Dear students

Welcome to English 124 and our blog. This blog will provide you with the materials we will be using in class for your review. Here you will find the class schedule and other documents discussed on the first day of class, power point presentations, videos and quizzes. I hope it will also be a good place to comment about films that you have watched and liked or disliked. Please feel free to comment on the progress of our blog. If there are sites you feel are important to include in our blogroll, feel free to suggest them so that they can be included.  I’m looking forward to a very enjoyable semester.

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14 thoughts on “Dear students

  1. On of my favorite movies is the movie Comet. Its a about the 6 years of a relationship between Dell and Kimberly, the most significant memories and moments in their relationship. The movie is organized in a very different and unique way in which goes back and fourth on the problems that this couple faced. The narrative jumps from scene to scene out of chronological order yet the script fall in perfectly. Both of these actors show an incredible chemistry throughout the film giving the audience the full emotion of their love and making them feel as if it were happening to them. Dell is pessimistic to a fault “I hate people who think I’m too negative”. Kimberly live in the now, making them complete opposites. Dell falls for her the minute he sees, in one of those Comet Streaks Across the Sky moment that most of us believe only happens in movie. From here Comet jumps from the break-up, the reunion etc. Each one of these scenes is fully constructed and fascinated in its own right and the credit should go to the technical team. Aside from the acting, scrip and editing i also really admire the soundtrack of this film, each moment has a specific song that goes perfectly in each scene, making the movie complete. Comet is one of those Romantic Comedies but organized in a different way, making it unique. I recommend it to anyone who is a love freak.

  2. United 93 is a drama, history and thriller film in the year of 2006. The director and writer of this film is Paul Greengrass. More importantly, it was one of the planes that was hijacked on September 11th, 2001. United 93 flight did not reach its target, the terrorists were aiming to hit the White House in Washington D.C. but passengers in the plane fought back against them. Unfortunately, the passengers did not make it since the two pilots conducting the plane were the terrorists.

    On September 11th, 2001 was an unexpected tragedy for the United States and travelers. As the viewers, one can see how desperate and frightened the passengers were as they discovered that their plane had been hijacked. Just about most of the passengers called their loved ones, prayed and others planned to take action against the suicide mission. These people in the plane had the courage to try to save themselves and the White House. Unfortunately, the plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

    In regards to the filmmaking, many of the passengers’ families who communicated over the phone with their loved ones who were on board cooperated towards the making of the film. It is known that ten percent of the gross income from the three-day opening weekend was promised for a donation to create a memorial for the victims of Flight 93. In memorial to these heroic passengers, there is a Flight 93 National Memorial located at the site of the crash in Pennsylvania.

    Overall, I found this film to be a powerful and heroic for the United States. Without a doubt, the passengers in hijacked planes, firefighters, police officers, people who worked at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center are heroes. September 11, 2001 is a day that the world will never forget of its tragedy and the many citizens that lost their lives. Passengers in Flight 93 were on their own and eventually foiled the terrorists’ plan. Known as the forgotten heroes of United Airlines Flight 93, the passengers decided they were not going to let the hijackers hit their target. Instead of sitting back and praying, they were impregnable.

