Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dark knight movie review

The Dark Knight review

The bat returns and there's a new villain in town.

After a successful first film Nolan's Batman is back on the big the screen and this time he has a run in with everyone’s favourite clinically insane clown, The Joker. The Batman's arch nemesis, the joker has been terrorizing the streets of Gotham city and it’s up to the Batman and his entourage of Gotham city's police departments finest to stop him.

The Dark Knight the much awaited sequel hits the screens the first time this summer, it’s been 3 years since we last saw Christian Bale suit up for the big role and this time with scarier bad guys, bigger explosions and tons of sequences that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Since Batman begins Nolan has set the bar high, Batman fans will be critical as the past movies let’s say...were a tragedy, Tim Burton’s Batman was more comical than the Joker himself. Never the less Batman fans can sit back and relax; the latest edition of the DC comic adaptation will exceed your expectations.

The main question everyone seems to be asking, is Heath Ledgers performance as the Joker spot on? To sum it up yes. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the menacing clown was outstanding; he captures the random and psychotic characteristics perfectly. He makes Jack Nicholson portrayal of the Joker look amateur. What you can really appreciate about Heath Ledgers performance is that he focuses more on the mental aspect of the super villain, in the past we have seen a more comedic take on the role, but this time the joker is terrifying, insane and power hungry. The performance of Ledger will definitely give him a well-deserved Oscar nomination and most likely ensure him the academy award himself. So to sum it up Heath Ledgers performance was spectacular, he will go down in history as one of the best villain portrayals of all time.

The general acting in the film was all on point once again, although their performances will get overshadowed by Heath Ledgers outstanding efforts, we can’t discredit them. Gary Oldman once again nailed it as Gotham city police commissioner Gordon. It was almost like the veteran actor was born for the role, not only does he give an accurate portrayal of the commissioner, he looks almost identical, it’s like they’ve taken the character from the comics and brought him to life. The return of Bale is always enlightening to see. Once again he portrays the eccentric billionaire Bruce Wayne and the caped vigilante Batman perfectly. The croaky voiced hero was smarter, stronger and generally fantastic. We also see the return of Cillian murphy as Dr Crane, better known as the Scarecrow. Although he makes a short appearance at the beginning of the film, he’s performance was satisfactory once again. Aaron Eckhart makes his way onto the big screen as the infamous Harvey Dent, another fresh face to the series puts in a brilliant performance as the disfigured villain Two Face.

Although the acting is far from poor in the new blockbuster, it’s not the only thing the film can credit for. Cristopher Nolan once again can safely say he’s produced another masterpiece of a film. The dark knight has everything you would hope for in a super hero movie, he’s saved the Batman series and will soon be recognised as somewhat of an idol amongst Batman fans. The film was captivating right from the begging, the opening scene involves a bank heist which is cleverly carried out and you won’t anticipate how it unravels at all. There were several scenes which had me on the edge of my seat screaming at the screen, the battle of wits between The Dark Knight and the Joker was exhilarating I was glued to my seat constantly questioning who was going to make the next move. The characters were developed perfectly; we really see the characters in their true colours in this film. Over all the writing was impeccable, Nolan can give himself a pat on the back after the release of this film.

So in conclusion the Dark knight rises will have Batman fans, superhero fans and general movie lovers in awe. The film was highly entertaining throughout, Nolan has outdone himself. I highly recommend you see this film; in my opinion not only is it one of or maybe even Christopher Nolan’s best pieces of work and the best super hero movie I’ve seen make its way to the big screen, but it’s also one of the best films of this decade. Perfect acting, perfect story and perfect directing the Dark Knight will receive a well-deserved 5/5.

