from Cabin 1, where he killed Marion. But shortly after he walked away, Sam and Lila went over to that cabin. They looked around, and Lila saw a piece of paper with "$40,000" written on it. This definitely was her sister's cabin. 

The two split up: Lila heads towards Norman's mother's house, and Sam pries at Norman to try to find out where the money went. His mother's house had an eerie feeling to it, all the way from the entrance, to the second floor, to the basement. The camera panned to show creepy dolls and figurines. In the basement was the corpse of Norman's mother, who from behind looked completely normal, complete with a wig. 

And if you thought that was freaky, just wait until the last part of the movie. Norman is locked up in a cell, where it is revealed that he is two people at once: himself, and his mother. However, his mother's personality has taken over his, or something like that. It's kind of confusing, and extremely disturbing. I can see where this movie gets its name. 

Aside from the bizarre ending, this movie reminded me a lot of Touch of Evil. In both movies, justice is served at the end, however not all was perfect. People ended up dying, it was too late for them to be revived, unfortunately. Even though Norman was locked up, the damage was already done. $40,000 were lost, and Marion was dead. 


I didn't get to finish the movie alien because i had a football game but i did like the beginning of the movie and middle. it was interesting and was kind of funny but it was not scary.i liked it though but i thought it would have had some scary parts to it. It looked like a star wars movie though but not as good. i would recomend it to someone else.

Shawn Luzzi Spoopy update on PSYCHO

Okay, good news: No more randomly playing tense music.

I have to say, watching these old movies really shows me how these movies had aged ever since this movie's release in 1960. I'm not going to touch on aspects such as the black and white color, but I will touch on aspects such as the scenes and how they're done. Obviously from above, I want to talk about the "stabbing in the shower" scene, especially with how nonchalant the stabber was with stabbing Marion as it seemed slow, and no real force seems me to seen.

One last thing I'd like to touch on was the "special effects", obviously there isn't going to be much of them since this film is old, but honestly, it's a bit weird seeing there was practically no blood on Marion, but only splashed a bit around the bathtub. Heck, there wasn't even see-able stab wounds from the attack.

Though, I'm sure at the time, this film must've been wonders for the citizens during the 1960's.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Terrible Liar

Today was my first viewing of Pyscho, since I had missed the previous class. But fortunately, the small part of the film that I did see today was interesting. It started out with a motel worker talking to an attractive women. I noticed right away that he seemed a little strange, and the fact that he stuffed dead animals didn't help with this first impression. He explained that his mother had some serious mental issues, which could explain why he acted the way that he did. Shortly after this conversation, the woman (Marion) headed to her room, and I saw the man (Norman) look into her bathroom through a peephole. Right away, I thought "this guy is creepy". I just didn't like the way he was acting, and I was concerned for her safety. There was no telling what he was capable of doing. 

Just a short while after, Marion was in the shower, which looked horribly unrealistic, by the way. Then, a shot of the shower curtain came up, and as she was showering, I could see a figure in the background. I knew she was in trouble, yet she had no idea it was coming. That, my friends, is a classic example of dramatic irony: the audience can see something that the characters in the film cannot see yet. Usually, it is used in dramatic/horror scenes. That figure came closer to Marion, and stabbed her several times. At first, not being familiar with the movie, I thought that Norman had done this, but I read the synopsis online and found that his mother had killed her. 

When the detective came to investigate, Norman attempted to act as if he didn't know anything about the stabbing, despite the fact that he did. Clearly he wasn't a very good liar, and it was also clear that the detective was aware of this. He was extremely suspicious of Norman, whose poorly-thought-out stories made no sense at all. I felt really bad for Marion, because she was dead, and it seemed like no justice would be served. Her body couldn't even be recovered, because Norman drove a car with her body in its trunk into a swamp. He cleaned up the bathroom from the walls to the floors in an effort to make it seem as if she was never killed there. But he probably missed a few spots. He offered to give the detective a look at the rooms just to prove that he wasn't up to something, but it didn't work out so well. The detective saw him head towards the first room, and then quickly jerk away. "Why is he not showing me that room? He must be hiding something there...", he must've thought. Norman also stuttered a lot when he spoke, and had a noticeable shakiness in his voice as well. 

The detective kept prying at him, trying to get more information, but he didn't tell him anything else, and instead asked him to leave. Again, this is another example of how bad of a liar he was, which certainly didn't help him cover his behind, so to speak. The detective didn't buy it, Norman was definitely not nearly as innocent as he claimed to be. I'm interested in seeing what will happen after this, and how the story turns out. In my class, we have about 15 minutes left of the film

As a side note, I also thought that the placement of the music was strange. There was so much dramatic, creepy sound even when there was nothing dramatic or creepy happening. I liked the fact that Alien's music was perfectly composed, and played at the appropriate time. With Psycho, it is a little nerve wracking because it feels as though something scary is going to happen, yet it doesn't. But hey, this film is from 1960, so I'll cut it a little slack...

