Tag Archives: teen movie review

Sin City 2 – sexist potrayal of women, but cool visual stylings.

Sin City 2I recently watched Sin City 2 and the animation and style of it was very cool and entertaining.  The action scenes were brutal yet well executed.  However, the sexism and portrayal of women, of course, was not missed (nor was it surprising considering this was a Sin City adaptation). However it was still disappointing having to see women being identified as simply sexually appealing characters for the entertainment of the targeted audience.

Each character’s different plots intertwined nicely and no character showed up without a reason.  The back stories all began with their separate (sometimes shared) antagonist. The acting was really great as well, showing quite raw emotion.  This movie impressed me despite the somewhat incredibly cheesy moments and cliché tag lines, and I do recommend it but please be cautious of the more intense moments in the film.

–Sophie, Southeast Region TAG

Horror Clichés in Books and Movies

Being stranded in the middle of nowhere is just one of the many horror clichés that make the genre so great. So without further ado, here are the 5 best horror movies in isolated places.



The Shining: Truly Stephen King at his best, a struggling family takes a job as the winter caretakers for an isolated hotel in the mountains. But as Danny (the son) begins to see violent flashbacks from the hotel’s past and his father continues to become more and more deranged from forces inside its walls, Danny’s “shining” may be the only thing that can save him and his mother.  The Shining (movie)




large_MIsery_Book_CoverMisery: More Stephen King, I know, but both movies (and books!) completely deserve a place on the list. Paul Sheldon, a famous author, crashes his car near a deserted town. He is “rescued” by his #1 fan, Annie Wilkes (a former nurse), and brought back to her isolated home in the mountains. When he wakes, seriously injured and missing to the rest of the world, he finds that his rescuer has turned into his kidnapper, and that she is completely unstable. He is completely at her mercy, and when she finds out that Paul has killed off the heroine of his stories (Annie’s favorite), she forces him to write a new novel, and if it isn’t exactly how she wants it, who knows what she’ll do…Misery (movie)



the-evil-dead-posterEvil Dead: Both the original and the current remake deserve a spot on this list, and since they have pretty much the same plot, they’ll count as one. The plot: five friends travel up to an isolated cabin in the woods on a vacation. There they find the Book of the Dead and accidentally unleash an evil force upon themselves, determined to kill every last one of them. Original: An extremely low-budget movie made by first time director Sam Raimi that was by far one of the best “cabin in the woods” movies ever made. For those of you who don’t appreciate cheap effects and old cinematography, don’t worry, there’s a remake.  Remake: While the original was extremely low-budget for effects and whatnot, the remake was most definitely not. The effects are incredible, but very gory. The violence often overshadows the plot line, and it’s another remake that doesn’t live up to the original.



Blair Witch Project: This movie is a lot scarier if you watch it in a tent in the middle of the night as I did (big mistake), but no matter where or when you watch it, it’s still a great movie. Three film students go into a forest alone while making a documentary about the urban legend of the “Blair Witch”. They were never seen again. Only their footage remains to show what really happened.




alienAlien: Everyone has heard the quote: In space, no one can hear you scream.  And it just adds to the whole isolation thing. I mean, what’s more remote than outer space? Anyway, the crew of a commercial spaceship awakened by an SOS from a distant planet. A crew member goes to investigate, and finds thousands of alien eggs. One of the parasites inside attacks him as he inspects it. They take back off for earth and the parasite dies, but what they don’t realize is that an alien is growing in the host, and when it’s ready to come out, no one on board is safe.


–Corinna, Greenwood, Teen Blogger


Movie Review: Catching Fire

catching_fireBeing the Hunger Games-obsessed fan that I am, I saw Catching Fire twice in the first week it was out in theaters.  Still enough?  No, not really.  Luckily, it’s now on DVD for home enjoyment!
Although I loved it, I know a lot of people who were not big fans of the first movie.  Even if you felt that way, the second one should not disappoint.
The movie starts a bit slow, with wintry scenes of Katniss Everdeen’s District 12.  It quickly speeds up as Katniss and Peeta embark on the victory tour under the disapproving eyes of President Snow.  The emotion conveyed by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss was incredibly powerful, and caused me to tear up during several different scenes.
As much as I adore Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, I felt a bit annoyed at how helpless the movies always portray him.  During the games, he is always the underdog weakling who trips and falls and has to be taken care of constantly by Katniss.  Peeta, while perhaps not as agile and ruthless as Katniss, is still a strong character and person who should not be underestimated.
The casting of the movie was perfect, as all the tributes really came to life through the actors.  Sam Clafin, who plays Finnick Odair, was absolutely amazing in the role.  He perfectly embodied the personality of Finnick and captured, while maintaining a pompous air, a surprising sensitive side.  Jena Malone, who plays Johanna Mason, was also a force to be reckoned with.
If you haven’t yet seen Catching Fire, check it out from the library and watch it!  Until Mockingjay comes out in theaters, I will just be hibernating in my room and rereading all the books.
–Natalie, Northeast Teen Adviser

Who Needs a Movie? – Rebellious youth

The film industry has long been infatuated with teenage rebellion, skate culture, and young peoples’ criminal involvement. These are a few of my recent favorite films on those subjects.

