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.


 

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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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Kung Fu Panda 3

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By George Navarro

Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson is best known for her work in Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. She is the first woman to solely direct a major Hollywood studio animated film. She is the director and storyboard artist for DreamWorks Animation for the entire Kung Fu Panda series.  She was awarded an Annie Award for best storyboarding in an animated feature production and was the second woman nominated for an Academy award for the best-animated feature.

Kung Fu Panda 3 continues the epic tale of Po the panda who comes to learn his destiny of becoming a kung fu master and joining the very ranks he admires greatly. The final movie of the series comes full circle as he is transitions from the dragon master (a destined warrior) to a sensei. As in the previous two movies this is not an easy goal to accomplish and becomes the premise for the plot in the movie. Internal and external adversities must be conquered in order to achieve his goals and become the hero his superiors know he is destined for. Again the overlapping theme of self-belief persists throughout the series. Throughout his self-doubt he is consistently challenged through his love and support of and from his friends and family. In this movie more than ever he relies on the help from anyone willing to lend a hand, never is a battle fought alone regardless if internal or external. In this movie Po meets his most powerful foe yet. A long lost friend turned of master Oogway has learned to absorb the chi of others in order to become more powerful and is a threat to the peace in the world.

The movie started when Po’s maternal father Li shows up as a traveling stranger in search of his long lost son because of a vision he claims given to him by the universe. Mr. Ping, who raised Po since he was a child was immediately jealous and questioned the newly arrived stranger. During this time Khai kills master Oogway (one of the most powerful beings in the movie) and took his essence (his chi). Chi by definition is the energy that flows through all living beings on earth. This is a spiritual concept often practiced by monks but is easily adopted in other cultures around the world. It is essentially the nirvana of ancient Chinese culture, where one is in tune with his mind, body, soul and most importantly at peace with himself. Kai was an old war buddy of master Oogway, Khai saved his life during the war. In their travels they discovered the hidden village of pandas. In this village all the pandas had the ability to heal the dying Oogway through their practices of chi. Khai saw an opportunity for his own benefit and  wanted the power all for himself. Oogway send him into the spirit world in order to save the pandas that had helped heal him back to health. When Po learns the only way to defeat Khai is to develop his Chi he finds out his birth father can teach him the ways of the panda village. So they set out to an epic journey on foot back to the secret panda village. Beautiful scenery of Chinas versatile landscape is on full display on the adventure.

1280x720-S9XCherry blossoms on green covered hilltops, blistering blizzards and scorching deserts had to be treaded in order to reach their destination. The vibrant colors used to capture the radical differences in climate China experiences in its different regions. Of course during these travels He was followed by Mr.Ping who snuck into Po’s bag in order to ensure his sons safety. When they finally arrive at the village the entrance covered by fog is quickly overtaken by grass covered mountain tops as the sun breaks through the clouds a shines its light on Po’s newly discovered Utopia. Enticed by the fact everyone looks like him, and begins to practice their customs (rolling instead of walking) and during a big feast he meets Mei Mei, ribbon dancer who fancies Po.  During this time Mantis and Crane of the furious five are told to spy on Khai and both have their chi taken when confronting Khai. Enjoying his first day of panda training (which ironically required very little training) Po is overcome by the peace brought by the laid back, humble and festive culture of the pandas. Even Mr. Ping begins to come around when falling in love with the children pandas love for his cooking. These feelings of peace within the characters are captured through the soft vibrant colors while khai scenes are darker more desert places. Colors even conflict with each other with Khais’ appearance. In particular scenes where Khai is confronted you can see the difference in colors around each character and even the sky.

