To those in Herzog’s Class

First off, hi there. Thank you for visiting. You are too kind.

Second, if you want to comment on posts that relate to class, use the CATEGORIES sidebar to select “For Class.”

This will filter out the posts so just class-related ones show.

Feel free to see the other ones, though. I don’t get paid to not have them be read…wait, I don’t get paid at all. Where’s my money?!

The Gazes of an African Soul: The “Gaze” as seen in Black Girl

The “Gaze” exists in several forms. The most popular kind is the gender based gaze, such as how men in film look upon women as though they are material. However, this particular example does not involve gender. What these two gazes represent are debatable in interpretation.

This is the last scene in the film “Black Girl.” The protagonist, a black girl from Africa, comes to France with a seemingly tender family to live a life of liberty. However, having been oppressed and abused by the family, the girl commits suicide. The father, though just as responsible for her pain, was humble enough to take her belongings back to her family. A small boy, whom happens to be the younger brother of the late black girl, takes the mask that was returned to him. The father uncomfortably leaves with increasing pace as the masked figure follows him all the way back to the airport entrance.

Two gazes exist, each bearing a different meaning.

1) The Mask

This African mask followed the father everywhere he went, never letting go of his sight. The mask seems to represent some sort of spirit. One kind of spirit it could be is one of judgement. Whether it is metaphoric for “our” God or another, this mask has a very omnipotent presence. The fear projected by the father could be his indirect fear of judgement itself, and how he is developing a guilt for his role in the protagonist’s suicide.

However, it can also be debated that the mask represents the spirit of Africa. A more literal take of the gaze, the father feared the mask as any stranger to a culture would. Selfish and materialistic, he doesn’t understand the life of a developing country. Neither does he want to. Its vast difference in lifestyle alienates him from absorbing the culture.

2) The Boy

The mask is slowly lowered, revealing a boy. Anyone can see his gaze reflects the pain of his late sister. The boy is looking at two particular people. In the film, it is made apparent that he is constantly watching the father. However, the cinematography of the shot implies a sort of indirect fourth wall break, as the boy appears to be looking at the audience. Rather than a spirit, the boy presents a colonial gaze. The pain seen in his gaze is one that implies that the father will never fully understand the burden he brought to the protagonist. The father, being of the outside world, is actually the developed world. The boy’s gaze upon the audience says how we, a developed society, don’t take into consideration the sufferings of other less fortunate countries. History has shown that major powers have abused the 3rd worlds without second thoughts, such as whether or not the people would be hurt in the process. The colonial gaze reminds the audience literally of the pain we don’t understand, just as the father, self-absorbed as he is, doesn’t understand the plight of the protagonist’s family.

Tom’s View: Psycho (1968)

Nothing is funnier than scottish midgets singing. Nothing…

"One things for sure: We don't represent those damn Brits!"

Oh, my apologies. I was watching The Wizard of Oz recently. Those were some good times…and some very frightful times…………

On a very related note, who likes insane serial killers? Introducing, Psycho! This is certainly not the first time it’s been introduced. It’s rather notorious for being directly responsible for the revolution of horror and thriller films and indirectly responsible for the rise of the slasher-killer sub-genre.

I’m sure you know the story. A girl on the run finds the Bates motel, meets a awkward yet adoring Norman Bates, and gets killed by whom appears to be Norman’s mother. A lot of people got pissed because the girl was considered the star of the film. What happened was  Mr.Hitchcock performed a rather clever, yet  tongue-in-cheek prank by having this star die less than half way through halfway through the film. Well played, Albert. Way to break the trend.

The ORIGINAL troll


So her sister and her lover decide to find out what the hell happened. And the mystery ensues.

It’s not easy to mention the famous shower scene without hitting points that have been mentioned before. The scary theme music, the quick and rapid shot changes, the clever use of chocolate syrup, blah blah blah… but one thing that was probably mentioned before that I really enjoy is the significance of the last shot.