  3. Tom Hardy is a british actor who has become famous for many films most recently the remake of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road. This movie won six Oscar’s last year, it is one of his most famous films apart from The Revenant in wich he started alongside Leonardo Di Caprio. Personally I think Hardy is a great actor some of my favorite movies are Legend where he plays The Kray twins who are two gangsters in charge of the underworld of the city of London in the 1960’s. I think he does a fantastic job bringing to life these two people with incredibly different personalities.Another one of my favorite moves of Hardy is Lawless a movie about 3 brothers the Bondurans who run an illegal operation covered by an establishment that is run by them and are untouchable by the police. Personally I loved this movie but I hated the character of Shia Labeouf given that he puts at risks everything even his family by doing risky things and sticking his nose where he is not supposed to. The Dark knight Rises might’ve been a movie that a lot of people loved, sadly in my case I wasn’t one of them this is a movie a lot of people know hardy from given that he plays the main villain Bane. I didn’t like this movie given that it diverted from the story they just pilled up a lot of villains and hoped for the best, dont get me wrong I love Christopher Nolan’s work but I think he could’ve done better, for this to be the last one and not divert so suddenly the backstory from one character to another and change the whole plot. This Means War is a movie where Hardy’s screen persona changes given that is about two CIA agents and best friends who end up falling in love for the same girl and try to win her over by also spying on her. The personality of Hardy’s character in this movie is of a sweet family guy which completely changes from his screen persona that is always presented as tough, dangerous and mysterious man. I liked this movie because is a romantic comedy and what better eye candy than to see Chris Pine and Tom Hardy kicking ass and taking on the bad guys while fighting to get the girl. Another movie of his which I liked and it might not be a very popular opinion was Inception I loved the plot of the movie and how it obligates you to pay attention to every single detail or if not you will be completely lost from the point of the movie this kind of movies I find very interesting and worth to watch.His character and Joseph Gordon Levitt’s where my absolute favorite’s given that they bring that little humor in a movie like this. I love this actor and his work so I will be preparing to watch any future movies he star’s in.

  4. Assassins Creed
    Callum Lynch is a man that had his entire life committed to violence and incriminating acts after witnessing his father murder his mother when he was a child. This lead to him eventually being sentenced to a lethal injection after being suspected for murder. However, a big secret cooperation named Abstergo fakes his death and transports him to their secret Headquarters in Madrid, Spain. At first he is unsure what they see in him, erasing his past and keeping him in their “Rehabilitation Facility”. He soon finds out that they seek for information which is engraved in his DNA, the memories of his Ancestor Aguilar, who used to be a Master Assassin back in the 15th century. For them to be able to unveil those Information from Callum, they connect him to a high-tech machinery called the Animus. Which lets him access and relive the memories of his ancestor Aguilar. In the beginning Callum does not know how to handle those memories and he “de-synchronises”, which causes a temporary paralysis to him. While recovering he gets to know other Assassins which are inmates in the rehabilitation facility, which warn him that he will lead them to the “Apple of Eden”. He eventually encounters his father in the facility as well, who warns him that he should not go back into the Animus reveal the Apple of Eden to the so called “Templars” which are the people that run Abstergo. It is unveiled that the Assassins and Templars have a rivalry which has been lasting for centuries, the Templars being determined for controlling man-kind and the Assassins persistent at never letting them reach their goal. Furthermore, Callum starts having visions of his ancestor Aguilar, which is explained to him as the “Bleeding effect” of him synchronising with the Ancestors memories. Determined to go against his father’s pleading that he should not assist the Templars, Callum is even more eager to enter the Animus and disappoint his father, who murdered his mother. In the memories he is eventually able to figure out the location of the “Apple of Eden” but he also learns that it is a tool to control free-thinking, which the Templars want to misuse to let man-kind obey their agenda. He also learns about the ancient Assassins Creed and the sacrifices that had to be made in the past already, and realizes the reason for his father murdering his mother was to avoid her from facing a worse fate, because their home had been compromised by Templars. When he leaves the Animus, the Templars are on their way to retrieve the Apple of Eden, but the other Assassins in the complex are rising up to break out. When Callum exits the Animus he realizes that he has not only obtained the memories of his ancestor the Master Assassin, but as well his skills. He joins forces with the other Assassins and they escape the Abstergo facility. Soon after the Templars are having a major assembly to celebrate their Triumph. The celebration is interrupted by the remaining Assassins, who murder the Templar Leader and retrieve the Apple of Eden for safekeeping. In the end the daughter of the Templar Leader vows revenge and to continue leading the Templars against the Assassins.

