In A Galaxy Far, Far Away….A Limited Blog Series Coming June 24th-July 29th

1. In A Galaxy Far, Far Away Phantom Teaser

SergBeret.com and ThisFunktional.com team up to look at the classic saga of Star Wars with the limited blog series In A Galaxy Far, Far Away….
Starting June 24th to July 5th, Serg Beret and Jesus Figueroa give their thoughts and reviews of each episode starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace and ending with Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Prepare for a fresh look at the series with trivia, insight, sarcastic comments and slight humor as we honor the beloved franchise.

Schedule for In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

The Prequel Trilogy
June 24th: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
July 1st: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
July 8th: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

The Original Trilogy
July 15th: Episode IV: A New Hope
July 22nd: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
July 29th: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Advertisements

Tips for Surviving The Purge

Hello! As you know “The Purge” is quickly approaching, arriving on Friday, June 7, and we want to make sure that you have all the necessary and helpful hints at your fingertips. Whether you are hunting or sitting this one out, we have some key insights for you to survive the night.
Before you head out, refer to these simple DOs and DON’Ts for the evening:
DON’T wait to hit the treadmill a week before The Purge.
Besides the fact that gyms are always busiest the week before The Purge, it’s important to keep up your fitness BEFORE going out to hunt. There’s nothing more embarrassing (and even dangerous!) than heading out with your rifle on Purge night, only to find that you’re winded after just a few blocks of chasing prey. Don’t put off exercising! You’ll thank yourself later.
DO display blue baptisias to show your Purge pride.
Even if flowers aren’t necessarily your thing (ahem, guys!), it’s important to have a visual icon of your support for the country and for the NFA. A simple bouquet of baptisias placed in front of your home shows you support The Purge, and increases the likelihood of a safe, bother-free Purge night.
DON’T brag about your Purge night.
We all know that skill levels differ and some hunts turn out tamer than others, so try not to rub your Purge victories in your neighbors’ faces! If you made it known that you were out hunting and your friends ask directly how many victims you bagged, then feel free to share your achievements. But until then, no one likes a Purge Bragger.
DO leave plenty time for Purge traffic.
Despite government warnings, every year we hear dozens of stories about the husband who stayed at work a little too long… or the teen who thought the 405 Freeway wouldn’t be that bad. Don’t get caught out there! Heed the warnings and keep driving to a minimum. Trust us, you don’t want to deal with anyone’s road rage on Purge night.
Your personal style shouldn’t fall to the wayside when planning an outfit for The Purge. Learn to combine form and function with these tips and you’ll be truly dressed to kill.
Color:
Black is not only an elegant choice but a versatile one. Though patriotic, a star spangled blouse may be appealing, but you will appreciate a more subtle choice if it becomes necessary to stalk your prey, or elude a potential hunter.  If you’re feeling bold though, nothing stands out more than an all-white ensemble.
Fit:
Should you have to make an offensive or defensive dash, you’ll want to select clothing that won’t constrain your movement. Ladies should avoid any unnecessary ruffles, fringe or beadwork that may impede agility or could easily be grabbed. Stretch jersey or denim is good fabric choices that are functional and fashion forward.
Function:
With June’s unpredictable weather, layering clothing is of the utmost importance. Not only is it fashionable, but an extra layer adds additional protection for your skin should you find yourself in a precarious situation.
Coordinating:
Purging with friends? Show your unity and support of The Purge by coordinating accent pieces or select a unique color for those closest to you to wear. This can help identify your friends if you encounter or engage with another purging group.  Masks can be a great choice and an effective way to intimidate others, as long as they don’t obscure your vision. A hat, pocket square or blue baptisia on your lapel is chic, simple choices for your Purge crew.
Shoes:
Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” Pick the wrong pair and it may be your last night on earth. Shoes can make or break your outfit and your Purge. Avoid poor fits, noisy soles, bright colors, and excessively high heels. Our favorite choices include rubber -soled black boots or for a more casual look try dark sneakers with black laces.
Be sure to share your Purge fashion tips and photos on Twitter using #SobreviveLaNoche
Exercising our right to purge is one of the most socially responsible things we can do each year for our great nation, but have you thought about the carbon footprint left by your Purge activities? Here are five easy ways to purge the streets of filth without polluting during this year’s hunt:
1. Hunting is more fun with friends. Plan together and carpool to cut down emissions.
2. The biodegradable materials used for protection have come a LONG way since the inaugural Purge. They’re every bit as protective without any of the environmentally hazardous effects.
3. Energy use skyrockets during The Purge. Use your security system’s timer or set an alarm to shut off any extraneous energy-wasting lockdown features immediately at 7AM.

4. Be considerate and clean up your targets after you’ve purged. Most municipalities have a designated drop-off location where volunteers will handle corpse disposal or donation for medical research. Your victim may just help in curing cancer… now that’s social responsibility!

5. Even if you’re not hunting this year, you may wake up the next day to find a mess on your driveway. Don’t panic. Hydrogen peroxide is eco-friendly and will lift blood right out of concrete.
Not purging this year? That doesn’t mean you can’t be an active supporter safely from within your home. We asked Purge security experts to provide their best advice for staying safe while enjoying this year’s Purge. Here are the top five tips:
1. Stay alert. Even for the non-participant, being alert and vigilant is a necessity. Only when we are prepared and self-sustained can we truly enjoy The Purge.

2. Protect your home. Even if you cannot afford a top-level security system, you can take steps to make your home safer. Try a basic barricade at your stairwell and remain either below in the basement or safely above on the upper floors.

3. Cover up and keep away from windows as they are an easy portal to danger. Upper-level windows, though less dangerous than those on the ground level, should still be safely covered and avoided.

4. Have a safe word. Though outings are not recommended for non-sportsmen, a friend or spouse who has been purging may come to your door. You will want to have a safe word shared amongst your friends and family that must be presented before opening the door or lowering security.

5. Be prepared with plenty of food and drinks. Not only will this keep you from unnecessary travel on Purge night, it will make for a comfortable and enjoyable viewing of the events.
And what Purge isn’t complete with some festivities? Throw a Purge Party that’s guaranteed to keep lockdown from becoming a letdown! It wouldn’t be a Purge Party without a few libations. But remember, it is still Purge night, so you’ll want to keep your wits about you for any surprises or uninvited guests that may try to crash your party. Beer or wine is generally recommended over hard liquor for Purge night. But here’s a recipe for a cocktail that will keep you partying and patriotic, without completely impairing your ability to hunt.
Red, White, and Blue Martini:
2 oz. Hypnotiq
1 oz. Citrus Vodka
1 oz. lemon-lime soda
Splash of grenadine
Now that you have your drinks, don’t forget the snacks! Choosing a weapon can be difficult, but one weapon always seems to make it into the arsenal for a Purge Party—the chicken wing. Whether it’s a full-on family meal, or just amidnight snack, wings are always a hit during The Purge. And if you’re looking to add a twist, try tossing in a 1/2 cup of Parmesan and 2 tbsp. of Dijon mustard right before they’re done baking.
Last but not least, 7PM to 7AM is a long chunk of time. Try challenging your party to a movie marathon; or finish an entire season of your favorite TV show! Treat it like a slumber party and see who can last the longest without falling asleep.
All of these helpful tips will ensure a safe but fun Purge for family and friends to enjoy! For additional tips and info, please visit http://www.newfoundersamerica.org/purge-hq/.
Happy Hunting!
Universal Pictures’ The Purge, in theaters June 7.

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ continues to amaze while relying much on the past

The beloved rebooted crew of the Enterprise returns after a four-year absent to venture into darkness in a action packed thrill ride that breaks from the mold, but is pulled down by remnants of the past.

Six months after the events of the 2009 reboot, James T. Kirk, played by Chris Pine, and his crew must hunt down international terrorist John Harrison, played by Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch, under The Federation’s Admiral Marcus, played by Peter Weller, into Klingon territory while not trying to cause war in the region. As they come upon Harrison, the crew faces their darkest hour that will test their bond, their faith and their will to survive.

Into Darkness is a great follow-up to the previous film with spectacular action, stunning visuals and a tight-knit devotion to each character. Space never looked better with space battles that are beyond belief and true peril once the Enterprise starts to get destroyed mid-warp by the Vengence providing a true sense of danger. Industrial Light & Magic step up their game from the previous film to deliver out-of-this-world visuals that capture the feel of what space should be that pop in 3D, which is surprisingly well done for a post converted feature.

Benedict Cumberbatch proves his true acting power as a terrifying and intense villain. The booming voice Cumberbatch has works well delivering monologues that heighten the tension and fear that is looming. Another newcomer Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus is a bit of a rough start, but Eve starts to come into her own once the film amps up the dark turn it takes. Simon Pegg gets more screen time as Scottie after being seen toward the end the first film and delivers great moments of humor alongside Karl Urban’s portrayal of ‘Bones’  that rivals DeForest Kelley’s original take on the role. Pine and Zachary Quinto are better than ever and feels as if they never kept apart from one another.

One main gripe with the film is the reliance of much of the past lore of Star Trek. While great in theory to deliver some fan service and nods, over reliance to what made the original series a classic harms the reboot more than helps. Without spoiling too much, the reboot is about moving the franchise into a different direction and break from the old. Into Darkness tosses out nods left and right in the third act that may make old fans grow weary and new fans who have seen the film series wonder if it was really necessary. The reveal of the villain is truly a shock, but the reveal of another character might be seen coming from a mile away which most fans were slightly unenthusiastic about. Worse is the fact that a scene is taken verbatim from a previous film in the Star Trek films series which deters from any emotion to be felt or had, despite the two actors giving it their all.

J.J. Abrams ventured into the world of Star Trek to deliver another winner retaining the sleek wonder of the reboot, but with taking cues from the past, one should wonder whether this trend will continue in future films of the franchise. As for Abrams, maybe he should learn from some of the mistakes of this film before tackling the galaxy far, far away.

Blue Sky creates a not-so ‘Epic’ adventure

Blue Sky Studios’ Epic does not live up to its name by providing by-the-numbers family film tropes that even stunning visuals can not make up for.

Mary ‘MK’ Katherine, voiced by Amanda Seyfried, return home to her father Professor Bomba, voiced by Jason Sudekis, after the death of her mother in order to convince him to give up his life’s work on finding out if their are little people that live in the forest. In the forest, the Leafmen leaded by Ronan, voiced by Colin Farrell, are on guard to protect Queen Tara, voice by Beyonce Knowles, from the threat of the Bogans lead by Mandrake, voiced by Christoph Waltz. ‘MK’ is shrunk down to size in order to help protect the Leafman’s world from getting destroyed alongside the help of Nod, voiced by Josh Hutcherson.

Epic is a rehash of the animated films of the 90’s overly reliant on the nature themes to tell their stories and with it comes the same flaws. It is too preachy and hits all the marks those film hit with the morals of ‘we are all in this together’ and ‘do it for the forest’. The plot is generic and follows to closely to Ferngully and Avatar with the main character visiting a new society and realizing they have to save it for to better their self in order to get an understanding. In translation: The same old bland animated bull.

The voice work in the film is a hit and miss with Seyfried and Farrell treating their roles with as much care as their live action work, but others seem to fall flat. The two of the three musical talents of the film voices hit the ground and hard. Beyonce seems to phone it in with Pitbull following suit, but does outdo Beyonce by actually sounding like he is giving a care. Steven Tyler seems to be having a ball and even gets to sing, yet he has little screen time despite being essential to the plot.

