SHORT TERM 12 | DVD REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

Kernel Andrew LOVES this film – he reviewed it late 2013 but it released early 2014 so he could not include it in his Top 20 Films of 2013 but no doubt it will appear this year. SHORT TERM 12 is out tomorrow Wednesday 14th May on DVD and Digital Download. It is rated M and runs for a big 136mins AND GUESS WHAT – because MADMAN totes rules – we have 5x copies of the film to giveaway right now on DVD. See below Kernel Andrew’s loving review to find out how to win.

 

SHORT TERM 12, SHORT TERM 12 REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Brad William Henke, Lakeith Stanfield, Phoenix Henke, Tania Verafield, Destin Cretton, teenager issues, teenagers, domestic violence
SHORT TERM 12 – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

REVIEW BY ANDREW BRUSENTSEV

If Short Term 12 (written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton) was handed to a major movie studio with a big budget I think it would have been given the Hollywood schmaltzy treatment. The kind of movie which would have Oscar gold written all over it but would in its centre be completely vapid and hollow. Hooray for the indie film it seems.

It is to Destin Daniel’s credit that he turned a plot which could have been so “TV Movie Of The Week” into something truly precious, delicate and above all painfully honest. A movie where the humanity and decency of the characters is there for all to see in a really spontaneous and natural kind of way.

The setting of the film is a Crisis Centre for teenage children. Children who have some serious problems, not the usual first world issues that are paraded in front of us daily on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. They run the laundry list of real issues from substance abuse, self-mutilation, molestation and emotional trauma. Doing a little bit of work on the internet I found that Destin Daniel Cretton based “Short Term 12” in part on his own experiences of working in such an environment. Perhaps this is where the honesty of the piece comes into play. Indeed I think this is why there is such a documentary feel to this movie in parts. A style which follows conversations between the characters quite effortlessly. Even in the face of some really truly horrific events that befall some of the characters.

 

SHORT TERM 12, SHORT TERM 12 REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Brad William Henke, Lakeith Stanfield, Phoenix Henke, Tania Verafield, Destin Cretton, teenager issues, teenagers, domestic violence
SHORT TERM 12 – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

The stand out of the film is Grace (Brie Larson), head supervisor, who it seems has a very troubled past of her own. Her performance is absolutely captivating, it’s a welcome change to see her extend herself after being in such movies as “The Spectacular Now” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and the excellent series “The United States of Tara.” Her Grace is played with a real emotional honesty and her interaction with the other cast members is a standout of the film.

If Grace is the film’s emotional centre then her rock is Mason (John Gallagher Jr).  Mason works alongside her as another supervisor as well as her live in boyfriend. Mason is funny, foul-mouthed, a real big brother to the kids in his care and a place of emotional refuge for Grace.  He is quick witted and good in a crisis at the Centre. At home with Grace he is tender, loving but most of all as the movie progresses increasingly concerned about her mental wellbeing.  He detects in her a past which she just wants to push to the back of her mind but which keeps impacting on her day to day.

 

SHORT TERM 12, SHORT TERM 12 REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Brad William Henke, Lakeith Stanfield, Phoenix Henke, Tania Verafield, Destin Cretton, teenager issues, teenagers, domestic violence
SHORT TERM 12 – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Rounding out the supervising staff is Nate (Rami Malek) who is a newbie doing some work experience from College. He is green and the kids know it. His performance, although quite small, acts as a perfect foil to the at-times chaos that happens around him. His reactions would be those of an outsider of us faced with the same kind of situations.

Just as we settle in to the routine of the Centre the impending departure of Marcus (Keith Stanfield), a teen about to turn 18 (the age when he no longer is under the care of the State and must leave the Centre), turns the place on its head and disrupts the lives of one and all. There is a pivotal scene where Marcus sitting on his bed raps to Mason about his life of neglect and abuse. Cretton shoots this in one long take and it is truly powerful.

 

SHORT TERM 12, SHORT TERM 12 REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Brad William Henke, Lakeith Stanfield, Phoenix Henke, Tania Verafield, Destin Cretton, teenager issues, teenagers, domestic violence
SHORT TERM 12 – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

To add to the mix a new girl joins the small community, Jayden (played solidly by Kaitlyn Dever).  Jayden is emotionally withdrawn and not wanting to interact with the other residents. Her reasoning is that her father is coming to get her soon so there is no need to make any new friends. There is something about this girl, perhaps a similarity that resonates with Grace, and the way that Cretton shows the two interacting and then bonding is brilliant. The subtle use of the camera whilst Grace and Jayden are drawing together is wonderful to watch. Unfortunately as they become closer painful memories from Grace’s past are triggered. This resonates and ripples throughout the whole centre as well as into the private lives of Grace and Mason. For you see Grace has some news of her own which will impact and change everything.

I don’t want to spoil the movie too much but I was enthralled with this picture from start to finish. Cretton and the performers are not heavy handed in their approach and add a fair amount of shocking realism to some key scenes which you, the viewer, will have to watch out for.

One of my favourite movies of 2013. I do not hesitate in giving this a near perfect score.

 

4 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to MADMAN to win one of the 5x copies of the DVD of SHORT TERM 12 you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to play a little game – I am mixing this one up a bit.

Firstly, just an FYI on how to increase chances of winning a salty comp; commenting on the review generally holds you in better stead of winning as opposed to just comp sexing 🙂

You may have heard this played recently on the radio a while ago – I loved it – lots of fun and you have to get creative. 

Change the name of a film title by a letter or letters and then give it a synopsis – I will hold this comp open for a week or two as I want to see craziness – enter as many times as you want – the five most creative win.

I will give you an example – DIET HARD – JK’s battle against temptation trying to escape from a chocolate factory.

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jkdigitaldesigns@gmail.com telling me you don’t have social media 

Prizes will be awarded based on skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next week or two. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.