That slow zoom out from her eye, revealing that small drop of water that we as the audience debate to be either from the shower or from her tears. Either way, this represents something. This particular woman isn’t your typical female stereotype. She was strong. Bold and smart, yet in the end, she ended up no better than those bimbos in most horror flicks who decide to run into the corner of the room rather than run for the door where the gun also happens to be…goddamn, those characters piss me off, but this one seemed like she had a chance. In the end, the stereotype that women are defenseless and doomed is enforced.

The film is, of course, all about Norman. There is a lot that can be said about him and his near-oedipal relationship with his “mother,” whom though only heard off screen gives a very cold-hearted and cruel impression. The best way to describe him and his mother is through one shot: this one. From the scene in Norman’s office room.

Many would agree that Norman is like the birds on his wall. Taken literally, he is as he describes birds. They prey on the harmless. They eat a lot. Norman not only “does” that but also eats his sandwich like a bird in this scene too. Very small bites.

However, we all know that technically, the murderer is the mother. She has such a tight grip on Norman’s Bates that he is practically her servant, which is funny because *spoiler* she’s kinda dead. The guy’s a loon and she is basically a split personality of Norman. Even then, considering the situation, Norman is the real victim of the whole movie. He has no control over this change. If he didn’t have his mom in his head, he would be a perfectly good oddball. However, he cannot fight his mother. Like the birds over his head, she is always watching him. Always, and ready to attack anyone who gets close to him.

No doubt the weakest scene in the film is the second to last one, where some therapist dude basically explains that whole thing I just told you in a mere minute or two. Gee, it seems that Norman was the killer, but wasn’t. It seems that it was his mother since Norman’s mind recreated her psychological profile that dominated most of Norman’s conscious. Could that be? Nah, I’m dumb. I need some random ass dude I don’t care about to tell me. If people aren’t going to get it, let them be lost, because that is actually more fun than knowing what happened. The theories they make could possibly be more interesting…but oh well, we know what it is now. Cue the credits.

Revolutionary in its genre. An easy 4/4 stars.


Scene Analysis: Citizen Kane: How to run a Newspaper

(This is a rather straight to the point post. Those looking for humor will be disappointed. We cannot give refunds).

Long shot (0:00-2:24) The shot begins with the newspaper boss taking up most of the right side of the frame, holding a newspaper that covers most of the rest. He throws it down violently, revealing a man in a chair. Being blasted for his rather controversial articles in the paper, the man spins around in the chair to face the Boss, revealing himself to be Charles Foster Kane, smiling and drinking a cup of what appears to be tea. The boss is closest to the frame, and the angle of the shot shows that he’s supposed to have more power over Kane since he appears higher over him.

Most of the shot is in sharp focus, with several men clearly seen working in the background.

Kane places down the cup and picks up the newspaper that the boss slammed on the table. Simultaneously with his action of picking it up the paper, his friend rushes into the room, followed by a slower paced fellow in a suit.

The friend comes next to Kane, and the man in the suit comes in front of them. The Boss is still closest to the frame. The Suited man bends over on the desk, with the camera panning slightly down. It follows him as he pulls away from the desk and rejoins Kane and his friend.

Kane tosses the paper while placing a pipe in his mouth, and his friend reads off from a message he received for Kane. As he responds to the message, he takes a match he lit and readies his pipe. He laughs softly as he looks into his displeased boss. The suited man and friend leave. Kane smokes his pipe as his boss continues to retaliate. The Boss walks off to the right, with the camera following him.

As the boss sits down, so does the camera. Kane discards the match. The camera from here on slowly crawls into their conversation with each of the two at equal level. As Kane continues to confront his boss, he gains more of the frame. As he discusses his the “side” of him that is “the publisher of The Inquirer,” the camera zooms in on his face, with his boss holding a small amount of the right frame.

