I’ve been reading a lot of stories online lately pinning women against other women and I’m sick of it. It’s time to support and celebrate female friendships, especially on June 8, which just happens to be Best Friends Day.
Curl up with your BFFs and a bag of extra buttery popcorn this weekend, and indulge in a weekend-long BFF movie marathon. And I mean the BEST of best friend movies.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
An introverted freshman named Charlie is introduced to a whole new world in high school by his new besties. He copes with his first love and tries to come to terms with a dark secret from his past. The film stars Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson. Read the book first so you and your bestie can compare the case and screenplay to what you imagined while you were reading.
Now and Then
Remember when summers used to tick by sooo slowly and all you relied on was your imagination for entertainment? Four childhood friends unite as troubled adults in this coming of age story that has an eerie Nancy Drew quality to it. Set in 1970, these 12-year-olds conduct a séance to find out how a young boy called Dear Johnny was killed in their neighborhood. With death, divorce, young love and an unbelievable cast (Demi Moore, Melanie Griffith, Thora Birch, Christina Ricci and Rosie O’Donnell), you and your friends will yearn for your younger years, reminiscing about the crazy stuff you dreamed up as a kid. Oh, and it also has one of the coolest biking scenes in the history of the world that I always want to replicate.
Probably featuring some of the most badass, unapologetic women on the list — both in the movie AND real life —Whip It! follows an indie-loving misfit who dashes her mom’s hopes of pageant glory by joining a roller derby league in Austin, Texas. Drew Barrymore directs and costars with leading lady Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig and Juliette Lewis. This shy teen discovers she doesn’t have to explain why she wants to dye her hair blue, swear like a pirate, or hip check a competitor on the rink. Her friends just get her.
Ghost World Read more…
We know you probably want to start devouring your resolutions this January, but don’t forget to take some time and recover from the go-go attitude and gluttonous meals of the holiday season. Call a friend and have a movie marathon, celebrating 10 movies you probably haven’t seen but SHOULD see this year.
Based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne, the film is a coming of age story of a 15-year-old boy named Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts). Entering his mid-teens, he only has two objectives: to lose his virginity before his next birthday and make the chemistry between his parents come alive again, just as his mother’s ex-lover re-enters the scene.
The vibe of the movie is very Wes Anderson, with its unique humour and eccentric characters. Coupled with songs from the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, this movie probably has one of the most underrated soundtracks EVER.
Anyone who’s a sucker for indie romances will enjoy Ruby Sparks. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who also directed Little Miss Sunshine together), the film stars Paul Dano as Calvin, a struggling novelist who manifests a female character he thinks will love him. And out of the blue, she, aka Ruby Sparks (played by the movie’s screenwriter Zoe Kazan), becomes real.
This may sound awfully similar to Stranger Than Fiction but this movie is not your typical romantic comedy. While whimsical, cute and endearing, the film’s ending is surprisingly realistic. And to be honest, I wish most Hollywood films resolved things just as nicely as this movie did.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Based on the novel by Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story stars Keir Gilchrist as a 16-year-old who checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward after attempting suicide. Feeling pressured by his friends and parents to do well in school, he deals with his problems there, while meeting a range of interesting characters (played by Zach Galifianakis and Emma Roberts), who are dealing with their own issues too.
Mental illness is often a touchy issue when it’s meant to be comedic, but this film successfully meshes in the right amount of humour and drama to provide a touching, coming of age story. Those who are used to seeing Galifianakis as the satchel-wearing Alan in The Hangover will be interested to see him playing a more dramatic role, while Gilchrist and Roberts shine as awkward teens trying to sort out their growing feelings for each other.
And can I mention how great the soundtrack of this film is? Featuring the likes of Broken Social Scene and The Middle East, I also watch this film solely for this awesome scene.
Lars and the Real Girl
Before Ryan Gosling stole our hearts in Crazy, Stupid, Love, he starred in an indie comedy called Lars and the Real Girl. Playing a delusional and lonely young man, Gosling’s character strikes up an unconventional relationship with a sex doll he finds on the Internet.
This is honestly one of the most heartfelt movies I’ve ever seen with one of the best performances I’ve ever witnessed by Gosling. Unlike the actor’s more recent bad boy roles in Drive and The Place Beyond the Pines, Gosling is sweet, lovable and awkward here. You’ll just want to give him a hug when you watch this movie. (It’s not like we don’t want to do that now anyway.)
When I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in Grade 9, I was a slightly awkward freshman just like Charlie, trying to make friends and get involved in school. Even though I didn’t deal with the same problems as the book’s protagonist, there were evidently times when I felt alone.
The book’s author, Stephen Chbosky, knows these feelings all to well. On hand to present Perks’ film adaptation at TIFF (which Chbosky also directed), he reminded everyone in the theatre they should never feel lonely. “I’m so proud to be sitting in a room with 1200 people. Whether you like this movie at the end of the day or you don’t, just know that no one in this room is alone.”
His book gathered a cult following when it was released in 1999 and still resonates with many young people who deal with the universal challenges of growing up.
The film stars Logan Lerman as Charlie, a bright yet awkward teen about to enter his freshman year of high school. Having spent time at the hospital to deal with the recent suicide of his best friend Michael, Charlie decides to cope with his loneliness by writing anonymous letters.
