Friday, April 29, 2016

Bonnie & Clyde

This film was directed by Arthur Penn, written by David Newman, Robert Benton; starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Michael J. Pollard. A well known film based around a romantic involved couple as well as criminally involved partners. It's 1934 and Clyde finds his way to Bonnie who at the time was a waitress. It takes no time at all for them to be attracted to each other, sexually, physically, etc.

They also find that they think it's best they team up so they can have more time together, make money together from the banks they rob, and have fun. Who else better to have as a partner than your significant other? Along the way they recruit a few others to improve the strategy they take on so they're able to rob banks flawlessly.

A gangster/romance/ comedy all in the same token which makes this movie that much better. All these factors that add into this amusing film, that comes with an unexpected twist.. Love affair? Murder? Break up? Or maybe all three?

In my opinion this movie is very relatable to viewers because we all want that one person that we're in a relationship to be our lover, our partner in crime, and our best friend all in one. Someone who can hold you down no matter the circumstances. But the movie isn't all about the couple of focus because they're on the run from the law enforcement. But they have each other, money, and freedom what else could they want? Movie had me drawn all through and it shows because this movie is an award winning film as well.

Winter's Bone

This film is directed by Debra Granik starring Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawked, and Garret Dillahunt. This film mainly focuses on a 17 year old girl named Ree with a motive to find her meth-engaged father despite any circumstances. It's a very risky path that she goes down as she tries to seek the truth. Time isn't on her side when she's informed that her family will be turned to the Ozarks.

A very heart wrenching, realistic, grim, haunting film. The main role phenomenally acted by Jennifer Lawrence. In my opinion she's a very award worthy, talented actor. She can sell her part well, as well as well as being believable. What would it take for you to go all out for your kin? This movie answers that question. Even when her obstacles are life threatening she does what she can to take care of her mother, and her two younger siblings while trying to figure everything else out on her own.

She even takes a pretty nasty beating throughout her journey of finding her farther, which quickly angered me. This scene easily accessed my emotions to the point I felt as if I was playing the part of the anger she was supposed to have towards the people that did that to her. Movies such as this one grab my attention when someone young does what they can't to defend oneself or their kin. Very significant because we're taught to defend ourselves and our families. Surprising to see what one is capable of when it becomes a threat to their lives and their loved ones around them. Great film, Oscar worthy.

Winter's Bone- Improved Perception

The film, Winter’s Bone is a 2010 independent drama film directed by Debra Granik. This film stars Jennifer Lawrence as the leading protagonist, Ree.

This film takes place in rural Missouri, in the mountain area. The atmosphere and culture is very different from that of an urban or suburban area. This setting sets up the premise our film and possibly the differences between the different area’s ideals.

In the film, Lawrence portrays Ree as strong and independent. She is the caretaker and provider for her younger brother and sister as well as her ill mother. In various scenes she can be seen teaching her younger siblings useful survival skills, such as helping them to study for school, teaching them how to cook, and teaching them how to shoot a gun for hunting.

These skills that Lawrence’s character is instructing her siblings on, shows how the rural environment comes into play in the film and creates these differences in the atmosphere.

Similar themes from Beasts of the Southern Wild,  also come into play in this film, such as the strong female lead protagonist, the essence of strength and survival, as well as family and community.

The main protagonist, Ree, completely steps outside of gender role stereotypes in this film, in a similar fashion as Hushpuppy from the film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Also in this film the rule of keeping quiet and not speaking to law enforcement, is also similar to that of Beasts of the Southern Wild, because the ‘Bathtub’ community was against the law enforcement for evacuating them and taking them from their homes.

The first time I watched this film I found it to be uncomfortable to watch due to the many unorthodox practices surrounding the rural Missouri mountain community. All the characters seemed to be of some relation to each other and involved in illegal practices and misdeeds.

However, after watching this film again and analyzing the themes, I feel I have a better understanding of the culture and therefore the film itself which has greatly improved my perception of the film. Now, when I think of Winter’s Bone, I think of strength, survival, determination, and independence.

Chicago #tati

This film is directed by Rob Marshall starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere released in 2002. This movie is very unique compared to any other movie I have seen recently. A murder, musical, and entertainment all in one [sentence fragment; no verb]. The events that take place in this movie aren't very realistic because they get away with things that we couldn't in reality.

