Hero Clip Analysis

1. My eyes are first drawn to the swords that are beating against one anther in this clash, and also the swordsman fighting. My attention then turns to the scrolls in the background, and how they are the perfect fighting grounds for these insightful masters. Though with the fight, my attention truly turns to the pained expressions of the bystanders and the pacifists. Nameless and Snow begin this quarrel, and Broken Sword is forced to fight because of it. The close ups to their faces, and the shots of their fight all have me focused on faces. Especially to Nameless, who also does not want to fight Broken Sword. I think that this is done because Jet Li’s character has no name, and I began to wonder if he had no facial expressions either. No hate, no remorse, and no pity. For the sake of character development, I am focused entirely on the faces of the actors.

2. This scene does not use many props, but they all carry significance to the plot. The swords that they use show that this is feudal Asia, and that the unique blade designs are of ancient making. The scrolls show that this is where knowledge was stored so long ago, instead of databases in which they are stored now. The ornate designs of the floor and of the pillars, and the entire room itself shows that this is a quiet place of learning turned battleground by the presence of the swords. It shows that this library is a holy ground for knowledge that is being misused. Everything down to the robes show that this is feudal Asia.

3. White is one of the two strongest colors in this scene. It is worn by all of the characters, and it symbolizes each of their innocence in this senseless fight. No one is at fault, merely their human nature that corrupts their purity. Tan brown is very dominant, as it is the color of all the scrolls. This shows the ancient and decaying scrolls through that color. Brown is representative the most by trees, and these scrolls represent the ancient upstanding of trees in the world. Always watching, throughout the ages. These colors are definitely the most powerful, as the entire room is a combination of white/tan. This color scheme only reaffirms the belief that this library is ancient, wise, and pure in virtue of nonviolence. This is a place of preserving the beauty of wisdom, and it only furthers the idea that this fight is wrong. Wrong in both setting and ideals. The swords dark gray is used to cut apart the white and brown of the room, and show an alien presence that does not belong with the rest of the room and characters. This gray is used to show the corruption of this holy place, and makes it easier for the swords to be seen as misplaced in this library. The nature of these two colors are at war in this scene.

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Big Fish Clip Analysis

1. My eye was first attracted to the path that Edward made as he strode to “the love of his life”. This is because this scene was basically prophesied moments earlier, so the focus on this scene was greatly enhanced. The power of this story, along with the magic of this still scene make their meeting so focused on. The greatest focus of this scene is Sandra, as she is the center of the shot. Though as the scene progresses as he moves across the room, my attention turns to all of the obstacles that he walks past. The hula hoops, circus folk, trained animals, and spectators mixed in all create a chaotic environment that he just strolls by. It is very impressive how the focus shifts so easily from the chaos to the main characters, but this scene actually combines this love scene well with the magical feeling. My focus is always drawn on the characters and movement, but not the setting behind them. The circus does not really stand out in this scene, because there is already so much going on that cancels it.

2. Obviously this scene was filmed in a circus tent, so all of the necessary props that belong in a circus are used to create the sense of wonder. Though it is a circus, it does not carry any sense what the time period is. It is the use of the actors and the other props outside of the tent that reveal the time period/location. The only thing that shows that this circus is in more modern times is the light fixtures in the back, which are well placed to show that they are still in the correct time period. The clothing is very old fashioned, and the only reason that it would be used is if the time period is before 1950, or the people are from the South. In this case, it is both. From the old fashioned cars that drive away, we can assume that the time period is correct, and that the old field could very well reside in the South.

3. Red is a very dominant color in this scene. The circus curtains, ring, popcorn boxes, circus uniforms/props, and even Edward’s shirt. The lightbulbs above are multicolored, but red is definitely used. The multitude of colors are used to retain the magical feeling that this scene is meant to generate. Ironically, the least dominant color in the entirety of the scene is blue, which appears very rarely. The reason that this is ironic is because the main focus and point of this scene is Sandra, who happens to be wearing blue. I believe that red is used to make the natural setting of the scene, and blue is used to show the rarity that is Sandra. It allows her to stand out much more, in a color that is most soothing and contrasts with the red. Red is a very dominant color in general, and the light blue that Sandra is wearing truly matches with the dark red of Edward, making them a fit match.

