Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight- the biggest bust in movie history

If anyone planned on seeing Twilight- do yourself a HUGE favor and don't. I bought tickets for the midnight showing for a birthday present for my friends Rosalinda. I wasn't expecting it to be good at all. I had very low expectations walking in and I was still disappointed. That should say something. I still had a good time because I was with friends and we laughed and talked before (and laughed during) the movie.

The thing that disappointed me most was how completely the filmmakers took advantage of their audience. They made a cheap film in a hurry and put little effort into making it even an okay film. If I were the filmmakers of this movie I would be embarrassed. I feel bad for the actors because they might get blame for what really is a badly written script. It could ruin their careers.

There were no redeeming qualities of the film either. It was bad all around. The editing, the cinematography, the music, the "special" effects, the dialog- EVERYTHING sucked. I especially despise whoever did the cinematography. The camera is always moving for no good reason. It is constantly doing rough, jerky 360's around the characters. It's as if the cinematographer was like, hey- I've always wanted to try this... can I do it as much as possible? The cinematography gave the film this surreal feeling that didn't work at all.

There is one sequence in the film that I thought was cool- the baseball scene. I also appreciated that rather than trying to make stupid dialog realistic, most the high school scenes were done in a way that said, "hey, here are a bunch of actors playing high school kids saying dumb things- isn't it funny?" It kind of made fun of itself almost, which was way better than if they tried to be serious about it.

I sincerely hope they DO NOT make another one. If they do, it better be a whole new team. I almost feel as if the project should be abandoned. Later, different filmmakers can try and revive it. Kind of like the two hulk movies. The first one was a bust and a couple years later they made a new one.


-that's all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Movies

I find it interesting that in times of economic hardship, theaters prosper. During the Great Depression in the 1930s there are many accounts of couples deciding whether they wanted to eat or see a movie, and they'd choose the movies. It was two hours that they could forget their hunger and their problems and find some relief in this escape from a difficult world.

A new theater just opened at University Mall and it just got me thinking. What is it that the movies give us that we are drawn to? I mean, one answer is escapism. We just want to escape from our problems. I think this might be the cause for the melancholy feeling you sometimes get when you walk back into the world after watching a feel-good movie with a happy ending. But I suspect there are other reasons that we are drawn to it. Not everyone feels the need to escape.

I wonder if, in part, it is the connection we have with other people. Not only do you get to sort of come to know the characters on the screen intimately, but you share a commonality with the hundreds of people around you. They laugh when you laugh. They jump when you jump. There is this connection you have with total strangers. It this what draws us to the movies? Do we all have this subconscious desire to feel connected?

I often look over at the person on the road driving next to me and wonder what their story is. Where are they going? Are they having a good day? I mean, each of our lives and the relationships we have with those around us are extremely complex. Everyone has a story. We just never really get to hear it.

Lately there is so much talk about hate and intolerance. It is easy to think that the world is screwed up and people are heartless. I still like to believe though, that people are mostly good. When in a situation that calls for intervention by a complete stranger, I think most will heed the call. There is some sense of duty I think we all feel to help other people when they are in need. Not necessarily religious duty, or duty to God, but simple duty because they are human and we are human.

It reminds me of a story my mom told me about her friend. She witnessed a car accident and the woman involved was bleeding severely. My mom's friend acted on impulse to stop the bleeding. It was only after the paramedics came and took over the situation when she realized she had some stranger's blood on her hands and clothes. In that instant that duty to another human being calls, we forget about all the "what ifs." Usually people want to have gloves on when contact with another person's blood is possible.

Last year for Thanksgiving I was four-wheeling in the dessert when my sister and two cousins drove off a 15 ft cliff into a ditch of barbed-wire and rusty metal poles. I was the oldest one there at the time and I pretty much focused solely on my sister who was bleeding and unconscious as she lay in barbed wire and crunched into a metal post (my cousins we slightly injured, but awake and alert). It wasn't until the paramedics took her (in what seemed hours later) that I finally looked up to see that the gouge in the earth was surrounded by concerned neighbors.

By the time we got back from the hospital later that night, the neighbors had gotten tractors and filled the ditch with dirt and had begun a barbecue at my aunts house for everyone. It was really an amazing snapshot of what people are really like inside. Anyway, I don't know why I started writing about this- it just popped into my mind.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In Conflict

I have felt really frustrated lately. Frustrated with myself, with school, with the way things are going in the world. I feel like there are two parts of me. Almost like the whole angel and devil on your shoulders bit. They have become very real to me. There is one part of me that see's my potential and yearns to actualize that potential. It is the part of me that knows what I can become and how I can be better. It encourages me and gives me hope for the future. Then there is the other part- the stronger of the two I think, that refuses to be enlightened. It will not allow myself to receive the blessings that I could obtain if I listened to that other half of me. This part of me scoffs at people. It is pessimistic and carnal. It has no hope for progress and loves procrastination. It suppresses the other half in a way that makes me feel like a hypocrite if I do the things the "good half" wants me to do.

So now you are thinking I am suffering some sort of split-personality disorder. I assure you it isn't that. In scriptural terms it is the natural man vs the spiritual man I guess. I don't know how to change when I feel like a hypocrite when I try. It's like I've been convinced that I am not a spiritual person and "playing spiritual" would be like acting as if I were some high-and-mighty prince from a foreign land.

I noticed this week that I could battle these feelings if I had enough spiritual experiences to help me overcome them. Problem is, I only have these when they are required. Religion class for example. Or my editing class where we watched the director's cut of "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration." I bought a soundtrack of violinist who plays religious hymns this week to try and help me. But I know that I need more than that. I just have this problem with feeling like a fake when I try actively looking for this spiritual enlightenment.

I've also been frustrated with school because i don't feel like I am accomplishing anything right now. I am not in classes that are really helping me develop skills I will need for my career and so i lack motivation. I am doing a minor in business management and I HATE the classes. They are not (for the most part) very interesting to me. I am much more interested in classes that involve discussion and these are all instruction and memorization.

Finally, what is happening to our country? I feel as if the years of plenty are over and we get to look forward to the long drought just in time for us to be finishing up school. I watched this video that Bruce posted and it was really interesting, informative, and scary. It scared me enough to re-think the way I will spend my tax return (good-bye macbook pro). Is it the beginning of the end? Can we pull through it? It is like the civilizations in Ancient America we read about in the Book of Mormon. They get wealthy and prosper and spend spend spend to obtain everything they need, want, and more until destruction comes. When they begin to suffer they start to be humbled. Well- welcome to adulthood... you're just in time for the part where civilization falls and suffers to be humbled. Wonderful.

Then there is the whole Proposition 8 thing. These moral issues combined with the irrisponsibility of governement and the common American to control spending makes me wonder if we will pull through this one. In history, when a nation suffered financially, they eventually realized their evil ways and turned to God. In our day however, the fight against morality seems to just be getting started. It amazed me how quick people were to use the word "hate" after the votes were counted. This pertains to the president as well as issues such as marriage. Please read this post by Melese's husband Kyle on why marriage should be protected- it is very well written.

There you have it. My frustrations in a nut shell.