8

Babel: Disconnectedness and Kids with Guns

This past week I saw a movie that was new to me, “Babel” starring Brad Pitt. I didn’t know a thing about this movie going into it so really I had no pre-conceived notions. Overall, I enjoyed the movie but I found myself rather disconnected from it due to the subtitles. I had to keep myself entirely engaged or I would lose the plot and would not be able to connect with the story line. And then I realized something, this sense of disconnectedness was a major part of the story. I am not sure if the directors intended this but for me that made this movie that much more enjoyable.

For those who have not seen it, I will give you a quick summary. The movie starts off with a man, Hassan, selling a gun to a friend to hunt buck. The man buys the gun and allows his kids to take possession of it in order to hunt. The kids are very young and because of this small act, a tourist (an American) ends up being shot. The movie follows the paths of the three families that are involved in this story and how although they are so disconnected they are actually very connected.

This however leads me to a big question, should small children be able to use guns. I for one am a huge believer in the right to bear arms and I believe all families should be able to protect themselves. But, I think this movie shows that children cannot be trusted with guns. They do not quite understand the severity of their actions just yet and they do not understand the value of a human life. This movie showed me how disconnected these children felt from their actions even though their actions deeply affected more than just their own lives.

One of the children in Babel

Many people argue that with the right discipline and training a child can use a gun supervised for purposes such as hunting. I don’t believe this should be allowed. A child does not understand what it means to take a life, even an animal life. Until they can feel those types of connections and understand what their actions truly mean I do not think they should have that type of power.

I think the disconnectedness the viewer feels when watching this movie is similar to the disconnectedness the children felt when they shot the van than wounded the tourist. After watching this I can say with certainty that I do not believe children should have access to guns in any way. Children need to learn compassion and the value of a life before they have the ability to take a life.

Compassion

So bloggers, even if you have not seen the movie, do you feel children should have the ability to use a gun?

 

What do YOU think?

4

Casting my book!

One thing I have not mentioned on here is the book I am struggling to write. For awhile I had serious motivation to write this book and make some serious progress. However, life got in the way and the book has taken a back seat. Surfing blogs the last couple weeks I noticed that a lot of people had presented lists of their characters and who they would be “cast” as. I thought this might be a good way to get my head back in the book and make some more progress. I only want to introduce a few characters right now but I am hoping this will be a good motivator:

Jess: She is my main character, the book is told through her point of view. She is a journalist covering plenty of local stories. The plot thickens when a murder happens in town and Jess has an invested interest in pursing the murderer. Jess is strong, defiant, confident, manipulative and cold. She is a loner and has very few personal contacts. If I were to cast Jess this is a the girl I would chose:

Casting Jess Take 2

The eyes could cut through anyone and you can tell this girl knows how to get what she wants.

Jason: This guy is the other main character in the book. This guy is a perfect mental match for Jess. The manipulative games she plays he plays right back. He is slick, smart, manipulative, coy and cunning. He seems like just your average guy on the outside but really he is so much more:

I cannot picture anyone else playing Jason. Sawyer from Lost has the boy next store look but the facial expressions to show that there is so much more going on.

 

Randy: Jess’s only friend. The boy who tries to win Jess’s heart again and again but is really only used as her confidant. The man she turns to when things go wrong. The man who she uses to get leverage in difficult situations. He is soft, impressionable, loving, caring, weak, and doe eyed in love.

Joseph- Gordon Levitt has the innocent face that this character needs. However, I chose him because this actor also has the ability to have a strong side when the situation calls for it. Randy will need to step up for Jess and become more than the innocent doe eyed friend she counts.

 

There are of course many more characters I would love to share but I am not ready to give anything away from the plot. This however has gotten my mind turning about the characters and hopefully will allow some progress.

So, bloggers have any of you cast the characters of your books? Who would you have as your main character and why?

9

Poppers Penguins Meets Snow White?

As I have told you in previous posts I enjoy kids movies. One of the most recent kids movies I watched was Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Now I do intend on reading the book (more than likely a blog post for another time) however at this time I have only seen the movie. I realize that the versions differ VERY much so this post is ONLY focused on the movie. Further, I should note that the rest of this post will force you to follow me into the crazy paths my mind takes and more often than not you will have no clue how I got to my conclusion but here is my feeble attempt to explain.

After watching Mr. Poppers Penguins I could not help but think that this movie reminded me of Snow White. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why so I really had to take some time to think about this. The most obvious connection would have to be the Seven Dwarfs and the Seven Penguins. Ok film goers before you start counting I do realize that only 6 penguins are present in the film, however one penguin laid an egg at the end of the film and this final penguin will bring seven.

The next connection that really jumped out at me was the naming of the penguins/ dwarfs. Both characters were named by one word descriptions of them. The Dwarfs were: Dopey, Grumpy, Doc,  Happy, Bashful, Sneezy and Sleepy. The Penguins were Captain, Nimrod, Stinky, Lovey, Loudy, Bitey and the new baby.

Also, both of these tales have to do with the loss of a father. In the case of Popper’s Penguins his father dies and he inherits the penguins as a gift from his father’s will. In Snow White she looses her dad to a new jealous wife and the dwarfs are what ultimately save her from the new wife.

Finally, I think the most metaphorical but relevant connection is that these characters are what ultimately save these characters from the life they are living and give them new life. For Mr. Popper the penguins teach him how to be a family man and how to break away from his demanding job and go back to the family and wife that he left behind. For Snow White the dwarfs give her a place to stay and help her find her prince which will save her at the end of the movie. Both stories end with love conquering all that has troubled them throughout the film.

The connections are a stretch even I admit it but for some reason my mind refuses to separate the two so I decided to share my crazy thoughts with my bloggers. What do you think? Do these movies connect to you in any way?

                                                

8

Psycho: Vince Vaughn vs. Anthony Perkins

I have actually been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now because I am really interested in getting feedback. As someone who really enjoys movies I try to keep an open mind with every movie I watch. In this case, I saw the Vince Vaughn version of Psycho first- back when I was around 13 and it scared the crap out of me. At the time I had no idea there was another version and frankly I had no interest in finding out. The movie gave me the creeps! At the time I didn’t know Vince Vaughn as the funny man from Dodgeball and it was years before I made the connection. I felt he did quite a fantastic job in the role of Norman Bates and really never gave it a second thought.

A few years ago in a college film class I was introduced to the Alfred Hitchcock version of Psycho with Anthony Perkins. This film was even creepier! However, would I say that this added creepiness was due to the superiority of Anthony Perkins acting? No. I felt this movie was shot better, had much more hidden messages and the black and white really added something to the movie. To sum it up Alfred Hitchcock was just an amazing director and talented at his art of horror movies.

Recently I purchased the Vince Vaughn version of the movie (I already own the original) and I caught alot of flack for it. Many people stating that Vince Vaughn was horrible in the role of Norman Bates and the movie was just a shot for shot remake of the original- not worth watching. However, I think the fact that this movie was a shot for shot remake was a testament to the perfection of the original movie. I think this version attempted to reach a more modern audience by showing it in color, updating the wardrobe, and putting actors on the screen a modern day audience is familiar with. I dont believe the goal of this movie was to surpass the original but rather make the original more accessible to a modern day audience. I believe this version was a celebration of the original and as such as a purpose in any film collection.

What is your opinion bloggers? Should the Anthony Perkins version be the only one in your film collection or are both version worthy of display?