The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen is a 2016 teen dramedy directed by Kelly Fremon Craig and starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson. It is one of the year’s better films.

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“I am an old soul.

I like old music and old movies and even old people.

Bottom line is that I have nothing in common with the people

out there and they have nothing in common with me”.

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The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review……………………………………………………..

I really liked this movie despite its obvious shortcomings in terms of storytelling. The script is actually very well written, but some parts of it were too typical and obvious such as everything surrounding the protagonist’s brother for instance. But I liked that it was mostly sophisticated with many great scenes of which the highlights were the calmer scenes with the protagonist as well as the happy ending which is just beautiful in its subtle approach and execution.

The character development is surprisingly great. I loved Mr. Bruner, but I would have liked to have seen more scenes from him. Darian is not my favorite and the mother was also clichéd, but Krista is fine and of course Erwin Kim is such an interesting, different boyfriend than usual. I loved that he was Korean and that his profession is animation.

But naturally the highlight is Nadine who is the main and most fascinating character of the bunch. Now, teenage angst is a familiar subject matter by now. But what differentiates her from the others is her more reserved nature. And watching her have trouble connecting with other people and especially in huge parties made me connect with her as she is so similar to the teenage version of myself. That is why the movie was relatable and all the more powerful to me.

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The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The acting is top-notch. All of the actors and actresses did a really good job, but Woody Harrelson is as likable as ever and he gave one of the year’s better supporting performances. Hailee Steinfeld is so good! It was so great watching her six years after ‘True Grit’ and realizing that she is still great and even better than before which is a rarity for child actors. Her performance here is so great and believable that it is one of the year’s best female performances for sure. So underrated.

I would have gone with less of that typical friend dating a brother thing, but all of the other subplots worked great with the highlight being the exploration of her character and her problems. The way she overcame them was emotionally rewarding to follow and that is why the ending is moving. The script is deft here and the direction is surprisingly strong for a newcomer.

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The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review..……………………………………………………

The editing is also terrific as it is such a well paced and always very involving flick. The Edge of Seventeen also features excellent dialogue with some of the lines being clever and some being immensely relatable. Some of the things she said seemed to come right out of my mouth when I was that age. I also really liked its humor which was surprisingly pretty dark and edgy for a teen movie. And of course the movie is very emotional at times, but never overly sentimental which I hugely appreciated. Yes, it could have been more original in some spots, but it is so well made and so relatable and dramatic that it is one of the better teen films that I’ve seen, from any age. It is also one of the best that 2016 had to offer as a whole.

The Edge of Seventeen could have been more original in some plot points which felt obvious, but other than that, this film is one of the better teen flicks that I’ve seen. The dialogue is strong, the acting is terrific with Hailee Steinfeld being so great and the ending is wonderfully subtle and emotionally rewarding. The character development is fantastic and the main character was so well realized and some of the things she said were very similar to what I would have said at that age. That is why the film was relatable and all the more powerful to me personally.

My Rating – 4.5

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Pretty in Pink (1986)

Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Pretty in Pink Movie Review

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 teen romantic comedy directed by Howard Deutch, written by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald. It is a really charming movie.

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I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Now, first I have to say that this is nowhere near the quality of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles, two movies that I just adore. It is more in line with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as the plot is fairly simple and clichéd, but the film does most with it anyway. Some parts of the film weren’t as great and some were even dated, but most were terrific and my favorite has to be the entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. So romantic, charming and it just brought a smile to my face. And the entire movie felt like a pleasant teen journey.

The characters are pretty good, but some parts felt false. The entire conflict that arose between Andie and Jack in that he was too rich for her was just ridiculous and not believable at all. They did the most they could do with it, but it was still somewhat silly. And I have to say that I didn’t care for him that much. Duckie was at first quite annoying and I didn’t know if he was supposed to be gay or nerd or in love with her and the last option came to fruition eventually. Even though the two were obviously better off as friends, I still wished that she chose him instead. But that ending with him telling her to go after him was both funny and endearing.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

The performances are really good as usual. Harry Dean Stanton is solid and Jon Cryer, though annoying, is quite good in his role. But as usual, Molly Ringwald stole the show as she portrayed such a wonderful character once again and her performance was expectedly great.

