Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Color Purple

Gabby Jeannette

Image result for the color purple the movie

When my mom was younger she [her] parents forbid her to see this movie in the theaters, but she skipped school one day and saw it with her best friend.  After watching it, I understand two things [reasons] why her parents told her not to see it and also why she had to see it so bad. The content was something that only some people [who? what are the qualifications?] could watch, others might not be able to handle to content.

With that said, the people that can handle it, I completely understand their love for it. It was a heart wrenching movie that tears at your heart strings through out the whole 2 [two; write out numbers less than ten] and a half hours.  From the first 2 [SAP] minutes of the movie, we encounter Celie get her daughter taken away from her [by her/its] father and we find out that her child is fathered by her father, meaning that her dad rapes [plural but not necessarily past, evidenced by both Adam and Olivia] her.

For a decent amount of the beginning all of the chooses [choices] that Celie makes are to protect her younger sister Nettie. With that said the fact that her doing stuff for her sister [not necessary] highlights the theme of the human need to protect and care about each other. Even though Celie's children weren't conceived under the best circumstances from the moment they were born she wanted to love and care for them but was unable to. From then on her drive was to protect her younger sister Nettie, even if it meant hurting herself.  Long after that Celie took care of Shug Avery [a nightclub singer and longtime love interest of Mister AKA Albert], even when she was the one that was "stealing her husband", even though she never wanted him in the beginning. Eventually, Shug took care of her and took her away from that heart breaking house that wasn't a home.

The film itself works hard using colors and lighting to hint at the tone of the scene. In the first couple of minutes when Celie was getting Olivia taken from her the lighting and set were very dark and upsetting to draw out the emotion in that moment.  The music didn't stand out to me in this film [interesting observation; I don't love the score; however, I like the blues and gospel songs that Shug sings.  The score seems to me that Quincy Jones is trying too hard to sound like John Williams but maybe that was at the director Steven Spielberg's behest], I think it was more the tone and coloring that caught my eye.  This film was in my opinion the best of all the Spielberg films.  It tops ET, Jaws, and even any of the Indiana Jones movies by a long shot. Simply because the content and the way the risky subject was approached. Some people could have said this movie was purely about racism, but Spielberg put it together in a way that allows viewer to see the depth in the topic of taboo family relations, poverty, and even the struggle of being over powered by an abusive partner [awesome analysis Gabby]. I'd recommend this to any person that has some depth to there [their] interest in movies. If you want a movie just to watch, I wouldn't say this one just for the simple fact that it more than just a movie to pass the time. I believe it's meant to tear at you emotions and open your eyes to subject most people try not to talk about [Quiet as it's kept...].

The Color Purple #PIReviews

The Color Purple
By: Cameron Smith
Related image

Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery

    When discussing the quintessential Spielberg films, seldom do I hear this film pop into discussion. I often hear Jaws, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, Saving Private RyanCatch Me if you Can, Munich, Minority Report, etc. -- all are great films, but they have overshadowed The Color Purple in discussion. It's likely (to some degree) racial bias, but nonetheless, I didn't even know this film existed until I was a teenager; and this is coming from someone raised on Spielberg films! Considering my recent fascination in [with] Black culture, vernacular, and music, I wished I had seen this film a lot sooner and didn't miss its beginning during our critical viewing. Some may argue that this is simply a "black" film about racism and meant to plant white guilt, but it is much more than that...

    From my understanding, the story of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) is simply a showcasing of human aspirations and drive, enforcing that no matter how much hate one endures, there is always a better day coming -- a common theme in the African-American church (an important device in this film), the awe-inspiring story of Frederick Douglass and the Civil Rights movements. The film also includes (in spite of some historical inaccuracies) wonderful odes to African-American Blues, Gospel, and Work songs, along with the exhilarating African drum music.  I love the cameos from John Lee Hooker, harmonica wizard Sonny Terry ("whoop, time to go!"), and Laurence Fishburne holding a National steel guitar. With re-watching this film and picking up more details, this film will probably be included -- with Jaws, Temple of Doom, E.T., and Saving Private Ryan -- in my list of favorite Spielberg films, and soundtracks!

