Fresh Trends in Advertising and Marketing to Notice: Edition Eight.

Alex Bogusky Calls out Juul.

 

In his new podcast, “The Woodshed,” Alex Bogusky calls out Juul and its advertising for indirectly targeting teens. As the forefather of digital brand interaction and purpose-driven advertising, Alex Bogusky’s TRUTH campaign became very close in closing the chapter on the old problem with the tobacco epidemic with teenagers in the 2000s. 

 

Bogusky is using “The Woodshed” as a platform to send a message to other advertising agencies to stop pitching to nicotine clients like Juul. It is immoral to take on such clients, and turning down big industry nicotine vape money can prevent the problem. Instead, if advertising agencies such as his own, Crispin Porter and Bogusky, should create a public discussion to begin the ending of this new problem. 

 

Now with the rise of Juul, he calls them out by breaking down their ads, explaining the psychology of ad lingo. It is fascinating to see how he goes in depth about how Juul attempts to “normalize” nicotine vaping use for teens. 

 

Here are messages Juul is giving us and how Bogusky uncovers and translates the truth behind them.

 

“Not every smoker wants to continue to smoke cigarettes.”

 

Bogusky: Sounds like people are enjoying it. So, it’s okay to do it. But, there are a few that want to quit. 

 

“It’s a satisfying alternative to cigarettes.”

 

Bogusky: Here is how an adult product, not for you, is very satisfying. But, you may want this new alternative because it is not harmful like cigarettes. 

 

“34 million smoke and this is 1/7 Americans.”

 

Bogusky: If you’re a teen, a lot of people smoke. So, that is okay. 

 

The appeal is that teens can’t be doing this, and Juul is using their product as a vice for them to wrestle for control against their parents. Overall, Juul is using the psychological tactic of saying, “Hey, teenagers. Don’t use our product.” Because it is effective, and if you tell them not to do something, then they will do it. 

 

As a community, we stripped creativity to promote the prevention of tobacco use in teens. But, now the rise of Juul has found a way to tiptoe around it because their product only promotes nicotine use.  

 

Bogusky is right and is one of the very few people speaking out about this issue. CPB has always been a leader in purpose-driven advertising, who have innovated digital brand interaction and creating a purpose for their clients. We should all look forward to seeing what Alex and CPB have in store for attempting to close this new chapter in teen vaping prevention. 

 

Nevertheless, PR and Ad agencies need to follow the lead of Alex Bogusky and take on teenagers as a client rather than companies like Juul to prevent the teen vaping epidemic from growing even further. 

 

Kohler Releases Third Social Impact Report.

 

The design manufacturing leader in kitchen and bath products, Kohler, has been paving the way on how we track social impact. Since 2015 they have examined their results on three problematic areas: Stewardship, Innovation for good (IFG), and sustainability.

 

Here are their results in all three of their facets in their third report.

 

Stewardship – Relief for Volunteers.

 

Created to support relief volunteers in disaster zones, Kohler has provided nearly 3,000 showers for relief volunteers across the U.S., including those who fought wildfires in California.

 

Innovating for Change and Good.

 

As a signature program, this is their initiative in implementing sustainable business solutions for their company. IfG has resulted in receiving a Mahatma Award for Social Good, spotlighting changemakers and committed to solving complex social issues.

 

Sustainability

 

This year, they have focused even more heavily on investing in renewable energy. Kohler’s reduction strategy relies on reducing overall energy use in manufacturing facilities. They actively strive to identify ways to implement renewable energy solutions by investing in 12 solar array projects. They have also publicly agreed only to receive 425,000-megawatt hours annually to offset all electric use in North America, reducing carbon footprint globally by 26%.

 

It is refreshing to see a large company taking a three-dimensional approach to provide, report, and show accountability on social impact because delivering a change in the world is a dynamic initiative. 

 

Man, Machine, and Data : The New Age Trio for Success in ROI in Ad Tech. 

 

Without data, the advertising ecosystem wouldn’t exist in the way it does. Marketers are now looking to use the new developments in the tech industry by understanding how Man, Machine, and Data can work together. Here is what we believe is the most effective way to implement it to your company for the best ROI.

 

Artificial Intelligence further optimizes tedious tasks to save time and money on human resources. With these new developments, humans can focus on more critical roles in maximizing their companies ROI. 

 

It is up to humans to know what our role is, delegating what fits. We are the ones deciding how to maximize ROI through the use of AI. For this to work, a trusted tech partner is the most strategic way of finding maximization.

  

But, ad tech still can’t achieve full potential if we do not use our data points. 

 

Humans need data to shape the advertising ecosystem. Machines do not know how to use the right data to make the correct calculations to find the best results. Humans need to fuel our AI machines in the best way possible with accurate data, creating the perfect formula for harmonious success. 

 

Simply put, think of a gas station. Humans need to put fuel into their machine. The right fuel (data), needs to go into the car (machine), and the human needs to regulate it to maximize your car’s driving performance (results). 

 

Use these tips, make sure you’re balancing the ad tech trifecta, and connect the dots to come up with a campaign that works. With that, done effectively, your company can drive great results with your campaigns. 

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

 

 

Fresh Trends in Advertising and Marketing to Notice: Edition Seven.