Experiences with Film - Keala Powell A3

     Prior to this film, I have had a lot of experience with it. Ever since I was a little girl I've been watching

movies that I liked whether it was funny or scary I've always watched movies. Watching movies was always

a family pastime.I remember my parents taking me and my siblings to see Lilo and Stitch in the movie theater

as a family. My family always used to go see outdoor movies and these are memories that stuck with me.
 I've watched plenty of movies in school that were related to the material we were learning. In this class I

expect to really notice and learn film terminology and be introduced to new movies I haven't seen or maybe

even thought about watching. I feel like coming in to this class I’m in something that I’ve always knew but

never took the time to actually go into depth.

Shawn Luzzi Psycho First Impressions

Okkkkay, talk about oddly placed tense music sections.

First off, I'd like to say this movie has a decent set up so far, with one of the female workers nabbing a ton of money in order to go off with her boyfriend from a wealthy individual that planned to use the money else-how.

Still though, the movie does get a bit awkward with using its tense music. I get the first time it was used, when a person she worked for recognized her in the car, and the police somewhat stalks her. But even when the police stalks her, it doesn't seem that there isn't really any MAJOR danger besides the police being nearby, and the tense music starts blasting as the main female starts to nonchalantly drive away from the situation. It just feels a bit awkward as nothing really is happening besides driving sections and the female looking nervous as people talk in the background.

I'll have to see how the rest of the movie fairs, but it seems decent so far-(psycho theme starts playing) WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Man On Wire: Man of Persistence-Julianna

The one quality of a person that I feel is most admirable is that of persistence. It’s a matter of how far a person will go and how hard a person will work. Also take into account what a person is working for. Is it something the person wants, something they’re passionate about, or maybe even something that they need?

Man On Wire is a movie illustrating a true story of a French man named Philippe Petit who was arrested for tight roping illegally between the twin-towers. Thinking of it, tight roping itself would require a great amount of persistence, seeing as it requires a great amount of physical and emotional balance. One wrong move and one could easily either get seriously injured, or potentially die doing what it is that they love.

The movie itself shows the struggles he goes through to again tight rope after he was arrested. This time, however, he wanted to actually make it across the wire. He spent years planning, hours setting everything up in secrecy. He had to bypass security, undergo psychiatric evaluation. However, he didn’t give up on his dream. Not until he was satisfied with his work.

Is he considered a hero? An inspiration maybe. But a question left for debate;

What’s the difference between an inspiration and a hero?

Alien: Déjah Tinney

While returning from a space mission, Nostromo is awakened by a supposed SOS call from a system they are passing through. Descending to the planet's surface, they discover a strange spaceship. What he finds are thousands of strange alien eggs. While examining one of the eggs, it hatches and attacks him. After returning to the Nostromo the crew takes off again to head for Earth. The alien parasite died and all seems well again. But what no one knows is that another alien is forming within its host and when it emerges, the crew finds itself in serious trouble. 

Man of Evil: Déjah Tinney

Fanny winesses the death of her father in a fight with Lord Manderstoke. Her mother died shortly after, she next discovers that her real father is in fact a well-respected politician. Meeting him and then falling in love with his advisor Harry Somerford leads to a life of ups and downs and conflict between the classes. Periodically the Lord crosses her path, always to tragic effect.


I am both confused and intrigued by this post; what is this Man of Evil of which you speak? Are you confusing another film with Orson Welles's film noir classic Touch of Evil? I realize you were absent during some of our screenings. Let me know if you need to catch up or if we need to develop an alternate assignment.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Alien: Myles Snider


Personally, I'm not one to indulge in watching movies based on space, or aliens -- Movies that fall into such categories often bore me, however the movie Alien definitely opened my eyes, while making me jump and scream at the same time. Alien is definitely one of those movies that will spook you, although it isn't a 'Scream' or 'Halloween', while watching this movie, I can guarantee you will belch out at least one scream and I feel that's the beauty of this movie, it's not your typical horror based movie -- It's  horror but done correctly, most horror movies today give you that tension that something is gonna happen next, in Alien, you never know what's gonna pop out or even happen next. 

For example, the scene where all the doctors were holding down the man (shown above), he's constantly screaming and screaming in this scene which already is more of a tense moment, and as he's screaming one of the doctors starts grabbing tools that he an stab the man with, and while the man is still screaming in such agony, an alien literally jumps out his chest causing blood everywhere on the man. 

This indisputably was one of the most mentally scarring, appalling, intense scenes I have ever witnessed in a scary movie. Most horror movies don't really encourage me to scream, but this one did. I must say that Ridley Scott and Gordon Carroll have created a classic, masterpiece film.

Lastly, the story line of this movie as a whole isn't disappointing at all. All the plot twists, and suspense methods are sure to keep the viewer entertained and left wanting more. I highly admire the way Ridley Scott adds that certain dramatic efrect to keep his viewers engaged, very acute of him. 

Overall, this movie alone is definitely one that I would recommend to anyone to watch, not only because it's a 'classic, sci-fi horror' but because I honestly feel like this is a classic horror film, this is more like a horror 2.0, you can definitely see that while making this movie, they definitely did not hold back whatsoever and that's what a scary movie is all about; not holding back, spooking your audience. I absolutely give the director, producers and the members on board for this movie, the highest applaud for such a great production. Completely deserving of its Academy Award. 