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom #PIReviews

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
By: Cameron Smith
Image result for indiana jones and the temple of doom

Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri

   Classic, classic, CLASSIC! I've seen this film previously, but this was an utter joy to re-watch post-childhood. 1984 gave us a myriad timeless films -- many of which were invaluable to my love for film: The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, The Terminator, (as expected) 1984, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Revenge of the Nerds, Sixteen Candles, etc.; but this film is the one closest to my heart. As a small child, my uncle would reenact the "Kali Ma" scene when tickling me (and continues to do so with my younger brother), and I also envied the character Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan), wanting desperately to partake on such spectacles and befriend an archaeologist. More on Short Round, he was a perfect character for this film; every one-liner, and his chemistry with Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford) worked and made the film all-the-better. Furthermore, the character of Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) is a prime example of both a "dumb-blonde" and comic relief character -- as well as someone who makes you shout at the screen in suspense.

   Now, I hear all the time during "older" films how the effects are "outdated," and I do not want to hear a peep about that for this film! One can easily say: "this won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects?" Uh... yeah, any problem? The special effects here are timeless, flawless, and all-around beautiful; there is nothing outdated about them. The aforementioned "Kali Ma" scene is stunning, and is easy to take for granted in our CGI world. In fact, I can feel the heat of the Temple of Doom, something which I can seldom say for most films. Often do I wish that more films like this one were made today -- films which both give ode to cinema's past, and simultaneously use the innovations of the present. This film is both fun to watch and well made, something I wish Michael Bay films could be.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple takes place first in the 1900s.  The main character Celie played by Whoopi Goldberg. This was her first movie that really started her acting career.  In the movie Celie started off with a hard life, a step-father who rapes her non-stop and two babies she conceived but couldn't raise. When her mother died leaving her and her sister Nettie with her step-father, and the first thing he did was sell her off for marriage. Now her husband, Albert Johnson played by Danny Glover didn't want to marry her he wanted to marry her sister. My first question was, "Why is a grown man trying to marry a 14 year old girl, and secondly why was this okay in this time?" Back in the old days [antebellum South] I understood the slavery, but black on black slavery just never made any sense to me.

Some years go by and Celie gets older, and so do all of Mr. Johnson's kids.  Celie's sister tries to come and live with them, but Mr. Johnson couldn't keep his hands off. Nettie left; she wrote everyday, [should be two words; one word means commonplace or ordinary] but Mr. Johnson hid everything from her [Celie] making her believe her sister forgot about her.  Now you know every angry man has a soft spot, someone who could bring out the best in him.  His light was Shug Avery, played by Margeret Avery, a traveling singer who was shamed away by her preacher father for creating a bastard child.  Whenever Shug came around Mr. Johnson was a lot nicer and didn't beat on his wife Cellie. But whenever Shug wasn't around Celie got beat for not being her.  Shug brought a light into Cellie: made her feel pretty, had her experience somewhat of a romance, when on the other hand Mr. Johnson just brings her down and degrades her as a woman.  When Harpo, Mr. Johnson's son brings home a wife to marry, Sophia (played by Oprah Winfrey) everything changes. They start having kids then they start beating on each other but still making babies in the middle. Later Sophia has an encounter with a white man [the town's mayor no less], and she punches him in the face she goes to jail for 8+ years.  She comes home to be a maid for the white lady whose husband put her into jail.

The second time Shug returns, she returns with a husband which hurts both Celie and Mr. Johnson because they are both in love with her. This is around the time when she learns she has two children who are living in Africa with her sister Nettie. She tries to get away, but the first time Mr. Johnson was blocking her way.  She tried to be dramatic and fall out, but Mr.Johnson doesn't care. The third time Shug came back it was time for Celie to leave; she was tired of the abuse and her step-father had passed away and left her a house and a store.  Celie makes her break; Mr.Johnson tries to get control one last time, but she breaks away.  Mr. Johnson didn't realize how big a component Celie was to his life; she cooked, she cleaned, she took care of the kids and she made sure her husband had everything he needed.

