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Favorite Movies of 2012

Here is my list of favorite movies of 2012 . You can read movies reviews of Parental Guidance, Rise of the Guardians, The Life of Pi, Frankenweenie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green , Brave, To the Arctic, The Hunger Games, The secret world of Arrietty, Chimpanzee, Les Miserables

 

The Odd Life of Timothy Green Review: “Odd” “Whimsical” “Enchanting”

Reviewed by Star Reporter Cassandra H    August 07, 2012

5 Stars

Earthy and ethereal at the same time, this feel-good Disney summer movie directed by Peter Hedges will sweep you off your feet. You may not have heard much about this film, but it is certainly a true gem that I didn’t expect.

Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), a married couple, bury a box of their greatest wishes for their dream child, expecting to move on after finding Cindy cannot conceive. However, when a young quirky boy Timothy Green (CJ Adams) magically sprouts from the garden, Cindy and Jim along with the rest of their small town of Stanleyville realize that the unexpected is a miracle that must be cherished.

This “dramedy” gracefully switches gears between two emotions, which had me laughing heartily one moment and sniffling in the next. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the family and root for the Greens to succeed through the joys and sorrows of life.

Timothy Green is not just a force of nature, but he brings a breeze of tender feeling that parents can relate to. Cindy and Jim aren’t perfect parents, but they shine light on a different perspective of parenthood: they don’t want their child to be perfect, but they want his childhood to be perfect.

As for the leading cast, Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton’s on-screen chemistry is believable as the blundering, loving, and humorous Green couple. CJ Adams (Timothy Green) has a special twinkle in his eyes that is innocent, silly, and touching, capturing my heart from the start.

The fantastic supporting cast presents the town’s citizens as real, down-to-earth people who each have their own faults – a reality rarely reflected in a magical tale.

One especially stood out to me – newcomer Odeya Rush plays Timothy’s love interest, Joni Jerome, bringing a certain vibrancy and radiance to her character. Their friendship is a refreshing break from Hollywood’s shallow puppy-love romances.

Along with the splendid performances, I was also enchanted by the enthralling cinematography which will move audiences with marvelous shots of nature that showcase the visual analysis of the plot. The picturesque natural color palette astounded me as well.

This quiet little movie is directed towards parents, although the whole family can enjoy it together. The movie addresses many heartwarming themes, such as loyalty, honesty, and accepting others for who they are. Timothy brings out the best in others, and hopefully this movie will do the same. Younger viewers may not relate to the story, but teens, mom, and dad can walk out of the theater inspired to live a life worth living.

First Published @ www.kidspickflicks

America vs Malaysia: What It’s Like to See a Movie in Another Country

It’s impossible not to fall in love when you really know Malaysia. Located in South Asia, the peninsula is home to many religions and races including Malays, Indians, and Chinese. Because Malays are the dominant race, Malaysia is a Muslim country. West Malaysia borders Thailand in the north, and Singapore in the south. East Malaysia borders Indonesia and Brunei.Geographically, America and my hometown of Malaysia are an ocean apart. However, the cultural differences may not be what you expect.

People from all over the world, especially teenagers, love to go to the movies to relax and chill. And when I say chill, I mean literally. I stepped into the cool, air-conditioned lobby of a Malaysian theater. The lights were dark blue with pretty stylish light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Posters plastered the walls and movie characters could be found everywhere. A long line of people stood at the concession stands which sold the usual – popcorn, candy, drinks, etc. A dim hallway led to various theaters.

Inside the theater, it was pitch black, save the red lights on the side of the stairs that were supposed to guide you to your seat. Speaking of seats – when you first buy a ticket, you can book your spot in the theater, reducing the need to line up for seating. The chairs are all connected in one row – if someone moves in their seat, the entire row feels it. Before show time, there are no advertisements playing at all. Trailers last about fifteen minutes before the real movie actually starts. The movie is played in its original language with subtitles appearing in both Bahasa Malaysia (the national language of Malaysia) and Mandarin.

Not only is the atmosphere quite different, but there is actually a Censorship Board in Malaysia – and it’s quite strict. The rating is also split up differently – U is for General Audiences, P-13 is for viewers below age 13 to have parental supervision, 16 is for ages 16 and above, and 18 is for ages 18 and above. Cinemas have the right to refuse minors entrance to movies if they are not old enough according to the rating. For example, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 was heavily censored due to sexual content to meet Malaysia’s standard of P-13.

