Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sephen Colbert set to replace David Letterman on the Late Show

I don't know if you've heard the news, but recently David Letterman announce his planned retirement in 2015. After three decades on the Late Show he feels it is time for him to take a break and enjoy the simple things in life. Now being that the Late Show holds some of the highest ratings then any other late night show we are all wondering who would replace this icon. Well, it turns out that there is talk about Stephen Colbert taking over for David Letterman which doesn't seem like a bad idea. Lately everyone has been getting promoted haven't they? First it was Jimmy Fallon, then Seth Meyers, Now David Letterman. The tides have really changed recently with who will be running these talk shows for the indefinite future. It is said that if Stephen Colbert does in fact take over the Late Show, he will not longer be posing as the political mastermind that he acts as for the Colbert Report. Instead, Stephen will just be his normal self and do what he does best. So far the transition of Seth Meyers taking over Jimmy Fallon's has been going well so hopefully if this switch takes place with the Late Show it will go just as smoothly. Fortunately tonight Seth Meyers i preforming at Ithaca College, so all those who will be seeing him first hand today (including me) can be the judge of his live performance. Hope to see you all there!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Grand Guignol: Not for the Faint of Heart

Le Théâtre de Grand-Guignol, literally translated from French as "The Theatre of The Big Puppet Show", was a theatre that formed in a chapel inside Paris' red light district in the late 19th century. Renowned for it's displays of graphic horror and gore, the theatre gained a large cult following. It's actors (no, they weren't puppets) simulated astonishingly realistic acts of violence and sex such as hangings, stabbings, rape and all kinds of beatings.

The shows were so terrifying for it's audiences that it was common that at least two people fainted during the performances, many times up to fifteen people per night. Even the actors were injured and sometimes killed because of the shows. A doctor was kept on call every night in case of these events.

The Grand Guignol eventually closed in the sixties, unable to compete with the effects of cinema. But, the subgenre of horror movies known as splatter film was heavily influenced and based on the naturalistic effects invented at The Grand Guignol. Things such as inflatable animal bladders and pumps hidden under actor's clothes to spew out blood when cut were used at the theatre and adapted for the screen.

Many of today's splatter films such as the Saw franchise and movies like The Evil Dead were impacted by the shock factor that The Grand Guignol brought. The gore we know today started on the stage, and grew into a cinematic genre all of its own. The theatre pushed their actors and their audiences to the limits, exploring the horrific and bizarre, paving the way for horror cinema. Now, The Grand Guignol has reopened for special performances, allowing audiences to see what inspired the great gore films throughout history.

Torrent: Everybody Does Illegal Things

Many of us have seen these warning labels:

This screen pretty much states that any duplication of this film is illegal. ILLEGAL! There are ways to get aroud that. There is an software called uTorrent. It allows people to ultimately download anything that they want. For those of you that may not know what torrent is, here is a little bit of information about it.

A torrent file is a computer file that contains metadata about files and folders to be distributed, and usually also a list of the network locations of trackers, which are computers that help participants in the system find each other and form efficient distribution groups called swarms.[1] A torrent file does not contain the content to be distributed; it only contains information about those files, such as their names, sizes, folder structure, and cryptographic hash values for verifying file integrity. Depending on context, a torrent may be the torrent file or the referenced content.

I personally do not torrent anything, but I feel that it shouldn't be illegal if you already own a copy of whatever you want to Torrent. For example, if you have a dvd copy of the movie and you want to have a digital copy of the film, I feel that it is fine that you torrent a version of it.

Just thought this is information that you should know!

What is WebM?

     WebM is an open source, royalty free, audio video format used for all type of video on the web such as streaming HD movies, live streaming, video calling, and any other web video. WebM was started in 2010 and was backed by Mozilla, Opera, Skype, Google, and others. It was started to provide users with a free high quality video format that is editable and able to be improved upon by the users. WebM tries to solve two major issues with current video formats. One is that it is completely royalty free and they will not charge people for using WebM. The other is that most popular video formats that exist today are not designed for use on the web but television and DVDs.

