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Movie Reviewz: The Fallout

February 7, 2022

The Fallout- 3/5

The first movie I’ve chosen to review is “The Fallout”, with a directorial debut from Megan Park. The film centers around Vada, played by Jenna Ortega, a teenage girl grappling with trauma after a shooting devastates her high school. Costarring is Maddie Ziegler, playing Vada’s new best friend Mia. The two bonded through their shared experience hiding in the bathroom from the shooter. 

Jenna Ortega gave a powerful performance. I haven’t seen her in anything serious before, certainly not in a starring role. 

Maddie Ziegler did alright. She never brought me to tears, but her character wasn’t really written that way. She was charming, and that’s the most one can ask from an ex reality TV star. It annoyed me a little 

It is fairly clear that Park was rather inexperienced making this movie. While the dialog does have moments of brilliance (specifically in conversations between Vada and Mia) for the most part it comes across as cringy and out of touch. 

So much of the script had this feeling of fabricated “Gen Z” slang; words that no teenager has ever unironically used. I imagine some middle aged Warner Bros employee swiping through TikTok for five minutes, then writing the entire script based off this limited research. “Low key”, “ok boomer”, “L-O-L” (spoken aloud, not through text), and “that is my vibe!” were some of my favorite examples. 

The pacing also left something to be desired. Not many events took place. A majority of the movie was just Vada lying in bed. This genre may just not be for me, but I really do think great directors should be able to make the mundane seem engaging. It was hard to stay attentive through this watch. 

However, despite these drawbacks, I actually do recommend this movie. After the events at Richfield’s South Education Center, movies like “The Fallout” are continually becoming more prevalent. 

It was incredibly powerful the way Park depicted Vada and Mia’s perspective of the shooting. I really felt scared for them as the shots fired off. We see headlines on the news, casualty numbers, names of children lost, but, fortunately, not many people truly understand what it’s like to fear for your life at school. 

“The Fallout” provides a healthy outlook on the repercussions of such a heinous act of violence. What happens to the kids who survive? How will these children live with this newfound existential dread? It was powerful to get a first person point of view, through someone struggling with those issues. 

Why Is Nobody Talking About “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things”

This week I watched Ian Samuels’ “A Map of Tiny Perfect Things”. I entered this movie fully expecting a cheesy Netflix-teen-rom-com knockoff. Rather, I was pleasantly surprised. 

First, the concept of this story was enjoyably original. Main characters Mark and Margaret are stuck in a “Groundhog Day” esque time loop, where the same day repeats over and over. Where this movie differs is the way its prisoners choose to spend their time.

Mark and Margaret decide to map out all the special moments that occur within their town over the course of a day. While this narrative drives the story forward, more important is their growing bond with each other, and the massive strides they make in self improvement. 

I appreciated the neglect of chronically “Gen Z” lingo in this film. The characters speak like humans, which was wonderfully refreshing. 

Katheryn Newton (Margaret) and Kyle Allen (Mark) had genuine chemistry, which made their relationship more believable. Their dialogue felt seamless and entertaining, never forced. I often forgot the two were speaking from a script. 

The logistical planning behind many of the longer scenes is also impressive. There were many takes in which strict choreography was likely necessary in order to accomplish such complicated takes. I never expected this from the director behind Noah Centineo’s masterpiece “Sierra Burgess is a Loser”. 

My only criticism would be that the cinematography is lacking. There was never anything astoundingly beautiful about the way this film was shot. 

I appreciated how the story provided reasoning for why someone might want to stay in the loop. This created a new complexity to an already familiar tale. 

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