His boss stands up, Kane following along closely along with the camera. The Boss moves back from the frame to the back of the room grabbing his coat and his hat. Kane follows him, with the camera. He then assists him in putting on his coat.

The men in the background happen to be looking at the two as they discuss. Kane and his Boss stand on opposite sides of the frame facing each other, indirectly divided by a coat hanger. His boss reminds Kane that his “empire” is costing him a million dollars a year.

Kane replies, “I did lose a million dollars last year and I expect to lose a million dollars this year, I expect to lose a million dollars next year! You know Mr. Thatcher at the rate of a million dollars a year…”

New shot, closing up on Kane. “…I’ll have to close this place in…sixty years.”

Kane has taken control of the situation, progressively earning more of the frame which, in this scene, seems to represent a “battlefield.” Needless to say, Kane won the battle.

Movie View: Citizen Kane (1941)

(Let me take note that this post is meant to account for Herzhog’s blog challenge that if I succeed in, I will be granted $55 and a coupon for 25% off at any FYI retailer)


Oh yeah. You better believe it. It’s about to be 1941 all up in here.

Citizen Kane. Deemed as one of the greatest movies in Cinema. Nominated for 16 Academy Awards. Instituted a revolution in film history with its unique cinematography for that era. That Citizen Kane. Not Bold enough for ya?


Got it? Good.

It’s clearly had an influence on modern cinema. I happened to of noticed strong similarities between this and the new Star Wars films. Remember Anakin Skywalker?

This guy. If you don’t remember, here’s a quick synopsis. He was taken away from his home as a child to be raised to be a Jedi. Anakin went on to be a noble warrior among them, but once he recognized his power, he became corrupted and went bat-shit evil (aka, becoming Darth Vader).

Very similar to the story of Charles Foster Kane. Except, ya know, less CGI and not nearly as many spaceships or aliens. Also, feel free to replace “Jedi” with entrepreneur.


Oh wait, nevermind. That’s not really a spoiler. It’s the first scene in the movie.

Before I go on, did you notice how well that was done? The framing of the castle in the background seems to just naturally get bigger with each transition. The placement of the surroundings just magically works with the transition before it.

This is 1941, ladies and gentlemen. The most advanced shot you’ll get from your average movie is the reverse-reverse over the shoulder conversation shot.

Now, the world gets word of his death, and the only thing they have to go for him is two things. One, a short film summing up his life in a few minutes based on what the media has known of him. After watching the film, it almost seems like a parody. Two, his last dying words. “Rosebud.”

So a mystery is triggered. Who or what is Rosebud? A small group of journalists try to find out by asking Kane’s personal friends and even his second ex-wife. This group tries searching through his whole personal life just to find out, and as they do, they learn of his rise and fall as an imperial newspaper owner.

You see most of his life, yet you still wonder what made him so power hungry. Take a look at this scene from his younger adulthood.

This is the scene I wish to account for the challenge with.

Again, fantastic cinematography, mainly in the lighting. I’m not sure if this is right, but I think the dark shadow over Kane represents his fierce dedication to what he is saying. Perhaps it merely to draw attention to him, since he’s in the most darkness. But I feel it parallels what he is saying. How exactly, I wanna know. Maybe there isn’t supposed to be a specific meaning. Part of the reason why this movie is boss is because of the shots themselves. What the shots mean could be interpreted.

It would seem contradictory though, wouldn’t it? Dark shadows are usually for shady figures or omninous thoughts. But Mr.Kane here is speaking like a Ron Paul of the newspaper business. And that guy’s pretty goddamn honest.

I'm no Republican, but I'd vote for this guy

He is the only dark figure in the room. Any CK veteran would know how much of an asshole he’s gonna be. Is it a foreshadow? Maybe he be speaking truly, but the shadow is saying “Ha! Yeah Right!”

I would think he’s just being drawn attention to frame-wise. But looking at that, notice how he’s surrounded by people looking at him. Kane is a guy who thrives off of attention. Could the shadow foreshadow his downfall due to his need to be loved by others?

