A Helpful Review

Since the movie The Help recently came out, I decided to read the book before I went to see it because I’m one of those people that can’t watch a movie without reading the book first.  I strongly recommend The Help.  It brings up many different emotions, from anger to love.  You really do fall in love with the characters because the author makes them not one-dimensional.  They each have their own story to share.  It took me a while to get into it, but after the first two hundred pages I couldn’t put it down.  So before you head to the movies, check out the book version of The Help.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Umbridge > Voldemort

With less than two weeks until the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie, my fever for HP has reached an all-time high.  From movie trailers to Pottermore, Harry is all around me.  Last week I sat down to re-read the seventh book so it would all be fresh on my mind.  As I turned the final page, I was reminded of two things.  The first was my never-ending love of the books and characters.  The second?  How much I hate Dolores Umbridge.  I then started asking myself, why her and not Voldemort.  He is the villian after all.  I still don’t have a clear answer, but here is what I have concluded thus far.

You can’t hate Voldemort.  Why?  Personally, I pity him.  I pity his blindness at any feeling other than the lust for power.  You can’t blame him, it’s who he is and what defines him.  Voldemort is almost comical in a way.  I mean he flies around with his little followers, and what is his goal in life?  To kill a teenage boy.  Umbridge, on the other hand, is supposed to be a leader.  She has a relatively important position in the Ministry and comes to Hogwarts to institute “order.”  Yet, I automatically have this deep-rooted hate for the woman.  Maybe it’s because she tries to change the ways of Hogwarts, or maybe it’s because she is so narrow-minded.  I don’t know.  I do know that when she punished Harry with the quill that uses his own blood and etches the writing in his own skin my blood was boiling.  How dare she! I thought.

For those reasons, I believe Umbridge to be far more villainous than Voldemort.  Voldemort is defending himself as much as Harry, granted not for the right reasons.  Umbridge chooses to twist and turn her way through every tight spot, going behind the back of the Ministry itself, the institution she supposedly revered.  Thoughts?  Comment below.

The King’s Speech

MV5BMzU5MjEwMTg2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM3MTYxNA@@__V1__SY317_CR1,0,214,317_I recently watched The King’s Speech, and it instantly became one of my favorite movies.  If you haven’t watched it, you definitely should.  It is very inspiring to watch the main character overcome a hard struggle.  Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter each brought something intersting that completed the movie.  My favorite character was Geoffrey Rush’s character, Lionel Logue.  Through some un-orthodox ways, Lionel is able to transform “Bertie,” into a great king who leads his country through war.  For more information on the movie, click here.

Something I stumbled upon…

StumbleUpon is a cool website that recommends websites to you based on your interests.  In my opinion, it is more of a procrastinating tool than Facebook, and a more educational one too.  I started using StumbleUpon one day out of sheer boredom, and I use it often to procrastinate/find cool things.  When you first start using it, you check a long list of things that interest you, and the program finds websites, videos, and photos for you.  You can either like or dislike the page, which helps Stumble better know what you like.  Or, you can just keep stumbling.  The first video I stumbled upon was a video of a gymnast from the 80’s doing a crazy uneven bars routine that is now illegal because it is so dangerous.  I watched the video a couple of times, liked it, and kept stumbling.  StumbleUpon is a great tool because the Internet can seem daunting with millions and millions of websites, and StumbleUpon puts the Internet in a nice, neat package personalized just for you.

Dear Taylor Swift,

Breakups are hard.  However, my breakup with Taylor Swift was relatively painless.  I used to listen to all her songs and watch the music videos in sixth grade.  She seemed so relatable because she was a teenager, and all her songs had a catchy beat, or so I thought.  The first stage of the breakup came when I heard her sing at a New Years’ Eve concert on TV.  She sounded horrible and nothing like her albums.  When I watch American Idol, I always get embarrassed for the singers that genuinely think they are good but end up running out the door in tears.  I got this same sinking feeling when I watched Taylor Swift perform.  But I was only in seventh grade, and Taylor Swift was still popular with all my friends, so I continued to listen.  I listened to her with my friends, but as I got older and she came out with more songs, I realized how cheesy the songs were.  They all sounded exactly the same, and they were all weak attempts to seek revenge on guys who had done her wrong.  How pathetic can this get, I thought.  The answer:  worse.  She was gaining in popularity with millions of tween girls and in the spotlight constantly.  I stopped listening to her for good after she went through a string of boyfriends.  It seemed to me like she was dating them just to write another song about them.  Stage two of the breakup when I saw her in Valentine’s Day and once again I was super embarrassed for her.  That was the end of our relationship.  I walked out of that theater and never looked back.  The only thing I ask, Taylor, is that you don’t write a song about me too.Unknown

Ideas on Technology.

I think that technology in school needs to be redone. One idea that was brought up in a class discussion was to have teachers write their own textbooks and have them available on ipads with interactive tools. I think this is a great idea because it is frustrating for students to go home and open their textbook and not remember anything from the lesson, yet they have to try to find examples in a book that is difficult to understand. If teachers made a program with notes and examples, as well as interactive videos, this would help students understand information. Sometimes, students are scared of big textbooks, but a program on the ipad would be fun and not seem like they are studying. I think this idea should be implemented in schools everywhere because it would really change education in a positive way.

The Veldt.

The Veldt is a short story about the limits of technology. I thought it was disturbing. It showed the extremes of technology, which makes technology seem bad. I would not want to live in the same setting as The Veldt because you loose your sense of humanness. There is a machine to do everything for you, and you become so lazy that you are upset at having to tie your shoes. You don’t have relationships with other people. Instead, the relationships are with the machines.

Life is Beautiful.

Life is Beautiful is a very successful movie according to film critics.  The movie begins as a love story and ends as a Holocaust horror story.  The main character, Guido, is a Jew living in Italy.  He falls in love with Dora, who is not Jewish, and they have a son named Joshua.  They live normal lives until Guido, Joshua, and Uncle Leo are forced from their home to go to a concentration camp.  When Dora comes home and sees they are gone, she goes to the train station and forces the guards to let her on the train.  The rest of the movie is about their time at the concentration camp.  Guido tells Joshua that everything is a game so that he will not realize all the terrible things.

This movie is controversial because it is a Holocaust movie with a comedic main character.  Guido is funny and charismatic throughout and is able to keep his son positive during their time at the concentration camp.  Many people thought the movie was an inaccurate  portrayal of the Holocaust.  However, I do not think the movie is disrespectful to the Holocaust.  It merely shows how love can last even through humanity.

I think this movie instantly became a hit because people are drawn first to the strong bond between Guido and Dora, and they are captivated later by the bond between Guido and Joshua.  I think this movie is better able to show the horrors of the Holocaust rather than a documentary because the audience is able to connect with the characters and feel for them.  When the main character dies in the end, it makes you hate the Holocaust with a passion.  This is similar to an anti-war novel where the mian character dies in the end.  A good example of this is All Quiet on the Western Front.