Friday, December 15, 2017

Winter's Bone Blog - Karina

Winter's Bone is a (2010) drama film starring Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly and John Hawkes as Uncle Teardrop. Winning several awards, Winter's Bone is focused on a female protagonist which Lawrence plays. In the film, Ree lives with and cares for her two siblings: Sonny and Ashlee as well as their mother Connie. Ree is on a search for her father, Jessup because they are in danger of being homeless considering Jessup was in the drug business. Jessup had the responsibility to show up to his court date but did not. The tone of the film is very cool tone which makes the film more mysterious and cold.

In the beginning of the film, the setting was Ree's house, peaceful and quiet until the sheriff shows up and ruins the mood. He explains that Jessup put their house on the line of being taken away unless he shows up to court. Clueless, Ree tells the sheriff that she will find her father herself. She starts by visiting Teardrop, Jessup’s brother, and eventually heading to a local crime boss. At Thump Milton’s house, he refuses to see her and tells her to leave the situation alone but becomes suspicious. Having a week left, Ree decides to go back to meeting up with Milton, instead she gets beaten up by relative’s of his family until Teardrop saves her. Teardrop later informs her that Jessup had passed away in a meth lab accident and that he doesn’t know who killed him. Ree did not believe him and even though she told the house collector that Jessup was dead. Ree believes that her father is dead when the women that fought Ree showed up. They truthfully told Ree that Jessup was dead and his body was dropped in a river. After telling Ree, they advise her to go with them so that they can show her evidence of her dad. When they arrive at the lake on a canoe, they tell Ree to reach down and pull up her father’s bone. After hesitating, Ree finally does it and surprised that it is her father. When realizing, one of the women shows Ree a chainsaw and tells her to cut of her father’s hands as proof to the sheriff. She protests that she does not want to and so one of the Milton women takes action into her own hands. She tells Ree to hold up Jessup’s arm so that she can cut it. After cutting his hand, Ree quickly lets her father’s body float back down in disgust. The woman tells Ree that she needs both hands as evidenced and so Ree grabs her father’s body again and the woman cuts off the other. The scene ends with the woman wrapping both decapitated hands in a sack. The next morning, Ree shows up to the police office and hands the sheriff the evidence.
At the end of the film, Ree and her family got to keep the house and got some of the extra bail money. Ree, Ashlee, and Sonny all sit on the porch while Teardrop talks to them. He tells Ree that he knows who killed him and walks away suggesting that he will get revenge for his brother.

This film did not interest me at first but as I watched it, it revealed a good story and plot. The characters played their roles well and I would recommend this film to someone who likes drama films.

"Winter Bone" by Juwan Sims

The 2010 movie Winter's Bone directed and written by Debra Granik. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as the main character Ree Dolly. A teen girl who family life is complicated with her mother mentally ill to the point she is unresponsive, her father who was a drug dealer that almost compromise Ree’s life with a looming threat of bond collectors taking their house and land, and dealing with her younger brother and sister. This film goes through the themes of poverty, sneaky communities, and self sufficiency.

I personally didn’t enjoy the movie, it wasn’t bad just not something I would enjoy, the movie to me was Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) going to all the houses that she know is associated with her father and asking if they had seen him with banter between her and the person house she just went to. While in between it shows Ree making sure her little brothers and sister are well taken care of and help them take care of themselves by teaching them how to cook and hunt. The only interesting things that happen was when Ree first went to Thump Milton (Ronnie Hall) and she was meet by his wife and was told he wasn’t going to help and she should stop looking for father. The second time Ree was jump by the women of the family and later had to be saved by her uncle Teardrop (John Hawkes). The last that I found interesting in the whole movie was when Ree finally found her dad but he was dead and underwater. She also had to cut off her father arms which is pretty mess up but she has to so the people know that her father is truly dead.

Crooklyn By:Anthony Ruggiero


Crooklyn is a 1994 coming of age/comedy drama directed by Spike Lee. The cast includes Spike lee as Snuffy, Zelda Harris as Troy, Alfre Woodward as Carolyn Carmichael, Delroy Lindo as Woody Carmichael, David Patrick Kelly as Tony Eyes, Jim, Patrice Nelson as Viola and Frances Foster as Aunt Song. 

Crooklyn starts out showing the whole neighborhood that the main character Troy lives in. It then turns to Troy and her family in their home with her mom making dinner. The movie starts off all happy until Troy's mother Carolyn finds out that Woody her husband has been bouncing checks from the bank and he leaves. The best moment of the movie happens when Woody and Troy are sitting on the front stairs talking about what happened and Troy suggests that Woody take Carolyn as a kind of sorry plea. Soon enough Woody comes home and starts bossing his kids around instead of being more relaxed with them. Woody then tells them that they are going on a road trip to visit his sister Aunt Song. When they are there Troy decides to stay and hang out with her cousin Viola. At first it seems like the two don't like each other but soon you find out that they do like each other and get along very well. Troy receives a letter from her mother on her birthday with a plane ticket to go home whenever she wants. She decides to go home after Viola and Aunt Song argue. When she gets home she discovers that her mother is sick. Everything seems okay until Woody goes into the room where Troy and her siblings are watching t.v and tells them that their mother cancer. Soon after Carolyn dies and troy does not want to go to the funeral because she is grieving. At the funeral Snuffy and his crew make fun of Troy's brother telling him that his mamma is dead and she goes outside and wacks him with a baseball bat. At home Troy starts to breakdown and cry in her fathers arms right after throwing up. The movie ends with Troy becoming the new women and boss of the house and the care taker for her siblings. 

The movie was actually surprisingly great, I really loved it and the way that Spike Lee directed it. The outcome was great and I wasn't expecting it to end the way it did. The movie sort of reminded me of Do The Right thing.  

