About a Boy
By Danna Friedberg, 15, Hamilton HS
If it’s a rainy day a really great movie would be About a Boy. It’s a new release so it’s relatively easy to find at the video store. It’s a British movie about coming of age. Hugh Grant stars as this 30-something guy who hates kids, has never worked a single day and has an obsession with dating single moms. After attending a S.P.A.T. (Single Parents Alone Together) meeting he soon becomes involved in the life of Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), a 12-year-old outcast. Marcus doesn’t exactly have a fatherly role model, so he looks up to Will (Hugh Grant).
It is a sweet, funny movie and Badly Drawn Boy does some really catchy tunes for the soundtrack. If you rent it on DVD you’ll find some pretty nifty extra features.
Murder in the First
By Karla Valdez, 15, Bishop Conaty—Our Lady of Loretto
Based on a true story, the movie is about an Alcatraz prisoner named Henri Young (Kevin Bacon), who gets tortured constantly by the jail warden for having tried to escape. This movie tries to get out the message of justice and human rights. Henri Young has all his rights taken away and with the help of young attorney James Stamphill (Christian Slater) he tries to get justice.
This movie is outstanding. I really enjoyed watching it and what I loved the most was that it actually happened. It’s not your typical Hollywood drama where at every scene something predictable happens. This movie shows the facts and the feelings. I honestly did not know that things like this happened and I truly learned something. I have watched this movie more than 15 times and it still impacts me when I watch it. I’m sure that if you watch this movie you will really enjoy it and you’ll also be getting a little bit of history out of it.
Romeo Must Die
By Enoch Kim, 15, Crossroads School
Well, the movie I like to watch on rainy days is Jet Li’s Romeo Must Die. I enjoy this movie because it contains the one thing all movies should have—less talking, more action.
Jet Li’s Romeo Must Die is a great movie that portrays energetic scenes that would wake up any person any day. In Romeo Must Die, there are two rival gangs competing for the same football stadium. However, one member from each gang is killed, and soon after, these two gangs cannot trust each other. In the midst of all the confusion Han Sing (the son of the leader of the Chinese gang played by Jet Li) falls in love with the daughter of the rival gang (played by Aaliyah). This movie is a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet with more action and mind-twisting graphics. The two lovers try to settle down and start a new relationship, but corrupted powers are always getting in the way. As I said before, there isn’t a lot of talking, but more than enough yelling and martial arts to make up for it. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak does a good job in bringing out this theme created long ago by William Shakespeare. This movie takes the viewer through a lot of twists and turns that truly puts the viewer on the edge of his or her seat.
In the Mood for Love
By Seth Shamban, 16, North Hollywood HS
In his review of this movie, Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers commented that Asian cinema was putting the American film industry to shame. Indeed, films like Yi, Yi (A One and A Two), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and In the Mood for Love swept critics off their feet in late 2000 and early 2001. In the Mood for Love is the best of the Asian invasion. Director Wong Kar-Wai, known for suspense films like Chunking Express, slows down time to focus on the lives of two people.
The movie follows the gradually intertwining lives of Mrs. Chan, a secretary, and Mr. Chow, a journalist. The film, as the title suggests, is about love and mood. Cinematographer Christopher Doyle, known for his frenetic style in Kar-Wai’s previous films, slows down here lingering on clocks, red satin drapes and legs making their way down stairs. Filmed without a script, In the Mood for Love, is a triumph of acting. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung play their roles flawlessly. Leung won the prize for Best Actor at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and Cheung won the Taiwanese equivalent of an Academy Award in 2001.
Few films find romance in the shifting shadows of a dark hallway or in the entrée ordered at dinner, but Kar-Wai’s film is 93 minutes of slowly burning cinematic treasure. Those with the patience will be rewarded as string sections give way to Spanish versions of Nat King Cole songs and separation by walls gives way to a yard between beds.