This is my last blog post for the semester. 24, my favorite show, maybe the greatest television show ever made. Kiefer Sutherland, an awesome actor, who played CTU agent Jack Bauer, starred in this Emmy and Golden Globe award winning show. It concluded its television run of eight seasons and a made for tv special earlier this year. It is the longest running action thriller on tv, almost close to a whooping 200 episodes. How could a show last that long? Simply because it was epicly awesome. There are plans for a 24 movie in the future.

I can never get enough of this show, and i was very sad when it concluded. What makes this show so awesome and great? Is it because of the awesome and convincing acting, the awesome explosions, the “on the edge of your seat” torture scenes, the brilliant cinematography, the addictive psychological aspect of it, the genius plot and its twists, the fight scenes, the endearing patriotism to the USA that causes goosebumps? It is all that and so much more. In my opinion, Jack Bauer is the greatest fictional all American hero.

However, all good things must come to an end. Who knows if the future of television will bring me a new show that i will love more than 24? So for now, 24 is the greatest show ever….Who knows what the future classes will hold? So for now, Ms Herzog’s Media Studies 144 is the greatest class with the greatest professor ever.

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Just a crazy idea I got here. I am going to rate the movies that we have seen during the semester… OSCAR STYLE.

  • Best Comedy– The Lady Eve
  • Best Horror– Psycho
  • Best SCI-FI– Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Best Gangster– The Public Enemy
  • BEST PICTURE– The Public Enemy  (Honorable mention: Psycho, Breathless and Bonnie and Clyde)
  • BEST SOUNDTRACK– Bernard Herrmann (Psycho)
  • BEST ACTOR– James Cagney (Honorable mention: Warren Beatty)
  • BEST ACTRESS– Barbara Stanwyck
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY– Citizen Kane

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Bonnie and Clyde, one of the first 100 films chosen for preservation by the United States National Film Registry, was a crime film directed by Arthur Penn in 1967. The film starred Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow and Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker and it was distributed by Warner Brothers.

A simple synopsis, the film revolves around a dynamic duo, Bonnie and Clyde, who partake in various crimes ranging from small-time heists to bank robberies. The duo, along with three other accomplices, is pursued by law enforcement officials and is inevitably forced to evade them. Unexpectedly, rangers catch the felons and wound two of the group’s members. Bonnie, Clyde and CW manages to successfully escape without being hurt. The rangers receive information that the three are hiding at the home of CW’s father, Ivan. Ivan makes a mutual agreement with the rangers which allowed leniency for his son in exchange for the takedown of Bonnie and Clyde. In the end, Ivan sets up Bonnie and Clyde and the police hiding from the bushes open fire and shoots them mercilessly and fatally.

One of the most important scenes from Bonnie and Clyde was the bank robbery that resulted in the death of the bank manager. Bonnie and Clyde prepares to rob a bank while CW waited outside of the bank to aid in a quick and successful escape. However, CW comically decides to parallel park in a location unaware to Bonnie and Clyde. After Bonnie and Clyde exits the bank, they initially are unable to locate CW. They drive off hysterically hitting other vehicles. The bank manager jumps onto the vehicle and unexpectedly gets shot in the face. This scene marks an important transition in the progression of the duo’s criminal capabilities. Clyde admits that he never shot and killed a person before but he had no other alternative.

The scene had several shots; however all of these shots were long shots and medium long shots except for one shot which was a close up. Deep focus was prevalent throughout the entire scene- shots where everything within frame was clearly focused on.  The type of sound used was diegetic meaning the sound emanated from the elements inside of the film. The scene is a transition from a comedic tone to a dramatic one and the director conveys this when he switches from all the long shots to a close up shot. The close-up shot is used to illustrate the murder of the bank manager and emphasizes the facial expression of Clyde as he shoots the manager in the face.

The most prevalent themes that the director wished to convey within this scene were crime and violence. And such themes were evident when Clyde robbed the bank and resorted to killing a man to facilitate escape. It was the first instance within the film where we notice the transition from mediocre petty crimes to a fatal, catastrophic crime. Throughout other scenes in the movie, the violence intensifies making this film a bona-fide gangster crime film, breaking all the taboos associated with filmmaking at that time.

The idea of this movie reflected events that were once part of American history. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ruthless bank robbers who operated during the Great Depression and most of the scenes in the film represent actual events that transpired during their run from the law.

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Rated as the eighth best gangster film of all time by AFI, The Public Enemy is an American film directed by William Wellman in 1931. It was based on the novel, Beer and Blood, and was written by H. Thew, K. Glasmon and J. Bright and starred James Cagney as Tom Powers. The Public Enemy was distributed by Warner Brothers.

Simply put, the movie revolves around Tom Powers and his rise towards becoming one of the leading gangsters of his time. He is joined by his best friend Matt and while serving under a bootlegger named Paddy Ryan, they commit vicious crimes and receive a fantastic and luxurious lifestyle as their reward. Naturally, Tom becomes very greedy and wants more, and is involved in a shoot-out with another gang. He survives but shockingly, he dies at the end of the movie.

One of the most riveting scenes from The Public Enemy revolves around the sighting of Paddy Nose and Power’s successful attempt to seek retribution for Paddy Nose’s disappearance from a past job that almost got him caught. During a dinner, Tom and Matt leave and follow Paddy Nose to his apartment. A black cat crosses Paddy’s path as he walks on the sidewalk. Tom and Matt then approaches him and together they enter inside to resolve unfinished business. Paddy Nose begs for his life and sings a song hoping to persuade the gangsters to change their minds. Without emotion, Tom still shoots Paddy Nose and then leaves with Matt.

The scene had 17 shots. Most of these shots were medium long shots followed by medium shots and long shots. However, within this scene, the most important shots worth mentioning are the first one, his use of camera angles and the last one. The type of sound used was diegetic meaning the sound emanated from the elements inside of the film. Low lighting provided the almost gloomy certainty of unfortune.

In the first shot, a black cat crossed the path of Paddy Nose. From a superstitious perspective, this shot foreshadowed the fate of Paddy Nose. A cat crossing your path is usually considered bad luck. Ultimately, for Paddy, it was indeed bad luck getting shot and killed.

At an angle, the camera pointed downwards as Tom Powers looked down at Paddy Nose. This technique, looking down at someone, allowed Powers to be perceived as powerful and dominant. Alternately, Paddy Nose was looking up at Powers and Matt, while begging, indicating weakness and submissiveness. This is evident when he gets down on his knees and asks not to be killed and he did not retaliate when punched and kicked by Powers.

The last shot of the scene was a combination of off-screen space, panning, forward moving track and medium long shot culminating in a long take. It is especially important to note how the relationship between off-screen space and sound created a less chilling death but still maintained its suspenseful effect. The director used off-screen space to kill Paddy Nose, so we did not actually see that, but it was the sound of the bullet that allowed the audience to make that connection. And since the shooting occurred off-screen, the sound was not synchronous since it could not be linked to an image. It is this part that depicts Powers as a true gangster. Paddy’s disappearance did not drastically affect Powers; however Powers still felt the need to get revenge because he was betrayed.

It is truly a remarkable landmark scene richly filled with brilliant cinematography, diegetic sound and several thematic issues infused into it. The most prevalent themes that the director wished to convey in this scene were revenge, violence and power. It was the first time throughout the film; we collectively observed the powerful, assertive, dominating, vicious and retributive qualities of Tom Powers. Throughout other scenes in the movie, only one or two of those characteristics were shown at once. William Wellman excelled by creating a very powerful scene incorporating all the traits of a bona-fide gangster into one scene.

The idea of a gangster movie reflected the events that were once part of American history. The years 1920 to 1933 were a period in American history, known as Prohibition in the United States or the Noble Experiment, where the sale and manufacture of alcohol for consumption was prohibited. This was depicted in the opening shot of the movie, where alcohol shops were closing down and the police were enforcing the prohibition. As a result of this prohibition, underground criminal activity was rampant. Many gangs sold alcohol illegally for lucrative gains and resorted to violence in order to protect their interests. Law enforcement and political officials were extorted and anyone who crossed the gangsters was killed. Even if anyone was indirectly responsible for the almost demise of a gang member, the individual was marked for death. With regards to the scene, Wellman’s film successfully conveyed those events of American history through the thematic uses of power, violence and retribution.

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Below is a list of people i would love to be given the opportunity to work with. I sure hope none of these persons die by the time i establish my career.

Directors/Producers:

  1. Steven Spielberg (for obvious reasons)
  2. Martin Scorsese (duhh)
  3. James Cameron (i see blue people)
  4. Michael Bay (BOOM)
  5. Seth MacFarlane (LOL)
  6. Christopher Nolan (just because of Inception)

Actors:

  1. Kiefer Sutherland
  2. Johnny Depp
  3. Hugh Laurie
  4. Robert Downey Jr
  5. Stana Katic
  6. Will Smith
  7. Tim Roth
  8. James Roday & Dule Hill
  9. Jeffrey Donovan
  10. Olivia Wilde (uhh…duhhh)
  11. Everyone from Two and a Half Men
  12. Al Pacino

Cartoon Characters:

  1. Peter Griffin
  2. Stewie Griffin

A very mainstream list. Well, as i mentioned for the 100th time, i love mainstream entertainment. These are the people i followed while growing up. I think our professor has eyes for James Cagney. Just speculating.

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Since the release of both Transformers movie, I have observed many individuals trash talking Michael Bay. All i can hear is: Bay’s movies have no plot, all Bay does is explosions and CGI, Bay has no creative nor artistic talent…blah blah blah. I guess the people who make these comments are either struggling filmmakers, aged 30, still in their basements making indie documentaries or ignorant movie fans.

