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Monte Carlo – A Great Movie Night for Girls

Grade C+

Starring :  Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy, Cory Monteith

MPAA Rating:  Rated PG

Genre: Comedy

Theatrical Release:   July  01 2011

Monte Carlo is one of those tenuous movies that fall into the in-between category of Pick or Ick. It is a story we have all heard before – a girl trading places with a rich and famous look-alike – although that was not what pushed me into rating 3 out of 5 stars. It was rather the lethargic pacing that made me nearly fall asleep in the beginning, and it just seemed like the music was the only thing dragging us from scene to scene. It was only when the mistaken identities started to unraveled that I was caught up in the adventure.

I liked that the girls make up their mind to go back and apologize for all the mayhem they’ve caused. Even so, just with a simple apology, they are free to go home although they committed crimes of impersonating, lying to the police, and even “kidnapping” a main character. When Cordelia (the heiress Grace impersonates) orders the police officer to arrest Grace(Selena Gomez) and her friends, his reply is unrealistic – you’ll have to see the movie to find out.

The cast was amazing, and I can frankly state that I disagree with other critics that Selena Gomez’s acting was horrible. Although her acting was not up to the standards of her co-stars, I still liked her portrayal of the spoiled British heiress, Cordelia.

I also loved the characters’ different personalities – Grace and her stepsister Meg finally come to amicable terms at the end of the movie. Through this trip to Paris, all three girls travel down a road of self-discovery behind a wall of secret identities.

The thing that awed me most is the scenery. Monte Carlo and the view from the Eiffel Tower is simply beautiful. There were many collective “ooh”’s and “aww”’s from the audience throughout the entire show. Monte Carlo has flawlessly displayed the true beauty of France for all to see, and the audience connects with Grace about what motivated her to work so hard for that trip to Paris.

As a tween critic, I liked the movie well enough, and I really felt like I was in Paris with Grace. Monte Carlo is a clean and “fun” movie, one that is not worth to see in theaters but great for a girls’ night out. All in all, Monte Carlo would have become a defined and solid Pick if the producers had put a little more determination and effort in the making of this movie. Ages 11+

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Justin Bieber “Never Say Never” Movie Premiere

Justin Bieber with Scholastic Kid Reporter Cassandra Hsiao

Canadian singing phenom takes over Los Angeles. Next stop: The World!

Canadian singing phenom takes over Los Angeles. Next stop: The World!

Has anyone ever told you to stop dreaming, it’ll never happen? Well, here’s what Justin Bieber has to say about that: Never Say Never!

My dream certainly came true when my Scholastic editor sent me an email asking if I was interested in covering the red carpet premiere of the Justin Bieber documentaryNever Say Never. I immediately screamed out loud and jumped with joy, turning the whole house upside down. I was on top of the world!

Finally, after much anticipation and preparation, the day of the premiere was here. My heart was pounding as I took my place behind the rope line on Tuesday afternoon. In one hour, Justin Bieber, along with other stars coming to see the movie, would be walking down the red carpet, or in this case, the purple carpet! (Purple is Justin’s favorite color.)

Posters were everywhere and fans were screaming at the cameras. The sound was deafening. I knew I was in the middle of Bieber Fever just by the sheer volume of the shreeks.

Teenage girls wore shirts that read, “I LUV JB,” and “Marry me, Justin!” Suddenly, the loud speakers played Justin Bieber’s hit song, “Baby,” and fans began singing along to the lyrics. They cried, screamed, and laughed as they shook with the Fever!

Before I knew it, the stars had arrived. The publicists were very friendly and brought actors and actresses to my spot on the rope line to talk to me. I interviewed the boy band Allstar Weekend, Debby Ryan from Suite Life on Deck, Bradley Steven Perry fromGood Luck Charlie, and Madeline Carroll from The Spy Next Door and Flipped.

“Keep reading,” said Zachary Gordon from Diary of a Wimpy Kid when I asked him what he would like to tell Scholastic News readers. “You always learn a life lesson from every book you read.”

I also caught a glimpse of Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus. After each interview, I’d say to myself, “Did I really just interview that person?!” I had a blast hanging out with the stars!

Finally, Justin Bieber was heading my direction. The reporters around me told me I might only get to ask him one question, so I chose my favorite one. Justin gave me his full attention, and I hurriedly asked my question before they moved him away.

Reporters were squeezed all around me, trying to get a good shot of Justin. I tried to take in everything at once. It all happened in a flash, but I got two questions in. I found out we have one thing in common—we both do household chores!

The cast and crew also came my way. Scooter Braun, Justin’s manager, was just like Justin described in his book First Step 2 Forever—excited, funny, and super friendly. I asked him what he saw as the greatest growth in Justin.

“He’s becoming a man,” Scooter told me. “It’s not just about how he handles his success, but he also handles his failures very well.”

Dan Cutforth, one of the producers of Never Say Never, described Biebermania.

“If you hold your microphone in the air, and say Justin’s coming, you’ll see it first hand,” he explained. “It’s just some sort of strange power that overtakes crowds of teenage girls. It’s simply a phenomenon.”

It was a fantastic, amazing night that I’ll never forget. Check out my video interview with the stars on the purple carpet! But be careful. You could catch the fever, too!

©Scholastic Inc. First published online 
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