Those are my guesses. Feel free to educate me on the matter.

The whole film is built on these many paradigmatic connotations (proudly learned those words yesterday). Kane is a hard guy to read from beginning to end. All you can really see is a sad old man who just wanted to be happy. *SPOILER* And all it would of took was a sled named Rosebud.

Fantastically acted, especially by director Orsen Wells, and a damn good piece of work. Kicking the crap out of most modern films, it certainly earns the #1 spot of many lists for Greatest Movies of All Time.

4/4 Stars


Movie View: The Public Enemy (1931)

(Response to The Public Enemy screening)

I learned two things from this movie.

One, people who own gunshops in the 1920’s…were goddamn idiots.

Two, crime doesn’t pay.

Let’s be honest. That’s more of a “reminder” rather than something I learned. People these days have already learned their Crime 101 through other, more modern gangster films such as Goodfellas and The Godfather. Does that make The Public Enemy some bad ripoff? Certainly not. After all, it did come before them.

For it’s time period, The Public Enemy  ain’t half bad. There’s no doubt it did to the 30’s what Goodfellas did to the 80’s. Among the movie’s unique factors were it’s violence and sexual implication. It’s not easy to get away with films involving gun fights, seduction, and bitch slapping women with a grape fruit.

You will eat your daily fruits AND LIKE IT!! OR ELSE!!

Actually, the film didn’t get away with some scenes…sort of. Scenes were removed from re-releases, though mainly scenes of implied sex, and one involving a rather hilariously homosexual tailor (thus goes to show that back in the 1900’s, gays were much scarier than death itself).

Pretty much all releases after 1954, with and without censorship, had “cards” added to the beginning and end. Basically, it says despite being based on true events, the story of the film is not to be condoned. Rather, it’s a story that should teach what you shouldn’t do. It was obviously necessary, ’cause without those cards, people will be running around and shooting guns at baby kittens.

Now, let’s go on with the story. An awesomely named Tom Powers (played by the very talented James Cagney) and his less awesomely named friend Matt Doyle (Edward Woods) start a life of petty crimes such as stealing watches and junk. As they grow up, they climb to the top of the gangster food chain, mainly through bootlegging. Conflict brews between Tom’s “good” brother, Mike Powers (Donald Cook) and a rival gang he messes around with.

Also, his mother is oblivious to all of what Tom does. That annoyed me. A LOT. Mainly because Tom and Mike would argue about the crimes Tom did, and she’d only have a problem with the fact they are arguing. Tom could drag a naked dead body on the floor and she would still daydream about her “Wonderful boys!” It’s almost like she has Alzheimer’s. I’d bet people with real Alzheimer’s would find her lack of perception of reality laughable…for the time they remember it, of course.

The face of a charming guy

Tom Powers makes for an interesting character. He’s got a classic case of Dunnowhatitscalled, but the bare bones of his character is being edgy, having trouble with women (hence forcing a grapefruit in his girlfriend’s face and what not), and having even more trouble expressing himself. He does that old’ “knock on the chin” to show his sympathy and regards. He does this to his friends and even his own delusional mother. It shows that he’s not comfortable coming out of his shell, and if he can’t even express himself with his family, he’ll have trouble expressing himself to anyone. Asking for help or love is beneath him. It causes frustration and stress, and that combined with the arrogance he gains with his power makes him a troubled adult. It’s a character you feel is a victim of his own insecurities.

There’s a strong emphasis on the effects of the prohibition era. Remember, this movie was made in 1931, just TWO YEARS before the ban on alcohol was lifted. If there’s another note to take other than “crime doesn’t pay,” it’d be that life finds a way to things it wants. Even back in those “black and white times,” people thought banning alcohol would only encourage crime since it was so desired, but how can it be allowed without people abusing it? The answer is obvious: we learn to control our lives and make the right decisions…okay, since when did this become philosophy blog? Enough morality crap, what was I talking about?