     WebM is currently still still trying to gain support so it's hard to say what we can expect to see from it in the future. As of now it is only supported by Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. To use WebM on Safari or Internet Explorer a third party software has to first be installed.  They hope in the future to get support for WebM built directly onto mobile devices.

Throwing Sound

The concept of throwing sound is a very interesting one. Placing a sound in a specific place is very difficult due to the eternal movement of sound waves. There is product out now that can throw sounds wherever you want them. Granted the speaker is the size of an old flip phone so theres not much output volume but nonetheless it is very cool.
Basically there is a small parabolic speaker that has a coned shape in order to "shoot" sound wherever you want. The effect is that you can point the speaker at someone and only they can hear it, like a whisper in their ear; when you move it away from the person it sounds like the sound is bouncing off the wall behind them. Difficult to explain in words but very easy if its actually been done to you. I found out about this product from a guest speaker in one of my classes who used chirping crickets to demonstrate the soundlazer to my astonishment. I had never heard such precise placement of sound I almost cried. In the entertainment industry, parabolic speakers are becoming increasingly popular in mixing sound for movies due to the precise location of the sound. Many new speaker systems are incorporating these speakers so engineers can adjust not only the direction of the sound but the HEIGHT of the sound. So say you're watching a movie and spaceship moves from the bottom of the frame to the top, you would hear the sound "underneath" you. Once the spaceship moves to the top half of the screen it would sound like it is "above" you. This was used in Gravity with amazing results and will soon become the new normal for mixing action movies. 

Super Hero Movies

During my usual week check on Rotten Tomatoes, I noticed that the new Captain America movie scraped in 95 million dollars at the box office. It really made me think, why the hell are these super hero movies grossing so much money? What makes them so appealing these days. Well for one thing Super Hero movies are a form of escapism. We love rooting for the underdog, and in every super hero movie the underdog quality is always there. One interesting fact I noticed that the last time super heroes were so big was during their debut in the 1930's. The 1930's was the time of the Great Depression, comics like Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Wonder Women were all made to help people escape via reading during tough times. I find it so fascinating that these films have becomes so popular during tough economic times. "In the 1930s, the American Dream had become a nightmare, and I think comic books and superheroes in particular provided an escapist form of entertainment that allowed the American public to go into a fantasy world where all the ills of the world were righted by these larger-than-life heroes," says Erin Clancy, a curator at the Skirball. Despite weather you like these films are not, they definitely give us a lot of hope during tough times. 

Raging Bull and Fear in Film

When you talk about fear in film, it is typically a result of design. The characters, lighting, and camera angles are arranged in a way to intentionally strike fear in you. The character’s alone in the house with the killer they’ve been running from the whole time, or something along those lines. These scenes, even when they work effectively, are fear of what is to come. You aren’t afraid of the teenage girl walking down the hallways of her dark house, you’re afraid of what may lurk around the corner. Rarely, if ever, is the audience in fear of what is happening in that moment. One of the few instances in which I felt legitimate fear while watching a scene was, funnily enough, not in a horror movie.
Jake LaMotta, portrayed in an instantly iconic performance by Robert DeNiro, is a violent man. His work is violent. His home life is violent. His sex is violent. And up until this point, it has done well for him. But as the film Raging Bull goes on, directed by Martin Scorcese in what may very well be his masterwork, what use to empower Jake and be his profession starts to undo him. His compulsions and drives for violence and self-gratification, which initially rewarded him, slowly start to undo him. He’s no longer respected as a heavyweight boxer. He has lost his family. And his relationship with his brother has been torn asunder by his ego and pride. What was once a proud, well-respected man at the peak of physical fitness has been reduced to owning a shitty bar in Miami. He’s overweight and reciting crappy comedy monologues to himself. Soon enough his wife divorces him. Then, to top it all off, he gets arrested for sleeping with an underage girl. He’s thrown in jail like some common sleaze ball.
We have never seen Jake weak. Hell, we haven’t seen him up until this point be anything but a brute.  He is nothing now. His ego, pride, greed have nothing to hold up to anymore. All he has is his violence. His animalistic fury. And he uses it.


