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Thread: Chelsea's "Mean Girls" Review

  1. #31
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    Correction: I AM a victim of child labor! (Just Kidding) My aunt and I drool over Trent every time we watch 'How To Deal'. She got in for me as a Christmas present and when we watched it we both were like "Trent! *Sigh*" hahaha. Now I want to see Party Monster before Saved so I can see Macauley grown up. I can't say anything really about Saved becoming a Heathers because I have yet to see the movie.

  2. #32
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    See them all. I hope Oscar allows. Party Monster isn't even that good a movie, but Macauley is fun to watch in it. He's outrageous. He's so bold. Trent, yeah--droolworthy. Somewhat like Josh, not probably a major actor, but fun to watch.

    Kids are so overworked today. It's school all day, then band practice, soccer practice, then homework. In my day you just hung out at the drugstore and went to art class on Saturday mornings. What're ya'all in competition for? LIfe, I guess. Fame. Success. Those weren't concepts I'd got my brain around when I was young. But you're all stars.

  3. #33
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    Written By: Chelsea Jubis
    Oh, I will watch hem all, regardless of what my father says. *Evil Laugh* Josh hartnett?? Naw.

    Kids are overworked! But, it's worth it as long as what you're working for pays off. I ask you this: will math and history really help us all to succeed in what we are working for? Don't think so! (hahaha Just Kidding)

  4. #34
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    DON'T READ THIS, CHELSEA--TILL YOU'VE SEEN "SAVED!"

    Brian Donnally's "Saved!" -- a review

    by Chris Knipp


    [w a r n i n g : s p o i l e r s !]


    ""Saved!" is another disappointing entry in the high school satire genre like its immediate predecessor, "Mean Girls." Set in a Born Again Christian high school, "Saved!" starts out with a cast of characters that might work – the unctuously “with it” school principal, Pastor Skip (Martin Donovan) who spins cartwheels on stage at the opening assembly and raps about being “down with” the Lord; his cute son Patrick (Patrick Fugit, later to pose as Jesus on the cross in a gold lamé loincloth), who’s just back from South American "missionary work" with his skateboard and better hair than the other boys; a (mildly) cynical handicapped boy, Roland (Macauley Culkin, not as outrageous or as good as he was in "Party Monster"); and Cassandra (Eva Amurri), the sole Jewish girl at the school and the only real Mean Girl in the bunch. She actually smokes and swears, and she and Roland get in a few good quips.

    As always of course there’s got to be the queen bee of the alpha females, and she’s the ubiquitous and very grating Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore) a vicious blend of righteousness and excessive makeup who gets her nose into everything and comes out with nothing but a rage attack and a huge pimple on the chin. She’s so monotonous you know she’s going to get her comeuppance and be Reformed.

    But the plot’s pivot point, which arrives early on, involves adorable waif Mary (Jena Malone), who gets pregnant with her gay boyfriend to "cure" him. That opening event dominates the plot and ultimately brings it down – how can you make fun of pregnancy? -- with a prom dance finale that’s an orgy of acceptance in which Patrick dates the visibly pregnant Mary, Hilary Faye is forgiven for her smug manipulations, and Dean (Chad Faust), Mary’s gay boyfriend, arrives with his gay roommate from the Christian brainwashing center as his date, and after a scuffle with Pastor Skip, they’re allowed in. Hilary Faye’s rebellion focuses upon ramming her car into a giant cardboard Jesus and knocking its head off. The kids promise to put it back together. Because of this curdling of the comedy "Saved!" has been called this year’s "Pumpkin," but "Pumpkin" was so weird that even when it turned sweet it still creeped you out. "Saved!" just sneaks away with its Christian slogans intact.

    "Saved!" delivers too much nauseating Christian cant without satirical comment. The writing isn’t smart or bold enough. The director and writer, who themselves went to Christian school and camp, say their characters are like real life but toned down: "If anything, we underplayed it." Why "underplay" things in a satire? Like "Mean Girls," "Saved!" invites comparison with the standard for wicked American teenage comedy set by "Heathers" and "Election," and it doesn’t measure up. The teenage rebellion that leads to "Heathers'" murders and explosions or "Over the Edge's" school on fire, fizzles out in a few outbursts at the prom. There are some born again Christians who're already glad this movie was made -- and that's a sin.

