Retrospective Review: Bring it On

“Awesome, oh wow! Like, totally freak me out! I mean, right on! The Toros sure are number one!” How many times have you sung this to yourself? What about the film’s classic opening number: “I’m sexy, I’m cute, I’m popular to boot”? Peyton Reed’s “Bring It On” celebrates its 20 anniversary this year and the cheerleading teen comedy has achieved a cult following since its release and spawned a further five instalments in the series.

Kirsten Dunst stars as Torrance Shipman, the recently elected captain of the Toros cheerleading squad at the affluent Rancho Carne High School in San Diego, California. The football team sucks but their cheerleading team are five-time national champions and the true athletes of the school. As Torrance prepares her squad to battle for their sixth consecutive trophy, problems arise when she discovers that her predecessor (Lindsay Sloane as Big Red) has been stealing their dynamic routines from the primarily black squad, the East Compton Clovers, for years. Continue reading Retrospective Review: Bring it On

Pride Month, Restrospective Review: Love, Simon

“Love, Simon” is not only an adorable high school rom-com but also made history as the first major Hollywood studio film about a gay teenage romance. The 2018 film was directed by Greg Berlanti and largely centres around the main character Simon coming out as gay. Many films about the LGBT+ experience are tragic or focus on the discrimination that they face, but this movie is more your typical teen film with angst rather than tragedy.  Continue reading Pride Month, Restrospective Review: Love, Simon

Review: Knives and Skin

There is a strangeness to “Knives and Skin” (2019) that makes it difficult to put into words precisely what it’s about and how it made me feel. Jenifer Reeder’s film is eerie, bright but dark, funny but upsetting. It puts you on edge but also has you really feeling for the people on screen.

If you like films by Peter Strickland or David Lynch you’ll love it. If not, I recommend pushing your cinematic comfort zone.

Fifteen year old Carolyn Harper (Raven Whitley) has an encounter with sexually aggressive Andy (Ty Olwin) which ends badly. She goes missing and the town is shaken. Her mother Lisa (Marika Engelhardt) slowly loses her mind but others in the community have just as tenuous a grip on reality. Continue reading Review: Knives and Skin

John Hughes Resurrected

My obsession with John Hughes started from a very young age. Growing up in the same town he lived in, Lake Forest, Illinois, made me feel like I was living inside one of his films, and I could relate. I always felt uncomfortable growing up, similar to the way most Hughes characters do, there was always something about them that was different from the other kids, something real. Continue reading John Hughes Resurrected