Thursday, December 22, 2016

Beasts of the Southern Wild #PIReviews

Beasts of the Southern Wild
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Starring: Quvenzane Wells, Dwight Henry, Gena Montana.
Directed by: Benh Zeitlin.

    Continuing from Alien, Crooklyn, and Winter's Bone, this film continues the idiom of strong female protagonists. This film concerns a six-year-old girl and her father in a post-Katrina Louisiana bayou. Wink (played by Dwight Henry) is the father to Hushpuppy and is struggling with health and anger issues, and when he comes down with a mysterious illness, nature goes out of control: temperatures rise, animals die, ice caps melt, and pre-historic creatures come back to life. Critically, I really liked the film's cinematography, acting, and great line in the beginning of the film; I also, however, felt that the film's pacing was a little too fast and threw the film off -- at least, to my point-of-view. I felt the film a little hard to understand and take in at times, but I still really liked it and I see the film's purpose and place.

    Essentially, what makes Hushpuppy a strong female protagonist is her father's tough love and her willingness to find her mother. Her father can easily come off as abusive, uncaring, and short-tempered, which is correct to some degree; however, it is Wink's tough love that prepares Hushpuppy to go out into the real world. This is symbolized by the aforementioned symbolism of the climate changing and the pre-historic beasts coming back from the dead that describes Hushpuppy's transition into the real world. Furthermore, there are pieces of dialogue from Bathsheba (Gena Montana) about the climate changing and the south side of the levee sinking; this also gives a good description of Hushpuppy's transition, warning her that she is gonna see bad and deadly things -- this, to me, represents the rough transition from childhood to adulthood. Wink's parenting is extreme, but can be explained as preparing Hushpuppy for the real world, therefore making her a strong female lead. In conclusion, I hope Wink earned the father-of-the-year award!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter's Bone #PIReviews

Winter's Bone
Image result for winter's bone hand scene
"When you see your SAT scores"- Kevin

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John  Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Kevin Breznahan
Directed by: Debra Granik

    Winter's Bone is a 2010 sleeper film adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel of the same name. The basic plot consists of a teenager named Ree (played by Jennifer Lawrence) who is searching for her drug dealing father and simultaneously trying to keep her family of three (including her sick mother and siblings) intact. If you ask my opinion of the film, I thought it was good -- my favorite aspects of the film include the soundtrack of mountain/Gospel/folk music, J-Law's acting, and the camera work. I did, however, think that it was a bit slow-paced, took a lot of time to build up, and was at times hard to follow; let's just say, it was pretty much the opposite of Spike Lee's Crooklyn. More on that point, I find the contrast between these two films startling: Crooklyn opens with an upbeat soul tune and a bright color pallet, while Winter's Bone opens with a lone female mountain singer and a dull, neutral color pallet; Crooklyn consists of a nearly all African-American cast and is likewise directed by a black man (Spike Lee), while Winter's Bone consists of a nearly (if not, entirely) all white cast and is directed by a white female; Crooklyn takes place in the city of Brooklyn, while Winter's Bone takes place in the Ozark Mountains; Crooklyn's soundtrack is upbeat, electric, and funky, while Winter's Bone's soundtrack is somber, acoustic, and folky; shall I go on? The one similarity they share, however, is a strong female protagonist.

    One theme we discussed before and during the critical viewing of this film is that of norms and taboos. It turns out that Ree's father is dead because of an explosion in a meth lab, and that dealing with narcotics is the norm to make money in this dirt poor, rural area; and that Ree's father put his family's house up as a collateral for his bail, and if he doesn't show up in a week, the Dollies lose everything. Another norm in this backwoods is to not poke your nose into anybody's business, and Ree commits a taboo by constantly breaking this rule. even after her uncle Teardrop (played by John Hawkes) reveals that he might have been murdered. Ree confronts this local norm and becomes a strong female protagonist through that and her ability to raise her siblings on her own. While I may have had some problems with this film's pacing and slow build up, I admire Jennifer Lawrence's strong lead performance and I strongly recommend this film to those who love Oscar-bait/sleeper films, Jennifer Lawrence, strong female protagonists, and folk music.

Winter's Bone

Gabby Jeannette

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Winter's Bone was a 2010 drama starring the well known actress, Jennifer Lawrence. All though the plot was an inspiring idea with a strong female lead, the attempt wasn't as good as it could have been. The movie ended up being very uneventful and at some points a letdown. I wasn't in class when we started watching it, so maybe that had an impact on my opinion cause the concept was rough to pick up at first.
When I started to watch it was that Jennifer Lawrence was the eldest daughter of a back wood family and was like a mom too her two younger siblings. Her mother wasn't capable of taking care of them, the dad was wanted by the police and later killed, so she was the only support these two children has. After a while you start to learn that her dad is not only wanted by the police, he is wanted by this mob like group too and they decided to take their angers out on her. Her uncle that the tone of the film in the beginning came off as kind of sketchy, ended up being one of the only adults to help her out. He saved her when the mob was beating her up to send her a lesson. He also was their for her after she found out her dad, gave them a chicken, etc. He may have been a bad influence at times but it was only because he was mad about the death of his brother.
Also, something that caught my eye about the movie was that it was all over the place. One moment they were showing the conflict with the police, then the next they would jump to her talking to her mom or two her uncle, then the mob. It's possible they did that to show how this crisis effected all of the aspects of her life. I believe there was more organized, simpler way to showcase that idea. All and all this movie has extreme potential to be a strong drama with a great female leader that fights through the struggle for her family. The end product ended up not being as stunning as it could have been. Which is upsetting because the cast was wonderful with Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes. 

