Watchmen

1: Analysis of the Book

 

The Watchmen book isn’t actually a book, but is instead a twelve-issue comic book limited series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. They were originally published by DC Comics as a monthly, limited series from September, 1986 to September, 1987.

 

One of the main themes of the comics is the threat of nuclear annihilation. Since the setting is 1985 and the United States and Soviet Union are still in the Cold War, this is perhaps predictable. Another theme of the series is human morality, which each of the masked adventurers seems to have a different take about. An example is Rorschach who is a strict absolutist, while the Comedian is a relativist. A third theme is the conspiracy theory of history and the resulting apocalyptic attitude. The Comedian exemplifies this attitude by saying that it is foolish to bust the organized crime ring because “the nukes” are going to end it all anyway. For Moore and his readers, the comics are a way of engaging in adult themes, political history and philosophy.

2: Analysis of the Film

 

Going from a comic book to be a movie version is hard enough, but to make it into a live action movie is even harder to do. This movie has been in production since 1986 with two movie versions that failed to ever gain traction. Because this movie was based off a comic book, ten visual effects companies, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Intelligent Creatures among them, came onboard to help with the film. It ended up having 1,100 shots featuring effects, with a quarter of them being computer-generated imagery. Snyder’s first cut of the film was three hours long, which is way too long for a movie of this magnitude, so he decided to edit it down to 162 minutes. Zack Snyder and the composer for the movie, Tyler Bates, listened to the soundtracks of 1980s films such as Manhunter, Blade Runner, and To Live and Die in LA for inspiration for the score. Bates used some of the songs mentioned in the comic, and that became a challenge for him because composing music that would transition effectively into these famous songs was difficult. 

3: Analysis of the Adaptation 20th Century Fox initially was going to be making the comic into a movie, but that never came to fruition. The unproduced movie went from one major film studio to another and in December 2005, Warner Bros. became officially involved in the film. Alan Moore, the original writer of the comic, was initially excited that the comic was being adapted to the big screen. However, when a disagreement over the film adaptation of V for Vendetta came into the spotlight, Moore called off all involvement for film or television adaptations. In fact, right before filming ended in February of 2008, 20th Century Fox brought a lawsuit against Warner Bros. that alleged copyright infringement on the film. Although the development of the film had been delayed for many years, in the end Warner Bros. was able to make a far more sophisticated film due to the many technical advances in the industry that took place during that time.

4: Online Research

http://watchmen.wikia.com/wiki/Watchmen_Wiki

This is the Watchmen Wikia which is a collaborative website about Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ graphic novel which is a major motion picture now.

 

http://www.watchmencomicmovie.com/

This is a fan site for the Watchmen comic book mini-series and the movie.

 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Comicbook/Watchmen

This is the TV tropes site for the movie. One of the Tropes from the movie include:

Alternate History: This trope is very obvious from the movie, seeing how Doctor Manhattan greatly changed the world, since he can synthesize normally rare elements and win wars single-handedly.

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/Watchmen/comments/1g25g3/would_watchmen_have_worked_better_as_a_netflix/

This site is basically a place where people post things on the site and where fans of those things respond to it. This post is very interesting because he thinks the movie would have worked better as a Netflix Original Series. Some people are agreeing with him, and some others disagree. This two to three hour movie is overlong as it is, yet many parts had to be left out. To remedy this, someone thought that a twelve-hour mini-series would be a better format for this material. I agree!

5: Critical Argument Paragraph

After viewing the “unfilmable” films in our class (Tristram ShandyAdaptationA Scanner DarklyWatchmen), which do you think is the most unfilmable? Why?

 

Is this question even a normal question??? The movie that has to be the most unfilmable in our class has to be Tristram Shandy, HANDS DOWN! I think Tristram Shandy is  unfilmable for many reasons. For one, there is confusion about identity. An example is that Steve Coogan plays both Tristram and his father, which is confounding,  Another reason is that the movie shifts back and forth between Tristram’s life and the actors own lives, which is way too strange for anyone to realize what is going on. A third reason is that there is no discernable story line as the movie covers (like the volume it was adapted from) only the time of Shandy’s conception and birth. Watchmen  is a very watchable movie because it is adapted from a popular, contemporary comic book, while Tristram is based off a very weird book published in 1759.

