In my post called ‘Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020!’, I shared that every time I publish 100 posts, I coordinate a double feature in honor of the accomplishment. Because I published 300 posts at the end of last year, I scheduled the double feature for January. In my aforementioned post, I also mentioned the reason why this series of reviews and articles were focusing on youth-led films. This is because January’s theme for MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur is “Youth-Led Movies”. Since I’ll be participating in that blogathon, I figured it would a good idea to use my achievement to highlight my involvement.
While creating my first blogathon, “Siskel and Ebert at the Blogathon”, I came across a video on Youtube of one of their episodes of “Sneak Previews”. While watching that video, I became fascinated by how two youth-led films, Rich Kids and Over the Edge, were not only released in the same year, but also around the same time (according to the Siskel and Ebert video). Not knowing whether or not this scheduling choice was intentional, I chose these two films for my next double feature! While I had never heard of Over the Edge before, I was aware of Rich Kids‘ existence. When I watched Siskel and Ebert’s discussion of this film, I was surprised to discover that it was about a completely different story from what I expected. Before choosing to watch this film, I thought the movie was a documentary style film about a group of rich kids growing up over a period of time.
For these reviews, I’ll be answering a series of ten questions related to the movies I watched. However, the three questions that will receive primary focus are the following:
Is there any aspect of either film that could be seen as relevant today?
Besides having young actors as the leads, do these films share any similarities?
Do the socio-economics of each film’s world affect the characters or the story?
Before I end this introduction, I’d like to say that there will be no pre-movie thoughts and/or questions for this double feature.
Have fun at the movies!
If you want to watch the video I referenced in this introduction, type ‘WTTW Channel 11 – Sneak Previews – “Real Life, Rich Kids, & More” (Complete Broadcast, 9/20/1979)’ into Youtube’s search bar. Siskel and Ebert’s discussion on Rich Kids starts at 1:41 and ends at 7:01. Their discussion on Over the Edge starts at 21:48 and ends at 24:49. If you are planning on watching this video, I just want to let you know there are sensitive topics that do get brought up at some points of the episode.
Last week, I received a special surprise from fellow blogger, Ospreyshire! They gave me my second Blogger Recognition Award! What a great way to start the new year! For those who don’t know, Ospreyshire created the blog, Iridium Eye Reviews. Films that don’t often get talked about are covered there. You might say that Ospreyshire is trying to give those projects their “standing ovation”. Before I list the rules for the Blogger Recognition Award, I just want to thank my nominator for their thoughtfulness. It’s nice to know that, in the movie blogging community, fellow bloggers look out for one another. If you want to read Ospreyshire’s articles or pay them a visit, here’s the link to their blog:
The first piece of advice is to stay true to yourself. The internet is a vast and expanding place, filled with thousands of movie related content. But, when everything is said and done, there will only be one you. Create a blog and a series of posts that truly reflect the unique individual that you are. The second piece of advice I’ll give is to always be on the lookout for inspiration. For me, I turn to other forms of media when I’m searching for ideas for future blog posts. There have even been times where I’ve gotten inspiration from Youtube videos. Be open to any and every possibility where inspiration may present itself.
The next ten nominees who will receive the Blogger Recognition Award are the following:
Maddy from Maddy Loves Her Classic Films
Pale Writer from Pale Writer
Eric from Diary of a Movie Maniac
The Classic Movie Muse from The Classic Movie Muse
Zoe from Hollywood Genes
Hannes from Wandering Ambivert
Mark from Mark Arnold Blog
Lou from Space Time Bae
Meg from Hallmark in Real Life
Anglo from PassiveDough.com
Congratulations to these newly nominated bloggers!
At the beginning of the month, my blog received 165 followers! While I was figuring out which movie I would review, I was creating a new blogging schedule for myself. Several days ago, 18 Cinema Lane received its 170th follower! So, for this blog follower dedication review, I decided to write about one movie while acknowledging both milestones. I chose to talk about a French film called Au revoir les enfants! Foreign films are rarely talked about when it comes to these specific reviews. In fact, the first one I discussed was Vampyr last October. Au revoir les enfants has also been on my DVR since last February. So, I thought these reasons would be a good excuse to finally watch this film! While Vampyr is a French and German production, I have reviewed a French film on this blog before. For Clean Movie Month, I talked about the 1950 project, Les Enfants Terribles. Will my thoughts on Au revoir les enfants be similar to those on the aforementioned French film I reviewed last year? You’ll just have to read this post if you want to find the answer!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: Movies that have young actors make up the majority of the cast can be hit-or-miss. In the case of Au revoir les enfants, this aspect worked in the film’s favor! All of the young actors were not only allowed to act their age, but they were able to work alongside other actors within their age group. This made their performances feel genuine and realistic. Speaking of realism, I noticed that all of the character portrayals and the situations showcased in the movie appeared like it came directly from real-life. It gave these elements a sense of authenticity. Because this film is based on a true story, the creative team’s focus on making the characters and situations look and feel believable seemed to be taken very seriously.
