Favourite school movies

So I just started Uni last Friday, and it made me think about those teen movies/”school” movies, so I decided to make a short list of some of my favourites. I know, teen movies aren’t always the greatest movies in the world, but the following three were quite entertaining and actually mean a lot to me.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

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True, this movie doesn’t really take place in school, but it’s still a “school” movie to me. Who never dreamed to skip school and have a day like this? I was 12 when I first saw this movie. My best friend at the time was sleeping over and my dad had bought the dvd. He told us it was great and all, but we didn’t really believe him, you know? My dad, recommending an old movie… At first, we watched it just so he’d leave us alone with it. But then we kinda liked it. And then the Twist and Shout sequence happened and we just lost it. It became our favourite movie, we’d never shut up about it. We’d dress like Ferris, we’d talk like Ferris, we’d dance like Ferris… We even started singing Danke Schoen on a regular basis.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

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In our fourth year of high school, on a gloomy Saturday afternoon, my friends and I sat down to watch this movie and let me tell you, it had the same effect Ferris Bueller’s Day Off had had. We just loved the movie. Like, we even associated each other to a character (I was Allison, aka the Basket Case). For a while there, we kinda wished we’d go to detention and have a great time like them. Of course, our school library wasn’t as big as theirs, but still. I guess what we liked the most about the movie though, was how even though the characters are all pretty stereotypical, they’re not 100% what they seem. That scene where they all talk about what got them into detention was, of course, our favourite.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

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I saw this movie for the first time with the same girls I watched The Breakfast Club with. We all liked the movie, but one of these friends in particular and I like, really liked the movie. Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners became our song. What we particularly liked was how truthful this movie was. Unlike the two John Hughes movies that I mentioned before, this movie has quite a realistic story. Some of the things that happen in this movie actually did happen to some of my friends (or to myself). Plus, thanks to this movie, my friend and I discovered that the whole Rocky Horror Picture Show showings was an actual thing. And since then, we go every year on Halloween.

Is TV replacing movies?

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So yesterday, I finally finished watching Breaking Bad (2008-2013) (I know, I’m very late) and man that tv show was great. Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White was simply amazing and the show was brilliantly written. But anyway, I did not come here to write a review of the show.

Because the show was so great, it made me think a lot. Not necessarily about what’s good and bad, and were Walter White’s actions justified or not, but whether television is replacing movies or not. And I think that, slowly, it might be. So many tv shows now are filmed like movies. What I mean here is that the creators, writers, directors… everybody involved seems to work harder than before. They want their tv shows to look beautiful, they want talented actors, they want complicated characters and great writing. There always were good tv shows, but now, the game is becoming stronger.

People love to get to know the characters, and I think this is something tv can offer than cinema can’t. Of course, you get to know the characters of a movie when you watch it, but maybe not as much as a character on a tv series that’s been running for three years. Of course, if a movie has many sequels, like the Harry Potter movie series, you get to know the characters, the stories and their world a lot better than in a single movie. And movies with many sequels or with shared universes, such as The Hunger Games, the Twilight series, and the Marvel cinematic universe (just to name a few), often become highly popular, whether you like them or not. Because just like in a tv show, you get to understand a lot more things, the story can (usually) be more intricate and the characters can have more complicated developments.

Anyway, I just think tv shows like Breaking Bad might one day replace movies, just because they are so good! Of course, not every episode is going to be revolutionary great, but in general, tv is becoming more and more of a threat to the film industry.

Why I love watching bad movies

Confession time: I adore bad movies. Example, “The Room” (2003) is a movie I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. It is sooooooo bad, yet I can’t keep my eyes from it. I think the best part of it is the “acting”. I’m not even sure I can call it acting, it’s too bad. Over-acting might be a better word. Anyway.

I watch a lot of bad movies (sometimes more than once), mainly because I think they are highly entertaining, but also because they give me a great idea of what not to do when making a film. I really do think that watching terrible movies is as important as watching great ones. Of course, you want to understand what you’re doing, so watching classics like “Citizen Kane” (1941) is crucial, but I think it is as crucial to understand what not to do, hence, “The Room”.

Some of my favourite bad movies (if you’re interested) are:

  1. Batman & Robin (1997)
  2. The Happening (2008)
  3. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
  4. The Room (2003) (obviously)
  5. Troll 2 (1990)

“10 Cloverfield Lane” review

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I was not a big fan of Cloverfield (2008) when I first saw it (and I’ve never seen it since, so I don’t know if I’d like it now..), so when I heard about this movie, I was not very hyped. But I soon realized that this movie had almost nothing to do with Cloverfield. If you’re thinking you’ll be seeing a sequel or prequel or anything like that, you might be disappointed. First of, the styles are very different; for example, this one is not filmed with a hand-held camera, which already brings a very different vibe to the film. Plus, the story itself is nothing like the first movie. Besides sharing a same Universe, a same world, these two movies don’t have a lot in common. 10 Cloverfield Lane is not a monster movie, nor a horror movie, but a really convincing thriller. I was on the edge of my seat most of the movie.

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John Goodman gives an amazing performance as Howard, a survivalist man who may or may not be right about what’s going on outside the bunker. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Michelle, a young woman who, after a car accident, wakes up in said bunker. Howard keeps her captive, saying that what’s going on outside is too dangerous, even deadly. The relationship between these two characters was one of the bests I’ve seen in a movie this year. I think the actors portrayed with brilliance a complicated relationship that could have seemed fake performed by others. There is also a third character, Emmett, played by John Gallagher Jr. I liked his performance better than in Hush (2016) (“Hush” review), but he was still the least convincing character, according to me.

The atmosphere of the movie is amazing. Just like Michelle, you are uncertain at times whether you should believe Howard or not. We are scared of him, but at the same time, he seems “nice” enough for us to trust him. I know it barely makes sense, but if you saw the movie, you might understand my point. You really wish Michelle could get out of there, but would it truly be safer? You can feel the tension that is going on between her and Howard through the whole movie, and it just sets a greatly uncomfortable vibe.

I also loved that Michelle was not portrayed as a dumb horror/thriller movie clichĂ© character. Unlike other suspenseful movies, I was actually rooting for her the whole time. Never did I think “she shouldn’t have done that, that was really stupid”. I think she reacted the way most of us would in a similar situation.

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This movie is a lot about the characters; we learn a lot about them in different ways, sometimes very subtly. Michelle and Howard’s character arcs were pretty interesting and well-written, but Emmett’s seemed kind of forced. It feels as if they did not know what they wanted him to be like, so his backstory was rushed. At one point in the movie, it becomes clear that Emmett’s character was written purely to give us another example or Howard’s character. Yes, it is an important element of the story, but it would have had even more of an impact if we actually knew Emmett like the others.

All in all, don’t expect this movie to be anything like Cloverfield, otherwise you might not enjoy it as much. I think it is definitely worth a watch; it is a very interesting and entertaining movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

10 Cloverfield Lane: A-

“The Nice Guys” review

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I did not think I would love it as much as I did. I thought it would be a fun movie, but not that fun. And I never thought Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe could have such good chemistry.

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If you loved Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), you’re probably going to love this movie too. You easily recognize the director’s style, even though it evolved and changed a little bit through the years. The story is intriguing and quite dark, yet very funny. Holland March (Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Crowe) team up to solve the mystery of a young woman’s disappearance, who is herself involved in a much bigger story. March’s daughter is also quite an important character and is actually very helpful. It has a lot of buddy cop film characteristics, but remains original and interesting. The characters are a lot of fun too. Healy is a tough guy who is mainly hired to beat up people and March is a private investigator who kinda sucks at his job right now. They work so well together, their relationship really does feel genuine.

The movie is also very well written. Probably one of the best written movies I’ve seen in a while. It’s hilarious and authentic and dares to remind us that a movie doesn’t have to be filled with CGI and special effects to be good. It focuses on the intrigue and the characters, something many movies have a hard time to do today. Plus, the movie looks amazing. The colours, the light, the camera work… Everything looks absolutely beautiful.

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I’m not saying this movie is perfect, but it is great. And honestly, right now, I can’t find anything wrong with it. I’m sure there are a few things I’d like to change, but they seem so minor I can’t even write about them.

In the end, if you love funny movies or movies in general, you should definitely check it out. Don’t spend your money on the next Alice in Wonderland movie, which probably is as deceiving as the first one, and go see The Nice Guys instead.

The Nice Guys: A

“Captain America: Civil War” review

I gotta say, I thought this movie was amazing. I’ve always been a Marvel and superheroes fan, but I think this movie really stood out. I personally think the Captain America movies are the best ones of the Marvel cinematic universe (my personal favourite being The Winter Soldier) because they bring up more serious issues than the others, but still have that Marvel kind of humour. And Civil War is yet another great instalment.

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As you probably know by now, with the #TeamIronMan and #TeamCaptainAmerica, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Cap (Chris Evans) have some kind of a disagreement about a contract to sign and two teams of superheroes form. Before watching the movie, you might think you’ll side with your favourite one, but as you watch it, you realize that both sides are a little bit wrong and a little bit right. You understand why every character acts a certain way or thinks a certain thing, and this is such great writing! I honestly found it quite difficult to side with either one of them, because I agreed with both. The main issue is also quite an important one; when the Avengers fight against villains, many innocent people die. Cap and Iron Man basically disagree about how to react/what to do about the situation. I was so glad that this issue was brought up because every time I watch a superhero movie and buildings get smashed down and towns get destroyed, I always wonder what happens to the people in there, who have absolutely nothing to do with the fight.

Another thing in the movie that I found amazing is Spider-Man. Tom Holland did a great job and (I never thought I’d say that) I’m actually excited for the next stand-alone Spider-Man movie and really do have high hopes. I hope I won’t be disappointed.

I also adore Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). I think he has a very interesting story arc and we learn quite a lot about him in this movie. His relationship with Steve evolves a lot too, which was interesting as well. And his stunts were fantastic! Especially the motorcycle ones, if you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. In fact, all the stunt work throughout the movie was amazingly executed and the fight scenes were choreographed almost to perfection. So, props to the stunt people and all.

Of course, there are a few things that could have been better. One time in particular (I don’t want to spoil anything) but Iron Man is on his way to see Cap and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who could not have heard anything of where Iron Man was heading, is seen in a jet, going the same way, as if certain he would find what he is looking for. Yeah, fine, you might say he decided to follow Iron Man “just in case he was headed there”, but still. I know it sounds really picky, but it kinda bothered me.

I also was a bit disappointed with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Yes, most people find him useless, but he actually is one of my favourite characters. Not in this movie though. I think Cap, the Winter Soldier and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are some of the most well-written characters in the series and I hoped Hawkeye would become one of them. I always thought he was a very interesting character, they just never wrote him at his full potential. Maybe in the next one.

And yes, even though I think Black Panther is a very interesting character and I can’t wait to see his stand-alone movie, I thought maybe this movie could have done a better job with him. Yes, we learn a lot about him and his motivations are clear, but, kinda like Hawkeye, I think he might not have been written to his full potential. Of course, they probably didn’t reveal too much about him because they want us to get to really know him in his stand-alone movie, but still. I feel as if there was a little something missing to his introduction. Still a badass though.

All in all, I thought Captain America: Civil War was a great movie and one of the best Marvel movies so far, and I can’t wait to see where the characters will be next and how they will evolve because man do I get involved in these movies!

Captain America: Civil War: A

Postmodernism

Ever since I’ve learned what postmodernism in movies was, I’ve been a big fan of it. Many of my favourite films are postmodern or have postmodern elements in them. I think it is a very entertaining and interesting movement. Postmodern movies are so much fun to watch and analyze, I think I’m in love with them. And I thought I could write a little thing about the three main characteristics of postmodernism.

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Homage or pastiche: Postmodern movies will mix many different genres and make them fit together in a way you never expected. They can also “quote” or reference older works of arts, like paintings, books and other movies. It is always fun to find the similarities between the postmodern movie and the works it is quoting. An example that comes to mind right now is The Cabin in the Woods (2012). It has so many references to classic horror movies; every time I watch it, I find a new one!

Meta-reference: So basically, this is when a movie is self-referential or lets you know that it knows it is only a movie. The editing of the movie will be noticeable, the characters might break the fourth wall by talking directly to the camera or by using narration, the colours might look unnatural at times… Plus, postmodern movies often unfold in a non-chronological order. The movie wants to show you that it was constructed, assembled like a puzzle.

Contradictions: A postmodern movie might use loads of contradictions and paradoxes in the techniques they use to present the movie, or in the characters themselves. The ideas and morals introduced to us might change throughout the movie, or characters that really contradict each other might always been shown together. The concept of time and space practically doesn’t exist, which can lead to confusion at times, which contradicts our understanding of cinema itself.

A few suggestions

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Fight Club (1999)

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Birdman (2014)

Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino’s movies are great examples of postmodernism in films.