Season Finale Season

It’s that time of year again. School is gradually winding down, with about 7 classes left to go. But there are other big changes in the air, well actually on our TV screens. May is the time of year when our favorite TV shows leave us for a few months, and of course the annual cliffhangers are sometimes what most fans dread the most. Cliffhangers are a simple way to bring people back to watch again next season and watching my favorite shows finales this year made me realize something I never have before. Writers are clever. Okay, I have made that connection before. Especially, when watching a comedy and really laughing harder than I ever have before, and thinking “Wow, I don’t know if I could write jokes that good.”

But what I am talking about now is that how season finales have so many layers too them; they must pull together all the story lines of the season, they must purpose new questions for the audience to ponder over the summer and overall as I mentioned they must be clever. Some go for the shock factor, the emotional factor, or the action factor, or usually a combination of all the elements that their show portrays.

Most plot twists have been re-done over and over but if writers are clever then they do it in a whole new way. They make people think they’re going one way when they go another, they make people think one person is a villain when really it’s another. Writers are creative, and must work with what they are given. I don’t mind the occasional ending of a show where everything is wrapped up in a nice way and the characters took care of what needed to be done and they’re simply taking a break with us over the summer. But it’s okay to have shock every once in a while.

But we, as fans, expect those huge shocking twists, and I guess I want to thank the writers and show runners for pulling them off for all the years television has been around. Thanks for making us think. Thanks for making us wonder.

Season finales must show that the characters learned something that year, that somehow they grew, and the audience grew with them. It’s the showcase for all of the build-up and the tension, and it makes me realize that these producers, writers, creators are very good at what they do.

Thanks for all you give us, season finales. See you next season!

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Blood Diamond

I recently watched this movie in my law class, and I was absolutely blown away by it. Obviously this movie touches on a very serious subject of the blood diamond industry in Sierra Leone in 1999.   This movie also focuses some time on the child soldiers during this time. The performances in this movie were absolutely heart wrenching especially by Djimon Hounsou who plays Solomon Vandy, a man taken by the rebel forces to search for diamonds, and taken away from his family. The plot focuses on his struggle to try to find his family and helping the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio find a large diamond he had hidden away.

The movie is graphically very violent, but it made the movie feel much more real, and I am glad the creators the movie didn’t sugar coat the very scary and dangerous environment these people were living in. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Danny Archer, a man from Zimbabwe, who is a smuggler, and he gives a powerful performance also adding ferocity to his character and the scenes between him and Hounsou are full of different emotions played gracefully and are dynamic to watch.

The scenes with the child soldiers though made me very emotional. The rebels were forcing these children to do inhuman acts and were brainwashing them to think a certain way. It made me think of how lucky I am to live in a country where this would never happen. And though it was just on a screen, I know that this actually happened and those kids probably went through much worse things and it felt very momentous to be watching it, so it could shed light on the issues.

I would recommend this movie if you are interested in the blood diamond industry, but even if you’re not, I would still recommend it. The acting is phenomenal, and the setting and music add immensely to the serious atmosphere. The dialogue definitely makes you think and it brings up many moral topics of discussion. I will watch this movie again because I feel like you can get something different from it each time you watch. If you have seen this movie, tell me what did you think of it?

The Art of Awe

We recently talked about the Arts which consisted of french artists, musicians, and authors, in French class, and my french teacher brought up the question, “Have you ever truly been in awe?” I thought about it. Have I seen nice things? Yes, I have. But I never experienced the feeling of the utmost awe or wonder; I have never been in the presence of a truly awe-inspiring piece of art. I have been impressed by things I have seen in science museums, and art museums in the place we call home. But I have only seen pictures of those pieces of art that people have deemed to be the most jaw-dropping, thought-provoking, and to have deep meanings that scholars have worked countless hours trying to decipher. Would I love to see those things? Of course, one day.

But what does it mean to be in awe? What are we supposed to think when looking at Mona Lisa or a Van Gogh? What about when looking at architecture? Or listening to a classic piece of music or when watching a play? I am not going to go into scientific mode but rather talk about what awe means to me. I think classics are awe-inspiring, of course, people have been talking about the Sistine Chapel for years. Do I get the deep meaning of the most famous paintings or sculptures? No, not always.

In the summer my Mom and I went to see a production of The Wizard of Oz at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. I had never really seen a professional stage rendition of this story and for me; it may have been one the most awe-inspiring things I have seen thus far, but did I feel awe? No, I simply enjoyed the play, and the songs and the story.

So how do you know when you feel awe? Someone in my class said, you might feel a bit insignificant, and that makes sense. Most of us don’t know what da Vinci was thinking, or Picasso, or Rodin, or Michelangelo, and when we look at their art, we may feel like it is so much bigger than us. But that is the thing; I believe we are all capable of creating our own awe.

