Mean Girls (Mark Waters 2004)

 

 

Mean Girl is just one of those classic teen flicks that pretty much everyone has seen… even my Nan has seen it. So when you read through this, expect a few spoilers because I’m just assuming that you have watched the film. It’s the film for all teens and the last film where we remember Linsey Lohan to be sane.

Cady (Lohan) was home-schooled in Africa but has been forced to start high school in America. She must embrace this new life and put up with the Clicks of the school. She makes friends with Janice (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese) who are two less popular losers. However, when she is invited to sit with the ‘Plastics’ Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried)  she goes undercover to see what their live are really like.

The film opens with Cady’s mum and dad talking to her like it’s her first day of primary school, this is shown through the condescending language and the tilted up camera angles. However, it is in fact her first day of the worst place on earth, high school. We get voice overs straight away so we know that this film is going to have a constant narrative from our main characters, this does get a little weird when she starts to imagine other characters as wild animals (but to be fair it’s pretty similar).

You get to experience the sad life of secondary/high school, with people just being rude, teachers telling you off and finding it difficult to talk to anyone. We also get the fantastic health class speech.

Don’t have sex because you will get pregnant and die.

The worst thing of all though is defiantly the stuck up bitches that you always get, the prom queen that everyone loves and fears but let’s face it they are essentially the devil. You also get the hot guys that they get to date but you will never get a chance with. But from watching this film do you really want to be popular? There is so much drama and a lot of rules. I don’t want to care about what I eat or worry about what a wear to fit in. If I want to wear tracks to class then I will!!

We also learn that it is great to have rich parents that you can walk all over. Regina’s room is incredible. But when her mother is basically an older version of her you can understand why Regina gets away with what she does. What is even better is the fact that her mother is played by the fantastic Amy Poehler.  It’s weird seeing Leslie Knope having a dog bite her nipples because her boob job is hard as rock.

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As this film came out more than ten years ago it taught me a lot about the rules of being a teenager. For example, Halloween is for dressing up like a slut rather than scary. This is a rule I didn’t start to follow until I hit 18. I also learnt how much of a bitch girls can be, they can be manipulative and back stabbing but from my own experience when you find some great friends they are none of these things and pretty much treat you like family … just try not to piss them off because girls still gossip about girls they are friends with.

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The climax of the film is basically everyone getting pissed off because a few popular girls decided to start horrible rumours about each other. Again emphasising how horrible high school can really be and how the worst part about it is the other students. But what is the best way to get girls to stop fighting? Get their hair wet that’s how! But after that they go through what actually bothers people and you realise that everyone is a victim. They then went and apologised to everyone they hurt but some of these were pretty poor.

I don’t hate you because you’re fat; you’re fat because I hate you.

However, after all this Cady’s life goes back to the way it was at the very beginning, she was hated until she admitted that she started some of the drama. This is where she apologises and makes a mend (how cliché) by missing most of prom to attend a math competition. The moral of this story is don’t be a bitch because people will hate you and you may even be hit by a bus, which was the unlucky fate of Regina. To make things even better Cady wins prom queen (not sure how) but with the crown she splits it up and gives it the other girls of the school. This is probably the only nice part of the film.  This kind gesture enables her to get the guy of her dreams. AGAIN HOW CLICH.

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I would rate this 8 and of 10. It’s a great classic teen flick but doesn’t compare to some of the fantastic cinematic pieces of our time.

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

 

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Gravity Falls (Disney XD- Alex Hirsch , 2012-2016)

 

Who knew a cartoon could be so good. Well besides all children and to be honest a lot of adults. But who knew that adults would enjoy a cartoon aimed at children. No, I’m not talking about ‘Bronies’ I’m talking about Gravity Falls. The great show that unfortunately ended in 2016 after just two seasons.gravity falls

When Dipper and Mabel (Jason Pitter and Kristen Schall) visit their grunkle/ great uncle Stan (Alex Hirsch) at the mystery shack, Dipper finds a book in the forest that details the supernatural beings that live in the town of Gravity Falls. The twins encounter these creatures in a number of their adventures. With the help of the book, the other guys at the Mystery Shack and their wits they must fight gnomes and slaughter zombies. It’s all a bit similar to the younger Sam and Dean Winchester in CW’s Supernatural (2005-).

