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Looking at Movies. The Hangover (2009) Director:Todd Phillips - Essay Example

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In “The Hangover,” the linear progression of traditional filmmaking is forsaken for a “start at the end, and go back to the beginning” type of narrative. While this may be somewhat unconventional, it is also fairly established in the contemporary filmmaking environment…
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Looking at Movies. The Hangover (2009) Director:Todd Phillips
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Looking at Movies. The Hangover (2009) Director:Todd Phillips

ave a rather conservative message, reinforcing the rituals of male bonding in the culture, and also acting a sort of postcard from, or commercial for, Las Vegas. To the movie’s credit, however, this is not the Disney-influenced Vegas of theme parks and family-friendly vacations; it is more of the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” experience that is being promoted.
Analyzing a specific scene in the movie, one can recall the scene in which the hung-over friends return to their hotel suite, only to find Mike Tyson and some of his entourage there, who are incensed at the theft of Tyson’s pet tiger. The film grammar in this scene is very tight and choreographed, but the dialog and nature of events still add a degree of randomness to the scene. This scene is about introducing the role of Tyson in the movie, and so it sets up and encapsulates his involvement briefly, and ends with the “punch line” of a Tyson knockout, choreographed to perfectly match the drum intro to a Genesis song. After watching the scene, the viewer is familiar with Tyson’s thoughts and emotions regarding the loss of his tiger.
The mood of this scene is established in several ways. First of all, there is the introduction of Tyson as a character who, while good natured, exudes menace. This is clearly shown in the scene’s camera angles of Tyson, and the way he is only directed to move at the end of the scene, when he delivers the surprise punch-out. The main shock of this punch-out is added to by the relative calmness and coherence of the dialog. It appears near the end of the scene that everything is going to be OK, and that Tyson is just having fun. The doubt about their activities even invites the viewer to wonder if Tyson might be a new friend of the group’s. But the mood is one of outrage and threat, and this is clearly shown in the scene’s conclusion.
In terms of political meaning, “The Hangover” is fairly conservative. The behavior of the characters is ... Read More
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