It’s hard to believe that “Blame” is a debut feature, as Quinn Shephard manages to develop a drama that’s so richly layered and filled with so many themes about consent, sexual abuse, and the boundaries between mentors and their protégés. “Blame” is by no means a perfect drama, but as a debut it sure manages to be a compelling character study through and through. Quinn, who also writes, edits, and stars, manages to explore the whole dynamic involved in grooming and the inherent power play that arise from them. “Blame” is a lot about the idea of groomers and the entire interplay between adults and younger people that can tend to cross lines often.
Tag Archives: Teen
Are you There, God? It’s Me Margaret. (2023)
Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” is quite possibly one of the most iconic and influential young adult novels ever written. Even back in the early nineties, all the girls in my class read it. Director Kelly Fremon Craig pulls off a great feat, taking what’s usually considered a novel for young girls and transforms it in to a narrative that any tween or pre-teen can relate to. Even with its setting in 1970, “Are You There, God?” is still such a down to Earth and richly developed story about growing up, choosing your path in life, and trying to understand the adults in your life.
“Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” Carries the Torch of the Classic Movie Well
Like it or not, “Grease” is now a universe, and it has its own extended timeline that begins with “Rise of the Pink Ladies” and ends with “Grease 2.” That’s not particularly bad thing, especially if you loved “Grease” as much as I do–even though I’ll never budge on “Grease 2.” I still consider that movie to be immensely awful. As for “Rise of the Pink Ladies,” it’s a very good prequel series. It’s flawed, sure, but at the end of the day, it might achieve its goal of bringing in a new generation of fans. The majority of “Grease” was spent mainly following around the T Birds and focusing on their struggles with rival gangs. Although the Pink Ladies are there a lot of the time, there isn’t real emphases on their whole group dynamic.
“Rise of the Pink Ladies” ventures to explore the origins of the female gang and why their members take the name so seriously.
The Park (2023)
This is one of the first times I went in to a movie without getting what I expected, and coming out of it satisfied. “The Park” is not a movie that necessarily breaks the mold, but it works within its simplistic and small budget and cast to create something of substance. While most dystopian movies opt for “Apocalypse Porn,” Director-Writer Shal Ngo opts instead to use the end of the world as an allegory for growing up.
It’s a shame that in 2022, a year filled with movies about movies that landed with a thud, that the best one, “5-25-77” will have gone largely unnoticed and ignored. “5-25-77” is a love letter about movie making, it’s an ode to the art of filmmaking, and how film can also be a reflection of how we view life. Director Patrick Read Johnson’s coming of age drama comedy is a pretty excellent indie film, one that I’ve been waiting for over five years to watch that is now being available to view for a wider audience.
Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]
With the new direction the DCAU is taking, it only makes sense for them to finally veer in to the world of the Super Sons. For a few years now, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne’s sons have been the most unlikely popular duo. Warner and DC even welcome them in to the fold of the DC Animated library with a full CG animated movie rather than hand drawn. I much prefer hand drawn, but the CG animation works wonders for the high energy first adventures of Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne. In either case, “Battle of the Super Sons” is a great buddy action movie, and it’s a coming of age action film featuring two legacy heroes that have a big task on their hands.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Not many younger fans know this, but once upon a time, before Marvel became another arm of Disney, Spider-Man was basically Mighty Marvel’s equivalent to Mickey Mouse. He was the most relatable, most accessible, and most liked hero, even when the company was as its worst. Easily the biggest movie of 2021, “No Way Home” is a glimpse in to what makes Spider-Man such a timeless hero and why so many people continue connect to our favorite Friendly Neighborhood Wallcrawler.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
Fans have long awaited the proper third film in the “Ghostbusters” series, and while it’s become very apparent that the original cast is much too old to carry the series further, “Afterlife” is a great step in to a new world. Like most legacy sequels of beloved movie series, “Afterlife” pays great reverence to the original, while also carving out a path for a new direction and brand new cast of ghost fighting heroes. While “Afterlife” is very light in laughs and levity, it stills comes out in the end as a fantastic follow up that clicks right in to the first two films beautifully.