-A must see


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

camera shots/angles

Camera shots/angles-Low angle

The low angle, camera shot is when the camera is placed low and is looking up at something. The two examples i chose were from the movies, Transformers and Inglorious bastards. The low angle is widely used in movies to make something look powerful, large and physically dominant. The low angle facing upwards gives the effect that the audience are almost looking up at something. For example in the low shot taken from Transformers (picture on the left),
the low shot is used to make the robot seem tall.
The way the robot towers over the picture,gives the effect to the audience that the robot is large and physically  dominant.
In the picture to the right taken from the film Inglorious Bastards, the low angle used makes the two figures seem dominant and threatening as they're looking down at the audience. The low shot is used a lot in Tarintino movies, a very popular low angle, which is frequently used in Tarintino movies  is the famous 'car boot' shot. Its a low angle shot which is from perspective of a car boot. Tarintino has used this in a different way, instead of using it to make a character look powerful or dominant, he has used it to add mystery to the scene to get the audience questioning what the characters are looking at.  


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

camera shots/angles

Different examples of camera angles and shots

Wide Shot

The wide shot, is a shot covering a wide angle. This wide shot is taken from the film Zombieland, in the shot we can see the 4 main characters from the film in what looks like a large expensive house. The wide shot is generally used to establish the scene. We can clearly see this in the example above, in this scene the wide shot has been used to show the audience the environment the characters are in. The wide shot gives a detailed, large picture for the audience to see clearly. It also shows the scale of the scene compared to the characters. For example in this scene we can see that the four characters are in a very large, grand house.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Camera shots/angles

Different examples of camera angles and shots

Close up

A close up is a framing in where the object in is shown in a large scale in the scene. Most commonly a persons head from the shoulders up or an object which fills most of the screen. This example of a close up of Brad Pitt, is taken from the thriller Se7en. The close up is usually used to capture and portray the characters emotion\reaction in the scene, for the audience to see clearly. For example in this close up, we can see how the shot is used to capture the emotion on the characters face. We can clearly see that he is upset or confused, also that he feels threatened or he is angry as in the shot we can see he is holding a gun. Another example of close ups is when there is a close up shot of an object, this is usually done to signify the importance of an object or show how its is relevant to the scene for the audience.

Survey Response

From the research i carried using my survey results i concluded that:

8 people answered my survey and out of the 8 genres they chose...
2 people chose horror 
2 people chose action
1 person chose drama
No one chose comedy or sci-fi
1 person chose Romance\Romcom
1 person chose thriller
1 person chose option as other

Out of the 8 people who answered all were aged 16-18

Out of the 8 that answered my survey...
6 were male and 2 were female

Friday, 15 November 2013

Music in opening credits analysis-Django Unchained

The musical piece used in the opening scene of this film, was composed by  
Rocky Roberts and Luis Bacalov. The score was originally created for the film and was intended to be in the opening scene of the film. The piece sounds like and old western classic which complements the genre of the film.It uses various instruments like guitar which gives it the western vibe. It also introduces the genre to the audience, the piece introduces the wild western theme. The title of the film and character is in the song which gets the name Django stuck in the audiences mind, the song repeats it over and over which makes seem catchy. Another thing I noticed was how juxtaposition was used in the scene, the music seems up beat and you would fit perfectly in a more positive scene. For example in a scene where you see the hero triumph or defeat the enemy, instead the song is used in a scene where we see the main character enslaved walking across the desert. Tarinto does this a lot in his films, he uses songs in scenes which don't necessarily fit the mood. The idea of using music composed specifically for a scene has inspired me for my own media project. Me and my partner Tom Edwards are currently working on making opening title sequence to a film, as we are not allowed to use copyrighted music, this title sequence gave me the idea of using my own composed music for the title sequence.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

My Survey

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Evolution Of Special FX

I am going to look at how special FX have changed over time in movies. I will talk about how modern special FX have improved and the difference between old and new.

I will be analysing the special FX from the old Star Wars movies compared to the new, more modern day films. I will take similar scenes from two movies and then compare how the special FX have changed in both.
Star Wars Special FX Comparison Part 1

In this first clip you can see the  detail that has gone in to making it. The special FX at the time for this movie were ground breaking. Floors can still be seen thought, but that is expected considering this movie was released over 30 years ago. For example the back drop for some of the scenes looks unrealistic or blurry at some parts, some of the ships movement is sometimes shaky or doesn't look realistic. Some of the explosions seem fake and look a little out of place. Despite this the special FX used in this movie were considered the best of its time.

