Tag Archive: Coming of age


way way backStarring: Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Written & directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

On vacation with his mother and her emotionally abusive boyfriend, a shy teenager begins to come out of his shell after he befriends the employees of a local water park.


Although, most older
guys who friend kids at water
parks are pedophiles.

Grade: B+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Way Way Back is playing now in select cities.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1727388/?ref_=sr_1

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Mae Whitman, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh & Paul Rudd
Written and directed by Stephen Chbosky

A high school freshman with emotional problems develops deep friendships with a group of social outcasts.


You’re not a real teen
unless you dress in drag and
watch Rocky Horror.

Grade: A-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1659337/

Starring: Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias & Carol Burnett
Screenplay by Keiko Niwa
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

A family of tiny people who live under the floorboards is jeopardized when daughter Arrietty is discovered by the young boy who lives in the house.


Studio Ghibli’s
magic is proportional
to size this time out.

Grade: B-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Secret World of Arrietty is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568921/

Starring: Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Craig Roberts, Yasmin Page & Sally Hawkins
Written and directed by Richard Ayoade

A quirky 15-year-old pursues an equally eccentric girl while trying to save his parents’ marriage.


There’s not much to like
in this Wes Anderson-style
slow-moving quirkfest.

Grade: C


c2011
By Daniel J. Hoag
Submarine is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 10/4/11.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440292/

(Blu) Haiku Review: Hesher (2011)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman & Rainn Wilson
Written by Spencer Susser & David Michôd
Directed by Spencer Susser

A boy struggling with his mother’s death, his distraught father, and a meek shopgirl all find their worlds upturned when a reckless, anarchic metalhead inserts himself into their lives.


Flawed, perhaps, but it
at least deserves a couple
of raised devil horns.

Grade: B-


c2011
By Daniel J. Hoag
Hesher is available on Blu-ray and DVD on today.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1403177/

Starring: Josh Hopkins, Rachel Kitson, Mary Beth Hurt & Samantha Mathis
Written and directed by Ben Hickernell

When Will returns to his home town of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, for his father’s funeral, he befriends his newly pregnant 17-year-old cousin, and together they struggle with life choices.


You probably liked
this better when it was called
Juno and sucked less.

Grade: C-


c2011
By Daniel J. Hoag
Lebanon, Pa. is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1290082/

Haiku Review: Cedar Rapids (2011)

Starring: Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche & Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Written by Phil Johnston
Directed by Miguel Arteta

A small-town insurance agent gets a big-city education when he attends his first business convention in the titular metropolis.


Helms charms as a rube.
And though conventions do suck,
check in for the laughs.

Grade: B


c2011
By Daniel J. Hoag
Cedar Rapids in now playing in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1477837/

By Daniel J. Hoag


Well, it’s kind of a
Garden State meets Cuckoo’s Nest
for the Zoloft age.

Grade: B




c2011
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/8/11.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0804497/