Saturday, December 12, 2009

Presentation Response

My Thoughts

I think I did well when presenting my perspective an elements of fiction that I found within Watchmen. It was very revealing to hear that all of my hard work put into preparing my presentation, payed off. One of the strengths within my presentation had to be my confidence and my passion hidden behind the topic of discussion. I have always been interested in the analysis of literature, as I plan to minor within English studies while at university. This gave me extra motivation when deciphering aspects within my topic. I believed that my tone was very clear and my eye contact with the audience was frequently used.

There were some things that I need to improve on when presenting. While presenting my topic of discussion, I tried to limit my "umms" and "likes" as much as possible. Despite my efforts, I managed to say umm about 3 to 4 times. Another thing I noticed, not only within my group, but within every group's seminar was the lack of class involvement. When presenting a topic to the audience during a seminar, your goal is to teach the audience about your topic. Adding class discussions on various aspects of your topic ensures that the audience understands and is paying attention to your presentation. This adds motivation to the audience, as it is very boring when sitting in front of a group of presenters that read off valid points with no feeling or emotion behind it. The idea of some form of class discussion would have been added and is definitely suggested to other groups for this purpose.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gallery Walk

Page 1:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: The Holocaust, Jews escaping Nazi power

2. Characters Visible: Mice (Jews), Cats (Nazis), Mr. Spiegelman

3. Language: a bit of slang due to the fact that characters are portrayed with a slight accent.

4. Boxes: 6 boxes, many different sizes, smaller boxes if more are to be put in

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because of the lack of color as it is not very pleasing to the eye. The drawings are great, but could use more color.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. Yes, as I am really interested in World War II history and this is based on a major event within World War II.

Page 2:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: Child Soldiers. War in Iraq

2. Characters Visible: Child Soldiers, Shahab, Ms. Nasrime

3. Language: very formal and informative to readers

4. Boxes: 6 - 8 boxes depending on the size

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because of the lack of color as it is not very pleasing to the eye. The drawings are great, but could use more color.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. Yes,it is important for readers to learn hars realities going on around the world right now.

Page 3:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: The Watchmen, murder scene

2. Characters Visible: Detective, Rorschach (protester)

3. Language: informal, small sentences and statements

4. Boxes: 7, box bigger at bottom to fit larger image.

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: Very easy to follow because color supports visualization.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture. Color also helps identify areas of intrerest (ex. blood).

8. Yes, it s very entertaining and enjoyable for a fictional account.

Page 4:

1. Graphic Novel Focus: 300, Spartans against the Persians

2. Characters Visible: King Leonidas, Greek Spartans

3. Language: very small statements, action words, onomatopoeia

4. Boxes: 8 boxes depending on the size

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because boxes are very small.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. No, as it is too hard to follow based on its size.

Page 5:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: Creating a Robotic Boy

2. Characters Visible: Astro Boy, Tobio

3. Language: very small statements, informal

4. Boxes: 5 boxes, not same shape

5. Page Read: down

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because of the lack of color as it is not very pleasing to the eye. The drawings are great, but could use more color.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. No, too animated and cartoon like.

Article Response

But it's just a comic book, right?

I agree with the author of this article, simply because everyone seems to misjudge graphic novels and mistaken them for comic books. It amazes me how people tend not to label a graphic novel as a piece of literature because the text within most of them contain many aspects that can be found in a regular novel (ex. plot, climax, character development, setting, etc). The pictures are there to help paint a picture within a readers mind, in which many readers do not have that source of visual aid when reading a regular novel. The graphics also help readers further understand the charachters, giving the readers a physical visualization of what the character looks like in conjunction to how their personality is shown on the text. It is an excellent way to read a novel, and many readers should not over judge this wonderful type of literature.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Comparison to Film

When comparing the graphic novel Watchmen to the film, there is only one major difference that is distinguished between the two. In the graphic novel, Ozymandias (Adrian Veidt) plots to change the course of history by creating a giant squid that attacks New York City to fake an alien attack. This leads all the nations of Earth to cease their hostilities and unite at the height of the cold war.

In the film Veidt unleashes a series of attacks designed to mirror the energy beams created by Dr. Manhattan. This may seem a lot more reasonable, but ruins the great similarities between both of the movies. It almost seems like they did not want to go over budget by creating a large squid like creature to destroy all of New York City.

Everything within the film was very similar when comparing it to that of the graphic novel. All of the actors/actresses hired looked very identical to the characters shown within the novel, and costumes were also very accurate. Dialoguer was also taken from the novel and used as a script for the film itself. Some events may have been left out or altered, but this is because it would be too time consuming to leave all scenes the same length as the graphic novel applies.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Theme

There are many themes within Alan Moore's Watchmen, both with social and literary components. One of the themes located within the novel can be known as archetypes. Each character within the graphic novel can be classified as a particular archetype:

The Anima and the Animus:
The relationship between Laurie and Dan represents both the male and female half of the anima and the animus. As both halves are searching for love and companionship (finding your other half), the eventually fall in love and are connected to each other on an emotional level.

The Hero:
Rorschach can be classified as the "Rogue" Hero, as he is not portrayed as an innocent being with much to learn. Rorschach's goal is to make sure that justice is served and uses any meens necessary to get what he wants. He is very intelligent and cunning, which differentiates from a standard hero as they typically play it safe and have musch to learn.

