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Taking a look at Spike Lee

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Many people know Spike Lee from his powerful message movies, or his appearances at New York Knicks games. For me, I’ve only seen one of his films and that is Do the right thing. Do the right thing has a very powerful message seen throughout the movie. This message is racism.

This message of racism is hidden in between the walls of Salvatore “Sal” Fragione’s pizzeria in Brooklyn. This all starts off with Buggin’ out becoming upset when he realizes that the Wall of Fame on the wall are all Italian actors. Buggin’ out expresses his opinion that a Pizzeria in a black neighborhood should showcase black actors, but Salvatore “Sal” Fragione disagrees. Throughout this movie, Sal’s tensions with the neighborhood becomes worse once the message is out.

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Final Stand with Tarantino

Reservoir Dogs       Kill_bill_vol_one_ver    inglorious basterds

Watching Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and Inglorious Basterds was a downright bloody scene. Reservoir Dogs had some absurd bloody scenes including a scene with Mr. Orange laying in his blood for about an hour. Then there was Kill Bill with the crazy action acting Uma Thurman. Last but not least was Inglorious Basterds that in my eyes was the best out of all three.

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Reservoir Dogs

I’ve heard rumors on how good of a director Quentin Tarantino is. Before watching Reservoir Dogs I’ve never seen any other Tarantino films. I was open minded, and really had no idea about him. I find it very interesting on how he became such a big star from such a young age. He was your average person working at a movie store, and suddenly he drops out of high school. It’s hard for me to grasp how someone can just drop out of high school and in a few years just make millions of dollars. Enough talking about how he suddenly became famous, and let’s shift gears to Tarantino’s first film produced, Reservoir Dogs. 

Reservoir Dogs

Photo Credit: Indiewire.com

For Tarantino’s film debut, he was originally planning on having a very small budget. In the article I read, Tarantino stated that he was planning on using his friends to save some money, and perhaps act in his own film. Turns out Tarantino as seen above does act in his own film. Another hand in help for Tarantino was his producer, Lawrence Bender who was supposed to help out with being the character Nice Guy Eddie. This never panned out, but once production started the budget went from a minimal amount to $1.2 million dollars. Which then later makes Tarantino $2.8 million dollars in the box office.

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Scorsese’s Twist

As we have studied Scorsese, many people put his name down as someone who likes to produce gangster films. Scorsese knows how to keep you off your phones and on the edge of your seat. In my opinion, Scorsese did the complete opposite when he created the Age of Innocence. 

This movie wasn’t your usual Scorsese movie. It was a movie based on the high society. I’m not sure about you guys, but I couldn’t even understand what was going on at first. I wasn’t attached from beginning to end. The movie was just a plain, old movie that college students wouldn’t really find interest in now a days. The reason I feel my classmates and I didn’t really like it is because we are used to Scorsese’s other films. We are used to his every shot action, and his ability to have the audience laughing.

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Introduction to Scorsese

Before being introduced to Martin Scorsese I had no idea who he was. I never watched any of his movies, and really just heard of his big films. Martin’s life before hitting the big stage was pretty interesting. Scorsese attended New York University where he got a Bachelors in English and a Master in Fine Arts. After school he created his first feature film in 1967 called, Who’s That Knocking On The Door. After his first feature film, he was working on the film, The Honeymoon Killers in which he got fired from. Scorsese was suffering from depression and an alcohol addiction at the time. After trying to bounce back from being fired, Scorsese went back to NYU to teach where he got his Bachelors and Master degrees. He then goes on to move to Hollywood where he gains some personal success. Films that helped his success were Mean Streets and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

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Photo cred: Mubi.com

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Introduction to Kubrick

Before taking this class I only knew Stanley Kubrick by one movie. That movie was Dr. Strangelove. I was able to watch this in a film theory class here at NIU. This movie itself gave me a sense of Kubrick himself. The shot composition, dark humor, and ability to have such dedicated characters.

I want to dedicate this blog to the sole movie, Dr. Strangelove. I want to look at certain aspects of the film. The shot composition, dark humor, and the odd character of Strangelove himself.

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The End

Before even watching The Wire, there were a lot of people that had no idea what it even was. This would include myself. I had no idea what this show was about, where it taken placed and even what genre it was. There was rumor that is was one of the best shows during the early 2000’s. Once I sat down and starting watching the show we learned a lot throughout. The who’s, the what’s, the where’s, the why’s. We got a pretty good gist of what was going on for the most part.

Some may say it was a brilliant show, but in my hands it was above-average. The reason I don’t rank it as brilliant is because I’ve never really been able to sit down and watch a “cop” show before. Throughout my life, I’ve tried watching Cops, and we all know that that show is just a down right joke. I believe this show is an above-average TV series because it isn’t like your average cop show. It isn’t just your typical half-an-hour screening of these cops stopping at different parts of the country and making arrests on camera. The Wire is set in Baltimore and stays in Baltimore. This show digs down into the nitty-gritty parts of Baltimore. One reason this show goes into this is because when David Simon worked at the Baltimore Sun, he focused on the nitty-gritty business on the street. He was part of the crime beat there. This is what helped him with the foundation of The Wire. Another reason why I think this show is an above-average show is because you need to truly pay attention to every little detail otherwise you could miss something very important. In Cops, you don’t really need to pay close attention because it’s most likely the same thing over and over again. In The Wire, characters crawl right out of the cracks from the beginning, and there’s so much information in each episode that sometimes you need to watch it three or four times to even understand what is going on.

In my eyes, I feel The Wire turned heads while it was being aired. The viewers for the most part loved every second of it and couldn’t stop watching it. Even though it turned heads, I don’t think it influenced other TV. Since the end of this show, you haven’t really seen a show that has focused on the nitty-gritty business of a single city. Since this did turn my head a little way I am going to recommend that my friends give it a try. It was hard to start out with, but you have to give it time. It took me probably the whole first season to start getting into the action. Since it has gotten me so attached since the second season, I think I am going to try and watch the rest of the seasons. I have watched and consumed so much information that I think I should just keep going to see what else there is left. I am also interested in watching Season five because for my presentation we discussed the Journalism in The Wire so I’d love to see how that plays a role in this series.

Overall, this show isn’t overrated. This show focuses on a different angle of Baltimore and it is very interesting. David Simon put this together well considering that was job covering the crime beat in Baltimore years before he made this TV series.

the-wire

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