Thursday, March 27, 2008

Screwball Vs Romanticism

As you all know we just finished the unit on romantic comedies and screwball comedies. We watched one example of each and saw clear differences between the two of them. For one, as we watched His Girl Friday, we saw how the emphasis was more on the comedy of the movie rather than the romantic plot. With Hildy Johnson and Walter Burns (Cary Grant) we saw how the director Howard Hawks spoofed the romantic process because the male character suffers from humiliation. I think the aspects of screwball comedy can be more comedic than those of a romantic comedy, say that of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In the movie His Girl Friday, the plot starts to speed up towards the end when the case is solved and Hildy decides and it is shown that Hildy's character is not ready to leave the business of journalism because it gives her such a thrill to do so. For example, when her fiance Bruce comes to visit her at the press room, after he gets out of jail she barely pays attention to him and is completely focused on the task that Walter asked her to do.
In the romantic comedy, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the main characters Clementine (Kate Winslet) and Joel(Jim Carrey) use reality as a way to show comedy through their relationship. Both of these characters as well as Mary, Patrick, and even the Doctor that creates all these terrible emotions are at threat for pain. I think Mark Ruffalo's character is definitly a great example as a romantic comedy characters because he defitly more funny than flaky in the way he was when he was performing the erasing of Joel's memory. I think I like romantic comedies a lot more because even though they have the same predictable ending it still gets me every time. I'm a sap for girly movies that have the cute guy to gaze at for two hours while they dish out cheesy lines.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Clint Eastwood the director and star of the classic Western "Unforgiven" does a great job as showing the true underlying aspects of the heroic cowboy. Clint Eastwood, as William Munny is a older widow and father of two kids who is trying to live a respectable life as a hog farmer until the Scofield Kid comes alont asking for help on murdering two guy who cut up a women. At first hesistant, William declines but then realizes he needs the money and chases the Kid with his partner Ned Logad (Morgan Freeman) to go ahead with the task at hand. I think one scene that really stuck out to me was right after William shot the first cowboy because you could see the sadness and fear in his eyes. William had left his past behind him many years ago because of his wife.
In class we talked about how he only did this for money and how it wasn't a big deal to him, but thinking about this scene and how it affected him so greatly shows that he really did not want to return to his past and that after the shot that killed the first cowboy he returned back to his old habits. I think this relates to the current world becuase many people try to escape their past but it seems to catch up with them no mattar what the reason is. Take alcoholism for example, someone can be an alcoholic and no have a drink for years but the moment they take the first sip, well they are back to their old habits as William Munny did. And in both cases the person is not necessarily proud of what they have done or returned to.
This movie to me was great because it reminded me of "Walk the Line". The great Johnny Cash tries to escape drugs and alcoholism after become a legend of a rock star but just can't seem to do it. He falls for June Carter and tells himself that he is going to give up drugs for her and she even tries to help him but it's not until a violent push that he actually follows through. Although these two movies aren't exactly parallels of one another they seem to be somewhat related to one another.Another movie that comes to mind when talking about bad habits returning is "Good Will Hunting", when Will Hunting just starts to make progress about his life that hit rock bottom he takes a turn for the worst. Will pushes away anyone and everyone who is close to him by using a sarcastic and violent tone to his words. I think Will Hunting relates to William Munny because they are both characters that want to seem independant but as the viewer we know they desperatly need help.
"Unforgiven" has inspired me to watch other westerns esepcailly those directed or staring Clint Eastwood to see what sort of similarities and differences I can find. Is he a shy family man in all of them? Does he kill for money or to relive his youth? I hope to find these answers in films such as "The good, The bad, And The Ugly" or "Pale Rider". Clint Eastwood has a very unique way of directing and acting that I would love to continue to observe.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

GoodFellas (1990)

This great mob movie takes a close look at music and incredible award winning acting. This is the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) who grows up to become a well known gangster under the direction of Jimmy Conway (Robert DeNiro). It started when Henry was just a long boy and his thrill for the job contunued on until he was arrested and later underwent the witness protection program.There partner Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) is a regular comedian with the crew and is a all around hard worker until he tries to become part of this Italien gang and get's "wacked". Getting wacked seems to be the biggest problem these boys have to worry about, as well as keeping their families in good health. One aspect that really stuck out in this film was sound. To me it was really intersting to have a narrator (Ray Liotta) throughout the entire movie and to also have a soundtrack playing. I thought allthe sounds did a really great job at fitting in with the plot and the time period in which this movie took place. It has songs with artists such as Cream, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and The Who. As you can see there is a wide variety of what was being played througout the entire 145 minutes. I think the composer or person who picked the music for this film tried to fit songs of fear or intimidation during the "wacking" scenes or scenes with the gangsters together but the songs that were used for the less violent scenes that included family or other leisure activities using calmer melodies. Next the acting is noteworthy. First I would like to recognize the performance by Robert DeNiro who plays the main leader Jimmy Conway who gives a very cold performance to those he is looking to steal from or whack. When it comes to his family though he is a just as nice as can be and very generous with compensation. Robert DeNiro has been an other similar movies such as Casino and 15 minutes where he plays a simliar role. He isn't the sterotypical funnyman or hearthrob but more the tough older brother type that you can rely on. I think he was picked for this role because of his repution with this type of acting and for his looks. He gave us the perfect mob vibe with this charcoal suit and slicked back hair. Another actor worth taking note of is Joe Pesci who got the oscar for best supporting actor as Tommy DeVito. He where very comical to all the characters in this film and carried himself very well until he got whacked trying to get accpeted into a new italien only group. This film did a great job at showing the true story come to big screen. Both the music and acting did justice to what really took place.