Winter's Bone-Stephen Collins

Winter's Bone...the movie the put Jennifer Lawrence on the map and it really shows. Her performance is the best part of the movie. While it's not a great movie, it really entertainment and really well written and directed.

Winter's Bone is a good movie, but I didn't love it, but I was mostly entertained. It's probably Jennifer Lawrence's best work as Ree, a 17 year old trying to take care of brother and sister and her sick mother and find her lost father.

Winter's Bone has Jenifer Lawrence's best performance. Lawrence gives her all and sometimes it feels she not there. Also, John Hawkes as Teardrop delivers a great performance.  There not a lot of memorable characters, but there are two stands out.

The movie has a great eerie sense to it that makes the environment more scary. There is also a very good score that help to give this feeling. The environment is very rural and helps explains the character's emotions and actions.

Winter's Bone is a movie I don't have a lot of thoughts on. It's have Jenifer Lawrence's best performance, a good performance by John Hawkes and good rural environment  that help the character's emotion and action. It probably worth checking out a least once.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Alien | Aleesa Martins

Alien by Aleesa Martins


         Imagine being told to go on a mission to space to bring back an alien to be studied on. How would you feel? Would you agree to go on the trip? This film had it's confusing, surprising, and some on-the-edge scenes. For example they're on a big space craft and in a scene where they're looking for an alien, that got in, there a room that looks as if it's raining. That scene didn't quite add up because after so much time wouldn't the water begin to flood that room or the space craft in general? Besides that confusing scene the movie surprised me to how well it was made realistic, from how the aliens looked to how the captain turned out to not be human. Another scene that was thought of and shot really well was chestburster scene. This movie deserves some credit for those scenes because technology and just ways of filming were very different back then.
        I enjoyed the movie for the most part, I'd recommend it to someone who enjoys sci-fi movies of that sort. Like I mentioned before for a movie that shot in 1979 it was filmed well. I wouldn't put this movie in my top 10, but it's definitely not a movie that I would tell someone it's not worth watching.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter's bone by Siramad Gonzalez

Winters bone (2010)
Dir, Debra Granik

This film Winter's bone has a lot of powerful scenes. The film begins as 16 year old Ree Dolly is with her horse as she is walking she gives the horse to her neighbor because Ree can't afford the horse expenses. While her neighbor accepts the offer Ree begins to walk to her house where her 2 siblings and her mother live. She has a younger brother and sister , In the film you start to notice how her mom doesn't speak and isn't able to do much. Ree is the head of the household since her Father isn't in the picture. While, Ree is in her front porch a cop car approaches and with confusion Ree ask why is the officer at her home. The , officer continues and talks and tell her how her dad needs to show up to court because if he doesn't show up to court the state will take the families house away since that is the deal her father and the judge made. When Ree hears this she is in total shock and needs to find her dad before its to late.She goes on the hunt to find her dad where she goes into dangerous places. She ends up getting beat up by a group of people. At, the end of the film she ends up finding her dad dead and to proof that he is dead she has to cut his hands off and send the to the sheriff. She ends up doing that and she gets to keep her house. The film to me was very interesting. It had many scenes that were unexpected like the film started really calm then it escalated very quickly. It was a film that you could watch over and over again and still enjoy it like you did when you enjoyed it for the first time.  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter's Bone By: Anthony Ruggiero

Winter's Bone is a 2010 indie/thriller film starring Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly, John Hawkes as Teardrop, Dale Dickey as Merab, Garret Dillahunt as Sheriff Baskin, Lauren Sweetser as Gail, Kevin Breznahan as Little Arthur, Ashlee Thompson as Ashlee, Sheryl Lee as April, Isiah Stone as Sonny and Tate Taylor as Satterfield.

Winter's Bone is about a 17 year old girl (Ree Dolly) who takes care of her mentally-ill mother, her two younger siblings and twelve year old sonny and six year old Ashlee. Ree trains them how to hunt and basically survive in the living conditions that they have. In the movie a bail-bondsman shows up at the house that Ree and her family live at and tells her that her father has skipped his court appearance. Ree is told that her house is gonna be taken away as part of the payment on the bond. Ree tells the man that her dad is dead and the man tells her that if she can prove that her father is dead she can keep the house. Ree sets out on a quest to find her "dead" father with the help of her uncle Teardrop who she is afraid of. During the journey Ree gets beat up by the Milton Women who are apart of the Milton Clan. Later on the Milton Women go to Ree and tell her they can take her to her fathers bones. They take her to a pond where Ree takes her fathers hands from his dead body. Ree takes the severed hands to Sheriff Baskin and she and her family get to keep the house while also being able to claim a large sum of money from her fathers associates. Teardrop ends up being accused of killing Jessup (Ree's father) and the movie ends with with Ree's little sister playing her fathers banjo.

Overall I thought the movie was a good one but at times it was really boring. It failed to keep me interested throughout and the only thing I really liked was the character development. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Rednecks #domdemilo

Winter’s Bone Dir. Debra Granik
Jennifer Lawrence (Ree Dolly), John Hawkes (Teardrop), Garret Dillahunt (Sheriff Baskins), Dale Dickey (Merab)
Roadshow Pictures, 2010.

