Thursday, January 27, 2011

Catfish Movie Review Paper

Imagine yourself traveling down a winding road; you think you know what’s around the corner, and then suddenly there’s a violent curve that throws your balance off. The movie Catfish is a perfect example of this type of phenomenon. Each scene becomes more intense as the movie progresses. If you’re a social media fan, this is definitely a movie for you. Catfish is an unbelievable documentary that will surprise you at every turn. Each scene brings the social media life to a new level. If brain teasers are up your alley, then this movie will definitely keep your interest. In many scenes the viewer is shown how evil the social networking world can become. Be careful what you believe, because everything is not always what it appears to be. The film crew will take you on a life changing adventure. You too may change your whole view on social media as it is today. This is a worthwhile, suspenseful movie you’ll never forget; go out and rent it today.

Catfish was first seen at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010, and was a huge hit. The film’s directors are Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. The movie is classified as a documentary. The movie was produced in late 2007-2008, and was released in the United States on September 17, 2010. New York, Utah, Michigan and Chicago are a few of the settings the movie occurs in. Actors in the movie include Abby Pierce, Angela Wesselman-Pierce, Yaniv Schulman (Nev), and Megan who is Abby’s stepsister. Vince Pierce also plays a crucial role in the production. The movie is about a Facebook relationship that begins because of a photograph taken by Nev. As the movie progresses and the plot changes dramatically; you will be left speechless.

One of the main characters in the movie is Yaniv Schulman, or as we know him, Nev. Nev is a 24 year old photographer who has had his pictures of dances published in the newspaper. Abby is an eight year old artist who sent Nev a painting of his published work. Nev thinks that Abby’s paintings are phenomenal. Abby and Nev become fast friends over Facebook; however, they never speak over the phone. Angela is Abby’s mother who Nev also has a relationship with. She plays a role that becomes vital as the movie progresses. Ariel, who is Nev’s brother and one of the producers of the movie, is always nearby either filming or giving Nev advice. Megan is Abby’s stepsister whom Nev forms a personal relationship with. They become so close that the pair virtually dates for nine months. As the movie advances, Megan’s role becomes larger and even stranger. We don’t end up meeting Vince, Angela’s husband, until the end of the movie, however, when we do, his role clarifies the movie as a whole. The role of Facebook and social media in this movie brings along a character of its own. It further develops the plot and creates the twists and turns that are yet to come.

There are a few pivotal moments in the movie. To begin, Nev and Megan have been carrying on a relationship and Nev thinks he has a pretty good understanding of who Megan is. They text, send messages via Facebook, and talk on the phone frequently. Megan is an aspiring songwriter/musician. Megan sends Nev recordings of her singing, and to Nev, Ariel and Henry she sounds amazing. In the movie there is a moment when Nev finds out Megan’s music is actually not hers at all. When the men look up the songs online, they discover an inconsistency between what Megan told them and the truth. They play the songs and oddly enough those original songs on YouTube, sound exactly like Megan. They come to realize that the person singing is not Megan at all. They wonder what else they have been tricked about so they decide to go to Michigan and find out. This is the climax of the movie and everything from this point forward turns into a downward spiral. Needless to say the “relationship” between Nev and Megan is over.

Catfish is a movie that we can all learn from. It shows us the dangers of the social media world and in particular, Facebook. I would definitely recommend this movie. I learned so many things from watching this movie, including that Facebook can be a dangerous place in the virtual world. I think everyone could pick up a message or two from Catfish. Our world is increasingly full of online relationships, and this shows the potential dangers of that. I think people ages thirteen and up would enjoy this movie. Mainly because social media is so influential and prevalent in most of our lives and the lessons are more applicable. I personally liked it because I am a huge social media type person. I am always on my phone or on Facebook like a large population of our world is today. People who are interested in social media will definitely be intrigued by this movie. The curriculum used in our class Writing for the 21st Century, including the movie Catfish, has opened my eyes to the future of social media, which mainly revolves around the internet, texting and further advancements in technology. This movie reminded me of the technology papers we wrote in class earlier in the quarter. Mobile technology is becoming an increasingly important part of society and it will continue to be in the future as well. This movie tied the whole class together for me. It is a documentary that is full of action, drama and love. Catfish truly is a must see film.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Catfish #3

This movie has more twists and turns that I would have expected. It is quite odd. Even when Angela told Nev some of the truth. She didn't ever tell Nev all of the real truth. There truly was no Megan, she doesn't have cancer, the "Megan" decoy was someone who was married and lived in Washington I believe. She knew none of the people who she created facebook profiles for. She had two cell phones, one for herself and one for Megan. As well, I think this movie is kind of about a screw up. I sympathize with Nev however; you truly need to watch out for the people on facebook. This is more of a warning for people I think. Things and people are not always who you expect them to be. The movie kind of had a boring ending except for the facts at the end which kind of brought it to closure in a way. I think there are by far better ways to promote your career as an artist than through a scam like this. I would not want to be Angela and be famous for this particular reason, I'd want to earn my fame for something positive not negative. Overall, this movie is better than I thought it would be. Most of the time it had enough twists and turns to keep you overall engaged but some moments were more dull than I expected. I thought this movie definitely was intriguing though.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catfish #2

