Brave is a very different movie for Disney. In the past, Disney princesses have been damsels in distress awaiting their Prince Charming. In Brave, Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, is a spunky, confident, and fearless princess far from the ordinary. She is a Scottish princess trying to break away from tradition by creating her own life, instead of the life etched in stone for her by her mother, Queen Elinor, voiced by Emma Thompson.
This past Monday I had the pleasure of watching an awesome and heart-felt film called Freedom Riders. This documentary told the story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South. It was also the story of young people who, at great personal risk, set out to make a change and did not let anything stop them from accomplishing it. The film focuses on a group of 13 men and women—seven black and six white—who left Washington D.C. on two buses bound for New Orleans. They set out to test whether a Supreme Court decision mandating integrated facilities in interstate bus travel was actually being implemented south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
One Fatal Mistake is a documentary based on a real-life drunk driving catastrophe that took place in Long Island. A drunk driver named Sophia Santos made the poor decision of getting behind the wheel after drinking at the bar. Sophia Santos was only 20 years old at the time of the accident and only had her learner's permit, meaning that she wasn't even of legal age to drink and was not supposed to drive without appropriate supervision. Santos's poor judgment about driving even with a blood alcohol level of .24 took away the life of beloved sister, mother, and grandmother Virginia Casazza Urgo, who was returning home after celebrating her 62nd birthday.
Beyond the pretty pink ballet shoes lies bruised toes, tired bodies, and a passion for dance. First Position, a documentary, sheds light not only on the beauty of ballet but the time, energy, and dedication that it takes to become a ballet dancer. Directed by Bess Kargman, the film follows the lives of six individuals as they train for the Youth America Grand Prix competition.
The documentary Someday Melissa is an informational and eye-opening story. This film is about a girl who, at 19 years old, lost her life. The young woman in the documentary, Melissa Avrin, had an eating disorder and the movie brings awareness about eating disorders, in general, and the way an eating disorder consumed the life of Melissa, specifically. In the documentary, Melissa’s family and friends tell her story and share their point of view on this disorder.
When first going to Mirror Mirror I did not have many expectations. I just believed that it was going be a plain adaptation of Snow White--orphaned princess with an evil stepmother who envies Snow White’s beauty and power, so she hires a henchman to kill and dispose of the girl. I soon came to discover that Mirror Mirror was different.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting is a great comedy, and with this this all-star cast, it’s no wonder! The movie, directed by Kirk Jones, follows the stories of five different couples: Jules (Camerzon Diaz) and Evan (Matthew Morrison), Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro), Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco (Chace Crawford), and Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) and Ramsey (Dennis Quaid). All are expecting a baby—either through pregnancy or adoption.
So have you ever wondered what’s really in your school lunches? I know I have, while dabbing the grease off of a slice of pizza or reading the nutrition facts on a candy bar from one of the lunchroom vending machines. Food is supposed to be fuel. So why are the most accessible cafeteria menu items sugary and deep fried—a combination that can only make us teenagers fat, restless, and hungry?
The hotly-anticipated movie interpretation of the best-selling novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was an exciting, action-packed and epic movie that I would definitely recommend. From the incredible acting to the amazing set design and costumes this movie is already a hit and I can see why! Not only did the movie stay true to the majority of the novel, it also portrayed the futuristic civilization of the Panem people excellently.
The portrayal of women in media that leaves us, the real women of the world, feeling acutely inadequate, is the topic of Picture Perfect. In the film, real girls, teens, and women, ranging from age six to 60, discuss how mass media has had an impact on their personal experiences, their self-esteem, and how they see it affecting those around them.
The Help is an incredible story portrayed by many talented individuals. It is a film that I thoroughly enjoyed. Written and directed by Tate Taylor, the film is based on a novel by Kathryn Stockett. The story portrays what life was like for blacks and whites in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement. The film features actors Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, and Jessica Chastain.
Cover Girl Culture is an insightful documentary about the media's impact on teen girls' self-esteem. It is sad to see girls in the film express that their strongest desires are to be skinny and to look like someone they are not. Nicole Clark, the creator of this film, interviews many girls about their opinions on magazines, models, and the media. Also interviewed, for a variety of thoughts and opinions, are plastic surgeons, educators, motivational speakers, models, and adults working for Teen Vogue and Elle. The result of these interviews is astounding, as the viewer witnesses just how detached magazine companies and their advertisers are from the targeted consumer, an average teen girl.
