The Wilhelm Scream: Torture

[Spoilers for The Green Inferno]

After being in development Hell, The Green Inferno finally came out this year. This is a typical Eli Roth film, considering it is a Torture Horror film. It is very similar to his most popular work, Hostel. While this may seem like just another torture porn film, there was actually a lot of interesting things that lead up to this film’s release.

The Green Inferno was filmed in 2012 and was scheduled to be released in early 2014. Due to financial troubles, the film’s release was delayed until this year. Since the film centered around an indigenous tribe, Eli Roth wanted to film with an authentic tribe. They found a tribe, but they were so secluded that the production team and the government had to explain to them what a movie even was. Roth was using the film Cannibal Holocaust as the main inspiration for his film, and that’s the film that they screened for the tribe.

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An Alien Way of Telling a Story

[Spoilers for The Martian]

Hollywood has become very successful at making a profit. The studios have a formula that they stick to for almost all their films. While this may not be a traditional step-by-step guide, it does shape how American films are made. For example, in most movies today, there is a “good versus bad” dynamic. There is almost always a definite and happy ending. However, some of the details in this formula seemed to be challenged recently. There are a lot of changes happening because the way we consume media is going through some of the biggest transformations ever.

Television is moving from cable to online streaming and with that change comes a change in the style and quality of production. Shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad are becoming more and more popular. These shows are made to look and feel like movies. They also play with traditional conventions. There is no longer a good guy or bad guy. We do not always get all our questions answered. A recent film that played with traditional conventions is Jurassic World. It took little things — like a woman running through a jungle in heels — and made fun of them to show how predictable Hollywood has become. With all this change will come new innovations. The Martian is one of those films that pushes the boundaries of what films are usually too afraid to do.

Looking at The Martian without doing too much research will make you think that it’s just another typical Hollywood movie. It has a big budget, a cast full of big stars, was heavily marketed, and is full of action. In reality, this film was breaking tradition before it even became a film. Andy Weir is the author of the novel the film is based on. When writing, he did his research to make sure that all the science was as realistic as possible. It helped a lot that he had a background in computer science and that his father was a particle physicist. The Martian shows how books are changing a lot these days as well. With no luck in getting previous work published by traditional means, Weir decided to self-publish his novel chapter by chapter for free on his website. After his novel gained some traction, fans demanded that he publish it as an e-book. It became a bestseller soon after.

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After the Credits

The Matrix

Spoilers ahead!

The film industry is always adapting and changing. It goes through phases and trends just like anything else. For instance, credits used to be at the beginning of a film. They would only show the main actors and main people behind the film. Now credits are at the end of the film and can be very lengthy. It seems like people don’t really care who is to thank for being a grip or an extra. This could be why everything is at the end in small print and scrolls by quickly. Over the years, some films have gotten creative and put animations or bloopers with the credits. When I was very young, I got to see The Matrix Reloaded. This was significant because it was the first time I saw a film do something different with the credits. There was an after-credit scene that added to the story.

The Matrix is not the first film to add an after-credit scene, it was just the first one I saw. There have been after-credit sequences since the 70s, like in The Muppet Movie. However, there has been a sudden increase in after-credit sequences. The 2000s marked this sudden increase. That’s when today’s current pop culture began, especially with superhero films.

The same year The Matrix Reloaded came out, the film X-2 came out. Since then, superhero films have become notorious for having after-credit scenes. Marvel, Fox, and Warner Bros. have become really successful due to superhero films. They have all also utilized after-credit sequences. Fans have come to expect the surprise that comes after the movie. For the longest time, the extra scene used to provide a clue as to what might come in the future. They would get the hype rolling for the next film in the series. This has become so popular that a few films added an after-credit sequence as well as a mid-credit sequence. Is it getting out of hand?

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A Dream Come True


Warning: spoilers ahead!

Disney seems to see a benefit in making live-action remakes of the classics. We have seen Snow White and Sleeping Beauty already, and Disney plans to bring Mulan back too. These movies have been hit-or-miss for audiences, but Cinderella was a step in the right direction. With a few movies under their belt, Disney finally shows the potential that all of these live action remakes have.