The Quest/Call for Adventure:
Rorschach is faced with the task of uncovering the killer responsible for killing Edward Blake. To do so, he must go on the journey to find clues that will lead Rorschach to the killer.

The Wizard:
The idea of magical powers is evident within the film when analyzing Dr. Manhattan, as he can teleport from place to place, reconstruct atoms, and he also has the ability to change his height at a drastic level. His skin tone and way of dress also leans more towards that of a wizard.

The Shadow:
Towards the end of the novel, Rorschach and Night Owl soon discover that Ozymandias is responsible for the death of the Comedian and much of the havoc that has been spread throughout New York. In order for this to stop Rorschach must defeat the Shadow.

These are just some of many archetypes that can be found throughout the graphic novel.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Visual Style

Visuals within Watchmen contain many graphic displays that are intended for a mature audience. The use of mild nudity and excessive amounts of blood within each caption box may be a little too much to handle. When dealing with the illustration of boxes within the graphic novel, the illustrator uses a large amount of detail within the color scheme to outline important facial features and environmental surroundings. Despite the large amount of comment bubbles, the text stands out nicely and key points are in bold if the readers have trouble understanding what information is important to know. The illustrator had the ability to create a large amount of different emotions amongst the faces of characters, making it more interesting to read when analyzing a character's facial expressions. The layout of the novel is still in standard format, with changes based on the chapter is presented. This also allows readers to develop an interest in a particular character based upon on their rights.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Writing Style

When analyzing the writing styles of both Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, present within Watchmen, it is identified that this writing style is unique from any other graphic novel. There are several ways to distinguish the way the text is being presented to readers, one of them being the support of visuals with a dialogue versus actual text that can be found within a regular novel. The purpose of this text is to provide the reader with extra details of events that have taken place within the previous chapter. This typically contains a detailed character biography or police documentation, building a sense of believability that characters within the graphic novel actually exist. Each character has there own unique dialogue based upon their character description. For example, Rorschach, the shady, quiet character, often condenses his sentences down to one word while Ozymandias, the smartest man in the world,generally has much to say based upon the current situation. This unique dialogue also helps make the characters more believable and allows readers to view the emotions and feelings one character might express.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Characters

Here is a summary of some of the main characters within Watchmen. Many of the characters are affiliated with one another and were also members of the Watchmen group, in charge of keeping the city of Manhattan, New York safe from villains and illegal activity prior to 1985. After going into retirement for quite some time, they are forced to reunite due to the planned murder of one of the masked crime fighters, the Comedian, formally known as Edward Blake. Here is a list of the main characters that were involved within the graphic novel:

Rorschach:
Formally known as Joesph Kovacs, this member of the Watchmen is seen throughout the novel as a sneaky, cunning individual with two alternate personalities. Being abused by his alcoholic mother at a young age and becoming a witness to many hostilities as a child, Kovacs felt that it was his destiny to stand up against crime an villainy found within New York City. After obtaining a job as an unskilled manual worker in the garment industry, Kovacs found his true identity at the age of sixteen. It was here where he discovered a fabric that was tossed aside by a customer, said to be pressure sensitive and fluid based. Kovacs designed a mask from this fabric and from this point on developed the alias of "Rorschach", the cunning crime fighter that never sleeps until justice is served on the streets of Manhattan.

There are many major sections within the novel that are told within Rorschach's prospective. This is done by portraying each caption as a part of his journal. Rorschach also uses his alternate identity as as source of comfort for himself. He feels the need to always be masked to lock away his past life. This can be seen throughout the graphic novel when Rorschach refers to his mask as his "face".

The Comedian:
Formally known as Edward Blake and the oldest member within the Watchmen, the Comedian was a member of a former costumed hero group known as the Minutemen. The Comedian truly believed that life was one big joke and lived it facing a harsh reality. While in the Minutemen began working for the government and fell under the corruption of temptation, having treated criminals with a great amount of abuse and almost raping a fellow member of the Minutemen group. After a few long years in retirement, Edward Blake was murdered in 1985, setting the plot for the novel.

Dr. Manhattan:
Formally known as John Osterman, Dr. Manhattan was forced by his father to invest in getting a degree in Atomic Science. After accepting a job at Gila Flats, a scientific research center, John is trapped within a machine that separates objects from their intrinsic fields. As a result, John gains immense power and has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world. The government uses Dr.Manhattan as a tool of war, but soon finds himself joining the Watchmen and becomes attached to a female by the name of Laurie.

The Silk Spectre:
Formally known as Laurie Jupiter, Laurie is the daughter of Sallie Jupiter, an original masked crime fighter from the Minutemen. Growing up in the footsteps of her mother, Laurie is highly attached to John but their relationship begins to turn throughout the novel. Laurie reunites with the rest of the Watchmen to help solve the mystery behind the death of multiple costumed heroes.

The Night Owl:
Formally known as Dan Dreiberg, Dreiberg's father was a banker who left him a large inheritance, which he used to design and build his crime-fighting gear. Hollis Mason, Nite Owl, was his hero and when he retired, Dan wrote to Mason, asking if he could carry on the Night Owl legacy. Upon looking at his gear, Mason was too impressed to refuse him, so Dan started out in the 1960s. From then on, the two men became friends. Dan develops strong feelings for Laurie within the novel, and joins Rorschach to help him uncover the murder mystery of the Comedian.

