Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Beasts of The Southern Wild

     



     "Beasts of The Southern Wild" is a film that will have you thinking about the love between a father and a daughter. It will also cause you to appreciate what you have in life as well as the importance of being able to adapt to whatever comes at us. The film is about a young girl named Hushpuppy (played by Quvenzhan√© Wallis) who lives in the southern Louisiana bayou community called the "Bathtub" with her father Wink (played by Dwight Henry). When Wink falls mysteriously ill, nature also falls ill with him. Temperatures rise, the ice caps melt and fearsome prehistoric beasts called aurochs run loose. 
      A big storm hits the "Bathtub" as rising waters threaten to engulf their community and Wink becomes seriously ill sending Hushpuppy in search of her long-lost mother. Hushpuppy's home in the "Bathtub" is destroyed and Wink dies. But Hushpuppy is a tough, spirited survivor who you know will find a way to get by.  
      If I could describe this film to someone I'd tell them, "it's a film with an outlandish situation that's solved with normal solutions, with some elements of fantasy mixed in." I like how the main character Hushpuppy isn't a super hero with a great destiny, but rather is a more relatable protagonist that I think has admirable qualities and could be a good role model for both men and women.  The aurochs are drawn to sadness and distress, which Hushpuppy has in spades. When they try to impose their will upon her, she will not have it. I would recommend going into this movie with an open mind and enjoying this unique film.

Crooklyn

     "Crooklyn" is a movie that takes place in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970's. It focuses on the Carmichael family: the mother Carolyn Carmichael (played by Alfre Woodard), the father Woody (played by Delroy Lindo), and their five kids. They're not doing too well financially and the parents are constantly fighting. Carolyn is a school teacher and the main provider for the family; she's the one with a level-headed mind keeping everyone together. Woody is a struggling musician. He might not have everything clearly in perspective but I like his optimistic outlook. The nine-year-old middle child Troy is their only daughter of the five children. Troy is the main character and the story is told through her eyes. Something I noticed about the movie is that we see a lot of the characters eating an excessive amount of candy, salt, and sugar.  Perhaps there's such a focus on junk food because the story is being told from a child's perspective. It could also be a commentary on people's diets at the time.
      "Crooklyn" tells the story of the lives of Troy and her family members. We observe how poor the Carmichaels are, yet they aren't the poorest people on the block. What's interesting is that it seems like everyone is mean-spirited towards each other. For example, there's a scene where one of the local neighborhood boys tells Troy to apologize for insulting him and his mom. I personally like the way the conflicts and disputes keep the plot moving along in an interesting way. It makes the world that the Carmichaels live in more three-dimensional. The conflicts in the external world also act as a good background for the inner tension between the family members.                                                  
      There is a lot of action and drama in the film. It's filled with many awesome, entertaining scenes like when Aunt Song is looking for her dog Queenie, only to find her pop out of the sofa bed like a pop tart coming out of a toaster.  The movie focuses extensively on the family but there are definitely a lot of crazy and colorful side characters as well.  There's an annoying neighbor with many smelly and noisy dogs, and a guy who sings soul tunes. We even have the director, Spike Lee, playing a drug addict  aptly named Snuffy who likes to sniff glue. I also love this movie's 1970s soundtrack of mostly soul music from different groups like  the Five Stairsteps, the Chamber Brothers, the Delfonics, and the Jackson 5. The 1970s soul music provides a realistic background and setting for the times, as well as the conditions in which the characters live. Overall, I liked this film. I enjoyed its setting, feeling and all the wacky characters. Watch this when you have the time.

