A Look At “Girl, Interrupted”

There’s a lot to unpackage when we’re talking about the movie adaptation of “Girl, Interrupted”. There’s a lot to love and a lot to hate for this movie, and that list has just grown as this movie has aged into the classic turn of the millennia movie that it is. So that’s what I’m going to say before I just go ahead and get into what “Girl, Interrupted” Did really well, and what it didn’t do nearly as well on.

lead female roles that were groundbreaking

“Girl, Interrupted” came out in 1999, a powerhouse year for female roles in Hollywood. Movies “The Virgin Suicides”, “Cruel Intentions” and “Jawbreaker” also came out that same year, so there was a lot of buzz in Hollywood for movies that featured leading female roles. This is a stark contrast to the movies that were debut in the decade earlier; in 1989 “Far From Home” and “When Harry Met Sally” came out, and one could call these roles following a more traditional, gender conforming roles as far as their leading ladies were concerned.

“Girl, Interrupted” had an amazing cast of women portraying roles that were unheard of for women up until that point, and the women played their roles phenomenally. These actresses include Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Brittany Murphy and Elizabeth Moss.

Angelina Jolie gives me chills in this movie from her incredible portrayal of Lisa, the sociopath that has the entire institution under her control.

Cinematography was well done

The plot isn’t linear, as Susanna isn’t a reliable narrator. Thus, there’s a lot of back and forth along a time-line. This movie does this well, cutting between the present day with a certain sound or visual hallucination that breaks from the present to the past that Susanna may be thinking about.

This is shown at times when a nurse knocks on the door and Susanna is transported back to a time, she’s with her boyfriend Toby.

DEPICTION OF MENTAL HEALTH COULD’VE BEEN BETTER…and here’s when it goes downhill

“You are a lazy, self indulgent little girl who is driving herself crazy.”

-Valerie Owens, RN (from Girl, Interrupted)

That is not how real psychology works. Susanna is diagnosed by her psychologist as having the condition of borderline personality. Borderline personality is a very real condition, and no licensed registered nurse would’ve told her she’s lazy and self-indulgent. This is the overarching theme to the entire movie- Susanna is just a spoiled brat that needs to just get over it. Once she is able to “get over it” she is cured.

Georgina Tuskin is supposed to be a pathological liar; however, viewers get a lot of their first insight on the other girls in the hospital from her during Susanna’s first night and most of what she says seems to be factual. For the most part, Georgina seems to be in control of herself at most times–so why is she at the facility? Is she still just soul searching for something more to “get over”?

Characterization leaned hard on mental illness

When the mental illness stopped working, characterization flaws were able to shine through. Some of these girls seemed to have no characterization or personality beyond “being crazy”. Janet’s entire character seemed to revolve around being anorexic and an asshole whenever the movie needed it. Cynthia Crowley is just a lesbian though she does proclaim to be a sociopath at one point. These people do exist; assholes exist in the world just as much as lesbians do. However, these characters should be more than just a quick caricature of what a character potentially could be thrown into the script.

This isn’t the case for every character as the main characters were great, and the casting crew was very picky with whom they were considering for the roles. I just really wished they had slowed down a bit and taken time on the supporting cast as well, because I’m sure a lot of these actresses had more talent than we were able to see on set.

Final Thoughts & Star rating

Girl, Interrupted” was great at the time it was released for many reasons. It has shown some flaws as it has aged, but not every movie needs to be a flawless, timeless work of art. “Girl, Interrupted” still is entertaining to watch in 2022, and with that I’m going to give this movie a 3/5 star rating.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review of “A Quiet Place” I & II

Back in October I had originally penned a review about “A Quiet Place” but I didn’t want to post it until after I had watched “A Quiet Place Part II“. I had a lot of questions still after watching the first movie, and before I was going to pass judgement on another horror movie, I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt and watch the second half before I decided to rate it so poorly. Was I disappointed? Let’s get into it.

Before Watching

It’s been a year since the sequel had came out and three since “A Quiet Place” was released in theatres. It’s crazy now looking back on it, because this was one of the last movies I remember being hyped before the pandemic happened and the world fell into general chaos. I remember hearing mostly positive reviews when both of these movies had came out. I remember this being a breakthrough movie in the deaf community for having a deaf actress.

I was aware this movie was a dystopian, taking place after an apocalyptic event. I knew this was a thriller, with the main antagonists being a species of aliens that did not like noise. I wasn’t sure if they made noise that would kill people, or if the noises people would make would cause the creatures to eat them– I really wasn’t sure how the plot was going to be spun, but I knew that basis of it.

I knew John Krasinski and Emily Blunt played husband and wife in the movie. Which at least I had hopes that meant their onscreen chemistry would be believable, considering they’re married IRL. John Krasinski also directed this movie, which feels a bit like he just wanted to play in a movie with his wife. Which is…sweet, I guess.

Overall, my hopes were fairly high for the first movie.

During Watching “A Quiet Place”

I had so many questions. Had these creatures really taken over the Earth in a year, and everything had fallen into this state of ruin so quickly? When the family is in town we get a glimpse of a dilapidated grocery store, and overgrown train tracks as they’re walking home. I know nature will take over without the interference of human beings over a period of time, but that quickly?

Where was the government during all of this? Did the United States give their entire Armed Forces a day off and that day happened to be the day the creatures decided to take over? You cannot tell me we wouldn’t have at least made a dent in their numbers. Especially this family in the middle of bum-hell nowhere. Have you not ever seen the inside of a rednecks house? Terrifying. Those creatures would’ve been dead.

Great work I guess on the set crew, considering they did a bit too well at making this world look dystopic.

During Watching “A Quiet Place: Part II”

That baby would’ve been dead.

If anything else would’ve been certain in this universe, it would’ve been that baby would’ve been gobbled up by these ET wannabes. There’s only so many times you catch the baby before it cries out and something snatches it. Also, they’re keeping the baby in a renovated suitcase…what’s going to happen when the baby becomes a bratty toddler? How are you going to keep it quiet then? Have you seen a toddler have a tantrum? Have you HEARD a toddler have a tantrum?

I had more questions following Part II than I did even following Part I. I felt at this point the writers were just throwing characters away because to hell with it. Why not? Also, why didn’t they use their newfound weapon against the creatures every.single.time they saw one of those things coming for them? This would have for sure spared a few people.

Final Thoughts

I really don’t see what everyone saw in this movie. The movie had a lot of plot holes. The creatures were not believable, albeit fascinating to look at. For the cinematography, this movie did a pretty decent job. This movie did give a platform to the deaf community. But this movie had a lot of plot holes. I had a lot of questions, and at some points I was frustrated with the characters.

Overall, I’m going to give both of these movies a 3/5. They aren’t bad and they kept me entertained, but I do think the movie could’ve been better.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

“Blue Lagoon” Did NOT Age Well

Whats up everyone? Today while I was home and bored I decided to watch this movie on Netflix. I had a deeply unlocked memory of Brook Shields playing in it during the infancy of her career, but I had never watched it. What I wasn’t ready for was a 1980 film portraying a couple of Victorian era children being stranded on an island and having a sexual awakening for an hour an a half of run time.

Before Watching

As aforementioned, I had a bit of background knowledge going into this movie, but not by much. I knew Brooke Shields had played in this movie, and I vaguely remember a sequel/remake coming out of this movie a few years ago. I had never watched the remake of the movie. My mother I remembered mentioning how she hated that all of her era movies were being rewritten for the big screen once more. Due to that, I knew this movie probably dated somewhere in the 70s-80s; my mother is a boomer and will go absolutely rabid for remakes of movies during this time.

During Watching

For all intensive purposes, the background to this movie is as follows: Ship gets shipwrecked, two children and the ship cook Paddy survives. Paddy dies and leaves the children to fend for themselves on an island only inhabited by a tribe on the other side of the island. There’s not much to know there, except that Paddy forbids the children from going to the other side of the island, claiming that it is “by law” they cannot ever go join the tribe. I sort of wish there was more to the tribe than that, but all you’ll really see is a couple minutes of screen time of the tribe as they kill someone.

So the movie ages up the two children, Richard and Emmeline pretty quickly after the cook dies. Not too weird unless you were prepared to watch “Lord of the Flies” — but they decide to age the children up to puberty and then decide to ditch the clothes for the majority of screen time.

Which is only made more awkward by two actors that are teenagers themselves. Upon googling I realized that Brooke Shields herself is 14 and Christopher Atkins is 19.

Weird. Talk about very weird and uncomfortable.

I know it’s a different time, but even then I still feel that unless I was a teenager myself this would’ve made me feel a bit uncomfortable back in the 1980s as well. This movie really likes the idea of sexualizing innocence. This was seen in many different scenes and scenarios throughout the movie. For example, Emmeline gets her period in one take and doesn’t know what’s happening. Richard wants to come closer and to take a look at where she’s bleeding from and then Emmaline shies away from him before he could get any closer. The way the characters talk to each other is very child-like. I know that they are portraying two children that had grown up outside of society and social norms, but some scenes are uncomfortable to get through because of this. Then to top it all off they are scantily clad the entire time.

The worst part of all was when they ended up conceiving a baby and then they had no clue what to do with it/him. I thought perhaps survival instinct would take over in these sort of scenarios, but that isn’t the case as they try feeding him coconut water as opposed to breast milk. After they seem to figure out how to feed them all seems well again, until they end up on a lifeboat they had and drift too far from shore after fighting a shark.

Yes they had a lifeboat. Yes they fought a shark.

I could go into an entire rant about the 70s fetishising young teenage girls and hatred of sharks as shown by Jaws– but thats an article for another day.

Final Thoughts

When this movie had came out in June of 1980, it was met by mixed reviews by critics for an array of reasons; Brooke Shield’s performance, the overall movie and execution being called out in the process (source). But it was a box office success, so make of that what you will if you’re planning on watching it. I will give the Blue Lagoon this: it took risks. Were the risks worth it? Up to you. For me I’m not the biggest fan of the movie.

Rating:

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Overall I give this movie a 1/5 stars. I didn’t like the oversexualization of teen actors. The premise of the movie didn’t make sense as there was multiple chances for the children to get off the island to the point it was almost comical. This movie didn’t feel romantic and it didn’t feel suspenseful. It just felt…wrong.

Wildling, the Underrated

Photo taken from Wikipedia

One of the movies I watched while being snowed in during February was “Wilding” an IFC Midnight Film that can currently be found on Netflix in the United States. Originally I wasn’t even going to touch this movie, but it honestly had me taken by surprise so I felt like I would cover it in one of my posts before I forgot about this movie all together.

I watched this movie last Saturday when Kevin and I were both bored and searching for things to watch on our streaming services. Kevin’s a bit fickle when it comes to shows, but I’m not picky and it was my time to pick so I just randomly picked this Netflix movie. If you guys have ever wondered where most of my content comes from, this is my method for picking content typically. This very crucial bored moment of “I dunno. Let’s go with this because the title sounds good I guess.” And I’ve honestly found some cool hidden gems by using this method.

I fell asleep midway through the movie as I sometimes have a bad habit of doing and then…waking up feeling very confused and wondering for a good ten or fifteen minutes if I was still watching the same movie.

So for those who are going into this like me and who have literally no idea what this movie is about…if you go in thinking this is going to be about a child being abducted by her forlorn and vengeful father who lives off the grid and you wake up to…well….a human boy having sex with a werewolf in the woods, you’re going to be very confused.

I had to watch this movie twice just to figure out what the hell had just happened when I was knocked out, and it honestly wasn’t that bad of a movie. For those of us who have yet to be able to endure watching “Splice” by themselves, this movie is probably not going to be for you since it has something of a similar theme and fashion as that movie had, minus of course with this movie working from a $2 million budget as opposed to a $30 million budget, and still doing awful.

This movie I wouldn’t be disappointed in if they decided to do a Netflix sequel, and perhaps it’s because my standard for Netflix movies has a bar set so low sometimes that I’m beyond ecstatic when it’s not a total miss on everyone’s part. This is an IFC Midnight movie, so I was expecting a little bit weird and out there, which this movie was able to provide. I feel like perhaps this was a prequel to an even bigger plan, and I’m a bit upset that it leaves off with an ambiguous ending since I haven’t read where there’s a sequel out there somewhere. I feel like I was left in a class with a mediocre anthology story that left off partially through a chapter book.

That being said, I would definitely give this movie a watch if you haven’t done so already. I don’t think you’re going to be disappointed, especially if you’re at the bottom of the barrel looking for movies on Netflix to watch as well like the rest of us.

Wonder Woman: 1984 – Hard Pass?

Hey guys, so I was wondering if I was going to post anything at all related to the Wonder Woman sequel or if I was just going to push this somewhere into the back of my subconscious and forget that I had ever watched it in the first place. Since I’m writing about it now, I guess that could only mean that I’ve decided to talk about it, so get ready…(Spoiler Alerts Ahead!)

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