July 13, 2020

Lesson 1. Phonics. Skilling up

Phonics - what is it?

Phonics is a method for learning the reading and writing of an alphabetic language:

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Reading and discussion

The Rock. TOP-10 movies

Dwayne Johnson has come a long way from being The Rock, to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, to just Dwayne Johnson. Starting out as “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment” to now one of the best actors in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson basically built his career from the ground up after his film debut as that hideous half-man/half-scorpion monster in The Mummy Returns.

But what are Dwayne Johnson’s very best movies? One would think it wouldn’t be that difficult to narrow them down to ten, but you’d be surprised. From action comedies, to kids' films, to sports pictures, Dwayne Johnson is always finding new ways to surprise and entertain viewers. And with his most recent movie, Jumanji: The Next Level, he does just that with a spot on impersonation of Danny DeVito, which just proves that the man can act. So while Dwayne Johnson likely won’t be going up to the Oscar podium anytime soon to accept a best actor award, it still says a lot that a man so massive can also be this talented. Here are the Rock’s ten best movies.

10. Fast and the Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)

What makes Hobbs and Shaw so special is just how much of Dwayne Johnson’s personality shines through in this picture. From the action-packed climax in Samoa to the general humor of it not taking itself too seriously, Hobbs and Shaw may not be the best movie in The Fast and the Furious series, but it’s definitely one of the best Dwayne Johnson movies.

9. The Rundown (2003)

Only The Rock could balance this kind of action and humor. Playing a bounty hunter who kicks a lot of ass but also gets his ass kicked, this early work from Johnson really played to his comedic chops. It didn’t hurt that the setting of Brazil was also unique at the time, as Dwayne Johnson definitely seemed out of his comfort zone in the jungle.

8. San Andreas (2015)

Dwayne Johnson is like Super Mario in his assortment of professions when it comes to his roles. He can be a sports agent, a bounty hunter, heck, he can even be the tooth fairy. In this disaster epic, he plays a first responder during a seismic earthquake that rocks California.

7. Central Intelligence (2016)

Starting off as an overweight loser who becomes a CIA agent later in life, Central Intelligence is further proof that Dwayne Johnson doesn’t take himself too seriously. In fact, Kevin Hart plays the straight man in this movie, and Dwayne Johnson actually plays the goof. It’s not the most original movie in the world, but it’s fun enough that it can be watched over and over again. Plus, you can tell that the Rock is really having a good time in this one, and when Dwayne Johnson has a good time, it’s infectious.

6. Gridiron Gang (2006)

Gridiron Gang is one of the few instances where Dwayne Johnson is genuinely acting and not relying on his charm. I mean, he is charming in it, of course, since Dwayne Johnson can’t help but being charming. Dwayne Johnson plays a correctional officer who thinks it’s a better idea to get juvenile delinquents on the football field rather than behind bars. But it’s a rare glimpse of what Johnson could do if he just sticks to drama.

5. Pain and Gain (2013)

Honestly, Pain and Gain might be Dwayne Johnson’s funniest movie, which is saying something given that this is a Michael Bay film. In it, Dwayne Johnson plays an ex-convict who has found Jesus and doesn’t want to use his massive muscles to hurt anybody. But things quickly go awry when Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie’s characters hatch a scheme to kidnap a rich guy (played by Monk’s Tony Shalhoub) and rob him of his loot. The second half of the film is The Rock’s downward spiral back into his old criminal ways, but it’s funny throughout. Who knew watching restraint could be so hilarious?

Seriously, watch this movie again. It’s some of Dwayne Johnson’s best acting work to date.

4. Rampage (2018)

Best video game movie ever! Rampage is genuinely fun, and it mostly has Dwayne Johnson to thank for it. Playing a primatologist this time around, Dwayne Johnson just wants to love and care for his albino silverback gorilla. But when the gorilla, named George, gets gassed in the face one night from some weird space canister, he grows to a massive size and just keeps on growing over the passage of time. And while the gorilla grows, The Rock is all like, "he’s still my friend," and it’s really ridiculous. But get this. Who knows how he does it, but Dwayne Johnson can even make a video game movie not only watchable but actually fun. God bless this man.

3. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Dwayne Johnson is very silly in this movie, but he's also very much a badass. That said, it’s his ability to make us believe that he’s really some geek in the outside world that really sells it. His performance as Danny DeVito in the sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level, might be the even better performance, but Welcome to the Jungle holds up as the better Jumanji movie. It surprised me with how good it was, and that's not easy to do.

2. Moana (2016)

Moana is just a great story overall. It’s about a young woman who feels drawn to the ocean and goes on an adventure after a selfish demigod named Maui steals the heart of Te Fiti. That demigod just so happens to be voiced by Dwayne Johnson himself.

As an animated Disney musical, Moana may not be your typical Dwayne Johnson movie, but The Rock is all over this movie.

1. Furious 7 (2015)

Yep. No doubt about it. Furious 7 is the very best Dwayne Johnson movie ever. What’s the plot? Who cares? Cars go fast, stuff explodes, and the Rock breaks out of his cast by flexing! Everything you love about Dwayne Johnson is laced in this picture’s very DNA. The Rock’s wrestling roots truly shine through in this movie.

Discussion questions:

1. Would you like to work in the movie industry?

2. Which movie would you like to film in?

3.What’s the best movie you’ve ever seen?

4.Do you prefer watching movies at the cinema or on TV?

5.Which country makes the best movies?

6.What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

7.What things make a great movie a great movie?