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Month in Review: September 2011

by on 2011/09/30

Grushenka Geusebach“School prepares you for the real world, which also sucks.”

I love the autumn. The temperature cools, the leaves turn, days grow shorter and my back-to-school nightmares begin anew.

Ok, I don’t love the back-to-school nightmares part.  They usually involve me running down an endless school hallway, late for a final exam in a math class that I don’t remember ever attending, wearing an old-fashioned square dancing costume.

I’m not sure what that all means.

This month, I decided to face my pathological fear of school head on by grappling with ten school-related and school-ish movies. I rooted around in the boiler room while Hacker Renders gazed down from his ivory tower. (Yes, I continue to plagiarize that line. What are you going to do, expel me?)

I now emerge from the boiler room, sooty, slighty singed and still as scared of school as ever. Probably more.

Here are my chosen five: favourites, surprises, disappointments, least-liked, and hoping to be shown by good Professor Renders.


Favourite:

Donnie Darko (2001) on 2011/09/05

* * * * *

“Is Donnie mentally ill, a paranoid schizophrenic? Is he a prophet, a saviour, or a danger to his world? Are the odd goings-on caused by — or in spite of — his treatment? Is he dreaming, hallucinating, hypnotized, or supernatural? He does things that are harmless, harmful, helpful, and impossible. He’s Neo and Josh Waitzkin rolled into one.”


Surprise:
Jennifer’s Body (2009) on 2011/09/10

* * * *

“Jennifer’s Body is so much more than an excuse to put the lovely Megan Fox (Jonah Hex) into a cheerleader’s uniform. A twisted black comedy in the gory, sneering tradition of Ginger Snaps, Jennifer’s Body introduces us to Anita ‘Needy’ Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) two unlikely best friends in down in a backward town called Devil’s Kettle. All and all and all, I found this film both clever and creepy. Jennifer’s Body is now taking up a permanent spot in my horror collection.”


Disappointment:
St. Trinian’s (2007) on 2011/09/25

* * *

“The overall result is a film that is very pretty to look at – the settings and clothes of each of the school’s distinctive cliques are elaborate and beautifully done.  However St. Trinian’s is a more crowded, goofy cartoon than a genuinely engaging film even though it has a Stephen Fry in it.”


Least-Liked:

Shower of Blood (2004) on 2011/09/26

*

“Bathtub of boorishness? Dishpan of dreck? Tank of tactlessness? Vat of vapidity? Sometimes during our labours in support of GeekvsGoth.com, there are movies so painful, so unrelentingly awful, that I whimper as I watch the minutes count down. As I watched this wretched film, time seemed to crawl backwards. In fact, I may have discovered time travel.”


Show Me:

Juno (2007) on 2011/09/04

* * * *

“So why try again? I could say enough time had passed, or perhaps I was in the right mood but, in truth, I was reminded the director was none other than Jason Reitman. For many a footnote to his father, Ivan, I actually prefer Jason’s work. I enjoyed Thank You for Smoking, and Up in the Air is probably the best film I haven’t reviewed since we started the site way back when. Then Gru mentioned seeing Jennifer’s Body, also written by Cody, and how it took her by surprise. Thus, all of the pieces fell into place, and Juno was given another chance.”


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