Tagged: John Green

Paper Towns

Summary: Based on a novel by John Green Paper Towns tells the story of Quentin Jacobson (Nat Wolff) and Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) who have grown up living in houses opposite each other. When they were kids they were inseparable friends who did everything together, but after the pair found a body of a man who had committed suicide and Margo became wrapped up in solving the mystery of the man’s life the pair started to drift apart.

Now they are seniors at High School. Quentin is a safe student who has focused on becoming a doctor, getting married and having children while hanging out with his somewhat geeky friends, Radar (Justice Smith) and Ben (Austin Abrams). Meanwhile Margo has become one of the most popular girls in school, dated by the popular boys and hanging out with her best friend, the beautiful Lacey Pemberton (Halston Sage).

Suddenly after years apart Margo reaches out to Quentin to help her on one night of ‘crime’ as she gets revenge on her adulterous boyfriend and his friends, then she simply disappears meaning for once his life Quentin is the one with a mystery to solve.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th July 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Jack Schreier

Screenwriter: John Green (novel), Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber

Cast: Austin Abrams (Ben), Hannah Alligood (Young Margo), Ryan Boz (Young Quentin 14), Cara Buono (Mrs. Jacobsen), Caitlin Carver (Becca), Josiah Cerio (Young Quentin), Meg Crosbie (Ruthie), Stevie Ray Dallimore (Mr. Jacobsen), Cara Delevingne (Margo), Ansel Elgort (Mason), Griffin Freeman (Jase), Tom Hillmann (Mr. Spiegelman), Lance Lovegrove (Robert Joyner), Drew Matthews (Gus), Kendall McIntyre (Ben At Age 12), Susan Mackie Miller (Mrs. Spiegelman), Halston Sage (Lacey), RJ Shearer (Chuck), Jaz Sinclair (Angela), Justice Smith (Radar), Nat Wolff (Quentin)

Runtime: 109 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR PAPER TOWNS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

There will not be a film that frustrates you as much this year as Paper Towns will. The film starts off, as the trailer suggests, as a well written teenage mystery, in the vain of a modern day Secret Seven or Famous Five, but then just as the film starts to get interesting it simply peters out with one of the weakest endings you are ever likely to see.

The disappointing thing is that director Jake Schreier (who directed the brilliant Robot & Frank) and a screenwriting team that boast The Spectacular Now and (500) Days Of Summer on their resume draw you in really early and have you loving this film in a way that suggests it could be one of your favorite films of the year. For once they seemed to have created very realistic characters with their own individual personalities. There are no clean cut Hollywood teens here, instead you get genuinely confused high school kids that show all the personality traits of the kids that you went to school with, including that kid that was obsessed by sex and saw every women (including his friend’s Mums) as a chance.

As a result you find yourself really barracking for these realistic characters so when Margot disappears you invest a lot of interest in whether or not Quentin can find her. But is here that the writing in this film falls away completely. It seems that as soon as the characters embark on their road trip all the suspense and drama of this film just goes completely out the window, and not even a near miss car accident can re-ignite it. Really the road trip should have started a lot earlier and been the main focus of the film but instead it becomes a rushed effort during which all the good characterization seems to simply disappear and important moments in the lives of the characters are just brushed over really, really quickly.

Then comes the final insult a finale that you both want to praise and criticize. First off you want to congratulate the creative team behind the film for not going with the traditional American ending that you would expect with a teenage romance, but at the same time the ending frustrates you so much that you feel that the only way the filmmakers could appease themselves is by delivering one of those dreaded sequels that gives you some insight into what happens to the characters when they go off to college (or whatever one in particular decides to do).

The one thing that Paper Towns does deliver though is some future stars. Nat Wolff steps up from Fault In Our Stars and takes over the lead role pretty well, while Cara Delevingne really shows just how far she has come in her short career with a commanding performance that shows that she may well follow in the footsteps of Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley and use a teenage flick like this to launch her into much better things acting wise. Then there is Halston Sage, who despite her smaller role manages to steal a lot of scenes, especially with a strong emotional scene set in a bath tub of all places. With her good looks and great acting skills Sage certainly has a big career ahead of her.

While early on Paper Towns threatens to be a teenage flick as good as The Spectacular Now or The First Time it ends up disappointing its audience with a melancholy finale and some really lame road trip scenes. Somewhere along the creative line something dreadful happened with Paper Towns and this once promising film just falls by the wayside, sad but true.

 

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Greg King:

You can hear Greg’s full Paper Towns review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #138

 

Stars(3.5)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating: Paper Towns (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Ruben Guthrie reviews: You can listen to our Paper Towns review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #138. You can also read our Paper Towns review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt

Trailer:

The Fault In Our Stars

Summary: Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who met and fell in love at a cancer support group. They share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th June, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Josh Boone

Screenwriter: Michael H. Weber, Scott Neustadter, John Green (book)

Cast: Mike Birbiglia (Patrick), Ana Dela Cruz (Dr. Maria), Willem Dafoe (Van Houten), Laura Dern (Frannie), Ansel Elgort (Gus), Milica Govich (Gus’ Mom), Sophie Guest (Jackie), Lily Kenna (Young Hazel), Randy Kovitz (Dr. Simmons), Johanna McGinley (Eva), Carly Otte (Alisha), Emily Peachey (Monica), Sam Trammell (Michael), Lotte Verbeek (Lidewij), Carol Weyers (Anne Frank (voice)), David Whalen (Gus’ Dad), Nat Wolff (Isaac), Shailene Woodley (Hazel)

Runtime: 126 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE FAULT OF OUR STARS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s The Fault In Our Stars review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

Stars(3)

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s The Fault In Our Stars review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

Stars(3)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s The Fault In Our Stars review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

Stars(3)

 

David Griffiths:

As a thirties something male I probably am not the target audience for The Fault Of Our Stars. I can let me re-phrase that I AM CERTAINLY NOT THE TARGET AUDIENCE for this film. But some credit has to be paid to director Josh Boone (Stuck In Love) because despite the fact The Fault Of Our Stars is actually aimed for the female of the species it seems like Boone has realised that more than a few males will be dragged along to see the film so he has also set about trying to make the film accessible and enjoyable for them as well.

Based on the popular novel by John Green The Fault Of Our Stars centers around a young cancer patient by the name of Hazel (Shailene Woodley – Divergent, White Bird In A Blizzard) whose battle with cancer has left her with severe breathing difficulties.

Still she tries not to let life bring her down too much. She finds solace in her favourite novel which also tells the story of a cancer patient but also finds life is a bit of an up-hill battle due to the fact that her parents, Frannie (Laura Dern – The Master, Little Fockers) and Michael (Sam Trammell – Me, Things People Do) seem more determined to make her attend therapy groups rather than life her live like a real teenager.

But it ends up being one of these groups that changes Hazel’s life forever. While attending one she meets Gus (Ansel Elgort – Divergent, Carrie) and his best friend Isaac (Nat Wolff – Behaving Badly, Palo Alto), both of which are cancer sufferers themselves. Gus instantly has a romantic interest in Hazel and also helps her to try and take chances with her life, including travelling to Europe to meet Van Houten (Willem Dafoe – Bad Country, The Grand Budapest Hotel) to ask him about what she feels is missing from his novel.

As a film The Fault In Our Stars certainly has a lot of plusses. Given the subject matter at hand there was a real danger that in the wrong hands this could have become a ‘lunchtime television weepy’ but Josh Boone certainly tries to make the film a lot better than that. He tries to tap into that similar style and language that worked so well in Juno and while it works throughout the film there are at times when the audience feels like they are severely manipulated into being made cry.

For some reason though this is a film that keeps working despite its few flaws. The characters are so damn likable that you can’t help but care what happens to them. Then there is the fact that there are some characters that go so far beyond what you would expect from a Hollywood film that it almost takes this film into a whole different realm. Take the character of Van Houten for example. Normally when teenage characters meet their hero in a film it’s enriching experience with the hero normally spouting wisdom. But here Van Houten is almost the anti-hero, here he is as far removed as Yoda as possible with his alcoholic ways, abusive persona and the fact that he can randomly swing into a rendition of Swedish hip-hop. It’s these ‘not-sure-what-to-expect’ moments that will keep the audience tuned into The Fault In Our Stars.

The film also reiterates that Shailene Woodley is Hollywood’s ‘it’ girl at the moment. It is seriously coming down to the question of is there anything that girl can’t do? From action heroine in Divergent to a witty cancer patient in The Fault In Our Stars the roles couldn’t be more different, yet somehow this talented young actress manages to pull off these roles with ease. Then there is Ansel Elgort, a virtual unknown who is mainly known for playing Woodley’s brother in Divergent, a small part to say the least. But here he is a real standout, revealing himself as a witty talented actor who could be now rivalling Miles Teller for acting roles. When it comes to the older members of the cast Willem Dafoe is his usual brilliant best, however Laura Dern seems to struggle a little in an over-written part.

While some movie goers may be scared off by The Fault In Our Stars it is a film that is well worth a look. Just be prepared to bring the tissues out.

Stars(3)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Fault in Our Stars (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Fault In Our Stars′: For our full The Fault In Our Stars review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

Trailer: