Wednesday, August 9, 2017

~ Week 7 ~ Blog Project #2

Media Product Review


A movie about family, 
loyalty, and the reality of hard choices. A touching story about a little girl growing up with her Uncle, more like a Father. It will touch your heart and make you tear up no matter how hard you try not to. A movie leaving you feeling happy and warm inside. 


  • This movie came out in April of this year and I was for sure at the theater opening day. This movie immediately took place on my top ten movies because of it's sweet, touching story. I chose this movie because it was a lovely movie that everyone should see, and if someone has not seen it, then maybe they will be tempted after reading this review. It had amazing reviews from major news sites such as New York Times, Empire, LA Times, and Washington Post.
  • Watch the Trailer below, CAUTION: It will have you running to Red Box to rent the movie!

  • Movie Director : Marc Webb 
  • Also known for 500 Days of Summer (included in the Top Ten lists of many main websites in 2009), Amazing Spider Man 1 and 2. He is known for his use of "quirky humor in his music videos and movies" (Gifted 2017). Along with being a director, he is also a producer.
  • Writer : Tom Flynn 
  • Screenwriter known for "Watch It". Married to an actress and acting coach, Andi Matheny. Born in Lima, Ohio and graduated from the University of Dayton with an English Literature degree. (Gifted 2017).
  • Lead Actors
  • Chris Evans : Born in Massachusetts. Especially known for Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Captain America. He has a long list of Awards and Nominations under the MTV movie rewards, Teen Choice Awards, People's Choice Awards, Scream Awards, Critic's Choice Rewards, Saturn Rewards. He won the Best Superhero (Scream), Best Fight (MTV), Favorite Action Movie Actor (People's), Choice Movie Scene Stealer (Teen), and Choice Movie Actor Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Teen). (Chris).
  • McKenna Grace : Born in Grapevine, Texas. Also known for her work in Designated Survivor and Mr. Church. She is loved for her spunk and talent as a young actress.
  • Lindsay Duncan : Born in England. Also known for About Time, Birdman, and Alice in Wonderland. She has won three awards, two Olivier Rewards, and a Tony Award for for Private Lives. Another Tony nomination for Les Liaisons dangereuses. (Lindsay)
  • Octavia Spencer : Born in Montgomery, Alabama. Also known for The Shack, Hidden Figures, Fruitvale Station, The Help and many others. Her role in The Help won her the Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critic's Choice Movie Award for Best supporting Actress. Fruitvale Station gave her a critically acclaimed performance also winning her the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Hidden Figures role gave her nominations for another Academy Award, Golden Globe, and SAG.  (Octavia)
  • Plot Summary : A young girl named Mary lives with her Uncle Frank after his sister ended her life due to stress of being a mathematician. They enjoy living together and wouldn't want it any other way, they are best friends. Young Mary has a talent given to her from her mother - amazing math skills. Her teacher at school realizes she is "gifted" and wants to send her to a better school. Uncle Frank truly thinks her mother would want her to live a normal life at a normal school. Quite the opposite, his mother, Evelyn shows up out of the blue to take Mary to give her a higher educated lifestyle. This story and plot goes through a custody battle over sweet Mary. 
  • Box Office : 34.2 Million 

  • The other works by the director, Marc Webb, include 500 Days of Summer and the Amazing Spider Man 1 and 2. Although I have not seen 500 Days of Summer, I have heard lots about it. It is one of my sister's favorite movies, so I asked her for her opinion on the movie compared to Gifted. She says that the two movies may be similar in the way that they both have a sweet, love story with some humor thrown in. The love story being different though because in Gifted, it's between family and 500 Days of Summer, between a man and a woman. I have seen the Amazing Spider Mans though and I would say overall, they are very different from Gifted. Amazing Spider Mans are very action packed, but I would not expect them to be similar because they are different genres of movies. The one thing I would say is similar is the kind relationships he puts into the movies. For example, the aunt and the son in the first Amazing Spider Man 1 and 2 have a very close, bonded relationship which creates a sweet relationship throughout the story, similar to the relationship of the daughter and uncle in Gifted. Both have the theme of showing how important family is and how they are always there when you need them. Both movies have the idea of a messed up family, with both of the kids' parents out of the picture. They both show a broken family bonded by what they have. 
  • There is an endless amount of movies under this same genre. A torn apart family and their issues staying together in what they have. Some movies with the same genre of children prodigies include Akeelah and the Bee, August Rush, Hidden Figures, and Good Will Hunting. For example, Akeelah and the Bee, Akeelah has an amazing talent of spelling and doesn't have a good life at her home due to family issues. August Rush, the boy is born a music prodigy and tries to find his birth parents using it. Hidden Figures, the talented women whose math skills solved so many things for NASA, all of which had troubled homes and childhoods due to their race at that time of history. Good Will Hunting portrays a man who was a janitor who is also secretly extremely mathematically inclined. He comes from a bad background and never got to use his knowledge to it's full potential. All of these movies do include older children or even adults, unlike Gifted, where Mary is very young, but they all have gifted people who do not get to easily live up to their full potential or have broken families which makes everything worse.
  • This movie represents so much of what people go through everyday. The reality of custody battles is very common today more than ever. Unfortunately, broken families are seen a lot today, with divorced parents, deceased parents, fights over children and their rights, and much more than that. This movie shows the reality that happens, but with a sweet ending. Although not everyone gets a happy ending, this movie represents how hard work and fighting for family can turn things around. 
  • The only trend the movie may be reflecting of our culture is broken families. Although it is not a fun, popular trend, it is very common in this culture nowadays to have a broken family. Whether it be divorced parents, cheating parents, deceased family, or anything else, it is very uncommon to have a monogamist family these days. In the movie, the mother was dead and the father was not even in the picture, which we sadly see often. The daughter lives with her Uncle, which is a normal thing for children to do when their parents aren't in the picture - go to other family members. I think the movie helps show that no matter how broken a family is, there is still some type of love bond between them.
  • The target audience is family in general. It is an overall family-friendly movie and can be entertaining to all ages. I think it may also be geared towards parents because they would understand the concepts on a deeper level than children would. Also, parents may be able to relate to the story if they had gone through a similar experience.
  • Honestly, I would say the movie doesn't includes any major stereotypes or offensive messages. The only stereotype I could think of is the common portrayed rich, high-end mother who thinks that her son's not-so-high-end life is repulsive. A typical stereotype of rich mothers and children not wanting to be like their parents. I think they avoided most stereotypes and offensive messages by having an overall racially diverse cast with. The movie was full of good, important messages, but none of which were offensive because it was not that type of movie.
  • Strengths : The overall strength of this movie is the message it sends - showing that the love and bond of a family is most important over anything else, unlike her grandmother just using her for her talents. The choice of cast is also a huge strength because everyone played their part extremely well. The cast has a lot to do with a movie, more than just the message, and the characters showed so much passion for their roles, that we felt that passion as viewers. Even McKenna Grace who is actually eleven, who plays a seven-year old (Mary), could get into her character so well and do the tougher scenes with such ease. For example, their was a scene where she was very angry, crying and yelling at her Uncle Frank. It seemed so realistic that it makes the audience all cry for her. She is so young, yet so talented, so their choice to pick her greatly influenced the movie as a whole. The soundtrack of the movie is another strength. Music alone can cause so many emotions to the one's listening and their choice of songs at each point of the movie couldn't have been more perfect. For example, the music playing in the sad scenes just made you cry even harder, but then during the happy parts, the music uplifted you so much, you couldn't help but smile (and of course, happy tears).