Maybe if someone constructively says Transformers does not have the best of plots…then i would agree. But it does have a plot. And if it did have the most amazing plot ever, i am highly convinced that movie-goers will then complain about the special effects. The film was artistically perfect in my opinion.

A true connoisseur of film would greatly appreciate this clip. CGI is art. It is digital art so to speak. In this montage clip, Michael Bay shows tremendous attention to detail and his perspective is top-notch. In some films, a person with a good eye can tell when elements are incorrectly sized, but Bay’s perspective is spot on.

Every time i look at this clip, i am amazed at every second of it. Seriously, look at it…How can someone feel anything else but amazement? How the hell can one create scenes like that? We know its CGI, but WOW…that is as real as it can be. Bay actually said his intentions are making films that look as realistic as possible. (i hope this context is understood…because i certainly don’t mean real vehicles transforming) Imagine the time, patience and effort put into this masterpiece! Literally thousands of hours. I truly appreciate this.

James Cameron had the Fusion system developed to meet his specifications for Avatar’s effects. Of course, Cameron (another one of my favorites) is a top dog but Bay outdone himself using what was available to him. Plus Bay is still old-school…it is one of Bay’s trademarks to use practical effects, that is real effects…like using 2 tons of C4 for explosions in Transformers 2. SEE!…he doesn’t rely on CGI completely.

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With reference to Preston Sturges’s “11 Rules for Box Office Appeal”, here are my rules for box office appeal:

1. Marijuana is better than booze.
2. A Jack Bauer chase is better than a car chase.
3. Explosions are better than shootouts.
4. Manhattan is better than LA.
5. A blow-up doll is better than a real girl.
6. A zombie is better than a ghost.
7. Vampires are better than werewolves.
8. A minute commercial is better than an hour soap opera.
9. A Stewie baby is better than The Brady Bunch.
10. Jay Leno’s chin is actually better than the moon.

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Iron man 2, the best movie ever adapted from a comic book (others may find this very debatable), comes out on DVD and Blueray this week. Iron Man 2 stars one of the best actors i have ever seen, Robert Downey Junior and; DAMNNN he plays one awesome Iron Man. I wish there were Iron Man collectible suits…i mean real ones. Out of all the comic books, Iron Man and Batman are the most possibly realistic. Anyways, What you waiting on? GO, GET IT NOWWWWWWWW! Just kidding…but seriously go get it…NOW.

Just an interesting fact- the director of Iron Man 1 & 2, Jon Favreau, attended Queens College but dropped out in his junior year.

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While this blog category will contain facts from time to time, it will mostly reveal my opinions about class and may contain crazy stuff.

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Just pointing out an obvious fact, TV shows with season one next to them are new shows that have been picked up for the Fall 2010-2011 season.
7th September
Sons of Anarchy Season 3

8th September
Hellcats Season 1
Terriers Season 1

9th September
Nikita Season 1
The Vampire Diaries Season 2

12th September
Lost Girl Season 1

13th September
Gossip Girl Season 4
90210 Season 3

14th September
Life Unexpected Season 2
One Tree Hill Season 8
Parenthood Season 2

16th September
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 6
The League Season 2

19th September
Boardwalk Empire Season 1

20th September
Castle Season 3
Chase Season 1
Chuck Season 4
Hawaii Five-O Season 1
House Season 7
How I Met Your Mother Season 6
Lone Star Season 1
Mike & Molly Season 1
Rules Of Engagement Season 5
The Event Season 1
Two And a Half Men Season 8

21st September
Being Erica Season 3
Detroit 1-8-7 Season 1
Glee Season 2
NCIS Season 8
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 2
Raising Hope Season 1
Running Wilde Season 1

22nd September
Better With You Season 1
Cougar Town Season 2
Criminal Minds Season 6
Law & Order: SVU Season 12
Modern Family Season 2
The Defenders Season 1
The Middle Season 2
The Whole Truth Season 1
Undercovers Season 1

23rd September
$#*! My Dad Says Season 1
30 Rock Season 5
Bones Season 6
Community Season 2
Grey’s Anatomy Season 7
Fringe Season 3
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 11
My Generation Season 1
Outsourced Season 1
Private Practice Season 4
The Big Bang Theory Season 4
The Mentalist Season 3
The Office Season 7

24th September
Blue Bloods Season 1
Body of Proof Season 1
CSI: NY Season 7
Human Target Season 2
Medium Season 7
Smallville Season 10
Supernatural Season 6
The Good Guys Season 2

26th September
Brothers & Sisters Season 5
Desperate Housewives Season 7
Dexter Season 5
Family Guy Season 8
Heartland Season 4
The Cleveland Show Season 2
The Simpsons Season 22

28th September
No Ordinary Family Season 1
Sanctuary Season 3
Stargate Universe Season 2
The Good Wife Season 2

29th September
Law & Order: LA Season 1

3rd October
American Dad Season 6
CSI: Miami Season 9

6th October
South Park Season 14.5

4th October

-Lie To Me Season 3

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