In 2011 J.J. Abrams released Super 8, a science fiction film about a group of friends who witness a train crash while trying to shoot a film and realize it was no accident. This then sets their small town into disaster by aliens. Joe is the main character in the movie who grieves about his mothers death and cannot seem to live with his father only. After the train crash, Joe and his friends continue to shoot the movie, but then realize that an alien has been carried out on the train and is now on the loose in the community.
1982’s original alien film by Steven Spielberg called E.T. (Extra Terrestrial) was about an alien who gets left off on earth founded by a little boy named Elliot who befriends him and takes good care of him. Elliot calls the alien E.T. and begins to feel the aliens feelings. Even though the American Force find out about the alien, and are in need of finding him, Elliot still has the courage to help the extraterrestrial return to his home planet.
Some may say that there are obviously a lot of similarities between the two movies since they’re both films about aliens but I personally don’t think these two movies even compare. I personally enjoyed E.T. a lot more than Super 8 because I felt that Super 8 had a lot of meaningless events like the random making of a movie that ultimately didn’t have a conclusion. In E.T. however, the plot carries out very smoothly with an unexpected ending. Although in Super 8 there was some humour involved, E.T. successfully used the alien to portray the comedy in the film. In E.T., Spielberg had one main focus which was the alien and no other distractions while in Super 8 I felt that there were too many minor problems like romance, filming a movie and a boy who grieves about the death of his mother. All these minor problems take away from the main problem which is that there is an alien in the community. Lastly, I liked how in E.T., the alien was able to speak some English words and communicate with others which added to the connection that developed between the audience and the alien, E.T.
In conclusion, overall I enjoyed the filming of E.T. by Steven Spielberg a lot more than the modernized edition called Super 8 by J.J. Abrams.
Super 8: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650062/
The Extra-Terrestrial: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083866/
This website is very informative, educational and interesting, filled with videos of talks by remarkable and intelligent people. It is one of my favourite websites because it has meaningful concepts and “Ideas worth spreading”. It is filled with videos and talks with the topics of technology, entertainment, design, business, science and global issues. These videos can be characterized in groups like newest releases, most viewed, most emailed this week, most comments this week, most popular this month, rated jaw-dropping and other topics like persuasive, courageous, ingenious, fascinating, inspiring, beautiful, funny and informative. This website has taught me many interesting facts and smart ideas in the past and is surely going to teach me much more about all kinds of topics in the future.
One of my favourite talks:
A virtual dictionary that teaches you new facts and uncommon and complex words everyday. This website is one of my favourites because not only is it a dictionary, but it includes links to a thesaurus, references, quotes, a translator and word dynamo. It also includes a daily “Word of the Day” with different and uncommon words that educate every user more and more on a daily basis. You are also able to connect this website to your mobile phone and create an account which will allow you to:
Not only is this website educational, but it is also fun since it includes games like word puzzles and daily crosswords. This remarkable website has many more features than any other ordinary dictionary book which increases its necessity in our daily lives.
Featured game called “Adlib”:
A place where over a million users become virtual journalists, this website enables everyone to provide their own opinion where millions of others will listen. Twitter helps users spread news within seconds and has the capability to spread world-wide issues faster than our local televised news. “Trending Topics” on twitter are the main reason why twitter can spread news faster than any other source. This feature takes the most recent and talked about topics on the website and provides them in a list where other people can share and talk about as well. By creating a free account, you are ultimately able to receive the most recent updates or “follow” the people, organizations and celebrities you care about. You are also able to provide a display picture, your own background and write about yourself in your own twitter page. Users are limited to 140 characters/words when “Composing a Tweet” or writing about whatever they wish, which forces them to condense their opinions and summarize their thoughts in a well-rounded and descriptive tweet. Users may also “Favourite” tweets which are then placed in an organized list of all their favourite tweets. Twitter is today’s most important news source to many age groups world-wide, making it an important way of communicating with others.
These are the type of movies I rush to the store to purchase the day they come out on DVD. They are the type of movies I will definitely stop flipping the channel for even if I own them. Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular order, here are my ultimate top 5 motion pictures:
1) “Wicker Park”- This movie is one of my all time favourites. It’s a romantic love story which has many ups and downs. It’s very suspenseful and keeps the audience at the edge of their seats. Rose Byrne plays the role of a desperate female who is aching to be loved, and in doing an incredible job, she became one of my favourite actresses. This dramatic, romantic and mysterious love story teaches the audience to think twice before trusting a stranger. It also teaches the audience to never stop searching for their one true love.