Psycho by Elijah mendez

Psycho is a film made in 1960, it's a suspense/horror movie that grabs your attention with its suspense and creepiness. The black and white seems to enhance the spookinest during the film. Marion is overly paranoid after stealing the money from her boss, every person she encounters she gets nervous. Getting anxious off the simplest questions of her name and when asked for her drivers license (when police officer pulled her over). Then you are introduced to Norman. A very well mannered but creepy young man. He seems to like marion, but has weird attributes about him. The way he spoke to marion when she was asking about his mother was leading me more towards the feeling that this man was in fact the psycho in this movie.

Alien by Elijah Mendez

The movie Alien was a pretty good movie. I enjoyed the movie as a whole but it was hard to get past the mediocre gore (even though that was probably top notch graphics back then). Being so used to the quality of gore and use of technology we have today for filming, it was hard to go back and watch a film like this. The cat in the film confused me he would show up at the most inconvenient times for the space crew. This isn't a movie I wouldn't want to watch again, unless there was absolutely nothing else on.

Rapid Alien Growth!

so far we have gotten almost half way through the alien movie, I would imagine. the movie is actually very good and it might even be safe to say that it exceeded my initial expectation. I was shocked tho to discover how rapidly the alien was able to grow however. it seemed unrealistic to me, like a scene of the alien's mid growth had to be removed due to time limit issues. other than that, the movie does a great job in grasping my attention. I was actually looking forward to watching more of the film in class today but due to unforeseen events we did not. well, Friday isn't far!

Sugar: Déjah Tinney

Miguel Santos, a kid from the Dominican Republic, signs with Kansas City. He flies to Phoenix for tryouts and is sent to the Class A team "The Swing" in Bridgetown, Iowa, where he lives with a farm family. Leaving his mom and girlfriend; learning English; working hard; achieving early success; navigating friendships, occasional racism, and a woman's mixed signals; dealing with an injury; doing drugs; and searching for his place in the world. 

Alien - My impression

Finally, the Alien is here. I like how the Alien is designed in this movie. Since, we technically do not know what Aliens look like, it is an interesting look for an alien. It walks on two legs, like humans, and has a tail, like an animal. This is my question, since the alien has mammal-like body parts and ways, did they take that into consideration? I think so, they wanted to portray the alien that way. Something unwonted and different from the usual alien movies like E.T and so on. When people think of aliens they think green and big eyes, so they wanted something different.

I also liked when the alien came into the movie. It grew in another person body, which is very different from what other people would think. Most people think the Alien would come straight out of the egg, and be there. But this movie made you think they immediately got rid of the alien, and let the man live. It did trick me for a second, then I thought "well if the movie is about an alien, it can't go away that fast."

I also liked how the alien only went after the humans, not the cat. Did the human do something to the aliens? Or did it just pick humans as its main food source. We eat cows and chickens, not foxes and rats. So, maybe the alien will only eat humans, because it is its main food source. I liked seeing this, not only does my favorite character live, but the alien must have a thought process. It must be able to think, and process what is going on. Maybe, the alien is smarter than us, it is able to go through the vents, and make its way through the space ship, that means it must know the layout. I know if I got into the ship for the first time, I would get lost or not know anything. The alien must know everything about the ship or a basic layout.

I hope to see more of how the alien gets a better idea of the ship or a better idea of humans. I want to see the alien get better at not getting caught, and catching people. I hope to see the alien get smarter and be able to process things better. Can't wait~

Ripley: The Lone Voice of Reason

On the surface, the movie, Alien might appear as if it is solely about dangerous aliens attacking, and given, that is an important of the film. But if you look closely, there are underlying themes embedded in the interactions between the crew members.While watching the film, I noticed a big theme of trust. Although the crew members appear to be "getting along", there is still a level of disunity between them. The theme of trust emerges first when Kane discovers the alien and it attaches itself to him. Ripley insists that they not let him back into the ship because it violated the protocol and could risk all the other crew members' lives. 

On the other hand, the leader of the science division, Ash, insists that they let him back in. Ultimately, the crew unwisely goes against Ripley's wishes. Once the alien "detaches" itself from Kane, Ash decides to keep the species, much to the dismay of Ripley who believes it is another risk. But she concedes again. Subsequently, Ripley has a confrontation with Dallas, in which she scolds him for giving Ash full authority and putting too much trust in him. Ripley stated, "I don't trust anyone."

As the movies unfolds, Kane promptly starts going into convulsions at the dinner table and an alien ends up exploding out of his heart. With this new threat, the crew members are desperately trying to find the alien and prevent more deaths. But the fact of the matter is that all of these events could have been prevented if they listened to Ripley. Realistically, I know that wouldn't make much of an interesting movie, but the level of disrespect to Ripley's insight is appalling and utterly foolish.

