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Isaac Piecuh ’14 | Staff Writer

As school comes to a close, you may find yourself at a crossroads; what exactly will you do with all your newfound freedom? Will you relentlessly tan despite a complete inability to do so? Will you perfect a double backflip off of the Farms’ Park High Dive? Or will you masterfully grill hamburgers to a perfect medium, earning the title of Grillmaster Extraordinaire?

The answer, dear friends, is none of the above. No, this summer will be spent watching movies, as any and all free time should be. But in order to optimize your moviegoing experience, you’ll need to know which films are worth seeing. That’s where I come in.

Using extensive film expertise and vast stores of knowledge, I have crafted the ultimate movie guide for the upcoming summer. I call it, “Top 10 Summer Movies.” Enjoy, and be sure to put your newfound knowledge to good use.

10) Edge of Tomorrow

Release Date: June 6, 2014

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

I know what you’re thinking: “Tom Cruise, ew!” But bear with me, please. The guy, for all his kooky scientologist tendencies, knows how to make some entertaining action flicks. One of Cruise’s latest, “Oblivion,” proves that he is capable of delivering entertaining sci-fi; what it lacks for in depth, it makes up for in fun. Edge of Tomorrow looks to improve on this shallow past with an actually interesting premise. In the film, an inexperienced soldier must relive the day of an alien invasion until he finally figures out how to stop the interstellar baddies. Think Groundhog Day, but with evil aliens. While the film likely won’t go down in the history books, it’s sure to be an enjoyable ride; isn’t that what really matters?

9) How to Train Your Dragon 2

Release Date: June 13, 2014

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Kit Harington, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill

There’s something inherently lovable about most of Dremworks’ animated films, and 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” was as sweet as they come. The film tasks our hero, Hiccup, with saving the world from an evil dragon hunter. While that does sound inherently childish, give up the tough guy routine: nobody’s fooled. The film will surely be filled with adorable high-jinks, family-friendly laughs, and heart wrenching sweetness. Bring your little sister as an excuse if you must; we all know you’ll love it, too.

8) Let’s Be Cops

Release Date: August 13

Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.

If you’ve never witnessed Damon Wayans Jr. in action, you’re missing out. He starred in the criminally underappreciated “Happy Endings” TV show, and is the kind of guy who you immediately fall in love with on screen. Pair that with “New Girl” star Jake Johnson and you’ve got a recipe for success. The duo plays a pair of friends dressed as cops at a Halloween party who find their pretend duties escalating quickly. Directed by Luke Greenfield, who led the surprisingly wonderful “The Girl Next Door” (2004), “Let’s Be Cops” has the potential to be the sleeper comedy hit of the summer.

7)Begin Again

Release Date: July 4

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightly

“Begin Again,” which premiered at last September’s Toronto Film Festival, stars Mark Ruffalo as a lonely record executive who bonds with a hopeful young singer-songwriter (Knightley). Like last year’s excellent “Inside Llewyn Davis,” it looks to be an emotional character study set against a music industry backdrop. If nothing else, I’m excited to see Mark Ruffalo do his classic Mark Ruffalo thing.

Oh, and this movie has Adam Levine! I don’t mind spending every day… watching your movies, Mr.Maroon 5!

6)The Giver

Release Date: August 15

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep

While the market seems to be saturated with young adult novel adaptations, “The Giver” is an excitingly introspective take on futuristic coming-of-age cliche. It depicts a 12 year old boy (Thwaites) discovering the stains of a so-called utopia when he’s selected to take over the position of “Receiver of Memory” from an elderly man (Bridges). The film looks appropriately subdued, and promises to leave audiences talking and, more importantly, thinking. Besides, at least its not another Hunger Games/ Hunger Games clone (I’m looking at you, Divergent).

5) What If

Release Date: August 1

Starring: Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver

I love Harry Potter. You love Harry Potter. Almost everyone with a pulse loves Harry Potter. So when the Boy Who Lived comes out with a new movie, it demands our attention. Fortunately for us, “What If” actually looks like a great, quirky rom-com for all of us to enjoy. It stars Radcliffe as an average guy who falls for a taken girl and shows the struggle that comes for loving the right girl at the wrong time. While it may be more adequately titled “Adventures in the Friendzone,” “What If” throws off the right kind of quirky vibes; think “(500) Days of Summer” with British lead and (hopefully!) a happy ending. For that, I’m interested.

