Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside

Camera Angles and Movement:
The camera angles and movements played a major role in the affect this movie would have on people. Director Alejandro Amenabar uses a variety of techniques, some of which jumped out at me. I noticed a lot of Close-UP shots whenever they filmed Ramon in his bed. It was like he took up most of the screen and therefore dominated our thoughts and feelings. Another aspect of Amenabar’s directing that I noticed was his use of first person, that is, with the camera as Ramon’s eyes. Especially when he was daydreaming. The scene would start out with a Medium shot from the doorway of Ramon’s room, looking in, then the camera would dolly forward until it was out the window and it kind of morphed with Ramon smoothly. Then you knew it was a first person shot because the camera would swoop about like it was flying. All these movements and angles made me feel an emotion just like the mood of the movie at that time, it was great directing.
Relation to Diving Bell and the Butterfly:
The Sea Inside is closely related to the Diving Bell and the Butterfly in its similarities and its differences. The similarities between the two are mainly physical, Jean-Dominique Bauby and Ramon Sampedro are both physically handicapped men, but are still mentally able and intelligent. Society in both cases fell pity for each man, and their case is made public. But mainly there is a big difference. Bauby desires to live at least long enough to tell his story, whereas Ramon wishes to die, because his life is miserable in his state. Also another difference is Ramon can eat and talk, for he is a normal quadriplegic but Bauby has locked-in syndrome, so he can only blink his left eye. But similarly, the tales that these two men have are wonderful, controversial, and inspiring.
The Right to Die:
The right to die is a difficult topic in that it is touchy and hard to choose, in my case at least. As a religious person, I personally believe there is more to life than being able to walk or move. But I can also see why people like Ramon feel differently. That is why I am more middle of the road, because if I were faced in the situation of assistant suicide, I would say no, but I am not going to force my way of life and thinking upon those who should have their freedom of choice.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Section 5: Lone Survivor- part 2

Summary of Section 5: pages 257-317
This is a scary and suspensful section. All of Marcus's teammates are dead and he is alone with only his rifle. He is being tracked. All he is trying to do is make it to a river to drink and then the top to be saved. He tries to get to the top but falls down the sheer cliff face but he then crawls to a waterful, but gets shot by a snipers bullett and falls again. He starts hallucinating from lack of food and water and the pain. When Marcus wakes up he is surrounded. This Pashtun tribe takes him in and decides to protect him at all costs. For that is their choice so now they must follow through with it. But some Taliban sneak in and beat him up, but they are driven away by the village people. For the rest of the section, some tribesmen and Marcus are hiding in the mountains from the Taliban, while the tribe leader seeks out a U.S base for help.
My Reaction:
I had mixed feelings about this section. I kind of hoped for more intense action that was different from the mainstream plot. Because the intense situations that Marcus gets himself in to are kind of repetitive. Except for one part. My favorite part of the section was when Marcus didn't have time to reach his gun, so he took out a grenade and threw it so well placed it took out both enemies and sent rock flying down below on others. The book also gets kind of slow and repetitive at around the part where he is being held and all he talks about is how he only gets bread, then water, then bread, then water, so I kind of get sick of it. But my mixed feelings are mixed because no matter how boring or slow or repetitive some parts of this book may be, Marcus Luttrell still expirienced everything he says. It is just sometimes the way he says things can be kind of boring. Another thing that he includes that I like is he tells of his family gathering home in Texas, he did not know this at the time, but it is cool how he includes it in his story so it shows what his family thinks during his struggle in the mountains of Afghanistan. Marcus also scratches bible verses and quotes into caves he passes which i though was cool.

Section 5: Lone Survivor- part 1

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Section 4: Lone Survivor- Part 2

Summary of Section 4: Pages 195-256

This is the most intense, suspense filled, action packed, and saddest section so far. It starts out where the SEAL team is in position when a goat herd stumbles across them. The goat herders are taken prisoner by the SEALs and they debate what to do with them. The team votes and agrees that they are not murderers so they let them go. It was the worst decision they ever made. The goat herders told all the village about them and about 180 Taliban soldiers went out and searched the mountain for the SEALs. It was a major fight. The SEALs were on the down hill side and getting flanked on either side. But even though there were only four guys fighting 180, the SEALs never missed. The killed well over 120 before Danny, Mikey, Axe were killed. So it was only Marcus left. But before Mikey died, he got the radio to work and went out in the open fire to get a signa;l and called in for help. SEAL Team 10 and many other guys answered. But before they landed, the Taliban shot down there helocopter and killed them all. So only Marcus is left alone again, and he can't reach the home base to tell them where he is but helocopters are looking for him.

Section 4: Lone Survivor- Part 1

Quote 1: "Down the mountain, from every angle. Axe flanked left, trying to cut off the downward trail, firing nonstop. Mikey was blasting away...shouting,...'Marcus, no options now buddy, kill 'em all!'" -Marcus Luttrell (p. 195)
I think this quote is important because it shows the desperation of the Navy SEALs to try and find a solution that will get them out of there alive. Also this quote is important because it is the beginning of the end for their operation.
Quote 2: "We're gonna f***ing die out here" -Marcus Luttrell (p. 230)
I believe this quote is an important one because it reveals the true situation that the SEALs are in. When this quote was said, Danny was dying and the rest of the team realized they would die to. It is a powerful quote because it is so sad.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reflection on The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

For The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I had mixed feelings. I couldn’t imagine someone disliking the story, which is part of how I felt. By story I meant his “life story”. The struggle that he went through was amazing, and the accomplishment of a book while he was in that state was also great. But the content of his book was what made me feel my mixed feelings. As great as the production of a book is, I felt like he was rambling and a lot of it was pointless, unnecessary, and just didn’t have any meaning. Now that is not what I meant for the whole book, but a fairly big portion. Not everything that the author says has some great or deep meaning to it. He was just writing about his time in the hospital, and we as a class don’t need to dissect every part of the book. Which is also why this book did not quite meet up to scratch for me. It is my belief that, if you read a book on your own with maybe a few things pointed out to you it is a better, more enjoyable read than if you tear it apart and have people around you have you dissect it.
This book was not a totally bad one. Some of the things that he experienced in the hospital (besides obvious boredom) were very sad and emotional. He really understood what was going on around him when he was “locked in”. How he recognized that his son was embarrassed about him was one of the examples that show this.
Overall, if I had to rate this book out of ten I would give it a five. The reason it got as much as a five was because of his accomplishment in making a book, not because of the content in the book. Now maybe I just did not get it. Maybe I was not thinking deep enough, but my reaction to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was unsatisfactory.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Section 3: Lone Survivor- Part 2

My Reaction:

So far the book has almost been an informative book. Kind of like a documentary. But they are just about to start the mission and I think the writing will take off. I don't mind the "documentary" part of the book, but I am excited to get to know about his expirience in the upcoming mission.

Section 3: Lone Survivor- Part 1

Summary of Section 3: Pages 139-194

In this section, Marcus Luttrell and his other SEAL recruits finish their training. They finish Hell Week, which concludes phase 2 of BUD/S training and he moves on to his advanced personnel traing (phase 3). During that phase Marcus learns how to jump out of planes, researches and studies medicine, and goes through camoflauge and stealth school for sniping. Now that he went through core SEAL training, and he specialized in paramedics and sniping, Marcus was a fully quallified SEAL and ready for a mission. He is dispatched to Afghanistan where he lies in an Afghani mountain range and does "minor" missions and operations. But he encounters fire fights and goes through a lot. But he finally gets a big chance in Operation Redwing where they are supposed to eliminate a huge member of the Taliban. For security purposes, his name is not mentioned. So he and 3 other SEALs get dropped off at their landing spot and are about to start the mission.

Biography of Author:

Marcus Luttrell joined the Navy SEALs in 1999, and was awarded the Navy cross for his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2006. was born in Texas in 1975 and grew up there too. He now lives a civilian life. (Picture)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Section 2: Lone Survivor

Summary of Section 2: Pages 75-138

In this section, Marcus tells us about some of the training he went through at Coronado. He talks of his first week (called "Indoc") and that was hard and the point of it was to test the SEALs mentally and physically if they really want to stay for the next 5 weeks. Some quit but no that many. So on he went, the next 4 weeks were brutal, but he never quit. Marcus started learning things like leadership, courage, team, and just started to think he knew what was going on, when the 5th week (called "Hell Week") started. It was insane. A man actually went crazy, people were quitting everywhere, they lost half their men before lunch on the first day, but not Marcus.

10 Loaded Words:

1. Superior: This word has a positive effect on anybody who knows what it means. Marcus chose this word to show that HE knew what it meant to be superior because he was a SEAL.
2. Drastic metamorphosis: These 2 words are loaded in that they can have a positive or a negative effect on me. Drastic metamorphosis, or a big change, are just HUGE words to show the reader that they are stressing going from a little to a lot. It can either be a good change or a bad change.
3. Teamwork: This has a positive effect on me because Marcus Luttrell put that word in the book to let readers know that what the SEALs had was teamwork, a good thing, but something they had to learn.
4 .Kingdom: This word has no effect on ME but it was used coming from an officer/instructor looking and describling his recruits. It is loaded because the author could have used "men" instead of "kindom".
5. 5'6" Giant: This loaded "phrase" has an effect on me that scares me. I can only imagine a short instructor that scares the crap out of me.
6. Warriors: This word is suposed to have an effect on readers to show them that SEALs are elite, that they are so tough that the author used "warriors" to describe them, and I think of "warriors" as tough.
7. Brotherhood: This word has a positive effect on me in that it symbolizes true friendship and commitment.
8. Mercy: This word when it was used in the text has a negative effect on me because it was coupled with "no". It shows that their traing and instructors showed "no mercy".
9. Melancholy: This word has a negative effect on me because it is sad that some of the really good men quit when they shouldn't have and that some were asked to leave even if they didn't quit because they couldn't be a SEAL physically.
10. Hooyah: This word has no effect on me but it is loaded because it shows the undying obedience of a Navy SEAL and its respone of "hooyah" which means "yes".

My Reaction:
This section was an amazing read because it is just shocking what those guys have to go through. Marcus Luttrell described his expirience very well and wrote that way to give people the truth: that Navy SEALs are superior and tough. So far the book is great and I can't wait untill I hear about the upcoming mission.