As a whole, the cinematography in this movie is amazing! The scene where the alien popped out of Kane's heart almost made me jump out of my seat. I am very excited to continue watching this movie and would like to see if the crew can successfully stop the alien. Specifically, I am interested in Ripley's character development and if the crew members will start listening to her. 

Touch of Evil: A Classic Film Noir

When we first started watching Touch of Evil in class, I had a hard time comprehending the plot. But as the movie began to progress, I started to become more and more interested. Despite my confusion in the beginning, I was always impressed by the cinematography. The long tracking shot at the beginning of the movie as Susie and Vargas are crossing the border into the United States was simply awesome. Viewing this movie also helped me better understand the genre of film noir, in which the plot concerns "a morally ambiguous" character.  

In Touch of Evil, the American detective Quinlan  is the morally ambiguous character. The plot revolved around a bomb being placed in a couple's car on their way to the U.S-Mexican border. Mexican drug enforcement official, Michael "Vargas" teams up with Quinlan and his group of American detectives to solve the crime. But as the events begin to unfold, Vargas realizes that Quinlan may be framing people for crimes he supposedly "solved". Knowing that he is under Vargas' skeptical eye, Quinlan makes a deal with Grandi, the leader of a major narcotics ring, to kidnap Susie and inject her with drugs. Deviating from the plan, Quinlan, strangles Grandi and leaves him there, in an attempt to frame Susie for murder. Susie is accused of Grandi's murder, but the tides change when Menzies reveals that he found Quinlan's cane at the crime scene.

At the end of the movie, there is a major confrontation between Menzies, Quinlan, and Vargas. Quinlan admits to Menzies that he planted all of the evidence, but shoots Menzies after he realizes he is recording their conversation. Quinlan gets ready to shoot Vargas, but is suddenly shot by Menzies.
It ironic how Sanchez was indeed guilty of planting the bomb in the couple's car, making it unnecessary for Quinlan to have framed him in the first place.

 I thought the ending scene of the movie was particularly powerful as Tanya was speaking with District Attorney Adair near Quinlan's dead body and said, "He was some kind of  a man. What does it matter what you say about people?" It was interesting to me how Tanya had the last word in the movie even though she didn't have a significant role in the movie. It was almost as if she was summarizing the main message of this story, like a narrator would. Tanya neither condemned or praised Quinlan's character. I think Tanya's last words allude to this idea of Quinlan as an ambiguous character, someone who maybe had good intentions, but who acted nefariously. 

What defines us as human beings more: our intentions or our actions? 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Julianna's Initial Alien Review

It's not often that one will find me watching a movie based primarily on the idea of aliens, seeing as often movies of such an idea more humor me than anything. However, I have to applaud the makers of this movie for having made me jump a couple of times thus far.

For example, when they're looking for the alien that had separated itself from the man's face, it falls unexpectedly from the ceiling onto the woman below. Thinking the alien is falling in order to attack, I was surprised to see that instead it was dead. Another example is when another man is looking for the cat on the lower deck of the ship. In this instance, he comes into contact with a full-grown, deadly alien that then kills him. My point is, the movie isn't too disappointing as far as the suspense factor really goes.

Moving on, I find the story-line thus far to be interesting. I find the plot to not do so much as bore me. There's often twists, shocks, anticipating moments in order to keep the viewer entertained. I value highly the way the cameras move so rhythmically and slowly in order to add to suspense. I admire the way the lighting adds to the eerie thought that there is this unknown being in their presence. It adds to the mystery.

I find as an observation to both this movie and even hundreds of others, that when people are to be killed, if there is one character to live, it is almost always the most innocent character. With that being said, it's usually a female, often blond haired, light eyed, in order to hint at the idea of a "perfect person," or even a Christ-like figure if you will. I'm interested to see how that plays out, and if anyone survives.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Alien: Great so far!

On Thursday, last class we had started watching Alien. The beginning seemed really boring. We didn't really get through a lot of it and nothing was really happening at the beginning. However, when I was talking about it with my friend who is in the other class, he said that we hadn't even gotten to the good part yet.

Today, the movie really started to get good. I'm more into the horror and suspense movies so Alien is meeting my expectations. I think I actually like this movie better than the other movies we have watched.

When they brought the guy in with the alien creature on his face I thought he was a goner until they said it was giving him oxygen. This was pretty strange. I still didn't think he would live though. Then, when they noticed the creature had fallen off his face and that it was dead, I questioned it. Was it really dead? Why did it detach itself from the guy's face? Also, was the guy really okay? He had woken up and seemed fine to the others but the scene left me with a feeling something strange was going to happen.

Then this happened:

This scene was the best so far. It was both shocking and awesome at the same time. I could feel the tension and creepiness as they were sitting around the table eating. I love how movies create that feeling where, even in a calm setting, you know something bad is going to happen. The film gave me that exact feeling at this part. Then he started choking on his food and his stomach looked like it was bulging and this little creepy alien burst out of him and it turns out this character was not going to live. It seemed clear to me that the alien attached to his face may have planted that little guy inside his stomach.