Star Wars Special FX Comparison Part 2

Straight away you can already see the improvements in this clip. This clip was taken from a newer Star Wars movie released at least 30 years later. Firstly from the clip we can see how the explosions look far more realistic, the flame looks more fiery and has a smoke effect which the explosions used in the older movies lack. The movement of the space ships looks more natural, in the previous films the ships movement on the back drop would sometimes look shaky or slow, in the modern day films the ships move far quicker and looks more natural on the back drop. Also the detail of the battle scene is far greater there is far more going on in the back ground than the previous clip. Another thing I noticed is when it films the actors inside the ship it looks more realistic, as in the newer movies the actions occurring out the window of the ship have great detail, where as in the previous clip the detail was worse. Overall the improvements made between the two movies are hard to miss you can see clearly with modern day technology how special FX have improved over the years. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

What is Mise En Scene

Mise en scene is  an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production. It mainly consists of a few different things..

The clothes or the outfits the actors wear in the scene

The different colours that can be seen throughout and the different tones, usually relates to the setting and mood/tone of the movie

How actors hair and make up is done to change their appearance based on the characters they play.

This is the location of where the film is filmed and what the set consist of.

These are objects/items used in a scene to add detail.

How the characters act and react on screen to portray their characters thoughts, feelings and actions.

See below for an analysis of Mise En Scene in a scene taken from a film.
Mise En Scene in movies-Saving Private Ryan-War/Drama Action

In this post I will be talking about the Mise En Scene in the short clip taken from the movie Saving Private Ryan. I will be taking about how Mise En Scene is used to present the theme and how it is used to show to add detail and effect to a scene.

Throughout the clip I will analyse the setting, costumes, props, how the characters act, hair and make up and colour.
In this scene we can clearly see that the setting used is some sort of beach. The scene is supposed to be a representation of the battle for Omaha beach, this battle occurred in ww2 when America was fighting Germany. So the setting used for the beach had to be well thought out, clearly a wide open beach was used to be able to film the battle scene on. The beach or set used clearly the movie companies needed permission to use especially has they had to make it look like a realistic battlefield so it would of been tampered with.

The costumes used in the scene are mainly US military outfits and obviously for the actors playing the Germans, the military outfits were German. The costume used had to be very accurate and detailed, for example for different ranking soldiers the costume were different. The costume were also tampered with, some had to be ripped and damaged for the scene to look realistic, bullet holes were added to some costumes helmets were dented e.t.c. This is so the scene looked authentic and realistic.

There were a lot of various props used throughout the scene, the props in the scene really add detail and make it seem like a battle field. Firstly all the soldiers were given guns, the guns them selves had to be realistic and an accurate representation. There were variations in the weapons individually, e.g. some soldiers were given rifles some had mounted machine guns. There were props used to make the battle scene look more realistic. Prop Czech Hedgehogs (the large metal structures placed across the beach front to stop the boats) were used to make the scene look more realistic. Then fake body parts were used to make the battle look gruesome and violent, for example we can see fake arms used and various other different limbs. Several different pyrotechnics were used to add effect of explosions, a perfect example of pyrotechnics used is the part of the scene where the flame thrower is shot and him and his fellow soldiers burst into flames.

The way the characters act throughout the scene varied, some of the actors had to make it look like they really were in  pain from the wounds their characters inflicted. Others acted in shock and horror at the events going around them, there was lots of screaming and shouting from the actors to really capture the emotion of the soldiers. There is a scene in particular where actor Tom Hanks puts in a very good performance, right of the beginning of the clip he really portrays shock very well.

The hair and make up is mainly used in the clip to make the soldiers look gritty and worn out, its also used to create fake wounds for the characters like cuts and blood marks. All of this is to make the continuity of the film better, things like dirt marks and cuts are used to make the scene more believable.

The colour throughout the scene is very dark and gloomy this done to capture the gritty tone of the the scene. This is also because of the destruction the smoke and ashes portrays the grey and black tones. Also there is a lot of red from the blood of the fallen soldiers, the sea lapping across the beach in the scene has been purposely stained red in order to make it look like the blood of the soldiers has polluted the sea on the beach front.

