120 Greatest Teen Films

  1. Clueless – 1995
  2. Rushmore – 1998
  3. Dirty Dancing – 1987
  4. Heathers – 1988
  5. Grease – 1978
  6. Superbad – 2007
  7. The Hate U Give – 2018
  8. Juno – 2007
  9. Mean Girls – 2004
  10. The Breakfast Club – 1985
  11. Love, Simon – 2018
  12. The Last Picture Show – 1971
  13. Dazed and Confused – 1993
  14. Dead Poets Society – 1989
  15. Rebel Without a Cause – 1955
  16. Fast Times at Ridgemont Hight – 1982
  17. Lady Bird – 2017
  18. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 1986
  19. Blinded by the Light – 2019
  20. The Harry Potter Series – 2001-2011
  21. The Edge of Seventeen – 2016
  22. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – 1989
  23. Easy A – 2010
  24. Say Anything – 1989
  25. American Graffiti – 1973
  26. 10 Things I Hate About You – 1999
  27. Back to the Future – 1985
  28. Moonlight – 2016
  29. Freaky Friday – 2003
  30. Welcome to the Dollhouse – 1995
  31. Pariah – 2011
  32. Stuck in Love – 2012
  33. 13 Going on 30 – 2004
  34. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – 2005
  35. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 2012
  36. Cry-Baby – 1990
  37. High Scool Confidential – 1958
  38. Submarine – 2010
  39. Yes, God, Yes – 2019
  40. The Lost Boys – 1987
  41. Anna and the Apocalypse – 2017
  42. Cooley High – 1975
  43. Some Kind of Wonderful – 1987
  44. If… – 1968
  45. Pretty in Pink – 1986
  46. Bend it Like Beckham – 2002
  47. Real Women Have Curves – 2002
  48. Love & Basketball – 2000
  49. To Sir, WIth Love – 1967
  50. Boyz n the Hood – 1991
  51. Sing Street – 2016
  52. Almost Fmous – 2000
  53. Juice – 1992
  54. Friday Night Lights – 2004
  55. Bring It On – 2000
  56. The Kings of Summer – 2013
  57. Dope – 2015
  58. The Half of It – 2020
  59. National Lampoon’s Animal House – 1978
  60. The Sure Thing – 1985
  61. See You Yesterday – 2019
  62. Divines – 2016
  63. Brick – 2005
  64. The Karate Kid – 1984
  65. Better Off Dead… – 1985
  66. Carrie – 1976
  67. Sixteen Candles – 1984
  68. Real Genius – 1985
  69. The Outsiders – 1983
  70. Ghost World – 2001
  71. Risky Business – 1983
  72. River’s Edge – 1986
  73. Rumble Fish – 1983
  74. Show Me Love – 1998
  75. Blackboard Jungle – 1955
  76. Hairspray – 1988
  77. West Side Story – 2021
  78. Prcious – 2009
  79. The Man in the Moon – 1991
  80. The Fault in Our Stars – 2014
  81. Holes – 2003
  82. My Bodyguard – 1980
  83. Less Than Zero – 1987
  84. Over the Edge – 1979
  85. Center Stage – 2000
  86. Peyton Place – 1957
  87. Little Women – 1933
  88. The Flamingo Kid – 1984
  89. West Side Story – 1961
  90. Lord Love a Duck – 1966
  91. Cruel Story of Youth – 1960
  92. Absolute Beginners – 1986
  93. Where the Boys Are – 1960
  94. A Summer Place – 1959
  95. Little Women – 1949
  96. Foxes – 1980
  97. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – 2018
  98. Boy Erased – 2018
  99. Speak – 2004
  100. Edge of Seventeen – 1998
  101. Little Women – 1994
  102. The Way He Looks – 2014
  103. East of Eden – 1955
  104. Palo Alto – 2013
  105. Little Women – 2019
  106. The Virgin Suicides – 1999
  107. Back to the Future – 1985-1990
  108. Scream – 1996
  109. Breaking Away – 1979
  110. Valley Girl – 1983
  111. The Way Way Back – 2013
  112. Skate Kitchen – 2018
  113. Maidentrip – 2013
  114. Whiplash – 2014
  115. The Blind Side – 2009
  116. Bowling for Columbine – 2002
  117. An Education – 2009
  118. Persepolis – 2007
  119. American Honey – 2016
  120. Licorice Pizza – 2021

Elvis (2022)

Elvis is a 2022 epic biographical musical drama film directed by Baz Luhrmann. It stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley with Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, Luke Bracey, Natash Bassett, David Wenham, Keven Harrison Jr. and Kodi Smit-McPhee in supporting roles. 