Another part in the film where we see and hear the background noises such as the creepy music and the lights flicking was when they tried to find the alien and they thought it was hiding in the locker. It seemed like the scene was building up and something was going to pop out of the locker. However, the cat ended up being in the locker, which I thought was pretty funny. I'm really routing for this cat not to die or get infected. Why did they bring the cat with them in the first place?

I'm really enjoying this movie so far. We ended around the part where the guy got attacked by an alien when he was trying to catch the cat. I'm excited to see what's going to happen next. Who will be the survivors?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Lone Woman

Yesterday I saw the final twenty minutes of Alien. As I said in my previous post, I was interested in seeing what would happen, but at the same time, I was sad to see the movie end so soon. Speaking of the ending, it was very well-done, much like the rest of the film. Ripley, one of the women aboard the spaceship Nostromo, was the only person still alive. The rest of the men and women had been killed by those vicious aliens. Ripley was left to fight for her life all by herself.

Throughout the film, I noticed how intelligent she really was. Unfortunately, her intelligence wasn't realized by the men, who barely paid attention to anything that she said. If she gave them orders, such as telling them not to let the man attacked by the alien claw back onto the spaceship, they defied her authority completely. She warned them that they could all get killed if he were to be let back in, and guess what happened? They all got killed. What a surprise.

In an attempt to destroy the aliens once and for all, Ripley activated the automatic detonation system (sounds intimidating, doesn't it?). In just ten minutes, the ship was to explode, which would also destroy the extraterrestrials. It became so intense when she was rushing around to get to the exit in the labyrinthine spaceship. As Mr. Monahan pointed out, the exits were located on the opposite side of the spaceship from the automatic detonation system. Along the way out, there was a massive alien, and it was truly amazing that she was able to avoid being attacked by it. Luckily, just in the nick of time, Ripley was safe, or so she thought. She had separated herself from Nostromo just in time, and watched it explode.

But that wasn't the end. It wasn't over; all was not safe and sound yet. I could tell from the music, the cinematography, and by Ripley's facial expressions that danger was still lurking on the spaceship. As Ripley was undressing and getting comfortable, I saw something strange-looking behind her. It looked like an alien, and it turns out that it was. Like the wind, she ran to her spacesuit, got her weapon, and set out to fight the alien. After about thirty intense seconds, the alien was finally out. But it climbed back into another part of the ship, so Ripley blasted it out, along with the other aliens that were still inside the spaceship. Finally, she was safe from harm.

But the harsh reality kicked in: Ripley was the only person out of the entire Nostromo crew that was still alive. But it also showed how strong of a woman she was, and how she proved the guys wrong. She knew that something was wrong with Ash, who turned out to be a robot who was plotting to kill all of them, early on in the film. But the other guys didn't see it. I'm not saying that they deserved to die, but they were definitely asking for it.

Alien is now one of my favorite movies, it's incredible in every way, Not only are the special effects far ahead of their time, but the combination of great music, cinematography, storyline, and acting all make for a killer film.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Scariest Thing Ever

Tuesday's viewing of Alien left me feeling both inspired and incredibly frightened at the same time. It's awesome. In my previous post, I had mentioned that I was eager to see what was going to happen to the man who became a victim of the vicious alien claw. Well, the man survived, but not for long. There was a scene in which all of the crew about the ship was eating dinner, and the camera zoomed in on the recovering man. As a ThunderClap student, and knowing that everything in this movie has a purpose, I quickly asked myself "now why did the camera zoom in like that?" Something didn't look right about that man's face. It was as if he put too much food in his mouth, or he was about to choke. Just moments later, he was gasping for air, struggling to survive. Clearly the alien wasn't finished with him. The dead claw that the other men found before the dinner was just a small part of it. And it wasn't soon before a nasty, slimy, disgusting snake-like creature sprung out of his chest. He was dead.

One of my favorite aspects of Alien is the use of foreshadowing. It's beautifully done: not too revealing, but revealing enough. Throughout the majority of this film, there is a hauntingly eerie feeling conveyed to the viewer. And it's not some cheap suspense music or visual cues, but frighteningly well-planned cinematography and sound effects, as well as spine-chilling music. When one of the men aboard the ship went searching for the cat, I noticed a few things that signaled trouble. First of all, it was raining, and there were metal chains clashing together like wind chimes. And then the camera showed a close-up of one of the chains for a few seconds. Again, I knew that this shot had to mean something; it wasn't done just because the cinematographers felt like it. As the man kept looking for the cat, I began to hear this heavy squeaking sound. It sounded like something big. And then a tell-tale piece of evidence appeared: old slimy skin. Usually when monsters or aliens shed skin, that means they have grown. That can't be good. And it wasn't long until the humongous beast had appeared right behind the man. His time was up.

Right after, the movie jumped to the control center, showing another astronaut sitting at the computer. Not only was the sound of the computer keys creepy, especially since it was so ear-piercingly quiet otherwise. More foreshadowing was implemented in this scene as well: when he was attempting to do research on the alien lurking around the spaceship, all the computer could say was: "unable to compute" and "available date insufficient". Once again I said, "that can't be good".