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Inception film analysis

1. My eye is always drawn to the bodies of the characters as they struggle in their respective dreams. As Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character is thrown around the room as a result of the changing environment, we remain focused on him.  I believe that this is done because this shot was made using complicated props that made this “Rotating Hallway”, and this focus on the characters help to reveal the natural thrill that the actor is dealing with. No actor is prepared to film a fight scene that defies the laws of gravity, and the focus on the characters show the real struggle that is happening. The audience does not need to focus on the walls of the room to see the depth of the scene. We can understand what is happening simply from the bodies of the actors.

2. The hallway itself reveals itself to be a decadent hotel, one that has all of the frills. The use of the lamps, ornate designs, and the elevator all show that the characters are in a high class hotel of today. Where exactly is unclear, but it assumed from the decadence that the hotel is in a lavish city. Possibly New York, Paris, London, though I actually imagine Hong Kong. The van in which Yosef is driving is all white, almost symbolizing a white lamb that he must protect from slaughter. Though the hotel is advanced, the scenery of the city that Yosef races by does not reveal any of the earlier decadence. It is a dirty city, and the sense of danger is highest in this scene. Men with guns appear from everywhere, and the grime of the city streets together with the rain shows a worn city. Much older than some of the buildings in the setting. The setting of the dying city is nostalgic to Detroit, which is where I would guess this scene was filmed, though it is meant to be more of New York, as is the Hotel supposedly, all of this is according to the dream of Fisher.

3. In the car chase scene, the neon lights of red and green are the most dominant, while many of the other colors seem suppressed by the rain and the danger. The hotel seems to have a focus of yellow and tan orange, as all of the walls are covered in those colors or lit by the lamps. The contrast of white and black is very strong in the chase, as the white van races away from its black counterpart assailants. In both scenes of the hotel and the chase, black is very strong as that is the color of all of the guns, and the colors around it are always lighter to contrast the dark. The black is used in the hotel because it contrasts the lighter colors, and shows how the normality of a hotel is defied by this color. Black is the color that is most out of place in this scene, and its color also makes it stand out the most. It is easier for the audience to see the dark in the light, as it were.

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In the Mood For Love

In the Mood for Love

Sociocultural Context

 

The Sociocultural Context heavily affected this international film, In the Mood for Love. The film takes place in Hong Kong after the release of British rule, one of the last mandates of the British Empire. As control of the city turned from the English to the Chinese police, the people were forced to adapt. Immigration was at an all time high, and economic difficulties also rose. This played a huge part in the film, as it showed the problems faced by the two main characters. The financial difficulties forced these two different spouses to live in very cramped spaces, symbolic of the entire city at the time. The increased immigration meant that everywhere would be more cramped, and even more it seemed that the main characters were immigrants as well. Although it was never said, I believe that these both were not native to the city, and we assume that they are just moving into the city for the first time in the beginning of the film. In this way, they represent many different people in that time. However, they differed from the ordinary Chinese. There was a culture clash as a result of British occupation, where Chinese ideals clashed with British standards. While this was an international film, neither the director nor the film itself could ignore the fact that it was based in China during an unstable period of ideology. While the British ideals might demand a confrontation and revenge on their partners, the Chinese ideals might have required silent acceptance. This clashing of opinions is what drives this film’s plot, and it leads to the climax of regretful longing. Although these ideas are what lead to China’s embrace of capitalism and allowed directors like Wong Kar-Wai to make this film, it raises controversies between the two ideologies. The vast majority of the population was under 25, and so the real contest was between Mao and China’s youth. This clash was heated in Hong Kong, which was the forefront of the debate, as it was the center of the cultural melting pot. As Mao challenged the ideas of the new age, he also fought against the ideals of the West. The youth of China would raise their voices in protest, and Communism would slowly fade. China has become a mix of capitalism and communism, while this film was a forerunner to the clash of ideas that would result in a mix of the two. While this film is about the two jilted lovers forming their own affair, first as a way to get back at their spouses for their betrayal, it soon became a new love story. Although they never confirmed their relationship, they did get revenge on their spouses for the time that they stole away. The revenge was simply to be together emotionally as kindred spirits, but never as lovers. This is the limitation of the mixing of Western and Eastern ideals, and the result became lackluster in the belief of Western’s “true love”. The Sociocultural context of an emerging melting pot of ideologies led to the culmination of both Chinese and British ideals, which impacted this film In the Mood for Love greatly.