                 When I watched this movie for the first time, I cowered in my seat while watching this part. Knives held in the dark, creepy men in masks, long dark hallways. Whatever. That's all technique, not storytelling. But this is pure unbridled anger mixed with fear and self-loathing. I cannot quite articulate what about this scene sticks inside my gut so much. But it’s haunting. It’s a man at his lowest point in his life. When he is stripped of it all, this is how he acts. And that’s terrifying to bear witness to. Surely more fear inducing than any thriller or horror movie I've ever scene. It causes me to worry about man and what he is capable of. 

                An amazing scene, an amazing performance, an amazing film.

Colbert Succeeds Letterman as "The Late Show" Host

Just one week after David Letterman announced his retirement in 2015, CBS announces that Stephen Colber has signed a five-year contract to take over "The Late Show."  The 49-year-old comedian is most well-known for his political satire show on Comedy Central,  "The Colbert Report."  
Colbert stated that Letterman has always been a mentor and role model for him.  Letterman later released a statement saying, "Stephen has always been a real friend to me. I'm very excited for him, and I'm flattered that CBS chose him."

Due to his Comedy Central background, many were left wondering if Colbert was the right choice. Will he be able to break away from his mega-conservative comedic character? It's reported that Colbert will be leaving his persona from "The Colbert Report" behind. Jon Stewart, Colbert's fellow Comedy Central host, says we will soon see a new side of Stephen Colbert. "He's got a lot more he can show...He's got a lot of the different capacities."

I'm curious to get a glimpse at the "real" Stephen Colbert.  He's very witty and clearly enjoys what he does, making it even more enjoyable for the audience to watch.  I would like to extend a huge congratulations to Stephen Colbert on landing this position.  I can only imagine how much hard work and dedication it took. Whether or not you're a fan of Colbert, you have to commend him on this achievement. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Les Stroud Vs. Bear Grylls: The Real Survivor

Although the debate may have begun long ago, even today I still hear people talk about who is better: Les Stroud (Survivorman) or Bear Grylls (Man Vs. Wild). If I were to take a stance on this argument, I would have to say that without a doubt, Les Stroud is the king of the wild. Here are some of the differences between the two survivalists:

While Bear Grylls does put himself in some dangerous situations, he always has a crew and medical team following close behind. This is unlike Les, because he is always alone and whatever situation he is in is truly dangerous, never staged. Les often has shots of himself walking far off into the distance. Because he is actually alone, this means that he has to walk all the way out, often climbing up steep slopes, only to have to do it all over again to go back for his equipment.

Even though some may argue that Survivorman does not have enough action and may even be boring at times, I would say that it is more for the educational value. When it comes to Bear Grylls, he tends to go for the shock and aw approach. You will not see Les Stroud bite the head of a live snake, but that is definitely something that Grylls would do.

When it comes to Les, his approach is to teach the viewer how to survive in real life situations. He brings almost nothing with him, and uses his knowledge of survival to adapt to different situations. I am not saying that Grylls isn’t smart or that he isn’t a real survivalist, I just know to take his show for what it is; entertainment. If that is what you are looking for as a viewer then by all means, watch a show where the host brings an entire crew and has a raft prefabricated for himself so that all he has to do is put it together. If you want a show that is going to actually help you survive in the wild, then I would tune into Survivorman.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Disney's Hercules

Hercules is by far my favorite Disney movie. I think that's the reason I became so interested in Greek and Roman mythology. I recently had to watch this movie again for my class. Although this movie is not even close to historically accurate according to the real myth, it still has quite the story line. I enjoyed how this version of a classic myth really takes into account what it takes to be a "true hero." They did a good job of incorporating the 12 labors of Hercules under a different base story. You get the stables and the lion snuck in there without you noticing. If you didn't know about the labors you might not notice them which I think rewards people who know the real story. It allows them to alter the story without upsetting too many people.

