10 Cloverfield Lane

Film Review 10 Cloverfield Lane
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a scene from “10 Cloverfield Lane.” (Michele K. Short/Paramount Pictures via AP)

By Robert Berroa

10 Cloverflield Lane, directed by Dan Trachtenberg is the successor to Matt Reeves’s 2008 film, Cloverfield, is thrilling, suspenseful, and entertaining movie. The film’s genre transitioned multiple times from suspense, to horror, and eventually settled into a sci-fi, or a mystery & suspense drama. The film follows in a third-person narrative a young woman who is held in an underground bunker with two men, one of whom insists that a catastrophic event resulted in the surface of the Earth to become uninhabitable.

The film begins by depicting the protagonist, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), in a bedroom, packing her luggage hysterically. While Michelle is packing her luggage, the audience learns that she was in the process of leaving her boyfriend, due to an argument they previously had –That is according to Michelle’s boyfriend. The following scene shows Michelle on the road, but then dramatically transitions to show a driver crash onto her car. The man who purposefully crashed onto her car was the antagonist, Howard Stambler (John Goodman); the crash resulted in the slight fracture of Michelle’s leg.

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The next scene depicts Michelle regaining consciousness –She is confused and restrained by handcuffs to the wall of a sparse. The director’s choice of having directional light, and a high contrast, informs the audience that Michelle is in trouble. The high contrast invokes an anxious feeling because it prompts the audience to want to know who, or what kidnapped her. The camera then switches from a close up, to a full shot of Michelle’s body, so we can see her struggling to acquire her phone. The injury Michelle received in the car crash was covered to prevent infection, and further damage; suggesting that she had received some aid for her injury. Once she retrieved, and checked her phone, the camera began to pan until slowly focusing on the door; dramatic music plays to indicate that Howard Stambler is approaching the storage room that Michelle is retrained in, and to indicate that he is dangerous.

Once Howard entered the storage room, the tension was broken. During their exchange, Michelle asked ‘What are you going to do to me,’ Howard responded by saying ‘I am going to save you.’ Howard abruptly leaves, and the track transitioned into an upbeat tempo, which insinuated that Michelle was getting mentally, and physically prepared to confront her kidnapper. The camera also began to alternate into shots rapidly to indicate movement –the rapid movements made the situation exciting.

When Howard entered the room, the camera made fast movements to show their confrontation. Once he restrained her again, he explained to her why she was there. Michelle’s questions were your typical victim, and kidnapper dialogue, but Howard’s dialogue made it palpable that he believed that he saved her; rather than kidnapped. According to Howard, she cannot leave the bomb shelter because ‘everyone outside is dead’ due to toxic gas dropped by the ‘Russians,’ or an ‘alien invasion.’ Since she had no prior knowledge of her alleged attacker, she struggles to trust Howard, given that the rescuer could be mistaken, completely insane, or worst of all –intentionally holding her hostage under a false pretense.

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As the film progressed, the audience discovered that there was another man in the bomb shelter, Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.), who worked alongside Howard to build the bomb shelter, came to the bomb shelter to escape the catastrophe.

While Emmett, Howard, and Michelle were having dinner, in the dining room of the bomb shelter, Emmett began to converse with Howard, and Michelle in a lightheartedly manner. As he jokes about how they should play Monopoly because they’re going to be in the bomb shelter for a long time, Howard becomes aggravated, and tells him that his jokes are annoying, and disturbing his and Michelle’s peaceful dinner. Howard’s outburst informs the audience about his bipolar mood, thus making him untrustworthy. To depict Howard’s anger, the camera was positioned at a close up angle. Moreover, a suspenseful sequence of dramatic sounds was started to inform the audience that trouble was about to start.

Michelle was plotting to take Howard’s keys, so that she could attempt to escape her current situation. Once the tension between Howard and Emmitt ceased, Michelle began to continue the conversation with Emmett, which she knew Howard disapproved on. Michelle was plotting on taking Howard’s keys. To do so, she slowly caressed Emmett’s hand, and act that infuriated Howard. As Howard relentlessly stood, the tension increased. The increase in tension was accomplished by a close up on both Howard and Michelle’s faces. The angle of the camera made it seem as of Howard was reprimanding his daughter. A close up of her hands reaching for his keys revealed her plan. At the same time, a spontaneous dissonant upbeat beat began to play to let the audience know that they should be wary of what is about to occur. Once she had the keys, she deescalated the situation by complying with his regulations. While she complied, the camera was angled above her head, so his superior physical power could be juxtaposed over her smaller body.

clover4When they sat back down to eat at the table in the dining room, the dim lighting, yet dark contrast of the scene kept the suspenseful and mysterious mood present. The beat was ephemerally gone; the lighting was strong –Michelle stood out because more bright light was pointing in her direction. Rapidly, Michelle grabbed the wine bottle on the table and smashed it on Howard’s head; when he realized that his keys were missing. To intensify the pain that we believe she inflicted onto Howard, the scene that she smashes the bottle on his head doesn’t have any beat or music, but audio of a swift movement to accentuate damage of the strike. Then, the moment the bottle touched his head, a loud audio of glass shattering was played. A second and a half later, the music abruptly came back with an upbeat tempo. The camera focused on Michelle’s running to the inside of the front door, but it also switched back to where Howard, and Emmett were, so that the audience could root for her to escape. The sense of desperation that Michelle felt was created by focusing the camera on her opening the locks of the first door, and by the constant back and forth between Michelle and Howard, so that we could believe that she was running out of time to escape. When confronted by a woman with scars indicating chemical poisoning, Michelle didn’t know what to do. She saw the woman through a glass peep hole while standing inside the hallway connecting the front door, with the second protective door. The light was slightly blue, and the lights were also dim, plus the upbeat beat created a sense of mysterious, and suspenseful curiosity. A mysterious, and suspenseful curiosity created by the eerie beat, and low pitch audio that made the scene appear even more shocking and baffling.

The following scene depicted both Emmett and Michelle having a deep conversation on what their life has become. Emmett reminisces about moments in his life that he took for granted, and Michelle shares how she didn’t truly appreciate the things in her life, until they were taken away. The scene was shot with dim light, and the color of Emmett’s room was blue, while the room that Michelle was in was a soft pink. A soft pink and blue that are meant to be juxtapositions of their characters. The tranquility of the scene was set in order to show how they are both similar characters when it comes to their acceptance of the fact that the world they knew is over.

10clover1A black screen comes up to signalize halfway point of the film. It also allowed for there to be a montage depicting the everyday activities that they will have as time progresses. The clips in the time progression sequence showed them cooking food, making snacks, playing board games, and so on. Essentially, they became a family. The lighting during these sequence of shots is brighter than the others, and there is the song ‘I think we’re alone now’ by Tommy James & The Shondells begins to play. The song is warm, and welcoming, thus describing how their relationship has evolved to a more family like bond. Additionally, the brighter light is an indication that trouble is not near.

After there is problem with the filtration system, Michelle is sent to go through the filtration system because she is the smallest, so she is more easily capable of reaching the other side, so that she would be able to fix it. While in the filtration system, the lighting is dark; the only light present is the light of the flashlight. Low light adds to the claustrophobic effect that the director was aiming towards. Additionally, the eerie soundtrack added to the claustrophobia, and made the audience interested at what was going to occur next. The brief summary of the scene is that Michelle finds a broken earring piece, which belonged to Howard’s ‘daughter,’ Megan, but it turned out that the girl in the photo that Howard said was his daughter was actually a girl who was kidnapped. While Michelle showed Emmett the photo of Megan, and the broken earring piece the camera was at a close up of both their faces. The high contrast of the light on their face, and the serious, yet mysterious soundtrack added to the seriousness of their conversation. From then on, Michelle, and Emmett lost all the trust they had for Howard. Instead, they decided to plot their escape. They would build their own hazmat suits, so that they could leave the bomb shelter that they are forced to be in.

As Michelle and Emmitt gather the materials they need for the Hazmat suits, there is a determinant, and steady beat that lets the audience know that they are planning their escape. There is a montage that depicts Michelle taping, sewing, taking leftover fabric, and basically getting serious about their willpower to persevere.

The following scene depicts Howard talking to Michelle, and Emmett about a corrosive barrel. The purpose of the corrosive material was unknown, but became know once Emmett confesses that he was planning on killing Howard by building a ‘weapon’. A weapon that never existed. The room’s lighting was bright, but it was brighter on Michelle compared to both Howard, and Emmett, so that Michelle stand out. Suddenly, there is a silence, a silence that is seconds later interrupted by a loud gunshot. Michelle couldn’t believe what had occurred, her flabbergasted expression valuable. The close up of her face, directly showed the audience what her character was feeling.

Michelle becomes less trustworthy of Howard. She now knows that she must get the hell out of bomb shelter. After murdering Emmett, Howard shaves, puts on nice clothes and offers ice cream to Michelle. The scene pertained a calm beat, and bright lighting, but that was just to show how eerie and unpredictable Howard can be. In the following scenes, Michelle goes frantic, she takes her hazmat suit, ties it around her hip, and fights her way to freedom. Michelle threw the corrosive acid on Howard, resulting in a fire, a fire will cause an explosion. Throughout their fighting scene there is an exhilarating beat that prepares us for more action. The lighting is kept the same way that is has been since the beginning; there is a contrast, with dim light.

