Teens

Category Archives: Movies

Hold the Popcorn!!!

Posted on December 28th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies

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Rogue One is the movie that I have been waiting almost my entire life for. It is amazing! Rogue One depicts the events leading up to A New Hope, the original Star Wars film from 1977. The movie begins on the farm of Galen Erso, the scientist responsible for creating the Death Star, the Evil Empire’s moon-like weapon which Star Wars fans know is capable of destroying whole planets. Galen is taken by the Empire, but is successful at protecting his daughter Jyn from the Empire’s clutches. Jyn (played by Felicity Jones) is raised from that point on by Saw Gerrera (played by Forrest Whitaker) and eventually becomes a key asset to the Rebellion. Jyn is imprisoned and blames Saw for her captivity. Jyn eventually confronts Saw, who shows her a hologram of her father Galen, whom she had feared was dead. In the hologram, Galen tells his daughter that he when he was designing the Death Star under duress, he included a weakness that the Rebels could use to destroy it and that she and the Rebels needed to get ahold of these plans which happened to be under the control of the Empire. Star Wars fans will know that these are the same plans that were the focus of the original Star Wars: A New Hope, stored inside R2-D2. In order to avoid spoiling the film for those of you who haven’t seen it already, I will say only that the rest of the film depicts the Rebels led by Jyn trying to get the plans back from the Empire!
The one thing that was nuts about Rogue One was just how advanced the special effects were, especially how they seemingly raised Peter Cushing from the dead to digitally reprise his role as Grand Moff Tarken. Also, it will be hard for true fans to hold back the tears during the last scene of the film, given the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher on December 27th. In conclusion, Rogue One was more than just a morsel to tide Star Wars fans over until the release of Episode 8 at the end of 2017. IMHO it is the best installation of the Star Wars franchise since The Empire Strikes Back came out 35 years ago. I heartily recommend multiple viewings!

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Posted on November 29th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies

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This month’s movie pick is Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. FBAWTFT takes place in the same magical world as Harry Potter, albeit 80 years prior and the length of one ocean away. The film opens as Newt Scamander (played by popular British actor Eddie Redmayne) arrives in 1920s NYC on a ship from the UK with a suitcase full of magical creatures. While Scamander’s destination in the USA was supposed to be Arizona, where he planned on releasing a giant bird from his suitcase, he gets sidetracked in the Big Apple after some of the creatures escape from his suitcase with a “non-maj” (one who does not practice magic of possess any wizard powers whatsoever, the American way to say “muggle”) baker named Jacob, an investigator from the Magical Congress of the United States named Porpentina and her telepathic sister Queenie. At the same time, the uneasy peace between the wizards and non-maj (who are unaware at the time of the existence of wizards let alone the Magical Congress) is threatened when Mary Lou Barebone (played by Samantha Morton) and her legions of adopted children who comprise the anti-wizard contingency in NYC. At the very end of the film, the audience gets a glimpse of Grindelwald, a dark wizard played by Johnny Depp, who will surely be heard from in future installments of this series.
While the various plotlines make it mandatory to pay the film your undivided attention, least you find yourself hopelessly lost, it is worth seeing on the big screen in 3D. The special effects are extraordinary and the creatures are amazing.

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Hold The Popcorn!: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Posted on October 24th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies, Teen Services

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

Packed with intense action and fascinating, otherworldly characters, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of the movies this fall that nobody should miss.

As the film begins, the audience is introduced to suburban Florida teen Jake (played brilliantly by Asa Butterfield) as he is driven to his grandfather’s house by a coworker after receiving a disturbing phone call from his grandfather. When he arrives at his grandfather’s house, he finds the inside of the house trashed and his grandfather dying outside in the woods behind the house. Jake sees a monster coming at him from the woods. His coworker is oblivious to it, but shoots at it anyway. We eventually find out that this is Jake’s “peculiarity”, the ability to see “hallows” — creatures that would do him harm.

A few months later, on the recommendation of his therapist, Jake and his father travel to a rainsoaked Welsh island to make peace with his grandfather’s death. It is there where Jake discovers Miss Peregrine and the Home for Peculiar Children. The children befriend Jake and tell him that they are living in a bizarre time loop which they must reset every day in order to avoid being bombed by the Germans during the WW2 blitzkreig.

The House for Peculiar Children is soon discovered by the evil Barron (played by living Hollywood legend Samuel L. Jackson) and his evil hallows. Jake, who realizes that he is himself a Peculiar due to his ability to perceive the hallows, must choose whether to live in the loop with his fellow Peculiars and protect them from Barron and the hallows per the wishes of Miss Peregrine (played by the fantastic Eva Green) or live in the real world.

More sensitive moviegoers will want to look away or go by some popcorn during some of the more intense scenes (especially the eyeball eating scene!), but overall, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is delightful for all.

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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!: Queen of Katwe

Posted on September 26th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies, Teen Services

David Oyelowo is Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Disney's QUEEN OF KATWE, the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.

David Oyelowo is Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE, the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.

Based on Tim Carrothers’ 2012 book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster, the new Disney film Queen of Katwe is the story of a young girl named Phiona (played by Madina Nalwanga in her debut role) who sells corn for a living on the streets of the Ugandan countryside with her mom Harriet (played by the fantastic Lupita Nyong’o). Their lives are not very easy, but they are very strong and resilient people. Soon Phiona meets Robert (played by David Oyelowo of 12 Years a Slave). Robert is a former soccer star turned missionary and chess mentor who teaches Phiona about chess. Phiona happens to be a natural born chess player, and Robert brings her natural talents to the surface. Skeptical at first, mom Harriet eventually realizes that Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess, combined with Robert’s mentorship, might be Phiona’s best shot at avoiding an impoverished life of selling corn. I have been waiting patiently for a really good, positive film like this for quite some time. I heartily recommend that everyone go to see Queen of Katwe on the big screen.

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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: Mob Psycho 100

Posted on September 13th, 2016 by jkenney in Movies, Reviews - Staff, Reviews - Teens, Teen Services

mob-psycho-100Hello Otaku! I hope the new school year is starting well for all of our fans back in classes. On the theme of “new things,” our club members at Hyde Park recommended the new show Mob Psycho 100. This new series is an action/psycho thriller combo with clear links back to the world famous and groundbreaking film Akira, from 1988. Mob Psycho 100 anime is produced by the same makers of One Punch Man. On this new team, they assembled director Yuzuru Tachikawa from Death Parade and composer Kenji Kawai from Ghost in the Shell. (reference and link credit: Kotaku.com) 

 

 

 

 

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Tetsuo unleashing his telekinetic power in Akira

 

mob-psycho-100-blogThe hero of the story is Mob, a mild and reserved middle school kid who has trouble expressing himself. He seems generally unremarkable except for his one talent, ESP. ESP stands for “Extra-Sensory  Perception” and is not completely confirmed by science. Some people believe it exists and it is often called the “sixth sense.” Common forms of the phenomena can be referred to as “vibe”, “aura” or “spirit.” Spirit is a common theme in many Japanese anime so it’s not surprising we’re seeing it here. But rather than involving magic or classic supernatural themes, Mob Psycho 100 makes reference to a more scientific approach to tell a similar story.

mobpsycho100[Click image for GIF] The artwork and animation are amazing here and I want to take the opportunity to compliment (and brag about) our wonderful teens at Hyde Park. I am sure you and your friendly Otaku would make the same observations as our teens. First, the artwork is simpler than standard cutting edge titles that are taking advantage of HD resolutions and thousands of brilliant colors. Instead, BONES studio uses a simple art style, like that used for One Punch Man. This allows the artists a lot more time and flexibility to create fantastic animation and psychedelic spirit characters. Really though, the art work and creativity erupt with action and dynamism. The balance of time and effort in the production work is clearly evident. These were some of the first things our teens commented about when we started the show last week. They were right on top of this with critical analysis, examples and their reactions. It was great to hear and they had me sold in less than half an episode. I sometimes wondered why the drawing style was more simplistic. Now I understand.

So check out Mob Psycho 100 on Crunchyroll or Kissanime

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.