Film Review: Persepolis

Persepolis film.jpg

This is a movie I watched a long time ago, and loved. It’s based off of the graphic novel

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and tells the story of her childhood in and out of Iran, before and after the Iranian Revolution that ended 2,500 years of continuous Persian monarchical rule and installed the government of today.

While I didn’t read the graphic novel, I find the movie’s animation style very interesting. It’s unlike anything else. The present-day is animated in color, but the important parts, the story of her childhood, is in grayscale.

Image result for persepolis movieWhat was most memorable, of course, was the fact that this is based off of a true story. Marji goes from an outspoken child to someone who suffers the loss of multiple relatives and friends, and sees her country constantly at war. Despite this, she does her best to stay herself.

As the new government becomes increasingly oppressive and systematically takes away human freedoms, she and her friends find solace in sneaking in Western rock CDs to class, wearing punk pullovers, and doing other things to rebel against the government. After standing up for herself in school, she’s sent to a school in Austria to keep her safe, which she loves but doesn’t quite fit in to. She jumps from house to house, each time meeting someone even more ridiculous, before ending up on the streets. After almost dying, she returns to Iran, where things are just as she remembers, but it’s her that changed. Marji falls into a deep depression, but eventually makes it out and vows to not let the people she love down. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of her troubles. Image result for persepolis movieBefore watching this movie, I knew little about Iran and Iranian people. But seeing the world from another perspective really has taught me a lot. I’ll remember Persepolis for the wonderful jokes, animation, and story (Does contain some adult content). You should definitely watch if you have time over the summer.

-Michael Z.

Persepolis is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Avengers: Infinity War

I went into the theatre to watch Infinity War super excited because I honestly just wanted to see how Marvel would finally kill some of its superheroes. And well, overall ways the movie kind of disappointed me. I still enjoyed the movie but after all of the hype, I was just expecting something different.

The entire movie was basically just action. It started with minimal setup and the rest of the movie seemed like action and violence with a small amount of storyline woven in. I just thought that with everything that Marvel had to work with, they could have written a better storyline. It wasn’t a bad storyline it just seemed to be very similar to all the other superhero movies that had been made, just blown up to a larger scale and the special effects were great. But, the amount of action was so overkill that after a while it almost got boring.

To really understand this movie, you really had to watch all the other Marvel movies that had recently came out because there was small pieces of the storyline that were explained in the other movies that the movie makers had expected the audience to know. Which, I think was kind of a good and bad thing. I found it cool that they could tie everything together but, the parts explained in the other movie where so minimal that I feel like it was more of a money grab. It was also kind of hard to remember all these parts because I hadn’t watched some of the other movies in a while which, made some of the storyline kind of confusing. So, I would definitely suggest going back and watching the other Marvel movies before seeing Infinity War.

Now I really liked just seeing all the characters together. I liked seeing how Marvel portrayed having all these different characters together and how they interacted with each other. It was nice seeing some of the more minor characters back in a movie again.

The best part of the movie, for me, was the fact that some of the superheroes finally died. I know that they aren’t probably going to stay dead, but it was about time that Marvel killed some of their superheroes. Though, the way they killed them was kind of disappointing.

Marvel did make us wait a long time for the end credit scene though.

I would still totally recommend this movie especially if you’re into superhero movies.  It was still a good movie and I had a lot of fun watching it.

– Ava G.

October Sky

This movie follows Homer Hickam and friends in the town of Coalwood, West Virginia around 1957. His father, John Hickam, wants Homer to join him in the mines. However, after seeing Sputnik 1 shoot across the sky, Homer becomes determined to build a rocket of his own. Homer and his friends Quentin, Roy, and O’Dell set off on building this rocket. Though their first couple of rockets are utter failures, they continue trying to build and test out these rockets with the support of their teacher Miss Riley. However, their rocket building endeavors hit a snag when local authorities blame them for causing a forest fire, leading to the group of boys tearing down their launch site and ending further rocket testing. Undeterred, Homer is able to prove through calculations that he and his friends were not the cause of the forest fire and resume building rockets, eventually getting to the state science fair.

This movie was amazing in that it shows the power of passion for whatever may interest you. By putting in their all and never giving up in the face of failure, Homer and his friends were able to completely change the path of their future that washeld for them. The audience may ask themselves, “How is this even reasonable? There’s no way simple interest in rockets and entering a science fair can alter someone’s future this greatly!” However, this was in fact based off of a real story! This movie teaches a great story of following one’s dreams and the importance of family in one’s success. It is a great movie to watch, with an even greater lesson behind it.

-Kobe L.

Film Review: Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War was a marvelous work of action, suspense, and many plot twists along the way. The movie would most likely to get an award in at least not just one category. It is about the critically acclaimed Avengers that was first introduced by Marvel Studios in 2012 and was a very good movie fueled by Disney’s purchase of Marvel in 2009, making the Marvel Cinematic Universe an even bigger money maker.

They started with the Iron Man trilogy which was at the time the best Marvel movie until a year later, with Captain America: Civil War. Like Civil War, Infinity War movie was not a happy family gathering. It speaks what the all the trailers where speaking. Something very bad is going to happen in this movie.