Once Michelle escapes, she is surprised to discover that there are birds flying freely throughout the landscape. The birds assure Michelle that the air isn’t contaminated. By now, the mood is no longer the same. She is no longer confined by the underground bunker, now she is outside, and the world seem to be at peace. The lighting is bright, the grass is green, and the sky is blue. But, that is only ephemeral, the reality is that Howard was right, there was an alien invasion. Soon enough, the mood, and lighting drastically change. The light gets dim once more, and there is eerie music, with an upbeat tempo playing to indicate that she will begin to need to fight again. She did, she ended up fighting with a giant alien ship, and with an alien dog. Since it is an American film, of course she defeated the monster. Well, it gets you thinking who the monster is, Howard or the alien ship? The film ends in darkness, and with a dark and suspenseful soundtrack. Michelle disappears in the darkness to go and help the rest of the survivors. The camera zooms out to show her departure onto the city.

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Miracles from Heaven

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By Marlene DeJesus

 

Miracles from Heaven (2015) is a drama film, based on real life events. Directed by Patricia Riggen. Ms. Riggen is known for films like Under the Same Moon (2007) about immigration, Girl in Progress about growing up, and The 33 released this year about the Chilean miners. All of Ms. Riggen movies show a connection to real life issues, however, this movie conveys a compelling story of an 11 year old, Anna, who is diagnosed with a rare digestive disorder, who by a miracle is cured from such disorder. This movie underlying message goes further than just a miracle from heaven. It illustrates a family’s struggle in unfortunate troubling times and how they try to handle it.

In this film adaptation the director casts Jennifer Garner as Christy Beam Mother of Anna), Kylie Rodgers as Anna Beam, Martin Henderson as Kevin Beam (father of Anna), Brighton Sharbino as Abbie Beam (sister), Courtney Fansier as Adelyn Beam (sister), Queen Latifah as Angela a friend in times of need, and Eugenio Derbez as Dr. Nurko (world renown specialist) among many others all whom play an important role in this feel good movie.

Story/narrative– This movie was filmed in a simple straight forward fashion that chronologically explains the sequence of events objectively. Based on a linear structure the film’s exposition starts with a family who are middle class live in a small town in Texas, in a farm and are of Christian faith. The interrelationship within this family is close knit and highly based on faith. Every Sunday the family gets all dressed up and goes to church. The church is this upbeat musical high energy setting that engages the audience before Pastor Scott begins his sermons. Complications begin when Anna keeps waking up in the middle of the night vomiting and with stomach pains.

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The conflict intensifies, when after having been at the ER four times for the same issue. Both parents Christy and Kevin had enough with the superficial prognosis of Anna (she had been previously diagnosed lactose and tolerant but being lactose free kept giving her pains) and they demand the doctor to figure out what Anna has because it is not normal. After several exams and an X-Ray doctors diagnose Anna with Small Bowel Motility Disorder- an abdominal disorder that prohibits the body from processing any food. It is a rare disorder that has no cure. As a result doctors give Anna short period of time to live and recommend Anna to see world renown specialist Dr. Nurko. The film then makes a shift from the merry happy family to that of a concerned desperate family in search for answers. The film projects this by making a shift with dull lightning, night settings and un-shapely costume changes.

miracleshospitalsceneThe plot thickens when in the midst of dealing with the financial medical issues Christy desperate to help her daughter decides to fly to Boston with Anna and personally present her case to this specialist. In Boston when receptionist finds out that Anna does not have an appointment the film takes an emotional intensity and by manipulating the camera and shooting close-up the audience is able to identify with Christy in her absolute desperation to help her daughter get better. This following scene is emotional and raw; Christy desperately and using an urgent tone, explains to the receptionist every single medication Anna is on at every hour of the day and how the dramatic shift has changed the life of a little girl that loved to run, play sports and climb trees. The receptionist touched by Christy’s desperation tells her she will call if there is any opening. In comes into play Angela’s character a funny uplifting waiter that discovers that Anna and Christy are from out of town feels and perceives the stress this family endures and are in need of an uplifting friend.

What is interesting to see is the symbolism and foreshadowing of a painting Anna becomes mesmerized with, a lengthy horizontal abstract canvas that iridescently shows a mix of calming colors of blue, white, grey, green, all portrayed from what seems to be…water refection that is disturbed and as a result creates ripples of a beautiful mix of colors. Ironically viewers later discover that this painting illustrates part of her journey through Heaven. This painting also represents an amulet of good luck since the next day Christy gets a call that Dr. Nurko has agreed to take Anna’s case. At this point one can see that this movie was filmed using a tight structure, where every single action and every single word of a dialogue advances the plot.

The climax is presented when Anna spends the rest of her days admitted at Dr. Nurko’s hospital trying to make her condition bearable till she dies. Anna character goes into depression and is projected by a sickly image of dark eyes, saggy bags and whitewashed lifeless skin the setting outside the hospital is cloudy and foggy portraying the characters depression further.

image_1447362589_jd_godvine_miracles_from_heaven_trailer_FBThe high point in this plot is when Anna decides to climb an old hollow tree following a white butterfly. Anna ends up falling down the trunk of the hollow tree. She spends over three hours unconscious while firefighters and EMS try to get her out of the tree trunk. Throughout this whole period the white butterfly stays next to Anna. Once again we see how Riggen has incorporated symbolism in this story. This white butterfly represents transformation, resurrection, time and vulnerability, the metamorphosis of a butterfly implies keeping faith, lastly the color of the butterfly represents purity and innocence. This all translates to Anna’s condition and her current state in the plot.

In a desperation Christy character breaks down and calls upon faith through prayer which starts a chain of prayers from everyone present at the scene until Anna’s body is taken out of the tree lifeless. For religious viewers the power of prayer brings cure but also the standing bowing position used for prayer symbolizes reverence, worship, readiness to serve and preparation for battle. In this case Christy humbles herself as the absolute desperate mother who seeks God’s help so her daughter can overcome such fall.

The whole emotional drama ends in a denouement when audience finds out Anna is alive without any broken bones and just a scratch, after several tests doctors diagnose Anna’s condition as a spontaneous remission when there is no scientific explanation to an incurable cure.

queen-latifah-miracles-from-heavenCharacters- The developing characters or round characters are Anna and Christy (who are deeply affected by the action of the plot). Garner- who’s emphatic, emotional, desperation and maternal performance struggles to find a cure for her daughter while trying to maintain her faith. Yet undergo internal psychological conflict with Anna’s condition, feeling helpless as a mother while her daughter’s days are counted. She also suffers external conflict with her personal struggle with faith; within her desperation in trying to find answers she loses her faith because she cannot explain why a little girl full of life has to endure excruciating pain and a life threatening condition. Her character alienates from her church as ironically some church ladies suggest Anna’s condition is a result of her parent’s sin an irony depicted in the story. Anna on the other hand struggles to maintain her cheerful personality and a positive outlook of life with her condition and unlike Christy’s character Anna never loses her faith, ironically, in spite of depression, she peacefully comes into terms with death. Her character shows a remarkable resiliency despite her condition. Yet we see her go through an internal psychological conflict with her image. Her disorder causes a protruding stomach that consequently makes her look she is pregnant at 11 years of age; which gives her trouble getting dressed. She can’t wear jeans and she has a hard time finding shirts that fit her without her bulging stomach showing. Her character becomes self-conscious of her image.

VIJfGV3Nrp16MQ_1_hdOn the contrary to round characters Kevin, Abbie, Adelynn, Pastor Scott, Angela and Dr. Nurko are flat or static characters who remain the same throughout the film, do not undergo internal psychological conflict at least not as intense as Christy and Anna characters do. The audience saw Kevin’s struggle when he has to take care of his daughters while Christy is in Boston with Anna; while working longer hours in an effort to make more money and make amends. Abbie’s character struggles when her aspirations to play for her school’s soccer team are not possible because her dad forgets to take her to the tryouts a result of his long working hours. Adelynn’s character pretty much stays the same throughout the movie. Pastor Scott character helps Christy restore her faith in God and be there for the family in times of need. Angela’s character is introduced as the friend you need in times of need. Dr. Nurko’s character is the upbeat humorous doctor that lightens the plot and intrigues everyone with his Elmo tie.

Setting– Setting has a lot of symbolism with the sky and clouds- as a form of divination, metaphorically translates to the future, change and foreshadows anticipation of problems. Throughout Anna’s hospital visits skylights are widely referenced in the movie, which symbolizes enlightenment and guidance certainly a connection to spirituality. A lot of the movie is shot outside the Beams house which makes reference to the hollow tree symbolizing the tree of life, but also foretells instability.

In Anna’s trip to Boston she insists on going to an aquarium, where fish makes an interesting presence in the movie. Fish in an ancient symbol of Christianity that implies spirituality, luck, energy and nourishment. All of which compliments Anna’s faith during her terminal condition. The water fish swim in are in admittedly Anna’s state of mind. Moreover in Anna’s visit to heaven she is exposed to a garden of hydrangeas which is a Japanese flower with a historical tradition for apologies and gratitude in addition to the tradition they also represent love and genuine emotions. Besides the garden she also crosses a lake in order to get closer to a ray of light (Symbolizing God), this brings allegory to a sense of calmness, piece of mind and security. Last but not least Dr. Nurko’s famous Elmo tie is a metaphor for a promise, unfinished business, or obligations he has as a physician to care and cure his patients.

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Conclusion– The ending is a tying up of loose ends giving it a sense of completion. Has an upbeat ending with strong uplifting music and speech. Film teaches you that besides God and the heavens life is full of little miracles every single day and we are so wrapped up in monotony that we do not see them. Hence the term, Stop and smell the roses.

Cinematography- Movie was filmed using objective point of view- when dealing with family matters. A subjective viewpoint- as plot is introduced and thickens and indirect subjective viewpoint- with close up showing intensity in climax of the film giving the audience the feeling of closeness to the character and make them part of the action.

Camera work- this movie used an objective camera approach causing it’s’ audience to feel like a sideline observer. The audience see the plot unravel from a distance as this is a memoir and therefore allow a concentration on the actor’s performance. In fact at times there was a mix in the use of static camera and close up shots as it produces the window effect and emotional distance between camera and the viewer but when characters dealt with intense emotions close up shots were used in order to emotionally and intellectually viewers identify with the point of view, and see the story through their eyes.   Director uses natural, normal positioning of the camera for a fluid blend of image, sound and motion.

Music/sound- The composer Carlo Siliotto, showcased music by religious band Third Day. The music approach was diegetic where it was present throughout the action on the scene for church and heaven. An instrumental piece managed the pace of the film. The actors’ dialogue gave the film a natural rhythm with human speech, by accelerating speech, intensifying the plot and bringing out pulsing life to the story.

Color- the use of color in this movie reflects psychological and emotional strain, for instance Garner’s 3-dimentionality can be shown in her choice of clothing; muted and cold when climax approaches, and colorful and warm for church. To intensify an actors’ emotions the house would show dull low lighting; yet the outside was always bright vivid colors always sunny good weather giving a lot of importance to the outside setting. Colors are used as a transitional device to point out the changes in the plot but also matches the mood of the characters in the film. Heavens play a surrealistic use of color whether it is seen from Anna’s subconscious, the heavens presents itself as a garden with a lot of harmonizing blend of colors that makes it symbolic, a field of hydrangeas, trees, and water transparency.

Directors style- Riggen plays well the emotions the strain and the desperation facing the family. She exposes how intimidating hospitals and medical procedures can be for young kids. Dr. Nurkos performance brings humor and light to an otherwise frightening setting. Riggen use of the supernatural is evident and her use of divinity anchors small miracles though friends and the kindness of strangers. She makes a distinct division between reality and illusion and changing of time.

My Analysis- Although I respect the director for making realistic films (based on true life events), I dislike the Hallmark cookie cutter type of approach she used which did not elevate the film; on the other hand the film was too long. For instance Angela’s only role as a character was to provide friendship and light-heartedness it neither helped nor did it alter the plot, her character was just static. In my own view Dr. Nurko’s performance already brought the film buoyancy and Adelynn humorous spark was not exploited enough. However I did appreciate the overlying ending message of the movie, that life is full of little miracles.

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Spotlight

Spotlight

By Vallery Maravi

Spotlight is a dramatic-thriller written by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, and directed by Tom McCarthy himself. The film is based on the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local catholic church. A story about a team of journalists going after the catholic church in search of justice and getting the truth.

Tom McCarthy didn’t want to give a sense of a documentary since it was a very sensitive subject. He says he even passed the opportunity to direct it at first, but it was brought to him a year later with a different pitch on how the movie should start: “…because the movie opened very differently from what they pitched. This idea of Marty Baron arriving at The Boston Globe–there was just something really interesting and compelling about this outsider arriving in Boston, taking over this city newspaper in a very Irish Catholic city, and asking some very straightforward but tough questions about the Catholic Church. I was immediately like, ‘yeah, that’s interesting’.” McCarthy says he felt sensitive to the subject and maybe more empathetic to it which was already a challenge to direct it since the story touched many levels that dealt with faith. Although, the more he asked questions and the more digging there was into the story the more material he noticed he had. He felt fascinated and engaged with the process of the investigation that he found important and helpful tools to tell his story.

The movie portrays a small and very talented group of journalist working for the Spotlight news paper in the early 2000. The new editor of the Boston Globe, Marty Baron, played by Live Schreiber, happens to read a column where he finds out about a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, Stanley Tucci, who knew and represented the victims of sexual abuse by a priest named John Geoghan. Baron comes to meet Walter Robinson “Robby”, played by Michael Keaton, the editor of the Spotlight team. Baron comes to an agreement that the Spotlight team should drop everything and start investigating Mitchell Garabedian. On the team, other journalists jump in the investigation played by Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and John Slattery.

Looking at the set of the conference room, I was taken away by it. I thought they did a magnificent job on the set design and I even thought the production used a real building to shoot the film. William Cheng is a master of details. He and his co-set designer John MacNeil were in charge of building the set of The Boston Globe, and I could say that it was perfectly replicated. The team came across with an old abandoned store warehouse about to be tear down. The team was lucky enough to get inside and be able to re-do the whole interior. Stephen Carter was the production designer, and he went to Boston exclusively to take pictures of the real building of “The Boston Globe” and take photos of the details that they needed. The production designers also made their investigation through old pictures of the building since the movie was done recently and the building didn’t look the same anymore like it did 15 years ago. Since the production had to come with a different layout for the set to make it fit into the new built set, some shapes and chairs weren’t exactly the same, but they did come up with new furnishing, colors and materials ideas to evoke as much of that era as they could.

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I thought the colors were a great picked, but what do I know. I wanted to start analysing camera angles and colors as soon as I started watching the film. So when it came to the colors of the set environment that were used I noticed a great deal of light blue and maroon along with black, white, green and wooden brown. I couldn’t help noticing the color of the clothing picked for the actors, which was a very simple style. The production didn’t want to overwhelm the actor’s performances by distracting the audience with the wardrobe. Both Baron and the reporters seems to wear a light blue shirt in different tones. Sasha Pfeiffer, Rachel McAdams, would go with mostly dark colors. Their small work place outside Baron’s office was a bright room. The news room had a soft light and clear, it felt like a peaceful workplace besides the pile of papers and the mess. It didn’t seem to be a stressful room but instead a very united team motivated to work. Their tables and the shelves had a touch of a light blue almost turquoise. Even the pens, the curtains, folders were light blue. Throughout the investigation when collecting clips of newspapers, the books they were looking through to find photos of the priests were also maroon and light blue, almost all of them. The conference room, the aisles and the main character’s offices were pretty much bright. It felt almost like a fresh and clear place to work at. Once outside the news room building, when shooting at the characters’ home, the lighting got darker. The lighting at Pfiffers’ house, one of the reporters, the colors were more maroon, felt almost warmed, cozy and homey. It seemed more of a personal situation since her husband and grandma were there. When shooting at Michael Rezendes’ house the lighting wasn’t that soft. It didn’t give a feeling of a home. He was kind of in and out, the place was almost empty, and the lighting wasn’t as bright. At the church, the set of course was mostly reddish and maroon, and the lighting wasn’t so much bright. So I thought, does the reddish/maroon had any significance with the blood of Christ as suggested in the bible? just as the red curtains, the red carpet and some churches red doors. Maybe this was an idea to maintain the reddish color on the set throughout the film while the turquoise and white colors represents purity? I suppose. Also, I thought it was interesting how the director had these people spread out sitting in mass wearing red and turquoise. The team was really defining those colors everywhere. Even at the houses of the victims. The all had some decorations with these colors, even on the streets and coffee shops. I never saw such a combination on the sets, or perhaps I never paid attention before but this was definitely something that the production designers wanted us to see very clear.

The original motion picture soundtrack of Spotlight was, I thought, absolutely beautiful and elegant. A soundtrack score by veteran Hollywood film composer Howard Shore. The story was even more intriguing while listening to these soundtracks. There were a beautiful set of them, and my favorite was “Legacy”. The opening of the film starts with “Spotlight” a piano melody giving an elegant and smooth tone. “Deference and Complicity” plays over the opening scenes where we see a priest in 1976 being questioned by police but released after intervention from the higher-ups at the Boston Archdiocese. “Investigative Journalism” is a more nervous-sounding piece, reflecting the tension-filled newsroom where the Spotlight team was working. I think these soundtrack really helped us feel more the process of the case. There was a lot of suspense along the dialogues.

When it comes to editing, here is the magic touch. This is what the whole story is about. Is about how much does the director wants you to know and how he/she wants you to perceive the story. There is so many elements that play an important role on a story, and editing/cuts are the key. Editor Tom McArdle had the challenge of keeping the material interesting and moving. He said to a magazine: “We spent eight months editing and we spent a lot of time thinking about pace and clarity.”  “We would have screenings every three weeks and sort of feel where things were playing well and where they might be lagging. We ended up cutting out five complete scenes and then pieces of other scenes. A lot of scenes we would just cut out a line or two of dialogue just to keep it moving, but it was definitely a concern, to keep it interesting to people.”

The film was developed chronologically and there wasn’t any flashbacks, so everything was up to the cuts. Since editing is the guide to maintain audiences focused it is important for the editor to keep it neat and clear, and that was what McArdle wanted to do. McCarthy and McArdle agreed to keep the audience involved on what was happening so the editing had to be done and redone to refine the footage. “Some of the scenes were scenes of the reporters’ personal lives, and it just sort of seemed later in the edit that we wanted to stay focused on the investigation and we didn’t want things to sort of throw us off that course.” “On [McCarthy’s] other films there were scenes we would have had a concern about losing, but not this one.” – Vanity.com

Along the editing, camera angles also tell a story. One of the scenes that really called my attention and I thought it was very creative was when Robby and the reporters are sitting down in the office while on the phone speaking to Richard on speaker, as soon as that scene starts the camera starts to zoom out from them very slowly, then the camera stops and they finish talking, but the make it look like they are about to continue but they only paused for a second looking at each other, then the cut jumps into another scene and the other actor finishes the sentence. I really liked that.

Camera shots used were wide, full medium, medium-close and panning. Panning was noticeable in the shots throughout the film since the reporters were constantly entering into a room, walking and talking in the aisle on their way in or out, and also walking around in the city.  Another scene I noticed all these shots combined in one was when Baron awaits in his office for Bobby and his partner, the couches are in the middle where they will sit down, the camera is behind Baron, so when the two journalists walk into the room the camera follows them panning to the right, then they sit. There is a full shot of the room cutting it to a medium shot and over the shoulder while they speak.

From the five main characters, only two of them were round characters. At first, we all see the team very much interested in following every detail in search of the truth about what happened and who are the priests involved later to realized that they had all they needed five years ago, but they never supported that, not until now. Michael’s character had a pitch moment when he wanted to fight justice for those people affected, and he was building that up from the moment he started it. Wasn’t until the end the Bobby also realized why they waited so long when he knew, as a journalist, they had the power to help and the voice to speak up for the victims.

This movie was a new different experience from others that I have analyzed before. I liked it, but it wasn’t as extraordinary as I thought it would be perhaps because it was a sensitive story they kept it simple and just emphazise the work of the journalist based on the true story. There is so many elements to keep in mind, and every single one of them also tells a story.

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The Revenant

By Orlando Marin

This movie was directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu. He also directed the movie Birdman which got him multiple awards such as the Academy Award for best director, best screenplay, and best picture. This year he received another award for best director for his work on The Revenant. He became the third director in history to receive academy awards back to back.

After watching the film I can see how he won all those awards. The movie is a masterpiece. This story which takes place in the 1820s.It is about a frontiersman named Hugh Glass and the trials he must endure both mentally and physically. Hugh Glass, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was on a hunting expedition but then he and his men were attacked by Arikara Indians. Glass managed to survive but his group suffered heavy losses. Soon after,  Glass is attacked viciously by a bear. He is half dead and his chances of survival are low. So John Fitzgerald, one of the men in his expedition, decided to kill him. Glass’ son, however, interferes which leads to the son’s death.
John, played by Tom Hardy, then decides to leave Glass behind. Glass is forced to survive on his own. He went through many obstacles in this movie. For example, he had to sleep inside a dead horse in order to keep warm. After going through all these trials he finally got his chance to get revenge on John. He tracked John down and they fought until Glass gains the upper hand. He has a chance to kill him but he decides not to. He sais to himself, ” Revenge is in God’s hands. Not mine.” He threw John into the river and watched him float away. John was then captured by Indians and killed. After that, Glass falls to his knees and sees an image of his dead wife walking away with a smile on her face. The movie ends with Glass closing his eyes and breathing slowly as the credits rolled in. This ending is left to interpretation but I believe that he died in the end and the image of his wife is supposed to symbolize his path to heaven. Either way, the movie left a lasting impression on me. The acting, cinematography, and the lightning in this movie were all in a league of their own.

Performances and Characters

The performances in this movie were amazing. Leonardo DiCaprio did an amazing job as Hugh Glass. Hugh Glass was a man bent on revenge and to enact his revenge he had to survive in the frigid wilderness. He is a round character because as the movie progressed you could clearly see a change in Hugh Glass after his son gets murdered. He goes through hell to get his revenge and DeCaprio does a good job of showing Hugh’s will to live through his performance. His trials and tribulations were expressed clearly through DiCaprio’s acting. For most of the movie Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t even have to speak. He instead used body language to enhance his performance. For example, in the scene involving the bear attack, DiCaprio made the experience more intense through his acting. This is also true for the scene involving the dead horse. In this scene, he had to open up a dead horse and sleep inside of it in order to keep warm.
As an actor DiCaprio was prepared to handle all this movie had to offer and then some. To get ready for this movie
DiCaprio actually slept inside an animal carcass, ate raw bison, and frequently swam in frozen rivers. This kind of preparation and dedication added authenticity to the role. Another noteworthy performance is Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald. To be honest I didn’t like Tom Hardy as an actor but this movie changed my opinion of him. John Fitzgerald has a very aggressive personality and his actions are driven by greed and selfishness. For example, he chose to leave Hugh Glass for dead because he was more concerned about his own life. He also chose to lie to his superiors in order to get paid. At first, I thought he was a simple character but I discovered that there was so much more to him. In the movie, John states that when he was younger he was tortured. This traumatic event in his life made him see the world in a different way. Many of his decisions are influenced by this new found perspective. thebearTom Hardy does an amazing job emphasizing these points. The deteriorating mental state of John Fitzgerald can be seen clearly through Tom Hardy’s acting and he is able to add complexity to a seemingly simple character. Will Poulter plays Jim Bridger who is one of the men in Hugh Glass’ group. Bridger and John Fitzgerald are the ones who left Hugh Glass behind but Bridger was unaware of John’s actions. John tricked him into leaving Glass and lying to his superiors about it.But unlike John, Bridger felt bad about what he had done. Unfortunately, his character didn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things. He was a very flat character in my opinion because his character development was very minimal and he didn’t really change throughout the story. He was a very forgettable character. Will Porter gave a good performance but compared to Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio his presence in the movie wasn’t really felt.

Cinematography and Lighting

This movie is different from most movies because most of it was shot using natural light. Many of the scenes were shot using light from the sun, the moon, and fire. Using natural light in the film made it more Immersive for the audience. It made the people in the audience feel like the events in the movie were actually happening. The person responsible for this was famous cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. He had worked on other amazing films such as Birdman and gravity but he was faced with a new challenge in this film. The movie was filmed in Canada and Argentina so Emmanuel and the rest of the cast had to overcome the freezing temperatures to get the best shots. Comfort isn’t a word you’d use for this movie. 93 percent of the movie was shot outdoors in the frigid wilderness. Also, days are shorter during the winter season and it took a long time to get to the different filming locations so the cast had a very short time to film. DiCaprio even stated that” he went through 30 to 40 of the hardest sequences of his career”. But all this hardship paid off because the film turned into an immersive experience because of the way the natural light was used. For example, the lightning and the environment managed to set the tone for the entire movie. The colors in this film gave it a sense of hopelessness. It also showed how hard it was to survive in this environment. When Glass actually manages to survive this hopeless situation the audience is hit with an ocean of emotions ranging from sadness to happiness. The Lightning in this movie makes this all possible. If it were filmed differently the effect on the audience’s emotions wouldn’t be the same.

Conclusion

This movie is a work of art. It has an amazing story but what really stands out about this is the execution. The lengths the director, cinematographer, and the rest of the cast went through to finish this film is astonishing. The use of lighting is excellent and the performances from Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio are in a league of their own. This movie is definitely worth watching.


 

Zootopia

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By Rene Mitchell

Walt Disney Studios’ Zootopia is an animated children’s movie about a courageous rabbit named Judy Hopps aspiring to become the first rabbit cop of all time. Despite having her dreams doubted by everybody she comes in contact with, Judy successfully proves them all wrong and takes her talents to the police department of Zootopia. Judy is exposed to the harsh reality of the real world and takes the opportunity to prove her worthiness as a police officer.

The use of animation in this movie gave room for intricate creative expression and fine details. Zootopia is a bright, bustling mammal metropolis that is filled with opportunity and never sleeps. I thought it was amazing that the large buildings in Zootopia were based on actual buildings from major cities all around the world. The Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai were three out of the many landmarks animated into the movie. Another interesting aspect of the movie is the use of habitats for every animal. Judy came from the town of Bunny Burrow, which was a farming area solely for bunnies. There was also an Italian style town named “Little Rodentia, which was solely occupied by small rodents. The incorporation of human life into the movie gives it more of a relatable and humorous touch.

zootopia1The characters have an array of personalities that work with each other perfectly. The main character, Judy Hopps, is an outgoing, determined, and driven rabbit that never gives up. From the beginning of the movie until the end, the audience sees Judy growing up into the woman she wished to be from 9 years old. A giver, a fighter, and nowhere near to a push over, Judy is a perfect example for the young boys and girls watching. She stands up for what is right, tries to fix what is wrong, and sticks to her wit at all times.

The second main character, Nick Wilde, is a sneaky and sly…. fox. Nick successfully tricks Judy into buying his “baby”, who is actually a fennec fox named Finnick, a giant ice pop from the Elephant shop. Despite Judy’s bad experience with a fox when she was younger, she opened herself to trusting Nick, which eventually leads to a life long friendship and police partnership. Nick is a natural born hustler and con artist. He scams people then earns a profit off of them. I did not trust him at first, but he showed that despite being a fox, he can still be loyal.

Judy’s first act as a police officer was retrieving her friend Black Sheep’s arcade tickets back from the bully fox Gideon. Judy demands he gives Black Sheep back her tickets, in return Gideon pushes Judy to the ground, scolding her for thinking she could really become a bunny cop. A kick to Gideon’s face leaves Judy with three long scratches on the cheek. Judy comes out victorious, retrieving the tickets without Gideon realizing. After such a traumatic experience, one would not expect Judy to easily put her trust in a fox again. Ironically her best friend and police partner ends up being nobody else expect sly Nick.

The directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore both have backgrounds in the animated media industry. Bryon Howard is best known for directing Bolt and Tangled while Rich Moore is known for animated television shows like The Simpsons, The Critic, and Futurama. Moore made his animated film directing debut with 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph. The collaboration between these two directors for

Zootopia was a match made in Heaven. The ability to convey human life through animals sets the bar between Zootopia and other animal animated movies and television shows. Through trial and error, Moore and Howard produced a movie that is organically funny and relatable to the audience.

zootopia5The fine details in this movie draw the audience in as it progresses. While watching the movie, I noticed how well animated each scene and/or animal is. Looking at Judy, it felt as if I was touching her fur simply by looking at it. She looked extremely realistic as if I could take her out of the movie and pet her fur and look at her deep blue eyes. What I also found interesting about the movie was the constant, yet indirect focus on Judy’s size compared to everyone else. In other animated animal movies, usually, the characters are all the same size. Taking on a realistic approach for the movie, each animal is portrayed as they are in real life. Giraffes are extremely tall, with tall vehicles suited for their body size, Hamsters are tiny, travel in packs and through tunnels, and Rhinoceros get to work by swimming down a body of water. The audience is learning how and where the animals live in real life.

