Tag Archives: teen movies

I’ve Got the Magic In Me

If you haven’t already seen the movie Pitch Perfect, I have only one question for you: WHYYYYYYYYYYY???

Are you so cool that you can’t take two hours out of your life to watch this adorably awesome film about dueling college acapella groups? You are, aren’t you? I bet you’re the kind of person who spends their Friday nights sipping fancy cocktails at parties thrown in swanky art galleries rather than dancing around your living room singing along to Ace of Base’s ‘The Sign’, aren’t you?

If so, well…okay, good for you, I guess. I cannot deny that that art and fancy cocktails do have their appeal. But so does this movie! First of all, Skylar Astin is super duper as Jesse, the “nice guy” love interest to Anna Kendrick’s character, Beca. And then there’s Rebel Wilson’s ‘Fat Amy’:

My favourite though is Benji, Jesse’s incredibly awkward roommate:

Sob! Poor Benji! Fortunately, Benji gets his moment of redemption during the Treblemakers final performance:

They are performing their take on B.o.B.’s song ‘Magic’:

Which version do you prefer? B.o.B. and Rivers, or the Treblemakers? Me, I like them both. But I think the Trebles win for of the feel-good factor!


Angelina Jolie in Hackers


I spend quite a bit of time writing about bad movies that I secretly love. Most of them are actually fairly decent films…but I’m not sure if that can really be said for Hackers, 1995’s cyber-conspiracy flick starring Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie. To be honest with you, probably the main reason I love this movie so much is because I’ve had a thing for Jonny Lee Miller ever since his turn as Sick Boy in Trainspotting. But I will also say that this is the only movie in which I have really found Angelina Jolie attractive.*

*That’s not actually true. She was pretty smoking in Gia as well.

I think I just liked Angelina more back when she was kind of boyish-looking and badass. She and Brad bore me, you guys. I think he makes her less exciting. Now, she and JLM on the other hand…is it weird and/or pervy to say that I would totally watch them make out? Well, I would. Don’t lie, you would too. Do you know that when they got married (in real life, not in the movie) she wore black rubber hot pants and a white men’s dress shirt with his name written across the back in her blood? Yes, that was her wedding day attire. See, isn’t that Angelina way more exciting than her current iteration?

Anyway, in Hackers she plays Kate Libby (a.k.a. “Acid Burn”), teen hacker extraordinaire and daughter of a world-renowned feminist author. JLM’s character, Dade (a.k.a. “Crash Override”) meets her on his first day at a new school and becomes instantly smitten with her, obviously.


Wouldn’t you?

Throughout the course of the movie, Angelina’s character sports a series of outfits that are at times kind of bordering on hideous, but she manages to pull them off. Let’s take a look:


In this scene she is wearing what appears to be a bright turquoise wetsuit, which is obviously insane…but she looks pretty decent!


These dudes loitering in the school hallway to check her out clearly think so too.


That is some funky eyeliner…


Well, this is pretty adorable…


This jacket/wetsuit combo is ridiculous. But, she’s still hot.


I literally cannot think of anyone else who would look good in an all-white onesie and shin guards…that is quite an accomplishment, I’d say.


Even though she looks like some sort of demented anime character, I secretly love this dress.

Let me be clear here — I don’t think most people would look good in any of these ensembles. But Angie is not most people, and she looks rad. I think she should ditch Brad, reunite with Jonny Lee (he’s single now, right?) and bring back her Hackers-era stylings. The world would be a better place for it.

Stand By Me

My best friend used to sing this song to me when we were in high school. We’d be on our way back from a bar, where we would have drank as many Tequila Sunrises as our 15-year-olds selves could handle (i.e. not many) and chatted up the cool older kids from our school. She’d throw her arm around my shoulder and start singing this song. Sometimes I’d join in with her, and we’d trade off verses. We were just young and silly and happy. And that walk home from the bar was always the best part of the night for me.

p.s. River Phoenix! *sob*

Grease 2

Today, I would like to talk about one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s not a good movie. In fact, it’s quite bad. But for whatever reason, watching it makes me ridiculously, joyfully ecstatic. Like, if I ever happen to come across it while flipping through the channels (which doesn’t happen often, because it really is awful so it doesn’t get much play) I literally start jumping around in excitement and yelling “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Never mind the fact that I own the movie on DVD). That’s how happy it makes me. My irrational love for Grease 2 truly knows no bounds.

I can see how this movie might have looked good on paper. The original Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, was a massive hit. I guess the producers figured that Grease 2 would be an easy win — just repeat the formula of the first movie and watch the bucks come rolling in. Boy were they wrong. Grease 2 was considered to be both a critical and commercial flop.

The second movie has basically the same plot as the first one, only inverted — this time the goody-goody foreign exchange student character is a guy, Michael Carrington (played by Maxwell Caulfield, who later romanced Brenda on 90210, and also starred in another one of my favourite movies, Empire Records). Michael lands at good old Rydell High on the first day of Senior Year and instantly becomes smitten with Stephanie Zinone, leader of the Pink Ladies (played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who might literally be the most beautiful person who has ever lived).