Certainly there is something missing in Pretty in Pink and that something is the direction. Howard Deutch is just not John Hughes and although he wrote the script, I wished that he directed the film too as it would have been much better that way.

The film is still competently made, don’t get me wrong. But it is just never as sophisticated as you would come to expect from Hughes’s movies. The script is the major problem as it just felt overly standard and typical. The execution is actually excellent and it thoroughly lifted the material, but I still wished for a couple of more clever lines of dialogue as well as a good conflict.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

But the humor made Pretty in Pink as enjoyable as it is. It is that kind of wonderful and endearing humor that seems realistic and charming instead of forced and I love that. There are some scenes here that were so heartwarming and funny at the same time that I smiled and laughed and was having such a great time. The silly clothes, the prom and of course the soundtrack all brought that very pleasant 80s tone to it and made it a very moving experience. It is far from a great movie or anything like that, but it is competent and lovable enough that I consider it very good and satisfying for the most part.

Pretty in Pink is lacking in comparison to ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’ as the script is fairly typical and the conflict rang false, but it is such a lovable movie that I enjoyed it a lot nevertheless. Molly Ringwald is as likable as ever, the third act was so wonderful and the movie is well acted and made while consistently being endearing in its humor and characters.

My Rating – 4

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Mean Girls (2004)

Mean Girls Movie Review………………………………………………………

Mean Girls Movie Review

Mean Girls is a 2004 teen comedy film starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Tina Fey among others. It is such an entertaining flick.

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I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me…

but I can’t help it that I’m popular.

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Mean Girls Movie Review………………………………………………………

The story here is very predictable and clichéd. There isn’t anything new here whatsoever. True, it does explore girl high school cliques and it does have a great message, showing you how damaging those can be for girls. But the overall plot was very simple, very familiar and I guessed correctly what would happen almost every time.

But the characters make Mean Girls so memorable. Cady is truly fantastic and I loved her progression from a good girl to a mean one to just being a human being. I thought she was the most realistic and relatable person here. Regina George is your typical over-the-top villain, but she was as good as this character can be. Gretchen was the weakest among them, although funny at times. But Karen is very funny and she is also very likable.

The film is very diverse and it features both black and Asian students, but none of them play a major part and as for the gay character, I found Damian to be awfully stereotypical, but I guess you would find such a person in this group and in that way it was realistic plus he had some funny scenes.

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Mean Girls Movie Review………………………………………………………

Janis is very sympathetic and I really liked all of the teachers as well with Norbury naturally being the highlight. I found the principal quite typical, but he had some memorable sequences. That is great about this movie – most of the characters have their moments and most delivery in terms of the humor.

The acting is excellent and is actually its strongest suit. Amanda Seyfried made her debut in this movie and she instantly made it count, delivering with a performance that features both heart and humor. Tina Fey is expectedly good, but Rachel McAdams is excellent in one of her earliest roles as well. It’s great watching this movie and seeing all of these actresses at the start of their careers and all did a great job. Lindsay Lohan is easily the highlight, so good here and actually quite stupendous at times, delivering a genuinely strong performance in such a good role.

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Mean Girls Movie Review………………………………………………………

The humor is, as I said, really good. To me this film isn’t as funny or as good overall as ‘Clueless’ and it is rarely genuinely hilarious, but it is more often than not very funny and of course most of the characters deliver with some great snappy lines of dialogue. It’s a shame that the ending is so typically emotional and dramatic, but most of the movie was lightweight and funny instead of dramatic and I liked that. The dialogue is of course very good here and the movie is quite quotable. Again, not as quotable as ‘Clueless’ is, but still pretty good in its own right with a couple of very recognizable and amusing lines. The film is also well paced and entertaining from start to finish. Thanks to all of its strong technical aspects and humor, it manages to transcend its very predictable and familiar storyline. But I’ve just had a lot of fun watching this flick and I laughed more than a couple of times and found it to be overall very realistic, if a bit too over-the-top in a typical genre manner.