Cinderella seems like it would be a tough project to make in live action because it is a simple story with magical things going on in the background. At first glance, it could be brushed off as potentially cheesy or too childish because of the content, such as Cinderella talking to animals.

Despite this, it was actually handled really tastefully. All of the supernatural events still happen, but they are toned down to match the style of a live-action film. You aren’t forced to suspend belief because they do it very subtly. The animals do not talk, but they are clearly in a friendship with Cinderella. The cinematography helps too because it is done very romantically and makes everything look just a step above real life. There are shots of castles, fields, and forests the way they only exist in fairy tales.

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Big Hero 6: A Step in the Right Direction

Disney movies are usually a big success. Big Hero 6 is a Disney film that won the Oscar for Best Animated Film, but it did not have the cultural impact that most Disney movies do. This is unfortunate because the movie was an original piece of work that did many things right.

Hollywood is known for being a white man’s world. It is believed that women and other races do not sell tickets at the box office. This belief system has hindered many projects. George Lucas had many problems trying to get studios to let him make the movie Red Tails because it was an all black cast. It is an old way of thinking that is slowly changing.

Disney has had a good thing going by featuring women as lead characters. Over the years, they have also been moving towards characters that do not need a man to save them. They keep innovating and Big Hero 6 is a movie that also tried going into new territory. It features a half-American, half-Japanese family living in a town called “San Fransokyo.”

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The Wilhelm Scream: Transformer


Jake Gyllenhaal is one of those actors who has been around long enough to have a huge range of movies. He has had great ones and terrible ones. Recently, you could say that Gyllenhaal has found his stride and has been choosing great projects to star in. Although he was not nominated for any Oscars this year, the future looks bright for him.

Gyllenhaal’s current dedication to his work has skyrocketed with his upcoming movie, Southpaw, and his most recent movie, Nightcrawler. He is joining the ranks of Christian Bale and Gerard Butler as he has gone through massive changes to his appearance. In other words, he has begun to put a lot of work into transforming into his characters. In Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal lost massive amounts of weight for his role. He had sunken eyes and the whole nine yards. In Southpaw, he plays a boxer. He has gained a lot of muscle for this role, more than he has ever had, and looks like he’s been an athlete his whole life.

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White Controversy

Who will win big at The Oscars?

The Oscars are one of the biggest nights for the entertainment industry. The Oscars are the biggest awards for films. That being said, they have a great influence on film community and popular culture. It is big news when nominations are announced. People celebrate hard work, the general public gets an idea of what movies to watch, and non-nominees have to accept the loss. This year is no different. Except there is a big controversy over the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.

Many critics have taken note of this lack of diversity. There has also been a public outcry against the whitewashed Hollywood. Even SNL has poked fun at the current situation. It is well known that the majority of Oscar nominations go to white males. There seems to be a lack of representation for anyone else. This may be the basis of the arguments that people are putting up with this year’s nomination selections. This may all be true but it seems like Hollywood is taking a turn for the better. Last year, 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture along with a Best Supporting Actress award. This year, Selma is nominated for best picture. Should there still be a conflict?

Although Selma still got nominated for the biggest award, there are plenty of talented actors who did not get nominated. While it is true that all the nominations are for white people, one has to understand that the academy has to look past race and look at raw talent. This makes it hard for anyone who is not white because the majority of films feature mostly Caucasian casts. This indirectly requires anyone who is not white and who wants to be nominated to work extra hard. Hollywood unfortunately believes that only white casts sell tickets. Until this false practice dies, it is going to be hard to create a diverse nomination list.

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Star Wars: A New Hope?

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With the new Star Wars teaser trailer out, fans are overwhelmed with excitement. After 10 years, a new series of six movies are on their way. J.J. Abrams gave the fans a look at the new stormtroopers, new characters, and the Millennium Falcon. There has been nothing but positive feedback with the exception of a few trolls. The original trilogy is widely accepted as a masterpiece, but the prequel films are known to be a mistake. Where does this new trilogy land?

