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.

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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 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

Falling Crazy in Love with ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

One of my favorite film genres (if not, my favorite) is romantic comedy. From The Wedding Planner to Love, Simon, I always rush to the theatre (or Netflix) to see these movies. More recently, I rushed to see Crazy Rich Asians which did not disappoint.

Starring an all Asian cast, Crazy Rich Asians follows Chinese-American Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) on a trip to Singapore where she meets her boyfriend Nick Young’s (Henry Golding) family and discovers just how wealthy, luxurious, and privileged they are. Rachel, then, tries to prove her worth to his snobbish, overbearing mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) and ponders if she’s really cut out to be apart of Nick’s otherworldly life.

This film exceeded everyone’s expectations as it made $34 million dollars at the box office in its first five days, making it the best debut for a comedy this year and the best debut for a rom-com. This shouldn’t be shocking because it marks a very important moment in film history as it is the first Hollywood film to feature an all Asian cast in 25 years. When I went to see the film, nearly the entire audience were of Asian descent and that is something to be immensely proud of.

Crazy Rich Asians is pulling in the audiences that may have felt underrepresented in Hollywood and giving them something to connect to, and that is why this film made the money that it did.

Aside from its logistics, let’s talk about the film itself. I loved it, to say the least. It was one of the most visually appealing films that I have seen this year (and the past few years) and had characters that you just want to hold and never let go.

What I mean by that is that I want a second movie.

By the end of the film, I was begging for more of the posh Astrid (Gemma Chan), the fashionable Oliver (Nico Santos), and the goofy Peik Lin (Awkwafina). I wanted to follow the rest of Rachel and Nick’s relationship, see what the wedding was like, and see if she ever meets her long lost father. Now, the film is based on the book trilogy by Kevin Kwan and with the extra clip added at the end of the film (NO SPOILERS) I think it’s safe to hope for a sequel.

In conclusion, Crazy Rich Asians made me laugh, cry, and fall in love with its main AND supporting characters. It’s a beautiful film that deserves all of the spotlight and praise that it’s receiving.


My Rating: 91%

Acting: 3/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 4/4

Film Forecast Friday: August 17th

On Friday August 17th we have…

Alpha

Mile 22

We The Animals

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Liv’s Prediction:

August 17th is a big date for movie releases with approximately 15 films but let’s discuss just a few of the ones that are opening and how they’ll do at the box office.

First up, we have the new Kodi Smit-McPhee epic Alpha. This seems to be one of the biggest films opening this weekend so I do expect this one to do quite well. I don’t foresee it making as much as The Meg did last weekend, but that was also completely unexpected so Alpha may surprise us all.

Mile 22 starring Mark Wahlberg is also hitting theatres this weekend and what I can expect from this one is about the same turnout as Mission: Impossible- Fallout. Opening weekend it made around 60 million but because it was a franchise, we expected a large sum of money. Mile 22 is an action feature and not a franchise, but it also has Mark Wahlberg headlining so, who knows.

Next, we have new Netflix chick flick To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before which I expect to have numerous people opening their apps or running home to watch it. In this case, the viewership on this film will not disappoint.

Lastly, we have We the Animals. It is an indie drama and most likely will not do numbers at the box office on its opening weekend, but I do believe it will make the people who do watch it fall in love and spread good reviews like wildfire. This will ultimately bring more audience members and will gain success over time.

‘Remember Me’: 2010 Was Unnecessarily Depressing

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

In the daunting midst of the Twilight saga, Robert Pattinson stars as Tyler in Remember Me, the unnecessarily tragic story of a New Yorker in 2001.

It follows both him and a girl named Ally (Emilie de Ravin) as they develop a classic movie cliché relationship with plenty of issues and heartache. Half of this heartache is because of the detached relationship Tyler has with his father (played by Pierce Brosnan).

I chose this movie for this week’s Time Warp Tuesday because not only did I watch it yesterday, I also wanted to cover a Pattinson movie that wasn’t Twilight that had some impact. That impact being that not every movie has to be a tragedy to be good. Why I chose the one that has a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, I couldn’t tell you.

The acting in this wasn’t anywhere near magical, but it was certainly cute. Sometimes what you need is a good cliché love story, no matter if the movie is outstanding or not.

That wasn’t all this movie was, though. It was a disastrous tragedy that didn’t need to happen. As hard as it is not to spoil the ending, I won’t. But all it proved was that some movies that have the ability to be good can stay good without having to be heartbreaking.

Remember Me is nowhere near a perfect movie. In fact, it’s not even considered a good movie by any aspect. Regardless, it taught everyone a lesson that’s made a movie after it. Thank God for that.

Performances of the Year: A ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot’ Review

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

Joaquin Phoenix has been surprising us with performances at every corner this year…and really long movie titles. First with the darker thriller You Were Never Really Here earlier this year, and now the more lighthearted dramedy Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot.

Based on an actual story, Phoenix portrays handicapped artist John Callahan as he recounts his trials of pulling himself out of alcoholism and into sobriety. Along the way, he meets his sponsor Donny (Jonah Hill), falls in love with his nurse Annu (Rooney Mara), and discovers his missing birth mother Maggie (Mirielle Enos).

Although inspiring, the story isn’t the only strong aspect of the film. The acting and character development is unique and powerful as Phoenix shows the humility of John, and Hill transforms Donny’s character from pretentious to having actual depth. I know I said it earlier on this year, but I believe one of the two movies that Phoenix has starred in will give him an Oscar nomination, as well as Hill receiving a nomination alongside him.

Hill has been nominated in the past for The Wolf of a Wall Street and Moneyball but neither of those showed his true range. Yes, he was funny in this film but by the end of the film you got to see past the character’s obvious facade which revealed his inner struggles. A struggle that resulted in a deeply emotional scene between Donny and John that I won’t spoil because it’s so good!

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot is filled with strong performances not only from its main actors, but also its compelling ensemble. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking without being complicated and cheesy about achieving either.


My Rating: 93%

Acting: 3.9/4

Cinematography: 3.7/4

Story: 3.8/4

Enjoyability: 3.6/4