Exploring Film Criticism with a New Perspective

Before taking the class Introduction to Film, I personally thought film critics were terrible people that only seen the bad in films. Now, after almost completing Introduction to Film, I have a totally different view of film critics. Film critics do see the bad in films, but they also see the good in films. I now know that if the film crew, actors, and director do not use the right color scheme, camera angles, set, and target the appropriate audience for the film they create it may be a total flop.

I will never look at a film the same again. Even if I am watching a film for fun, I still look for the color theory, camera angles, character development, the hero’s journey, sound score, technical aspects, and much, much more. At this point, in my days as a young critic, looking for these tiny details is something that I do automatically.

I am more in tune now with how to write a great summary of a film without giving any spoilers. I learned that it is easier to watch the first half of the film then stop and write a summary. I am also more in tune with the color theory and camera angles. I also know that the camera angles are what makes the film more meaningful.

After this semester in  Introduction to Film, I appreciate many things that I never would have thought of being in films. I never thought about how the camera is set up, the colors in the film, and how the music helped tell the story in a film. I also appreciate film critics and all the work they do. Critics look at films in great detail. They take the film apart and figure out what each part means. I know this takes a lot of work because I have reviewed a few films myself.

There was lots of information that I learned this semester that triggered major thoughts for me. The main topic that triggered thoughts for me was the story of a film. A film’s story can have huge impacts on people and society as a whole. The film Rocky (1976) is a great example. In the film Rocky (1976) Rocky is living a low life where people ridicule him and treat him like a bum. Rocky allows people to treat him this way because he treats himself this way due to the fact that he failed to follow his dream. Rocky changes greatly on his journey to greatness. Rocky starts to believe in himself and so do others. This film showed people and society that they can personally change their life if they believe in themselves and try.

I have learned a lot of information about films and filmmaking this semester. I hope to continue my journey of critiquing films. I may complete a film review or two over my break but there are no guarantees. I would like to personally thank Mr. Noel T. Manning for being a great instructor and for teaching me how to be a true film critic this semester. Goodbye, until next time my friends.

~Dylan Mistretta

My House Brings all the Burglars to the Yard Darn Right, It’s Better Than Yours

Home Alone is an average family Christmas movie directed by Chris Columbus. This is a story of an eight year old child, who is accidentally left at home during a holiday vacation, that is forced to defend his home from two burglars. The best part of this film is the fact that the film is a comedy. In my opinion, the best scene in this film was when Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and Marley (Roberts Blossom) were sitting in the church talking to one another. Kevin encouraged Marley to talk to his son and to reconcile their differences. This is a turning point for Kevin, it not only shows the audience that he is growing up, but it also shows him facing his own fears. In the meantime, he learns a valuable lesson, things are not always what they appear to be.

Photo credits- https://i.imgflip.com/ujfhd.jpg

Without a doubt, Macaulay Culkin (Kevin McCallister) gave the best performance in this film. Not only was he the protagonist, but he was also a child when the movie was filmed. He was a wonderful actor in this film. He was an actor that the audience believed. The wide-angle camera shots let me, as the viewer, know everything that was happening while the characters were rushed. The point-of- view camera angles let me see what the characters see and it let me know what they are feeling. These angles helped me view the situations as a small child would. At times Macaulay Culkin (Kevin) looked sad, happy, and scared and I believed him. Macaulay Culkin (Kevin) looked terrified when he first heard Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) trying to break in his home.

Home Alone is not a perfect film or even close to it for that matter. This film used very little color schemes and had several goofs that could have been easily fixed. Some of the goofs  include Kevin aiming with the wrong eye while shooting toys down the laundry chute, Kevin running straight in his home after meeting the old man at the church (He did not lock his door even though there are burglars in the area.), and the phone lines are supposed to be down due to the power outage. So, how did Kevin order pizza? How did his mom call the local police to get them to check on Kevin? Home Alone is also not the worst film that I have ever seen. It made me laugh and the story was not complete trash. However, this film is one of the worst films that I have recently viewed. What grade would I give this film? My gut feeling for this film as of now is 80 due to the lack of color scheme and the several major goofs.  

Chris Columbus has created many great movies over the years. A few of his most popular moves include Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Night at the museum, Pixels, and Gremlins. I personally feel that Home Alone is one of his better films. This film has a better story than the film Pixels. The audience learns more about the main characters in Home Alone than in the film Pixels. In my opinion, the Harry Potter films rank at the top of the list for Columbus. Harry Potter films have amazing story lines and set designs. For example, the Harry Potter films are mystical the set designs were realistic. Such as using the Alnwick Castle in England for Hogwarts.

When rating Columbus’ films on a scale of 1-10, I would rate Home Alone a solid eight. Even though this is a great family comedy, it does have faults. This film lacks color scheme and contains many recognizable goofs, as mentioned above, that could have been easily fixed without spending lots of extra money. If you’re looking for a good family film to watch near the holidays this film may be for you. It contains very few curse words.  

