We Need To Stop Complaining About the New Ted Bundy Movie

We Need To Stop Complaining About the New Ted Bundy Movie

Before complaining about Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, take a step back and think about why a movie like this needed to be made.

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On January 26, 2019, the film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile was released at the Sundance Film Festival. This movie is about serial killer Ted Bundy, who murdered at least 30 women.

He preyed on women in public places, usually acting injured or confused to gain their trust before brutally murdering them and, sometimes, performing sexual acts on their rotting corpses.

There is nothing about Ted Bundy that makes him a redeemable human being. Bundy is disgusting, cruel, and belongs in the lowest depths of Hell. Yet, during his trials, the judge expressed that he wished he could have worked with Bundy under different circumstances.

Even after hearing of his crimes, women cried when he was sentenced to death. His friends and family refused to believe that he had committed his crimes until after he died; some believed he was innocent until their deaths.

Theodore Robert Bundy was born on November 24, 1946. The identity of his father is unknown, but some believe that Ted Bundy was created out of an incestual assault and his father is actually his maternal grandfather.

There is evidence that his grandfather was abusive, but Ted Bundy states that he was very close to him and spoke of him kindly. His family regularly went to church, and he was active in his community.

His high school classmates state that Bundy was well-liked and well-known. He had stable relationships and a few girlfriends. He was liked by his professors and colleagues. He spent time working as a social worker and wanted to go into politics. He worked for a suicide hotline and created a pamphlet on rape prevention for the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commission.

I am not telling you this to humanize him. I am telling you this because these facts about him are what allowed him to become one of the most notorious serial killers in the world.

On social media, there have been many complaints about Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and not just because the name is a mouthful. People are stunned at the fact that someone like Zac Efron, an attractive and popular actor, is playing Ted Bundy.

They feel the movie is romanticizing his story and that it is making people believe that he is something that he wasn't. When we think of serial killers, we think of people who have gone through extreme psychological trauma or someone who has shown sociopathic behavior since childhood.

Many serial killers tortured small animals or collected bones during middle school, and their violent nature grew from there. Ted Bundy's family and childhood peers have stated many times that he was not this kind of person. He was social, appeared kind and put together, and has been described as "charming" by his own victims. These factors, combined with an institutionalized belief that white man are the peak of society, is how he escaped capture and cornered his victims.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is filmed from the point of view of Ted Bundy's long-time girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer. This is an extremely important aspect of the movie because Kloepfer spent her entire relationship with Bundy romanticizing him and believing firmly that he was a normal man. So, is the movie romanticizing Ted Bundy? Yes. That's the entire point.

8 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the victim knew. (RAINN)

40% of police officer families experience domestic abuse. Only 10% of the general population reports experiencing domestic abuse. (National Center for Women and Policing)

White celebrity abusers are excused or justified 2 ½ times more than black celebrity abusers. (Joanna Rae Pepin)

Ted Bundy was romanticized. He was loved by his girlfriend(s) and his family. He was let off the hook and was able to escape jail multiple times due to his skin color and his charm. He murdered over 30 women and had sex with their corpses.

He was extremely wicked. He was shockingly evil. He was vile. But, so were the police that handled his cases. So was the judge that wished he could work with him in a different life. So is the system that destroys the lives of black men for walking down the street and allows white rapists to walk free.

If we do not show this romanticization, we are failing to learn from our mistakes. We are failing the women who will not report brutal attacks by the men who claim to love them.

We are failing the children that are assaulted by their "kind" neighbors or family friends. We are allowing ourselves to believe only people who have shown their twisted, disgusting thoughts since early childhood are capable of being this way.

Instead of complaining about the way they are portraying Ted Bundy, use your time to research domestic abuse statistics. Take time to call out the white men in your life who do not understand how to respect women. Listen to your friends when they report weird men following them around. Be cautious of those who seem like they could do no wrong.

Believe victims; believe survivors.

(All information about the Ted Bundy case comes from the Netflix docu-series Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes)

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The 9 Eras Of Disney Animation

The evolution of Disney animation over the years
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As a kid I always loved movies, and no movies did it quite for me like Disney movies did. Whether they were old or new, there was something about Disney movies that just spoke to me. The music the characters, the stories-- they all helped to shape some of my fondest childhood memories and are responsible for many of my interests and beliefs today. But what I always found most interesting is the history behind these films, how the time they came out influenced their themes and meanings. So today I’ll be exploring just that-- the nine eras of Disney animations.