In 1997, Elvis Presley’s manager, Coloner Tom Parker is on his deathbed looking back at how he met the future King of Rock and Roll. In the early days Elvis has bettled a poverty-stricken childhood with his parents Vernon and Gladys. He finds music to be his redemption, even though he his picked on by his friends because of his love for African American music od Memhis’ Beale Street. Parker is a carnival peddler who calls himself a modern day PT Barnum. 

Although Parker is already managing country singer Hank Snow, as soon as he hears Elivs on the radio, he is impressed by what he hears and has dreams of becoming his manager. He eventually meets and coaxes Elvis to let him take control of his career. However, not all of the public is impressed with the young performer. Many parents believe that his ruining their children and racist politicians also attack him. After a violent incident at a concert, Elvis is faced with a possible jail term. However, Parker persuades the government to draft Elvis into the US Army as a way of avoiding anymore legal compications. During his time in the service, Elvis suffers the sadness of his mother dreaking herself to death. 

While stationed in Germany, Elvis meets Priscilla Beaulieu, and upon his discharge, he resumes his career making concert tours and movies while Parker’s control of his life grows stronger. After Parker locks him into a long contract at a Las Vegas hotel, Elvis starts to grow tired of his deceitful manager and tried to fire him, only to be sued by Parker for a substantial amount that will leave him broke and he will lose everything from his house, to his cars, to all his Elvis merchandise. A brutal argument develops, where Elvis has to admit that he has no choice but to keep Parker, although they grow apart and rarely see each other afterwards. Elvis’ life eventually goes downhill as Priscilla takes their daughter Lisa Marie and leaves him over his prescription drug addiction, which grows even more after she is gone. 

When I saw a preview for this film for the first time. I couldn’t see Austin Butler as Presley, but after watching it, I do see it one-hundred percent. The fact that he acts, sings, dances and plays the music is amazing. He brings the King of Rock and Roll back to life and you learn so much about Elvis’ life. The Elvis voice, singing, music playing and dancing done by Butler is spot on. He does the bouncy voice, the shaking and gyrating so perfectly, you forget you’re watching an actor and you feel like you have stepped back in time with the real Elvis. 

Oliva DeJonge does an outstanding job as Priscilla Presley. She looks the part perfectly and you’d never believe she’s actually Australian. Tom Hanks does a great job as Colone Tom Parker, though his accent does get pretty annoying and makes you wonder if Parker actually talked like that (if you didn’t already know). Helen Thomson does a great job too as Elvis’ mother Gladys Presley. Richard Roxburgh does a fine job as his father Vernon Presley. Luke Bracey is really good as talent manager Jerry Schilling. 

The story, acting, costumes and makeup and scenery and props are all spot on, period perfect. This film introduces young(er) generations to Elvis’ music and other music of the 50’s to 70’s. You learn so many things about the life of Mr. Presley, his childhood, his music, his relationships, fandom and addictions. The movie is really long at a nearly three hour runtime and could have been quite a bit shorter, as some scenes are really drawn out. You do wonder if the film is ever going to end, but other than that, it is extremely entertaining and makes you love Elvis’ music, either for the first time or all over again. 

This movie is as shocking as it is entertaining and Butler, DeJonge and Hanks all deserve awards for roles. Fantastic film from begining to end! 18+ 4.5/5 

Adam Sandler has the #1 movie on Netflix and critics are raving about it — BGR

At this point, it’s no exaggeration to note that Adam Sandler — the star of Netflix’s new original movie Hustle — basically has whatever the Hollywood equivalent is of the Midas touch. The pattern is quite familiar by now. He releases a new Netflix movie, for example, and it shoots right to the top of […]

Adam Sandler has the #1 movie on Netflix and critics are raving about it — BGR

tick…tick…Boom! (2021)

Tick…Tick…Boom! is a 2021 American biographical musical drama film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and is written by Steven Levenson, based on the stage musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson, it is a semi-autobiographical film story about Larson writing a musical to try to enter into the theater industry. The film stars Andrew Garfield as Larson, alongside Vanessa Hudgens, Robin de Jesus, Alexandra Shipp, Joshua Henry and Judith Light. 

In 1992, Jonathan Larson performs his rock monologue Tick…Tick…Boom! at New Theater Workshop with his friends Roger and Karessa. He describes an annoying ticking sound he hears in his head and begins to tell his story. An unseen narrator explains the films is the true story of Larson, “except the parts Jonathan made up.” 

In early 1990, Jonathan balances work at the Moondance Diner in SoHo with getting ready for a workshop for his musical Superbia. He feels pressure to be successful before he turns 30: with his birthday just over a week away, he sees the workshop as his last chance. He has a party at his apartment with his friends, including his former roommate Michael and his girlfriend Susan. Susan tells Jonathan about a teaching job at Jacob’s Pillow and asks him to come. Michael, who recently left theater for a mediocre advertising career, sees Susan’s offer as a chance for Jonathan to consider a serious future and invites him to join an advertising focus group at his company. Jonathan’s producer asks him to write a new song for Superbia because the story needs it. This depresses him, as his idol Stephen Sondheim told him the same thing at a composong workshop several years prior, but can’t come up with anything and he only has a week. 