“The censoring is very obvious,” Yee Ann Soo, a 17-year-old student, explained. “There is one scene inTwilight where the girl is giving birth, and in the next, she’s lying on the bed, half-dead. They cut out the entire childbirth scene.”

Titanic was also heavily censored, cutting out parts of the nudity scene and removing the sex scene in the cargo entirely. The censoring allowed Titanic to be rated a U.

“It’s pointless because viewers don’t know what happened – they can’t see the story in it’s full,” said Yee Ann. “It’s not exciting anymore. You miss out on what the directors wanted you to see.”

Even so, Yee Ann loves the movies and goes to the theater about once a week with her friends. Part of the reason why could be that the movie fare in Malaysia is three times less expensive than the movie fare in USA. Whatever it is, the younger generations of Malaysia and America have a favorite pastime in common – chilling in the movie theater.

Check out @ Kidspickflicks

Crivens, Brave is Fierce!

Brave is Pixar’s first arrow shot (literally) at a period movie featuring a princess. It’s about time.

Set in the Scottish kingdom of DunBroch, Merida is a headstrong princess who loves archery living with her triplet devilish brothers, her father, King Fergus and her mother, Queen Elinor. In Merida’s opinion, she and her mother couldn’t have been more unlike each other – especially when Elinor invites three clan leaders to present their first-borns to compete for Merida’s hand. This leads to a big falling out and Merida heads into the forest. She meets a woodcutter witch – your typical Disney hag complete with the warts and broomstick – who offers to change her mom in order to change her fate about the marriage.

The literal “change” casts a spell on her mother and threatens Merida’s family along with the entire kingdom. Merida sets about a journey filled with magic, danger, and love to undo her selfish actions.

I would go as far as to say that this has been Pixar’s darkest movie yet. It’s a fresh heart-warming tale about mother-and-daughter bonding with comic relief provided by the mischievous triplets – however, I regretted bringing my 5-year-old cousin with me to the theaters. Her eyes were squeezed shut whenever the vicious bear Mor’du appeared on screen. Pixar did a fantastic job of building up anticipation in every scene – I kept expecting some unforeseen danger to pop up even in the light-hearted scenes. At some points, the entire spell-changing fate kerfuffle was quite disturbing – the idea that someone as dignified as Queen Elinor could turn into a wild bear may be unsettling for younger viewers.

Even so, my other 7-year-old cousin cried and sniffed loudly during one of the poignant mother and daughter moments. Brave offers many important life-lessons about relationships and responsibility, to have the courage to face one’s mistakes. Merida breaks the tradition of the Disney princesses. She’s not your typical princess but I see her as the youngest and the most relatable. Her spontaneous and courageous personality will draw viewers of all ages.

Though Brave may not be the next Finding Nemo, Toy Story, or Monsters Inc., Merida adds some good to the world with her sweet, stubborn, impulsive presence. This new addition to Pixar’s filmography is not to be missed – for Disney lovers, Pixar fans, and lasses and lads everywhere. Don’t be a bunch of galoots and follow the Will O’ The Wisps to your fate. Brave is a PickIT! Ages 7+

First published @ Kidspickflicks

Earth Day 2012: Chimpanzee

Narrated by Tim Allen, Chimpanzee will take you on a wild adventure set deep in the African forests, a place hardly touched by mankind. A young carefree chimpanzee named Oscar thrives on his mother’s love, having the time of his life. Their tribe leader, Freddy, leads his followers in search of food. They travel into the unsafe territory of their stronger rivals, led by an intimidating chimpanzee named Scar. For generations, the land has been fought over by the two tribes, and Freddy’s tribe is in danger.

A frenzied battle ensues, leaving Oscar forever separated from his mom. He finds himself all alone, an orphan who has no one to teach him life skills. Miraculously, the most unlikely foster parent in the forest adopts Oscar, and together, they embark on a journey of love and friendship.

Disneynature captured stellar scenery – the mist shrouding the canopy of trees was simply picturesque. The African sunrise prompted a little girl beside me in the theater to softly hum the beginning of “Circle of Life”, the opening song of Lion King (coupled with the fact that the “bad” chimp was named Scar). The ingenious use of time-lapse cameras gave insight to the fact that the forest was a living, growing thing. Along with being a hero-and-villain type of movie, Chimpanzee was almost magical – Disneynature couldn’t help including the breath-taking shots of glow-in-the-dark fungi, sprouts rapidly shooting up, and mushrooms that smoked when touched by the rain.

