Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Class Work - Media Speculation

     Within the time frame of today and the morning five years from now, to be perfectly honest, I don't think there will be a lot of changes regarding television, computers and phones. The most to happen between now and in the future is the possibility that technology, mainly in the film industry, will be beyond it's time. 3D movies would be viewable without the needs of glasses. Perhaps, the 3D movies will be showing signs of age due to it's constant use and if it is anything we have learn, is that technology is always evolving. 

     If we were to go farther into the future, say, fifteen years, then perhaps laptops having the capability to show 3D movies within the viewing of your computer screens (without glasses) as well as a 3D camera built into one's cell phones so you can take pictures in 3D, but that's just silly.

     But let's say FIFTY years. My view on media and the evolution of technology? There will be such a jump in technology ranging from everything: computers, phones, movies, televisions, cars... it would just be beyond people's expectations. 3D would probably not even be considered 3D, if anything all the movies done now would be considered an oldie or a classic like most movies end up becoming. Video Games will have an interesting view with controllers, take the Kinetic for example, that will become the new technology only the graphics for the video games will become immersive 3D instead of just pretty graphics on a flat 2D screen. However, between now and fifty years, I do expect there to be working flying cars. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Video Games as a Literature - Professor Layton Series

Professor Layton 
How It Is a Literature

The current age of technology is rapidly evolving, from books going electronic and the fastest source of information lies within the internet, it can be equally said that video games are becoming the new form art as well as literature, just as much as film.

As an individual who loves a good novel as well as plays video games on a regular basis (what with being in a major for video games), it isn't hard to view video games as the new literature. To some, a good book needs a well rounded character, an engaging plot, and an opportunity to engulf the reader into the book's world, and to me, video games are not that far off from a book's objective. Of the many video games that I have played over the course of my life, there is one video game that is just as engaging as book as well as a movie: and that game series is called “Professor Layton”.

With most games being a fast pace, first person shooters, or an extremely violent beat 'em all, Professor Layton as a genre is a point-and-click puzzle mystery, with puzzles being the core gameplay. Ca not cross a bridge? A guard is blocking your path? The only solution is not to beat the guard up or find an alternative route, it is to solve puzzles. What is beautiful about the game, is while the gameplay may be a very slow paced brain teaser, the plot and characters are overly engaging that pulls the player into the world of Professor Layton, with characters ranging from the Professor himself to the side characters that are in need of help to the plot where it becomes a life/death situation and can change it's pace form being light hearted and cheery to dark and serious, Professor Layton's plot is perfectly paced and presented that it could be give as a novel. The story is also told through dialog between characters in game, as well as beautifully animated cutscenes, which gives a feeling of a film like movies; considering films to some is a form of literature.

While a plot is great and helps sell a novel into a powerful literature, characters are what needed in order to make a literature fantastic, and Professor Layton is chalk full with powerful and engaging characters. The main character of the series are well rounded and engaging starting from the main character and his iconic top hat to the villain of each game. 

The players at the start of the game are introduced to the main character, Professor Hershal Layton, professor of archeology that teaches at Grensheller University with a keen eye for detail and an enthusiast for puzzles, he is also a gentleman of the upmost extreme and is always caught wearing his iconic top hat. With him at all time, is his self appointed apprentice, Luke Triton, who is studying under the Professor in terms of loving and solving puzzles and becoming a gentleman himself. He has a unique ability to talk with animals, which has came in handy in more then one situation when it came to solving puzzles. Together, the two gentlemen go off to solve mysteries sent out by people in need of the Professor's wit.

While on the outside, most players would find the Professor a bit one dimensional when it comes to just being a gentleman and solving puzzles, he actually has more depth in to his character then one could assume. The Professor has been shown to be able to solve mysteries faster than the Scotland Yard's top inspector and be able to pull of MacGuyver in every scenario, an example being when the Professor had to rescue a female stuck in a tower, and was able to whip up in less then a minute a flying machine using only a pole, window cloth, a chair, and the female's string. Layton has shown as well to be an expert sword fighter, but, being an English Gentleman that he is, only does so in order to defend himself and not cause harm to his opponent, who is hell bent into killing the Professor because he mistook the Professor for “stealing” his love. 

In one of the later games in the series, it is revealed that the Professor at one point had a love interest; she was the one who game him his iconic top hat (a hat that no gentleman should be without) as well was Layton's inspiration of becoming a Professor as well as a true English gentleman. However, she died in an explosion while trying out a scientific experiment, leaving Layton emotionally scarred.

