Sequence Title Review – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

The film sequence title I choose is from a 2005 spy and dark comedy movie called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Although the movie is acted by real people, the sequence title is animated. This title sequence outstand itself from hundreds of others that are listed online by having a great color choice (great contrast too), cool negative spacing, themes (having guns and kisses in the whole clip), movements with the music etc.

First of all, I really like the choice of color, which the filmmaker uses mainly black, white, and orange, and only using yellow once. They use black and white because these two colors are the classic colors for negative space, and they movie uses orange (that looks kind of red too) for kisses and blood. I am not sure why they used yellow in one scene that all the people are in a room socializing. But I am guessing that they use yellow because this color can represent rich people (because yellow can represent gold and money). In addition, there is a scene which has plants growing that acts as a good color transition: it is between the scene that a hand is holding a gun with women poster in the background and a mansion that is full with people. The background color changed from orange to almost black, and the leaves changed from white to orange.

The title sequence also did a good job of representing themes in the movie. Since the movie is a spy-based movie, there are some scenes that are representing the spy theme. In the beginning of the sequence title, there is a man going over a fence that thought nobody saw him but a few seconds later an eye appears and sees him, which acts like spying him. In the middle part, where everybody is partying in a house, a hand pushes a woman down the balcony, which acts like a spy that wants to assassin the woman. Since this is also a crime movie, there are lots of parts that we can see guns and bullets. There is one scene that one of the names is hit by a bullet. Despite the guns that appear in the movie that can represent crime and violet, there are parts that have blood dripping on the scene. For example, when we see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang appear on the screen, there is a bullet shot on the last Bang and blood dripping down.

I also like the way that the clip uses negative space. The clip is filled with negative space, but there are two scenes that I really like. In the scene that the woman is falling from the balcony, and passing the moon, the film did an awesome job of having negative space transition when she is away from the moon and she is passing the moon. There other one is when there are three men holding guns on their hands, and the negative space color changed when there is music beats.

The camera moves in the clip is pretty simple: it is either panning or pedestaling. But the movements with the music are really cool. For instance, when the blood and kisses appear in the last few scenes they usually appear with a beat. In the scene that we can see highways, the names of people appear from the poles and disappear from the poles (see the photo). In addition, when there is a wind blow sound in one scene, the camera pans to the right very quickly.

Although I haven’t seen the movie yet, by watching the sequence title, it really makes me want to see it already. The cool effect that the clip did is a great way to start the movie. No wonder why this movie is on the top 5 list in one website I found.

Visual Review – Movie Poster

For my visual review of a movie poster, I choose a poster form The Dark Knight. I like this poster because the cold color that it uses, the Why So Serious sentence with a happy face drew with blood, and the blurry effect of the Joker.

When I first see this poster, the red Why So Serious sentence jumped out of the frame because the color contrast of the light blue and red is so strong. This is also a sentence that the main character, the Joker used a lot in the movie. He says this sentence when he is about to murder/ cut somebody but that person is crying or terrifying in the movie. When I am taking a closer look at the writing, it becomes really interesting. First of all it is all red, which I said in the beginning, it made a strong contrast from the background color. Second of all, we can see the blood dripping down which makes me think about this is actually blood written on the screen. Third of all, the letters are all capitalized, which makes the whole sentence important and outstanding. Fourth, the letters of serious, the question mark and the happy face is redder than other letters in the sentence, which makes the letters creepy; especially Joker’s smile, because it is the last and the reddest part of the sentence. Fifth, at the end, it has a smile, which is the classic Joker happy face that he has on his, and the happy face also matches the actual face of the Joker in the background. Since the Joker bent his body to the right, his face is actually between the question mark and the end of the curve, so it makes the happy face on the screen seems suitable on his face in the background. The poster also uses symmetric for the words at the bottom, and a sort of symmetric for the buildings in the background.

The blur of the Joker is also very interesting. The creator of the poster intentionally blurred almost every part of the Joker except of his hands. Joker’s face is blurred because the designer of the poster wants us to match the drawn happy face to Joker’s face. His hands is not blurred because we want to see that one of Joker’s hands has blood remaining, and the other is internationally pointing at us like saying “Why So Serious” to us, which seems more like advertising the movie to me because Joker is creating an interaction with the audience. The part under Joker’s hand is also blurry because we want to see the movie information clearly.