John Hughes only created four interesting characters,  Kevin, Harry, Marv, and Marley. The most interesting character that John Hughes created was Kevin. Kevin is a mischievous eight-year-old child that is always into something. In the beginning of the film Kevin was fighting with his brother Buzz (Devin Ratray), running from burglars, and even setting up traps to defend his home. The dialogue did not appear to be fake or forced. For example, when Kevin was talking to Marley in the church it seemed like a normal conversation between a child and an adult. Children often give some of the best advice because they do not have a filter. They repeat conversations that they have overheard between adults. Children do not know what to keep private, so they often tell it all. Even though their comments may be a little hurtful, their input can often help.

GIF Credits- https://media.giphy.com/media/26tP7Fgri8XTlEzqU/giphy.gif

In this film, plot twists were easily predictable. I knew that Kevin was going to get left at home. He was locked in the attic, then when the family had overslept was rushing around trying to make it to the airport on time. We could assume that they would forget Kevin. Some of the conflicts in this film seemed real such as Kevin having to take care of himself and him being scared. I do feel that an eight year old could not set up traps to the extent seen in this film. I also believe that Harry could have made it up to the icy steps easier than he did. I felt humor and suspense while watching this film. During the scenes when kevin was defending his home, the film crew used many different camera angles. Point of view shots, low angle, and medium close up camera angles were used. These angles made me feel as if I were in the film and made the film more humorous. The stupidity of the burglars is what made me laugh. I felt the suspense building when Kevin was inside his home with the burglars.

Macaulay Culkin (Kevin), Joe Pesci (Harry), Daniel Stern (Marv), and Roberts Blossom (Marley) did an amazing job acting based off of the roles in which their characters played. They made me believe that they were experiencing what the character was experiencing in the film. Catherine O’Hara (Kevin’s mother Kate) also did an amazing job acting. She looked worried and scared when she figured out that Kevin was home alone. John Heard (Kevin’s father Peeter) gave the worst performance in the film, he did not look worried when he learned that Kevin had been left at home alone. He also did not seem to care as much as Kevin’s mom.

The stars did not appear to try anything new or expand on their acting range.  Culkin (Kevin), Joe Pesci (Harry), and Daniel Stern (Marv) acted the same as in the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Kevin was still the same smart and  mischievous child and Macaulay Culkin acted like it. Harry and Marv were still the same old burglars, but the were a little smarter. They had more knowledge about Kevin’s traps.

I was drawn to Kevin. He was a child that could booby trap an entire home in a short amount of time. I was also drawn to Kevin because he is the protagonist and the story is based on him and what he does to protect his home. The characters in this film seemed real and they did all seem to fit into the plot. There was a family, in the neighborhood, who went on vacation and intentionally left their child at home. Even though this is bad parenting, it does seem kind of normal, as he was an older child. The burglars fit in because the homes get burglarized every day, especially when they are aware of a family vacation. The burglars drove around in a van that looked very similar to the other maintenance vans in that appeared in the neighborhood.

While watching the beginning film I was more absorbed into my food and snacks. The film appeared to be on a chaotic family that needed to calm down. There was way to much going on to hold my interest. However, as the plot began to build, there were less distractions and the house became calmer. This is when I became absorbed into the film. The universal theme of love and fear are the major themes in Home Alone. Throughout this film Kevin is constantly scared of the old man, Marley, and the burglars, Harry and Marv. Kevin faced his fears, talked to Marly, and fought the burglars. Kevin realized that he actually loves his family and missed them. He realized that being mean to them is not a good thing to do. I did feel a sense of truth from the characters in the film. The actors made me  believe that they felt every emotion that the character felt. While watching this film, I felt the sadness of Kevin being scared and alone and the sheer panic of his terrified mother who realized that she had done the unimaginable, left her child home alone.

If I were to have a conversation with a friend about this movie, it would definitely be about Kevin’s amazing home-made defense mechanisms. I would discuss how they proved to be helpful and what he could have improved. I find it amazing that an eight year old child would even think about pulling off some of the booby traps such as the fan with the feathers, the hot door knob, and the tar on the steps.

Overall, I feel that this film did have a good pace except during the first few scenes. I do realize that the first scenes were designed to be chaotic so the viewer could get a view of Kevin’s life. The music in the film also went with the film. For example, when the Mcallisters are running through the airport the song “Run Run Rudolph” plays to help set the chaotic mood. The major technical aspect that this film was lacking is color theory. There were very few color references and those may have even been unintentional. The special effects could also use some work, especially with the scene where the burglars were breaking into the house. The booby traps, that the burglars endured, did not add up with all of the battle wounds that was endured and pictured in the film. If you pause the file you can see Marv being hit in the forehead with the back of the iron. The marks, on his face, showed that he was hit directly on the face. When Harry grabbed the hot door handle, he grabbed it with his hand at an angle but his wound was not at an angle.

Overall, Home Alone is a good film about an eight year-old child, Kevin. Kevin was accidentally left at home alone. Kevin realized that he must act quickly to defend not only himself but his home from burglars.Kevin is very clever and  quickly sets up multiple traps to defend his home against the burglars. Will his traps succeed? Will they capture him, or will he ever see his family again?

The most appealing aspect to this film is how the camera angles tell the story. The film crew used wide angle shots, point of view shots, low angle shots, medium close up shots, and low angle shots. These shots and angles helped tell the story mainly through the eyes of Kevin which made the story more realistic engaging more viewers. The only scene that I would discard would be the scene where Kevin was trying to buy a toothbrush. The film leads the viewers to believe that Kevin is stealing the toothbrush, when in fact he intended to buy the toothbrush. Kevin is not a bad child nor is he a thief as the film portrays. He was just acting in fear.