The historical accuracy: This film takes place in early 1944. Because of this, all of the material elements of the project looked like it came directly from that period in time. The wardrobe of all the characters feature articles of clothing that one would likely find within the mid ‘40s. The architecture of the boarding school shows off the preserved interior and exterior style from an era gone by. Even the finer details of the picture, such as the books, feel like relics of that specific year. While watching this film, I noticed the way the characters spoke also reflected the time period. Whenever subjects related to World War II were brought up, it was done in a very subtle way. Even though this was a period film, I never felt like I was being talked down to or like the movie was treating itself like a history lesson. If anything, I felt like I was watching a moment in time.
The presentation of the subtitles: How the subtitles are presented in foreign films is very important. If they can be seen clearly, it allows the audience to better understand what the characters are saying. I liked how the subtitles were showcased in Au revoir les enfants! While all of the text was white, it was presented against backgrounds that were dark in hue. The very first scene in the movie is a great example of this. The station and train itself adopted colors of black and gray. None of the characters in this scene wore bright colors. Because of this creative decision, I never had a difficult time reading the subtitles.
What I didn’t like the film:
A weak plot: The more movies I watch, the more I realize that “slice of life” stories aren’t my thing. That’s because I don’t find them to be as intriguing as other cinematic stories. That’s what the majority of Au revoir les enfants is: a “slice of life” story. To me, it didn’t contain as much interest as it could have. It felt like the screenwriter put so much emphasis on the premise of Julien and Jean’s relationship, that there was nothing else to offer in the narrative.
A somewhat mis-leading premise: In the synopsis I read for this movie, it said the film was about a Catholic boy and a Jewish boy becoming friends during World War II. However, the friendship aspect of their relationship isn’t portrayed until about the last twenty minutes of the film. Julien and Jean spend most of the movie apart than together. In fact, Julien starts off not liking Jean as a person. Julien does become nicer to Jean as the film progresses. When this does happen, it just makes them seem like acquaintances more than anything.
Situations being shown, but not explained: Throughout Au revoir les enfants, there are situations shown on screen that aren’t given explanations. One example is when Julien pokes his hand with a compass. As he is doing this, he tells the classmate sitting next to him how it doesn’t hurt. Not only was this action never explained, but it’s never referenced again in the movie. Julien’s action didn’t seem to serve a purpose for his character development or the overall narrative. Moments like this one happened at several moments in the film and I found myself being frustrating by them.
My overall impression:
Before I share my final thoughts on this film, I want to thank each and every one of the followers! 18 Cinema Lane would not be the success it is today without you. Now, on to my overall impression of Au revoir les enfants! Personally, I thought it was just ok. The movie does have merits that are earned, as well as a plot twist that works. But the overall project could have been stronger. As I mentioned in my review, Au revoir les enfants is based on a true story. It felt like the creative team approached the narrative as respectfully as possible. Because the creation of the movie was handled with a sense of reverence, it allowed the film to have the emotional weight it contained. The realism of the acting and writing gave me a reason to stay invested in what the characters were saying and doing. I’m not often given opportunities to watch and review French films. However, I’m glad I chosen this movie for my latest blog follower dedication review!
Overall score: 6.1 out of 10
What are your thoughts on my review? Are there any French films you’d like to see me review? Tell me in the comment section!
2020 is finally here! I am so excited to be embarking on my second year as a movie blogger! My movie blogging journey has, so far, been a good one. One reason for this is the support I have received from my readers and followers. Every like, visit, and comment is appreciated. It makes me feel like what I write about matters to someone. Like the previous year, 2019 was more successful than I ever expected! From receiving 100 followers to publishing 300 posts, 18 Cinema Lane grew and became a place that I’m proud of. Similar to last year, I will be sharing the stats of my blog and announce upcoming projects. This kind of post will be a new tradition for 18 Cinema Lane, as it allows my readers and followers to be informed about what’s happening on my blog.
