How to Be a Boss and Other Lessons We Learned from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

Anna Wintour. Vogue. New York. High Fashion. This is the groundwork and inspiration for the 2006 hit The Devil Wears Prada.

The legendary Meryl Streep portrays Miranda Priestly, the frigid editor-in-chief of a fictional fashion magazine in New York. Sound familiar? Well, what isn’t familiar to us audiences and fashion lovers (although we wish it were) is the story of Andy (Anne Hathaway) and her grueling yet, eye-opening experience as Priestly’s personal assistant.

While many think that working in fashion is a heaven that includes free Louboutins, this film shows the realistic day to day life and its cutthroat mentality. Andy finds herself to be the black sheep at her work as she refuses to fit in with the fashionable, size 2 women around her. But she quickly realizes that in order to earn respect she must act and look the part.

It may be hard for the chick-flick shamers to admit or understand but this film has a deeper meaning than just “fashion week” and “designer bags” (even though I wouldn’t mind a movie about the history of The Birkin). The deeper meaning I’m talking about is simple: being at the top doesn’t always make you happy.

Andy was a journalism student who’d rather write about current affairs than current trends. But in order to get quick success, she chose the job that wasn’t a part of her own dream and even though she was in a higher paying job working with one of the most important people in fashion, she wasn’t happy. She also lost sight of who she was and distanced herself from the people who mattered.

But, there’s a bright side and another important lesson to be learned. While being a personal assistant, Andy became more confident, more articulate, and more knowledgeable on the industry. Miranda Priestly might’ve been stone-cold but she did her job and steamrolled through when it became stressful. She was powerful, intelligent, and no one could touch her. If that isn’t the definition of a boss woman then I don’t know what is.

The Devil Wears Prada taught us what it means to become a better, headstrong version of you while always staying true to yourself.

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‘Christopher Robin’: Warm, Fuzzy, and Winnie the Pooh

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

If there’s anything I’ve noticed about the movies this year, it’s the extreme lack of “feel good” movies. These are movies that have very minimal conflict and are primarily there for the purpose of making your heart happy.

Christopher Robin is absolutely that kind of movie. It only took three seconds into the movie before tears of pure joy began to form in my eyes. I’m sure that was the intention of the writers, too.

The movie itself is about the little folks of the hundred acre wood and their developing relationship with Christopher Robin as he grows older. The opening scene shows Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Owl, Eeyore, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga, and Roo all having a dinner party saying ‘fairwell’ – as they spell it in the movie – to Robin.

What’s tragic about this is that it’s not Robin going on vacation or anything like that, it’s much sadder. It’s all of his friends saying goodbye because they know Robin has grown too old to hang out with them anymore.

The rest of the movie is Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) all grown up and living his life at a job that has a very family-or-job mentality, which obviously causes problems. Robin is taken on a new adventure with Pooh Bear, who he hasn’t seen in many years, to find his old friends and find himself along the way.

Despite a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, I absolutely adored this movie. It told a genuinely symbolic story of keeping your family as close to you as possible. The fact that it could convey this message using childhood characters we all know and love is an accomplishment within itself.

I thought it was so unique how they created the characters in this movie. It’s definitely not something you see very often and it was so defining.

With McGregor’s stellar performance – as always – on top of the rest of these factors, Christopher Robin quickly became the cutest movie of the year.


My Rating: 95%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.8/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

‘Toy Story’ Will Always Have A Friend In Me

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

I find there no need to introduce a movie that has captivated all ranges of people since 1995. Toy Story is an animated movie that blew people so far out of their shoes that it has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100%.

It’s nice to look at the brilliant accomplishments behind the franchise that changed the animation industry and Disney all together, but it’s even more fascinating to think about why they achieved what they did. What was it about Toy Story that makes everyone so powerfully shout a ‘yes!’ when they are asked whether they like it or not? Well, that reason can be answered with many responses.

The animation itself was one of the many factors that people love. It was something unique that wasn’t shown prior to 1995. I mean, it was a bunch of talking toys. How often did you see such a thing in a beautifully animated film?

That transitions perfectly into the second aspect of Toy Story that people fell in love with. That would be the story itself. It adds to the uniqueness of the already living toys with backstories that only benefit the characters. Being able to witness of a chipper young cowboy doll become friends with a plastic astronaut was the perfect amount of funny and happiness. On top of that, we have a dog who doubles as a slinky, a dinosaur scared of his own shadow, and so many more.

It’s a mesmerizing piece of family-friendly artwork that warms the human soul on even the saddest of days. It didn’t stop with the first one, either. It ended up being one of the only franchises ever to prove that a sequel can be better than the original.

It’s ridiculously important to understand just how powerful animation can be. Toy Story is yet another animated family movie that stood in its place – which was high up on an ever evolving pedestal.

Scream-A-Thon: The Perfect Amount

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Yesterday I got the life changing experience of watching all four of the Scream films in a theater (3 of which were on 35 mm print) in a marathon properly titled “Scream-a-thon”.

Let me start by saying that the Scream franchise was already my third favorite horror franchise even before entering the theater. Watching them in a row with a hyped up group of people and entertaining break shows solidified its spot even more.

Prior to the first Scream showing, two workers, dressed up as Ghostface, made a successful attempt to excite the audience with pre-show trivia and games with prizes. Each of these games was splattered with quotes from the legend himself (I am indeed talking about Ghostface) such as the iconic “gut you like a fish” line from the first film.