Gerald Mallison on the two best in the Rocky Series (Rocky 1 and Creed)


Gerald Mallison
6/20/17

Rocky is seen by many as the second most critically acclaimed boxing movie of all time (first being Raging Bull). The story of Rocky is modeled after the story of Chuck Wepner, a economically fragile amatuer boxer who works for the mafia.  Luckily, the champion, Apollo Creed needed an opponent that was an “assured victory” for the bicentennial and chooses Rocky as an “easy win”.  For Rocky though, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for him and trains (with the help of his trainer Mickey) to become a legitimate contender for the champions title. This plot alone makes Rocky an all time classic sports movie, but I believe that a newer reincarnation has surpassed the original that came before.  Creed directed by Ryan Coogler is about the story of Apollo Creed’s son trying to become his own man in the world of professional boxing.  Eventually after seeing the gym his dad worked in turn him down, he goes to the one man his father considered his best friend and longtime rival Rocky Balboa.  He then gets the biggest shot of his boxing career and is offered a shot at the heavyweight championship, as long as he changes his last name to Creed to show his heritage to his father.  In many ways, the movies are similar and try to portray the life of a fighter being changed by one ground breaking opportunity.  Although I think Creed does a better job in creating a more realistic atmosphere and fighting scenes than its predecessor provided.  For example, Creed presents the story as less of a hollywood movie and more of a sports documentary, to the point where they even have Showtime (a legit and famous boxing organization) to support and format the majority of the movie.  Even the romance between Adonis and Bianca (Tessa Thompson), seemed more well built and developed than Rocky and Adrian's relationship.  In conclusion, when you look at both of these film masterpieces of the story about a underdog looking for his big break, I feel one does have a superior edge and makes for a much better cinematic experience.  So grab your popcorn and adjust your hearing aid, because Creed and Rocky both deserve to be rewatched.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Creed by Dara

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Creed and Fruitvale were directed by the same director, Ryan Coogler, and starred the same actor, Michael B Jordan. This movie re launches the franchise Rocky and it pays tribute to Rocky Balboa. There are many references that fans of the original Rocky would enjoy throughout the movie. For example, the training montages are identical. However, one difference is that this movie is heavily revolves around a black man, and modern hip hop music that is the fruit of African American culture. This movie is very emotional because the main underdog that people cheered for is now an old man suffering from an illness. However, the character Adonis is like a foil for Rocky. Adonis is the underdog, he was put into a fight in which he was expected to lose. Also, he is escaping the legacy of Apollo Creed, his father, and want to make a name for himself, not as a son of a legendary boxer. Rocky takes Adonis under his wings and train him. However, one important thing is that Adonis saw Rocky as family and influenced him how to fight once again. Except this time, it wasn't against another man, he was with himself. Rocky did not want to take chemotherapy for cancer and decided to just patiently wait for the time to come. However, the ending scene shows Rocky, 40 years older, walking up the "Rocky Steps" with difficulty but he doesn't give up. Another battle for Rocky as he is still the underdog against cancer, but our protagonist always fight strong.



Creed



Creed (2015) is a spin-off and sequel to the Rocky movies. Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) is the son of Apollo Creed. His whole life he's had a connection to boxing. One day he decides to pursue his dreams of being a professional boxer and quits his job. He then moves out to Philadelphia to be mentored by Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). This movie has themes of pursuing your dreams and going back to your roots.
Adonis wanted to box his whole life. However, Apollo's wife Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) didn't want that for him because his father died in the ring. He eventually signs up to fight Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew). News soon gets out that Adonis is Apollo Creed's son. This causes Adonis to be nervous because not only is he worried about being known as a "fake Creed" but he's concerned he won't live up to the Creed name. However, Adonis puts up a good fight despite what media predicted. Although he doesn't win the fight, he does last through every round. This is viewed as an accomplishment for Adonis as Conlan is the undefeated champ. This mimics Rocky (1976) where Rocky didn't win the fight against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) but he does last through every round.
Creed also has moments of going back to your roots. Adonis never got to know his father since he died before he was born. Fighting in the ring probably made him feel closer to his father. Although he didn't end up the champ his father would have been proud to follow in his footsteps. Getting to train with Rocky as his mentor also brought Adonis closer to his father seeing as Apollo and Rocky were friends. Mrs.Creed also sent Adonis his father's old boxing shorts for him to box in during the match.