One of the scariest scenes was when another astronaut was crawling through the hatches, which were just about as small as air ducts, looking for the alien. The music gave me goosebumps, and I noticed how normal sounds were manipulated to sound terrifying. With every inch the guy moved, I kept wonder when the alien would appear. The rising tension increased when he found gooey fluid on the floor, which made it clear that the alien was nearby. But where? The guy did have a tracking device, and so did the alien. The other astronauts, particularly a woman, was watching his coordinate on the screen. You could see the fear in her face, especially at the gut-wrenching moment when she saw that the alien was moving directly towards him. That was the end of him.

I could go on for hours about how much I love this movie, but let me just say this: it's beyond amazing, especially for 1979. I can't wait to see how it ends, yet I'm also disappointed to see it end so soon.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The End of Touch of Evil

Last class, we finished up Touch of Evil and the ending was pretty intense. To recap, Vargas found his wife, who was being framed by Quinlan to committing the murder of Grandi. She was drugged and barely conscious. Menzies tells Vargas he found Quinlan's cane at the murder scene. Then he plants a wire on Menzies to record Quinlan and when Quinlan realizes it, he shoots Menzies. Then he tries to shoot Vargas but gets shot by Menzies. This ending was a good ending in my opinion. Quinlan was recorded by Vargas and exposed that he did plant evidence on suspects to make them seem guilty. Then he was killed in the end and Vargas and his wife were able to live happy somewhere else. I felt sorry for Menzies but was wondering if he had survived or not. I would assume not.

The weirdest thing that happened at the end of the movie was that it turned out ironically that Sanchez actually was guilty and confessed to committing the crime. I wasn't expecting that to happen. I wonder how Quinlan and Menzies knew, or if they had just assumed and were right.

I recall when we started watching Touch of Evil it was really confusing to me. I didn't really understand the beginning but by the end it was more clear and I understood it better. The movie was okay but it wouldn't be a movie that I would want to watch on my own time or more than once. I hope the next movie we watch, Alien is more interesting.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Breaking the Barrier

The 1979 movie Alien is very deserving of its Academy Award for Visual Effects. Within the first few seconds of watching this film, I was amazed at the special effects. There's no doubt that it was far ahead of its time; even by today's standards it fares well. The cinematography was astonishing as well, with nice, smooth pans and beautiful tracking shots. I thought back to Rocky, remembering that Mr. Monahan taught us about the use of the Steadicam in order to film smooth footage in a variety of bumpy terrains. As an Animation student, I appreciate the way that the title of this film was animated in the introduction: it started out with only part of the name revealed, and then the rest of it slowly filled in.

Aside from these aspects of Alien, I also like the storyline. The scene that stood out to me most was when one of the scientists aboard the spaceship fell into the pit that housed the alien eggs. Having watched similar films, I already knew what was going to happen, and it definitely would be pretty. I got anxious when the scientist moved closer and closer to one of the eggs, wondering in my head, "what is he doing?" If that were me, I would've ran away as quickly as possible without any hesitation. But he just keep moving closer, daring to touch one of the eggs. As you can imagine, that wasn't a good idea, and it wasn't long before the extraterrestrial was wrapped around his face. The doctors attempted to get it off, but they were no match for it. It became very clear that it didn't like to be messed with. It had the potential to destroy anything that tried to attack it. But what was even more interesting, albeit frightening, is that the doctors found out that the alien was controlling the man's breathing, which kept him alive. That's even more worrisome, because it could potentially mean that even if the doctors find a way to kill the alien, the scientist that it attacked could end up dead as well.

In this intense moment of the film, the bell rang, and the period was over, leaving me eager to see what will happen next. Will the doctors find a way to kill the alien without crippling their comrade? Or will the alien win this game? Will more alien eggs start hatching? If one thing is certain, it's that trouble lies ahead for everyone on the spaceship.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Coming to an End

Touch of Evil came to a bittersweet end yesterday in my film studies class. In my previous post, I had wondered what was going to happen in the movie. Would Quinlan destroy Vargas's career, or vice versa? I knew that Quinlan was up to something shady, and this rang true throughout the entire film. He was upset that Vargas was taking a close look at his career, and analyzing what he saw. He discovered that Quinlan might have been framing people for years, much like he had done with Susan, Vargas's wife. That scared the long-time captain, provoking him to stop Vargas from looking any further. 

The climax of the movie began when Quinlan and his loyal partner, Menzies, go for a walk. He questions Quinlan about the recent murder that took place: the killing of Grandi. He is wearing a wire so that Vargas can listen to and record their entire conversation. But like most movie and shows that I've seen, someone always finds out that someone is wearing a wire. Vargas got close to the bridge that Quinlan and Menzies were walking across, and it wasn't long before Quinlan heard the echo of Vargas's speaker. Menzies tried to cover it up, but Quinlan wasn't buying it. He shot Menzies, who then shot him before he could kill Vargas. 

The movie comes to a happily-ever-after ending. Vargas and his wife are together once again, and she is out of harm's way. The end. 

