Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Experience With Film

My Experience With Film
Written by Cameron Smith

    I, despite being a naive 17 year old, like to think I have been a lot of places. This is quite contradictory: I haven't seen England, I haven't been to the muddy waters of Mississippi, and I haven't even grown to see my honeymoon! However, I have delved into a lot of places concerning the human experience, one of those being film. Movies have a special place in my heart. I remember watching films as little as 4 and 5 years old -- Toy Story, Star Wars, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., School of Rock, and The Goonies were a few of the films I watched constantly. I remember just a few years ago becoming a movie nut; ah, such fun times. I have studied quite a few of the great directors in previous years: Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg. Whether it's a series of intertwining events, a Space Odyssey, a tale of the human condition, a boy befriending an extra-terrestrial, or a hippie caught in an identity crisis, one thing is for sure: I love movies!

Rocky Balboa: The American Dream

Director: John G. Avildsen
Produced By: Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Staring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and Burgess Meredith
Music By: Bill Conti

            All I can say about this film is "Wow This Was Amazing!" Taking into consideration that this film was made back in 1976, it still caught my attention like how new movies do now. Even though it's a boxing film, and the boxing was very limited in this movie. It still was able to capture the best elements that makes a good film: character development, setting, plot, and climax. Everything about this film was just so intriguing and made me want to know more. From the beginning part where he has a first fight, and he looks to be getting beat, all the way to training and fighting one of the best boxers Apollo Creed at the end. Even before you go to criticize this film, you can't ignore the fact how motivating and inspiring this film is to anybody of any age.

        This film/series has probably has one of the best examples of the American Dream ever. This shows the struggles and setbacks an average [missing subject] has when they [change in number?] reaching dream, but its shows that you could achieve what you dream and more and be able to live how you want. The American Dream to me is no matter what (challenges, setbacks, struggles, or disadvantages) you could achieve exactly what you dream and want just by giving it 100% and having hard work and determination [Good].

         The beginning of the film shows Rocky as a struggling boxer, employee to a loan shark named Gazzo(Joe Spinell), and an underdog multiple people call a bum. Rocky also develops a big admiration to pets and then becomes romantically involved with Adrian (Talia Shire), this girl who worked at the pet store he brought his pets from [Daryll, Excellent post thus far; however, it ends rather abruptly and would benefit from additional analysis especially of one or more specific scenes. I look forward to reading more from you. MM]

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rocky Balboa: The Italian Stallion

Rocky Balboa: The Italian Stallion

Director: John G. Avildsen
Screen Writer/actor: Sylvester Stallone

Honestly, this movie was very fascinating. The theme, the lectures, the character development, and even the music!, was such a great mixture together. This isn't one of those just plain "just get to the fight already" movies, this film shows the challenges one goes through; physically and mentally. Nothing stops one from getting the opportunity of doing something that they love.

In the beginning of the film, Rocky Balboa, mostly known as the "Italian Stallion", shows his background as a loving boxer fighter and animals, who is working for Gazo(Joe Spinell), as being a muscle, on collecting money from people that need to pay him off. He is mostly under titled as a "Bum" in most cases. His low key admirer, Adrian (Talia Shire), who works in the pet shop, sells him the food for his two turtles and Rocky trying to talk to her by cracking corny jokes, is very shy as a person.

Throughout in the movie, Rocky then has a relationship with Adrian and they both seem to have stuff in common, as in their nature of shyness. Once they knew they both had the same lack of confidence, they started becoming open with each other, which made them be known as meant for each other. Since Rocky is a boxer, Pro fighter, Apollo Creed ( Carl Weathers), needed to fight an opponent on the Bicentennial day which is an anniversary day of a significant event. Soon then, he chooses Rocky, the Italian Stallion against Apollo Creed, because his opponents name, Italian Stallion, seemed the right name to get people grabbed on.

Soon after they set down the fight, Mickey ( Burgess Meredith), who is boxer trainer, goes to Rocky's apartment and asks if he needs a manager, Rocky then tries finding ways to ignore him, but Mickey has experience as boxer and knows what Rocky will need, but then Rocky tells him "You never been there for me when i asked you 10 years ago, what happened on being there for me 10 years ago!?". Mickey then feeling bad, leaves the apartment, then Rocky then goes outside and talks to Mickey that he'll need him. This part was very sentimental because Mickey went through what Rocky is going through now, as in fighting for the heavy weight title, but never got exposure of who he beat.