It is almost impossible to not view Layton as a well rounded character, something that is almost missed in fast paced games and sometimes in novels themselves. So to me, out of all the games I have played with engaging plot and characters, it is Professor Layton that has won to me the best attention to plot and character for a video game and helps shape the argument that video games are, in fact, a new form of literature and should be treated as such.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lolita and It's Cultural Impact

     When one asks me what I think of the story Lolita, the first emotional and physical remark that I can give is pure disgust. As a lover for the literature art, the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov has left an unpleasant mark on me in the sense of the plot and the main character. In a nutshell, the story is about a 35 year old man with a disturbing infatuation with a 12 year old girl, all while the story is viewed from the perverted man's point of view. 

     For some, this may be considered a work of art, what with the character's "amazing" play of words and manipulative ways to trick the readers into viewing the world as he does and how his sexual desire for the child is far from criminal. However, the further I read into the book, the more disgusted I was, and could not even fathom the idea of this book being classified as a work of art. His manipulative and perverted demeanor makes him a very undesirable character (no matter how much he claims he is loved by all) and the idea that he plays with the words to make him sound above the rest of society makes him frightening and downright loath able to me. It does not help by the slightest that his infatuation with the young child, who has a twenty year difference with the main character is disturbing as it is frightening. It does not make him an interesting character and it does not help the idea of romance, this guy, at his core, is a pure pedophile and for that it is unbelievably hard to have ANY form of sympathy or even look at him as an interesting character. 

     The plot is just as disturbing as the main character.  The story of a perverted old man "in love" with someone who could be as old as his daughter is a nauseating story. The main character's action to force her in love with him is horrifying. He chloroforms the girl in order to have sex with her and as such, it is as if the book is saying that "Rape = Love", which again, returns to the idea that this book is down right awful. 

     As someone who loves literature and is very open to different styles of writing, Lolita is easily the worst book I have read in terms of characters and writing style. It sickened me to the core that the main character is a pedophile who manipulates people with his words just so he can get people to view his sick mind without thinking how disgusting of an individual he actually is. I personally have a hard time looking at the book as a work of art and finding any positive benefits as a cultural impact aside from being disgusting and manipulative as it's main character.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Classwork 11/9 - Female Body in Media

Female Body in the Media

     When looking at this picture of the Victoria Secret's model, one has to ask themselves, what is it? And what on earth does it suppose to represent aside from a model posing in lingerie? For starters, this model represents the ideal representation of what a woman's body is suppose to  look like, and how the merchandise can help "enhance" the look. For her appearance, she's a beautiful brunette with a toned body. There aren't any tattoos on her body (at least, none that are visible) and her body posture is one that poses that she is self aware of her appearance. Her facial expression is one that shows little to no emotion aside from the fact that she is making lingerie look both sexy and appealing. The message in the picture could also suggest "amazing" things to people. The picture is shot at a beach-type location to enhance the romantic appeal for the costumers while the sexy model is posing in a near walking stance, beautifully at that, with the clothing item. The message conveyed in this picture is nothing short of trying to sell sex apparel as well as enhance the love life with couples by buying their products.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Homework 10/5 - Auteur Theory

Robert Altman – Auteur Theory

On February 20, 1925, American filmmaker Robert Altman was born, with stories packed in his head the gave him the title of auteur. An auteur theory is when an auteur, an author of film, is able to make a movie through productive means but be able to tell the story in a style only they can accomplish. With movies such as A Prairie Home Companion, M.A.S.H, and The Player, it was noticeable that Altman had a certain flare to his auteur-ship. The common motif with these three movies was that criticism to the entertainment establishment and how it's dying and the normal establishment.

For A Prairie Home Companion, the plot of the movie was it was the live radio show's final show and how the people that work there are dealing with the final night, as well as airing the final show. Along the way of the movie, characters from outside the radio world walk around the area on the final night; an old man who bought out the radio station and shutting it down watching the final show and a woman in white who walks around backstage with only three characters who are able to see her. While the old man's character is not important (aside from knowing that he is shutting down the place)Alt man shows not only the final night of the radio as a career, but as a character in it self, with the lady in white as an almost vital role, as she walks around as an almost angel-esqe character. The fact she is dressed in a modern, all white attire,as well as all the “living” characters not being able to see her, save for three characters (the axeman, the security, and the cowboy who passes away)and eventually the rest of the cast, Altman managed to write her in as a character who brings along nothing but death, proven by the end of the movie when all the ex-radio stars are sitting at a diner and she walks in and they all notice her with a grim expression on their face. For anyone who works, or is aware of the theater myths, there is always a stage light on for good luck, so whenever the white lady walked around and was anywhere near the stage light, the stage light would always flicker and eventually go out.

Other movies such as The Player, the whole movie is written as a satire to the Hollywood industry with a character who is stuck in a plot that written in an almost screenplay matter, a loop of sorts one would say. The main character accidently kills a screenplay writer thinking it's the guy who keeps sending him threatening post cards. As the movie progresses, Altman shows the movie carrying out like normal in terms of a movie with characters who appear as characters and not as individuals in the world. But by the end of the movie, it is made clear that the movie was made in terms of a black mail threat to the main character, for it was not the screenplay writer who sent him threatening mail, but it was just some individual that is never shown on camera saying his latest screenplay idea, which is the same plot as the movie that was just played out. This means that Altman made the movie as a movie that breaks the forth wall with it's loop to go on forever and never ending, much like the industry of Hollywood.