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HERO

Tarantino is an extremely popular director in America. His work is well known, and he has even directed a film on the AFI’s top 100, Pulp Fiction. He also happens to be a great lover of kung Fu movies, which he happened to grow up with, which lead him to direct the Kill Bill series. It is clear that Quentin Tarantino has an effect on audiences in America, but his reach does not end with American cinema. He has created films that have reached many different cultures, like Desperado and Inglorious Bastards. His films travel far beyond American borders. As Quentin Tarantino is a lover of kung Fu films, his fans may become so as well. Tarantino has attracted a following that rivals directors from any time period. Hero is not as well known in America as it should be, but the influence of Quentin Tarantino can change that. His opinions speak for the opinions of many, where people who are not accustomed to Kung Fu films can become as enthusiastic as he is. Tarantino is a household name, and his approval of Hero would earn the approval of many in the US. The alliance of Jet Li and Tarantino is very strong, because Jet Li is the most well known of martial artist actors that the film Hero has to offer. While some may be hesitant with a film like this, even with the approval of Tarantino, the addition of a Hollywood regular like Jet Li can help ease moviegoers into seeing Hero. The only thing that keeps Hero from being well known in the US is the cultural and space differences. China is so far away, and the subtitles may just turn people down to the idea of Chinese cinema. Hero is an exceptional film, but the culture barrier is what keeps this film from breaking through in America. Once again, this is where Tarantino can be a lifesaver. Tarantino can offer a new point of view to these uncertain Kung Fu fans, and his influence can change even public opinion. In my own personal opinion, Tarantino is definitely in my top ten favorite directors, and I believe that this is more or less shared by other filmgoers. Tarantino has amassed a following, and now all that he has to do is get the word out. “Go and see Hero”. Just by simply tweeting that, posting on facebook, or just get his conversation with Jet Li out there for everyone to see, then Tarantino helps this film more than anyone else could. No other higher paid American director is such an avid and active Kung Fu aficionado, or as well known as Quentin Tarantino. Any international film would be honored to be endorsed by one of the US’ greatest modern directors.

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Mise en Scene

 

