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hopscotchee: jaeden martell score: 87 rating: R time: 85 minutes

oh my jared leto, this movie is such a hidden gem!! seriously, if you are looking for the perfect, campy combination of 'the outsiders' and 'the goonies', low tide is it. and even if you're not, still, go pop your popcorn and turn off all the lights, because this movie is worth it!!

just five minutes in and our brains were already blown away by the outstanding shot comp. and cinematography - mwah - it sent us straight into the story, brilliantly capturing the moodiness of the sea and the mischief of the teens. it was all hands down amazing, and we're absolutely in love with it. we, literally, wake up thinking about some of the shots. like, can we not just stop for a minute and appreciate the (spoiler) precisely thought out camerawork during the second break in - especially the spotlight shot of alan and peter grabbing the gold from underneath the floorboards that perfectly added to the sense of adventure and suspense of the film while paying homage to the

classic feel of a treasure hunt movie.

but, obviously, obviously, this movie didn't just score high for its shot comp. -- rather than getting caught up in flashy-flashy special effects or long, action sequences that are commonly seen in top-rental movies today, the story didn't rely on any extra flare to make it special. it was short and simple but muy picante (very spicy). we were taken straight into the heat of the heist and introduced to the characters. think like an excerpt in a book. we didn't get thirty minutes of backstory. we just picked up where the story began and followed the characters through their lives. this made the movie feel very authentic, and it was hard not to get attached to the characters.

which, last but definitely not least, the actors deserve the loudest (throwback to kindy g) round of applause!! they didn't feel like a bunch of cliché character-types, but like alan, peter, red, and smitty could've actually been some hooligan teenage boys that you could see around (or, for us, go to school with). they portrayed adolescences in a very believable way - and yes, the actors were adolescents themselves, but seriously, do you have to awkwardly cat call girls so well. . . . .

anyway, we're so glad we watched it. what we thought was just going to be your typical treasure hunt, teen movie sneakily became a super suspense-filled, tension-building coming-of-age movie that perfectly kicked off the second batch of hopscotch!!

-- thanks, jaeden (again, again) xo

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