The biggest news in Ad Tech lies within the growing global issue of data protection, a topic of conversation that businesses need to familiarize themselves with from all over the globe. The number one authority to be aware of is ICO, the Information Commissioners Office in the United Kingdom.

ICO is the world’s leading authority on Global Data Protection (GDPR), because of their innovation of how they enforce stricter laws on GDPR. They are now the biggest worry in ad tech because of several outlined areas in which ad tech should not be operating within the field of how personal data is used within advertising’s real-time-bidding methods, Programmatic, and the open exchange market.

ICO’s influence has spread across the world, especially in the US. ICO’s equivalent in the US is the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (FTC). The FTC is now adopting the practices of ICO but in different manners. Though very similar, they are not the same because the UK has stronger laws, and the FTC uses stronger enforcement because they issue much more substantial fines.

ICO Is relevant for US’ market because the FTC will use ICO as a guinea pig to learn and strengthen their lobbying for more data privacy.

ICO and the FTC have already fined numerous digital businesses for misuse of consumer data.

The FTC’s most significant privacy-focused penalty was $22.5 million issued to Google for its circumvention of Apple’s Safari consumer privacy settings in 2012.

Also, ICO has already sought to issue Facebook with a maximum punishment for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

ICO’s enforcement of stricter laws is the right direction GDPR has to go for companies to stay honest and to keep their integrity towards their brand. With ICO acting as the world leaders for this issue, it will be fascinating to see the results of their direct impact on government departments such as the FTC, and all over the world.

-Good Spread Peanut Butter

There are purpose-driven brands, and then there is Good Spread Peanut Butter, a company that is redefining this term. Good Spread makes a direct impact almost immediately, saving the lives of children five and under whenever a jar of peanut butter is purchased.

Their goal is to stop Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), an epidemic in underdeveloped countries in which it kills more kids every year than aids, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Rather than a buy one give one model, they want to cure SAM
with a peanut butter-based medicine used to treat malnutrition. Thus, when you purchase a jar, you send a treatment of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, rather than a jar of peanut butter.

Also, what sets Good Spread apart from many brands is their level of consumer interaction, where you can track your results from your purchase. Each jar features a unique tracking code to see precisely where your Therapeutic Food packet is headed, and with that, you can see the direct impact that you have made in the world.

Within six weeks, your purchase makes a difference, statistically curing 96% of children from SAM. This is jaw joppingly magical.

What they are doing is crucial for the need for real authenticity, and is equally essential to the consistency of communicating brand purpose across all facets. With purpose-driven brands coming to the forefront, if a company isn’t doing anything, then it isn’t saying anything.

Actions speak louder than words.

-Minnesota Vikings

When most think of the NFL, they perceive it to be a selfish conglomoration, run by the old world notion of a for-profit business. But, the Minnesota Vikings are pioneering a way to change this, and it could be the future of how franchises can create social impact, despite being in a business-driven for profit through gladiatorial entertainment.

The MN Vikings and Xcel Energy have partnered up to create an initiative called Vikings Table, a custom built food truck to distribute healthy meals to the youth in the Twin Cities. Whether it is during a game, at training camp, or fundraisers, wherever the Vikings are, this food truck will be their to raise funds for the growing youth in the Twin Cities.

Close to 250,000 kids are missing meals during the summer months, and during the school year. What is innovative about what the MN Vikings are doing is that they are leading the conversation, inviting smaller foundations to use their widespread platform to join the fight in preventing food insecurity within the youth demographics of the Twin Cities.

By using their brand, they are removing traditional barriers that non-profits have to deal with everyday. The main takeaway is companies across the world should share their platforms to help create a powerful social impact that is geared towards their purpose. After all, we’re all in this fight for social good with one another, so why not work together to make a real impact.

Let’s define what the Vikings are doing as a “Platform-Sharing-Ripple Effect” in the fight towards creating results in social good.

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

 

My Experience of Doing 30 Ads in 30 Days With 30 Different Brands.

Before you ignore this article and look at the 30 ads, here is what I learned about completing this challenge.

I am a fast man. I eat fast. I walk fast. I talk fast. I just go fast. I go real fast.

The only speed I have is… go. Anyway, I saw a challenge online by Jeremy Carson to try to do 30 ads in 30 days for 30 different brands. So, I was like… hell to the yeah. Here is what I discovered about myself.

Fearlessness. The idea of failing every day for 30 days is daunting. Advertising is subjectively one of the hardest fields, and one of the toughest to break into. I learned for me to do this that I cannot be afraid to fail.

Think fast, but don’t hurry. I thought I was a fast and efficient creative before, but now I am even more so. I felt like I was eating 50 eggs in one sitting every day. 24 hours is barely enough time to think of a life-changing ad, but you need to inspire yourself to eat those eggs anyway. In other words, you better put your self out there in the most dynamic way possible.

Fall. Get up. Fall. Get up again. Advertising teaches more than selling. It’s problem-solving.

Humility. In baseball, you are only as good as your next as at bat. If I hit a home run one day, I could be striking out the next. Therefore, I better have been able to swing for the fences the next day. Never be satisfied with what you did the day before.

Flirting with my brain. I started thinking about what brands I would do before I started concepting for my 25th execution on the 25th day of the challenge. I learned to brew ideation at least a week in advance before I’d even try to make an ad for it. For example, in my Carmex ad, I thought about my experience with the brand for two weeks before I executed it.