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This wacky comedy keeps those of all ages engaged with both visual and audible comedy. They even throw in a few adult jokes. The dialogue will make you laugh out loud. The twins have a fantastic presence along with the many other lovable characters. There is Mable with her incredibly stylish turtle neck jumpers and Dipper with his book of the dead. Other characters include the horrific monsters, such as the golf ball people that decide your fate at mini golf and Cipher the floating triangle that looks far too similar to the Illuminate logo *Que X files theme song*. However, by far the best character is Mabel’s pet Pig Waddles. I mean how can you not love an adorable pet pig!

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GRAVITY FALLS – “Time Traveler’s Pig” 

The show follows the traditional structure of a TV series, with season finales and cliff hangers. This means that watching the show in order would be beneficial in understanding the plot. But since many children don’t have the sense to Sky Plus the show, some parts must be confusing ,especially since the show stopped airing in early 2016 after just 2 seasons.

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However, to celebrate, the creators left a scavenger hunt for the fandom. This took place in the small city of Reedsport (population 4,000), where fans gathered in the woods in the middle of the night. Bit creepy but it does fit with the style of the show.

This show is one of the high quality shows for kids brining back nostalgia from when Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon actually had good stuff. I mean Disney’s ‘Dog with a Blog’ was rock bottom for the channel. I miss show like ‘Courage the Cowardly Dog’!

So even if you aren’t the recommended age just give it a go. The show is original and a good 20 minute chill out after a long day at school or the office. I love to sit back and relax after a long day at the BBC studios. It may be Disney but Disney is good.

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How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

 

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The Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)

When you think of musicals you expect the usual girl meets boy and they sing about their issues and their undying love for each other. WELL in the case of ‘The Moulin Rouge’ you would technically be right. However, the film isn’t as happy or as normal as the usual musical. Granted musicals aren’t usually normal because real life isn’t full of random musical numbers with dances that everyone knows the moves to. BUT this film is even weirder than that.

When Christian (Ewan McGregor) is mistaken for the call girl Satine’s (Nicole Kidman) new client, things get a little heated between the two and they quickly and I mean quickly  fall in love. However, when her official client walks in, they make up the excuse that Christian was in her room rehearsing a new play. So to keep up the act they must in fact create this play.

As this is a film directed by Baz Luhrmann, who is also responsible for ‘The Great Gatsby’ (2013) and the modern ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (1996), you can expect overdramatic fabulousness. The colours are beautiful with deep shades of red and gold. The costumes are glamorous. The actions are exaggerated and EVERYTHING IS MAD…. there is a moon singing opera. It’s a truly beautiful film but you will need to have a particular taste to enjoy the film as much as I did.

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The best part of any musical is of course the songs! Considering the film is set in 1900 France we get songs from Elton John and other modern songs as well as some originals, my favourite being ‘Spectacular Spectacular’ that follows the rhythm of Can Can. This is a feature used in many other of Luhrmann’s films, especially the Great Gatsby. Our fantastic director is also great at foreshadowing, with the plot of the play within the film basically reflecting the plot of the film itself. The film even ends with the two becoming one. A film as well done as this is one that should be celebrated and perhaps even studied. Yes, this film has received six Golden Globes, eight Oscars and many more awards.

Despite all the craziness you will fall in love with all the characters and will get very emotional over our two lovers. Trust me when I first saw it with two of my friends they were both crying at the end. The dramatic ending will leave you full of emotion. Even though many of Ewin McGregor’s lines of cheesy as hell, it’s still going to make you cry.

Satine: Besides, I can’t fall in love with anyone

Christian: Can’t… fall… in love? But, a life without love, that’s… terrible…

Satine: No, being on the street, that’s terrible.

Christian: No! Love is like oxygen!

Satine: What?

Christian: Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!

Christian: [bursts out into song]

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BUT this film would be noting without the incredible acting and voices of Ewan McGregor (who knew he could sing?) and Nicole Kidman. The two are beautiful singers and highly talented. They make convincing lovers and bring this story to life.

I would defiantly suggest this film (10/10)!

Another great song from the film.

 

Film pick of the week: ‘The Moulin Rouge’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’

TV pick of the week: Netflix original series ‘Stranger Things’

 

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

 

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It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)

Horror films are by definition meant to scare people and unless you are a complete wimp there are only a few films that actually meet these criteria. Over the years this has even become more difficult to do. What scared the audiences of say the 70’s wouldn’t scare the people of today. I mean ‘The Exorcist’ (William Friedkin, 1974) had audiences literally running in fear when it first came out, whereas people today find it laughable or sometimes boring. For me the scary films include a lot of James Wan work just because I find supernatural horror scary. Therefore, I decided to watch ‘It Follows’ as it was in quite a few lists of top horror films online (mind you ‘Scary Movie’ (Keenen Ivory Wayans, 2000) was also on the list). I can tell you now I was pleasantly surprised.