There is no way to escape the irony in this movie because it is everywhere. One of my favorite moments from the movie was when Judy and Nick go to the DMV (Department of Mammal Vehicles) to seek help from Flash, the fastest sloth working in the DMV. In human life, the DMV can be one of the most dreadful places to go because everything tends to move so slowly. Ironically in Zootopia, the DMV is operated entirely by sloths. They move so slow you can see and feel the paper ripping from the machine. As the sloths moved slow, so did the audience. There is no way to avoid the lengthy process and it’s best not to interrupt the easily distracted sloth. Another funny, yet ironic moment is the scene with Mr. Big. Mr. Big is actually a small Possum with a Say hello to my grandmamma” attitude. The most fearsome crime boss in Tundratown, Mr. Big commands respect and expects nothing less than that. Mr. Big was going to have Judy and Nick dealt with, but they were spared because Judy saved his daughter’s life while chasing a criminal.

 

zootopia6.jpgFrom the very beginning of the movie, I noticed how Judy’s dream of being a bunny cop was downplayed by every animal she came in contact with. Her parents, Bonnie and Stu Hopps, wanted Judy to stay at home with them and her 275 brothers and sisters to run the family carrot stand. When they found out Judy was moving to Zootopia, they grew fearful that she would be surrounded by dangerous predators like foxes. Even when Judy became the first bunny cop, those higher up thought little of her capabilities also. Zootopia Police Chief Bogo, a nonchalant cape buffalo, assigns Judy to parking duty simply because he does not care whether she is a great addition to the team or not. When Judy’s parents FaceTime her and realize that she was a meter maid for her first assignment, they are cheerful that their daughter is taking on a safer position than solving dangerous cases. That conversation triggered her nosey neighbors to argue whether or not she’ll be a great officer. Nick shunned Judy’s dreams completely, calling her a stupid bunny that will never be a real officer.

The incorporation of technology in animal lives is no different from ours. Judy is seen on FaceTime with her parents in one scene and listening to her iPod Touch while on the train going to the city. Other animals walking on the street or in their habitat have computers, phones, and musical devices just like the people you would see walking in the city. Judy has a handy carrot recording pen that she uses to her advantage throughout the movie. Officer Clawhauser, Zootopia Police Department’s charming cheetah receptionist, is seen constantly on his iPad watching performances by pop star Gazelle. Technology seems to be everybody’s favorite pass time.

Being that the main character is a female, I enjoyed the woman empowerment message Judy constantly spreads amongst her peers. Just because she’s a female and falls under society’s view of a worthy officer does not mean she cannot do what everybody else can. She may be smaller, underrated, and full of overflowing hope and zootopia3courage, but that does not stop her from taking on bigger opportunities and completing tasks with her all. When Chief Bogo gave Judy 48 hours to solve the missing Mr. Otterton case, she took the little lead information she had and ended up solving the entire departments individual cases. Everyone is questioning how such a small rabbit, alongside a conniving fox, could complete 14 unsolved cases in forty-eight hours. Judy never allowed the doubt of the world ruins her confidence. She had a dream and she stuck to it. That is a great message to teach the rising youth. If you do not believe in yourself then who will? One has to fight for what they are passionate about in order to make a difference.

 

The music from the movie followed along well with Judy’s girl power attitude. Songs that recited lyrics about not giving up played throughout the action parts of the movie. When Judy returned home from her first day at work, depressing songs depicted how Judy was feeling at the moment. When the movie was getting intense, suspenseful and rapid paced music accompanied the scene.

I love how the directors mirrored the opening scene of the movie with the end. The movie opens with nine-year-old Judy performing in her school play Prey vs. Predator. At first, the predators were destroying humanity─in this case, animality─by killing its prey. During this scene, we get a full taste of Judy’s bubbly personality. She is attacked by the predator, squirting ketchup and throwing decoration string in replace of blood. She then she shows prey and predator evolve to live in peace and harmony in Zootopia. Everybody that comes to Zootopia has an opportunity to be whatever and whomever they want to be. Judy’s goal was to make the world a better place. At the end of the movie however, Judy speaks to the audience from a mature perspective. As a child, she thought Zootopia was a perfect place. Once she got there, reality hit her. Real life is difficult and messy and full of roadblocks and hardships. The best way to navigate through life is to try and understand the people around you because everyone is different. If you want to make a difference, change starts from within.

 

Overall, I would recommend this movie to people of any age, color, or nationality. Adults and children alike can take a valuable lesson from this movie and apply it to everyday life. Through the use of colors, animation, music, irony, and reality, Zootopia turned out to be a great movie. Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore collaborated to produce a must watch film for the year 2016.

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The Boy and the Beast

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By Raymond Cepeda

The Boy and the Beast is a Japanese animated movie Directed by Mamoru Hosoda a well know film director in Japan who began directing in 2005. The Boy and the Beast is a film regarding a young boy who just lost his mother and his father is nowhere to be found after the accent. His grandparent offered to take him until he was no longer a minor. He felt that everyone was insincere to his feelings and ran away from home as he ran into a beast and became his apprentice. The boy and the beast passed through this alternate universe where the young boy lived among beasts, pigs, wolves and other animals for a number of years and fulfills his dream to become strong so he can be able to take care of himself and later on matures into a young man.

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Flat and Round Characters

The two main characters described throughout the film where called Kumatetsu who was the beast that took care of Kyuta. Kumatetsu can be considered a flat character throughout the film his personality never really changes he can be summed up as prideful and a tough love kind of person he never shows any emotion of sadness. Kumatetsu even gives his life protection his apprentice in the end and tells him to “shut up and not to cry because he still lives inside his heart”.

Kyuta is considered a round character. In the beginning, we see him as an immature boy who doesn’t listen to anyone nor respects them and wants to do things his way and just wants to get stronger. He ends up becoming an obedient student who wants to become strong to a point where all he did was impersonate Kumatetsu movements to the point where he knows them without looking and this made him become more mature he also begins to desire to know more about different things, for example, he goes back to Japan and wants to go back to school and learn how to read and write because he was never taught as a kid.

Color

kyutaColor plays a huge part in this film particularly the color black. In the beginning of the film when Kyuta ran away and before he meets Kumatetsu he began to be filled with anger, anger that his mom passed away, anger that his dad left him, anger that he was all alone. Kyuta slowly began turning into darkness and when he saw himself in the mirror he was terrified of who he saw as he ran away from his shadow and his shadow chased after him it was like two different people. 

Later on in the movie, Kyuta faces off against another character named Ichirohiko who was consumed by the same darkness. Later on, as he came to he didn’t remember what he did nor why he did the things he did. The director uses the color  black to attract and express the negative thoughts and feelings the characters has and how sometimes these things can make you do evil and hurtful things off of impulse. We can use this as a lesson in our personal life. Many other colors are also distributed in this film to emphasize the supernatural. When Kyuta defeated Ichirohiko everything around them turns blue and white to show a sense of cleansing since Kyuta defeated Ichirohiko he lost all of the darkness inside him and this showed how the darkness dispersed around them. It was sort of ironic because it looked so beautiful. How can something so evil look so beautiful?

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Sound and Music

Sound and music play a big part in this film just as in any film. In the intense parts when can hear the music and sound rising louder and louder. WhenKyuta was being chased by the cops in the beginning of the film you can hear the instruments of violin and piano rising as if you were watching an old 90s film of cat and mouse. The same also goes for the relaxed scene where Kyuta was getting used to living with Kumatetsu and he started becoming stronger day by day the instruments were soft, calm as if everything was going ok.

The film is directed in third person. The director shows us the viewers different point of view just like the film we watched in class called Pop culture. Mamoru Hosoda the director focuses on Kyuta one of the protagonist in this film and his struggle of losing his mother and father and the feeling alone. Many things happen to Kyuta, for example, he re-encounters his father and is in a dilemma between living and staying with his real father or staying and living with Kumatetsu the beast that raised him. Another point of view we see in this film is Kumatetsu. He is a beast that is training to become the next headmaster of the place where they live. Everyone treats him as an underdog that always gets in the way of everything and no one seems to acknowledge him. The current headmaster tells Kumatetsu and the other beast that he faces off for headmaster they both must have an apprentice. Iouzen the character Kumatetsu is facing off against for the headmaster has apprentice and Kumatetsu bumps into Kyuta and that’s how they become master and apprentice.boyandbeast9.png

The director even goes as far as telling the point of the villain in the film. Ichirohiko which is the villain of the movie is Iouzen’s  apprentice. Ichirohiko becomes consumed of envy. Ichirohiko is jealous of how Kyuta, a human, can become so strong, and how his master gives him so much attention. He finds it unfair. During the battle for headmaster between Iouzern and Kumatetsu, when Iouzen loses, Ichirohiko stabs Kumatetsu because of anger.

The director really went far to explain the reason of Ichirohiko actions. The director also explains bits and parts of minor character throughout the film. For example: Kyuta meets a girl and we are shown how she feels alone and how her parents don’t pay attention nor listen to her.