One key element that stood out to me with this movie was the foreshadowing. When Tanya told Quinlan, who she once loved, that his future is "all used up", I immediately knew that he would be dead soon. The cinematography hinted to this as well, since it showed his old, tired, defeated face. He didn't look so good, and the fact that he was drunk definitely didn't make him look any better. He ended up floating down a river, and Tanya said he was "some kind of a man". 

The ending was ambiguous to me, because some questions were still left in my mind. Did Menzies actually die? Vargas's time in the movie was cut short too, along with his wife's. But who let her out of jail? No one will ever know. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Touch of Evil

When we first started watching my first thoughts on Touch of Evil were that the movie didn't really seem that interesting and I was a little confused on what was going on. I didn't really get it and wasn't really following the story but the plot became clearer as we kept watching. I noticed the movie started out with a tracking shot and then showed the two main characters, Susan and Vargas who are in Mexico where they witness a car explode and kill two people. Vargas is a detective and wants to investigate the case. I also noticed a few themes throughout the film such as racism between Americans and Mexicans and police corruption/corruption of power.

When we continued watching the film in class, it started getting more interesting with the framing of Susan and the murder of Grandi by Quinlan. I wasn't expecting something like this to happen. Quinlan was able to frame someone else, which supports the theme of corruption of power. As a detective who frames others for things he is responsible for it shows how his character is somewhat evil. I'm interested in seeing how the film ends and what Vargas will do to prove that Quinlan is behind the murder and other crimes that he framed people of.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Myles Snider, Man On Wire: My Thoughts


When I first seen Man On Wire, I actually wasn't too into it, only because I just couldn't get the gist of it. I thought "What is this even about?" But as I started to watch more and more of it, I started to realize that this documentary is all about taking risks & chances, no matter what & under no circumstances, do not give up ! I usually can't take away from movies that I can't grasp at first, but Man On Wire was different and I'm glad that I got the opportunity to watch it because I completely got to understand that Phillpe is a brave man by him walking on the wire without even falling, and doing such tricks, and that completely caught my attention, I've never heard of anything like that! One thing I noticed about Phillpe in the movie is his bravery and the fact that he preserves and I feel like I can connect to that on a personal level because I am someone who likes to take chances, and persevere and by watching Phillpe doing so, and accomplishing, it only makes me wanna push harder.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Touch... of EVIL!!

When Shawn Duplessie hit the "play" button, the beginning of Touch Of Evil appeared. Immediately, I was taken aback by the fact that it was in black and white, because I have never watched a black and white movie or tv show, for that matter. But it didn't take long for me to sort of forget that it was in black and white, because I was focusing on the storyline. It started out with Vargas, a detective, and his wife on their honeymoon, enjoying their time in Mexico. All of a sudden, a nearby car explodes. Someone had planted a bomb in it, and it is Vargas's job to figure out who. But Quinlan, a sloppy, overweight police officer who is always pictured smoking a cigar, stands in his way. Clearly there is hostility between the two, because Quinlan is plotting to destroy Vargas's career. He is trying to frame Susan, Vargas's American wife of making the car explode. He planted evidence, including a box full of explosives, to make it seem as though she was the culprit. But Vargas wasn't buying it, which angered Quinlan.

I am interested in seeing how this movie will turn out, and who will get convicted of the crime, if anyone. It annoys me that Quinlan is abusing his job, since he knows how to manipulate evidence due to his many years of experience. But I appreciate how Orson Wells, the actor who played Quinlan, and the movie's director, had such a strong character. As I said before, he always had a cigar either in his mouth or in his hand, along with a candy bar. In the scene at the bar, it was clear that he was also a heavy drinker. He also used a cane, and there were plenty of moments when he appeared out of breath and exhausted. He spoke rather unclearly, slurring his words (maybe he had a little too much to drink...). All of this contributes to his sloppy character, one that sticks out to me more than anyone else's. He was also racist and ignorant, and thought that Mexicans were inferior to him. He even said the notable line "I don't speak Mexican" despite the fact that Mexican is not even a language. I'm surprised he didn't make a comment about tacos.

Aside from the characters, I took some time to notice the cinematography and special effects used. It's so weird, in this day and age, to think that cameras actually existed back in 1958, when Touch of Evil was made. And to be honest, the camerwork was not all that bad. Sure, there were some instances of a shaky camera in instances that would never occur in today's films, but overall I had no issue with the way the camera was used. It's also interesting to think about how the movie production team was able to display the exploding car. Compared to modern films, which use top-notch animation programs, this effect was poor, and extremely unrealistic. But I still wonder how it was created before this computer software was years away from being created.

At first, I wondered why you are showing us this film Mr. Monahan, immediately disappointed that it was in black and white. I wondered, "Why couldn't he show us something much newer?" But now, I'm glad that I've gotten the chance to watch it, and look forward to finishing the film on Tuesday.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Shawn Luzzi Touch of Evil First Impressions

Touch of Evil First Impressions

Oh my...the format of "Touch of Evil" is definitely way different than what I am use to now-a-days. I'm use to special effects being top-notch (at least in my opinion) due to computer programs to really help amp up the action. But here, in a movie that was created in 1958, you can definitely tell it's age. For one, the movie is in black and white, no color at all. This was a part of films back half a century ago as films were only starting to get popular. Plus, the first scene where the car explodes was very simple as it was simply a simple shot of a random car exploding with a exploding sound effect that seems more goofy today. (Either that, or that same explosion sound originated from Touch of Evil.)

