A Selfish Mother

The Hours is a revisionist melodrama about three women.  It centers around the theme of anti-feminism.  The film takes a dramatic turn, when it ends in suicide.

The Hours is not a melodrama.  The film centers around a selfish woman who decides to take her own life instead of leaving her children.  This woman was so selfish, because she did not even consider the affects her decisions would have on her children.  She just thought what was best for her.  She completely disregards the psychological effects of her suicide and continues with her fate.

Revising a Genre

Inception is a movie about controlling the dream world.  Christopher Nolan uses a star-studded cast to depict a hushed reality in which very select individuals practice controlling the dreams of other individuals.  The story centers around a businessman’s plan to implement an idea in his competition’s mind.  They then decide to instate a dream within a dream that would manipulate his competition into breaking up his company.  After several complications and an insight into Cobb’s past, the idea is successfully implemented into Robert’s mind.

Inception takes the genre of film noir and redefines it.  Though there are some prominent film noir themes such as a femme fatale and detective figure, it is very different than many of the popular film noirs.  For example, the femme fatale does not actually destroy every man she comes in contact with.  She is actually the one that gets destroyed.  The detective is also not a detective, but a girl learning how to manipulate dreams.

A Director’s Failed Vision

I’m Not There is a movie that focuses on the many personas of Bob Dylan.  The movie circles around Dylan as a Poet, a Prophet, an Outlaw, a Fake, a Star, and a Generation’s voice.  The film depicts him as Woody, a fake who travels the countryside singing to families.  The viewer also sees Dylan’s persona as a Poet by depicting Arthur as a person who offers words of advice.  The prophet is a portrayal of Dylan as a man who starts out singing and retires to become a prophet.  Robbie is an incarnation of Dylan’s persona as an actor.  The viewer also sees Jude a girl playing a man who is the voice of a generation.  Finally, the viewer is acquainted with Billy the outlaw who lives a reserved, isolated life.

The director could have improved his vision for the film I’m Not There by making a clearer connection between the characters.  The film was all separate narratives that followed separate characters.  This may be confusing to viewers, because they do not realize that the characters are different personas of one person.  If a person has little to no knowledge of Bob Dylan, they will not understand the movie very well.  The only subtle connection made between two characters was when Billy saw an older version of an interviewer he had encountered; an interviewer Jude first encountered.

The Real Story of the Fame and Success of James Franco

James Franco.  A name that might be well known for his role in 127 Hours, Planet of the Apes, or Spiderman.  This celebrity, however, is a very unique one.  He spends his free time doing anything and everything.  From guest starring on shows on Nickelodeon, to attending classes at Yale, this star was born for greatness.  This uber talented celeb even has a talented little brother, Dave Franco.

But in this tale, James Franco is not what he is today.  James Franco had one desire in life: to be happy.  He sought this in every aspect of his life.  This boy, however, had paranoid schizophrenia which severely impacted his everyday life.  In his quest for happiness, he was constantly paranoid of everyone around him.  His constant alertness and worry about the people around him drove him to kill himself, not achieving any of the goals he had set for himself.

This paranoid schizophrenia and quest for happiness relate to Franco’s characteristics of perfectionism and willingness to do everything.  James Franco has done so much with his career; he wrote a self-published book and painted art featured in art galleries.  His drive for success is similar to the story of Heath Ledger.  Heath Ledger isolated himself for six weeks in preparation for his role as the Joker.  This isolation led to Ledger’s insanity and ultimately his untimely death.  If Franco continues to exhibit his quest for perfection and success, his fate will be that of his in his new backstory as well as that of Heath Ledger’s.

Satire of Romantic Comedies

Intolerable Cruelties is a dramatic portrayal of a twisted love story in which George Clooney is a big-shot lawyer who has had great career success.  Catherine Zeta-Jones is a conniving woman who uses a concierge to find a man she can take advantage of.  When she attempts to steal his money in divorce court, George Clooney successfully defends the honor of her ex husband.   After Catherine tries to convince George that she has married again for love, she gets another divorce.  George tries to save her from a life of loneliness by hastily marrying her in Vegas.  After she tears apart the prenup, George discovers she is trying to take his money.  But when her ex husband dies, she inherits his money.  George then tries to take her money, but the two realize they were in love and stay together.


 The over dramatic acting in this movie makes fun of a classic romantic comedy.  As a person watches the actors in this movie, one can not help think that they are bad actors.  But, this idea that the actors in this movie are bad is one that the director wanted the audience to think.  By showing the laughable dramatizations of real life, a person realizes how corny and dramatic a romantic comedy is.  The director instructed the actors to poorly act in order to convey this message.

Overpowering a Vision

Across the Universe is a movie that takes place in the 60s in the midst of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement. Julie Taymour took the music of the Beatles and created a political musical that depicts the hardships of the country as well as the hardships of romance, with sex, drugs, and protests mixed in. The movie starts off with the main character Jude, who travels to America in search of his dad. He makes a friend, Max, who shows him the ins and outs of the American lifestyle. Max and Jude decide to move to New York city. Max’s sister, Lucy, moves with them to New York and falls for Jude. When Max gets drafted into the military, Lucy takes an anti-war stance and begins to protest it. As Lucy’s political views get more and more extreme, her relationship with Jude suffers. In a violent protest, Jude tries to defend Lucy and is arrested. He then is deported. After several depressing months, Max gets injured and leaves the war and Jude returns to America. Jude professes his love for Lucy on a rooftop and the two live happily ever after.
Julie Taymour centered the plot around Beatles songs. Her attempt to incorporate as many songs as possible hurt the storyline, because she focused more on the music instead of the plot. Taymour failed to develop certain characters which added confusion and disappointment. Taymour also added random songs that did not improve the storyline or move the movie forward. She struggled to balance the music of the Beatles and the storyline of the movie. She let the music overpower the message she was trying to convey in the movie. Taymour could have made a perfect, original movie, but instead focused too much on the epic music of the Beatles and neglected her vision.

A Sense of Reality

Dead Man is a haunting tale about a man who leaves his familiar life in Cleveland behind to travel to a new frontier. Upon discovering that the job was already taken, William Blake wanders into town and meets a prostitute. After they sleep together, her ex-fiance finds them together and tries to kill William Blake. The prostitute, however, jumps in front of the bullet, killing her instantly. William Blake then kills her ex-fiance, starting his life as an outlaw. William Blake runs away from the town, befriending an Indian and increasing his death count. All the while, he is being pursued. When William Blake and the Indian, Nobody, reach the Indian village, Blake was shot by a man and is dying. The Indians decide to send William Blake away on a boat into his afterlife, while William watches Nobody shoot and be shot by their pursuer.

The death of William Blake is one necessary to the film. The film is entitled Dead Man and is about men pursuing Blake. In many Hollywood films, a predictable plot twist causes the protagonist to survive. Blake’s death, however, is necessary to the film. It adds a humbling outworldly presence of the film. Blake’s death gives a beauty to the film, because it gives the film a sense of reality, instead of an abstract Western. In most Hollywood films, the protagonist is always the winner, but the director’s choice to kill Blake gives the film a new depth.

Death: A Necessary Misfortune

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a movie about a doctor who is brought into a psych ward, because he is presumed insane.  The movie then flashes back as the audience sees the doctor returning from vacation with several people asking to see him, but shortly cancelling afterwards.  As the movie progresses, more and more people continue to report that a loved one of theirs has changed; they have no emotion, but all of the same memories.  Soon it is discovered that seeds from outer space landed in a farmer’s farm.  These seeds take on the form of a human nearby, and when the human sleeps it absorbs its memories and becomes that human, killing the original.  Whilst this is going on, the Dr. Miles and Becky become very close.  Eventually, the entire town is taken over, except for Becky and Miles.  When they hear charming music, Miles goes to check it out and Becky falls asleep.  Miles then runs away with the entire town chasing him, hoping to save the world.  The movie ends with him in the psych ward preparing to fight off another invasion.

  Despite the plot spoiler of Miles being the only one to survive due to the opening scene, I liked the ending.  It still shocked me and I was left wanting more.  The movie ends in a cliffhanger style, because the seeds seem to be taking over the world.  Becky’s death was a necessary occurrence in order to make the climax successful.  If Becky and Miles both escaped, the ending would have been mediocre.  Becky and Miles had already escaped the town once, so escaping again would only be repetitive.  Becky’s death allows the viewer to be sympathetic towards a seemingly insane Miles.  The ending, although sad, provides an unconventional twist to a stereotypical invasion movie.

All That Men Allow

                All that Heaven Allows is a film on melodrama.  It follows a widowed woman Cary, who ends up falling in love with her gardener, a man of a lower class. The movie then depicts her relationship with this man, while also showing the drama that follows due to his lower class status.  Cary chooses to salvage the relationships she has with her children and forsake her love for Ron.  After Cary’s educated daughter gets engaged, her children undergo a change of heart and encourage Cary to again marry Ron.  Ron then falls in a coma, and Cary finally works up the nerve to rekindle her love with Ron.

                Cary reinforces the stereotype of a strictly patriarchal society.  Throughout All that Heaven Allows, Cary illustrates a submissive female; she struggles to make up her own mind.  In the first stages of her relationship with Ron, Cary is hesitant to date him, but Ron commands her, and she gives in.  Even when Ron and his best friend are hunting, his best friend tells Ron that women need men to make up their minds.  The director chooses to portray women in a negative light by forcing them into this submissive role.

The Selfish Portrayal of Love

  The Killers is a film noir style movie that depicts a murder being investigated for an insurance claim.  The insurance claim detective, Riordan, investigates the murder of the Swede.  He recognizes a handkerchief that Swede had on his person at all times.  After further investigation, Riordan realizes that the Swede was involved in a huge robbery and stumbles upon the master plan of the unsolved robbery.  This film was shot in true film noir style, because it takes place in eerie night sequences.  It surrounds a femme fatale character, Kitty, who ends up causing the deaths of every man she involves in her life.

  The Killers attacks the idea of love.  Kitty Collins is a personification of love.  She takes on the form of lust in the beginning of the movie starting with her presentation and demeanor at the party when she first meets Swede, to her affair with him and resistance to being arrested.  She tricks Swede into being arrested so that she could continue her luxurious lifestyle.  She then abandons Swede and pursues Big Jim.  The relationship between Big Jim and Kitty gives the illusion of real love.  When Dum Dum kills Big Jim, the audience is presented with a very concerned, heartbroken wife.  As Jim dies and Kitty is incriminated in the master plan of the robbery, she tries to rise Big Jim from the dead in order to proclaim her innocence.  Kitty represents love.  She shows the lust with the Swede and the seemingly deeper relationship with Big Jim, but as it turns out she was also using him.  Her personification of love shows how love is only used for a person’s own gain.  Kitty uses the men in this film for her own gain, showing how selfish love is and how love does not work out.