Expires 14th December, 2022
Director – Todd Graff
Year – 2009
Generic but fun teen rom-com with some good singing talent.
Will Burton (Gaelan Connell) is a music enthusiast and a David Bowie fan. Throughout the movie, Will writes journal-like e-mails to Bowie every day, although Bowie never answers. When Will’s mother Karen (Lisa Kudrow) finds a new job, he switches to a new school, which he is eager to do since he was bullied at his previous one. During lunch one day at his new school, he meets a girl who says her name is written Sa5m but pronounced Sam, the 5 is silent (Vanessa Hudgens). She tells him about Bandslam, an annual music competition in which the winning band gets a recording contract. Will and Sa5m quickly become friends but, shortly after, he is sought after by another girl named Charlotte Barnes (Aly Michalka). One afternoon, Charlotte asks Will to join her in an after-school day-care center. When she starts inviting him to hang out with her, the teenager is stunned—as is his single mother Karen. Impressed by his eclectic knowledge of music, Charlotte, who is a gifted singer-songwriter, asks Will to manage her rock/ska band.
Will agrees to help Charlotte’s band (later called I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On) which includes Bug (Charlie Saxton) and Omar (Tim Jo), eventually expanding it with more like-minded outcasts. The group’s sound starts to come together and their prospects for success look bright. Will starts losing his “loser-status”, but the band gets in the way of completing a project he was going to do with Sa5m. After spending a day with Sa5m, Charlotte teaches Will how to properly kiss a girl, by demonstrating on him that night, which his mother sees. Will takes Sa5m to the overlook and, after an awkward start, successfully kisses her, after which Sa5m shyly asks Will to accompany her to a movie screening, which he agrees to. However, Will stands Sa5m up, breaking the date for a concert with Charlotte. After that, Sa5m starts ignoring Will at school; he visits her house, hoping to apologize. Her mom shows him a video of a younger Sa5m performing “Everything I Own”, leading Sa5m to be outraged and order Will to leave. As an apology, he makes a touching documentary short about her for his Human Studies project and she eventually forgives him.
After Will accidentally ruins Ben’s attempt to reconcile with Charlotte, Ben decides to do a little research on him, in order to ruin his image. He finds out about Will’s father, who was sent to prison years ago when he accidentally killed a child while driving drunk. Ben then starts to call Will “Dewey” (just as other students did at his old school), which stands for “DUI” (“Driving Under the Influence”). Will detests this nickname because it reminds him of his father, whom he is ashamed of. Soon after, Charlotte’s father dies and she decides to quit the band. Her father hated how she acted when she was with her ex-boyfriend, so after he got sick, she decided to change her image and be nicer to “people like Will.” The band members are hurt by this discovery, but they decide to go on nonetheless, with Sa5m taking over as lead singer.
On the night of Bandslam, Charlotte comes backstage to apologize to the band, and after a moment of hesitation, Will accepts her apology. Right before going on stage, however, they discover that Ben’s band (the “Glory Dogs”) have decided to play the song that I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On were planning to perform, forcing them to change their act at the last minute. Will suddenly remembers the video Sa5m’s mother showed him earlier and suggests that they perform “Everything I Own”, since it is the only other song Sa5m knows. To buy some time, Will comes out first onstage, but at first he is embarrassingly silent. The students begin to chant “Dewey! Dewey! Dewey!”. He starts to walk off the stage, but then comes back and decides to chant with them instead. After carrying the chant for a while, he finally changes it to, “Do we wanna ROCK?!”. The band then takes the stage and performs “Everything I Own”.
Although they fail to win the competition, a YouTube video of their performance gains the band popularity at school. David Bowie sees the video and sends an e-mail to Will, explaining that he is starting an indie music label and is interested in having the band as one of their first acts. Will is so excited and overwhelmed that he falls down in the middle of the school hallway (in a similar position as the front cover of Bowie’s Lodger album).
Will and Sa5m, happily together, attend Charlotte’s graduation ceremony.
Director – Daniel Barnz
Year – 2011
A rather lacklustre retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale.
Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) is the arrogant and vain son of news anchor Rob Kingson (Peter Krause). Kyle bullies Kendra Hilferty (Mary-Kate Olsen), not knowing she is a witch; she transforms him into a hairless, scarred, heavily tattooed shell of his former self. If Kyle does not find someone who loves him by the next spring he will stay altered, permanently. Kyle is taken to live in a private house with their maid Zola Davies (LisaGay Hamilton) and the blind tutor Will (Neil Patrick Harris). Both are comforts to Kyle when his father, unable to deal with his transformation, has abandoned him.
As spring nears, Kyle finds himself infatuated with Lindy Taylor (Vanessa Hudgens), a former classmate he had avoided. He rescues her drug-addicted father from two dealers, shooting one; the other vows to kill Lindy. Kyle persuades Lindy’s father (Roc Lafortune) to allow her to move in with him. At first, Kyle uses a false identity and introduces himself as Hunter. He also refuses to see Lindy and hides from her, which angers her to the point that she stops speaking to him. Kyle eventually reveals his face and the two begin to warm up to each other. Kyle writes a letter professing his love for Lindy but does not give it to her for fear of rejection. He visits Kendra to plead for more time; she refuses, but agrees to restore Will’s vision and grant green cards to Zola’s three children in Jamaica if he gets Lindy to fall in love with him.
