Final Project

My final project is located here!

This includes a serious of blog posts. Four of these post are coupled with podcasts critiquing different films directed by Martin Scorsese. The films discussed are Gangs of New York, The Departed, Shutter Island and Hugo. The films have a variety of elements that are discussed. I primarily focus on plot, directing, and imagery within the films. I also review several scenes within movies.


Project Proposal


My project will focus on Martin Scorsese. I am a fan of his films. I will focus my project on four specific films; Gangs of New York, The Wolf of Wall Street, Shutter Island, and The Departed.

My plan is to have this project become a Podcast where I would talk about the Plot/Themes/ common aspects of Scorsese’s films.

The software I plan to use would be audacity to create the podcast, as we all have a bit of familiarity with it from one of our previous projects. I think focusing on Audacity will allow me to get a better handle on voice software; I am up in the air about making a slightly long video presentation. However I am not comfortable enough with keynote to use it. I have plans for a video project in my head but I don’t know if I can actually create it.

My plans for my project either Podcast or Video will require some background research on Scorsese and watching the videos a few times.

The background research will focus on reviews on Scorsese’s films and his common styles of directing. Raw materials will further include using a variety of youtube clips and probably a song or two in the background.

The audience for my project will be general public/ people who might not have seen the films.

For my project I would also include written blurbs on my blog about each movie and about Martin Scorsese.

The breakdown of the podcasts will be: First podcast includes a short introduction of myself followed by a summary of Martin Scorsese based on prior research and then a summary of the plot. From this point, I would find several specific scenes to review and I would focus on themes and trends of scorsese’s films.

The other three podcasts would focus on each movie but relate to the previous movies. The last podcast would probably be the longest and have a small overlap with the other podcasts. The reason I plan to have it this way is to make sure that my audience will be able to easily follow along based off the first podcast episode and can still benefit from any individual podcast.

The Keynote project, which is a maybe and a plan B would involve all for films broken down into 1 involved video project. This has the potential to be more focused but the risk is in my knowledge and comfort with keynote software.

Aspects of Movies/Trailers: Sound

Sound is a critical part of the movie experience. We recognize famous dialogue, specific songs, famous moments in movie sound like the Wilhelm Scream. These are memorable moments that can make or break a movie. Good music in the trailer can draw people in. Sound allows us to associate images or certain genres to films.

Pharell’s Happy is heavily associated with Despicable Me 2. I am not sure if this song was written for the movie or a pleasant fit. After seeing the movie this song is associated with dancing montages and to me that reminds me of Gru’s scene.

A great resource which is just one amongst many is:

*Will Update with more resource as I find them* or example of memorable sound from movies


Black Swan: Movie Review


Before Black Swan, I never thought a movie revolved around ballet could be so dark. Natalie Portman’s performance was amazing. Describing the performance in one word does not do it justice. The way she shows the transition from ‘White Swan’ to a ‘Black Swan’ was phenomenal. It confronted the audience with this idea of perfection and the struggle people go through to attain this idea.

This seemed more of an allusion towards mental illness to me. They showed with interesting concept of blurring reality between two people and in Nina’s psyche (Natalie Portman).

Nina’s struggle loose grip on reality shows the pressures of perfection. Natalie Portman portrays this struggle in a great way. Darren Aronofsky made great use of the metaphors behind the ‘Black Swan’ and ‘White Swan.’ It shows Nina’s transition from being innocent and perfect to being more risqué and not so innocent. Aronofsky all uses the music very as compared to other movies they are not often used or the use is ineffective. Aronofsky plays music throughout the film and uses at critical points of transition or moment when Nina starts envisioning herself as the ‘Black Swan.’

The idea that practice is not enough caused a psychological breakdown for Nina. I don’t know too much about psychology but that level of obsession and illusion makes me feel comfortable calling it such. Nina is told that technique is there but the feeling isn’t.

This film had its ups and down and draws the audience into her struggle. There were several points I did not like. The mother daughter relationship was interesting. Nina’s mom forced perfection on her daughter to a degree that any affirmation that she was not perfect caused a severe reaction. Lastly, this movie is not for the weak stomach. There were several cringe worthy moments the biggest of which is pulling feathers from her skin.