However the plot for M.A.S.H, is different compared to the other two movies, and yet the same. Here, the movie is more about the anti-establishment instead of just a bunch of wacky hijinks the ensue throughout the movie, but at the same time, the movie is the same like the other two, as it is written in an episodic formant, almost in an entertainment way. Each “chapter” in the movie is like a different episode in a t.v show (that is, if one ignores the M.A.S.H t.v show). Altman goes about this movie like this is everyday life for them (which for the most part it is) but each character has television-like personalities. Big Lips is the hot nurse everyone flocks over, while Hawkeye and Duke are the two main, rebellious womanizing, characters and so on. Altman's critique on the establishment was done in an entertainment critique-like fashion.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homework 9/21 - Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown
By Quentin Tarantino

     One of the few things I would edit in Tarantino's Jackie Brown would be a bit more emphasis on the importance Louis's (Robert DeNiro)character, who aside from being a character who got out of a two month sigh four year sentence and is pretty much with a mental and physical clean appearance, almost like a new child as well as Ordell's (Samuel Jackson)calm and almost reasonable friend. Aside from DeNiro's character, most of the characters are pretty well written, especially the interaction between Jackie and Max as two forty-something year olds who are past their movie genre time. The theme Tarantino decided to stick with is excellent of a cast type of characters who are way passed their 70's Black Urban genre movie trying to adjust to present day society. The character Tarantino wrote about Jackie Brown has caught perfectly the essence of the strong, independent black woman who has aged passed her “prime” as well as Max's courageous and strong male character, but is clearly wise due to age, but slow with physical action.
     If it was me directing the movie, I would possibly emphasize more on the relationship and character development between Louis and Ordell. Ordell's character is something easy to view and understand without it having to be explained: Ordell's relationship to Jackie and to Max is that he is seductive and manipulative to all of the characters in the movie, however with Louis, Ordell seems to look at him as his confidant and someone to express all his inner most thoughts and plans and doing so without having to show signs of weakness. He also heavily trusts Ordell in the responsibility of watching over his house and taking care of Melanie, a woman who is in her thirties and passed her prime of being “all that” to businessmen and having everything handed to her on a silver plate because of her twenty year old looks, but as of now, she's been with Ordell smoking pot and answer phones for him. Louis's character is a quiet, almost child like character in the body of a forty-something year old who doesn't say much, but is willing to listen to everybody as to catch up on the things he missed during his time in prison.
     The themes in the movie, which is about a group of characters from the olden Black Urban movie genres living in present day society, and are still trying to capture the highlight of their youth is perfectly executed in my opinion and doesn't need much fixing, it has been shown well with the character of Max, for example, who might have aged greatly, but still has a smart, if not sharper, wit to him to stop criminals and the character Jackie Brown herself is someone who is well aware that she is passed her peak and is already in her forties, but is still capable of being the brilliant, sharp wit, and foxy woman even in her current age, and to me, that doesn't need to be emphasized as much as it's already been in the movie.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Homework 9/14 - Pirates of Venus

     The story of Pirates of Venus is a tale that is centered around a man named Carson, who tells his story about the time he went on a spaceship to venture into Mars, but the rockets were redirecting his ship and crash landed into Venus, as well as a civilization that are known as Amtorans (they named Venus as Amtor). During the time Carson is there he learns the Amtors' culture and language, but falls in love with the princess of the village, however it is discovered that he has bacteria, and it was known that Amtorans had no bacteria, and it did not help that he was in love with the daughter of the chief of the village. He is then sent on a series of arranges to prove his worth which ranges from love, betrayal, and adventure.

     The genre Pirates of Venus would be known as, is the science fiction/adventure genre. The typical science fiction novel would be tale of epic proportion in space with intergalactic galaxies and extra terrestrial life form, and Pirates of Venus starts the tale with an unnamed man telling a story via telepathy from another individual who is on a fictional version of Venus where there is human life form residing. 

     Pirates of Venus, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1934, was considered to be only one of the six volumes in the Venus Arc. Burroughs has been known for writing other stories such as Tarzan, however Pirates of Venus has been known for being a story that has a unique twist with writing, an example being that the story is being told via telepathy between the character Carson and the author of the story (who remains unnamed) instead of the normal first person, second person, and third person perspective.

     Pirates of Venus was also written during the hight of the Ku Klux Klan and it was noticeable in the story when Carson smirked at his mutineers having a very obvious similarity to that of the KKK. Based on the quote, Burroughs may or may not have a connection to the cult, and it has remained a mystery.