The Fallout (2021)

The Fallout is a 2021 American high school drama film written directed by Megan Park in directorial debut. The film stars Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler, Julie Bowen, John Oritz, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp and Shailene Woodley.

High school student Vada Cavell goes to the restroom in the middle of class after her younger sister Amelia calls her when she has her first period. While in the restroom, a school shooting accurs and Vada hides in a stall with her classmates Mia, a dancer, and Quinton, whose brother is killed in the shooting. In the following weeks after the incident, Vada’s trama causes her to become depressed and isolated from her family. She also isolates herself from her friend Nick, since she cannot relate to the gun control activism he has been coaxed to do. Instead, she becomes closer to Mia and begins to spend lots of time at her house.

Vada’s parents put her in therapy and returns to school, but finds the situation uncomfortable. She cannot bring herself to go to the restroom where she hid, resulting in her peeing on herself when she hears a soda can being crushed. To cope with the stress, she takes ecstasy, resulting in Nick having to help her through the high. She and Nick argue about her weak coping skills, resulting in her venting to Quinton and trying to kiss him. Quinton rejects her, as he is not emotionally ready for a relationship yet. She isolates herself more from her family and friends, including Mia.

Later, Amelia admits to Vada that she assumed Vada was mad at her for the call that has put her in more danger. Vada tells her that is not the case and they make up. Vada recconnects with her parents and Mia, with the two of them agreeing to remain friends. Vada makes progress with her therapy, in coming to terms with what happened, though she admits that she and Nick might not make up. Vada waits for Mia outside of the studio she takes lessons at. She recieves a notification of another school shooting in the country.

The story of a school shooting is both powerful and disturbing and this film does cover that part, but it spends far too much time on Vada withdrawing from others in her life and her depression as well as her relationship with Mia. Not enough of this film is spent on the actual shooting, mostly just the aftermath and the students, school staff and the students’ parents’ reactions. Had the film focused more on the incident and not the feedback of the school community, I would have enjoyed it more. The acting from all the main stars is great. The soundtrack by Finneas O’Connell was also great.

The character of Vada Cavell is a tomboy with no real sense of fashion, dressing like a cross between a female basketball player, a rapper, hippie and Billie Eilish and had very little as far as personality, making her a rather boring protagonist. Mia Reed, the rich girl Vada becomes best friends with, also has very little perosnality and does underage and inappriate things, even with Vada like drink wine, skip school, smoke weed, have sex and listen to unedited music, making her not a likable character much at all either. Vada’s mother Patricia is overprotective of her daughters and her father is more likable as he is more lenient, fun and not afraid to curse (though some may not like that).

Overall, I found this film to be anything but spectacular. It is good and that is all. You’d think for a story about school gun violence, it would’ve been great, but I found myself rather bored for a good portion of this movie. Also the abrupt ending, just made it worse to me. Powerful story, not executed powerfully enough. 18+ 3/5

Classic of the Week: Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights is a 1997 American period comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heather Graham. It is set in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley and follows a young nightclub dishwasher who becomes a popular star in pornographic films, documenting his rise in the Golden Age of Porn of the 1970’s to his downfall into the 1980’s. The film is an expansion of the director’s mockumentary short film The Dirk Diggler Story (1988).

In 1977, high school dropout Eddie Adams is living with his father and emotionally abusive mother in Torrance, California. He works at a Reseda nightclub owned by Maurice Rodriguez, where he meets porno director Jack Horner. Interested in starting Eddie in porn, Jaxk auditions him by watching him have sex with Rollergirl, a porn actress who loves to roller skate. After arguing with his mother about his girlfriend and sex life, Eddie moves in with Horner at his San Fernando Valley house. Eddie gives himself the screen name “Dirk Diggler” and becomes a star because of his good looks, young presence and unusually large penis. His success allows him to buy a new house, a large wardrobe and a 1977 Chevrolet Corvette. With his friend and co-star Reed Rothchild, Dirk pitches several successful action themed porn films. While his is at a New Year’s Eve party at Horner’s for the year of 1980, assistant director Little Bill Thompson finds out his wife is having sex with another man. Bill, tired of the adultry, shoots them both dead.

Dirk and Reed begin using cocaine on a regular basis and because of this, finds it very difficult to have an erection and falls into violent mood swings and beomes aggrivated by Johnny Doe, a new leading actor Jack has recruited. In 1983, after fighting with Jack, Dirk is fired and takes off with Reed to start a music career with Scotty, a boom operator, who is in love with Dirk.

This is a film you either love, hate, or have a love-hate relationship with. It is awkward to the max, not a film one would want to watch with your parents, or anyone super conservative. There is still to this day, controversy with this film. The fact Eddie Adams is a teenager working in the porn industry and using drugs, is highly inappropriate and can make some viewers very uncomfortable, but this is not Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film like this, he does these kind of things again in 2021’s Licorice Pizza. PTA is known for pushing the bounderies and causing controversy with his works.

The film also

This would have been a really good movie if it weren’t about a teen porn star and druggy. The film focuses far too much on Eddie in the porn film industry and not enough on his life outisde that ot the other manin characters. Though this film recieved tons of rave reviews, I was left unimpressed. The acting is outstanding, the costumes are period perfect and the soundtrack is great is as well, but the story lacks in quality. Adding great talent does not always make for a great movie.