Debra Ganik’s 2010 film Winter’s Bone entails a family who is broken. Jennifer Lawrence (Ree Dolly) lives in the typical “backwoods” “redneck” town with her two younger siblings and her sick mother. Her father is absent from the film because he is supposedly either dead, or in prison for allegedly cooking up crack and methamphetamine. Instead the father figure in her life is her uncle who is commonly known as “teardrop.” Now teardrop might seem like the father figure in Ree’s life, because he is the only older man who she can go to if she needs help, but he does not portray a sincere and loving father figure. At the beginning of this movie, teardrop advised Ree to not go out and ask people if they know her father’s whereabouts, but she did not listen. From beginning to end, Ree does everything she could to protect her brother and sister.
One day, as Ree was outside in the front yard, she was approached by a sheriff who came to inform her that if she could not find her father or prove that he was dead, her family’s house would be put on the market. Ree would not back down; she had to do everything to save her family. She did everything alright. Ree went through hell and back along her journey to find her father’s remains. She went to a woman Merab who was her cousin, and asked to talked to her husband who advised her to stay away from the property, or else there would be trouble. She followed her orders and went home. Later on, Ree’s cousin came to talk to her, and he told her that if they did in fact lose the house he would take one of her siblings in, and their other cousin would take the other. Ree hated the idea, and voiced her displeasure, and then continued on her journey of desperation. Ree eventually went back to Merab’s property. She was met by her and her sisters who hit her in the face with some type of sharp object, and stomped on her once she fell to the ground. All the sisters took the bloodied Ree into their garage where the whole family gathered to talk with her.
Someone came to rescue Ree and take her home. Surprisingly that person was Teardrop, the man who swore at her and smacked her in the beginning of the movie. At this point in the movie, everyone knew that Jessup (Ree’s father) was dead, and teardrop told her that if she finds out who killed her father, not to tell him because that would infuriate him, and he would then kill his brother’s assassin. I could see Teardrop doing this, because he was stopped by a cop with Ree in the car, and when the cop approached the vehicle teardrop had his gun ready to shoot. In short, teardrop was a savage, and gave no f****; when it came to his family, he had their back.
Time was money, and Ree knew that she had to find her father’s bones in order to save the house. Merab and her sisters –the ones who previously beat Ree–  scame to the house and said they would take her to where the father’s bones were. They took her to a deeply wooded area, that had a lake in the middle of it. Ree then found where her father’s body was and cut off both of his hands. Within 24 hours Ree went to sheriffs office to prove to that her father was dead.
Ree’s mission was a success, and the family was allowed to remain in their house. In addition, the sheriff told her that when Jessup was in jail someone paid off part of his bond, and that the leftover bond money was now Ree’s to use to support her family. Although we did not find out who the father’s killer was, I believe it was Merab’s husband. The first time Ree went to the house, Merab immediately pushed her away. Then, when she was brought to the garage, he was the first one to say “I do not want to be here when he gets here.” He was referring to Teardrop. You can assume that he does not want any contact with teardrop, because if he killed him and teardrop found out, well he is dead meat.
Throughout the movie, Ree was portrayed as the "female protagonist." She acted as the father like figure for her siblings, and she would not let them or herself down. Ree did let her ego over power her along the way though. She was often very arrogant, cocky, and did not think before she spoke. This is why she fell into trouble with both Teardrop and Merab. I would definitely recommend this film to someone, because at first, it might not seem like an intriguing watch, the action did come around. You also learn a valuable lesson from this film: do not let your ego speak for itself.

Family Values in Ozarks

Director: Debra Granik
Writers: Debra Granik (screenplay), Anne Rosellini (screenplay) 
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt

Winter's Bone is a 2010 film that depicts a young woman's determination to keep her family together. Caught almost literally between a rock and a hard place, Ree Dolly’s (Jennifer Lawrence) life in the brutal yet beautiful Ozarks, an unyielding stretch of south-western Missouri, is one that would test the hardiest teenager. Her father’s only bankable skill is his ability to cook meth and he’s long gone, leaving her to care for her glassy-eyed, emotionally hollow mother and her younger brother and sister. His court date is due, and if he fails to make good on his bond and show up at court, they’ll be homeless and left to suffer. This sends Ree on a treacherous journey filled with boldness, beatings, and druggies in order to find her father and restore the security of her family's home.

       One important theme is one we discussed in class. "Norms" and "Taboos". An evident norm in Ozarks is that everyone minds their own business and things are kept on the hush. Also, women don't seem to really have a large voice here. Ree breaks these norms when she goes around looking for information on her father, Jessup's, whereabouts. She goes door tapping and searching for dangerous men by herself searching for answers. This even earns her a good beating once. When she does this she is performing a "taboo", or going against the norms. This film really exemplifies this theme.

       Addiction is part of the scenery in Winter's Bone as well. Almost everyone in the little mountain community is smoking or snorting something. When Ree confesses to a neighbor that her father was cooking crank, the woman replies, "They all do now. You don't even need to say it out loud." Drugs are so pervasive that offering them has become a common backwoods courtesy, like bringing food to a sick neighbor. After Ree's uncle, Teardrop (John Hawkes), balks at helping her, his wife presses a joint into her palm and apologetically tells her, "Here's a doobie for your walk." Little Arthur, her father's pal, turns her away completely. "You want a line?" he asks. "You want to blow some smoke?" She doesn't. "Then I guess we got nothing for you! Go on!"

     Overall, most movies of such cultural crisis will call up a hero who can, with sharp shooting, cleverness, and relentlessness, overcome the villains. The hero’s motivations and convictions are usually forgettable the story’s just an excuse for wild stunts and spectacle. Thoughtful storytelling and character development are a surprising bonus if they occur at all, but Ree’s a far more human hero, distinguished by her selfless courage. Her actions are about identity, not excitement. Nothing here happens for the sake of a gratuitous thrill. Everything is rooted in Ree’s love for her family, and this was the most enjoyable part of the film for me.