Mean Girls is such an entertaining teen comedy that transcends its familiar and predictable storyline and sometimes over-the-top approach with genuinely strong humor, excellent performances from Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams in particular and mostly realistic characters of whom almost all had their moment to shine.

My Rating – 4

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a 2016 fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and starring Eva Green and Asa Butterfield. It is such a good, underrated fantasy flick.

This is the kind of material that is perfectly suited for Tim Burton’s sensibilities and it was great that he chose it and made it into a film. The result is uneven, but mostly quite good. The problem with the plot is that it is definitely unoriginal. It is a mish-mash of familiar ideas, but an entertaining mix nonetheless. You have Harry Potter in it, but also X-men and, something that a lot of people forget, ‘Mary Poppins‘. Those three properties I really like which is why I found this movie to be very charming and fun.

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You don’t have to make us feel safe, because you’ve made us feel brave

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the characters. Miss Peregrine is fantastic and I really loved her. She is such a strong character and one of the best Tim Burton characters in my opinion. She is intimidating and definitely stern, but ultimately warm and very protective of her children. Jake is a boring protagonist, but he is at least serviceable. Abe is a good grandfather figure and their story is interesting, but their relationship should have been a bit stronger.

The film is hurt by the characterization of supporting characters as it is pretty weak. All of the Peculiar children are immensely underutilized and I was just frustrated by that as they could have been fun and riveting characters, but they just ended up being interesting. As for Mr. Barron, he is a solid villain. Pretty creepy at times while also being funny.

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

I have to talk about the powers of the Peculiars. I have a conflicting opinion about them. On the one hand, the inclusion of the powers being hard to control and being very weird is original and realistic, but on the other hand, it was a bit too weird and a bit too useless. Their powers were too specific and that led to the plot driving the movie instead of the characters and the fights being very convenient for them to successfully utilize those powers. I also didn’t get why some got two powers and some got just one. For example, Emma can float, but also manipulate the air in water which was a bit too much. Olive’s fire power is typical and she also didn’t use it very well. Millard was interesting and the most original child here as he is constantly invisible when he is naked and that led to some good humor as well.

Bronwyn as this ridiculously strong girl was a lot of fun, Enoch is also pretty interesting for having the power to resurrect the dead and make the inanimate objects come to life. Hugh has bees in his stomach and that was just too ridiculous. A girl with a mouth behind her head is definitely weird and funny, but again not particularly useful. Horace as a prophet is intriguing and the twins were very underutilized.

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

As for the Hollows, I really liked their design which was somewhat authentic and very creepy. As for the adults, I just didn’t find their powers effective. Of course Peregrine’s turning into a bird is great, but her manipulation of time is very odd to me. The film introduces the concept of manipulating time, but only in the way that you get to relive one day over and over again which is both good and bad as it is not a great way to life your life. But again, the concept is interesting and I nevertheless enjoyed the time travel aspects here.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is technically as great as is always the case with Tim Burton. The special effects are excellent, but I liked that their use was sparse, that was great. Some of the imagery was truly stunning and the film was always visually dazzling and gorgeous to watch. The pacing is also pretty good and the film was entertaining from start to finish. I really liked its weird nature and some scenes such as the last fight with the skeletons and everything surrounding the villain were quite delightful.