Through the angles and cuts between characters during dialogue you can see the dark, almost teal color sky overtaking the blue skies normally seen above the good characters. We also learn during his time at the panda village that his mother had hidden Po during unexplained times of violence but it was made understood that his mother had passed. When discovering or Khais’ arrival master Shifu ordered the furious five to evacuate thpandaflowerse village of its citizens. Upon his arrival a battle between the furious 3, master Shifu and Khai. During this fight he steals the chi of the remaining members of the furious five except for Tigress. Khai desecrates the dojo when he tears down master Oogway statue and destroy the entire palace with it. When he finally takes master Shifu chi, Tigress runs to warn Po who continues his celebrations in the panda village (he’s loving life). At a moment of peace he is interrupted by tigress as she warns him of what has happen in the Jade Palace and the inevitable fortune of the panda village. Po beings to grow impatient as the entire time he has yet to learn the ways of the pandas’ chi practices. When he finally admits that no panda knows the teachings of chi anymore (he did it to save Po) Po decided at that point to disown his maternal father. Po begins to prepare for the arrival of Khai with his homemade fighting dummy, during this training montage the movie cuts between his progress and the progress of khai tracking down Po. Desperate to save Po the fathers have a heart to heart and conclude that Po needs the support of them both (I found this interesting since same sex parenting is a relatively recent topic of discussion in American culture).

dospandasTigress spares with Po as they discuss his potential strategy and again conclude that Po needs to learn chi. That is when the entire village decides to let Po teach them kung fu in order to defend the village and defeat Khai. That’s when he realizes what Shifu words of teaching a student to be the best version of themselves was the key to teaching. Another training montage ensues of Po, both of his fathers and tigress training the pandas in the specific skills that each of them had (from eating, hacky sack, and hug). The plan is for the village to distract the jade warriors that Khai possesses and summons from Po as he defeats Khai with his ultimate move, the Wu shi finger hold. When Khai finally arrives he summons his jade warriors and as they charge at Po he leads them deeper into the village where random traps and ambushes are setup. While entire village is fighting the Jade army Po continues to run through the village in an attempt to sneak up on Khai while he is distracted. Finally in position Po panda rolls into a giant snowball that crashes into Khai as Po unsuccessfully attempts his wu shi finger hold. Khai reveals that his is not a mortal and can’t be defeated by the move, and begins to dominate Po in battle. Po desperately tells the villagers to run as khai slowly approaches the crowd. In desperation Poe sneaks behind Khai grabbing him and performing the wu shi finger hold on himself to sacrifice himself in order to take khai into the spirit world. While in the spirit world with Khai Po is overcome with excitement as the battle ensues in the spirit world. The colors again begin to clash as good and evil does in the story when Khai is present in the spirit world. As Khai begins to drain Pos’ chi doom seems inevitable. Back in the mortal realm the villagers gathers around the bed of flowers left behind by Pos’ sacrifice and begin to channel their love for Po in a concentrated effort to help him (their chi). This empowers Po with an incredible amount of power as becomes enlightened. He comes to a realization or understanding of who he truly is, and that is the dragon warrior. The spirit of a dragon takes over him as he begins to defeat khai. He channels all of his chi into Khai essentially overloading Khai into submission and destroys him. The flowers the village gathered around begin to float as every hero captured by khai is released except Po. He’s seen floating in the spirit world next to Oogway (they are very happy to see each other). It turns out that Oogway had sent a universal message for Po’s father to find him.

He saw the future and the past within Po (yin and yang; a symbol present through floating earth within the spiritual world) he is given master Oogways’ staff and is promoted as his successor. With the staff he successfully attempts to go back into the mortal realm. When he returns to the mortal world he is transformed back to his normal self. After the defeat of Khai he spirit worlds vibrant welcoming shades of golds, reds and greens return. When master Shifu sees master Oogway staff he places his palm over his face in frustration and sighs before asking Po to teach him the way of chi (the student now becomes the teacher). All the kung fu masters, civilians of the jade palace and the panda village all celebrating the victory of Po and saving the people of evil. After the display of martial arts the entire village had learned, they transition into their practices of chi where the viewer is shown that everyone has reached a spiritual plateau and the viewer is again shown that adversity can be defeated through perseverance and a strong support system. I very much enjoyed the fact that all the characters in the movie were animals that are all native to China. It helped find the characters relatable to the setting and the story. The consistent within the main characters is that they represent good in the battle of good versus evil. Although they experience change through internal and external challenges it is this perseverance of these characters that reassure the viewers of their true nature. No matter the circumstance or difficulty of trail, these characters fought for the greater good, peace and most importantly love.

