8 Media: The Reviews are in! (Student Work)


This semester Year 8 Media students will be creating their own Teen Movie. I thought the best way to get their head around the genre was to analyse one (and use those skills they have been learning in English). Napoleon Dynamite was the movie of choice.

Students will be submitting their reviews in the comments below.


16 thoughts on “8 Media: The Reviews are in! (Student Work)

  1. Napoleon Dynamite Gets Blown Up!!!
    Report by Frankie Russ
    When you think of a nerd or geek what do you think of? Do you think of a red head with some glass that like horses and mythical animals? Well if you do then you right!
    Like all schools some people won’t fit in well this is what Napoleon Dynamite is about a boy that never fitted in. In 2004 an man named Jared Hass made the script and directed Napoleon Dynamite on one of the smallest budgets. It made $46,140,956 worldwide.
    The life is set in the 80s I personally think that it should have been set in the 90s but that might be just me. The theme is teen and really does a good job with the jock, the geek, the princess it has it all.
    Jon Heder the man who plays Napoleon does a great job the face and body it is all in the right form. Napoleon Dynamite is in high school and lives with his older brother Kip and his grandmother they have a pet llama Tina. Like all schools some people won’t fit in well this is what Napoleon Dynamite is about a boy that never fitted in, he gets picked on and doesn’t fit in. He has two friends Pedro (Efren Ramirez) and Deb (Tina Majorino). Kip’s (Aaron Ruell) life at this point in the movie is all about going on the chat room trying to find a hot girl to date and maybe even marry; at the same time is training to be a cage fighter. Rico (Jon Gries) is the uncle of Napoleon and Kip, Rico was a footballer but was kicked off the team.
    Over all I think that it was a good movie not the best. I liked that it was quite simple and funny at one stage in the movie. And stay tuned at the end of the credits there is a little bit. I give it.


    Pedro- efren Ramirez
    Napoleon dynamite-Jon heder
    Trisha-Emily Dunn
    Deb- Tina majorino
    Summer Wheatley- haliey duff
    Kip- Aaron ruell
    uncle rico- Jon gries
    Grandma- sandy Martin

    Napoleon Dynamite is a classic 2004 comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess. It’s all about napoleon (Jon Heder) helping his new friend pedro (Efren Ramirez) win the election for school president but along the way many twists and turns occur such as his grandma (Sandy Martin) getting into an accident then having his uncle Rico (Jon Gries) look after napoleon and his brother Kip (Aaron Ruell). Once his uncle Reco arrives he starts up a scam including kip selling sets of tuber ware to neighbours, but uncle Reco goes to far in handing out flyers to increase your bust to napoleons school mates Trisha (Emily Dunn) and Summer Wheatley (Haliey Duff) which ends in Napoleon having flyers stuck up on his locker. Although i thought this movie was funny i also didn’t understand half of the jokes that they made. This movie’s moral is defiantly about how you should always stay true to who you are and that you don’t have to change for anyone. It is a stereo typical teen-comedy movie with a hilarious cast. Although i don’t normally like this type of movie I gave it four stars out of five (🌟🌟🌟🌟)

  3. Napoleon Dynamite:

    Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is a very strange and quirky character, the perfect character for a very strange and quirky movie. Napoleon has a pretty normal life, he spends most of his time drawing and hanging out with his friends Pedro (Efren Ramirez) and Deb (Tina Majorino), but when his grandma falls off her quad bike, Napoleon and Kip (Aaron Ruell) have to deal with their football crazed uncle rico who turns the house upside down (not literally).

    I thought the characters were polished and well portrayed and the soundtrack was awesome, and i can’t really find anything to fault. The way it was edited made it seem like a bunch of skits that carried on from each other, but it keeps you entertained and it keeps it fresh. There aren’t too many characters which makes it easy to keep up with. I found the main characters were a bit basic, but that was obviously intended, I especially liked the character of pedro (Efren Ramirez) as he had a funny monotone voice and constantly bored expression

    I give it 4.5/5

  4. Napoleon dynamite review. By Rose.B
    Napoleon dynamite is a movie that was made in 2004 and is directed by Jared Hess. Its main characters are played by Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell and Efren Ramirez.
    The movie is set in a town called Preston in Idaho, America. Its main character is Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). Napoleon lives with his grandmother and his brother Kip (Aaron Ruell). When their grandmother gets injured one day their uncle Rico (Jon Gries) comes to take care of them. Napoleon makes friends with a new student from Mexico, called Pedro (Efren Ramirez). Soon they make friends with a girl called Deb too. They are the schools outcasts. The movies shows us their day to day life, from the school dance to class president elections to what they do during and after school. It shows us what’s funny about life.
    The movie teaches us a valuable lesson; you don’t need to change for anyone. The movies budget was $400,000 US dollars, for a budget that small the movie was very good. I enjoyed the movie, I think it was a bit strange but it was still good. I’d say it’s not my favourite movie but it is better than some.

