Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Gabby Jeannette

Image result for creed running scenes
          So far this year I think this will most likely be my favorite movie, besides for my all time favorite Warriors. Creed is an amazing movie that is full of inspiration and life lessons for any person, not only a boxer, can/should learn. For instance, one major theme that I came to terms with is the fact that you don't grow to beat others you should strive to surpass yourself and grow internally. Donnie learned that when he was in the last match of the movie, Rocky told him that Conlan wasn't his opponent; he was his own greatest opponent. Another theme that came up throughout the movie was that although the past might not have gone as you planned, you have to embrace who you are and use it to your benefit. Yes, Adonis had a goal set to not let others know he was Apollo Creed's son, but Bianca let him know he was brought to earth from Apollo, and he has a skill just a great as his father's, so he has to learn to embrace it. Before the last match Adonis learns that lesson but also combines it with the fact that he knows he has to remember his roots. We as viewers realize he has learned that when he puts on his fathers old boxing shorts with his name "Creed"on them but on the back it says "Johnson." Lastly, the largest lesson was devotion. Adonis learned that hiding his goals from the world wasn't the way to go, so he quit his job and moved to Philly to learn from the best, Rocky. From that point on his was devoted to the game and devoted to his goals of success in the field of boxing.

          The movie itself was very well put together and the tone matched the message great. While he was in California all the colors were bright and calm to represent the success he was feeling in his career. Once he got to Philly, the color palette got dark and serious due to the fact that he was very focused and in tune with himself. The movie had a lot of culture. The boxing gyms that Rocky brought Adonis to gave a a sense of culture from the past Rocky movies. Also, when Adonis was running though the streets with ATV's and dirt bikes chasing him that gave a hint of Philadelphia street culture, since riding on the streets and doing tricks is a big part of Philly. Lastly, in the final fight there was a nice montage of flashbacks that Adonis had to enhance his anger and importantly used to wake up and pick himself off the mat before being counted out, to beat Conlan. That quick flash of pictures/scenes helped show the viewers how his brain was functioning as Rocky was yelling to him and as he was on the ground during the fight.

          All and all, Creed, in my eyes and possibly to my other peers is more than just a boxing movie; it is more than just that. I recommend it for anybody to watch, it will make you feel emotion across the charts like you wanna fight someone, wanna experience life, and even the feeling of family, etc.

Caitlin Willis - Creed

Caitlin Willis
Intro to Film Studies
Mr. Monahan


          This 2015 action film, directed by Ryan Coogler, portrays hard work, dedication, and the act of coming from the shadows. In this film, a very overlooked African American man, Adonis Jackson, discovers his ability to box. His father, Apollo Creed, a very famous fighter who had long past, had left him when he was young [in actuality Apollo was killed in the ring while Adonis/Donnie was in utero].  In search for answers, he sets out to find his father's old friend, another famous boxer who was the star [technically Sylvester Stallone is the star; Rocky Balboa is the character/protagonist] of the film Rocky, named Rocky Balboa. It follows him [what follows him exactly?] during his journey of hard work, dedication, and making a name for himself rather than reclaiming the one his father left behind.

          This is by far one of my favorite films. I watched Creed long before I even saw Rocky, but now that I've seen both, I like watching how the two movies tie into each other. My favorite actor, Michael B. Jordan is the star of this film, as he was with Fruitvale Station, and he portrays Adonis. SPOILER ALERT!!! Even though he didn't win the fight against heavy weight-champ and 'pound for pound greatest living boxer' "Pretty" Ricky Conlan, he still managed to put up a fight better than anyone expected. He went for all 12 rounds when people were expected him to get knocked out during the second or third. His drive was extremely evident during the long fight scene, and it had my and all of my other classmates' adrenaline running. The music added into the excitement, with the fast paced, energetic, non-diegetic songs [excellent point; bahm bahm puh bahm puh.... 'Feelin' strong now... Gonna fly now'].
This film still proves to be one of my favorites, more so than ever now that I'm aware of the special elements this film has [Noooo! Good post Caitlin, but I would really like it more if you could expand this final paragraph.