Ozymandias:
Another former member of the Watchmen, group, Adrian Veidt has been deemed the smartest man in the world.It is his intelligence that creates a large amount of schemes thought the novel, causing the death of the Comedian and many others by the end of the novel. He is the true mastermind behind all of the committed crime in which the remaining Watchmen are sent to discover.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: The Plot

The Watchmen, a fictional account set in an alternate view of the United States in 1985, tells the tale of a fallen group of costumed heroes and their days spent in retirement. While the United States is at a confrontation with the Soviet Union of Russia, Rorschach (real name: Joesph Kovacs), a masked member of the Watchmen, discovers that a fellow member of the group of costumed heroes has been brutally murdered. Edward Blake, formally known as the Comedian, was photographed outside of his apartment entrance, after being beaten to death and thrown out of his apartment window. After investigating the crime scene, Rorschach finds himself with a hunch that the murder was planned by someone from his past and the Comedian is just one of the planned murders on all of the members within the Watchmen. After reuniting with the Silk Spectre, the Night Owl, Dr. Manhattan, and Ozymandias, Rorschach soon discovers that the villain lurks within his own group of accomplices. Only time will tell, as a gigantic creature is waiting to destroy half of New York, ending the Cold War between the Americans and the Russians, causing both of them to unite under suspicion of an Alien attack.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Else Do I Need: Campaign Planning

Television and Commercial Airing:
Commercials about the campaign will be aired during the day, approximately between 4 to 8 o'clock on weekdays, as many children are typically home from school at this time and can view the television when they get home for school. Since our television commercial is directed towards students within a school environment, this commercial will be aired on many children networks such as YTV, TVO kids, and the Family Channel, as the Family Channel is one of the organizations that supports anti-bullying within our campaign. This commercial is very short, and can also be geared towards teenagers within a high school environment. Since it can be used for a slightly older audience, this commercial can be placed on many television networks that have a wide spread teen audience. This includes networks such as MTV sand Muchmusic. The radio commercial can also be used on radio stations that have a larger teenage audience and can vary depending on their preference.

In order to spread the word about our anti-bullying campaign, posters can be displayed within areas that contain a large child/teenage audience. Buttons can be passed out and presentations can be made throughout various schools. For young teenagers, buttons can also be passed out within a mall environment on weekends, as many teenagers love to shop when they have the free time. T Shirts can also be purchased at designated locations within the mall, and information booths can be set up for people that have questions about Kids Help Phone and how are campaign is incorporated with the Family Channel.

Alternating Campaign for a different audience:

Adults:
Each theme can be changed to bullying within a workplace environment either co-worker vs. co-worker, or boss vs. employee. All of our content presenting information about bullying within a school environment will be changed to information informing adults about bullying within a workplace and how it can be avoided, what to do if the situation occurs, and how to prevent potential situations involving harassment within a workplace. All advertising will take place in an urban area close to large businesses (ex. The Eaton's Centre/ Union Station within Toronto), so adults within large corporations can be exposed to the campaign. Other organizations and workers unions will strongly be supported. Visuals can be added to the commercial or sounds around a workplace/ office environment can be substituted for school sounds. Another organization will be supported at the end, ex. a local workers union, government contracts, etc.

Teachers:
This idea can also be altered to fit bullying within a school environment, but rather supporting student harassment towards teachers. Information can be altered to fit the expectations of local school boards and seminars can be held with teachers on a monthly basis to help teachers prepare to avoid these issues. This campaign can be altered to support a teachers union, rather than Kids Help Phone or Family. Video content and radio content will be altered with different facts based upon harassment towards a teacher (ex. students yelling at a teacher excessively).

Teacher Harassment towards a student:
The same organizations and commercials can be used, but they must be altered in some way informing students that bullying is not only on a student vs. student level. Many children/teenager are unaware of this, so more advertising will be produced to focus on this issue and school visits will mention facts about this issue. The video can be altered to have voices of teachers yelling at students excessively, etc.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

School Ties Assignment

1. If I was a teacher, I would use this film to teach the class about racism within a school environment and within society today. This can be done by analyzing comments directed to the student with a Jewish background, and how he had to hide is religion from everyone else within his school, as Jews were frowned upon after the Holocaust by many Catholics. I would make sure to inform the class that color discrimination is not the only form of racism, as many people can be attacked based upon their religious views identifying them as an individual race. All of the negative comments presented can be beneficial, but the students may loose interest as this film was portrayed in an earlier time.

2. If a parent complained about the excessive amounts of racist terms used towards the Jewish race and the one scene including partial nudity, I would address to the parents that this can happen within a real life scenario and that students within a high school environment should be mature enough to view these scenarios, as they may experience similar accounts within their high school.

3. There are many limitations towards this particular form of media because it is somewhat outdated, as this was set right after the Holocaust. Messages may not be portrayed quickly. A pamphlet can be used to obtain more detailed information about the issue, or a remake of the film in a modren high school.

2012: a Movie Worth Going to See?

2012

Yesterday, I had the spare time to go see 2012 staring John Cusack. If you don't know what this movie is about, 2012 tells the story of an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. The film was released on November 13th 2009, and I had the opportunity of viewing it on the film's opening weekend.

The film was phenomenal! The special effects throughout the movie were astonishing and John Cusack played an amazing role throughout the film. There may be some parts within the film that involve a lot of dialogue, but that is something to expect as the film is just shy of three hours when including previews. I was really surprised when walking into the movie theatre, as I have heard many terrible reviews from critics, but my opinion was soon changed when seeing the catastrophic events throughout the film.