1923-1928: The Silent Era and the Origins of Disney

The history of Disney begins with the Silent Era. In 1923, Walt Disney, working for Laugh-O-Gram studios out of Kansas City, Missouri, created a short film called Alice’s Wonderland, which would serve as the first of the Alice Comedies. After the company declared bankruptcy, Walt moved to Hollywood, where he and his brother Roy formed Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. They worked out a deal with Winkler Productions to produce the Alice Comedies and eventually, in 1926, moved their company to Hyperion Street, where it was renamed Walt Disney Studios. After the decline of the Alice Comedies, Walt created his first ever original character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and produced 26 short comedies starring the character before a falling out with Charles Mintz, who had by 1928 taken over Winkler Productions. Legally, Oswald belonged to Mintz and his company, so he took the character and four of Disney’s animators and started a new animation company, Snappy Comedies.

1928-1937: Pre-Golden Age and Mickey Mouse

The Pre-Golden Age saw Walt recovering from the loss of Oswald and also set the stage for Disney as we know it today. In 1928, Walt, in collaboration with Ub Iwerks, created a new character that he originally named Mortimer Mouse. However, his wife didn’t like the name, so he renamed him Mickey (I think we can all agree this name is much better). Mickey made his first appearance in 1928 in a test screening of the short film called Plane Crazy. However, the film failed to pick up a distributor, so Walt went back to the drawing board and created Steamboat Willie, which was released in 1928. The film was an immediate success due to the fact that it was the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound and established Mickey as the mascot of Disney. After this, a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons were released. This series also saw the introduction of many Disney staple characters, such as Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy. Donald Duck, another iconic Disney character, first appeared in Disney’s Silly Symphonies, a series of animated short films that were popular for their innovative use of Technicolor. With this, Walt had successfully bounced back from the hardships of the Silent Era and set the stage for the Golden Age of Disney.

1937-1942: The Golden Age

The Golden Age of Disney began in 1937 with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film was the first full-length feature film to use traditional animation and was an immediate commercial success, establishing Disney as one of the leaders of animated filmmaking. Other films that were released during this time include Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Although all of these films would go on to become considered classics, at the time of their release only Snow White and Dumbo were commercially successful. What made this time considered the Golden Age wasn’t the commercial success of these films though, but rather the trends they created in terms of Disney filmmaking. Snow White was the first of the fairytale-based movies that Disney is known for and established the “Disney Princesses,” Pinocchio started the concept of taking well-known literature and turning it into a child-friendly film and Bambi explored the possibilities of making a movie through the eyes of a non-human character. Other Disney staples such as exaggerated villains, the use of music and prominent, comedic sidekicks were first introduced during this time as well. Another key characteristic of the films of this time was the inclusion of many dark scenes, which were usually sandwiched between upbeat and light scenes in order to create a mood shift. A similar, toned down version of this techniques would also be used in later films.

1943-1949: The Wartime Era

With the U.S.’s entry into World War II, Disney Studios faced lower budgets and a smaller team of animators as it entered the Wartime Era. Also known as the Package Era, the films of this time included Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. Toad. What made these films distinct from the Golden Age films is that instead of telling a single, continuous story, these films consisted of multiple short films within each. These films are largely ignored and widely unpopular, with fans criticizing them due to their lack of consistency and tone in each short. The Wartime Era also Disney Studios producing wartime propaganda, which included anti-Nazi commercials and flyers encouraging Americans to support the war.

1950-1967: The Silver Age and the Death of Walt Disney

Disney’s Silver Age, also known as the Restoration Age saw the return of many of the trends set forth by the Golden Age of Disney. Films released during this time include Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book. What made these films distinct from its predecessors was the use of more ornate backgrounds and softer colors. Furthermore, the Silver Age also saw the use of lighter themes balanced with more complex characters, creating many of the well-known characters that are still considered fan-favorites today. The Jungle Book was the last film that Walt himself worked on before his death in 1966, and the movie’s release marked the end of the Silver Age

1970-1988: The Dark Age and the Decline of Disney

Hope you guys have a flashlight ‘cos we’re about to enter a dark place, or rather a dark age (see what I did there?). The Dark Age of Disney, also known as the Bronze Age, saw Disney Studios struggle to find their footing without Walt there to hold the reins. This was a time of trial-and-error in which the animators shied away from traditional storytelling tropes seen in the Golden and Silver Ages and instead shifted toward darker and more secular stories. Films released during this time include The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, and Oliver and Company. With the exception of The Great Mouse Detective, which was both critically and commercially successful, most of these films only received little success, with The Black Cauldron being a box office flop. These films lacked Walt’s imagination and were criticized for only being intended to bring in money. The greatest criticism of these films was their departure from traditional animation and their use xerography. This saved both time and money, allowing animators to directly print their drawings onto cells. However, this process did have its limits and initially only black lines were possible using this method. As a result, films during this era are known as “Scratchy Films” because of the heavy black lines in their animation. While these films weren’t initially successful upon release, many have gone on to become cult classics. Also, the Disney Dark Age helped set the foundation for the pinnacle of Disney animation

1989-199: The Disney Renaissance and Birth of the Millennials

If you’re a millennial like me, then most of your favorite Disney moments and films likely come from the Disney Renaissance. The Disney Renaissance saw a return to the musical fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Golden and Silver Age while at the same time expanding on many of the themes and techniques introduced in the Bronze Age. Films released during this time include The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. These films were also the first films that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken worked on, both of whom are key elements to Disney’s musical success. The films during this time also had many important themes that would influence the current views of millennials; Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame taught us not to judge people by their appearances; Mulan and Hercules taught us the importance of making sacrifices; and Aladdin taught us that there’s nothing wrong with being ourselves and that the circumstances of our birth don’t have to dictate who we grow up to be.

