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Movie Review

  • GirlSpring.com, Movie Review

    Reviewing the Netflix Original Documentary – Period. End of Sentence.

    period end of sentence

    Period. End of Sentence.

    A Review of the Netflix Original Documentary by Suneeti Chambers

    As I was browsing Netflix one day, I saw the preview of a documentary called Period. End of Sentence.

    Since I have a passion and an interest in women’s health, I felt that this was a documentary I would learn a lot from and enjoy.

    After watching it, I discovered that I was right!

    The documentary takes place in India and talks about a significant topic that is considered ‘taboo’ in India: menstruation.

    As you watch the documentary, you can see the awkwardness and uncomfortableness that the women and girls show when asked about the topic of menstruation. You can immediately tell how little attention this health topic is given, despite its extreme importance. Even men are asked about periods and menstruation, and they express a lack of knowledge concerning the subject.

    Furthermore, many women India resort to unhygienic ways to take care of their period, as seen in the documentary.

    To combat this problem, an Indian man by the name of Arunachalam Muruganantham has created a machine which creates pads. It is a relatively simple machine but it is able to create pads that are abundant in quality and quantity. Then, he got people to teach women from certain villages how to work the machines and create their own pads.

    From there on, the documentary shows women with an entrepreneurial spirit, selling their own pads and getting their own money. The pride and happiness seen in these women’s faces prove that nothing can get in the way of the perseverance and power of women. The documentary has reminded me to be proud to be part Indian and to be a woman.

    Most of all, it has reminded me that we should never hesitate to change the status quo!

  • Movie Review

    Netflix Series Review: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

    If you have not seen the Netflix original series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, then I recommend doing so. It is Netflix gold with its sense of humor and relation to real-time problems with society. I would like to note that there is a decent amount of cursing, and the rating for the show is TV 14.

    The show follows Kimmy, a recently rescued young woman who spent 15 years of her life underground as part of a perverted male’s religious cult. The plot of the show is that she is trying to move on from the past and make a name for herself without the pity of being what is commonly referred to in the show as a “mole woman.”

    She packs her bag and moves to New York City where she finds herself living in an apartment with a seemingly talented, gay, black man, with a delusional, older, white lady as the landlord. The mix of the protagonist’s personality and the other cast members help bring this slightly musical series to life.

    One of the lead writers for the show, Tina Fey, is a known comedian from Saturday Night Live. She is one of my favorite female role models in television, and she continues to create healthy female characters for people to look up to. Kimmy Schmidt not only wants to do what is right all the time, but she wants to make sure that she is helping those around her through her actions.

    The series boasts positivity in speaking up for yourself and trying hard to achieve your dreams. Sometimes life gets us down, and we feel the need to give up. This is where Kimmy Schmidt and Titus Andromedas—her roommate—would tell us to keep trying.

    So, if you’re in the mood for some feel-good comedy about a “mole woman,” then you should check out The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

    Here are some comparable series:

    Superstore

                Modern Family

                American Housewife

                Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23

                Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

                The Mindy Project

  • Movie Review, Movies

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II Movie Review by Jana

    The Incredibles II is finally back after a fourteen year wait! I’m going to be talking about my general thoughts on the movie, and give it a score out of ten. Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for The Incredibles and The Incredibles II.

    –SPOILERS AHEAD–

    WHY I LIKED THE FIRST MOVIE
    The thing I loved about the first movie was the politicized nature of the supers, and the way the movie subverted common superhero tropes. I think it’s fair to say that The Incredibles subverted tropes similar to the way Watchmen had subversive politicized superhero tropes, but certainly not to the same extent as Watchmen. Instead of existing in a society that fully embraced them, the heros in The Incredibles faced backlash for civilian casualties / property damage they caused while performing saves. Another thing I loved about the first movie was the excellent score, which I’m happy to report is not absent in The Incredibles II.

    THE VILLAIN PROBLEM IN THE INCREDIBLES II
    The second movie had an interesting villain who I would have loved to have been more fleshed out. Evelyn/ Screenslaver is a fascinating character whose motivations felt poorly explained and even lacking in important details in her big villain monologue to Elastigirl.

    Her distrust of supers goes back to her father’s love of them, and his reluctance to use the family’s safe room while they were getting robbed. He instead opted to try and use his direct line to supers who arrived too late, and he was thus killed for his over reliance on supers. Evelyn’s father was shown to be an important political figure to supers and advocated for their rights.

