The Counterfeiters

6 05 2010

  This is based on the true story of how Germany ran out of money during World War II and started making fake pounds to fund their war effort.  The take an imprisoned Jewish-Russian Saloman who was the greatest counterfeiter before the war.  He was working on counterfeiting the American dollar just as he was arrested.  He’s pulled from work in a concentration camp and put on Operation Bernhard, the largest counterfeiting scheme in history.

  After Sally and his team make a counterfeit pound that even passes the British bank’s inspection, they are given the task to make the American dollar.  Sally, determined to finally conquer his greatest fake yet, sets forth.  But one of the men helping with the production keeps sabotaging the dollar, doing anything to stop Hitler and his cause.  Finally the decision is on the table: produce a counterfeit dollar bill or five men will be shot then replaced until it is produced.

  This Holocaust movie gives you another view of life in concentration camps and how the Germans, knowing they were going bankrupt, would do anything to win the war.  I highly recommend this movie if you like heist-like movies kind of like Ocean’s 11.

Ellen





Music Monday Vol. 4

3 05 2010

There’s something about this song that gets me.  Do you ever do that, listen to a song and kind of just feel it?  Yeah.  Anyway, I don’t even know where this song came from… I found it on my laptop and suddenly it was there.  The song is Caitlin by Clouds and Cities and I really don’t have any words to say about it.  I find with the music, it’s better to listen.  So listen to this one and I’ll think of a band for next week that I can tell you more about.

Caitlin by Clouds and Cities

Ellen





The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

2 05 2010

  The Boy In The Striped Pajamas tells us the story of Bruno and his family during World War II.  Bruno’s father, a soldier, has been promoted at the beginning to the film to head of a concentration camp.  The family moves into the countryside, about a mile or two from the camp, into a nice cottage full of Nazi soldiers.  With just his sister Gretel as a companion, Bruno spends one day wondering around, hoping to find clues of the strange farmers across the hill in the camp.  He winds his way through the woods until he comes to the fence and meets a little boy named Shmuel.  Every day after Bruno escapes into the woods and meets Shmuel at the fence where they will sit and talk for hours, two little boys who don’t know or understand the politics of war.  Then one day Bruno’s new friendship is discovered by one of the nastier soldiers at his home who tries to make him terrorize Shmuel.

  This film takes a hard look at the power of friendship and the innocence of children in the subjects that adults war about.  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a great film, [cinema-wise, not the Holocaust].  I first watched this film while on vacation in Washington, D.C. right after we had visited the Holocaust Museum.  I hadn’t heard anything about the film so I was caught off guard when it started in the midst of the Nazis.  A great movie worth watching, I would keep it away from your children until they’re in high school and better understand what actually happened in Europe during World War II.

Ellen





Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

1 05 2010

  I will admit, I watch Veggie Tales when I can find it.  I always like Silly Songs with Larry, they make me smile.  So last night, instead of working on one of my papers or studying for a final, I watched Jonah.

  We follow Bob on a road trip to a concert with a van full of kids.  A few mishaps occur that soon leave them needing a tow truck at a seafood restaurant in the woods.  While they’re waiting for the truck and tempers are riding a thin line, the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything tell them the story of Jonah to remind them about mercy and compassion.

  I liked this movie, putting the serious story of Jonah from the Bible on a level that children can understand and learn serious subjects like mercy and compassion from. Definitely worth your time to sit down with your kids or your niece and nephew to watch.





Ellen Update

29 04 2010

I have been blogging for several weeks now about the movies that I have watched recently, and how they measure up to the hype I heard beforehand.  My two cinema classes have had me watch a variety of films that I normally would have never looked into.  Among these films I have found great cinematic moments and horrible, half-written plots.  I hope as I continue to blog about the movies I can pick movies without the bias that I had previous to this semester.  And of course, I will blog about the movies from a real prospective, not an Academy standpoint.





Pan’s Labyrinth

28 04 2010

   This movie is on several 100 greatest movie lists so I thought going in that it was going to blow my face off with its awesomeness.  I didn’t read up on it, didn’t know anything about the plot line or premise.

  It starts out following a young girl, Ofelia, and her pregnant mother who are going to stay out in the woods with the mother’s new husband, a captain from the end of WW2.  The Captain’s cabin in the woods is an old mill that he’s using as a military outpost against the guerillas hiding in the woods.  Ofelia’s mother is very sick with the baby and Ofelia is left to occupy her own time.  She likes to read lots of books and there’s a labyrinth at the wood line just past the mill.  One night Ofelia follows what she believes is a fairy into the labyrinth and discovers that she is a princess from another world.  If she completes three tasks, she can re-enter the world and live immortally as the princess.

  Ofelia completes the tasks slowly, encountering strange monsters while trying to take care of her mother as time for the baby draws near.  She befriends a housekeeper, Mercedes, who is helping the guerillas get supplies by night.  The captain remains distant, and Ofelia even overhears him telling the doctor that if it comes down to saving his wife or the baby, save the baby.

  The strangeness of Pan’s Labyrinth kept me hooked, I was mildly curious to see what happened next.  I watched to the end, just to get answers.  And when I got to the conclusion, I felt like I wasted 2 hours.  I mean, really Guillermo del Toro?  All that creative genius and that’s what you use to end this?  I don’t think this really belongs on any “Greatest Movie” list.  I don’t even think this is worth a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Do yourself a favor and go watch Inglorious Basterds instead.

-Ellen





Music Monday Vol 3

27 04 2010

This is a little late, but I never pass up a chance to suggest bands to others.

This guy is from Australia, his name is James Butterworth.  I found him on YouTube, covering someone else’s song.  But he writes his own and their quite awesome.  I was listening to this kid way back in 2008 before he had a cd.  I’ll admit that some of his songs are weird.  But then he writes a song that feels like the words fell out of my head.  These two are my favorites:

Summer of Like by James Butterworth

Book of Leaving by James Butterworth

This Australian is one of my favorite singer/songwriters I’ve found on the internet.

-Ellen