Jury Coordination and Notes

Archive for July, 2016

I’m not afraid of no Ghosts or Haters by Keefer C.Blakeslee

Monday, July 18th, 2016

ghostbustera.jpgJune 8th,1984 the original Ghostbusters was released. It blew up the box office, amazed critics and became a comedy classic. June 8th, 2016, to celebrate my 16th birthday and my slow progression into old age, I took a couple of my friends to go see the original Ghostbusters on the big screen because my local movie theater was having a special anniversary screening.

We sat down with our soda and popcorn surrounded by fellow fans wearing slimer T-shirts ghostbuster.jpgand Ghostbuster snapbacks. Then the house lights dimmed and the original director, Ivan Reitman appeared on screen. He shared a few words about the film and thanked fans for attending. The movie began and the crowd cheered. As the movie continued, people jumped when the librarian scares the Busters, laughed at the classic dialogue between the characters and you could hear audience members finish certain lines (Me being one of them).

Watching it again on the big screen rekindled my love for this film. When the film ended people, applauded and started leaving the theater. Suddenly, director of the new Ghostbusters, Paul Feig was on screen. He talked about the original classic and then introduced a sneak peek of the new Ghostbusters. Immediately the audience groaned with disgust when the sneak preview came on.

That reaction is exactly why I’m writing this blog. The dislike for the new Ghostbusters is overwhelming. I want to say, for the record, that I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan. I constantly watched the film growing up. I had copies of the original TV show and I even dressed up like a Ghostbuster for Halloween. I also have to admit that I was not ecstatic for the reboot at first. Not because it’s an all female cast, but because it’s a reboot of one of my childhood films. I thought they were trying  to live up to the legacy of the original. I can understand why some people are not particularly excited for the ghostbuster.b.jpgreboot, but the negative and misogynistic reaction has grown. The new Ghostbusters trailer video on YouTube is the most disliked trailer in YouTube history and has garnered a lot of raging comments. Films have had bad advertising reactions before, but this hate continues to grow before anyone has even seen the film. Taking all this into consideration, here are four reasons why I am now enthusiastic about the new film.

1) The Cast: If you’re going to hire female Ghostbusters, these are exactly the comedians to include. Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig are completely qualified to carry the Ghost hunting torch. All of them are hilarious on each has her own unique style of comedy that I’m sure will have the audience roaring with laughter.

2) The Director: Paul Feig has climbed the ladder to become one of the best comedic film director. He’s directed hit comedies such as The Heat, Spy (which he also wrote) and the Oscar-nominated Bridesmaids. Feig knows the perfect balance of smart dialogue and outrageously funny physical comedy. Plus, he’s worked with Wiig and McCarthy on previous films so he knows how to work with them.

3)  It’s not a Remake! It’s a Reboot! Something that the filmmakers explicitly say is that it’s not continuing the original story, it’s four new characters who get into the profession of busting ghosts. So, it is in no way trying to outdo the original film. What made the first film funny is that it put four funny comedians into the situation of hunting ghosts and comedy ensues. The same goes for this film, only they are starting from scratch and these ladies have their own style of comedy. The first film relies on clever dialogue because, most of the time they’re wearing heavy proton packs which prevent them from doing a lot of complicated physical comedy and, because of the infancy of special effects, they had limitations in interacting with the apparitions. The new film, because of modern technology and lighter proton packs, will most likely have smart dialogue but it can also utilize more physical comedy.

4) The original cast give their blessings: Yes, the original cast loves the idea of the reboot and, in a Jimmy Kimmel interview with the new and original cast, Bill Murray expressed his enjoyment of the film. Kimmel asked, “Why was this idea (meaning the new Ghostbusters) appealing to you?” Murray responded, “It was only cause I knew these girls were funny.” Even Keefer.2014.5.jpgAykroyd, who was not only one of the actors but writers, along with Harold Ramis (Rest in Piece) said in a Hollywood Reporter interview, “The Aykroyd family is delighted by this inheritance of the Ghostbusters torch by these most magnificent women in comedy. My great grandfather, Dr. Sam Aykroyd, the original Ghostbuster, was a man who empowered women in his day and this is a beautiful development in the legacy of our family business.” So, if original cast are happy with the film maybe we shouldn’t judge to quickly.

Say what you want about how Hollywood is running out of ideas and that you are tried of seeing remakes and reboots. That’s a given. However, before people start writing pessimistic and sexist comments about a film, how about they wait until the film comes out before writing those negative reviews.