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Deadpool

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By Elias Mena

Deadpool was most definitely a one of a kind movie experience. To date I have yet to see a film that features such a loud mouthed and wisecracking character that possesses so much wit that he can even break the fourth wall. Adapted from the Marvel Comics character, Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool is a foul-mouthed mercenary who becomes subject to some experiments enabling him indestructibility and regenerative powers. Coupled with his already lethal tactical combat skills along with his humor, and this film makes for an entertaining and unique cinematic experience.

Colors

In Deadpool, the titular character’s colors are red and black. This seems relatively normal for a superhero film, such where the world is also filled with vibrant colors as well. For this film, however, this is not the case. Deadpool’s red costume stands out immensely from the colors of his environment. His red costume and white eyes are easily the center of attention when he is on screen. His surroundings are usually smoggy looking and filled with a lot of dull whites, grays, and blacks. Even fellow mutants of the X-Men Teenage Warhead and Colossus’ colors look dull in comparison to Deadpool’s. This is likely to give the effect that Deadpool is a vibrant and colorful character in terms of personality. It gives the effect that he sticks out in the world like a sore thumb because of his unorthodox forms of combat and his flamboyant personality.

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Dialogue

Deadpool’s dialogue is different from your standard hero in any well-known action film. When the villains in the film have Deadpool dead to rights and spew threats at him, Deadpool opts to instead ridicule and patronize them instead of defiantly proclaiming he’ll break free. For example, when the film’s villain Francis (AKA Ajax) menacingly threatens Deadpool with torture, Deadpool fools the audience by looking scared only to tell Ajax that he has something stuck in his teeth. This is something that the film excels at doing in order to turn Deadpool into a brave and heroic character albeit in an unorthodox manner. His most unique form of dialogue occurs when he directly speaks to the audience. For example in an early scene in the film, while deadpool is singing along to the background music playing in the film (Fourth wall breaking), He looks up to the camera and tells the audience that he loves the song. This is something that can’t be done in most movies but because of the nature of the character, helps to give the audience a greater sense of engagement to the film.

 

Composition and Cinematography

deadpool-xxIn the film as I mentioned before, Deadpool frequently breaks the fourth wall. At one point he finds an action figure of Deadpool from X-men origins Wolverine and comments how horrible a portrayal that was of himself. He even makes fun of Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern, the actor who Deadpool is played by. There is another point in the film where Deadpool confronts some goons. He looks behind himself straight into the audience and says ”This is gonna get ugly” and then he grabs the camera and pans it away from the shot. You are left with random onlookers watching what is going on and the sound of grunts and struggle as Deadpool fights the goons. Once done, He grabs the camera again and then he places it back to the shot. From there you can see that he has killed the goons and the struggle was won by him. This is fantastic and unique in that it truly gives off the feeling that Deadpool is telling us his story from his own perspective and that this isn’t a movie but more of a day in the life kind of composition. Deadpool also narrates and interjects certain points of the film before time before telling the viewer to wait for when it’s time to explain about the scene he just gave a preview to. The camera angle also opt for placements to be realistic. For example if Deadpool is sitting on a ledge, the camera won’t be suspended in the air but on the ledge with him capturing the shot of him from the side. On the other hand, if the camera is in mid air, Deadpool acts as though he is talking to either himself or the audience, almost as if we are in a bubble. The composition of the story has a us believe that Deadpool is a hero and definitely not a villain, however given the way he is treated by the heroes and villains tells us something else. Deadpool can be considered to be more of an anti hero because of how he targets the villains in a non heroic way.