2) “WALL-E”- This movie has to be the most inspiring movie I have ever seen! I love it so much because of the meaningful message it portrayed, which is that every individual, no matter how small, has the capability to make a big change. “WALL-E” is an adorable, humorous and an inspiring film, which are all the elements needed to make the perfect movie. Not to mention the creativity in the story line and in the element of fantasy in the plot that most intrigued me.
3) “Identity”- This movie is the definition of suspense. I loved the thrill, and the element of horror it successfully portrayed. John Cusack, who is a classic favourite actor of mine, plays a major role in the film which made the movie even better. Many celebrities cast in this film at a very young age, like Amanda Peet, which helped their talent stand out immensely. Due to this movie’s mysterious plot, the audience became even more interested.
4) “Despicable Me”- It may seem like I love horrifying films full of suspense, but I definitely love a good laugh! “Despicable Me” is hands down my favourite comedy because there wasn’t a scene that didn’t put at least a smile on my face. I loved everything about it, the Minions, the 3 orphan girls, and even the criminal mastermind, Gru. It was so adorable, touching and absolutely hilarious. Steve Carell is a favourite actor of mine who plays a major role in this movie, and he is the main reason why this film is incredibly exhilarating. Steve Carell gave Gru an original character with an accent that has never been heard before. I loved this movie so much because it proved that even super villains have a soft spot in their hearts.
5) “Crash”- Last, but certainly not least, “Crash” is an incredible sad story that portrays a plot about injustice and the loss of redemption. The plot was able to bring together different characters in the movie that were involved in something much bigger than expected. These citizens all “Crash” and collide together in interweaving sad stories. This twist in the film was very fascinating, which drew the audience in. Sandra Bullock, a favourite actress of mine, played an incredible role in the film, which attracted me to the movie even more.
By: Safaa Alnabelseya
Social media has drastically changed our lives in a terrifyingly short amount of time. Not too long ago, communication was based on sending letters, talking on land-line telephones, and meeting in person. With new technology, people now communicate with one another by text messages, voice mail messages, using cell phones, sending emails, talking on headsets, using instant messenger, and interacting through the internet. It used to take time and effort to communicate with each other. Writing a letter, buying a stamp, sending it to the right address and receiving the message would sometimes take days. In our generation today, sufficient and accessible tools have been invented on the internet that help us send ideas, beliefs, and opinions about whatever we wish, however we wish to address the message, and to whomever, within a matter of seconds. This immeasurable change has not just redefined our communication amongst one another, but has managed to alter our lives completely. Social media now depends on what we reveal about ourselves, how we stay in touch with those around us, and how we receive the daily, global news. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Yahoo, Google mail, MySpace and many other online websites are now relied on for daily news, causing traditional advertising like newspapers and magazines to rapidly decline, while digital advertising grows. These online sites also depend on family and friend interaction, and any form of communication, affecting our future entirely, and surly the next generation.
“So what used to fit in your building, now fits in your pocket, what fits in your pocket now, will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years” – Ray Kurzweil
A “Did You Know?” Production
“Facebook May Lead To Psychological Disorders”
“EZ Eyes” Commercial
By: Safaa Alnabelseya
Documentary films are a re-creation of a non-fictional event, or life story that includes NO fictional content. People are so drawn into watching documentaries because they show an aspect of reality for the purpose of maintaining a historical record. Documentaries have the capability of changing the world, what we believe in, and the way we view people’s actions around us. But is that to our advantage? Does it really help the way we perceive the world around us and the daily issues we encounter? These diversions of reality can also effortlessly manipulate the truth and persuade the audience into believing the twisted truth. Even though documentaries are meant to be completely non-fictional, and filled with true events, they are most of the time a manipulation of reality; leading to nothing but brainwashed viewers. The art in documentary film making has been forgotten by most of today’s film makers, where an opinion is pointed out by exploiting the process of film making. Most documentaries nowadays are based on opinion, rather than on true events. Many viewers have been victimized into believing manipulations of the real story, and into what is being heard and seen in documentaries. I myself was also a victim of getting persuaded into twisted truths in documentaries. Since documentaries are a re-enactment of non-fictional events, why is it that viewers become so interested? If have they have the ability to form their own opinions and to voice what they truly believe about the truth, why is it that they go to documentaries when they require reassurance in their motives and beliefs?