Fruitvale Stations



Gerald Mallison 6/20/17


Fruitvale Station is the dramatic recreation of the Oscar Grant shooting on December 31, 2008. The movie revolves around Oscar Grant, played by Michael B. Jordan, living his final hours before the tragic events on New Year's day. Revealing his: time in prison for selling marijuana, sketchy relationship with his family, and an ongoing trouble to maintain jobs or pay the rent. During his mother's birthday, Oscar talks to his mother who suggests that he and his baby mama take the train downtown to attend a New Year's Eve extravaganza.  This seems like a good idea at first, and actually makes for a good movie plot on it’s own.  Unfortunately that’s not what the movie was named and made after.  While coming home from the party, Oscar and his party’s train are pulled over and questioned by the police for a fight that occurred.  After Oscars’ party resists being brought to the station from the police, the cops decide to take the law into their own hands and handcuff Oscar and his friends.  This then leads to one of the officers “mistaking” his taser for his gun and shoots Oscar Grant in a subway station in front of the public.  The majority of this movie goes over what he experienced before the moment of the subway, and really does kind of speed over everything after the shooting.  The movie does contain good symbolism such as Oscar holding a dead dog with blood on his shirt (of course foreshadowing hi certain death in the end).  Another example is his daughter not wanting him to leave, unaware of the horrible fate her father has coming.  Even though I like this movie, their are flaws that can be seen and easily corrected.  Such as the overbearing amount of foreshadowing to the point where it’s kinda beat over the head that Oscar is going to die.  I would also have liked if they showed the actual death footage at the end of the movie, this way the foreshadows are less blunt and obvious.  In conclusion while the ending of the movie is very obvious, the journey this movie makes you go through is grade A and is a must watch movie.

The Breakfast Club

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The Breakfast Club (1985) showcases five teens from different backgrounds coming together to become friends, even if only for a few hours. Claire (Molly Ringwald) comes from a rich family where her parents use her as a pawn in their arguments. Andrew (Emilio Estevez) whose dad is never content with what he does. Bender (Judd Nelson) comes from an abusive home. Allison (Ally Sheedy) is a compulsive liar who feels her parents don't pay enough attention to her. Lastly, Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) whose parents care more about his grades than him. Because of their backgrounds, they make an unlikely friend group. However, the events that occur during Saturday detention bring them much closer to each other.
At first it seems the teens will just sit in silence for the entire day. Due to their different backgrounds they don't know each other well if at all. Eventually, Bender's antics draw the group closer to each other until they ultimately come together during lunch where they start to learn more about each other. This is when they start to share the reasons they ended up in detention. For the most part these reasons reflect their perceived personalities. Claire skipped school to go shopping, Bender pulls a false fire alarm, Allison, just being bored, and Andrew bullying a student by taping his butt cheeks together. The most shocking reason of all was Brian who tried to kill himself with a flare gun because he failed shop class.
There's a moment when the five are all sitting together and the question is asked if they'll be friends after detention is over. Although they had a good time the idea is that no, they would not be friends. Though this is viewed as a harsh decision it does reflect the need to feel popular as Claire and Andrew, the most popular of the group, say they would not be friends with the rest afterwards. In the end, Brian is asked to write the essay that was asked of them by vice principal Vernon (Paul Gleason) in which he answers the question "Who do you think you are". In this essay, Brian states that the group is more than just their stereotypes a brain (Brian), an athlete (Andrew), a basket case (Allison), a princess (Claire), and a criminal (Bender). These five were able to make a friendship that I hope actually did last more than those few hours despite their differences. What's stopping others from putting aside theirs to make the world a better place.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Rebel without a cause- Kaysha Carrasquillo

Kaysha Carrasquillo
6.19.17
B3/Film Studies

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Rebel without A Cause

Rebel without A Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban middle-class teenagers. Directed by Nicholas Ray a film of delinquents in urban slum environments. The stars of this film are James Dean (Stark), Sal Mineo (Plato), and Natalie Wood (Judy), this film consisted of James Dean who was a trouble making child that moved to a new town looking for a clean slate, but ends up finding trouble anyways. As he tries to look for some stability, but creates a bond with a disturbed classmate (Plato), and ends up falling for a local girl (Judy), but she is already in a relationship with the neighborhood tough, Buzz (Corey Allen). Once Buzz finds out about Stark liking his girlfriend, he challenges him to a drag race. We already know drag races is where all the trouble begin, and even worse for a trouble child, that is supposed to be looking for a clean slate. I can actually say this had to be one of my favorite films, because it showed a realistic point of how high school can be, kids can be pressured into things and make wrong decisions due to others actions and "motivation." This shows how high school/kids can influence on others, and bring things to be worse for you. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Jaws- Kaysha Carrasquillo