Friday, December 16, 2016


Alien the syfy film, interprets a nonfiction alien life form beyond earth. Directed by Ridley Scott in 1979 this film really gives the viewer of the film a more fiction look of the film with its life like effects and gore giving it a more lifelike appearance. With a quick rundown of the film seven crew members on board a ship in outer space. With the crew on board they attempt to land on a planet, but damage the ship on the attempt. This is when most of the crew explores the planet and finds a suspicious cove. As the crew explores they find suspicious bodies of some unknown creature witch was the aliens. With the ship fixed the crew heads back on board and returns to the base in space. This is when one of the crew members Kane gets sick. While eating with the other crew members Kane starts having an "episode" and "spasms". The crew members hold him down on the table and an alien life form pops out of Kane’s chest, killing him. The alien escapes and is hiding on the ship. The film is filed with gore as most of the crew is killed by the predator as it kills each crew member one by one only leaving one to finally defeat the beast. This film to me shows of a great piece for a syfy and adventure movie because most syfy films portray a nonfiction look and has a fictional character. This film hit both key points to perhaps the greatest syfy film of all time with its spectacular effects with the alien and gore. Alien 2 to me would be a good squeal because I have a feeling of missing information. The end of the film left me at a cliff hanger. I wanted to know what happened after the survivor went back to earth. Alien 2 would show the aftermath and maybe also another space odyssey where they may encounter another situation. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Crooklyn: "Difficult but wonderful circumstances."

Crooklyn: Difficult but Wonderful Circumstances

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Starring: Zelda Harris, Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly, Isaiah Washington, Carlton Williams.
Director: Spike Lee

    Thus far, I have to say that this was one of the most charming and fascinating films we've viewed. Critically, I love the film's use of ironic humor, depiction of Brooklyn, strange characters, comedic camera shots, and insight into Troy as a character; what I love most about this film, however, is the soundtrack! The songs in this film (including: "Pusherman" by Curtis Mayfield, "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson, "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight, "A.B.C." by The Jackson 5, "Ooh Child" by The Five Stairsteps, and "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix) all reflect not only the setting, but the mood of the film and the things that the Carmichael family face throughout -- as in the case where "Ooh Child" plays during the death of the mother, Carolyn (played by Alfre Woodard).

    To my understanding, the main idea projected is that, in life, it is inevitable that you will go through trials and tribulations; but in spite of what happens -- the people you lose, the places you go, and the conflicts you have -- life will keep on going, and we only have to accept the change. This is projected through the film's protagonist, Troy (played by Zelda Harris). In the beginning, Troy is one of five children of Carolyn and Woody Carmichael (played by Delroy Lindo) and is more-or-less one of several main characters. At first, Troy is portrayed as a typical product of her surroundings -- she is seen fighting with her brothers, cursing, and attempting to steal from a corner store. The important thing to keep in mind with Troy (and the rest of the characters) are influenced by what is around them and are not inherently bad people; despite what they may do and what conflicts they may get into at times, they still come off as relatable and likable characters to the audience. The film later establishes Troy as the quintessential character in the film when she visits the rural south through a fish's eyes and when the mother dies of cancer. Troy must come to accept her mother's unfortunate death and move forward with her life.

    One of the most admirable qualities about this film is that it manages to keep it's nostalgic, lighthearted mood consistent through most of the film (before the passing of the mother). If you ask me, I believe this is projected through the soulful and funky soundtrack (discussed before), crazy and laughable characters by the likes of Tony "Eyes" (played by David Patrick Kelly), Snuffy (played by Spike Lee himself) and Tommy La La (played by Jose Zuniga), Spike Lee's famous dolly shot, and the doozie of a scene with RuPaul dancing in the corner store. This film is also great at projecting ironic humor (making the audience laugh at things you wouldn't in real life), exemplified by the house fights, the arguments between Tony "Eyes" and the neighbors, and the dead dog popping out of the couch like it was a toaster! All in all, this is a great, super fun film which will bring hope, joy and laughs to all audiences; and remind us that no matter what happens, we will all "walk in the rays of a beautiful sun."

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Gabby Jeannette
Image result for CROOKLYN

Director Spike Lee’s Crooklyn is a wonderful coming of age comedy with a hint of drama as it progresses, so towards the end I'd consider it a melodrama. The opening shot of the movie is an extremely long tracking shot that set the tone for the movie and explained how kids spent their summer in Brooklyn in the 70's, a fun, free, and creative time.