  5. One of my favorite is Across the Universe. This is fictional but also shows historic events like the Vietnam War in the 60’s are fighting to put an end to it and have peace. The film tells the story from the point of view of a group of friends and a couple by the protagonist Lucy ( Evan Rachel Wood) and Jude (Jim Sturgess). We see how Jude a boy from Liverpool comes to America to find his father but ends up meeting Max who is lucy’s brother and ends up beeing his best friend. On the other hand we see the great effect the war has on Lucy’s family and on her, given that her boyfriend dies in fighting in the war. After this happens Lucy decides to go and live with her brother and Jude in New York that is when Jude and Lucy meet. Both of them falling in love with one another they start a relationship. We see the struggle all of the characters experience because of the war that is going on and this affects them in different ways. In Lucy’s and Jude’s case, Lucy wants to do everything in her power to stop the war and she joins a couple of revolutionaries but Jude does not want to be a part of this he wants to fix everything in a peaceful way. In Max’s case he ends up serving time in the army and going to the war, even though he did not want to in the first place but in this time you had no choice. Lucy ends up in trouble with the cops and Jude gets deported trying to help Lucy. At the end Jude goes back to America believing that Lucy has died in a bombing incident, only to find out that she was okay.

    The film shows how the war affects everybody and it is portrayed through the experiences of each individual. This film is one that you will enjoy if you love musicals like me. Also thanks to this movie I learned I love the Beatles music.

  6. (continuation of last post)
    What I liked about the movie “Love & other Drugs” is that despite of everything that they been through at the end they both end up being together and is also shown how can a person change another from the way they used to be and the way they used to think.

  7. The movie that had caught my eye for a long time and the one I never decided to watch because even thought I’ve had free time I always forget about it even in those moments that I believe everyone has experienced of wanting to watch a movie to distract yourself but never thought of the right one or about that one that picked your interest at one moment in your life. Well apart from me experiencing that always the movie I chose is “Love and other Drugs”. This movie starts by telling the story of Jamie Randall ( Jake Gyllenhaal) who is fired from his job after his supervisor finds out that he’s been sleeping with his girlfriend. After this occurs at a family dinner his rich brother offers him a job as a farmaceutical gross sales consultant. After attending a Pfizer coaching program, Jamie goes to work for a corporation and tries to get doctors to prescribe Zoloft and Zithromax. Bruce (Oliver Platt), his regional supervisor starts seeing Jamie as his ticket to the “Big leagues” of Chicago. Bruce tells Jamie that he needs to get one of the doctors to start prescribing Zoloft, as an alternative of Prozac, the other doctors will observe this and follow his lead. Jaime tries to get to till he complied, then he unethically permits Jaime to watch him work with one of the patients passing as an intern, there he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), who suffers from early Parkinson’s illness. Jamie keeps insisting until he lands a date with Maggie and they end up having sex. Jamie later on wants to surpass Trey Hannigan (Gabriel Macht) as rep of Prozac who happens to be one of Maggie’s exes. One night when Maggie and Jamie are having sexual relations, Jamie is unable to perform to his fullest potential, Maggie teasingly tells him to try out the medication that his company is producing that helps men who suffer from erectile disfunction. Later that day Jamie asks Bruce if there is a medication that helps with his problem, he is told that there is such a medication. Jamie quickly wants to participate in promoting the pills and he is given the opportunity to do so. He then wants to start a relationship with Maggie. In wich she rejects his offer, later on leaving on a road trip to Canada. After he trip she comes back to find Jamie waiting for her, touched by his actions she agrees to build a relationship with him. One night Jaime decides to tell Maggie that he loves her but suffers from a panic attack given that he has never told anybody his love towards them. Jamie asks Maggie to go with him to a medical convention and she finds out that in the building in front of her there is a conference for people with Parkinson’s disease. She is moved by the tales she has heard from these people and is happy reason being that she is not the only one dealing with this problem. During the conference an old man approaches Jamie telling him that he should find a new healthier woman and start a new life. Once he is done speaking with the old man, Maggie tells him that she loves him, Jamie decides that he will do everything in his power to find a cure to help her. Maggie after finding out that she is being a burden to Jamie she tries to end the relationship so he can go on with his life. As time passes, they meet again in a restaurant were Jamie is celebrating his promotion to Chicago. While he is watching a tape that they recorded talking about their he realizes that he cannot be happy without Maggie.

