Tag Archives: Hailee Steinfeld

The Edge of Seventeen

the_edge_of_seventeen_2016_film_poster

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past two months. I’ve just been a bit exhausted, a tad lazy, and having a bit of writer’s block, but now I’ve had my winter hibernation I can come back out into the world again (or the internet anyway). So onto the next review!

17 year old Nadine (Hailee Steinfield) believes her life is falling apart when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating Nadine’s older brother Darian (Blake Jenner). As she tries to cope with this new development she finds herself getting into more arguments with her mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and getting close to another student Erwin (Hayden Szeto).

The Edge of Seventeen is one of those superior teen movies in the veign of Mean Girls, Clueless, 10 Things…etc. However it has it’s own distinctive voice that means it’s not another clone riding the hightails of these movies. It also has an argueably less likeable lead character as Nadine’s flaws are not overlooked by any means. As there is no mean girl clique or bully, most of the time Nadine is her own worse enemy, self absorbed, melodramatic and well, sometimes just awful to the other people in her life. She is also a more realistic teenager then we normally get to see on screen, and just because Nadine can be a pain at times doesn’t mean she can’t be relatable (painfully so at times) or sympathetic. Aside from being extreamly well written, Steinfield gives extra layers to Nadine, perfectly displaying her awkwardness and self-hatred.

While Steinfield is the stand out she is excellently supported by the surrounding cast with Harrelson being absolutely hilarious as her teacher who doesn’t put up with any of her crap. Former Glee star Blake Jenner (not related to those Jenners) also brings depth to the role of Nadine’s jock brother and newcomer Szeto is sweet as Nadine’s hopelessly sweet admirer.

Writer/Director Kelly Fremon Craig gives us a gem of a movie that’s not just a great teen flick but a great film in general. It’s just a shame that the lack of advertising for this film and the fact that it’s a 15 rather than a 12A (like it’s contemporaries) means that it will miss out a huge chunk of it’s intended audience. Hopefully it’s recent Golden Globes nomination for Steinfield will bring the film the attention and love it deserves.

Rating 4.5/5 – Steinfield shines in a sharp, emotional and very funny movie you should go out and watch now

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Pitch Perfect 2

What’s up Pitches! Yes the sequel to the hit 2012 Pitch Perfect is here for new musical adventures in the world of competitive a capella (who knew that a thing?). But while the original was a hilarious offering will the follow-up stay on key?

When the Barden Bellas, now led by Beca (Anna Kendrick), are humiliated at a performance for President Obama’s birthday they are suspended from a capella competitions and performances. Taking advantage of a loophole the Bellas plan to regain their status by winning the a capella world tournament. The only problem is no American team has ever won. Further problems arise when the group struggle with their confidence, worry over life after graduation and bickering starts between the group. Can they pull themselves together to win the title?

I loved Pitch Perfect, I still find it funny having watched it several times. While Pitch Perfect 2 is far from a dud it also doesn’t come close to the original. It’s a shame to say that the movie just isn’t as funny as I hoped it would be. It has its moments and some scenes are still fun but the jokes don’t come as thick and fast as they did before. Similarly the music isn’t fresh or catchy as before. Some choices seem predictable (Beyonce’s Run The World (Girls) for example), and the ‘original’ song Flashlight (aka Jessie J’s song for the movie) isn’t that memorable. The villains for the movie are also a let down. Their German a capella rivals Das Sound Machine are just stereotypes and not particularly funny ones at that.

It probably didn’t help that I re-watched the first movie just a week before seeing the sequel. So maybe I’m being a bit unfair comparing it so closely. It’s a shame we get less of Beca’s boyfriend Jesse (Skylar Astin), a love interest that was both cute and funny, and also less of Treblemakers who I love. But I understand that the film wanted to focus on the Bellas and female friendship, a move which I applaud as it’s about time women got more screen time in comedy. The Bellas are still a loveable bunch as ever, with Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy again stealing most scenes she’s in. Newcomer Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is also a bright addition as the optimistic and bubbly freshman who joins the Bellas. Her romance with Trebles member Benji (Ben Platt) is also quite sweet.

The opening scene with Fat Amy’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ is still funny even after seeing it plenty of times in the trailer. Their scenes at a retreat are also hilarious and has some good female bonding as well. Also we get to see what Aubrey has been up to since she left the Bellas. Plus bringing Bumper (Adam DeVine) and teaming him up with Fat Amy was also a good move.

Ok so it’s not as laugh out loud funny as the original, but thankfully the movie still has enough good points that means it deserves to be the masisve hit that it is. But maybe next time they can leave out Beca’s boring internship please!

Rating 3/5 – while it may not hit the high notes of Pitch Perfect this sequel is still a feel good, Friday night movie

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