Things got crazy at SXSW 2013. So crazy in fact, that it was impossible to cover everything and I opted to skip out on a little something called “Short Term 12.” Nine months later, I had seen the film a half dozen times and named it my second favorite movie of the year. But even though I missed out on a few months of celebrating the film’s prowess, now I can watch it as many times as I’d like because “Short Term 12” is due out on DVD, Blu-ray and digital platforms on Tuesday, January 14th.
The film stars Brie Larson as Grace, a young woman working as a supervisor in a group home for at-risk teens. Grace knows everyone. She knows how to get Luis (Kevin Hernandez) out of bed in the morning, she’s mindful of Keith’s (Keith Stanfield) temper and she can beat Sammy (Alex Calloway) in a race to the edge of the facility property. Kaitlyn Dever’s Jayden, on the other hand, proves to be a particularly unique challenge and not just because she’s suffering through a troubling upbringing, but also because Grace sees a lot of herself in Jayden.
To support “Short Term 12’s” upcoming DVD release, Dever took the time to talk to ShockYa about bringing Jayden to screen in a staggeringly collaborative way. Check out what the rising star told us about director Destin Cretton’s unique on-set environment, getting the chance to develop the character on her own, the challenge of working in an ensemble and loads more in the interview below, and be sure to catch “Short Term 12” on DVD, Blu-ray or digitally tomorrow. I truly cannot recommend it enough.
Click here to read the interview.
As the young-adult book-to-film mill continues to churn, we pluck out a particularly promising candidate worth keeping an eye on – Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The first wave commenced when the mothership broke through the planet’s atmosphere and society went into disarray. There was martial law, incessant news coverage, and endless Internet chatter until the Others put on the finishing touch – an EMP strike knocking out all electricity, frying cars and crippling humanity.
That initial attack took out about half a million people. The second wave upped the body count big time when the Others triggered a fault line, creating a devastating tsunami. The third wave came in the form of a more intimate attack: a plague. And then, with only a fraction of the population left, the fourth wave kicked in during which the only way to survive is to trust no one.
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“Short Term 12” is infinitely dynamic, making it one of the most moving, harrowing, heartwarming, and satisfying films of the year.
Brie Larson leads as Grace, a young supervisor at Short Term 12, a facility for at-risk teens. Grace is all business, running a smooth operation, taking the time to truly get to know each and every kid, and essentially caring for them all like they’re her own. The problem is, Grace has a troubled past of her own and when a new kid comes and winds up rousing Grace’s inner demons, Graces runs the risk of losing her long-term relationship, control over Short Term 12, and her sanity.
As someone who tends to have a tough time finding an entry point when a narrative functions without a clear-cut trajectory, “Short Term 12’s” power to engage is just downright outstanding. Grace’s relationship with that new kid, a young girl named Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), is one of the primary scenarios, but the full feature is so much more than that. Just like in reality, Grace isn’t hit with ups and downs one at a time; they come all at once, at odd intervals, or not at all, and the experience is all the more raw and moving for it.
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Think you had some bad teachers in school? Well, Cameron Diaz’s character in Bad Teacher is above and beyond. This is a movie though, so above and beyond can work, right? Of course, but it can also backfire big time and, oddly enough, Bad Teacher manages to do both with its incredibly preposterous titular character. (Keep those minds out of the gutter, please.)
Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) is on the verge of living the high life. She’s just about to marry a super rich guy and wrap up a job she despises, working as a seventh grade teacher at John Adams High Middle School. Too bad after the “JAMS” team gives her a heartfelt goodbye and a gift certificate to Boston Market, her potential mother-in-law decides she’s had enough of Elizabeth’s money-hungry ways and convinces her son to call off the wedding. Now, Elizabeth has no choice but to return to John Adams, all her bitterness in tow.
On day one, Elizabeth has already completely given up, resorting to screening films rather than teaching her class. However, when she meets the new sub, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), she gets the motivation to actually do something while at work, win his heart so she can live happily ever after courtesy of the Delacorte family watch fortune. Unfortunately, Scott’s got eyes for Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), the painfully peppy perfect teacher desperate to expose Elizabeth’s poor conduct.
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