Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mean Girls

Hello People of the Interwebs!

Today's review is of Mean Girls!

Image credit to IMDb

This movie is one of the first movies classified as a comedy to actually make me laugh. There's some fantastic comedy in this movie, and it does a good job with its serious moments too! The first thing that got my attention is that the main character is a homeschooler. And I like that. To be honest, if I were to return to school after three full years out of it, my idea of it would be like hers during the scene where she's walking through the halls. Now, let's get into the story!

The story is pretty great. A homeschooler named Cady joins high school and makes new friends with two "outcasts", who, after Cady gets the attention of the popular girls, ask her to infiltrate them. At some point, Cady falls in completely with the popular girls, known as "The Plastics", which is made up of Regina George, Gretchen Wieners, and Karen Smith. After a while, Cady's grades fall, and she falls... in love with the ex-boyfriend of Regina, the leader of the Plastics. After a while, Cady gets fed up and starts sabotaging Regina. That's where it gets a bit more complicated. All in all, the writing and story are quite good! Tina Fey really did do a great job with the script.

The acting is surprisingly good. Lindsey Lohan plays the main character, Cady Heron, and she does a really good job. Rachael McAdams as Regina George, Lacey Chabert as Gretchen Wieners, and Amanda Seyfried as Karen Smith all do great portrayals of stereotypical "popular" girls. The outcast friends, Janis and Damian, are played by Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese respectively, who both do very well. Tina Fey also does a phenomenal job as Mrs. Norbury, one of the teachers at the school. The rest of the supporting cast are very good, and, well, support the film very well.

All in all, this is a really good movie. It's funny and well written, and also very well acted. So, if you haven't seen this, rent it right away! Or, if you have Netflix, it's available there for completely free!

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Matrix

Hello People of the Interwebs!

"What?" you must be thinking. "Today's a Tuesday! There's not supposed to be a new review until tomorrow!" You are correct; it is indeed a Tuesday. I am changing the release date of new Teenage Critic content to Tuesdays! This is a trial, so I'll see how well it works with my schedule.

Today's review is of the popular (and rightfully so!) action/sci-fi film: The Matrix!

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

I really enjoyed this movie. Like, really really. It's possibly one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies! So, let's get started!

The story is very complex. I barely grasped it and its concepts when I first watched it. It's inventive, it's brilliantly written, and the world and characters are given multi-dimensional personalities. The concepts are also very creative, and I commend the Wachowski siblings for this work of genius.

The acting is also brilliant. Of course, Keanu Reeves is brilliant as Neo, as is Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, and Carrie-Anne Moss is on par with the both of them. The rest of the supporting cast is very strong. Now, let's talk the villain. As you may remember from my First Avenger review, I praised Hugo Weaving's acting ability. And I add to that claim even more. With both examples of Red Skull and Agent Smith, I must say that I love his ability to act as a villain. 

The action is fantastic. Bullet Time was, of course, a revolutionary technique. It adds to the suspense of the action even further. The rest of the action is pretty great too!

All in all, I really love this movie. It combines revolutionary film making techniques with great acting, and one of the most phenomenal concepts I've ever seen put to film. If you haven't already, watch this amazing film!

Teenage Critic, signing off!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy!

Hello People of the Interwebs!

Today, I'll be talking about a recent blockbuster hit: Guardians of the Galaxy!

Image credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

I genuinely love this film. The basic story is about a Terran (Earth) male, named Peter Quill, who is picked up by aliens when he was a kid. He becomes a renowned thief, and calls himself 'Starlord". He teams up with a group of criminals to stop the warlord Ronan, who is originally under the command of Thantos. 

The story itself is simple, and the execution is pretty much flawless. It's also one of the cheesiest, silliest movie that I've seen in a while. This movie pulls out every cliche, and uses it to its extreme. But, it doesn't seem unintentional. In fact, the movie seems very aware of itself, which can sometimes be bad, but it is very well done here. 

