Thursday, February 26, 2015

Malcom X

Malcom X was a movie about malcom x and his life. At first he was a total pimp his nickname was red and he robbed people. He then dates some random white girl and gets in trouble for that. Then when he was high he made a bet that actually came true but then he didn't get the money so he yelled at the bet dude. The bet dude didn't like that so he tried killing him. So he ran away and started stealing again and then he was caught. He went to jail for some time and then became a muslim because why not. He then got out of jail after a long time because he didn't act very good like in jail. Then he became a muslim preacher. He did that for a long time until he realized he was basically being used so he quit doing that and did regular preaching. After having some kids and being threatened for a long time he got shot with a shotgun and then some random crazy guy with a pistol who shot him like 10 times because he wanted to. Then that was basically the end except for the random children that kept saying I am Malcom X.

Bad News Bears

This movie was about a child baseball team. They did not do well, they weren't skilled in baseball. After they found out they suck they got a girl to pitch for them. Then after they failed again they got a random smoking boy to help them win. After all that they finally win. Also the coach is a pool cleaning drunk. He was only in it for the money then of course he starts to like the team. At the end they do not win the last game because they kind of suck still. The coach became good and now likes the team and makes everyone play even though they suck.

p.s. the dog also says moo and the seven yeses the yes of yes and yes and seven with a mooing dog

Bad news bears

Bad news bears is about a terrible baseball team with a terrible coach, the coach is very lazy and very drunk. Towards the middle of the movie they start getting better because now they have switched positions and got a girl as the pitcher. Later on they get a 13 year old smoking little butt muncher that is shockingly amazing at baseball. They then start to become amazing and get to the championship, they sucked, the other team won and lost a couple players but it wasnt stopping the bears from getting their hopes up for next year, and thats all that really counts, courage is key to winning when lost.

Chicago by elijah Mendez

I personally hate musicals; they do not interest me, and I generally don't find them amusing. The dancing after every small bit of dialogue annoys me, and I want to pull my ears out. The movie Chicago directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Martin Richards had the same effect on me.

I didn't enjoy the movie, due to the fact that is was still a "musical," but there were some aspects of the movie that I could appreciate and respect. I like how the movie introduced each character and showed how truly deranged these women were. They saw nothing wrong with what they did and are trying to make papers and be famous while on trial for murder. For example Roxie saw nothing wrong with shooting and murdering the man she had just slept with. She had no problem almost letting her husband take the blame for it and all she was concerned about during her trial was her short lived "fame". Being in the news got to her head and she didnt even believe she needed her lawyer at one point. I also like how the movie gives you a taste of real life. Roxie had her quick movement of fame and just like that she was replaced with a new fascinating female criminal just as she had replaced the one behind her (Velma). Even though I didn't necessarily enjoy this movie I did enjoy the bits of reality it has.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde was about a couple who were criminals. They stole from banks and were well known throughout the nation. They weren't caught for a very long time until they were tricked to their deaths. This movie was made well. It made the audience feel the suspense, you didn't know what was going to happen next. When Bonnie and Clyde were killed you didn't expect it at all. The movie left you in suspense until the end. It was shot cinematically well. The different shots help tell the story. It was very well put together. There wasn't any confusion for me during this movie.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


"oh wow there's a lot of kid fighting in this movie" - Shawn Luzzi

This was a surprise for me in class, especially as we planned to watch "Rebel without a cause" first, but suddenly turned gears and tuned into this classic film. Before I talk about the movie itself, I was already feeling like I just took a blast to the past from simply looking at the movie poster (above). It's cartoon style, as well as basic yet intriguing font really sends viewers back to 1976, the year this movie came out!

About the movie itself, it's based around an alcoholic former baseball player having to coach the ragtime baseball team, "The Bears", made from the worst baseball players in the league. Over the course of the film, the team goes from the bottom losers of the league to nearly the top of the other teams. The ending to this film, which I won't spoil, does bring a good message to viewers. This film was quite interesting, especially with the various team members of the bears being so different from one other: One being a glutton, one being a delinquent, so on, so forth. 