Paranoid Park (2007) – A young Portland-area skateboarder is victim to a “wrong place at the wrong time” scenario, becoming accidentally involved in a murder. Parts of the film were shot either with a wide-angle lens or Super 8 film–the same used for skate videos–resulting in an untainted and aesthetically pleasing picture of skate culture and boyhood. P.S. It’s based on a book.

Little Birds (2011) – Lily and Alison are two best friends, isolated in the California desert, who run away to Los Angeles on a whim. They follow a group of skateboarding boys they meet, living in an abandoned apartment, taking part in crime, and going a step too far in rejection of their upbringing. The film’s depth comes from the complicated, layered relationship between the girls and their actions in the moment of danger. P.S. This one is harder to find, but worth it.

Brick (2005) – Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a lonely high school student who keeps under the radar until he receives a cry for help–specifically a call from a pay phone–from his ex-girlfriend. He becomes involved with an intricate system of crime and drug dealership: who you’re eating lunch with signifies your current loyalties, and giving away your locker code is the end-all, be-all of trust. Even the principal is keeping alliances. It’s different, visually interesting, and veers from traditional chronology.

– Greta, 16, Teen Center Adviser 

Teen Review: Celeste & Jesse Forever (Movie)

Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012) begins with scenes from these two’s close-knit past.  Their friendship bloomed into an eventual love story (as one expected) but this is not your typical love story.

The movie moves to the present where Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) seem to have a typical friendship, at least that’s how they see it.  As the movie carries on various things play out, which complicate their seemingly typical friendship leaving Celeste and Jesse both to wonder about each other.  Considering the two are recently divorced from each other and have been for six months they eventually realize that hanging out together on a daily basis isn’t exactly normal.  This movie takes several abnormal twists which you’ll have to endure if you want to reach the end of this unique romantic comedy.

The movie ends in a bit of a disappointing way.  However, to some of you atypical romantic comedy lovers out there it will be a great movie.  Although true to life I find some of the bits in this movie stray away from realistic love.  But you’ll have to see for yourself if this is your type of movie!  Do watch, if only to see whether it was worth the watch because it’s surely a good movie to kill some time.

Kendall, Teen Blogger

The Hunger Games

Hunger Games

Hunger Games

 After I finished the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins one of the first things I did was search online to find out if it was going to be made into a movie.  I was in luck when I found that Lionsgate had purchased the rights to make it a movie.  Of course I realized that it would be two years or so until the movie would be released but after having just read the conclusion of the epic trilogy I was already excited.  Like anyone who is a huge fan of a book I was also worried that the movie wouldn’t do the book justice and would flop like Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  Worries aside, I hoped for the best. Continue reading

Hugo Cabret and Sir Isaac Newton

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

With the amazingly rare freedom lent by Winter (WINNER)  Break, I decided upon a trip to the movies to see Hugo, a film based upon the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The book follows the story of a boy, Hugo Cabret, who lives alone in a 1930s train station fixing clocks. After spending the majority of his life lurking in shadows and observing the crowds, he meets a vendor in the train station with mysteries bigger than his own. Told through a myriad of sketches and orphan adventures, the novel examines the old-school life of  filmmaker George Melies with a fresh lens. Continue reading

Movie Review: Easy A

Today I finally watched the movie Easy A after hearing from my friends how good it was. The movie had a good plot that I think wasn’t well executed because it was so predictable. You knew the movie ending halfway through the movie.

Easy A is about a girl named Olive who tells her friend that she had sex with a guy who’s a freshman in college. The truth is she doesn’t have a boyfriend and she didn’t have sex at all. This leads to rumors about her being a slut. The movie is funny and really light. I really liked how Olive kept a cool head about all the rumors and I would recommend this movie to girls who want a light comedy.

Andrea, Teen Advisory Group
Northeast Branch

Film Greats: Katharine Hepburn

Known for her distinctive look and ‘Bryn Mawr’ accent, American actress Katharine Hepburn ranks among the most important stars of 20th century Hollywood and is ranked the #1 actress of all time by the American Film Institute. Unusually for an actress in those times, her career lasted almost her entire life. Below is a sampling of some of her most important films. Continue reading

The Black Swan(s)

There are now two pieces of media that I know of called The Black Swan. And they are a book and a movie. The latter came out in the fall of 2010, and the lead actress is Natalie Portman. It is a psychological thriller, and although I know a few teens that saw it, the movie well deserved its R-rating. The images were terrifying at times, and Nina’s descent into madness provides a sharp contrast to the apparent beauty of ballet.

Continue reading