    He decides to chase her finding out later on that she is going to Canada to get medication. He admits how much he loves her and wants to be with her. Jamie the resigns to his job in Chicago and decides to move in back with her to start a career in med school.

  8. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

    To begin with, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story is based on a true story of a famous
    and successful neurosurgeon. Ben was known to be a poor student who later received academic
    honors and attended medical school. Fortunately, Ben has always had a mother who is such a motivating, charismatic and hardworking person. Throughout Ben’s childhood, his mother always told him that anything is possible to achieve in the world. Most importantly, Ben’s mother pushed him and his brother to become avid readers.

    With this in mind, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) tells the challenges that Ben went through as a child, teenager, college student and beyond his medical life. Throughout the film, Ben’s mother did so much to provide for her two children in school and teach them moral values. Being from a minority group, Ben was discriminated against his academic skills because of being African American while his classmates were Caucasian. Knowing Ben, nothing stopped him from making progress in school and furthering his education. Together with Ben’s brother, they both aimed to become successful and make their hardworking mother proud.

    Truly, I found every part of the film inspiring and hearty. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story emphasizes how important it is to read everyday and to learn as much as you can. Books empowers an individual and builds vocabulary. With this being mentioned, there are no excuses to stop you from doing anything, as long as a person desires and is determined to achieve a goal, it is possible. In like manner, I loved it when Ben’s mother would tell him, “You need to see beyond.”

    Like anything in life, there are plentiful achievements just as there are many failures. In reference to, Ben faced his biggest challenge which was to separate adult conjoined twins. He accepted the challenge but unfortunately, the process got complicated that both twins died because of the critical condition they were in after the surgery. Just like any doctor will feel after a patient has died, Ben was devastated because of this. He continued to perform surgeries, write books and fund a scholarship for students. Today, Ben Carson is the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development who was nominated by Donald Trump.

  9. I have seen many movies, but Electrick Children is a movie that no matter how many times I watch it I will never get bored. This film is written and directed by Rebecca Thomas and produce by Jessica Caldwell, Richard Neustadter and Live Wire Films in 2012. Personally I like this film because is full of innocence, is fun and have lots of creativity.

    At first the movie take place in Utah, where the protagonist named Rachel McKnight lives with her fundamentalist Mormon family. This 15 year old girl that have never heard music and one day she found a blue cassette in her brother’s room and heard it. Three months later she found out that she is pregnant and she thinks this country-rock song got her pregnant. Rachel says that she is a virgin and she carries the son of God, but no one in the family thinks that’s true so she goes with her brother, Mr. Will to Las Vegas. This innocent girl arrives to Las Vegas, a world full of entertainment searching the guy who sings the song of the blue cassette that she think it might be the father of her child.

    I recommend this film to everyone, especially for the ones that like drama. This film does not have an ordinary story, is a fun film, have lots of symbolism and full of creativity you never know what crazy thing is going to happen next.

  10. Out of all the movies I’ve seen, it’s really hard to choose just one as my favorite. But I would recommend the animated movie “Sing”. This movie focuses on different characters that share the same dream about fulfilling there life goals and passion. The main character wishes to save his theater by announcing a talent show to earn enough money and fame to do so. While the rest of the characters wish to let their voices be heard and their talent shine. While these characters work hard and try their best, they still need to surpass the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their goals. I chose this movie because it is very heart warming and inspiring.

    It teaches you that even when things look impossible to achieve, you should work hard and never give up. This movie can be enjoyed by anyone, it doesn’t matter what age you are. It also shows different situations and personalities of a person. In my opinion, it’s a very great movie. I cried when I watched it because I could actually relate to some of the characters situations. It really pulls on your heart strings.