    Basically, Evelyn dislikes the way the general public overly relies on the actions of the supers and wants the public to go back to distrusting them. Also, her hatred of supers ties into the way she uses them to try and give the supers a bad name: screens. Her villain identity is called Screenslaver, and she used screens to hypnotize people into following her orders. Screenslaver delivers a monologue regarding the way people are overly reliant on technology, and seems to make this point very well by demonstrating her ability to hypnotize anyone looking at a screen. She fashions screens into goggles for the supers, and forces them to act in a way that makes the general public distrust them.

    This is such a fascinating character with commentary about people’s reliance on technology, and I would have liked it if we got more backstory and explanation about this character. It’s worth acknowledging that she might have gotten more fleshed out in scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.

    THE FAMILY FOCUS
    Like the first movie, The Incredibles II was as much about superheros as it was about the Parr family dynamic. I loved the way Bob and Violet’s father / daughter relationship evolved, and gave Bob room to make mistakes as a parent. Additionally, Helen’s move to front and center superhero for a short period of the movie was excellent. Bob’s jealousy when Helen was selected to carry out a mission instead of him wasn’t condemned or painted as a negative aspect of Bob’s character. Rather, his jealousy was understandable, and he made a visibly painful effort to demonstrate his happiness for her success.

    This tied into how he grew as a parent for all of his children. While Helen was out on the mission, he had be the sole caregiver for his children, something he clearly wasn’t used to. His jealousy seemed to make him resent this work at first, but as he got better at these parental duties, he began to enjoy carrying them out more. His frustration over not being able to understand Dash’s homework led to him pulling an all nighter to learn the math so he could help his son do well on the test. His comically botched plan to save Violet’s relationship with her love interest backfired and led to a heartfelt apology where he admitted to some degree of fault for the relationship’s undoing. As a quick aside, the way the family weaponized Jack Jack’s powers was hilarious; holding Jack Jack like a gun and saying, “pew pew” to make lasers shoot out of his eyes was comedy gold. Another brilliant moment I enjoyed was at the very end of the movie when Evelyn/ Screenslaver was arrested. Violent makes the comment, “Yeah but she’s rich, so she’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist.”

    Overall, I’d give The Incredibles II a 7/10 simply due to how enjoyable it was, but wish it could have offered a more fleshed out villain.

    Catch a sneak peek here:

    https://youtu.be/i5qOzqD9Rms

  • Movie Review, Movies

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II is finally back after a fourteen year wait! I’m going to be talking about my general thoughts on the movie, and give it a score out of ten. Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for The Incredibles and The Incredibles II.

    –SPOILERS AHEAD–

    WHY I LIKED THE FIRST MOVIE
    The thing I loved about the first movie was the politicized nature of the supers, and the way the movie subverted common superhero tropes. I think it’s fair to say that The Incredibles subverted tropes similar to the way Watchmen had subversive politicized superhero tropes, but certainly not to the same extent as Watchmen. Instead of existing in a society that fully embraced them, the heros in The Incredibles faced backlash for civilian casualties / property damage they caused while performing saves. Another thing I loved about the first movie was the excellent score, which I’m happy to report is not absent in The Incredibles II.

    THE VILLAIN PROBLEM IN THE INCREDIBLES II
    The second movie had an interesting villain who I would have loved to have been more fleshed out. Evelyn/ Screenslaver is a fascinating character whose motivations felt poorly explained and even lacking in important details in her big villain monologue to Elastigirl.

    Her distrust of supers goes back to her father’s love of them, and his reluctance to use the family’s safe room while they were getting robbed. He instead opted to try and use his direct line to supers who arrived too late, and he was thus killed for his over reliance on supers. Evelyn’s father was shown to be an important political figure to supers and advocated for their rights.

    Basically, Evelyn dislikes the way the general public overly relies on the actions of the supers and wants the public to go back to distrusting them. Also, her hatred of supers ties into the way she uses them to try and give the supers a bad name: screens. Her villain identity is called Screenslaver, and she used screens to hypnotize people into following her orders. Screenslaver delivers a monologue regarding the way people are overly reliant on technology, and seems to make this point very well by demonstrating her ability to hypnotize anyone looking at a screen. She fashions screens into goggles for the supers, and forces them to act in a way that makes the general public distrust them.

    This is such a fascinating character with commentary about people’s reliance on technology, and I would have liked it if we got more backstory and explanation about this character. It’s worth acknowledging that she might have gotten more fleshed out in scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.

    THE FAMILY FOCUS
    Like the first movie, The Incredibles II was as much about superheros as it was about the Parr family dynamic. I loved the way Bob and Violet’s father / daughter relationship evolved, and gave Bob room to make mistakes as a parent. Additionally, Helen’s move to front and center superhero for a short period of the movie was excellent. Bob’s jealousy when Helen was selected to carry out a mission instead of him wasn’t condemned or painted as a negative aspect of Bob’s character. Rather, his jealousy was understandable, and he made a visibly painful effort to demonstrate his happiness for her success.

    This tied into how he grew as a parent for all of his children. While Helen was out on the mission, he had be the sole caregiver for his children, something he clearly wasn’t used to. His jealousy seemed to make him resent this work at first, but as he got better at these parental duties, he began to enjoy carrying them out more. His frustration over not being able to understand Dash’s homework led to him pulling an all nighter to learn the math so he could help his son do well on the test. His comically botched plan to save Violet’s relationship with her love interest backfired and led to a heartfelt apology where he admitted to some degree of fault for the relationship’s undoing. As a quick aside, the way the family weaponized Jack Jack’s powers was hilarious; holding Jack Jack like a gun and saying, “pew pew” to make lasers shoot out of his eyes was comedy gold. Another brilliant moment I enjoyed was at the very end of the movie when Evelyn/ Screenslaver was arrested. Violent makes the comment, “Yeah but she’s rich, so she’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist.”

    Overall, I’d give The Incredibles II a 7/10 simply due to how enjoyable it was, but wish it could have offered a more fleshed out villain.

    Catch a sneak peek here:

    https://youtu.be/i5qOzqD9Rms

  • Movie Review

    “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”

    Recently, I was scrolling through Netflix late at night looking for something to watch. I have always been interested in watching the documentaries on Netflix, from Girl Rising to Miss. Representation, there was has been an abundance of feminist inspired films that are ruthless and inspiring. The most recent jewel on my queue was “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”, a look into the Women’s Liberation movement in the 1960’s.

    First Wave Feminism started in the 1800’s, with the meeting at Seneca Falls and the fight for women’s suffrage. The leaders of this first stance for women’s rights were Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Second Wave Feminism was a polar opposite from the First Wave, this movement was powered by the momentum from the Civil Rights Movement, and most importantly rage. Modern feminists are a part of Third Wave Feminism, and it was amazing to see how these women provided the foundation for the feminism we know today.

    This documentary went through multiple aspects of the movement, from the bra burnings at the Miss. America Pageant, to the formation of women liberation groups throughout the country. It focused on the social inequality of the sexes, how women were seen as objects to be owned by men without any question. It also shed light on intersectional feminism, and how feminism could be applied to racial issues along with LGBTQ rights. There were also clips from men, and how the majority of both men and women felt like the Women’s Liberation movement was unneeded and a waste of time. It portrayed the contrast between those who fought for equal rights, and those who were content with living in ignorance.

    The women who were interviewed for the documentary talked about problems that still apply to women and girls today, from the double standard between a woman’s and man’s sexuality to pay inequality. It was inspiring to see how the women in the 1960’s dealt with these social issues, and how girls today can deal with these problems that still plague society.

    The film itself was very beautiful, the bulk of the movie was footage collected from the 1960’s and 1970’s. There was also multiple women who were interviewed to speak about how they contributed to the movement, from those who worked in the Civil Rights Movement then moved into the Women’s Liberation movement to leaders of the Black Women’s Liberation movement. The spirits of these women were strong, quirky, and defiant which defined the movement itself.

    I highly recommend this documentary to women of all ages, though be warned there is some crude language in a few scenes. It was a beautiful film, one that gives me inspiration in how to explain my feminism to other people and how my feminism was built off of the work of those who fought for it 50 years beforehand. While there were parts in which might have been a point of controversy, even today, there is one statement that every person can agree with: “All women are beautiful”.

  • Articles, Movie Review, Movies

    Victoria and Abdul: A Review

    Victoria and Abdul: A Review

    I have always had a fond heart for movies, particularly those that possess the power to transpose a person by shedding a light on a new perspective. This month I had the absolute privilege of getting the opportunity to view the film Victoria and Abdul. The film, unlike any other film I have viewed in the past, contained a sense of undeniable passion and was able to fuse the austerity of racial discrimination with tale as old as time idea of following your heart to do what is right. This harmonious pairing makes this film inviting, uplifting, and allows views to watch from an unbiased standpoint and fully experience the beauty that defines this movie both aesthetically and in depth.

    The movie follows the progression of a friendship shared between Queen Victoria and a young clerk. The human’s ability to see past the superficial or to not see past the superficial is evident in this film along with other themes of loyalty, trust, knowledge and doing only what your heart deems to be fit and right. Not only is the film informative concerning an event that took place in history, but the film also highlights themes that are very relevant to our modern day society.

    See the trailer below.

    http://focusfeatures.com/victoriaandabdul

    For more info on the real story of Victoria and Abdul, visit Victoria and Abdul the Real Story

  • Movie Review, Movies

    Wonder Woman: Two Perspectives


    We were absolutely excited to see the Wonder Woman movie! Wonder Woman is the first superheroine movie and the first to be directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. Prior to the movie, there was only the live-action TV series in the 1970s of the same name starring Lynda Carter. Here are two reviews, by our awesome GirlSpring interns Jade Stewart and Megan Flint, about the movie that has taken the world by storm:

     

    Jade’s Review

    On June 8th, I had the chance to view the new Wonder Woman with my mom and my grandmom. The movie’s a mixture of action and fantasy and based off the titular superheroine created by William Moulton Marston. It’s been a long time coming for Wonder Woman, who’s been in comics since 1941.

    The movie takes place in two locations. The first location is the island of Themyscira, Princess Diana/Wonder Woman’s (Gal Gadot) birthhome and home of the Amazons. The island is where she receives her Amazonian training, in which her mother is against at first. The second location, and main focus, is the world outside the island. When the two worlds briefly collide, she learns the rest of the world is experiencing World War I. Diana decides to leave her peaceful island to end the conflict that had been occurring for the past four years. It’s also in the outside world that everything she learned in Themyscira turns upside down.

    One of the best aspects of the film was the action. The choreography of each fighting sequence had me on the edge of my seat! We—me, my mom, and grandmom—would be cheering on Wonder Woman to beat the bad guys. Also, the stop motion within the fight scenes didn’t feel overused but added to the intensity of each fight.

    Additionally, I love that the movie portrayed all aspects of Diana and not just her Wonder Woman alter ego. Diana is a powerful woman, but she’s also very naïve (due to her upbringing), intelligent, deeply cares about people, and fights for what she believes in, metaphorically and literally. Even with the strength of 1,000 Amazonians, she is still a vulnerable person. Diana isn’t born knowing how to be a hero, she has to work to become one. As Diana says to her mother, “Who will I be if I stay?”

    Overall, this was an incredible movie. The fact that this is the first Wonder Woman movie, in contrast to the plethora of Batman and Superman movies, is astounding. I hope the success of the movie opens the door to more movies about superheroines and more female-led action movies in general. May Wonder Woman also be an inspiration to young girls and women everywhere.

    9/10 Stars

     

    ww

     

    Megan’s Review

    The newest movie in the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman, came out on June 2nd. I managed to see it that day, and it blew me away. Beware, there are spoilers ahead!

     

    Wonder Woman is the story of Diana, the princess and only child of Themiscyra, a woman-only island utopia. She grows up in Themiscyra, never even seeing a man in person until Steve Trevor somehow breaks the barrier guarding Themiscyra from the rest of the world and crashes into the ocean, prompting Diana to dive in and save him. From there, Diana learns there is a war going on (which happens to be World War 1). Diana knows it must be the God of War, Ares, behind it. She decides she must go and help, as she is a trained warrior, and ventures outside the island for the first time in her life with Steve.

     

    This movie has been getting all sorts of reviews, from rave reviews that it is a feminist film to criticisms that it is boring in comparison to, say, Man of Steel. I lean towards the first type of review.

     

    Diana is a superhero like none that I have seen. Sure, the Marvel Universe has Natasha Romanoff and Wanda Maximoff (Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, respectively). I adore both of those characters. But Diana is something else. Perhaps it is because she is the lead superhero, but she feels more Captain America than Black Widow, in that it feels more epic, like she is larger than life.

     

    Diana is also unique in that she has a different worldview than most superheroes I have seen. Some may say it is naive, but she believes in the goodness of humanity. With quotes like, “I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves,” and “Only love will truly save the world,” it is a refreshing change from the superheroes who fight for everyone but lose hope in humanity.

     

    The movie does have its flaws. For example, the villains like Doctor Poison felt underdeveloped. I thought for sure we would delve into her past, like why exactly she has that scar on her face, but we do not. On the other hand, I can see why they do not go into character backgrounds, if Ares is supposed to be behind the evil of the war. It is a sort of catch-22, in that there is a good reason not to go into the backgrounds, but it makes the film feel a little less fleshed out.

     

    This film felt different to me than the other superhero movies I have seen. I believe that is because it felt like the movie really had a message of hope, despite all the war and heartbreak. When it comes down to it, I felt like Diana was a really likable, charming character who inspires me to be more daring, stand up for what I believe in, but also to stay soft.

     

    I give this movie a 9/10 stars, and urge everyone to go see it, because it truly is delightful.