hopscotchee: nicholas braun score: 70 rating: pg-13 time: 105 minutes
'bum. bum-bum. bum. bum-bum. bum. bum-bum. bum. bum-bum. so this is what you meant? when you said that you were spent!!' - did you imagine it?? (heheh) literally every single time we hear the first few beats of imagine dragon's anthem, it's time, we are portal-ed straight back to the fabby days of 2012 with the perfectly iconic green brick background of the perks of being a wallflower poster coming straight to mind. arbitrary to mention, our 2012-year-old selves that still crushed on hermione granger weren't old enough to go see this film or read the book, due to its weightier teenage topics, however, fast forwarding a good decade, a few years older and a few years wiser, the film still got to be a considerable marker of our adolescents, being the movie watch of the night before we got our wisdom teeth hacked out!! so, technically, the imagine dragons and dentists make us think of this ever so nostalgic movie, and its timeless poster that plasters the walls of our minds like wallpaper of memories of venturing from fifth grade to middle school and being doped up on anesthesia and chucked full of cotton-ball-gauges. mini life story aside, we are infinite and so is this movie, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't wait any longer and bank some perky memories already, huh?!
first off, it's a critically acclaimed novel, so that doesn't hurt. however, before you go thinking we're just fans of the book, it's best to address that we still have yet to read the actual novel, meaning that this movie review is purely on just that, the movie-making aspect of it all, so any minor book-to-movie mistranslations or edits in the film that could led to reader-to-viewer disappointment, we are cluelessly unaware of them. however, we are completely confident to say that, contrary to the (loser) guardian article that gave this film (hashtag tess tyler) two stars, perks is a pretty spectacular movie with its magical (wink wink) cast, dedicated editing, engagingly various shot comp, and killer soundtrack!!
for a matter of fact, this movie was whip smart right from the start (already surpassing two stars on the dance central boombox), hooking its viewers with a comforting voice over from charlie, our film's main character played by the endearing logan lerman (who, may we just say, has the voice of a nerdy-troy-bolton-zac-efron (100%)), which allows one to already attach themselves to the character and get an intimate and personal connection instantly within seconds of the first frame!! also done right, as seen by filling the screen with following creative yet corresponding shot comp, the editors thoughtful and intricately spliced together the beginning sequence to keenly and speedily guide the audience along with the plot's somewhat tricky backstory. together, both the use of open 'here are my thoughts' voice overs and investing camera angles allowed the audience to warm up to the story without putting them through the paces of a dreadfully long story set up. one side effect to this quicker intro, however, is that this may lead to one not entirely catching the specific time period that the film is set in, leading to some confusion later down the road. avoiding that now, we'll tell you that movie takes place in the 90s, but given with trends and pop culture references reviving from the 70s, 80s, and particularly the 90s nowadays, it isn't hard for this to lead to confusion since 'present but retro' time period aesthetics are very common in teen flicks. that said, we don't view that as a fault on the film's part, but more of a disclaimer of sorts due to its faster intro.
anywho, further honing in on the miraculous and never not enticing editing of the film, scenes like (spoiler) the acid-trippin-church-chip transition in the film uniquely stood out to us, changing from scene to scene seamlessly to helpfully smooth out the inconsistent jump in time while also digging up significantly bold contrast between the characters' personal evolutions. in other words, it's that good part in the show when, if you haven't already thought it, are like 'oof, this boy's changed!!' which, neglecting the brief anxiety that comes with rebellious teenage choices and the most inconvenient consequences that'll follow, since the screenwriter can't not include to add more cringe, you can't help and not sink your teeth into the plot more and more as the story becomes so much more twisty and rich with conflict!!
to this, the biggest thing to include in this review is a good ol' friendly fair warning. this movie is cringy. this movie is like really cringy. and not in the 'this is so pathetically bad cringe' kinda of sense, but the real deal 'uncomfortable party scenes, introverts attempting at bold conversation, and added in situational humor -which is only funny if the character at the butt of the joke doesn't alarmingly remind you of your own social awkwardness' kind of cringe. however, despite all the uncomfortableness, all the awkwo-taco scenarios wonderfully build to the story's greater message at the end which emblematizes the importance of embracing your weird, wacky, original, unique, extraordinary, incomparable self and ignoring the fears and bullies that tell you otherwise, stapling this movie as a monument for the coming of age genre in film, as it never fails to encourage a young-adolescent audience.
lastly, for our departing sentiment, it's necessary to discuss the movie's departing sentiment, the infamous heartstring-invoking david bowie song, heroes!! musically concluding the film's bittersweet finale, this song empowers charlie to trudge through the inevitable pain of (spoiler) growing up, having to say goodbye to his friends, but enjoying the heck out of every last second he gets to spend with them. literally ah!! never has a song so perfectly embody the naively hopeful yet complicated spirit of the teenage mind!! lifting the spirit of any listener, the influential lyrics hang on as the film's last impression, letting charlie and you know deep down inside that everything is going to be okay -- just like this film (jk, this film is way more than just okay, it's gosh darn brilly, but still).
-- thanks, nicholas xo