  11. My favorite movie is Fifty Shades of Grey. I like this film because in addition to the erotic, it presents a great story about the protagonist. It is a film that not many people understand since they have not read the books, but I have had the opportunity to read each and every part of this triology, so I understand many things that maybe in the film are not clear.

    I really like this particular film because despite being only the beginning it let us see parts of his named ‘Fifty Shades’. Many people see it as pornography or maybe as something inappropriate but it is not. In my opinion, this presents things of our daily life, not all people may agree with sodomy or masochism but there are many that does, that is why I see it normal. It is a great story because everything presented in this film, that is, the way that Christian Grey (the main character) acts, is caused by family problems that he had as a child and his sexual tastes (‘very singular’ as he says in the film) were Acquired because he was induced to practice such things at the age of fifteen by a friend of his adoptive mother. In this film Christian is attracted to Anastasia Steel, a young university student that studies English Literature. She must interview Christian because her roommate Katherine Kavanagh could not do it because she got sick and asked Ana for that favor. It is in that interview that Grey feels interested in Ana and from that moment on he asks Ana to have a relationship with his style. As she has the same attraction, she agrees to try it and Christian begins to introduce her to his world. At the end of this film she falls in love with him, but their relationship ends when she tries to talk to him about his problems but Christian retracts and ends up in a strong fight so she asks him to show her the worst (referring to his Punishments) so she’ll be able to understand him, but Ana, by not resisting the strong punishment, decides to move away.

    I recommend this movie because it carries a shocking message beyond eroticism, it presents situations that can happen to many people and change their lives in a drastic way. I exhort everyone to look beyond the sexual activities and try to understand this story more deeply.

  12. My favorite film is The Great Gatsby. This film is base on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald which has already too movies but the one I will be talking about is the second one that was released in 2013. Personally I’ve started to read the novel but for now I can’t compare them or decide if the novel nor movie is better. This cinema is based in the “Jazz Era”, named by the author, that is the 1920’s. A period of wild economic prosperity, cultural flowering and a shaking up of social mores after World War I.

    The movie takes place in New York and it’s about this young and very wealthy man named Jay Gatsby, the protagonist. Nick Carraway, narrator of the novel, tells us about his neighbor Gatsby who contacts him to meet up with his cousin the love JG. This gorgeous woman named Daisy Buchanan was once in love with Jay but for different reasons she ended up marrying Tom Buchanan, the antagonist. After five years they finally reunite despite the social scandals and personal drama in consequence. At the end Gatsby dies, Daisy and Tom move out with their daughter and Nick “metaphorically” dies to New York and finishes in rehabilitation.

    The reason I love this cinema so much is because of the era or the Jazz era as Fitzgerald refers. The hypocrisy of people who where part of the high social class because of others and the success Wall Street was gaining power. A period where the alcohol was ilegal but rich men still consume it. Who important was for both genres to dress and drag about their success and fortune because titles were about it. The lifestyle in that moment in New York seemed to me so unrealistic in a good way that I wish I’ve had been part of it to see it my own self. Gatsby house was the mansion even person can desire, Daisy and Tom’s house too. Even Nick’s house which was really small seemed beautiful, specially when he decides to arrange a tea so that can Mr. Gatsby and Daisy meet up for the first time after all those years.

    The parties Mr. Gatsby threw that nobody understood why he did it but he tells Jordan, Daisy’s best friend, that it purpose was to see if one day Daisy appeared to one. That enormous festivity was so surprising because every one attended it from high schoolers to the most wealthy and famous distinguished people in the city back then. The performances and harmony seemed so dreamy and perfect. The mystery of how Jay had became so rich and the rumors of how he inherited it was so agonizing and interesting because everyone asked themselves but nobody actually took the enough interest in finding out about his business until Tom decides too. The way Nick admires Gatsby was so lovely because they turned out to be best friends and Nick always believed in him when no one else did.

