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Submarine is a subtle charmer

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Director: Richard Ayoade
Screenplay by: Richard Ayoade
Cast: Craign Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins

I came to know about Submarine because I was (and still am) obsessed with Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys. I found out that there was this coming-of-age film with a soundtrack written entirely by Alex Turner during the pre-Suck It And See era; it signified the change in sound Arctic Monkeys was headed towards, from its indie rock garage band roots.

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Ferris Buller’s Day Off is a YOLO film for the ages

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Director: John Hughes
Screenplay: John Hughes
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey

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The 1986 hit teen film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off proves that contrary to popular belief, our generation did not create the You Only Live Once consciousness, or simply YOLO as we fondly call it nowadays. Truth is, ‘80s people are doing YOLO before YOLO was actually cool.

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What has become of high school stereotypes? Revisiting The Breakfast Club

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Director: John Hughes
Screenplay: John Hughes
Cinematography: Thomas Del Ruth
Cast: Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez

What hasn’t been said about The Breakfast Club? It is the quintessential high school film that effectively translated the inner turmoil of a high school teen into a glorious 97-minute story that everyone can understand and relate to. It is the precursor of teen movies, taking its root in the successful formula: that is to deconstruct the archetypal roles seen in high school. More recent teen movies, such as Pitch Perfect and Easy A, pay homage to this movie, and who can blame them? The glory of the high school movie genre began with The Breakfast Club.

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The premise is simple: five high school students went to school on a Saturday to serve detention, namely Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), the Brain; Andy Clark (Emilio Estevez), the Athlete; Bender (Judd Nelson), the Criminal; Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), the Basket Case; and Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), the Princess. They are all kept in a room, and considering their different backgrounds (in high school, it was more like a caste system), they didn’t get along with each other so well. The audience is given a glimpse into each one’s quirks, most of which were compatible with their own social labels – nothing surprising there. The dandruff scene is comedy gold. But what made the movie an essential high school movie is how it played with the stereotypes, not just with deconstruction, but also with how one stereotype interacted with another. Locked in one room from 7 AM to 4 PM, will they all come out alive? The alternative of their pulling a Battle Royale might be epic, too, now that I think about it, but what happened in that room, and how they changed each other is more significant.

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Veronica Mars is a one-way ticket to Neptune, and the ride is yet to stop

Directed by: Rob Thomas
Screenplay by: Rob Thomas and Dianne Ruggiero
Cast: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Enricco Colantoni, Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell, Percy Daggs III, Tina Majorino, Francis Capra

On many levels, it is a bit bizarre that a review for Veronica Mars movie is being reviewed, and by the MNL Film Club at that. For one, the movie itself didn’t premiere in Manila.

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For what it’s worth, Veronica Mars the series did air in one free TV channel in the country, although it was cancelled 7 years ago, and prematurely so. This was a time before the Internet served as a definitive guide to what’s cool and what’s not. And in a time before television shows were debated heatedly in dinner-time conversations, Veronica Mars aired stuff normally unheard of in a teen show — rape, racism, homosexuality, drugs — to put it mildly, it definitely was no Gilmore Girls. It did struggle to stay alive for 3 years before it went down, and it went down swinging. With DVDs, word of mouth, and internet streaming services, Veronica Mars felt more alive than before it went off-air.

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