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Adaptation Paper of Sherlock Holmes

1: Literary Work of the Holmes series/adaptations

There is no single Sherlock Holmes book, rather the famous stories written in the late 1890’s through early 1900’s, have been anthologized numerous times by numerous publishers over the years. In all, the complete Sherlock Holmes anthology authorized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the original creator of Holmes, consists of 4 novels and 56 short stories. These stories have been augmented by contemporary authors who claim to have “found”  Sherlockian stories. Since his debut into the public arena in a short story entitled, A Study in Scarlet, published in 1887, the character of the great detective has inspired a river of stories, movies, television and radio series, as well as a seemingly unlimited number of physical items as souvenirs of this well-loved creation of English literature.

The public attachment to the person of Holmes is the hallmark of his popularity. Since his inception, we have known Holmes to be a “singular” man of remarkable (but not super-human) reasoning skills, who is a bachelor, a loner and recluse, whose only known friends are Dr. Watson, his side-kick and chronicler of his triumphs, and his brother, Moycroft. It is peculiar that this anti-social man would spark such loyalty and popularity far after his author has passed. What accounts for Holmes’s popularity?

One reason he may have found almost instant popularity is the times in which he was created. In the late 1800’s, England (especially London) was undergoing a major transition to an industrialized city. “Nineteenth-century London was as much a city of science and art, theatre and literature as it was a commercial and manufacturing centre and a centre of poverty and crime.”

(http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/static/London-life19th.jsp). In fact the city of London where Doyle’s characters lived was the largest most cosmopolitan city in the world and had grown in the 19th century at a phenomenal rate. This backdrop of massive change, over-crowding, large and diverse ethnic groups and a vast gap between the wealthy and the poor (also known as the “criminal class”) may help explain why a character like the brilliant Sherlock Holmes would have been seen as a hero.  His main source of charisma is his mind, and it is a mind that can bring order out of chaos, and can get the “bad guys” dead-to-rights. He is a “modern” hero in that he uses his brain, not his brawn, and except for his sidekick, he works alone to bring justice to an increasingly amoral, confusing world.

 

The key to Holmes’s character is in his cool, non-emotional rationality. It is from his studied detachment that he can see into the nature of men and deduce much about their past and future. In an age before ours, before the explosion of knowledge, a diligent, disciplined student could have a passing acquaintance with many of the known fields of knowledge. Holmes was a student of men and their accouterments, and like an archeologist, he deduced men’s and women’s motives and actions from the “stuff they carried.” The miracles he performs are not supernatural, rather they stem from the gifts of every man. He appealed to the masses in the 19th and 20th centuries because he could make things right again by using his natural, although highly focused, gifts. This makes his triumphs all the more appealing because they seem so normal, so within reach of all of us. Sherlock Holmes might not have been a jovial or easy man to live with, but he is/was loved because he uses his gifts and talents for the benefit of all, with justice, integrity, and a levelheaded sensibility that most modern men wish to emulate.

The early adaptations to radio shows where the original stories were simply read and augmented with sound effects did justice to the original because it WAS the original, just in a different format. Later, the first movie (a 30 second item) about Sherlock Holmes was made, and when the motion picture industry developed, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s material was adapted to film again and again.

2: The 2009 Film

The 2009 film version of Sherlock Holmes is the latest in the series of new film and television adaptations of the classic tales of Sherlock Holmes and his partner/friend Dr. John Watson. This version of the movie portrays Sherlock as an action hero, which pleases the crowds of today. The filmmakers must have considered that a traditional Sherlock would make everything boring for today’s movie audiences. This contemporary Sherlock also differs in the qualities of the book version because he is way too arrogant and sarcastic; his constant squabbling with Watson in the movie was never before seen in the source literature. While this banter between the lead characters might be useful to keep the audience interested and amused, it detracts from our sense of Holmes’s original virtue. In fact, in the movie, Sherlock occasionally exhibits a mean-spirited annoyance with his old, and perhaps only, friend. That said, in the book Holmes shows his highly civilized manners by gently patronizing Watson while simultaneously giving him a back-handed compliment. “‘It may be that you are not yourself luminous,’ Holmes tells Watson, ‘but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it (www.sherlock-holmes.org/uk/world/conan_doyle.php).’” From Holmes, this is high praise indeed.