After a few years pass by, Celie has her home together and her store is up and running. Her Shug, Harpo, Sophia all living together and Mr. Johnson all by himself. He had a change of heart when he got the letter from immigration, he signed off for Celie's sister and children get to come back to the south with them.

Image result for the color purpleThe main lesson this story taught me is to not take my life for granted and not take my freedom for granted either.

Caitlin Willis - The Color Purple

Caitlin Willis
Intro. to Film Studies

The Color Purple

Image result for the color purple

This movie was interesting because of the touchy, taboo plot. Growing up, I'd heard of this film multiple times but I'd never had the chance to watch it. After seeing it, I know what the hype is all about. This movie tells the story of a young black woman's life. Growing up in Georgia in the early twentieth century, life for Celie was difficult. Before she was even of legal age, she'd given birth to two of her father's children. In many ways, she protected her younger sister by allowing her father to rape her and abuse her, saving her sister from his monstrous behavior. It wasn't until her father sold her to another man that she seemingly lost control of everything.

          Under her new "owner," Celie had to behave as a housewife: cook, clean, take care of the children, and tend to her husbands needs, which translates to allowing him to abuse and rape her, much like her father. The fact that this movie covered such a heavy topic, with the amount of essence it did, is amazing. Often in history, we learn about how black men have struggled to grow as individuals but the focus has never been on black woman trying to evolve from the slaves and birth givers. No one has ever talked about the things they endured during the early twentieth century, like how they were left out of feminism movements and voting acts. No one talks about the black woman's struggle.

          The ending was definitely not anticipated. I personally didn't think Celie would eventually end up owning her own home, especially not the one she and her family grew up in. I was very surprised when she met up with her children and her sister but I was very happy for the both of them. I was very proud, though I didn't actually have a right to be. This movie portrays a black woman's struggle well. Despite being dragged down over and over again, Celie became an independent, strong, black woman who was happy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Breakfast Club By Makayla Bigard

Image result for breakfast club cast
The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club directed John Hughes is in my opinion one of the best movies of all time.  It stars five high school students from very different ends met each other in detention.  "In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions" this movie stars  Brian Ralph Johnson (Anthony Micheal Hall) as the brain, Andrew "Andy" Clark (Emilio Estevez) as the athlete, Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) as the basket case, Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) as the princess and John Bender (Judd Nelson) as the criminal.  These student met in library for detention Saturday more as complete strangers to each other.  The assistant principal, Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) was there to watch over them for the day, giving them strict rules not to talk and to write a 1,000-word essay describing themselves.  Bender, who  spends many of his Saturdays in detention and is known throughout the school as a criminal does the exact opposite.  He creates conversation with the other students and starts making noise, earning himself several more detentions from Vernon.  As the hours pass, the students talk, laugh, argue, and even smoke marijuana from Benders with each other.  This for me was one of the many highlights of the movie.  Every one of them decided to sneak out of detention, risking the fact that they could get caught in order to a package in Benders locker.  They begin to make there way back to detention without the principal seeing them.  The end up all around the school avoiding being caught.  Bender decides that the only way for them to get back is for him to create a distraction and get himself in trouble.  Which he does and the rest of the students make it back to the library while Bender is stuck in trouble.  

The ending scene of the movie and swear the students learning about each other. Learning that they have much more in common than they thought. The most iconic scene in my is when they are sitting in a circle and Brian aka the brain brings up a question.  He ask if they will speak to you the next time they see him in school or will they just keep walking.  It took a minute for them to answer but they all agreed to speak to each other from now on.  

The last scene is what the club is all about a group of students who may have never talked to each other in school, meet and learn that they have much more in common then they though.  The detention brought them together and created lasting friendships that they may have never had if they didn't get detention that Saturday.  

"Don't you forget about me don't don't don't"

Friday, May 19, 2017


Gabby Jeannette

Jaws... a classic that everyone knows about, whether you have seen it before or just heard of the movie. Everyone knows it and what it is about.  Just because it's a classic and well known, doesn't make it great. Yes, it is attention grabbing, but that's only after the first 40 minutes when the climax slowly occurs. Basically, I am saying the movie is enjoyable, but the fact that it took so long to amp up steered me away from my ability to love it. I feel as if the plot and on screen conflict behind certain characters wasn't needed, I say this because it didn't help the story line at all just made you want to get to the end faster.