The characters use musical theatre to express their emotions, as well as committing crimes. We see how the emotions vary throughout their acts. Some more sentimental, while some are more violent.
They outline a common show business drama using this young girl that is hungry for stardom. As she's coming up she realizes that this isn't a clean objective, the twist here seems to be violence and murder. So she does what she can to get to stardom even if that means communiting a crime.

They [who are they?] use two worlds: the realistic Chicago, which is violent, and crime filled. But on the other hand the fantasy one that every young naive upcoming actor wants a piece of.. the Jazz fantasy. This movie consists of a lot of singing and what not. More like a musical overall, which isn't my thing. So this movie didn't really peak [pique] my interest, for the most part I found myself easily getting distracted away from the movie [run-on]. Also the back and forth from reality to the musical was confusing, so there were a lot of points I would question what was going on. On a [in] retrospect the idea of combining the real Chicago and the fantasy that every actor dreams of was very interesting and intelligent. So in regards to that technique I won't knock the movie. But this wasn't one of my favorite films that we've watched.


This post shows real progress in that you skillfully offer up both critical analysis and evidence in support of your ideas. You are no longer relying so heavily on recall/retell. That said, one of the requirements found in "The Guide to Evaluating Blog Posts" states that in order to be competent or exemplary you must include a relevant image. It seems to me this might be a good opportunity to find a shot that includes a split-screen or a dissolve that visually represents both the realistic and fantastic versions of Chi-town for example:


Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild was directed and written by Benh Zeitlin, starring Quvenzhan√© Wallis as Hushpuppy, and Dwight Henry as her father Wink. Hushpuppy (one of the few nicknames her father gave her) and her father live in a small community referred to as "The Bathtub" located in Louisiana. 

We see that her father doesn't focus much on the fact that she is a little girl but as a little boy. He gives her the responsibility of maintaining her own house by her father's. He also expects her to be strong emotionally, and physically. When she gets emotional it upsets him because he didn't raise her in this manner. We also learn that her mother is no longer around so her father has a great impact in who she is. 

Throughout the movie reality and Huspuppy's imagination would easily confuse a viewer, as it confused me. The movie title is heavily incorporated into the movie. The way Hushpuppy and her father lived isn't necessarily the way we live ours. This title can be interpreted in many ways. I see it as they were beasts because they fanned for themselves, and did what they had to do to survive. They live in a community with people just like them. Louisiana is also located in the South.

This movie to me was amazing, it expressed a rather imaginary/realistic order of events. It captured a very real aftermath of a flood. Along with what we would have to do to fen for ourselves. In most cases we have our mother and fathers or just mothers, but in this case she only has her dad. Which is great because he teaches her strength in all forms. Just as capable as a mother can teach this, this movie captures how impacting your parent can be on you.

As we watched how Huspuppy had a hard time accepting the fact that she had to let go of her father. This part of the film drew me in because she already lost her mother and now she's be losing her father. Her father didn't want her to cry but they both had a break through when they both began to cry. This scene was a real tear jerker, overall this movie was great. With great actors to play their roles with a very powerful storyline.

Beasts of the Southern Wild- The Essence

The film, Beasts of the Southern Wild was directed Benh Zeitlin and released in 2012. It stars Quvenzhané Wallis as the lead, Hushpuppy. At the age of nine, Wallis was the youngest actress in history to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. In total this film was nominated for four Academy Awards at the 85th Academy Awards in the categories Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress.

This film is about a young girl and her father living in a small community called “The Bathtub” in Louisiana. Throughout the film many ideals come into play such as gender roles. Hushpuppy and her father Wink live as some would say unconventionally. Hushpuppy drinks and lives in a separate house than her father. Also unconventional, her father, Wink encourages the strength of a man from his young daughter.  

Hushpuppy’s strength continues to be an occurring theme throughout the film. Whether she’s strong enough to face the ‘Beasts’, whether she’s strong enough to be on her own, whether she’s strong enough to let her father go when he’s the only parent she has left.

This film, contained many symbols about the beasts, about Hushpuppy, about her father, and about their community.

While watching this film, an emotional feeling would occasionally wash over me due to the emotional intensity.

This film portrayed very real life issues, referencing the storm in Louisiana and the aftermath of the damage. While portraying a very real circumstance they also incorporated moments in the film that were dream-like and as an audience member made you question what exactly was going on. It was to be concluded that it was Hushpuppy’s imagination or something along those lines. But the scenes were still powerful as they were crucial to the transition in the film where Hushpuppy finally lets her father go when she realizes he’s dying and there is nothing that can be done.