Jonathan finds himself unable to concentrate on getting ready for the workshop as he thinks about Michael and Susan’s offers. His worries grow when he learns from Carolyn (friend from the diner) that Freddy (also works at the diner), is HIV-positive, has been hospitalized. Susan angry at Jonathan’s hesitance to make a decision and obsession with his career, breaks up with him. 

To get money for a full band for the workshop, Jonathan attends the advertising focus group. However, he purposefully ruins it, making Michael mad, who feels Jonathan is wasting the chance to have a life with the person he loves on an unstable theater career, something Michael can’t do as a homosexual man in the AIDS crisis. After getting a promising call from his agent Rosa, Jonathan tries to write the new song, but his power get cut off. He goes to a swimming pool to rant his frustrations over his personal life and the workshop, before coming up with the new song at last. At the workshop are friends, family, industry professionals, including Sondheim. Jonathan recieves praise but no offers to produce Superbia. Discouraged, Jonathan begs Michael for a job in his company, but Michael changes his mind after seeing the workshop and urges Jonathan to continue with his theater career, revealing that he is HIV-positive. 

Though I haven’t seen Tick…Tick..Boom! on stage, I did enjoy Larson’s Rent on stage and the film version, though it was not as good as the stage production. Rent is a wonderful story filled with wonderful music. I thought it was terribly cheesy and depressing at first, but once I saw both the movie one and the stage one, I fell in love with it and I now wish this musical could continue on stages forever just like other greats like Chicago and Fiddler on the Roof. 

Andrew Garfield does an outstanding job as Jonathan Larson, giving him a perfect New York accent, as well as acting, singing and playing the piano and keyboard himself. Most of the songs are super cheesy, but that’s musical theater for you and Garfield performs the songs with the perfect cheese factor with song and in several scenes with dancing too. Most of the songs, besides being corny, don’t sound like a mature adult wrote them and since the movie is filled with those kind of songs, it does get a bit annoying and makes the film almost unenjoyable at times. 

Alexandra Shipp is great as Susan Wilson, based on the real life Janet Charleston, Jonathan’s girlfriend, a former dancer. Robin de Jesus does a fine job as Michael, Jonathan’s best friend, based on the real life Matt O’ Grady, who left theater to work in advertising. Vanessa Hudgens is also great as Karessa Johnson, although she has very little dialogue and mostly sings and dances. Joshua Henry is very good as Roger Bart, Jonathan’s friend and performer in Superbia and Tick…Tick…Boom! Bradley Whitford is superb as Stephen Sondheim. 

This film does a splendid job telling of Larson’s journey to become the next great musical theater sensation, even though it is a bit of a cheeseball at times. The songs, choreography, and acting are all eqaully fantastic. This is drama filled, song filled movie that will have you tapping your feet at times, getting angry at moments and also crying at times too. It teaches you to never give up on your dreams and that the great things you do will live on forever after you die. 

There is song and dance, drama, heart and passion in this film that make it such an entertaining watch. There is fighting, sex, rejection, drinking, smoking, disease, cursing and selfishness that make this movie inappropriate for really young viewers. Teenagers and adults will enjoy this one much more. Tremendous film!  13+ 4/5 

Men (2022)

Men is a 2022 folk horror film written and directed by Alex Garland. It follows the a widowed young woman (Jessie Buckley) who goes on holiday alone in the English countryside but gets disturbed by the men in the town (all played by Rory Kinnear). 

Harper Marlowe decides to spend a holiday in the small village of Cotson following the suicide of her husband James. In flashbacks, it is revealed that Harper is fed up with James’ abuse and emotional outbursts, intending to divorce him, leading him to threaten her with killing himself and hitting her when she continues to reject him. Harper locks James out of their flat and sees him him fall from upstairs balcony to his death. 

Sometime later, Harper pulls up to the house she is renting, where she is met by its owner, Geoffrey. She goes for a walk in the woods and finds an old railroad tunnel. A mysterious figure appears at the end of the tunnel and start chasing her, but she gets away. Coming upon an open field, she takes a picture of it on her phone, capturing a naked man standing near an abandoned building. Later, as Harper is video chatting with her friend Riley, she notices the naked man in her yard, having followed her from the tunnel. She calls the police and he is arrested. She goes to a church and meets a young boy with a female cartoon character like mask and a vcar, who both  bear similarity to Geoffrey and the vicar tries to rationalize James hitting her.  At a pub in town, one of the policemen (who also looks like Geoffrey) tells Harper that the naked man was released as they had no legal evidence to keep him detained. 