Another minor character is Kyuta’s father. He is filled up with regret. He tells Kyuta that he went looking for him immediately after his mom death and he’s sorry. He begins to tell Kyuta to stay and live with him that they can start anew. The-Boy-and-the-Beast-Kyuta-trainingAnother character explained throughout the film is one of the two friends that help raised and guide Kkyuta as a young boy one this person is a Japanese pig monk named Kon. The director made this as a joke to be funny to the audience he purposely made a pig as a monk is ironic because pigs are usually begin killed for their skin. Kon is what you can call a resolver. Throughout the film he’s always breaking up the fight between Kyuta and Kumatetsu. When Kumatetsu had second thoughts of begin Kyuta master he told Kumatetsu to be patient with him and hes only a kid and he usually guided Kyuta through the problems he had with Kumatatsu.

Another character is Kumatetsu best friend, Leu. Leu is a monkey that can be described as a hard-headed funny and gullible . He tells Kumatetsu to forget about the kid: he shouldn’t pick a human to be his apprentice they should just go back to the way things where. You can say he is a round character because later on in the film he changes the way he begins to think about Kyuta. They become great friends. The director made it significant to make Kon and Leu the way he did he made them as a negative and a positive point of view as some sort of conscience for Kumatetsu.

 

During the fighting scene in the end of the movie where Kumatetsu gives his life to be Kyuta sword, that’s where the narration of the movie begins. Kumatetsu begins to guide Kyuta throughout the fight and tells him to “dodge right, go left duck!! And with his help, he ends up defeating Ichirohiko. As stated earlier when Kyuta begins to cry because he lost his master and pretty much his father Kumatesu tell him to shut up that he lives inside his heart”

Boy-and-the-Beast3The film took place in Japan even though the film was animated the director put into depth the work of animation to make it look like the real Japan. When Kyuta traveled to the parallel world the director made it as an old fashion Japan but instead of people in charge animals where they were walking and talking as if they were humans. The director claims he did this to “elaborate the difference between old Japan and new Japan and there new and old traditions. The camera work changes a couple times throughout this film they first start off in modern Tokyo which is the heart of Japan with cars, trains and plains, to this parallel universe where everything is old fashion horses and carriages, no buildings cars hotels and subways only mountains, sheds. Now that Kyuta is 18 years old and goes visit Tokyo he sees it as a whole new world as when he saw it as nine years old. The director states that this scene shows how rapid technology grows over the years.

Conclusion

The Boy and the Beast is a well made movie that you can watch with anyone or even alone. There are many hidden messages seen throughout the film. .The young boy obsessed with becoming stronger becomes one of the strongest warriors to be seen and much more mature. In the beginning, we see this immature and stubborn kid that doesn’t agree with anything and learns how to live like his master and becomes obedient. I seriously recommend this movie to anyone. Most people automatically deny a Japanese animated movie just because it animated. They would think it is just for kids. I strongly disagree. Give it a chance: you will enjoy it.

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The 5th Wave

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By Devontae Comrie

The 5th Wave is an American science-fiction action and suspense film, directed by J Blakeson. The film is pretty simple. Actress Chloë Grace Moretz plays Cassie Sullivan, a girl who is on a journey to find her brother Sammy portrayed by Zackary Arthur, in the midst of an alien invasion on Earth. The aliens which they call The Others, invade the planet, giving off a series of “waves” that eliminates humanity. The first wave was a power out that indefinitely killed all electronics, from phones, to engines, to airplanes, all power was eradicated. The second wave was a massive earthquake that not only caused great fissures but created gigantic tsunamis that destroyed whole cities. The third wave was a genetically altered virus that was spread through the use of birds, killing millions including Cassie’s mother. The fourth wave was The Others leaving their ship and taking over human bodies as hosts. Following the death of her mother, Cassie, her dad, portrayed by Ron Livingston, and her brother make home at a refugee camp. They are soon separated as the army comes and takes the children to a base camp and leave the adults behind. However, Cassie gets left behind as well trying to retrieve a bear her brother left behind. As no one knew that she was left behind, she watches a meeting the army is having with the adults and witnesses a massacre as the soldiers kill all of the adults and leaves. Alone with no parents left, she sets off to go find her brother at the army base camp.5thwave4.jpg

The reason I chose this movie was because of the trailer and the title of the film. The title of the movie struck me. Generally, when you hear the fifth wave you have to wonder what the first four waves could have been. This is when I looked up the trailer to get more information. The trailer of the movie was edited in a way where you see a lot of action and suspense in the film. We see firearms and weapons as well as natural disasters destroying the Earth. This comes off as the typical action blockbuster that grasps your attention and makes you want to buy a ticket and go watch the movie opening night. Also, I remember seeing actress Chloë Grace Moretz in a number of television shows and films in the past, and her performance is always intact with the role that she plays. So seeing her in the trailer was only more reason that I go out and watch this film.

5wave3The acting in this movie was done very well. Chloë Grace Moretz portrayed her role as Cassie perfect. She made the character round, progressing and adapting to the environment as she is exposed to dangerous situations like hidden snipers in the woods and danger such as sneaking into an enemy territory in order to save a loved one. She gives Cassie a sense of innocence and respectability as we see she is a normal teenage girl who is scared and just trying to survive the end of the world. Nick Robinson portrays Ben Parrish, a schoolmate of Cassie who was drafted to the same base as her brother. Throughout the film was also see Ben as a round character. He has a regular life as a football star in high school who is liked by all, and suddenly his world is changed with his family dying, and him all alone. We see how distraught and emotionally unattached Ben becomes, as he earns the nickname Zombie for having a dead and nonchalant face all the time. As the film progresses we see emotions begin to stir and take effect, such as him tying up Sammy in the bathroom so that he would not go on a dangerous mission with them and get injured.

5thwave11The structure of this movie was unimpressive. The beginning started off well. Cassie is shown going through an abandoned market and coming across a wounded man. They both are afraid trying to convince the other that they are not aliens while holding each other still at gunpoint. The man puts down his gun and is about to show proof of his injuries, but the glare from his crucifix alarms Cassie, causing her to shoot him dead. Then the story rewinds back to the time before The Others came to Earth, and we watching the events one by one that led the film to the opening scene. I found that to be very well put. It gives the audience an idea of wonder and suspense, causing them to be anxious and eager to watch and see what events could have unfolded and led to the opening scene. I also praise director J Blakeson on the narration heard during the beginning scenes of the film. Cassie dictated clearly and extremely well. She faultlessly explains each wave with depth and gives the audience a great explanation for not only what is happening to the planet but what’s going on with her herself and her change. One particular part of the narration that caught my attention was when she explained the third wave. She tells us how there are millions of birds in the world, with about a seventy-five birds to one ratio between birds and humans. She then explains how The Others spread a virus through the use of birds. Because of her information about the number of birds on the planet, we see exactly how critical the situation is and how contagious and fast the infection was passed around.

 

5wave2The middle and ending of the movie were not so flawless. We begin to see some predictability and foreshadowing that makes it easier for the audience to know what is going to occur next in the story line. Colonel Vosch, who is portrayed by actor Liev Schreiber, gives off a questionable vibe throughout the film, leaving the audience to suggest he is a villain in disguise, which happens to be true. One scene we see this in is when the soldiers kill all the adults at the refugee camp. As soldiers, you would think their duty is to protect people and here they are seen doing the exact opposite. Evan Walker, portrayed by Alex Roe, is a man that saves Cassie after she is shot in the leg and left for dead on her way to find her brother. When Cassie wakes up and regains consciousness after being shot, she asks Evan for her gun to which he replies he never saw a gun when he found her. After looking into his room she finds her gun hidden under the floor. When she tries to leave he stops her, informing her that he only lied so that she would not shoot him when she woke up. The alibi that he gives was extremely up for grabs, leaving off a hint of dishonesty. Later in the film these feelings make sense as it is discovered that he himself is also an Other. The plot of the film also becomes purposeless as we don’t exactly get a feel for why the aliens are invading the planet. When Ben asks Colonel Vosch why his kind is invading the planet, he simply replies that they are occupying a space they need. This leaves us open-ended, wondering why such a planned out invasion for such a vague motive.5thwave10

The color of the film was expressed to fit the theme. The majority of the film we see dark and dull colors. These show the dull and dreary mood of the world ending. The different shades of gray, blue and black suggest the struggle and negative emotions the characters are feeling. There are scenes where the colors aren’t so down and gloom. At Evans house, we see a lot of brown and green and yellow, giving off a warm color set. This usually represents comfortability and security. They represent a safe haven, which is what the director wanted as it was the place Cassie was taking too after being shot in the leg. At the end of the movie, we see bright and vibrant lighting. This gives us positivity as the enemy base camp is destroyed and Cassie is finally reunited with her brother. We also see vibrant colors towards the beginning of the film as well, showing how good and normal things were before The Others attacked.

The visual effects of this film were not as good as I had hoped for it to be. As an action movie, you would hope for more clearly and intact special effects. One example of this during the scene where the first wave hits and a plane is falling out of the sky uncontrollably. The plane crashed and pieces of the debris fly onto nearby cars, which then proceed to explode on impact. The way the cars explode were a bit too unrealistic. Another example of disappointing scenes was the fight scene in which Evan and Cassie are in the car and are attacked by other Others. Evan engages them in combat and fights with them hand to hand, but the scene is a bit too dark to see every move. This takes away from the fight as you a forced to imagine what is happening instead of being in awe of it.

5wave55One thing that caught my interest were some of the camera angles in the film. A lot of close up shots were used when the characters were speaking of something important or personal, for example, when Cassie and Evan are in the woods and he asks her about her brother. She explains how she has to go get him and how she is waiting on her. There was also when Cassie woke up after being shot, we are introduced to Evan, but we do not see his face, only a piece of his body which for the most part is mainly blurred out. I like how this as done, showing a bit of mystery and curiosity as we sit and try to wonder who was the hero that rescued Cassie.

