Check out everyone’s projects!

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Nov 022010

By Tuesday, November 16 everyone needs to have looked at the other projects (look under Contributors to the right).  The class will vote on the top 5-8 projects.  These will join the five projects picked from the 2008 class.  I’ll email out the link to vote as we get closer.

A Journalist, A Free Spirit and a … Red panda?

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Dec 012010

We have been talking a lot this semester about Actors themselves screwing up characters roles, because we associate them with other characters from other films. Well Sadly that happened to me this week with Dustin Hoffman playing as Bernstein in All the President’s Men. I find it strange that this hasn’t happened before in this semester, but I have my reasons. And they are as follows:

Mel Gibson– Quite frankly I can’t take anything Mel Gibson does seriously. I feel like all his roles are so extreme that I always am bothered by that and not the actor.

Matthew Broderick– (Don’t Judge!) I actually have never seen Ferris Bueller, so I really had no idea who he was.

Tom Cruise– Well. For me he is forgettable. I have seen many Tom Cruise movies but afterwards I never really remember what he did or anything about his characters personality. Even now I have to admit I am kind of forgetting random details from Born on the Fourth July. He has never impressed me as an actor. There is not one thing that stands out about him. Except that I can’t think of anything exceptional about him.

So why did I have problems with Dustin Hoffman? Well for one thing it is hard to replace this image:

with this:

I guess it must be the age difference. It is admitably more weird to see someone 35 years younger for the first time, than older. However, it isn’t just Meet the Fockers (though I find the image hilarious) it seems that whenever he is in a movie I recall other movies he has been in. In that sense he is more memorable than Tom Cruise. However this only lasted for the first 15 min or so of the movie, by that time I accepted that he was Bernstein and not Dustin Hoffman. And there were really only a couple of instances where I thought of his other roles. And only once did I remember he was a Red Panda! ^_^

Finally I know these aren’t the “classic” Dustin Hoffman movies, they were just the ones I could think of that were really far off from All the President’s Men.

Tom Cruise = good actor?

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Nov 182010

In defense of Tom Cruise…anyone who wants proof that he’s actually a good actor should see Magnolia. It’s by Paul Thomas Anderson (he did There Will Be Blood), and Tom Cruise is absolutely amazing in it. The movie is ridiculously long, and can be really frustrating, but it’s beautifully written and filmed. I would highly recommend it if you have 3 hours to spare and feel like watching a movie that will leave you with a lot of questions.

Long Walk Home

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Nov 112010

In class we kind of touched on the relationship between Mrs. Thomson and Mr. Thomson. Mrs. Thomson was portrayed as a feminist as that was not accurate. I thought however that another purpose of the scene was how Civil Rights affected white families. How something so small could make some people even more racist then they already were which is the case for Mr. Thomson.

Another thing we talked about in class was the relationship that Mr. Thomson said there was between the maids and his family. He seemed to think that the maids did not really know him and he would never know the maids because there is a barrier of race. What was interesting to me was that little daughter loved Odessa and they knew each other pretty well. When Mrs. Thomson is looking at her old pictures it shows that she had a very close relationship with her maid as well. I think that although many people in Montgomery really did not know the people who worked for them the children did know them.

Why are mining massacres not more widely known?

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Oct 282010

Learning this week and the number of very brutal massacres, Matewan and now two in Colorado, it makes me wonder why they are not more widely known.  Until I checked up on our reading, I was entire unaware of the conflicts and violence that was associated with mining throughout the United States.  I would think that, even in passing, more would be heard about them somewhere in our history, but that is not true.  It’s surprising to me knowing how important coal mining once was.  Is this silence because of the big business influence or that these victims of big business didn’t warrant more attention?–Debbie M.

More Miner Uprisings?

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Oct 282010

I was catching up with a friend who is going to school in Colorado the other day and she asked me how classes were going and such. I told her I was watching Matewan for class, a movie about the Matewan Massacre in West Virginia. She then made the comment that they had massacres like that in Colorado too. So I decided to look up what I can find, and I found two that really stood out. The first one being the famous Ludlow Massacre in 1914, and the second was the Columbine Massacre in 1927.

What struck me about these massacre was the influence that the big companies had over the US, the Rockefeller’s weren’t just in West Virginia they were clearly in Colorado too! The oppression that the miners experienced didn’t come from just one area, it was the nation as a whole. I found it interesting so I though it would be good to share… :D

Footnotes and Siskel

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Oct 262010

So I made a discovery the other day, one that I think would be useful for other people’s projects too, which why I am mentioning it. The first discovery was one that really carries over from last semester, its a handy plugin called FD Footnotes. For citing this made things so much easier, it is already included in umwblog’s plugin database so there doesn’t have to be any special downloading. Here is the website if you want more info.

Also, I stumbled across this fantastic duo by the name of Siskel and Ebert, they reviewed a lot of films from the 1970′s up until the mid 1990′s. If you are doing a film that was released during that time it wouldn’t hurt to YouTube it because they touch on what is important in American culture at the time it was produced. AKA- Primary Source! :D