2012 is now playing in a theatre near you, so why not go take a look. It is higly recommeded, but just remember, it is a bit lenghty.

Links to Today's Blurb:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1190080/

The Trailer:



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Feelings about Remembrance Day

Both of my grandfathers were also involved within WWII, one was called home before being sent over seas, the other was an Italian war prisoner. I am really happy that they were both here during my childhood, as I would have hated to be born into this world without getting to meet both of my grandfathers.

When celebrating a time of remembrance for those that have fought within World War II for our freedom today, it is hard not to get emotional. All of the soldiers that gave their lives for our freedom should be remembered for how much they sacrificed to make the country what it is today. It was great to see a presentation within the cafeteria about this specific celebration for the first time in all five years of my high school career. This presentation was more effective then listening to a five minute announcement while sitting in a classroom, as this brought no visualization and little impact to listeners. This ceremony should have deserved more respect from Pine Ridge in the past, and I am glad that they have done this presentation this year and hopefully for years to come.

One of the videos shown within the presentation was very touching:

Bonus Post: Students Pay for Grades!

Have you ever heard of the saying "you learn from your own mistakes"...

It is sad to see that students are stooping down to the level of paying for their grades to be altered to a higher equivalent. No matter what school a student attends, they should be entitled to the right of earning their marks as a reflection of their participation within a classroom environment rather then paying to get a higher grade. There are many students that try their best to get high marks, in which their marks reflect how hard they worked towards their goals. It would be a same to see all of that commitment out the window. How will students learn from heir mistakes, if they can just pay to raise their marks every time they get a low test score.

This seems like a form of cheating to me, as the students are just cheating themselves out of hard work and commitment needed for future schools. What happens if thew particular student that bought all of their marks ended up in a university, will they have what it takes to pass. After all, they are lying to universities when submitting their marks, as it does not reflect hard work and commitment, but a false average based upon the size of a student's wallet.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Anticipated Hit Coming Soon!


The Road

Directed by John Hillcoat, The Road tells the story of a young boy and his father struggling to survive after an apocalyptic event occurs. The family continues to move south to escape the increasing cold of the intense winter that is soon to come. The whole journey is a struggle to survive in a world no longer capable of sustaining life. They almost lose this struggle when a thief makes off with all their worldly possessions, and the Father nearly loses his struggle to hold on to his humanity in taking those possessions back. The boy is all that keeps him barely human as the adventure unfolds. Will they have what it takes to survive?

The Road is set to release November 25th, 2009.



Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

The Trailer:




Prince of Persia Made into a Movie?


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

It seems like director Mike Newell has attempted to create another feature film based upon the plot of a video game. The Film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, is based upon a platinum selling video game with the same title, but will it surpass the standards of many that have failed at the attempt of creating a film based upon a video game.

Lets look at some of the films that have been placed into this category:

Mario Brothers:

Around the world, Mario and Luigi have been known as the face of the Nintendo franchise, but it seems like things fell a bit short within this film. Judging by the time it was released, it is acceptable that the film has terrible special effects, but there is no excuse when comparing the film to characteristics of the Nintendo characters. The film had little relevance to many arch foes, companions, and scenes within the classic series itself.



The same idea can be found when watching the film Doom. The film had a terrible plot and very low ratings.



Despite the horrible history of films developed from video games, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time looks like an excellent film to see. The special effects within the film are stunning, the trailer is very specific in reference to the plot within the video game, and the portrayal of characters within the movie seems to be accurate. The plot of the film follows an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is scheduled to release on May 28th, 2010.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473075/

The Trailer:









Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Childhood Television



The Big Comfy Couch is one of the television shows that I remember from my childhood. Like any other television show directed to children as it's target audience, there is always some sort of message behind every episode. The show itself takes setting within a town of clowns, where clowns are portrayed as kind, caring individuals. I find this a bit ironic as many children are typically scared of clowns. I always loved watching the segment where the main character turn into a human clock to help viewers learn how to read the time. I do believe that this was one of the first shows that helped me learn how to read the time. I remember that I always used to sing along whenever the opening sequence occurred.

When viewing this clip as an adult, I have noticed that the way of portraying morals to children within the show is a bit disappointing. It seems a bit lame to sit through a video and listen to jingles about a clown that likes to sleep in and procrastinate. I do think that the morals are portrayed efficiently towards children as each episode contains a different message, this one happens to be about falling down.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Anti-Bullying PSA



This public service announcement, produced by Family Channel, contains a very powerful message portrayed in an effective way. When viewing the video, it is apparent that a young male, possibly in his first year high school, is getting harassed by a group of senior students. The younger student was getting teased for having red hair and judging by his facial expressions, he was very uncomfortable about certain comments directed towards him. Another senior student was near by when the event took place and after being a witness to this, he came to school the next day with his hair died red. When the bullies began to tease the younger student, they soon stopped when noticing that the senior student also had red hair.

It's amazing how powerful this psa was when addressing an issue to the public without the use of such a large dialogue. It shows many viewers how to confront a bully without the use of physical or verbal contact.