To give you an idea, here is IMDB’s synopsis of the movie:

An English student at a 1960’s American high school has to prove himself to the leader of a girls’ gang whose members can only date greasers.

I mean, how amazing is that? “A girls’ gang whose members can only date greasers”! I would like to know if such gangs still exist, and if so how I can find one and become a member post-haste. Embarrassing confession: when I was in the 5th grade, a bunch of my friends and I formed a gang based on the Pink Ladies. We called ourselves the ‘Chiclets’ and we cut out nameplates from gum packages (I know, so budget) and stapled them to the back our our acid wash jean jackets (it was the ’80s). We didn’t do anything remotely cool like smoke cigarettes in the bathroom, skip school, or date older boys — in fact we were basically the biggest dorks ever. But we were totally in love with the movies and wanted to emulate our heroes.

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite things about Grease 2:

– The fact that Michael Carrington is considered a ‘nerd’. I mean, look at this guy:

michael carrington

And that’s what he looks like before his transformation into a smokin’ hot motorcycle dude. It’s ridiculous, is what it is. I love it when movies try to pass off beautiful people as geeks.

– The song ‘Cool Rider’, which Stephanie sings to Michael to explain to him why she won’t date him.

Aaaaaahhhhh this song is SO AMAZINGLY BAD!!! I know all the words to it by heart. Seriously, I can totally bust it out for you the next time you see me. Bonus fun fact: I made my younger brother watch this movie so many times when we were kids that he too has the lyrics memorized.

– The talent show. The costume budget alone for the Pink Ladies number is highly implausible for a high school level event. Sidenote: I would really like to own Stephanie’s Christmas Tree dress and star crown:

a girl for all seasons

– The luau scene, when Steph and Michael finally get together.



Really, I just love everything about this movie, from the bad acting to the mediocre-to-awful songs (there really aren’t any great ones) to the campy amazingness. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and rent it.

p.s. In the process of doing my “research” for this post, I stumbled across a fan tribute to the song ‘Who’s That Guy’ on youTube. This is seriously one of the cutest things I have ever seen, and I wish I was BFFs with these girls as they are apparently even bigger fans of the movie than I am and this looks like one of the most fun projects ever.

Here’s the song from the movie:

And here’s their version:

Adorable, right? Girls, if you decide to remake ‘Cool Rider’, call me!

I Want My Two Dollars…

So, Better Off Dead is an amazing* movie, one of the many ’80s comedies that my brother and I were obsessed with as kids.

*And by amazing, I mean ridiculous.**

**And by ridiculous, I mean awesome.

There are many things to love about this movie, including…

The Meyer parents Christmas morning outfits:

xmas outfits

Lane’s mom’s cooking:


“It’s got raisins! You like raisins!”

Monique’s sunglasses:


No suprise I am a fan of these…

The awesomely named douchebag bad guy:

roy stalin

Roy Stalin!

Badger’s extremely high success rate in picking up trashy women:

trashy women

Lane’s bizarre/awesome fashion choices:


I love everything about this.

Ricky’s Christmas present to Monique:

ricky's xmas present

Everyone on my list is getting one of these this year (obvs with me in the frame, not Ricky — although I am going to dress up in his exact outfit)

Lane’s walk-in closet:

i want this closet

His creepy obsession with Beth aside, this is the most awesome closet ever. Totally wasted on a dude.

But the absolute best thing about this movie is the character of Johnny, the paper boy. I could never understand why Lane just didn’t cough up the $2 already (especially in the cemetary when he probably had some loose change in his pockets or whatever right?) It’s only two dollars! Even taking into account backwards inflation or whatever and adjusting to ’80s money, it’s still only like $7. But if he had, then we wouldn’t have these awesome scenes:

I mean, look at this kid’s dedication and determination! He totally rules, as far as I’m concerned. He is like the most intimidating 12-year-old ever. And what style!


“Two dollars…cash“.

I would not want to meet this dude in a dark alley, that’s for sure. He would totally beat me up and take, well…my two dollars!

“It’s time for protest art!”


So I finally got to see Step Up Revolution, and I am happy to report that it was everything I dreamed it would be — and more! So many of the classic Teen Dance Movie clichés were represented in this movie, including:

  • ★ Boy and girl from opposite sides of “the tracks”
  • ★ First meeting between the main characters involving a dance-off
  • ★ Dance school snobs
  • ★ Characters getting sprayed by water, turning their white t-shirts transparent
  • ★ “Street” dancers vs. “legitimate” dancers
  • ★ Stern-but-loving parent who initially disapproves of their child’s dance aspirations, but comes around in the end
  • ★ Someone delivering the line “Rules are meant to be broken!”
  • ★ Overprotective best friend
  • ★ A misunderstanding that drives the main couple apart
  • ★ Epic Final Dance Scene (of course — it wouldn’t be a Teen Dance Movie without this)

And, you guys! AND! Not only does the movie contain all of those tried-and-true plot devices, it ALSO features some v. important social commentary, which is a departure from the previous Step Up movies. You see, the male protagonist, Sean, grew up in the “barrio” in Miami, where people are poor but have artistic souls and plenty of street cred. The female lead, Emily, is the daughter of a rich hotel tycoon played by Peter Gallagher…

peter gallagher

What the hell am I doing in this movie?? I’m Sandy Cohen! Someone please get my agent on the phone…

…who is planning on razing Sean’s entire neighbourhood to the ground to build a new hotel chain. Clearly this is unacceptable, so the dance crew (called “The Mob”) stages a series of guerilla dance protest events in order to bring down the greedy corporate suits and their plans for gentrification.

