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Wayland Student Press

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ICYMI: June 10 - The Class of 2024s graduation, volleyball state championship and Junes Fashionista of the Month
ICYMI: June 10 - The Class of 2024's graduation, volleyball state championship and June's Fashionista of the Month
June 17, 2024
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Reel takes: Recent movie reviews

Join+WSPNs+Penelope+Biddle+as+she+shares+her+thoughts+on+this+falls+movies+and+which+are+worth+watching.
Credit: Alyssa Ao
Join WSPN’s Penelope Biddle as she shares her thoughts on this fall’s movies and which are worth watching.

The end of 2023 and the start of 2024 has been filled with new films. What was good and bad about them? Which ones are worth watching? Here are my reviews on five recent movies I have seen.

“Dream Scenario” stars Nicholas Cage as a father and college professor living an uneventful life. Then, he begins showing up in people’s dreams, even the ones of people he has never met, making his life upend with fame. My only gripe with this movie is — that’s the entire plot. Any blurb you read or trailer you watch, no matter how brief, will give you accurate expectations of the plot, and the movie never really goes beyond that. Even though any twist or turn in the film is pretty foreseeable, it still manages to be fun. Just as stressful as it is playful, “Dream Scenario” becomes more and more engaging as it goes on. I also appreciate that this was a mid-budget and completely original movie, as both are somewhat uncommon right now. But, if anyone is ready to produce more films like this, it’s A24, the company that produced “Dream Scenario.” Another characteristic I hope more movies will take from “Dream Scenario” is the off-kilter realism that borders on surrealism, and once again, I believe A24 will be capable of delivering.

“Priscilla,” being a biopic with a title that is just the first name of the person the film is about, gave me enough of a warning not to have too high of expectations, but I didn’t listen. I wanted perfection from this movie and, unsurprisingly, did not receive it. That’s not to say “Priscilla,” which centers its story around Priscilla Presley at the time of her marriage to Elvis Presley, was bad. I thought the acting, cinematography and costumes were all great and I would still recommend the movie. I just wish Sofia Coppola, the director, had taken a few extra steps, especially regarding pacing, to bring this film to its full potential. To put it simply, I think the time that the LSD scene took up could have been used more effectively to bulk up Priscilla’s character arch towards the end.

The Holdovers” is the perfect movie if you are looking for something to watch for a cozy night in. Not only does the film take place during winter, but it is set in Massachusetts and perfectly captures the beauty of winter here. Right away, it feels nostalgic and reminiscent of older movies with the opening credits sequence and the look of being shot on film, despite being shot digitally (and not so great nostalgia, like the Miramax logo). If you’re concerned with over-sentimentality, considering this is both a holiday and a coming-of-age movie, don’t worry too much, there is plenty of humor to balance any of that out, especially later in the film. I feel that “The Holdovers” is a classic in the making.

“Saltburn” is crazy. Maybe don’t go see this movie with family like I did. While on the topic of my “Saltburn” viewing experience, don’t be misled by the fact that the woman in front of me was kneeled over in her seat begging “God forbid!” at the screen at one point…“Saltburn” is not a horror movie. It just has a lot of shock factor. The people behind the production of “Saltburn” really put whatever they wanted to in this movie, but I can’t entirely blame them. If I had the opportunity to make a film with a sinister, midsummer night’s dream-themed party, I’d take it, even if it meant that everything was over-the-top. Despite how crazy it is, “Saltburn” is pretty fun. I would recommend it and would probably even watch it again, not just because I need to see it with captions, but also because it was kind of a good movie.

“Wonka” is an incredibly unnecessary movie and most people would probably have been fine never knowing Willy Wonka’s origin story. I still saw it, though, and I didn’t hate it. “Wonka” is a prequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” that highlights a young Willy Wonka’s path to dominating the chocolate industry. I know this is just a children’s movie, but considering “Wonka” is supposed to give us backstory and explanation for its title character, I think the movie should have given us a slightly more sinister Willy Wonka. He is consistently nice in this movie and doesn’t care if people take chocolate without asking, which is very uncharacteristic if you think about how he behaves in the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” book and movies. I think that if kids saw this movie first and a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” movie after, they would be slightly confused. Other than that, I had fun watching this film. Some of the sets and chocolate-making scenes felt very magical and brought me back to childhood.

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About the Contributors
Penelope Biddle
Penelope Biddle, Co-Features Editor
Penelope Biddle, Class of 2025, is a third year reporter and the co-features editor for WSPN. She rows for Wayland’s crew team. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with friends and family. Contact: [email protected]
Alyssa Ao
Alyssa Ao, Co-Graphics Editor
Alyssa Ao, Class of 2025, is a co-graphics editor for WSPN. She is also one of the Math Team captains and co-president of the Art Club. Outside of school, she enjoys art, playing piano and watching TV. Contact: [email protected]
Donate to Wayland Student Press
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