Movie Reviews


Howdy Miscreants! I thought that I would try my luck at a movie review. I decided that I needed to chose something special. So, I thought of my favorite childhood movie that most of you have never heard of, “Treasure Planet”. If you are of the few that have heard of this and you think that it’s a good movie, then yes you are very much correct. If not, there is something clearly wrong with you so get out of here and get some help. You are no longer welcome. But to those who have never heard of it let me tell you the legend of the loot of a thousand worlds, “Treasure Planet”. First let me say that this will work like my game reviews where instead of a score I’m going to give you a brief summary of the movie, describe it, and give you my praises and gripes on the movie. Though let it be known that for this there may not be that many gripes due to me loving this movie.
To to get started do you like pirates? By pirates I mean the swashbuckling kind that basically everyone thinks are cool. Also do you like space movies? If yes for both then good because combine the two and you get “Treasure Planet”. If you aren’t interested in pirates and space you should listen anyway because this movie may change that. This is a movie that literally has 17th century ships flying in space with solar sails powering rockets.
The movie focuses around Jim Hawkins, a boy who believes he has no future. Though when he finds the map to the legendary “Treasure Planet,” the loot of a thousand worlds, he believes he can change it. But he’ll have to fight for it as much of the crew are pirates in disguise and they’re going to pull a mutiny. I’m going to leave my summary at that so I don’t spoil the movie. The movie is based on the book “Treasure Island”. Note that there is emphasis on "based" because in the end it is its own story.
The movie uses an interesting animation technique where the background was computer animated while the characters were hand drawn. To me this really makes the characters pop out and I thought it was quite interesting. Because this movie was made over a decade ago the background in some instances seems bare.This only happens a couple of times however. Even though the computer animation wasn’t as good back then some of the moments in the movie to me can be stunning. Also let it be known this movie is nowhere near scientifically accurate. People literally breath in space but since it’s a children's animated movie it’s easily ignored and not even cared about.
I’ve literally loved this movie almost my whole life and I guess it has been like that because I can feel for the main character. For you see Jim’s father left and never came back when he was a kid and even though my father never did that he is gone for long periods of time on a boat. So it’s a slight connection nonetheless but also I loved this movie just because it’s so adventurous. It’s literally a treasure hunt through space with swashbuckling pirates and all that. Though when I got older it confused me to see that this movie wasn’t that well known so I looked it up and found out it wasn’t popular at the time. Though this isn’t because I’m blind but because your past selves are blind. This is because more recently I looked up more things about it and it turns out “Treasure Planet” became more popular years later due to Netflix showing it for a while, sadly not at the moment. In the past I looked it up and found a few reviews showing it was good and a few that gave it a bad review. Though more recently I looked it up after it became more well known and I can only find a bad review on Rotten Tomatoes at 64% but everywhere else seemed to love it. So it’s one of those hidden gems so if you get the chance, watch it. Also I’m serious. If you get the chance to watch it and don’t I will hunt your dumb self down and force you to watch this movie. Then you will thank me for showing you such an amazing movie. By the way before I end this I actually own this movie so for a school thing if you ever want me to bring it for a movie day I will in a heartbeat. Anyway see you in the stars you “ludicrous parcel of driveling galoots.” -part of a quote from Mr. Arrow in “Treasure Planet”


  • Disney (Image)

By Dillyn Higginbottom
Related image
Photo by Disney Wiki

    Frozen came out on November 27, 2013. This movie is the world’s 9th highest growing film of all time. Some of the cast includes Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Alan Tudyk. Frozen is the 53rd Disney animated feature film. This movie was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s, “The Snow Queen.” This movie is basically about a princess named Elsa. Elsa has magical ice powers that she would use to play around with her sister Anna. After a bit Elsa ends up injuring Anna with her ice powers. Elsa and Anna’s parents take Anna to the trolls so they can heal her. The trolls did heal her but they had to remove her memory so she would not know that her sister, Elsa, has magical powers. After they remove Anna’s memory of her sister having those powers, their parents had to isolate both of them in their castle. Basically after that isolation, Elsa felt really insecure about herself and her power, and Anna wanted to be with her sister and she did not understand why she could not be with Elsa. Whilst this event was going on, Elsa and Anna’s parents died in a sea wreck.

    When Elsa turns 21 years old, she is then crowned as the queen of Arendelle. She is petrified and scared to take this position because she is afraid that the kingdom will find out about her power. During the ceremony of her becoming the queen, coronation, she tries so hard to conceal her magic. But when the after party comes, something happens. Her and Anna get in a fight because Anna brought to Elsa’s attention that she was gonna get married to a prince named Hans. Elsa was not happy with this and she tried exclaiming to Anna that she couldn’t marry a man she just met, but Anna disagreed with that. Anna would not quit leave Elsa alone with her idea, so Elsa lost it and accidentally revealed her magic by striking ice towards everyone at the party. Elsa then runs away from Arendelle, and making her own creation of an ice castle. Anna then goes on a long and cold journey to find her sister.