Another aspect of this movie, which I think led to its popularity, is it's soundtrack. The soundtrack is mainly songs from the 1970s and 1980s. This lends a feeling of nostalgia to the film. Well, at least... I think it does. I'm about to turn 16, so... I didn't really have a connection to the songs before, or any significant memories of them . However, that's another interesting point by itself. This movie introduces a new generation of people to the popular music from before their time, which their parents most likely enjoyed. I can vouch for that plan myself, as I had no knowledge of these songs before, and I've grown to love them since watching this movie. (In fact, I'm listening to it right now, as I write this review.)

Now, the acting. The entire cast is really quite fantastic. Our heroes are: Chris Pratt as Starlord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket. These guys are fantastic. Their onscreen chemistry is fantastic, and they all bring fun and clever aspects to their respective characters. 

The villains are: Lee Pace as Ronan, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, and Josh Brolin (uncredited) as Thantos. These actors are all fantastic, but I'll focus one one that I'm partial to. Karen Gillan. Her popularity really soared after being cast as Amelia Pond on Doctor Who, a show that I love dearly. (If you read my Thor: The Dark World review (http://criticteen.blogspot.com/2014/06/thor-world-of-anti-light.html) you'll know that I'm partial to actors who have starred on Doctor Who.) Karen Gillan shows just how much of a great actress she is, by giving this character a great performance. Another villain that I want to focus on, at some point, is Thantos, my favorite Marvel villain.

The supporting cast consists of: Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey, Glenn Close as Nova Prime, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, Peter Serafinowicz as Denarian Saal, and Christopher Fairbank as The Broker. Once again, they are all great in this movie.

The action. The action is fresh, fun and innovative, yet with all the cliches packed in. It's a great show of how Marvel can do all sorts of action.

A quick note about the credits scene: Baby Groot dancing was a cuteness overload. Just saying.

One feeling that I get from this movie is that Marvel is effectively saying "Hey, we've been pretty heavy and serious for the past few years. Here's a really cheesy and fun movie, which still adds to the overarching story that we're preparing!" I recommend this to everybody. The audience that this movie reaches is so diverse. people wanting silly, people wanting a good action flik, people wanting good story, wanting good acting, good videography, good soundtrack, etc. I think it's a defining movie for this generation of Marvel movies. So, go catch it while its still in theaters, or buy theDVD as soon as it comes out!

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Robin Williams Tribute

Hello people of the Interwebs!

I'm back! And with that, I have to mention a recent tragedy. Recently, we lost a comedic treasure, Robin Williams. This man was a genius, with a mastery of acting and comedy. There's really not much more I can say to do justice to him, so, I'll move on to my review. In honor of Mr. Robin Williams Himself, I'm reviewing: Dead Poet's Society.

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

This movie is beautiful. It's hard to put into words how this movie makes me feel, but I'll try.

The story is simple, but beautiful. If you don't know it, here it is. A prep school, called the Welton Academy, hires a new English teacher, named John Keating, with unusual teaching principles. He shows his students how to really look at poetry, and at lie, teaching them to make the most of their lives. This inspires the students to restart a "club" of sorts, which was originally started by Mr. Keating when he went to Welton, called "The Dead Poet's Society". This secret society is where students went to recite poetry by the greats, and even some of their own poetry. Mr. Keating also inspires a few single students. 

In the climax, one of the students, Neil Perry, decides that he wants to act, but his father disapproves. Neil performs anyway, but his father gets very upset, and pulls him out of Welton. After being told that he can't live his own life, Neil kills himself. This leads to an investigation into Mr. Keating, where he is subsequently fired. 

Now, this really spoke to my heart. I've always wanted a teacher like Mr. Keating. His lessons, even though in a fiction universe, in a movie, will stick with me. The ending is filled with melancholy, which is really the only way that it could have ended.

Robin Williams is just such a fantastic actor, and his performance in this is no exception. It shows just how well he can do serious roles, as well as comedic ones. He's joined by some other actor's who were fairly new to the acting business, such as Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard. Both of these actors were just sublime, and gave such amazing performances. The rest of supporting cast is not to be forgotten, as they were fantastically acted as well.

I now consider this movie to be a masterpiece of 20th century film. The beauty and complexity of the scenarios and the characters crafts a feeling of wonder. I'm sure that I will have a spot for it in my heart for years to come.

This is the Teenage Critic, singing off.

May Robin Williams Rest in peace.