I'd gladly recommend people watch this classic film, especially with its comedy and style.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Today, I viewed one of the most dramatic parts of Spike Lee's Malcolm X. In the previous class period, I had noticed how the civil rights activist's life had made a complete turnaround. Thanks to Baines, who took Malcolm under his wings in jail, his personality and mindset became so much more peaceful. I was actually a little confused, because I had thought that he was always violent and angry. The famous leader is always portrayed in this manner, yet by watching this biographical film, it's easy to see that this was only part of his life story. Baines encouraged Malcolm to convert to the Muslim religion, which involved visiting Elijah Muhammad, who was a religious leader. Unfortunately, he took Muhammad's teachings too far, and as his wife Betty said, he was acting "blind" to all of the dangerously negative press about him. He was blind to the escalating conflict over his most recent preachings. Instead of answering his wife's questions, all he had to say was "I've got work to do."

These underlying hostilities really came to light when Malcolm X said, "the chickens have come to roost" when he was referring to the John F. Kennedy assassination. His mentor Elijah Muhammad would've never approved of this, and he ever said himself that Malcolm "has made it [life] hard for Muslims." It was as if he wounded the Muslim religion, and this was conveyed perfectly when Muhammad was horribly sick. He WAS the black Muslim religion, so if it is hurt, he is hurt. Despite the sad feeling of this part of the movie, it was beautifully executed. The shot composition, the lighting, and the dialogue all were very well-suited for the scene, along with all of the other scenes in this film.

Knowing that this movie is based on Malcolm's real life, and that he was assassinated, I could tell that he was getting closer and closer to this fatal point in his life. I haven't yet seen the ending of this film, but I'm pretty sure that he will get killed sooner than later. As an aspiring digital media student, I really loved the shot of Malcolm X when he finally woke up and realized that he was in a dire situation. Holding his gun, he glared out of his window. He was scared. He got a phone call, which he hesitantly answered. It was a death threat from the people is Islam, who were angered by Malcolm X's portrayal of their faith. That same night, bombs were thrown into his house, which was burned down. This reminded me of his childhood, when the KKK incinerated his home, so I'm sure this struck an emotional chord with Malcolm too.

Shortly after that, when Malcolm X stayed at a hotel with his family, already shaken by the loss of their home, death calls started flowing in. When Malcolm was talking to his friend (I think it was Archie) there was a very quick shot of a tape recorder in between alternating shots of the two talking on the phone. Clearly, someone was recording their conversation, which I could honestly say sent a chill up my spine. This is not good.

Spike Lee, his cast, and his crews did a fantastic job making this movie. Their use of foreshadowing was impeccable, combined with a well-visualized storyline that stayed true to the life of Malcolm X. This movie may be lengthy (it's over three hours long) but trust me, it is well worth the time.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Chicago Ending

As we continued to watch Chicago, a new criminal showed up. Kitty Baxter, who was arrested for killing her husband and his two lovers. Once she arrived at the jail, she started to steal the spotlight from Roxie. Seeing that she was losing her fame, Roxie immediately thought of a lie to get everyone's attention back on her and made up that she was pregnant. Then she started to become overconfident in herself thinking that she didn't need Billy and fired him.That was until she witnessed the Hungarian women in the film being hanged. She got a big reality check there and decided to re-hire Billy.

As we finished up Chicago, I was a little disappointed with the result of the trial. I felt that Roxie should not have been innocent. She was a terrible person and a horrible main character. She was very unlikable because of the way she always wanted attention and treated everyone as if they were inferior to her. Also the fact that she ended up getting what she wanted in the end after killing someone, getting off not guilty, treating her husband like dirt, and becoming famous in the end was really ridiculous. It's really frustrating because of how true this is compared to celebrities today who can get into trouble, but not in trouble because they're famous. She did at least get some karma. Immediately after the trial, the spotlight had totally gone out on Roxie and moved on to a random woman who shot someone outside the court. I really loved Velma's character more than Roxie. She seemed chill and less fake than Roxie. I also saw the irony at the end of Chicago when Roxie and Velma, who were rivals throughout most of the film ended up having to work together if they wanted to be famous. My favorite thing about Chicago would have to be the soundtrack. I really liked most of the songs in the film. Overall, I liked some of the film, it was an interesting story line, however I hated Roxie.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