  5. Napoleon Dynamite, a classic American high school movie, is about a boy that is not trying to fit in. It’s weird, odd, and everything that you probably wouldn’t except. Directed by Jared Hess (Nacho Libre, Gentlemen Broncos, Peluca and Going the Distance) on a very small budget, it’s everything the trailer says it will be. Made on $400,000, it made over $44,540,956.
    Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is trying to help his friend Pedro (Efren Ramierz) win the election for school president. In typical American schools, this is a big thing. He has his problems on his way, including his Grandma (Sandy Martin) ending up in hospital after a dirt bike accident, and Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) looking after Napoleon and his brother, Kip (Aaron Ruell) for a while. Rico and Kip end up selling bad Tupperware for a high price.
    Napoleons seems very unaffected with his surroundings. He continues to be a nerd, but a nerd without a brain. Things like rejection and bullying leaves him unharmed and he focuses on his world of unicorns and nun chucks.
    He tries and fails to get a girl for the dance, ending up dancing with one of his friends Deb (Tina Majorino), which is Pedro’s date.
    He helps his friend get the role of school president by doing a very amazing dance winning the hearts of many children at school. People see that even though someone may be different than everybody else, they are not someone that you can’t be around.
    In the end, he becomes very close to Deb, and even cooks her a bass, and him and Pedro remain to be friends.
    This movie is probably made mor for the older generations, those who grew up in the 80s, because some of the jokes and references they say in the movie is from that time.
    All in all, I rate this movie a 4/5 stars.

  6. Napoleon Dynamite – The only movie that I fell asleep in.
    Review by Josh Collins
    Napoleon Dynamite is an absolute looser. The movie is rubbish it is sort of like the trailer for the interns all they did was show the funny parts but then the actual movie was just not funny. The characters are emotionless and boring and the storyline just plain sucks and fails to show any
    Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is a high-school nerd. He’s a nerd without any brains, making him more of a pathetic loser than The Inbetweeners. Everything about him is lame and pathetic. From his ugly looking curly brown hair to his obsession with Tina, his liger. He has no friends, but he doesn’t care. After several difficult days of being bashed up, he meets a new student named Pedro (Efren Ramirez), and the two quickly become best friends. Later the boys’ Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) comes to stay.
    Uncle Rico is a person who would’ve graduated but never really left it. He’s always talking about his football glory days and still considers himself a great young player. He is a door to door salesman.
    Napoleon tries to avoid Rico, and hangs out with Pedro and Deb (Tina Majorino), the neighbour girl who earns money by selling beaded key chains.
    Coming to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose, Napoleon and Deb agree to help Pedro run for school President and one of the most popular girls in the school Summer Wheatly (Haylie Duff). Surprisingly, Napoleon’s weird dancing turns Pedro’s president campaign for the best
    In summary the story just plain sucks there is no emotion and zero depth to the story.

    1/5 Stars.

  7. Characters:
    Jimmy-the jock
    Mick-the new kid
    Todd-the bully
    Amy-the popular girl
    Xavia-the rebel
    Mandy-the teachers pet

    Story line:
    Mick is always getting bullied by Todd and he ends up getting sick of it, so he goes to the rebel (xavia) and hires him to embarrass the bully (Todd). When the bully get embarrassedand he never comes near mick again, and the new kid becomes a lot happier at school but then he finds out that the girl he likes is going out with jimmy (the jock), one day he goes down to the oval and sees jimmy kicking the footy to his friend and he asks if he can play they let him play and he’s not too bad, jimmy says come down here at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon for a kick, he goes down the and waits about five minutes and then the sprinklers turn on and he gets soaked. He goes up to the jock and pores his drink on his head, and says to him, is your joke funny now? The jock gets up and punches I’m the the face. Mick is really hurt and pissed off and he wants revenge so he goes to the only person who is the best at revenge, the rebel,
    The rebel starts off with embarrassing him by making him look bad in the one thing he is best at, footy he is the best in the entire school, and on game day when people from the tac cup are watching him to see if he is good enough to be a reserve for an AFL team, but when he going for a match winning kick the rebel switched the ball with a buttered ball and he misses and they loose the grand final, the jock makes a big deal out of it and is really depressed.