4)Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date: August 1

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel

Marvel’s going out on a limb with “Guardians of the Galaxy”; the concept is a bit (excuse the pun) out of this world. But if it’s even half as good as “The Avengers” (2012), their last foray into Superhero teams, audiences should be thrilled. The film stars a team of cosmic misfits who are forced to band together and fight evil. The main characters include an Ent, a foul-mouthed, trigger-happy raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper, no less), and a sassy green woman, but the movie avoids taking itself too seriously. It recognizes its innate ridiculousness and uses that to its advantage, seeming to deliver a fun action adventure that’s worth looking forward to.


Release Date: July 11

Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette

“Boyhood” is the kind of indie darling that may be magical enough to wow mainstream audiences as well as critics. The film, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, is a drama telling the story of a young boy growing into adulthood. While this seems like a rather mundane premise, the film itself was shot in a way that no other film has been before. Director Richard Linklater filmed the main character, Coltrane, over 12 years, actually showing his evolution from boyhood into a young man. The same actor plays the main character at all ages; the growth in the film happened in the real world as well. Considering Linklater’s great track record with films like the “Before Sunrise” trilogy and “Dazed & Confused” it seems like “Boyhood” is more than just a gimmick; it could be a monumental step forward in film making.

2) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 11

Starring: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke

Following the surprising success of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), “Dawn…” continues the story of Caesar (played by Andy Serkis using Motion Capture) and his band of hyper-intelligent monkey’s as they creep towards world domination. The the first film took its admittedly absurd premise to surprisingly dark places, and “Dawn…” seems to continue its somber depiction of Primate dominance. Gone is the laughing face of James Franco, replaced by the ultra-serious character actors Gary Oldman and Keri Russell. It’s a post-apocalyptic film about monkey’s ruling the world; sounds like fun, right?

1) 22 Jump street

Release Date: June 13

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube

“21 Jump Street” (2012) was a total blast; since both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill ooze likability, they make a great pair of bumbling undercover cops. This year, the duo returns, and this time they’re going to college. Hopefully, “22 Jump Street” will be something other than a carbon-copy of the original; all it takes is a solid new storyline for the pair of stars to shine. I can’t wait to watch Tatum and Hill be deliciously immature; with the two of them, it almost has be funny.

I’ve just given you a complete gold mine of information. The 10 movies you see above may not all be critical hits; they might not even do great commercially. But I can confidently say that each and every one will rock your socks off. So trust me. Enjoy your summer, and make sure to head to the closest theatre. You won’t regret it.


By Matthew Schulte `15 | Staff Writer


After a hard year of studying and completing homework assignments, it’s time to have some fun. That being said, with the school year coming to an end and prom right around the corner, what better way to get into the “graduation mood” then to view five incredible and classic teen flicks.


5. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

If you’re lost, you can look and you will find  Jared Hess’ “Napoleon Dynamite”…time after time. Somehow, awkward, quiet and tater tot-toting Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)  manages to steal our hearts, along with Deb’s (Tina Majorino.)

4. Footloose (1984)

After a hard night of dancing, kick off your Sunday shoes and watch Herbert Ross’ eternally corny and sparkly dance flick, “Footloose.” Post viewing, you’ll probably begin to understand, or perhaps even respect Reverend Shaw Moore’s (John Lithgow) ban on dancing.


3. Grease (1978)

Truly a pioneer of the dance battle, Randal Kleiser’s  “Grease” is a cheery and colorful musical that also happens to be a perfect example of why jazz hands should be banned at high school proms across the nation.


2. Prom Night (2008)

Although cliché, Nelson McCormick’s “Prom Night” renders every high school graduate’s worst fear:  Being chased by an obsessive, coldblooded and barbarous killer. Sounds like a night to remember.


1. Back to the Future (1985)

Time travel, flux capacitors and flaming cars would suffice enough to give Robert Zemeckis’ “Back to the Future” a high scoring rank on anyone’s list of best Prom movies, but in the end, Marty McFly’s rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” immortalizes the film, putting it on a pedestal all of its own.

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By Matthew Schulte ’15 | Staff Writer

Do you have some spare time to kill over Spring Break, whether it be in a hotel room or at home? During a flight or a car ride? Chances are, you will and what better way to pass the time than to binge watch ten great films, acclaimed and recommended by the Film Club.

1. Psycho (1960)

“Psycho is a very important movie because it’s one of Hitchcock’s best films and it’s definitely something that everyone can relate to; everyone knows it. It’s probably up there with “The Shining” in terms of the horror genre and what’s so great is that it involves some of Hitchcock’s most famous techniques.”

-Film Club Secretary Lauren Pankin ‘16

2. Taxi Driver (1976)

“I think Taxi Driver is an important movie because of its ability to encapsulate a time period and a location very well. It captures the crime, the desolation and the fear that is able to run through people and I think that is best exemplified by the character, Travis Bickle.”