Kaysha Carrasquillo
6.14.17
B3/Film Studies

Image result for jaws                            Image result for jaws

Jaws

Jaws is an all time CLASSIC that I can actually say I have mixed emotions about, why? I like the concept of the film, but I also am terrified of sharks so I feared to watch this film. Jaws is a 1975 America thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's 1974 Novel. During a late night beach party on Amity Island, a young woman (Chrissie Warkins) goes swimming in the ocean. While swimming out near a buoy, she is seized by something below, it thrash and dragged her under the ocean. Chrissie was then reported missing, and her remains were later found on the beach by the chief of police, Martin Brody. The medical informs Brody that Chrissie was killed by a shark, Brody planned to shut down the beach but the mayor overruled because he feared that reports of a shark sighting/attack may ruin the summer tourists season. Brody's son Michael, Quint, and Hooper were sent out to kill the shark (Jaws). In the morning Brody called the U.S. coast guard, but Quint destroys the radio enraging Brody. After a long chase Quint harpoons two more barbels to the shark (Jaws), but the shark ends up dragging the boat backwards forcing water onto the deck, which caused the engine to flood. Hooper enters the ocean in a shark proof cage to inject the shark with a spear. When the shark (Jaws) becomes entangled in the wrecked cage and tries to attack again, Brody shoves a scuba tank into its mouth then takes Quints riffle and shoots the tank causing it to explode into pieces, and destroys the shark (Jaws). After this film was created Jaws became a sensation, this film became so popular and the name Jaws as well, but I will always have fear because of this movie, the graphics of this film weren't great due to technology back then, but still provokes me to fear sharks.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Full Metal Jacket #MichaelLee

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When I hear about a gun slinging, bomb exploding, drill sergeant yelling, Vietnam movie, I think about this masterpiece put together by the almighty Stanley Kubrick. There's no better movie to describe the life of boot and after. Boot camp is a necessary step into becoming a soldier without it, you have no training and you might as well surrender right when you get there. Drill Sergeants are made to be tough and are taught to mold the strongest of soldiers out of the weakest of men and women. With the Vietnam War in full swing, many are drafted in and many join out of their free will. The first scene shows the boots getting their haircuts and entering 10 weeks of hell they'll have to get through together. 

After they get their first haircut, they land in the bunk room. That's where they first really get rounded up and screamed at by the Drill Sergeants.  As Drill Sergeant Hartman is yelling at someone, one of the privates murmurs a joke from Forrest Gump. Hartman quickly races down to the other end of the room yelling, "Who the fuck said that?' He soon finds someone to yell at and puts the blame on someone but Private Davis admits that it was him. Drill Sergeant Hartman proceeds to asks if he thinks he is funny. He then punches him in the gut and gives him the nickname Private Joker. Private Lawrence is someone is a fat, lazy kid who shouldn't have even been drafted in the first place. His nickname is Private Pyles. He has no motivation and every mistake that he makes gets put on everyone else because the Drill Sergeant caught him with a jelly donut in his locker. Everyone dislikes him and people beat him with soap wrapped in a towel. He soon lost his mind and started talking to his weapon. The only thing he found that he was good at was shooting a gun. He learned to take pride in his weapon. All of them pass basic training and make it through. Private joker is sent to Basic Military Journalism which of course he is criticized by the Drill Sergeant. Cowboy and Pyles are assigned to Infantry.  

 On the final night while Private joker is on fire watch, he hears noises coming from the head. He walks in and see Private Pyles sitting down loading a magazine with live rounds. He gives Private Joker this scary and crazy look. He jumps up and stands at attention. He starts executing drill commands and very loudly recites the Rifleman's Creed. Hartman bashes in to the head and confronts Pyles and orders him to put down the rifle. He refuses and shoots Hartmen. He them sits on the toilet, grabs the butt of the rifle and aims down sights in his mouth and then pulls the triggers.

Joker is now a Sergeant and with the Stars and Stripes. He is sent with his combat photographer Rafterman to find his old buddy cowboy from Lusthog squad. Before he does though, he meets with a major. The Major criticizes how he has Born to Kill written on his helmet but a peace sign on his jacket. The Major asks which one is it. Joker says it has to do with the duality of man and how we all have two sides to our selfs. I feel this to be very true especially for soldiers. They may be very different men and women when on the battlefield compared to dealing with at home life. Different parts is brought out of them in different situations.

They finally catch up with cowboy and meet all whole amount of new people. They meet during the Battle of Hue. They end up going the wrong way and the leader, "Touchdown" is shot by sniper fire. A medic goes in but fails miserably as he is shot in the leg and they are left both lying there to die. "Mutha Killer", runs in a more tactical way unlike the medic. He hides up against cover asks the medic laying on the ground where the sniper is. Right when the medic points to which direction the sniper is, he is the sprayed with bullets. The sniper ended up killing cowboy too through a crack in the building. A clear shot to the stomach. Rafterman who was so eager to kill ended up being the one who took her down. The sniper was just a little girl. Rafterman was bragging about how he took her down and now acting all tough. Killing a little girl isn't really something to be bragging about even if it is to save your unit. It's harsh and they all wanted to leave the girl to rot instead of put her out of her misery. Joker shot her while she was praying for them to kill her. There's always two sides to the story. We do what we do for our country because we think it's right. They do what they do because that's what they think is right. There is a lot of decisions to make during war but someone of the most important you may come by as wether or not to be human or be a monster.

I believe this film perfectly captures war and how gruesome it can be. Many people say that there was no point in putting any more parts to the movie after the boot camp scenes. I hardly believe that to be true. Both parts of the movie depict what a soldier can go through within his first year on the job. It's a stressful job and not for the faint hearted. We have to been more respectful to the people who went there and tried to fight for freedom when everyone else doubted them.












Thursday, June 15, 2017

FruitVale Station #Michael Lee


Fruitvale Station is among my favorite movies we have watched this year. Michael B. Jordan is an incredible actor. This movie follows the life of Oscar Grant, a struggling black male trying to support his daughter and girlfriend the best way he knows. The movie captures the last day of Oscar's life on earth before he was shot by police.

He struggles to support his family since he lost his job at the grocery store. He went to go get it back but the manager couldn't give it back. He is so desperate for money he almost goes back to selling drugs to his old boy. He them decides to dump the stash into the river. Honestly I think this was a good decision. Turning to drugs is never a good decisions and it only gets you into more problem but them again, oscar still got killed. Oscar, his friends, and his girlfriend go out into the city to party. While on the subway, he sees an enemy from jail and tries to fight him. The police are then called and they are all put up against a wall. As everyone is recording around them, the cops are yelling at them while oscar is on his phone talking to his girlfriend telling her his situation. The cop shot him at point blank range when his face was to the ground.

This cop must be out of his mind. Even if the cop mistakes his gun for a taser, it's unacceptable considering the fact the the taser is on the complete other side from the gun. That is exactly the reason why they are on different sides so you don't mistake them. I believe the cop should have gotten longer than an eleven month sentence because a daughter lost her father and a mother lost her son. Also, a family lost a piece they can never get back. Mistakes like these can't happen.

Jaws #Michael Lee


Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Peter Benchley, Carl  Gottlieb

This movie is about a great white shark that terrorizes a small New England beach town called Amity. After the kills a young skinny dipper, the whole town panics and runs to the police to look for answers on how to proceed with their lives. I personally love this film because of how real the shark actually does look in a lot of the scenes considering how old the movie is. The movie was certainly ahead of it's time. 

One of the most controversial characters in the movie is Mayor Larry Vaughn. Instead of Listening to the the Police Chief to close down the beach, he lets the beaches stay open so that he can make more money. Greediness is certainly is bad virtue at times. Don't you think that it would be safer for the people if the beaches were closed until the shark is caught? I think so. So the town also has a meeting with the Police Chief and Mayor. A ship captain named Quint offers his services to kill the beast of amity, of course at a pricey cost of ten thousand dollars. Remember nothing is free in this world. The Mayor turns down this offer and send the ship captain on his way. So the shark is still swimming out there ready to feed on whoever decides to swim to far from the shallows. 

No one is actually swimming in the water out in a nice day. Everyone is just laying out on the beach waiting for someone to be the first so that everyone else could follow. The Mayor walks ups to someone he knows and tells him and his family to go in the water. As they enter the water, everyone stares and they goes running after them to go enjoy the with them. The ice has bee broken but but soon that won't be the only thing broken. The Chiefs son wants to take his boat out into the water but he says no. The Chief says to take it into the pond where it is safer, Oh the irony. While the kids are on the boat they see a man on a little fishing boat attacked by the shark. He dies and luckily the kids make it safety. What's annoying is that it takes another death to get the whole town to realize that this shark is a big deal and that it needs to be taken care of. 

So the town is on full time watch but fails to catch the right shark. They catch a tiger shark which do eat meat mind you but from what the scientist found out, they are dealing the a Great White Shark. Now the whole town is is really panicing. They decided to take Quint's deal and The police chief and scientist rides along with him. After a couple hours on the water they find him a hook him onto a barrel so they can keep track of where he is. The Ship captain ends up getting swallowed whole and the ship pretty much sinks. The police chief shoots a air tanks thats in the sharks mouth and blows him up.

This movie teaches a valuable lesson, don't wait for it to happen the second time to actually do something. They couldn't saved the second person's life. 




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

JAWS


                                                         Arthur Abeshouse, Date: 6/14/17
     Jaws is a 1975 American horror/thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name. When it came out to be a horror movie in 1975 it is surprising to think that after watching it, there was more to this film than you could have expected from the title and poster of the movie. The pure terror that is constantly reoccurring through a mechanical shark keeps the audience at the edge of their seats while frustration builds off the shark's incredible power. Spielberg did a brilliant job of concealing the shark until nearly the middle of the film. This creates incredible suspense as the audience waits for the next attack, scaring them away from the ocean. With limited technology, the mechanical shark look fairly realistic but I did not expect it to look so real in the water and later on the boat. This realism adds to the terrifying sequences of attacks as it looks like a real shark that could come back and attack you. Apart from the shark attacking is the incredible development of the characters themselves. As the film progresses so do the characters, we watch as Chief Brody loses his fear of the water and eventually bests the evil that is the shark. Also, we see a growing relationship between Hooper and Quint as they compare scars which leads to the Quint's monologue telling the story of the USS Indianapolis. This story had been analyzed, improvised, and delivered brilliantly through Robert Shaw which commenced the damage to The Orca. The overall journey of the three crew members took the audience to a place they will never forget.

The Breakfast Club

                                                     Arthur Abeshouse, Date: 6/14/17

     The Breakfast Club revolves around five high school students kept together in detention, where they are required to write an essay explaining who each of them thinks they are. Though they see through this exercise for the shallow, poorly judged attempt to induce conformity that it is, as the day wears on they really do come to learn something about themselves most notably, that they were not as different from each other as they had thought.

     Hughes himself was an outcast at school, and happy to admit it. He said it gave him the opportunity to develop better musical taste (something which shows in his films), and it apparently also gave him shrewd powers of observation. Though they are archetypes with a predictable assortment of problems at home, the young people in his story all come across as real easy for fellow teenagers to identify with and poignant for adults to watch, as they make so many familiar mistakes. There are the sports star an A-grade student, both of whom hate the way they're pushed to succeed; there's the popular girl, secretly miserable because of the breakdown in her parents' marriage; there's the destructive rebel, a victim of violence at home; and there's the sullen, goth, who, for all her remoteness, is the only one who really seems comfortable with who she is sadly, this leads to a misjudged ending where we're told she'll really be happier when she's been made to look like everyone else. Over the course of the film they move from mutual mistrust to a sadness that, once it's over, they may lose their new friendship as they return to their former cliques.


     What makes this film still stand out today is the way it explores teenage relationships with the edge of cruelty that has come to dominate the genre in latter years. True, some of the characters are mean to each other, but there's always the sense that they are all decent people underneath. It's a remarkably optimistic portrait of a generation which, their principal remarks in concern, will be running the world one day. Now that they really are of an age to do so, that generation might do well to look back on The Breakfast Club and remember what it was like when friendship meant so much.