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The Butterfly Effect (a review) by Christine Iannicelli

ImageWhat if you could go back in time and change one event from your past? Would it make things better, or like the theory the term “butterfly effect” originates from, would it just cause more chaos? That is the premise of The Butterfly Effect, a psychological thriller starring Ashton Kutcher in one of his first dramatic roles.

The Butterfly Effect begins by showing us snapshots of the childhood and teenage years of a boy named Evan Treborn. Evan frequently suffers from blackouts, specifically occurring during stressful periods in his life that often include his childhood crush, Kayleigh. We only get a glimpse of these events that have occurred, but from what we can see, they are clearly traumatic.

Eventually, Evan and his mother relocate and we fast-forward several years. Evan (Ashton Kutcher) is now in college, trying to understand the causes of his blackouts. When he digs up his old journals, Evan realizes that he can time travel back to those specific moments in his past that he has written about and change the outcome. Unfortunately, the time traveling often makes things worse for Kayleigh, his friends and family, and/or himself. As Evan hustles to change his fate and the fate of his loved ones, we are left wondering: Will he ever make things right? Or will his meddling in the past ultimately destroy his future?

Chilling and suspenseful, the Butterfly Effect really makes you ponder the momentous impact that one event can have on your life and the lives of others. Throughout the film, I found myself on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next. A word of warning: some of the scenes in this movie are quite disturbing. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this film to those who enjoy thrillers or are interested in the study of childhood trauma on psychological development.

The Butterfly Effect DVD (including alternative endings and deleted scenes) is available to check out from the Gabriele Library.

Movie Review of the Great Gatsby (1974) by Jen Orlandi

     Having read the Great Gatsby, I was very interested to see how the movie would compare. Of course, I didn’t have high expectations being that I found the book rather dull. The beginning of the movie was just as bad as I expected it to be. There was over-dramatic reading of the beginning of the novel, during which the camera panned across Gatsby’s house, lingering over certain things in a way that I’m sure was supposed to be very meaningful and sentimental, but which only succeeded in boring me. My first impression of the actors was that they were all a little overdone, especially Daisy. Thankfully, as the movie progressed, I began to enjoy it more, though this may have been partially due to the fact that I had the foresight to continue watching it while working out at the gym, so that I would be occupied even if the movie got boring.

            The movie’s plot remained surprisingly close to that of the novel, though, naturally, some things were changed, as they always are. At times, I recognized in the movie parts of dialogue and narration that were lifted straight from the book. Because it followed to novel so closely, the movie was a rather lengthy two hours and 24 minutes, and I wouldn’t recommend watching it all in one sitting. However, you may be surprised to note that I would not entirely discourage you from watching it.

            By the end of the movie, I began to appreciate how the characters were portrayed, even Daisy. The Great Gatsby would surely have been a difficult movie to capture on film, and I think it was done reasonably well. The characters were well played, and the set and costumes felt authentic. As a lover of fashion history, I was thrilled with the costumes and the ability of the costumer to dress the women in authentic garb instead of stereotypical “flapper” dresses. After seeing this movie, I would like to see the newer version to see how it compares.  Reviewed by Jen Orlandi