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Finding Nemo
By Danielle Brown, 17, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

Next time you’re stuck at home babysitting "the little brats," do them and yourself a favor by checking out Finding Nemo. A big break from past Disney animation, Finding Nemo’s awesome graphics will not only have your eyes glued to the screen for the next two hours, it’s side-splitting characters and adventure packed plot will have you and your siblings sitting on the edge of you’re seats!

The adventure takes place in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, where two happily married clown fish chose to settle down and lay their eggs. All goes well for Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his wife until a massive barracuda attacks them and, unfortunately, eats Marlin’s wife and the majority of their eggs. Only one egg survived: Nemo. From that point on, an overprotective Marlin attempts to shelter his son from all the dangers of the big blue and he is extremely successful…well not really.

When Nemo gets "kidnapped" by scuba divers the real adventure begins. While on his quest to find his son, Marlin runs into Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a blue tang fish that suffers from short-term memory loss. From then on Marlin and Dory are search partners, witnessing a non-fish eating 10-step program conducted by sharks, racing through a jellyfish forest, riding the Eastern Australian current with sea turtles and asking whales for directions (which of course Marlin turns down, being the macho fish that he is).

Director Andrew Stanton’s replication of our lifestyle creates a heart-warming tale of a father who literally crosses the ocean to find his son, into a comedy fit for all ages.

Real Women Have Curves
By Chris Palencia, 16, Torrance HS

A heart-warming tale that transcends its characters’ Mexican and Mexican-American backgrounds, Real Women Have Curves is a movie that many first generation Americans will be able relate to in one form or another.

Ana, played by newcomer America Ferrera, is a conflicted teenage girl just out of high school. She’s been accepted to Columbia University with a full scholarship but her mother, Doña Carmen (Lupe Ontiveros), wants her to stay home, work at her older sister’s dress factory, get married and have a family. An otherwise strong and independent young woman, Ana is manipulated by Carmen into working at her sister’s factory, which is actually little more than a sweat shop.

It is at the garment factory that Ana realizes the struggle that her sister goes through in operating a factory that makes dresses for $18 which are then sold at Bloomingdale’s for $600. The sister, Estela (Ingrid Oliu), puts great effort into her factory but is understaffed and behind on the bills. Ana eventually decides to attend school with the blessings of all family members except for Doña Carmen. She embarks on the new adventure, not to spite her mother or break up the family, but to pursue her dream of a future.

Real Women Have Curves is a funny, enjoyable film. Viewers of different backgrounds will identify with the struggle of keeping the family together vs. pursuing one’s dreams and goals.