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

The humor is also very strong as is the acting as Samuel L. Jackson is both funny and creepy and Eva Green absolutely stole the show as she is amazing in this great role. Asa Butterfield is okay, but he was never a great actor. Some of the action was too crazy and convenient and I definitely enjoyed the first half of the movie more. The first half was more Harry Potter-like and the second one is much more in the vein of X-Men, but the action is never as good as it is in that franchise. But I liked the concept of the school as well as time travel and the Peculiars. And the forties were quite well presented here. Overall, it isn’t one of the director’s stronger films, but it is pretty good in its own right and even underrated.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has weakly developed supporting characters and the action isn’t the strongest and was sometimes too convenient, but this is mostly such a fun mix of Harry Potter, X-Men and Mary Poppins with superb visuals, charming humor, unforgettable Eva Green and such an engaging and mostly well crafted fantasy plot with a pleasantly weird feel to it. It is a flawed, but ultimately good and underrated movie. 

My Rating – 4

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Sing Street (2016)

Sing Street Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street is a 2016 Irish musical teen film directed by John Carney. It is one of the most overrated films of the year.

The plot here basically revolves around a boy trying to impress a girl by starting a boy band. And it ends with the two of them hooking up together. Needless to say, it is an incredibly clichéd, overly happy and saccharine movie. Now, the film is somewhat charming in its joyous tone, there’s no denying that. But an entirely predictable storyline is always a problem and here it’s the movie’s worst offender.

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You can never do anything by half; do you understand that?

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Sing Street Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The characters are also not particularly memorable. Most of them were too good in my opinion and all of them are archetypes. The main character was somewhat annoying and I never connected with him. The girl is a typical female love interest, the brother is a typical junkie and the parents are splitting up. And you also have regular school bullies. Everyone here is either ordinary or forgettable. The acting is competent, but none of the actors impressed me.

Sing Street is solid as a musical and it succeeds as a musical much more than as a coming-of-age film. The music is solid and all of the songs are fun and catchy. I also liked those sequences where they made music and collaborated together as those were really well executed and were some of the highlights of the movie.

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Sing Street Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The Irish setting is intriguing, but besides that, everything here is otherwise pretty ordinary from the plot to the characters to the fairy tale ending. The direction is good, the editing is also pretty good, the score is great and the film is very well made. And it is also sometimes moving and definitely has its charm with some very light, but effervescent sequences. But because I knew what was going to happen every time and because I just wasn’t invested in either of its characters, I found the movie somewhat lifeless, especially in the second half. It is certainly a solid film, but far from a great and even good one and it is most definitely a very overrated picture.

Sing Street is a solid film that is competently made with some pretty good music and it has its charm for sure, but the film is so clichéd and so predictable to the point of being very annoying as there isn’t anything truly original or unexpected in it whatsoever. The characters were also not particularly memorable leading to such an overrated film.

My Rating – 3.5

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Feriss Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Feriss Bueller's Day Off Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

Feriss Bueller’s Day Off Movie Review

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a 1986 teen comedy film directed by John Hughes and starring Matthew Broderick in his most iconic role. It is quite a good, if far from great movie.

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Life moves pretty fast.

If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

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Feriss Bueller's Day Off Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

This film basically follows one-day structure as a high-school slacker successfully spends a day off from school. Needless to say, that isn’t particularly ambitious thematically speaking. But it does what it sets out to do really well. It is basically a celebration of teen youth and having fun in those years and I liked that. Yes, I wanted some responsibility from the protagonist and a moral message at the end, but this was still a different and interesting approach in making him successfully ditch school for one day and not get punished. The emphasis here is on pure fun and I get that. It’s just that I wanted something more from it as I’ve come to expect big emotional scenes and a clever script from the director.

Ferris Bueller is an iconic character for good reasons. He has a memorable personality and although not particularly well established for a main teen character, that was still a good choice as it pained this sort of myth around him. Everyone knew guys like him in high school and he represents that part really well. Cameron is really good as his troubled, hypochondriac friend and I have to say that I liked his emotional scene at the end, despite it feeling a bit too overplayed.