After the tone of the movie was set, the movie began to be told from the point of view of the only daughter in the Carmichael household. The movie starts around spring time going into summer. Since summer break is coming up and Troy is one of the youngest and only girl, Troy has to be the odd man out. According to her mom, Carolyn (Alfre Woodard), she is unable to fend for herself while her mom is busy all day teaching summer school. At that moment that fun activities we saw in the tracking shot in the beginning disappear from Troy's summer plans. She is now going to Virginia to stay with her Aunt Song and Uncle Clem for the entire summer against her wishes.

After awhile of dealing with her aunt's religious and strict lifestyle, Troy pleads to go back home to Brooklyn. Upon her arrival she is taken to the hospital to visit her sickly mom. Being the only girl in the house, along with her mom, they had a very strong connection that was hard to break, but the absence of her mom made Troy realize how much love she has for her parents. Shortly after that, Carolyn died of cancer. This major event in Troy’s life was tough to adjust to and seemed unreal. But after awhile it hit her that her mom was no longer there to be a mom, and it was time for her to step up and be the woman of the household.

Although the movie had a sad tone towards the end, it shifted to a tone of reassurance; there is hope for Troy and her family yet. This movie is the story of how in life sometimes you have to do some things, not because you want to, but because it’s what life gives you. Overall, I thought this movie was a wonderful realistic film that could catch any viewers attention with the catchy music, odd characters and great story line.

Caitlin Willis - Crooklyn

Caitlin Willis
Intro to Film Studies

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          The movie takes place in Brooklyn in the 1970's and is the story of an African American family. It seemed as though there was no direct plot. It was more of a sequence of events. It's like someone turned the camera on one day and started recording this family's every day life. This doesn't mean that it's bad; it's just a bit difficult to stay interested in. You feel like you're waiting for something that isn't coming. However, the focus was mainly on the nine/ten year old daughter, Troy. Not only was she a strong character, but she was a wise character despite her age. Her character was interesting to watch because it reminded me of myself when I was a child.
          One of my favorite scenes of the young girl was when Troy was in the store with her friend, who had just managed to steal an ice cream cone from one of the store's freezers. Troy decided to take a chance stealing a bag of chips. Unlike her sly friend, she was caught. This scene showed that she was young and made bad decisions. This scene compared to the one towards the end of the movie, which portrayed her cleaning the house and taking care of her brothers after her mother's untimely death, helps to prove my point of her amazing character development. Her maturity level skyrocketed after her mother passed on and she seemed to have taken the role of her mom as time went on.
          This movie was good and had an amazing portrayal of a young, black girl rising up during a time of struggle.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Touch of Evil, William Oliver

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William Oliver
Touch Of Evil

     Touch of Evil is a movie directed by Orson Welles, Starring Orson Welles and Janet Leigh. Touch of Evil is a mystery film shot in film noir, meaning the movie is in black and white.  The only other work I had heard from Orson Welles is The War of Worlds original radio broadcast.  However, this is very different from Touch of Evil, as it is a movie and not Sci-Fi.  
      Touch of Evil was a good movie in my opinion.  I believe the plot was very interesting and the film being in black and white and background music helped add to the suspense of the film as you try to figure out the main characters motives. 
The plot of the movie is Mexican Narcotics officer Ramon Miguel 'Mike' Vargas has to interrupt his honeymoon on the Mexican-US border when a man is killed after someone places a bomb in his car. As a result, Vargas delays his return to Mexico City.. Police Captain Hank Quinlan is in charge on the US side and he soon has a suspect, a Mexican named Manolo Sanchez. Vargas is soon onto Quinlan and his Sergeant, Pete Menzies, when he catches them planting evidence to convict Sanchez. With his new American wife, Susie, safe (he thinks) in a hotel in the US, he starts to gander at Quinlan's earlier cases. While concentrating on the corrupt policeman however, the Grandis, who Vargas is working a case on,  have their own plans for him and they start with his wife Susie. They kidnap her and Vargas has to find a way to get her back.  
     Overall I would give Touch of Evil a 3.5/5.  I believe the cinematic feel of this film is excellent.  It is a true icon of the Film Noir genre, and is a great use of storytelling by Orson Welles, at his finest.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Image result for psychoPsycho 

When Psycho was released in 1960, director Alfred Hitchcock, AKA The Master of Suspense, wouldn't allow people to be late to a showing or even speak about it, just so they can keep the movie suspenseful for other people viewing it. He wanted the audience to watch it from beginning to end. The movie Psycho is about a women who stole over 40,000 from her boss and then planned to run away with it, she ended up stuck in a rain storm, having to stop at the closest place, The Bates Motel. The Bates Motel is ran by Son Norman Bates and Mother Norma Bates.When she arrives, she meets Norman, a polite and shy boy who is interested in taxidermy (stuffing of animals). After awhile she starts getting friendly with Norman, which ended up getting her murdered. It started a whole investigation, ending in them finding up about Normans many secrets; his mothers dead corpse still in his house, his mental problems and the many people he has murdered in the motel. Later, there was a a TV show based off the movie, showing Normans beginning life and how he has come to be. The start of his mental issues and craving for murder. 