 

In conclusion, The 5th Wave was an overall decent film. The color scheme was well put together, giving off the proper moods when needed. The camera angles and lighting gave the film symbolism and added a sense of enhancement. The acting performed by the actors and actresses really gave development and depth to the characters they portray. The negative of the film lies within the storyline after the plot is introduced. It leaves the film with a good arrangement of actors just to have a senseless tale. One thing of this negative, however, is that it gives room for a sequel, something that can be made to redeem the original film. I recommend this movie to anyone looking for a science fiction plot, with the whole aliens and end of the world plot the film has going on.

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The Rise of Thadland

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By Víctor Martínez

The film I am going to analyze is “The Rise of Thadland” directed by Lev L. Spiro. Before I give my analysis and share the different dynamics of the movie I want to give a small introduction of what the movie is about. The movie is followed up by a television show that aired before this movie was released. The television show was called “Blue Mountain State” which aired 3 seasons from 2010-2011. The show features a college football team who’s all about partying, sex with college girls and fun adventures. Moreover, The Rise of Thadland follows up right with it a few years later after one of the characters known as Thad Castle, and former captain of the football team makes it to the NFL (National Football League) and becomes rich and famous. The Dilemma that now occurs is that Alex Moran, the quarterback and now captain of the football team is trying to do anything possible to keep the “Goat House” after the dean of Blue Mountain State college threatens to sell their house. Alex struggles to find a solution to avoid the dean’s plan. However, he comes up with the conclusion that he will throw the biggest party ever for Thad in efforts for him to buy the house so Alex can stay with the Goat House for him and his teammates.

Visual Design

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There was an abundance of visual designs and effects when Thad Castle pulled up to his enormous party. The lights set up around the house and all the different party disco lights had an instant effect on the movie. The party was a carnival, there were lights surrounding a carousel, Thad Castle stickers all over the walls, red party cups designed as lights, neon lights surrounding a hot tub, trees decorated with Christmas lights. When they reached “Thadland” Alex had snowing cocaine for Thad with could have had a connection with the Christmas lights. In fact, there was even a red carpet rolled out for Thad as he first entered the party.

From the sounds,  Thad was having himself the party of the century. The lights that are set up in this scene of the movie can set the mood of the party or can show you what you are about to expect. It distinguishes a regular party from the type of party that Thad had. In addition, when the students are at the party and they take all the drugs they have at the party they show how the students are experiencing it from their perspective. Including Thad himself. He loves every aspect of the party. The drugs, the females, the loud music, and of course his face posters all over the place. In one scene Alex has a taste of some fumes that make him hallucinate and ends up being knocked out cold for two days. I enjoyed this part of the scene because I like how it tries to put you in the characters shoes, to show what they are experiencing. It’s almost like a 3D kind of thing where in certain scenes some particular objects may come at you. However, in this scene, it lets you experience it from the point of view of Alex.riseofthad6

Symbolism

Throughout, the movie Thad had a few symbols that represented ideas and other qualities. In fact, his whole party was based on drawings that he had drawn up in ideas for a party that he wanted to have. It Seems that Alex Moran came at the right time to make his party come true. Although Alex developed the party, Thad takes all of the credit. The title of the film “The Rise of Thadland” and Thad’s last name “Castle” also falls in to represent the huge party night and to tie in with the plot. Thad acts throughout the movie as if he lives in his own world, as the world revolves around him and nobody else. His ego remains at 1,000 most of the time. At the party, Thad was calling the Goathouse, Thad’s Castle in which he tends to get ahead of himself at times. While being in the backyard he called it the “Thadland”, and had one thing to say about his first time seeing the “Thadland”. When Alex asks him what does he think of it Thad states, “Fuc* you Walt Disney you unimaginative piece of shit! This is Thadland!” As he roars and hypes up the party goers. Another small piece of symbolism I found was that Thad calls Alex Moran, by his last name Moran but he doesn’t say it as spelled. He takes matters into his own hand and calls him Moron, a stupid person.

Characters

riseofthad3.jpgThad, a great football player who is now in the National Football League is a great one. Getting paid millions and now famous he seems to have it all. However, Thad’s personality is a whole different story. He’s a person full of ego and feels superior to others. He doesn’t care how he talks to people, he’s loud, obnoxious. However, he is a hilarious guy and always seems to be part of a joke. He’s a sight to see on screen and is full of jokes and sarcasm. He’s a little slow in the head, and his head is not always where it needs to be, and he’s always out of the loop. Another main character, Alex Moran who is also on the football team as the starting quarterback for the Blue Mountain State and a senior to come is all about the girls and the parties. The school is basically a party school. At first, Alex did not care much for football when he first came on the team as the third-string quarterback. He enjoyed his role because he didn’t have to do much. However, when he realized that the starting quarterback role brought him more girls, that was the job he wanted! Alex is more head on and definitely a more chill of a guy then Thad, as you can almost say they are the exact opposite.

Transition From Show to Movie

The transition from the show to the movie was okay and not what was truly expected. The show had more episodes based on the football side of things and would revolve around more jokes around that. In the movie, everything was based on the party. So it was more of a party movie overall, which doesn’t follow up much from season series. It would’ve been cooler to see the movie revolve more around the football field and team. After reading some user critics it seems like other people agree with me in the idea that they should have based the movie on more what the series was like. The change could have occurred because of a director directing the whole thing. Throughout the series, they had different directors directing different episodes and seasons. However, with this movie The Rise of Thadland, there was only one director, although they shared the same writers.

Music

While everyone was partying there was an abundance of party music playing. In relation to what’s going on at the moment. The music directors did a great job of choosing the correct music lyrics to sync in with the plot of the story. The song that caught my attention the most was “1234” by Wallpaper. Some of the lyrics from the song states “1, 2, 3, fuckin’ hell yeah 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 times on the way. 1, 2, 3, fuckin’ hell yeah 5, 6, 7, 8, Grey Goose lemonade. I got a paycheck and quit my job. Drinking Red Bull without a cause. We can party at your house. Hope your parents don’t come home before we bounce!”

Conclusion

This film was very funny, but not anywhere near what the series was like. I wouldn’t rewatch this film but would definitely rewatch the television series. The plot of this film and their idea was great. However, I don’t believe it was solid enough. They should have added more insight to the football side of things. However, the movie showed great music which went in sync with moments that were happening in the story. The visual design of things was great, the visual directors did a great job and grabbed the viewers attention with light and the amount of light they used. The characters were funny as usual, they kept up their end of things and they played a great role. Overall, the movie was good I feel as if they could have done a better job.

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Miracles from Heaven

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By Xinthy Nunez

I thought Miracles from Heaven would be hard to analyze or it would have been boring to talk about in a paper but I really enjoyed it and even cried at the end. It was a drama film, filled with emotions and an important message at the end. But before I get into analyzing the film, I would like to give a brief summary explaining this film. Miracles from Heaven is about a young girl named Anna, who was diagnosed with a two rare stomach disorder called pseudo-obstruction motility disorder and antral hypomotility disorder. After months and months of treatment, Anna then while playing on a tree, went through a fatal near death experience by falling into a 30 feet hollowed-out cottonwood tree. Instead of killing her, this fall cured her.

Now I would first like to discuss the characters of this film. This film was based on the Beam Family. It was interesting to watch this film because since it was based on a true story, I felt a part of this family. I got upset when Anna was diagnosed, I cried tears of joy when she was completely cured, and I cried when the roommate she had while in the hospital passed away. Kylie Roger, who played Anna, did such an amazing job that I felt the pain she was in. Her performance was astonishing, I usually don’t cry when I know the ending of a movie, but when I watched her in pain, I saw my niece.

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Christy Beam, Anna’s mom, who was played by Jennifer Garner, who all in herself is an amazing actress. But I’ve never seen her so vulnerable, so weak yet so strong. You can see in her eyes the pain of a mother watching her child die slowly in front of her and there isn’t much she can do. I saw the pain Anna was in from a mother’s perspective while watching Jennifer Garner. She seems desperate for answers, desperate for hope. And once Anna was cured, you could see the relieve and happiness in Jennifer’s eyes. I watched this entire film with the mother’s point of view thanks to her acting. I personally felt like Anna was my daughter and felt a need to comfort her so she wouldn’t feel the pain.

queenlatifahEven though this movie is based on the Beam family, I believe that Angela, who was played by Queen Latifah, was an important character in this film. Angela was a waitress Christy and Anna met while in Boston waiting to get an appointment for some children hospital. Besides the fact that Queen Latifah is a very good actress, she brought joy into Anna’s life when she most needed it. Angela took a day off to take Anna and Christy sightseeing and giving her a day of fun. Whenever Anna was in Boston, Angela took her out to brighten up her day a bit. Which at the end resulted into Anna asking Angela if she can call her Aunt Angela. Just because Angela, the character, wasn’t shown much, it was essential in the film because Angela was a miracle in Anna’s life. The moral of the film is that miracles do exist, we don’t see it, but it’s the sacrifices people do for other people without thinking twice about it.

miraclestreeThe Colors of the film express the mood that the audience should feel, like in all movies. At the start of the film, it was sunny out, the animals and children were playing, everything was bright and exciting. But once Anna started getting sick, it was gloomy, everything was gray and it was raining or cloudy. The mood of the film completely changed once the color changed. I felt scared and sad for this little girl. Made me feel exactly how the family was feeling. The day she fell into the tree, it was a different type of vibe. The sun was out but it still felt kind of gloomy. What really stood out in that scene was a bright white butterfly that caught Anna’s attention and it was going up on the tree like guiding Anna to climb it. All the focus was on that white butterfly.