2000-2009: Post-Renaissance Era

Also known as the Second Dark Age, the Post-Renaissance Era was unique in that whereas previous eras were marked with having a common theme about them, this era was defined as a time in which Disney tried their hands at new methods in storytelling, similar to the Bronze Age. Films from this time include Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt. These films explored new storytelling elements marketed towards kids and more mature themes marketed towards the kids that had grown up during the Disney Renaissance that were now teenagers and young adults. While Lilo and Stitch was a commercial success, spawning several sequels and a T.V. show, most of the other films released during this time only received moderate success. This was in part due to the fact that they also had to contend with huge movie franchises like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Despite not doing as well as their predecessors, the films released during the Second Dark Age are well known for their innovation. Dinosaur was the first Disney film that used CGI animation, which would become a popular element of this era’s successor.

2010-present: Marvel, Star Wars, and the Second Disney Renaissance

Just as a Renaissance followed the first Disney Dark Age, a Second Disney Renaissance followed this Second Dark Age. Also known as the Revival Era, this era marked a return to the fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Gold and Silver Ages as well as the first Disney Renaissance. During this time, Disney bought the rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm, meaning they no longer had to worry about trying to market their films toward older audiences since the MCU and Star Wars did that for them. Films released during this time include Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. Like the first Disney Renaissance, the Second Disney Renaissance built off several things introduced by its predecessor. Tangled, for example, used the CGI techniques first used by Dinosaur. Most of the films of this era have been met with great popularity, with Frozen being the highest grossing animated film of all time and Big Hero 6 being the highest audience-rated film of this time period.

And there you have it, the nine eras of Disney animations. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the history of Disney and its growth through the years. I personally loved writing this article and look forward to writing more like this one.

Cover Image Credit: Travel and Leisure

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The Academy Might Love 'A Star Is Born,' But I Wasn't Wowed

I think it's good, just not an instant classic as some would lead you to believe.

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The film nominated for Best Picture that has generated the most buzz is probably "A Star Is Born." I saw this film a few months ago, and while it really was quite good, featuring some nice musical numbers and good acting, I wasn't as blown away as some other critics, or members of the Academy were.

"A Star Is Born" was nominated for Best Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, leading all films with a whopping eight nominations.

A STAR IS BORN - Official Trailer 1 YouTube

The film features Lady Gaga as Ally, the main protagonist who is the star who is born, relating to the title. I typically don't like musical performers who venture into serious acting, but Gaga does a pretty good job of adopting her character as well as flexing her vocal muscles. While there were some cringe-worthy moments for sure, I think that has more to do with the writing, which we will get to later.

"Star" also features Bradley Cooper who was nominated for his role. While I thought he was good, I didn't think he was really anything better. He plays a very stereotypical alcoholic pop star, it's not as if anything new was brought to this role. He definitely won't win his category, but it was a decent performance. I'll definitely say that his performance wasn't nearly as inspiring as Ethan Hawke's in "First Reformed."

Sam Elliot was also somehow nominated for his role, which doesn't really make sense to me because he was barely in the movie. I'm thinking it was based on name recognition alone.

However, in terms of what I really liked about the film, I was really touched by the general ambiance of the film. There are some movies that just make you feel like you're immersed in the story, and "Star" does a great job of that. The music is phenomenal and Lady Gaga does an excellent job of bringing her stunning voice to the big screen. I also am a big fan of the original narrative, but I'm not convinced this writing does it justice. Still, it's a nice story.

Where I think this film really didn't succeed is in it's writing. I found myself cringing at a lot of the character-defining scenes, as well as some of the really weird lines. For example, I cringed so hard when Lady Gaga just starts full-out belting in the middle of a parking lot. Literally, nobody does that. I understand it's a movie, but surely there was a better way to introduce Gaga's character-defining song.

Is it worth it?

Overall, I liked "A Star Is Born" but not to the extent that the Academy likes it. I think it's good, just not an instant classic as some would lead you to believe. It's themes of mental illness, background, and trust are all relatable and make for a nice film.

Final Score: 7.2/10, Worth It

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