A saving grace of the film is the animation that is nothing sort of gorgeous. The use of photo realistic animation within the forest and the world helps with true to life caricatures of animals and insects as well as bringing the impressive designs by William Joyce’s source material to life. The 3D is quite impressive with the highlight being the Bogans come up from under the bark of the tree and the vertigo created by the awe-inspiring flying scenes as the Leafman do battle against them. Yet, animation this good can’t cover up the aforementioned by-the-book standards of the film.

Epic could easily titled Mediocre and be the same picture, but with the impressive animation that can keep older audiences watching, little ones will probably enjoy it because they are used to stories like these at this point. Just do not expect something this Epic to stick with you forever.

Film A Week 20: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Before I start this review, let’s get it out of the way.

There. Now to the review.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Film: The final storytelling device. These are the posts of the series Film A Week. Its one-year mission: to explore strange new films, to seek out lost features and revisit old classics, to boldly go where no film blog series has gone before.

Banner!
Film-A-Week Banner by Jesus Figueroa

Star Trek has been one of the most influential science fiction franchises of all time. Starting in 1966, Gene Roddenberry went on to make a series dedicated to tales of the future in a galaxy where peace is declared across the galaxy, where race is no longer an issue and space exploration is the ideal form to make galactic ties. Without Star Trek, we would not have science fiction as we know it today. Heck even George Lucas has gone on record saying that without Star Trek‘s influence, we would not have Star Wars. Hope that puts that final nail in the coffin between the whole Trek vs. Wars debate.

The success of Star Wars made Paramount Pictures and CBS Television come together to expand the cult show into a film franchise of its own. The whole original crew was brought back for the 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture which released to quite a number of harsh reviews from the critics with most dubbing it as ‘Star Trek: The Slow-Moving Picture’. You think this would be a devastating blow, but luckily for the Trekkies out there, another film was made due to its financial success. Little did they know that it would go on to only be considered a great Star Trek film, but a great film in general.

1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan remains a classic in the minds of both the mainstream audiences and the hardcore fanbase that it has created. It is hailed for being a dark tale of revenge, resurrection and the inevitable that is death. It broadened the appeal and focus to the masses and created something many would not forget.

First, some back story on the Khan character…

FOR THOSE NOT IN THE KNOW!

Khan Noonien Singh, played by Ricardo Montalban, first appeared in the first season episode entitled ‘Space Seed’ back in 1966, before the USS Enterprise looked like the darkly lit backroom of a porno theater in Wrath of Khan. Khan was found aboard a vessel known as the S.S. Botany Bay. Along with Bones, played by DeForest ‘He’s Dead’ Kelley, Mr. Spock, played by Leonard ‘Outweigh the Many’ Nimoy, and the ship’s historian Marla McGivers, Kirk, played by William ‘The Shat’ Shatner, uncovers the body which is waking up after two centuries in deep sleep after the Eugenics War in the 1990’s making this more dated than it should be. Khan is reawaken and shows off his intelligence, strength and his perfect Adonis of a body. Mr. Spock, Bones and Kirk find out “Dammit! This guy was like the Stalin of the 90’s!” (aka 1960’s version of Saddam Hussien). He corrupts McGivers after coming upon her obsession with tyrants of war, none of which are Hitler because even crazy women have standards. Khan convinces and forces the crew to return his crew to him and try to take over the ship, but Mr. Spock and Kirk say “Fuck that noise!” Spock nerve pinches him after Kirk does West Side Story-esque battle with him which even the Gorn would be like “I seriously lost to this guy? What the hell?’. Khan gets sentenced to Ceti Alpha V along with his people in exile for the crimes he committed against the Federation. McGivers follows suit and then 15 years later, shit gets real.