-Film Club Vice President Paul Attard ‘15

3. 2001:  A Space Odyssey (1968)

“My dad showed me it when I was young and he raised me on Star Trek, Star Wars and all that stuff, so it’s more of like a family connection. I also like it because there’s a little bit of a horror element to it, when the computer becomes conscientious and the pilot, Dave, needs to shut it down. It’s not too scary, but it’s definitely enough to keep you on edge.”

-Mary Stuart ‘14

4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

“Well, the humor is just ridiculous and it’s everywhere. There’s a lot hidden, so you have to look really close and that’s why I like it so much.”

-Nina Caradonna ‘16


5. Citizen Kane (1941)

“Citizen Kane is a really good movie because, although it’s really old and black and white and everything, the techniques used in the film are just so mind blowing and just perfect. There are some shots where you are just like wow, how did they even think about that back then?”

-Rachel Griffin ‘14

6. The Sting (1973)

“It’s just a really good movie that has a lot of heart and really develops characters that are true to life.”

-Film Club Treasurer Kevin Dietz ‘16

7. Metropolis (1927)

“I put it on my list not for just being a good movie, but also for being a good movie experience. I had to go down to the DFT (Detroit Film Theater) to see it and it’s a silent film, so it was scored by the L.A. Orchestra who does absolutely amazing rescoring of silent films. On top of that, it’s also basically the godfather of all other science fiction films and to think that it’s almost 90 years old now and that this is the thing that so many other stories got told from is… It just holds up well.”

-Teaching Assistant Tom Budday

8. Apocalypse Now (1979)

“I think it’s the best film ever made because it really captures the madness of war in a real way. I heard word that a bunch of soldiers who fought in the Vietnamese War said that it was one of the most eerily accurate portrayal of their mindset in the war. The acting from Martin Sheen is also some of his best ever.”

-Film Club President Jack McCoy ‘14

9. Dr. Strangelove or:  How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

“Dr. Strangelove is an incredibly important film that was made just after the Cuban Missile Crisis. It has incredible social and political commentary and it’s probably the best satire you’re ever going to see.”

-Price Zimmer ‘14

10. The Princess Bride (1987)

“I mean, its got everything. It’s got romance, swashbuckling adventure, it’s fun, it’s got really eccentric casting and there’s tone you know; there’s no movie like it. It’s also extremely quotable. There’s got to be at least six or seven lines that everybody just knows and its also a bigtime cult film because it didn’t really have a huge success when it came out, but people really embrace it now. I think I would say that there’s only about ten films that have that.”

-Film Club Adviser John Monaghan

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By Franny Aliotta ’14 | Staff Writer

Wes Anderson’s unique vision for film has always been creative and intriguing; his latest debut, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, is eccentric yet enlightening in the most visually appealing way.

The beauty of Anderson’s work is that it seems so effortlessly flawless. This particular film was done in a manner that made the viewer feel like they were experiencing each shot.

Not only was the cinematography exceptional, but the plot was both complex and hilariously executed through framed narration.  Viewers are first taken back to 1985, where a man (Jude Law) recounts an experience with a man he will never forget. The owner of the hotel, Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), begins his long story of how he came to own the Grand Budapest Hotel starting in 1932  when he was a teenager.

He recalls adventures as a lobby boy and learns the ropes of being a perfect hotel concierge from his mentor and friend, Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes). But he also learns the troubles that are involved with becoming a little too open with some guests.

The main plot begins when a regular guest, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), is strangely murdered. But what is even stranger and especially to her family is that she left her most prized possession to Gustave.  It is a painting called “Boy With Apple” and it is ultimately priceless.  However her son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody), is infuriated and is out to get the painting throughout the entire movie.

Fiennes’ presence during the movie creates an illuminating atmosphere. His character’s personality is confident yet composed and Fienne’s executes it perfectly.

The dialogue at times is hard to follow because it is spoken so fast and with such rich diction, but it is very clever and mind challenging, which sets this film apart from most.

Anderson shots are very symmetrical and this is what makes people admire his films, everything looks so perfect.  Each frame is like it was measured exactly to be equal on each side and balanced with space and objects. His obsession with detail further engages the audience in his films.

Accompanying the movie being beautifully filmed, the entire cast laid down outstanding performances. There were small parts for Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Saoirse Ronan and Edward Norton among many others.

The ending is both funny and endearing but has a certain undertone of sadness as Moustafa ends his story now as a lonely old man. Movie goers will be left amazed, laughing, and wanting more from one of Anderson’s best films to date.

Grade: A