It creates a shift in her character. Her strength is at the forefront (an occurring theme throughout the film) but it’s also showcased that she’s a survivor and she’ll still survive without him, as she did her mom.

The main ideas of the film, focus on the essence of surviving, strength, as well as family and community.

Hushpuppy, in a way, has an essence of them all.

When We Were Kings- Kings of the Ring

The 1996 documentary, When We Were Kings, was directed by Leon Gast. It spotlights the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight championship match between fighters Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The fight was held in Zaire, which is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on October 30, 1974.

This documentary won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It took the director, Leon Gast, 22 years to edit and finance before it was finally able to be released to the public.

Throughout this film, there are multiple celebrities giving cameos and interviews about the fight and their impressions of Ali and the fight itself. The film contains these interviews along with photos and clips around the time of the fight and leading up to it.

I found this film to be very unique in the way it was shot and put together. There was a lot going on and very scene was active and alive, I think this could very well be symbolic for the lively atmosphere possibly surrounding the fight. It was a world championship between two well-known fighters and it gained a lot of press. The lively onslaught of music, sound, press… I think this was a way for the director to depict the mood and atmosphere surrounding the actual fight.

Though, I personally didn’t love this film. I respected the director's artistic insight and eye for detail. To be in the process of creating a documentary for over 22 years, he practically lived and breathed this piece of history. It became a constant part of his life.

When We Were Kings, seems to be a film about going back to the good ole days when times were different and they were kings… kings of the ring.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Elaine N. - Beasts of the Southern Wild

This film would be one of my favorites for the year. Hushpuppy character would define most of us. She was strong and brave when she had to be. But also needed her father. Hushpuppy needed someone, just like we all do. I can relate to Hushpuppy's determination to find her mother. I always wondered about my father and when will i get to see him again. I didn't officially get to meet him until I was eight years old. I understand why she wanted to be with her mom again one wants to be loved by not one but both parents. 
Her father was a strange man who always had me questioning him and his behavior. His sickness was never really said which had me thinking of what it could be. I honestly just thought that her father was a drunk and the doctors had to pump his stomach.
Overall, the film had me questioning many of the scenes because I thought the beast represented her mother since hushpuppy believed her mom was magicial. I believed Hushpuppy had the powers to stop the beast.  I thought the movie was going to be magical of some sort.
Overall, I enjoyed watching the film.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chicago/ Courtney Bell

Chicago Movie Poster

In the mid-'20s, Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) is a small-time chorus dancer married to a well-meaning dunderhead named Amos (John C. Reilly). Roxie is having an affair on the side with Fred Casley (Dominic West), a smooth talker who insists he can make her a star. However, Fred strings Roxie along a bit too far for his own good, and when she realizes that his promises are empty, she becomes enraged and murders Fred in cold blood. 

Roxie soon finds herself behind bars alongside Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a vaudeville star who used to perform with her sister until Velma discovered that her sister had been sleeping with her husband and Chicago's slickest lawyer, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), is set to defend her [run on/awkward construction]. In this movie there are multiple musicals numbers that are performed.


What you have thus far represents a good start but is primarily recall/retell. What are your thoughts? Have you had other experiences with musicals? If so, how does Chicago compare? Would you recommend this film to family or friends?

Vinny Oliverio Chicago

Chicago in my opinion was confusing. This movie is a drama musical. It takes place in a jail, yet they use the musical to better explain what's happening. Some of the scenes you could really tell the emotion in what they were feeling in real life during the musical. I feel as though they used the musical perspective to project the actors feelings in a different way. This to me was confusing. I understand how this movie works, with the cut scenes of the musical along with the prison. But it was hard to follow the movie while it was switching back and forth between the musical and reality. 

I understand the movie, and in my opinion it was good. Just not my type of movie. The main character Roxie, is imprisoned for murder. Her fellow inmates [really there was only one other inmate that had an interest in/experience in show biz, Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones)] are in show biz. They tell her that there is a lawyer named Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), who has never lost a case. He requests $5,000 from both Roxie and her husband Amos, for a grand total of $10,000. During the interrogation scene with Amos, Roxie is singing about how she hates him, and he's stupid for telling on her [Vinny, I would love to hear more of your thoughts on the relationship between Roxie and Amos. Good start.]