Winter's Bone

Granik, Debra. “Winter’s Bone.” (2010)
Jennifer Lawrence (Ree Dolly), John Hawkes (Teardrop),  and Dale Dickey (Merab)

As an adaption of Danielle Woodrell’s 2006 novel, “Winter’s Bone” explores many themes through one 17-year-old journey to find her drug-dealing father. Ree Dolly is forced to be the primary caretaker of her mentally ill mother, 12-year-old brother, and 6-year old sister. She tries her best everyday to make sure they have something to eat, something to drink, all while teaching them basic survival skills because no one knows what tomorrow may bring. Ree’s father, Jessup, has been gone for some time and is nowhere to be found. He’s out on bail following an arrest for manufacturing “crank,” a strong CNS stimulant. Sheriff shows up at her doorstep threatening that if Jessup doesn’t show on his court date, then they will lose the house because it was put up as apart of his bond. Ree sets off determined to find her father, following his footsteps into the world. She encounters many things a typical 17-year-old wouldn’t even think of, such as common drug use, frequent violence, and people who are brought together through loyalty and secrecy. She starts with her Uncle Teardrop, who is addicted to meth and marijuana. She then venture out to find further family and close friends who might be able to help find her father which brings her to their local crime boss, Thump Milton. He refuses to see here and the only information that Ree can come out with is that Jessup dies in a meth lab fire. When he fails to turn up on trial day, a bondsman comes to tell Ree she has about a week before the house is no longer theirs. Ree, who thoroughly believes that her father is dead, swears that she can prove her family passing before the house is gone. Ree tries to see Milton again but is beaten by the women of the family. Teardrop rescues Ree and tells her predators that “she won’t say anything to anyone.” A few nights later, her attackers come by to help Ree, telling her that they will take her to her father’s body. They take Ree out in a rowboat o a shallow area where her “daddy’s bones” lie. They make her reach in to grab both of his hands and they use a chainsaw to dismember the extremities and put in a burlap sack as proof. Ree takes them to Sheriff saying someone flung them on her porch recently.
This film explores many themes, from your ego, to family ties, to being alone and being a female in a man’s world. Ree was a strong protagonist from the beginning. She’s taking the place of mom and dad, for both figures are absent. She further fulfills the father figure by venturing out to find out about her father, enduring physical and emotional pain. Her ego almost consumes her, for at one point in the film. Her neighbors offer to raise one of her siblings to which she quickly shuts down. This was not the best decision in my opinions. However, she’s quickly put back into place as a woman, for many men recognize her courage and remind her of where she stands in comparison to them. Blood is bloods, and typically that means there’s inferred respect. However, in this movie, it seems that family ties don’t mean a thing, for when Ree crosses a line, a relative, like Uncle Teardrop, is quick to choke her and remind her that crossed the line.

The film wasn’t particularly my favorite so it wouldn’t be my first to recommend. Indie film drama mysteries aren’t necessarily my favorite movie genre.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Jonah Nazier Galan- Winter's Bone

Related image

Winter's Bone Dir. Deborah Granik
Feat. Jennifer Lawrence (Ree Dolly), John Hawkes (Teardrop), and Garrett Dillahunt (Sheriff)
Roadshow Pictures, 2010

On June 11, 2010, the debut of Winter's Bone occurred. With an absent and missing father and a withdrawn and depressed mother, 17 year-old Ree Dolly keeps her family together in the dirt poor rural Ozarks. She then faces a life changing conflict when the local Sheriff Baskin tells her that her father, Jessup put up their house as collateral for his bail and unless he shows up for his trial by next week, they will lose it all. Having prior knowledge that her father is involved in the local drug trade and manufactures crystal meth, she goes on a hunt for him. However, everywhere she goes the message is the same: stay out of it and stop poking your nose in other people's business. She refuses to abide, even after her father's brother, Teardrop, tells her he's probably been killed. She continues, putting her own life at risk, for the sake of her family until the truth, or enough of it, is revealed.
The film commonly know as the adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel, presents many moments that drew my attention for analysis. As the film's opening scene begins with a lone women singer and dull color pallet, it gave prior insight as to the tone of the film. It told me the movie would be slow paced as well as a reference to the setting, country area in the woods. As the movie continues, we are then presented with Ree Dolly giving her horse up to her neighbor to take and nurture as she is incapable of doing so due to lack of funds. This was our first encounter with I presume to be her guardian angel or mother figure. Another but ironic guardian angel of Ree’s is her very own Uncle, Teardrop. When are was jumped by Alice and her two sisters, and taken to the barn, Teardrop was the one to send her free. During that scene it was set up as a one versus many duel, however there was a sense of Teardrop having the leverage. The reason for my analysis is that there was intimidation and fear of the many. Even as Thump’s posse being armed while Teardrop was vulnerable, they still feared upon the man.
One theme we discussed before and during the critical viewing of this film is that of norms and taboos. It is evident that dealing with narcotics is the norm to make money and survive in Ozarks of Missouri. Another norm that is repeatedly stated to Ree Dolly is to not poke your nose into anybody's business, however, as stubborn as Ree Dolly is she commits a taboo. 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. She also acts as the provider of the house which is traditionally the man of the household, however have a non-responsive mother and a missing father, she must fill that void. This can be seen through many occasions throughout the film, from Ree chopping the wood, providing food on her siblings plate, holding all responsibility for the household, and importantly finding a solution to the big issue. I would describe her as the black sheep or taboo of the movie as she opposes many of the neighborhood's norms and wishes. Another norm that was prevalent is that men are held more superior than women. This is seem in multiple occasions from Teardrop commanding orders from his wife and choking Ree Dolly for not listening and wanting to risk her life for answers.
One scene throughout the movie that caught my eye was the short black and white clip of the squirrel and birds in the woods, with chainsaws echoing, as they cut down the trees. This presented symbolism. The chainsaws cutting down the trees, are taking away the squirrels and bird home from them leaving them to in a corner of vulnerability. This can be seen as  Ree Dolly and her family as the animals and the Justice system and bailsman as the chainsaw slowly chipping away at their home as time progresses slowly leaving them with nothing but vulnerable.
For the closing scene, when Teardrop comes to a realization of who Jessup Dolly’s killer is, it lead to much speculation. Personally, I feel that Teardrop himself had kilt his own brother. I say this because The neck tattoo that he had looks to be the mark of Cain, linking back to one of the oldest stories of fratricidal jealousy. It may explain why Teardrop, has a volatile and ruthless nature. This helps explain how Ree recognizes this truth at the end of the film by offering Jessup's banjo to Teardrop to keep, which he then briefly picks and hands back, saying his brother was always better. As he leaves Ree's porch, Teardrop then claims he knows the killer after all.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Man on Wire (2008) - Jack O'Brien

Man on Wire (2008) is is a British Noire Documentary that follows Philippe Petit's famous wire walk of the twin towers in 1974. The film was nominated for, and won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary. The film was directed by James Marsh and based on the book of the same name by Philippe Petit.