Of course the best part of this Disney animated film is the music! The songs are catchy and upbeat and straight to the point. They aren't just fluff pieces added in. They truly add to the story in my opinion. Plus the Muses are so sassy and fun!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Anxiety Attack that is Gravity (Spoiler Alert!)

     I hadn't seen Gravity until after it won several Academy Awards and after I'd heard raving reviews, but it was well worth the wait. Despite giving me anxiety attack-like symptoms throughout the entire movie, I couldn't look away until the end credits rolled.
     The cast was made up of just a few secondary characters that appeared only briefly as well as two A-list actors, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Despite having a small, focused, top of the line cast, the movie didn't focus on promoting Hollywood and Hollywood actors but rather on the characters and the story. Sandra Bullock played her part so well that I forgot that she was Sandra Bullock, famous actress, and saw her only as Dr. Ryan Stone, the alone and afraid medical engineer on her first shuttle mission to space. I felt her fear more than I'd ever felt fear from a character. I imagined myself in her place and I panicked inside.
     Dr. Stone spent the vast majority of the movie floating around in space with no space shuttle to return to, no real knowledge of how to get back down to Earth, and no one to help her. Since I already had an irrational fear of outer space, this was particularly horrifying for me to watch. I was rooting for Stone the entire time, as was everyone else who saw the movie, I'm sure. I wanted nothing more than for her to choose to live and to figure out how to get home. However, that didn't seem like a likely possibility to me, given the circumstances, her lack of experience in outer space, and her lack of training in this type of situation.
     For those reasons, I was utterly shocked but also unbelievably happy when she finally crashed down into the ocean on Earth. She had made it, and I couldn't imagine the amount of courage and calm that it would take for a person to do that.
     But it couldn't be that easy. When she opened the door to the tiny shuttle she was in and the ocean water started rushing in, my panic attack began. How could she get through a catastrophe like that in outer space by herself only to get home and drown?! Apparently Dr. Stone thought the same way and she just kept on fighting until she got herself out of the shuttle and swam/drifted to shore.
     The last shot of the movie was of Dr. Stone grabbing onto the beach she washed up on and finally standing up on land for the first time since she left Earth and experienced that disaster in space. We see her muster up the strength to walk into the land and the credits roll. That last shot really got to me. I can't imagine what it must feel like to feel the land beneath your feet and the force of gravity for the first time after spending a while in outer space, floating around. After the turmoil that Dr. Stone experienced, it must've been an incredible feeling.
     I had to remind myself several times during this film that it was just a movie and that Dr. Stone was just a character. I became more emotionally attached to the character than I normally do. At the same time, I spent a lot of time wondering how the filmmakers made this movie. The visual effects were amazing, and I think the simulation of zero gravity is really interesting and even more interesting when an entire movie is filmed using it. There wasn't a single aspect of this film or its making that didn't grab my attention and hold onto it for its duration. I'm glad I finally got around to see it, and I think everyone should do the same, if they haven't already.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cosmos...A Space Adventure *cue trumpets*

After taking the class critical thinking and mass media by professor Ben Crane, I learned the scientific method is the only real way to prove the existence of any theory. But I also learned that the show cosmos sheds light on all of these things I learned in class. In 1980 a television series called Cosmos: A personal Voyage was released on PBS. This show written, and narrated by professor and scientist Carl Sagan created a milestone for any scientific documentary. This year they decided to bring back a new version of the show called Cosmos: A Space-time Odyssey. This series was developed to bring back the foundation of science to network television at the height of other scientific- based television series and films. This show is executive produced by Seth MacFarlane, whose brilliant financial investment helped develop this show into something extraordinary. Not only does the show contain amazing content, its graphics and locations are incredible. This is a show I recommend for everybody, especially for people who love the truth.

The original Carl Sagan above discussing multiple dimension theories.

The new cosmos which is way cooler looking. All in all, a very good show that will appeal to the intrigue, intellect and insight of everyone.