Rocky vs. Sugar

By. Alyssa Wotapka

Focusing on what the American Dream actually is, we watched two movie which portrayed it differently. the definition of the American Dream is; the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. In both Rocky and Sugar, they worked hard to achieve their success with practice and determination. Though Sugar wasn't a citizen in the United States, he wanted to live the American Dream. His dream was to receive a spot as a pitcher on an American baseball team. Though many curve-balls threatened him and his success in baseball, he still worked to get to where his was. In Rocky, the American Dream was represented a little differently. Rocky was an aspiring Boxer, worker for a loan shark in Philadelphia. He made himself work hard to try and achieve what he wanted. He trained hard. He wanted the fame and glory.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Man on Wire #MichelleNegron

Man on Wire 
Man on Wire, 2008, directed by James Marsh was a shocking film to watch. Using actual footage from the event seamlessly mingled with new re-enactments, filmmaker James Marsh masterfully recreates high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit's 1974 stunt: performing acrobatics on a thin wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Plotting his feat like a master cat burglar, Petit enlists the help of a motley group of friends as he calculates every detail, from acquiring building access to stringing up the wire, and manages to pull off an astounding crime. This movie had me speechless. But overall, it was a good movie. 

Sugar #MichelleNegron

Sugar was made in 2008 and was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Like many young men in the Dominican Republic, 19-year-old Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) dreams of winning a slot on an American baseball team. Indeed, his talents as a pitcher eventually land him a slot on a single-A team in Iowa, but culture shock, racism and other curveballs threaten to turn Sugar's dream sour. I actually loved this movie, being a hispanic- baseball is a big thing and seeing him strive for that was amazing. Even with the troubles he went through, he managed to keep him and his family standing strong. He held his race up high. I recommend this movie strongly to everyone, no matter the race or sport you participate in. 

Psycho #MichelleNegron

 I actually enjoyed this movie. Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock, made in 1960 was a movie about Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm. Traveling on the back roads to avoid the police, she stops for the night at the ramshackle Bates Motel and meets the polite but highly strung proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a young man with an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with his mother. I don't want to spoil the movie but there is a plot twist at the end which is pretty creepy an self-explanatory. I did not know that there is a tv show based on this theme. Mostly, inspired but in the new centuries. I hope to actually watch more movies like this in the near future. 

Psycho, William Oliver

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William Oliver
     Psycho is a Thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, and Vera Miles as Lila Crane.  This film had one of the craziest, most unexpected plot twists I have ever seen.  The movie is in black and white, which I feel helped added to the suspense that built up as the movie went along.  The protagonist of the movie, Marion Crane is killed by a woman about 40 minutes into the film.  Although I had never previously seen Psycho, this particular scene I had seen many times, due to how iconic it is.  It may seem very cheesy now, but at the time, the rapid cuts between different shots and audio screeching, give the scene a grisly feel, even though there is a lack of gore in the scene itself.
      Her sister, Lila and Marion's boyfriend Sam, then became concerned about Marion's well being and her whereabouts.  They bring in a private investigator to help them out.  But he is then killed by the same woman who killed Marion in the shower!  Sam began to go investigate the owner of the Motel they were in, Norman Bates.  They begin to argue until Norman hits Sam over the head with a glass.  He ran upstairs to find Lila. However,  Lila went down to the cellar. \Lila saw a women sitting down with her back turned. She went to tap her on the shoulder and it was Norman's mother's skeleton dressed up. Lila screamed and then came Norman with a knife dressed up like his mother! He tried to attack Lila but Sam came in and grabbed Norman before he could do anything.    
     After Norman was arrested by the police, it became known that Norman's mother had been dead for years, because Norman had killed her and her boyfriend out of jealousy.  But he had kept her body dressed up, and would talk to her as if she were still alive.  Over time he began to become his mother and was living with two personalities.  This is where the Psycho title comes from.  Norman never remembered killing Marion or the P.I, because his "Mother" side did it out of jealousy.  Norman Bates is Psycho.  

My True Thought on The Shining

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As a member of the Metropolitan Business Academy Film Club, I watch movies every Wednesday and review their premise and overall plot. For the majority of the year the group usually has a common consensus of the movie, either being extraordinary or distasteful. This all goes out the window when it comes to The Shining, a Kubrick cult classic created in May 23, 1980.

Falling into both the Horror and Suspense genres The Shining is regarded one of the scariest movies of all time. Unfortunately, I strongly  disagree and [hold] suggest the opposite opinion on the movie. Not only do I dislike The Shining, but I feel as a horror movie it should be seen as one of the worst. Our movie goes from a healthy and normal family of three, turning into a crazy and dysfunctional madhouse in the span of a few months after living in a supposed cursed hotel. This is one of my big grievances with the movie, the pacing changes constantly with little explanation or addressing.  For example, in the movie Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) is first given the Shining by Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) [Scatman has the 'shining', but Danny actually acquired the shining after his father drunkenly dislocated his shoulder], they don't say how he acquired it himself or they extent to the mind connection. Another example is how the wife (Shelly Duval) l finds it hard to believe that there was no women in the rooms upstairs [this is confusing], even though the entire hotel had been vacated prior to their arrival. Not to mention Danny having a history of trouble due to his sort of imaginary friend Tony (which is never explained thoroughly either [not true].