Over all the film Home Alone was an okay film. It is not the best I have seen from Chris Columbus but it is certainly not the worst film that I have ever seen. This film had a good story line, developed characters, and good acting. The film did contain several goofs that could have been easily fixed such as the injuries from Kevin’s traps.

Taking every aspect of filmmaking into consideration, I would give this film a rating of 87. This film lacked color theory which was very disappointing to me. However, the camera angles added to the humor and the story in general. The MPAA rating for this film is PG. I believe that this is an appropriate rating for this film. I do not believe that children under eight should view this film because of the violence, language, and the possibility of creating added anxiety. This film could possibly make children scared to stay at home alone for short periods of time.

Summary

It is Christmas time and the McCallister family are preparing for their trip to Paris. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) gets into a fight with Buzz, his brother (Devin Ratray) which gets him locked in that attic for the night. The family oversleeps making them rush to the airport so they do not miss their flight. They completely forget about Kevin, who is now home alone. Kevin is having fun being home alone, eating pizza, running rampant, and making a mess until he realizes that he misses his family and wants them back home. One night Kevin discovers some burglars, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) trying to break into his home. Kevin realizes that he must act quickly to protect his home. He frantically sets up traps in order to ward off the burglars. Will his traps succeed? Will they capture him, or will he ever see his family again?

GIF credits- https://media.giphy.com/media/3ofT5CFEsj3ynCjeww/giphy.gif


The Hunger Games Film Review!

Have you ever imagined yourself in a ring with twenty three other people. Then think, you are going to fight to the death with these people and only one can win. That is what exactly happened to Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. This film is full of action, plot turns, and romance.

Photo Credits- http://www.celebquote.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/hunger-games-quotes-28.png

Summary

In what was once North America the Capitol of Panem keeps its grip of all of the twelve districts. Once a year two tributes are selected at the Reaping which is a drawing for the Hunger Games. If you name is selected you have to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.  The story mainly focus on the tributes from district twelve. The tributes were going to be Prim Everdeen and and Peeta Mellark. But Katniss Everdeen (Prims older sister) volunteered as tribute so Prim would not have to fight to the death. Katniss and Peeta go to the capitol so they can go through interviews and become ready for the Hunger Games. As they enter the games Peeta forms an alliance with some other players that eventually turn on him, Katniss in the other hand plays the game on her own for a while until she is attacked by Tracker Jackers and this sweet girl named Ruth comes to help her. Ruth takes care of Katniss while she is unconcious. Katniss and Ruth make up a plan to destroy the big alliances food source and they do but Ruth gets traped. Katniss saves her but not long after Cato throws a spear that hits Ruth. Not long after Katniss puts flowers around ruth’s dead body there is an announcement that two people can win the game if they are from the same district. Katniss rushes to find Peeta she does and she drags him to a cave. Katniss takes care of Peeta and they bond with each other. While they are walking they are attacked by wild creatures that look like  a dog. They are rushed around where they meet Cato. Peeta, Katniss, and Cato fight to the death. Peeta and katniss win. Then a announcement is made that revokes the rule about two winners. Katniss tells Peeta they they should eat some poisonous berries and the moment before they do there is one last announcement that says they both can win.

Genre, color theory, hero type, and Blake Snyder approach

The genre of this film is science fiction/fantasy. The events in this film cannot happen as of we know today. That is why it has these genres. In this film there is a lot of examples of the color theory. Katniss and Peeta’s suits that they wore when they rode in the charroit was on fire literally. The fire could represent their eagerness and determination to win the Hunger Games. During sad parts of the film the screen had a grayish tint to it, and when there was a happy part the screen was brighter. Katniss Everdeen is a modern hero because her family is about average for a distinct but far less compared to the Capitol. According the Blake Snyder approach this film fits in the category institutionalized. The reason that this film fits this category is that Katniss is willing to take the norms of society, and she is threw into a arena and is told to fight to the death.  


What critics say

“Even when two people are just talking calmly, Ross jerks the camera around. Why? As the sense of danger increases, he has nothing to build toward. ” -David Denby from the New Yorker on Rotten Tomatoes. He gave tis film a rotten rating which is 0-60.

“The Hunger Games is impressively cast, beautifully styled, dynamically shot and powerfully edited. However, the standout feature of the film has to be its all encompassing success as an adaptation.” -Sonia Zadurian From Cineview on Rotten Tomatoes. Rated the film ⅘.

I found this to be a good film but the camera had some jerk like movements, I also would of liked to know about what happened to the districts. I found the story to be good, but it still had aspects from teen distopias. Click here to view a list of the cast.

References

Tomatoes, R. (n.d.). The Hunger Games (2012). Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_hunger_games


And may the odds be ever in your favor

Dylan Mistretta

Science Fiction Film Review! The Maze Runner!


Have you ever heard of a teenager suck in a dystopian society? I am sure you have. The Maze Runner film is a good film but it is clichè.  A typical teenager is put into a dystopian society and he decides to go against the rules and think for himself. It is almost like all the other films in the same genre. Take The Hunger Games for example both of the films have the same concept and so do many other science fiction dystopian movies. Photo Credits https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91mPBc21TcL.RI.jpg

Summary

A teen wakes up in an elevator going up. When the elevator stops he finds himself in a clearing surrounded by other young males, he has no memory at all. Alby the leader of all the guys in the glade shows the new guy around, and tells him very little about the maze that traps them in the glade. That same evening there is a celebration where the guys were fighting for fun. The new guy got pushed in the ring where she started to fight Gabby. After being flipped over he remembers his name, Thomas. The next day Thomas is attacked Ben who is a runner who runs the maze. While Ben was in the maze he was stunned and he was going disulational. The other guys in the tribe help get Ben off of Thomas. Later they lock Ben in the maze because you cannot survive a night in the maze. The next day Alby goes with Minho into the maze to see if they can find what happened to Ben. It is getting late and the maze is about to close with Minho and Alby inside. As the maze starts to close Minho rounds the corner and he is carrying Alby who has been stung. Right before the maze closes Thomas breaks the rules and enters the maze to help Minho but it is to late and they are trapped. As Thomas and Minho Put Alby’s body is a remberal place they see a griever which can kill them easily or sting them. They run, as they are being chased by the griever Minho tells thomas to come through this passage which is closing. Thomas waits for the griever to get close to him, when it does Thomas runs through the passage and so does the griever. The griever is smashed and killed. The next morning Thomas and Minho exit the maze to everyone’s surprise. Gabby (the guy in charge while Alby is dying), says Thomas needs to be punished but the tribe thinks he should become a runner. After a night with no food Thomas is declared a runner. Within a couple of days they find a grivers home which can be their way out. The tribe is in a split decision, half are going to escape and half are going to stay. The half that want to try to escape enter the maze, They get to the grievers home there they encounter three grievers. They escape but they lost some people along the way. They enter a hallway that leads to alb where they play a video that tells them congratulations. It also tells them the state of the world. After that Gabby shows up stung and delusional, he tries to kill Thomas but Minho pust a spear through his heart, sadly Chuck they youngest kid blocked the bullet that was intended for Thomas. People in masks come and retrieve the “players” and they fly away in a helicopter. Here is a list of the cast.

Photo Credits- https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Sk137D3z7nc/maxresdefault.jpg

Color theory, hero type, and Blake Snyder’s approach.

I noticed that when the mood of the film was sad everything in has a grayish tint to it. The same thing when the mood was happy but the color was bright. A character who does a lot or something important in the gallade tended to have a brighter colored shirt. I not sure If this was intentional but it works with the film. Thomas is considered a modern hero. He is a average teen who is put in extraordinary circumstances, and he rose to the challenge. He had to face some internal conflict as well such as, should he run in the maze and go against the rules? According to the Blake Snyder formula this film fits in the Golden Fleece category. The Maze Runner has all three aspects of the category Golden Fleece the road, the team, and the prize. The road, also known as the obstacle or the problem. In The Maze Runner the obstacle is the maze itself Thomas has to find way out. The Team, in this film the team is consisted of Thomas, Minho, Teresa, Newt, and Chuck. These are the characters that stick with Thomas all the way. The prize, in this film the prize is to escape the maze and be free. The team succeeded the maze to find out that the sun has scorched the earth and the world is chaos.

Photo Credits- https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–CtHpckPF–/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/ly0shlbbaozqdoeemibb.jpg

What the audience thought

“During the movie I was absolutely giving it the benefit of the doubt. Without so much as telling us this was “Part One” of a trilogy (or four movies, depending on how well the first one does and they inevitably split the last movie into two so they can milk the series our longer than it needs, i.e. The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight,) the movie seemed to take its long time to explain everything out in extreme detail of their world. I was trying to be as patient as possible when I knew this was a necessity since this is a sci-fi, futuristic test for young boys.”(Thestar-2) What this critic is saying is that the film took too long to explain everything in great detail they rated the film 3/10. Click here to see their full review.

“So the film is a very pleasant, well paced, well directed, reasonably well acted, decently scored, great .. well, nice CGI, entertaining film that will please just about every audience there is, without being horribly commercial, soppy and cliché. I haven’t had this much fun in a long while – although I gotta say Edge OF Tomorrow was just as good. My final vote – a very solid 8/10, and I’m wishing for parts 2 and 3 ASAP” (Digdog-785-717538) This critic said that they liked the movie and gave examples of why. Click here to view their full review.

References

Reviews: The Maze Runner. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2019, from https://m.imdb.com/title/tt1790864/reviews?ref_=m_tt_urv

Now that’s a wrap.

Dylan Mistretta 4/3/29

The best Comedy I have seen in a while. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

The film Ghostbusters was an excellent film full of sarcasm, humor, and ghosts. I am a nerd and I will admit that, so I understood all of the science sarcasm. I laughed my head off throughout the entire movie. My favorite comical moment is when the original three Ghostbusters Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are in the elevator at their first “job”. Here is what was said, “Ray: You know, it’s just occurred to me? We really haven’t had a completely successful test of this equipment. Egon: I blame myself. Peter: So do I. Raymond: No sense in worrying about it now. Peter: Why worry? Each of us is wearing an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.” I started laughing hysterically after this was said,. Mason, my brother, was watching the film with me but he did not understand this humor.

Photo Credits- https://i.imgur.com/hUJ3VrN.jpg

This film has been considered one of the best comedies ever made in film. The reason that this film is considered a comedy is that it is full of sarcasm, rude jokes, and funny events. An example of sarcasm would be when Peter, Ray, and Egon are in the library. Ray sees stacked books and tells peter to look at them. Peter says “You are right. No human being would stack books like this.” There are a lot of perverted jokes about Walter Peck, Sexual desires, and there is an allusion about a Twinkie. A funny event that happened in this film is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The ghostbusters had the choice of what would end the world. Everybody but Ray cleared their mind. Ray tried to think of the most harmless thing, which was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I found this funny in general. Photo credits- https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/hBcAAOSwstxVAyaP/s-l300.jpg

Ivan Reitman was the director for this film. The main characters in this film are Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), Walter Peck (William Atherton), and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). Click here to view a full list of the cast.

How music impacts the genre of this film. The Ghostbusters theme song is a funky song in general that puts you in a good mood, there was suspenseful music during tense parts such as in the rising action on the film when the ghostbusters see their first ghost. There was funky music playing when the ghosts were released and causing chaos on the town. The song Save The Day played when the Ghostbusters were on their way to shave the city from all of the ghosts.

Sheldon Khan and David Blewett did an amazing job animating this film. Considering that no one has really seen a ghost they had to use what they were given and make ghost seem real. This film was released in 1984 and the special effects of the ghosts were amazing from this time period.

This film has had good and bad reactions from the audience. Magic_marker on IMDb even stated that the film is underrated. Magic_marker stated that this film was so successful because the hype for the film was incredible they rated it 9/10. Natashabowiepinky stated that they enjoyed the film as a child but after viewing it again as an adult she came to the conclusion that the plot is a mess and unorganized. Natashabowiepinky also stated that she believes that the film tried too hard to make people laugh, they rated it 5/10. That is their opinion which I totally respect but, I disagree with. I am a young film critic but I  found the film to be quite great, the story could be better but that is what made it so humorous.

I would give this film a grade of a 93. I gave it that grade because I found it to be an excellent movie but I wish the plot was developed a little more.

This film has a sequel. That film is called Ghostbusters 2. The Franchise is successful in my book because they made money. There was a reboot in 2016, Where all of the original ghostbusters are replaced by females. People got really mad at that because they wanted an updated version of the same film. I personally have no opinion on the reboot because I  have not seen it.

References

Brayson, J. (2018, December 17). The 19 Funniest Quotes From ‘Ghostbusters’. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://www.bustle.com/articles/171053-the-19-funniest-ghostbusters-quotes-from-the-original-to-prep-you-for-the-reboot

Ghostbusters. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/fullcredits

Ghostbusters. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/reviews

Ghostbusters. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/reviews

Hildebrand, D. (2016, July 15). Mixing Horror and Comedy: Why Ghostbusters Worked ⋆ Rogues Portal. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from http://www.roguesportal.com/ghostbusters-mixing-comedy-horror/

Tomatoes, R. (n.d.). GHOSTBUSTERS (1984 ORIGINAL) QUOTES. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ghostbusters/quotes/

~Dylan Mistretta 3/28/19

The Breakfast Club Film Review

The Breakfast club opens up at Main North High School’s front doors on a saturday in the 1980’s. Five students have detention these students are John Bender (Judd Nelson), Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), Brian Johnson (Anthony Hall), Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), and Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez). When the enter the library for detention they take seats at least one apart from each other. The detention teacher for them is Richard Vernon (Paul Gleeson). At seven in the morning these kids that go to the same school barely know each other. After going through detention together, doing drugs, arguing, making fun of each other, talking about their parents, and why they are in detention these five kids have learned a lot from each other. Photo credits- https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51MJdsd29wL.jpg

The genre of this film is drama. Due to my film baggage I usually tend to steer away from drama films. But I thought I would give this a try. I am glad I did. The film was not the best one I have seen but it was not bad. Just a tip do not let your film baggage hold you from watching a film, it is good to take some risks. The purpose of this movie was to show that all teenager kids no matter what their background go through a hard time.

This film is considered an atmospheric musical. The story is not entirely based off music but the music help set the mood and foreshadows what is about to happen. The best example of this is the song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. If you listen to the song closely or look at the lyrics you would almost think that this song was wrote for The Breakfast Club. The song talks about talking with people and dusicing how you feel. It talks about loving one another and it also says “don’t you forget about me” tha means that The Breakfast Club should not forget about each other. After hearing this song it makes you question your own life choices.

This film focus on the characters and what they are going trough. Everybody that has received detention is there for a different reason. Most of the kids are there because their parents made them do it indirectly. Even Allson was there so she would feel appreciated because her parents ignored her. The characters needed to talk to each other because they are all going through hard times. If they realize that everybody is going through this they may find the strength to get through it.

The conflicts in this film is character vs. character and character vs. self. The reason that this film has character vs. character was that the students fought with one another. Sometimes they even argued about their home life. To me the most meaningful form of conflict was character vs. self. Each character had to find the courage in themselves to share what they go through on a daily basis. That is what made the story line great the character sharing their stories. Photo credits – https://i.ytimg.com/vi/dY0HJngGDB8/maxresdefault.jpg

Each character dresses for their part. Claire / The princess she was in nice clothes, Bender / the criminal was in old messed up clothing, Allison / the basket case was in weird dark clothing at the beginning of the movie but by the end she was in nicer clothing and looked stunning, Andrew / sporto was in a letter jacket with lots of sport related patches, Brian / the nerd he was in nie clothing he looked clean.

The thing that really stands out to me is that this could not happen in another place. The kids were in a familiar environment it was also a good environment where they could share how they felt without too many people hearing. All the camera angles in this film played importance. The medium level shot was great to see two characters having a conversation. The close ups of the characters was also important to show how they ate their lunch and what was special about them. Most of the angles in this film made you feel like you were in the film. The lighting like you would expect school to be. The sometimes bright and sometimes dull of the fluorescent lights. Also the darkness of the air duct that Bender crawled through.

This movie was a success for me. Considering that I tend to steer away from drama films I found this one to be quite enjoyable. The story of the characters was the strongest part of the film in my eyes. I can relate to the characters and it makes sense to me. Some people can not relate to the film as much as I could that is the most likely reason that they view it as a fail.

This film has a deep meaning that  meaning is that teens do not have it as easy as some believe. Another meaning is that dong let things go to your head. The story that the janitor said when Bender asked “how does one become a janitor” means that he let things go to his head and his opportunity went out the window.

This film is rated R, I viewed it but I am only 15. This movie is not the best for children to see. The reason this is rated R is that there is many sexual reference, language, and drug use with no bad side effects. I would not show anyone this movie if they are under the age of 15.

This was a great film and I recommend you go watch it if you are approved of its rating. It goes to show that we need friends to rely on and to tell our problems to. Sometimes you just have to open up and you will feel better about yourself. Photo credits- https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSJH0W2qEKhqYMpkB8xGWTHer_tEMevqvDa8upl3QfrsNr03CKE

~Dylan Mistretta 3/15/19

Baby Driver Film Review

Baby (Ansel Elgort)is a young and partially hearing impaired getaway driver who can make any wild move while in motion with the right track playing. He needs this skill as he goes throughout his crime filled lifestyle. His boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), plans everything out for Baby and his crew he will be with Doc is a rather bossy man with a short temper and no time to waste. Baby finally thinks he is free as he finishes his “last job”and he can be happy with his girlfriend Debora  when Doc call him back to do another job. During this job Baby finds his life and people that he cares about life on the line till the end. Some other main crime partners are Buddy (John Hamm), Bats (Jamie Foxx), and Darling ( Eiza Gonzalez). All of these characters are mean and die in the end. Photo credits- http://sites.sonypictures.com/babydriver/discanddigital/share.jpg

This film can fall into many different types of genres such as crime, drama, action, and thriller. This movie falls in all of these categories because there are many crimes committed, action pact escapes, plot twists, and thrills through the whole movie.

The type of conflict in this movie is character vs. character as Baby runs, escapes, and kills multiple people. He is faced with loads of decisions as he just wants to spend time with Debora. In the end Baby finally gets what he desires. Photo credits- http://cdn.studiodaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/bd_lead.jpg

Some themes that would fit this movie appropriately is fight for what is right, and music takes you places. Baby always fought for what he believed was right. He protected innocent people he was a nice criminal. He wanted to keep people safe so he fought many different ways to keep them safe. Music can take us to many places. Just listening to a song can make you feel happy, sad or any other emotion.

Colors, framing, and framing angles played a huge role in this film. As soon as the film opened Baby and a team of criminals were in a bright red sport car. Just seeing the car had my attention and I was ready to see a good getaway escape. The endless change of angles and view points rapidly through the film will keep you hooked as well. During the chases they use close up, birds eye view and so much more. Photo credits- https://i.ytimg.com/vi/6XMuUVw7TOM/maxresdefault.jpg

The movie of Baby Driver was based off of music. Baby has a condition that makes his ears ring all the time. He plays music to drown out the sound. Baby has different songs for different occasions and moods. During a chase we herd rock music that got my blood pumping. During romantic scenes there was slow romantic music. I do not think that there was twenty minutes in the whole film that music was not playing. The movie was nominated for sound editing and sound mixing. It did not win either one but I believe that the music was excellent.

This movie was an success time. I love action movies especially when there is cars involved. The picture was read along with the amazing storyline. I would give this film the grade of a 98.

Dylan Mistretta 3/8/19

EL- Paso By Marty Robbins Story In Music

When I first heard this song I was struck as I found it very intriguing and entertaining. There are three main characters in this song. There is the narrator who loves this Mexican maiden named Felina. The other character is another guy who also likes Felina. There are also some cowboys but they are minor characters because they serve little purpose. The setting is in the city of EL-Paso Texas. Photo credits-https://a1000mistakes.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/gunfighterballads.jpg

The conflict is when the narrator finds another guy sharing a drink with Felina. The narrator challenges the other guy for the love for his maiden. His challenge was answered when the narrator shot the other guy and he lay dead on the floor. The narrator steals a horse and runs away. Photo credits- https://i.ytimg.com/vi/7UVVS5-9HvA/maxresdefault.jpg

The resolution is that as the narrator is running away he cannot stop thinking about Felina so he goes back to Rosa’s Cantina. On His way back he got shot in the chest. This did not stop him from returning to his love Felina. When the narrator arrives at Rosa’s Cantina Felina finds him and kisses his cheek. Then the narrator Kisses Felina goodbye. If this song was made into a film the genres would be action, drama, western, and romance. I consider this to be a western because of the setting in El- Paso Texas also it was written in the 1950s. It would be a romance because of the narrator’s love for Felina. I considered this to be action as well because the narrator fled from the town and came back while being shot at. It would be a drama because of what happened to the narration in the end. Photo Credits- https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ms9I4OWY6zU/hqdefault.jpg

Here are the original lyrics for the song

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso

I fell in love with a Mexican girl

Nighttime would find me in Rosa’s Cantina

Music would play and Felina would whirl

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina

Wicked and evil while casting a spell

My love was deep for this Mexican maiden

I was in love, but in vain I could tell

One night a wild young cowboy came in

Wild as the West Texas wind

Dashing and daring, a drink he was sharing

With wicked Felina, the girl that I loved (Name of girl )

So in anger I challenged his right for the love of this maiden

Down went his hand for the gun that he wore

My challenge was answered in less than a heartbeat

The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor

Just for a moment I stood there In silence

Shocked by the foul evil deed I had done

Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there

I had but one chance and that was to run

Out through the back door of Rosa’s I ran

Out where the horses were tied

I caught a good one, it looked like it could run

Upon its back and away I did ride

Just as fast as I could from the West Texas town of El Paso

Out to the badlands of New Mexico

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless

Everything’s gone, in life nothing is left

It’s been so long since I’ve seen the young maiden

My love is stronger than my fear of death

I saddled up and away I did go

Riding alone in the dark

Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me

Tonight nothing’s worse than this pain in my heart

And at last here I am on the hill overlooking El Paso

I can see Rosa’s Cantina below

My love is strong and it pushes me onward

Down off the hill to Felina I go

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys

Off to my left ride a dozen or more

Shouting and shooting, I can’t let them catch me

I have to make it to Rosa’s back door

Something is dreadfully wrong, for I feel

A deep burning pain in my side

Though I am trying to stay in the saddle

I’m getting weary, unable to ride

But my love for Felina is strong and I rise where I’ve fallen

Though I am weary, I can’t stop to rest

I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle

I feel the bullet go deep in my chest

From out of nowhere Felina has found me

Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side

Cradled by two loving arms that I’ll die for

One little kiss, then Felina good-bye

Sung by Marty Robbins.

Wrote by Marty Robbins as well.

~Dylan Mistretta 2/26/19

Film Review- “Forrest Gump”

Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) is a rather simple man. He is special but he hates to be called stupid. On his first day of school, he enters the school bus, but all the other kids refuse to let him sit down. However, one little girl named Jenny (Robin Wright) offers Forrest the empty seat next to her. Throughout his life, he has been through a lot. Some of the things include being bullied, joining the military, being the owner of the Bubba Gump shrimp company, and so much more. He thanks his mom for all she has done for him. Jenny has always told Forrest “run Forrest run”.

If you have not seen this movie this post may spoil the movie for you. I have tried to minimize this risk as well as I could.

Photo credit-http://www.tusk2.com/wp-content/uploads/6362173248589845201450983800_forrest-gump.jpg

The story question is what will Forrest “run” into next. Let me tell you Forrest can run like the wind. We are always wandering through the movie what or who Forrest will run into next. Photo Credit- https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRpqccpfqc9ESz1xHbX0IivphppdVFlU39FyP1deYrdqdAHnXyoww

The author of the film has taken several approaches of genres while making this movie. These genres are comedy, drama, and a little romance. I Feel this way because the movie made me laugh a lot, dramatic things were always happening, and Forrest couldn’t stop thinking about Jenny.

The author does seek to entertain but there is also quite a couple of hidden meanings in this film as well. These hidden meanings include “my momma said, that life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get. ”, “my momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you move on”, and “you have to do the best with what God gave you. ” Forrest lives off of these quotes. He is also a successful man. If you follow the quotes like Forrest you may end up as successful as him. I found the story to be complete. The ending really tied up everything. Photo credits- https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41lYF4-uyEL.SX425.jpg

This movie is worthy of a lot of awards. From the other movies, I have personally seen from this time period this one beats them all. The movie Forest Gump has Wonderful quality, Great editing, and a wonderful story. It is one of the best movies I have ever watched.

This film follows the Freytag Pyramid Story Structure. The exposition was when Forrest was introduced sitting on a bench. Then it moves onto the rising action, climax, falling action, and the resolution. The rising action begins when young Jenny offers young Forrest a seat on the bus. The climax is when Jenny invited Forrest to come to her apartment to see her. The resolution is when Jenny dies and it id Forrest’s Jr. first day of school.

The Blake Snyder story genre that fits this movie is the Triumphant Fool. The fool is Forrest Gump. The establishment is where Forrest is on national television where he makes a fool out of himself. The transmutation is where Forrest starts to have feelings for Jenny or when he starts talking to people, where he used to be really quiet as a kid. Photo credits- https://wackytackyfilmreviewerhome.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/870c7-0vpy-4-nxjmyu6_sh.jpg

Each character has an impact on Forest. Some of the people that have helped him the most are Jenny (his best friend), Bubba (his best good friend), Lieutenant Dan (Garu Sinise) (his lieutenant in the Vietnam war) and his Momma (Sally Feild) who impacted him the most. She taught forest how to do most things. She always stood up for him and made sure Forrest got what was right. She also taught Forrest his morals, she is the reason Forrest is a successful man.

