Movie Reviews by Allison

By Allison, Grade 10


Surviving the Complexity of Wealth and Family Values in 'Crazy Rich Asians'

What is better than being rich? Being extremely rich! Obviously the theme of the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” gives a fresh perspective of Asian culture and stereotypes surrounding Asians, coupled with wealth, family issues, and romance. The movie was released in August 2018. Director Jon Chu is an American film director and he has delivered a unique perspective in this film on Asian cultures and stereotypes. I love the beginning of the movie. It has one of the best comebacks and memorable moments. Set in London in 1995, it is late at night and pouring rain outside. An Asian woman with her sister and two young kids enter a colonial style hotel soaking wet. The hotel manager refuses to give them a room and later disrespects the Asian woman by not allowing her to use the hotel phone to call her husband. The Asian woman finds a phone booth and moments later, comes back to the hotel, only to be welcomed in as the new hotel owners. Feeling embarrassed, the hotel manager proceeded to clean up the wet floor. Everything was graceful and elegant, with a bit of fun. I wanted to be like her at that moment. Personally, I found a connection with Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu). She was raised in New York City by her mom who was an immigrant from China. Much like Rachel, I too grew up in America, having a blend of Asian and American cultures. I predominantly speak English but get stereotyped because I look 100% Asian. As a first generation Asian American, I lack the Asian ties to Asia but whenever I travel to places such as Singapore, Hong Kong, or China, I feel a close connection to the people. Of course, encountering the life of ‘crazy rich’ Asians in real life may happen to me, the message of the movies about family and values resonates deep, so that is why I highly recommend you watch this movie.

Crazy Rich Asians

Unbreakable Heart in Wonder Woman 1984

Are you a DC comic superhero fan or Marvel fan? If you ask me, my response would be ‘it depends on who has the better story.’ I mean, the best superhero stories come with discovering self and inspiring others to do something they would not normally do. For example, if you see someone jump into a lake to save a person from drowning, then you may be compelled to react and reach out your hands to pull them both out of the water. In the first sequel, “Wonder Woman'' became that symbol for hope to everyone who lost hope. Of course, it helped that she had God-like powers, but she was very compelled to do more because the goodness in people was worth protecting. That is what Wonder Woman had represented to me. When Steve Trevor (first love) sacrificed himself, it was in that moment when Wonder Woman understood what it meant to be a hero. Steve was that hero. In the second sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984” takes place ~70 years after Steve died. Of course, Wonder Woman never ages but she remains disguised as Diana who now lives in Washington D.C. There is a new equal villain (aka Cheetah), transformed by some ancient artifact that gives her the power of Wonder Woman. The artifact also gives Diana a chance to bring Steve back, but it weakens her body. To be honest, this new story was less compelling and did not embrace who Wonder Woman was. She was a symbol for humanity and strength, but in this movie, she became very weak and only cared about 1 person. There was no self-discovery and she recovered only because Steve asked her to move on. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the movie was entertaining, but the storyline was less compelling than the first one. I would still recommend you watch the movie to discover your own opinion. Wonder Woman is still about kindness, bravery, and love.

Wonder Woman 1984

Girl is on fire, literally in The Hunger Games Catching Fire!

No doubt, the first movie in the series of “The Hunger Games” was compelling. It kept me on a cliffhanger, wanting more. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was released back in November 2013 (Francis Lawrence, movie Director). This new sega picks up in the days following the last story where Katniss (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (played by Josh Hutcherson) were the final winners of the last Hunger Games. They returned back to their home District but everyone from the Capital still believed Katniss and Peeta were in LOVE so they had to continue playing that role whenever the cameras were turned on in the District. I can relate to how this must have made Katniss feel. On one hand, she cares for Peeta but knows the more she has to lie, the more it will hurt Peeta in the end. If she tells the truth, she puts both Peeta, herself, and her family at risk. From my personal experience, the more you keep lying, the bigger the hole you have to climb out of and the longer it will take to heal. I understand it is more about understanding the consequences because the truth can hurt others. For example, I worked on a team program at school and 2 of the team members did not do their part which made me feel very upset and disappointed. I could have complained and told them how I felt, but I know doing so would make the situation even worse and we would all fail. It is about finding the right time and, of course, Katniss' situation was about life and death. Katniss and Peeta sparked a growing rebellion within the Districts so the President of the Hunger Games decided to host a special edition of the Hunger Games and invited all the prior winners back to compete once again. I am filled with her strength and willingness to fight back. The visual effects were stunning, the storyline compelling, and the excitement was impressive. I highly recommend you watch this next series of “The Hunger Games'' sega.

The Hunger Games