This movie gets weirder each day we watch it. Showing up in Michigan unannounced is very awkward to me. If someone ever did that that I knew of, I'd be scared out of my mind. Nev's conversations with Megan are beyond disgusting and creepy. Especially since we find out Megan is Angela. Megan is has been at rehab for the past four months and Nev never truly talked to or texted Megan. Abby doesnt even paint the pictures. Nev found this our because he asked Abby's friend if she painted a lot and her friend said Abby does not. Nev has pretty much wasted nine months of his life on a fake cyber relationship. I think the movie will reveal more in tomorrows portion and become creepier yet again. I found it odd that Angela created all 20 friend profiles for Megan. The pictures of Megan are a family friend. Angela feels bad that she did this whole scheme. Yet she knew what she was getting into. This movie I think is very confusing. There is a lot of cliff hangers in this movie. You never know what to expect next.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This movie is very odd. It kind of creeps me out in a way because Nev is so trusting of people without meeting them. The whole thing seems like a scam to me, because of the songs being recordings. As well he never spoke to Abby before. Until he did on her birthday, and it sounded like a voice changer to me. I wonder if Megan is really a real person or if she is a fake person involved in the scam. Nev seems too trusting and gullable. Personally, I would never be as trusting as him especially in a situation like this. I wouldn't involve myself with someone or virtually date them. First of all thats extremely sketchy and in many cases the person is not who they seem to be or a completely different person at all. Even though the movie is very new, you'd think people would know that facebook is not the safest place to reveal yourself. I would be scared to be Nev in this situation because he practically revealed himself to Megan and with the scam you never know who he was really talking to on the phone on the internet. Photoshoping a naked picture is first off disgusting as well as creepy. If someone every did that, that I knew, I would think they were out of their mind and past the crazy point. So far this movie is very creepy in my opinion.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mobile Technology Paper

Mobile Technology
                Our world today has become so technologically advanced. Think back a few decades when cell phones were comparable to bricks, and the internet wasn’t very popular. Everything revolves around technology, and our phones are no exception. Phones have changed our world as we know it. Our world as we know it is now completely available in one little device that we like to call our smartphones. Due to new technology there have been many changes in society, the economy, laws and privacy. Many of these (but not all) have negatively impacted our world.
                First up, the changes cell phones have made in our society. Some changes positive and some negative.  Cell phones have become a key necessity in the lives of many. Most of us couldn’t spend a day without our phones, much less an hour. Our society is addicted to our cell phones and I predict that it will only get worse. I can guarantee almost every student in high school who owns a phone has texted in class. I admit to this, but personally I find cell phones hinder our society. Since our phones now have everything from email to Twitter and the latest sports update, what’s not to love?   We are becoming lazy and dependent; however, since we have our phones to do everything, people are relying on technology to do things for us. People aren’t communicating as well as we used to. It’s now typical to send a text message or shoot an email; the old fashion phone call is disappearing. Society is negatively impacted by cell phones. 
                The economy as well has been affected by the “smart phone era”.  I see cell phones as having a positive impact on the economy.  People constantly invest in the newest technologies in order to stay up to date. Also, the amount of money spent on research and development of new technology has increased dramatically. Advertising budgets have also increased. According to MSN Money Central “more money is spent marketing cell phones, in fact, than any other object in America”. Cell phones are designed around the type of service such as 3G and 4G. Phones are made to be multi-functional to help people work more efficiently and this is impacting the economy because it is easier for people to connect with each other. Also, the economy is becoming based upon the worker.  The economy has been influenced positively by the smart phone era.
                Many new laws that mainly deal with cell phone usage and driving have been put into effect. People of all ages are guilty of texting or looking at their phones while driving. If 47 percent of teenagers can text with their eyes closed (Reported by Marketing Charts) imagine how many of them can text without having to look at their phones while driving. Since phones have advanced, there is even a new term according to Nationwide Insurance called DWD which stands for “driving while distracted”. The scariest part is Nationwide Insurance states that “driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.  In Minnesota, some of the laws that have been adopted include one enacted in August 2008. This law states that it is illegal in Minnesota to text message, e-mail, or access the Web on a wireless device while driving.  The penalty for violating this law can result in up to a $300 penalty. The smart phone generation has caused awareness all over.
                Finally, privacy is a hot topic when it comes to cell phones. We all think our cell phone conversations and Google searches are private. We’re WRONG! While there are laws out there that are protecting us, cell phones are not nearly as private as we’d like to believe. According to Lawyers. com  “the US Supreme Court has found that the First Amendment allows an illegally intercepted cell phone conversation to be shared with others when the conversation involves matters of significant public interest”.  The lesson to be learned is that technology is increasing the chances that we could have our cell phone conversations recorded at any time.  Be careful what you do or say on your phone as it could be traced back to you. Most phones also contain a GPS or tracking system. With the use of today’s technology it is easier than ever to track someone; it is illegal, but possible.
                We live in the smart phone generation today. Our lives are based upon rapidly increasing technology. Technology has some good aspects; however, sometimes it may hinder us in the case of our society. Overall, cell phones do affect society, the economy, laws and privacy of lives today. As we look into the future, past decades of technology are ancient history. What will we come up with in five or ten years pertaining to cell phones? It is certain we will all be affected by mobile technology in some manner.