In honor of Stephen Hawking: The Theory of Everything (2014)- Review

by Nevin Hooper

Unfortunately, on March 14th, the famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, Stephen Hawking, passed away. I thought in order to remember his accomplishments, and me being a movie buff, I would review the biographical film, The Theory of Everything, starring the excellent Eddie Redmayne as Hawking.

The film follows Stephen (Eddie Redmayne, in a touching performance that earned him a worthy Best Actor Oscar), as he falls in love with a college friend, Jane (Felicity Jones, in a phenomenal performance that got her a nomination for Best Actress). All seems great until he gets diagnosed with his debilitating condition that will haunt him for the rest of his life, though he is still determined to figure out the answer to the universe, and struggles to keep his relationship with Jane.

First, let’s talk about the best part of this movie, Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne totally disappears into this character, and is unbelievably great as Hawking, portraying his physical appearance, and his little moments of intelligence and kindness perfectly. I never saw Redmayne throughout the entire movie, I only saw Stephen Hawking, and his performance must be seen to believe.

Felicity Jones never gets talked about for her performance in this movie. She is so overshadowed by Eddie Redmayne’s exceptional performance that Jones never seems to be mentioned for her equally phenomenal performance. While, yes, she didn’t have to do as much as Eddie Redmayne, her emotional strength is still extremely powerful, showing her emotional imbalance for Stephen perfectly, and very much earned that Best Actress nomination.

The music in this movie was stunning. I loved everything to do with music in this movie; it was quiet, yet at times it was grand and wondrous. It was sad, yet it was mesmerizing, and was just fantastic.

The direction was very calm, yet fast paced, which contributed to the mood of the film, also helped by the excellent.

I love this movie, it was emotional. It was powerful It resonated with me. Enough to give it an 11/10.

Double Decker Movie Reviews: Jumanji and The Greatest Showman

By Brandon Matzke and Nevin Hooper

Hello there! It is I, Brandon, here with a new concept for film reviews (at least in this school blog): double decker movie reviews. See, Nevin and I had both seen movies that are currently in theaters: Nevin saw The Greatest Showman and I saw Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. And to prevent us wasting too much of your time, here’s our thoughts on the films in one article. Ready? Let’s go!

The Greatest Showman

by Nevin Hooper

I saw it. The Greatest Showman. I was Continue reading →

Review- William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (1996)

by Nevin Hooper

So far in my series of old movie reviews I have always reviewed good movies. Usually ones I would give a 10/10 or my highest grade of an 11/10. But, since we just finished watching the 1996 Baz Luhrmann remake of the classic William Shakespeare play of Romeo and Juliet, I thought, why not review it? So, on to the review!

If you are not familiar with my reviews, I grade movies like this. I go from a scale of 0/10 (movies that are so bad that they should have never been made), to an 11/10 (movies that are so good, so fantastic, that you just can’t give the average 10/10 grade).

So, since this is a film that I did not especially like, I am going to tell you what I thought was good, what I thought was bad, and what my overall thoughts were of the movie along with my grade.


Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo: I have always been a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio. He has starred in some of my all time favorite films such as The Departed (2006), Inception (2010), and Titanic (1997). I think he is an excellent actor, and no surprise, he is easily the best part in this film. But, unfortunately he probably gives his worst performance I have seen from him in this film, but on some of the more emotional parts, I thought he did an okay job. It just sounds so weird calling a Leonardo DiCaprio performance “okay”, but that’s how I felt about him.

The usage of color: Probably the only thing I found visually interesting in this movie was the usage of color in this movie. Name off all the most vibrant, and brightest colors you can think of and that color is in this movie. The color choices are so bright and eye-popping that I thought was at least handled well.

That’s where the good points about this movie end.


Claire Danes as Juliet: I did not like her character in this movie at all. I found her character extremely weak and felt like she was lacking something, I never felt her performance was that great and the way she played her character didn’t feel like a Juliet to me. I’m not sure why, but she just didn’t seem like she was playing Juliet in that movie, at least not well.

The screenplay: Look, I have nothing against Shakespeare when I say I hate the screenplay. The film uses Shakespearean language and some actual dialogue from the play. I love Shakespeare’s brilliant writing skills and believe that he is one of the greatest writers who has ever lived, but having his dialogue take place in present day just does not work whatsoever. It came off as weird, extremely unnecessary, and especially awkward.

The acting: Wow, I haven’t seen this much cringe worthy acting in a long time. It seemed like every single line that was delivered from these actors was so awkward and very, very, very cringe worthy, which is very upsetting since the film has a surprisingly good cast.

The direction: I’m just going to go out and say that I hate the director’s style in this movie. His direction was so energized to the point that it made it so everything was so uncomfortably in your face all the time, and many unnecessary shots didn’t make any sense in the story besides “metaphorical imagery.” I did not like Baz Luhrmann’s direction in this movie at all. I know what he was going for with having the film fell as energized as possible, but what was supposed to be exciting just came off as too fast, confusing, and making me want to throw up.


Overall, I did not like this movie whatsoever. Like, at all. I’m sorry for people who actually like this movie, but I did not. Sure, there was one semi-good performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, bright and interesting colors, and very, very, few pretty shots, but other than that, I hated the movie, and shall give it a 4/10.

Coco: Pixar’s newest masterpiece

by Brandon Matzke

I finally saw it. After two weeks of scheduling and planning, I saw it for you guys. This film follows Miguel, a young boy whose entire family hates music. And I do mean they HATE music. So much that they’ve basically forced everyone in their gene pool to become shoemakers. But poor Miguel simply wants to be a musician and unintentionally gets sent into the land of the dead, where he discovers the secrets behind his family’s history with music. And let me tell you, Pixar is far from losing their touch.


One thing that I’ve always admired from Pixar was their imagination. They truly brought this film to life with every ounce of imagination possible squeezing from every frame. The world of this film is so creative and colorful that it should be studied by writers and world-makers alike. And the characters are so much fun, and, from the con-man esque Hector (who I consider to be the best character in the film) to Miguel, to even the mutated dog freak known as Dante, were a blast to watch. The film has one thing a film about music should definitely have: MUSIC! This soundtrack brimnes with culture and wonder, and just adds so much to this film. The animation flows to perfection, with every single detail staying relevant.


I had no major problems with the film itself. What I didn’t like were some of the cliches in the first half of the film (minor flaws). And there’s one more thing I didn’t like. One major, singing snowman shaped flaw. Perhaps 21 minutes of it…. Well, it wasn’t part of the film (it was a so-called “short” that played before it), but wow did it ruin my experience. Thankfully, the theater was merciful to us viewers and gave us free snacks for enduring that crap! Yay!


Pixar films are hard films for me to review. Not because they’re bad, but because 80% of the time they make complete masterpieces! I don’t know what’s left to say! Pixar, stop making good movies! I’m running out of ways to praise you! In all seriousness, this is a good film to watch with the family, and definitely earns a 10/10. Definitely check it out, it is most likely going in my top 10 of the year, and please subscribe to this awesome blog. They have so much talent that I can’t even find a flaw with it (and my whole job is being a critic!), and I think my film reviews are only a tenth of what makes this paper great.

Review- Thor Ragnarok: Third Time’s a Charm

by Brandon Matzke

Rating: PG-13

Let me get something straight: I am not a big fan of Thor. I only read about two of his solo comics in my entire life, didn’t like the previous two Thor movies, and I had very little anticipation for Ragnarok. But, when critics and audiences alike started hailing this as “Marvel’s best film yet,” I decided to check it out. I took a friend to see it with me, had two full buckets of popcorn, and despite the hype, I was still skeptical. And while I don’t agree with people who say this is “Marvel’s best film”, I can definitely say it’s in their top 5 best.


After a two-year quest spent on finding the infamous “Infinity Stones”, Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth in a very fun performance) journey ends up fruitless. After returning to Asgard to find “Odin” (I mean Loki) has been a fraud, he finds the real Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is on his deathbed. When Odin does die, an ancient evil is unleashed: Hela (Cate Blanchett). When Hela casts Thor onto a gladiatorial planet (shortly after destroying his trademark hammer) run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum, charismatic as always). Not all hope is lost; a familiar face happens to be on this planet too… which has been spoiled by every trailer, so I’ll just say it’s Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).


This film is a ton of fun; it’s got some absolutely hysterical dialogue, some breathtakingly awesome fights (one of which is between Thor and Hulk), and a great makeup and costume department (I mean, this is the stuff the makeup awards dream of!). The acting is charismatic and fun, from Hemsworth and Hiddleston (Loki), to Goldblum (in what must’ve been a role he only dreamed of up until this point), and so on and so forth. The Marvel universe feels more fleshed out than ever before, especially when compared to the previous two Thor movies. You see, for whatever reason, the writers of the previous two thought that the best way to make a Thor film was to drag him down to our boring planet, instead of the countless planets and universes he can access. Thankfully, those guys got the boot, and we can FINALLY see more of the Marvel universe. There are a ton of familiar creatures for fans to geek out about, and they all feel very realized. This is definitely the most entertaining Marvel film, and is fun all around.


For me, this film had some moments that weren’t needed for any other reason than to be a punchline two seconds later. And sometimes, the CGI didn’t work very well. There were moments where I was just like, “Let me guess, greenscreen?” Realistically, all CGI can be thought of that way. But great CGI can truly immerse the viewer into the world, no matter how ridiculous the thing it’s showing seems (War For The Planet Of The Apes is a great example of this). This movie’s CGI? Not so much. There is a particular character that worked really well for the visual effects, but not much else. And I feel that this film needed a better mix of drama and comedy; there were moments that I felt should’ve been a bit more serious, but was given a punchline instead. But those are my only real complaints.