Chimpanzee focuses on the personal aspects. The chimpanzees’ actions mirror what we do in life – caring for the young, using tools to find food, and enjoying life as it is. You will laugh time and time again at their lively frolics, which remind us to enjoy the journey. The adorable Oscar will have kids begging parents to buy a baby chimp for a pet.

As for language, there was one very out-of-place use of “idiot” in a joking, teasing way. The shaky cam style cut away the violence, resorting to a G rating. When Scar’s tribe attacked, I was shaken by the idea that chimpanzees, just like humans, fought each other. They beat the roots of trees to either announce their attack or victory, and the booming sound plus the frantic swelling of the orchestra may scare younger kids.

With every Disney movie, the moviemakers try to weave in a plot furnished with an adorably cute unassuming protagonist, a sinister villain thwarting plans, and a happily-ever-after type of ending. Even if the plot was a bit glazed over, it was a beautiful story nonetheless. The adoption of an orphan in any animal kingdom is quite something to see. Clearly, God has a heart for the orphans. Scripture says that God dwells in the hearts of the helpless. He shows His love for them in John 14:18: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Offering amazing detail along with a heartfelt touch of emotion, Chimpanzee is not to be missed. Also, stay seated for the credits. There is a captivating brief behind-the-scenes camera roll about the filmmakers’ hardships – swarms of bugs, jagged, rough terrains, and torrents of rain. Everyone is smiling despite the challenges, and it shows the audience how hard they worked to bring this story to screen. Celebrate Earth Day 2012 with your family at the movie theaters!

First published @ http://ChristianAnswers.Net/spotlight/movies/2012/chimpanzee2012.html

Harshest place on earth – To the Arctic

Director Greg MacGillivray carries a camera wherever he goes. He interviewed me about my opinion of To the Arctic on camera!

IMAX : To the Arctic

Not many people will ever have the chance to travel to the wild, forbidding, majestic Arctic. That is what makes this particular documentary so special, a 40-minute film that gives an intricate view including spectacular waterfalls, fantastic ice cliffs, and the clarity of the freezing ocean. Directed by veteran director Greg MacGillivray, who directed the award-winning documentary Everest, and written/produced by Stephen Judson, Warner Brothers presents the largest institutional launch in the history of IMAX: To the Arctic.

I was invited to attend the screening before the movie releases on April 20th (Friday). I had the honor to interview both Greg MacGillivray (director) and Steven Judson (writer/producer) about the film.

Greg told me about how he started a campaign called One World One Ocean, a non-profit foundation dedicated to teach people about the importance of the ocean. To The Arctic is the first movie presented in the One World One Ocean campaign.

Steven Judson has worked with MacGillivray for a long time, and explained the birth of the movie. “It occurred to [Greg] ten years ago that this would be a fantastic movie, largely because of the environment. We like to take people to environments that are difficult to get to otherwise and are visually striking. ”

To The Arctic is indeed stunning, brought to life thanks to the king of all 3D formats. “It feels like real life, unlike all the other digital projectors out there. That’s why people love the IMAX format,” said Greg.

The film certainly brings out the fierce loyalty of the mother polar bear and the playfulness of her adorable cubs. Greg and Stephen laughed as they talked about their challenges – polar bears were shy stars, evading the humans’ company. Another challenge was filming underwater, where the water would freeze if not for the salt in the ocean. The filmmakers also had trouble shooting in the cold.

“The cameras don’t like cold, the batteries hate it. The crew doesn’t like the cold either, especially when I wake them up super early,” Greg chuckled.

Even so, the notorious cold of the Arctic isn’t going to last for long. By 2050, it is predicted that the Arctic will disappear entirely due to global warming, and One World One Ocean is determined to surface the facts through media.

Stephen affirmed this point. He said that they were trying to use filmmaking as an educational tool, so that people pay attention and learn about the ocean through entertainment. Yet it’s not limited to just films, but through our favorite pastimes – namely, Facebook and other social media that teens like me are addicted to.

“From IMAX to iPhones, we’re going to do whatever it takes to get people to care about the ocean, starting with To The Arctic. It’s a movie that has a strong environmental message but also has a lot of heart to it.”

Judson emphasized that the Arctic isn’t as far away as you think. “We’re connected in more ways than you can imagine, and your generation is the most important. If you can be conscious of your own carbon footprint on the planet, your friends will see it, and slowly, it turns into a movement. If each one of us goes out of our way to conserve energy, it all adds up to saving the Arctic.”

