ENG 1101 LC22/CD 322 Fall 2017

Seeking Creative Solutions to Life's Complicated Problems

Office Hour Cancelled Today Oct 19

As I mentioned in class yesterday, I have a schedule conflict. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Scott Pilgrim vs THE WORLD

The comedic fantasy film ” Scott Pilgrim vs the world”; centers around a nerdy struggling guitarist named Scott Pilgrim[Michael Cera] that does what ever it takes to secure his new relationship with a mysterious girl named Ramona Flowers[Mary Elizabeth Winstead] who just moved to his town , and to achieve that goal his must reluctantly defeat her seven evil exes. Through out the film you can see how Scott Pilgrim’s love and passion for Ramona grows while he also endures hardships in his own life such as his failing music career as well as  dealing with his exe girlfriend dumping him and becoming a famous pop star.
The film is based on the graphic novel ” Scott Pilgrim” by Bryan Lee O’Malley, and the film adaptation captures the same artwork and imagery while displaying the content of the plot from one scene to the next. Another element that drawn me to this film are the many video game references through out the story ” The movie is like the entirety of American youth culture crammed into a single package: its about love, alienation, video games, comic books, chord grinding, indie/punk, dead-end jobs, and evil ex- boyfriends” says Christopher Lloyd, of Sarasota Herald tribune and I would agree with him because this movie I very relatable to our modern life; minus the fantasy aspects of course, and you can also sympathies with Scott Pilgrim’s Character.
The one thing that I feel the film could of done better on was not making it to much of a generic “boy meets girl, boy saves girl” comedy; the movie tends to lose a bit of originality when it seems like all Scott Pilgrim wants to do is have sex with Ramona, but in the end of the movie he redeems himself by actually pursing what truly makes him happy

Scott stalking Ramona at  party courtesy of Universal Studios 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Intense, guns, violence head shots, and a comedic duo sum up this movie.  Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) who is the “Bodyguard” for hire, He is good at protecting his clients with all means necessary and badass with a gun. Bryce gets hired to bring in Darius Kincaid “The Hitman” (Samuel L Jackson) to testify against the villain in this film. Bryce finds out that Kincaid is the reason he gets kicked out of the company he was working for prior to becoming a body guard for hire. The   Throughout the movie there is a lot of comedic lines between both protagonist; While both also being competitive and trying to outdo the other when it comes to ways to kill off the villain’s goons. Kincaid provides friendly advice to Bryce to try to get back his love because he also has his own love of his life, his wife Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek); Who is of topic still beautiful. Like all hero movie, they get their man, but within all of this a strong friendship has been made; a Friendship with never ending gun blazing competitions with a gigantic dash of profanity.

“The action sequences on the whole are well-directed but overly drawn out.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today, gives a review I truly disagree with Truitt. The action scene was not “Drawn Out” or even close to it. the Scene were made in a way to fit the actors’ talents, which aren’t so strong in the first place. The action sequence between Bryce and Kincaid are as polished as each bullet that leaves the chamber. The fight/action Sequences are put together elegantly as if it was a ballet like “Swan Lake”,If “Swan Lake” got its head blown off every act. Truitt would have to needs, a lesson in comedic action films, to see what is and not to expect in these types of movies.

Overall the movie didn’t keep me at the edge of my seat, but it did make me want to skip abs at the gym, due to all the laughing. You want to laugh, and see a weird friendship develop after trying to kill each other, or just plan curiosity defiantly check this out.

“Scream” – A Series Of Horror

Scream was a series directed by Wes Craven and is about a girl named Sidney Prescott played by Neve Campbell living her life then her mother passed away and she starts living with her father. But the way her mom died was very gruesome. She was stabbed multiple times and killed. Sidney starts getting phone calls where her life is being threatened. All of a sudden kids in her school start dying. Basically the killer starts killing most of everybody around Sidney and also the killer in each movie is always someone close to her. In my opinion it’s a very good series because of the suspense.

“Scream builds to a splattering finale that should leave genre fans highly satisfied. Here’s one of the year’s better thrillers.”

Dave Kehr of the New York Daily News

“By the time Scream arrives at its final twist, Craven has done too many contortions of his own to give the finale much shock value.”