Do they succeed?

Well…you’ll just have to go see it to find out!

Oh, and also?

Moose is back!



Summer Movie Season

Okay, so there’s something that I should disclose right off the top here: I have horrible taste in movies. Well, that’s not totally accurate. I do enjoy all sorts of movies, including very good ones. It’s just that I will watch pretty much anything, quite contentedly. I once sat through Trojan War, a 1997 teen flick starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Will Friedle* in which the main character spends the entire movie trying to find a condom in order to lose his virginity to the school’s hot, slutty, popular girl (Marley Shelton), while his BFF, J.Love, (in the time-honored** role of ‘overlooked-but-pretty best friend of the doofus main character who is secretly in love with him even though he totally ignores her until the very end of the movie when he suddenly realizes she’s actually quite beautiful and totally right for him, a fact that anyone with eyes and half a brain in their head — i.e. his friends, his parents, the rest of the school, the entire movie-going audience*** — has already figured out’ ) pouts and overacts her way through all of her scenes. It is truly an awful film.

*Will Friedle played the older brother character, whose name was Eric****, on the ABC Family show Boy Meets World, of which I have watched many an episode.

**Seriously, this is totally a character trope. Please see Secret Admirer and Some Kind of Wonderful for further examples.

*** “The entire movie-going audience”, in this case, consisting solely of me and my friend Caroline.

****I didn’t even have to look that up.

But I digress. The point of this post is to talk about the start of SUMMER MOVIE SEASON! (I believe this deserves the all-caps treatment, as I am very excited about it) and the fact that while I was away for two weeks, quite a few movies were released that I want to see. Including, but not limited to:


moonrise kingdom

This is a no-brainer, obviously. Wes Anderson is a complete and utter genius and I have adored every movie he has previously made, so it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that I will love this one.


katy perry

This is Katy Perry’s behind-the-scenes concert documentary. I think the following exchange I just had with a friend of mine pretty much sums up my feelings on this one:



take this waltz

Canadian director Sarah Polley’s most recent project, starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen. It’s set in Toronto! I can’t resist that.


rock of ages

Look, just admit it. You too are curious to see Tom Cruise in the role of a long-haired heavy metal rock god. He is obviously going to be amazing. This movie is also being advertised on billboards throughout France, where it is curiously titled ‘Rock Forever’, which made me laugh. I mean, it’s not like they translated the title into French – they just changed it to an alternate English name. So random.



I wasn’t really feeling this one until I read a great review of it here, and now I am kind of excited.


magic mike

I have had a soft spot for Channing Tatum ever since his career-defining roles in Step Up and She’s the Man (probably the greatest cinematic masterpiece of our time – more on this later as it is clearly a movie deserving of its own post). So the fact that he wrote this one, based loosely on his early experiences as a male stripper, has me intrigued (…no, no, not because of the male stripper part – I am just interested to see if he can write a good story. Seriously. Male strippers are kind of gross. Um, so I have heard?)


seeking a friend

I have to throw a rom-com into the mix, of course. And nothing says ‘romantic comedy’ like a speeding asteroid heading towards Earth on a path of devastation and destruction.



Oliver Stone’s latest project has been getting a lot of buzz. Whether it’s good or not is really immaterial as it features both Aaron Johnson and Tim Riggins.
TIM RIGGINS!!!!!!!!*

*Also deserving of the all-caps treatment, obviously.



This was actually playing on the plane on the way home from Paris, but I watched Friends With Benefits instead. Gah. I hate myself.*

*But I secretly enjoyed ‘Friends With Benefits’. I told you — I’ll watch anything. ANYTHING.



A new friend of mine just recommended this French film and said it’s one of the best movies she’s seen in a while. I in turn suggested that she watch Step Up 2: The Streets, and since she’s already e-mailed me to tell me that she loved it, I feel that we have similar taste in movies. So I’m gonna check this one out.


to rome with love

Woody Allen’s latest offering. Since I was totally obsessed with Midnight in Paris last year, I am super excited to see this one.

Well, that’s it for me (for now). Obviously I’d better get cracking if I’m going to catch all of these flicks. Thaddeus, I am decamping to the local cineplex for the foreseeable future. Please forward my calls.

How about you? What movies – if any– have piqued your interest this summer? Any and all recommendations are welcome…