Harper tells Riley this and she agrees to come in the morning, but as Harper tries to send her the address her service is interrupted. She sees the policeman in her yard, but as her lights flicker, he changes into the young boy, who chases her into the house. She defends herself with a knife and a window breaks in the kitchen. Geoffrey arrives and finds that the window breaking is do to a crow flying into it, which he then kills by breaking its neck. As Geoffrey goes into the yard, he is changed into the naked man, who chases her again. When he tries to reach her through the mail slot, she stabs him, but he manages to pull his arm free, the stuck knife ripping his arm in two. Both the boy and the vicar appear in the house, both of them correspondingly injured. The vicar tries to rape Harper but she stabs him and runs out of the house. 

A24 is known for extremely bizarre, disturbing and quite confusing movies. This film starts out really good, but takes a major nose dive, like much of A24’s motion pictures. It just gets stranger and stranger, stupider and stupider as the fillm reaches the climax and then just ends abruptly. The trailer for this movie makes it look like a great bizarre thriller, which, great it is not, bizarre it is and thrilling, pretty thrilling in lots of scenes. Most of the scenes towards the end, will have you saying “WTF?!” Because they are so weird, just plain stupid, they make no sense whatsoever. 

Alex Garland’s Ex Machina was an outstanding film, so I was expecting something just as good and this was a HUGE disappointment. I don’t understand how anyone could find this film even remotely good, as I found it just plain bad. It starts out good, but very slow and rather disturbing, being the scenes of domestic violence and suicide . The acting is great, the scenery is beauty, as is the music, but story is too strange and unsettling and at times, confusing. 

One male villain covered in blood, giving birth to another one and then that one and so on until Harper’s dead ex-husband is reborn is about as weird as it gets for a movie. It’s never explained how Geoffrey could turn into all those male characters and how he knew about her situation when she didn’t rent the house under her married name and he had never even met her before. The director has you guessing about so many things that never get answered and I’m sure that’s what he was going for, but that made it hard for me to watch. 

Being a big fan of horror and art films and reading the rave reviews, I was really hoping to like this movie, but it was nothing more another typical A24 production. Now I don’t hate all of their films, I really like Ladybird and Moonlight, but it just seems that most of the motion pictures they put out are like Men and Herediary. Don’t waste your time with this stupid, disgusting, mess of a movie. 18+ 1.5/5 

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a 2022 fantasy film directed by David Yates from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves. It is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the eleventh overall in the Wizarding World franchise. It stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston and Mads Mikkelsen. Set several years after the events of its predecessor, the film follows Albus Dumbledore giving Newt Scamander and allies a mission that transports them to Dark Wizard Gillert Grindelwald’s army. 

In Bhutan 1932, Newt Scamander helps a Qilin – a magical creature that can see into one’s soul and future – give birth. Gellert Grindelwald’s acolytes , led by Credence Barebone, attack and kill the mother, and kidnap the newborn. Grindelwald subsequently kills the creature to control its ability of precognition. However, unknown to them, the Qilin has given birth to twins, the younger of which Newt is able to save. 

Unable to fight against Grindelwald, due to a blood pact, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his brother Theseus, Ilvermony Charms professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, Senegalese-French wizard Yusuf Kama and American No-Maj Jacob Kowalkski to defeat Grindelwald’s plan for world domination. Yusuf is marked as a spy in Grindelwald’s inner circle while the rest of the grouo is sent to Berlin, Germany. There, they witness Grindelwald being acquitted of crimes by the International Confederation of Wizards (ICW) and running for the office of Supreme Mugwump. The ICW believes arresting Grindelwald could get him more support, but beating him in an authorized election will lose him support. 

Grindelwald’s acolytes; who have gone against the German Ministry of Magic, arrest Theseus and plan to assassinate one of Grindelwald’s enemies, the Brazilian candidate, Vicencia Santos. Dumbledore gives Newt and Lally their next assignments; to save Theseus and and ruin the assassination. While Newt rescues his brother from the secret German wizard jail,  Lally and Jacob foil the assassination attempt ; however Jacob is eventually framed and for attempting to kill Grindelwald, and he and Lally barely escape, giving Grindelwa;d an incentive to turn the wizarding world against the Muggle world. Meanwhile, Grindelwald has sent Credence to kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore quickly defeats Credence and he is revealed to be the illegitimate son of Dumbledore’s younger brother, Aberforth Dumbledore. Learning who his father is and being forgiven by Albus, Credence start to question his loyalty to Grindelwald. 