Right! The film! Umm….let’s talk about the filmography.

For 1931, there were shots like these and ones that followed people down hallways in a style that reminded me of some more modern film shots.It’s hard to find a clip of ’em, but there’s definitely some neat shots done through the film. The beginning shot has a very nice choreography involving the framing, all while making a long shot. Reminded me of that one movie by Albert Hitchcock (which I never saw yet) which was edited to seem like it was made using one long shot. If ANYONE can tell me the name of it in the comment, you will be rewarded a cookie.

I'll just leave it riiiiiiight here

The biggest problem I had with the movie was the fact that I’ve seen it before. Indeed, I give it mad props for setting an example for other gangster movies, but it’s hard to capture the modern audience with gangster films outside of the top guns of the genre. Look at all of the gangster films you saw: don’t you notice a formula?

A troubled/poor/trouble-making kid since youth grows up to be a top dog gangster, yet loses it all in the end (possibly by death or betrayal). That’s a lot like a decent amount of films involving gangsters. They follow this formula, only to be separated by some plot details, setting, and of course, the audience it was meant for.

People who enjoy modern films more than the “Black and White ones” may or may not enjoy this movie as much as the guy who tolerates a fair share of monochrome. However, I think people should at least try it. The Public Enemy may be familiar and sticking to the formula of most gangster films, but it’s not a bad formula, is it? Not to mention it may have a decent amount of influence on those modern gangster flicks you happen to enjoy.

Check it out: 2.5/4 (add another point if you like gangster films/old movies in general)




Three Reasons Why Movie Adaptations Aren’t All That Better Than The Books

(Posted for English class: Original Post Here)

Let’s all reminisce about your favorite movies for a second. I’d bet among them would be Jurassic Park, Rambo,  A Clockwork Orange, and then some. Believe it or not, these movies are based on books, and we can agree that these are some pretty good movies. However, if you take the time to read the book versions, you may have a different perspective.

“The book was better,” is a phrase that goes around every now and then (with the exception of the Twilight saga, since the movies and books are equally garbage). There’s no doubt great movies based on books exist, but consider the philosophy of a certain Andre Bazin. He wrote an essay a long while ago about the adaptations of literature (“Adaptation, or the Cinemas as Digest”). A major point of the essay was that the translation of a book into a film, all while demonstrating the standards of art in film,  is extremely difficult without sacrificing some of the book’s original aspects.

In short, it may be fun to watch the film rather than the book, but you’re making sacrifices by not doing it. They would be…

1) You’re not getting the full story

Who do you think it is? Luke Skywalker?

Harry Potter fans: remember in the first movie when Harry has that really creepy dream? Harry Potter had on Professor Quirrell’s hat, and it was talking to him, telling him to switch from Griffindor to Slytherin.

Oh wait, that’s right. That scene wasn’t in the movie. Not even a deleted scene was found of it.

There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in the world of Harry Potter. In order to keep the running time at reasonable length and the pace proper for the film version, events from the book had to be cut. Unfortunately, the reader misses out on the information. In most cases, it’s no big deal, but the dream scene has a decent amount of plot-revealing foreshadows within the passage.

The first movie was 2 1/2 hours as it was. To include every single damn detail would be a bit long for the kiddies watching, don’t ya think?

2) You’re getting a different story all together (kind of)

The first Rambo film is based on First Blood, and the only one with a plot. The novel and film have the same premise: A war veteran’s gone a tad mad, and a small town sheriff and his men challenge the former green beret. However, it’s a tad different how we view each story.

John Rambo IS the center of the film/book, and the story revolves around him. If he were to change, so would the story. Therefore, the book and film versions are very different.

The book displays him as a blood-thirsty killer, seeing even civilians as enemies. That’s right: Rambo kills both cops, National Guardsmen, and innocent people. If you’ve only seen the movie, you’d be surprised by this savage nature. Why?