Bonnie & Clyde

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Bonnie and Clyde is a story that takes place during the Great Depression. A young couple who are in love and decide to rob stores and banks.  As the film progresses, Bonnie and Clyde form the Barrow Gang  a mechanic, Clyde's brother Buck and his wife Blanche.  They were portrayed as heroes in the film because they were normal people who fought for a cause of the people. They robbed banks because the banks were stealing peoples' homes and other properties. I can prove this because while Clyde is gathering the money, he sees a farmer man and asks him if the money on the table is his.  The man says yes and Clyde lets him keep the money.  I think the theme of this film was rebellion and fighting the system. Bonnie and Clyde acted upon a cause that was created by the average person.I think t the movie was interesting, because you sometimes forget this actually happened, and this was a real story. Of course, the movie changed a bit of the real story, but a lot of movies do this.

Fruitvale Station

       The first thing I think of when I see the movie title Fruitvale Station I automatically thought it had something to do with a train or something. But as the movie goes on and you see the true meaning of what point the movie is trying to prove. It's about main character Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) a recovering addict [drug dealer, 'selling trees'] who is trying his hardest to live a clean life and turn himself around for his daughter Tatiana and his baby's mother Sophina. You know what they say when you're in the wrong place at the wrong time But everyone likes to think that everything happens for a reason. On a simple night going to see fireworks with his family [more precisely with his girlfriend and their friends] he ends up in a situation that he shouldn't have been in [explain]

     The day he lost his life will never be forgotten because of the fact that a police officer killed another unarmed black man, which falls back into the stereotypes [sic]. A whole movie based on the last moments of this innocent man's life. On top of it, his girlfriend got to watch her boyfriend die right in front of her for something that happened while he was serving time in jail. 

       I think the life lesson taught from this movie is that you shouldn't give people a reaction when you know you have more than them to lose. It makes you think about how you act towards people around you whether it's from past beef or not. If you have a beautiful daughter and a beautiful girlfriend to live for you start to think about more than just yourself. I would've liked for the movie to be a little longer, maybe explain a little more about Oscar's life and not just the mistakes that he's made. As the movie starts the movie basically ends because it's so self explanatory. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

#victornieves R is Wrong! Adonis is No False Creed

Victor Nieves
Film Studies A3
Mr. Monahan
Creed Blog

The film Creed featuring Micheal B. Jordan (Adonis Johnson-Creed) and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa) follows up the fan favorite Rocky.  This movie gave me motivation and hope to accomplish my dreams. Since I was little I have always wanted to be a part of the fighting game, and it never really occured to me that some people be in the same position as me and yet still get to the top. The message to this movie is one to never give up because if you really want something no matter how hard it is you can achieve it. Another message in the film that shows in the end is you don't always have to win to beat the fight.

In the film it is shown that Adonnis Creed (AKA creed) was a failure in his name and that he was only big because of his name so the character himself felt as if he was a disgrace. The reason why i connected so well with the character was because i've been in a same position because of the position/place i was in. I know the feeling of having to have a high performance on something because their expectations of you is high. Throughout the film after he was announced as creed son you can see how stressed and nervous Adonnis becomes. There was one specific scene that touched my heart which was the scene that Creed refused to fight and train unless Rocky decided to fight back from cancer there was a specific part where Creed lets Rocky know that he scene him as a part of his family. Which shows that people don't have to be blood to be family. Overall i really enjoyed the film and this will be one movie to remember.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild 

The movie is based on a strong female protagonist named "Hushpuppy." The movie takes place in Louisiana at an off grid area of where there isn't [aren't] any laws or any type of democracy [???] that regulate the people. Hushpuppy is a little girl that has the lead role of trying to survive with her father, Wink. Hushpuppy was a mostly an independent girl who's [whose is possessive; who's is a contraction of 'who is'] mother left her because she wasn't ready to take care of something beautiful [interesting idea].Wink, would try to teach her to be more masculine, in case if he isn't there. Hushpuppy knew how to cook and take care of herself at any early age [not necessarily traditional 'male' gender roles]. She would speak to the chickens and animals and talk on how they have feelings, just as humans [good]

The film to me was like a poem. The "Bathtub" was the place Wink and Hushpuppy lived in. There was scenes when "Aurochs" who were large beasts that looked like huge boars with the size of a house, that related to the characters in the story. Aurochs were huge beasts that were always together, searching for food and surviving with one another. They were representing Hushpuppy, for her being a strong women [female] protagonist.

Wink would teach her how to be strong and fierce, just like him. When there was a storm occurring, he would fight the storm by shooting in the air with a shotgun. He would also teach how to fish, kill crabs and to "no crying" to his daughter. SPOILER ALERT!!! Wink also had a heart problem, the movie showed he had a heart problem when Hushpuppy hit his chest during an argument. 