Musicals As Films

So I love musicals!!!! I have grown up listening to musicals and I have even performed in about seven musicals within my life time. I also love watching movies. So it is only fitting that I am in love with movies that are musicals/musicals that are movies! They have a certain something to them. I love the fact that they are musicals that I can see over and over again! The songs that are in the films just get stuck in my head which makes me then want to watch it again! Here are a couple of musical films that I am in love with.

   Fiddler on the Roof

Shrek the Musical


Les Miserable


Whoever invented the musical movie is the best!

Greys Anatomy

In Greys Anatomy the story lines have to do with character relationships that form throughout the show. The first true relationship that is formed is between two surgeons, Cristina and Burke. Another relationship forms quickly after that with two main characters, Meredith and Derek. While the show is mainly based on the hospital scene and the process of running a hospital, the show also has a lot of character development. Some character development is formed between surgeons while others are formed between surgeons and patients.  In one of the seasons, Dr. Alex Karev falls in love with one of his patients. This series focuses on the fictional lives of surgical interns and residents as they evolve into doctors while trying to maintain personal lives.
            The characters carry this particular series. The workplace and setting is important, however without the character development there would be no substance to the show. The workplace is important in terms of setting the scene and the mood. The characters then put in perspective how a hospital runs. The dialogue is sad at times, yet they have a lot of comic relief within the show to balance out the negative mood. While this is a medical show, the show is mainly a drama series. The show revolves around the relationships that are created and the way each character treats each other. There is sexual tension, and heartbreaks. It is a roller coaster of emotions every season, which is what makes the viewers so intrigued and keep coming back to watch future seasons.

House of Cards Foreshadowing in the Final Scene


      Music in television and movies are a great way to create a feel or emotion and really set the scene. Another way to use music is to foreshadow future events. In the final episode of House of Cards they use music to potentially foreshadow the feeling of season 3.

     In the final episode the protagonist Frank Underwood meets with his enemy Raymond Tusk at an opera. During the conversation Tusk tells Frank that when he is put in prison to try and remember how beautiful the music was tonight. To which Frank responds "I never liked Puccini, he's such a downer. I prefer a happier tone" he then walks away humming hail to the chief. 

     Later in the final scene of the episode when Frank Underwood's final plan works and he is awarded the the presidency. As he is walking down the hallway to the oval office there is opera playing in the background. After hearing it I did some poking around and discovered that the Puccini is also what is playing in the background. I don't know exactly what that means for the next scene, but I am predicting that it will be bad news for Frank Underwood since he thinks Puccini is a downer and his music is what was being played over Frank's final moment of success as he finally reaches his goal.

Shailene Woodley: Rising Star

Shailene Woodley. You may not recognize the name, but you definitely know her face. I first knew her
Shailene Woodley
as the annoying pregnant teenager from "The Secret Life of the American Teenager", an ABC Family show that went on too long and ruined Molly Ringwald for me forever. At first the show was a guilty pleasure of mine, until I came to actually dislike it, mainly because of the character Shailene Woodley portrayed. Then, "The Descendants" came out. I almost didn't watch it, but when I heard it had George Clooney in Hawaii, I had to put aside my prejudice. 

I loved the film, and surprisingly one of my favorite parts was Shailene's performance as Alexandra. Woodley played the exact opposite of her "Secret Life" character, instead showing us her more rebellious and brash side, while still evoking emotions and connecting with the audience. I was impressed, especially as she was thrown side by side with one of the most iconic actors of our time. After "The Descendants" I was hooked, and couldn't wait to see what she would do next.

What I love about Shailene Woodley is her flexibility. She can bounce from a TV show, to an indie movie, to a blockbuster, one right after another, and fit in with almost any style. My favorites are her indie films. I was blown away by "The Spectacular Now", a film about two seniors in high school who fall in love and force each other to explore the people they've become. I'm a huge fan of Miles 
Teller and Woodley from "The Spectacular Now"
Teller already, so I was shamelessly biased to see this movie. I was enthralled by the rawness of the actors' performances and the strange chemistry that somehow worked for the film. This was no typical high school romance story, and Woodley and Teller really sold it. 