 

miracles.jpgAnother scene that stood out for color was once Anna was feeling better and she was playing with her sisters, the sun was shining again. With her near death experience, Anna’s spirit was stuck inside of the hollow tree, it was very dark, and she was able to look at herself lying down on the ground and then the bright white butterfly appears in that room full of darkness. Following the butterfly, it leads her into the enchanted looking forest, where everything sparkled and it glowed. Anna looked at peace, I somehow felt at peace. I don’t know how to explain the colors in this scene, but everything was glowing and it made me smile watching her there. And when the flashback was over, there was this sign of happiness around them. Everything was bright like how the movie started. The color in a film is essential for the mood of the story, because of the color of this film, my mood was up and down just like theirs. Made me really feel a part of the Beam family.

The Visual Design: The setting of this film was in two main places, the main one was in the Beam’s house in Texas. The second was in Boston mainly in the children hospital. Their house in Texas was also a farm, which I found really interesting. You could see the character’s personality from the first scene of the movie, which was a Sunday morning before church, the three girls are playing, the father is out on the farm and the mom telling everyone not to get their church clothes dirty. The outside became a big character in this film because the girls would always be outside playing and fooling around. Once Anna got sick, the outside became a place where Christy and Kevin (Anna’s dad) fought over money and got to worry about Anna without her seeing them worry.

Boston was the second main setting, is where Anna spent most of her time during the movie since that is where the hospital was located. The hospital was an emotional atmosphere because everyone wanted her to do better, but Anna has accepted her death and was hoping it would be all over soon. Even though it was a hospital filled with sick children, it was a happy place. The hallways and rooms were filled with pictures and bright colors. It was made comfortable for the sick children. It felt realistic, the settings made it feel like real events were occurring. Which is why I think this film was very well made, the director could have made the visual design over the top and made the certain scenes look fake like many directors do, and ruins the movie, but he did it perfectly done, it was simple and straight to the point.miracleshospitalscene

The last segment I would like to discuss is the music and sound of the film. Miracles from Heaven has its own soundtrack, and since the Beam family is a religious family, most of the songs used for this film were hymns played by a man named Carlo Siliotto, the rest of the album is filled with all the sounds and background music that occurred during the film. I find this interesting because not many movies make an entire album and put the background music in it unless they were songs. As I listen to the album, I didn’t even realize most of these sounds were even playing while I was watching the film. We get so involved in the film that we as the audience don’t really pay attention to the instrumental playing in the background. But as I listen to the album I can clearly picture in my head in which part of the movie they played this song. It makes me go back to the feeling I had while watching that scene. I didn’t really notice how important the sound and music is in a film unless you separate the two. The music in the background, with the color, sets the mood of the scene for the audience.

 

Throughout this film, there were many ups and down, the music tells the audience exactly how to feel. The moment Anna got really sick and they had to rush her to the hospital. It was dark, the scene was in slow motion and this dark, fast, scary music started playing, you knew something serious was about to happen. My favorite thing that they made with the sound that it wasn’t modern music, it wasn’t a song I’ve heard before, this is a religious family and they kept the music with the same religious vibe. The director did not try to modernize this film, he kept it simple and it went with the flow, which is why I cried at the end, twice.

In conclusion, I am glad I picked this film as my midterm. It’s usually not a movie I would have watched, at the beginning I thought it was going to be extremely corny, but I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed watching this film and analyzing the director’s work, and I can say Patricia Riggen did a fantastic job portraying Anna Beam’s story. I just loved how the she ended the film, not many people knew Anna’s story, I certainly didn’t. I did not expect that right before the credits, the real Anna Beam would have introduced her family and herself, she showed the audience the tree that saved her life, she welcomed the audience into her real home. Which I am glad because this is one of those movies where the audience gets so involved, that we wonder what happened to them after the movie ended and then remembering they are just characters. Finding out at the end of the film that it was based on a true story made me feel happy because the feelings I had for this girl Anna and her family, it was real feelings. I was able to search her story, and see how she is doing now.

Because of this film I learned about this rare chronic digestive disorder that I’ve never heard off, now I can research and learn more about it. And what really fascinated me was that the moral of this film was that miracles happen all around us, not magical powers, but the kindness of the people who surround us.

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Star Wars:The Force Awakens

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By Carla Cadenas

Synopsis:

It starts thirty years after the Galactic war that took place after Star Wars:Return of a Jedi.They are facing a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren and the first Order.The first Order are looking for luke skywalker to destroy him and the republic.The resistance is against the first order and are backed up by the republic.Fin a Storm trooper chooses a different path and leaves the first order and crash-lands on a desert planet,where he meets Rey a strong female lead whose droid has the mao to Luke Skywalker.han2They join together to keep the droid safe and bring it to the resistanceI dont rememeber the previous Star Wars movies as I watched it when I was young.I can see why people were so obssessed with Star Wars.It is a phenomenal movie and it literaaly takes you to a galazy far,far away.I belive all the acotrs were great.I was mesmerized by the character Rey who is a young scavanger.I belive she was a strong female lead.

 

Actors and Performances

I was very impressed with the acting and with the movie itself.As an actress I always look on the performances of actors in movies.Only,this, time I was very distracted with the stroy line and visual effects the directors did.The first person I want to talk about is Daisey

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Ridley who played Rey is an unknow actress and made it into this film.She has only had three years in the industry since 2013 (yes I researched her thorougly) and its amazing that in three years shes in a movie that has influenced pop cultutre; I find that very inspiring as one day I want to breakthrough like that.She did appear in many other televison shows but this is her breakthrough.I was very impressed with her acting and howshe took this character.The character oviously was very resilient and strong willed with her own opinions.There was a scene in the movie where Rey was found by Kylo Ren and he stoped her with the force and she acted the part with such struggle.She really made me belive he was controling her.Another actor I want to speak about is John Boyega who is best know for his role in this movie as Fin.I believe he captured such a great presence on film.His body language was very on poin with his acting because on the first scene he is in the line of Strom Troopers ready for battle he was the one who looked out of place even with a mask on.We see when Fin reaches to his hurt comrad(another strom trooper) and the comrad touches Fins helmet.We didnt have to see his face for a reaction his body language said it all.He knew what he was doing was wrong and that he had no choice in this situation either.When Kylo Ren says kill all the civilians we see Fin in great shock and the internal sturggle he has to kill these innocent people.His body languge shows the internal struggle and what he chooses after.Body language always plays a great role in acting.Adam Driver who plays Kylo Ren definately took the movie.He is a worthy successor of Darth Vader I found him so epically bad,in a good way.His whole demeanor as the character really showed the power that he had.There was a scene where it show the instability of the character when he was destroying parts of the ship with a lightsaber and he killed that part.He showed how human this character was unlike Darth Vader because there was a scene where his father Han Solo (Harrison Ford) pleaded for him to come back.I found this scene to be very vulnerable.The expression on Kylo Rens face of confliction of emotion of not know what to do.It is a different aproach that the actor did.Usually we see villains always being stoic and pure evil bkylout this villain does have emotional turmoil because he is afraid he wont be like his grandfather Darth Vader.Oscar Issac is another phenomenal actor and a Guatemalan actor like myself and I found his acting to be very charming.I researched him and I belive he is a character actor ;they are able to bring characters to life.

 

Cinematography

starwars3Dan Mindel is the cinematographer on Star Wars:The Force Awakens.I truly believe he did an amazing job.I saw an interview that he did about Star Wars and how he did his process to film this.He explained that he worked on set with J.J. Abrams who was the film director,co-producer and co-writer kept changing the script which pushed it back a month;Mindel said that it was fantastic because it gave him more time to walk the sets.Which he was able to pay more attention and more time to see what they can do.In the first scene when the First Order was attacking the village the way the stormtroopers where lined up like soldiers,the lights are flickering and the camera panning to the concerned soldiers.Giving the audience that some of the stormtroopers wont be coming back and they are actually people in these uniforms.The camera shows wide angels when it comes to the battles showing that the stormtroopers start dying like people do in war.

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Lighting, Color and Effects

These techniques played a great role in the movie because it would set the mood on the scenes or foreshadow what is to come. Also color would give definition to the character and what they are going through. There is a scene where they zoom into Kylo Ren and the lighting is dark and there is fire the background due to his red lightsaber.  To me it shows the power he has especially because his hand is extended to catch the lightning bolt with his force, so this emphasizes his power. I feel like this darkness shows what is going on,  is the cruel killing of innocent civilians.

 

starwars10The color in this scene shows the great power that the first Order has. Being able to control and manipulate people into thinking what they are doing is right. For some reason this reminds me of how Hitler controlled the Nazis. The color in this scene is very cold and dead the only color standing out is red and to me it symbolizes violence and rebellion.

These scenes are all visual effects and computerised.Without the talented artist we wouldn’t have these amazing aircraft in Star Wars. There is, so much artwork generated for this film and it starts with the production designers putting new ideas and taking things from the early Star Wars.

Music and Sound Effects

starwars11The music was composed by John Williams. The music and the effect play larger roles in the scenes because without it, it would just have the same effect on the audience. Like the scene where Rey meets BB8 the droid and it has this cute and heroic sound because she saves him.

 

Opinion

Honestly, I became even more of a geek after watching Star Wars. I loved the idea of other galaxies and being with aliens. The world is so enthralling and it makes you want to be in that world. I feel like that is what every director tries to get from their audiences and some fail to do so. This is why Star Wars is so successful because it captivates the audience into falling in love with a world and it’s an escape from our reality. We find our world boring because we see this beauty in other world and the grass always does look greener on the other side. I fell for every character in this movie especially with Oscar Isaac because I see a brother that made into Hollywood and I don’t see many Guatemalan actors. I would one day love to work with J.J. Abrams as he likes to cast unknown actors.

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