It may be the simplest things that we find awe-inspiring. I don’t think it always has to be something that has been created in the past or has religious associations with it. It could even be something you paint or write, something you are proud to call your own. The Art of Awe for me isn’t always going to be about going to see those wonderful masterpieces, because to be truthful, I might never get there, but to know that there is awe all around me and if I look at things in different views then just, oh that’s there, and that’s nice I might see things that influence the way I think and feel.

Donde Estas, Yolanda?

This is a song I recently heard featured on a favorite show of mine. Though it was in the background it instantly caught my ‘ear’, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. The catchy beat and smooth singing voice made it a song that people can definitely dance too. Yes, some might not know the words; I believe it is a love song. But it’s upbeat and I like songs that are a little different; songs that have suave music. It’s a different variety of music that everyone might not enjoy but this is a song that really cheers up my mood the moment I hear it. It’s by a group called Pink Martini.

I don’t why I like songs in other languages, maybe because it immerses me in their culture or because I lose myself in the music and the words become secondary. I am not a music expert; I just listen to songs that I find memorable, and this is one of those. The singer has a way of effortlessly singing and it hooks you in.

Have a listen, and tell me what you think…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOWqQsOwzjw

It’s A Wonderful Life

It is that time of year again. Christmas. The singing, the lights, the trees, the presents and of course the Christmas movies. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you my favorite Christmas movie. It’s A Wonderful Life. It is most definitely a classic. It was released in 1946 and most people know the premise but I will explain for those who don’t really know.

It is about a man named George Bailey, and we see him through his life and all the lives he touches. Though he gets himself in trouble and of course the infamous plot of him thinking he should never have been born causes an angel to show him the error of his thoughts.  It is truly an inspirational tale, because we can all relate to those times when we feel like we have let everyone down but really in the end we need to see that we as people can help more and be positive instead of always thinking of the negative.

It is an emotional movie but heart-warming to watch right to the end, because you feel as if you’ve been through all of the tragedies and the miracles with George Bailey.  It never ceases to amaze me how every time I watch it; it completely lifts my spirit because it makes me think about the people who have been in my life who I don’t know how I would live without. But it is not just that, there are other little messages in the movie too. That there is that one love and you may never know you have found it until it is staring you right in the face. That if you treat people with kindness they will treat you with kindness back.

I may have been ranting on too much, but I love this movie with a very deep passion. It is hard to explain when you love something so much and others do not feel the same. But if you have the time to watch at least a little bit then please do.  It is one of those movies you should at least see once.

Tell me, what is your favorite Christmas movie?

 

Phenomenal Woman

I studied this poem last year in English and it is definitely still a favourite of mine. It is by Maya Angelou and is a powerful poem about a woman who is in her own right phenomenal. The reason I love this poem is because Angelou does not describe the perfect woman, instead she describes a woman’s best features, and the things that we as women should be proud to have. It is a fun poem and it boosts my confidence as a young girl, because I don’t need to have the skinny hips or flat stomach to know I am phenomenal. It is about our inner woman, our style and grace.

That we can, as women always be phenomenal we just have to believe in ourselves and have the fearlessness to allow ourselves to show it. I like how Angelou doesn’t name any specific woman rather allowing the reader to picture themselves in that position.  It is really an inspiring piece of writing, and could be meant to cheer up any girl who does not think she is pretty enough. It’s not about looks. If we show confidence then we can be phenomenal.

I encourage you to read it; it will put a smile on your face.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/phenomenal-woman/

Thor: The Dark World

This weekend I had the wonderful experience of seeing Thor: The Dark World(directed by Alan Taylor), which is of course the sequel to the 2011 Thor.  Though this movie played more into continuing the events of the 2012 movie The Avengers. If you have not seen either movie then I will try my best to not reveal any spoilers.

Let’s start with obvious: I like action movies, and of course with this kind of movie you expect action. And man did we get action. The fight scenes were epic and special effects added to the movie immensely.  There was a villain of course, the Dark Elf Malekith, who has an ancient beef with the people of Asgard. In the beginning moments of the movie they explain to the viewers why Malekith is angry and basically what he is after.  As a villan, he does the job to cause fear in  those in the Asgardian world, and of me as a viewer.

But in action movies I also enjoy a story and some sort of theme, and the theme in this movie was family, most specifically, brotherhood, and the dynamic between Thor and Loki. I enjoyed the way they played out the issues they were facing with their trust issues in each other, because it fit with the family theme, and how they had to team up for a common goal. Of course, there is also romance but I found they did not spend too much time furthering Thor’s romantic life instead opting to spend more time on his love towards his brother Loki, which of course there is love, but there is also heartache, lots of heartache.

In movies I can’t just enjoy the overall plot of the movie; I find I have to like the little moments, and the things they put in for loyal fans. There were wonderful surprises and the little humourous moments added to the enjoyable movie.  And then there’s the ending, which will leave you reeling for days. What a way to end!

I give this movie 9/10, because I did not see it in 3D and I don’t think it is necessary to have in 3D. This movie is totally worth a re-watch.