Total Blog Posts: 179
Total followers: 164
Total Comments: 599
Total Likes: 717
Participated Blogathons: 34
Total Movie Reviews: 142
Total Word on the Street stories: 17
My 2nd Annual Blogathon
Once again, I will be hosting another blogathon in 2020! It will be movie themed and it will take place later in the year. So that announcement will come in either May or June.
Changes to the Gold Sally Awards
The Gold Sally Awards is another event that will be coming back! However, there will be some changes made to the awards. These changes are not major, but they will, hopefully, improve the voting experience for my readers, followers, and visitors. This announcement will be posted toward the end of January.
Yearly Double Feature
Every time I publish 100 posts, I coordinate a special double feature to celebrate the accomplishment. At the end of 2019, I published 300 posts. I decided to create my double feature reviews in January because I wanted to take my time and make the best articles I realistically could. This double feature will correlate with Movierob’s Genre Grandeur, as January’s theme is “Youth-Led Movies”. Those series of articles will be published in either the middle of or later in the month.
On rare occasions, I talk about books on my blog. But I try to make that an exception to the rule, as my primary focus is on film. When I discovered a readathon that was movie themed, I knew I had to participate! The readathon is called “Filmathon” and will take place from January 7th to the 14th. It was created on the Youtube channel, lookingforshaki. I will making at least one post about it sometime in January.
New Blog Banner
Last year, K, from K at the Movies, created the official logo for 18 Cinema Lane. I love how it turned out and K did a fantastic job with the image! They also made two additional logos that I also like. One of them will be used as the new banner of my blog! This will take place shortly around the time this article is published.
Are you excited for these announcements? What are you looking forward to in 2020? Please tell me in the comment section!
Before the end of November, I received 160 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! As I usually do when this occasion takes place, I take the time to thank all my followers for choosing to support me, my blog, and my blogging journey. My way of thanking them is by dedicating a movie review to each and every one of them. For this post, I have chosen a movie that was released in November of 2006. Since I haven’t talked about an animated film in three months, I decided to talk about a film called Flushed Away. This is a movie that I have heard of, but never seen. Prior to watching this film, I was aware of Aardman Animations, the studio responsible for Flushed Away. That’s because they have an animation style that is different from other studios. When I was looking for images to feature in this review, I discovered that, in the Chinese New Year, 2020 will be the Year of the Rat! So, talking about Flushed Away before the start of a new decade now makes a lot of sense.
Things I liked about the film:
The animation: In Flushed Away, I found the animation style to be visually appealing for a number of reasons. The first is how realistic some of the animation looked, such as the bricks in the sewer and anytime water is shown. Another aspect is the color palette that is used in the film. One of the movie’s most memorable locations, the sewer city, was filled with bright hues. This added to the visual appeal of the scenes where this area was featured. The sewer city also showcased interesting and creative elements, like a Ferris Wheel made out of teacups. What I also found interesting in this film was how the characters were created. Aardman Animations has a very distinct style that is rarely seen in mainstream cinema. However, I’m more familiar with this animation style appearing in stop-motion films. Flushed Away’s creative team used computer technology to construct their project. I found it fascinating to see this unique animation style incorporated in a different cinematic format.
The “Easter Egg” humor: Sometimes, in cinema, screenwriters will include “Easter Eggs” in their story in an attempt to delight and humor their audience. This was a pleasant surprise to find within Flushed Away! The jokes that were brought into the movie using this “Easter Egg” method were clever and genuinely funny. One example is when Roddy is falling down into the sewer system. During this process, Roddy comes across a small fish that asks him if he has seen his dad. This is meant to reference Finding Nemo, a movie that was released three years prior. Because of how well this type of humor was executed, this helped me maintain my focus in the film.
The overarching message: In some children’s/family-friendly films, there are times when a message can feel heavy-handed or preachy. I didn’t feel that way about the overarching message in Flushed Away. The idea that “everybody needs somebody” was written into the story very intelligently and subtly. It was also visually showcased through the use of situations and character choices as well as through dialogue. This choice to present the message in a “show and tell” style was handled better than if it was just verbally explained to the audience. The incorporation of this message showed that the creative team made an effort to put heart in their project.
What I didn’t like about the film:
The plot: Flushed Away is about a rat who is trying to return home. While this sounds like a simple story, I found the film’s overall narrative to be too simplistic. Even though there were other plots featured in the movie, I also found those to be on the simpler side. Because of this, it made the story feel like there was very little intrigue. It also made it difficult for me to stay fully invested in what was happening on screen.
The villain: Yet, another film I’ve recently reviewed where I didn’t like the villain. In the case of Flushed Away, I not only found the villain, The Toad, to be poorly written. I also found him to be unconvincing. Similar to what I said about Blair from The Nine Lives of Christmas, The Toad came across as one-dimensional. He also never felt like a legitimate threat to the protagonist and his friend, Rita. Both Roddy and Rita outsmart him and his henchmen every time, causing the villain to not be as powerful as the film’s creative team wanted us to think. If anything, The Toad just appears to be a goofier version of Governor Ratcliffe from Disney’s Pocahontas.
Some of the humor: While I liked the “Easter Egg” humor of this film, there was other humor that I was not a fan of. This came in the form of “gross-out” humor and injury related humor. To me, the “gross-out” humor felt it was there just for the sake of being there. Meanwhile, the injury related humor happened too consistently. There was one character that constantly got hurt throughout the story. However, I never found any of these moments to be funny. I know that comedy is a very subjective thing. But this kind of humor, at times, took me of the film.
My overall impression:
Before I share my thoughts on Flushed Away, I want to thank all of my followers for supporting 18 Cinema Lane! 2019 has been a great year for the blog. Part of that is because of my readers, followers, and visitors. Ok, now it’s time to share my overall impression of this film. Personally, I thought it was just ok. In Flushed Away, there were components that I liked seeing, such as the animation and the overall message. But there were aspects that held Flushed Away back from reaching its full potential. Just one example is how the overall plot was too simplistic for my liking. As I’ve said before, comedy and film are subjective. Yes, I enjoyed the “Easter Egg” style of humor. But I did not like the “gross-out” and injury related humor. While I think there are better animated films than Flushed Away, there are definitely worse children’s/family friendly films than this one. No matter the style or format of the animated project, I will continue to do my best at presenting the best movie reviews I can offer.
Overall score: 6 out of 10
What are thoughts on my blogging journey so far? Which review of mine has been your favorite? Tell me what you think in the comment section!
Last week, the Brannan sisters, from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society, nominated me for my second Liebster Award! This makes it my ninth award since starting 18 Cinema Lane! I couldn’t be more thrilled to receive this honor! Before I begin this post, a thank you is in order. To the Brannan sisters, thank you so much for thinking of me when it came time to choose nominees. You have always been so thoughtful to me and my blog, which is something I will continually admire. Now, let the Liebster Award post begin! Let’s start with a list the official rules of this award, which are:
Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Put the logo of the award on your blog.
Share 11 facts about yourself.
Answer your nominator’s questions.
Nominate up to 11 bloggers.
For your nominees, provide a series of questions (11 is the recommended maximum)
My 11 Facts
Hand bells are my favorite musical instrument.
I’ve performed in two local theater productions.
I just published 125 movie reviews!
The Hallmark Star of the Year is my favorite award from the Gold Sally Awards.
This summer, I saw the pandas for the first time in Washington D.C.
Once, I slept over at my local museum.
I participated in a fashion show before.
I’ve walked in four local parades.
So far, my favorite episode from Murder She Wrote is “Film Flam”.
One time, I won an essay contest.
I’ve never broken a bone.
My 11 Answers
What famous, beloved, or iconic classic film leaves you cold, even though a lot of other people love it?
Last year, The Birds became the worst movie I saw in 2018. While this film is considered a classic by many, I was not a fan of it. To me, the movie was boring and didn’t build up to anything. I felt it was a waste of time.
What actors are your favorite classic film couple, even if they only made one movie together?
One of my favorite movies is Portrait of Jennie. In that film, Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones had great on-screen chemistry! They also gave a good performance individually and as a pair. I’m not sure if Joseph and Jennifer starred in any other movies together, but this is the answer I’ll choose for this question.
What classic film genre is your least favorite?
For this question, I’ll say the sci-fi genre. Not because I have anything against it, but because, within the scope of classic cinema, this is the genre that I watch the least.
What type of classic movie musical do you prefer, one where people are constantly singing or one in which all the music is logical and in context with the story?
I like musicals that feature music in a logical way that also fits the context of the story. A few years ago, I tried watching the 2012 version of Les Miserables. I ended up turning the movie off after about twenty minutes. One of the reasons was because of how often the characters were singing. It came across as annoying instead of entertaining.