This particular psa relates to myself as I am also in a high school environment where daily accounts of bullying have occurred. I remember in my first year of high school, being a "minor niner", I was always afraid to walk by a group of senior students. There was always gossip about many younger students getting picked on by older students, but it never happened to me. This psa provides a great example of what to do in a situation if someone you know is getting bullied by another peer.

I managed to catch a glimpse at the communication between the victim and the senior student sitting on the bleacher, noticing that they waved to each other for a split second. I was under the impression that they did not know each other, which made it even more powerful and motivational. Many students within a school environment are often bystanders to events such as this. If they take a stand to those that bully an individual, while using similar methods such as this source of confrontation, maybe it will make more students of the school environment feel safe and secure.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This is it!


Michael Jackson Documentary said to top Hannah Montana 3D Concert?

When watching MTV News, it shocked me to see that This is It, a documentary made about Michael Jackson, did so well that it made twice as much as Hannah Montana's 3D Concert. It really shocked me to see that the movie did so well, as the film contains footage of a rehearsal and not the full concert.

Directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), this film also contains interviews and backstage sessions as Michael Jackson prepared for his sold out shows in London.
It almost seems like the film is just a milk of his success, as many of his family members are probably making money off of the film, but the film still continues to top the box office.

Michael Jackson was a phenomenal artist and his work will live on for years. May he rest in peace.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Trailer:





Meet Darren. He's sixteen going on immortal...


Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Directed and written by Paul Weitz, the Vampire's Assistant is about a young boy named Darren who meets a mysterious man at a freak show. The mysterious man turns out to be a Vampire and after a series of events, Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque Du Freak, only now taking the form of a Vampire.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant was a great film to watch in theaters. John Reilly, famous or his act in Step Brothers, played an excellent role within the film. Its amazing how well he played the role of a vampire, as the role itself required such a serious attitude.

The movie itself does sound like the title of another typical Vampire movie, but the film differed from the traditional Twilight film in many entertaining ways.

With a little bit of comic relief and a great amount of stunning effects,
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is now playing at a theater near you. I definitely recommend going to see it.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450405/

The Video:

Small Budget Blows Box Office


Paranormal Activity

When listening to a conversation in class about the anticipation of Paranormal Activity, I was astonished on how well the preview of the movie was projected with such a small budget to work with. Having been released on October 16th, 2009, the thriller almost reached a total of 85 million in box office totals. I myself find it hard to believe, as the film is only 90 minutes long.

The film received great reviews, as Rotten Tomatoes describes the film aswith this statement: "Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense". Both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes user ratings averaged at about a 7.5 out of 10.

If you do not know the plot of this film, the storyline follows the life of a young couple, Katie and Micah. When Katie suggests a ghost has followed her to their suburban home in San Diego, California, Micah buys a video camera in the hopes of capturing paranormal activity on film, a project that will ultimately last three weeks. Attempting to communicate with the entity is strongly discouraged during a visit to their house by Dr. Fredrichs, a psychic who assesses that they are being plagued by a demon which feeds off "negative energy" and is intent on haunting Katie no matter where she goes. Dr. Fredrichs also recommended the two contact Dr. Abrams, a demonologist, and Micah's reluctance to do so leads to frequent arguments between the couple. Each night, Micah leaves the video camera on a tripod in their bedroom to record whatever might be occurring while he and Katie sleep. He manages to document several phenomena such as objects moving on their own, lights and televisions switching on and off, and sounds ranging from voices and growls to footsteps and loud thuds. Will they ever resolve this issue and make amends with the demonic presence?

Now its time to find out!

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179904/

The Trailer:


Saturday, October 31, 2009

BONUS!


That's One Terrible Parking Job!

Its no surprise that yet another parking job has been caught on film, but I have never seen someone take down two cars with them while trying to park. I wonder if the driver of the BMW would have been caught if the video never went viral, as the situation indicates that the video was picked up by police officers.

Another thing that comes to mind is how the
video was leaked over the internet. There is no indication if this video was put on YouTube just to spite the 62 year old women for running over two cars belonging to the Extreme Fitness Employees. Videos that tend to contain a crime being committed, often are kept confidential by the police.

Here are some videos of other parking jobs that are both pathetic and hilarious to watch:





Here's a video of a perfect parking job while evading the police:




Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Secret I Would Like to Share ...

I know this is straying off topic to the theme of my blog with what I am about to post and I am also aware of the "no personal post" rule or suggestion that has been stated in class, but it seems that we have never left The Toronto Maple Leafs alone when discussing topics amongst the media within our classroom. It's not like I'm offended by this, because I completely agree with everyone's statements in class. The Leafs do suck sand have lost every game they have played so far, but there is something that I have been hiding from the world that many may find very humorous ...

I AM A DIE HARD LEAFS FAN!!!

It may be hard to believe but lets take a look at my bedroom, or my worshiping temple, if you prefer.

I truly believed that Mats Sundin carried the Leafs out of a no game winning streak, but now things have obviously changed.















There's One in All of Us!


Where the Wild Things Are

Released on October 16th, 2009 this feature film is based on an adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world containing a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler. Max is a young boy who feels understood and wants to have fun all the time. After running away from his mother, he discovers a forest with a small lake. Max discovers a small boat within the lake and travels in it to a lost island. It is here where Max's imagination begins to unfold.

Director, Spike Jonze, must have done an excellent job providing visuals to the original children's book, as the film received great reviews in such a small amount of time after being released. The film itself made a total of $32, 695, 407
in it's weekend release and was number one in the top ten box office blowouts for the weekend.