My father let me watch this movie with him when I was in 6th grade, and now first of all I'm starting to question his choice as a parent. Also, looking back on it, reviewing it, I definitely wouldn't rate it as PG. The standards for rating in this day in age are very strict. If you ask me the multiple scenes with blood and gore, swearing, etc raise the rating to at least a PG-13. There needs to be some viewer discretion!

Back to the film's set up and physical aspects, I'd say it was set up very to the point. The sets were not over decorated or too fancy. The music, John William's score, wasn't over the top. Lastly, the special effects and stunt scenes were as expected. But for a movie made in 1975, the structure of the movie was made decently well.

Since I have a bias because of all of the high definition movies that I have watched, this quality and effects were below average for me.  But one thing that I will give the movie respect for is the realism of the shark; it doesn't look fake, like a robot, or like it's copy and pasted into the movie. If you ask me, I believe that the movie as good and all the good aspect got put together once the three characters were out at sea, prior to that it was just another movie to never watch again.

 Keeping in mind the year, all and all, this movie was enjoyable for what it was. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it to a friend because there are plenty of other good shark movies to enjoy. But it was good enough to where I don't regret watching it and also, I would watch it again with out complaints.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

the color purple

Director Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of Alice Walker's award-winning novel The Color Purple is a great movie!  I enjoy watching this film time and again.  It don't matter how many times I watch it.  It can never get old to me. This is one of my favorite movies. 

In this movie Celie an African-American woman, played be Whoopie Goldberg in her onscreen debut, lives in the South and survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie's abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing "Mister" Albert Johnson (Danny Glover), things go from bad to worse leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can. 

She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa. Scenes in this movie had me feeling all types of ways including hurt, happy , and I even thought about the funny parts . 

indiana jones and the temple of doom

For starters, i did not like watching this film because i found it boring , the scenes , the wording choice selection and more. I would say that this film is one of my least favorites . Maybe because it was long ago and people back then enjoyed it but this is my first time watching it and i did not like it. I do look foward in reading a book about it rather than watching the movie


This movie was great only because it had a lot of action scenes and what makes a movie exciting for me is action to get me going and hyped for the rest of the movie. When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody  wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper and grizzled ship captain Quint offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.

fruitvale station

in this movie, 22-year-old black man Oscar Grant  is now trying hard to live a clean life and support his girlfriend  and young daughter. Flashbacks reveal the last day in Oscar's life, in which he accompanied his family and friends to San Francisco to watch fireworks on New Year's Eve, and, on the way back home, became swept up in an altercation with police that ended in tragedy, oscar ended up dying which made the movie a twist because he was just starting to get his life back together after he went to jail due to street activity. I liked this movie because it made me pay close attention knowing it was based on a true story.

rebel without a cause

Jim Stark is a troubled youth who constantly seems to get into trouble. He's new in town - they moved because Jim had gotten himself into some kind of trouble and he seems to be starting off where he left off when the police pick him up for being drunk on the street. At school he meets a group of young toughs who challenge him to a game of chicken. When that leads to an accident and a death, Jim wants to go to the police but his parents refuse to let him do so. When some of the teenagers go after Jim thinking he might go to the police, tragedy ensues. I didn't like this film because i though it was for older people. no offence but its an old movie usually i get right into the movie. 

the breakfast club

Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal . The disparate group includes rebel John  princess Claire  outcast Allison  brainy Brian and Andrew the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same. I enjoyed watching this film because in the beginning of it, it was funny attention catching. It made me want to watch it more when the detention teacher left the kids in the class together and the jock started acting out. I would recommend everyone to watch it if they haven't already did.