From all of this you can see how Mise En Scene is important and how it really changes a scene.

Friday, 8 November 2013


In movies the opening scene is usually very important for several different reasons. Drawing in the audience is very important and often first impressions are key when it comes films. Its important to draw the audience in from the start so they entertained throughout. There are several movies that achieve this for example the Dark Knight Rises achieves this perfectly. The opening scene to the film involves an action packed bank robbery, the scene immediately grabs the attention of the audience.

Another reason the opening of a movie is important is setting the tone for the movie, straight from the go the audience need to know what type of movie it is. Its important to capture the theme of the movie in the opening minutes of the movie. This is so the movie seems consistent and the audience know what there walking into. Its also important to show what genre the film is from the start as well, an action movie would usually start of with a scene...well action packed! A perfect example of a movie which shows what type of movie is from the start is, Saving Private Ryan. The action/war drama from the starts with an action packed, realistic scene where American troops storm Omaha beach. The scene is very graphic and it captures what seems a very realistic depiction of what the battle and war was like.

Its also key that the opening scene of a movie introduces characters and the setting this can be done in various ways. Also its important that the movie that the cast is introduced this is usually done through title sequences (see below for examples) which sometimes can tie in with introducing characters as well as actors and cast.

These are a few important reasons to help you understand why its so important for a movie to have a good opening, for more detail look at some of the examples below.    

Thursday, 7 November 2013


The crime drama catch me if you can, is a true story based on the life of Frank Abagnale who earned millions of dollars at a very young age by conning people. The movie was directed by Hollywood giant Steven Spielberg, also some very big names feature in the movie as well. Critically acclaimed actor Leonardo Dicapro  has the lead role, portraying Abagnale. Also Oscar winner Tom Hanks plays the FBI agent chasing Abagnale. The movie mainly consists of the Tom Hanks character chasing Dicaprio's character.

The title sequence of Catch me if you can is entirely animated. The scene portrays the events of the movie in short animations, this is a really good technique used as it helps the audience understand what the movie is about. In each scene it shows Dicaprios character, Abaganale getting chased by FBI agent Carl Hanratty Tom Hanks character. Straight of they introduce both actors are introduced  in a very creative and imaginative way. When we see Dicaprio's name appear in bold letters on the big screen his characters animated representation uses the cover of the title to disguise as an airline pilot. When Hanks's character appears the actors name appears as title next to the animated representation. Throughout the whole sequence there are various other ways the titles interact with the animation, for example there is a scene when an elevator is attached to one the names of people associated with the film. By involving the different titles into the animations I believe is a very clever method to get the audience focusing on titles more. The music used composed by Jon Williams as well is also perfect for the scene, the music used is very sinister and mischievous and which fits the characteristics of a con artist. Overall the opening sequence to Catch me if you can is very clever and well thought out. The animated sequence turns a simple old title sequence into entertaining cartoon, in which the audience can enjoy and be satisfied.  

Spiderman 2 opening scene analysis

Analysis of the opening credits of Spiderman 2

Spiderman is a super hero movie arrived from the  original marvel comic book by written by Stan Lee. Spider man 2 is the second in the Spiderman series of movies. Like the first it was a huge hit and one of the first of many Marvel movies soon to be released. The movie had some big actors to its name including Toby Migure, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco.

The opening scene of Spiderman 2 is very famous for the amount of detail there is. Everything used to make the scene really captivates the heroic theme of the movie. Firstly what the editors did well when making the opening scene, was making it in a comic book style. I think this reminds us as the audience of what type of movie Spider man is, the comic book theme really accustoms to young children and grabs their attention right from the start. Not only would young children appreciate the comic book style but so would the older generation, the adults that read Spiderman comics as a kid are finally seeing the Super hero burst onto the big screen. The music used throughout the scene changes and almost tells a story. Firstly when the music starts it shows pictures of Spiderman and his friends and family, at this point the music is bold and heroic. Then the music starts to grow more sinister and we see more darker negative pictures like, the character Peter parkers (the real identity of Spiderman) uncle dead, in Peter parkers arms or the villain from the first film the Green Goblin. Gradually the music changes throughout until eventually at the end of the credits the music builds up and ends of on a big finale almost preparing you for the movie ahead. The colour used throughout the opening credits is red, black and blue which is the colour of Spiderman's costume, this allows the audience to associate these colours with the superhero.