Because in the movie, Rambo is a victim gone mad. Having done so much for his country, only to be treated like dirt, Rambo has more shit to deal with when that small town sheriff basically picks a fight and forces a hunt on him. He’s not a savage psychopath. Rather, he’s a man trying to run away from his violent past…but is forced to fight for his right to run away.

Did I mention that in the original ending, Rambo dies? Oh yes, and that ending was filmed for the movie (you can see it among the deleted scenes in the DVD version). However, negative reaction sparked over that ending. It was either because it would ruin chances for future money sequels, or it was because the book’s sense of it’s character differed from the movie’s sense. If Rambo were to die in the movie, it would mean that all his efforts for running away from his past were in vein. The book makes it seem like it’s the only way he can avoid it since, ya know, he’s much more bonkers. The art of the character is changed from the book version in order to seem fitting for the film audience.

 3) You’re missing the point the author was trying to make

A Clockwork Orange is…well, it’s quite a work, indeed.

Alex, a criminal who rapes and steals with his gang of “droogs,” is caught and thrown in jail. To get out early, he agrees to take part in an experiment. Basically, he is forced to be “good” through a sort of mental training. Alex is brought pain when thinks of immoral acts and his favorite type of music (for reasons that revolve around the scientists being mean jerks who don’t like music).

Spoiler alert: Alex eventually succeeds in removing the effects from his brain, returning to his old ways. Thus showing that good has to come from the heart, not training.

After he returns to his life of villainy, Alex realizes that this life no longer thrills him, and decides to turn his life around and even consider having a family- Woah woah WOAH! Wait a minute! That’s not how the movie ended!

Indeed…but that’s how the book ended. Though, assuming you’re from the USA, you’d only know the real ending from reading a copy of the book published after 1986. The author himself thought us Americans wouldn’t like that ending and allowed it to be cut from the US version. That way, it would just end with Alex simply being an evil douche again.

The purpose of this ending is to show that people can mature and grow up. It’s purposely the 21st chapter of the book because 21 is the age we are officially adults. Because of the cut, people missed this big picture. The dark ending it was given makes it seem like a fable, since fables involve little change in the protagonist’s character development.


No doubt these movies are good, but to get the true experience of the story, read the book. I know, it’s hard, reading sucks, and even I probably won’t read them, but the fact is that’s where it’s at.

Before the View: Battleship (plus 4 obvious reasons why it will suck)

Listen very carefully: Do NOT watch this trailer! Your eyes will explode from the horror your brain cannot process. Just read something else or, better yet, stay very far away from the internet itself. VERY VERY FAR AWAY.

Did you watch it? Good. My reverse psychology worked.

What you saw was indeed the trailer for Battleship.

Yes. THIS Battleship.

All psychological superiority aside, I wasn’t joking when I typed what you saw was going to be a horror. I had confused this for a film by Michael Bay, who never fails to deliver nonsensical action. That’s why it surprised me to find out he wasn’t involved, because whoever conceived this movie makes Michael Bay look like a kid playing with fire crackers.

It’s not hard to tell that this movie is pure manure. Then again, this is being discussed on the internet, which is full of stubborn people who think Megan Fox can act in the Transformers movies and probably have knowledge that can be rivaled by the item nearest to your right hand (in my case, it’s a spatula. Do not ask why). So whether or not YOU know already, somebody doesn’t, and I must now THOROUGHLY tell them why this movie is bad.

I made this blog for a reason: School. However, I am also using it for entirely different reasons. In this case, I’m going to tell and/or remind you specifically what is wrong with this movie based on the trailer. Since I am notoriously lazy, I will stick with just the big points.

Now put on your gloves, kids! Hollywood is dead, and it’s time to give it an autopsy.

