Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Actually a Really Good Story

   This past Saturday, I headed off to the Movie Theatre with my girlfriend, looking forward to seeing the new Horror thriller Paranormal Activities 2, only to be met by a line out the door, and around the fountain at the Long Beach Town Center.  We thought about just waiting it out, but... we just decided to see something else, and not waste four hours of our lives, waiting to be let in to see the trailers, and trying to make simplistic and incoherent small talk with the people waiting around us.  After scouring the movie board for an alternative, our eyes fell upon, It's Kind of a Funny Story, starring, most importantly, Zach Galifianakis as Bobby, Keir Gilchrist as Craig, and Emma Roberts as Noelle.  We thought it may be entertaining, or at least slightly comical, so we gave it a shot.  From the previews, we figured all of the funniest scenes were already shown, and that the rest of the film would be stupid comments and remarks, one after another, with no real back bone to the story, other than a guy who puts himself into a mental hospital, and meets a girl there, and they fall in love... basically a boy meets girl story, with a slightly dark overtone.  Much to our surprise, however, it turned out to be a pretty funny movie, with many moments of uncontrolled laughter, and lined with enough depth to the story, allowing the viewer to fall in love with the characters, and root for them, laugh with them, and cry with them, from start to finish.  Through the film, the central lesson Bobby wants Craig to learn is to simply, "Live."  He tells Craig that if he were in his situation, there would be no end to what he would do.  His youth is his advantage in life, because he hasn't done anything to ruin his life yet, and he can still choose who he wants be in the world.  I feel this message is very applicable to many teens the world around, and i feel that this film did a great job of showing the youth of the world that the future is ours, and, in the grand scheme of things, all we need to do now is, "Live!."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh, Why Don't You Just Grow Up?

As a child, watching Disney's Peter Pan, brought me to the conclusion that adults were all like the notorious Captain Hook, who preyed upon the children, and tried his very best to ruin their lives, simply because he was no longer a child, and was envious of the fun they had every single day. Now, don't worry, I am not going to go on with an analysis about how Captain Hook was simply a sad old man who wished he could live once again as the children do, and that he shouldn't be blamed for all the wicked things he did. No, I feel that to commit such a heinous crime would be to do a treacherous act toward the world of children films. The beauty of Disney movies, in particular, is the fact that they all follow the same sort of plot lines, and twists, and yet, in the end, each and every movie ends up having it's own unique vibe which sets it apart from all the others, and even teaches it's very own life lesson which, no matter how old you are, can always be used to help you through any applicable situation that may arise. In the case of Peter Pan, for instance, we are taught the life lesson of never forgetting our childhood. Yes, we may grow old, and have to live in the real world for most of our adult lives, but, every now and again, it is not a bad idea to try to be a kid again. Try new things, and never stop using your imagination! I even feel it is safe to say that many parents forget this lesson once they have kids, because every time their child does something that may be somewhat more adventuresome, they treat it as a horrid act, and one which must be stopped, and replaced with some form of punishment. I feel many adults forget what it was like to be a kid, and forget that many of the things their kids do are the exact same things they once did, as well. The second we stop using our imagination, the second we lose what it meant to be as free as a kid, or even teenager, we stop living, and simply start doing. Although maybe not what most kids see when they watch Peter Pan, I feel that as a young adult, the message which was originally intended for us to see, was that we need to never lose our inner child, because when that happens, we end up dying inside of ourselves, and can no longer see the true beauties of life on this amazing planet.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Am... ummm... Apocalyptic Comedy?

    Imagine a world, where you are the last surviving human being, to the best of your knowledge, surrounded by creatures who you once called your fellow man. Now, imagine a world where you are the last of a few people who are all out for themselves, and no matter who they are, or what they do to help you, everyone always stabs the other in the back, simply fighting for their own survival, and the ability to, “Enjoy the Little Things.” (Rule #32)” This is the cruel and yet fairly picturesque world in the comedic horror flick from 2009, entitled, Zombieland. After a virus infects most of the human population (except for a few lucky souls, including the infamous Bill Murray of, Ghostbusters, and, The Caddie Shack, fame), Columbus, a sheltered and very shy teenager from Ohio, is busy trying to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, as well as creating a list of things to do along the way, in order to survive in the deadly world of Zombies. On his journeys, he meets up with a man named Tallahassee, who is from Florida, and thrives on killing zombies. To put it simply, if you were ever to be the lucky person (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it) to survive the onslaught of the immanent Zombie Apocalypse, he is the man you would want at your side. “Nuff' said.” Although he can be very temperamental, and has a man-crush/bro-mance thing going on with his idol, Bill Murray, he is a living dead killing aficionado, who has seen it all, including a lady dropping a piano on a zombie. How epic is that, right? WRONG! At one point, he kills a slightly overweight zombie, I like to call Hungry Jack, using only a pair of hedge shears. Can anyone, in their best British accent of course, say, “Off with his head?” Throughout the film, he teaches Columbus a very crucial lesson in surviving the Zombie filled world, which I feel even has note-worthy applications to today's non-Zombie filled world. And no, the guy sitting to your right isn't a Zombie... he's just playing Farm-ville. As I have stated above, Columbus' deemed, Rule #32, states, “Enjoy the Little Things.” Yes, in the film, this involved destroying abandoned shops and cars, and shooting Zombies until there is nothing left but a pile of black, slightly molding guts (“Double Tap” (Rule #2), but today, this can simply mean to go out and do something which you have never done before. Or, even as Tallahassee attempts to do throughout the movie, enjoy the simple pleasure of a lightly fried, and awe-inspiringly delicious, Hostess Twinkie. So, the moral of the story is, go out there, non-infected people of the world, and enjoy the small things which keep you sane throughout the hectic days of school and work. And, as Columbus always reminds us, please, “Check the Back Seat,” and, “Wear Seat Belts,” (Rules #31 & 4).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gat... Goddi... Gattik... Wait, How Do You Spell It, Again?

   Despite it's strange spelling, Gattaca, a science fiction film centered upon the science and future dangers, per say, of genetic engineering, is a movie which seemingly slipped under the radar.  Released in 1997, making it over 13 years old now, arrived at some interesting questions regarding the sciences of changing and "designing" the genetic make up of people before they are born.  Vincent Freeman, the main character, and the older of the Freeman sons, was conceived and born, against the better judgement of the Geneticist's (the main geneticist being Blair Underwood), naturally, with out any genetic engineering, causing him to be susceptible to various diseases, including asthma.  As a child, and young adult, he was very sickly, and, after his parents had a second child named Anton, who was genetically altered, was always seen as inferior by his parents and his younger brother.  To sum it up, Anton was determined to be an astronaut, and Vincent was forced into a life of medial jobs including becoming a janitor.  The climax, of sorts, brings up many questions, however.  At one point in the movie, the two Freeman brothers are racing each other in the ocean, when Anton begins drowning, and Vincent wins the race.  Once he realizes Anton is not next to him, he returns to rescue him, and drags him back to shore.  Instead of being thankful, Anton is disgusted, not at Vincent, but rather at himself, for having lost to his "inferior" brother, and having to be rescued by him as well.  This pivotal moment shows how, even though he may be perfect on the outside, Anton is quite conflicted and, to put it bluntly, sick, on the inside.  This may even be deemed a superiority complex, in his case.  This is seen once again when, a few days before he is about to launch off into space, Anton kills himself, because he can no longer live with himself, now that he sees himself as a failure, and, inferior to his, so-called, "inferior" brother.  Looking at this reaction, it makes me wonder if being "perfect," is all that great in the end.  Being human is to be imperfect, and to consider one self to be perfect is to simply set yourself up for disappointment.  Now, although I could go on for much longer, I'd rather give you all a chance to think about this for yourself, and maybe comment with some of your ideas.  Also, what I have discussed only covers about half of the movie, and I do not feel I should continue discussing the second half.  Considering this film is slightly older, and, as I mentioned before, seemed to fly under the radar, I feel it would be better if you were to watch it for yourself.

Friday, October 1, 2010

One Ring to Rule them All

   After having read my previous post, I felt as though I could have gone more in depth into certain aspects of the review, such as the concept of the Ring, which, as the title suggests, is sort of the key object to the development of the story.  The Ring, "to rule them all," was originally created from the firey lava that flows deep within the volcano named "Orodruin," or Mount Doom. This ring was used to eventually control the actions of the different rulers across the land of Middle Earth, including, but not limited to, the race of Men, Elves, and Dwarves.  All of which were given rings, or the "Rings of Power," which were supposed to help them become more powerful leaders, but, as we find thorughout the course of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, they eventually led to the downfall of almost all the rulers.  Now, looking back further into the timeline of the world of Middle Earth, after Elendil (who formed the final alliance between men and elves) killed Sauron in the Great Battle, his son, Isuldar, took up his broken sword, along with the One Ring which he cut off of Sauron's dead hand.  He was killed on his journey home, when, while trying to escape, he was killed by a band of orcs, and teh ring fell to it's resting place at the bottom of a river, and was not found until around the time slightly before the events of The Hobbit.  Smeagle, a Hobbit, as is found out later, found it while fishing, and ended up falling victim to the Ring's magical power to take over the beings will power.  He lived out most of the remainder of his life in a dark cavernous lake, until the ring was stolen by Bilbo Baggin's, Frodo's uncle, in The Hobbit.  We can see the apparent obsession with the ring even by the way Smeagle reacts after the ring is stolen.  He cries day and night, for, "his Precious."  Even later on, after Frodo is asked to take the Ring to the Mount Doom to destroy the Ring in the fires which it was created, he is affected by the ring, and is constantly tormented by the Ring's power to try and take over the holder's mind and will power.  The Ring's single goal is to return to it's dark master, Sauron.  The Ring's power can be seen also by the fact that not even Gandalf, one of the more powerful "good" wizards in Middle Earth, can touch the Ring, because, even though is strong, the Ring could make him even stronger, but at the same time coruupt his mind and will, and make him turn evil.  It would make it easier to think of the Ring as, say, a part of Sauron himself.  It is an entity of infinite evil, which has one goal, and only one goal: to return to it's master, and be used as a tool to gain Dominion over the world of Middle Earth.