A sexually transmitted demon is basically the plot summed up in 4 words. Sounds a bit mad but honestly from a film and TV student it’s fab. When Jaime “Jay” Height (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend Jeff Redmond / Hugh (Jake Weary) she wakes up strapped to a chair and is given some information on her new deadly stalker.  Just stay away, it will follow you …forever until you pass it on to someone else. It can look like anyone. Always stay in places with more than one exit, it may be slow but it’s not stupid.

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Can you imagine that just be followed by a monster that no one else can see for the rest of your life until you have to decide to pass it on. But could you do that … just doom someone to that torment? It’s similar to passing on the button in ‘Drag Me to Hell’ (Sam Raimi, 2009). I don’t think I could do it. But the thought of never being safe and forced to constantly be on the move is a good motive…the whole idea is just so sinister.  A plot so simple is defiantly a plot so unsettling.

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I must say that in my opinion the film isn’t necessarily scary but the use of music and camera work is fantastic. It just feels like modern day homage to Kubrick’s work. The drones and sound score are fantastic. Each frame seems like a piece of art work and the use of colour just sets a dark forbidding tone that just forces you to feel uneasy. The whole thing is just creepily beautiful. If you are interesting in film making or just a big fan of films I would suggest a watch.

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates

The Conjuring 2 (James Wan 2016)

Many sequels are worse than the original but I will stress the many part. The sequel to The Conjuring is fantastic. However, it is extremely different, making it difficult to tell that they are a part of the same franchise. Luckily, they decided to keep two and only two of the characters from the original. Instead of scraping the barrel from the original, we are given a new storyline and a new haunting or two if you include the infamous Amityville house shown in the first five minutes.

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The film follows the story of the famous London haunting in Enfield. For those of you unaware of the story I will post a link below. BUT as this is Hollywood the story has been changed to be exaggerated and truly horrific. Since the original story is pretty sinister then you can imagine how creepy this film is. Whilst watching my heart was pounding and I had Goosebumps but it didn’t help when my house mates screamed at every jump scare and as this is a Wan, there was a lot. “It was shit scary”.  On the other hand, just when you thought the trouble of an evil man haunting and possessing a young girl isn’t enough, they add another side story… a spooky Nun who is nowhere as creepy as Anabelle and much like the terrifying doll is getting their own spin off.

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The film follows the Enfield story pretty well but adds some elements and builds up more of an engaging narrative compared to a few weird voices and some violent Lego. Instead we are given moving through walls and dogs turning into fairy tale characters (yeah I don’t know either). They have seemed to remove showing some of the main elements of the original story and briefly brush up on what happened through short conversation or a recreation of the documentary on the haunting. Therefore, I advise to either pay attention, read up on the actual haunting and don’t take this film as a guide to the truth because after all this is show business.

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The use of lighting like most of Wan’s supernatural horrors is incredible. We are left literally in the dark and are surrounded by the heavy fog of the unknown. Camera angles hide potential horror and leave us on edge as to if we will actually see our monster. If all this wasn’t enough to keep us in the edge of our seat, the sound track really builds tension. With drama drones, stabs and stings the sound along is enough to freak you out for the night. If you want to create a great haunted house on Halloween just play the soundtrack for this film and I assure you guests will freak out.

Link to story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054842/Enfield-Poltergeist-The-amazing-story-11-year-old-North-London-girl-levitated-bed.html

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I would defiantly rate this as one of the best horror films of the year!

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

 

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.

Eddie the Eagle (Dexter Fletcher 2016)

We all love a feel good film, a movie to cheer us up on a sad day and one that would motivate you to achieve your dreams, just by watching someone else achieve theirs. Well no film does it better then Eddie the Eagle, a film about a young British man who just wants to be in the Olympics.

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Eddie Edwards: [voice over] For as long as I can remember it has been my ambition to become an Olympian. I just needed to find the right sport.

We all know the story of Eddie the Eagle, hell I even know the story and I wasn’t even alive to watch the event. The film is about our beloved Eddie, played by the talented Taron Egerton and his American coach played by Hugh Jackman, attempting to get their lives back in check. Eddie was denied the chance to be a skier so he fought against the odds and learnt ski jumping a lot quicker than your average Olympian. Bronson Peary, a retired jumper promises to help Eddie achieve this dream. However, like all films our hero faces issues and people constantly telling him that he cannot achieve this goal… but since we know the outcome you can kind of assume that everything turns out okay in the end.