The movie-version of Holmes can be painted as a tortured soul because he goes through what is “best described as sensory overload in which we see that his ability to infer lots of information from tiny details may be more of a curse than a blessing when there is no immediate puzzle to be solved, seeking out complex riddles in order to experience serenity.” (www.whatculture.com/film/how-faithful-is-guy-richies-sherlock-holmes-to-arthur-conan-doyle,php). This version of Sherlock also has a love for martial arts, which is shown in a few fight scenes in the movie, including the climactic fight between Holmes and the “aristocratic serial killer” Lord Blackwood on the yet to be finished London Bridge. Guy Ritchie makes a valiant effort to update the character of Sherlock Holmes and bring him into the 21st century. However, it is a losing battle because the more refined, civilized Sherlock cannot “exist” in today’s violent world without losing some of the very sterling qualities that he is known and loved for.

3: Interesting Problems and/or Questions Regarding this Film Adaptation

The books of Sherlock Holmes have been adapted into at least one hundred movies and about fifty TV shows since 1900. The Sherlock from the original books has characteristics that make him attractive to readers including his integrity, trustworthiness, rational decisiveness, lack of emotionalism, and intellectual superiority. These attributes are measured and reported by Dr. Watson, an educated man of the early 20th century. Watson (a doctor like Doyle) brings humanity to Holmes, who, without Watson’s sympathetic telling, would come off cold, inaccessible, and unpleasant. In the book, when Holmes finds something useful to solve a case, he moves frantically and loudly explains his find and its signficiance. In The Speckled Band he carries on about the deadly snake saying, “‘It is a swamp adder!’ Cried Holmes, ‘the deadliest snake in India. He has died within ten seconds of being bitten. Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another’” (Doyle, 37).

In the movie, when Sherlock has that sensory overload in the restaurant, it shows that he has a highly sensitive psyche for which he pays a great price. On the other hand, in the book, there isn’t really much that would lead to a similar conclusion. Yet, one could argue that his infamous cocaine use in the book is a sign of his overactive mind. In both book and movie, Holmes clearly has difficulty managing his own genius and temperament.

While Doyle’s Sherlock is portrayed as a man with weak social skills but a strong intellect, the Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock is a smooth talking, handsome, action-type character (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0988045/faq?ref_=tt_faq_sm#.2.1.33). One could deduce from the film that Guy Ritchie and Co. felt that the traditional intellectual Holmes would not translate well on the big screen for today’s sped-up, technology-rich, instant-gratification culture. So, to keep him alive, they sculpted Sherlock’s traditional traits to fit with contemporary expectations. As a thinking-man’s action-hero, this new Holmes attempts to bridge what was valued by a past civilization to the values of  post-modern society. How well he did this is in some respects chronicled by the excellent returns at the Box Office, and by 70% of the critics who gave the film positive reviews.  Whether this film will last in the public’s mind more than a century, as the source literature has done, is yet to be seen. 

Fantastic Mr Fox

1: Analysis of the Book

For anyone who has tried to “outsmart the system,” Fantastic Mr. Fox by the inimitable Roald Dahl is a fun primer on how to think outside the box.  The book is a great book to read aloud to young children and the drawings help to bring the story alive. What a fun story it is! Mr. Fox is clever, compassionate and brave. It is easy to root for this astute thief against the three meanest, most selfish farmers around. In typical Roald Dahl fashion, the hero must think of something no one else would guess to try—and it works! Mr. Dahl’s stories are known for their wit and their strong moral messages, which make them perfect books to read and laugh out loud with! Highly recommended for some positive, good laughs!

