For today’s film, I had to choose something quick to watch due to time constraints and I have always admired the work of Jennifer Lopez (Selena). I never got the chance to see The Boy Next Door in theaters, but I am watching it for today’s film. Jennifer Lopez plays Claire Peterson, a woman dealing with whether she should stay with her cheating husband or move on. One day her son Kevin (Ian Nelson) befriends the mysterious boy next door Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman). In one vulnerable moment one night, she sleeps with Noah and it turns out to be a very big mistake. Noah has a bit of an obsession problem and after Claire tries to tell him that it can never happen again, Noah goes nuts and the game begins. The film also stars John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Garrett Peterson, Kristin Chenoweth (The Pink Panther) as Vicky Lansing, Lexi Atkins (Zombeavers) as Alice Callahan, Hill Harper (He Got Game) as Principal Warren, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Bob Sandborn, Adam Hicks (How To Eat Fried Worms) as Jason Zimmer, François Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze) as Detective Chou, and the film was directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).
What can I truly say about the film other than that if you’ve seen one film about an obsessed individual than you kind of seen them all. The question in screenwriting is always what does your story bring to the table that is different than any other one. We’ve seen these types of films before like Fatal Attraction, Fear, The Gift, Devil In The Flesh, and even The Crush just to name a few. I think the thing about this film that is different than the others is that it explores that taboo teacher/student relationship because she is a teacher and he is technically a student at the school. Ryan Guzman does deserve some credit in this film because he does an amazing job playing the obsessed individual. He captures the essence of a kid who is strong and sexually desirable by women while also being vindictive and destructive when he doesn’t get what he wants. Jennifer Lopez well is Jennifer Lopez, she’s sexy as hell and why wouldn’t you be obsessed with that after you’ve had a taste. This film isn’t anything groundbreaking and it’s not the greatest film ever made, but it’s worth a watch. The cinematography is actually pretty decent and is probably what is most attractive about the film. The film is available to watch on HBO and HBOGO as we speak so check it out if you dare. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
I thought for a very long time that I was the only person n the whole wide world that was waiting for some sort of sequel to the 1994 Richard Linklater (Boyhood) classic Dazed And Confused. Go 22 years into the future and now we have our spiritual sequel (Linklater has stated) to the classic film in Everybody Wants Some!! which takes place in the 1980’s (or at least the beginning of the decade). The film follows incoming freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) and his ragtag baseball teammates as they navigate through the life of college and everything that comes with it like partying, sex, and anything else you can think of as it’s all unsupervised by adults. Will they survive that three day weekend before classes start or will we have some casualties along the way. The film also stars Juston Street (My All American) as Jay, Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door) as Roper, Tyler Hoechlin (Road To Perdition) as McReynolds, Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) as Willoughby, Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises) as Finnegan, Temple Baker (Love Is Relative) as Plummer, J. Quinton Johnson as Dale, Will Brittain (A Teacher) as Beuter, Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead) as Nesbit, and Zoey Deutch (Dirty Grandpa) as Beverly.
For a while as I was watching the film, I had a hard time figuring out what the plot of the film was. Was this a film that was just about partying? Dazed And Confused had a plot to it that was easy to get while this one just seems like a movie about endless partying and gamesmanship. Then after a while, it became clear as soon as I read IMDB’s explanation. One thing is for certain with this film is that just like the first film, it has a killer soundtrack that features the likes of Foreigner, Devo, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, and so many more. The soundtrack was always a huge part of the film and they do a terrific job picking the songs once again as it mixes some disco with rock and a little country too. Another thing Linklater has a knack for when it comes these films is discovering young talent to go with the already established guys. There are a lot of guys who make their feature film debuts in this film and they do a great job. One of the true highlights for me was Juston Street who plays an absolute awesome comedic relief as a pitcher who takes himself way too seriously. Every time he appeared on screen, I was laughing my butt off and couldn’t get enough of him. I like how the film ended however cause it was kind of a nice way to end the adventure that was the film. One thing I will say is what they hell were they thinking in the 80’s when it came to their outfits and those short shorts guys wore? Anyways, I am going to give the film an A- only because it doesn’t top Dazed And Confused, but it was very enjoyable to watch.
I had been promising myself for a long time that I wasn’t going to watch the movie version of Jem and the Holograms because of how different it was from the TV show version. Nevertheless, I break a lot of those and here it is. For Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peeples), life is about as ordinary as it can be for a teenager in California. Although that will not last very long when Jerrica’s sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott) uploads a video of her singing a song simply as Jem. The video catches on very quickly and she becomes an overnight sensation on Youtube which leads her to sign with Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis) and Starlight. What originally started as a chance to save her families home from foreclosure will now send Jerrica on a quest to find her true self and overcome the odds as Erica looks to break her from her sisters. The film also stars Aurora Perrineau (Freaks Of Nature) as Shana, Hayley Kiyoko (Insidious: Chapter 3) as Aja, Molly Ringwald (Pretty In Pink) as Aunt Bailey, Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door) as Rio, Barnaby Carpenter (Unlaced) as Emmett Benton, Nathan Moore (Thank You) as Zipper, and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation).
There are obviously a lot of differences between the television version of the film and the film version. That is mainly what pissed off a lot of the Jem and the Hologram faithfuls who loved the TV show. Hence the reason, the film was instantaneously pulled from theaters after a very poor outcome at the box office in it’s first week. In the TV show, Jem is an adult who runs a label and a home for foster kids versus the fact that she is a foster kid with her sister living with an aunt in obscurity in the film version. She touches the star earrings in order to become Jem in the TV version versus pulling the Hannah Montana routine of a simple wig in the film version. There are so many differences that we can talk about, but how was the actual film itself? I actually found myself at times enjoying the film even though I know it’s a cornier version of Hannah Montana. They used a lot of youtube videos as part of the overall soundtrack and they showed the clips in the film so all of the users can thank them for the 15 minutes of fame. The film at times also had a documentary style to it with a lot of confessionals thrown in from fans when ever Jem faced a dilemma. So, the film was a little different and all over the place, but the music was actually a little decent. I could see the songs being pop chart hits that’s how catchy they were in my opinion. It’s definitely a film that I think you’re kids are going to enjoy and maybe it will be a gateway to the show for them. Just take into consideration that it’s not the same. Stick around during the end credits to see an old rival of Jem and the Holograms from the TV series. Too bad, we may never get another film. I am going to give the film an C+/B- for a final grade because I’m on the borderline with the grade.