The bathtub environment was dying, because of a Levee, which confined the flow of rivers,making the water flood in the Bathtub, just as how Hushpuppy's father was dying. When he passed away, due to a blood disease, it was deeply sad on how she saw her own father die. Thus, the movie tends on showing on how Hushpuppy was able to save herself, she leaves behind a definition of being another model as her mother; genuine, determination and caring.  

Fruitvale Station

Gabby Jeannette
Fruitvale Station

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          The movie Fruitvale Station starring Michael B. Jordan although might have been a reenactment of the tragic incident of police brutality, I can assure you the movie didn't feel like an reenactment to the viewers. The events in this movie touched many peoples hearts and the way the movie was put together makes it that much more heart wrenching. The movie is the story of Oscar Grant experience and passing due to police brutality.

          The progression of the movie, made it ten times better. I enjoyed the fact that the director slowly showed how each relationship improving to be in a better place then it was before. For instance, thought out the movie there is many pauses where Oscar sits and reconsiders going back to his old ways, but his consensus and past talked him into doing the right thing. At one point in the movie, I saw a huge change of character, when the dog got hit and he was trying to help. That moment showed Oscar realized that not everyone is going to help so he is going to have to step up and change himself. From that point on he changed his ways and grew as a person. But just as the saying goes "bad things happen to good people," and that's exactly what happens to him. Just because he was trying to be nice and please his mom, girlfriend, and daughter. Just because he was did that he was forced to come face to face with a past enemy, which eventually led to his death.

          Besides for the story line itself, how the movie was put together and filmed was phenomenal. The effects that they used set the tone of the movie worked very well. For example, when he was running with his daughter out of daycare in slow motion, that was a great way to show the improvement as himself as a father. Another example of effect improving the story line was the types of shots. In the movie when the entire police scene was happening the over the shoulder shot of the viewer from the train, impacts you and makes you realize that this was actually happening and that all these people were so helpless and couldn't do anything to help, all they could do was watch and pray for the best.

          All and all, Fruitvale Station was an eye-opener of a movie that could tear at anyone's heart strings. So if you like to stay up to date with society and even if you just want to see a genuine great movie, I'd suggest this one. You won't regret it!

Caitlin Willis - Beasts of the Southern Wild

Caitlin Willis
Intro. to Film Studies

Beasts of the Southern Wild

          This movie was another form of the female protagonist theme; the lead role was a young African American girl named Hushpuppy. She and her father lived in a place called the Bathtub, which was an off grid community in a swampy area. Hushpuppy was very independent, living in her own home at the ripe age of 6. She knew how to cook and managed to get to and from school on her own. Her father was dying and Hushpuppy was left to fend for herself. She was very close with her father, seeing as she lost her mother when she was young, and this movie told the tale of her adventures in the Bathtub.
          I liked this movie because it was different. It was not your typical protagonist theme of a middle aged white woman saving lives. It was of a little girl saving herself. Hushpuppy learned how to live on her own as a young woman. I also admired the cultural aspect of the movie. Everyone in the Bathtub wanted to be there and genuinely enjoyed living there. It was a diverse place to live in regards to race, age, and gender. There was no discrimination and everyone helped each other out. When there was the big storm that practically wiped away the civilization they built, all the survivors got together and stayed that way until things returned to normal. They took Hushpuppy in when her father was dying in the hospital and they took care of one another.
          Even if the conditions aren't ideal for a 21st Century teenager, it's obvious that the environment they lived in wasn't bad. The children there got the support they needed and were genuinely happy.

Caitlin Willis - Winter's Bone

Caitlin Willis
Intro. to Film Studies

Winter's Bone

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          This 2010 drama film Winter's Bone was extremely anticlimactic. Despite the good reviews: a 94% from Rotten Tomatoes, a 7.2 from IMDb, and a 4/4 from Roger Ebert, I felt as though it wasn't as good as it could've been. The plot was slow and there were no major events to catch your attention. Simply put, if you weren't watching closely from the start then you wouldn't get into the movie.
          From the beginning (or at least from what I've heard seeing as I missed the start of the film), the movie had a lot of potential. Yes it was a cliche setting: a teen girl taking care of her younger siblings because of absent parents, it was in a different setting and the scenario was unique. Rather than her father just being gone like the average film, he was a drug dealer and maker evading arrest and her mother, rather than working to keep the family afloat, was mentally unstable. Not to mention, this entire movie took place deep in the countryside, unlike the typical urban family setting.
           Perhaps if the movie was a bit more eventful, it'd have been a more enjoyable watch. The cast was good, consisting of a young Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes and the plot had promise.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Winter's Bone

