Sunday, January 08, 2006


I felt that "Heroes and Hard Times" and "Framing Blackness" were very informative in relation to the topic of our class. They were both however, very repetitive and textbook-like, and sort of a struggle to get through.
"Heroes and Hard Times" pointed out discrimination between race, gender and age in cop action movies. I was most of the time not familiar with the movies used in the examples, but when reflecting on the ideas of the author, I do agree. Most of the time, it is the white male in the position of the hero in cop action movies. However, it is also most of the time a white male in any leading role of any genre. Hollywood is very discriminatory in every genre and within any subgroup of people. You can relate the points the author makes on stereotyping to any other differing feature on people such as weight or attractiveness. So in conclusion to "Heroes and Hard Times," yes, I do agree with the author's views of stereotypes, but I do not believe that this discrimination is limited to cop action movies.
"Framing Blackness" highlighted the discrimination of African Americans within film. The author believes that through Hollywood movies, blacks are belittled and put back into the position of servitude. True, many of the stereotypes that "Framing Blackness" shows are real. However, there are just as many movies that degrade whites and every other race. I felt that the author was a little bit too sympathetic towards antidiscrimination and took points a bit too far. For example, the author relates black servitude to the mansions used in plantation movies and how their many rooms are filled with racism and degradation; this I thought was a little ridiculous.
Although I did not thoroughly enjoy reading the books, I did become aware of ideas that I might not have noticed otherwise. Both authors were very intelligent and sometimes persuasive. I look forward to further discussing in class.

Lethal Weapon...

I found Lethal Weapon to be an enjoyable, action-packed movie. The movie tells the story of two Vietman Veterans, Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murthaugh (Danny Glover), who now serve as cops and their mission to stop a group of heroin dealers. The chemistry and the pairing of Gibson and Glover for this movie is perfect for this movie. The two characters feed off each others positives and negatives making it a great buddy- cop combination. The action at the end of the movie, although unbelievable at sometimes, is suspenseful, leaving viewers at the edge of thier seats. Overall, I found the movie entertaining and worthwhile.

Framing Blackness and Framing Opinions

Framing Blackness...very interesting, and definitely a certain frame of mind. Since the author is African American, I feel that he definitely has different takes on the subjective material that is produced by Hollywood. I loved howed he wrote the book focusing on films and genres in chronological order, because I liked how it showed the shifting views of the American public. However, I really didn't feel comfortable agreeing with his views on a majority of the films since i haven't seen many of the ones that he mentioned. There are a lot of different criticisms that the book discusses about Hollywood films, but I feel that in retrospect there were a lot of things that weren't acceptable on film until recently, even issues dealing with white men and women, such as physical contact. Therefore i feel that the same would go with issues and depictions of minorities. The reason that the african american person could play the "mammy's" and "uncle tom's" was because it was a safe category, versus images of oppressed slaves. As the author has shown that films that would depict that subject would later be able to be produced as society became more accepting of certain issues, such as homosexuality. However, with most of the movies I'm sure the author has a lot of correct stances on how Hollywood shapes public thoughts, but movies such as Gremlins and Star Wars have never given me any racial implications. How would anyone know that Darth Vadar's voice was played by an African American? It's not like that's how typical African American's sound, and i feel that the only reason that Darth Vadar's true identity is a deformed white man because yes, the rest of the star war's generation is white. If the only black person in the film was the true identity of the villan, than that would be worse than simply pairing a black voice with a deformed white face. I also feel that it is a little bit of a stretch to say that Gremlins are a representation of the uprising black youth simply by having little dark monsters run down a street. Just because something is a color black doesnt mean that they are representatives of african americans. The color black has been historically representative of evil, hence ying and yang, which goes farther back in history than white supremacy. When emphasis is put on such trivial points such as that, I feel like the author's viewpoint is discredited as a whole and attention is taken away from points that may have good merit. Also it was mentioned that Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop was originally scripted for white actors, yet there were obvious parts that were later analyzed as promoting certain racial ideals. Unless the scripts were changed after the black actors were cast, this doesnt make sense. Overall i liked a lot of the arguments that the book expressed, especially because it is a different perspective from my own. Being a woman, if i wanted to look at Hollywood's history, I'm sure i would find many references that men may overlook. Not saying that i feel like a minority or unequal because I am a woman, but i think that is because i have never separated myself and made myself feel like that. Who knows though.

Heroes in Hard Times

I found "Heroes in Hard Times" to be very redunant. I felt it was cluttered with examples. However, i liked how it was prefaced with an analysis of our society. I am a sociology major and have covered societal issues, such as the interaction of race, class and gender, in films. Therefore i found the book to be very accurate.

Framing Blackness and Heroes in Hard Times

"Framing Blackness" by Ed Guerrero, was a much easier book to read than "Heroes in Hard Times", by Neal King. Where Guerrero's book flowed and used examples that I could easily identify, King's book seemed like bits and pieces put together.
"Framing Blackness" was able to convey certain messsages such as how the industry has grown to be one dimensional and superficia, instead of being a true universal communication system that blends diverse groups together. I liked how he showed the whole process of how African Americans have entered the industry and what changes they have gone through.
"Heroes in Hard Times", however was not able to convey it's message as clearly to me. I have not really been able to analyze it so far, but when I first began reading, it ran through a script and then analyzed it. That was very helpful. As I read more and more it seemed as though the author began to just say a movie and what aspect it conveyed. The fact that some of the movies mentioned I have never seen or even heard of made it even more difficult for me to put together. If he would have taken one or two movies and went into depth with them, it would have been more helpful. Even though it was not easy to read, I could still tell that he focused on cop/heroes and different actions/reactions, that took place due to certain influences such as home life, women, bosses, and guilt.