 

Characters

The way Deadpool acts as a character is flamboyant, funny, and pretty cool in terms of the action scenes. He even often skips and sings along when on his way to kill. Despite this, he is reckless and is uninterested in the well being of others save for a few people he cares about. The villains regard him as a pest and the heroes regard him as a menace to society that possesses the potential to be a competent crime fighter. Ajax will stop at nothing to dispose of Deadpool as he is the thorn on his side for the whole plot of the movie. Colossus, on the other hand, keeps trying to reason with Deadpool and is always trying to recruit him to the X-Men. Teenage Warhead considers him to be a loser and is off-put by him mostly due to her age, which is a stereotype in the movie. Deadpool’s development shown as he becomes vengeful, besides that he doesn’t change much from before he was altered to after he became a mutant. This is evident when he has Ajax and is about to shoot him, Colossus intervenes and tries to prevent it but Deadpool does it anyway causing Colossus to throw up. Ajax is a stereotypical villain. He rubs things in Deadpool’s face and constantly trying to thwart him. He is sophisticated but is also very cut throat. This is evidenced when he takes Deadpool’s wife Vanessa and attempts to do to her what he did to Deadpool, making him a mutant. Ajax like Deadpool is a mutant, what makes him special is his inability to feel any pain. Colossus is a very noble Russian member of the X-Men. He doesn’t believe in killing his foes but rather subduing them and turning them into justice. This is seen when he faces off against Angel Dust, who he is initially against even fighting because she is a woman but she is able to take him down due to her super strength. After underestimating her, he agrees to face her but somewhat holds back. Weasel is one of the best characters besides Deadpool himself because of his humor. Weasel often teases Deadpool and doesn’t hold back when talking about things that can potentially offend Deadpool (such as his deformed features). Weasel is the perfect sidekick, the human best friend who will always have his buddy’s back no matter what the circumstances may be. He is even credited with naming Wade’s alter ego, Deadpool.

 

Sound & Effects

deadpoolandnagazonicThe sound in Deadpool is a hugely important aspect of the film. Not only is the actual soundtrack unique and fitting for Deadpool’s character (Old school mixed genre music), But Deadpool’s constant talking and animated behavior call for it constantly. You can tell that CGI is a huge factor in this film as well, with his mask moving along with his face as well. Colossus is made almost entirely of CGI and is rendered on the screen fully powered up (a giant metallic man). Special effects are what complete this movie and when combined with sound make it a full package in terms of entertainment. Every time you can see Deadpool fire off one of his bullets with his little face insignia on it in slow motion you can appreciate the dramatic nature of the combat. But then it becomes dark once you hear it pierce through someone and then the body thud on the floor. The best part and icing on the cake of it all is when Deadpool comes by and make light of the situation, while possibly even acknowledging the audience. In a sense, the combination of Reynold’s acting the sound and the effects, it helps the viewer become sort of desensitized to what is occurring and sort of just lightly take in what just happened on screen.

 

Conclusion

Deadpool as a film is one of the most ambitious I have ever seen. It tells the story of a man with a vengeance that behaves like a 10-year-old child. The film blends together great acting, unique story telling, and cinematography, and some of the best sound I’ve heard recently in an action or comedy movie. What separates Deadpool from the rest of the films is the consistency of the character and the gimmick of the movie. The film was released on valentine’s day weekend and the poster for it features Deadpool making a heart sign with his hands. He also “kills” Mario Lopez who is interviewing Ryan Reynolds in a movie trailer. This was the studio’s way of announcing that unlike other Marvel movies, this particular one would be rated R. The film as a whole in terms of narrative comes across as all over the place and that I feel was something done completely intentional by the creators to be able to stay true to the character of Deadpool. He will often hop from one event to another and then back to the first original event again in order to be able to explain something specific that was done or said. This is the same as when a child is telling you a story and skips something important only to have to go back to it. As a whole experience, I feel that Deadpool was an enjoyable movie that was further bolstered by some good production. The plot was good and didn’t leave anything unanswered, yet you were left wanting more because of the personality and wisecracking persona that is Deadpool. Even the ending credits were enjoyable to watch because they were made up of Deadpool’s demented child-like doodles. I feel that there was definitely a risk to be taken because of the budget likely needed to be able to create this film as well as the unorthodox direction of production and composition this movie needed to take, but it all turned out to be a risk well worth taking when everything was all said and done on the day of the grand premiere.