Expect this on Hollywood's tombstone

1) Sexuality in a Movie based on a FAMILY board game


Usually, if it’s in the trailer, it means there has to be some emphasis on it in the movie. If asses are gonna be gliding over the screen, then perhaps some sexuality is to be expected. Seeing as how this is a property based on a FAMILY board game, why is that such a good idea?

I believe to have perfected a theory: Hot babes are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. If society is ever fully convinced that sex makes the film, then Hollywood is all set, because it has a full arsenal of young, sweet models to keep you distracted for generations. That distraction is practically welfare for Hollywood. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that this movie is secretly a training program to make people think that people like Megan Fox is hot and without sex in movies, they will fail.


Whether or not the movie is all about face-planting the frame with fat bottom girls, these things have an impact on the viewer. There may not be sex or seductive dancing, which is definitely the most noticeable kind of sexuality in film.  But images like this one, whether you notice or not, are picked up in YOUR brain and that of the person sitting next to you. That person could be a kid.

The problem with that is NOT because a small innocent child is looking at sexual content (I HATE censorship): it’s that his currently developing brain is being told that this stuff is what makes a movie good. Forget story and character arcs! Check out that figure-eight body! And OH LOOK EXPLOSIONS! YEAH OMG!!1!1! And since these kids are indirectly told to think this way, mainstream filmmakers don’t even need to try anymore. Fire + Boobs= Money, for both the filmmakers and Hollywood itself.

Really consider this theory, and if it catches on, call it Schalk’s Indirect Seduction Theory (SIST for short).

 2) Soccer

A lot like my very first game of Battleship

Hey, remember when you thought “Twilight” was about kick-ass vampires and werewolves at war with each other? Remember when it turned out to be just awkward teenage romance and, at one point, baseball?

Seriously, the trailer has a decent emphasis on a soccer game. Why exactly is this important for a movie about battleships and military? I refuse to see the movie in order to find out.  It’s annoying me to think about it. Next!

3) Liam Neeson…just…he just doesn’t care…

It pains me to see the man who played a God/Jedi/Mercenary seem so disappointed in himself. Though, to be frank, he should be. He decided to work on this movie.

Neeson, throughout the whole trailer, acts like a grumpy captain and a protective father against the protagonist. Anyone will say his character is generic, one dimensional, and uninteresting. Really, I think all that anger is just him venting for having to take such a low blow to his movie career. He’s well aware of the disaster he’s a part of.

4) ???






I will remind all readers  that this movie is based on a family board game about battleships shooting at each other…and there’s not one goddamn alien in it. 

Jesus, let’s finish this up.

4) “Sir, Which weapons?”


The climax of the trailer was near, I was expecting to be happy once it was over, but once I heard this, I was about to deck my wall in the face.

So that alien ship/dog/spatula is flying around causing crap to fly, and Liam Neeson (still angry at himself for being in this movie) orders his crew to fire the weapons.

“Sir, which weapons?”

Then Liam Neeson said, “All of them.”

You can tell the movie was trying to make it seem like such a cool line, and how it’s worthy of an Oscar for its screenplay. But even Neeson responds to him in the same way we thought: along the lines of “Are you f**king joking?” Because clearly, you shoot back if there’s a giant, hostile alien ship/dog/spatula about to attack you. You don’t think WHAT you shoot. You shoot. Period. Logic 101.

If this is the highlight of their script, then this movie is truly dead. The alien shtick beat it half to death, and this injected poison into it.


Goddamn, this trailer pissed me off. The actual movie will no doubt influence the suicides of at least 5 brain cells. Feel free to address any other things I didn’t get to.






Movie View: Triumph of the Will (1935)

(Response to “M” Screening)

You ever hear of that Hitler fellow? He seems like a really cool guy.

A friendly face

Oh, what’s that? What about Poland? Final Solution? Killed six million…Oooohh…

Well, he SEEMED like a cool guy. At least after watching Triumph of the Will, that is. Certainly, you’ve heard of  this German propaganda classic, haven’t you? If not, you’re certainly familiar with it’s cinematography. What it lacks in mentioning Hitler’s sociopath ideals, it makes up for incredible shots even for the modern cinema era. It’s more known in the States for it’s influential shots rather than it’s purpose as a film. Even Star Wars has taken influence from it.

