‘Mean Girls’: The Movie that Defined a Generation

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

 
Happy Time Warp Tuesday everyone! I hope you’re getting your pink outfits ready for tomorrow because today we are talking about Mean Girls.

If you were alive in 2004 when this gem came out then I am sure you have seen it, but just in case, I will give you a rundown of the plot.

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) has lived in Africa and been homeschooled her entire life until her and her biologist parents move to the suburbs of Illinois, and she has to get acquainted to the world of high school.

Once she arrives at North Shore High she is quickly scooped up by best friends Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damien (Daniel Franzese) who let her in on everything she needs to know about all the cliques at North Shore High. The most important and infamous being The Plastics. The Plastics contain massive deal Regina George (Rachel McAdams), secret holder Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert), and ditzy Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried).

After The Plastics invite Cady to sit with them at lunch, Janis, Damien, and Cady devise a plan to take down the queen herself, Regina George. From that point on all kinds of chaos and girl world warfare ensues.

This movie is truly iconic. It has one of the funniest and most well written scripts, written by the amazingly talented and funny Tina Fey, which is evident in the fact that the script is often used as an example in film classes. And if you need any more proof of its icon status just look at how quotable it is. I mean practically the entire movie is quotable. Even if you have never seen this movie I am sure you could think of dozens of quotes from it because people are quoting it all the time.

Now I have seen this movie honestly probably hundreds of times, and it never gets old. October 3rd is a sacred day for me, Glen Coco is my personal hero, and if Regina George ever punched me in the face I would be truly honored. If you also were growing up in the early 2000s then I am sure you feel the same way because this is the movie of our generation. This is like the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or The Breakfast Club of our generation.

Mean Girls came out 14 years ago and it is still one of the most talked about and quoted movies. It is so amazing in fact that it is now also a Broadway Musical – which is absolutely fantastic, and if you haven’t listened to the soundtrack yet that is what you need to do for the next hour and a half.

All in all this movie is a timeless classic about high school life and an honest to God gift to this world.

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‘Superfly’ Was Nothing Special

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Superfly is a remake of the 1972 film Super Fly. It follows Youngblood Priest (Trevor Jackson) who is a cocaine dealer who wants out of the drug world. His process of doing so ends up inciting a drug war and creates tensions with dirty cops.

Superfly is interesting in the fact that it was directed by Director X, who is famous for directing music videos for artists such as Rihanna and Drake. This definitely shows through as a lot of the imagery in the film feels like a music video.

Honestly, I really wasn’t a huge fan of this movie. To be fair, I have never seen the original and this isn’t really my kind of movie in the first place, but I do have specific reasons for why I personally did not like it.

First, the plot just felt like your typical drug war movie to me. There was nothing special or different. Everything that happened I expected to happen and saw coming.

Also, there were certain moments where it felt like the movie was maybe trying to make some kind of social commentary about police brutality, but stopped before it really finished doing so. I think had it went in that direction it would have added an extra element that would have made it far more interesting and compelling than your typical drug war kind of movie.

Visually, the movie was interesting with its imagery that was similar to that of a music video. But for me, that just wasn’t enough to compensate for a plot I wasn’t very interested in.

I think that for some, this movie would definitely be entertaining. Mostly, it is just violence, sex and drugs. If that is the kind of movie you are into then I would definitely recommend Superfly. But if not, maybe skip this one.


My Rating: 58%

Acting: 2.5/4

Cinematography: 2.8/4

Story: 2/4

Enjoyability: 2/4

 

The Realness of ‘BoJack Horseman’

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

For our first ever TV Talk we are talking about the Netflix original series BoJack Horseman. The show currently has four seasons with the first one premiering in 2014 and the most recent one having come out last year. It has also been confirmed for a season 5 which is rumored to come out later this year.

This series follows the once star of a 90’s sitcom, BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett), as he tries to piece his life together and make a comeback.

BoJack Horseman is one of the most authentic portrayals of human emotion I have ever seen in a TV show. It has honest depictions of not only addiction and mental illness, but also the general ups and downs of life and not knowing what you really want out of life.

Throughout the series BoJack tries time and time again to make himself happy, but always falls into the same pattern of self-loathing and alcohol and drug use. But what makes BoJack’s development particularly interesting is how he adapts and changes throughout the series and tries his best to right his wrongs.

BoJack is definitely not the only character in the series with this kind of authentic development. Every main character in the series has their own battles that they have to overcome, and the ups and downs of their emotions really do an amazing job at showing what life is really like.

Not only does this series have these real and relatable displays of human emotion, but it is also able to effortless weave in comedy throughout. This show’s humor is somewhat satirical in its nature with its way of poking fun at Hollywood and society as a whole.

Another element of this show that I find particularly refreshing is its continuity. For instance, in the first season someone steals the D from the Hollywood sign, so for the rest of the series it is now called Hollywoo instead of Hollywood. The show does a great job at not abandoning tiny little details that came about from certain storylines and sticks with them. It’s almost as if as the series progresses there are more and more inside jokes and Easter eggs from things that happened earlier in the series.

Finally, I have to talk about this show’s animation because just wow. It is beautifully done in a way that makes the show so aesthetically pleasing to watch. It is detailed in the most unique way, and is one of my favorite parts about the show.