Khan is a villain, a real mixer. And he costs you a fortune in Breach of Promise cases. In short, Khan is quite the asshole. After 15 years, he is discovered by Chekov on Ceti Alpha V, thought to be the long dead Ceti Alpha VI, and rises to gain control of the sister ship of the Enterprise, USS Reliant, by taking control of Chekov, played by Walter Keonig. Khan takes his revenge by harnessing the Genesis device that can restore any planet and by finding Admiral Kirk to deliver his vengeance. Khan does quite the number to the crew and causes the crew to enter a do or die situation. Being up against Khan is no longer as easy of a task as the Enterprise is filled with young cadets under the command of the newly appointed Captain Spock. Kirk steps in to take Khan head on and take back the Genesis Device to not upset his already pissed off former love Carol Marcus, played by Bibi Besch, the inventor of the device.

From then on, peril comes abound as Khan rips the ship to shreds as the crew of the Enterprise delivers blows back in impressive as hell space battles. The wits between Kirk and Khan come to a head as Khan promises that he will stop at nothing to destroy him and the Federation. Khan attacks Space Station Regula I holding the Genesis Device crew, including Marcus and Kirk’s son, David. Kirk, McCoy and cadet Saavik, played by Kirstie Alley, save them from the destroyed Regula I as Kirk tells Spock to lead Reliant into the nearby Mutara Nebula to make them both on an even level to attack Khan. Spock sacrifices himself to save the ship, says ‘needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’, Kirk screams Khan, kicks his ass and Spock is alive on the Genesis planet.

That’s the CliffNotes version since this film is well known to everyone. Wrath of Khan remains a near perfect science fiction feature. The performance by the crew are all around great with Montalban steal the show by making Khan the superior alpha male type with the intelligent to rival the tyrannical nature of Marx or Stalin and making it seem like everything is at an end for the entire Enterprise team. The themes the story tackles is beyond belief showing that age and time can either work with someone or against. Resurrection can be both good and bad with Kirk rises back to his former position and Khan rising to power once more by taking control of the device that can reborn anything. With death, Spock’s passing is just heartbreaking. The audience did not know if he was going to return, but that conclusion is now foregone (Thanks, Paramount, for calling the third one The Search of Spock). Wrath is a wrath worth experiencing for new fans stepping into the world of Star Trek.

Before I end this, let’s talk about this year’s release Star Trek Into Darkness which lead me to cover this feature for this week.

*SPOILER WARNING*

In the most recent Star Trek feature, Benedict Cumberbatch was rumored to play the character of Khan, but the rumors were nixed with John Harrison being the name of the villain  Yet, halfway during the feature, Kirk and Spock find out there is no record of a John Harrison and discover what the internet already knew: John Harrison IS Khan. How does this affect the film? Not to a bad degree. Cumberbatch does a hell of a job with the material given and makes the character his own by not borrowing heavily from Montalban’s acting style and putting more of a megalomaniac terrorist spin to it rather than a tyrant twist. The only probably I did have with the film was while it was a fantastic feature that is perfect for the summer swelter looming in, it borrows way too much from Wrath by using the entire death of Spock scene only in a role reversal with Kirk sacrificing himself and Spock being on the other end of the glass. It takes lines verbatim from the film and even adds a needless screaming of “KHANNNN!” from Spock. I could live without that scene, but that is a nitpick because the scene is handled well by two very talented young men. Other than that, no complaints about Star Trek Into Darkness. If one has yet to see it, it is worth the price of admission. Also, if you get a chance to see it in IMAX 3D, even better.

Next week, we end Take Back the Summer Cinema Month at the start of June with a trip down nostalgic summer lane. Guest Writer Danny Vasquez and I will prepare to catch ’em all to find out the mystery that lies in the bond between the legendary birds of fire, electricity and ice and the reawakening of Lugia. It’s the power of one covered by the power of two. We join Ash, Misty and, for some reason, Tracey in Pokemon: The Movie 2000.

Film A Week 21: Pokemon: The Movie 2000 (2000 [if you could not guess])
Saturday, June 1st
Ending Take Back the Summer Cinema Month

Alone in the Dark

We are drifting away
Used to mingle all night and day
We’ve been in a romance once or twice before
Do you finally want me out of life for something more?
If you say yes, I won’t mind, I’ll go out the door
But I have one last request to ask of you

Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
No looking at one another
Only our voices saying goodbye to each other

We are running on useless time
Seems you are moving on to a different life
You’ve been questioning if you need me around
Shall I finally just end it once and for all?
If you say yes, I won’t tell you to stop or stall
But I just have one final request to ask of you

Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
No looking at one another
Only our voices saying goodbye to each other

I’m going to leave you soon
I’m going to let go of you
I’m going to leave you soon
I’m going to let go of you
But just one last request from you

Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
No looking at one another
Only our voices saying goodbye to each other

Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
Before I’m gone
I want to be alone in the dark with you
No looking at one another
Only our voices saying goodbye to each other

Film A Week 19: Batman Begins (2005) Guest Writer Megan Perry, Editor-in-Chief ELAC Campus News

397513_556450444379552_1042779224_n

Megan Perry is the Spring 2013 Editor-in-Chief of the East Los Angeles College Campus News. She has been a part of the Campus News team as a staff writer and page editor before making it to EIC. Perry is currently an English major headed to University of California, Santa Barbara after her current run at ELAC. Perry has written poems, countless stories and will continue to pursue her writing. Perry’s contribution to Film A Week is the newest to the list that includes previous writers Erik Luna, Summer Gomez, Jesus Figueroa and Jennifer Berrueta. Follow her on Twitter (@MeganMann) and follow on Instagram (@thebooknerd). 

Batman wasn’t born a hero, which Director Christopher Nolan brings to the forefront in the 2005 summer blockbuster, Batman Begins.

The film can be split into two parts: the background and birth of Batman; and a never-expected ending that will blow audience’s minds. With themes like revenge, Nolan shows another side of Batman. He shows the hero’s human side and the struggle it takes to be a hero.

Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, trains in a secluded cabin in the snowy mountains to face his fears of being attacked by bats. The training scenes were beautiful, with Wayne working with Henri Ducard his trainer, played by Liam Nesson, in different scenarios to strengthen his body and mind. At one point, Wayne and Ducard were sliding atop a frozen lake with swords clinking back and forth and beautiful icy mountains in the background.

Through a series of tests and the help of a little blue flower, Wayne learns his extraordinary abilities. It brings the image of The Karate Kid training with his sense. Wayne transformed from somewhat of a push over to a total vigilante out to get the villains; Batman was alive.

Unlike the other superheroes, Batman had to struggle in order to become the well-known hero he is known as today. His parents were killed, giving him the need to know the criminals mind in order to defeat the criminal mind. He traveled and got into trouble for seven years.

When he returned, Gotham City was split between the rich and the poor, giving a dark undertone throughout the film. The poor areas were some of the most grimy areas, with a close resemblance to the skid row in downtown Los Angeles. It is dark and cloudy, sometimes rainy, for the most part of the film. Batman brings exquisite weaponry to the scene, one being the Bat Mobile. The Bat Mobile in this film has to be one of the coolest, being a massive armor tank with huge wheels in the rear.

Nolan’s film highlights that Batman wasn’t born with extreme abilities. He flies into a wall. He drives into parked cars. He makes mistakes, just like anyone else. To prove that hard work pays, Nolan set Batman up against the psychological killer Scarecrow. Scarecrow, played by Cillian Murphy, knows how to manipulate people’s minds. Scarecrow’s costume was as simple as a brown burlap sack with holes cut in it as a mask, but really brought the creeps out whenever he put on. His simple costume perfectly contrasted Batman’s sleek $350,000 suit.

Only Bale could make a form- fitting all-black suit equipped with cape and cap look stunning. It wasn’t like the other superheroes who wear tights and bright colors to bring attention to themselves. Batman is dark and lurks in the shadows with the ruffians, which is why he needed an awesome suit. The costume designers hit it on the nose, and made Batman look amazing.

Serg Beret on Batman Begins:

Nolan’s take on the origin of Batman set the precursor of superhero films to come and was not afraid to take a risk in doing so. The legend of the Dark Knight has a rich background and Nolan took note by taking the source material (following close to Year One The Long Halloween) and adapting it for a modern era with a dynamic vision that embrace the dark that Burton established back in 1989 with thriller elements displayed in his previous film, Insomnia. 

The performances delivered are across the board fantastic with Liam Nesson’s Henry Ducard stealing the show with a sauve demeanor before his reveal as (spoiler alert for a eight year-old film) Ra’s Al Ghoul. The cinematography in this film, while not as perfect as The Dark Knight, captures the feel of the grit and grime Gotham possesses. The action never disappoints with a fascinating chase on the Gotham rooftops and the outbreak of the weaponized hallucinogens invaded the city being the main highlights. The only disappointment I have with the film is the pacing that feels a bit too quick. It takes it time to develop the character of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Yet, when Batman does appear, it starts to go on a different pace. Batman Begins is a remarkable film through and through, making the Bat the ultimate superhero once again.

Next week, Film A Week takes on a famous Star franchise that ruled the Summer back in the 80’s. That’s right, Film A Week is boldly going where everyone has gone before. With the highly anticipated Star Trek Into Darkness already in theaters and cinemas at this current point in time, Film A Week is ready to experience a beloved classic and its wrath. Across the moon of Vega, its Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Film A Week 20: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Saturday, May 25th
Part of Take Back the Summer Cinema Month

Film A Week 18: (500) Days of Summer (2009) With Summer Gomez of ELAC Campus News

Summer and romance go hand in hand with young hopeless hearts on fire sweltering under the sun lending its glory. Yet, love is always one of the hardest concepts to discuss or grasp. Sure, many have felt it and many have experienced the heartbreak it causes, but few can convey it well. Fox Searchlight has made bank on the fact that during this time, we want to discover what love means, so they shell it out during the summer. Speaking of which, one of their biggest involves both summer and love. I could think of crappier segues, but screw it.

image

2009’s (500) Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb, brings us a story of love, but that is not a love story. Now, of course, there is a fairly attractive male in the form of Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the obviously gorgeous woman named Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) and the audience is taught to believe “Oh, these two are going to end up together and happily ever after” just on the two archetypes alone. This film manages to break those boundaries and focus on the aspects of these two flawed specimen’s perception of romance.

image

I assume a majority of the internet has seen this film judging by constant quotes and Tumblr posts about this film, even five years after its initial run, so this might be a shorter review than usual. Even better, Film a Week managed to get an actual Summer to help give not only a quick synopsis of the plot, but her take on the film before the initial Film A Week review. Without further ado, here is ELAC Campus News staff writer, Summer Gomez.

The quirky whimsical film (500) Days of Summer, directed by Mark Webb, presents a story of love with an unusual turn of events. Actress Zooey Deschanel plays the role of the sweet and darling Summer Finn, whom every male seems to admire.. especially Tom Hansen (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

After seeing Summer for the first time at their workplace, Tom falls hard for her. Tom and Summer then became more than just co-workers, and then they become more than friends. It later becomes apparent that Summer is not interested in having a relationship because she is not as emotionally attached as Tom. Although the two are not serious to begin with, Tom knows that he would be willing to spend the rest of his life with her. Summer then begins to blow him off and the two divert and head their separate ways, with an occasional bumping into each other.

The whole film is a reflection for Tom, as he depressingly looks back on the good and bad times that he had with Summer. Throughout these thoughts of the past, Tom’s friends and little sister desperately try to knock some sense into him as they tell him to get over Summer. The ending is quite plain and simple, as Tom finally discovers what he must to to make himself happy. (500) Days of Summer is a great movie to watch if you want to feel depressed.

“This is not a love story, but a story about love.”

image

(500) Days of Summer delivers a wondrous deconstruction of both the hopeless romantic and the manic pixie dream girl archetypes with stylistic direction by Webb. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Tom with the strength and fragility anyone can relate to. His hopelessness as Tom relies on the fact Tom’s perception of love is based mostly on the Hollywood version of “the one” only to wonder that it might all be bullshit until he sees Summer again. He was infatuated with the idea of Summer, rather than being in love with Summer. JGL (as the cool kids call him) switches back and forth from the charming Casanova to the broken man with ease and not for a second do us as the viewer not believe him. Zooey Deschanel as Summer plays one of the best breakdowns of the Manic Pixie Dream. Summer believed that love was merely a fantasy, yet Tom made her see it differently. In fact, Summer points too fine a point on it saying that love was something she was unsure of with Tom. Even though they had great times, they could never become more than what they were: friends with benefits. Summer took note of of this and saw it a point to find someone who can provide “true” love.

Translation: Summer is not a bitch, just needed something real and not a fling.

image

As for the film, Marc Webb’s direction is superb using his music video background to jump from French new wave cinema to a musical number of Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” as the non-chronological order seems to jump seamlessly. The script by Marc Webb and Scott Neustadter is tight knit and seems like a less manic, more comedic Eternal Sunshine while covering the dark sides of one’s obsession with romance. The only major problem I have with this film is the ending. Not that it is a bad ending, it is the fact that Tom learned is lesson to move on, but still might have the ideology that love is bullshit. The narrator is even cut halfway to leave it up to us to determine whether Tom has truly learned or not. I can see what they were going for, but the ending always felt like a cop out. It could have ended with the conversation at Angeles Park, but oh well, I a would love to see the real ending for once (I had the same problem at the end of Ruby Sparks). It is a long 500 days, but filled with both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments combined with unique takes on the romance genre by giving us the ultimate story about love.

Next week, guest writer Editor-In-Chief Megan Perry of ELAC Campus News steps in to the world of a legend that has ruled the summer box office since dropping from a skylight on the screen in 1989. Yet, even legends have a beginning. Before the rise, before the mark as the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne must learn to become the man behind the cowl and face off against Gotham’s threat from the nightmare created by the Scarecrow. Oh yes, Film A Week is covering Batman Begins.

Film A Week: Batman Begins (2005) Guest Writer Megan Perry, Editor-In-Chief of ELAC Campus News
image

Saturday, May 18th
Part of Take Back the Summer Cinema Month

Front

An idealist, creator with a soul of gold
Heavy on the rule of love he longs to hold.
With friends, he speaks with brutal honesty
Alongside comic takedowns, his special ability

In private, he takes the time
To say the words to help his rhyme.
The man wants the world who shunned
To turn into a world where he is loved

A gorgeous smile he delievers to ease the pain
Locked away underneath with no need to regain
Lost in time yet I hope I understand
What lurks within his elegant hand

They mock, tease and jerk him around
But he rises above them high up in the cloud
Knowing that the fierce sensibility will wear them down
And make them all a gaggle of clowns

In an alternate life, I kindly say
Yes, If he would love to date for a day
For something this charming must be an experience
Luckily, one day, a person will come to earn his deliverence

And so, I dedicate this to a man
With bravery and courage I never can
Obtain, yet he taught me that above all else
That I can learn to love myself

Three Shes

She told me to study the stars and I did
Now, her star is collapsing into a supernova.
Watched these diamonds sparkle as a kid
Swooning my heart like a mischievous casanova

Another gave me a novel about faults in a star
About a blossoming romance, death did them apart
I started to slowly lose interest in the first girl, leaving a dense scar
My manic pixie dream boy tendency ripping out her heart

Idiocy playing on as I distract myself with a player of plays
Sending me message via the telephonic wave
A condensing individual who I know nothing of, but what she says
To the point she makes this awkwardness finally turn brave

Something in my nervous system trickles to my hand
Writing down messages to which will reach their place
Descriptions of the various nature of romance that surrounds our land
Hoping one of them can be my saving grace