The color choice is also impressive. Besides the smile that the Joker draw and “Why So Serious” that he wrote, everything else is in blue either dark blue or light blue. The background is filled with plain light color, which is really good to outstand the dark blue jacket that Joker is wearing, and contrast the blood handwriting. The near white blue color also makes an effect that the city looks foggy and sketchy since the Joker is in the city. Because the blue color is usually used in horror movies; therefore, this color also gives a creepy and cold effect to the audience especially with the blood.

Overall. I think that the poster did a good job presenting the main character and the place that the movie is taking place. While also attracting the audience to see the movie because Joker is pointing at the audience when he is writing Why So Serious.

Commercial Visual Review

Personally, I think that the commercial, The Force: Volkswagen is really cool and funny.

It starts from the black floor and then the camera zooms out with a dolly out and a tilt up shot, which soon we can see the main character the Darth Vader’s walking twoard us. When we can see the Dark Vader in the whole picture, the Dark Vader turns out to be a child instead of an adult which is hilarious. It is also interesting that the color of the floor matches the clothes of Darth Vader and the color of the wall contrasts the floor and the Dark Vader. Then the camera changes the shooting to the backside of the Dark Vader. In this scene, the whole hallway is highly contrasted with the next door, which seems to have more light. It looks like the Dark Vader is on walking out of the back stage to the front stage to perform. But this Dark Vader turns out to have no magic powers like the real one.

He tries to make a treadmill to run, a dog to move, washing machines to start, a doll to be alive, and a plate to move. But it all failed. By shooting the treadmill scene, the camera first uses two shoots to show the kid and the treadmill. Then it turns to be a high angle two shots that we can see the treadmill screen is not working while still seeing the child. High angle can also emphasis how small the children is, which makes the scene awkward and funny. In the dog scene, it continues to use two shots, but adds a individual shot for the dog that gives a confusing looking to the Dark Vader that present the awkwardness to us. For the washing machine shot, it is very short because it wants to connect with the doll shot that the hand motion of the two shots matches the rhythm of the music. In addition, in the doll shot, the camera gives us a symmetric shot while zooming in the camera. I think the director wants to show that the doll is not moving while the kid is performing his magic, but zooming in to the doll also gives me a creepy feeling. After this the camera moved to a scene that the kid is sitting in the dinning table he is performing magic to drag something. Then the camera switches to him and his mom that gave him a weird look and slides the dish to him.

After failures and failures, we finally see the product of this commercial, the Passat car, came into scene. After being noticed that the kid’s dad is back home from the dog bark, the little Dark Vader jumps out of the chair and runs out to the car, instead of his father. The Dark Vader still does not give up his hope of magic powers. But this time when he performs his magic, the car actually started that shocked the Dark Vader. It turns out to be his father pressing the engine start button. It shows the love of the father that makes his boy dream to come true, and how awesome the remote control is for the new Passat. The camera move for these series of scenes is outstanding. When the new Passat comes into scene, the picture has several curves, and the car drives in curves too, which makes the scene harmonious. Following the scene that the dad goes out of the car, the camera is panning to the left. This move is more like exhibiting the whole car because the panning center is on the car, which makes sure that the audience catches the whole side view of the new Passat. Then the little kid comes out with a relatively low angle. The purpose of this is to have more emphasis the body language of the kid waving to his dad and eagerly running to the car. I also think it is cool that the camera then has a shot inside the car which reminds me the shot over the shoulder, while this shot also has a purpose of demonstrating the inside design of the car. While the small Dark Vader is performing his magic again, the camera uses two shots again with unequal spacing, following up with a close up shot of the mask and hand of the child. When the car actually responded him, the camera switched to the back of the kid and facing the Passat so we can see the lights are flashing which shocks the Dark Vader. The next scene has an extreme close up of the remote control that we saw there is a button that can start the engine. After that scene, the camera shifts from a middle close up to a wide shot of the Dark Vader confused, looking at the new Passat and home. This camera move makes the audience see the car again and make them remember the car more clearly.

Overall, I think the commercial is smart and cool. It is full with humor that the story plot and the camera angle that the director chooses which makes the audience remember the commercial more clearly. I think the actors and the director did a good job to present the new Passat without just telling the story to us.