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Dirty Grandpa

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By Leydi Rodriguez

Dan Mazer the man behind the comical and sassy movie “Dirty Grandpa” takes the viewers in a ride they could have not imagined. Dan Mazer directed this film in a way which kept viewers at a constant awe.

Dan Mazer is best known as the long time writing and production partner of Sacha Baron Cohen. Sacha Baron is an english actor who is widely known for five different fictional characters; Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, Admiral General Aladeen and Nobby Butcher. Mazer is best known for working in movies like the acclaimed Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006). The films Mazer has directed are far from the traditional “normal” movies. The storylines are completely out of this world and they have a very weird sense of humor. Some people even find some jokes very offensive. This movie is as raw as it gets. Not many people can really relate to his movie. Besides being a screenwriter and producer, Mazer is also a comedian. This explains a lot in a way because his movies are hilarious.

dirty-grandpa2Dirty Grandpa is by far one of the most blunt and outspoken movies i’ve watched. It touched on many touchy subjects that not many directors would. It showed Dick making negative remarks towards a gay person and Jason in a risky scene where things didn’t look right with a child. The dialogue in the movie was straight forward and to the point. There was no sugarcoating anything in the movie, it was like we were listening to the first thing they thought of. Mazer allowed this movie to run its course, most of the dialogue looked improvised and helped set a good tone for the movie. His style is clearly expressed in the movie.

 

Robert De Niro and Zac Efron take us on an adventure with their embarrassing yet comical experiences throughout the film. They make all their awkward moments worth watching. They excelled in making their characters believable. From Dick Kelly(Robert De Niro) disturbing sexual dialogue to Jason Kelly’s (Zac Efron) sell out stuck up attitude. Casting these actors was perfect, no other actors would have done a better job on these roles. Zac Efron’s pretty boy look and Robert De Niro strong willed look made their characters look more alive.

dirtygrandpa0002.jpgDick and his grandson Jason both go on a roadtrip and try and rekindle their “love”. Dicks wife had just passed and he was ready to let loose and go wild. In the other hand Jason was a preppy boy who wanted and was living this “perfect life” but in reality he was just fooling himself. Jason was about to marry his bosses crazy daughter(Meredith) and would soon be partners in his firm. His grandpa knew it was a mistake so he tricked him into a road trip to Boca Raton, Florida that would lead to some crazy and regretting adventurous . On there way to Boca Raton in Meredith’s pink car they encounter many funny characters and wild parties. Dick wasn’t really there for Jason as an adult but wanted to make sure that Jason lived a life he would love. He decided it was his job to make this whole thing right. He didn’t want his grandson to live a life he would regret. He wanted Jason to follow his dreams of being a photographer and to live life to the fullest. They end up in Daytona Beach on Spring break which was wilder than you can imagine.

Cinematography

Eric Alan Edwards was in charge of the cinematography for “Dirty Grandpa” and known for his work on Knocked Up (2007), The Change-Up (2011) and The Break-Up (2006).

Color

dirtygrandpa3.pngThe director chose bright and pastel colors to show the different vibes and setting

throughout the movie. As I was watching the movie, you could tell that it was a feel good movie. In the sense that all colors were bright and the director barely used any grays or dull colors. Also, the colors the director chose made it very easy to distinguish the two different lifestyles that were being shown in the movie. When Jason is with Meredith, his soon to be wife the director chooses pastel and light colors and when Dick and Jason get to Daytona beach the colors change drastically. Bright colors everywhere to show the different feel. At the beach there’s a scene where Jason is telling Dick how beer makes him gag and the background was sort of blurred but you can still see the bright colors. When Jason is home he is living in this sort of dull lifestyle and as soon as he gets to Daytona beach everything changes. You can get the sense that he is living in this almost fake world with his “perfect” fiance. The setting switches drastically, we have the suburbs with perfect houses and yards and then we have Daytona beach where young people are in the streets getting drunk. Colors in this film were used to show and point out differences. The different lifestyles and settings were pointed out throughout the movie.