    There were a few rough patches and events that occurred through the finding and returning of Elsa. There were deaths, battles, injuries, etc. Elsa ended up injuring Anna when she finally found Elsa. Elsa did not mean to hurt Anna, she was trying to tell her to leave her be so she would not hurt her, and did Anna listen? NO! Kristoff, Anna’s future lover, helps Anna get help. He takes her back to the trolls, the ones that helped her in her early years because of an injury from Elsa’s magic. But sadly they could not help and they did not quite know what the answer was. Anna basically started to believe that Hans, the man she was gonna marry, was going to be able to keep her alive. But actually, he left her to die. She could barely move or get up to walk to escape, also the door was locked. But as she started facing facts that, that was it, her buddy Olaf came to save her. He put her by a warm fire, but that was not enough. But Hans told Anna that he was gonna kill Elsa. So Anna done everything she could to save Elsa before it was too late. Anna ran to find Elsa, but it was very foggy and you could barely see anything. Anna was found by Kristoff and he started running to her before it was too late. But instead of waiting for Kristoff to come and save her, she ran in front of the sword that Hans was just about to kill her sister with, and at that moment, Anna froze to death...Elsa was heartbroken and upset that the person that has always loved her the most saved her from death. You know how I said they did not know the answer to save Anna from death? Well the answer was true love. Maybe not relationship wise, but family wise. “An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart.” And they all lived happily ever after!

Official Sneak Peek of Frozen 2!
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Photo by Toy’s in Action on Youtube

   (Side note: They made a mini movie clip called Frozen Fever) If you liked and enjoyed this movie, well you better get ready because there’s more to come! Frozen 2 is settled to be here by 2019!

By Emily Gann

Hello Westside! Emily Gann here, and today I’d love to share a studio with you! This is my first Media Review, perhaps one of many, so let’s get started!

The studio I’m discussing today is Ghibli Studios, a Japanese film studio that produces full feature animations, as well as shorter animations. They’re widely known for their creative storytelling, gorgeous visuals, and unique characters and settings.
Some of their more known films include My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
 anime studio ghibli spirited away ghibli chihiro GIF
(Haku- Spirited Away- Ghibli Studios, 2001)

So how do I feel about them?
To say I POSITIVELY ADORE them would be an understatement.

Anyone who knows me fairly well knows that I’m a huge fan of cartoons, anime, and animation in general. What people may not know is that I’m actually a bit picky when it comes to animation. Such hard work goes into these films, and it’s a shame whenever the writing, characters, or quality of work isn’t top standard for these projects. While Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks are great, I can safely say that not ALL of their films impressed me. They have weak spots, just like any other studio, and not all of their films will meet the bar they set for themselves.

But Ghibli Studios has NEVER disappointed me with ANY of their films. All of the characters, stories, and quality of the work is astounding, and it is unimaginable that a single group of humans could make such amazing works of art.

Get this: Ghibli Studios uses traditional animation techniques. That means that EVERY SINGLE FRAME is HAND DRAWN. Here’s an animation equation to put that into perspective:

The film Princess Mononoke has a runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes (135 minutes). It also has an average 18 FPS (Frames Per Second)
-135 minutes x 60 seconds = 8,100 seconds runtime.
8,100 seconds x 18 FPS = 145,800 frames.

That means that 145,800 frames were HAND DRAWN and PAINTED by a group of animators. Can you imagine drawing and painting 145,800 high quality frames of animation?
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(Ashitaka and Yakul- Princess Mononoke- Ghibli Studios, 1997)

Pretty impressive!!
And the story, characters, and plot is well worth the work and time put into it, something rarely seen in animated movies (especially nowadays… looking at you Emoji Movie!). The final product is always phenomenal and breathtaking.

Another thing I LOVE about Ghibli Studios is the variety of their work. They cover many genres, including Fantasy, Drama, Slice of Life, Comedy, etc., while making movies for all ages.

My Neighbor Totoro is a light-hearted movie about two young sisters discovering the magic in their new neighborhood.
Princess Mononoke is a dark film about humanity’s impact on nature, and the violence of human nature. It shows dark topics such as bloodshed, war, and death.

So… yes! There is movies for all ages!
 hayao miyazaki jiji kiki's delivery service GIF
(Jiji- Kiki’s Delivery Service- Ghibli Studios- 1989)

Another thing I love about Ghibli Studios? Not only is the animation and storytelling fantastic, but the music is great too!
If you don’t feel like watching a movie, give the soundtrack a listen sometime! It’s pretty great!

