TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY

 

Having read the book for my own school studies in college, I only read it because of it being an assignment. I didn’t feel like wrapping myself up in an unstable way of thinking would benefit me. Everyone has pain, this is true. And the physical and mental changes of puberty certainly impact them tremendously, but is this work fanning the fire? By getting in the hands of the right student, certainly, the way any medication has the ability to do. But I have two kids, a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl. Do I think it’s acceptable for them to watch? Read on, because suicides are among us at all ages.

Now Netflix has created a one-season drama surrounding the novel and the results are like a hot iron across the face of America. Some are standing in protest, some embrace the openness of the subject, and others consider the work acceptance of their own suicidal behavior – actually prompting kids to consider the option.

What’s the difference between reading a book and seeing a movie? First, the content. The book is written from Hannah’s perspective, never allowing us to understand the other characters’ opinions or their experiences into why their minds perceive things in a specific way. The book doesn’t allow the clear insight for us to understand the other characters as emotional people – just “the others” who are to blame. But the book is also a lot less graphic in the sexual scenes, teen drinking, vicious behavior, and blood.

The movie, on the other hand, allows us into a close and personal view of why the other characters are doing what they do – the abuse they’re surviving, the secrets of their own lives they’re hiding, etc. Nobody’s perfect – truly, but that doesn’t mean people stop striving for the perfectionism their parents, teachers, siblings, and romantic interests anticipate. People expect a lot. And the more they get, the more they need. This is why perfectionism is never quite met.

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In our society, special fx disguise the reality of film, literature has a faster pace, even discussions at school at more exposed than what was acceptable years ago. Advertising suffocates us on the freeways, in magazines, on television and movie screens. Blemish-free and thin heroes adorn the scenery beckoning others to “get fit” and eat this way or that. “Copy me!” they seem to shout. And here they are again.

At the beginning of the article, I presented the question as to whether or not this material should be shared with our youth. This depends on the parents and the relationship with their children. My two kids? Yep, they saw it. However, eyes were shielded as Hannah held the razor to her wrist and a few other choice scenes where descriptions suffice. They didn’t need to see the act to understand what was happening – after all, the entire show centered around suicide. But, I would stop the show every once in a while and we would discuss some of the alternatives Hannah could have made at that point. For example, going to parties in high school where parents aren’t visible but underaged drinking is? A clear invitation to disaster.

Some of the scenes were clearly fictitious, such as a whiskey flask at a school dance being openly passed between students – doesn’t happen. And half the student body appears tattooed when you are to be 18 before a parlor legally sees you without parental consent. Other things were easily imagined, such as the graffiti on the bathroom walls at the school, and photos being taken and shared among peers. I’ve seen some of these things myself and often wondered what words the students must hear throughout the day before witnessing it permanently on a wall or on a screen. And how much of the crap is hearsay or completely made up by some girl who wasn’t chosen as a prom date, or a guy who was one-upped by another? It happens.

If you plan on having your child watch this show, please be responsible enough to watch it and discuss what is happening. If you decide not to watch it, make sure your child has made the same decision. If not, chances are they’ll watch it without you.

By the way, producer Selena Gomez states we should all be prepared for the next season. I suppose it stirred up enough controversy, producers have decided to wring it out for what it’s worth! Seems like they took a pseudo positive spin and took off while it’s hot. While some argue the sex, violence, drinking and tattoos boasts a “reality check” for kids, others may disagree. Then again, we may need to stop and ask where our focus is.

 Core Cast
Dylan Minnette Dylan Minnette
 Clay Jensen (13 episodes, 2017)
Katherine Langford Katherine Langford
 Hannah Baker (13 episodes, 2017)
Christian Navarro Christian Navarro
 Tony Padilla (13 episodes, 2017)
Alisha Boe Alisha Boe
 Jessica Davis (13 episodes, 2017)
Brandon Flynn Brandon Flynn
 Justin Foley (13 episodes, 2017)
Justin Prentice Justin Prentice
 Bryce Walker (13 episodes, 2017)
Miles Heizer Miles Heizer
 Alex Standall (13 episodes, 2017)
Ross Butler Ross Butler
 Zach Dempsey (13 episodes, 2017)
Devin Druid Devin Druid
 Tyler Down (13 episodes, 2017)
Amy Hargreaves Amy Hargreaves
 Lainie Jensen (13 episodes, 2017)
Derek Luke Derek Luke
 Kevin Porter (13 episodes, 2017)
Kate Walsh Kate Walsh
 Olivia Baker (13 episodes, 2017)

 

 

 

 

Beauty and the Feast for Your Eyes

Everyone is familiar with the story of Beauty and the Beast, so it’s always a special treat when a new release comes out on video, especially with the FX cropping up weekly. I planned on going with a Meetup Group, sort of a girls’ night out, without kids. I cried a few times and was relieved my kids didn’t see me blubber like a baby. Of course, if I’d gone to the correct theater, the group would have seen me sobbing. That’s right, I was in my recliner watching the movie all alone. I was also relieved I was alone when 1/4 of the way through, I realized I had accidentally put my workout bra on. It was pinching me ruthlessly throughout the movie, until I did the old “pull your arms into your sleeves and take the bra off” trick, stuffing it into my purse. Again, glad to have no witnesses.

As far as Emma Watson goes, she’ll always have that innocent and childlike glow about her, but Luke Evans as “Gaston”? Now there’s a prize to sing about! Sure, he’s sort of a jerk, unlike the other roles he’s played, and it was a nice switcheroo for a change, but he’s always hot. His sidekick LaFou, played by Josh Gad (the fun voice playing “Olaf” in Frozen) did a fabulous job as he always does. And the two of them appear to get along marvelously, as they do on this prank! But even being naughty, Luke Evans couldn’t be on Santa’s Naughty List because, according to Gaston, he’s worth every look. And, as a single, middle-aged divorcee, I’d have to agree. Still, all three men got along great.

The animation of the film was beautifully done with only a few, minor errors, but a film is film and the important aspects are the storyline and actors, like one of my favorites, Kevin Kline. There were some big names involved in this movie, most of whom couldn’t be placed by their voice alone, as Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci are a couple of my all-time favorites.

No gore or specifically scary images, unless you count the Beast, but that’s not unexpected. And quite frankly, with those blue eyes, I sort of liked the big hairy Beast a fraction more than the timid-looking Dan Stevens. I’m unsure why, but he didn’t come across as the hero type if you get what I mean. He danced okay, but imagining him fighting off wolves? Not so much. Believe this role should have been someone brawnier.

Would my kids have enjoyed it? I doubt it. They’d rather see Boss Baby with Alec Baldwin. This movie was sort of a split. The storyline clung to the original tale for the most part, but the emotional state was for the more mature crowd.

I know everyone was ranting and raving over this movie’s original showing, but I’m glad I didn’t rush for tickets. Perhaps it would have been better in 3D. It’s evident a lot of time, energy, money, and overall work went into the making. I give it three stars.  *  *  *

 

The Secret Life of Pets is Revealed

Universal Studio did some amazing things with this film’s animation. Some of the attitudes and activities these pets do can easily be imagined as happening in one of the homes of the writers. Hopefully not the dachshund with the mixer, but to each his own.

If your little ones love pets as much as my 9-year-old date, the plot doesn’t matter much. In this case, that’s a good thing. Momma’s stockings have a lot more to hide than the happenings of this show. That hardly seems to matter because, throughout the entire show, people were cracking up. We got to see animals wiggling their derrieres at us throughout the show and urinating. I guess nowadays that’s funny to see as if it hasn’t been happening all along, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Speaking of letting a little liquid loose, if you are a big laugher who drinks a lot of soda, make sure to use the facilities before entering if you’re wearing drawstring pants. The consequences can be devastating if the strings tangle into a knot. Not that this happened, but I will no longer wear pull string pants to a theater.

The kids seemed to enjoy this, as did the guffaws of a few adults. However, the little ones were so hammered with advertising they were almost finished before the actual movie started. It’s best when you have little tykes if you have reserved seating, to wait about 5 minutes after starting time to prevent the wiggles from breaking out. A few started getting restless and even crying a bit more than halfway through. Thank goodness their parents removed them politely from the theater. Also, make sure to hand around partially through the credits. One of the cutest parts of the movie is seeing the pups dressed in costumes.

The graphics were excellent, the voices were great, but the plot was thin. Again, tiny kids loved it for a little while, but seeing as how most of them can’t type, you’ll have an adult’s opinion to work with today.

On the scale rating this movie, it deserves no less than a 6.5. Then again, if you’ve seen it, leave us your feedback on what you thought of the show.