As the movie started there was silence when we saw the well done Marvel Studios sign. Usually there is music that introduces us to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You could already tell from there that it wasn’t going to be pleasant. It also introduced us to the title of Avenger Infinity War first instead of at the end of the movie. Which is not something Marvel does often. That also right there is a key that this movie is going to be something very different about this film.

Now on the bright side, we finally see the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers fighting Thanos’ army which was something that most fans including me have waited for a long time. We have waited for Thanos’s big reveal ever since the end credits of the original Avengers movie. Then again we saw him in Guardians of the Galaxy sitting high and mighty on his chair. Then again we saw him at the end credit scene in Avengers Age of Ultron. As much Marvel teased Thanos I was not disappointing about him. He had a clear motive about what he was doing and I thought to myself maybe is he right.

-Max U.

TV Review: What is missing from Arrow?

Arrow is a great show. It is about Oliver Queen. A man who was marooned on a island with one goal: to survive. When he was found and brought back to Starling City he became a crime fighting vigilantly known as the Arrow.

I decided to re-watch seasons 1, 2, and 3. Why those seasons you may ask? Because they are the most enjoyable.

I just thought that there was too many sentimental moments in the new series of Arrow then the old seasons. In seasons 1 Oliver wouldn’t talk about his love interests. He would keep it to himself and tell no one because he has better things to do.

Another thing is that they don’t have villains that don’t have to do just with the main bad guy. For example: In season 2 they had a villain that made human dolls. In season four they just fought assassins for the first half of the season.

There is also a rule about no killing that was enforced in season 2 but he would let it slide now and then. In season one however it was all he did which made it seem like more of his character. But up to season 4 and beyond he would stop the killing with a new arrow Felicity invented that wouldn’t kill Oliver’s target.

One thing that this show answers on all DC fanboys mind is what Oliver Queen did on that island for five years. When the show was first introduced we saw Oliver who started out as a pretty boy rich kid and became a survivor and most importantly a killer.

We see his experience in and out of the island that made him the arrow. We saw this through seasons 1 through 6. The sad thing is that they will not continue the flashbacks for the next season.

That right there makes me so mad that i want to smash my TV. There is just so many things that they can do in replace of Oliver Queens flashbacks. Those are my thoughts on the new seasons of arrow.

-Max U.

Film Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One was a great film directed by Steven Spielberg that really came alive as soon as the title screen appeared. The movie was said to be a real Spielberg story and it really was.

Our protagonist is Wade Watts. The movie takes place in Columbus, Ohio or if you want to be technical it really takes place in the Oasis. In the movie, Oasis was designed by James Haliday, a pop culture genius. He made the Oasis as another reality where people can be who they want to be.

Think of the Oasis as modern day VR Chat but bigger. In the movie Haliday died but, before he died he announced a contest. He said he hid an Easter Egg in the game. Who ever finds the Easter Egg will inherit the ownership of the oasis. This had everyone going crazy to find the Egg.

Even though that the fortune was very generous of Haliday people did insane things to find the Egg. The antagonist of the movie is Nolan Sorento, head owner of IOI which is trying to seek control the Oasis.

The start of the movie was slow but surprisingly this was a good thing. It gave everyone to spot out some of the many Easter Eggs Spielberg put in the film. Now when I say Easter Eggs I mean a lot of Easter Eggs. Some of them you could easily spot but also some of them where hard to spot. This helped viewers still feel joy that they saw there favorite video game character or just the title on the screen.

Even though the movie was visually stunning it was tragic in some spots. I mean is this what we want our future to be like? People spending so much time in the fake world they don’t even know what happened to the world? I mean one day you spend so much time in the oasis and then you forget who you are or where you are.

-Max U

Film Review: Black Panther

Black Panther had a lot of ups and downs but it was still a good film. I wouldn’t praise it as the best Marvel movie but it is still a good movie. To me this movie was like a lot of Marvel movies. We have the hero who was defeated by the villain then gets saved and comes back to save the day. It seems like Marvel is trying to keep following that pattern.

This kind of had to do with some history. To me T’challa and Kilmonger represented Malcolm X and Martian Luther King Jr. One had extremist beliefs while the other had peaceful beliefs. It seems fitting that they use these comparisons because of the film’s release during Black History Month.

I thought that Eric Kilmonger played by Michael B Jordan had a very empowering role as the villain. I think he really improved as a actor since Fantastic Four which was his last marvel film. This movie also had a Lion King feel to it. Like when T’challa fought Kilmonger he was struck down and then came back to defeat him.

Now I’m going back to Kilmonger because he had such a deep part in the movie. One of the deepest things he said in the movie was “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from the ships, because they knew that death was better than bondage.” Those few words could probably be the most deepest thing in the whole movie. That is what is so cool about his character.

Since he lived in America and has Wakanda blood, he goes back to the secret country where nobody has ever heard of The Civil Rights Movement. Which makes no sense what so ever to the people but we as a audience get it.

I also thought that the costumes in this movie really understood the type of look that Wakanda would have. The technology in the movie was really cool in every aspect.

I thought that it was funny that the whole world thought that Wakanda was a very poor country but, it was the most advance in the world.

-Max U.