I think Leslie Jones said it best in an Entertainment Weekly interview regarding the sexist remarks: “It’s not a man thing, it’s not a woman thing. It’s a Ghostbuster thing.”

Nora Ephron, Someone To Admire By Brianna Hope Beaton

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Nora_Ephron.jpgWe all have people that we look up to and admire. Personally, I have a high regard for Angela Bassett, Leonardo Dicaprio, Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Tyler Perry, Meryl Streep and Matt Damon (just to name a few). I happen to know that Nora Ephron is greatly looked up to by one of my fellow KIDS FIRST! Film Critics as well and I would like to write about her.

Born on May 19, 1941, in New York, NY, Nora Ephron was the daughter of writers. Even though she was born in New York, she grew Up in Los Angeles. Later in life she attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts for her extended education. Her articles and essays were collected and published in the 1970s Wallflower at Orgy and Crazy Salad. She wrote her very first novel, Heartburn in 1983 which was inspired by the ending of Ephron’s second marriage. It also was adapted into a film that Meryl Streep starred in. After that, she wrote a couple screenplays including Silkwood (1983) and When Harry Met Sally (1989). They both earned her Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay. She directed her first film, This Is My Life, in 1992 and in 1993,  wrote and directed BriannaHopeBeaton2.jpgSleepless in Seattle. This film gave her a third Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. In 1998, Ephron co-wrote her next screenplay with her sister Della, You’ve Got Mail. In 2009, Ephron received a great amount of praise for directing and writing Julie & Julia, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. On June 26, 2012, at the age of 71, Nora Ephron passed away due to pneumonia, caused by acute myeloid leukemia.

In researching the life and times of Nora Ephron, I have seen true passion, perseverance and, in turn – success. Stepping back to the beginning, there are many people that surround us in media, on television, in films, in books and in many other places that have done so well in and at their lives that they can’t helped being admired. I find that the more people you admire and learn from, the more they help take you on the road to success. Perhaps one day you too will fill those shoes.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”- Nora Ephron

Has Hollywood Gone Too Far With Sequels? By Clayton Pickard

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

AttackofSequels.jpgHollywood seems to be all about sequels and remakes these days. So far this year, 14 out of the top 20 U.S. films have been sequels or remakes. That’s 70 percent! Does Hollywood keep making these sequels and remakes because they don’t want to take any chances with new ideas and these are a known quantity?

The movie business wasn’t always this way. Of the top ten films in 1985, only one was a sequel or a remake. In 1995, none of the top ten were sequels or remakes. But, by 2005, nine of the Clayton.jpgtop ten films were sequels or remakes. I was looking forward to a lot of the sequels this year: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Captain America: Civil War, Alice Through The Looking Glass and X Men: Apocalypse. But, when I look back on the films I most enjoyed this past year, all of them are based on original ideas. For instance, The Big Short, Spotlight, Room, Inside Out, When Marnie Was There and Monster Hunt. For those of you who don’t know Monster Hunt, it was the highest grossing film in China in 2015 and is the craziest, funniest, action-packed, original film I’ve seen in years.

Some of the overwhelming amount of sequels and remakes were: The Man From Uncle, Fantastic Four, Creed, Avengers Age of Ultron, Terminator: Genysis and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. I didn’t see Creed, I heard a lot of people loved it, but did we really need a Sylvester Stallone comeback? I did see The Man From Uncle, which was fun, but it was all style and no substance. Fantastic Four was a total waste of time and money. The plot and the acting were so uninteresting that it failed to hold my attention. I purposefully did not see Terminator Genysis because it looked like IMG_0238.jpga rehash of the last Terminator film. Nor did I choose to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. It’s the fifth film in the series and I feel they are milking the franchise for no reason besides money. They are even planning a sixth Mission Impossible!

A great place to see original, creative, theatrical films for kids is at children’s film festivals. I have been going to the New York International Children’s Film Festival for ten years now. I always see the most creative, visionary and uplifting films from around the world. They always premiere a Studio Ghibli film, which is how I became such a fan of that studio. There are children’s film festivals all around the U.S. If there isn’t one in your area, check out www.gkids.com for a list of great children’s films from prior festivals that you can get on DVD. And, don’t forget to look out for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners such as the University of Hawaii at Manoa which is doing its 10th KIDS FIRST! Film Festival all summer long.

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