Judy Movie Review

By: Ali Paglia, Staff Writer

For many of us, Gen Zer’s, the last we saw Judy Garland was when she was in The Wizard of Oz, in her bed surrounded by her “family”, realizing “There’s no place like home.” Fast forward to thirty years later, Judy Garland’s longing for a home continues again this time in the movie, Judy.

 It’s set in the winter of 1968 when Judy Garland, travels to London trying desperately to resurrect her career. Hollywood has left her high and dry. In her own mid-century version of “Sunset Boulevard”, Judy is trying to do whatever it takes to be relevant again. The film makers, through both dialogue, and flashbacks give us not only the backstory of Judy’s drug abuse which she developed in her teenage years, that was orchestrated by the Hollywood studio system which every actor of the time depended on for their career. The Film also shows us her need for family, and her longing to be with her children. What moves a good story, what moves a good film forward, is conflict. 

When it comes to a lead character, writers and film makers love to have a character who has story based on them with either internal or external conflict. It’s rare to have both. Unfortunately, for Judy Garland, but fortunately for the film, Garland’s life was a toxic mixture of the two. The film, like the aforementioned Wizard of Oz, Sunset Boulevard, or the past summers release of the remake of A Star is Born, all follow the classic Joseph Campbell structure of A Hero’s Journey. Garland is taken from her ordinary world to the new extraordinary world of London, where she meets mentors and faces obstacles. Only to return, with newfound knowledge about herself, and the world around her. It is difficult to make any biopic, it’s even harder when its about one of the most iconic actresses of the twentieth century, A performer, who American’s watched grow up on the screen right in front of their eyes. Renee Zellweger does a fantastic job of portraying Garland, both with her acting and singing ability, she’s a good bet for best actress in this year’s Academy Awards. I liked the movie, but you are going to have to see for yourself what’s over this rainbow.  

Pennywise is BACK

By: Ali Paglia, Staff Writer

IT Chapter 2 The Movie.

Spoiler Alert... Pennywise is BACK and I'm not clowning around about that!

The movie based on Steven Kings novel IT2 hit the theaters a couple of weeks ago, to mixed reviews at best.

So, here's my take on the film...

It's possible that because I'm not a great fan of the horror genre and/or possibly because I had not seen the first film... I had no preconceived ideas about story, plot or characters. Whatever the reason... I'll get to that later...I really did enjoy the film. So, was it the story, the plot or the characters that grabbed me? Well yes, all the above. It's a great story with a well-structured plot that takes you on a roller coaster ride having well defined characters, executed by great actors. But that's not what I loved about this film.

 What I really loved, was the message, which made going to see this film worth the price of admission! So, here comes a brief story outline of the film. A group of thirty something adults, known to us in the film as the losers club, return to their childhood hometown once again to battle that shape shifting monster, Pennywise who raged war against them 27 years before. We learn more about Pennywise...his origin along with his strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, we learn and observe as the members of the losers club, one by one face and conquer their deepest fears giving them the strength to team up and face the monster. The message is as obvious as the red nose on Pennywise’s face. 

The film’s director, Andy Muschietti put it this way to Vanity Fair..." We live in a world where there's a culture of fear, where some leaders have a strong pull on people, which is exactly what Pennywise does. You can take it as an analogy. If you are separated, you are more vulnerable, you are weaker and easier to conquer. Your easier to be made submissive and scared. That's exactly what Pennywise does, and that's what's going on. That's what's happening in the world right now." That just may be the horror in this horror film... the world that we live in today! At least that's how this critic sees it.