Teens

Category Archives: Movies

Hold the Popcorn! : Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Posted on June 28th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_Out_of_the_Shadows_poster
Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michaelangelo, everybody’s favorite NYC sewer dwelling, crimefighting, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back on the big screen in Out of the Shadows. Vern (AKA “The Falcon”) has taken all of the credit for capturing Shredder in the last movie from the Turtles. Unfortunately for everyone, Shredder manages to escape from custody while being transferred from one prison to another. He ends up in another dimension with a strange alien creature named Krang, whose sights are set on taking over the Earth. Shredder agrees to help Krang gather the pieces to a portal which will allow him to realize his dream of taking over the Earth in return for Krang’s assistance in eliminating the Turtles once and for all. After a lot of intense crimefighting action throughout the film, the Turtles are faced with a difficult choice.

Out of the Shadows is a fun summer movie that is easily accessible even to those with no previous exposure to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Tyler Perry (the creator of the “Madea” films) delivers a strong performance as evil scientist Baxter Stockwell. Out of the Shadows contains a lot of comic book style action and violence and loud noises which might not be suitable for very young children, but should not be a problem for a teenage audience.

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Out-of-the-Shadows-645x370

 

animatedDo you love watching movies? The Boston Public Library has tens of thousands of DVDs you can borrow with your library card and even more that you can access online through our streaming service, Hoopla. Plus, if you can’t find a movie you want to watch in all the ones we offer, you can always suggest a purchase. Start placing holds now, and you’ll never have to pay to watch a movie again!

 

*”Hold the Popcorn!” features movie reviews by James, the Teen Librarian at the East Boston Branch, on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

 

Hold The Popcorn!: Keanu, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, & Barbershop: The Next Cut

Posted on May 24th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies

KEANU
Keanu is the first feature film by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele and it is hilarious! Keanu is a cat who shows up in the life of Rell (played by Peele) shortly after his girlfriend leaves him. Unfortunately, Keanu is catnapped, which leads Rell and his cousin Clarence (played by Key) to go underground, infiltrating a sketchy drug gang led by Cheddar (played by rapper Method Man). Hilarity ensues! Keanu is rated R and is therefore only recommended for older teens. Currently in theaters, available on DVD soon.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
While some viewers might find Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to be a bit on the corny side, true comic book fans will definitely enjoy it. As inferred by the title, Superman and Batman just can’t seem to get along. Batman is angry with Superman for the excessive bodycount which was a result of his battle with General Zod. At the same time, Clark Kent (Superman’s alter ego) attempts to portray Batman as reckless and a danger to society. Enter traditional Superman nemesis Lex Luthor and a bunch of kryptonite, and the audience is in for a heck of a ride! Batman v Superman is rated PG-13, mostly for excessive and intense comic-book style violence. Currently in theaters, available on DVD soon.

BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT
Legendary NWA rapper turned actor Ice Cube reprises his role of Calvin, the owner/operator of a neighborhood barbershop on Chicago’s South Side. In the ten years which have past since the last installment in the Barbershop series, Calvin’s barbershop has gone co-ed. Calvin’s neighborhood has gone through a lot of change as well, and not necessarily for the better. In Barbershop: The Next Cut, comedy interacts with serious current issues as the barbershop crew tries to cope with a litany of inner city social problems. Strong performances are given by popular hip-hop artists Common and Nicki Minaj as Rashad and Draya. Barbershop: The Final Cut is rated PG-13 mainly for language and some mature themes. Currently still in theaters, available on DVD soon.

BarbershopTheNextCutposter Batman_v_Superman_poster keanu_1sht_main_vert_2764x4096_dom_master

 

animatedDo you love watching movies? The Boston Public Library has tens of thousands of DVDs you can borrow with your library card and even more that you can access online through our streaming service, Hoopla. Plus, if you can’t find a movie you want to watch in all the ones we offer, you can always suggest a purchase. Start placing holds now, and you’ll never have to pay to watch a movie again!

 

*”Hold the Popcorn” features movie reviews by James, the Teen Librarian at the East Boston Branch, on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

 

Hold The Popcorn: Deadpool

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies, Teen Services

deadpool making a heart shape with his hands

For those who like their Marvel heroes a little bit on the snarky side, there is Deadpool. Just when eccentric (to put it lightly) ex-military mercenary Wade Wilson (played brilliantly by Ryan Reynolds) falls in love with Vanessa (played by Morena Baccarin), a woman whose troubled past he can relate to, he discovers he has a serious case of cancer. Wade allows Ajax (played by Ed Skrein), an evil and twisted government sponsored doctor, to treat his cancer and give him special powers. While Ajax may have been successful in getting rid of Wade’s cancer, in the process he completely messes up his handsome face. As a consolation prize for the face, however, Wade receives incredible Wolverine-like healing powers, thereby transitioning from Wade into Deadpool. Deadpool, along with sidekicks Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, seeks revenge against Ajax. This film is action packed and hilarious, although some of the saucy language and situations might be a bit over the top for younger teens. Deadpool is still in some theaters, probably for at least a couple more weeks and should be on DVD in May.

 

animatedDo you love watching movies? The Boston Public Library has tens of thousands of DVDs you can borrow with your library card and even more that you can access online through our streaming service, Hoopla. Plus, if you can’t find a movie you want to watch in all the ones we offer, you can always suggest a purchase. Start placing holds now, and you’ll never have to pay to watch a movie again!

 

*”Hold the Popcorn” features movie reviews by James, the Teen Librarian at the East Boston Branch, on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese: Erased & Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus 11

Posted on April 12th, 2016 by jkenney@private.bpl.org in Books, Movies, Reviews - Staff

This new installment on our teen blog includes two great titles from our friends in Japan. First, Erased, or Boku dake ga Inai Machi (The Town Where Only I am Missing, BokuMachi) is the hit new series that just finished on Crunchyroll and other anime outlets. Second, Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 11, adds another wonderful samurai epic to the manga shelves at the Hyde Park Branch.

 

ErasedErased is a mystery-thriller with a scifi base. The hero, Sartoru Fujimuna, discovers he can go back in time whenever he experiences an intense trauma. He is falsely accused of a crime when he is older and gets transported back to his grade school days, shortly before the mysterious disappearance of his classmate, Kayo Hinazuki.  The character art work and development is strong and original in this new series. Costumes are realistic yet interesting as you might expect from a present day drama. The animation shows great virtual cinematography at many scene changes and “camera” pans. I remember seeing at least one “zoom and truck” depth effect made famous by Alfred Hitchcock in the movie Vertigo. The technique creates a perspective stretching effect while holding the subject in focus and in mid frame. The director, Tomohiko Itou, also combines vertical panning and rotation of the camera effects on particular scenes, adding to the psychological thrill. And of course, the story features a movie film reel effect that represents Sartoru’s ability to go back in time, changing history and helping his friends. But can he save himself? This series will have you yearning for more after the very first episode. There may be a spinoff, but unlike other famous titles that seem to go on forever, Erased is a “well made play” and the story is woven together tightly in 12 episodes. Some development and suspense do get lost from the manga, but this is a common situation when manga are converted to anime. Here, it is done well and for the usual reasons of time and production effort. The series is really good and I strongly recommend it for anime fans. Watch it in Japanese with English subtitles. It’s good for you to read, and the voice acting spot on! The story just concluded on Crunchyroll and we watched it faithfully at Anime Club here in Hyde Park. You can find it at Crunchyroll, Funimation, or Anime Planet.

 

Lone wolf and cubLone Wolf & Cub Omnibus 11 is a steady-paced, suspense-infused, shonen manga. This was the first time I read any of the series and I was greatly impressed. It’s the number one selling graphic novel! The story is by Kazuo Koike and the art is by Goseki Kojima. Translation by Dana Lewis. The artwork features amazing pen and ink brush technique. Pen strokes provide minute detail and brushwork adds great shadow effects, both light and dark.  The story follows a young ronin, Ogami Itto with his son Daigoro, and an aged master ninja Yagyu Retsudo. Yagyu is held prisoner by a court poisoner-tester who once saved Daigoro from horrible frostbite when he was a baby. Ogami and Yagyu are sworn enemies and have an outstanding challenge to duel to the death. Great Bushido and Ninjutsu codes of honor run deep in this epic and the contrasts among other characters are stark and varied. The pacing of the story lends to the suspense and gravity of the epic. Finally it culminates in a fantastic series of fireworks signals, dramatic sword play, self sacrifice, and a bold festival procession. There is mild gore in some spots, as might be expected, but the fantastic landscapes, cityscapes and ink washes provide a strong balance of beauty in the story. Weather and night time effects, even illustrated in black and white, enthrall the reader. I highly recommend this title for samurai and shonen manga fans out there. You can request this volume from the BPL in hard copy here or in ebook format here. And this series is set in the western left-to-right format so you don’t even have to read it backwards!

 

 

john250-150x150Did you know that in addition to physical books and DVDs, your library card gives you access to anime and graphic novels online? The BPL subscribes to Hoopla, a streaming service that allows you to check out and enjoy the media you love on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can learn more about the BPL’s digital media collections here.

Want company while you’re watching anime? The Hyde Park Teen Anime Club meets on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m.

 

*”Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese” features reviews of anime and manga by John, the Teen Librarian at the Hyde Park Branch, on the second Tuesday of every month.

Anime Review: Serial Experiments Lain

Posted on January 27th, 2016 by jkenney@private.bpl.org in Movies, Programs, Reviews - Staff, Reviews - Teens, Teen Services

serial lain

Serial Experiments Lain [R 17+] is a powerful science fiction anime series from 1998.  This psychological thriller centers on the experience of Lain Iwakura and her introduction to cyber-life in “The Wired” [Internet].  After a tragic suicide by a girl in her high school class, she and many other classmates receive emails from the girl after she has died.  This mystery sets the scene for the main thrust of the story.

Other characters include Lain’s best friend Arisu Mizuki and her larger circle of friends, Masami Eiri – apparent designer and god-like figure of The Wired, Knights – “men in black” who are ambiguously involved with the wired, Lain’s family and father who is a computer expert, and a group of younger children who provide another perspective to the developing sense of cyber-life.

Masami serves as the main foil in the series.  A large portion of the plot centers on ideas of self, divinity, physical versus spiritual, real versus virtual, and other wrenching questions often faced in the teen years.  The visual palette contains strong use of “white field” contrasts and fills as well as other shadow fills using “blood pool” and collage-like patterns.  The white fields get repeated emphasis as a sunlight effect in the morning scenes as Lain leaves her house for school.  After a few appearances, the technique is familiar and the artistic style of the series is clearly set apart.  Its continued use serves to amplify the sense of drudgery and emptiness that Lain experiences going to school.  At the same time, the technique itself is stark and almost blinding, creating a confusing crosscurrent to an otherwise static and low energy scene.  It’s truly masterful.  The soundtrack is very strong with its selection of music and an audio “hum” effect that is used to represent the ever-present activity on The Wired. It is usually combined with views of power lines and transformers at scene changes.

Serial Experiments Lain has received notable praise from the critical community and I strongly recommend it for Anime fans.  You can watch it for free on Kissanime.com and Animefrost.com