2: Analysis of the Film

The movie version of Fantastic Mr Fox is really good for a stop-motion animation comedy film. The characters of the film were designed by first making a drawing of each character in the movie, then sculptors began by fleshing out the drawing designs into three dimensions using plasticine clay. Each of the puppets in the movie was made into at least two different scales. Most of the animators who did the movie also animated Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. The soundtrack from the film was mainly just soundtrack songs, but there were also songs from The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and other artists. 

3: Analysis of the Adaptation

The adaptation of book to movie seems to be spot on in light of the fact that Anderson added a bit much to the story. Still, the general consensus seems to be that he has captured the spirit of the book. The one discrepancy that everyone seems to notice is that, while the book was written by a Brit, the movie was directed by an American. The possible significance of this is the difference between British and American humor; British humor tends to be whacky and cerebral, while American humor tends to be physical and slap-stick. These two modalities do not always mesh well.

4: Online Research

http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/the-best-movie-you-never-saw-fantastic-mr-fox

This site is a column that is dedicated to examining films that have flown under the radar or gained traction throughout the years, which have earned them a place as a cult classic or an underrated gem that was either before its time or has aged like fine wine. This is a really interesting column in how the guy reviews “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” He also goes to show that because the movie didn’t make much more money than its $40 million budget (it made $46million in revenue) it is considered a big flop as it failed to connect with audiences in theaters. But the very interesting thing about the movie is that it has since gained a small cult following, especially with many stop-motion animation enthusiasts. 

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2009/11/how-the-puppets-from-fantastic-mr-fox-were-made-slideshow

This is a very interesting site in which Julian Sanction describes how the puppets from this movie were made.

http://www.flicksandbits.com/2009/10/17/george-clooney-bill-murray-and-wes-anderson-interview/42/

This site has a really interesting interview from George Clooney, Bill Murray, and Wes Anderson from the first day of the 2009 BFI London Film Festival.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/FantasticMrFox?from=Main.FantasticMrFox

This is the Fantastic Mr Fox review from the Tv Tropes page. Some of the Tropes in the movie include:

Beserk Button: This is definitely Franklin Bean, considering how hard he tries to kill Mr. Fox, but always to no avail.

One of the funniest of the tropes in this movie is “Imperial Stormtrooper Markmanship Academy.” This meme is basically what it is called as the Stormtroopers are such bad shots. This happens when the Farmers and Snipers shoot away the wooden crates the gang is hiding behind until they are literally outlined. Then Ash runs a gauntlet while they fire enough ammo at him to supply the Normandy Invasion. 

5: Critical Argument Paragraph

Is the film nasty in its depiction of humans, particularly adults? Or does it reflect the way a child would view the situation (war against animals)?

I believe that this movie is pretty nasty in depicting the humans who were hunting the animals, as they sort of had a vendetta against the animals. While this war against the animals is very interesting and incredibly hilarious to watch, I believe that it does not reflect the way a child would view this situation. This movie did poorly in attracting audiences partly because many children would have a hard time viewing the situation of the war the humans had on the animals. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

1: Analysis of the Book

The third book in the Harry Potter series marks the beginning of a change from a fun, fantasy children’s adventure to a full-on dramatic story full of mistaken identities, misguided deeds and wonderful, magical coincidences. As the story develops, Harry becomes more adventurous and independent; he learns more of the truth about his past, and forges new allies with his parents’ old friends. A spiritual dimension also comes forward as Harry, the wizard-world’s hope for the future, battles the dark forces who steal souls and deliver death kisses. This book is certainly one of the favorites in the series as it has most all of the elements that make the world of Harry Potter such a rich one.

2: Analysis of the Movie

The movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is really good and very well made. Most, if not the entire movie was filmed in the United Kingdom and the Scottish Highlands. For the scenes that included the Dementors, the director initially wanted to use puppetry instead of the regular CGI, but once it became apparent that puppetry would be too expensive and unable to portray specific elements of the Dementors, Cuaron turned to CGI. A well-known technique that was popularized in “The Matrix” series of films, called Bullet Time, was used in the Knight Bus segment when Harry was being taken to The Leaky Cauldron.