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Feriss Bueller's Day Off Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The problem with this movie is that the female characters aren’t as strong this time around. Sloane is charming and kind, but that’s about it. She’s far from memorable. And Jeannie I really, really liked and that ending in which she finally decided to help her brother go back to the house was wonderful and such a great ending for her character. However, the part with Charlie Sheen I disliked and found it to be pointless and not a good development for her.

Edward Rooney as the Dean represents the best and worst qualities of the movie. He was absolutely awesome in the first half as the humor there was so good and those comedic scenes between him and his secretary were top-notch. However, I really disliked what they did with him in the second half. He basically came to Ferris’ house to finally catch him and that was just stupid. Not only do I dislike the use of childish slapstick humor that the movie devolved to, but the problem that still maintains is why the hell would he be so obsessed with Ferris. That was not well explained and just childish.

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Feriss Bueller's Day Off Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

It may seem like I’m giving a harsh time to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but I really liked the movie, quite a bit actually. It’s just that it does seem very unrealistic at times as I do not see this plot happening ever in real life. It also has that annoying 80s cheese in it that it’s too energetic and naive and thus leading to a product of its time to some degree. But even though it was childish, the movie is mostly pleasantly childlike and of course a lot of fun. It is very entertaining consistently and their adventure is well worth following.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is very well directed as usual, but as I said, of his big three movies, ‘The Breakfast Club‘ and ‘Sixteen Candles‘ are much better. But this is still a good movie that is efficient in its humor for the most part and the characters are well developed. The script isn’t ambitious, but is well rounded up and its simplicity was mostly a good thing as the execution of the plot was great.

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Feriss Bueller's Day Off Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The soundtrack is excellent, the use of Chicago is splendid and I really liked their adventure in it. The second half is weaker than the amazing first one, but it does have an admittedly awesome, unforgettable ending. Breaking the fourth wall is well utilized here for the most part and it’s memorable. The film is definitely quite authentic in its approach and it looks and sounds different than usual for the teen genre. The dialogue is great, the pacing is excellent and the film is involving from beginning to end.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is admittedly a product of its time as it is too naive, childish and unrealistic, but it mostly succeeds in its simplicity as it is a lot of fun. The structure of the movie works, the characters are very memorable, the humor is mostly quite good and the highlights are the first and last act. It is charming and entertaining, but still far from the director’s best works.

My Rating – 4

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Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Sixteen Candles Movie Review

Sixteen Candles is a 1984 teen comedy film directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall. It is a genre classic and such a delight.

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I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep if I don’t feel this little talk has helped ya.

So would ya be a sport and lie to me?

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Sam is having a sixteenth birthday but it turns out to be a very bad day for her as her parents didn’t even remember the date and her crush seems to not even notice her. This is the kind of story that is admittedly very familiar and even clichéd in its ending, but it transcends that thanks to a perfect, charming execution.

I loved the energetic beginning and how we are instantly acquainted with Sam and her problems, I loved the conversation scene between Sam and Ted and I adored that ending. Those three were the highlights for me, but let’s talk about that ending. It has such a perfect use of body language and facial expressions that wonderfully compensate for the lack of words and it was a great choice. Jake comes to Sam’s sister’s wedding and he sees her and waves her. She turns back to find the person he’s waving and when she realizes it’s her, she points at her and shyly whispers – Me? Yes, you. And the two unite, have a small talk and then while they leave, Sam signals her father and he sends a congratulatory hand signal. I just loved everything about this ending and how it’s simply, yet meticulously constructed and it is the best end scene I’ve seen in a long time and the one that I will remember for years to come.

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Let’s now talk about that wonderful father-daughter relationship. Yes, the father in Sixteen Candles is too good which may seem unrealistic, but it is still a perfect ideal and a role model for every father out there and the talk they have and the thing that he says to her about her sister and the dangers of getting everything you want early is so truthful and such a great line. That whole sequence is incredibly heartwarming, but never crossing into sugary territory.

