Bad Movie

 

Couples Retreat is a 2009 American romantic comedy film, rated PG-13. The film was released on October 9, 2009, in the United States and was mostly shot on the island of Bora Bora. Couples Retreat tells a story of four couples that try to solve marital problems during a weeklong retreat in Bora Bora. The cast includes Jason Bateman, Ken Jeong, John Michael Higins, and Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, who both wrote the script.Despite having a talented cast, the story lacks comedy and character specifics. I think this movie would have had more to offer if it was an R-rated film. It was missing some of the inappropriate jokes that could have given this movie the humor that it really needed to succeed.

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On top of the lack of comedy this film had to offer, the plot is extremely anti-climatic. This movie does not have a target audience, the jokes are mediocre and can apply to pretty much anyone. Couples Retreat was written and produced very lazy and unprofessional. As for the actual storyline, things do not take a surprising turn in “Couples Retreat”. Towards the end, the jokes slow down and the dialog becomes more serious. The movie shifts tones so much at last fourth of the movie that it feels as if they didn’t even know how to end the movie so they just decided to throw anything in to wrap it up. There is no climax and nothing that the audience can look forward to as a finish to this film.

 

 

Waze

Waze, is a GPS navigation software that works on both smartphones and tables with GPS support and provides turn-by-turn navigation, travel times, and route details, all submitted by the users of the app themselves. Waze is free to download and was first developed by Waze Mobile, an Isreali company. The app was later acquired by Google in 2013. Waze stands out for its user-reported upcoming accidents, traffic jams, speed and police traps. The app can also identify the closest and cheapest fuel stations near you, along with any pot holes ahead or vehicles reported on the shoulder of the highway. Because Waze gets most of its information like traffic and police reports from the Waze-users themselves, they encourage their users to report such hazards by offering points for each time they submit a report. Like most apps, there are optional add-ons. These include connecting your Facebook friends to Waze and have the option to notify them when driving through high-crime areas, or let them know that you are in heavy traffic.

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Users of this app are capable of displaying the map on their phone using various different color schemes. Waze 3.x offers thirteen different daytime color schemes, users can also create custom color schemes. The aesthetics of this app are personal to each user which makes this app more appealing to customers. Waze is very easy to navigate. Once you open the app it is set at its home page with an address search at the top, your home address (if you chose to set one), along with a work address, favorites and recent travel destinations. There are different ways to use the app, some people prefer to have no voice at all and only view the map, while others want to hear the directions while also being able to view the map. Something that I found appealing was the option to only hear the important traffic reports such as; police reported ahead, estimated time in traffic, and red light camera reported ahead. Waze has a feature that I personally use that allows you to hear the reports without having to put in a destination, for example, if you are driving to work and know exactly how to get there but want to know about the upcoming police reports, you can be notified of this without hearing the step-by-step route directions. This app is very user friendly and easy to navigate. I think the app could improve in ways, I think there should be an easier way to resort back to the app after closing it. If the app had a tab that popped up on the top of the screen, like google maps does, it would be easier for the driver to quickly go back to the map without looking at their phone for a longer period of time. Something that people always complain about, and is only getting worse is traffic, especially for people driving to and from work during rush hour. Waze has created a way to get around traffic faster then any other navigation app that I have tried. Waze will re-route you during your travels if it find that there is an accident reported ahead, it will direct you in a way to get around that accident without the driver even spending a minute in traffic, if possible. This app is a way to improve the social/cultural issues of traveling during rush hour, or getting around traffic during long car rides.

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Like I said earlier, Waze stands out because of its user-based reports. It is a different approach then most navigation systems or applications that are popular today. Once you download the app, you become a “reporter” for Waze. Waze will announce a report such as “Vehicle stopped on shoulder ahead”, when you reach the destination where that vehicles was reported to be, a thumbs up or thumbs down will pop up, if there is a vehicle stopped you are directed to report it, if there isn’t you are directed to report that there isn’t. The app makes it extremely easy for the users to help each other get around traffic, police, and anything that might cause your travels to be delayed. This app is definitely growing and has room for improvement, but I think overall it is a well developed app and is doing very well.

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train is a 2016 American mystery thriller drama film, based on Paula  Hawkins’ popular 2015 novel, The Girl on the Train. The film stars Emily Blunt, playing Rachel Watson, a divorced alcoholic who spends everyday commuting to and from the New York City after losing her job as a publicist. The story follows Rachel, as she catches daily glimpses of what seems to be the perfect couple, Megan and Scott Hipwell, from the window of her train every morning. One day, as she passes by the house that she waits to admire everyday and sees Megan with another man. This comes as something so shocking and personal to Rachel. Rachel gets off at the following stop with the intentions to confront Megan, but remembers nothing. The next morning, Rachel wakes up with bruises all over her body, a horrible hangover, and no memory of what happened the night before. That same morning there are reports on TV that Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes obsessed and invests herself into the case and tries to find out for herself what happened to Megan, and what exactly happened to herself that same night that Megan went missing.

