• Dead Poets Society (1989) -- 9/10
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Your host, and film critic Jonathan Paula reviews everything from opening day releases, recent DVDs, upcoming trailers, and classics from years past, with an interactive format that integrates audience comments into a polished presentation. Along with your votes, each film is scored on the "Rate-O-Matic" for a 1-10 ranking. A "Five Word Summary" quickly encapsulates each review while "Factor Facts" highlight a film's best and worst features in ten key categories. Each "Quick Review" is an excerpt from a full episode, which airs on the Jogwheel channel every weekend, except during the summer.
Born in February 1986, Jonathan Paula is a professional YouTuber, and creator of the hit web series, "Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This?". He graduated from Emerson College in 2008 with a degree in Television Production / Radio Broadcasting. He currently lives in Rockingham, NH with his wife Rebecca.
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~~ Review Script ~~
This Peter Weir drama film was released in June of 1989, which shares the seemingly uncomplicated story of an English teacher who inspires his students with poetry. Produced on a budget of $16-million, the PG-rated film would score four Oscar nominations, and $220 million in profit. In his second nominated performance, Robin Williams is graceful as the kind, patient, and motivational leader... who instructs his adolescent troops to "make life extraordinary", and "seize the day." Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, John Charles, and a dozen other young actors make up the group of prep school students at the elite Welton Academy, who overcome their hesitations and begin craving everything life has to offer... by throwing parties, reading sonnets, and reveling in each other's camaraderie. Weir even had the young actors all room together during production, to strengthen their on-screen chemistry. And it certainly worked, their charm and eagerness make their characters easy, and believable to root for. Meanwhile, Norman Lloyd and Kurtwood Smith play older gentlemen, who despite being reasonable in their own actions, only serve as an obstacle for the growing desires of the teens. A confrontational scene between Leonard and Smith, as father and son, is particularly powerful, bordering on difficult-to-watch a times. It's easy to empathize with the dutiful child, afraid to disappoint a loving father who doesn't understand what his son really wants. It goes without saying that both individuals give brilliant performances in that scene, as well. The unrushed narrative unwinds throughout a single-school year, as we learn more and more about these interesting and nuanced characters. Without any showy cinematography, action scenes, or memorable music... the entire 128-minute picture rests on its writing and characters: and thankfully, the film more than excels here. This is light-hearted, but serious look at adolescence, self-discovery, and challenging authority. The marvelous script gives us insight into their fictional lives, but what makes the film stand out is how it allows, and practically asks the audience to reflect on their own lives. The qualities these men embody will surely resonate... when you wonder if you're doing enough to make your own life extraordinary. A wonderful, moving, and uplifting experience that should be required viewing for all students, I loved this film when I first saw it in my early twenties... and still do today. "Dead Poets Society" only gets better with age, and I strongly consider it to be an AWESOME film.