The biggest problem I have with The Shining, comes in the form of Shelly Duvall as Wendy Torrance. Never have I hated a character so much to the point of vomit before, but she came very close to achieving this. Every scene she is in leaves a bad taste in my mouth, from her constant whining to her swinging of a bat. In horror movies you should want the heroine to survive and tell the tale, this movie made me want Jack to kill her and Danny before dacing on their dead corpses. In conclusion, not only do I consider the Shining a completely overrated movie, but a insult to the horror genre. I jumped more in Insidious 2 than I did in this movie, and I slept through most of that film. My final thoughts, anytime you feel like watching a scary yet thrilling Stanley Kubrick movie, find his masterpiece A Clockwork Orange. As far as I’m concerned, you can through this in a trash bin with A.I and set both films ablaze, because I honestly wouldn’t pay for either one.


The film Sugar focuses on a young aspiring Dominican athlete who dreams to play professional America. His name is Miguel Santos however his friends call him Sugar because he eats a lot of sweets. Sugar learned to play baseball at a very young age, and the rest of the boys in his village play baseball as well. Sugar was taught a devastating knuckle curve and practiced it daily, he eventually was among those chosen to travel to America and play baseball. This film really goes in depth to portray life for an immigrant in the United States. Sugar was sent by the baseball camp to live with a white family in Indiana. It is a much different setting for Sugar, the american lifestyle is way different than the way he lives at home in the Dominican Republic. The change of scenery ends up being to much for sugar to handle in this one scene where he is walking around a mall. The camera goes blurry and the ambient noises begin to muffle. This one scene portrays pure anxiety perfectly. The scene really puts you in Sugars shoes. I cant imagine being in a place where everyone looks and talks differently than me. Its not being xenophobic, its just a major shock for some people, it called culture shock. The Midwest United States is way different than the east coast. When sugar runs away to New York City he feels more at home because there are many people there just like him. This film also shows the struggle people deal with to achieve the American dream. It is especially difficult for immigrants to achieve. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity but when you dont have the proper documentation that says you live here it is hard to live here. Sugar was in the United States on a temporary work visa. He was not a United States citizen. The film really shows us that you can be very good at something but your location plays a huge role in success.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Man on Wire, William Oliver

Man on Wire
William Oliver

     Man on Wire was a documentary directed by James Marsh.  It tells the story of Phillippe Petit, who was a tightrope walker, who always enjoyed taking risks.  This movie tells the story of his biggest risk; walking across the twin towers, on a tight rope.  The issue I had with this film was not the story itself.  I still find the fact that he was able to do this unbelievable.  The problem I had was the composition of the film itself.

     The film bounced back and forth between an interview, home videos (some I felt had little correlation to the film), and reenactments of the actual twin tower walk.  The film bounced around too much for my liking and I think it scrambled the story for me.  It began to become hard to follow, especially the home videos, some of which felt unrelated to the twin tower walk.  These home videos featured him and his friends doing various things.  Some made sense, such as practicing the tightrope, but others were just of Phillippe and his friends just playing around.   I believe this took away from the awe inspiring story at the heart of this documentary.  Overall, I would give the story a 4.5/5 but the film itself a 2/5.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Psycho #DamianHenderson

Damian V. Henderson Jr

Psycho was a movie that kept you guessing. You weren't sure what was gonna happen next from scene to scene. And for an old movie it was quite entertaining. The movie started out as what had looked like a calm film. Marion Crane was what had seemed to be the main character in the beginning. She and her boyfriend Sam Loomis were inn her apartment fooling around when Marion had to go to work. She was a secretary and didn't make a whole lot of money. One day a man came in and he looked like he knew Marion's boss. He began flirting with Marion but Marion wasn't going for it. The men gave Marion's boss $40,000 dollars to buy something. The men was quite rich. He tried to persuade Marion into accepting his kindness by showing all $40,000 dollars in cash. Again Marion showed no interest. Marion's boss gave her the money to put in the bank. Marion told him that she wasn't feeling good and asked can she get the rest off the day off to rest in bed after she dropped off the money. Her boss said ok and Marion took it and went on home. She got to the apartment and looked at the money like it had all the answers to her money problems. She then packed her things and began driving. She drove like she knew she was doing something wrong. She looked at the money in her purse. Every two seconds. Then as she approached a red light, her boss walked across the street. And as he got to the sidewalk he noticed that it was Marion in the car. He looked confused because she told him that she would be in bed all day. But at the time he didn't think anything of it.

It was getting late and Marion was getting sleepy. So she decided to pull over and sleep the night in her car. The next morning a cop pulled up next to her car while she was still sleep and woke her up. He asked her a couple of questions like where was she going but she kept acting strange. The cop could tell that she was hiding something. But he had to let her go because she didn't break any laws. Even though he let her go that doesn't mean he has forgotten about her. The cop knew the car she was in so she feared that if the cop found out that she stole the money he could easily find her. So she went to the car dealership and bought a new car. But while she was there, the same cop had pulled up. She got in her knew car and pulled off before the cop could ask her anything.

