The Zodiac

March 7, 2007 at 2:06 pm (Movies)

I saw The Zodiac this weekend and it was really good, actually better than I expected. The cast was insane Robert Downey, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards and of course Jake Gyllenhaal.

The movie was really long 158 minutes to be exact, but it kept me interested the entire time. So if you want to see a movie this week I would highly recommend The Zodiac.

Here is a little clip for you to enjoy!

Also just a warning if you don’t like scary movies then you probably don’t want to see this movie!

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Not a Fan of Chomsky

February 28, 2007 at 2:08 pm (Uncategorized)

I really did not like Chomsky at all and because of that did not really enjoy the movie we watched last class. Maybe Chomsky is just too smart for me or maybe he just thinks he is smarter then everybody, either way I found him quite condescending.

His ideas on propaganda were somewhat interesting but other than that I was completely bored with the film! Also I just have to say that his speech on High School Football was ridiculous. People have hobbies and I think that it is great that people have a way of escaping the total chaos of the world.

If I spent all of my time contemplating  world issues like Chomsky suggests we should be doing I think I would go crazy! 

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Friday Night at the Movies

February 23, 2007 at 10:15 pm (Soc3390)

Realizing that the deadline for this blog was fast approaching my sister and I perused the movie listings for Calgary hoping for a new movie that seemed at least moderately interesting. After careful consideration and much debate we decided on The Number 23 starring Jim Carrey.

We arrived early so that we could find a good seat although it seemed that this idea was not as unique as expected. We entered the theatre and were soon surrounded by an eager crowd milling about in a purposeful manner.

I look at my surroundings, the colours on the walls and carpet are bright and distracting while the lighting seems almost muted. The noise is constant but not loud and if you listen the themes are quite consistent “…so and so told me this movie was really good…”  “…I saw the preview and it looks pretty awesome”. Bored with this talk I enter the second line I have encountered since arriving (the first was to get the tickets) and prepare to wait patiently for what Smith calls my “butter-scented trough”.

It is while I wait that I begin to reflect on Smiths description of Why Movie Going Sucks. According to the rant provided by Smith going to the movie is comparable to feeding time at the local farm and we are nothing more than mindless animals being herded into our designated quarters.

Personally I couldn’t disagree more, in fact I really enjoy the entire movie going experience immensely. I love the smell of the popcorn and pop mixed together to form that easily recognizable aroma. I love stuffing my face with all the trans fat I can consume before the lights disappear and the screen becomes illuminated.

My sister and I finally enter the theatre and find two seats together (rather close to the front unfortunately) and proceed to turn off our cell phones and get comfortable. I see that once again Smith’s observations are exaggerated to say the least, the fact is that I don’t really see anyone stuffing their faces at the moment especially not like pigs at the trough ready for intestines.  

I soon realize that people are more likely to be consumed in social interaction with their neighbours then they are to be grotesquely shovelling food in their mouths. Also contrary to the statements made by Smith my sister and I are the only ones I see that are deciphering the blurred pictures on the screen the vast majority of the crowd is ignoring them altogether.

Finally the lights begin to dim and the screen explodes in colour while simultaneously the volume of the crowd completely disappears. I laugh to myself thinking about all the sociology courses which would describe the crowds reaction as just a norm of movie going, it is something that is automatically done and something that is expected by members of our culture.

At this point I am surprised by the fact that there are no ads being presented to us which is weird because this is the one arguement Smith makes that I actually agree with. I, like Smith and I am sure many of you reading this hate having to sit through advertising of any kind and the products seen before a movie are the worst. The problem with this type of advertising is that you can’t change the channel and like Smith states you are actually paying to watch them.

So now that I have completed my rant on advertising I will continue with my movie going experience. I sit through about a half an hour of previews for upcoming movies most of which I am embarrassed to admit have completely sucked me in and will guarantee my return within the next couple of weeks. There was one preview which looked especially captivating the movie was called Zodiac and had much of the same dark and violent themes that The Number 23 has (the movie that I will eventually be watching) coincidence? Definitely not.

As I sit there watching the half an hour of previews I realize that the men sitting directly to my left are starting to become impatient with this obvious delay of the feature film. They begin whispering to each other briefly commenting on the fleeting images found on the screen and very soon their voices reach a volume easily comparable to common conversation. I sit annoyed at their rudeness but like the rest of the audience remain in silent protest of their behaviour.

Finally feeling like I can ignore them no longer I bend down and pick up my previously purchased Kids Pack (consisting of popcorn, Jolly Rancher and orange drink) and loudly begin to munch on the popcorn. I believe that this action will possibly annoy them causing them to be quiet or will at least help to drown out their incessant chatter.

Once again I realize that Smith might be on to something, sometimes movie going does suck but I find that this is because of social deviance. Unlike Smith I don’t believe that it is the food being offered, the herding mentality or even the advertising that ruins our time at the movies. In my opinion it is the rude patrons who are unaware or negligent of their surroundings and the norms they must follow, those are the people that completely destroy the positivity of the movie going experience.