  5. #35
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    Re: Heathers and Youth Pix of the Eighties

    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    The emergence of youth movies as a serious genre led to some real talent being applied and some movies of lasting interest being produced. In fact "Youth Movies of the Eighties" is a topic we ought to discuss on FilmWurld.
    I've been wanting to join in but I can't seem to find the door. I think my problem is I don't know what you mean by "youth movie". Are Au Revoir Les Enfants and My Life as a Dog youth movies? How about Kids, Drugstore Cowboy and Rushmore? Hoop Dreams? Kael seems to regard 2001 as a youth movie when she wrote: "2001 is said to have caught on with youth; and it's said that the movie will stone you- which is meant to be a recommendation. The promotion has been remarkably effective with students." You define the parameters.

  6. #36
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    Youth Movies of the 80's

    That sounds like a great topic, although I would also ask which
    films you are referring to. Perhaps we should bring back the
    "Featured Forum" feature for this topic. I have a feeling its a big
    one.

    P

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    YOUTH MOVIES OF THE EIGHTIES

    A Google search of the phrase "youth +movies+ eighties"yields :

    (From http://members.tripod.com/eightiesclub/id21.htm)Youth-oriented movies were big in the Eighties. Many critics missed the fact that at the core of a great many of these films lay a protest against wealth, status, conformity and conspicuous consumption. Some of the most notable films in this genre: The Breakfast Club (1985) looks at the dark side of being a teenager; Pretty in Pink (1986) examines teenage castes and cliques; Risky Business (1983) satirizes the greed and materialism of the era; The Sure Thing (1985) delineates the very real difference between love and sex; Matthew Broderick's title character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) defines the rebel kid of the Eighties -- a far cry from James Dean or a flower child, but no less symbolic of an era.


    A group of young stars who became known as The Brat Pack dominated the youth-oriented films of the decade. Many of them joined the ensemble cast of St. Elmo's Fire (1985); they included Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore and Judd Nelson. There were others -- Molly Ringwald, Matt Dillon, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Michael Hall, Sean Penn and Robert Downey, Jr. Born in the early Sixties, they were the hottest items in Tinseltown, and in both their performances and their not-so-private lives they represented the dreams and dilemmas of teens and young adults in the 1980s...(For more on The Brat Pack, see Material Things (http://members.tripod.com/eightiesclub/id299.htm).)
    This gives you a rough idea. Obviously the awareness of the youth market as a big source of ticket sales was one of the motivating forces behind the boom in this genre in the Eighties, but I would maintain that there was a lot of talented work.

    The Brat Pack discussion on this site isn't very good. They say Rob Lowe went on to star in sex, likes and videotape! How did they get that idea? You have to take the main young American film actors who starred in Eighties youth movies and see what their filmography contains. For John Cusack, mentioned on this site in connection with The Sure Thing, you also have Class, Sixteen Candles and Say Anything. I am trying to skim off the best ones. This is just a partial list. There was a real boom at this time in quite interesting, often smart movies about young people, and it was of course a great opportunity for young actors. We may have a lot of youth pictures now too, but the moment has passed. As I said earlier, the youth movies of today are more extreme and schlockier and they don't get the same kind of attention. I have mentioned others in this thread talking to Chelsea: the S.E. Hinton stories, Tex, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, and That Was Then, This is now. Two of these were directed by Coppola.

    I mentioned earlier that two of Keanu Reeves'early movies, River's Edge and Personal Record, are quite good examples of the Eighties youth genre.

    If you go back eleven entries in this thread you'll find that I mentioned a lot of these names when I first used the phrase "Youth movies of the Eighties." I also mentioned there River Phoenix, Ione Skye, Lili Taylor, and Crispen Glover.

    The movies I'm talking about are not blockbusters, though they were popular. They were character driven and not special effects spectaculars like E.T. They're American, so Au Revoir les Enfants or My Life As a Dog don't fit. And Kids and Rushmore are way outside the Eighties. Drugstore Cowboy is certainly an interesting movie, but those aren't the kind of more or less normal middle class young people the Eighties youth movies are concerned with.

  8. #38
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    Re: YOUTH MOVIES OF THE EIGHTIES

    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    They're American, so Au Revoir les Enfants or My Life As a Dog don't fit. And Kids and Rushmore are way outside the Eighties. Drugstore Cowboy is certainly an interesting movie, but those aren't the kind of more or less normal middle class young people the Eighties youth movies are concerned with.
    Ok. I'm realizing I'm not a fan of the genre. There's only two films I really like that qualify as "80s youth movies": Say Anything... and River's Edge. Heathers is worth-watching. Breakfast Club (watchable) is all the Hughes you need to know. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a sentimental fave because of early glimpses into the careers of the best (American) actor and actress of my generation: Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

    But none of these films compare to their 90s counterparts. Kids, Welcome to the Dollhouse and, especially, RUSHMORE are significantly better films, in my humble opinion.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 06-03-2004 at 11:40 PM.