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Eddie Edwards: I was kicked off every team I was ever on before I even got a chance to prove myself.

Like a lot of films I watch I decided to watch the film because of how hot I think the star is. So I watched this film because of the beautiful Taron Egerton, the star of ‘The Kingsman: The Secret Service’ (Matthew Vaughn. 2015). However, despite Taron doing a fantastic job at playing Eddie (surprisingly) the film would have been a great watch without him. The script was existing and just a pure happy film. There was a few times where I just wanted to run into the screen and give the Eagle a big hug. It’s also fantastic to see his story, I finally found out why he is called Eddie the Eagle! Furthermore, I have so much respect for Eddie after seeing the film, Even if the film is only 50% accurate. Yep trust Hollywood to adapt a story just to please an audience and make a load of cash (but it worked).

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I do find that this affects the picture however. Some of the jumps are over exaggerated along with some of his failures. He does a fall within the film that lasts way longer than pretty much the entire track. However, as it is Hollywood we can assume it was just for dramatic effect. We all love a bit of drama.

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As the film is set in the 80’s we get a brilliant sound track with some of the best 80’s tracks. I think the music is one of the best things about the movie. CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE!. If you want to add happy to this great film just add some great tunes.

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.

Zootopia (Byron Howard 2016)

Zootopia is Disney’s most recent film and instead of Disney princesses learning the value of finding a husband we get animals learning to accept one another. It’s great to see how far Disney has progressed. From sexist stories about only being happy if you fall in love to love yourself and never give up on your dreams. It’s nice to know that their company is finally teaching the children of today something good.

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Chief Bogo: Life isn’t some cartoon musical where you sing a little song and all your insipid dreams magically come true. So let it go.

When a small rabbit Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is told that she would never achieve her dream of being a police officer because she is a rabbit, she proves everyone wrong and gets into the force… as a parking monitor. But when the predators start to go back to their primitive state she must team up with her key witness Nicholas P. “Nick” Wilde, a red fox who is a small-time con artist voiced by Jason Bateman.

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With a film based entirely on the lives of anthropomorphic animals, the film both embraces and goes against the stereotypical traits of these animals to both create a laugh and teach us a valuable message. No matter whom you are or your back ground you can prove people wrong. The Cheetah is a fat police officer who sits around and eats donuts. We get none of the Cheetah and all of the stereotypical American police officer.

Judy Hopps: [Approaches reception desk where Clawhauser is munching on cereal] Excuse me… Down here… Hi.

Clawhauser: O. M. Goodness, they really did hire a bunny. Ho-whop! I gotta tell you, you’re even cuter than I thought you’d be.

Judy Hopps: Ooh, ah, you probably didn’t know, but a bunny can call another bunny ‘cute’, but when other animals do it, that’s a little…

Clawhauser: [Mortified] Hoo, I’m so sorry! Me, Benjamin Clawhauser, the guy everyone thinks is just a flabby donut-loving cop stereotyping you.

The sloths are all incredibly slow and for some reason all work at the DMV. You can just feel the frustration. Flash (Raymond S. Persi), the sloth that they go to for help talks slower than a toddler attempting to read a copy of ‘Wuthering Heights’. The sloths type slow, press buttons slow, stamp slow and even laugh slow but they sure do not drive slowly. They participate in drag races.

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Nick Wilde: Flash, Flash, Hundred-Yard Dash!

I could list more great examples of this but the most important characters are Judy Hopps who is too small and cute to be an intimidating member on the force. All the other officers are huge bears, elephants and Rhinos. So when she gets to be the top of her class, you can’t help but feel a little better about yourself. Nick Wilde also faces prejudice, a fox is sly and cunning so it doesn’t help that he is a con artists. He was taught at a young age that foxes aren’t to be trusted thanks to some terrible bullies so he did what you should never do and stick with what others tell you. You never know what people have gone through in the past and you certainly should never bully anyone.

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Chief Bogo: [from trailer] It’s not about how badly you WANT something. It’s about what you are capable of!

The message of these prejudices become worse as a villain is turning the predators back to their natural state to scare the prey into kicking them out of the city. I feel that this is something Donald Trump would do. Predators are judged as the prey as they hold their children as they walk past and move seats on the bus. Can you think or to whom that happens to now? This film really does teach us not to judge a book by its cover. So despite the action, comedy and cameo from Shakira (for some reason) we get to learn about one of the most important issues of society, racism.

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Nick Wilde: [about Bellwether- a sheep] Do you think when she goes to sleep, she counts herself?

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

 

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.