Accountability. An AD told me to never post the ads I made on Linkedin in the fear I’d show CD’s my weaknesses. Well, advertising is all about deadlines and working under pressure. I thrive under pressure and is a strong reason why I want to be in the ad world.

Last, this was the best post-grad – ad school assignment you could partake.

In “Cool Hand Luke,” Paul Neuman’s “Luke” decided to eat 50 eggs in one sitting because he was bored. I got denied from five internship opportunities, and I had to turn down one of them. It was frustrating because of how hard I worked, shook hands with people, studied, and basically trained for my first opportunity like a prizefighter. The only thing I could do is to improve my portfolio and sit around and wait for an opportunity. Well, I don’t sit around and twiddle my thumbs, waiting for big things to happen. Challenging myself to do 30 ads in 30 days for 30 different brands was me creating an internship for myself. I didn’t expect anything significant to come out of it. Seriously, I was working on learning and on bettering my copywriting skills. But, there did come results, which was never expected. I was offered a position writing for a company remotely doing newsletters, social media, and content creation. Later down the line, it was my surprise to be presented with an internship.

I did this to learn. That was the only reason.

Now, I have several ads where I can create strong campaigns for my portfolio. This was the only result that I was going for, and I got more than I wanted. I learned about three point ads, executions with no words, long copy, concepting, ideation, art direction, philosophy, and most importantly finding the truth and soul about creating connections with humanity.

To conclude, there’s old adage in hockey is that it doesn’t matter how you score goals because no one cares about how you scored on the goal sheet the next morning in the newspaper. The only thing that matters is that you put the puck in the net.

So, here is to all that sit there and twiddle their thumbs, waiting for life to happen. Don’t sit inside waiting for the sunshine when you can bring it yourself. 

I present to you my first internship in advertising:

30 ads – 30 days – 30 different brands. 

 

beats2.jpgCarmex.jpgCottonelle.jpgDryshampo.jpgGrafFlushot copy.jpg

IGTM12 copy.jpgIGTM7 copy.jpg

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These are print ads that will eventually be seen outside of It’s Greek To Me, a Greek Restaurant in Minneapolis. 

loons.pngMC.jpgNHL polarbear.jpgNHLoyster.jpgNHLwhiskey2.jpgNHLankle.jpg

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 5.13.37 PM.pngRhoto.jpgScreen Shot 2019-06-20 at 5.14.06 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-06-20 at 5.14.14 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-06-20 at 5.15.04 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-06-20 at 5.16.48 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-06-20 at 5.17.05 PM.png

HarleyDavidson.jpg

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UPS.jpgtoms2.jpgTRulyseltzer.jpgvalspar.jpgVanderpumpdogs.jpg

All of these are in no particular order. Just tell me what your thoughts are. What I should make into campaigns. Or what you think of me in general. I really just want to a great creative.

And, with my normal blog post sign off…

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

My Thoughts on the Film, “Reservoir Dogs.”

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It took me a while to choose which film I would open my film blog with. So, why not open my blog with what I believe to be the movie with the greatest “kick ass” opening scene in all of cinema! Well, that is just my grand opinion.

Reservoir Dogs, is Quentin Tarantino’s first full length featured film that got the ball rolling for him in Hollywood. The film is about a group of expert criminals who all anonymously are hired together to work as a team to pull off a diamond/jewelry heist. Except, everything seems to go wrong.

Tarantino made this movie unique with his riveting dialogue, his soundtrack and his trademark form of crude violence. His dialogue included some powerful monologues with very unusual metaphors that you really have to have an eye for. For instance, the film opens up with Mr. Brown, played by Tarantino, giving us a pop culture reference to Madonna’s Like a Virgin and how the song isn’t about how a girl meets a nice fella. Mr. Brown talks about how this girl has had sex so much that it isn’t special anymore but, she meets a guy with such a big penis that it hurts her and it feels like it was to be a virgin again. Hence, like a virgin. So, what does this have to do with the movie? It is a snappy monologue, but when you think about it, the group of expert criminals all really get fucked over big time by a huge dick, as if they were the first time, “virgin” criminals.

Now, his soundtrack is very unique because Tarantino used a radio weekend to base the movie around, called: “K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70’s”. The Radio DJ/narrator was dull and boring, but that is what added to the soundtracks “pizzazz.” The George Baker Selection’s, Little Green Bag has to be my favorite song of all of Tarantino’s films. Just imagine walking with all the best criminals in LA, wearing black suits and ties knowing you go home with thousands of dollars in jewels while this song is playing! Unreal. Watch this 10-minute video of the opening scene of this movie, and please tell me this is not the most significant opening scene in all of cinema! Whenever I watch this on YouTube, I always have to watch the rest of the movie.

The stalemate, the shootout, Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) being shot by a pedestrian and Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) blowing a cops brains up! This film has lots of gory violence but, the scene that sticks out the most not to me, but to many people is when Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) cuts off the cop’s ear. Now, this is just total gruesome torture, but, it is light and somewhat entertaining because of the way it is done. Mr. Blond taunts his prey like a mouse. He makes his victim feel comfortable, puts on some music and dances around and then BAM he slices the cop’s ear off. We don’t actually see him cutting off his ear but, as we hear the cop screaming and the camera moves away from it, we can only imagine the pain. Tarantino had the perfect touch of “overthetopism” when he had Mr. Blonde talking into the ear. But what makes this scene so memorable is the song playing in the background, which was a light-hearted and happy song. If you want to cut off someone’s ear, it might as well be to Stealer’s Wheel’s Stuck In the Middle With You. I really believe that The Beatles created this artistic tactic when they would sing depressing lyrics to super upbeat songs creating a super catchy song and something memorable. Tarantino’s gruesome torture scene plus happy music makes this movie known to most non-cinematic experts as his movie that he cut the guy’s ear off in. I don’t think anyone else has noted this at all, but I believe he got this idea from the movie Djangoa Spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Corbucci in 1966.
What makes this film special is that we don’t actually see the heist go down. We only see everyone freaking out of what is going on. This makes the viewer interested and on his feet about what actually happens during the heist and how it went wrong. Suddenly, everyone turns on each other, and now we have conflict in the film. I don’t know what that cinematic tactic of not showing the main event and then only talking about it is. So if anyone does please comment below and let me know. I am sure it has been done over 100 times in films, but Tarantino made it unique because of all the interwinding storylines and expert criminals all pointing their fingers at each other saying that each one is the rat.

Most importantly, I would like to highlight the fact that Tarantino talked about things that people always think about, but we never talk about it. For instance, Mr. Pink’s monologue about tipping. Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi and if you don’t know who that is he played crazy eyes in Mr. Deeds and was the homeless guy in Big Daddy, talked about how he doesn’t tip and how it is bull shit that waiters/waitresses make the same as people from McDonald’s. He points out that it is dumb how society tips one group of people but doesn’t tip the other. I really think this may be a metaphor for how as American’s, we always treat one group of people differently than the other, showing segregation in our society not as a race issue but as a technical issue. What Tarantino did was that he opened my mind up to a new issue of society that I had never thought of before. Just like this, he also points out how black women won’t put up with the same shit as white girls do. True, very true, I just had never realized it.

Last but not least, Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) goes in depth about how to take control during jewelry heist with Mr. Orange (Tim Roth). I love how he takes him under his wing. I won’t go into detail about it, but if I were to ever rob a jewelry store, I would want to know this piece of advice. The kicker of this scene is that Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) says, “let’s get a taco” at the end. Most crime/heist movies just show the badass side of the characters, whereas Tarantino actually shows you who these people are and what they do when they aren’t robbing, killing and causing trouble. This is because, in reality, they are normal people just like you and I.  Here is the “Taco” scene, I hope you enjoy it.
In my opinion, this film is perfection. Like Quentin Tarantino said, “I wouldn’t change a single frame of Reservoir Dogs.” Which is a testament to his genius and mastery and that it was his first attempt with a film with some sort of budget. If you sat down to read the screenplay’s for the first three films he ever wrote, Natural Born Killers, True Romance and Reservoir Dogs they could have all realistically been made for 750,000 dollars. I genuinely admire films that can be made for cheap, and this one is a true testament to that because it was made for a million dollars, basically.

This is my favorite film, probably of all time. Reservoir Dogs is the film that got me into the idea of genuinely pursuing screenwriting and filmmaking. It opened perspective from watching movies as from the eyes of an actor to the eyes of a director. This is why this film is truly remarkable for me. I hope for everyone who reads this watches this movie.

If you have any comments on how to write a better review, please let me know below in the comment section. If you are wondering why I didn’t critique it at all, that is because I believe that it is perfection. I will have more critique and point out negative flaws of other films as I proceed in this blog.

Last, I want to dedicate this blog to all my friends and family back home. While I am in Madrid, I will be missing you very much. Also, here is the segment of Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi, talking about tipping.

With that, I leave you with one quote: “The one that most resembles a rat always gets away.” If you watch the movie, you will understand. But, seriously don’t be a rat, or look like one.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Mud – Film Review

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Before I get all crazy… 

First of all, I would like to apologize for not writing in my film blog since like September. I guess I have been just too busy living life, traveling the world, going to school, and finding new adventures. But now that I am back in the saddle again, I am ready to start writing more in my film blog. I want this blog to show the beauty of cinema. My very first post was how I was going to review the filmography of all of my favorite directors, but no one really sits down and watches every Martin Scorsese movie in a row to review them (As much as I would love to though). I want to be more active in this blog, so sometimes I’ll break down scenes from movies or even review movies in theatres. Maybe I will make videos someday. I want this blog to be a collection of my notes and thoughts. Movies are about watching them with your friends and family, going to the cinema on a Friday night and eating a jumbo-sized bucket of popcorn. Since my last post in September, I have watched over 300 films and have gone off to film school in Los Angeles for a month. I am also working on a short film called “Sunday’s With Paris,” a coming of age story about a college radio host who weighs the pros and cons of adulthood. But yeah, as you can see, I want to work and do something with movies for my career, whether as a director, producer, owning my chain of movie theatre’s or operating at a movie studio or even doing marketing/advertising for films and studios. Hell, being an agent would be cool too, but we all know it isn’t easy like Ari Gold makes it in Entourage. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify all of that with everyone before I get all crazy in this post.

Here we go!

Mud, directed by Jeff Nichols starring Matthew McConaughey opposite Reese Witherspoon is a coming of age story about a young boy named Ellis who slowly learns how hard love can be and what love is. If you take away the hillbillies, the southern accents, the guns, and the manliness in this film, you can see the underlying main message is how love is real. That is the central message of the film, but the main problem is that people choose to reject love because we are afraid or we are looking out what is best for us. But, through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy, we believe that love is real because that is what he believes despite his mom leaving his dad, an older girl leading him on and blowing him off and Mud’s girlfriend always ditching him! I usually hate kids in movies… but this kid was unreal. Tye Sheridan did a great job, and I hope to see him in more films in the future.

Three Quick Notes

1. The cinematography was beautiful. All the shots on the boat and the scenery of the wildlife was extraordinary.
2. The storyline was great. It was like experiencing a modern-day telling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
3. Matthew McConaughey didn’t carry the whole movie! Tye Sheridan made you forget about Mud. Oh, and yeah, Reese Witherspoon plays one hot honky tonky southern girl with a lot of baggage on her.


The storyline of this movie was great. I love seeing two southern boys with southern values, doing southern things. Ellis and Neckbone (how hick are those names) find this abandoned boat on some small little island with plans to keep it. That is until they encounter some fugitive named Mud, who is living in that boat. Well, anyway, Mud tries to befriend these kids but fails. Ellis sees something more in Mud than just some bum. This is because he actually gets to know Mud. He finds out that they both grew up in the same place and he is waiting to see his girlfriend, Juniper. Ellis is so fascinated by their love story of how she saved Mud’s life from being bitten by a cottonmouth when he was ten. Ellis can really relate to Mud because of how Mud’s soul was born on the same river and how they both have girlfriends that they love, despite being screwed over by them countlessly. But the two don’t care, they would do anything for these girls because they genuinely love them. That is the bond between the two characters. Ellis has such an admiration for Mud because he is a true romantic at heart just like Ellis is. He begins to bring Mud food and supplies to live in the woods and soon brings him materials to get the boat out of the tree so he can travel onward. Ellis later finds out that he is a fugitive running from the law and so obviously he and his friend Neckbone are going to ask Mud about it. Mud kills a guy that Juniper went out with a while back. The guy he killed came from a family with a lot of money, and he would beat Juniper all the time. So he explained that sometimes a man has to be punished for doing horrible things and he can’t be forgiven. Ellis sees that he genuinely loves Juniper and that Mud will do anything for her so he tries to help Mud as much as he can so he can escape and be with her. Ellis even acts as a messenger between the two.
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 As the story goes on, we find out that Ellis’ parents are getting divorced and that he won’t be living on a boat in a river anymore, which is basically his whole persona right there. This drives him to further befriend Mud and help him out. Also, he is being led on by this girl whom he goes on one date with and kisses. He starts to call her his girlfriend in the movie, despite her not calling back and always blowing him off in public. This storyline adds to Mud’s story because due to his non-existent failing relationship with his girlfriend, he wants to do anything in his power to set Mud free and reunite him with Juniper. Despite all the crap in his life, Mud’s love for Juniper gives him hope that love truly exists. Later on, the plan is for Ellis to escort Juniper to the island so they can ride off on the boat and live happily ever after. But, she doesn’t show up, and Ellis finds her at a bar flirting with some other guy. This kills Ellis. He is so let down, but Mud doesn’t show any emotion when he finds out. So Ellis sends her a breakup letter from Mud saying that he totally understands and now it’s over. Finding out that they gave up on each other really kills Ellis, especially after everything he and Neckbone did for him.  This is the scene where you can see how hopelessly heartbroken he is because he was lead to believe that there was such a thing as true love by Mud.

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For the win!

This scene critical to the whole entire movie because we, the audience already knows that he has lied about a lot of stuff already. That he has been just using these kids to get free. We think we know that is what is going on. Everyone thinks wow this guy is a dirtbag loser bum hillbilly. Ellis has been the only one who has seen good in him during the entire movie up until this point. For the whole film, Ellis has tried to see the good in him, but now in this scene, the audience and Ellis both know that he is genuinely just a scum bag. This is a scene where the audience and character finally connect with each other, and we both are now on the same page.  Now, what happens next is Ellis runs away and falls into a creek full of cottonmouth snakes and gets bitten. Neckbone tells Mud, and you know what Mud does, he saves Ellis! He risks being caught by the authorities or bounty hunters that are after him by rushing him to the hospital. Wow, Mud was really the guy that Ellis saw. He isn’t a scum. He actually is a good person. We were all wrong about Mud after all! Side note, he kind of reminds me of Boo Radley or Huck Finn or that angry old man across the street in Home Alone. But yes! Mud is a good person, and he does what is truly right in this world, and sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing. There aren’t too many people out there like that. He would rather be in hiding his whole life so Juniper could be safe and free all because he loves her. Ellis saw the good in someone that most people couldn’t see the good in. That is hard for people to do these days because it is hard to find empathy, to walk in someone else’s shoes.

I really enjoyed the overlying theme in the movie that true love does exist, but we always choose to reject it and the fact that as we grow older we some times forget about what the powers of love actually hold. It was really cool watching this story unfold through the eyes of a younger kid as he realizes this. Plus, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Matthew McConaughey?

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Noah – Film Review

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Last Friday night, I found myself at the cinema once again. Does not really surprise me by now.  I heard on the radio that Pope Francis from Argentina blessed this film! Now, how badass is that?

Noah is based on the famous biblical story of Noah’s Ark. The movie could have been called Genesis 6-9 cause that is where the story is in The Book of Genesis. Now, being the nerd that I am, I actually read the story of Noah’s Ark on my cell phone before I went to the cinema with my friends.

Biblically speaking, this story is not word for word accurate with what goes on with the film at all. Most people who watch this movie from a religious perspective will not like the film. But, people who watch this from a moviegoers perspective will enjoy the film! Why? Because there just isn’t much that is explained in Genesis 6-9. Noah’s wife didn’t even get a name mentioned in the story! The three sons didn’t have any central roles in the story. There was no old man who was Noah’s grandfather, who lived in a cave! Oh yeah, thank God for Director Darren Aronofsky for writing Emma Watson’s character into the story. No pun intended.

Overall I really enjoyed a lot of things about this movie because this is an excellent storytelling. Director Darren Aronofsky took like 15 pages of scripture from the bible and created a whole story out of it with dialogue. That has to undertake major research!  There was nothing in the story of Noah’s Ark that said that Noah had to fight off all of these sinners, heretics, and people of Cain. We don’t know what Noah said to his son’s about not having kids! But as a filmmaker, that is what you have to do! You have to fill in the blanks! If I didn’t know a damn thing about the story of Noah’s Ark and I wanted to go and see a Russell Crowe movie, then yeah I would have totally bought all of this because it is pretty realistic. That is the whole job of a filmmaker to take the unreal and to make it real. Filmmakers are storytellers, and some storytellers try to be accurate, others try to make you believe that their story is real and some storytellers try to get you to understand what they are showing is the truth through their illusion.

Three Odd Balls
1. Why did Anthony Hopkins over due to his creepiness factor in this film? Every part he was in was totally overdone. Also, you see him like five times in the film, and the first time you see him, you know that he’s been living in a cave for like 150 years and he is all pale and hermit-like. The next time you see him, he is on his death bed pretty much, and he looks like a corpse! Now, the third time you see him, he is tan, white teeth and he is moving around and functioning normally. Those details really bothered me. 

2. I love Jennifer Connelly for some reason. I just really admire her, don’t ask me why. Maybe because there are so many famous “Jennifer’s” out their and she is like the forgotten one. Anyway, she had 3 scenes where she had to stand up to Noah, and Russell Crowe totally overpowered her in her most famous scenes. If I were the director, I would have hired another actress that could have handled Russell Crowe’s screen dominance. OR I would have just said “YO RUSS,” take it easy on her, will ya? Overall, she did an excellent job preparing for this role, considering Noah’s wife had one mention in the Genesis 6-9. She said to interviewers that she met and spoke with archeologists and historians to figure out a voice, manners, and how women would act at the time. Now, maybe that added a lot to her character but Russell Crowe can totally overwhelm you in any scene. 


3. I would just like to point out the outfits in this film. I am pretty sure the women didn’t have symmetrically low cut tops, wearing perfectly fitting long sleeves back then. Oh, and yes, you see all of these nicely put together jackets and backpacks. That really threw me off. I am pretty sure people wore rags and what not… but what do I know.

I love how this film was totally romanticized. How they created magic and explained other stories through visions and showed other creatures, we had never seen before. Like those rock giant things. I thought that was good. Because… how did Now build that big ark without help from anyone besides his family? That is one big Ark? So, I can accept the fact that there were Rock Giants that protected Noah and helped him. 


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Let me point out…
Emma Watson, well she is a really ugly crier. Other than that, she did a really excellent job. 

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I am no biblical expert, but I think Aronofsky wrote in other parts of the bible to contribute to the story like how the world really was. How there were these civilizations lead by Cain just to emphasize that humans are greedy and that we have power. Whereas, there is Noah who still lives the way that the Creator intended for the world to be lived. This added a lot of conflict in the story. But I really think he could have done more of an emphasis on God or the Creator besides having just visions.

Three and Out. 

1. Again, Russell Crowe. That is all I have to say. Like what do you expect from him? I thought he could have been Noah. His character progression throughout the story was terrific. He slowly went from this prophet, this protector, or this savior to this tortured man who really wanted to follow the creator’s orders. So halfway through the film, you see a complete 180 in his character as he is building the boat. Everyone starts to question his ways and to disagree with him. The book of Genesis didn’t really go into detail of how hard it was for Noah to do this task…. especially cause he was 600 years old. His character progression could have told the story itself. 

2. His second son, Ham played by Logan Lerman gave the story a excellent side route. This was a boy who was old enough to know the difference between being a man and a boy. Now, at this time, meant to have a family is what would make you a man. He was upset that his father had a wife ready for his older brother and not him. So OBVIOUSLY he is going to be upset about it! He goes and runs into the village looking for a girl to save and take her to the ark. During this time, we see that people are naturally good despite their sins and greed. So he brings this girl back, and Noah doesn’t save her at the end of the movie, creating this great tension between Ham and his father. I kind of viewed Ham like Scar from Lion King or Claudius from Hamlet. You know the character in the family who becomes somewhat evil. 