Where the Wild Things Are continues to receive great reviews, as the film has gone up 400 % in popularity on IMDB and was given a rating of 8.2 out of 10.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386117/

The Trailer:




Saturday, October 24, 2009

Review, Please Mark!



U2: No Line on the Horizon

It seems like U2 vocalist Bono, guitarist, the Edge, bassist, Adam Clayton, and drummer, Lary Mullen Junior, have outdone themselves again with their latest release entitled No Line on the Horizon.

Written and recorded in many different locations, this is U2's 12th released studio album and is their latest release since the release of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, selling over nine million copies. Various recording locations include Fez, Morocco, Dublin, and New York's platinum sound recording studios. No Line on the Horizon includes the production talents of collaborators Brian Eno, Danny Lanois, and additional production by Steve Lillywhite, past production assistants to the U2 franchise.

With three hit singles currently released off of the album, one of them now representing the blackberry commercial, tracks entitled No Line on the Horizon, I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight, and Get on Your Boots, have continued to top the music charts. All of the band members contributed a great amount of effort within all of the tracks listed on the album, as Bono's distinguished tone has been known to attract many large crowds, often leading to a large amount of full venues. The Edge also portrays a unique tone with his guitar, providing just the right amount of various guitar effects to set the mood of the piece being played.

U2's No Line on the Horizon is an excellent new release and is highly recommended to fans of the rock genre and the band itself. It is no suprise, after listening to the album numerous times, that U2 continues to sell out numerous venues.

3.5 out of 4.

Information on the Band and their latest release:
http://www.myspace.com/u2

U2 Live Broadcast on Youtube (Preview):






Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Childhood Flashback!


Toy Story 3

Its been a while since Pixar Studios released another Toy Story film. With the release of Toy Story 1 in 1995, Toy Story 2 in 1999, and the recent re-release of the two films in 3D, the producers have scheduled a new film to be released on June 18th, 2010.

The plot takes place a few years after the gang's last excursion, as Andy, the toy owner, has now grown up and soon departs for college.Woody, Buzz, and the rest of their toy-box friends are donated to a day-care center, where children mutilate and tamper with their parts. Will Buzz and Woody have what it takes to break free from the centre, or will they be trapped there for infinity and beyond?


It's always great to see such a fantastic series that I grew up with, put back on the big screen. I am predicting that this will rake in a fair amount of money when it is released from the box office.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0435761/

The Trailer:


In the Year 2019 ...


Daybreakers

Directed and Written by Michael and Peter Spierig, Daybreakers is set in the year 2019 where a vast spread plague transformed many humans into blood thirsty vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival, as they are given an estimation of months left before extinction. As all of this occurs, there are still some humans alive that struggle to save humanity.

With appearances by Willem Dafoe, Sam Neil, and Michelle Atkinson, this Sci-Fi orientated film contained many acytion packed scenes when viewing the trailer. The special effects also look astonishing, as many of the scenes are compried with computer animated effects.

Daybreakers is set to release on January 8th, 2010.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/

The Trailer:






Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.


The Book of Eli
A post-apocalyptic tale taken place after a civil war, The Book of Eli is about a lone man who fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. Forced to protect it with his own blood, Eli, played by Denzel Washington, encounters many deranged humans while adventuring along the barren wastelands, many smugglers, not knowing of the books power. Will he be able to keep the book safe, or will the piece of literature fall victim under the hands of evil?

Directed by the Hughes brothers and written by Gary Whitta, this film also contains performances from both Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis. Filming began in New Mexico in February 2009.

The Book of Eli is scheduled to release January 15th, 2010.


Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1037705/

The Trailer:


Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Psychic Military: Soldiers or Jedi Warriors?


The Men Who Stare at Goats

This motion picture, featuring fine acting spectacles from George Clooney and Ewan McGregor, is about a reporter who uncovers a strange story when meeting special forces agent for the United States Army. The agent reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to end war as we know it. This group claims to share similarities to fictional characters known as the Jedi, as many men claim to have mind reading abilities, the ability to use telekinesis, and the ability to persuade the human mind. The founder of the unit has gone missing and the trail leads to another psychic soldier who has distorted the mission to serve his own ends.

It seems like there is a lot of hype about this movie, as many people have started rating the film. IMDB users have rated this 8.2 out of 10 with a total of 288 votes. The film also jumped up by 38% popularity on the site. Looks like George Clooney still has some acting potential left in him.

The Men Who Stare at Goats is set to release November 6, 2009.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234548/plotsummary

The Trailer:


Monday, October 12, 2009


The Wolfman

This feature film, directed by Joe Johnson, Lawrence Talbot, is about a haunted nobleman, lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father, Talbot sets out to find his brother and uncovers his horrible destiny. Talbot's rough childhood ended when his mother died, but when his brother's fiance tracks him down to help find her missing love, Talbot returns to his former home to join in the saerch of his brother. He learns that something with brute strength and insatiable bloodlust has been killing the villagers, and that Scotland Yard inspector, Aberline, has come to investigate the secene. It is here where Talbot's future begins to unfold.

Falling under the horror/suspence category, The Wolfman is set in the late 1880's under the nightfall of Great Britain. Besides the dramatic scenes and events within the trailer, this film seems to contain some historical aspects which may apeal to many interested in History.