I chose from the movie Hugo, the segment in which Hugo is dreaming, and stumbles upon a key on the train tracks. As he reaches down to get it, a train nearly hits him and crashes into the station and out of the building. Then when Hugo wakes up, he sees that his pocket watch is gone, and he looks to his automaton for answers. Hugo begins a mechanical transformation, which is even more nightmarish than his first dream. He wakes with a fright, and sees everything is back to normal, but he still looks at his automaton for answers. In this scene, our eyes are attracted to things that are hidden or missing. Meaning that, when Hugo dreams the train crash, our eyes are glued to the key that he finds, and also to the train tracks. We as the audience are already anticipating the train, but Hugo is completely unaware. This scene can be broken up into two main parts. Those parts are the train crash and the mechanical nightmare. Our eyes are most focused to the key in the first dream, and the watch in the second. These objects represent what is lost in Hugo’s life, and how he desperately tries to find them. The angle of the camera is usually from Hugo’s point of view. When he looks down at the tracks, the camera is faced downward with him. The angle of the camera is also faced upward, when Hugo looks at the train, and also to the station. In Hugo’s dream, the camera begins at eye level, but actually transitions to looking down at Hugo, as if his father is the one watching his transformation. The camera is usually very close to the action, starting with Hugo on the tracks, it is right there with him. When it shows the devastation that the train wreaks in the station, it is much further from the action, especially when the train breaks through the station, and falls into the street.  But in the other scene, the camera is very close as Hugo is in a small room, and the camera takes very strong close-ups to Hugo. In the first dream, the color values are bright, along with high lighting. The whole scene is very easy to see, and is very bright as well. The destruction is not diminished because of low lighting or dark colors. The filter however, seems to be adjusted to greater brightness, and the film seems hued with yellow. The brightness and color of the scene exhibits some childlike innocence, as Hugo does not think of the repercussions of his actions on the track. The brightness also symbolizes the children’s book, I believe. That is because the world is so bright, and it does not darken for the rampage of the train or the threat of death. A child does not fear a train in the station, no matter what it is doing. All of this is normal in a children’s book. A subsidiary contrast is the automaton. No matter what happens, no matter the strange dreams, the audience and Hugo are drawn to look at the automaton. And the lifelessness of that machine is a lasting impression on the viewer. This is because both Hugo and the audience are expecting to see the automaton move, and every time we are let down. That only fuels us, and we are even more drawn to the machine every time.  In the second part of the dream, the colors are all dark except for the metal, which seems to almost shine. The darkness of the room symbolizes where Hugo truly is. He is not down in the station with his family, all happy and bright. He is in the underbelly of the station, where the only true color is darkness. The despair of this place represents Hugo’s fears of failure, and also the reminder of his loneliness. The strange hue is gone in this dream, and the camera only emphasizes the darkness by filming it as is. When Hugo begins transforming, the space around him distorts. It seems as though he is two-dimensional, as is everything around him. The cogs and the wheels begin to spin like on his machines, and Hugo slowly becomes the automaton. Now this is not strictly two dimensional, but I believe that for this scene, Scorsese had in mind to make it seem more like the book. The two dimensional book would be very close to this scene, as Hugo seems to be the only thing not quite two dimensional, but that only gives him depth, the way the book would have drawn him as some three dimensional design. The density of the second scene is remarkable. When Hugo transforms, every piece of metal or cog seems to light up on the screen. The metal seems to not have much detail, but in fact the metal has small scratches, dents, or are dirty from use. This shows great detail in my eyes, and is the best use of detail in old machinery. In the first dream, Hugo is not spatially impaired.  For the beginning of the dream, he can move freely in the station, but when he is on the tracks, he has no room to move. The busyness of the station almost forces him on the track, mainly because I think that the entire dream is pushing him to that key. The second dream however, Hugo is offered a bit more room. His small room however does keep him a bit enclosed. This part is a bit more tight while he lies on the bed, but as the dream progresses, Hugo freely jumps up and runs from his transformation. Although I would have to say that the framing is very tight, as Hugo is usually forced into the situations that he is in, especially in his dreams. Hugo always is present in the center of the screen. All attention is focused on him at all times. The depth of the first scene is very simple. As the train destroys its way into the station, the foreground is the space right in front of the camera, the train is always the midground, and the background is always the shops of the station. This is done to keep complete focus on the train, while also showing the ridiculous nature of where it is. It is a train in a train station, but it is not on the tracks. Scorsese keeps the childlike wonder of the book powerful by using strange occurrences throughout the film. The space between characters is usually wide. For instance when the ordinary people have a train running through their station, they all run in different directions from the carnage. Even the train workers are far away from each other, even in that confined space. Usually all of the characters have plenty of space between each other. I found that Scorsese did a fantastic job with “Hugo” through my analysis, and there are many more underlying themes present in “Hugo”. 

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KRRISH!

  1. 2 and a half stars

 

 

  1. They got the heroism down pretty well in this film. Bollywood factors still play the biggest role, but when the American effects and heroics begin, this film begins the likability factor to audiences. Of course the film on a whole is primarily Bollywood, but they did get some American ideas right. They made superhero films different, in the way that America made Superman. Krrish is technically just a man, but with all of his functions super enhanced, like a bad car with a super engine installed. I feel that Superman is the same, with all of his powers are regular human actions, just super enhanced. Krrish uses all the emotional factors necessary for a hero of today, with twists of his reality and learning to be a hero. That is what makes him super, and what can change the story to make it work. Of course all of the musical scenes were different, and it seemed like it had a Dark Knight/Matrix seriousness when he put on the mask, but he seemed to goof off and dance during the other parts of the story. This is where the real differences of this seem to derive. Also, the intense crying almost the entire time. That’s what made it the best movie it could be.

 

  1. I believe that this was an important technique to use. I feel that it was necessary to get the most amount of back story for the villain as possible. The villain in this film is shown maybe in ten minutes or so of actual screen time. Krishna is in the film at least 10 times as much, and that really shows in all of the music scenes. There is rarely any time to give Dr. Arya any depth, so this emergency broadcast is necessary to review what is happening in the film, at the time. It also reveals his ego, which is tremendous. He feels that he is so important, that the world should know every little thing that he is doing.