Pariah is not a fairytale. The story line is not wrapped neatly in a bow; the plot does not resemble an ice cream sundae with a cherry on top. It is real. It is disturbing, depressing, heart wrenching—but most of all, it is hopeful. Dee Rees, the writer and director of the film, depicts the reality of a young lesbian sifting her way through the challenges of adolescence, of growing up and of coming out.
The movie Joyful Noise, starring Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, and Keke Palmer was a fun, uplifting movie about a choir whose director has passed away. For many years this choir has participated in a national competition. As the time for the next competition fast approaches, the choir members get nervous and do not want to lose anymore. They are faced with challenges trying to get their headstrong choir director to start doing more exciting music and go out on a limb.
The Iron Lady, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Abi Morgan, stars Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, and Richard E. Grant. A personal portrayal of Margaret Thatcher's political, social, and familial life, The Iron Lady captures the engrossing tale of a woman who changed the face of politics worldwide. Margaret Roberts Thatcher worked her way from the daughter of a small-town grocer to the first female prime minister of Great Britain. The movie depicts an older Thatcher, lost in memories and reflections of the past.
Did you catch Roland Legiardi-Laura’s documentary, To Be Heard, last weekend? It aired on local PBS stations several times throughout the weekend and was well worth watching. It tells a story that is both grim and hopeful. It follows three teens who hope to escape their poverty-stricken lives in the Bronx. They want to go to college and see more of the world. They want to stay out of prison and away from harm. The teenagers in this film are stunningly talented poets.
The Mighty Macs, directed by Tim Chambers and starring Carla Gugino, Phyllis Somerville, and Marley Shelton, is the inspiring true story of a working woman in the 1970s, just at the time when women's college basketball became a recognized sport. Strong and confident Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino) becomes Immaculata College's new basketball coach. After finding a small team of committed girls, including Rosemary (Lauren Bitterner) and Lizanne (Kim Blair), Cathy faces another struggle: she needs an assistant coach. Watch to see the development of real teamwork!
Go For It! is a movie set in inner-city Chicago that follows the journey of Carmen Saldago, a young aspiring hip-hop dancer. Carmen is challenged by a professor in school to apply for a competitive school of dance in California, but this dream is complicating by family chaos, her relationship with her boyfriend, and a devastating personal tragedy.
The movie Sarah's Key is based on the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay. The story centers around an American journalist named Julia Jarmond, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, living in Paris with her husband and teenage daughter. As she prepares to move into an apartment owned by her husband's family during the Second World War, she uncovers the story of Sarah Starzynski." Sarah is a young Jewish girl whose family lived in the apartment until they were arrested in the notorious Vel d'Hiv round up of 1942. When neither Sarah nor her younger brother Michel appears on the list of the Jews deported to Auschwitz, Julia embarks on a frantic quest to locate them.
A group of teens living in a small town in Michigan are preparing themselves for the biggest night of the year: prom. For these teens, prom means finding the perfect dress, bringing the right person, and of course, having the time of your life. It's right around the corner and they're all trying to deal with the stress and unexpected events that follow.
Filmmaker Mimi Chakarova narrates this film about the many facets of modern-day sex trafficking eloquently. Chakarova journeys to Russia, Moldova, Turkey, Greece, and India in search of clues to exposing the underground world of human sex trafficking.
Director Catherine Hardwicke is very creative in her retelling of the classic "Little Red Riding Hood" fairytale. The movie Red Riding Hood, starting Amanda Seyfried, is best described as creepy.
This documentary profiles Rose Mapondo, who witnessed the genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and survived her time in a death camp with her children.
Forget everything you thought you knew about poetry. Rowdy, passionate, and competitive, the four Chicago-based poetry slam teams featured in the documentary Louder Than a Bomb rock the world of poetry.
Soul Surfer is the inspiring, true story of Bethany Hamilton, a dedicated surfer who loses her arm while surfing. As a teenager in Hawaii, Bethany spends the majority of her time on a surfboard and she has a promising future as a professional surfer. However, one day she experiences a near-death experience like no other.
During this 19-minute documentary, women talk about their experiences with street harassment and how upset they feel over it and men explain the purpose behind their actions.
Michela Tucci reviews the documentary "Race to Nowhere," which explores the stress and demands placed upon students.
Teen Voices peer leader Ajané Searcy went to see Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls." Read about what she thought of the movie!