Basement Talk 005: The Magical Impact of Harry Potter

For the 5th episode of Basement Talk, hosts Anthony and Olivia (and guest Julia) fangirl over Harry Potter, their favorite characters, books/movies, and the impact it had on an entire generation.

Episode Length: 37 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “funhouse” by John Treash

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Hit Me!: 15 Years of ‘Thirteen’ and It’s Defiant Youth

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

It’s been 15 years since we were introduced to the gritty and hardcore coming of age film, Thirteen, and it hasn’t aged a bit.

Although the 2003 story gives off a very early 2000’s vibes with the clothing and music, teenagers Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Evie (Nikki Reed) still mirror the youth of today. Tracy, the straight A student, befriends the rebellious Evie in hopes of becoming popular. With this friendship comes the destruction of Tracy’s image, morals, and family as she begins to steal, use drugs, and act violent.

What makes this relevant to adolescence today is that it’s real. Written by a 13 year old Nikki Reed, Thirteen was based on her own drug addicted, promiscuous life, which provides massive insight into an actual teenager’s experiences.

Teen addiction is and was a massive problem and the effects are obviously damaging but this film shows the downward spiral of it all. Tracy went from being a friendly, hardworking student and daughter to a raging, mentally unstable teen. She self harms through cutting and having her friend beat her up. Tracy’s fast life with esometimes older boys ruins her relationships with everyone around including Evie.

Near the end of the film, we see her secrets revealed to her mother in a betrayal from Evie and a mental breakdown from Tracy. She’s darker and more disturbed. Inside she’s broken and her outrageous actions are a cry for help even when her behavior gives off a different story.

Reed knew exactly what we wanted to see in a coming of age film which was the other side of the teenage experience. One that is raw, chaotic and goes unnoticed or ignored by society. There’s a dark side to everything and Thirteen exposes it while showing the real humanity behind it.

Chloë Grace Moretz Shines in ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Earlier this year, we were introduced to the worst performance in Chloë Grace Moretz’ career with Brain on Fire. As a fan of Moretz’ work, I was thoroughly disappointed to see the Netflix Original and hoped for another film/performance this year that would make up for it.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post was that film and Moretz’ lead role was that performance. Taking place in 1993, teenaged Cameron is sent to a Christian treatment center after she is caught making out with a girl in the backseat of a car. While struggling with her oppressive situation, Cameron manages to find a few good friends in Native American Adam (Forrest Goodluck) and hippie Jane Fonda (Sasha Lane).

What I love so much about Moretz’ performance is that it’s completely different from the past where she played the headstrong, outspoken girl. Her role as Cameron is definitely the opposite as she is quiet, shy, and submissive. It’s refreshing to see Moretz as something that is more vulnerable and deeper than just the face value that we get with a lot of her characters.

Along with Moretz, the supporting characters gave their own memorable performances. Owen Campbell, who plays Mark, seemed like he was just another character but proved us wrong with one of the most powerful scenes I’ve seen this year that includes a dramatic and emotional reading of a bible verse that results in a mental breakdown. It’s one of the best performances of the film and Campbell deserves many praise for it.

All in all, The Miseducation of Cameron Post was one of the most authentic films of the year with actors who treat the material and the characters with respect.


My Rating: 95%

Acting: 3.8/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 3.7/4

Basement Talk 004: The Evolution of Horror

For episode 4 of Basement Talk, hosts Olivia and Anthony are joined by guest Julia Wilson to discuss the evolution of horror. From Psycho to Get Out, we look at how generations of horror are defined and what the new era holds for this terrifying genre.

Episode Length: 35 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “funhouse” by John Treash

‘The Room’: The Best Worst Movie Ever

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Therese Gardner

The Room is infamous for many reasons. Its strange origins, how absolutely terrible it is, and the cult following it has developed.

The man, the myth, the legend, Tommy Wiseau, wrote, directed, and starred in this film. Even those closest to him are unsure how he got the money to make this film which cost roughly $6 million to make which, if you’ve seen it, is quite hard to believe.

But Wiseau’s money isn’t the only thing that’s mysterious about him. For the longest time no one knew exactly how old he was, but after a quick internet search it seems we may have finally settled on 63. People also aren’t sure exactly where he’s from as he used to claim he was from New Orleans, but his accent told a different story.

The mystique surrounding Wiseau and The Room was a large contributor to its cult following. However, that isn’t the only factor. It also helps that it’s so bad that it makes you actually want to watch it. While most bad movies make you want to turn them off, The Room somehow has you coming back for more.

Although not very popular at the time of its release in 2003, it has now grown to cult status with regular midnight showings across the country that Wiseau himself will often show up to and sign stuff for fans.

The intrigue surrounding this film even sparked a movie, The Disaster Artist, which stars James Franco and is based off the book by Greg Sestero who co-starred in The Room. The Disaster Artist gives a detailed look into how this strange film came to be.

All in all, The Room definitely made an impression on the film community. It’s hard to pinpoint what about it makes it so watchable despite how bad it is, but to be so widely talked about 15 years after its release is quite impressive for any movie. Especially for one known as the worst movie ever made.

 

Basement Talk 003: What’s Going on With Netflix?

For episode 3 of Basement Talk, hosts Olivia Norwood and Anthony Peyton welcome BFS writer Julia Wilson to join them in a deep discussion about Netflix as a whole. They also evaluate the 2018 Netflix films thus far.

Episode Length: 41 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “funhouse” by John Treash

‘The Notebook’: A Tale of Unconditional, Everlasting Love

By Therese Gardner, Edited by Olivia Norwood

Based on a novel written by Nicholas Sparks, one of the world’s most beloved romance storytellers, The Notebook has easily become a timeless story of young love. The lovers are named Allie Nelson and Noah Calhoun. As young lovers they are played by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. As older lovers, they are played by Gena Rowlands and James Garner. The story intercuts between the same couple at two different points in their lives: passionate teenagers at the brink of the rest of their lives, and then as older people fading away in the midst of getting older and her dealing with Alzheimer’s.

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Directed by Nick Cassavetes, the story is narrated by an older Noah (James Garner) as he tells a story from his notebook of two people who fell madly in love. He reads the story to a fellow patient at a nursing home who has forgotten most memories as a result of the onset of Alzheimer’s.

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A classic love tale of a poor boy and a rich girl falling in love against all odds. Allie is a rich kid, spending the summer at her family’s mansion in North Carolina while Noah is a local poor boy working at a sawmill to support himself and his father. He’s a hardworking, smart, poetic teenage boy working to figure things out for himself with the support of his father.

 

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Noah (Ryan Gosling) notices Allie (Rachel McAdams) while at a summer carnival and, so their summer love affair begins. The two spend many moments together dancing in the streets, running through the woods, and experiencing the heat of the summer alongside one another. All appears to be going in their favor, until Allie returns home one evening with Noah in hand. Allie’s parents disapprove of Noah immediately and forbid her from seeing him again. Allie chases after Noah, as he’s leaving her parent’s house where an argument ensues and the two break up. The following morning, Allie’s mother, Anne, suddenly announces the family is leaving South Carolina. So, Allie tries to find Noah to tell him the news. When she can’t find him, she asks one of his best friends, Fin, to tell Noah that she loves him. After Noah receives the message, he returns to her home to find she is nowhere to be found.

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As a result, Noah writes to Allie every day for 365 days, but Allie’s mother, Anne, hides all the letters such that Allie never sees them. Noah enlists with Fin to fight in World War II, where Fin is killed in battle. Allie volunteers in a hospital for wounded soldiers where she meets a captain. The two fall in love, and after a couple of years of dating, the two get engaged with full support from her parents, as he is young and has money. Shortly after, Noah returns home from the war to buy the abandoned house him and Allie found long ago. While in town, Noah happens to be walking by a restaurant where he sees Allie kissing Lon.  

Noah convinces himself that if he renovates the house, Allie will return to him. Allie sees a picture of Noah in the newspaper alongside the house and decides to take a trip to Seabrook to find Noah living in the house. The two rekindle their relationship, until Anne shows up to warn Allie that Lon has followed her. Anne recounts her love for a young man from her teenage years that she still thinks of and, in doing so, finally gives Allie the letters that Noah had written. Allie confesses to Lon, and decides that she belongs with Noah and so returns to the home.

It is then revealed that the patient from the beginning of the movie, is Allie and that Duke is Noah. Allie had told Duke at the onset of her illness to continue to reread their journals to help her remember their past memories together. Noah suffers a heart attack while Allie is sedated after having a panic attack. Noah visits Allie in the middle of the night, and both Noah and Allie pass away holding each other while sleeping.

An emotionally, yet romantic movie that many are attracted to, as they can place themselves into the story and live out its emotion. A timely reflection of the power of a deep, everlasting love. Noah’s commitment and love transcends the emotional and physical grief caused by Allie’s Alzheimer’s – his unconditional love for Allie sustains them.