Category Archives: movie reviews

Reviews of movies.

16 A+ Back-to-School Movies

It’s been a few years now since I have had to worry about back to school time, but there’s no denying that around the end of August, I still feel that little pang of happy anxiety…the fear and excitement of starting a new school year filled with new people, new opportunities, and new SCHOOL SUPPLIES!

I was in the small percentile of nerdy girls who actually looked forward to the start of school. Since I was in band for the majority of my educational career, I met a lot of my high school and college classmates a few weeks before the start of classes. I looked forward to shopping for school supplies and shopping for college text books was always a fun (albeit expensive!) adventure.

Though I don’t have to worry about collecting my school planner and trying to remember my locker combination anymore, I still do love watching other people go through it! Therefore, I’ve collected my top 16 back to school movies, sure to get you in the S-P-I-R-I-T!

back-to-school

Grease (1978)
stockard channing grease betty rizzo rizzo pink ladiesMay I just say…#SquadGoals.
A definite guilty pleasure, Grease holds a spot up there as one of my favorite back-to-school movies. For extra credit, check out Grease 2, where you’ll learn helpful songs that teach you about the months of the year and how plants reproduce. All helpful information.

Animal House (1978)
john belushi animal house drinking college jack danielsThe ultimate college prep movie.

The Breakfast Club (1985)
IFC the breakfast club
One of my favorite movies of all time, The Breakfast Club is the ultimate high school movie. With a character to represent every high school cliché, this classic 80’s film teaches us all that, at the end of the day, the labels we strive for never really matter.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
matthew broderick ferris buellers day off 80s 1980s 1986Because Mondays will always suck.

Back to School (1986)
http://filmracket.com/wp-content/themes/construct/plugins/timthumb.php?src=http://filmracket.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/backtoschool.jpg&w=660&h=&zc=1
To help get his son on the straight and narrow, Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) heads off to college. In true Dangerfield fashion, hilarity ensues, and the film ends with an ironic message from Dangerfield on how to deal with life’s challenges.

Dead Poets Society (1989)
words ideas literature dead poets society change the world
If you’ve been lucky enough to have a teacher or professor like John Keating, you best count your blessings. A testament to the importance of language and words, Dead Poets Society is a beautiful film that should be on the syllabus for any student, no matter what their discipline.

Kindergarten Cop (1990)
shut up kindergarten cop arnold schwarzeneggerBecause children.

Clueless (1995)
Hollywood Suite clueless alicia silverstone push as if
A true time capsule of 90’s culture, Clueless is a joy for those who were products of the time. Based on Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless is a feel-good film that may look trashy on the outside, but has a heart of gold.

Mr. Holland’s Opus (1997)
richard dreyfuss mr hollands opus dvd collection meme
I can honestly say that some of the best high school and college memories I have are of my time in band. The arts are ESSENTIAL to a well-rounded and productive education, and Mr. Holland’s Opus is a sweet dedication to those who continue to fight so hard to keep the arts active in their school districts.

Rushmore (1998)
television wes anderson cinemax jason schwartzman rushmore
It’s a little romantic, a little heartbreaking, a little sad, and a whole lot of funny. Another one of my all-time fave’s, Rushmore is a whimsical and wonderful story of a small prep school and the boy who just couldn’t let it go. Filled with familiar tales of awkward friendships and unrequited love, Rushmore will have you smiling from start to finish.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
heath ledger 10 things i hate about you outofexcuses heeeeeeeeeatthhhh - swoooooon
In all honesty, here are the two best things about this film:

  • Heath Ledger
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Aaaand that’s about it.

Election (1999)
movies reese witherspoon cupcake tracy flick election movie
We all know her…the pushy, smart, show-off who overtook the school walls with “Vote for Me” posters. She was on the ballot for Class President, Homecoming Queen, Prom Queen, and graduated valedictorian. Every school has one, and in Election, Reese Witherspoon captures her so perfectly. Her relationship with her teacher (Matthew Broderick) alone makes this one a must-see before school starts.

Remember the Titans (2000)
football team training american football remember the titansThe ultimate in feel-good movies, Remember the Titans will attack your emotional core. Denzel Washington shines as a football coach who has to battle racism, failing students, and a school system that is working against him. Despite all odds, the love and dedication he shows his team make this a heart-warming film that anyone will enjoy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
harry potter diagon alleyLet’s be honest, when Harry and Hagrid go to Diagon Alley to shop for his school supplies, you can’t help but just squeal with glee! Harry’s introduction into Hogwarts and the wizarding world rings familiar with those going to high school or college for the first time. Meeting new friends, getting used to new professors, and navigating a new landscape are stressors for any student, but Harry and his friends show us that just sharing some jelly beans can go a long way in establishing life-long connections.

School Ties (2001)
https://danhairfield.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/screen-shot-2012-04-22-at-4-03-02-pm.png?w=526&h=329A hidden gem in the back-to-school movie line-up, School Ties stars Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris O’Donnell, and Anthony Rapp. Taking place in a private all-boys school, School Ties covers touchy topics such as racism, bigotry, and prejudice and pushes the door wide open on the difficulties students face from their parents and their environment.

Mean Girls (2004)
mean girls chaos regina george chaotic running aroundThis movie is so fetch.

The cool girls may not be as cool as you think, and Mean Girls sheds light on what makes the Regina’s of the world tick. HINT: Be weary of those girls with wacko moms…

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Paperclips Movie Review

Carry one with you…to remember them all…

When I first saw Paperclips, I was blown away.  This touching and poignant documentary chronicles a small Tennessee school’s journey to collect 6 million paperclips, one for each person who perished in the Holocaust.  Children of a Whitwell middle school write to friends, family, celebrities, foundations, etc. explaining their project and asking them to send in a paperclip.  What happens as a result is something so moving, so miraculous, that I have chills just writing about it.

I encourage you with all my heart to add this movie to your Netflix queue…or search around and see if you can watch it online.  I am almost willing to guarantee that you will love it, or at least be inspired by it.

At a time when our world seems to be falling apart, Paperclips appears as a beacon of light, a hope and maybe an assurance that the world CAN change…one small step at a time.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Best in Show Movie Review

Hello readers and welcome back from your holiday weekend!  I hope you all enjoyed your time off and find yourselves back to work with a fresh mind and spirit.

Unfortunately I was sick this weekend.  As much as I love fall, my allergies and sinuses do not…and I contracted a nasty cold that left me in bed for a few days.  As a result, I had a weekend of movie watching in my pj’s…which is one of my favorite things to do even when I’m not sick.  This past weekend I decided to indulge in some classic Christopher Guest movies and absolutely had the best time.

While I have seen almost all of his films, I only own Best in Show and A Mighty Wind…but in my opinion, those are the best ones (followed closely by Waiting for Guffman).  If you’ve never seen Best in Show, I highly suggest you do…especially if you’re a dog fan.  This movie documents the crazy dogs and dog owners behind “The Mayflower Dog Show”, a play on “The American Kennel Club Dog Show” or others of that nature.  Not only is this movie chock full of adorable K-9’s, but the cast is equally as lovable.  How can you not have a good time with Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, and Jane Lynch (yes, Jane Lynch of Glee fame.  She wasn’t always Sue Sylvester and shouldn’t knock the Glee club too much…considering she’s quite the singer herself…as seen in A Mighty Wind)?

If you’ve never had the joy of watching a Christopher Guest movie, you’re in for a treat.  I suggest starting with Best in Show…I really think it’s the best of his bunch.  A Mighty Wind is a movie about three folk music groups and features the same cast from Best in Show.  This is improv at its best.

Best Movie EVER!!

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The Man Who Planted Trees Movie Review

Once in a while I’ll add something random to my Netflix queue.  A B-rated horror movie…some crazy British TV show…workout videos I can watch while I snack on popcorn and chocolate chips…

I don’t really know what I was thinking when I added The Man Who Planted Trees into my DVD queue.  Perhaps I was interested by the plot (I’m a sucker for environmental movies), or maybe the colorful cover caught my eye…whatever the reason was, I thank my lucky stars that it ended up on my list.

The Man Who Planted Trees is a beautifully illustrated short film (it’s only 30 minutes) about a man with a mission to make a change.

The story is narrated by a young man who is taking a hike through Provence, France, seeming to marvel at the unspoiled wilderness around him.  He eventually comes upon a barren valley, void of water and plant life.  As a result, our narrator begins a never-ending quest for water, until he stumbles upon a shepherd (by the name of Elzeard Bouffier) and his flock.

The shepherd takes the narrator to a spring and gives him water.  Overtime, the narrator becomes curious about this lone shepherd and decides to stay with him a while.  They sit at the table, not speaking a word.  The narrator observes Bouffier diligently looking at acorns, setting aside the good ones to plant the following day.

Eventually the narrator leaves and returns home to fight in the First World War.  When he returns to Bouffier’s land ten years later, he’s surprised to see saplings taking root all over the valley and new streams running through a previously dry land.

Bouffier continues his planting for more than 40 years and eventually the valley begins to turn into something resembling the Garden of Eden.  When the “authorities” hear of what’s been happening in the valley, they assume it’s a bizarre natural phenomenon, as they are unaware of Bouffier’s diligent work to keep the valley flourishing.

Unlike many environmental movies, the authorities actually work to save the valley, protecting and cherishing it for years to come.

This is maybe one of the most touching and inspiring films I’ve ever seen.  The illustrations are simple, yet magical…and the story is one of hope and possibility.  Take 30 minutes out of your weekend to check out The Man Who Planted Trees.  It’s available to watch for free here:

http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/man_who_planted_trees.php

“He who plants a tree plants a hope.”

–Lucy Larcom

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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