She was out of town and on her way to a new life. But the time it was late and she needed a place to spend the night. Then she pulled up to the Bate's Motel. She instantly noticed the house next to the motel. She also noticed the man in the window. The man came down and introduced himself as Norman Bates. He ran the motel. He gave her a room and offered to make her food. He went back up to the house and Marion heard the loud argument  between him and his mother. He came back down with sandwiches and milk and offered it to Marion. They ate it in the back of the main office where Norman had his collection of stuffed birds. He explained the birds to her and how this was a hobby of his. He also explain the situation about his childhood. He talked about his mother and how she was sick. He said that she was upstairs in the house and that he had to care for her.

During their conversation she realized that she should do the right thing and return the money. She went back to her room in a good mood. she felt as if a weight has been lifted off her shoulders. She got in the shower and it seemed that the way she was washing herself off was like her washing her sins off. But instantly a women ran into the bathroom with a knife and started stabbing Marion! She couldn't help herself and died as the women ran out of the room!

Norman comes into the room as if he knew what had just went down. He instantly began cleaning up the mess. He cleaned up the blood and used the shower curtain to cover up the dead body. He put the body along with all of Marion's things in the trunk of her car. Including the money. He then pushed the car into the lake so no one could find the body.

Back in town people were looking for Marion. They knew that she took the money and they wanted to find her. Her sister Lila Crane was most concerned about Marion. She went to her boyfriend Sam to see if he knew about Marion. He was shocked to hear that Marion had stolen money, but he also wanted to find her to see if she was ok. Then came a private detective. He wanted to find out what happened to this girl. He went down to the motel and talked to Norman. He saw that Norman was acting suspicious but he left the motel to call Lila. He said he was going back to look at the house he saw when he drove in. He walked to the house and the door was unlocked. HE went in and went up the stairs very slowly. But suddenly and lady jumped from her room and stabbed the detective! He fell down the stairs and the same lady that killed Marion killed him. So now Lila and Sam are worried.

So they go up to the motel and get a room. While Sam was questioning Norman, Lila went up to the house. She searched upstairs but didn't find anything. Sam and Norman started arguing until Norman hit him with a glass and knocked him out. He ran up to the house to find Lila. But Lila went to the cellar where Norman had put his mother. Norman ran upstairs and Lila had saw a women sitting down with her back turned. She went to tap her on the shoulder and come to find out it wasn't the mother. It was the mother's skeleton dressed up. Lila screamed and then came Norman with a knife dressed up like his mother! He tried to attack Lila but Sam came in and grabbed Norman before he could do anything.

 The police came and they explained that Norman he killed his mother and her boyfriend years ago out of jealousy. But he keeps his mothers body in his room. He dresses it up and speaks for it like his mother is still alive. When he met Marion he had feelings for her. But the "mother side of him," got jealous. So he dressed up like her and killed Marion. He was living two lives and having two personalities at once. It's safe to say that Norman Bates is psycho!


Image result for rocky

Director John G. Advilsen and screenwriter and star Sylvester Stallone wanted to create a movie that was based on the American Dream. They wanted him to look like the underdog, so that in the movie he is achieving his goal and that everyone can do what they want with hard work. This movie takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1976, it's the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence.

The film starts with a boxing match with the "Italian Stallion" which is Rocky. And he just lost a fight. This is when you start to see that Rocky is an amateur who is trying to make a living off of his boxing career. As a result of that Rocky also works for a loan shark Tony Gazzo (Joe Spinell) 

As we get more into the film we start to see that Rocky has a soft and sensitive side. He takes care of two pet turtles and shows his love for animals. He also has a love interest in the movie and her name is Adrian. In the beginning she didn't show no interest towards Rocky but he didn't give up. He started of by saying jokes to her, then he took he ice skating. 

Rocky was seen as a hypocrite by most people and viewed as a bum. But he didn't take much to mind because he is too busy in his own world. At the end Apollo Creed decides who he wants to take into the championship. He doesn't want any of the one's that were called so he took the book and found Rocky Balboa, he was so excited about the name the "Italian Stallion " he already imagined himself winning. Rocky then had to do months of training in order to beat him but he had people on his side. 

Here came the day of the fight. Rocky thought he had a chance and Apollo Creed knew he had the win because he was much more experienced. This was a fight that lasted 15 rounds but ultimately Apollo took the victory. Rocky wasn't upset himself and he looked for Adrian. 

One moment that stood out to me was when Rocky had the opportunity to fight Apollo Creed and everyone wanted there share of fame as well. When he wasn't doing good nobody believed in him and that goes to show that they just wanted there share of fame too.

I never seen this film before but it did show me the idea behind the film which is the American Dream. It was a good sports movie in general. I also liked how it didn't stick to a specific genre but it had multiple of genre. Overall this movie was very inspirational.

By: Crystal Mercado   

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Psycho #MichaelLee

Image result for psycho movie
Director- Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay- Joseph Stefano

This has to be one of my favorites movies of all time next to "The Shining". This movie has everything from suspense to shocking scenes. It's not scary to the common viewer nowadays but it's very interesting. It has just enough suspense to where you're sitting on the edge of your seat and just plot twists that you still wouldn't be able to wrap your head around.