After seeing "The Spectacular Now", I found out Woodley was starring in the new movie "Divergent". It peaked my interest, but I was mostly just happy to see her in another big film. I haven't gotten around to seeing it yet, but from the what I've heard, I predict Woodley's future will only increase steadily in success. And recently I discovered that she is starring in Josh Boone's new film, "The Fault in Our Stars", an adaptation of John Greene's famous novel. I'm extremely excited to see it, as I believe Woodley's talent has only grown, and we'll see another side of the actress we've never seen before. 

The film will be released this upcoming summer. I'm excited to see what moves this promising actress decides to make next.

The Importance of Production Design

Everyone knows that one of the most important concepts of film-making is visual presentation.  I mean -- what's a movie without anything on the screen?  The production designer is the person in charge of all of this.  This is an enormous task, and the production designer must oversee every single visual aspect of the film: this includes costumes, set design, lighting, makeup, props, hairstyles, etc.  Without a production designer, a film cannot exist.

Production design artistically expresses the film. Color palettes are chosen with extreme care, and all props must have a purpose.  The job of a production designer isn't to simply please the audience aesthetically.  If you look closely, you'll catch on to the subtle hints that are placed in the background.  There are many instances where production designers give away the entire personality of a character in a single shot, just by decorating the background effectively and carefully.

The short above perfectly encapsulates the importance and duties of a production designer.  The task is certainly not easy, as I am discovering first-hand. It requires many hours of hard work, research, and excellent communication between everyone involved in various aspects of the film.

James Franco Scandal

Now I'm usually not one for celebrity gossip, but occasionally I stumble upon something that I think is absolutely hysterical. This week was James Franco's 17 year old girl scandle from Buzzfeed. So according to the site James Franco messaged some girl from scotland via instagram because she was staying in New York for the week. The only problem was she was with her mother, and oh yeah, she is 17. I first read the messages and said "no way," but what forced me to believe that it was actually James Franco was the pictures he sent the girl. There was literally a picture of him with a letter of something she asked him to write for proof. What I think is humorous about this whole thing is I can totally see Franco being a little creepy when not in front of a camera. But what tops this entire thing off is that yesterday on the Kelly & Michael show Franco was interviewed and asked about this exact issue. When asked Franco's response was actually kind of respectful and intelligent. "I was just feeling awkward, I didn't want to come on the show and feel awkward. Yeah, I'm embarrassed and I uhhh… I guess Im just a model of how social media is tricky. It's a way of how people meet each other today.. But what Ive learned, I guess cause Im new to it, is that you don't know who's on the other end. You get a feel for them, but you don't know who your talking to. So, I used bad judgment, and I learned my lesson." So I guess the message of this blog is that stay away from James Franco if your an underage girl.

Canon Commercial: No One Sees It Like You

Canon Australia came out with a new commercial emphasizing on people's eyes and what they are seeing.

I thought this was a very powerful ad concept that shows amazing aesthetics through something simple as the human eye. In terms of production, the editing in this is amazing. Whoever edited this brought out colors in the eye so well and adding the visuals the actual characters are seeing into the eye was also  very cool. It is kind of odd that they made an ad about eyes, but I enjoyed it. It provides a powerful message saying that everyone is unique and you should see the world in the way you want to. The way you see things are not always the same as the way others do and that difference of views is what promotes individualism and creativity.

Emotional Simplicity As Shown in the Brilliant Disguise Music Video

            It’s a simple music video. One shot. No camera movements, just a steady zoom. A man plays his guitar in a kitchen. This restraint may seem to some bland and uninteresting, but it is in fact a testament to the power of developing a narrative and visual style to accompany the core emotions of your project instead of building upon it.

The song Brilliant Disguise, from the Bruce Springsteen album Tunnel of Love, was released as a single 1987. The song’s about the nature of identity in marriage, it is a contemplative piece about the doubts one feels about their significant other in a relationship, and the fears and pains that accompany them. The narrator and his significant other are clearly past the point of blissful love, that period of time where you are blinded by the pure overwhelming emotions of being attached to someone. He is still in love it seems, but now he is looking at who she really is and who he really is. And he can’t help but doubt.  