The surviving drug dealer lands in jail. Kyle and Lindy visit Lindy’s hospitalized father. He gives her the letter but regrets it when she tells him she considers him a good friend. Lindy calls him after reading the letter, but a heartbroken Kyle does not answer the phone. Persuaded by Will and Zola, Kyle goes to meet Lindy one last time before she leaves on a school trip to Machu Picchu. Kyle tells her to go, but as she leaves, Lindy tells him that she loves him, breaking the curse. Kyle’s former self is restored but Lindy does not recognize him and tries to call Hunter but Kyle’s phone rings instead. When Lindy realizes what happened, the two share a passionate kiss on the side of the street.
After the curse is lifted, Will wakes up with the ability to see and Zola receives the green cards. Kendra approaches Rob Kingson’s office as a new intern, implying that she will test Rob like she did Kyle.
Director – Robbie Pickering
Year – 2015
The town of Dillford, Ohio, is home to three species who despise each other: humans, vampires, and zombies. Vampires are the top of the food chain in both literally and in social circles and tend to be the cooler kids in town. The zombies are able to leave their ghetto with special collars that keep them compliant. The humans languish somewhere in the middle, intimidated by the vampires while seeing the zombies as second class citizens. All seem to have their own communities and rules by which they keep a tense truce.
School nerd Dag sets out to lose his virginity with Lorelei, the hottest girl in school to prove he isn’t a loser. He has issues with Rick Wilson, the baseball coach and manager of the local meat factory. Rick fired all of the human employees, including Dag’s mother, and replaced them with zombies as cheap labor. Rick taunts him with this as Dag practices his pitching and he chokes and ends up hitting one of the star athletes, injuring him severely.
Dag’s hippy parents try to cheer him with a speech about the men in his family being late bloomers. When the euphemisms about puberty and “huge changes” make Dag uncomfortable, he stops his well-meaning parents and tries to forget about the conversation.
Meanwhile, social outcast Petra is seduced and transformed into a vampire after being bitten by Milan, the high school’s playboy vampire, while they are making out. Later he rejects her when she wants to make the relationship permanent, leaving her alone and now a vampire with no idea how to cope.
Dag’s former best friend Ned, the brother of the athlete Dag injured, is also a social outcast at high school. He is one of the smartest people in the town but is ostracized by his sport-loving father and receives only contempt from his teachers. Following an argument with his family, Ned visits the zombie ghetto and he allows a female teenage zombie to bite his leg, transforming him into a zombie so he doesn’t have to think or be smart anymore.
Right as Dag is finally about to score with Lorelei, out of nowhere Aliens invade Dillford, causing residents to believe that the vampires, zombies and humans are attacking each other. This causes an all-out war between the three groups that envelopes the town in a free for all of vampires vs. humans vs. zombies.
Dag and Lorelei hide in a house which is raided by a group of vampires and Lorelei is seemingly killed by Petra, who has always been jealous of her. In subsequent brawls between the factions, Dag, Ned, and Petra reluctantly join together and hide in Stuart Miller’s basement, Stuart being the local doomsday nut. While sheltering from the invasion, Petra and Ned are overcome by hunger and eat Stuart and his mother.
The aliens are able to determine their location, causing them to seek cover at the high school. Ned and Dag fight about their former friendship and Dag not wanting to be a loser anymore so they stopped being friends. Ned, who is still a genius despite his non-verbal zombie status, leaves angrily. Later Petra and Dag become trapped and make out, but he flinches and Petra accuses him of being afraid of her. The aliens find them again, and Dag realizes that the aliens can only see inorganic materials, such as their synthetic clothing. The three then strip and run to Dag’s house, where they change into organic cotton clothes kept by Dag’s hippie mother.
Later, Dag, Petra, and Ned are captured by the aliens. They are placed with other captured residents in a warehouse, with force fields segregating the humans, vampires and zombies. Dag and Petra find that instead of dying, Lorelei has been changed into a hot vampire, which intimidates Petra. After figuring out the weakness in the forcefield keeping them apart, Dag, Ned, and Petra convince everyone to band together to fight the aliens and destroy the forcefield..
At Rick Wilson’s meat factory, the chemical “Tetrafluoraxipan” is used to transform horse cartilage into a meat-like substance and is what the aliens are after. Dag convinces Rick to let the town in into the factory as the aliens arrive and submerge in the chemical, combining to grow into a single large alien. It begins to make a speech about how they just wanted to ask nicely for the chemical, but the town’s irritated residents interrupt when it starts getting condescending towards them. The townsfolk attack and the alien fights back but is weakened when the others realize that the ammonia tanks used in the factory can hurt it.
Meanwhile, Milan corners Petra and attempts to kill her. He is stopped by Dag, who turns into a werewolf after almost being killed. He realizes this was the “big change” his parents were trying to talk to him about earlier. After a short brawl, Milan is accidentally killed when he lands on a wooden slab, which impales him.
As the outclassed alien is shrinking back to its mini size, it attempts to escape by spaceship while dropping a bomb to destroy the town. Ned catches the bomb, proving he’s just as good as his athlete brother despite being a zombie. He gives it to Dag who pitches it into the ship before it closes its doors and the spaceship explodes, destroying the alien menace.
Everything returns to normal for the town, and Lorelei asks Dag out on a date. However, Dag chooses to be with Petra instead. Ned appears to be happier and better adjusted as a zombie, and seems to have bonded with his star athlete brother who has also become a zombie.