This movie starts off with a man and woman getting dressed after having some "fun". They are talking of going away and having big plans together but the man isn't so sure because he is broke and is going through a really rough divorce. The woman ends up leaving in a hurry to go to work but when she goes to work, she's in for the surprise of her life. A very cocky man walks in to buy his daughter a house for her wedding present. He comes to pay the house in cash. I really don't know anyone who carries that much cash on him and even if I had that money, I would still never do that. This guy is going to getting a little surprise for being cocky. The real estate agent sends his secretary to go cash it. The funny thing is, she doesn't go cash it. She bolts and tries to go to California with 40,000 dollars in hand. That was a lot of money back then. To me, a 17 year kid, that's still a lot of money today.

When she steals this money, she doesn't leave town right away. She's thinking of the consequences of her action and thinking what could happen if she doesn't do her job. As she is playing all the scenarios possible in her head, she just decides to leave town. As she is leaving town her boss sees her in her car on the way out of town. She is not the best bank robber or the sneakiest robber alive. She is probably going to get herself caught. That's what get's me thinking, does that scene with the boss show that she is going to get caught in the future? Or maybe she disappear without a trace and that's the last time her boss ever sees her again.

As she drives down the road we notice the story playing out in her head. The voices get deep into her head filling her every thought. I then notice that maybe the voices in the background isn't the story playing out. It honestly could just be her hallucinating of what could happen. By her facial expression we can tell she has gone mad. Is she a trustworthy person? Can we trust the way she is portraying the outcomes?  She sleeps in her car which wasn't a very good idea on her part. A cop walks up the window and knocks, she jolts up and tries to start the car and drive away. The cop tells her to shut her engine off and give him her license and registration. By now, the cop is very suspicious of this woman since she slept in the car. The cop tells her there's motels just up the road. The woman isn't helping her case at all. She is acting suspicious and then she drives off while the officer still has her license.

She ends up stopping in the nearest town to sell her car and get a brand new one. She's in a rush and usually when someone wants to buy a car they want to wheel and deal for a better price. She agrees to pay a sum of 700 dollars with the trade of her own car. The car dealer is very suspicious at this point because she doesn't just agree to pay the sum he wanted with no argument but she also paid in cash. While all this was happening there was cop across the street watching her every move. I believe she could've at least just kept driving until she knew that the cop couldn't catch up. Everything she does is so sloppy and I wouldn't trust her to break me out of jail or pull a heist for me.

She ends up taking the advice of the cop who was suspicious of her actions and finds a hotel. The hotel is very secluded. It's far from the highway and very empty. It's called Bates Hotel. This hotel looks like something straight out of a horror movie which I guess "Psycho" would be considered a horror movie when it first came out. She meets the person who runs the place, Norman Bates. At first, he seems like a nice person. It's funny how the hotel has 12 rooms and it also has 12 vacancies as well. He put her into the first room. Before she starts settling into her room Norman invites her up for dinner for that night. She kindly accepts his offer. After Norman leaves, she takes the money out of her purse and wraps in newspaper and puts in on the cabinet. She hears arguing from the house, you can hear an old elderly lady scream from the top of her lungs that she doesn't want anyone up into the house. As she is walking out of her room, Norman meets her and knows that he was in a bit of trouble.

They eat dinner in the back of the office. This scene really does kill me. It amazing and it's where you really get to appreciate the outstanding acting from Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh. They go back and forth at each other with sort of criticism like for example Marion said, "a man should have a hobby." Norman took that as a sarcastic comment and it was blows at each back and forth. But the most important thing that was said was, "we all go a little mad sometimes." That quote right their carries weight throughout the whole movie and carries weight throughout reality. When Norman says that, you can see Marion face start to to sadden. She's realizes that she went a little mad. She dashes out of the room and heads into her room and something weird happens. Norman removes the painting off the wall and starts spying on her through the wall and then after he is done, he puts it back up. I question wether this movie is a comedy or a horror.

One of the most iconic movie scenes in history is right here in this movie. It's in the shower scene where Marion decides right after she has her conversation with Norman, she'll do. She takes her clothes off and steps in the shower. She starts cleaning her self off, you can see a shadow in the curtain of a lady wielding a kitchen knife. The lady rips the shower curtain open and stabs Marion and kills her. Now what I don't understand about this scene is that she turns around and does like a full spin while she is getting stabbed. Like why, do you wanna get stabbed in the back in then stabbed in the stomach again. It just doesn't make sense. But, that's what does make the scene even more iconic till this day. The mother was apparently the one who murdered the notorious Marion. Norman is going to have to be the one who has to pick up the pieces. Instead calling the police on his mother he decides pick up the body, clothes, and anything else that remained and get rid of it. He stuff Marion's body in the trunk of the car and drives it into a big mud puddle where it could sink to the bottom where no one could find it.