Before the day of the fight, Rocky sneaks into the ring of where he is going to fight and observes. He then returns to his place and talks to Adrian on how he's not going to fight. This scene shows that as much love he has for boxing, his self doubt in him self feels scared of getting the opportunity of fighting for a title against a professional fighter. Adrian then tells him that he could do it, and he's ready for it. Sooner later, he fights Apollo Creed, he makes history for bringing down Creed in his first time ever and lasted all 15 rounds. Rocky then loses to Apollo Creed but then realizes his success of taking all the beatings he got in the ring and in his life. That shows the self discipline, one has and also, the love one has.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Rocky Balboa: America's Ancestor

Rocky Balboa: America's Ancestor

Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and Joe Spinell.

    Wow what a perfect bicentennial film this was! Not only for it's time and setting, but for the film as a whole: the character development, the non-diegetic sound(notably that classic theme song we all love to chant along with), and the climax. All of you youngsters walking into this film expecting an action filled, fast paced boxing film, your expectations will likely not be met; this film has more substance to it that one might believe. Upon critical view, you come to realize how truly great this film is, and how inspiring it can be to each and every one of us no matter what we pursue.

    The beginning establishes Rocky as a struggling boxer, apprentice to a loan shark named Gazzo(Joe Spinell), and an underdog who is seen by many as a "bum;" the film also establishes him as an animal lover and an admirer of Adrian(Talia Shire) who works at the shop where Rocky bought most of his pets -- including the exotic turtles which he purchased on Adrian's first day on the job. Two scenes in the first half of the film I found to be interesting are when he looks into the mirror and sees a picture of him as a young boy and when he walks a neighborhood teenage girl home while giving her life advice. The afformentioned includes Rocky looking deeply into a young(or old) picture of him with a face of regret and/or lost innocence; the latter happens when he sees a teenage girl hanging around the neighborhood rats while cursing and acting like a misfit and walks her home to give her life advice about reputation and the crowd("coconuts") she hangs around. What I am trying to get at is how these two scenes interconnect: because of Rocky's with regret and reputation around town and as a boxer, he does not want the young girl to make the same mistakes he might have and end up in the situation he did; this also connects with his afformentioned admiration for Adrian and animals, showing that he is a selfless and caring person who wants to help others from experience.

    Rocky and Adrian later begin a relationship through a mutual lack of confidence that is carried out in two opposite ways: Rocky tries to hide his lack of confidence through the way he talks to Adrian and Adrian is shown to be lacking confidence through the way she dresses and her shy nature. Once the two become partners, they each become more of themselves -- shown through costume change, change of tone in the film, and a change in their state of mind. One stunning example of this is when Adrian stands up to her brother Paulie(Burt Young), who was shown earlier to be somewhat abusive to his sister and is possibly the reason for her previous shy nature: Adrian defends herself when Paulie asks her and Rocky to leave the house, saying that he has made her feel like a loser and she is not.

    Meanwhile, the antagonist Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) is scheduled to box for the bicentennial fight and his opponent is injured; he must choose an opponent quick, and he just happens to choose our protagonist. Creed claims that he should not only give a local underdog the chance at the title, but that because of Balboa's stage name "The Italian Stallion," that he would fit as his opponent because the one who discovered America was Italian("why not fight with one of it's ancestors?"). Creed's personality as we see throughout the film is much different that our protagonists: he is self centered(as in the scene where Rocky is on T.V. training by punching meat in Paulie's butcher shop and Creed's trainer is impressed, while Creed is more concerned about his barber showing up), he is cocky, and cracks jokes at others("if he can't fight, I bet he can cook."). Shortly before the fight, Rocky is trained by the king of one liners himself: Mickey(Burgess Meredith). In these next few weeks, Rocky is going to "eat lightnin'" and "crap thunder" to prepare for the fight of his life(so far).

    Rocky successfully prepares for the fight and is seen in his significant change in shape. When the fight happens, he ends up losing to Apollo. I bring this up because people often have complained about this ending: "all that build up for this?!" Furthermore, they often disregard the fact that he was the first one to knock Creed down in a fight and lasted all 15 rounds! There was also a scene before the fight where Rocky and Adrian are talking about the fight; to me, this is the most heartfelt scene in the entire film. Rocky is feeling afraid to fight Creed because he is out of his league and is going for the world title. Adrian tries to tell Rocky that he was not "nobody" and Rocky responds: "I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood." That is the entire point, that because Rocky took it that far and defied people's expectations, that he became more of himself and succeeded in his dreams to become a boxer; therefore, enforcing the message of the American Dream -- that with the right mindset, confidence, and guidance, you can accomplish your dreams and reach your full potential (even if you "can't sing or dance").