The leader of the wizarding world gather in Bhutan, where the new Supreme Mugwump is to be elected by the ancient tradition of being found worthy by a Qilin. who bows to those pure of heart. 

Out of the three Fantastic Beasts films so far, this one is better than the second one, but not as good as the first one. It has the magic of the wizarding world Potter fans love, but we learn only a little bit about Dumbledore’s secrets and more time is spent on trying to defeat Grindelwald and save the Qilins. We do learn of Albus’s brother Aberforth, Credence being Aberforth’s son, and Albus’s sexuality, which has been speculated since the early stories in the Harry Potter series, but once all that’s revealed, it’s right back to the Grindelwald Show. 

Changing Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald from Johnny Depp’s portrayal, was actually a good thing, not just for the deep water he is in right now, but also because Mads puts a less bizarre and more sinister spin on the character, unlike Depp. Johnny Depp will always be a great actor regardless, but Mads fits Rowling’s characteristics of the character far better. Depp is better at weird, but Mikkelsen is better at being frightening. 

Some parts of this film are slow, some are disturbing , some are shocking and some are thrilling. There a several laugh out moments and some very heartwarming moments too. The creatures in Newt’s suitcase are both fascinating and adorable, making you say in your head, “I want one” to them all. Newt’s love and knowledge of the creatures is both sweet and captivating. His quirks can be seen as both strange and cute. Some attribute his quirks to having high functioning autism, Asperger’s syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder. J.K. Rowling has stated she created Newt as neurodivergent and Eddie Redmayne has said he thinks Newt has Aspergers, but since the movies take place in the 20’s and 30’s, there was no diagnosis. But ASD or not, his behavioral habits just make him more likable. 

This film does tie-in with Harry Potter more than the other two Fantastic Beasts, being it about Dumbledore, but that doesn’t make it any more entertaining than the others. This one is far more slow and too much time is spent on Grindelwald and the Qilin. There is a big chunk of time spent on Dumbledore, but it takes a while before you learn his secrets. Still, not a completely boring film, just not as attention grabbing as the other two or any of the Harry Potter movies. With a run time just over two hours, it seemed this one was crammed with too many characters, too much plot and not enough magic. 

This film is supposed to be about Dumbledore and though, a good percentage of it is, the rest seems to be more about rigging Grindelwald’s election and the rare creatures. Still the movie does have some very cute and hilarious scenes that make this one enjoyable, but not nearly as entertaining as its predecessors. 

Some of the scenes seemed rushed, others seem too slow, but much of the movie doesn’t seem to flow. Many times the film jumps from one setting to another, never spending enough time in any place, making the story a bit confusing. The acting is superb, as well as the costuming, music and scenery, just like the other two, but at least those had more action and less jumping around. This is still a powerful, fantasy filled film that Potter fans will likely enjoy regardless. BTW: Dumbledore’s gay! 17+ 3/5 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a 2018 fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling. It is the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise and is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). It stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Tuner, Claudia Kim, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law and Johnny Depp. Set in 1927, it follows Newt Scamander and Albus Dumbledore as they try to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald while facing new threats in an even more divided wizarding world. 

In 1927, the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA) moves the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald to Europe to stand trial, but he escapes. Three months later, London, Newt Scamander, visits the Ministry of Magic to appeal his international travel ban, and runs into Leta Lestrange, his Hogwarts classmate and the fiance of his older brother Theseus. The Ministry agrees to accept Newt’s request if he helps Theseus find Credence Barebone, who is still alive in Paris, but Newt declines after learning he must work with the cruel bounty hunter Gunnar Grimmson. Albus Dumbledore asks Newt to track down Credence, believing that he is Leta’s long-lost half-brother, Corvus Lestrange V. 

Newt is visited by American friends Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalkski, a Muggle, who has regained his memories that were erased the previous year. Newt is disappointed to learn that Queenie’s sister Tina Goldstein is seeing someone after mistakenly believing Newt and Leta were engaged. After Newts lifts the spell, Jacob refuses to marry Queenie, fearing the consequences she would face. Queenie leaves to find Tina, who is looking for Tina in Paris, followed by Newt and Jacob. 

In Paris Credence escapes the Circus Arcanus with captive entertainer Nagini, a Maledictus cursed to turn into a snake permanently. Searching for Credence’s birth mother, the find half-elf servant Irma Dugard, who brought him to America for adoption. Grimmson revealed to be a follower of Grindelwald, kills Irma before she can tell who sent her. Tina meets Yusuf Kama, who is also looking for Credence. Newt and Jacob follow Yusuf to Tina, only to find her being held hostage. Yusuf imprisons them, telling them that he made an Unbreakable Vow to kill his half-brother, whom he believes is Credence. Unable to find Tina, an upset Queenie is brought to Grindelwald; knowing her abilities, he lets her leave while brainwashing her into joining him through her desire to marry Jacob. 