Paperman (2013): Critical Images

Every movie or TV show has a critical image that we can all relate to. In the Paperman(2013) there were a lot of critical images to choose from.

Paperman (2013) is a great short created by Disney depicting a meeting between a boy and a girl. For those of you who have never seen it I highly recommend it. In just 6 minutes and 30 seconds the story is told to us in an endearing and relatable way.

It is completely silent except for background music. A boy and girl is show at a train station and a miscellaneous paper in the boy’s hand slips and hits the girl in the face, where she accidentally leaves a kiss stain. As he notices it, the girl leaves to go on the train. Later on at work the boy sees that she is in the opposite building and try’s to communicate with her via paper airplanes. Countless of planes are launched until he is left with the faithful reminder of their meeting, the paper with the kiss mark.


This brings us to the image on the right. I found this to be the most powerful image of the short video. The boy is about to launch his last paper plane. This is all or nothing for him. The look on his face is one of hope and determination. To me, I found this as a reminder of the leap of faith everyone has to take at some point in his or her life. It may not be about a girl but it could be about anything. This single moment captured show how by investing in a little hope and determination you can achieve what you want.


The story continues on to show that a burst of wind carries of the plane before he could throw it. He chases after it but eventually gives up hope. At this point the Disney magic kicks in. All the planes come to life and lead the boy and girl together.

Its easy to write off a lot as Disney magic, however, it is the underlying message that we need to focus on.  Small meetings can be lead up to fate but if you don’t take a risk if you don’t launch that last paper plane you never know what might happen.

Movies in Frames (Tumblr): A Review

A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s a phrase almost all of us have heard at least once in their lives. With today’s technology we can capture almost anything in an image. This idea can be applied to movies. In fact, this has been applied to movies.

Tumblr is a popular website that uses gifs and images to describe a number of things.  There are so many sites where people use images, memes, and gifs to describe situations or reactions.

tumblr_mx6wkpNAtE1qzbykto1_1280The Tumblr Movies in Frames takes all types of movies and breaks them down into 4 images (as seen to the left). A movie can be broken into a thousand of images, so which ones do you choose. This website is interesting and telling in how most of the movies are broken down into images that explain a lot about the plots or meanings of the movies.

Life of Pi (on left) is a prime example. The movie is about this survivor of a shipwreck that was transporting his family’s zoo. This boy is trapped on a lifeboat with animals including a tiger. Towards the end of the movie it was hinted on that the tiger was actually the survivor himself and equated his experience as an on looker to animal behavior as the events that caused his survival were traumatic. I haven’t gone into too much detail as this is a great movie that I would recommend as a must see.  The image shows the tiger at different stages, and for anyone who has not seen the movie would assume life of Pi is about the tiger.

The Tumblr of Movies in Frames expands upon all genres of movies into easy to understand images. These are not just from one user but from a various amount of contributors.

It is a very creative way to examine movies. With the technology available today, it would be interesting to be able to break down the plot of a movie through 4 images. This is done very well in this Tumblr. On its face, the website is simplistic with dark colors in the back ground that remind me of a busy late night city. It catches the eye and shows a variety of movies that would intrigue anyone.

Twitter Challenge: Top 5 Movies Reviewed

In a 140 character I will break down my top 5 Movies.


@Dhruv_Patel1 Frozen, A, great movie with a greater message. Amazing cast of Voice actors. Disney steps out of the norm and redefines an act of true love.

A Few Good Men


@Dhruv_Patel1 A Few Good Men, A, great movie with dialogue everyone can reference. A great insight into our military; its actions & consequences.

Good Will Hunting

@Dhruv_Patel1 Good Will Hunting, A, Matt Damon & Robin Williams bring the film to another level. Storylines and characters create a must see movie.

Shutter Island


@Dhruv_Patel1  Island, B+, Leonardo DiCaprio does great in his role. Examines the struggle and seriousness of mental illness. Can watch anytime.

My Cousin Vinny

@Dhruv_Patel1  My Cousin Vinny, A, entertaining & smart. Great cast and great story line. Memorable dialogue and a great explanation of evidence.