Sam is excellent, so likable, yet realistic. Jake is typical, yet also very sympathetic and you get why she is into him as he really is handsome and sweet. Ted is fantastic. At first he seemed like a typical geek teen, but he eventually proved to be probably the best developed character here and his interactions with both Jake and Sam are phenomenal and he is such a grounded in reality character. The acting is also top-notch with both of these actors delivering in their roles and Paul Dooley being wonderful. But of course this is Molly Ringwald’s vehicle and she is magnificent in the role – so charming, so likable and consistently very good.

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Sixteen Candles is well filmed and very well directed by Hughes. It is well acted and very well paced and it just flew by how fun it was. The tone is wonderfully light and comedic, the humor is pretty good at times and the dialogue is mostly excellent – realistic and touching. The whole flick manages to be touching, but in just the right way as it is never overly emotional.

Now I have to touch upon some flaws in the movie, those which are obvious and pretty big. Ted’s too sidekicks didn’t work for me as they were too childish and sometimes the movie focused too much on him instead of Sam. The musical choices were good and sometime even great, but those small cues to famous movies I found weird and overloud. And the biggest offender has to be Long Duk Dong. What is there more to say that hasn’t already been said? He is an Asian stereotype, very offensive and incredibly frustrating. Also, quite unnecessary for the film’s plot.

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

And yes, the film is riddled with one big (Dong) and a couple of smaller flaws and although that made it hugely uneven, I still give it a 4.5 rating just because everything else is great and so satisfying. In my opinion, this film didn’t disappoint and is quite probably on the same quality level as ‘The Breakfast Club‘ which is admirable and I did not expect it to be this good at all.

Sixteen Candles is uneven due to too much emphasis on Ted instead of Sam and a very unfortunate character of Dong who is an awful Asian stereotype, but everything else is great with the standouts being Molly Ringwald who is so good in the main role, the character interactions and the dialogue with some amazing, wonderful lines. But the film also hugely benefits from such a beautiful, perfectly constructed end sequence and from having a lot of heart, but never becoming too emotional. It is a fun, touching teen film that quite successfully transcended its clichéd nature.

My Rating – 4.5

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Clueless (1995)

Clueless Movie Review

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Clueless Movie Review

Clueless is a 1995 teen comedy film directed by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd. It is a really funny, quite good coming-of-age flick.

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He does dress better than I do,

what would I bring to the relationship?

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Clueless Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Clueless is an iconic teen movie and while I certainly wouldn’t call it great, I found it to be pretty good nonetheless. It unfortunately falls prey to the conventions of the genre in its third act, but everything that came before is really good and quite funny. And the film isn’t stupid as it touched upon some issues with sophistication and it also presents its subjects with care and realism. I liked the makeover aspect of the storyline, but I overall really liked the parody tone to it and I found its humor to be great. And even though it definitely loses its steam near the end, the film is for the most part incredibly entertaining and fun to watch.

Let’s talk about the characters. Now frankly, the characters here are mostly teenage clichés, but that is okay as the movie makes fun of those clichés and it mostly gives us good development for its characters. I really enjoyed Cher as she is such a memorable, funny main character. And yes, her transformation at the end was obvious and way too clichéd, but at least she did not change as drastically as these movies usually go. She changed a lot, but there were traces and hints at that throughout the first half of the film and I really liked that.

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Clueless Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Dionne I did not care for at all as she is not well utilized nor particularly likable. Tai is also a solid character and a realistic one, but quite annoying, more and more as the movie progressed actually. As for Josh, he is again a good guy archetype, but I have to say that I somehow liked him and the relationship between the two is so clichéd, but frankly I got some enjoyment out of it for some reason, maybe because the two were charming together. Mel is good as the father, Amber is typical but brings some fine moments and Christian is again a clichéd gay character, but still somewhat different and interesting in some scenes. All of the characters are solid, but the interactions and the relationships between them are some of the highlights of the film.