The original Star Wars trilogy was a team project with George Lucas in the lead. At the time he had to impress a studio and cooperate with his team. This teamwork lead to one of the film world’s milestones. The accomplishment also brought George Lucas an incredible amount of power. When he decided it was time to expand the universe, everyone was on board. Who didn’t want more?

Watching the special features on the Blu-ray version of the films tells a clear story. This new project was not a collaboration. George Lucas did not have to answer to studio demands and his team had complete faith in him. He had complete creative control while everyone else was just a yes man. He was the one who created the original trilogy and this new crew did not want to do anything that went against his vision. After all, he was already successful. This is what led to a disappointing trilogy. It was a bunch of undisputed choices that where not carefully ironed out. Everyone put complete trust in George Lucas to do it again.

Looking back to the year 1998, no one thought the new movie would be bad. In fact the trailer got everyone excited to see the new Star Wars. The trailer became one of the most downloaded files at the time. People would pay for a movie ticket to see the new trailer and then leave without seeing the following movie. The anticipation was huge. Ultimately the hype was for nothing. The movie did not live up to expectations. Now this new teaser is getting the same treatment. Everyone is watching it and everyone is super hyped up to see more.
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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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(WARNING: Spoilers Ahead)

Christopher Nolan is known for thinking outside the box. His movies reflect his innovative way of thinking and executing his ideas. All of his movies make you question both the protagonists and the antagonists. Is a person truly evil, or on the other hand, can a person be truly pure? Interstellar explores this question through the theme of detachment.

“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. The Dark Knight explores the moral consequences that being a one-man justice system brings. Inception uses camera trickery to enhance character development. The camera literally turn characters upside down, making it hard for the audience to trust their reality. Interstellar is the most sophisticated film Christopher Nolan has made, and it uses both of these methods to push its agenda. Every character in the film has to make a tough decision at a certain point. No decision in this movie is completely a good or bad decision. It all revolves around detachment.

The movie begins with the character of Cooper being detached from reality. He is dreaming about an accident he had on a space shuttle years ago. He wakes up to a not-so-distant future that has a dying planet. Earth only has a few more years before it is completely uninhabitable. NASA has become a secret and literally underground organization working on a plan to save humanity, so it is also detached from society. NASA has become a secret organization because the world decided to detach from technology to focus on agriculture as a last resort to try to preserve life on Earth. NASA has two plans. Plan A is to figure out a way to send the rest of civilization into space on a giant shuttle to continue life and detach from Earth. Plan B is to find another planet with preserved human embryos to restart the human race. Plan B would mean the destruction of the current human population.

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Not So Fast: Actors and Ethics

They say that celebrity deaths come in twos. True to form, in the past two years there were two deaths that made headline news. Paul Walker died in a tragic car accident in 2013 and Philip Seymour Hoffman died the next year. This is not to say that no other celebrity or no other person has died recently, but these two actors are different because they were still in the middle of filming movies at the time of their deaths. Both had unfinished projects that they were under contract to finish.

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Fast and Furious 7 decided to use Walker’s brothers and CGI to finish filming scenes that involved him. The Hunger Games decided to go full CGI to complete Hoffman’s scenes. It is safe to say that the adjustments will integrate seamlessly. The Social Network proved that CGI can be used to replace a human’s face perfectly. The Winklevoss twins were played by two different actors and you could not tell.

Both Fast and Furious 7 and The Hunger Games are currently in post-production, meaning that the necessary adjustments have already been made. The real question is whether or not this is ethical and respectful of both the families and the deceased.

Both actors play significant roles in their movies. In The Hunger Games, the story deals with poison, death, and separation of family. It would be hard for a family member to associate this movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman because he died of a drug overdose. Paul Walker died in a car accident, and Furious 7 is a movie about driving dangerously. In a movie where one of the most memorable quotes is “ride or die,” what can be done to fulfill his contract tastefully?

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