Visual Review for a Music Video

I think the music video Transcendence by Lindsey Stirling is really awesome, although the storyline of this music video is a little bit weird. It is about Lindsey wearing a white dress, and a fashion designer changing clothes on his computer and the computer connects to a projector that is on Lindsey. But what makes it weird is that both of them are not in the same place, so they cannot see, touch, feel each other: they are disconnected. What is interesting is that the emotion of the two characters are somehow are connected, but in an opposite way. For instance, at one place when Lindsey is smiling after she noticed that the fashion designer no longer controls her; however, the fashion designer acted to be shocked and scared and went to check the computer immediately. There are also other scenes in the video that the two character’s expression is linked together that makes the whole video interesting.

In the beginning of this music video, the fashion designer is controlling the clothes that Lindsey is wearing. But as Lindsey picked up a violin on the ground, the whole situation changed. The clothes that are displayed on the dress changes when she is playing the violin (instead of when the fashion designer is clicking on different clothes that changes the display of the clothes). After knowing that her clothes will not change anymore, which is when other people’s clothes are flashing and the clothes on herself is not, Lindsey begin to play her violin which make her dominate the selection of clothes that eventually drives the fashion designer crazy. On the other hand, when the fashion designer is crazy pulling out cords of the computer, the video uses low angle to make the fashion designer to look bigger and fierce. At the time when the fashion designer is totally crazy, the camera moves while he is smashing the keyboard, and pulling out the mouse cable, which makes the whole scene wild. The scenes also have some crazy camera switches between what is happening to the designer and the spotlight, which eventually turn out to be a flash, and the whole scene comes back to Lindsey.

To emphasize both character’s expression, the video uses lots of middle close ups to close ups with zoom ins and zoom outs on the character. For Lindsey, it is mostly middle close ups because we want to see how joyful she is when she is playing the violin; but for the fashion designer, it is mostly close ups to express his frustration and craziness. In the video, Lindsey is also interacting with the people and object that are displayed on the background. She gets a beer when somebody is handing her one, copied the clothes that someone else is wearing when she is touching it, and she wonders around the crowd people are passing by her. It is also interesting that in the end, the whole scene changed all into white, except the violin that she has on her hand. I think the director did this purposely because the director wants to emphasize the violin as an important role of her to be free in the music video, which also the violin is the main melody in the whole music.



Visual Review – Rocky

This movie is an action movie about Rocky, a man who was really passionate about boxing, but was never trained professionally. Because he usually doesn’t get a lot of money from his fights, he was also active in a gang in order to survive and make money. During this time, which was also the 200th anniversary of America, the heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, was prepared for a fight but unfortunately his opponent was injured. So instead, he decided to pick a random person to fight with, and the person who won fifteen rounds will win one hundred and fifty thousand dollar prize. This lucky person is Rocky. When Rocky was announced to fight Apollo, Mickey, his manager, agreed to train him. With Mickey’s training, his own faith and encouragement from his girlfriend, Rocky survived the fifteenth round, and earned everyone’s applause, although he lost the match. In the movie, the filmmaker uses different shots and angles to convey his ideas to the audience. The beginning of the movie starts with a full frame of Jesus and then switch to the fighting scene with Rocky. The filmmaker chose this scene to convey sympathy for Rocky, as he isn’t making a living off of his passion. Next, the camera zooms in on Rocky’s reflection as he studies photo of his younger self. The focus then changes to Rocky’s face contrasts with how naïve he looked when he was young and how tired and frustrated he is now. When Tony Gazzo left him alone after paying him money, the frame was a zooms out from Rocky’s face to the view of the street he’s walking on. This is used to show Rocky solitude. When Rocky was using a fire hydrant to break open a locker, the filmmaker chooses to use low angle to shoot the frame to make Rocky look strong. In addition, when Rocky is in a fight, the focus is mostly on Rocky’s face to show his determination to win the fight. When Mickey is begging Rocky to let him be his manager, the camera focuses on Rocky throwing darts. The camera is shooting Rocky instead of Mickey to show that the audience as well as Rocky shouldn’t be paying attention to him. In the previous scene, when the camera is shooting Mickey begging to help Rocky, the video uses a middle close up shot of Mickey to demonstrate that they are now equals. After Mickey’s successful training, Rocky ran to the highest place in Philadelphia with his hand held up high to show his victory. This iconic shot uses a low angle to show Rocky’s strength and determination after all his hard work. The filmmakers chose multiple street scenes because it uses the street as lines that go across the whole scene, and uses unequal spacing for Rocky when he is walking on the street. Overall, I think this is a great film not only for the meaning behind it but also for the choices in camera angles and shots.