Image result for winter's boneWinter's Bone is directed by Debra Granik and stars Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly the main character.  This film petrays Ree the female protagonist.  She is forced to take matters into her own hands due to her screw up parents [a little harsh don't you think; her mother has clearly suffered a 'nervous breakdown' due to her husband's involvement in illegal activity i.e. 'cooking meth'] at only 17 years-old.  Ree has her hands full trying to take care of her little sister and brother and her mentally ill mother.

Everyday [two words] Ree teaches her siblings how to hunt and cook, basic survival skills.  But soon she finds out from Sheriff Basken (Garret Dillahunt) that her criminal [father] has put their house up for bond.  So she sets out to find him in order to keep her and the rest of her family from ending up homeless.  Ree knows her father is off doing meth so she starts there with a meth-head named Teardrop (John Hawkins) [her uncle/father's older brother].  Then tries to talk to the local crime boss, Thump Milton (Ronnie Hall), but he refused to talk to her.  Ree doesn't find much information on her father and he [sic] location.  Stories begin to arise about her father dying in a meth lab fire or skipped town for good [shift in tense]. Things begin to worsen when the bondsman show up [subject verb agreement] at the house threatening the family.  

Winter's Bone in my opinion was not a good film.  For me I didn't find the plot interested, and there wasn't anything that made me want to keep watching.  The setting made the film feel so sad, which I did not like.  Also, the fact that the film involved meth as like a crazy outbreak.  This was not my type of movie.  I know this is somewhat of a thriller film, but in my opinion I think it lacked being thrilling. I just add that I absolutely loved Jennifer Lawrence for this part.  I think she brought I both strong welling [???] and also slightly scared female to the character Ree.  I think she was the best fit for this movie.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Crookyln #makayla

Image result for crooklynThe film Crookyln  written and directed by Spike Lee is a semi-autobiography [autobiography is a noun; autobiographical is an adjective] film.  This movie took place in Brooklyn, NY [New York] in the summer of 1973 which was consider the golden age before crack, gangs, and guns took over the inner cities [good observation].

Crookyln tells the story of the Carmichaels, a family with four boys and one girl. The six children [your math doesn't add up] live at home with their parents Woody (Delroy Lindo) and Caroyln (Alfre Woodard).  They lived in a neighborhood [Fort Greene] where every house [brownstones] looks exactly the same and everyone knows everyone.  The film's main focus is one the youngest [Troy is in fact older than at least one of her brothers but is definitely treated differently due to her gender] and only girl in the family, nine-year old, Tory Carmichael (Zelda Harris).  Due to Caroyln being only a school teacher and and Woody being a struggling jazz musician, the family begins to argue about money [in one scene Con Ed (the UI of NYC) comes and cuts the power off because Woody has 'bounced' a check].

For the summer the parents send Troy to live with their cousin down South [Carolyn is teaching summer school].  At first she is livid and begs her family not to leave her there, but she soon enjoys herself.  Reality hits her when she comes home to find out her mother has been diagnosed with cancer.  This type of news changes the family in a huge way.

I truly loved this film.  I believe Spike Lee creating this based on his life as a kid in Brooklyn made it so relatable.  In my eye it was so real from both parents arguing over money down to the close net [knit] neighborhood that allowed all of the kids to know each other.  Families everywhere, especially in towns such as our own [New Haven], experience the exact same thing.  Even Zelda Harris' character, Troy, was relatable to many kids.  Coming of age and taking over as almost an adult in the house is still happening for many kids even though the circumstances may be different.


Bonnie and Clyde

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"They're young. They're in love. They rob banks"

The 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde directed by Arthur Penn tells the criminal love story everyone dreams of having in a relationship.  The film starring Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, an ex con, and Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker, a waitress in a truckstop/diner.  The film takes place in Texas during the prohibition era, or the great depression [nailed it] where many people are in need of money.