Thor Ragnarok is a film that really surprised me. I was smiling from beginning to end, a rare accomplishment for a film. Is it Marvel Studio’s best? No. I feel that a few of their other films are better (Guardians Of The Galaxy, Captain America Civil War, Iron Man, Avengers), but this is a very entertaining film that definitely shows Marvel is far from slowing down. Is it the best of the year? No. Get Out is. Is it the best comic book film of the year? No. Logan is. But is it a good time? You bet. 8.5/10.

What the critics are saying (as of now):
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

IMDb: 8.2/10

What did you think of Thor Ragnarok? I’m curious. Let me know in the comments, be sure to subscribe to the GHS Voice. As to what my next article is? I’ll let you decide.

Hitchcock October Marathon: Psycho (1960)

by Nevin Hooper

TV-14 version

Hello, once again, fans of classic old movies, and Happy Halloween! We are getting into a great film, because we are finally talking about a very, very famous classic film that inspired a whole new generation of filmmakers and horror films: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho!

For those of you who are not informed on my rating system, it is fairly simple. It goes from a 0/10 (movies that are so bad, so horrible, that should have never been made), to an 11/10 (movies that are so fantastic, so amazing, that you just can’t give the average 10/10 grade).

This film has inspired so many people. It created a horror movie that derived from the scary monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein from the decades before, and showed us that the real monsters, are the ones inside of us. It also very much started the genre of slasher movies that inspired many horror film directors such as John Carpenter and M. Night Shyamalan. Although at first the film gained mixed reviews on some of its themes of violence, over the years it has gained a lot more recognition and is now considered a masterpiece in filmmaking, and is my second favorite film of all time. But, since the original version is rated R, I will be reviewing the TV-14 version which doesn’t have much of a difference between the real version, but it is toned down a little bit.

Psycho tells the story of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh, in a Best Supporting Actress nominated performance) who has recently stolen money from her business and has no plans of what to do with it and where to go. So, she is running away from the cops until one night she runs across a rundown hotel ran by the quirky Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins, in a phenomenal Oscar worthy performance), and his unseen mother. As the film progresses, more horrifying secrets are revealed, and the film turns into an edge of your seat, Hitchcock masterpiece.

Personally, this is my favorite Hitchcock film. I adore every second of it. The first act is a perfect set up. The second act is filled with rising uneasy tension, and ends in a final horrifying twist (which I will not spoil in case you have not seen the film) that still leaves audiences shocked (unless you already knew it, which I unfortunately did). The acting, like I said with Perkins, is phenomenal. Hitchcock once again directs this film to near perfection with brilliant wide shots, and excellent black and white cinematography by John L. Russell. The score by Bernard Herrmann contains still to this day some of the best music in a movie, such as his choice of music for the infamous Shower Scene, with loud, piercing, and shrieking violins.

I adore this movie. Every second of it. Like I said, it’s one of my all time favorite movies (only beaten by The Godfather), but I do recommend that you see this film knowing as little as possible. The less you know, the better the film will be. Other than that, this is a fantastic film that I shall definitely give an 11/10.

Hitchcock October Marathon- North by Northwest (1959)


by Nevin Hooper

Hello, fans of the world of classic movies! We are still nearing closer and closer to the frightening day of Halloween! The month of horrifying films and suspense films has encouraged me to continue reviewing films made by the Master of Suspense: Alfred Hitchcock. I have previously written reviews for Rear Window (1954), and Vertigo (1958), so now I am going to get into Hitchcock’s most entertaining film, North by Northwest!

Known as one of the most entertaining films of all time, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 Oscar-nominated adventure film, North by Northwest, tells the story of a man named Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant, in a great performance, who also became very good friends with the acclaimed Alfred Hitchcock) who is falsely accused of murdering someone, and is also accused of being some sort of spy. So, the government is after him since he supposedly killed this person, but this other society of people is after him because they think he is a spy, so they think he can ruin their society. Then this film turns into high speed adventure across the entire country, and Thornhill has no idea who to trust.

I adore this movie so much! It is easily one of the most rewatchable movies I have ever seen. It is so fun, entertaining, and suspenseful with Hitchcock’s famous moments of suspense and thrills. The screenplay is so well thought through and there are fantastic set pieces. The movie also features some of cinema’s most famous moments, such as Roger being chased by a crop duster. Furthermore, the climax is on top of the heads of the presidents on Mount Rushmore.

Hithcock’s sense of storytelling is phenomenal, and every scene mounts more and more suspense, which is another thing that I love about this movie. With Rear Window and Vertigo you had to wait until half an hour into the movie to get the story going (not that I minded, it was used amazingly to get you to know the characters), but this film immediately starts in the action. I don’t know what else to say about this movie. It’s so good. It’s amazing. I love it and I highly recommend it, and shall give it an 11/10.