Wolfman is set to release February 10th, 2010.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780653/plotsummary

The Trailer:





In a World Where Everyone Can Only Tell the Truth...




The Invention of Lying

It seems like this feature film, directed by Ricky Gervais, has managed to bring in over twelve million dollars, over a two week period, into the box office. The film was ranked in the top ten box office blowouts for each week, but it leads myself to believe it this movie had the potential to do so.

The Invention of Lying takes setting within a world where everyone tells the truth. Mark Bellison, played by Ricky Gervais, lives in this world, portrayed as a struggling loser, and how he is insulted by his completely honest coworkers, his Mom, and Anna, played by Jennifer Garner, his date. After making up a story about an afterlife to help comfort his Mom on her deathbed, doctors and nurses overhear him, and soon Mark becomes an international authority on the afterlife. Mark later learns to lie to help his friends, get money at the bank, cheat at the casino, and eventually to win the affection of Anna.

The plot of the movie does seem a bit exciting, but it still leaves me baffled at how it received so much in the box office. It could have to do with the director and lead actor of the film, as Gervais not only took on the role of screenwriter, but he is also known for writing scripts on television series, The Office.

Out of 140 Ratings, Rotten Tomatoes voted this 71% Fresh and IMDB users have rated this film 6.9 out of 10 with a 220% rise in popularity this week.

The Invention of Lying was released on October 2nd, 2009.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1058017/synopsis

The Reviews:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

The Trailer:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't Fall Asleep!

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Set to release on April 30th, 2010, this remake of the original film is directed by Samuel Bayer and produced by Michael Bay. Freddy Krueger, a victim accused of being a child rapist, is killed by the parents of these child victims. Krueger returns from the dead as a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers, killing people in their dreams, resulting in their death in reality.

Although a large amount of the cast are unknown, when viewing the trailer, this movie seems to be very action packed and entertaining.

The popularity of this movie has rose up to 1, 160 % on IMDB and continues to rise on a weekly basis.



Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179056/

The Trailer:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Faught the Law!

Law Abiding Citizen

Gerard Butler stars alongside Jamie Foxx in a new thriller entitled "Law Abiding Citizen", a story of a man, ten years after his wife and daughter are brutally murdered, who returns to extract justice from the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case against their killers. When loosing the case of prosecution, the man is set on a spur of vengeance, making it his goal to make those pay for the brutal murders that were bestowed upon his family. Even though the man is put behind bars, his rampge continues until full justie is served to those responsible for bestowing death upon his family.

When viewing the trailer, I was blown away with the intense moments portrayed to the audience in such a little amount of time. The casting of Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx certainly makes this motion picture very appealing.

IMDB Users have rated this film a whopping 8.3 out of 10 with an average of 267 votes. The film popularity has also increased up to 84% and continues to rise.

Law Abiding Citizen is set to release October 16th, 2009.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1197624/plotsummary

Pictures:
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3062270208/tt1197624?slideshow=1

The Trailer:





Sunday, October 4, 2009

Romance Coming This February

Valentine's Day

Director Garry Marshall, famous for directing television series "Happy Days", has been working on a modern day film based upon ten couples that intertwine and connect with each other on February 14th, otherwise known as Valentine's Day.

The film genre is that of a romantic comedy and contains many familiar faces throughout the trailer. The Cast list includes Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Jamie Foxx (Collateral), Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew), Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect), and Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries).

It seems like Twilight celebrity Taylor Launter and pop-country artist Taylor Swift have made it onto the cast list on IMDB, which leads me to believe if both of them will follow through in terms of acting in a romantic comedy. After all, Launter is known for all of the hype about Twilight, but the actor has not been known for his work outside of the series. As for Taylor Swift, irt will be interesting to see her acting, as she is well known for her hit singles that teenie boppers love to injoy and her interuption at the 2009 MTV Music Awards.

Valentine's Day is set to release February, 2010.

Links to Today's Blurb:

Cast Listing:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0817230/

The Trailer:

Christmas is Coming This November?


A Christmas Carol

It seems that Canadian actor Jim Carrey has managed to score an acting role in yet another animated Christmas film. Many viewers of animated Christmas flicks recognized the actor as The Grinch from "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", but now Carrey returns to the big screen in a Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol.

The film, based on Charles Dickens' timeless tale, is about an old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who must face Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, as they help to bring kindness to his cold heart. The Ghosts remind him of the man he used to be, the hard truth of what the world is today, and what will happen if an attitude adjustment does not occur by Scrooge.

When viewing the trailer of A Christmas Carol, the detail put into the animations were very exquisite. Carrey also plays multiple roles within the film, as his voice can be heard through each ghost shown within the film.


A Christmas Carol is set to release November 6th, 2009 and will be shown in 3D at select theatres .

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1067106/synopsis

Photos:
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2531035136/tt1067106?slideshow=1

The Trailer:


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not Another Milked Series!


Saw VI:

It seems like the producers of the hit film series "Saw" are planning to release another film, making it the sixth installment of Saw to hit the big screen. It is a bit odd that screen writers were able to drag the plot into another video, but the idea of murder as a game can start to get a bit annoying when spread over six installments.

Although it is a horror film, the advertisements for Saw VI are a bit disturbing and twisted when being viewed. It makes me wonder if this will attract potential film viewers to the film or scare them away.

Saw VI is set to release October 23rd, 2009.