creed #shaquazaa may

in this film the title creed made me think about greatness, struggle, pain, patience,and solidness. This movie was about a young man who wanted to be better than his dad which was apollo . He trains, go through obstacles and still managed to stay on his p's and q's. I enjoyed watching this movie because it had many parts that caught my attention meaning scenes where i can relate or it was just a good memory. Creed is a legend and i would advise many others to watch it because it wasn't a boring moment in the movie , this movie had a lot of meaning behind it , its just up to the audience to figure out and come across what it is . My favorite scene from this movie was when he started running in the middle of the street and the whole block followed him , motivating him to keep going and to not give up because they were there to support.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Caitlin Willis - Rebel Without a Cause

Caitlin Willis
Intro. to Film Studies

Rebel Without a Cause

Image result for rebel without a cause

          I surprised myself by liking this movie. Going into the movie, I expected something different but I wasn't disappointed. I'd heard of the main actor, James Dean but I've never seen him in a movie. I can see what the hype is about.
          I enjoyed watching the film. The plot was interesting; a new kid comes around and the popular kids start to pick with him. He makes a friend who ends up joining the mix. A girl comes around and he starts to fall for her. But the new boy and the girl's boyfriend start to have problems and decide to solve it by playing chicken, a twisted game where two cars and basically driven off a cliff and whichever driver jumps out first is called a chicken. When Jim (James Dean) jumps out first, he fears that he's the chicken only to realize that Buzz (the girl's boyfriend) died. Chaos ensues as everyone struggles to leave the scene but James stares in shock as the car hits the area below. 
          The death of Buzz affects everyone differently. Jim rushes home and tells his parents about it and insists they go to the police. This absolutely shocked me. Jim wasn't close to his parents so you'd think he would completely abandon the idea of going to them for anything, especially not a crime he just partook in. The girl looks for a shoulder to cry on and that happens to be James, which irritated me because her boyfriend just died and she already found a new one.
          A twist at the end made me a bit upset though. Plato, Jim's friend ended up being killed. The ending was sad because all Plato wanted was a friend, or more like a replacement for his parents, who weren't present in his life. The movie just captivated me and I enjoyed watching it. 

Caitlin Willis - Jaws

Caitlin Willis
Intro. to Film Studies
Image result for jaws

          To start off this review, I just want to say that this movie was very wrongly rated PG. I saw this movie when I was younger and didn't realize how graphic it was. The gory, horrific attack scenes should've gained this movie at least an R rating. However, the false advertisement definitely didn't impact my opinion of the movie.
          This movie was...interesting. The plot didn't exactly make sense to me, though. There were shark attacks and everyone on land assumed it was the same shark doing the attacking each time, as if there aren't thousands of sharks in a body of water at one time. Then, they send out a search team to find the exact shark that killed the people. This isn't only impossible but is highly unlikely. The team takes out an old, rickety boat and go on a shark hunt.
          Despite the fact that the plot is unrealistic, the quality of the movie is amazing for being made in 1975. The shark didn't look like a robot and actually looked realistic. The attacks, though dramatic, were pretty realistic. The blood looked real, rather than really thick or super watered down (perhaps it's because it was in the water).
          Overall, this movie's detailed attacks and gory scenes gives it a good rating from me. I'm a fan of movies that have a lot of action and blood so it was just what I was looking for. If only it picked up a little quicker and got right into the action. 

Breakfast Club

Gabby Jeannette

The Breakfast Club is probably one of the most simple blogs I've written all year and thats simply because it was so lovable; the current teen generation,the past, and most likely the ones to come will be able to relate to this more. Yes, technology will me greater at that time but the underlying messages of the five stereo types that are portrayed in high school. But the theme and messages weren't the only thing that allowed the movie to be so great, how it was put together gave it that extra sense of character. For instance, the conflict/connection the five students have throughout the movie, the music that both amps up the tension in many different senses, lastly, the ability to bring humor out in tough times. Progressively through the movie, there is either conflict between two or more characters or a connection between the two. The different thing about the breakfast club is the change of pace, one moment we think Andrew, the jock, and Claire, the popular girl, have some sort of relationship. But as the movie shifts we start to see Andrew and Allison have a connection and same goes for Claire and John. (SPOILER ALERT!) That's not the only shift in characters we see but that's just one of the many examples.
Going back to what I said at the beginning of the blog, this movie is so relatable because of the high school aspect that its full of stereotypes that students see or encounter during their high school years. I think that's why so many love this movie, the fact that the characters draw in so many different types of crowds but as the movie goes on, it brings them all together but in ways you wouldn't expects. All and all, I defiantly recommend this movie to anyone that is in high school or has already been though high school in the past.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jaws #PIReviews

Jaws: Review/Analysis
By: Cameron Smith
Image result for jaws

Directed by: Stephen Spielberg
Starring: Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Murray Hamilton.