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Clueless Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Clueless is a really funny movie. I enjoyed its humor quite a bit and I honestly laughed a lot while watching it. Some of the highlights are those scenes with the teachers and the whole first act or so was really funny, energetic and just a lot of fun. And Cher made me laugh the most as she is undoubtedly the funniest person here. The movies manages to be hilarious at times mostly due to its dialogue. Yes, the dialogue is absolutely terrific with just an abundance of riches in terms of memorable quotes and lines. I just loved the tardiness speech and also Cher’s speech in her assignment was hilarious. Those moments in the classroom were absolutely hilarious. But there are also a couple of snarky remarks between the girls that were so funny and that robbery sequence is just hysterical. Cher’s line – “He does dress better than I do. What would I bring to the relationship?” is so funny and easily my favorite line of the film. And as for that driving test scene, that was just priceless. Clueless truly benefits from its quotable dialogue.

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Clueless Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about the acting. It is really a shame that none of these actresses had a big career as they are all great here. Alicia Silverstone is the revelation as she is so good at such a young age. She is charismatic, likable and so talented and she played the part wonderfully. Brittany Murphy is also excellent, Stacey Dash is fine as well and of course Paul Rudd is as likable as usual.

I liked the score quite a bit in Clueless, it was fitting for it and well incorporated. I liked its attention to detail in terms of clothes and technology. The tone is problematic as it does become too romantic and dramatic all of a sudden near the end in a typical genre fashion. The direction is also not that good as is the pacing as the film loses its steam near the end and significantly slows down. But it was so energetic and fun at first. It does have its heart, but most of its emotion is forced and clichéd. But it is an evidently memorable entry in the teen genre, very quotable and so much fun that I honestly overlooked most of its big flaws.

Clueless definitely loses its steam and succumbs to the conventions of the genre in its third act, but it is otherwise a really good, energetic and incredibly entertaining coming-of-age flick with such a charismatic and memorable turn from Alicia Silverstone, clichéd, but well developed characters, terrific humor with many funny scenes and an absolutely fantastic dialogue with many quotable and hilarious lines.

My Rating – 4

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The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

The Diary of a Teenage Girl Review

The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a 2015 teen drama film directed by Marielle Heller and starring Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard. It is a sophisticated, realistic movie.

It follows a 15-year-old girl who becomes sexually active by starting a relationship with her mother’s boyfriend. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The plot itself is seemingly empty on the surface, but is in the end not like that at all. That is mostly due to that ending with a wonderful quote from our protagonist in which she says that she may never be loved, but that isn’t the most important thing. That is great as it shows us how self-respect is by far the most important thing. It is way more important to love yourself than for others to love you. And accepting and loving yourself is the first step towards happiness. I absolutely loved that. But what I did not love is the film’s nature. I am not talking about nudity and sex obsession because that was needed for the plot and the story about sexually obsessed, not that pretty girl is very interesting and refreshing as we rarely see that in movies. But the whole cheating aspect to it is repulsive and so overused by now that it robs the movie of being more truthful and relatable.

Minnie is a great central character and her insecurities are really well explored here. I loved the fact that she was sexually charged while also being artistic, that was awesome. Her mother is a fine character as well, but Monroe is a typical and a bit boring character. And the rest are okay, but paling in comparison to our protagonist who is so well realized and grounded in reality. The acting is also excellent with Kristen Wiig being expectedly good and Bel Powley delivering a stupendous performance in an important role.