Hopeful for the upcoming school year, Charlie’s reserved and introverted nature initially makes it difficult for him to make friends. But once he meets the eccentric Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his beautiful stepsister Sam (Emma Watson), he’s soon introduced to a new world featuring mix-tapes, parties, sex, drugs and alcohol.
As things begin to look up for Charlie, curveballs continue to be thrown his way. He fights his growing feelings for Sam and struggles to push away unresolved memories of the past, all while realizing his friends have problems of their own too.
Things I loved:
The chemistry between actors is crucial in a coming of age story that focus a great deal on love and friendship, and the film couldn’t have chosen better leads. While Watson may forever be known as “that girl from Harry Potter,” it’s nice to see her tackle a more challenging role like Sam, a troubled girl who sleeps with boys for validation. Although she experiences a few challenges with her American accent, Watson flawlessly depicts Sam’s insecurities about getting into university while trying hard not to be Charlie’s dream girl.
However, it’s Lerman and Miller who shine in the movie. While Miller steals scenes as the cynical and sarcastic Patrick, Lerman hits all the right notes by providing a heart-wrenching performance that’ll make you tear up. Also appearing, are Paul Rudd and Nina Dobrev as Charlie’s English teacher Bill and his sister Candace.
Featuring songs such as The Smiths’ “Asleep” to 80s hits such as Midnight Runners’ “Come on Eileen” and New Order’s “Temptation ‘87”, the songs in this film will either take you back to another decade or make you want to create your own mix-tapes.
How it stays true to the novel (includes photos from the premiere below!) Read more…
New York Post: “Displaying approximately 1½ expressions, the teenage Cyrus pouts her way through a fire, a wedding and a funeral — not to mention intervening in an abusive relationship, digging out guilty secrets and resisting overtures from her dad, whom she’s never forgiven for her parents’ divorce.”
Associated Press: ”Her dramatic abilities largely consist of two moves — scrunching up her face and staring wistfully into the distance.”
Metromix Chicago: “The worst movie star since Dane Cook. Her emotional range includes happy and mad and nothing in between.”
Boston Globe: “Allegedly, this is the film in which Cyrus gets all, like, dramatic. If by “dramatic’’ one means pouty, sullen, and cute, then OK. But it’s not tragedy you sense behind those big brown eyes. It’s a party in the USA.”
USA Today: “Miley Cyrus sulks and sneers her way through her first dramatic role. There is a modicum of chemistry between the rebellious Ronnie and the polite and ecologically minded Will (Liam Hemsworth). But, perhaps to hedge her shaky dramatic bets, about halfway through the movie, Cyrus bursts into song along with the radio.”
Backstreet’s back, alright!
Only this time, critics are not grooving to the music.
The Backstreet Boys have returned with their seventh studio album entitled, This Is Us. But reviews are in, and they are not in favour of the boy (er, man?) band.
The album was released on October 6, and music critics across North America are in agreement: that sure, the Boys deliver a few catchy tunes, but that at the end of the day the album just sounds like a regurgitation of their previous hits.
“Though the Boys were one of the biggest pop acts of the ’90s, they largely hand the reins off to their producers here, who include Lady Gaga’s hit-maker RedOne, Jim Jonsin and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder,” writes August Brown of the Los Angeles Times. “Cuts like ‘Bye Bye Love’ and ‘Straight Through My Heart’ have au courant hotel-lounge decadence to them, and ‘She’s a Dream’ benefits from the light melodic touch of guest T-Pain. But when the boys extol a lady’s virtues because ‘she don’t even know I’m a celebrity,’ the lyric rings of self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Until now, current Mac Users who wanted to run a pro level accounting software package on the Mac platform in Canada, CBC’s (Canadian Bean Counters), had precious little to choose from. CBC’s could install the US version of AE, however, the effort was, by and large, futile. Not being able to obtain current tax table updates or easily account for and track dual Canadian taxes such as the GST/PST really left MacCanadians, right out in the cold. As of September 2009, Acclivity Software has picked up the ledger, where MYOB/ Account Edge left off in 2001, with the release of a Canadian Edition of Account Edge for Mac. AE for MacCanada, is a number crunching powerhouse with a pretty face, and straightforward enough to grasp. AE verson 13.4.1 is Snow Leopard compatible. Read more…
JUJU MAKE ME GO CRAZY.
Alright lets get one thing out of the way, I enjoy video games regardless of the age and gender they are created for. If it is a good game then I will classify it as a good game. In my books there is no such thing as a ” I guess for a kids game this is alright.” You wanna know why? Because even simple kids games have to abide by some sort of standard. And don’t get me started on those pre-preschooler games… at that young age you shouldn’t be playing games in the first place. I played Super Mario Land for the Gameboy when I was 6, it was challenging, immersible, and got me to love games ever since.
Now that’s not to say Tak and the guardians of gross is a game designed for kids, I honestly wish that were not the case but tons of things within the game lead me to believe the only person to get some mild joy out of the title would be someone around that age.
The game is the third story iteration in Tak series and after a long hiatus now returns to the Wii. Developed by Blitz games and published by THQ this game sports the nickelodeon splat right on the box letting us know that this is a fine game based on the cartoon based on the game.. In fact one of the special extras on the disc is an episode of the cartoon. Read more…