Newt and Tina invade the Ministry of Magic for documents to confirm Credence’s identity, but are found by Leta and Theseus. Tina and Newt make up after he explains that he was never engaged to Leta. Their search leads them to the Lestrange family tomb, where they find Yusuf confronting Credence and Nagini. Yusuf reveals that he is carrying out his father Mustafa’s wish to seek revenge towards his mother Laurena, who was kidnapped by Corvus Lestrange IV, using the Imperial Curse and died after giving birth to Leta. 

The group follow a crowd to a rally for Grindelwald’s followers, where Queenie is attending and Jacob is looking for her. Grindelwald shows a vision of a future global war, and rallies against laws that prohibit them preventing such a tragedy.

This film has the magic that Potter fans enjoy, but the story isn’t nearly as strong as the other ones. The movie has plenty of plot twists, action and fantasy, but feels a lot like one character chasing after another. It is entertaining, but it seems like there is more time spent battling between good and evil than telling the actual story. The special effects, costumes, scenery and music are great. The acting is superb, but the story goes from one thing to the next far too fast, and there isn’t much about the background of the characters. It seems there is more rescuing of other characters than just slowing down and telling of the story. 

At times the film seems rushed and some scenes are rather slow, but it is not boring by any means. It is still action packed, filled with thrills, fantasy, superb acting and a fantastic storyline. There are humorous, romantic, shocking and heartwarming scenes as well. Is it as good as the first Fantastic Beasts film or any in the Harry Potter series? No, but it’s not terrible. Perhaps if this movie relied less on its bizarre and wonderful creatures and more on giving audiences the feeling of being transported, it would have been a nearly perfect motion picture like its predecessors. 

You have many of the same beloved and hated characters from the first Fantastic Beasts film, but they don’t really change much it seems in this one. Newt is still a smart, quirky magizoologist, Jacob is still in love with Queenie and Grindelwald is still the second of the  “Most Dangerous Wizards of All Time.” 

All the special effects, action and period costuming and scenery, doesn’t make this film outstanding, but wildly entertaining it still is. 13+ 3.5/5 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2016 fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling. It is the first installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series and the ninth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, being a spin-off and prequel to the Harry Potter film series, inspired by the 2001 book of the same name by Rowling. The film stars Eddie Redmanyne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Colin Ferrell and Jude Law. 

In 1926, British wizard and “magizoologist” Newton “Newt” Scamander lands in New York City. He notices Mary Lou Barebone, the non-magical (“No-Maj” or “Muggle”) head of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, preaching that witches and wizards are real and dangerous. Striving to retrieve a Niffler that escaped from his suitcase of magical creatures, Newt meets No-Maj Jacob Kowalski, an aspirant baker, and they unknowingly swap suitcases. Porpetina “Tina” Goldstein, a demoted Auror of the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA), arrests Newt for breaking magical law. Since the suitcase he has only has Jacob’s baked goods, Newt is released. At home, Jacob opens Newt’s suitcase, freeing several creatures into the city. 

After Tina and Newt find Jacob and the suitcase, Tina takes them to her apartment and introduces them to Queenie, her Legillmens sister. Jacob and Queenie are both attracted to each other, though American wizards are forbidden to have any contact with No-Majs. Newt takes Jacob inside his suitcase, magically enlarged to keep various creatures. 

After they retrieve two of the three escaped beasts, Tina returns the suitcase to the MACUSA, but they are arrested, as officials believe one of Newt’s creatures is responsible for killing Senator Henry Shaw Jr., who actually attacked by a different Obscurus. The Director of Magical Security, Percival Graves, accuses Newt of conspiring with the infamous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, and decides to to demolish Newt’s suicase and obliviate Jacob’s recent memories. Newt and Tina are sentenced to death. Queenie senses this, rescues Jacob before his memory is taken and, then helps Newt and Tina escape and retrieve Newt’s suitcase. Advice from Tina’s goblin informant Gnarlack leads the four to getting the last of the escaped creatures. 

Graves comes to Credence, Mary Lou’s adult adopted son, and offers to free him from his abusive mother in exchange for helping find the Obscurus causing destruction to the city. Credence finds a wand under his adopted sister Modesty’s bed, which Mary Lou assumes is his; when Credence is about to be punished, the Obscurus kills Mary Lou and her oldest daughter Chasity. 

Newt finds Credence hiding in a subway tunnel, but is attacked by Graves. Tina who had tried to protect Credence from Mary Lou, tried to calm him, while Graves tried to convince Credence to listen to him. As Credence returns to human form, MACUSA President Seraphina Picquery and the Aurors counterattack, killing the Obscurus. However, not seen by anyone but Newt, a single piece of the creature flees the scene. Graves admits he planned to unleash the Obscurus to expose the magical community to the No-Majs and to frame Newt for the incident. 

This movie is filled with superb special effects, fantastic costumes, makeup and scenery, perfect music and outstanding acting. It has the feel of a Potter film, though it is a sequel or prequel to the HP series. Some of the characters like Newt, Jacob, Queenie and Dumbledore are very likeable and others, of course, or not. Jacob is the funny, naive, No-Maj, Queenie is the sweet Auror, Newt is the awkward creature lover with a big heart and Dumbledore is the Hogwarts headmaster who is always willing to help others. Other characters like the abusive mother Mary Lou Barebone and Gellert Grindelwald are evil are meant of course, to be unliked. 

This film has drama, thrills, romance, fantasy and heart. It goes from dark to light throughout the movie, so you find yourself going from “aww…” to “Oh no!” Not once is the film predictable or boring. It is pretty intense for a PG-13 rating. The film not only has darkness but also funny little parts here and there that make it much more entertaining than if it were just all sinister. 

Rowling knows how to capture light, dark, humor and heart in all her stories, making her the best fantasy writer since J.R.R. Tolkien. Her stories are so captivating, you don’t want them to end and you keep going back to them time after time. 

This film is the perfect distraction from the negativities of today’s real world. It takes you on journeys to other worlds, scary ones, fun ones, but equally fascinating. The film may not be quite as good as any in the Harry Potter series, but it is still wildly entertaining and deserving every award it wins. 

The main character Newt Scamander is an odd one. His mannerisms, or quirks, make him weird, unique, special and overall, lovable. Newt seems to have characteristics of high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, though Rowling has yet to comment on that, Redmayne who plays Newt seems to think that Newt has Asperger’s, but being that the films take place in the 1920’s and 1930’s, there was no diagnosis, but the resemblance of the character to a person with ASD is pretty uncanny and it is nice to see characters that those kind of people can relate to. 

Overall, a thrilling and heartwarming film that both fantasy and Potter fans will enjoy. It has every element of a great fantasy film. 13+ 4.5/5 

Top 70 Hardest Movies to Watch

  1. Antichrist – 2009
  2. Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh and Blood – 1985
  3. A Serbian Film – 2010
  4. Irreversible – 2002
  5. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom – 1975
  6. Shoah – 1985
  7. Grave of the Fireflies – 1988
  8. Bone Tomahawk – 2015
  9. We Are the Flesh – 2016
  10. Pig – 2017
  11. Baskin – 2015
  12. Hostel – 2005
  13. A Clockwork Orange – 1971
  14. The Exorcist – 1973
  15. Se7ven – 1995
  16. Man Bites Dog -1992
  17. The Bunny Game – 2012
  18. Night and Fog – 1956
  19. Deadgirl – 2008
  20. Happiness – 1998
  21. Oldboy – 2003
  22. Eyes Without a Face – 1960
  23. Begotten – 1990
  24. Ichi the Killer – 2001
  25. Eraserhead – 1977
  26. Inside – 2007
  27. The Last House on the Left – 1972
  28. Aftermath – 1994
  29. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer – 1986
  30. Pink Flamingos – 1972
  31. Nekromantik – 1987
  32. Audition – 1999
  33. Cannibal Holocaust – 1980
  34. In a Glass Cage – 1987
  35. Requiem for a Dream – 2000
  36. Titicut Follies – 1967
  37. August Underground – 2001
  38. August Underground’s Mordum – 2003
  39. Visitor Q – 2001
  40. Blood Feast – 2003
  41. Martyrs – 2008
  42. Man Behind the Sun – 1988
  43. I Stand Alone – 1988
  44. High Tension – 2003
  45. Kill List – 2012
  46. Snowtown – 2011
  47. Funny Games – 2007
  48. Gummo – 1997
  49. We Need to Talk About Kevin – 2011
  50. The Human Centipede Trilogy – 2009-2015
  51. Natural Born Killers – 1994
  52. Raw – 2016
  53. Mother! – 2017
  54. The Hills Have Eyes – 1977
  55. Bite – 2015
  56. Slither – 2006
  57. Voyage to Agatis – 2010
  58. Grotesque – 2009
  59. Found – 2012
  60. The Virgin Spring – 1960
  61. American History X – 1998
  62. Deliverance – 1972
  63. Battle Royale – 2000
  64. Midsommar – 2019
  65. The ABC’s of Death – 2012
  66. Enter the Void – 2009
  67. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – 1974
  68. Saw Films – 2004-2017
  69. Psycho – 1960
  70. The Skin I Live In – 2011

Is Cinderella Weak or Strong?