By: Safaa Alnabelseya
TLC, also known as The Learning Channel, has started viewing an American, controversial show called Toddlers and Tiaras in 2009. The show basically features a number of young girls between the ages of 2 and 7 getting spray tanned and dolled up by their ignorant and selfish mothers. I do not see in anyway how this might be a ‘learning’ experience for any viewer, as the name of the channel suggests. It is absolutely disturbing to see these young girls wear very little clothing, fake teeth, fake hair and fake eye lashes to please viewers. I do not understand how these mothers think it is okay to do this to their children thinking they are going to live a normal life when they grow older, when really, they have been humiliated on live television in front of about 1.8 million viewers tuning in every week. Not to mention that these overweight, rich house wives clearly have nothing better to do than use their children to feel better about themselves, and thus end up taking the competition way too seriously teaching their children that without a winning crown, they are not pretty and that beauty is everything. They carelessly turn their children into BRATS, who cannot stand losing and end up disobeying anything their mothers say. This has a cause and effect on the child’s life in the future, implanting the idea that beauty is everything and that society views them based on how pretty their teeth are or how perfectly their face is painted. It does not make it okay for a mother to use her daughter just to enter a beauty pageant because she herself was not able to do so in her childhood. It is completely selfish of any parents to use their children as toys just to show off in front of other mothers and satisfy themselves in such meaningless victories that can have very negative adverse effects on the children. Do they not think about their daughters lives? Do they tune out the tears and anger that rages out of their 4 year old daughters, while they force cosmetics and bikini wear on them? There must be someone working for TLC that has the sense to pull the plug on this show and realize that psychological abuse is still a form of child abuse.
By Safaa Alnabelseya, A.K.A “The Teens’ Voice”
Everyone remembers their childhood best buddies, and all their adventures. All the times spent together playing outside in parks, or with a Barbie or toy cars. Watching “Stand By Me” directed by Rob Reiner and screen played by Steven King showed me a whole different view of friendship, intimacy, grief and bravery. Reiner brings back Steven Kings short story, “The Body”, in a visual component, symbolizing the massive affect someone can have in your life.
Set in the small town of Castle Rock, Oregon, in September 1959, 4 young teenagers go out on an adventure to find the missing body of a local teenager. Geordie (Wil Wheaton), a quiet and young writer who is unable to grasp his brothers’ death, is neglected by his parents. Geordie and his three friends, Chris (River Phoenix), Teddy (Corey Feldman), and Vern (Jerry O’Connell), travel the woods for two days, going through many obstacles. They smoke cigarettes, sit around in fires, tell dirty jokes and shoot pellet guns, wanting to become the local heroes who discovered a dead body.
Geordie, the misunderstood and juvenile child, is perfected by the actor Wil Wheaton, who is now a successful writer. I think he did a very good job, because he played the role of a courageous, smart and mature character. Chris Chambers, played by River Phoenix, is a rebellious, brave and somewhat of a sensitive character, due to everything he had experienced in his life. Phoenix does an amazing job as a tough young teenager, doing anything to protect his friends. Vern, played by Jerry O’Connell, is acted as a vulnerable, and cautious character. Vern is less brave than the rest of his friends, and thinks more effectively about the consequences of his actions. He, as well, had great effect on the story, and is played very well. On the other hand, Teddy, who is played by Corey Feldman, was not played as affective as the other characters. Teddy was trying to play a strong and heroic character, which was not achieved competently.
The movie “Stand by Me” contained many well played scenes by the 4 main characters. One of my favourite scenes was when Teddy felt the need to show himself and his friends that he is able to “dodge the train”, in other words, jump off the train tracks just as the train is about to hit him. I thought it was a very stupid thing to do, which is going to throw off the real purpose of their adventure, to find the dead body. It was my favourite scene because Chris saves his life, by grabbing him and taking him off the tracks, just as the train was about to hit them. It brought so much intensity to the film and excitement to the viewers. I also enjoyed the scene of when the 4 boys were sitting around the fire at night while Geordie told them one of his original stories.
There are many morals and lessons in the movie “Stand by Me”. The movie taught me that we all have memories that we cannot surrender which have the capability of changing our lives completely, and our future. It also taught me how much of a difference one individual can have in your life. For example, Dennis, Geordie’s brother, always motivated Geordie and that helped him become a wise grownup. When others watch this movie, their past childhood memories begin to circulate, the memories not always complete and sometimes out of order. This movie helps individuals remember the reasons of why people come in and out of your life on a daily basis.
The rating of this movie is R, which scares off most of the younger population. Since there is a lot of swearing in this film, I think it has an appropriate rating. Comparing the movie “Stand by Me” with today’s films is unacceptable. “Stand by Me” portrays a much more powerful meaning than the overrated, mainstream films of today. I definitely think everyone 16 and older must watch this film, for it will revive all past childhood memories.
Safaa Alnabelseya is a young, independent film critic, living in Canada. At the age of 16, she is studying a media course in Brookfield High school. In the beginning steps of striving to become a photographer, she is learning about modern photography, modern media and film. You can see her past photographs in the following link: www.escapetosafography.tumblr.com and read her past film reviews in the following link: www.inevitablemedia.wordpress.com