Overall, BoJack Horseman isn’t afraid to show real struggles that real people go through. It is able to show these struggles while still maintaining its comedy and satirical elements. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that will keep you laughing throughout and is an absolute must-see.


My Rating: 94%

Acting: 3.5/4

Animation: 3.8/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

 

‘Walk the Line’: Music, Addiction, and Forbidden Love

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

For today’s Time Warp Tuesday, we will be taking a look at one of the greatest musical biopics of all time (and my favorite film) Walk the Line.

The film follows the ‘Man in Black’ musician, Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), and his musical career. Along the way, he finds love in his childhood crush and longtime singing partner June Carter Cash (Reese Witherspoon) but with the highs comes the lows. The audience is exposed to Johnny’s demons and faults. We learn about his battle with drugs and alcohol and his affair with June despite being married to his wife Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin). He suddenly becomes his own villain and becomes stuck in a cycle of addiction and infidelity.

Walk the Line went on to win multiple awards including Best Actress at the Academy Awards. What made this film so great was, in fact, the acting. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon quite literally embodied the souls of Johnny and June Cash. It’s almost like watching a documentary of the famous duo because of the actors’ nearly identical performances. When someone, with hardly any musical experience, can replicate every voice inflection, facial expression, and body movement of a famous musician’s performance then I think it goes without saying that they deserve the highest praise possible.

Along with the musical talent they possess, Phoenix and Witherspoon’s chemistry is both undeniable and honest. Johnny and June had an intense bond that caused him to lose control and hurt June and Johnny’s wife Vivian in the process. This flawed love story is portrayed with the same fierceness it possessed without watering down the moral imperfections. It isn’t the ideal romance that you see in most films, but this also is not a romance – it’s a drama. And that genre leaves all of the ugly parts in.

One of those ugly parts is Johnny’s drug addiction, and the performance that Phoenix gives is too good to not give an Oscar to. As I said before, Johnny becomes the villain in a story where he was the protagonist and his rehabilitation isn’t a pretty one. But Phoenix’s transition between all of them were nearly flawless, and he was able to portray one’s real experience of addiction. He showed the dark side of a man who was once on the top of the mountain and suddenly fell into his own personal hell. (I’m sure you thought I’d make a ‘Ring of Fire’ pun, but that’d be way out of context)

Walk the Line is one of those movies that will never leave your mind after one watch and questions whether fame and fortune is worth the hurt.

Wandering ‘On Chesil Beach’

By Therese Gardner, Edited by Anthony Peyton

On Chesil Beach is a beautifully frustrating film adapted by Ian McEwan based on his novel of the same name that follows a young couple during the summer of 1962 as they explore life as newlyweds.

It is mid-summer when Edward (performed by Billy Howle) and Florence (performed by Saoirse Ronan) have just been married and are spending their honeymoon at Chesil Beach. The first scene follows the young couple as they take a leisurely walk along Chesil Beach holding hands and appearing seemingly in love until they return to the hotel and things begin to fall apart.

It becomes clear that both Edward and Florence come from vastly different backgrounds as they desire different things and have opposite expectations for how things should be as a married couple. This difference in expectation is first alluded to when Edward wishes to consummate the marriage while Florence does not wish to, as she is fearful of what may happen. As the movie progresses, the tension present between Florence and Edward only seems to magnify as Florence becomes more frustrated, even slightly angered and Edward becomes more passionate.

Just when Edward and Florence are about to consummate the marriage, Florence makes clear she is still not interested and becomes further frustrated with Edward for being insensitive to her needs. While McEwan lacked in effectively exploring the reasons for Florence’s anxiety, Ronan gave an incredible performance that allowed the audience to understand Florence on a deeper level.

Even though McEwan directed this movie based on his own novel, the film did not appear to fully explain the details necessary for understanding both Edward’s perspective as well as Florence’s perspective in a manner that the novel would have. This is partly due to the fact that a film can only be so long and is not able to explain the brevity of a story.

McEwan definitely struggled to fill in the hidden details and rushed the film by focusing largely on the beginning of their marriage and then suddenly skipping ahead to a few years later when Edward and Florence are older. There is a lack of consistency and authenticity with the details McEwan decided to include and the details he decided not to include. Despite the discrepancies between the novel and the film, it was still a poignantly beautiful, yet fragile film that I highly recommend for others to watch.


My Rating: 83.1%

Acting: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 2.5/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4

‘Book Club’ is the Romantic Comedy that Older Viewers Deserve

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

While romantic comedies seem to be limited to the 30 and under crew, there are those few films that connect with an audience that deserves more love than it’s given.

Book Club, starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen, offers a new look at the stereotype that the 50+ don’t have sex when four women in a book club reevaluate their love lives after reading 50 Shades of Grey.

Even though this is a regular romantic comedy, it also makes its audience question how we portray older men and women on screen and whether or not the film industry should be tapping into this kind of an audience.

As I walked into the theatre to see this movie, the entire audience was over 50 years old. Of course I’m just speculating there but generally that demographic doesn’t regularly go to the movies unless it’s something that they can relate to.

So why not make films that connect with all audiences?

Book Club challenges the stereotypes that falling in love is restricted to the 20 year olds and allows its viewers to see themselves on-screen with positivity and liveliness.


My Rating: 75%

Acting: 2.8/4

Cinematography: 2.7/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4