In conclusion I think the way the opening credits for Spiderman 2 has been put together fits perfectly with the movie. The comic book style captivates audiences of all ages and at the same time looks artistic and creative. 

Se7en opening credits timeline and analysis

TITLE SEQUENCE TIMELINE 0:02-Music starts, cuts to the main title scene

0:05-New line cinema(associated company)

0:08-An Arnold Kopelson Production

0:11-A film by David Fincher

0:15-Brad Pitt

0:20-Morgan Freeman

0:25-Se7en (Movie title)

0:29-Gwyneth Paltrow

0:33- Richard Roundtree

0:38-R.Lee Emey

0:41-John C.Mc Ginley

0:48-Julie Araskog and Mark Boone Junior

0:55-John Cassini, Reginald E.Cathey, Peter Crombie

0:58-Hawthorne James, Micheal Mussee, Leland Orser

1:05-Richard Portnav, Richard Schiff, Pamala Tyson

1:11-(actors credits end) casting by Billy Hopkins, Suzanne Smith and Kelly Borden

1:118-Music by Howard Shore

1:23-Costumes designed by Michael Kaplan

1:25- Edited by Richard Francis

1:28-Production designed by Arthur Max

1:36-Director of Photography Darius Khondji

1:41-Co production-Nana Greenworld, Stephen Brown, Sanford Punilch

1:44-Co executive producers-Lyn Harris and Richard superstein

1:52-Executive producers-Gianni Nunnuri, Dan kolsrad, Anne Kopelson

1:55-Written by-Andrew Kevin Walker

2:00-Produced by- Arnold Kopelson, Phyllis Carlyle

2:06-Directed by-David Fincher

2:09-Title sequence ends cuts to a different scene movie starts


The movie 'Se7en' was an iconic thriller released in 1995, its about a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motive to kill. The movie directed by David Fincher had a range of big time actors like Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman to credit for, the movie proved a large hit in cinemas and has been very popular since.

The opening sequence to the blockbuster thriller 'se7en' is clever and well thought out as it really sets the tone for the film. You can clearly see  the opening title sequence took a long time to make, as it has various different pictures, animations, clips e.t.c. Firstly the soundtrack used for this clip, closer (precursor)-Nine Inch Nails, was perfect as the underlying tone to the soundtrack was eerie and mysterious, it almost sends a chill down your spine just listening to it. The footage/clips used in the title sequence also achieve this. it shows a range of different clips of man doing several things like taking newspaper clippings or taking pictures of people and cutting them into size. These various activities that the man is doing make him seem obsessive and the things he is doing seems unnatural and extraordinary. The vibe given off is that he is some sort of psycho path and that in the clip we are watching, the man  is hinted to be a serial killer maybe even from the film. This also gives the audience an idea of what the killer is like from the moment you start the film, its almost like we are introduced to killer but in an impersonal fashion, which gets the audience thinking straight from the beginning about the identity of the killer. Another way the clip captivates the creepy vibe is through the various editing techniques and the animations the editors use. The animations used to transition between each and individual title sequence is jumpy and random, also random scribbles and text appear behind or in the back ground. Each transition usually jumps or flashes to a new scene which feels unnerving and and hallucinogenic. The way the whole clip is edited seems disorganised and unpredictable, like a serial killer and in a way it almost seems like the killer made the scene him self. The colour used in the clip was dark and gloomy a range of greys and blacks were used. I believe the colour used in the title sequence is perfect as it seems depressing and gloomy.
In conclusion the opening title sequence for Se7en is perfect, from the choice of soundtrack to the editing techniques used it really captivates the dark and mysterious tone of a murder mystery/thriller.