Listen here if you’d like:

Last, but certainly not least, I feel the need to give you guys a few film recommendations! When discovering a new studio, especially a new genre (as I’m sure some of you have never seen full feature films that are considered anime), I always find it helpful if I have a few recommendations!

Lighthearted: If you’re looking for something lighthearted, family friendly, and humourous, I’d recommend either Ponyo, or Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Both are very entertaining, tell a good story, and will keep people of all ages entertained!

Dramatic: If you’re looking for a more dramatic film, I’d suggest Howl’s Moving Castle, or, my personal favorite, Princess Mononoke. Both have a more serious note and are more dramatic and engaging.
Note: Check the ratings for these films before watching with younger siblings! While most should be appropriate for those reading this blog, some may include violence or mature themes!

In Between: Sometimes we need a good film somewhere in between fun and serious! If you’re looking for a movie that has BOTH of these characteristics, Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky would be my top recommendations. They can be fun and lighthearted, while remaining serious and emotional at times.

That wraps up my first Media Review! I’m sure this will become a regular series, so stay tuned for more! I hope you all enjoy!

Hacksaw Ridge movie review
By Adrian Guardiola

Hacksaw Ridge is a wonderfully gruesome movie entangling a love story into the horrors of war on the Pacific. Mel Gibson does a wonderful job at displaying the realization of war and is quite shocking to some people that have never seen anything like it. The story is a true one and is based on PFC Desmond Doss as he feels the need to enlist and save the lives of men dying on the front lines. His goal is to make war a little less like Hell, and to show mercy and compassion on his fellow soldiers. With his unrelenting will, he goes above and beyond his fellow soldiers and keeps himself in the danger of the Japanese in order to save the men left behind.  He is misjudged by his fellow soldiers including his own drill sergeant and company commander. Throughout his time in the Army, he refused to bear arms, but to solely be a medic, miraculously saving the lives of many men on the Ridge single handedly proving himself to be one of the bravest soldiers to fight in the war.
Whenever Desmond Doss was a kid, he almost killed his brother while he was fighting, drastically changing his view on life. He must preserve it, not harm it. While fighting, he goes a little too far and hits his brother in the temple with a brick, almost proving fatal. He realized quickly that he was close to killing him and can’t help but to stare at the painting in the dining room showing his fate. Doss realized he is no greater than Cain, as he murdered his brother Abel. This event changed his views, and he became a pacifist, not believing in violence.

Today’s movie review is “Coraline.” This movie was released February 5th, 2009. Coraline is kind of a  mystery movie to be honest. This girl named Coraline moved into a new house. While her parents are unpacking she looks through different things and she discovers a hidden door. This is not any ordinary door though, behind this door lies an alternate world that is really closely related as to Coraline’s life. But there is a twist, this world tries making her life look a million times better so she will stay there. She enjoys this alternate world that she has discovered, until she meets her other mother, the alternate version of her mom in the alternate world, and the rest of the family from the alternate world that try to keep her there forever. She ends up having to use all her skills, knowledge, resources, and bravery, to escape this trap that she has fallen into.

The Lion King
By Vanessa Cross
Okay, let's just sit back and think about some of our favorite classic Disney movies. We have the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Fox and the Hound, and so much more. But let's talk about one of my favorite Disney movies The Lion King. If you think you don’t like this movie deep down you know you loved it as a kid. Perhaps however, you have never seen the movie The Lion King. In that case let me tell you about it.
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The Lion King is about a baby cub named Simba who is to become the king of the pride lands one day. Simba’s father, Mufasa, was a great leader for his family. He was eager to show his son what a great leader looks like. “Look inside yourself. You are more than what you have become” said Mufasa to his son. Simba’s father would always give him great advice when he needed it most.

Mufasa had an arrogant brother named Scar. Scar and Mufasa had a brother rivalry. Scar was jealous that his brother was the leader and he was not. Scar thought it would be a good idea to use his nephew as bait to kill his brother. He convinced his nephew Simba to go in a valley where a big herd of Wildebeest would stampede. When Mufasa came to rescue Simba, Scar killed him in all of the confusion. When Mufasa died Scar convinced Simba that he was responsible for his death and told him to run to a remote place where no one could find him.

Simba ran as fast as he could for as long as he could. Simba was nearly dead when he was found by a warthog named pumbaa and a meerkat named Timon. Simba befriended them and lived together. Much later Simba’s old friend named Nala showed up. Nala told Simba what Scar had done to the pride lands and Simba left his new home to go fix his old home. Simba challenged Scar for the spot in leadership and Simba won. At the end of the movie Simba took his rightful place as leader, everyone was happy, and everything went back to normal again. If you want a movie with adventure and friendship then The Lion King is the movie for you!

-Vanessa Cross

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