So tell me what I see
When I look in your eyes
Is that you baby, or just a brilliant disguise?

Is the person he fell in love with the person she really is? I mean, can you ever really know, understand a person’s pains? Fears? Hell, can you ever really understand your own? The song never addresses these questions, which ends up making it that much more powerful. It doesn’t give the answers for the dark underbelly of identity in a relationship, but simply brings them up and ponders the ramifications of them.  It’s a powerful testament to one of the many discrepancies in love, and a powerful one at that.
This is a complicated, unnerving emotion to render into a music video. The video was released around the beginning of the peak of MTV. Videos were starting to get really flashy; they’d have big narrative arcs that the songs would accompany and detail instead of having the images give flavor to the songs. That is not necessarily bad. Sometimes fancy editing and extravagant camera movements empower the creators and help them deliver their message. Sometimes it is simply a show of skill and prowess, unnecessarily clogging up their visual palette and distracting from the core emotions of their piece. So going into the music video, in that era, one would expect some sort of narrative showcase of Bruce with a wife in a variety of situations looking forlornly off into the distance. There’d probably be some real nice dissolves here and there, maybe the woman even stares at the moon from a balcony at some point, her dress waving beautifully in the night time winds.
Instead, in the hands of director Meiert Avis, we have a black and white video of single shot zoom in on Bruce as he plays the guitar. It’s uncomplicated. He just plays his guitar and sings while staring into the camera. At the beginning, we’re something like ten feet away from him visually. The kitchen he’s sitting in looks like a set.  It comes across as surprisingly gimmicky and cheap.

Well I've tried to hard baby
But I just can't see
What a woman like you
Is doing with me

But the song delves into the deeper and more emotionally stirring parts of the song. The camera keeps steadily zooming in on Bruce. His face is browbeaten and weary. Bruce’s singing, which was recorded live on set that day, which is an unusual practice, strains in parts. The polish is gone. Instead, these words are pouring straight from his soul. The kitchen keeps looking like a set, but it takes one a whole other sense of identity. This is where the romantic, idealized marriage should happen. Loved ones gather at the dinner table to bond. These meals should serve as an affirmation of love. It should be perfect. It should be the moment you look forward to at the end of the day. But sometimes our lives don’t live up to the ideals we hope to be true. And so the kitchen becomes foreboding. It is a dead hope; an ideal ransacked by the true nature of life, and this man can’t help but live with it. Love was never going to be this simple, but he can’t help but hope for it.
           The song ends on a final lyrical coda before an instrumental outro:

Tonight our bed is cold
I'm lost in the darkness of our love
God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he's sure of

The video, in turn ends on a tight shot of Bruce’s face. His very human, soulful stare is almost pleading to the camera as the song and video fade out. The moment haunt, and it fills the viewer with an impression of dread and fear. For the man, for themselves, who knows.

            This is not the convoluted narrative conclusion or a special effects laden spectacle of visual noise and aural bombast. No, this is just a man and his doubts. 

Elders React

One of my, and sure many other people’s, favorite things to do is waste time on the Internet watching silly videos. One of my top searches lately, is the React videos from TheFineBros. These guys are two brothers that create various videos showing different age groups reacting to different forms of viral media. My favorite specifically is Elder’s React. These videos feature different senior citizens, and their reactions to these videos and games. After they watch or play whatever it is that the episode is about, they are asked a series of questions, and the result is usually really funny. Here are a couple examples of Elders React:

I think the reason that these videos are so effective is because they reach many different demographics of humor. Because there are different categories from young children, to older adults,  all of the videos are very different and can reach people with different tastes in YouTube videos. I also have a soft spot for older adults, and watching them interact with technology is very interesting and funny to me. It reminds me of my grandmother, and having to teach her how to use Skype every time I call her. I would highly recommend these videos to anyone who enjoys humor and silly videos that can help get you through the day.