Both Bonnie and Clyde are immediately attracted to each other.  When they meet, Bonnie is fascinated by Clyde's criminal past, and Clyde sees that Bonnie matches his goals in life.  Together they embarked on a life of crime, robbing banks in order to make money.  Plus this was fun for the both of them.  But the fun began to get out of hand when they ended up wanted by the police dead or alive.  Each time they robbed a bank their trips became more and more violent.  They end up tagging along with C.W Moss(Michael J. Pollard) a mechanic who can fix cars, Buck Barrow (Gene Hackman) who is Clyde's brother and his nervous wife Blanche (Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons).  They use the cars that C.W. fixes as get away cars. They find empty house to lay low until the next cop finds them.  Running and running until the running doesn't work anymore.  Bonnie and Clyde get caught finally and end up still right by each others side.
This story Bonnie and Clyde was actually a little different from what I pictured it would be.  I pictured more of a loving couple who went on adventures together and never left each other.  I think I actually like this story better.  The rough, on-a-run life that they both were willing to live together.  Ride or die couple, literally.  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bonnie and Clyde #Damian Henderson

Damian Henderson Jr

 Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were young adults who had different backgrounds. Clyde was a criminal who was just released from prison and Bonnie was a waitress and immediately they were attracted to what the other represents for their life when they met in West Dallas, Texas. Bonnie was amazed with Clyde's criminal past, and how he was open on sharing the stories to her. Although attracted to each other physically, a sexual relationship between the two has a few struggles to go through. Regardless, they decide to stay together and live the life of crime.They amass a small gang of willing accomplices, including C.W. Moss who is a mechanic to fix the cars they steal which is important especially for their getaways, and Buck Barrow, one of Clyde's older brothers.The only reluctant tag-along is Buck's wife, Blanche Barrow, who is the preacher’s daughter,
The gang's life changes after the first fatal shot is fired. Following, their willingness to shoot to kill increases to protect themselves. Their notoriety precedes them, so much so that no matter what one's opinion is of them, most want to have some association to the Barrow gang, to help them, to be spoken in the same breath as them, or to capture and or kill them. Of the many people they encounter in their crime spree, the one who may have the most profound effect on their lives is Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, who is looking for a little retribution. The Ranger locates Bonnie, Clyde and C.W. hiding at the house of C.W.'s father, who thinks Bonnie and Clyde had corrupted his son. He strikes a bargain with the Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, in exchange for a lenient jail sentence for C.W., he helps set a trap for the outlaws. Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed while stopped by the side of the road, leaving them in a blood bath.

Fruitvale Station

This movie was directed by Ryan Coogler. Fruitville is about a young African american 22 year old male named Oscar grant who works at a grocery store but is late and gets upset. Oscar is aa former drug dealer and served some jail time.his day goes on he was countering friends, family and strangers. Oscar realizes that change doesn't always come easy in life as he figures it out through the film Outside influences try to get Oscar back in the drug dealing game but he comes to his senses and says its not worth losing everything such as daughter ,and his girlfriend .Oscar final encounter was when he was at the train station and pulled to the ground the police officer pulled his gun out and shot him. BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area and the entire nation the officer claims he mistake his gun for  Taser.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Image result for beasts of the southern wild      Image result for beasts of the southern wild

This film Beast of the Southern Wild directed Nenh Zeiltlin beings with a fearless six-year old named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) who lives with her father, Wink (Dwight Henry).  They live a southern Louisiana delta community that is cut off from the rest of the world called "the Bathtub".  Hushpuupy is a free spirit with an extraordinary imagination.  She is nearly an orphan when her father goes missing for a while and she has to fend for herself.  When he returns he has a hospital bracelet on, which Hushpuppy's young minded self does not understand.  The get into a really big argument that ends with Hushpuppy burning down a part of their house.    

A storm hits their community they begin to flee.  With Hushpuppy's six year old  imagintion running wild, she believes the storm is a beast trying g to attack the bayou.  Wink and Hushpuppy begin to gather their things and get in the back of a pick up truck until the storm passes along with many of the other Bathtube residents.  Two days go by and the storm is finally over.  Both Wink and Hush puppy alone with the other residents try to stay hopeful now that their community is torn apart.  Their father, daughter bond grows tremendously​ thought the days after the storm. It wasn't until the community was taking in by the cops where Hushpuppy learns that her father is sick.  She realizes that there might be a day were her harsh loving father may no longer be there.  So she sets put to find her mother who she has never met.  

I believe "The Beast of the Southern Wild" is a very heart warming film.  Quvenzhane Wallis who plays Hushpuppy​ brought a great sense of innocent to the character who was born into harsh living conditions with nothing but a rough living father.