 

  1. Unfortunately, I am not quite ready to be a Bollywood fan, and I think it might be safe to say that I will probably never be. When it comes to Indian cinema, I don’t think that I can be ready and willing to sit through a whole film. When it comes to other films, I think that I can be more open, but Bollywood is just something that I am not ready for. This gives me a new appreciation to musical numbers, or lack thereof in American cinema. This movie makes me glad that I’m American. Not because I haven’t tried Bollywood before, because I have a lot of friends who are Indian and I’ve tried to watch a movie like Krrish before, and I’m just not for it.
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Thor Response

1. 3 stars

2.  I think that Kenneth Branaugh aided the film with his Shakespearean knowledge. I believe that Shakespeare had many works that focused on lore and magic, such as Oberon and Titania in the play, “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”. I feel that he could translate the magic of Shakespeare into “Thor”, because he could recant and explain the lore of “Thor” the best. I feel that he wanted to make this film really work, and studied the Norse myths well. He kept much of Norse myth intact, which made the story stronger. His experience in Shakespeare could only help a film like “Thor”.

3. Because “Thor” is based on Norse myth, there is more of the “Thor” universe to be explored. The combination of the Norse myth and “Thor” comic books fuel its story. The film is most likely more believable and legendary than other heroes that are dreamed up. But “Thor” is a very old hero, and by bringing him into a universe of made-up heroes, I feel that it can only improve the standing of all heroes. Thor was once considered to be fact, not fiction. This fuels all heroes, especially “Thor”. Thor is a Norse God that has been spoken about for centuries, and that can eclipse any modern day hero. That’s why using the real Thor and his stories is better than using a team of modern day writers to make this script. Also, the family pains and secrets cannot be made better than what they are in the myth. Loki and Thor’s relationship as brothers is not something that a Hollywood writer can dream up, but a rivalry that is as old as the birth of heroes. Thor is more of the first hero than Superman, but the only difference is that his stories were already created, and ready to be made into a blockbuster.

5. The difference between entertainment and art can be difficult to understand, and can change depending on the circumstances. In a film like “Thor”, the way to make this legendary story more about entertainment than art, is to add movie stars and characters that make the lore less believable. I believe that Norse myth may be considered art, and that the comics of “Thor” may be considered more as entertainment. In a movie like this, every character counts. By adding Natalie Portman, I think that they sidetracked from art into entertainment. Natalie Portman has done some amazing roles in her life, but she is a movie star. Entertainment is driven by movie stars, but more importantly, movie stars that offer little to the story. I believe that Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman are the two biggest movie stars in this film, or at least the most well known, not including Samuel L. Jackson. The difference between Portman and Hopkins is pretty big in this film. Hopkins had probably half as much screentime, but he was twice as more convincing, and powerful in his role of Odin. He is someone that I consider to be able to turn “Thor” into art, worthy of awards. Natalie Portman is there to offer a female role and a few funny lines, worthy of only entertainment. Maybe it’s just because of the difference of roles, but Hopkins made this film amazing to me, and his banishment of Thor was one of the most powerful scenes I have seen in superhero movies. Natalie Portman is just a pretty face that made this film a little more entertaining.

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commentary (late)

Danny Marcinek

Commentary

 

            This was a frustrating project to say the least. The productivity from start to finish was very poor, and even laughable, in the sense that doing work was funny to my teammates. There was creative conflict in the beginning, between Alec and myself. I had an idea, and Alec had a completely different idea. It didn’t really matter that much to me, but I felt that either way the work would get done. Alec and I couldn’t come up with a consensus, so Jacob was decided to be the tiebreaker. He chose Alec’s idea. I was fine with this, but told Alec that if he was going to have complete creative control, then he would have to do the storyboard, because I had no idea what was running through Alec’s brain, and he also made it clear that he wanted it in a specific way. It was also reasonable that he would create the script, at least in part. I made it clear to Alec very early on, more than a week before the due date that he had a lot of work to do, and I would absolutely help. But his creativity was a mystery to me, and he would not allow my input. I asked him constantly in our shared 3rd block, everyday, for details on progress for the project. When I asked him, he would very casually brush me off and tell me not to worry about it. Needless to say, by the week of the due date, I was extremely worried. I knew that a script should have definitely been written at this point, but when I asked Alec, he said it wasn’t necessary. I was upset at this. I told him that he needed to write one and asked him why he didn’t already handle it. He said that there was no dialogue, so a script wasn’t necessary. From early on, I made one thing clear: I could not film from 4-6 during the weekdays. I was free during all other hours, but they decided to film during this one time slot on Wednesday the 22nd. I was a little frustrated at this, and was confined to the editing room, alone. I saw that coming. I knew that when they decided to film without me, they also decided that I would be the only one editing. At this point I thought that everything else was handled. I felt very out of touch in this group. I felt like I was left out from the beginning. I completed the editing as soon as I could, but it wasn’t until much later when the grades went out that I learned Alec had done 0 work. I felt that the only reason that we even got a 20/50 was because of the work I did in the lab, and not from the actual filming that Jacob did. If I had been as diligent as Alec, then we would have definitely gotten a 0. If I had known that Alec was so lazy, I would have stayed away from him since the beginning. Alec is a cool guy, but I will make sure my grade never again rests on his work, which is spectacular I’m sure, when he actually does it. But the truth of the matter is I was left alone in the lab, trying to decipher the unorganized thoughts and scenes of Alec Nelson. He didn’t have a script, so how could the footage make any sense to me, who was un-included in the entire filming process, or lack thereof? I left the project as a short film with a cliffhanger ending, but I didn’t know what else to do with it, because I had no idea what I had. I am sick and tired of Alec, and as a filmmaker, I have very little respect for his leadership and direction. I don’t think I will ever be able to trust film partners again. I’m just not the type who can work well with others in the filmmaking process, and especially with those who will just leave me to deal with a plummeting grade. I will show what I can really do in the next project. 

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Se7en

Director: David Fincher

Director of Photography: Darius Khondji

Music by Howard Shore

Film Editor: Richard Francis-Bruce

 

MV 5 minutes:

The most valuable five minutes of this film in my opinion are when Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are researching on the books in which the killer has read. The Canterbury Tales, the Divine Comedy, and other illustrations of hell show what kind of mind the killer must have. After seeing shots and shots of grotesque torture and nine circles of hell, we the audiences are beginning to truly understand how the killer thinks and feels. What we can actually understand is determined whether the audience fears hell, which leads to a more prophesized fear more chilling than the average modern horror. A true hell is what is being advertised in this film, as a madman makes hell on Earth in biblical proportions. This scene shows the depravity of the entire film, with only implied messages and texts of their true meaning. The directors chose these specific books to enthrall the audiences in a way other horror films cannot begin to grasp.

 

Effect of rain: The rain in this film shroud and distort both the audiences and the character’s vision and hearing of the scene. The scene in which Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are speaking outside in the rain is hard to hear and see from our point of view. It is the same in the chase scene in which Pitt chases after the killer in the raining alleyway. The rain is used to make our view as one with Brad Pitt, whose field of vision is crowded and cannot see anything above his head due to the lack of light and shadows as the crowbar descends. As Brad Pitt lays hurt in the rain, it seems like the rain is a merciless and deathly shadow on his life as it pours down on him. As the gun is raised to his temple, the rain is pouring down even harder and the gun is having the water pour off of it. This can be a symbolism how water is forgiving and lifesaving at times, but at other times can hurt or even kill like a tsunami or even something smaller scale. Rain is used as different tools, sometimes to hide what is happening and sometimes even as a motif.

 

Miracle: Morgan Freeman has played many roles as a wise black man who helps a struggling white man. He can cause miracles simply by the feeling of wisdom he always exudes in his characters, as wise and wizened men. He can do this because of how he is always portrayed in his films. Morgan Freeman has never played a foolish man, but has always been the street-smart thinker. He can fight, but that doesn’t mean anything sinister. He can play all these characters for the reason that he fits the role. Morgan Freeman can play a magical role because of his credibility, his experience, and the natural sense of wisdom from him.

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