The film is at heart, a documentary, because of this, it is difficult to evaluate its themes. Any moral ambiguity the characters posses are real people, these are their real motivations and justifications for their actions. The real note here is that Philippe and his cohorts make no attempt to justify. They understand the illegality in their actions, but they explain that they pressed on in the name of art.

Petit's stunt was dangerous, and in a way, beautiful. The way it is presented throughout the course of the film lends the viewer to believe with impartiality that it was a work of art rather than a crime. The Noire presentation of the history, panning, and execution of the long-winded and long anticipated feat of wire walking the Twin Towers lends viewers to see this as a secret, beautiful thing, rather than what would be called in today's world an act of terrorism.

I don't think there is much else to say. I believe that Petit's act was beautiful. I think that the documentary frames it as such and does it well. Man on Wire is well deserving of its Academy Award and hopefully becomes a classic.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Alien By Shanelle Lester

The 1979 movie Alien featured an interesting, story filled with plot twists and betrayal  survival and leadership were put to the test. Each of the characters has their own responsibility that they have to attend to. Each of them will have to learn to stay in their own lane handling what they came on the ship to do and not get in the way of anyone’s else's job. This movie featured the characters of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Kane (John Hurt), Parker (Yaphet Kotto), Brett (Harry Dean Stanton), Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Ash (Ian Holm).
The crew members of a commercial starship Nostromo are awakened from their cryo sleep capsules halfway through their journey back to planet earth. They were woken up to investigate a “distress call” from an alien vessel  -  I use quotes here because it is later revealed that it was a warning sign to stay away and that they were purposely sent there by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. While going to investigate what they think is a call for help but really is a warning, they run into a rough landing on the moon which calls for the ship to be fix. Three of the crew members had went off the ship on the moon in search to find the distress call and help. The movie starts to take a drastic turn when krane discovered a neats full of eggs with aliens in them. The egg starts to hatch and jumps on the crew member face leaving ripley to have to make a hard decision of leaving him to die for the safety of the other members. Eventually ash opens the shuttle letting them inside, once krane has recovered and they thought that the alien had died everything went back to normal ash was a hero was letting krane back inside to save him. But instead he made a decision which put everyone in danger. During lunch krane has met his death when the alien popped out of chest. Along the way one by one they all met their death. One minute they're alive trying to survive and the next their dead without a trace. Ash was loyal, he wouldn’t let krane die, we went against ripley orders to ensure that they can get the alien off of krane face. We were wrong ash was a robot who knew all of this was going to happen. He went against them leaving everyone to die but one. Ripley was the only survivor.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Hughes, John. “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” (1987)
Steve Martin (Neal Page) and John Candy (Del Griffin)

Talk about stranger danger! In this brief holiday classic, Neal Page (Steve Martin) is just trying to get home to Chicago to see his wife and kids in time for Thanksgiving, although this soon becomes a much more difficult task. As his misfortune continues, public transportation seems to fail him in great magnitudes and finds himself desperate just to find a place to stay for the night, he ends up having to follow a man that stole his taxi that same morning Neal is forced to bunk up with the extremely talkative Del Griffith (John Candy), whom he finds deathly annoying. Although the close bunking he shares with the man is not nearly the worse experience he would have in the following days. He goes through trials that comes with the insanity of the holiday season tied along to a man he can not stand, but while going through this process the two unlikely friends share a few laughs and stories. By the end of the film Neal is more than ever ready to go home, he gets on the train and starts his journey. He has no watch, no money, no phone, and most of the clothes off his back had disappeared, but realization soon hits him as he notices that Del was not actually going home. The irritating stranger he had come to know was not able to return home to a huge Thanksgiving feast, he had no one to share his joy of survival with. With this realization in mind Neal brings his new friend back to have a meal with his loving family.

The relationship that is shared between the two is immense, and this quickly became more than just two guys trying to make it back to Chicago, it is a heartfelt story  of sharing love and joy not only in the winter months, but all year round. If anything should be taken from this movie, it should be the fact that a person is not how they appear, there is more to everyone then what they show. In this case, the large taxi stealing, shower curtain rings selling man who seems very disorderly and messy, but he is actually just a poor lonely widow.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles #aysiastarr

Hughes, John. “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” (1987)
Steve Martin (Neal Page) and John Candy (Del Griffin)

When time is against you, what would you do? It’s the day before Thanksgiving and you are miles away from home on a business trip in New York City. Your meeting runs late, and you have little time to spare before your flight leaves. You finally catch a cab and rush to the airport only to find that all flights are canceled for the evening. No one is going anywhere! The airport is full of angry, tired travelers with nowhere to go. You have called all of the hotels in the area and none have vacancies. What do you do now? Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a comedic movie starring Steve Martin and John Candy. Steve Martin plays a character named Neal Page, an advertising executive, who is desperately trying to get home to Chicago for the holiday. John Candy’s character, Del Griffin sic, is a loud-mouthed, but lovable salesperson who offers to help Neal find his way home. The trip is anything but a smooth ride. Del leads Neal on a cross-country, wild goose chase that keeps Neal from his home. It is every traveler’s nightmare. The movie focuses on two very different men with very different attitudes. Neal Page is quiet, reserved, and enjoys his privacy. He and his family live in the suburbs of Chicago [Shermer, Illinois]. Del Griffin, on the other hand, is loud, obnoxious, and loves to talk non-stop about nothing. His conversations never seem to have a point and only comes off as a distraction to Neal. The two have an uncanny adventure, starting in New York when Del “steals” Neal’s cab that he called and the two end up not only on the same flight, but sitting next to each other for the plane ride. Just as Page thinks that his strange and even more aggravating interactions have come to an end, Griffin seems to, somehow, swing back around because he doesn’t seem quite done with melting Page’s cold heart. The underlying themes of this story is what drew me in.  It exploits the kindness that people are capable of feeling even under the most difficult and extreme circumstances. It also exposes that we all have faults, weaknesses, and a general need for human compassion to survive. This is what makes the film one I’d rewatch and one would recommend for others to watch and rewatch as well. It covers an important lesson, one we can all learn from. We all aren’t “perfect,” or as perfect as we’d like to think we are. We also can’t survive in harsh circumstances without the help of another being that can help keep our spirits high. For this reason, I hope you will watch this movie.

Monday, November 27, 2017

What's Sweeter? Our Dreams or New Beginnings?

Sugar. Dir. Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck Feat. Algenis Perez Soto (Sugar), Jose Rijo (Alvarez), Walki Cuevas (Alfonso) made in 2008.

         Sugar was overall an emotional cliche. That's not a bad thing because in a way, it might have brought more awareness to the conditions in the Dominican Republic and how real sports teams treat their players. Sugar was a young kid dreaming big like all the other kids in the Dominican Republic. He came from a poor family of many kids and life was tough. He wanted to make it out of the Dominican and create a better life for himself, a typical immigrant story. I will be honest and say I was not very fond of this film. I just found it basic but it did bring my attention to how professional Leagues operate, which I found inhumane. It really was portrayed as a business. It looked like the scouters were shopping for a new toy, in a way that scene looked racist from my point of view. If I had to pick my favorite part I would say when Sugar decided to leave the league and build a life for himself.

What really stood out to me was the message it gives people. Miguel Also known as sugar had a tough life, he was a kid that had big dreams and aspirations trying to make something of himself, soon he realized that taking the famous and unstable route ( Professional league) isn't for him. He ended up running away from his team before they threw him out like a broken toy. It's clear that Sugar wanted more in life and he was determined to get it one way or another. He took an okay job at a restaurant and worked his way up, he stabilized himself, made new allies like the man at the carpenter store. I learned that sometimes we don't always get what we dreamed of but sometimes what we're blessed with comes out far greater than what we yearned for. He found a great life in America he works and sends money to the family, found a new girlfriend and joined a league with all ex-professional baseball player just like him. He got the best of both worlds which not many people can say.

I would recommend this movie to an audience that is fond of a heartfelt story.  Overcoming obstacles, adapting to a new life, and making sacrifices.  This film can be interpreted in different ways, it can help open the eyes of people and give good life lessons when you look beyond just what the movie is about.

Alien (1979) - Jack O'Brien

Alien (1979), directed by Ridley Scott, is a British-American Sci-fi/Horror film. Alien was nominated for two academy awards, and won the 1980 Best visual effects Oscar.

Alien chronicles the story of the crew of starship Nostromo. The Nostromo is a commercial cargo ship tasked with transporting its load to Earth. All seems to be going well as the crew awakens from cryogenic sleep and prepares for a short trip back home. It is only when the ship receives a distress signal from a local planet that the true horror of the film is unveiled.

The crew are hesitant to respond to a foreign signal, but the newly appointed science officer Ash, insists they investigate on the grounds that company policy demands the crew respond to any and all distress signals, regardless of their origin. The crew snoops around old catacombs on the planet, and in a turn of events, Kane, the ship's executive officer, is attacked by a creature that fixes itself onto Kane's face, causing him to slip into a coma. Kane is taken into the auxiliary landing ship and given medical attention. Despite being a violation of quarantine protocol, Kane is taken into the Nostromo for further medical treatment at the digression of Ash, the science officer.

As foreshadowed earlier, Ash's decision to move Kane to the Nostromo backfires horribly. Kane, at first, appears to make a full recovery, but it is soon discovered that the opposite has occurred. During dinner, Kane begins to convulse and writhe until eventually, a creature erupts from from his stomach. The creature runs off and plays a game of hide-and-seek with the crew.

The Alien matures incredibly quickly, and one by one, kills of the members of the crew that dare pursue it. During this time, it is revealed that Ash, the science officer, is actually a "Synthetic Sleeper Agent", a robot with one goal in mind, bring the Alien home no matter the cost.

After all her fellow crewmates are killed, Ripley, the protagonist, makes a last ditch effort to escape by setting the ship to self-destruct and running for the escape pod. This scene is potentially more tense than the serious plot twist at the end of the film, as convenient writing allows for the escape pods to be located on the opposite side of the ship, resulting in a great sequence that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats.

Ripley narrowly escapes the ship, explosion in the background, sigh of relief, Ripley is about to enter her pod and awaken on Earth. Credits roll.

But they don't.

Ripley must face one more challenge before she can be released from the hell she has lived. The Alien has snuck into her escape pod, and is hiding in an alcove. Ripley stealthily climbs into a space suit, and pulls the airlock latch, expelling the Alien once and for all.

I love this film. I love everything about it. I think it is a flawless example of modern day horror. The atmosphere of the film is claustrophobic and dark. It is a movie that is constantly threatening the viewer, leaving them constantly frightened of what is to come next.

HR Giger's artistry in creating the Alien elevates the horror of the film to a new level. Not only are viewers terrified of the monster, but they are intrigued. Giger creates a monster that viewers want to see on screen, but whose presence terrifies its audience. Giger is a master of his craft, and well deserving of his academy award for his work on Alien.