The literary hero that describes Forrest is a modern hero. A modern hero is someone below average who rises to the challenges that they are given. Forrest was threw in a war and he knew a little but not a whole lot. Forrest roes to that challenge and rescued many people while in Vietnam.

This movie was great. In all great movies, a character changes for the good or the bad. Forrest Gump changes throughout the movie. He doesn’t change much but he changes a little. He goes from being real quiet and shy to talking to strangers. His feelings for Jenny also change throughout the movie. I think the events he has went trough has shaped him to the man he is today.

I would say that the characters are round. Jenny went from being sweet and kind to being on the bad side of people and bounced back to being sweet old Jenny. Lieutenant Dan was a good guy but he had a lot to live up to, this made him appear harsh. He became more humble throughout the movie after his new year party.

I think that the story is the most important aspect of the movie from the author. Since the movie is focused on Forrest’s life and his story this is the most logical aspect as well. Most of the story is a flashback from Forest’s life as he grew up. He has been in the military, on national television many times, and much more

The conflict in the movie Forrest Gump is character vs. character. Forrest is always looking for Jenny while she is all over the place. There is also character vs. self as Forrest likes Jenny but he doesn’t know if he should be her friend or something more.

The strongest and weakest thing in the film Forrest Gump is the story. I loved the story it was funny, inspirational, and all around amazing. Other people have said that the story is trash because there is no way that a fool like Forrest could luck his way into millions of dollars. The weakest thing about the story is that it is not realistic if you are looking to see a little of history mixed up and made funny this is your movie.

The story was a success to me. I wanted to get a good movie that had some comical aspects and this was exactly what I was looking for. I was laughing throughout the movie.

I would say that “Forrest Gump” is appropriate for Children 13 and up. The movie is rated PG- 13. There some scenes that young children should not watch. Due to drugs, alcohol, and adult content.

If I had to “grade” this film I would give it a 93 which is an A. Anything can be improved and nothing is perfect. I wish that some of the characters were developed more rather than just popping in at times. The movie was still great.

Dylan Mistretta 2/22/19

My Grandmothers Film Experience.

My grandmother Linda Yarbrough was born on February 11, 1956. She is 63 years old and she has had lots of movie experience during her life so far. She has also witnessed the movies change a lot. I asked her questions and these are her answers. The picture on the left is of my brother Mason, My grandmother Linda and I. we are at Duns River Falls in Jamaica

What is the first theater you remember going to? The first films you remember watching? What do you remember about old theaters?

“The first theatre that I remember going to is the Griffin Theater. The theater has been demolished. Some of the first films that I remember watching are Gone with the wind, Swiss Family Robinson, and Midnight Cowboy. Some of the first things that I remember from the old theaters are that they were on film rolls and that they had to be changed often. Seeing a movie on that big of a screen made me feel special. The cost of a ticket was less than two dollars.”

Did you go to the theaters often? What are some of the films that you have seen?

“I did not go to the theaters often. Once I went on a field trip to go see gone with the Wind. I was in the seventh or eighth grade. I think that that field trip was to Charlotte but I am not too sure. I have gone to drive in movies. such as the Sunset Drive and another one in Rutherfordton. I remember getting a box with a speaker and this is how I heard the movie. I also got out of the car and sat on a blanket sometimes. Some of the movies that I remember watching at a drive-in are Jaws and Star Wars. I was scared to go in the ocean after watching Jaws.” Photo credits- http://photos.cinematreasures.org/production/photos/105884/1408167540/large.jpg?1408167540


How did VHS tapes and movie rentals change the way that you saw movies?

“My family did buy a VCR player that used VHS. After this purchase, we went to rent VHS tapes. The first movie that I remember renting and watching is Splash, it is about a mermaid that is in New York. When my family was going to rent a movie we would decide by seeing commercials on Tv and reading the back of the case.”

Do you rent movies now? Do you watch them online?

“Now that I live on my own with my husband I sometimes rent DVDs. I would love to see online movies but internet providers refuse to bring internet down our road.”

What kind of movies and shows do you watch now? Have they changed in the last 20 years?

“I love to watch crime drama like NCIS. I also like medical drama series my favorite is The Good Doctor. My taste in films has changed over time. While your mother was growing up I watched what the children wanted to watch. After a while when my grandchildren came along I started to love Disney movies again.” Photo credits- https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTU3NDc3ODE2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTk1OTYzNjM@.V1.jpg

Do you go to the movies often? what have you noticed that has changed?

“I do not go to theaters very often. The thing that has improved the most is the picture and the sound quality.”

What was the last film you have seen in a theater? did you enjoy the experience?

“The last movie that I have seen in a theater was Gods Not Dead. I enjoyed the movie. the seating was great the chairs rocked and were very comfortable. The drinks and the popcorn were supersized and very pricy. The admission was around $10.00. The price has really gone up.”

The interview was on 2/9/19

Dylan Mistretta 2/13/19