  9. #39
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    Of course you don't like this genre, Oscar. It's not serious enough. It's lightweight stuff. Undoubtedly Rushmore and Election are better than most of them. But from the youth point of view there was better fare out there than there is now. Surprisingly many of the movies were definitive statements. Heathers is so much better than Mean Girls and Saved and other attempts at high school satires, and what you have to appreciate is that the focus on the demographic brought out a lot of young acting talent suddenly allowed to play the main roles in movies. John Hughes is like S.E. Hinton in fiction writing: they appealed to youth in a new way, talking freely and uncondescendingly to teenagers. Both are important contributors to the genre. I am talking about movies that were fun to watch, and I shouldn't be using phrases like "definitive statements" or "important contributors to the genre."

    It's not really a genre. It's just something that happened in the Eighties, like Armani jackets, Reaganism and Yuppies. Not everything we talk about can be a Very Important Film with Profound Artistic Significance.

  10. #40
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    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    Of course you don't like this genre, Oscar. It's not serious enough. It's lightweight stuff.

    Hey, I'm a huge fan of early-30s comedies and 50s musicals from Hollywood. More recently I've really liked Down With Love and the LOTR pictures.

    But from the youth point of view there was better fare out there than there is now. Surprisingly many of the movies were definitive statements.

    I am coming to the conclusion that I prefer the youth movies of the 1990s. To the titles I mentioned before add two excellent films featuring River Phoenix: My Own Private Idaho and Dogfight (both 1991).

    Not everything we talk about can be a Very Important Film with Profound Artistic Significance.

    I'm willing to keep "talking".
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 06-04-2004 at 12:56 AM.

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    MORE ABOUT WHY I LIKE YOUTH MOVIES OF THE EIGHTIES MORE THAN YOU DO

    [color=deep pink]Yeah, let's keep talking and I hope somebody else joins in. Is there anybody else out there?

    I could argue that the good Nineties movies you mention with River Phoenix happened because of the Eighties movies. But My Own Private Idaho, a huge favorite of mine, really isn't a fair comparison, because it's not about "normal" kids with "normal" problems as the Eighties youth movies are; it's about street kids, wastrels and outcasts, even if one is the mayor's son. It's Pixote in Portland.

    The reason it's harder to like the youth movies of the Eighties than the 30’s comedies and 50's musicals is that the Eighties are too close. They're just close enough and far away enough to be irritating. Fifties and Thirties movies are quaint, and therefore charming.

    I will wager that you did not see the youth movies of the Eighties when they were pouring out, as I did. Or am I wrong? You can go back and "discover" the 30's and 50's comedies and musicals, but the Eighties movies are just something you missed-- intentionally!

    For me this is how it is with Douglas Sirk movies. I am old enough to have been around when they came out and they were just the kind of conventional American claptrap that I avoided. Unfortunately I also avoided cowboy movies; now I am told that there were lots of cinematic classics among them that I must see. I only liked foreign movies and crime movies, noirs.

    To me youth movies of the Eighties, though I was no longer really a youth, were what I would have liked to have coming out when I was the age of the actors, twenty years earlier. They were a dream come true. But in fact I could never have imagined any of them, or their actors, who and which were all so different from the few young movie stars or the allowable social behavior of my youth.

    I think this is a group of movies that is unfashionable among those who currently call themselves film buffs. But that is their offbeat charm.[/color]
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-04-2004 at 03:12 AM.

  12. #42
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    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    I hope somebody else joins in. Is there anybody else out there?

    Yeah, where is everybody? Cinemabon is the only one with an Excused Absence.

    I will wager that you did not see the youth movies of the Eighties when they were pouring out, as I did. Or am I wrong?

    I saw them. I am that obsessive about movies. I honestly don't think very highly of American films in general during the 1980s, as I've explained elsewhere. This seems to apply also to youth movies in particular. Another title that comes to mind is Dazed and Confused(1993). It's mo' better than the 80s flicks.


    Unfortunately I also avoided cowboy movies; now I am told that there were lots of cinematic classics among them that I must see.

    When I entered college 25 yrs ago, I started to seek out all the wonderful films released prior to '65 or so. I tended to avoid Westerns and Musicals, two genres deemed old fashioned by my contemporaries. Eventually the best Musicals and Westerns won me over. Theatre screenings of westerns directed by Ford, Mann, and Hawks and Golden Age musicals did the trick.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 06-04-2004 at 04:01 AM.

  13. #43
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    comments

    I'll quickly add a couple of my two cents, will try to expound more later, gotta go to work...