I absolutely loved some of the intriguing technical aspects in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. I am talking about the comic-book, cartoon sequences which are just fabulous. Those scenes are so unique and original while also being a great vehicle for her character. You get her, not only her sex obsession, but also her artistic side is well shown. Those scenes are very unique and very interesting to watch. The film is well shot and well directed. It doesn’t have the best pacing, but at least it is never boring and is never contrived. It starts off on an okay note, some of the middle parts are great whereas others not so much, but the ending is absolutely magnificent and the film ends with a great message. The various sexual acts here are essential, but still some are not needed. But I liked the theme of discovering your sexuality and that was very well explored and very important for our time and realistic for the crazy sex-obsessed seventies. The score is okay, but the songs are not that well chosen and that bothered me as this decade had some great music and they chose some lesser songs. The film definitely should have been more emotional. It is sophisticated and clever, but has no heart. The humor is okay and some moments are funny, but for the most part, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is more a drama than a comedy. The dialogue is solid, but some of it in the first half is a bit too simplistic. It is a good film, but still could have been much better.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl is undone by its cheating aspect which is so overused by now, but the film is still quite sophisticated and grounded in reality while also being relatable and well acted. The ending is great with a fantastic and very important message of self-respect and the comic-book sequences are very unique. It could have been better, but it’s still a good and even authentic movie.

My Rating – 4

 

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Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused Review

Dazed and Confused is a 1993 teen comedy film directed by Richard Linklater. It is a critically acclaimed work, but I found it to be one of the weaker films from the director.

It follows many groups of teenagers during the last day of school in 1976. This is evidently a realistic look at the seventies and this is obviously a personal film from Linklater and maybe even his most personal film to date. However, while it certainly shows you and presents you the decade in the right way, this is still a somewhat bland film with such a limited audience appeal as it is mostly focused on satisfying those who grew up during said decade.

Yes, there is almost none of the director’s signature sophisticated dialogue at display here and that truly is troublesome and to me an immense disappointment as I am such a big fan of his works. Yes, there are some really interesting and observant lines to be had here, but most of it is just neither that memorable nor clever. The plot itself is very episodic and too much in the vein of ‘American Graffiti’ which was already incredibly flawed as a film. It has excellent characterization, but there is never a statement made here and it never has anything important to say. Plus it also ends in an uninspired and forgettable way.

The character development in Dazed and Confused is excellent with all of the characters being very well realized and grounded in reality. And although this isn’t a varied group of teens and it basically shows the worst aspects of that decade, those that are present are still realistic. Randall is a typical and somewhat boring character, David is a typical but fun McCounaghey character and Mitch is at first unlikable, but very funny at times and the most realistic character of the bunch. And Cynthia, Tony and Mike are a very entertaining group and the most endearing bunch here.

The acting is really good. Wiley Wiggins is quite good and Matthew McCounaghey is so much fun and shares the most recognizable lines here. Everyone does a nice job here and the casting director in particular did a great job as all of the actors look the part and are so well chosen. Linklater also directed it fine and the film is polished. The pacing is okay and the film is very well shot. The attention to detail is overwhelming as everything here is wonderfully recreated and it feels like a 1970s movie how well made it is. It looks incredible from the clothes to the hairstyles to the cars to the drug obsessed behavior.

The score is also pretty good in Dazed and Confused as the songs are catchy and well chosen. As for the humor, I have to say that it is disappointing. Some of it is very funny and a couple of lines are just hilarious and very smart, but it is mostly not that funny for a comedy film and it definitely should have had more jokes. The emotion is also there, but the film is too reserved at times. But it does have its heart and is at times even charming to watch. It is very entertaining to watch and the film did hold my attention completely. It’s also pleasantly energetic and never boring. But the biggest problem here is the script that just recreates the decade and never adds any new or interesting layers to it. It is definitely a solid film and great as pure entertainment goes, but as a Linklater film, it is pretty weak and far from his best work.

Dazed and Confused has a great attention to detail and recreates the decade perfectly, the actors all did a nice job, the score is good and the characterization in particular is very good, but it is reserved emotionally speaking and it never has the necessary new or interesting layers to it being just a basic teen movie. It also lacks the signature sophisticated dialogue that the director is famous for. It is fantastic as pure entertainment goes, but as a Linklater movie, it is pretty underwhelming.

My Rating – 3.5

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