Think Mean Girls meets High School Musical meets whatever other high school teen scenario you can think of. Here four teenage girls make up the Bratz contingency each come from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds—just like the dolls they are based on. There’s Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos) a quiet Latina beauty with a great voice; Sasha (Logan Browning) the outgoing black cheerleader who loves to dance; Jade (Janel Parrish) a lovely Asian fashionista who also a wiz in chemistry; and Cloe (Skyler Shayne) the tall Caucasian blonde who despite being a klutz is a star on the soccer field. They’ve been best friends forever (or BFF as they lovingly refer to it) but once they hit high school they drift apart and into respective cliques organized by the narcissistic class president Meredith (Cheslea Staub). Still these BFF’s—who live for clothes make-up and hair products—won’t be pushed down. They’re gonna shake things up and prove it’s always best to just be yourself and stick together. You can’t really blame the unknown girls—each very cute in their own way—for wanting to bring the Bratz dolls to life. It’s a big deal! They get to sing and dance and wear all these cool clothes! They get to throw food in a cafeteria lunch fight! They get to serve sweets at Meredith’s Sweet 16 party dressed as clowns and still look fabulous! All the young girls in the audience will idolize them and wish they were a Brat too (perhaps to their parents’ chagrin). No it’s the adults in the movie you have to scratch your head about and ask “Do they really need the money that bad?” Character actors such as Lainie Kazan who plays Yasmin’s wise grandmother and Jon Voight as the inept high school principal and Meredith’s father just embarrass themselves over and over again—especially Voight who along with his mediocre appearance in Transformers has become the go-to guy to star in movies based on toys. And what’s with this latest trend to make live-action flicks based on toys? You can understand Transformers because they already had their own cartoon show and you know the movie would at least be action-packed full of cool visual effects. But a Bratz movie is a little too much. Even though it tries really hard to send positive messages there’s really nothing redeeming about turning little dolls—who frankly dress a little on the trashy side—into flesh-and-blood teenagers obsessed with how they look and dealing with high school politics. Bratz really only distinguishes itself from other Mean Girls-type movies because of the toy franchise. It would have been easier to take had it aired on the Disney Channel.
Guess these DGA members don't like Bowling.
The Directors Guild of America announced their nominations for directorial achievement in documentary Thursday, with Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine conspicuously left off the list.
The nominees included Chuck Braverman for Bottom of the Ninth, Malcolm Clarke and Stuart Sender for Prisoner of Paradise, Rob Fruchtman and Rebecca Cammisa for Sister Helen, Tasha Oldham for The Smith Family and Leah Mahan for Sweet Old Song, P.O.V.
Columbine recently got an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary as well as a nod for original screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. Variety reports the United Artists release, which explores America's gun obsession, has been a major success on the arthouse circuit, grossing more than $18 million to make it the top-performing non-concert documentary ever.
Prisoner of Paradise was the only documentary to be nominated this year by both the DGA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The DGA differs with the Academy when making their nominations since the DGA considers documentaries which have aired only on television, while the Academy requires the films to have a theatrical release.
Also surprisingly missing from the DGA list, as well as the Academy noms, are two high-profile documentaries--The Kid Stays in the Picture, about the life and times of movie producer Robert Evans, and Standing in the Shadows of Motown, about the legendary R&B label.
The winner will be announced March 1 at the DGA Awards ceremonies at the Century Plaza Hotel.