3. People in this movie talked so up close to each other’s faces. This really bothered me cause I couldn’t imagine what their breath’s smelled like back then.

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Overall, I say this movie is good for the average filmgoer who wants to hear an EPIC story told in a 21st century EPIC fashion. It is not 100 percent biblically correct, but it follows the themes of this story to its purest form. If you watch this movie and see the ideas of God’s judgment on Man’s Rebellion against God, God’s love and protection towards those who obey him, God restoring balance to the world, Ham’s Sin (our actions can lead to future problems), and the God keeps his promises then yeah, the movie did the story justice.

Go and see this movie! Try not to take it too seriously and just enjoy it! It is a movie that is meant to be enjoyed, and if you can see those themes in the film, then you can get what you want out of it. This is a excellent adapted screenplay that filled in so many blanks. 

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

Divergent – Film Review

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I went into this movie thinking nothing of it, knowing nothing about it just going to see Shailene Woodley (the love of my life) kick some ass. My friends wanted to go, and if you know anything about me, I really have no interest in movies based on books for middle schoolers. That sound’s awful.  But I left the theatre, shocked! I found this movie so fascinating!  But when I left the theatre, I knew that it would get so many bad reviews regardless of how amazing I thought it was. I was right. HOW can Rotten Tomatoes give this movie 40%? I found this movie great for different reasons. In fact, I bought the book by because I loved it so much.

Leading off…

Divergent follows a story in a dystopian future, where basically the world is wiped out because of some war. Everyone is divided into five factions based on their personalities. Erudite (intelligent), Amity (peaceful), Candor (the honest), Abnegation (selfless), and the cool people who run around doing cool things DAUNTLESS  (the brave). Oh and yes, the factionless which are people who don’t belong and basically represent the homeless people.  Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley), is a 16-year-old girl who is in the Abnegation faction and as every other 16 year old she has to take a test to be placed in the faction that you belong in. This test is supposed to tell you what one you reside in, and every year the 16-year-olds have a ceremony that they get to go up and choose what faction they want to be in. Well, Beatrice’s test results were inconclusive because she could belong in any faction making her Divergent.  This stirs lots of trouble for her in the film because she chooses a different faction, the dauntless, and she is the only one who can fight the rebellion. You can read the plot summary right here on Wikipedia… I don’t want to go into all of it. 

Three Strikes

1. This film makes me think so much for many reasons. When you are in high school, college, the work place, etc. you have to choose what group you want to belong too. That is an adamant thing to do. Imagine a 16-year-old girl having to pick what social group she wants to be in for the rest of her life? That is nuts!

2. The style of how the film is presented, shot, edited and so on is very similar to any blockbuster teen novel adaptation in the last 15 years; Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc. So, if this movie were to come out 8 years ago, it would have gotten stellar reviews and would not have been so highly compared to The Hunger Games. You cannot compare Hunger Games to this movie or story. Hunger Games is so damn unrealistic, where every year people select 2 people from every district, and they fight and kill each other to survive. That is unrealistic that will never happen in real life! 

3. When you think about how this society works in the film and compare it to real history, you can see that stuff very similar has happened before! Really? Why do you say that, Zos? Remember those concentration camps in world war 2? Hitler separated people, grouped them, and said you aren’t allowed to talk to anyone else outside of your group and you can only do this job until told otherwise. When I visited Dachau in Munich, I learned that each of those designated groups would have a job to do every day just like how in the movie each faction had their job to keep peace in society. Then we all know that he would move those groups around and kill them through various ways of Nazi torture and punishment. Remember the French revolution? There were 3 groups; clergy, monarchy, and everyone else. Two percent ruled 98%. This was a time during the Enlightenment, where people who didn’t know any better were starting to think otherwise about how society should be formed and ruled and etc. Anyway, some guy named Maximillian Robespierre, someone who was divergent and believed that you could change the way society worked and how people were ruled, lead the French Revolution and the downfall of Louis the 16th.  If you think about it, then maybe we already live in a society like Divergent. There is upper class, middle class, lower class, and people who live in poverty. People get taxed differently based on their class that they fall into. When you apply for a job or fill out any information, they always ask you what race you are. People still refer to different groups of people based on where they come from, the color of their skin, or what they believe in. 


…. Also, in the film, there is a wall that separated their society from whatever lurks in the rest of the world. Remember the Iron curtain people? That it basically cut off all of the Soviet Union from the rest of the world! People in Soviet states didn’t have Levi jeans or credit cards or McDonald’s till 1990-1991. This is because communist society brainwashed their citizens to believe that communism was the only thing, the best thing and the best way to live JUST like how in the world of Divergent they brainwashed everyone that their way of living is the only way that works. It really saddens me to see how brainwashing people in society actually is effective. The thing is that we are all a subject of some form of brainwashing.  CHECK OUT THE SCENE that I posted above this text. This scene shows how their society is brainwashed through chemistry and how divergence threatens their system of protecting society of practicing free will. This is a scene in a story where the protagonist realizes that what they have known their whole life isn’t correct and that there is a different way. This is where Beatrice knows that she has to do something. That is what I love about this scene so much. There are a lot of real-life similarities that can be related to in the film.  That is why I really enjoyed it. 

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The movie basically revolves around her being trained to become Dauntless. Which I really liked because it showed so much character progression. She went from average soft-spoken, unconfident, never say a word about nothing kind of girl to this mighty fierce leader. It was no easy task for her, I’d have to say. Shailene Woodley was by far the best part of this film.  Because the acting is very mediocre compared to how great the story is. But that sometimes happens in cinema. You can have the best story in the world, and okay actors and the movie can still be great! I really think that is one of the other factors why that the movie got terrible reviews.  Shailene Woodley knows how to play this character type very well. In fact, I have been following her career for many years, and the moment I saw her, I knew she was going to have a good job. The fact that the character becomes more and more efficient in the story makes her more powerful. She starts to be more confident and badass, which makes her really appealing to most men. People love boot camp stuff and watching people train because it makes you wanna get up and do 1000 push ups and run a marathon! A lot of people like the character type that she plays in the movie of a normal girl that is just … well, normal but she has guts! We need guts! 

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I would like to talk about acting again. First things first, Kate Winslet played the powerful women of corporate America. She wouldn’t have been my first casting choice for this role at all. But, it was a smart casting choice because she is in a lot of artsy films that your parents have all seen. Yes, this will bring parents into the theatre’s when they take their kids to go see the movie. That is smart! I am still not sure about how I feel about Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort because they didn’t really add much to their parts in the movie. But, I think we are going to see a lot more of them in the future. Theo James, on the hand, did an excellent job of playing the badass love interest. He was brave when he needed to be, he was mean when he had to be, he was nice and he was affectionate when he had to be.
Despite how hot this scene is, let’s take a look at the turning point in the movie. During the whole film you feel so alone with Beatrice Prior because she is the only one that we know who is divergent! She can be anything she wants to be! She now has found someone that has the same commonality with her. When I first saw this, the first thing that popped in my head was that no one is ever alone. There is always someone fighting a similar battle. Four shows Beatrice these tatoos of all the factions that he secretly can belong in because he is divergent too! He explains to her that he wants to be more than just one thing! This shows the primary protagonist that she can believe that she can be more than one thing as well. This inspires her so much that it inspired me because who just wants to be one thing and belong to one group! The total character progression that Shailene Woodley shows in the film is unbelievable. She basically went from Mother Theresa to The Black Widow in the Avengers because she believed she could be multiple things other than what she has known her whole life! That is insane. Dare to be different!

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Let me point out…

Four has a pretty badass tattoo of all of the factions. Now, this is like something that could get him into a lot of trouble because you are supposed to only represent who you are and not others. Not gonna, lie I wish I had a tattoo like this representing who I was. But this tattoo also kind of made me wonder how dangerous that was. Having a tattoo like this could have gotten him killed! This is like growing up in the Soviet Union and tattooing an American flag on your chest! But, now that I think about it, this is real in real life too. People wear what they believe on their sleeves regardless of what the government and society say. 


I love how Four somewhat secretly knew that Beatrice was divergent like him. This is why he slowly helps her out throughout the film without showing hardly any signs of affection (Fella’s take notes). This gave the whole “will they or won’t they” fall in love aspect of the film. Every good story needs a love story! I am glad that the story wasn’t revolved around that story arch though. The story was about a girl who wanted to lead this revolution to say, “hey we can be different” and that we belong together. The best part of this film was how she was slowly starting to think differently in terms of all the personality types of society. You saw that Beatrice was intelligent, kind, honest, selfless a brave in many scenes showing how dynamic she can be. This, to me, represented that we all can be dynamic and that we all can be more than one thing.

Last thought…

I have never really belonged to one group of friends or in one clique in high school or have really solely set myself to be one type of person. I have multiple groups of friends that I hang out with. I hung out with various different cliques in high school. If you look at all of my best friends, they all come from the most diverse backgrounds. I am not trying to toot my own horn, but I know very few people that have a diverse set of friends like me. But, like Beatrice Prior, I couldn’t ever 100% associate myself with any group. Look at me, I am half Asian and half Caucasian.
 
I really have no group, I have to be independent and open to new things all the time. That is the only way I can survive. For some people, they need to find an association in the world, and for me, I just haven’t been able to ever really do that for a consistent basis. But, for other people like me, these people find it liberating to belong to multiple groups because it expands their minds, and it grows them as a person. That is why it is so hard for divergent people to just affiliate themselves solely to one group because we are the types of people that find an association with individuality. Others find association through being in a group because those people find it the most comfortable. Those are two different types of people, and we need each other to survive. If you look at history, every revolution is lead by a divergent person who tries to connect with multiple groups of people. Look at Abe Lincoln… do I need to explain? Beatrice Prior dared to be different, and she inspired so many people in this story to do the same. The society that we live and the society that Divergent is in makes it hard for divergent people or people with individuality to live in. But we need both types of people to progress in the world so that we can further practice our free will. That is what the film is about. You can’t just have five groups of people doing the same thing in society for the rest of eternity! That is because there would be no progression in our world. That is what Beatrice Prior saw and was trying to fight.

So if you are divergent and can relate to multiple things and people, please don’t be afraid to express it!
If you feel better to associate yourself with a group, then good for you, you found a place and just remember you are just as important as anyone else in your affiliation!

But, there is nothing wrong with being divergent, and a lot of people fail to realize it. It may be hard, but remember we all can be more than one thing.

Dare to be different.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo