The Next Wave of Child Stars: Hollywood's Next Thing?

The Next Wave of Child Stars: Hollywood's Next Thing?

With successful projects starring children in major roles, it's very likely Hollywood will run with the idea - no matter what.

Stranger Things season 2 has just premiered on Netflix. The new season continues the story of the kids from Hawkins, Indiana, and their discovery of the Upside Down. Meanwhile, It is still making millions of dollars at the box office, and Logan spinoff about Laura is being written, at least according to the director/writer. So it's really no surprise that Hollywood is going to try and push out more films starring kids to cash in on the Stranger Things craze. However, as most people have said, forcing kids into a movie is not always the best decision, and with that, it is pretty obvious that they will be blinded by the possible box office returns and not make good product – simply rehashing popular products to hopefully make back their budget, regardless of quality.

It's usually a constant concern when a movie or television program makes a child or children a major focus, that the kids will either not act like real kids or drag the movie down – or both, like in Iron Man 3. This was especially an issue with Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as the film showed a young Darth Vader, but not as a teenager or young adult, but as a nine-year-old kid who could race in a podrace. Another major example is Jurassic World, where the child leads were almost treated as just exposition machines, such as the younger brother mentioning a divorce that is never brought up again. However, when Stranger Things was released on Netflix in summer 2016, all those concerns were quickly put aside. In this show, the kids act like real kids – in every way from dialogue to physicality. It's obvious that the showrunners, the Duffer Brothers, do something that many other Hollywood writers don't – they understand how children are. More often than not, kids in movies and television are written as dumbed down adults, which is far from accurate. It does the same thing as Stranger Things, presenting the child leads as normal kids, from the way they talk and act to the way they would react to, you know, a killer clown terrorizing the city. This was highly praised by critics and audiences alike, and the studio noticed.

But as with any “big thing” in Hollywood, be it superhero movies, science fiction, found footage horror, or really any popular film's genre, we're likely to enter an era of subpar “for the money” horror/science fiction featuring kids as the main characters. Of course we've had those before, but I'm talking more like The Mummy style of ripping off the MCU than the inevitable The Explorers remake. James Manigold, director and writer of Logan, is currently working on a spinoff about the character Laura, a young girl who has the same powers as Wolverine. This will go one of two ways – the studio lets Manigold make the movie as he sees fit, or they'll get involved and make it into their own take on the “kid lead equals box office” mindset. Even the upcoming all-female remake of The Lord of the Flies seems to be cashing in on this concept, as unless we had already seen kid characters being experimented on, killed by a clown, or literally made in a lab to become a weapon, no studio would want to fund a modern take on that story. While It was a success, it wasn't because it was the cast being mostly kids, it was because there was effort and care being put into the script and production. Look at the surge in found footage horror movies after The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity. Not all of them, in fact most of them, haven't been good or even watchable because the people who greenlit the project wanted a quick and cheap buck, knowing the audience will go see it if they say it's in the same style as Blair Witch.

But as I said, this might not be as bad as say, the current shared universe craze. If the studios and filmmakers put their time and effort into making the best possible product, we could see more good movies that aren't afraid to take risks despite the age of their leads. Maybe they won't push for more product like It or Stranger Things, who knows. Rather, perhaps we will see something different – instead of making more, they'll make less and cause every one of the child-led movies to be a success at the box office. It's so unpredictable, so really all we can do is sit back and watch, waiting to see what Hollywood does with their newfound money. With the new season of Stranger Things just starting though, we've still got one great series involving children to watch, and if the trailers are any indication, we're in for another wild ride.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros/New Line Cinema

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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