What novel, book, or story do you really wish was made with certain actors in the Golden Era of Hollywood?
One of the most famous lost films is Four Devils. Despite what the title suggests, this story, from what I’ve heard, doesn’t sound sinister or creepy. I would have loved to see this movie receive a remake within the Breen Code era. That way, this narrative wouldn’t be completely lost to time.
What modern film can you most visualize as a classic film with particular actors in the lead roles?
In August, I reviewed I Never Promised You a Rose Garden for “A Month Without the Code”. Because this was the only rated R production that was included in my roster of movies, it would be fascinating to see what this story would look like as a Breen Code film. How different would it be from the movie we ended up receiving? That would an interesting question to answer!
What is your least favorite performance from your favorite actor or actress? Why?
I have two examples to share. The first is Mickey Rooney’s roles in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. While Mickey’s role in the first film consisted of yelling and arguing, his role in the second film didn’t add anything to the story and feels like a product of its time. The second example is Allison Scagliotti’s performance in Back When We Were Grownups. I understand that her appearance in this film took place toward the beginning of her career. However, out of all the young actors that starred in this movie, she was overshadowed the most. Because she’s gained acting experience through several television shows, I think that she would be given a larger role now if she were cast in another Hallmark Hall of Fame project.
What is your favorite performance from your least favorite actor or actress? Why?
Personally, I’m not a fan of Andie MacDowell. This is because, in my opinion, she is one of Hallmark’s weaker actresses. But her performance in Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Beach House was such a pleasant surprise! It felt like that role was specifically created just for her, highlighting her acting strengths and minimizing her acting weaknesses. Andie did a really good job with the material she was given!
What is one movie that made you appreciate an actor or actress you didn’t think you liked before?
For this question, I actually have three examples. The first one is Matthew McConaughey. I have seen some of his films, but it wasn’t until I saw his performance in The Newton Boys that I truly came to appreciate his acting abilities. Matthew’s portrayal of Willis Newton was both light-hearted and dramatic, something that is very difficult to pull off. My next example is Vincent Perez. While I enjoyed his performance in Queen of the Damned, his performance in Swept from the Sea became one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen in my entire life! As I said in my review for this film, Vincent portrayed his character, Yanko, with such captivation, it came across as heart-warming and heart-breaking. The last example is Jack Turner. This particular actor has appeared in several Hallmark films. Recently, I saw Forever in My Heart and Jack’s performance was one of the best I’ve seen from a Hallmark movie this year, so far! He did a good job when pulling off an Irish accent and his portrayal of Charlie O’Hanlon appeared natural and believable.
Can you name a film adaption of a book that you think was better than the book?
I have two examples for this question. “The Beach House” and “Rome in Love” are books that I read after I saw their respective films. I thought “The Beach House” was ok, but I did not like “Rome in Love”. Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Beach House and Rome in Love were both enjoyable movies that I thought were better than their source material. In fact, the latter is, so far, my favorite Hallmark production of 2019!
What is a remake which you like better than the original film? Why?
I will pick the 1996 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I tried watching the 1939 version of this story, but I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe I’ll give it a second chance during next year’s “Clean Movie Month”. However, it all depends on whether I can rent it.
My 11 Nominees
Rich from Wide Screen World
ARJung from ARJung
Agnieszka from Tastes of Health
Neil “The Musical Man” Powell from Thoughts From The Music(al) Man
Quaint Cooking from Quaint Cooking
Rob from MovieRob
Jen from Bookworm
K from K at the Movies
Annette from Hometowns to Hollywood
John from 24 Hour Movie Marathon!
Kristen from Journeys in Classic Film
My 11 Questions
Who do you think deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award?
Which actor or actress would you like to see star in a Hallmark movie?
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Is there a movie you’d like to see a sequel to? If so, which one?
Which book is your least favorite?
Where would you like to spend the day with your favorite fictional character?
Has there been an event you’ve always wanted to attend? If so, what is it?
Did you receive a prized possession since you started blogging? If so, what is that item?
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do you have a wish for a fellow blogger? If so, what is your wish?
Hello everyone! If you’re interested in joining my blogathon, Siskel and Ebert at the Blogathon, you still have time! All you have to do is leave your topic request in the comment section of the post, “Announcing my new blogathon called ’Siskel and Ebert at the Blogathon’!”. This post can be found when you click the blogathon banner at the right-hand side of the page or by visiting this link: