24 April 2014

Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers was the TV miniseries I watched last year with my dad, brother, and sister.  It recounted Easy Company's 101st Airbourne and its men.  Their ups and downs, and everything in between.

I appreciate this series for many reasons.  The first being it's strict adherence to the facts, and how well it portrays the selflessness and comradry of the troops during WWII.
It brought the war to life and helped me better grasp the heroism and hearbreak that occured in those years.  Even though there is quite a lot of language, and some other objectionable content, the posotive features of this series outweigh all of that in my eyes.
One other point is that Band of Brothers contains an abundance of violence which to some may be too intense.  However, if the violence was not in Band of Brothers it would have defenitely seemed fake, and also would not have made such an impact on me concerning the sacrifice that the soldiers in WWII made.

All in all, it was a great miniseries that contains many amazing and humoring facts about the great feats the 101st airborne accomplished and I will definitely watch it again!

19 April 2014

The Grapes of Wrath: John Steinbeck's Hope

After reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, I had to write an analysis essay.  Below are the two questions given, and my essay response.

Grapes of Wrath Analysis
Did Steinbeck present a vision of hope or despair for the future in the novel The Grapes of Wrath?  Was Steinbeck optimistic or pessimistic about the future of America’s working class?

In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath there was a theme of courage versus desolation.  Through the whole book they were searching for some kind of stability and hope for the future, but they were always looking in the wrong places.
The beginning of The Grapes of Wrath shows farmers all over Oklahoma being driven out of their land.  Having their livelihood taken away from them, and being forced to face an unknown future.  Their circumstances took control of their lives and they became a group of unwanted people.  When the Joads first discovered that they had to move, their idea of California was ideal.  It was filled with acre upon acre of ripened fruit waiting to be plucked for an outstanding wage.  At one point Grampa states, “they’s grapes out there, just a-hangin’ over inta the road… I’m gonna pick me a wash tub full of grapes,” (95).  All their hope in was in California.  However it was a hope that proved faulty and eventually broke their family apart.
Once the Joads traveled past California’s luscious valleys they found themselves in Hooverville after Hooverville.  Looking for job after job, only to find that there were never enough jobs for the thousands of migrant workers.  Pa states, “I ain’t got no hunch we’ll find work.  Guess we got to look, though.  We don’t even know where’ at to look,” (331).  Men and women across America where thinking the same thoughts.  They had to find work, even if they did not know where to look.  Most of them traveled looking for work even if they knew they would find nothing.  Their search for work became their occupation and without it they felt an growth of uselessness.
The government camp became their next hope.  Even though they didn’t have much work while they were there, they felt a sense of belonging and trust that they had not found anywhere else.  They believed that if there were more camps like this America would become a thriving nation once again, and the ruling businessmen would not have as strong a control over the common people.  However there could never be a perfect camp such as the government camp they stayed at.  With humans living in it and managing it, there always will be some type of lawbreaker and peace disturber.  However, Steinbeck did not believe this.  He had no true idea of perfection, and as a result he tried to create his own perfection.  He tried to create his own peace.  He tried to create his own hope. 

Sadly there were those who believed in his false ideas.  They put their trust in false hopes of a perfect world in harmony; a world that was run by the people and for the people without any higher being; in other words, without God.  This brings me to Steinbeck’s last hope.  He believed that if everyone worked for one great cause, the world would become perfect.  Even so, his idea could never work without a Devine Being to rule over the world, to keep it, and save it from its downfalls.  Since Steinbeck’s hope rested in worldly matter and thoughts of world unity.  To me the ending did not give hope for the future, but instead an outlook of despair.

03 April 2014


          Spies, espionage, and misplaced trust envelope the 1963 film, Charade.  Set in Paris during the Cold War, it includes everything a suspenseful romance mystery should, plus more! Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star as the leading roles of Regina “Reggie” Lampert, and her mysterious no-name friend.  Many people (including me) believed that Charade was an Alfred Hitchcock film because of the amazing way Stanley Donen directs this thrilling masterpiece.  Consequently Charade has earned the reputation of being, “The best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made.”  I think for a movie over 50 years old that is a great reputation.
Charade begins by introducing the audience to Regina Lampert, the wife of an exceedingly rich Swiss man.  However, she was not happy with her life of money and leisure.  She was tired of how her husband never told her anything (not even who is relatives were), and was considering a divorce because, “[She didn’t] love Charles.”  That evening when she arrived home at her apartment, Reggie found that her husband was dead and had been involved in a great crime.  Reggie struggled throughout the movie to discover who she could trust and how to fight through the lies that clouded her mind.

          Nevertheless, during the film Reggie discovers that her husband was not the only one who was dishonest to her.  This was demonstrated during a conversation Reggie had with Mr. Dyle.  He stated,
There's an old riddle about two tribes of Indians -- the Whitefeet always tell the truth and the Blackfeet always lie. So one day you meet an Indian, you ask him if he's a truthful Whitefoot or a lying Blackfoot?  He tells you he's a truthful Whitefoot, but which one is he?
This confused Reggie.  Her desire to trust Dyle, conflicted with her situation, and became a continual inner struggle inside her.
I noticed that throughout Charade, the camera angle tied into the atmosphere a lot.  For one example during the scene of Charles’s funeral, they show the image of a record playing music.  However, a couple seconds later there are rows of empty chairs during a funeral service.  This was to set the mood and show how alone Reggie was after her husband died.  It was a truly great way to connect Reggie’s loneliness with our mind’s-eye of her.
Charade is over 50 years old, and although strange at times, it significantly portrays the film industry at the end of its golden age.  When thinking about a film’s greatness, years do not matter.  Instead, a realistic atmosphere and down to earth acting are what make up a classic movie.  Charade matches these criteria and holds a place in many movie-lover’s hearts.  It is, in fact, one of the best films of its time.

          Hope you Enjoyed!  Oh, and also, Charade is in the public domain, so if you have an extra hour and 45 minutes in one of your days, you could find and watch it on the internet!

Have a Nice day!