The director, Tate Taylor, used different aesthetic qualities that were unique to each character. Rachel’s character is struggling with her alcohol addiction and how it has actually drove her to have trouble remembering what she perceives to be reality and what is reality. For a lot of the scenes that Rachel is struggling with this, the director used mostly hand-held cameras and the shots were often sped up at times, or drastically slowed down. Rachel seemed to be portrayed in a mostly grey, blue and greens to highlight her confusion. I noticed that it was not too easy to tell if Rachel was having a flashback or if what she was seeing was even reality because the cinematography was so steady. Megan was filmed in a much steadier camera that was much more like it was floating to show how Megan is seen to Rachel, as someone who is desirable to be and look like.

The story is told in the point of view of Rachel. Throughout the entire film, whether something actually happened or it was something we later found out Rachel was imagining, it was shown in flow with the rest of the film. The film shows time of conflict with its use of background sounds, camera angels, and color. In the scene where Rachel is starting to remember pieces of the night that Megan went missing, it is extremely intense. The camera zooms in and out, and there is intensely high pitching sounds and voices in the background. The energy of this scene is illustrated so perfectly to fit the emotions that Rachel is feeling. We don’t see much solution in this film until the very last scene of the film. At this point the camera is steady throughout the entire scene, the colors brighten up from grey and blues to yellows and greens to interpret the mood of the scene. I think both the conflicts and solutions told the story and showed the struggles that Rachel faced throughout.the-girl-on-the-train-image-emily-blunt.jpg

One of the main values or symbols in The Girl on the Train is lust. Rachel, a once happily married publicist, is now riding the train everyday to the city and back just watching life go by her. She fantasizes about the perfect suburban life that she once had as she drives past it day after day. Megan is a pretty blonde who lives in a beautiful home in Ardsley-on-Hudson with her handsome husband, Scott. Rachel gets so caught up in Megan’s life that she goes completely crazy when she hears the new of her missing. She treats this case as something so personal to her, yet she has not even met Megan once. maxresdefault.jpg

Critical Essay 1

2013_0821_Parks_and_Recreation_640x320_Mdot.jpgParks and Recreation is an American comedy TV show that was created by Greg Daniels and aired from April 9, 2009 to February 2015. Parks and Recreation had 125 episodes over seven seasons. The show takes place in Pawnee, Indiana staring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department in Indiana who tries to better her town by helping Ann Perkins, a local nurse that demands the construction pit next to her house be filled due to previous accidents. The two work together to turn the construction site into a park. Leslie is determined to turn the pit into a park, despite the resistance from the parks director Ron Swanson, an anti-government Libertarian. Mark Brendanawicz, the city planner insists that the project is too unrealistic due to the government red tape, but secretly convinces Ron to approve the project to move forward. 

I focused on Season 2, Episode 2, “The Stakeout”. In this episode, Leslie sets up a stakeout to try and find out who is growing marijuana in the garden she has in the pit, during this she also finds the opportunity to scout out Ann and Mark’s first date. Throughout, the show is filmed very loosely, which I believe adds to the humor and disorganization of the events that happen throughout the show. This “loose” filming would be better described as quick zoom in and zoom outs, sloppy cuts and the camera itself seems to be handheld throughout the entire episode. The dialog is very short, with a lot of quick back and forth conversations which is the style of humor the show follows, short and dry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkJJd7If0Aw. Parks and Recreation is very similar to aesthetic qualities that The Office portrays, a documentary crew filming everyone. There is not too much change of scenery, it goes from the office to the park and not much more in between. Both The Office and Parks and Recreation have short interview narrations with the characters discussing what happened during the day, or just a short 20 second comment about something that just happened in that scene which stands out as a different quality.

In this episode, there is not much voice over, or music it is based mainly off dialog. The story is told by the interview narrations, every so often during each episode the characters will be filled sitting in a room alone looking at the camera and talking about what is happening in the episode https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3j64lbavsY. The characters give their opinion on what is going on and this gives the audience a good idea of each characters personality. This is a good and humorous way to keep the plot organized by having the characters discuss the conflicts and solutions going on in each scene. I would say that this episode in particular, shows values of leadership. Leslie is the head of the project and throughout the episode, the plot is following Leslie’s order and the characters all look at Leslie for direction. I also think that the value of accomplishment and accountability play a role in this episode. This episode focuses on trying to keep the project in order and keep their approval to make the park without getting in trouble with the county.