I am sure that we have all been confronted with a time at the movies where someone’s cell phone rang (once when I was in a movie and they even answered it 3 TIMES!), or a parents who wouldn’t remove a crying baby, or possibly the worst scenario of all when a couple of arrogant teens would not stop talking!

These are the problems with the process of going to the movie theatre, there are hundreds of people in attendance and some do not feel the need to follow the simple norms constructed by our society. So if you are reading this and you know that you are one of them please stop!

The chatty men to my left eventually halt their conversation and now I can sit back and enjoy the next hour and a half of entertainment which I payed nearly thirteen dollars to experience (close to twenty if you include food and drinks).

After time I start getting used to the exaggerated sounds of the movie and become completely absorbed with the scenes on the screen. Time passes quickly and soon the plot ties itself up, the credits begin to roll and the the lights instantly emerge. Five teenage boys appear carrying giant bags full of garbage and the crowd begins their slow shuffle out of the theatre.

As we become immerced into the sea of people I begin eavesdropping on the conversations surrounding us and the discussions seem identical in nature. People are basically mulling over the plot twist and the ending stating the pros and cons of the story.

Now Smith might argue with me but I quite enjoyed myself! I got to eat allot of food and watch a decent movie and in the end it was a good way to spend my Friday night.

Here is The Number 23 trailer for your viewing pleasure.

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Sociology at the Movies

February 22, 2007 at 3:44 pm (Soc3390)

So I read through the articles this week to see which one I would like to blog about and after the long depressing rant of Smith I stumbled onto this reading. Scrolling down the list of movies I realized that I had not only seen the majority of them but they were also some of my favourite movies.

Some of the movies had an obvious association with sociological themes, good examples would be Monster and Bowling for Columbine. I think that anyone who has seen these movies would agree that their plots were not only entertaining but provided a look into the sociological subculture of both socialization and deviance.

Continuing down the list I was surprised to see (as I’m sure many of you were) Austin Powers and Miss Congeniality. Knowing both of these movies rather well I could not understand how they could possibly provide a glimpse into the study of sociology. Appartently Miss Congeniality gives us a glimpse of social interaction and Austin Powers contributes to our understanding of culture.

These examples might be condidered a bit of a stretch but I can see where they are going with this analysis. Like it stated in the article Austin Powers gives us an understanding of how relative culture can be. Austin Powers had only been frozen for what 30 years and everything including his clothes, hair and the language were drastically different then what is the “norm” in our generation .

I think that this article was not only interesting but it provided a detailed list of what underlies socialogical studies while using examples that were relatable to its audiance. I think that this list will cause me to look  deeper into the socialogical significance of movies from now on and I will guarantee that I will never look at Austin Powers in the same way.

 

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Britney Out of Control

February 21, 2007 at 8:39 pm (Television)

So like most of you this week I have been bombarded with pictures of Britney Spears with her newly shaved head. Yeah it was kind of funny to see for the first time but now it just seems like her life is out of control.We all knew that something was amiss when she married K-Fed (I mean what girl in her right mind would ever be with him) and then she had those two babies.

Even when everybody thought that her life couldn’t get any crazier she became best friends with Paris Hilton and started flashing people. 

Her crazy lifestyle is not what has been bothering me, what scares me is that she has two young children. It seems like at this point she is barely able to take care of herself let alone her kids. At this point most people would suggest giving her sons to their father until she figures things out but their father is K-Fed enough said.

I do kind of sympathize with Spears but I think that it was extremely irresponsible for her to have those kids at such a young age and with such an unstable lifestyle. Hopefully she will take rehab a little more seriously then some other young stars (Lindsey Lohan) and get her life in order if not for her then for the kids.

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TV Recap

February 16, 2007 at 11:56 pm (Television)

So every Thursday I sit down and watch all of my favourite shows, this would include ER, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy and The Duel. This week I was totally impressed by how good each episode was.

First I will start with Grey’s Anatomy,  personally I think that Meredith is a little too dramatic about things and the whole her almost dying was kind of stupid but the rest of the episode was fantastic! Izzy finally started saving lives again, George found that little boy and Alex helped people and professed some feelings for Addison. I can’t wait until Addison and Alex officially get together!

The Office was awesome (although it always is)  it was however missing that Pam and Jim connection which I love so much. When Michael came and complimented Pam on her paintings I was totally relieved, she just seemed so sad before he came. Finally how funny was it when Jim was trying to convince Dwight that he was turning into a vampire! I love when Jim plays pranks on Dwight just because they are so clever and the reactions that Dwight has are hilarious.

Sadly Thursday was also the season finale of The Duel a Survivor like show on MTV. I am so happy that Wes won he totally deserved it!

I love Thursdays!

I also included this little Office clip because I really like it and Dwight, Jim and Pam are my favourite characters in the show.

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The Truth in News

February 14, 2007 at 12:55 pm (Soc3390)

Personally I try to stay away from the news as much as possible, not because the messages have been manipulated by the media but because I hate seeing the apalling state of the world. I had a Political Science class that recommended that we read the paper to stay informed on issues of the world but I found it really difficult to do so.