Overall, Alien is a masterpiece. It's captivating, terrifying, and thrilling. This film defines a generation of horror. Alien raises the bar for what a horror film should be, and forces other films to be better if they want to compete.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

"Bring me some Sugar, I am your neighbor" - Jack O'Brien

"Sugar" directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck is a Drama that follows the protagonist Miguel "Sugar" Santos through his journey into professional baseball in America. 

"Sugar" was nominated for the 2009 ESPY best sports movie and won the 2010 AFI Awards best movie.  It was nominated for six other miscellaneous awards.

Sugar is set in two main locations: The Dominican Republic, and The United States. The story line unfolds across multiple places and states, but the specifics of location generally speaking, aren't important to this film's themes.

The film follows Miguel "Sugar" Santos and his Minor-League baseball career in America. Santos is seen as a prodigy in his home town, is quickly recruited by Kansas City, and promptly sent off to America to pitch professionally.

Santos seems to struggle with the American way of life, particularly, with the language. One of his first struggles as a character is his frustration trying to order food at a Diner. Santos at first, cannot seem to get a grasp on the language, and as a result, perpetually eats french toast, as that is all he can say in English. This frustration with himself is the first character struggle Santos undergoes in the film/

The next significant struggle Santos undergoes with himself is his performance as a player. In several consecutive games, he performed poorly, and struggles with his identity as a baseball player. Santos knows hard work is what put him in his situation, and cannot seem to put that work in anymore. As a result, Santos turns to performance-enhancing drugs in an attempt to remain competitive. This backfires, and Santos's frustration compounds.

The culmination of Santos's frustrations sees him leaving baseball and heading to New York. Santos does this to follow his friend and mentor, in an attempt to find something friendly in the hostile environment he has been in for his while time in America. Santos appears to find some sort of fulfillment in a working life, and moves baseball to the side as he works a normal job, in a normal life.

The film's ending is similar to that of Rocky, in that it isn't what you'd expect. I had initially expected Santos to succeed and make it to the big leagues, just like one would expect Rocky to win his fight. I think Santos moving away form baseball tells a different story, and not one that I dislike.  

Ricky Baloba [Balboa]

Rocky (1976)

Rocky is a fictional Drama starring and written by Sylvester Stallone and directed by John G Avildsen. The film can technically fall into the action genre, but the deeper themes and character conflict firmly stamp this film into the page of Drama. Rocky won the 1976 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best film editing, as well as best actor in a leading role (Stallone) [maybe I am wrong here  -  it did win the Oscar for Best Picture; however, Stallone was nominated but did not win] and best director (Avildsen).

Jack, Is your image meant to be ironic?

The film is set in the city of Philadelphia during the bicentennial year of  1976. The film's setting is used a a plot device that allows Rocky to turn his life around and develop as a character.

Rocky Balboa is more or less seen by his peers as a bum. He makes his money fighting at a local boxing club and working as muscle for a loan shark. Rocky attempts to act as an example to the local youth of what not to be, made clear when he yells at a teenage girl for hanging with the wrong crowd of kids. This shows that Rocky is aware of his "bum" status, [not necessary here  -  it is a dependent clause that follows] and does not seem to be making any effort to improve himself. Rocky is supposed to be a film that promotes the notion of an "American Dream", the idea that in America, anybody can pull themselves up by the bootstraps and achieve success. Rocky [the character] only does this to a point.

Rocky seems to enjoy the status quo. He is a compassionate person, who appears to be trapped in monotony by his own doing. That story is told by his boxing coach, Mickey (Burgess Meredith). When Rocky finds his locker has been taken by new young blood at the gym, he confronts his coach. When confronted, Rocky is told that he is old news. We learn that Rocky had potential and that his job with the loan shark had derailed his future in boxing.

The fact that Rocky seems content to maintain the status quo, making just enough to get by, seems to challenge the notion that Rocky is a prime example of the American Dream.

It is not until Rocky is picked from a hat by Apollo Creed, the heavyweight champion, for a showcase match, that Rocky picks himself up. While it is true that the opportunity does present a wake up call for Rocky to turn his life around, there were several other opportunities for Rocky to do so prior in the film, especially when criticized by his coach.

Rocky, on the surface, appears to be a tale of a man turning his life around and going the distance. The film can also been seen as the tale of an average Joe who is dragged into the limelight by circumstance, and must quickly turn his life around in the face of humiliation on a national stage.

All of this aside, the film is fantastic. Rocky is new classic that is not only dramatic, but inspiring. Rocky is a complex character with an interesting agenda. The film has an iconic soundtrack, and is very much deserving of all of its awards. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Who's Really The Psycho?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Joseph Stefano (screenplay) Robert Bloch (novel)
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh. Vera Miles

In 1960 a crazy, game changing film was created and it was called Psycho. The movie got you to think because of the mystery it brought to the audience. It definitely grabs your attention on what might happen next. 

SPOILER ALERT!!! Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and her boyfriend Sam Loomis wanted to run away and get married together. But because of his debts they couldn't. Marion later that day went to work and was asked to deposit $40,000. Was she that crazy to steal it? She ran off with that money so her  [she] and Sam could live the life she wanted. Marion was nervous, but after her interacting with the police officer and the used car salesman, it makes you wonder if she's the psycho one. Marion needed to rest after all she went through. She comes across Bates Motel where she meets the last person she will ever talk to. 

That night she checks into the motel in a different name [the alias Marie Samuels], and Norman becomes attracted to Marion. He's nice to her and even makes her food. They stir up a conversation where we find out he has an interest in taxidermy. In 15 minutes Marion's life was going to be gone. Norman's mother killed her while she was in the shower. Stab after stab. Was she the psycho? We later find out that Norman's mother has been dead. The whole time Norman pretends to be his mother by dressing up as her and making conversation with his mother like she is still alone [alive]. Psycho? Yes, I believe so. Norman was the crazy one all along. 

