G-Force

Date Released: July 24th 2009

Plot Outline: A squad of guinea pigs tries to stop a man from taking over the world.

G-Force was interesting in the way it was presented. It wasn’t really like any other kids movie I have seen. But, in this case that wasn’t a good thing.

This was a very modern childrens movie. There were a lot of computers in the movie and the world “download” was stated multiple times. G-Force mentioned global extinction, facebook, it contained a lot of current cultural humor, and popular songs on today’s radio were played throughout the movie.

I am curious to know what age range this movie is aimed for. I felt it was an extensive plot for small children and there was a lot of flirting between the characters throughout the movie. But I’m not sure that ten-twelve year old kids are interested in a movie about guinea pigs. If it was aimed for small children I think it was definitely inappropriate.

G-Force was too long. It was interesting and was full of good actors (people and voices) but I just didn’t like it. It didn’t do it for me. Something about it bothered me. Maybe it was that I didn’t feel it was good for children. I think it was stuck between appealing to children and appealing to adults taking their children to the movies and just couldn’t find its place.

I Love You Beth Cooper

Date Released: July 10th 2009

Plot Outline: A nerdy valedictorian proclaims his love for the hottest and most popular girl in school, Beth Cooper during his graduation speech. This confession just earned him the most exciting night of his life

I Love You Beth Cooper opened with an extremely awkward scene, Denis (Paul Rust) confessing his love for Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere) during his valedictorian speech at his High School graduation. It was soooo awkward. I was so uncomfortable and embarrassed for him; it made me cringe. I didn’t want to look but I just couldn’t look away. The awkwardness was lightened with a few very funny remarks made during the speech. Luckily this was the only awkward humor. I don’t think I would be able to handle a whole lot of that.

My favorite character was Rich Munsch played by newcomer Jack Carpenter. He was very funny with his random, homosexual comments then insisting he is not gay. Naturally I loved his movie references throughout the film.

I Love You Beth Cooper was very stupid but so very amusing. There were countless moments when I laughed out loud. There were hilarious moments such as a towel battle scene, a fight scene with Carpenter jumping out a window as means of escape, and a scene involving a terrifying raccoon.

Though it was stupid and funny there were a lot of serious moments. The two main characters played by Rust and Panettiere did a lot of talking with their eyes. They understood personal and profound moments the other was going through. Oddly enough they had a great connection.

Though the acting wasn’t fantastic, it wasn’t a downfall for the film.

I am absolutely shocked to say this but I thoroughly enjoyed watching I Love You Beth Cooper. I would recommend it for a good laugh.

Pandorum

Release Date: September 25th 2009

Plot Outline: A space ship crew all wake up with no memory of their mission or their identities.

Pandorum started off slow but I kept watching because of my love for Ben Foster. He is usually in amazing movies so I stuck it out. Glad I did because I wasn’t disappointed.

I didn’t know much about Pandorum going in. I was expecting it to be like any other thriller or sci-fi. It wasn’t. It was sort of a mystery and we kind of guess what is going on but we don’t really know until the last half hour.

The alien type creatures in the movie were stereotypical looking but they did look real.

Why was Dennis Quaid in this movie? Better question, why is Dennis Quaid in any movie? He is suchhh a bad actor. He ruined the scenes he was in was his unimpressive wannabe acting. Any time anything was weird or made a noise his look of horror was comical and diminished the moment. His eyes popped open wide and he would get a funny look of shock or horror on his face. As time went on his acting got a tad better. Better to the point that I didn’t laugh during serious moments.

Does Cam Gigandet ever play a likeable character? He is a good actor and great villain but he should be careful not to type cast himself. I can see him being good at a variety of roles but I haven’t seen his talents broaden so far.

Ben Foster as always, was amazing! I don’t think he can get any more talented. It’s just not possible. Why isn’t he more famous?

I was more impressed by the ending than anything else. I didn’t expect it to end the way it did. I really liked the ending. It reminded me of the ending in Apocalypto. Just that in awe kind of ending.

The Princess and the Frog

Release Date: December 11th 2009

Plot Outline: A young working class girl gets herself turned into a frog when she kisses a frog that wants to be human again.

Tiana is not your typical princess. She works two jobs and has realistic goals and dreams. She sings songs with lyrics like, “The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.” And, “I worked hard for everything I got and that’s the way it’s suppose to be. If u do your best each and everyday good things are sure to come your way.”
The Princess and the Frog is just a cartoon but the characters are strongly developed. They all have defined personalities.

The Princess and the Frog reminded me of a mixture between The Swan Princess and Cinderella.
I was shocked the movie killed off a character. I couldn’t help but wonder how parents across the world explained death to their small children after that scene.

