Gran Torino!

What does respect mean to Walt? What does it mean to you?

  • To Walt, I think it means to just shut up. Don’t talk unless spoken to, and don’t say anything controversial. To me, it means to be compassionate, and empathetic.

Walt gives Thao his car in his will. Was this unexpected? Thao doesn’t change anything on the car, just like Walt requested. What does that signify?

  • Walt really liked Thao and respected him because Thao was a good kid, didnt start trouble, and, sometimes, because he didnt even talk. I also think Walt found a place in his heart for Thao because of his love for his family and how Walt didn’t even speak to his. Thao was respecting Walt’s request because he, in a way, looked up to Walt, and he knew that Walt would be super mad at him for making his car look tacky like the people he knew were disrespectful would.
Walt and his friend the barber have an interesting relationship. Do you think the way they talk to each other is appropriate or inappropriate? Why or why not? Do you think it is okay to speak the way they do if both individuals is okay with the language? Why or why not?
  • I think it is, because they are grown men, that you can tell have a non-troublesome friendship. Walt actually likes the barber because you can tell by the way that he isnt short with him like he is with pretty much everyone else, and how he actually bothers to still go to this same barber year after year rather than cutting his own hair.
Walt is hesitant to go to confession like his wife wanted him to until the end of the movie. What is the significance of these actions?
  • I think Walt finally decided to go to confession because he realized the true meaning of confessional. Things were weighing heavy on his shoulders and I think he coming to peace with his past. He had a feeling that he would die soon, and knew that if he died and didn’t go to confessional that he wouldn’t be able to find his wife in Heaven or something.
Walt sacrifices himself for Thao’s family and the neighborhood. Was there any other way to get the same result? Why did Walt do what he did? Would he have done the same for his family? What makes or allows a person to make such a sacrifice for someone else?
  • I think to get the same result would have taken a lot longer. I think he died for Thao’s family because they showed him respect, his definition of respect. I dont think he would do the same for his family because they were greedy and weren’t raising his grandkids to be respectful, thoughtful, or presentable people. I think it takes a lot of feeling and thought to decide and give up your life for someone else. Walt was definitely moved by the gang’s horrible intentions and Thao’s family’s way of putting up with the gang, to want to stop it, and in the process he became close with Thao and his family and realized that Thao is a really good kid that he wishes his kids had raised.
Towards the end of the film, the gang shoots up the Lor’s home and attacks Sue. Walt makes Thao wait for revenge. How would you react if something like this happened to your family? Have you ever wanted revenge? How did you deal with the feelings?
  • I would be so enragedif someone did that to my family. I would be yelling and hitting things, probably throwing things and breaking them. I would want to kill them asap. I understand why Walt made him wait, because Thao wasnt in the right mind set anyway, and he wanted to do it by himself because he knew that he would end up being killed. I’ve never wanted revenge like that kind of revenge… or any kind of “revenge” ever…
So I technically discussed and spoke during the last 10 minutes of class that I was there for, and I’m just way too tired to type out one more question and answer….


Howl’s Moving Castle Review

Out of the half of the film i saw, i generally enjoyed Howl’s Moving Castle a lot! I love  Hayao Miyazaki’s films, including My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. I love the colors that the movie had because I felt they gave it a very eye catching effect. The creative and very detailed cartoon items, scenes, and of course, Howl’s Castle were extraordinary. I would say that the audience this movie is for is for tweens to young adults because of the young girl who is the main character. The film keeps your attention, which is also nice for children with short attention spans. I loved the english speaking actor’s voices in the film because if we were to of watched the original, it would have been much harder to follow along because the english speaking voices talked fast enough!

Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle Quote-

Even though the movie is filmed on the streets of India, with people who, literally, live on those streets, the plot is very fairy tale like. Jamal and his brother, Salim, lost their parents, and lived with a man who did terrible things to the other children who lived with them, and would use the children to get money. I don’t know if that actually happens in India, but i know it has happened, and that’s a good representation of what goes on. The whole point of the movie is that because Jamal won the game, it was because of the poverty, horrible experiences, and sweet memories he remembered. Latika kind of enforced the fairy tale aspect of the movie.

Tour guide-

  1. The tourists think that Jamal, a kid, is the tour guide and eagerly pays him to give them a tour. He makes up everything he tells them to make the tour sound interesting, so he gets to keep the money.
  2. The tourists had no idea what the Taj  Mahal was about, and the history because they believed everything Jamal told them. They were blind to the history.
Love Story-
  1. She is so sweet and is seen as the padding. I always call the padding character the one who when the main character or anyone talks about them or you know they’re thinking about them, or see them, that there is instant relief. She does seem like a passive victim, but I don’t remember seeing her that many times throughout the film
  2. They were best friends when they lived with that man, and that childhood friend always kind of sticks with you. Especially if they’re all you’ve ever known as someone like them. They were each other’s crush too, and Jamal didn’t have any other crushes, so she probably never left that position. And vice versa. They were separated for most their lives until they were young adults. They weren’t there for each other when everything happened, so that separated them.

“They don’t have heart like they used to.”

The documentary I chose to watch was Before the Music Dies. The gist of it was that the music that is most popular right now doesn’t “have heart,” and  that the way music is put out into the public is much to validated on the image, rather than the actual music you hear, not see.

The director, Andrew Shapter, was inspired to write and direct this documentary because his brother, who died in 2004, was a musician and because the last conversation Andrew had had with him. His brother was saying that he didn’t understand why music was becoming artificial, so to speak. Joel Rasmussen, the other writer, did this project with Andrew because his sister, who also died a couple years back, was also a musician and had the same concerns. They traveled around America to interview several musicians and record label representatives such as executives and artist managers. Some of the musicians interviewed were Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Erykah Badu(who was hilarious, by the way), Les Paul, and Dave Matthews.

Les Paul said “They don’t have heart like they used to.” “They,” referring to the “artists” of today’s radio and music industry, the popular ones, anyway. The film talked about how the music being played, replayed, and replayed on the radio is now all repetition. Not in the literal sense that they repeat the same songs at least 10 times a day, which they do, but is that there isn’t any diversity on the radio anymore. It’s all really catchy, poppy, and a lackluster of “heart.” It’s all the same few number of genres that everyone would know, unless they literally lived under a rock in the desert their whole life. There are so many unexplored types of genres infused together to make beautiful music that NEVER gets advertised because they don’t have the ” look”.

You know what look I’m talking about. Video killed the radio star, that’s all it is. Before Britney Spears and ‘N Sync came along(them not being the first), for example, musicians didn’t have to worry about having a society approved body or face to get on stage and play/sing your heart out, and have people love it. An interviewee said on the film that now you have to “fit the model” to be “popular”, because now, MTV has filled in that slot where people can watch and now half their opinions on that artist’s live performance or music video relies on what the musicians look like. The problem is obvious by now.

Bonnie Raitt made a reference to “hybrids,” meaning being an artist that is not like the ones on the mainstream radio stations, the ones now, anyway. She said you have to look at an artist’s manager and record label to determine what they’re going mold them into. It all depends on them because a hybrid artist would usually have a manager that went with whatever the artist wanted, and let them do their thing, or they were their own manager, and on a small local label, which they’d be okay with. Why? Because it’s about if the artist likes what they’re doing, then all is well. Dave Matthews said, “Your goal shouldn’t be fame, it should be to play music.” He said that in reference to the point made that a lot of the aspiring and current “popular” artists are letting their label run their career and write their lyrics for them because they just want the fame.

If you couldn’t tell already, I am passionate about music, not only because it is the caffeine to my soul, but because I have a big musical influence in my life: my dad. He has been playing the trumpet for over 45 years, and professionally, over 30 years. His full time job currently is the lead trumpet at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s main stage. He has played at many, many different venues over the span of his life, and with many famous artists in the biz.

All in all, I did enjoy this documentary. It didn’t get boring at any part, it definitely had my attention. I would recommend it to anyone as passionate about music as I am.


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