Rapid Review: Charlie Bartlett (2007)

Charlie Bartlett Poster

“My family has a psychiatrist on call. How normal can I be?”
– Charlie Bartlett

SYNOPSIS: A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school. – via IMDB

charlie bartlett

GRADE 8The movie is a lot of fun and had me in stitches in so many places. It was an amusing look at a rich kid, and I loved the scheme of the prescription pills, popularity, growing up, loneliness as well as the lengths a teenager will go to in order to fit in. What a person does with popularity is important, and that is explored earlier in Charlie Bartlett than other movies of its kind. It was an awesome feel good movie, and I enjoy it every time, even if it not my normal blood, guts and gore or insane drama. It is simply a fun and enjoyable movie, and it is great to watch every now and again. For me there are so many great scenes where you can just laugh at Charlie and his antics, as well as respect how he is an organizer for the students, and will help them at every turn that he can and is able to have everyone rally together. The movie was also pretty well cast, and Robert Downey Jr was again a joy to watch, he is a diverse and great actor, no matter that people think he has been typecast as Tony Stark / Iron Man. He is so much  more talented than that – although he should actually go back to doing other things again. Anton Yelchin is an actor that I enjoy quite a lot, and I think that he was perfectly cast to give us Charlie, he did so with style. I was a huge fan of Tyler Hilton’s Murphy, that guy was hilarious! The way he ran that business with Charlie, the way he wanted to take a girl out on a very specific dinner and a movie date, the way he was actually a softie? You cannot help but love Murph. Watching the wheeling and dealing of Charlie is exceptionally entertaining, that kid is smooth! If you haven’t seen this, Charlie Bartlett is well worth the watch, no matter what your age.

Fringe: Season 3 (2010 – 2011)

fringe season 3 cover

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Walter inheriting Massive Dynamic.
  • The intro being a different colour for each universe: standard greys and black for our side, red and black for the alternate universe.
  • Peter slowly but surely dealing with what Walter had done, snatching him from the other side and bringing him over, without the writers making this one of those long drawn out and melodramatic encounters where Peter is this sulky toolbag all the time.
  • Seeing Charlie again, and the introduction to Lincoln Lee. I know that they are on the other side, but it is awesome to have any version of Charlie back, and Lincoln is awesome and pretty darn looky, too.
  • The way that, although you start off hostile with the alternate universe, it grows on you, and they also become people with a serious issue, too. Walternate and his people are the only ones crusading a war though. However, you are still more vested in our side, whatever happens.
  • John Noble. Besides the fact that the man dominates the show, what a ridiculously talented actor! The extreme polar opposites he plays is fantastic, and the dramatic change is evident immediately whenever you see Walter or Walternate. You never have to wonder which one is which, they are so extremely different.
  • Phillip Broyles. Definitely a character that I like, he is so cool, but to watch him trip balls on LSD was more rewarding than I can even explain.
  • Peter and Olivia finally getting together. My goodness, this is one of the most amazing romances of all time. Why? Because it was a gradual build. It wasn’t like they jumped each other the minute they saw each other. Instead, we got an intense build up to the relationship finally coming to be.

fringe broyles tripping acid

What I didn’t like: 

  • Fauxlivia kicking it with Peter. I had such extreme issues with it and I was shouting at my TV the whole time about the situation. We have waited so long for them to get together, not for it to be the wrong woman with the right man. Ugh.
  • The whole situation with Olivia’s life being taken over and lived by Faulivia was bad and all, but it got a little melodramatic by the end because really, every episode they dragged this whole thing back in, sometimes when it was totally unnecessary and didn’t always work.
  • Having William Bell inhabit Olivia’s body for a while. Besides the fact that it really peeved Peter, it just felt so pointless.
  • I did not like the way Olivia dropped the bombshell of the man from her mind being the one that will kill her one day but then not having the story progress at all from there.

fringe season 3 peter shades hot
Rating:
GRADE 8
My Fringe Binge is going so well and I have been loving it all. Yes, much awesomeness. Obviously, as you can see from above, I had major and extreme issues with Faulivia for numerous reasons, but the biggest one being her kicking it with Peter. Why? Because he was so not hers to touch. We have watched this romance blossom between Peter and Olivia and have been cheering it on for ages and then this woman comes along and throws a spanner in the works. Ugh. And nobody seemed to question how different she was, which was annoying. I was a big fan of Henry, the cabbie, on the other side, and really appreciated Olivia’s struggle to return home. I am so sold on Lincoln Lee (brains are just so hot), he is fantastic, and seeing Charlie again, no matter the universe, is brilliant. However, the whole plotline with Faulivia being pregnant was something that was not really appreciated. Not because she was carrying Peter’s baby, it just felt convoluted. I think that Anna Torv did a great job in showing how difficult it was for Olivia to return home, it was not easy stepping back into her life that another woman had lived. Joshua Jackson, too, besides looking super delicious and being ridiculously bright, was also something to watch here. The guilt he felt over being with the wrong woman was palpable, and he genuinely felt awful about the situation. I did get annoyed with how long they dragged out the Olivia and Peter finding even ground again, it was hauled in at the most inopportune times, but ultimately had a fantastic outcome. I also really liked Sam Weiss, the man that helped Nina Sharp, and so also became the man that was such an integral part of helping work out the machine that could save the universes, etc. He made me laugh quite a bit at times, especially when he wanted to get into that one museum. Good times. There is also a really trippy episode where Peter goes to find Olivia in her mind, and made for some incredibly entertaining times with Broyles tripping acid. Again, Walter is an absolute scene-stealer, and watching him and Peter try to find common ground was something else altogether. But that, too, is ripped away from us super quick when William Bell then inhabits Olivia’s body. I know, sounding a little loopy, right? It was, but we could deal with the majority of it. Anyway, Fringe is back, providing us with great humour, a kick of drama, a great score, good looking visual effects and a wonderful cast to carry it. You can see how the show has fun, such as that whole cartoon like one, they are always trying different things, changing things up, whether it be for the drama of the show or the humour. Seeing the alternate universe finally was really fun, and seeing the harrowing effects of Walter’s crossing over is shown in even more detail in this one. I also liked how the alternate universe, though never the one you root for like the one we know, you do end up caring about the people on the other side, how they are dealing with things, etc. Except Fauxlivia. I am still no fan of hers because of all the Peter Bishop drama. I still highly recommend Fringe, it is a fantastic sci-fi series with plenty of characters to enjoy, some wonderful humour and enough drama to give it a story, it is a lovely show and worth every second of your time.

Love ❤

fringe season 3 peter and oliviapeter bishop perfect

Review: Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

twilight-meyer

Twilight #1

Isabella Marie Swan moves from her mother in Phoenix to stay with her father, Charlie, in Forks, Washington. She is incredibly upset about this, seeing as Forks is dreary and rainy and horrible, but she wants her mother Renée and her new husband Phil to be happy together. Charlie has bought Bella a truck from an old family friend, Billy Black, and she loves it more than she imagined. Sulkily, she starts school the next day, which seems relatively normal until she meets Edward Cullen, who is more beautiful than just about any guy she has seen in her life, and he seems to hate her on sight. Bella does not understand this, and before she knows what is going on, Edward has stopped coming to school, and his family seems so removed from the other students that no one seems to know what is going on.

Bella is battling with all the boys in school asking her out, and she is not interested in any of them but Edward. Before long, Edward returns to school looking very different, and he actually starts talking to her civilly. Bella’s obsession deepens, though Edward does not seem interested in her, a plain Jane next to him. Her obsession does not change when Edward saves her from being killed one day by a speeding truck, which he seems to bodily stop, appearing beside her before it could possibly happen. Going to the beach at the Quileute Reservation with some friends at school, she reacquaints herself with childhood friend Jacob Black, who tells her a tribal tale of werewolves and vampires, naming the Cullens as the vampires the werewolves are to protect the tribe from. Bella starts making assumptions, and decides that Edward must be a vampire. He is too pale, his eyes change, he never comes to school on sunny days, not to mention the incident in which he saved her with superhuman strength and speed.

Again Edward saves her in the city one night, and they get to talking. Eventually he has to admit to her that he is not human, as she has ascertained this and does not seem afraid. The Cullens are not like normal vampires, and do not feed off of people. They hunt animals for sustenance. He desperately wants her to stay away from him to be safe, though it seems he is immensely interested in her. The two start seeing each other, much to the shock of the school. Bella meets the Cullen family, whom Charlie has a lot of respect for. On a family outing, after she knows that Edward is deadly and glitters in the sun, she joins the family for a baseball game which they can only play when there is a storm due to the racket they make when playing. A small coven consisting of James, Victoria and Laurent appear at the baseball game, and James becomes obsessed with Bella. He is a tracker, and he is going to make a meal of her. The Cullens rally to protect Bella, running her off to Phoenix, while Alice fields visions on what James is planning. James has an elaborate plan to draw Bella away from Jasper and Alice, and it might just work.

Will Bella take the bait and go to James? Will the Cullens be able to save her from him? Will Edward and Bella ever just have a simple and normal, happy relationship? Will Charlie be safe with the Cullens divided up between looking after her and him? Can they stop James and his plans?

GRADE 3.5Alright, so just to set the record straight, it was not my desire or choice to read these. I got bullied into it (I don’t think this is a fair trade – I recommend a few decent books to a friend, she insists that this is what I must read after she read three good ones). Anyway, getting down to what I thought of the novel, the biggest glaring issue for me is that Stephenie Meyer cannot write. She has no understanding of pacing. I mean there are plenty scenes that are squeezed in here and come across as unnatural and forced. It is like she knows what she wants to say, but has no idea what vehicle to use to convey it to the reader. Before reading these books, I thought Katniss Everdeen was the most annoying and selfish heroine I had ever read about. Boy, oh boy, was I mistaken. Then I met Bella Swan and I damn near chewed through my own wrists. She is more selfish than I ever realised. It freaks me out that it is teenage girls reading this and looking up to such a useless lump. Also, something that bothered me immensely, you would think that Edward would be more mature, considering he is like a century old. His character is incredibly inconsistent, and that annoyed me endlessly. When I read and think vampires, I think Count Dracula and Anne Rice type things. This is just awfully embarrassing to end up in the same lot. The relationship between Edward and Bella is bizarre, and lacks emotion and passion. They are obsessed, but not even in a passionate way, and they are all about suicide if they cannot be together. Stephenie Meyer keeps quoting Romeo and Juliet like she is giving us a modernised version, which is extremely annoying because this will never be on the same level. Bella and Edward are like petulant children together. The story offers nothing more than a girl completely obsessed over a boy and willing to throw her whole life away for it. Then… what is this bullshit that “normal” people can’t smell blood? It smells like freaking iron last I checked! Also, Bella has no character development aside from getting more and more obsessed with Edward, and then next thing you know she is adept at using people (Jacob Black). I rapidly got over reading about Edward, always in connection with the words perfect, beautiful and flawless. Seriously, is there nothing more to say about him than that? Bella’s blind acceptance about Edward is ridiculous, and really makes it even more difficult to identify with anyone, as if it wasn’t hard enough as is. Edward is really like a sulky, angry, churlish child. Meh. I couldn’t understand his insistence of someone knowing where she was or her insistence of lying about it to everyone. All she had to say was “hey, going out with Edward”, not “hey, going out with Edward the sparkly vampire and if I am not home and safe by six, get the stakes ready and come and get me”. Seriously Meyer, wtf?! Edward glittering in the sun in the book is the same as in the movie – throw in the towel and be done with this crap. Wow. Anyway, the “action” that comes by the end of the book again feels out of place and forced. I cannot say that it was a joy to read this book at all, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand how this became such a huge phenomenon. Alright, I will stop now, otherwise this will never end.

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

perks of being a wallflower book cover

Charlie is a fifteen year old kid who does not fit in anywhere. Getting in touch with a friend he can write to, Charlie starts to spill all of his emotions and experiences. He is lonely, he is an outsider and that is just how things are. Soon he starts high school, but nothing really changes. He misses his best friend, Michael, who committed suicide a year before that, and is struggling to deal with that. Charlie battles severe depression daily. One day he takes a bold step and befriends Patrick “Nothing” and his stepsister Sam. Soon he feels like he is finally a part of something, and that things will not be so bad. Patrick and Sam are both seniors, and at the end of the school terms will hopefully be moving on to their respective colleges.

Charlie is rather taken with Sam, though he is firmly told that she is too old for him. Charlie is alright with that, and gets involved with Sam, Patrick and their friends. He becomes a part of the group. Things are slightly better for him now that he has people. Charlie’s English teacher, Bill, gives him plenty of books to read and to write papers on. Not for school, but for them, and Charlie takes to the task with gusto. He deals with his strange family, and that his sister is seeing a guy that hit her. Ultimately he discusses it with Bill, and Charlie and his sister have issues when the school contacts Charlie’s parents about it. Just like that they are on opposing sides, though Charlie only wanted to help. Sam starts seeing a guy named Craig, and it crushes Charlie, though he will step back and let he be happy. Patrick is dating a guy named Brad from school, who is also the quarterback. Everything is moving along smoothly, and Charlie likes this. With the group, though, Charlie starts doing things that are out of character, things that are new to him, such as smoking and drugs, though it all seems to be alright at the time.

Charlie deals daily with having lost his favourite aunt in the whole world, Aunt Helen. Charlie misses her gravely and feels responsible every day for her death seeing as she passed away going to get him his Christmas present. Charlie’s birthday is on the 24th of December, so every year around that time he is relatively depressed. His brother has returned home from college for the Christmas holiday, and Charlie is happy to have everyone together again. Shortly after the new year begins, Charlie has an issue when he somehow ends up dating Mary Elizabeth, one of the girls in the friendship group. Sam is thrilled for them, and everyone seems happy, except Charlie. Mary Elizabeth soon becomes an issue, and Charlie shakes her in the worst manner possible: by kissing Sam when Patrick dares him to kiss the most beautiful girl in the room. Soon Charlie has no friends anymore, and Sam is furious with him. Slowly but surely he is losing his grip on reality, and at a bad time, too, considering his sister needs his support now more than ever. While split from the group, Charlie learns that Patrick and Brad have broken up, and he wishes he could console Patrick. When a fight breaks out at school between Patrick and all of Brad’s friends, Charlie finally decides to step up, no matter what the group wants. His courage has him taken back into the good graces of the group. His psychiatrist, however, keeps scraping away at his past, and it makes Charlie nervous.

What is the psychiatrist looking for? Is Charlie’s drug use affecting his emotional threshold, too? What happened in Charlie’s past? What will he do when his friends move on to college and he is left alone? Will Charlie be able to find more of himself now that he is growing more confident in that ability? What lessons will Charlie learns from  his older friends?

GRADE 7I must honestly say that this is one of the few times that I believe the movie was better than the book. That is truly a rare occasion for me. I was impressed with this book, but it just lacked the kick that the movie gave it. The movie was a very loyal adaption of this book, and while it left some things out and altered others, overall the experience was similar. I liked how The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written as a letter style the whole way through, like a collection coming together. I enjoyed hearing how Charlie saw things, and I felt sorry for him. I thought it was better that Michael’s suicide was addressed better in the book, I thought it was something that was grossly overlooked in the film. There was some more character development here, but not an awful lot more than I already knew. The book is a quick, short read, too! One thing that really grated on me throughout was how much Charlie cried. Eventually I couldn’t even feel for him, I was just like wow, getting a little extreme here.