   Ah, yes... the definition of classic! Arguably Spielberg's best, and undoubtedly the film that put him on the map. What it did (and still does) expertly is mix the most exciting elements of film: including horror, suspense, comic relief, conflict, salty dogs, song, and greedy, unlikable politicians. I'm not saying anything new here, since I've heard not one casual viewer or critic argue in opposition of this film. As an audience member, I believe this film to be extremely exciting and enjoyable, never having a dull or unneeded moment; it makes me scared, giddy, full of laughs, and on the edge of my seat every time. From an aesthetic point of view, I don't know how anybody can jump to the conclusion of "outdated and fake," as Bruce the Mechanical Shark plays his role expertly and the blood looks realistic to the point where there should be a disclaimer of "NO PEOPLE WERE HARMED..." On a serious note, I love how this film makes me want to sweat at the sight/contrast of the Amity Island sunshine, tense up at John Williams' score, and be (almost) nostalgic for a past family trip to Cape Cod. This film is almost like the antithesis of Chicago: instead of hitting all the wrong chords, this film hits all of the right ones for me.

   The happiest moment of the film, for me, was definitely the ending. I feel this way because (even though I am left to wonder how/when they get back to shore) there is a real sense of accomplishment, especially in Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) -- an everyday policeman who (ironically) took a vacation to escape crime and saves the Amity Islanders. Along with that, I love how Brody ends up killing the shark with a combustible oxygen can. One reason I love this so much is because Marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss, NOT the father of Julia Louis-Dreyfus from Seinfeld) scolds Brody of the dangers in those cans falling, and in that moment, he uses Hooper's warning as a genius way of ridding Amity Island of the Great White. The second reason I am head-over-heels for this scene is because the exterminator of the Great White ends up not being the salty dog captain Quint (Robert Shaw), but rather a simple, out-of-town family man who is in it not for the money, but rather for the safety of Amity Island beach goers. Furthermore, he no longer has to be afraid of the water -- even though I would probably feel the opposite!

   Other than that, I don't know what other new things I can say about this film -- it's great, in every single way: exquisite acting/timing, masterful tracking/P.O.V. shots, timeless special effects, and a perfect depiction of who and what it truly takes to save the day. It's a film that brings joy (along with Aquaphobia) to boys and girls everywhere, and still holds up after almost 42 long years.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Breakfast Club #PIReviews

The Breakfast Club
By: Cameron Smith
Image result for breakfast club stereotypes
Directed By: John Hughes
Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Paul Gleason.

    What a perfect film to succeed Rebel Without a Cause... It is a great example of how the teen genre evolved, and the ultimate crowd-pleaser. It is not only a classic to the generation of this film, but is likewise timeless, giving great enjoyment to the kids after them and of today. In this review, that is one of the things I will harp on later. First, I will run down the list of things I love about this film: great period soundtrack, timeless referential humor, strong tendency to connect with teenagers through the protagonists, ability to mix emotionally tense scenes with humorous counterparts, and altogether, just plain fun! Now, on to the more nitty-gritty of this timeless film (yes, I tend to use that term a lot).

    The most apparent piece of symbolism in this film are the five stereotypes, of which these five characters each conform to. The stereotypes are already apparent to us, the audience, and to those who are fans of the film, so I won't go in depth on what the stereotypes are and what they mean. One interesting thing this film does is use each student as a representative for each "clique" -- group of high school kids who conform to a social norm, hobby, or philosophy. During this Saturday detention, they separate themselves from each other, but eventually come to communicate, learn each other's background, and realize that they are one group and one group only: teenagers. The categories which they live and are judged by have been placed on them by their society and parents to make sure they don't walk among certain crowds, a product of our own evolution. Each strove for perfection in the eyes of both their peers and their parents, and hence, "were brainwashed."

    In the end, (coming from a teenager) this film portrays adolescents very well. Instead of dwelling on the common trope of us being simple, spoiled, lazy brats, this film explains that all teens go through the same issues in one way another and don't get around them because of what clique they're in. Luckily, we have made progress since 1985, but we still have a ways to go in tearing down teenage barriers and coming together to solve the problems we face. For the progress we have made, however, this film certainly played a part in that. This film will soon go down as more than just a crowd-pleaser; it will be remembered -- much like Rebel Without a Cause -- as a historical artifact.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Caitlin Willis- The Breakfast Club

Caitlin Willis
Intro. to Film Studies

The Breakfast Club

Image result for breakfast club movie

          This movie, by far, is one of my most favorite movies ever. I first watched it when I was first entering high school and many, many times after that. I feel as though this movie portrays high school in a way that not many movies do. Of course most films have similar characters: princess, athlete, basket case, brain, and criminal, but not many allow the characters to step outside of their respective personalities. However, The Breakfast Club did.
          Five students, one Saturday detention, nine hours. This was how long it took for us to delve deep into the minds of the stereotypical characters. We learned about why each of them were in detention, some of which revealed a deeper truth about the person they really were. Take Andrew, the jock, for example. He received his Saturday detention because he bullied and outright humiliated a less popular student. He did it to impress his jock friends and his father but it proved true that he wasn't like most jocks. He deeply regretted it and wished he could go back and change it.
          Each person helped to disprove the others stereotypes. Everyone assumed that John was a criminal just because he wanted to be but didn't realize he came from an abusive household. They all assumed that Claire wasn't a virgin and that Brian actually enjoyed being studious. They all believed that Allison was genuinely crazy and were surprised to find out that she just needed friends.
          This movie helped to shine light on high school cliques and the difficulties that come with being in one. Even if you're an accepting and genuine person, making friends with people outside of your clique can be troublesome. Despite the day of bonding, Claire, John, and Andrew all agreed that they're never going to talk to each other again. Only Brian and Allison said they would and that's because the two of them didn't have friends.
            I feel as though this movie is a must watch for anyone in high school. This movie just helps to show that people aren't who you think they are or who they claim to be. It has a good message beneath it that everyone, not only high school students, should learn. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Rebel Without a Cause #PIReviews

Rebel Without a Cause
By: Cameron Smith

Directed by: Nicholas Ray
Starring: James Dean, Sal Mineo, Corey Allen.

As an aspiring musicologist, there was a point in time where I was immersed in the music and rebellion culture of the mid-century (particularly, the 1950s and 60s). I remember then hearing about this film a few times, but never got around to watching it -- that is, until now. It is quite easy for the modern audience to judge this film as dated, and I certainly did during parts; I do, however, see and appreciate more and more the film's historical significance. This film, along with J.D. Salinger's masterpiece Catcher in the Rye, gave a voice to the voiceless American youth, which is in a lot of ways today taken for granted. Youth culture has come a long way since 1955 -- with music, film, literature, etc. -- and us youth today tend to take for granted what our ancestors paved for us, only so we could have whatever hairstyles we wanted and not abide by society's standards. Suffice to say, I am happy that James Dean, J.D Salinger, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, and the other pioneers of youth rebellion disobeyed those standards so we didn't have to obey them today.

In this review, I am not going to discuss the "dated" nature of this film; it is obvious and inevitable that certain aesthetics and choices of wording in the film are not going to hold up to today's (ironically) standards. I will say that, overall, this was a very enjoyable film to watch, and it was great to look through a historical lens and see an invaluable part of the adolescent culture's development. This film would clearly not be what it is without James Dean, who was a tragic loss; I would have loved to see where his career went after reaching his status and where he would have been today had he lived long enough. I would really like to sit down and watch this film again, this time through the lens of a period audience (at least as close as I can get!), and therefore get more out of it.