Before Scream 2 started, we all got the honor of watching a drag queen dressed up as Tatum from Scream with a cardboard garage around her waist imitating the character’s death to the song “Drop Dead Gorgeous” by Republica.

The movies themselves were something else. Seeing the Jamie Lee Curtis of the Scream franchise, Neve Campbell, master the art of one of the most powerful women of horror was truly enlightening. Sidney Prescott is the queen of modern horror. Even in Scream 4, Campbell’s character rules the show and uses all her power to develop Sidney even more.

Separately, watching Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis and Matthew Lillard as Stu Macher makes my bones shiver. They showed what a teenage psycho really was. More like the modern version of the horny teenage psychopath. And I’ll tell you, it was wonderful. The next time that a movie showed an even more modern psycho was Scream 4 when the surprising, fame hungry killer was revealed.

All four movies were something that should – and must – be experienced at least once in the form of a marathon because it’s a very life changing experience. It’s crazy to be able to watch one of the most cult classic horror franchises of all time in a theater with people who are equally as excited as I was.

‘Bao’: A Brutally Meaningful Showstarter

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

If you like movies and aren’t completely ignorant, you’ve definitely heard of the seamless Incredibles 2. But we aren’t here to talk about that movie – we are here to talk about what comes before it.

Prior to the Disney Pixar sequel, a short film titled Bao was featured. It was a short with no talking and very minimal sound, but brilliant animation. This, of course, can be expected of the mega animation company behind it.

The creator was a woman by the name of Domee Shi, who wrote and directed the entirety of it. This was the only produced piece on her filmography, but still made her the first woman to direct and create a Pixar short.

The story itself revolves around a woman who is making dinner for her husband – dumplings, specifically – and as her husband leaves for work, the woman is left alone. That is, except for one dumpling that sprouts arms and legs. Don’t worry, it’s not creepy, it’s cute.

It zooms through the life of the woman and her dumpling as he grows up into a bigger dumpling and eventually wants to leave home. This leads to the tragedy of the woman *SPOILER ALERT* eating her child dumpling. Once again, it’s not creepy. Seconds after, it’s revealed that, all along, the dumpling was her son. A son that abandoned her and distanced himself, creating tension when he comes back. It all ends happily when the love of a mother overpowers the fear of him leaving again.

This short film had me in tears before the main attraction even started. I was left shook and half-tempted to leave the theatre to call my own mom. Shi knew how to tug at the heart strings with a self-understood passion that she clearly demonstrated, telling a story with a moral that can only be described as undebatable and astounding. Family is around for a reason, and you shouldn’t cut that unless it’s necessary and healthier.

Even leaving Incredibles 2, I was thinking about this short. The story, the metaphors within, and all the thought that Shi must’ve put into the – for a lack of a better word – incredible journey of a mother and her child.


My Rating: 97.5%

Animation: 3.9/4

Direction: 3.9/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

Top 5 Animated Movies

Hand-drawn. Stop motion. Rotoscoping. Live action. Clay. 2D. 3D. Oil paint. Canvas. Stick figure. And the list goes on. Animation is just another medium through which images are manipulated to appear as moving images. Quite frankly, it is one of the most fascinating mediums through which images come to life.

Today, we present the Basement Film Society picks for top 5 best animated movies, drawing mainly from American cinema.

1. Up (2009)

An exciting adventure packed film following Carl and Russell who set out together to fulfill Carl’s dream of seeing South America and the promise made to his late wife, Ellie. An inseparable bond forms between the two in the midst of the journey.

2. Finding Nemo (2003)

Starring Ellen Degeneres, Finding Nemo details the journey Marlon and Dory take to find Marlon’s son, Nemo, after he gets captured in the Great Barrier Reef and ends up miles away from home.

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3. Ponyo (2008)

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Of all the films included, we could not forget to include a Miyazaki film. Ponyo tells the story of a little boy who forms a relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess, who wishes to be human after falling for him.

4. Walle-E (2008)

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A lonely robot, Wall-E, takes a journey to another galaxy where he meets and falls in love with another robot, Eve, and discovers a new purpose when returns home.

5. Moana (2016)

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A one-of-a-kind film that tells the story of Moana, the chosen one by the ocean, on a journey to find Maui, a demigod, to return the heart of Te Fiti and save her island.

This is a very small scale representation of the scope of animated films, as there are many more animated films worthy of mention and praise. However, I do hope that, of the five chosen, readers resonate with their importance and fascination just as much.

Film Forecast Friday: June 29th

On June 29th we have…

1. Sicario: Day of the Soldado

2. Uncle Drew

3. Escape Plan 2

4. Black Water

5. Woman Walks Ahead

6. Leave No Trace

Julia’s Prediction:

This week there aren’t really any big blockbuster movies coming out.

The movie I have seen the most marketing for is definitely Uncle Drew, and it has a lot of big names in it like Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, and more. So based on that I think this could be the biggest movie out of those coming out this week.

However, there have been so many big releases this month I doubt any of these movies will make a big impression at the box office. Between Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom these movies will have a hard time coming anywhere near the top of ticket sales.

Anthony’s Prediction:

I’ll start with Uncle Drew, which will make the most at the box office this weekend due entirely to its insane marketing and constant advertising on every platform.

Then we have Sicario: Day of the Soldado which is a sequel, so it’ll make nearly as much as Uncle Drew, even if it’s horrible.

Those two are going to be pretty much the only relevant ones this week, given that there hasn’t been much advertising or anticipation for the sequel to Escape Plan or whatever the heck the other movies are.