About that “purpose as the film:” This movie is the brain child of Leni Riefenstahl. Technically, it was Hitler’s idea, since he personally asked her to make footage of his rallies AND was an uncredited executive producer. Regardless, her goal was to basically make Hitler look as awesome as possible. She did a damn good job. Her movie makes Hitler look SO AWESOME that it’s claimed to be edit-proof. No one could edit the film to make Hitler look like the psychopath he’s known to be, especially since the film didn’t even mention that whole genocide thing. It is a propaganda film, after all. It’s whole premise is that Germany’s former glory can be restored 124% better than before, and all they need is this guy…


Take a look at the video right HERE. Skip right into 4 minutes of the video (unless you wanna see some fancy shots from a plane…they are very nice).

Notice how happy everybody is. They look at this guy like a celebrity. Kids are shaking his hand, women are blessing his name, people want to touch his mustache. It’s like when Lindsay Lohan was still popular.

And this is basically the whole movie. People having fun, looking up to Hitler who looks stylish and makes promising speeches, all while making funny poses.

Pew Pew, I'm a cowboy


Sha na na, What's my name?


Hee hee, I can make up stuff all day, but let’s wrap this up.

Triumph of the Will is a damn good propaganda film. Not just for the fact that it does a good job at making an evil guy look boss, but it also has some cool shots that movies today can take a tip from. It credited Leni Riefenstahl as among the best female movie makers of the 20th century. Although, it was kinda hard to make movies after WWII when the world knows Hitler was your BFF, so her career was destroyed not long after his fall.

A historical artifact for propaganda films and films in general. Not a “popcorn-munching” flick, obviously, but for what it is, it gets the job well done.



And so we can get some traffic on this blog: look at this picture:

Post in the comments a funny caption to go along with it. I’m too lazy to think of any ideas.

Tom’s Lowdown: A warm welcome

Why hello there, curious reader.  Call me Tom.

I’m just a fun, movie loving guy with a few opinions to share. Before I start posting, I’m gonna have to break some ice first. I’d like my readers to understand what kind of movie viewer I am. Let’s begin, and end briefly.

1) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is the best film ever…PERIOD

There’s no argument here. Feel free to debate, because I actually look forward to them, but be warned. I can write a book on why I am right and why you are wrong and why you stink and why your favorite movie sucks. Nah, I’m only kidding: I’ll just write one on why you’re wrong. Actually doing all that is a lot of work (I’m lazy).

2) Jack Nicolson is the best Joker (But Ledger’s a close second)

(Left) Jack Nicolson's Joker, (Right) The only Joker YOU KNOW


The Joker is one of the most badass villains in the Batman universe, and one of the best villains in fiction. Both the incarnations of the character by Chris Nolan and Tim Burton are pretty damn boss. Heath Ledger’s Joker was excellent, demonstrating a Joker that was no where as creepy and scary as the other ones. It was because he felt so real, and believe it or not, this world is full of crazy people. Maybe not as crazy as him, but it’s still scary.

What Jack has him beat by is his style and class. Yes, that’s the winning factor. He was a classy, arrogant, already kinda crazy guy who was the “second-in-command” for a crime syndicate. Even when he goes bonkers, he still has style and black humor to make him likable to us.

Thing is, Heath’s joker got into your head, which seems like what a real psychopath will do. He’s the most realistic. Jack maintained the comic book personality without being corny and while being able to push it into dark territory.  He’s the closest to the comic book character the movies have seen. I guess it’s what your into.

One thing’s for sure. They beat the crap out of Cesar Romero.

Goddamn cornball


As more thoughts run through this noggin of mine, I’ll be sure to share them.