Jeremy Hsiao, Cassandra Hsiao (Star Rapture), Director Greg MacGillivray

Cassandra Hsiao (Star Rapture) interviewed Stephen Judson (writer/producer)

Celebrate Earth Day by heading to the theaters this April 20. Visit http://www.oneworldoneocean.org/ to help save the Arctic!

First Published @KidsPickFlicks To the Arctic

To the Arctic : A Vanishing Paradise

Watching To The Arctic is probably the equivalence of transporting yourself to a whole new world, a fading paradise that is unknown to us. Directed by seasoned IMAX filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, To The Arctic is the first film presentation of One World One Ocean, a non-profit organization that aims to educate the world about the importance of the ocean.  The trailers are a bit misleading – it’s not only just about a mother polar bear and her cubs, but rather, the film shows the wide array of animals affected by global warming. This 40-minute documentary truly succeeded in bringing out the majesty of the Arctic.

The film opens from a bird’s eye point of view, swooping in on the breathtaking Arctic cliffs. Filmed in the king of all 3D formats, IMAX really works to their advantage, immersing viewers in the harsh, frigid, magnificent realm of the Arctic. The fish eye lenses achieve extremely wide angles that give spectators a panoramic view from the sparse clouds in the sky above to the tiniest cracks in the ice below. The soundtrack by Steve Wood and Sir Paul McCartney lightens the atmosphere, a swelling, tangible symphony that has as much depth as the 3D sights themselves. Narrator Meryl Streep places meaning to every word, and brings in a goldmine of emotion to the script written by Stephen Judson that adds a tremendous amount to the overall tone of the documentary.

There’s a fine line not to cross – documentaries can be tedious if they push the environmental message too much. They can also be entertaining to the point we forget the gravity of the effects of global warming. To The Arctic succeeded in walking the tightrope without falling off, using the footage as the balance pole.

Sprinkled with awws and LOL moments, To The Arctic drove home the powerful message, especially with the combined elements of motherhood and survival. We embark on a journey with a mother polar bear, whose fierce devotion and willingness to die to protect her seven-months-old cubs touches the audience’s heart. Even so, polar bears can’t survive the rapid rupture of the ice. It is predicted that by 2050, the Arctic will disappear entirely. While they may be powerless to change the environment, we can do our part to protect their icy habitats. To The Arctic pulls at the heartstrings, motivating viewers to save the vanishing environment of the furry white bears as well as the walruses, birds, and caribou.

Travel on the ultimate journey to the wild Arctic for the noblest cause – to save the environment. Don’t let yourself sink into the mindset that one person can’t make a difference, because YOU can make a difference! Go to http://www.oneworldoneocean.org/ to help save the Arctic today.

Don’t miss this irreplaceable, thrilling IMAX experience! It’s a PICKIt! Ages 4+

Arctic Catastrophe  by Jeremy Hsiao (9 years old)

At the screening of To the Arctic

At the screening of To the Arctic

To the Arctic will whisk you away on a captivating, amazing and adventurous journey across the arctic. Much of the footage is astonishing. It is about how polar bears, caribou, and walruses struggle to survive in melting ice at the top of the world.

In one scene, a diver had to swim underneath the ice in the frigid ocean! He said that the water was so cold that it slowed your brain down. It was amazing how the diver was able to capture the magnificent shots of walruses and the polar bears at a close distance.

Grizzly bears traveled to the Arctic and adapted to their environment. They have become the polar bears we now know. Life in the Arctic may be hard for us, but for polar bears, it’s supposed to be paradise. But due to the green house effect the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as other places. Polar bears have slimmer chances of catching their prey such as seals in the frigid environment.

The 3D was the greatest I had ever seen in my life! It seemed like the ice was going to fly into your face in the beginning when it exploded. The IMAX effect was so great that once I thought a little piece of ice flew into my face! The IMAX enhanced the viewing experience. I thought that I was actually at the Arctic without being there.

To the Arctic is very educational and entertaining at the same time. The message of this film is to inspire people to take necessary steps to prevent the Arctic Ocean from losing its protective cover of ice in the years to come. The loss of sea ice not only affecting polar bears’ habitats but also everyone on the planet.

All ages can watch this movie. I rate this movie 5 stars and a Pick It! If you want to find out more information about the Arctic, watch it yourself!

First Published @ Kidspickflicks http://www.kidspickflicks.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2899&catid=2899

Movie Review: The Hunger Games – An Unquenchable Fire

I feel that there has to be two reviews for this particular movie – one for the fans, and another for, well, the non-fans, or those with no background knowledge of The Hunger Games, the novel by Suzanne Collins.    My word to the non-fans: Read the books. Read my review. Then decide whether or not you want to see the movie.  But this review is for the fans who haven’t seen the movie. This review is also for those who have seen the movie and are merely curious to see what other teens think of it. (Haha, gotcha!)

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the 74th Hunger Games!

Directed by Gary Ross, flash forward into this post-apocalyptic setting, and the world as we know it has fallen.  The shining Capitol rose out of the dust and chaos, and underneath are the 12 districts, each serving its own function. To remind the citizens of their power, the Capitol holds an annual Hunger Games, a twisted source of entertainment for all of Panem. One boy and one girl (called tributes) are selected from every district to participate in the Hunger Games, a fight to the death.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a 16-year-old living in District 12, one of the poorest districts, manages to feed her mother, her beloved younger sister Prim, and herself by hunting in the off-limit woods. Katniss’ world is turned upside down when Prim is chosen as a tribute, and bravely volunteers to take Prim’s place in the Hunger Games. Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is her tribute partner, and they must play the angle of the star-crossed lovers to win the Capitol audience’s heart.

This was one of the best adaptations I’ve seen in a long time. It stayed true to the book as much as possible, and we (as an audience) are definitely sucked into the story, applying our background knowledge from the books to every character that appears on-screen.

Jennifer Lawrence embodied her character from head to toe. She became Katniss – her audacity, independence, and nerve shines ever so brilliantly on screen. Lawrence also brought out Katniss’ flaws, enabling fans to relate, connect, and love her as a well-rounded character. Josh Hutcherson is perfect as the easygoing, sweet, gentle Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth, with what little screen time he had, immediately established himself as the tough hunter Gale is. Woody Harrelson acted a lot like the Haymitch I imagined. Fans will not be disappointed in the roles of the tributes – although many are first-timers, they portrayed their characters flawlessly. I still wish they had more screen time, even though the movie is already two hours and twenty-two minutes long. The pacing is well done; audiences won’t squirm, but rather, their eyes will be riveted on the screen. The shaky-cam style wasn’t really my favorite – it was a relief when the camera stood still. Even so, it was a good technique that gave us quick, choppy shots that hid most of the violence.

And so now, to my initial conflict. Based on my review, how do you think I liked it?

I liked it very much, and that was why it bothered me. How can someone say that they like a movie about kids killing kids? The Capitol audience is entertained by watching the Hunger Games. We pay to watch the movie The Hunger Games. What difference is there? When you root for Katniss to win, you want everyone else to die.

As I was in great conflict, I wondered why I didn’t feel this way in the books. I came to the conclusion that Katniss’ anger towards the Capitol isn’t as prominent in the movie than the books. That moment with the berries is supposed to be monumental, something that will be remembered, but in the movie, it was over in a flash. Even so, her survival and willingness to give up her life for others still manage to win me over.

The deaths and killings are no way over glamorized, and I’m happy to report that the violence was toned down, true to its rating of a PG-13. We are not meant to cheer for the deaths. Even those who are part of the “bad” group reveal that they are simply hurt and scared, pawns that have been used in the inhuman system of the Hunger Games.

Fans will love it. Nonfans will probably love it. All I can say is that it turned out better than I expected, and that’s saying a lot. May the odds be ever in your favor. So watch with the world, ‘cause the world will be watching. Ages 12+

Check out my book review for the Hunger Games, and tell us your opinions below!

The Secret World of Arrietty

Grade A
Starring Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Carol Burnett
MPAA Rating Rated G
Genre Animation
Theatrical Release February 17, 2012

C.S.Lewis once said, “[Friendship] has no survival value, rather, it is one ofthose things that give value to survival.” “The Secret World of Arrietty” truly demonstrates his point, and viewers will be drawn into a world bigger than life—literally.

Based loosely on the concept of a book series by Mary Norton, theBorrowers are tiny people that “borrow” things from the humans. 14-year-old Arrietty and her parents live anonymously in a quaint little cabin underground. When her father finally deems her ready to go on a borrowing expedition, Arrietty is spotted by a human boy named Shawn. Both their curiosities of the other worldcannot be quenched. Finally, despite their differences, they realize there is nothing to be afraidof. Rather, it is the comic, but threatening, old lady, Hara, that puts Arrietty’s family’s lives in danger. The rest of the story unfolds as a beautiful, meaningful movie—the spotlight on Arrietty and Shawn’s friendship.

This is the English version of theJapanese classic, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, written and executive produced by Hayao Miyazaki. The film is made to feel like hand-drawn animation. It is different from Dreamworks or Pixar animated films. Even though there is no magic, moving castles, wild goose chases through the skies, orthe usual whimsical elements in Miyazaki’s movies, Arrietty puts a new spin on our world from a whole new perspective.

From Arrietty’s point of view, everything is huge. Her world is fullof life and color, and it is presented in a breathtaking and creative way.The art is beautiful, every detail meticulously perfected, and kids will be able to enjoy it without being sidetracked by any inappropriate laughs. Arrietty has no need for pop or innuendo references; the magic storytelling is enough to entrance viewers of all ages. The pacing may seem a little slow for younger kids, but the older ones will take the time to appreciate the stunning, intricate images.

The real beauty of this film lies in the friendship between Shawn and Arrietty. The contrast between these characters is profound, and not only in size: Shawn has heart problems and his will to live is weak, while Arrietty is a strong-willed, curious, joyful girl who is determined to live. She tells him, “Sometimes you have to fight for the things that are worth fighting for.” Her determination to survive inspires Shawn to fight to see the next day. The audience learns that no friendship—or life—is too small.

Shawn and Arrietty’s bond is unbreakable, and they are willing to sacrifice for each other. As the Bible says about friendship, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). Hidden underneath the adventure they undertake, Arrietty teaches the importance of friendship in life.

Indeed, we have the greatest friend in Jesus, who laid down his life for us even before we were born. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (NIV).” God wants our friendship too. This is what Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends,” John 15:15.

Visually rich and with moving depth, “Arrietty” is a film for everyone. There is no objectionable context. As you watch, don’t forget that life is worth living and believe that God will empower you to be all that you can be, just as the words of the Apostle Paul: “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” —Philippians 4:13.

First published @http://christiananswers.net/spotlight/movies/2012/secretworldofarrietty2010.html?zoom_highlight=the+secret+world+of

Movie Review – Bridge to Terabithia

Grade A

Starring Josh Hutcherson, Anna Sophia-Robb, Bailee Madison

MPAA Rating: PG

Genre: Drama

Everybody’s buzzin’ about the coming release of The Hunger Games. So, I decided to take a look into Josh Hutcherson’s acting past. He’ll be playing Peeta Mellark, co-staring with Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen.) What better place to start than Bridge to Terabithia?

This movie came out a few years ago, in 2007. Based on Katherine Paterson’s book, all I remember was that it was about a fantasy world with trolls that looked like school bullies. Oh, and that it had two amazing actors.

And that I loved it.

I don’t quite remember what it was that made me love it but recently, I reread the book and rewatched the movie.

And then I found the reason why I loved it.

Artistic-handed Jesse Oliver Aarons would prefer to blend in with the crowd, coming from a large, financially struggling family where he feels as if he doesn’t belong. On the other hand, Leslie Burke, his new, well-off neighbor and already the weirdo/outcast of the school, is open-minded, has a great imagination, and is not ashamed of who she is. Even with their differences, they form an amazing friendship, and become the king and queen of Terabithia, their fantasy world. It’s only until a terrible tragedy occurs that Jess realizes what Terabithia has brought out in him.

Many people expected a Narnia-like film, coming from the producers of Narnia. Yet the storyline is not about the kingdom, but rather the moving friendship between such contrasting characters. Leslie challenges Jess to open his mind and see things he hasn’t seen before. Even hours after I had watched the movie, I was still contemplating every aspect that was brought out on screen.

It’s about two very real characters and their famalies. It’s about their not-so-perfect relationships with their parents. It’s about dealing with financial struggles, tag-along siblings, and bullies. It’s about connecting with the coming-of-age audience.

It made me cry. It’s definitely a tear-jerker. Josh Hutcherson (Jess) and Anna Sophia-Robb (Leslie) were absolutely beautiful in their roles, but the real screen-stealer was Bailee Madison, who played the little tag-along sister.

I enjoyed it immensely, and I have to say, it will remain one of my favorite movies forever. Like I said, it gave me a lot to think about. Watch it with your family!!!

 

Published @http://walnut.patch.com/blog_posts/bridge-to-terabithia-movie-review

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