Cinderella or The Glass Slipper is a folk tale with thousands of adaptations and no one really knows where the story comes from or when it was first written. The protagonist is a young woman living in poor circumstances that are suddenly changed to surprising serendipity. There are many different origin stories about this story, all claming to be the real one. 

The story is often said to be a folk tale for children, though many versions are anything but child friendly. In many versions of the tale, Cinderella is a teenager with fairly wealthy parents. First her mother dies of an illness, then her father remarries and suddenly he dies, but we are left questioning whether he died of a disease or if his second wife murdered him. In the Grimm Brothers’ Aschenputtel, which came out in their fairytale compilation  in 1812, Cinderella goes to her mother’s grave every day and weeps, but remains pious and good, despite her circumstances. It has the same story of her stepsisters ripping her homemade ball gown to shreds and her godmother giving her a new one and telling her to go and have fun at the ball, but the spell is broken at midnight, but with darker parts. 

In one scene, one stepsister cuts off her toes to make the glass sipper fit. Also the stepsisters and stepmother are more than just verbally abusive to Cinderella, they are also physically abusive and only feed her enough to keep her alive enough to abuse more. In the scene where Cinderella marries the prince after the slipper fits her, she rides off in the carriage to the castle with her new husband and though the stepsisters and stepmother are invited to the wedding, the birds claw their eyes out, pull their hair and rip up their clothes and scratch their faces bloody as well. How is this a children’s story? 

In the Chinese version, the godmother is replaced by a fish and Cinderella doesn’t mope around waiting for her happily ever after, she is actually a witch who can disappear. Charles Perrault’s Cinderella, is the closest to what we know and what Disney used as the basis for the 1950 animated movie. But Grimms read his tale and added their own twists of Germanic folktale tradition and came up with an equally weird and more disturbing version. 

But there have been arguments for decades and centuries about whether Cinderella is weak, strong, a feminist character, or not. In the Perrault version of the story and Disney films, she is nineteen years old and maybe that was still considered a child in that day and age, but by today’s standards, that’s legally an adult. Actually eighteen means you are finally legally an adult in today’s society (at least in America). So if that had been case and she were legally a grown up, why didn’t she get her share of her parents’ money and get her own place? Why did she choose to stay behind with her evil stepmother and stepsisters? Why did she allow them to abuse her? Why didn’t she stand up for herself? Why didn’t she run away when she had the chance? 

If she was legally still a child, I guess she didn’t legally have a choice, orphanages didn’t exist then, so she couldn’t have just gone and gotten adopted by a hopefully loving family. I guess living with her steps was better than being homeless, at least she got a roof over her head, a bed, food and water. But even if she was rightfully a woman, women in her time had little to no rights. Only men could be lawyers, judges, rulers of kingdoms and oftentimes married first. Women usually did whatever men told to them do without question. Men also made more money. Women seemed to only be there to be wives and mothers, maids, seamstresses or governesses. Cinderella maybe valued herself more or just had no choice but to stay at home with the three devils. 

Oftentimes Cinderella is said to be strong and a role model character for females. But how is she a role model if she doesn’t even stand up herself and/or fight back or go get herself some help? What screams heroine about her? She just stands there taking all their mistreatment of her, she is pretty much a human punching bag. Either she was weak, stupid or both. She doesn’t enjoy the treatment she goes through, but does nothing about it. It makes no sense at all, because a real hero doesn’t take crap from anyone, but she does. 

She accepts sleeping in a cold dirty attic without a bed, no soap, only freezing cold water to bathe with, eating scraps and doing chores all the time and being taken advantage of badly. I’m sure, had she gotten out of that situatuation, someone would have taken her in and given her a better life. But I guess the strong can come from how she takes all the abuse and still remains strong, nice and hopeful. But can she be both fierce and weak? In my opinion she is. She remains tough through the daily bullying she receives, but doesn’t do a damn thing to stop it at the same time. 

Cinderella isn’t exactly a positive role model, especially for girls and young ladies, but she isn’t exactly the worst either. She’s not one that I would want my daughter, granddaughter, niece or even friend’s daughter to be like. I’d want them to not take any crap from anyone. I’d want them try and avoid abuse and if they can’t to get help immediately. There are positive messages that come from the story we know of Cinderella, like being positive and staying strong, but there are negative ones too like, it’s okay to be miserable and do nothing about it and you can only find true love when you’re dolled up, because they won’t love you any other way. 

Overall, this story is not one that should be used as a teaching lesson in staying strong, feminism or finding your soulmate, but can be used cautiously to teach being positive. Don’t use her full blast since she does let herself get hurt 24/7, until her fairy godmother comes along. But why then, why wasn’t the godmother there earlier? Why just for the ball and why just until midnight? Who knows. This is another twisted folktale that makes little sense. Is Cinderella strong, weak, or both? What’s your opinion?