Links to Today's Blurb:

Disturbing Advertisements:




The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1233227/plotsummary

The Trailer:

Who Knew Mad Cow Disease Lead to Flesh Eating Zombies!


ZombieLand

The title of this movie screams zombie horror flick, but many viewers were astonished and content with the large amount of comedic scenes played throughout the feature film.

It turns out that the world's population has fallen under a pandemic, where the average human who has been exposed to Mad Cow Disease, experiences trauma to the brain, causing the human to have a desire for human flesh. The disease soon spreads as other humans are bitten and infected with the virus.

When viewing the film, the story behind each character was a mix of comedic and touching performances. Zombieland contains numerous amounts of hilarious dialect exchanged between characters, dramatic actions, and romantic encounters, which provides the audience with several aspects to enjoy. Bill Murray also made a guest appearance within the film, which added an extra comedic flare to the performance. If you love movies filled with action, the characters within the film encounter many situations where they must use their kunning intelligence and their firearms to take down crowds of the undead.

IMDB users have rated the film a whopping 8.5 out of 10 and the film search has received up to 88% popularity this week. The film trailer and summary is located in a previous post entitled
"Coming Soon: What to Look For".

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Plot:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1156398/plotsummary

IMDB User Ratings:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1156398/

Pictures:
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2222622976/tt1156398?slideshow=1

Zombieland Cast Interview - Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson:






Saturday, September 26, 2009

Directed by Drew Barrymore?


Whip It

Staring Ellen Page as Bliss, a young, ambitious teenager who decides to give up her crown at a local beauty pageant. Bliss finds herself developing an ambition for roller derby and on the consistent verge of battling her ambitions against the will of her disproving mother.

There has been some controversy on how the film is going to turn, mainly because this is Drew Barrymore's first debut as a movie director. Barrymore is often seen playing in comedies such as Charlie's Angels and has directed a television production entitled "Choose or Loose Presents: The Best Place to Start", but does the actress have what it takes to direct a feature film?

Although there is some controversy, ratings and expectations for this film are set at high standards. Whip It scored 7.9 out of 10 as an overall user rating and 6.4 out of 10 when being reviewed by users from Rotten Tomatoes. This is far better review when being compared to Jennifer's Body.

Links to Today's Blurb:

The Reviews:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

Choose or Loose Presents:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0423454/

The Trailer:



Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vampires + Teens = All the Rage?



... Not Another Twilight Movie

It seems that teenagers today are drawn into the mysterious ways of the vampire. Lately, with all of the preview footage released to promote New Moon, its seems like other production groups are picking up the idea that adding Vampires into a motion picture certainly intends for great profit.

The modern day Vampire franchise has not only been seen throughout recently published literature (Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series) but can also be seen in the new teen flick entitled "Vampire Diaries".

Looks like the Backstreet Boys are also trying to take a ride on the Vampire train. Their new video entitled "Straight Through My Heart" portraying the boys as member of an organization called "The Day Walkers": A group who band together to protect innocent mortals or Kine against the Gentry: Vampires who hunt for prey at bars and nightclubs. Only one problem... sometime the hunters become the hunted! It is sad to say that the boys are desperate, as this is an all time low to try and make a comeback.

New Moon is set to release on November 20th, 2009.

For more information on the film, check out:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259571/

Links to Today's Blurb:

New Moon Trailer:



Vampire Diaries Pilot Promo Trailer:



Backstreet Boys "Straight Through My Heart":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WUQkYpRDhs

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not Everyone is a Fan of Megan Fox

Following yesterday's post on Jennifer's Body, a recent gossip video featuring the cast of the movie, has been released portraying Megan as somewhat of an arrogant airhead.

Splash media tunes into a recent movie promotion campaign which Megan reveals that she was a "geek" during her high school years. It is also shown that she has a nag for cursing and appears to stop and ponder when being asked what her most audacious scene was when shooting the film.

Megan Fox was recently slammed by Transformer's crew members stating that she is "ungracious" and "dumb". Interviews with Rolling Stone Magazine uncover facts about her stating that she wants to stab her boyfriend and Megan comparing director Michael Bay to Hitler.

Link to Video:
http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-CA&vid=f9c49ae9-1c5d-4969-86d9-9cef27dd26e2

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coming Soon: What to Look For

With Summer Vacation at a Halt
and the month of September nearly ending, many new flick are just around the corner that look appealing to myself and many other viewers.

Here is a list of new flicks with decent ratings that are coming soon to a theater near you:

Surrogates: September 25th, 2009
Bruce Willis stars as an FBI agent investigating the murder of a college student linked to a man responsible for creating a robot phenomenon. Potential customers are able to buy these life like robots with the ability to control them from their home. It is in recent events where humans have been killed when operating their surrogates, developing twists and turns throughout the film.




Zombieland: October 2nd, 2009
This comedy focuses on the survival of two men during a zombie pandemic, slowly spreading throughout the nation. When teaming up with two other survivors, the group of members are faced with the task of dealing with each others personal issues or succumbing to the zombie infestation.



Couples Retreat: October 9th, 2009
Another comedy following four individual couples who embark on a journey to what seems to be a tropical island paradise for couples. While one couple is set out to work on their marriage, the others set out for fun activities. When the couples find out that the relationship activities are mandatory, there vacation soon comes at a price.




Stay Tuned for more movies coming soon to a theater near you!

All Summaries provided by: cineplex.com