The film also talks far too much about the size of the star character’s pecker and focuses a bit much on him trying to get erections. If I want to watch teen porn, I’ll go on porn website. This movie is considered a dramedy, but I didn’t find it funny much at all. The sexual jokes were all throughout, giving the film a pretty sleazy feel, which I guess is what PTA was going for just like in Licorice Pizza, where a fifteen year old boy tries to woo a twenty-five year old woman.

Overall, a decent film, but the runtime of two hours and thrity-five mintutes is had me wishing it could’ve been over sooner. Fantastic acting and a great soundtrack is really the best thing about this one. Not Paul Thomas Anderson’s best work, but not his worst. 18+ 3.5/5

Classic of the Week: Weird Science (1985)

Weird Science is a 1985 American teen science fiction Comedy film written and directed by John Hughes and stars Anthony Michael Hall, Mitchell Smith and Kelly LeBrock. The title is take from a pre-Comics Code Authority 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name.

The film is about nerds and social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly who use a computer program to create the perfect woman, she turns the lives topsy turvy. Both Wyatt and Gary are bullied by senior jocks for drooling aver their cheerleader girlfriends. Turned down and disappointed at their lives and wanting more, Gary tells Wyatt they need shove in popularity in order to get their crushes away from the bullying jocks. Alone for the weekend, Gary is inspired by the 1930 film Frankenstein to create a virtual woman using Wyatt’s computer, making her with everything they can imagine to make the lady of their dreams. After attaching electrodes to a doll and hacking into a government computer system for more power, a power surge constructs Lisa, a gorgeous and smart woman with unlimited magical powers.

Weird Science is not only weird but it is filled with vulgar and tasteless humor. John Hughes wrote and directed a story that seems like the two actors and maybe a high school drama produced. Only teens (boys mostly) will really enjoy this this disaster of a film. It is a film that teen boys will likely want to masturbate to, since there are lady’s undergarments and full frontal nudity shown. Once a teen (boy mainly) reaches adulthood, they are likely to either stop liking the film, forget about it, or only find it to be an okay movie.

This film is not even okay, it is tasteless and seems like a horny teenaged boy wrote the screenplay. It screams drooling adolescent males that have just discovered how to self pleasure and seeing a naked female for the first time. Only a few times did I actually laugh. I really don’t understand the cult status of this movie, as it’s really not very good. It is a tad entertaining, yes only a little bit. It is not one that I can watch over and over again. It is a once or twice and never again type.

From such a great director and the cult classic-ness of this film, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular (judging by the plot), but something at least good. This is John Hughes’s worst film. A piece of trash that should remain in a garbage can or burned. Normally I don’t give such awful reviews for movies, but this one definitely deserves it. There really isn’t much I enjoy about this movie, maybe how gorgeous Kelly LeBrock was and how she was the best actor in the entire production.

Weak, typical bad teen film, unoriginal plot from a renowned director and too much vulgarity. I’ll be sticking to his Brat Pack and other better films from now on. Did he use a computer and turn himself back into a teenager to produce this? Sure seems like it. 14+ 1.5/5

Classic of the Week: A Taste of Honey (1961)

A Taste of Honey is a 1961 British film adaptation of the 1958 play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney. The film is directed by Tony Richardson, who also directed the play on stage.

The film follows a teenage girl named Jo and her mother Hellen as they moved their few belongings across Manchester on a bus. Jo’s mum is an alcoholic who becomes engaged to a much younger and wealthier man. Jo meets an older fellow who works on ships and they eventually fall in love and and have sex, before having to set sail. He assures he’d be back soon, but never comes back. She ends up moving into a ramshackle home with a gay friend and finds out she is pregnant.

This film is so realistic, you almost feel as if you’re watching a documentary and not something fictional. The acting is great from all the main stars, but much of the movie is so slow, it’s boring. This is an extremely depressing film as well, mostly just sad scenes and a few somewhat happy ones. Although the acting is superb, the main characters are all hard to like. Helen is a heavy drinking, money spending and self centered lady, Jo complains too much and ends up with a baby as a teen, Jimmy is far too nice at first, then gets Jo pregnant and leaves, Helen’s fiancé is a jerk and hates Jo and Geoffrey (Jo’s roommate) is not too bright and far too sweet.

Even though this a a rather dull film, it is still relevant in this day in time with today’s “Teen Moms,” only without much of the trash that’s seen on TV and in movies. This movie is raw and straightforward. It shows the life of a teenage mother who is forced to decide wether to have the baby or not.

I cannot imagine this story ever being a stage production, because it was hard to sit through much of this film without yawning. Despite this, it is a powerful learning tool in the life of a teen parent and the struggles they go through. There is not one ounce of humor or glory, only short lived romance and much extremely heartbreaking scenes. This movie was controversial fr the time, being the use of single mothers, homosexuality, inter-racial kissing and underage parenting. It was banned in several countries, despite bing a critical success and award winner.

If you want a movie about underage motherhood that’s more uplifting try Juno. If yo want want a serious one on the subject, try this one, you’ll either love it or hate it. You’d think with such a strong message and raw storyline, this film would have been better to me, but I was thoroughly bored throughout. The writers and directors could have done a better job with this piece. 18 & up 3/5