Though the songs in The Princess and the Frog relayed positive messages, they weren’t at all catchy. I couldn’t wait for the characters to stop singing.

I loved this movie. It was adorable and a refreshing change from the typical Disney movies. Everyone made a big deal that the princess is black and the movie takes place in New Orleans. I like the diversity and feel this will open us up to more diverse characters in the future. I also greatly appreciated the positive messages throughout the movie. Hopefully it actually makes an impact on kids.

We need more movies like The Princess and the Frog.

Manic

Release Date: May 23rd 2003

Plot Outline: Because of his violent outbursts, Lyle is committed to the juvenile wing of the Northwood Mental Institution where he must attend group therapy sessions for troubled teens.

I loved Manic from the very moment it began, not only because I am in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt but also because it captivated me immediately.
It starts off as somewhat of a mystery. Lyle (Gordon-Levitt) is entered into the juvenile wing of a mental facility against his will.
We see him struggling and resisting security all the while we hear screams and a struggle in the background. We know this is why he is being put in the facility but we don’t exactly know what occurred.

The whole thing is just so intriguing. It is so emotional that you can’t help but get heavily involved in the story.

Lyle is a loveable character in a strange way. He is violent and has anger management issues but he is sad, pathetic, and jaded that you can’t really help but have some love for him. I found myself attached to each character, even the child molester and group therapy bully.

Just overwhelming emotion throughout the movie. We get right into the jaded, troubled characters and their sad lives. Each character is very unique they all have a lot of pain but display it and deal with it in very unique ways. They all keep the movie interesting.

I didn’t want Manic to end. I wasn’t sure how they were going to pull off the ending. It was great and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We got a glimpse into the characters lives and time in their therapy session. That’s how it ends. We just caught a glimpse.

The acting was more that impressive. You can tell that the actors really threw themselves into their role. They all became their character.

There wasn’t much character development just because we don’t gradually get into a story. We are thrown into all of their lives all at once. They are already developed and we are trying to keep up.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Release Date: February 15th 2008

Plot Outline: A group of high school students invite the hot goody goody Mandy Lane to a weekend getaway all in hopes of hooking up with her. Over the weekend the teens are being killed one by one by a mysterious killer.

I absolutely despised this movie. I hated the characters, I hated the plot, I hated the acting, and I even hated STUPID Mandy Lane (Amber Heard). She was so dumb. I didn’t understand her actions, her odd antisocial behavior, or any of her decisions.

Mandy Lane agrees to go on a weekend getaway with some people from high school. I didn’t understand why because they weren’t friends, she didn’t have anything in common with them, she was always off running by herself, and barely spoke to any of them.

Also, anytime she seemed uncomfortable she just stood there like an idiot. She was pretty passive with actions she shouldn’t have been passive with. For example, a character Bird (Edwin Hodge) asks if he could hold her hand. Mandy Lane goes ummm ohhh uhhh and then holds his hand. She was obviously very uncomfortable and not wanting the advances but she allowed it anyway. Then he asks her for a kiss. Once again, she looks uncomfortable but allows him to kiss her on her cheek. Then he tries on the lips and she seems to be allowing him to but they are interrupted. Good thing because who knows what she would have just agreed to if he asked. She obviously doesn’t know how to say no. Then later the jerk character Jake (Luke Grimes) comes up behind her and proceeds to make advances. She says stop but she just stands there. Umm you might want to walk away Mandy Lane.

Basically the characters all keep dying one by one and I didn’t mind this in the least bit. I didn’t care if any of them died; in fact I looked forward to it. Not so much the way in which they died because it was unnecessarily gory but I found myself thinking, “When are they going to die?” “They better die soon.” and “It’s about time!”

The characters were so obnoxious, immature, and perverted that you couldn’t help but want them to be killed off.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane was unnecessarily perverted throughout the entire film accompanied by an abundance of alcohol and drug use.

I don’t like the fact that teen movies often have a lot of alcohol, drugs, and sex in them. Not all teenagers are like that. I don’t like that kind of negative portrayal. But alas a lot of these scandalous activities are pretty much the norm in teen movies but the activities in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane was ridiculous. Anyone who drinks that much and does that many drugs is an alcoholic and drug addict, not an average teenager. There’s a difference! Well, there should be anyway. Who knows with today’s crazy youth…but the movies portrayal of teenagers is definitely not helping.

I hated this movie completely and could not stop whining and complaining through it until the last 15 minutes. That’s when things started getting (a little) interesting. The twist was unexpected and kind of dumb but it made watching the movie more bearable. I didn’t like the movie after this but I stopped whining and complaining for a few minutes.