This movie was good, and I would recommend it to people who are into drama and mystery. It kept you thinking on what will happen next. I never knew who the real psycho was in all honestly. If you ask me, they are all crazy. But Norman showed his psycho side the most. When Marion died you realized that the whole time it wasn't her. The movie was quick but not too quick. I thought that was good because it got to the point. Movies that drag can loose people's attention, but Psycho didn't. This movie definitely brings up some questions, but that's the point. It makes the audience want more!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Blog #1

[No image  -  relevant or not]

The film Rocky was created in 1976 by Sylvester Stallone, who had writen the film, and John G. Avidsen had directed it. Some of the main characters in the film are Rocky, Apallo [Apollo] Creed, Micky, Gazzo, Adrian, and Paulie.

Rocky Balboa is a struggling boxer from philidalphia whose only dream is to make it big and be successful in the boxing world. As soon as everyone starts losing hope in Rocky, an amazing opportunity is brought his way when pro boxer Apallo Creed makes his way to Rocky's home town  [one word] looking for an amateur boxer to fight. After Rocky decides that this could be his chance, he is miraculously chosen to be Apallo Creed's competition. With everyone expecting an easy win for Apallo, Rocky understands he really needs to step up his game and win this fight because if he doesn't, he has no chance of making it as a professional boxer. Rocky begins training again with his trainer Micky in order to prepare for the fight.

In the midst of everything that is happening, Rocky actually finds himself a girlfriend after making a visit to the petstore, and quickly getting close with a young lady he had met there. Fight day is approaching and after plenty of training, Rocky is ready to prove everyone wrong. He is ready to unleash his hidden talent as a boxer and make his dreams come true. Rocky gains alot of respect for himself after coming such a long way and working towards what he wants for his future. He gets to prove to everyone he is a boxer at heart and he can be the fighter he always knew he could be. After everything Rocky had been through, he goes the distance to become the new heavyweight champion after his win against Apalo Creed.


Blog #4 Psycho
Psycho a 1960 thriller was based on a woman, Marion Crane, who was fed up with the way life treated her, especially recently since her lover Sam isn’t able to marry her yet because most of his money goes to alimony. Marion is left to meet with Sam at a hotel every now and then during her lunch breaks. This leads her to take $40,000 cash of which she is entrusted with by her employer to take to the bank. She decided this was her opportunity to start a new life, she packed a suitcase, the money and headed to Sam's California store.

Up until then everything seems rather normal until she gets stuck in a storm and is forced get off the main highway to stay at a nearby motel. Norman, the one in charge of The Bates Motel, was a quiet and young man. Marion noticed that he was obsessed with birds, stuffing them and also that he was dominated by his mother. Even then, she didn't have a good enough reason to think that there was anything wrong, and yet she never made it out alive. The movie continued with another murder and with Sam and Marions sister determined to find out where she was or what happened to her. At the time, it was the most shocking film its audience had ever seen. The director of this film, Alfred Hitchcock seemed to have devoted his attention to the Marion Crane story and her relationship with Norman. Considering I don't normally watch horror movies, I can honestly say that this has been my favorite so far of the class. Not having anticipated the surprise Hitchcock created for us, I watched intently as the story unfolded leaving me with an astonished yet amazed feeling as it ended.

Man On Wire

Blog # 3 Man on Wire
Considered “The artistic crime of the century” by Philippe Petit, a tightrope walker who decided to perform a high wire routine across the New York City’s World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974. His act was among the most illegal and daring of that time. Directed by James Marsh, this documentary walked us through the memories of Petit and his acquaintances that led him to his fame. They used contemporary interviews and footage they had previously taken at the time of those events to put together this film. It took them months of preparation, obtaining false ID cards, they made their way up to the top, above the level of the unfinished floors in the freight elevator taking with them about a ton of equipment.

On the morning of August 7, 1974, Petit walked across that wire and risked his life above the 1,350ft drop. Going back and forth several times, his friends shed tears at his glory. When he got back to one of the towers he was arrested and later charged for “disturbing the peace.” After getting a taste of what being famous felt like he eventually left his girlfriend and those who stood by him throughout his struggles. I was shocked at Petit's reaction to fame it seemed arrogant and wrongful of him, after they helped him through everything he then just pushed them aside. To me this film was dissatisfying and uninteresting. Therefore I would not recommend it to others and I would say that as far as to my understanding, even though his ambition led him to somewhere good for him, his friends did not deserve to end that way.


Blog #2 Sugar
Winner of the “Movie of the year AFI Award of 2010,” Sugar is spoken to shine a bright light on the American Dream. Directors and writers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, shaped this low budget film as well-turned and as remarkable as possible using the acting talent led by Algenis Perez Soto. Sugar, based on America’s favorite pastime allows viewers to watch an immigrant's experience while he attempts to reach for his ideal. Being only 19 years old Sugar aka Miguel Santos left the Dominican Republic to play baseball in the U.S.
After passing his first tryouts, they sent him to play in Bridgetown, Iowa where he stayed with a white farm family. He played well for a few months until he was injured and lost confidence in his throw. Knowing that his family back home needed the money he was making to survive, he became desperate enough to try performance enhanced drugs. Fearing that he was going to get kicked off the team he decided that he would leave first instead. Miguel knew that there wasn't anything he could do for his family back in the Dominican Republic, and without having even finished high school, he didn't have much of an education. He took a bus to New York, got a job at a restaurant where his friend had worked at and started going to a wood shop to make a table for his mom. He started a new life in New York with a simple job, occasional calls to his mom and a new girlfriend. Its noticeable that Ryan and Anna worked hard to produce a well informed film on a realistic type of situation on both immigration and baseball.