Desmond Ryan a Philadelphia Inquirer

I agree with Dave Kehr because each movie always leaves a suspense and make you want to watch the next movie in the series. Also to make a good series, you have to make the audience want to keep watching the movie and Scream does that. I disagree with Desmond Ryan because even with all the “contortions”, the ending of each movie still shocks the audience. Also the whole point of the series having these twists in it is to keep the audience guessing and in suspense of what is going to happen next.

“Braveheart” – Three Hour Wait for Freedom

During British rule in Scotland, there was a funeral for a little boy’s father. A little girl comes over and silently hands him a flower before the boy is taken away from the village to be raised by his uncle. As and adult, he returns to find her because he has been madly in love with her all this time and simply must marry her. Unfortunately, she is murdered shortly after their wedding and this marks the beginning of a rebellion which, ultimately, sets the Scots free of British rule. Doesn’t sound very coherent, does it? Well, my friends, let’s talk about “Braveheart.”

Mel Gibson not only direct the 1995 film, “Braveheart” but he was also one of the producers and took the role of the main character, William Wallace. “As director, star and producer of “Braveheart” he turns the unpromising story of a 13th century kilted wonder into one of the most spectacular entertainments in years,” raves Caryn James of the New York times. I don’t think we watched the same film. Gibson’s acting is lackluster and his skills as director fell short of making me believe any of the emotions the scenes were supposed to convey.

The writer of the film, Randall Wallace, didn’t do a very good job with the history behind the Scottish rebellion either. He made the British seem either stupid, wimpy, or completely vile with no room for negotiation. It would be hard for the British to have amassed all the power they called their own if this was truly what their citizens were like. “It would be a perversion of truth to call his way with history cavalier. He has no way with history at all,” agrees Scot historian, Allan Massie, in an interview with David Gritten from the LA Times.

The only part I truly liked was the scenery, the filming took place in Scotland and Ireland. If you haven’t watched it, and decide you want to judge for yourself, you should know that it’s three hours long before you reach your freedom.

“Now You See Me 2” – A Series That Could’ve Been Better

Now You See Me 2 , a series that was once directed by Louis Leterrier but directed by Jon M. Chu for the second film is about four magicians who are called the four horsemen that became well known for successfully robbing a bank and not getting caught. In order for the to not get caught they had to stay out of the public eye.  Not until  they were all spotted at a public event fans of the four horsemen thought they were dead because of how good they were at hiding. The new mission they had that put them back in the public was getting the most powerful chip that allows them to have access to control all world’s computers.

“The movie offers neither the astonishment of the magicians’ artistry nor a dramatic view of how they do it”, says Peter Travers, of Rolling Stones. I agree with this statement because in one of the scenes where they were trying to steal the chip, the way the passed it around was by attaching it to a card and passed it around by moving it through their clothes with a string and then tossing it to each other. Pulling the card throughout their clothes was impressive but just tossing it left me wondering what was the point of doing all of that just to end up tossing around the room.

With that being said, “The movie itself gets away from him, piling on one preposterous twist after another until you wish the Horsemen would make you disappear”, says Lenika Cruz of Rotten Tomatoes. I disagree with this statement because I think that the director was able to handle all the twist that were in the film well. I don’t think is was too much, but I think it was enough to continue having the film as an action pack movie lack the first of the series. Taking upon a film that already has a plot that was created by another director, Chu had little to work with. He had to take  a cast that was already made, continue a storyline based on what he was left with, and be able to carry it out without making it seem less interesting.

 

“Logan” – The ending of wolverine

The movie that I have chosen is “Logan”. The movie was directed by James  Mangold. The Reason why I choose this fascinating film is because this was the final movie for actor Hugh Jackman, who plays the main character of Logan. An action pack movie containing intense violence and heartfelt emotional moments.In the year 2029, most of the mutant population has decrease and members of the X-Men part ways with Logan. As logan ages, he begins to realize his self-healing process is dwindling He later begins to drink an excessive amount of alcohol and works as a limo driver. He’s stuck taking care of Professor X (Patrick Stewart) whose suffer a brain disease. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive and escort a girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to the Canadian border. Logan refuses to do this but Professor X tries to convince Logan that Laura is a mutant and possess extraordinary powers similar to his own. Laura is also being pursued by sinister enemies trying to capture her and make her into a bioweapon. As Logan and Laura reach North Dakota, they founded other young mutants trying to cross the Canadian border to seek refuge. But the corporation (Enemies who are preventing the kids to cross the border) block there way to freedom and Logan is left to deal with these dark forces.   A unique and outstanding movie to see at the theater.