The war in Iraq alone is enough to turn my stomach, I mean how many more Americans are going to have to be killed before someone takes some strong action to rectify the situation. Sorry I know it is a little off topic I just really hate everything about the war!

The article on Chavez really just emphasized what I had already gathered myself after watching and reading contradictory testomonies about what is “really” happening in the world. I think that all of us can agree that everything which is provided by the media has a biased premise. I mean they are going to report the version of the “truth” that gets them the biggest audience.I think that is what people forget sometimes the news is similar to every other form of media it is a business and people are using this form of entertainment to make money.

I think that the majority of Amreicans and Canadians  are starting to realize that they cannot trust everything that is presented to them but it remains difficult to decipher where the truth lies. I mean the media has tried really hard (and succeeded in many cases) to present the news as a credible source. The news should be that one media outlet where facts are presented and references are verified but as explained in the Chavez article sometimes this is not the case.

I don’t know about anybody else but what I am starting to learn from this class is that alot of the media sources (TV, newspapers etc..) which I have been consuming for years are presenting little more than a manipulation of the truth. I have to say that this thought just really disturbs me.

Ok I had to put a picture of George Bush up because personally I believe that  a lot of the lies that have been spread through the news recently can in some way be linked to him.

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Super Stressed

February 10, 2007 at 6:33 pm (Uncategorized)

So here I am after spending an entire day studying and I just really needed a break so I decided I might as well blog out my frustrations! Like many of you I am experiencing the anxiety of a normal University student who has just entered into that week where every single one of my projects falls.

Looking back I should have started working on these things months ago but who are we kidding it just does not happen. I mean you look at your calendar and you are like “I have lots of time to finish that essay” and instead of working on it you go out to The Duke. I am in my third year I should know better and every time a new semester emerges I promise myself that I will start early but I don’t.

So now because of my procrastinating I will either be stuck studying in my room or I will be going to classes for the next week. And although I look forward to Reading Break I know that when I get back there is going to be even more essays and blogging assignments due. Frankly at this point I am just waiting for summer!

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The World of Wrestling

February 7, 2007 at 5:19 pm (Soc3390)

I was so excited when I looked at the syllabus this week and discovered that  we were going to be talking about television. I spend way too many hours a week wasting my time absorbed in the many plots available for my viewing pleasure. I mean I sit there and wonder will Pam and Jim get together this week? or, Who is going to get kicked off of Big Brother?

This is pretty embarrassing but I have to admit that I was happy to see that there was an article about wrestling for us to analyze this week. I am probably one of the only people in this class and the only girl I know of who still watches wrestling. I know this is hard to believe but it is true, I love John Cena and HBK so laugh if you want!

Ok so wrestling might not be the coolest thing to watch now but when we were all younger it was extremely popular. I agree with the article when it alludes to the fact that wrestling like anything else is a show, it has the good guys the bad guys, the love triangles, it is alot more like Grey’s Anatomy then alot of you  would like to admit.

Ultimately wrestling comes down to the same universal theme; good versus evil. There is always that one star (or as they like to be called entertainer) who everybody cheers for, all the fans want to see this guy win. Often the good guy is the underdog in the fight because the popular consensus is that we like to see this character overcome all odds.

Next there is usually the stereotypical “bad guy” who cheats in matches and makes fun of the fans, everybody wants to see these guys lose. Basically every week the battle of good vs. evil commences and the fans bear witness to two incredible athletes fighting for the coveted win in what the article calls a “great spectacle of Suffering, Defeat and Justice…”.

You might all think that I am crazy I am sure that many of you regard wrestling as no more then two huge guys play fighting for a trophy. But I think that there is some credibility that needs to be given, I mean it is a franchise that has transcended the ages and has changed our culture significantly. I would like to meet one guy who doesn’t know what the Stone Cold Stunner is.

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The Departed: One of My Favourite Films of this Year

February 6, 2007 at 10:10 pm (Movies)

First I just wanted to thank everyone for all the positive comments that I have been receiving it’s good to know that I am not the only Office fan in our class. Also it’s great that some of you are actually familiar with the Arrested Development reference I have as my blog name. I totally agree with whichever person commented that the show was cancelled way too soon.

So hopefully most of you out there have already seen The Departed or at least heard of it. I saw it I think the first weekend that it came out and was totally blown away. I can honestly say that all the buzz surrounding it is totally deserved. People are speculating that this movie will finally bring Scorsese that coveted Oscar and I couldn’t agree more.

The cast is phenomonal I mean what other movie can you see with Leo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg (plus I love the small appearance by Alec Baldwin). Each character was equally fantastic but Leo will always have a special place in my heart (girls he was reason enough to see the movie).

Finally the plot was amazing! The storyline kept me entertained until the very end and many people (my roommate included) would say that the end was the best part of the movie. So if you want to see a great movie make sure to pick it up it’s coming out on video Feb. 13. Here’s a little clip for your enjoyment and mine as well.

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