However, even with it's age showing well, I have to say I'm enjoying Touch of Evil because of those reasons of it's age. I like seeing how the movies of yesterday were compared to today with all of it's action and camera shots. (That, and color ) Plus, the story is intriguing, especially with racism playing a key card into this mystery as the American Detective seem to simply frame or blame other simply for their ethnicity. (For this case, It'd be Hispanics getting the sudden blame.) 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rocky : The Italian Dare Devil...

    "Destiny has a strange way of manifesting itself, the movie Rocky is a golden example of this."

        The movie Rocky starts punching..literally. We find our protagonist in the ring beginning to fight his next contender. This approach to starting a film always intrigues me and don't expect anything less from Rocky. The crowd, the sweat, the flashes from the various cameras in the audience all seem to fully immerse you into a world that is both dynamic and mysterious. Even though this is the first scene I already get a sense of whats to come, and I became thrilled for every minute of it.

         As the story progresses we learn a ton of facts about our protagonist that, despite what you may have felt in the first scene, forces you to criticize both his character and his decisions. Rocky, a "leg breaker" for a loan shark", reveals himself to be a determined and misunderstood individual. After meeting Adrian, who later on becomes his girlfriend, we began to see a new side of rocky. He soon is challenged by Apollo Creed, which proves itself to be a test of both his physical and mental stability. As Rocky prepares for this challenge his pushed to the limit to the point where, through introspection, he realizes that his destiny is not to defeat Apollo Creed, but simply to go the distance.

          The fight begins and as the camera angles sway along with our hero walking towards the arena, a new feeling emerges in the air. The sound of the crowd and feeling of anticipation creates a thin layer of tension within the viewer as you, hopefully by now, are rooting for our protagonist to accomplish his goal. As the fight occurs you gain an enormous amount of reverence for our hero as he endures punch after brutal punch. As the fight ends, we see that Rocky's faith and spirit have been pushed to its limits as even though he loses the match, he goes the distance. Ultimately Rocky claims his own personal victory and gives both himself and the viewer the satisfaction by persevering through unseen obstacles to accomplish his goal. Destiny has a strange way of manifesting itself, the movie Rocky is a golden example of this.   

Walking on the Wire of Life

After finishing, "Man On Wire," in class on Tuesday, I realized how profound, inspiring, and well-put together the documentary is. Looking at the documentary from a trite perspective, one might question its purpose. A crazy Frenchman tightropes across the Twin Towers... What else do we need to know? That was my attitude towards the documentary in the beginning. It's seems like today, we are always watching some person performing a daring stunt on the news, internet, television, etc. Modern technology and mass communication has desensitized us in a way to awe-inspiring events like Philippe Petit's walk across the Twin Towers.

For Philippe, tightroping across the Twin Towers was not just a stunt or an act for publicity, it was his dream. It was a dream that constantly haunted him; a dream that he would stop at nothing to fulfill. It was interesting to watch Philippe and his team formulate their plan, as well as all of the tension and arguments between the members. It is a testament to the challenge of working on a dangerous stunt like this, and the substantial effort it takes.

The documentary did a phenomenal job of showing the process of Philippe and his team sneaking into the Twin Towers until the moment that Philippe walked across the wire. As everything unfolded, I was at the edge of my seat, waiting and waiting for the big moment. I thought it was powerful how the documentary used pictures of Philippe walking across the tightrope between the Twin Towers as the climax. In my opinion, the use of pictures really conveyed a feeling that this was a once in a lifetime event. These pictures captured a moment in a time, that could never be and never will be replicated.

At the end of the movie, we see an older Philippe walking across a tightrope. Philippe's quote inspired me: "Life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion: to refuse to tape yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge - and then you are going to live your life on a tightrope"

As a person who is often very reluctant to take challenges and embark on daring adventures, Philippe's quote really hit me. No matter how scary your dream may seem, you should still reach for it because the possibilities are endless. Anything is possible when you set your mind to it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Shawn Luzzi: Man on Wire Last Impressions

Man on Wire: Last Impressions! 

My thoughts that Philippe Petit was a very brave man has sky-rocketed as I watched the last half-hour of Man on Wire as on August 7th, 1974, he was able to successful move between the two tower roofs about eight times before being nabbed by police forces waiting for him on both roofs. Plus, all of Philippe's helpers that were helping him pull off the roof stunt became anxious and scared as they've never really done a wire stunt like this. However, once they seen that Petit became comfortable with the wire through his facial expression, everything went into plan and the wire walk between the towers was a success! 

I have to admit, I was never really the one to watch Documentaries, but when you learn something from a movie you never thought you'd really watch, then I'd think the whole situation was worth it.