Lighting 

The lighting the director chose was perfect for the movie it seriously gave the movie it’s sassy feel. The lighting combined with the colors that were picked made the movie far from dull. The lighting made the film so lively, not even Dicks Wife’s funeral was a dull moment. The director kept pretty much the same bright lighting throughout the movie. There was another scene during Dicks wife’s funeral in which Meredith kept asking Jason to choose a color for a tie. She was harassing him because it was f for their rehearsal dinner. Mazer kept this scene very bright. It really set the mood for the movie. Any other director would have dimmed the lights but instead Mazer kept the lights bright. It was

supposed to be a sad moment but because of the lighting and dialogue, it was actually kind of funny.

Editing/Camera angles

Dirty-Grandp7.jpgThe editing for this film was ideal, Anne McCabe was able to keep the movies comical, sexual and blunt essence through her editing. There was a scene in which Jason was telling Dick how amazing it was to be a corporate lawyer and Dick kept making rude remarks as to how shitty that job sounded. The way the camera was angled and the back and forth single shots of Dick and Jason individually talking made the scene very real. The film was structured in a linear sequence, there were no flashbacks. Everything happened in order which made it very easy to follow. The scenes where Jason smoked crack by accident, the editing was perfect because it set the mood for the party. The lighting intertwined with the editing made it perfect. Throughout the movie there were many long shots and wide shots. The setting was shown a lot through long shots. There’s a scene in which Jason and Dick are entering Florida in Meredith’s pink car, and you can definitely tell they have arrived by the way the camera was positioned. The scene where Jason and Dick get into a flexing competition was insanely hilarious. Just to watch Robert Di Nero trying to flex was out of this world. The camera shots were great because it was a combination of long wide shots showing the crowd going wild and then there were medium shots showing Dick and Jason flexing and doing tricks. There’s another scene in which Jason is at a party and he starts chugging beer. There were a combination of blurry close ups and wide shots that made this scene feel real.

Sounds/Dialogue

The dialogue was what made the movie as raunchy as it was. The director used Dicks sexual rude personality and made this movie a curse word party. Dick literally cursed his way through the movie. Profanity and sex was the center for this film. There were many jokes referring to sex or wanting to have sex.Every remark he made to anyone in the movie had to end with the F word. In my opinion it also set the vibes, it gave the notion that he was about his business and just wanted to let loose. The dialogue between Dick and Lenore (college student he meets) was nothing less than rated R. She would tell him all sorts of nasty things she wanted him to do to her. I wasn’t a big fan of the things she was saying because they were just plain disgusting. Music had a big role in the movie as well. Some scenes relied on the background music.There’s a scene where Jason smokes crack and starts acting like a party animal in Daytona beach. The song “makarena” was playing in the room and made the scene so much better. It made the whole scene believable even though Jason was wearing a thong with a stuffed bee covering his private parts. There’s another scene in which Dick and Jason are walking through the beach and the song “classic man” is playing in the background. They are girls in bikinis sucking on ice cream cones, which seemed inappropriate. It really made that whole scene “cool” and hinted what they were getting into. The song and the way the camera focused on them and blurred the background was great. It definitely set the tone for the scenes that followed it. There’s a beer chugging scene which i thought was phenomenal, Jason is chugging beer and the music in the background makes it feel like the whole thing is happening in slow motion. That background song mixed with the slow motion shots was epic.

 

The color, the editing, light and dialogue made this film exactly what it was supposed to be: a raunchy yet dirty comical film. The movie received many bad reviews because of it’s perverted and dirty dialogue. I can agree with this because, some scenes like the one Jason woke up at the beach with his bee thong and a child kept pulling on the stuffed animal. The way the cameras were angled made the whole scene far from okay. Many criticized it because they thought it was making fun of child molestation. Nick Schager a movie critic stated “A brutally unfunny stab at ribald comedy that stands as the legendary actors big-screen nadir”. Another review from The Guardian quoted “The great man’s late career continues to baffle as he plays a widower lusting after bikini-clad young women on a road trip with grandson Zac Efron”.

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