3: Analysis of the Adaptation

While the movie edition tries hard to stay true to the movie, there are times where the movie can’t exactly stay true to the book. For example, in the book when Harry is in his first anti-dementor lesson, he tries to ward off a dementor twice before successfully doing so. However, in the movie, he only has to do it once before succeeding. There were also some characters, which while in the book, never made it into the movie, which included Colin Creevey. At the time of its publication, Azkaban was the series’ longest book. Because of this, the increasing plot complexity necessitated a looser adaptation of the book’s finer plot lines and back-story. 

4: Online Research

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban_(film)

This site is part of the Harry Potter Wikia, a wikia dedicated to all fans of the series.

http://getglue.com/movies/harry_potter_prisoner_of_azkaban/alfonso_cuarn

Interesting site that shows all the trends, like a twitter page, on the movie.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harry-Potter-and-the-Prisoner-of-Azkaban/112382848775528

A facebook page about the movie, which is really just a wiki page on facebook.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban

The TV tropes page of the movie. One of the most obvious tropes from this movie is “The Alcatraz”, which in this case is Azkaban. One of the most popular tropes from the movie series is “Chekhov’s Gun”, which is a literary technique whereby an unimportant element introduced early in the story becomes significant later on. This Trope happens almost all the time with all the wizardry things going off.

5: Critical Argument Paragraph

To many critics, Alfonso Cuarón did a good job in the film in steering the Harry Potter series in a darker direction. How is Prisoner of Azkaban “dark”? And how does this relate to the growing maturity of both the main characters and the actors?

Basically, the Prisoner of Azkaban can be considered a “Dark” movie because of all the dark related beings that were introduced in the movie and that one very dark place that our heroes were first told about during the movie. The first dark related beings are the Dementors, and they are dark because they basically feed off human happiness, and in turn cause depression and despair to anyone near them. Azkaban is first mentioned in this movie and it is a very dark place too because this prison had Dementors acting as the guards. As a result, most of the prisoners eventually went insane and slowly died under the Dementors’ influence. This relates to the growing maturity of both the main characters and the actors because in the next film, “The Goblet of Fire,” the one who must not be named (otherwise known as Lord Voldemort) rises from the dead and starts going off on his legendary killing spree. With the next movies, the main characters start going off in very dark directions, which can include killing, magical curses, and anything that has to do with dark Lord Voldemort.

A Scanner Darkly

1: Analysis of the Book

A Scanner Darkly, written by Philip Dick, is partly autobiographical about Dick’s personal experience in the drug world of the 1970’s.  Apparently, he was quite a user himself and nearly suffered the fate of many of his friends – those names at the end of the film. The book chronicles the story of a group of “guys” who live a drugged out life of depravity in Southern California. Their shabby surroundings mirror the chaos of their minds and relationships. On one level the book is an anti-drug parable—who would want to use mind-altering drugs after reading this book? However, digging deeper, one perceives that Philip Dick had a much larger scope in mind. The book uses the mind-altered drug state as a metaphor for the philosophical concern about the nature of reality. What is real depends on the mind of the person asking the question….Of equal importance is the dystopian theme of a society completely controlled by an omnipresent government. The corporation NewPath is a metaphor for a government that controls its citizens by addicting them to drugs and then “rescuing” them from this very addiction—after they have lost their sense of individual purpose and identity. In sum, “A Scanner” provides a very dark view of the world indeed.

2: Analysis of the Movie

The film of this book is creatively done using the technique of rotoscoping on top of the image of actual actors. This is a very creative technique, developed by Linklater in his film “Waking Life,” that is not often used, yet it lends itself perfectly to Philip Dick’s book. The scramble suit, an imaginative and artistic tour de force is a skillful adaptation to film of the book’s focus on drug-induced hallucinations. By making a smaller budget, more personal film of this autobiographical book, Linklater pays respect to the author who gave us other thought-provoking sci-fi stories such as “Minority Report.” Film critics as well as fans of P.K.D. material hail this adaptation as worthy, provocative and effective. The film was screened at Cannes in 2006, the year it was released, and was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 2007.