    I was actually a little too young for the "brat pack" movies; graduated high school in '93, so they weren't quite as relevent to me when they came out. Did see The Breakfast Club on T.V. when I was in like 6th grade, and thought it was a really cool, serious movie at that time. These people were all so misunderstood...

    I will admit to liking John Hughes movies when I was growing up. Yes, times have changed, I now realize them for what they are. But there was a wholesomeness (albeit a very WASPy one) and a tenderness to these people, their lives, that appealed to me. I grew up in a family situation that wasn't nearly as functional or happy as the one I was seeing in these films. Nothing really bad happened to them, they're lives were relatively pain free (except for the humor filled stresses of daily live); you can imagine the appeal. I thought Ferris Bueller's Day Off was pretty funny and cool. I liked Uncle Buck. I admit I was really touched by Home Alone, in the warmth of the family, the caring they had for each other. And, subconciously, my draw towards John Hughes films may have been a reason I chose to go to college in Evanston, Illinois, which is in the northern suburbs of Chicago, the heartland setting of Hughes' films. Of course, now I'm on the verge of 30, and my life hasn't turned out like that in a John Hughes' film. Imagine that?

    As discussed earlier, Heathers is a landmark teen film of the '80's; it's a one of a kind.

    Dazed and Confused came out in the '90's, and it's set in the '70's, so it doesn't really fit in the category. Something about this film still disturbs me. I think it glorifies pot smoking, and it's led to more teenagers smoking pot, and led to more films showing teens smoking pot. With a few exceptions, there was little drug use in the popular '80's movies. These kids had enough to worry about as it was. Seems like many movies today aimed at high school and college kids automatically throw in pot-based humor. It's part of the formula, and Dazed and Confused kinda set that tone.

    I now consider two of the '90's high school films, Election and Rushmore to be far superior than most of the popular '80's films. Much more intelligent, clever, and insightful. I own both.

  14. #44
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    Originally posted by JustaFied
    Heathers is a landmark teen film of the '80's; it's a one of a kind.
    You guys clearly like it more than I do.

    Dazed and Confused came out in the '90's, and it's set in the '70's, so it doesn't really fit in the category.
    The parameters keep narrowing.

    Something about this film still disturbs me. I think it glorifies pot smoking

    Well, you certainly couldn't show anyone overdosing on the fragrant weed, or vomiting, or losing their sense of equilibrium. It just doesn't happen with cannabis. It facilitates a mellow, contemplative state in most people. Can't get away from the truth. Like it or not, the human race has been ingesting mind-altering substances throughout our history. Check out Ron Mann's doc Grass on the history of cannabis in the USA and our government's futile (and expensive) efforts to eradicate it.

    With a few exceptions, there was little drug use in the popular '80's movies.

    A movie that attempts to portray 70s or 80s teens without acknowledging the pervasive presence of drugs within our milieu is, to some extent, veering into Fantasyland.

    I now consider two of the '90's high school films, Election and Rushmore to be far superior than most of the popular '80's films. Much more intelligent, clever, and insightful. I own both.

    RUSHMORE is in a class, all by its glorious self. Thank you, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson.

  15. #45
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    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    A movie that attempts to portray 70s or 80s teens without acknowledging the pervasive presence of drugs within our milieu is, to some extent, veering into Fantasyland.
    I thought I might get some responses to my pot smoking comment. There is indeed a fine line between films that "ignore" teenage drug use, creating a Film Fantasyland, and those that include such scenes in a gratuituous or unnecessary manner, which tend to glorify its use in some ways and fail to show any negative effects (and yes, there are some, even if it is not an "addictive" substance in a clinical sense).

    Dazed and Confused doesn't really "glorify" drug use in the sense that it doesn't create an unreal picture of the kids at that time. Still, I think it opened up the world of marijuana (and other drugs) to kids that had never really thought about it, and that to me is discouraging. As I said before, teenagers have enough to worry about without getting involved in drugs and alcohol. When you get to college, or as a young (or old) adult, it's a different story, you're older and better able to make more informed decisions. In some ways, I still admire the wholesomeness of Sixteen Candles, etc.. Sixteen year old kids should be worried about grades, and who to take to the prom, and finding a way to second base, not about hiding their bongs from their parents. Wait 'til you get to college for that...

    It seems like most stupid teen movies now have the requisite "stoner" added to the mix. It's part of the formula now, and that's what makes me cringe. That's not particularly artistic, or "real", it's just a marketing ploy. It sells tickets, and many impressionable youth see it and it does influence the choices they make down the line.

    Pot jokes become like fart jokes. It's a cheap laugh. It's lazy filmmaking. Rushmore doesn't show any drug use; is that "fantasy"?

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