Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jaws- Misconceptions about Sharks

Jaws is a 1975 thriller directed by none other than Steven Spielberg, the same director of Jurassic Park and it’s later franchise installments.

This film stars Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, and Murray Hamilton. Roy Scheider stars as the lead police chief Martin Brody.

The setting is in the summer season on Amity Island, a summer resort town where tourists come to be by the beach and swim in the ocean, little do they know what lurks beneath the waters.

Without having seen the movie with a title like Jaws, you already know who the villain/antagonist of this film is. The antagonist is none other than the Great White Shark, the monster of the ocean, or so this film makes it out to be.

As the Great White is depicted as the antagonist of this film, you can be sure to expect a lot of blood and death at the hands or ‘jaws’ of this world renowned predator, the monster and reigning king of the ocean.

I personally had some qualms about this film. While it’s an interesting idea, the premise and sole focus of making sharks out to be the so called ‘bad guy’ was where I believe they ultimately went wrong. It was one thing in the film Jurassic Park to use dinosaurs as the antagonist since dinosaurs are extinct, but sharks aren’t. This film along with it’s many sequels may have just been what started the craze to kill and cull sharks and may have started the international phobia about sharks due to misconceptions portrayed in the film.

Sharks are a predatory species. Depending on the species, they hunt crustaceans, fish, seals, dolphins and other sharks. This also varies based on their size. You’ll notice no where in their diet does it say they eat people. They do not purposely go after human beings. In fact most great white shark attacks aren’t committed by great whites and if they are it’s purely because great white sharks are known to test bite. They test bite buoys, boats, and other inanimate objects, they are looking for food not going out of their way to hunt humans.

In fact, sharks don’t like the taste of human flesh and when it is consumed they have digestive issues. They’d much rather have a fish or seal.

So, although the idea for the film seemed to be a great one at the time, it has since then caused problems for the shark species due to all the misconceptions created by the film.

The Great Gatsby 74/13

The Great Gatsby film in 1974 was directed by Jack Clayton starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, and Bruce Dern. The main focus of the plot is fixing the broken relationship between Jay Gatsby and Daisy. Nick who becomes his confined friend, helps to repair their broken relationship. We also realize he narrates throughout the whole film. Through their broken relationship true intentions seep through. Daisy marries Tom Budhanan so can live a comfortable lifestyle. Ironically Gatsby is new to wealth but prior to this lifestyle Daisy would not let love get in the way of what she is used to. Marrying Tom was just a convenience for her. But Gatsby is eager to reunite their love, so he just does that. Tom is unbothered by Gatsby's quest for Daisy, he just carries along with Myrtle. Love seems to be in the air because Nick also finds his own. Riches and Romance = ? You guessed it. Drama. Heads clashing. The evil and deceit of riches come to surface along with the shadows being "love".

I believe this film was very capturing the actresses played their roles well. Mia Farrow representing a shallow, deceitful, ungrateful woman who doesn't deserve the love and privilege she is given. While Gatsbh is very genuine. The visual and orchaestra tied in very well with the film. Creating the age effect along with the camera angles and costumes. Entertaining movie, but at times I caught myself directing my attention elsewhere other than the movie. Was the movie missing something or is it me? The drama for one was very genuine and realistic, these type of events are very relatable to real life scenarios. So I was very pleased by this.

Now to The Great Gatsby film in 2013 directed by Baz Luhrmann starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton. One let me say amazing cast, Leonardo DiCaprio is always so dedicated to his role. Played very flawlessly, and smoothly. The 2013 film gives us the extr oomf the 74' version lacked. Possibly because Baz had a greater understanding of fitting the modern touch and drama effect the 73 may not have had. But just because it's more modernized doesn't mean they missed tying in the morals of the classic tale. The scenery and cinematography is breathtaking, but this also doesn't take away from the movie's substance. When it goes back to their roles they were very true. DiCaprio's performance on the other hand was Oscar worthy. Playing the role of an insane, love crazed man. Now when it comes to script Baz really went all the way. He ties the insight from the 20's into the script. While adding a touch of what society is like today; money hunger, drug and alcohol abuse, moral corruptions, inequality, personal greed, and financial plummeting. Very nice touch with the day to day relevance.

A storyline that most of us can relate to today along with the touch and insight of the 20's. Overall they were both great films, but I'd have to say I prefer the 2013 version. Not because it's newer because don't get me wrong some things were covered in the 74' version that the 13' may have not. But I found myself very drawn to the 2013 version. Also with very relatable situations. This was one of the greater films we have watched this year in my opinion.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Great Gatsby

the great gatsby gatsby isla fisher myrtle wilson

Recently, we as a class viewed The Great Gatsby - both the 1974 version and the most recent remake with the fantastic Leonardo DiCaprio (directed by Jack Clayton and Baz Luhrman respectively). We watched them chronologically and in my opinion that did not result in saving the best for last. There were good and bad things about both versions as there tend to be in everything.

The 1974 version seems to have been a little more accurate in depicting the time period, like with the music. I was slightly thrown back by the 2013 picture where the music was all modern (Jay Z was both an executive producer of film and a contributor to its soundtrack), but they were still dancing in the same old manner. The two just clashed. Another one of my primary complaints was the use of "old sport" in the new one. Leo over did the old sport thing BY FAR. The new version added cutaways that weren't particularly necessary and the drama was built up to the end to affect the viewers emotions at the death of Jay Gatsby. The original film was not nearly as blunt and required the viewer to pay more attention and make the connections themselves. This is a terrible blog post and the in-class discussions were better. Thanks. Thank you; I am uncertain about your self-assessment. Your blog post certainly could be improved but terrible may be overly harsh. Discussions were good. I am curious about your reasoning for omitting discussion/thoughts on class (social class that is). Were Fitzgerald and the later filmmakers trying to say anything about capitalism and excess? Were any of them more successful than the others if this were indeed the case? Love is blindness.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jurassic Park- A Spielberg Trademark

Jurassic Park is a 1993 science fiction adventure film turned franchise. The first installment was directed by Steven Spielberg.

It was the highest ever grossing film at the time garnering over $900 million worldwide in theaters.

The film stars Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern,  Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards, and Joseph Mazzello.

In the film paleontologists Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Dern, daughter of Bruce Dern [Tom Buchcanan of Gatsby '74) are invited by John Hammond (Attenborough, The Great Escape and director of Ghandi), the founder and CEO of InGen and creator of the theme park Jurassic Park. They were called in by the parks investors to verify its safety after the unfortunate death of a park worker at the hands, or should I say claw and teeth of a velociraptor.

Also invited to inspect the safety of the park is Ian Malcolm (Goldblum, The Fly and Law & Order: Criminal Intent) a mathematician, invited by the lawyer representing the parks investors. The three of the invitees as well as the lawyer go on a tour of the park. Also on the tour are Hammond’s grandchildren Tim and Lex Murphy.

This film being the first in its installment, to me, brought up a lot of questions about science and as humans how sometimes we mess with things we may not have the best understanding of. In this film, clearly they were in too deep, messing with nature and things they didn’t quite understand, and it put themselves and others in a dangerous position.

I think for this reason nature is not to be messed with. Period. I understand that this is a science fiction film, but there are government labs out there and science experiments occurring and one day, they just might take it too far. Alright, enough of my paranoia.

Aside from those aspects, I think the editing and the thrill of this film was done quite flawlessly for it’s time, and may still be considered one of the best films regarding the editing and animation used to bring the dinosaurs to life. Spielberg is a force to be reckoned with and a legend in Hollywood. His films have a certain “je na se qua” that make them stand out.

I think anyone can recognize a Spielberg film by his technique and signature flare/style when it comes to directing. That and the fact that he has a habit of taking on films with theme of abandonment, such as in War Horse or E.T.; this film is no different.

In this film it was the children who were abandoned. They were abandoned by their father, and in the film they ended up developing a closer relationship with Grant even though he didn’t initially like children.
Their abandonment follows Spielberg's trademark theme of abandonment in the films he directs.

Friday, May 20, 2016


This film was directed by Rob Marshall published [produced?] in 2002 staring Renee Zellweger (Roxie Hart), Richard Gere (Billy Flynn), and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Velma Kelly). Out of all the movies we have watched this on is very different because it is in the form of a musical and everything they do is with singing. 

The story line here is that you have Roxie Hart who is fame hungry and wants to spend her life and dreams on the Vaudeville stage. The movie is about [set in its titular city, Chicago, during the Roaring '20s] the roaring twenties. So Roxie continuously tries to find hope in getting her break at stardom because she wants to leave her boring husband Amos, an auto-mechanic

Later on were are introduced to this club that seems to be all about women being seductive. In the club there is a singer named Velma Kelly who is later on found charged with murder of her sister and husband after she discovered they had an affair. Going on back Roxie has meet a person that promised to make her a star. After Fred got his way with her and told her this is all he has to offer her she got fed up with him and shot him. She gets sent to jail were she meets Velma, and they talk about everything they did and go on from there.

I think that the emotions and everything going on in the movie are so in a way realistic even though its a musical and how they do crimes you can still picture how upset Roxie was when she got manipulated and they betray her when thinking she was going to get her big break. It's really a high energy movie. Overall the movie was good, it showed how she wanted to strive in what she wanted to be, peruse [pursue] her dream with both ambition and love.   

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Great Gatsby- A Compare and Contrast between the 1974 and Modern Version (2013)

The 1974 version of The Great Gatsby was directed by Jack Clayton is a film based on the 1925 novel of the same name written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The first version of the film stars Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, and Karen Black, and Bruce Dern. Robert Redford stars as the title role of Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as his love and [object of his] infatuation, Daisy Buchanan.

The 2013 version of The Great Gatsby was directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher. Leonardo Dicaprio stars as the title role of Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan counters as his love interest the enigmatic Daisy Buchanan. Daisy as well as Gatsby can both be described as enigmatic but for different reasons. Daisy for being mysterious about her intentions with Gatsby, the audience is never quite sure what she is really thinking, at least in my opinion, and Gatsby for being mysterious and about his past and where in fact his wealth came from. We as viewers never learn that information. Both characters on the outside always seem to have their poker faces on and for that to be they can be described as enigmatic but for different reasons.

These films depict the love story between Gatsby and Daisy through the eyes of Daisy’s cousin and Gatsby’s neighbor Nick Carraway portrayed respectively by Sam Waterston in 1974 version and Tobey Maguire in the 2013 version.

Nick, in both films, narrates the love story between Gatsby and Daisy as well as the overall story. He was apart of both worlds, knowing everything going on around him, with the exception of Gatsby beyond that of his involvement with Daisy and prohibition, at least in the newer version it was more clear that Nick was aware of Gatsby's involvement with prohibition versus the earlier 1974 version.

I found both films to represent the novel accurately; however, there were more details in the 2013 version that followed F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel more accurately than the 1974 version.

Once I watched both films, I couldn’t help but compare the way in which 1974 version portrayed the atmosphere and liveliness of the 1920's more accurately than the newer version.

Personally I enjoyed both films, but I liked the newer version just a little more because of the extra backstory it included about Gatsby, as well as the elaborate parties. I found the parties to be so extravagant, it was hard to believe the parties were real which is why for me as a viewer it was easy to get lost in the magic and fantasy it created.

Elaine N. - Chicago

Chicago is a movie that I have always heard good things of. I have never seen the movie before and it was really good. But to me it resembled a lot like Burlesque. From what I remember Roxie wanted a singing job at the bar/club. The man that was suppose to help her land the job after sleeping with her told her it was all a lie. the argument escalated and she shot him, murdered him. I did not see the entire film but I know a lot of the storyline of the movie.Burlesque is about a young woman,who is a waitress and desires to have a different lifestyle and become a someone. Christina Aguilera plays this young woman, and she gets to Los Angeles to follow her dreams. In Chicago, Roxie wanted to follow her dreams but did not start on the right path because she slept with a man. Christina on the other hand would not take no for an answer from the club owner. Christina would settle for any job in the club and ended up being a waitress once again. The major difference in both of these films is that Chicago had a court case involved and Burlesque had the club struggling with profit and almost being foreclosed.
Bottom line I believe Chicago and Burlesque have the same themes throughout the films. Love, passion, and Ambition to strive. But I favor  Burlesque more, I enjoy it more since I am a big fan of Christina Aguilera.  Burlesque really have an ongoing  love theme. Christina falls for one on the waiters at the night club, she resented him for a while and then just fell for it. But then she felt betrayal from her lover when she finds out his girlfriend was still in the picture.
My favorite dance would be the final ones. In Chicago it was "Nowadays" with Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. It was a good finale song and the music was good. The final dance summed up the whole movie. In comparison to Burlesque, the final dance number involved all the dancers and the workers in the bar. It was a really well performed dance. Christina Aguilera ha a very strong voice and makes the song full of life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

John L. - Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde this film was directed by Arthur Penn and written by Robert Benton and Davis Newman. 

I don't know if the real Bonnie and Clyde were that idiotic. I mean who states there [their] name in a bank robbery, steals cars from people recklessly, and get there [their] names in the front page of the newspaper? Clyde [???] dragging his friends and family down a path like that and after getting all of them killed including himself. #rideordie

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Great Gatsby - Luz Avila

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was turned into two movies. The first was made in 1974 directed by Francis Ford Coppola and the second directed by Baz Luhrmann in 2013.
If you want a film that is closest to the book I recommend the film from ‘74. It captures the essence of the book better without modernizing it too much. It is a bit hard to focus on because it does feel dragged. The second film is catches your attention more but it is probably from Leonardo DiCaprio playing as Gatsby.
The time period is in the 1920’s. The first movie really depicts that using the scenery. The old Rolls-Royce Phantom I Ascot dual-cowl phaeton, the way characters were dressed with lace, off-white colors, long skirts, fur collars, and decorated headbands. Since the movie was filmed closer to the date of the book it captured the period.
The Great Gatsby filmed in 2013 pushed too hard to get the time period across. The characters use a poor, fake accent  and stress on the language used to the point that is just sounds bad. For example, Jay Gatsby uses the term “old sport” over 40 times throughout the movie.
I feel that both movies show the relationships but the 2013 emphasizes on them more. Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby show each other as very close friends (to the point that it seems that they have a crush on each other.) The film also shows the love triangle between Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom. The film shows the love of wealth that Daisy has and the amount of love that Gatsby has for Daisy. The ‘74 film makes it seem more of a lost, romantic tragedy between the two.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Whenever I heard of Chicago I always thought it was just a musical about something stupid in Chicago. I liked how Roxie and Velma were constantly fighting for fame and for them to get out of jail and out of the death row. Roxie is in there because she was sleeping with a man other than her husband in order to become a star, but once she realized he only said that to sleep with her she ended up killing him. Velma is in there because she killed her husband and sister when she walked in on them sleeping with each other. I liked how when all the women were saying what they did they were singing and showing what they did with the other dancers. It was crazy how they became so focused on being famous and having all the fame that they started to forget they were in a life or death situation. Since this is what Roxie always wanted she made any lie just to keep the fame. At one point in the movie she faked being pregnant because the press started noticing her less. This movie really kept my attention because it kept me wondering about if Roxie was going to get away with murder and of her husband was going to leave or stay after he found out the truth. Even though it was a musical it was an interesting movie.

John L - Chicago

The movie Chicago was confusing in some ways. One example of this is the way the females performed their sides of the story. Some of these scenes made sense but not all of them. For example the Hungarian chick [too  casual] was demonstrating an act, and it had nothing to do with her execution. 

I also didn't pay attention to the whole movie, but I noticed a lot of manipulations between the main actresses Velma (Catherine zeta-Jones) and Roxy Hart (Renee Zellwegger) towards the court and her husband to have more court time/fame in her name because of her fake pregnancy. The actress felt as if everyone should know her name to get some kind of fame in it. Not to mention when another more famous female (don't really know her name) gets thrown in the big house [Are you referring to Kitty Baxter (Lucy Liu of Charlie's Angels fame)? Here she plays the rich socialite who catches her husband in bed with two women, and everyone put there attention on to her instead of Velma

John, I would like to see a concluding paragraph. Maybe you could comment on how although crime does in fact pay (according to this play/film), adulterous husbands beware because in Chicago many a dame has a loaded gun.


Even thought they could've added more attractive woman the acting was overall good. I think the manipulation had me worked over because how easy its was and how it can be related to real world stuff. lastly the choreography want all that good felt as if they were trying to hard  to have a good performance i wonder if they made a remake would it be better?

Beasts of the Southern Wild

This movie was a little bit weird. This little girl with tons of pets and stray animals surrounding her in this place of what looked like hurricane ruins. This place was called the bathtub. The mini lesson before viewing this movie was “Utopia.” The bathtub was their understanding of an Utopia. This is where people actually lived. They ate healthy and depended on what the waters brought them. This place was very makeshift and tarnished. It was weird to me because the people loved it so much. I don't see how you could love such a dump like they lived in. I have to live in the condition of public facilities, sewage, and definite places to get resources. What I learned from this movie is that not everyone has the same mind set and thinks the same. What I might think is normal others might think is crazy. The father absolutely despised the real world. I guess he just felt like the way he lived was the best way. People from outside their utopia tried to have them evacuated from their homes which caused stress and anxiety. All these people wanted was their piece of mind in their own free space. I felt bad for hush puppy because she already didn’t have her mother and her father was dying. I also felt bad because I feel like she didn't grow up in the right environment but at the same time it had its perks. I think living in the conditions she did made her strong and independent even at her young age. In all utopias there comes a point where you have to be strong. Life is not easy anywhere thats why people try to find their utopia and their nirvana. I don't think I would recommend this movie though because to some viewers it could be a little confusing but I don't think it was really a bad movie.

Winter's Bone #anthonyamici

Winter's Bone was a pretty good movie in my opinion. The movie is about a girl named Ree that sets out to find her father after their family home is in danger of being repossessed. This movie has a theme of perseverance. I noticed this theme because she never gave up looking for her father, and along the way she meets many obstacles. Her father having broke the code of the neighborhood only makes matters worse.

Another theme I found in this movie is gender roles. Gender roles play a big part because the gender roles in the community were traditional, where the men were more dominant and the females were more responsible of everything. Ree challenges this by being more dominant and going out to look for her father, with all the obstacles, she doesn't give up and the community doesn't really like the fact that she's doing that, so they try to see if she has any men that can do it.

Overall, I like the fact that this movie shows that it's not impossible for a woman to do what is traditionally thought of as a man's job. Back then [this is a little confusing; although the film takes place in the rural Ozarks, it takes place in contemporary times], it wasn't allowed for a woman to do a man's job. So I really like how this movie takes that idea and shows that a woman can do whatever a man can.

Great Gatsby -Elaine N.

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The Great Gatsby is a film known well and the remake is where I feel The Great Gatsby caught most people's attention. There are many similarities and differences in both films. But in my opinion the 2013 version is more eye catching to myself and I prefer that film over the 1974 version.  The new version starring Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect because he actually does resemble Jay Gatsby in the other film. I think DiCaprio played the role of the mysterious Gatsby very well, he took the role very well as being a distant wealthy young man with not many people knowing the truth about his past and his business life.  

The 1974 version of the movie is very classic and more physically emphasis meaning they showed more physical action. An example would be Tom slapping his mistress at their get together where she started saying Daisy's name multiple times. While the 2013 version has more emphasis in the quality of the wealthy and love. It could be because in 2013 there is more technology and back then there was not advanced tech.  There a more intimacy scenes between Gatsby and Daisy then in 1974 where they barely shared a kiss.

The quality of the movie is also drastically different while the older version has the town look very ancient and setting looking like the roaring old ages. In the newer movie the mansion of Gatsby looks like a Disney castle especially the Disney in Paris, France with all the lights on and the party going on. The party is very alive with the bands playing the current tracks in 2013 and people really having a good time.

But the 2013 version is very more exaggerated than the 1974 version. There was a very dramatic moment when Gatsby was finally revealed. Also, his encounters are very much at his personal request by his own security guard or his assistance. Gatsby met Jordan at his party meanwhile in the 1974 version we did not see or know about their encounter until she confronted Nick at his job.

There are many compare and contrasting moments in both films, which I believe are because the improvement in the technology and what the directors could change and make better. I personally like the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby because the acting is better and it is more entertaining for me. I enjoy the sparkling outfits and the eye catching designs of the setting. I absolutely enjoy Leonardo Dicaprio and the other known actors in the film.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Having Our Say- (Play) Based on the Real Lives of the Delany Sisters

The play, Having Our Say, is based on the real lives of the Delany sisters who lived to be well over a hundred years old.

In the play, the sisters address the audience and welcome them into their home. They go on to share their life and family history with us, in doing so breaking the third wall.

This play featured strong ideals of family as well as female empowerment, I believe. The familial ties due to all the family history they shared and photos, it was just a family oriented play. However, the ideals of female empowerment I believe come from the two leads, the protagonists of the play: 103-year-old Sadie and 101-year-old Bessie Delany.

In the play they are in the midst of preparing dinner and dessert while embracing their father's birthday, while doing so sharing with us their lifetime and the lifetimes of their family members before them.

I believe that Sadie and Bessie embodied female empowerment because of all they accomplished, they were accomplished in a time where it was difficult for women to accomplish anything, let alone a woman of color and to add to the fact that they were unwed.

For each of them to have individually accomplished it was empowering to hear their story. They both had worked so hard to achieve all they had, and they did it.

I found this play, based on their real lives, to be an inspiring story.

This play was inspiring, heartfelt, and entertaining Bessie was just a hoot!

Overall I really enjoyed this play and would look into reading the book and seeing the film sometime in the future.

Bonnie and Clyde- Themes of Crime and Fame

The film, Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 American biographical crime film that was directed by Arthur Penn. The film stars Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as the two leads: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

This film presents an interesting portrayal of the real life criminals. While watching this film, I couldn’t help but get drawn into the historical facts surrounding the two.

While researching Bonnie and Clyde on my own I came across my details that were not at all mentioned in the film, while the film does have an accurate portrayal and real historical pieces, it’s not entirely accurate in all things.

For one, Bonnie Parker was married and it wasn’t to Clyde Barrow. She was married young at the age of 15 just before her 16th birthday and it seems she may have had a type as her husband was shortly arrested afterwards for armed robbery. Her and her husband never divorced and she died wearing her wedding ring.

Another thing they left out of the film was that while Clyde was in prison he was sexually assaulted, repeatedly. This may have been why he had trouble being intimate with Bonnie.

Bonnie and Clyde in similar fashion to Chicago brings up the themes of fame and criminal activity. Bonnie and Clyde by robbing banks became famous for being in the papers and eluding the police. Also during this time (the depression) people were angry with the banks for foreclosing on their homes and taking their money. As a result, they were seen as “Robin Hood” type figures because even though they didn’t give to the poor, they still stole from the rich.

Bonnie and Clyde, like Chicago, focuses on the crime and fame of that era.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would recommend it to other history buffs and people who are enamored with the themes of crime and fame.