Lila, Marion's sister, is worried sick because of her sister running off stealing a whopping 40,000 dollars. She came to question Sam, the guy she has a sort of secret relationship complicated relationship with. We all know Marion was headed Sam's way with that 40,000 dollars. A private investigator also stops to asks questions about where was the last time they say her and did they know where she was. The common answer was they didn't where she was and they had no idea she was capable of something of this magnitude.

This private investigator will stop at nothing till he solves this case. He stops at many places till he lands straight at Bates Motel. He walks up to the door and there's Norman. Of course, Norman says that he has 12 vacancies available to room in. The private investigator is only there to talk business though. When the investigator asked to see the book where everyone signs in, he tries to shy away from the subject and talk about something else. The investigator ends up convincing him on seeing the book and there's here name written right in ink when Norman said specifically he hasn't seen her at all. He has been lying to us. At this point Norman is very nervous and doesn't know what to say say. You could say he is caught and has to tell the truth. But for the most part, he sticks to his story.
This investigator also notices that this Norman has a mother. He defiantly pushes Norman to get him to talk to his mother too. Norma isn't having it though. He left to a payphone to talk about what happen about what he found out at the Bates Motel. He is eager to continue his search and decides to head back.

The investigator tries to head into the home of the Bates Motel. He wants to talk to the Mother so he can get more information about Marion. What he is going to find out is very different than he thought. He walks up the stairs of the home and immediately gets stabbed by the elderly women. His body flops back like a rag doll and well, he is dead. Without hearing from the investigator for a while, Lila and sam are worried that he might've found something. They want to head there too. I think that's a bad idea but it's a free country, right? They find out from the deputy sheriff that the mother of Norman Bates is actually dead. Now I know what you are thinking, who could be the old lady then. Just wait, trust me it's a good ending. Sam and Lila head into the Bates house too so that can find the "mother". Lila ends up in the basement where he sees the so called mother but her back is towards her. As Lila treads carefully. She grabbed the mother by the shoulder and turned her around and there she was, a Skeleton. What? Yea, I know. She was a skeleton. As she screams for her life, someone comes behind her with a knife and grabs her. Sam comes quickly and saves her. The mother was really Norman Bates in a dress.

Now here's the really tough part of the blog. Where I have to find an overall conclusion. Well this movie is very unique and had many plot twist so please bare with me. I think this film taught us a few things. When Norman Bates said, "We all go a little crazy sometimes". I feel that relates to all of us. As American people we work and nothing but stress is on our shoulders. Sometimes we lose it and we just have to come back to reality and realize that we need to really think things through before we go ahead and do them like Marion did with stealing that 40,000 dollars. Another lesson could be, don't be a cocky jerk. Maybe the guy in the beginning had it coming when the money from him got stolen. He did say he never carried more than he could lose. Overall this movie is one of my favorites and has gone done in history. It has one of the most iconic scenes and one of the most iconic plot twist of all time. The movie is true to it's name and i've never enjoyed watching a movie so much in my life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Ryan Bowens                                                     10/23/16
I've always heard of this movie but never seen it. I even heard of Ripley but didn’t know anything about her but after this movie I can understand how amazing this movie is was. I assumed this movie wouldn’t be as great as all it’s hype but I was truly wrong. This movie was great and very suspenseful thanks to the director Ridley Scott who also directed Blade Runner another amazing movie from what I hear. I personally really enjoy space movies because you can do anything because nobody knows what’s up and the dangers. And when the alien first appears the first question on my head was how are they gonna kill that? The alien was truly terrifying when it up it’s mouth and it had a tiny version of itself come out gave me chills. I search up the actor who played as the alien in the first movie and his name is Bolaji Badejo. He did a outstanding job as this creepy monster. Spoiler but I thought that there was only going be a few people left alive but Ripley being the only survive, one of her crew mates being a robot and having to self destruct the ship she on and then to end up on a different ship thinking she same only to defend off another alien. This movie really shows how dangerous it can be in space and how we don’t know nor understand what’s out their. Also this movie proves that Ellen Ripley is one of the greatest female protagonist.

Touch of Evil

Makayla Bigard

Image result for a touch of evilThe film A Touch of Evil (1958) is one of the best film nior made.  Directed by Orson Well, who is arguable the greatest director of all time.  For me I was not familiar with his work, matter of fact I had actually never heard of Orson Well before watching this film.  The plot is both complex which at times made it hard to follow.

The film starts out with a Mexican narcotics officer Ramon Miguel "Mike" Vargas (Charlton Heston) and Susan Vargas (Janet Leigh)  were on their honeymoon on the Mexican-US border.  That's when an American building contractor is killed after someone places a bomb in his car.  With the potentially Mexican bomb happening on American soil, Vargas took interest in investigating along with American police captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), Police Chief Pete Gould (Harry Shannon) and District Attorney Adair (Ray Collins).  Over time Vargas begins to believe that the investigation is being corrupt by the other officers on the case.  He begins to put himself and his wife in jeopardy when he tries to reveal the truth. Throughout the movie there the film nior and background music kept things suspenseful.  Making you question the truth about the main officers and their motive.   I think the movie definitely fit for the time period it was made but for this generation it's very different from what we know about mystery films.