3: Analysis of the Adaptation

The movie adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly” is said to be the most accurate adaptation of Dick’s many stories. Other adaptations of his work include movies that take their ideas from Dick’s literature,

4: Online Research

. Among some of the more interesting reviews of “A Scanner Darkly” are:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/AScannerDarkly?from=Main.AScannerDarkly

After a brief plot summary and movie background, there is a list of the movie’s tropes. Examples of these tropes are:

a. The Dead Have Names. This refers to the list of names at the end of the film which were Dick’s friends who were harmed or killed by drug use.

b. Full Body Disguise. This refers to the scramble suits

http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132320

This review does a succinct job of reviewing the plot, cinematic effects and genre concerns of the movie. It also sets the book/movie into the body of Dick’s work, making it clear that Linklater did a faithful and respectful job of adapting this difficult piece of work. It makes the distinction that while it is essentially a “downer” movie, its intelligence makes it “near essential viewing.”

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14817.A_Scanner_Darkly

This mega-review site contains many excellent summaries of both the book and movie. Of the published reviews, most affirm Linklater’s adaptation of this complicated, layered book. With this book, Philip K. Dick secured his place as a serious sci-fi writer with an important message to deliver. One such reviewer said of the book, “Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick’s industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

5: Critical Argument Paragraph

In the film, the flower that is the main ingredient of Substance D, or “Death,” is called Mors ontologica, which translates as ontological death, or death of being. How does this flower represent the main philosophical concerns of the film?

The little blue flower that Bob/Agent Fred sees growing in the dirt under the stalks of corn in the cornfield is the main ingredient of the drug “D,” also known to druggies as “death, “ as in, “Let’s go home and do some death.” It is ironic that this flower’s name in the film is Mors ontological – or death of being. One of the main themes of the film is how the drug D affects its users by loosening their ties with what we commonly think of as “reality” and leaving them empty and depressed. This emptiness is characterized by a loss of human feelings along with a loss of rational thinking. The relationships of the characters to each other, all of them addicts, are shallow and devoid of empathy. When Woody Harrelson’s character, Luckman, falls to the ground and almost dies, Robert Downey’s character, Barris, can barely rouse himself to call emergency services. Similarly, there is no love lost in the unromantic sex scenes between Bob and his girlfriend, Donna. In fact, as her face changes in front of him, it is clear that he is not exactly sure who she is. Later it turns out that she is an agent who is using Bob/Agent Fred, making him an addict and sending him to New Path as an unwitting undercover agent. She feels slightly guilty about this, but her co-agent tells her not to. In a world where few if any know who they are or who the other people are, it is nearly impossible for anyone to have a grounded, whole sense of being. This loss of the valued human traits of empathy and rationality is what is meant by “mors ontological.”

No Country for Old Men

1: Analysis of the Book

The book, No Country for Old Men, written by Cormac McCarthy, is described by some as a “gothic western.” This term is no doubt meant to give the sanction of a genre to a very dark story of good versus evil in the modern American West. The novel could also be described as “surreal.” The landscape and action are described in purely realistic terms, while the characters seem to be exaggerated versions of their type. First, we have Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, the lawman, who is the aging hero. He exemplifies the stoic virtues of his type; he believes in truth and in his duty to find it. Opposing him is the almost purely evil character of Anton Chigurh. He is almost a caricature “bad guy” who has no mercy and shows harmful intent towards all who cross his path. The game between these two and a third character, Llewelyn, dominate the book.

In essence, “No Country” is a crime story, a detective story and a moral fable rolled into one. This makes the book, as well as the film, enjoyable because it can be followed on several levels at once. The action-thriller part keeps one’s interest, while the theme of fate versus free-will makes this a book worth one’s time and attention

2: Analysis of the Film

The movie felt like it was very realistic. The cinematographer does some very good camera moves such that the audience doesn’t even know the camera has moved. There are large sections of the movie that have no music soundtrack, and some of the scenes are entirely wordless. The directors are masterful at having the actors communicate their moods and thoughts with body language and facial expression.In addition, the use of voice-over narration by the character of the sheriff helps define the meaning of the story.  The mood of the Southwest is communicated through the immense and forbidding landscape which almost becomes a character in the film. A couple of locations in the book that couldn’t be done in the movie for obvious reasons: the U.S.-Mexico border crossing bridge and the Border Checkpoint. The filmmakers had to improvise, so the U.S.-Mexico Border crossing was actually a freeway overpass in Las Vegas and the Border Checkpoint was set at the intersection of Interstate 25 and New Mexico State highway 65. Nevertheless, these alternate locations feel to the viewer like the “real” things. The Coen brothers are known for the excellence of their craft and this film is no exception.