    My most favorite thing about this cinema is the love drama. Gatsby was eternally in love with Daisy. He loved her so much that it consumed him and he would risk and leave all just to be with her. The way he looked at her and how he constantly repeats to go back to the past to relive those moments and that life is fast like a shooting star. That is the definition of a true gentleman because he even builded his house across the bay of Daisy’s house. Although Daisy disappoints me at the end. I mean she loved him and true that she may loved Buchanan too at some point but she deserved someone like Jay that would respect and treated her well. Because Tom was always having affairs and so dominant around her that he manipulated her at the end, she ended up with fear and certain unhappiness.

    The social life of this film is all about it. Besides the drama it is also filled with history and the 1920’s were historically interesting. The vocabulary of “Oxford Men” and all the luxuries people from the first class had. The way the author describes New York and Nick’s point of view is fascinating and curious too because this character ended up with drinking problems and “metaphorically” dead to New Yorks and the author turns out to have mental breakdowns and drinking problems too. I definitely recommend everyone to see the movie.

  13. I picked this movie mainly because my current favourite singer is the main character and secondly because this movie affected me a lot. It was a 2 hours and 20 min film and I was already crying my heart out 40 mins in and I didn’t even shed a tear in The Fault in Our Stars, so this a really dramatic and sad one. All the music for this film was composed by Björk and she was even nominated for an Academy Award for best song and won Best Actress at the Cannes Festival for her performance in this picture And oh, I almost forgot to say, it’s a musical also.
    The movie was directed by Lars von Trier and is set in Washington in 1964, and is about Selma Jezkova (Bjök Gudmundsdottir) a woman from Checoslovaquia who emigrates to the United States to work in a factory and find a better life for her and her son Gene. This is a very hardworking woman we’re talking about here but she’s also very (maybe too) kind to people. They live in the backyard of the property of the Bill Houston (David Morse) and his wife Linda (Cara Seymour), and Bill is the town’s Sheriff who inherited a lot of money. The thing is both Selma and Bill have secrets of their own, one night Bill goes over to Selma’s and confesses that all his money is gone and that he doesn’t want anyone to know, specially his wife who lives bragging about their money, so you can tell these are not very good people. Once he confesses, Selma shares her secret with Bill and tells him that she has a congenital disease that will cause her to lose her eyesight at any moment and that her son will suffer from the same fate if he doesn’t get the operation he needs, and that she went to the US to change that because she feels guilty for her son inheriting her condition and they both promise to keep quiet about their secrets. What Bill doesn’t know is that Selma has about $2,000 saved for her son’s operation hidden in a can inside a wall. When he is about to leave, Selma’s condition was so awful that she couldn’t tell if he was still in the room so he took advantage of that and saw when she took out the can with all the money and put some more in it from the money she made that day, he left without her noticing.
    One day, when she goes searching for the can because she finally saved enough for Gene’s operation, she realized it wasn’t there so she perceived that Bill took it so when she went inside his house, his wife tells her that she knew about the “romance” that was obviously not true but Selma just stayed in silence and asked to talk to Bill, when she does and asks for her money back he says he can’t give it back because he would lose his wife. She took her money back anyways and when she did he points her with his gun and said he will make it look like she was the one who was stealing it from him, all this while Linda is downstairs. Then a struggle arises and she accidentally shots him in the leg so he begged her to have mercy and to kill him since he couldn’t live with the embarrassment of not being wealth otherwise he wouldn’t let go of the money, she shots him but she missed since she’s almost completely blind she even misses one time but he didn’t die so she took his metal deposit box and smashed his head with it, killing him. The movie goes on but I’m not going to spoil what happens after this, and believe me there’s more to the story.
    After giving away most of the plot you are probably wondering, how does a musical fit in this tragedy? You would have to watch it to find out.

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