  • Weaknesses : It is very hard to find a weakness in one of my favorite movies, so I did some research to find out what other people thought the weaknesses were. Washington Post had all good things to say about it, but it did admit it was very predictable with romantic love entanglement and the court's decisions (O'Sullivan). Empire also enjoyed the movie with a good review, except one thing - the predictability. They claim that Marc Webb could do better than he did because "he slips into obvious pitfalls and booby-traps" (Lawrence). I do understand their comments about the predictability of the movie, but it doesn't make me love it any less!
  • The movie is phenomenal in my opinion and other reviews have just as amazing things to say about the movie. It's smart, touching, and just a great movie. I wouldn't say it's the best piece of work by Marc Webb only because the reviews would say that. In my opinion, it is because I enjoy these genres of movies over his other works, such as Amazing Spider Man. The reviews from above, Washington Post and Empire, both say that his other work is more exciting and unpredictable which makes his other works better than this.
  • Memorable. This movie is a memorable movie due to it's sweet story and will not be forgotten next week. It's memorable because of it's cast and story, I think this movie is one of those that you watch on a good day or a bad day or whatever the mood. It's a feel good movie and there can never be enough of those!
  • Bob Hoose from Plugged In, a popular critics website for families to check out before seeing a movie with their children, writes an excellent, detailed review on Gifted. He discusses all of the positive and negative elements of the movie. Positive factors including that the movie "delivers a warm, heartstring-plucking message about our inbuilt need to love and be loved" (Hoose). He admits that the movie, which I fully agree with, is a "uplifting, wipe-a-tear-from-your-eye stuff that even the most grumpy and solitary minded among us would have a tough time frowning over" (Hoose). On the other hand, he does take note of some negative factors including that the movie has "a handful of headshake-worthy bits" that weren't necessarily needed in the movie, such as Uncle Frank's drinking tendencies and an f-word thrown in there. I truly agree with Hoose's review and would say it's similar to my review. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 70% and comes to the consensus that the movie " isn't quite as bright as its pint-sized protagonist, but a charming cast wrings respectably engaging drama out of a fairly predictable premise" (Gifted). Another top critic named Rex Reed states on Rotten Tomatoes that the movie is just a "formulaic and manipulative tearjerker that is really nothing more than a woman's picture from a man's point of view" (Gifted). These reviews from Rotten Tomatoes are not the same as mine as I do not agree with them. I think their reviews aren't looking at the whole story, but nitpick on one element and make their review based off of that. I'll stick with Bob Hoose's review!
  • There is an official Gifted Movie Instagram with pictures and mini videos from the movie. The account has 13.2K followers which shows how many people enjoyed this movie. I think having an Instagram is a good idea to spread the movie and have more people fall in love with the movie. I did not find Marc Webb's Instagram, but I did find Octavia Spencer's Instagram and Chris Evan's fan's Instagram which all post stuff related to the movie. All of these accounts have people raving about the movie.
  • I have not gone out and bought another movie by this director, but I just happen to already own 500 Days of Summer and the Amazing Spider Mans. I am ahead of the game and am soon about to own Gifted to add to my Marc Webb collection.
  • I watched all of Webb's works on DVD, Red Box, or in the movie theater. I first saw them all in the theaters, then ended up renting and buying them later on.
  • My whole family loves this movie as well, we watch it often for our family movie nights because it makes us all feel happy and warm. I tell all my friends about it as well, so they can all love it just as much as me!

  • I just don't know if I can state this too often - it's a heart warming, tear-up type of movie and will forever be one of my favorites. From my research, most people agree with me. Some certain critics have something else to say about it, but I will choose to respectfully ignore those
    reviews. I learned that even the best movies can have bad reviews, but that doesn't change my opinion on the movie at all. The actors themselves have great profiles, even some with awards, and they all made the movie special with their spectacular role playing. It's a cute, make you smile and cry at the same time, movie and if you haven't seen it, you better change that.

Works Cited"Chris Evans." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017."Gifted." Gifted (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes. N.p., 07 Aug. 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017."Gifted (2017)." IMDb., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.Hoose, Bob. "Gifted | Movie Review." Plugged In. N.p., 25 July 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017.Lawrence, Will. "Gifted." Empire. Empire, 05 June 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017."Lindsay Duncan." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017."Octavia Spencer." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.O'Sullivan, Michael. "Review | 'Gifted': Tale of 6-year-old math prodigy is formulaic but charming." The Washington Post. WP Company, 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017.Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3

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