“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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“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” is a seven – on the “Twilight” scale. If you’re comparing it to films that play by the rules, it’s more of a four. But this is a “Twilight” film and after five of them it’s successfully established its own set of rules.
“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” kicks off just days after Bella’s baby bloodshed. Renesmee is already a rather large infant and Bella’s testing the waters of this whole life as a vampire thing. An indiscernible amount of time later, Renesmee turns into a 10-year-old (Mackenzie Foy) and Irina (Maggie Grace) spots Bella and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) enjoying some playtime vampire-style out in the woods. Horrified that Renesmee may be a vicious “immortal child,” Irina tattles to the Volturi. However, Renesmee isn’t immortal. She’s half human, half vampire. The trouble is, the Volturi are pretty stubborn and the only way the Cullens can save their newest family member is by amassing an army of vampires to defend her.
“Breaking Dawn – Part 2”opens with the best part of the movie, the opening credits. And I’m only being semi-sarcastic. The film’s title sequence is really quite mesmerizing. The text either bleeds from red to white or white to red, and plays over a string of vibrant frosty forest shots mixed with a few of a blood red hue. It works especially well, artfully bringing the viewer back into the world with a rousing hypnotic effect. But again, it’s the best part of the movie. Really.
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