Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life
Product Type: DVD
Review Rated: 13+
Amazon's Price: $ 9.99
Length of DVD:
Cast: Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Rob Riggle
Directior: Steve Carr
Summary of this DVD:
Rafe is a new student at Hills Village Middle School. He starts off on the wrong foot with his new principal. Rafe's artistic talents were discovered by the school principal during a disrupted assembly when his immitation cartoon drawing of himself was passed around and eventually landed in his hands. The principal was less than thrilled of the mock drawing and destroyed Rafe's notebook filled with all his artwork which meant everything to him. Rafe used his creative talents as an escape from his deep depression.
Rafe is undergoing many troubles in all areas of his life. He can't get away from stress at school since his middle school principal drains the creativity from the students and is a stickler for unnecessary rules. When he returns home, things are equally dreadful for him with his mother's ignorant boyfriend. Rafe is dealing with severe grief over his younger brother, Leo's death. When he becomes lonely, he pretends Leo is still with him. It helps him get through the loss and lonliness without him. Rafe is finally able to reach an acceptance point with Leo's passing and allows himself to let go and move forward in his life.
This type of DVD is good for:
This is an incredible movie for parents to watch with their children. It will initiate essential conversations with your children about their concerns with rules and staff at their school. The realistic family dynamics within the movie will commence communcation with your kids in a form they're comfortable to converse about.
I especially liked:
I loved their pranks to the principal and school all together. It was fun and creative but most of all they were showing that the overbearing rules are masking their creativity and sheltering their unique personalities. Standardized testing doesn't reflect on who a child is. When that's all a school is focused on, they're taking away from methods of learning that will help many individuals. Children all learn and absorb information differently. Some are visual learners. Some learn from listening. There are people who cannot take notes and still concentrate on the lecture. Everyone is different and should be treated as such. If you shove all children into a box as one, you are destroying their abilities and talents. This movie demonstrates this concept so well. It presents it in a form that children will understand this concept and be able to express it.
I loved their middle school teacher because he taught lessons in a creative, original manner. He brought teaching to a whole new level by incorporating the interests of the students and organizing lessons from them. He was teaching educational classes using the students favorite music artists as the foundation. When doing this, you gain respect from the children but most of all, you gain their attention. Not everyone can force themselves to pay attention and grasp concepts that they genuinely have zero interest in. At best, you'll grasp half of the information given. When a teacher makes the effort to make the information interesting, you will obtain more of the knowledge and understanding.
I like how Rafe's drawings came to life in the movie. It was a fun addition to the movie but also, it was what brought him peace and happiness. His drawings were his escape from his problems. His imagination and his imaginary cartoon characters and brother, were ways for him to have a friendship and someone to relate to. They were keeping him above water for a long time.
I didn't like:
I didn't like Rafe's principal and how he tried to erase creativity within the school atmosphere. He only cared about childrens test scores and not about their true learning abilities. He was so focused on rules and regulations that he didn't ever spend a second getting to know his students. This was an excellent learning experience within the movie and shows what many schools are lacking.
The second repulsive character was Rafe's mother's boyfriend. He hates Rafe and his sister, Georgia, and goes out of his way to show them. It seems like he proposed to their mother out of spite.
When I finished viewing this DVD I wanted to:
When I finished this movie, it sparked my creativity. I broke out my book, "How to Draw Cool Stuff" by Catherine V. Holmes. I'm not much of an artist but I purchased the book a few months ago and have been wanting to give it a shot. If I could get good at drawing or even painting, and write a book, I could save money using my own illistrations. That's my goal. If I become sufficient at drawing, I'll work towards creating children's books. This movie sparked that creativity and motivation within myself.
This DVD made me feel:
The movie brought me through a rollercoaster of emotions. I was genuinely moved by this movie. I wasn't expecting saddness to be a major portion of my feelings towards this film, but it was. I was dispirited and empathetic for Rafe. He was dealing with the grief process of his younger brother, Leo. It definitely tugged at my heart strings while reminding me of my own loss's. At the end, you learn that Rafe's brother Leo wasn't truly there throughout the entire movie. Rafe was imagining him to help him deal with his loss. This discovery brought me close to tears. I almost cried when Leo said his goodbye's to him, symbolizing the acceptance stage in Rafe's grieving process. As sad as it was, it was a happy cry. I was proud and happy for Rafe that he was finally able to let go and live his life without his imaginary brother. That was a huge step for him and the beginning of a peaceful life for him.
The other emotion I felt throughout this movie was anger towards the mother's boyfriend. He was such a bully to Rafe and Georgia. He was self centered and egotistical. At the end of the movie, their mother was finally able to see him for who he really was when they faced a crisis. He only cared about his car being missing and later destroyed and didn't blink an eye about the safety or wellbeing of the children. When their mother left her boyfriend, it was a happy moment. It was finally a chance for the family to move forward and be happy together without the black cloud that was lingering in their lives.
I recommend this DVD because:
This movie is the perfect movie to strike meaningful conversation with your children. Discussions will flow easily such as grief and loss, broken families, step-parents, unfair rules, school dynamics, abusive or rude school staff, exploring your creativity and talents, schools that destroy creativity, and more. All these topics are touched on in this movie but in a fun, entertaining way. Don't get me wrong, it will pull at your heart strings! I loved this and think it is the perfect movie to teach your children a valuable lesson and hear their concerns with life and education.