Jennifer’s Body

Date Released: September 28th 2009

Plot Outline: A high school girl is possessed and kills off high school boys. Her best friend tries to put a stop to her evil deeds.

I am quite surprised to say that I actually enjoyed Jennifer’s Body. I never thought I would say that. This movie looked just ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, some parts certainly were less than impressive but overall I had fun watching it and even jumped once. That surprised me more than anything else.

As a huge Adam Brody fan I loved seeing him in such a different role. Granted this was a film surrounding high school, but he played a gothic/punk rock dude searching for a virgin to sacrifice. I’d say it’s not like anything he has done so far.

Amanda Seyfried is known for being a great actress but we can really see her skills in Jennifer’s Body. In the beginning she starts out as a mousy, shy, insignificant high school girl. By the end of the film she is strong, independent, strong willed and a bad-ass chic. The subtle change overtime shows her ability to not only play opposite roles but to ease into the opposite role without it seeming odd or rocky. The change is natural and subtle.

What I am very sick of is Megan Fox being cast as the “hot girl” in every film since she become popular in the Transformers (2007).

I appreciated the real feel of high school, or at least the high school I remember. With quotes like, “Did u make reservations at the cheesecake factory?” and, “I ordered your corsage, it was like 12 dollars.” we see that these high school students are real teens. Not like the teens we see in shows like Gossip Girl or movies like Mean Girls. We can relate to them, their emotions, their lives, and their relationships.

What I didn’t appreciate was the teen “lingo” in this movie. I don’t know if Diablo Cody is trying to make up her own “cool” language or if she thinks this is really how teens speak on a daily basis. We saw this with the language in her film Juno as well.

The following are ridiculous words and phrases found throughout Jennifer’s Body:

“Cheese and fries”

“Shutties” (Shut up)

“Lesbigay” (Lesbian)

“Jello” (Jealous)

“Fagoes” (Faggots)

“Is he packing some serious pubic inches?”

“Its freaktarded”

“You give me such a wetty”
Overall Jennifer’s Body is definitely worth a watch. It pleasantly surprised me, which is not easy to do.

Forever Strong

Date Released: September 26th 2008

Plot Outline: A Rugby player going down a bad path is put in a Juvenile Detention Center. He is allowed to play Rugby and begins going through an unexpected transformation.

As a part of one of my favorite genres, Forever Strong was truly powerful and absolutely captivating.

The movie states that it is based on true events. I did some research and couldn’t find anything about the characters. The information on the film stated that Forever Strong is actually based on events from several different lives and Rugby teams, not one particular story.

All in all it was a fantastic film. I was shocked that by the end of the movie I actually liked Sean Faris’ character, Rick Penning. He started out as an arrogant jock. I wasn’t aware that Penn Badgley was in this. I was sad to see him as such a creep but this definitely showed us that he can play more than the loveable goofball he plays on Gossip Girl.

I thought it was interesting that Forever Strong is about rugby but we barely ever see the games. It truly was about the boys as coach Larry Gelwix said, “I want you to be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field”. He worked hard at making their lives better and transforming boys into respectable men.

I highly, highly recommend Forever Strong! It leaves you feeling inspired and hopeful about life, wanting to be a better person, and wanting to better the relationship with your family. It’s a great family film.

Spread

Release Date: July 8th 2009

Plot Outline: Spread is no fairy tale or “van halen video”
Spread is about people struggling to get where they want to be by unconventional methods…and not quite getting there.

Ashton Kutcher costars with the beautiful Margarita Levieva. He plays a young Hollywood wannabe, Nikki. He appears put together, handsome, rich and successful due to his wardrobe, the women he sees, and the houses he occupies; unbeknownst to everyone he encounters Nikki is poor and homeless. Nikki makes his living by sleeping with rich women; he then becomes their lovely charity case. The women find themselves attached to him and want him as their own. Nikki is perfectly fine with the situation until he meets Heather (Levieva). She, like him, makes her living by targeting rich men. The two are attracted to each other and begin an unconventional relationship. Things are going well until Nikki wants Heather all to himself. Will the two gigolo types be able to have a real functional relationship?

Spread was decent. It wasn’t like anything else I have seen which made it fascinating. The plot was intriguing. While watching the film I became more and more disappointed as time went on. There wasn’t much development or room for this movie to progress. I felt as though it were stuck in a bit of a rut.

I was both surprised and pleased by the ending. Not every relationship ends with a happy ending. Sometimes love isn’t enough. Spread proves that and shows that to us through common situations with a slight twist from reality.