Film Review: 'A Monster Calls'

Film Review: 'A Monster Calls'

I gaurantee this film will bring tears to the most cold-hearted person on earth.
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Very few films have moved me to tears. Not because I am a sociopath or just a stoic bastard but just because not many films have been able to impress me... okay that's an overstatement, a lot of films impress me but very few of these films strike a deep chord within me. Usually, the films that do, are a result of nostalgic value such as most Disney films, or films that broke boundaries and tackled subjects not a lot of films tend to like "American History X."

Then I saw "A Monster Calls," and I am telling you right now.... no film has ever moved me to tears as much as this film.

Earlier this year, I reviewed Patrick Ness's book of the same name. While I was aware it was being adapted into a film, I didn't mention it because I don't usually mention movies when discussing the book because I want you to go out and read the book. Rarely, do I recommend seeing a film adaptation of the book, but this is one of those rare times. A Monster Calls isn;t only an amazing adaptation, but also an amazing film.

Just like the book, the film revolves around a boy, Connor O'Malley, whose mother is stricken with cancer and is dying. Conner is in denial and constantly insists that his mother is going to get better, even though it's pretty clear she isn't. He seeks solace through his love of drawing, a talent that was taught to him by his mother who wanted to be an artist. Through his denial and his art, he conjures up a monster, who is in the form of a tree located at the nearby church. The monster visits him every night at seven past midnight. And yes this specific time is important. He plans to tell Conner, three stories that relate to him, and on the fourth night, he want's Connor to tell his tale, which is a truth he doesn't want to admit.

I won't go into too many details about the movie as it goes on because I still want you to read the book and watch the film (one of the other.) But I will mention the lesson involved.

At the end of the film, Conner finally admits that he wants every to just end. He is sick of waiting for his mother to die, he's sick of his mother suffering, as he says "I just want it to be over." Yes, it is a bit selfish because he is referring to himself, but that's what makes him human. And this relates back to the stories the monster tells him. Without describing the stories, it involves certain people doing terrible things but at the same time seem to be very good-hearted people, and even vice-versa. And the message becomes clear in the end. There is no such thing as bad people or good people because we are all bad people as well as good people. Conner is just like us, he's selfish, he's angsty, he's angry, he's upset, he as all the negative emotions we universally share. But he doesn't want his mother to die. It's made very clear that he loves her, and is denying the truth that she's going to make it, which hurts him. He doesn't like the dread of waiting for her mother to pass on and just wants it to be over and done with, even if it means he will loose her.

The message is a bit more than obvious but this was meant for a younger audience so I can't criticize for that. It acts as a message for teens and adults as it does for children. How we can't run away from the inevitable, how we must come to terms with loved one passing and learn to let them go. We can't hold our pain inside and pretend it isn't there because it won't make what's causing the pain go away.

The cinematography is beautiful, with many impressive camera shots that sort of hint at arthouse style, as well gothic art, almost as if it's trying to mimic the artwork of the book.

The cast is also a great cast. Lewis MacDougall gives a believable performance as Conner, even if he looks pale as a ghost throughout the film. Felicity Jones (who also stared in Inferno and Star Wars: Rogue One) plays the mother, and you can tell she is putting her all into it to portray a sick mother who is clearly trying to hide her pain from everyone around her. A-list actor Liam Neeson voices the Monster, and finally, Signourney Weaver plays the uptight but good-natured grandmother. They all give an A+ performance and their emotions are the center of what makes this movie an experience.

I have absolutely no criticism's towards this film. Not only is it a loyal adaptation to the book, but its an amazing film. It had heart in all the right places. It's visually beautiful and creative. Despite the target audience, it was meant for, it never talks down to the viewer, making it an enjoyable film for adults. Most importantly, its message is deep, relatable and universal because it's something we are all going to have to face. There is a lot more to this film I didn't write about because I want you to go see the film for yourself and experience the same.

I am proud to give this movie a five out of five stars.

P.S. I'm just fanboying here, but one of my favorite shows, when I was little, was HBO's short-lived series, "The Worst Witch" and Felicity Jones played as Ethel Hallow and I had a major crush on her even, if she was a stuck-up jerk to Mildred.

Cover Image Credit: http://t3.gstatic.com/

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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