Exploring Film Criticism with a New Perspective

When my journey began with film criticism I had no idea how I was supposed to do it right. Then, one of the first things that I learned which became to be one of the biggest factors when it comes to film criticism is baggage. That I learned to become one of the most important first steps when it comes to even before starting a movie. This is because we want to give the audiences reading our criticism to see an unbiased analysis and it would be difficult to do so when you begin with a biased opinion of the movie before it has even begun.

There are many other things that I have learned about this semester that are valuable to my film criticism. One thing that it has changed is the way that I see things. When I would go into the theatre to watch a movie I was not as concerned as to the lighting or the angles or technical things concerning to the creation of the movie and it seems that I did not learn to appreciate the movie by the efforts that had been taken to make it but just by how the content is presented on the screen. Now, when I look at the movie I realize that I unconsciously pay attention to those small filming details like the affect the music has or the lighting and angling of the camera and I realized that in a way it helped me to appreciate the movie more.

I believe that because of all of what I have learned, it has helped me to realize those certain aspects of the filmmaking process that makes a film production high quality and it has helped me to enjoy the movie better than I would have without this knowledge of the elements of filmmaking.

I definitely feel like this course has changed alot when it comes to my perspective of film. I do and have learned to appreciate films that used to not be of my type or the kind that I was used to. I also learned to appreciate when I get my money’s worth based on the value of the movie. When I mentioned appreciating films that were not of my type I mean especially the older ones. I used to believe that they were just boring with dumb content but when I learned to give it a chance especially because of the semester project I had was dedicated to a 1960’s film I realized that they are not as bad as I realized. So I guess my take away from this is that I should always be willing to give every film a chance and also, to leave my baggage behind.

-Gabby Luna

Frozen: a Child’s Favorite

When Frozen came out in the year 2013 may children and families immediately fell in love. The story about two sisters who learned to overcome the greatest obstacle that cause them to fall off, fear of power. With many underlying messages about life, the producer, Peter Del Vecho.

The storyline on what Peter Del Vecho commented, is based off of the Hans Christian Andersen stories while also adding some of The Snow Queen story that was published in 1845. The reasons for why this movie became such a hit when it was released was mainly because of that sisterly connection that Elsa and Anna had with each other and how although they were found to make unpopular decisions, the movie was able to make the audience see things from both perspectives and was able to connect with the audiences emotions, well, at least it did for me.

Peter Del Vecho, as mentioned before, was the main producer of Frozen movie which was known for earning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. He was also the producer for the films, “The Princess and the Frog” and Winnie the Pooh”. After creating Frozen he went on for the year 2015 to create a short film associated the characters of Frozen called “Frozen Fever”

This short film also became a hit back in 2015 because of all the thousands of little frozen fans around the world. This movie is very entertaining and the concept of the movie is a positive and happy one a movie loved by most parents for their children.

When watching a movie it is common for people to just go over the hard work that was used to create such a great film. Although it was an animated movie, there was still much research put into this such as the lighting aspect. In order for the designers of the animation to make it as realistic or accurate as possible they had to study how the light reflects from the snow to different objects. For example the scene where Elsa’s castle appears you could see the reflection of the snows white lighting and how it affected that setting in contrast to when they were in in their other kingdom where Anna and Elsa grew up in.

Another important aspect to examine is the music. The Frozen movie in certain ways can be considered as a musical because of the different musical numbers that they both broke into such as, the biggest one that the movie is known for; “Let it go”.

When watching this movie, at the end, we were asked to complete this worksheet of questions regarding the movie, the actors, the producers, and our thoughts on this movie. After doing this assignment I realized that although this was not one of my most favorite child films of all time, I did not believe it to be one of the worst either. The graphics were amazing and it was very colorful and eye catching especially for the younger audiences. When I realized who the producer was, I agreed with the fact that at least in my opinion, some of his classic Disney films he had made earlier on, could not be compared. Films like Winnie the Pooh, which was one I personally grew up with has more sentimental value to me that Frozen but for other children that grow up with Frozen could feel the same about this movie.

-Gabby Luna

“Passengers” a Movie of the Future, Is it Worthwhile?

Image result for Passengers

Many people have their ideas of the endless possibilities of space exploration. But have you wondered of the endless possibility of dangers and malfunctions found along the way? The movie “Passengers” starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence shows an idea of what it would be like to explore in space traveling light years to another planet.

Image result for passengers wake up scene

So, the story is a pretty basic one, as 5,000 people travel in a spaceship to a new planet that was to become their home, two people wake up way too early, like 90 years too early. Finding out that all that time there had been occurring so many malfunctions, Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) realized it was up to them to fix the ship therefore saving the lives of those 5,000 people.

Related image

This ship that all of those people were in, was supposedly made to never fail but it clearly did considering Jim is awoken by the ship 90 years too early. That would be when everything started going downhill. Jim then experiences frustration and loneliness since he was the only one awake. He began and tried to just accept his fate but then comes along Aurora, which later on in the movie something happened prior to her awakening that had a large impact in how Aurora saw things later on.

The movie overall at least in my opinion was a pretty good one. The thing that did bother me though was that it became so predictable the outcomes of many situations. This was not one of the things that helped me like the movie but I believe that the people producing it dad a decent job. The one thing that does save the movie are the characters. I say that if the movie content is bad, have those good looking characters to cover it up, I feel that that is what people do now.

If you think about the movie, after watching it you realize that there is a theme commonly shared throughout the whole movie. I feel that the movie was depicting a distant reality of what could happen if people really decided to create a way for human life to travel light years to inhabit another Earth. This is something far from reality especially now because there is no indication that space exploration will go that far any time soon.

Now, the actual filmmaking was amazing. They made everything look so realistic as if they had recorded this in space. We know that that is not true because in these times there are so many ways that film producers use to create such an environment. I found it amazing how they were able to perfect some scenes like when the characters, Jim and Aurora looked out and saw a red giant out in space. They also did an amazing job of the angles that they used to film things. Some films you can tell the poor quality by how they are not able to record a whole scenario and the camera keeps shaking when the action happens and the constant zooming in and out of the scene.

For the actors in this movie, I think that it was an exceptional choice because the two actors Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence together is what made the movie work honestly. There were some scenes in this movie where that romance got pretty intense but also it was sweet because they both learned to accept their fate as they were going to grow old and die on the ship but they decided to make the most of it as a happy couple.

In the end I feel like this is a pretty good movie to watch especially if you are into all of the spacial sci-fi and romance type movies.

-Gabby Luna

The Greatest Showman Review

The Greatest Showman, a 2017 “musical drama” film production starring Hugh Jackman as P.T Barnum in which he is on a mission to fame. He buys a museum with his family name on it in which later becomes Barnum and Bailey Circus. P.T Barnum is only able to make such a circus with the help of the towns “freaks” and so he makes his money off of them. Later,as he goes through a tough situation, he learns an important lesson of appreciation.

as P.T Barnum in which he is on a mission to fame. He buys a museum with his family name on it in which later becomes Barnum and Bailey Circus. P.T Barnum is only able to make such a circus with the help of the towns “freaks” and so he makes his money off of them. Later,as he goes through a tough situation, he learns an important lesson of appreciation.

This film has many aspects to consider that form together to make such a great production. One thing that was very noticeable was the quality of the music. Music in movies, especially musicals in the most essential part in expressing the emotions that the producers wanted to convey in a certain scene. That is what a musical is all about, the music. For example some of my favorites, “This is me” and “Rewrite the stars”. Both of the songs convey a different theme. First, in the song “this is me” this was a song lead by the Bearded Lady in the movie. The message behind this was acceptance of oneself no matter how strange we may look or seem. Such a powerful message! The other song, “Rewrite the stars” , this has a more romantic mood to it and there are reasons behind this. The two characters in the movie, Philip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler fall in love but face with the problem of ridicule from others because they were not of the same category or status. Sad right. Well, this song was a demonstration of their strong bond and how although society viewed their relationship a disgrace, the song is basically saying that they will make them see differently. That it does not matter the other opinion. Also another powerful message.

Sometimes movies add moments in where the silence makes a scene more intense. I think that this movie in particular is great because of the lack of silence. Of Course there would be moments in which there is not as much going on because it is not possible to cover every scene with no silence whatsoever but in this film in particular this was something that was not big enough to take notice.

This film in specific although may seem like others but it differentiates from others for a specific reason. This production is not only a family friendly entertainer but there are many lessons that are taken out of this. Some of the lessons clearly shown are for example, there were many lessons in which the importance of appreciation for what we have and for who we have. Also, it shows how many characters learn to love one another for their own way of being. They learned to embrace and accept their weirdness. Another was when they began to believe that P.T did not really have a personal interest in them as a human being but saw them as a creepy attraction that could earn him more money. Not only a lesson but also one of the main conflicts found in this musical.

One thing that amazed me was the costumes used for presentation and just the clothing types on general. They seemed so detailed and beautiful and also made in the way that you could tell when era this movie was set on.

This movie for me was a success. It clearly expressed its message and the musical numbers made many hearts fill with joy. I really enjoyed watching it and I hope others will too.

-Gabby Luna

Alita: Battle Angel Movie Analysis

A cyborg with human like appearances, ended up in a scrap yard in pieces, found and rescued by a cyborg doctor, Ido, who builds her body and gives her the name Alita. When Alita awakens from being unconscious, she has no idea of who she was, where she came from, or where she is at. As she figures her way around the dangerous place called Iron City, trying to figure out her identity, Ido keeps it from her, therefore protecting her of her dark past. This is a story about seeking identity while also including tragic love and acts of heroism.

What I like about this movie is that it includes various genres in one. It has a bit of action, which of course can go hand in hand with science fiction considering the fact that the story was built in a futuristic era with cyborgs roaming around the city. Also, including its own little eye watering love story. I feel that this type of film would appeal most to the younger side of viewers, like teenagers and such but, for the other sci-fi lovers out there, it is most likely to appeal to them as well. Honestly when you think about it, movies like this that include a little bit of diversity when it comes to genres it would be likely to have larger audiences with interest because it definitely caught my attention.

In this particular film, it was interesting to see the conflicts that she developed throughout the movie. At first, she began to have internal conflicts with herself because she did not know the person that she was looking at in the mirror and this came with a great deal of frustration. Then, her next conflict could be said that was one against society. This movie like many others has little hidden messages behind it and this one was shown because some people acted differently, or rudely towards her because she seemed to be different from everyone else.This tends to happen a lot in today’s society and they seemingly addressed this in the film. One of the bigger problems that was found later on in the film was of when she constantly had to decide what to do in intense situations.

Her creator had warned her of the dangers that she would face out in the city, and that she should stay hidden but it was of her nature to go headfirst into battles because that was who she was. She was like any other young teenager, impulsive, but she had to make the hard decision of if she would follow her “father” or her heart. Like situations mentioned before, I think that this movies hold many themes. One of my favorite themes that I saw is where people are willing to go to and the measures people are willing to take for love. Like in Anita’s case, when it came to the guy she fell in love with, although she later discovered a dark secret of his, she still forgave him and loved him and was willing to sacrifice herself for him by breaking the law. There was also one scene which was my favorite that she insisted he took her heart so he could get his dream but he told her that she should not be willing to give up something so big like her heart for anyone no matter how good they seem. These are just a couple of examples of themes found in this movie.

Now, when it comes to the actual filming part of the project I believe that the way a movie is filmed plays a huge part in the quality of the movie. There was on part where Alita was fighting this enemy called Grewishka in the underworld, the camera angle at that point made that scene seem way more intense that what it would have been if the shot was from behind. Also, even before the fight had begun, when she landed inside, the way that everything became so dark with only a little bit of light coming from the caved in hole on the ceiling, this created a sense of suspension because people were just waiting for the moment that Grewishka would pop out with a sneak attack. This also lays in with the color theory aspect because in certain scenes there was always some sort of color scheme but with most of the movie there were mainly dark colors like blacks, greys etc. I think this was supposed to symbolize how the town was full of evil and darkness. Pretty obvious assumptions. ALso since this movie was put out on February 14 it has not won any awards so far, but they did have many award winning artists.

Another important aspect that is taken in account for the quality of film production is the sound elements.There were various occasions in which sound was a key ingredient to add to the suspension. Once again, you can take the fight of Alita vs Grewishka. The background music of when Alita was waiting for him to pop out, it was a growing suspension because of how the music grew louder through time. Also one thing that is very true when it comes to sound is that there is power in silence. There were various scenes that the filmmakers put it in, like in an alleyway scene where there was a woman walking and it became silent until all you could hear was the sound of the woman’s heels hitting the floor. This rises the suspension even more because you know something is about to happen, you just don’t know when. Alaso in this just as I had previously mentioned, this sound production has not won any awards so far since it was only released recently

Overall I believe that this was an amazing film, I think it to be a success. I love its animations and just how the story was built overall. The only concern that I have is that since there were so many conflicts that were developed later on in the movie, it was hard to make a proper ending and so that is possibly why it ended the way that it did. Who knows, maybe there will be a part two.

Anyways that is all for my review and I hope you enjoyed reading this.

By:Gabby Luna

Travelin’ Soldier Song Analysis

Two days past eighteen
He was waiting for the bus in his army green
Sat down in a booth in a café there
Gave his order to a girl with a bow in her hair

He’s a little shy so she give him a smile
And he said would you mind sittin’ down for a while
And talkin’ to me, I’m feeling a little low

She said I’m off in an hour and I know where we can go

I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin’ for the love of a travelin’ soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin’ for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier’s coming home

So the letters came from an army camp
In California then Vietnam
And he told her of his heart
It might be love and all of the things he was so scared of
He said when it’s gettin’ kinda rough over here
I think of that day sittin’ down at the pier
And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile
Don’t worry but I won’t be able to write for awhile

I cried

Never gonna hold the hand of another guy Too young for him they told her
Waitin’ for the love of a travelin’ soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin’ for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier’s coming home

One Friday night at a football game
The Lord’s Prayer said and the anthem sangA man said folks would you bow your heads
For a listed local Vietnam dead
Crying all alone under the stands
Was a piccolo player in the marching band
And one name read and nobody really cared
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair

I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guyToo young for him they told her
Waitin’ for the love of a travelin’ soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin’ for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter says
A soldier’s coming

I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin’ for the love of a travelin’ soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin’ for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letters says

The group who sang this song are called “The Dixie Chicks”. I was not able to find the names of the two people who played the parts in the video but the story in this song was about a couple who were madly in love but the guy was recruited for the Vietnam war. The woman was a waitress at a cafe and she had decided to make the most of the situation by having as much fun as possible before he had to go.

The conflict of the song was that the couple could not be together and the girl was nervously anticipating for the guy to come back home.

The resolution of this song was a quite sad one because it ended with the girl crying as she saw that her man had died in war. The chorus of the song is basically saying that the guy was her only love and that she would never fall in love with any other guy.

The setting of the song changed back and forth throughout the song from the girl’s hometown to the war. It showed how the girl was thinking about the good times they used to have while the music video also showed the guy in the plane struggling through the war.

If this were to be a short film I would think it would be drama because of the way it was designed and the story line was very dramatic to me.

By:Gabby Luna

What Baggage means to Me and Why

When examining different types of film it is important that we make sure we leave our baggage behind. In order to do this it is important to know what it means. So, what is baggage anyway? To me it means different things as in it could be positive or negative. Sometimes baggage could be something that could lead you to really dislike a movie or film but also it could be something that makes one of those films become your favorite. There are many examples but I would like to consider only a couple.

There are some film like TV shows that are very good, well produced, with a great script that can keep the audience captivated. For me one of these is the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy”. This is one of my personal favorite TV shows. Right now there are 14 seasons of pure content. Personally it has not not had a stale moment and so that is why I would consider this show a “binge-worthy” show. Although this is my opinion and I do believe I am not the only one to think so, there are some people who would not appreciate this show as much as I. There are probably many reasons for this. Some, don’t like it because it simply is not of their preference. Other reasons could be because it may have way to much drama and things going on to keep up. This could be an example of baggage. In a way it could be what makes you lean towards a certain type of film more than others.

Something about me that could be considered as negative baggage is that I do not like old Western movies at all. I could watch it but I would not guarantee that it will be of my enjoyment. I have many reasons why but I will not go into detail about that. This does not mean I do not enjoy older films because I love sitting with my grandpa watching his favorite show, El Zorro . Also Star Wars is one of my all time favorite type of old movies.

I believe that having personal baggage is not bad when it comes to selecting a good movie for your movie night because obviously you want to watch something that will be enjoyable and entertaining to you.

By: Gabby Luna

“What film means to me”

Many days sitting on my couch home alone it may be a rainy day and nothing gives me a better feeling than being all cuddled up in my blankets watching a good movie on Netflix. My name is Gabriela Luna, but I prefer being called Gabby. I love movies and I generally am not too picky about them as long as it can keep me interested for the whole time.

I was born in Puerto Rico but I moved to the United States when I was three years old. As a kid I loved movies, I would always make my parents sit and watch Disney movies with me every single weekend. I always adored watching Disney princess movies like Aladdin with princess Jasmine, or princess and the frog etcetera. These were all amazing movies to me that I will always treasure as part of my childhood.

One, of the many movies that I may have watched as a kid that I remember clearly is The Lion King. This was such an amazing movie and when I discovered it I would watch it and rewatch it and rewatch it again without getting bored once and to this day I would do the same.

The thing with me is that I am a very emotional person. I cry very often in movies and I get weird looks from my parents because they don’t get why I tear up over a fictitious character when they die. An, experience that I have had, which now that I remember it, was one of the first times that I could remember that my aunt had taken me to watch a movie. We went to watch this movie called The Dinosaur movie. This movie is a Disney movie made in the year 2000. This movie is older than me considering that I was born on the year 2003. Anyways, this movie is probably the first movie I remember that made me cry as much as I had. This movie is one of my least favorite films because it was so sad. So many characters died and they had to make it be one of the younger ones which was the saddest part,(I won’t say anymore so I won’t spoil it). Although this movie was a good movie in the way that the graphics and the content was pretty good considering it was 2000.

If you have not noticed yet I really do like Disney movies considering they are what I grew with but I like different types of genres of movies and TV shows as well. Some of the genres to name a few are Comedy, Romance and Drama. Here are some of the films that I like the most:

The images above show three different types of genres that I like. I am currently very much into the Grey’s anatomy show and I find it pretty exciting. Something else that I am also excited for is this class in which I will get the opportunity to express useful information that I hope will benefit all who decide to read my blogs.


By: Gabriela Alicea-Luna

Date: January 2, 2019