  8. Napoleon dynamite is about a teenage kid that goes to an AMERICAN High school with the classic AMERICAN characters. The bully, the jock, etc and Napoleon. The yellow bus and the fishing line. Napoleon meets a Mexican dude called Pedro and becomes his friend. There is a vote for class president election the Pedro that wants to be in it.

    It is a good film and funny to watch. I would of never guest that it was on a low budget. If you are particular about camera angles they are really good. You can always see everything happening and it is in the middle of the screen.

    It is set in an American small suburban town.John Heder who is Napoleon dynamite. Napoleon dynamite is a nerdish kid who goes to a high school and draws stuff like a Liger, which is a lion cross a tiger. His brother kip is more weird than nerd.

    By Hayden Ryan

    reviewed by Clay van Santvoort
    Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess and staring Jon Heder as Napoleon Dynamite. Napoleon dynamite is your’e typical luckless looser who hates high school because he has no friends and is picked on by bullies. Napoleon lives at his grandmas with his brother Kip Aaron Ruell everything is normal until there grandma leaves and there uncle Rico Jon Gries comes along and turns the hole story on its head, some of the funniest scenes in the movie are the scenes where it shows Napoleons awkward relationship with his uncle.

    Napoleon befriends the new kid at school Pedro Efren Ramirez, who has a sweet bike can talk to girls without making himself look like a complete idiot and has an actual mustache. Booth of them sometimes hang out with another awkward student Deb Tina Majorina who secretly has the hots for Napoleon. But there relationship doesn’t get to much attention because Napoleon is oblivious to how people perceive him.

    Jon Heder plays the role of the awkward nerd who doesn’t fit in because of the way he acts he has some anger management issues. Napoleon is about the most awkward person that you would find in a high school.

    I think that the film highly exceeded anybody expectations of a movie being made on this kind of budget. It also doesn’t fall into to much stereotyping i believe. Sure its a high school movie with Snobby pretty rich girls and arrogant jocks, but there is not much attention payed to them. Sure there is a big musical number at the end but it doesn’t turn out the way you would expect it to.What you are left with is a walk threw of the hole year of high school that changes his life for ever.

  10. Napoleon Dynamite Review

    Napoleon Dynamite is your average stereotypical nerd. That one with curly orange hair, glasses and his pants up to high, he has trouble with bully’s, girls and friends. Napoleon Dynamite is a hilarious film that the whole family will get a kick out of.

    Even though the film is low budget the acting is excellent, Jon Header does a great job as Napoleon making a believable, quirky, awkward geek. The story is told well and you feel as if you understand what Napoleon is going through. When it comes to special affects Napoleon Dynamite as none, and that is not a bad thing at all this movie is like it was shot straight out of an American high school. The Camera angles are sharp and tight, they show everything in the right position. The sound is crisp and the music fits perfectly to the movie when played.

    Napoleon dynamite has a great line of characters. You have Napoleons odd brother Kip played by Aaron Russell, Kip is like Napoleon, quirky. He spends his time trying to find love on the Internet. And then there’s uncle Reco, played by Jon Gries, who came to live with Napoleon and Kip while Grandma was away. He is an ex footballer that never made it big time, socking up the last strands of his youth. He makes his money by knocking on people’s doors and selling things like plastic bowls. Believe it or not, Napoleon makes a friend in the movie named Pedro, played by Efren Ramirez. Pedro is a kind hearted boy from Mexico, he is new in America and doesn’t understand how things work. Pedro gets the idea to run for class president, and Napoleon will do anything to help. There is also a girl in Napoleons life named Deb, played by Tina Majorino. Deb is odd like Napoleon, she has no friends, she sits at her own lunch table and is shy. Napoleon and Deb bond over the corse of the movie to what would seem to be something like love. There are many more amazing characters in Napoleon Dynamite.

    Everyone should watch Napoleon Dynamite, it is a great movie. It shows the hilarious life of a boy in high through the highs and through the lows.

    🌟🌟🌟🌟/ 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 four out of 5 stars

  11. Napoleon dynamite

    Napoleon Dynamite is a classic teen movie made in 2004. It is about a teenager (Napoleon dynamite) or (John Heder) who tries to help his new best friend (Pedro) or (Efren Ramirez) win the class presidency at their small western high school, while he also must deal with his bizarre family at home. This whole movie was made to have that 80s theme, from the small 80s town, too peoples clothing and even to the furniture. Even though it was made in 2004.

    This is a classic teen movie because it has got the right characters in it, the bully, the nerd, the popular group and even the nerds best friend.

