The Flix: procrastination

Hannah Wright, Layout Editor and Sabrina Patsolic, News Editor

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 Images are screenshots via Netflix

Big Fish

Hannah: Tim Burton has brought us so many treasures, such as “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “Sweeney Todd.” 

     We love him for those pinches of dark and morbid tales that we have seen in essentially almost all of his films. But what if there was something different he had to offer? Something delicate and romantic with fields of daffodils and words of wisdom?

     Well, there is. We present to you Tim Burton’s masterpiece, “Big Fish.” The film follows Will Bloom, played by Billy Crudup, as he tries to really understand Edward Bloom, his passing father, played by Albert Finney. 

     Throughout Will’s life, his father constantly told stories of his younger days. But that’s all they felt like, stories. Each one was too good to be true. They always included impossible details that made them sound like somewhat of a fairytale. 

     His most recounted story was about the big fish he caught with his wedding ring. Following every story was a lesson. For his big fish tale, his lesson was “Sometimes, the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring,” giving a reference to his wife, who just happens to be played by the gorgeous and glorious Jessica Lange. 

     The film is filled with stories and powerful meanings all illustrated by flashbacks. In these flashbacks, Ewan McGregor plays the young Edward Bloom. 

     The film ends with William accepting his father and noting “A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him. And in that way, he becomes immortal.” 

     I would recommend this film to everyone. It teaches that there is truth behind every lie and how important stories are in learning a lot about who someone is. “Big Fish” definitely has a special place in my heart.

Sabrina: “Big Fish,” directed by Tim Burton, is one of my all-time favorite movies. I remember when I first watched it; I was really young and I instantly loved it, but I really didn’t understand the message—which is the greatest part. Also, it’s a Tim Burton movie, so you know it’s going to be a little quirky, but good nonetheless. 

     The movie is about Edward Bloom, a man who loves to tell tall tales filled with giants, witches, really big fish (obviously) and twins that are, quite literally, joined at the hip. Although, when he finds himself on his deathbed, Edward re-tells the story of his life and his son Will Bloom, is desperate to find what is fact and what is fiction. 

    The film stars Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham Carter and many more. It also has a young Miley Cyrus cameo (which was the first movie she was ever casted in!). I can’t describe my love for this movie, and I have an even harder time describing the movie itself, so you’ll just have to watch it for yourself.

Charlie Bartlett

Hannah: Charlie Bartlett was just like any other high school teen-ager. He wanted to be well liked and known for something. Although, for him, the goal wasn’t grades or ACT scores, the goal was to be popular and worshiped, in a sense. 

     Charlie, played by “Like Crazy” actor Anton Yelchin, was expelled from his boarding school for selling fake driver’s licenses to his classmates. He begins public school the next day; however, he is not public school material. He wears jackets with emblems, he has a chauffeur and he has psychiatrists on call. 

     Charlie’s first day of school has its ups and downs. The ups include meeting Susan Gardner (Kat Dennings), a punk member of the Drama Club. The downs included getting beat up by Murphy Bivens (Tyler Hilton). All black and blue and distressed, Charlie misses his second day of public school and instead decides to call on the psychiatrists. After describing tendencies of distraction and a recurring daydream of fans chanting his name, the doctor diagnoses him with ADHD and prescribes Ritalin. 

     The ritalin has him bouncing off the walls. At another attempt to gain popularity, he decides to sell the prescription drugs at the school dance with the help of an unusual friend, the school bully Murphy. When word gets out it was Charlie Bartlett, people begin coming to him for drugs—some for recreational uses and others for serious issues that they couldn’t bring to their parents’ attention. 


     Along with the selling of prescription medicine, he also counsels countless students in the boy’s bathroom stalls; one of these students just so happens to be played by my boy, Drake. Following Charlie’s fame comes a hard downfall and numerous close calls. Some of these close calls result in punishment from Susan’s dad, who is also the principal. Robert Downey Jr. plays Principal Gardner. 

     The film teaches the importance of being one’s self and that some of the people that change your life in a positive way are the oddballs and the ones who look out of place. The movie is enjoyable and an easy watch.

Sabrina: From the same man who brought you “The Campaign,” “Dinner for Schmucks” and “Meet the Fockers,” comes our second candidate, “Charlie Bartlett.” Jon Poll directed this film, and his familiar style seen in his other movies remains the same in this one. The movie features Charlie Bartlett, a wealthy, teenage boy who is relocated to a public school after he was expelled from his fancy boarding school. At the new school, Charlie puts a plan into motion to become the well-liked classmate he always wanted to be. 

     This movie is perfect for procrastinating because it’s funny, and everyone would rather watch something funny than finish that paper that’s due tomorrow. Also the lead character, Charlie, who’s played by Anton Yelchin, is adorable. The film also features Kat Dennings, Robert Downey Jr. and Drake. Although Drake only has a small cameo, that’s enough of a reason to watch, but since it’s an awesome movie, that’s just a bonus. 


Charlie Countryman

Hannah:The film begins with Charlie Countryman’s mother passing away, but soon coming to him in what seems like a hallucination. His mother (Melissa Leo) tells her son to leave Chicago and go on an adventure, specifically to Bucharest, Romania. 

      Charlie (Shia LaBeouf) quickly hops on a plane to meet his mother’s wishes. While on his way to Bucharest, he meets Victor, a man leaving Chicago and returning to his daughter, Gabi, in Romania. Unfortunately Gabi and Charlie suddenly have something in common, the recent death of an important person, the death of their parent. 

     Victor dies in his sleep while on the plane and once again the deceased visits Charlie. Victor pulls him under the airline blanket and tells him to deliver a souvenir to his daughter. Once he meets Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood), nothing else matters. He is head-over-heels in love with the Romanian cellist. 

      Sadly, there were quite a few issues with this potential relationship. The largest one goes by the name of Nigel. Nigel (Mads Mikkelsen) is a Romaninon mobster who happens to be Gabi’s husband, but the marriage has serious problems. Not only is Nigel fueled by love to win Gabi, he is also fueled by the need for a secret video Gabi’s dad held that contained evidence that could get him and others jailed for life. 

     The blur of events that followed Nigel and Charlie’s first encounter consist of drugs, romance, rage and the willingness to die for the thing you love. Charlie’s love in this film is so pure and naïve, which for some is taken as pathetic. He even says if he dies, “I die for love.” 

     LeBeouf’s passion in this movie is unbelievable. Each screen cap of LeBeouf has a great deal of emotion. Two other additions to this film are the soundtrack and the cinematography.  

     The soundtrack is composed of original scores, Moby and The xx. The song “Shot in the Back of the Head” by Moby is alone a quintessential part of this movie for me. 

     The cinematography is extremely aesthetically pleasing. Along with camera angles and a specific aerial view at the end, the lighting is sublime. The screen is filled with glowing neon shades, adding a mysterious undertone. 

     One will either love this film or hate it. I suggest finding out which one you will embrace.

Sabrina: The last movie features another Charlie, but his story is different than Bartlett’s in every way. Directed by Fredrik Bond, the movie follows Charlie Countryman, a man who returns to Romania and along the way falls in love with a woman named Gabi, who happens to also be the estranged wife of a brutal gangster. Charlie then must deal with consequences that come with loving Gabi.

     This movie was interesting and exciting, which again is perfect to watch when you don’t want feel like doing school work. “Charlie Countryman” stars Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood and Rupert Grint. I did like this movie, but fair warning: it isn’t as light-hearted as the other candidates.


2015-05-21 08:44:57