 

“Logan is good enough that you might forget it’s a comic-book movie.” 

Manohla Dargis  of the New York Times

 

“People who have been following this junk since the original X-Men movie in 2000 will yell foul play if I tell you how Logan dies. You can write reviews of X-Men movies containing spoilers because there is nothing to spoil. Nothing happens except fight scenes that have been done thousands of times before.”

Rex Reed  of the New York Observer 

 

I disagree with Rex Reed because it’s not all about the fighting scene but mostly the origin behind these character’s backstory.  There’s a reason to why they are fighting if you understand the story and the conflicts happening during most of the movie. The point of this film is to fight Mr. Reed. What X-Men movie doesn’t consist of violent combat? Without it, what will the movie look like? Might as well be rated PG movie instead of a rated R movie. Not every scene in the movie results with two people throwing punches at each other. Tension grows and the climax erupts. Someone who watches this movie should have knowledge of the past origin movies before watching “Logan”.  If not, you’re basically confused and clueless about everything in the movie. Rex may not like this movie, however, I say it’s worth the time to look at.

Watch our Classmate on “Chopped” on the Food Network

…coming up soon. Details to follow. Our classmate, Anand Samuel, is a chef and restaurateur.

This is Anand! We can say “we knew him when…”

He specializes in French, Italian, and Thai cuisine.

His restaurants include Anella, Jimmy’s, and Casa Publica. All are located in the Greenpoint and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn.

“Fast 8” — A Story of Family and Racing

Here is a review by Adeeba C. — in progress:

Dinner Table Scene from the “Fast” series. Picture used courtesy of Universal Pictures.

From the very first film in the series, there is a scene at Dom’s house (Dom is Brian’s best friend). We enter from the driveway. We see Dom’s Challenger – the car that he and his father built when he was younger.  Next, we see a typical happy family scene – boisterous, lots of drinking – and Dom, as always, seated at the head. It seems to us like the perfect family dinner, and it’s our first introduction to their family dynamic: happy, close-knit. They pray together.

From that scene on, in each movie, at the end, we always end up at that same house, at that same table. We see the family united, all together. “Family is the most important word in these movies,” says Manohlia Dargis, of The New York Times, and I would agree. Even at the end of the franchise, the film could not have been made if a family member hadn’t helped. When Brian dies, his brother, Cody Walker, acts for him. In the editing process, Paul’s face was added. In real life, family, came to the rescue of the filmmakers, echoing the theme of family in the film itself.

That said, Stephanie Merry of The Washington Post said, “This film is a predictable mess.” I would disagree. Could Merry have predicted that Paul Walker would have been in a fatal car accident? Could Merry know the filmmakers chose to slice his head of his body in the name of art? She may not like the film, but I would argue that it was hardly “predictable.” Fate won in this game.

Computer Technology-Related Movies. A Weird Convergence of Code.

Hi. I just watched The Imitation Game (2014) on Netflix and really enjoyed it.

Do you ever watch a couple of movies in a row and see parallels? Two nights before, I watched a documentary about Edward Snowden on Amazon by Laura Poitras.  Her film (Called Citizen Four) was a true story that revealed how thoroughly computers have infiltrated our lives — and of how privacy is a thing of the past. So, when I saw The Imitation Game (directed by Morton Tyldum) I was already thinking about technology. Turns out,  Tyldum’s film is about how the first computer was invented — to serve the British military. (Well, among other things; the film has a lot of plot lines to it, but its main character is a math genius named Alan Turing, who invented the first computer.) It was chilling and fascinating to think about code and innovation and how fast our lives have changed — and are changing.

I didn’t intend that my personal “screenings” would make an interesting back-to-back “read” of society and technology — but they did. I’d recommend both films.

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