3: Analysis of the Adaptation

Reviewers agree that this film adaptation is in almost perfect consonance with the book, given the differences between film and literature. The movie follows the book in plot, character and even dialogue. The film follows the book’s sparse stark view of the American southwest in its quiet soundtrack and its vast panoramas of desert scenes. On the other hand, the filmmakers are able to speed up the action and create even more dramatic tension with cross-cutting between characters, letting the audience agonize over a tense scene while learning more about a different character’s piece of the story. Also, by putting faces, voices and costume to each character, the filmmakers influence our perception of what is going on and what the meaning of the story is. By making Sheriff Bell and Llewelyn into recognizable and likable people, we are ready to sympathize with them as opposed to the absolutely weird looking, black-shirt wearing, and totally unsympathetic, “devil” character, Chigurh. The film uses every aspect of the medium from actors, to colors, to expert editing to create a distinct and memorable film version of an interesting book.

4: Online Research

http://www.lazydork.com/movies/nocountry.shtml

This website is very interesting because it is the “No Country for Old Men” drinking game!

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/No_Country_for_Old_Men

This website is part of the Internet Movie Firearms Database, and it shows every single gun that was used in the movie. What is very interesting about this site is that not only does it list the guns in the movie, it also gives examples of when each particular gun appears in the movie including scenes in the movie and promotional shots from it. This is a really good website in case you want to know what gun is in a particular scene and when it is used and by whom.

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/lists/10-best-movies-of-the-decade-19691231/no-country-for-old-men-19691231

This website is a list of 10 best movies of the decade, with “No Country for Old Men” being specifically at Number 5.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/NoCountryForOldMen?from=Main.NoCountryForOldMen

This website show Tropes, which are conventions and devices that are found within creative works, though this particular one shows the ones for “No Country for Old Men.” One of the most obvious tropes that is useful for this movie is the “Police Are Useless” trope, which is quite accurate throughout the whole movie. 

http://www.ericdsnider.com/blog/2008/01/02/no-country-for-old-men-the-status-of-moss/

This blog is really interesting in that it caters to the people that have seen the movie who have some strange theories in which they believe Llewelyn Moss might actually be still alive, as his killing was never shown onscreen. 

5: Critical Argument Paragraph

No Country for Old Men is undeniably violent and yet it is somewhat reticent about two killings, that of Llewelyn Moss and his wife Carla Jean. Why would the filmmakers decline to film their killings when so many other killings in the film are graphically shown?

“No Country for Old Men” is indeed an undeniably violent movie, considering how many people are viciously murdered by the character of Anton Chigurh. I think the filmmakers didn’t want to put the actual murders of Llewelyn Moss and Carla Jean into the movie because it would be too emotionally jarring for the audience. By the time Llewelyn and Carla Jean meet their untimely ends, the viewer has already been subjected to a series of brutally violent encounters between Chigurh and his victims. While most of these killings take place out in the middle of nowhere, the execution in close quarters of characters the audience has begun to root for might be too much for even jaded action-movie-goers to handle. One interesting thing about the killing of Llewelyn Moss and of his wife Carla Jean is that there is a small faction of fans who believe that he is still alive, but those fan theories are laid to rest in the blog above. As said before, this movie was disturbingly violent with the many cold-blooded killings that were shown.

 

Nik Wallenda crossing the Grand Canyon

Congrats to Nik Wallenda on being the first person to walk across the Grand Canyon on a 2 foot diameter wire, not having any safety nets, wires, or anything at all whatsoever! He crossed the canyon in under 30 minutes at 22 minutes and 54 seconds!