An Everlasting Conflict

Spike Lee's Malcolm X takes the viewer into the famous civil rights activist's life [I think it may be more precise to describe Malcolm as a civil rights activist and one time black separatist; however, we have not reached this stage of his transformation yet. It may be worth noting that his father was an adherent to beliefs of Marcus Garvey and the Back to Africa movement.]. As a child, his life took a turn for the worse when members of the Ku Klux Klan burned down his home [the shot of the Klansmen against the backdrop of the moon is a visual reference to DW Griffith's film Birth of a Nation; while Birth is often cited as a cinematic achievement, it is at the same time reviled for its racism]. Shortly after, his father was tied to the train tracks and killed, plummeting the family into ruins. Malcolm and his siblings were taken away from their mother, forced to live with a not-so-inviting white woman. One scene that struck me in particular was when young Malcolm expressed his desires of becoming a lawyer to his (white) teacher, who asserted that as a black man, he had no hopes of success in this profession.

When I was watching this movie, the same exact feelings resonated with me as when I learned about slavery and civil rights in middle school. I was outraged that white people could be so inhumane. How could someone consciously treat other human beings so horribly, from calling black people offensive names like "negro" to maiming and killing them out of pure hatred? It's absolutely disgusting, and I couldn't help but feel angry every time a white person showed any sign of disrespect towards minorities in this film. Now you may say that, "it's just a movie", but in case you didn't know, this is not "just a movie." The tortuous behavior pictured in this movie was exactly what happened in real life during the early to mid 1900s. The Ku Klux Klan, for example, still exists to this day [Good points Malik. I think this is the same point Lee makes by choosing to include footage of the Rodney King beating in his opening title sequence. Although the incident is now recent history, it was contemporary to film-goers upon X's initial release].

Back in the summer of 2014, the race relations in the United States were shaken when an 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown was shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. Just a few months later, the fire was reignited when the jury decided not to indict Wilson. Violent protesters flooded the streets of Ferguson, Missouri where the incident took place, as well as numerous cities all around the nation. That's where I draw the line.

There is absolutely no need for buildings to be set on fire, or for local businesses to be raided and destroyed. However, I'm sure Malcolm X would approve of this behavior [I will be interested to see if you change your mind about this as the film progresses], because just from this movie alone there is indication that he was a very violent man. The fact that these same destructive attitudes are instilled in many black people today proves that he definitely made a strong impact on society. While racial issues aren't as predominant in the United States today, controversies like the Michael Brown shooting, among many others, prove that they are far from being nonexistent [if you have not yet seen the film Fruitvale Station, I recommend it, and think it may be used as another example in support of your ideas. Excellent work as always Malik. I sincerely look forward to reading your posts].

Senseless Murder Is Romanticized- Armani Maldonado

Written Review of Badlands
Armani Maldonado

Ugh, this movie was pretty horrible. Though I have only seen like half of it. I still do not approve. Now, the most I know about the first half of the movie is apparently some puppies were shot and killed. That alone makes me pretty upset, being generally pro-animal rights. Anyway, yeah this movie is pretty problematic.
First of all, the fact that the murderer and I guess protagonist (???) Kit, played by Martin Sheen, is being romanticized is a big no-no for me. I don't think the fact that they casted a conventionally attractive man to play him was an accident. They wanted the audience to like him and I don't think that is a good thing to do even if it is to get some good ratings. 

I will not lie, the movie did not leave me bored. But, I consistently found myself wondering why I am feeling forgiving of this man. Just because he had some personal issues did not make his actions okay. Then to try to romanticize the strange relationship between him and his partner (accomplice?) , Holly played by Sissy Spacek, in crime, seemed very odd. I felt like that companionship was forced anyway so to build a platonic relationship like that made me somewhat uncomfortable.