    John Heder plays his part very well as Napoleon, he suits the character perfectly. Although this is the classic teen movie some parts of didn’t make any sense. The scenes individually made sense but when you put them together it was very hard to catch on. You can’t just watch the first 30 minutes and judge it from there because this movie actually does have a story line, that makes sense after you have watched it from beginning to end.

    The music in this movie suits it very well. The music is a synthesized 80s organ which is a very funky sound. When this music is played over the action it works perfectly. In total I rare this movie 7 stars put of ten. The reason why it isn’t 10 is because it got confusing at sometimes and didn’t make any sense.

  12. Napoleon Dynamite
    ‘I’ll do whatever I want, Gosh!’

    Well, what I won’t be doing is watching this movie again. Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 ‘comedy,’ set in Preston, Idaho. The movie is about socially awkward Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) starting a friendship with new transfer student Pedro (Efren Ramirez.) The characters befriend Deb, a shy girl, to form the ‘outcast’ group.
    They attempt to help Pedro to victory in the school presidential election. Meanwhile Brother Kip and Uncle Rico form a get rich scheme, to sell items door to door. Kip wants to do so to fund his online ‘Girlfriends’ flight from Detroit. The business causes friction between Kip and Rico and Napoleon when Ricos selling technique is making up embarrassing rumours about Napoleon to generate sympathy in his buyers so they would buy his products.

    Go out for lunch, go for a jog do something you know you will enjoy, just save yourself 95 minutes of life by not seeing this movie. Unless your aim is to take a nanny-nap steer clear of this incredibly, frustratingly boring movie. The movie seems to follow no clear storyline. The acting in the movie is good, however, this didn’t stop me wanting to jump out the closest window to stop the torturous croaking that is Napoleon’s voice. The music that is added to accomplice the film goes alongside each other well but in the end, didn’t sway m opinion.

    All in all, a shockingly bad movie that in the end, I would rate it 2 out of 10.

  13. Directed by Jared Hess, written byJared Hess and Jerusha Hess and starring Jon Heder, Jon Gries and Aaron Ruell Napoleon Dynamite is a very strange film. The main character, Napoleon Dynamite, is a teenager who is constantly being bullied for being himself. Although it’s not hard to tell that it was made on a low budget, it is still just as enjoyable as a high budget blockbuster. Napoleon Dynamite wouldn’t have been the same on a high budget, it gives the film more character and is very quirky. The quick scene changes going from the zoomed in image of someone’s face then zooming out onto a different scene add that little bit to an all ready quirky film. The camera angles, although very straightforward with close ups of faces and zoomed out scenes, are simplistic and makes the film an easy watch. The starting credits in the film are done very well, making tedious credits interesting and watchable, while at the same time giving the viewer an insight of what the film is like. The cinematography was really, as well as the editing. The music works very well with the different scenes in the film as well. Another oddity in this film is the fact that it was made in 2004 but it has a very eighties vibe, it just adds to the uniqueness of the film. You will either love this film or hate it but I loved it. I would advice anyone to see this film, it’s quirky and refreshing because it’s so different from any other film.

  14. Wacky or Wicked

    Reviewed by Graylan Williamson

    Napoleon dynamite is a 2004 teen comedy movie and it was made in 2004 however this movie has a very 80’s vibe. The movie is set in a school in America and although the audience doesn’t know the year it is set in or even the town Napoleon Dynamite really sets the scene straight away with the opening credits and you can tell what the style of the movie is straight away. Jon Heder plays Napoleon Dynamite who appears to be a very nerdy sort of character who doesn’t fit in, however unlike most teenagers, he doesn’t really care about fitting in, he just has things that he likes to do that not many others do. Jon Heder does a fantastic job at playing Napoleon Dynamite, he really shows the character through his facial expressions and his body language. All of the characters have different accents Aaron Ruell who plays Kip/ Napoleon Dynamites brother has a very good accent for the character, in fact all of the actors do a fantastic job at acting partly because the characters in this film are so strong. The weird and wacky style of this film keeps you interested in what is going to happen and you cant really guess how this movie is going to end.

    Napoleon Dynamite had an extremely low budget of $400,000 but I thought that the director, Jarod Hess and screen played by Jerusha Hess did a great job with the budgeting because you really cant tell that the movie was made on a low budget. The movie ended up making $46,118,099. One of the few things that was pretty average was the cinematography, there were no interesting angles or any odd places to put a camera to film a scene. Even thought the cinematography wasn’t interesting the story and characters were. For the budget that napoleon dynamite had, this movie was very well done for all the reason that I have already said.

  15. Napoleon Dynamite

    Napoleon dynamite is your stereotypical nerd in high school, he can barley talk to the ladies and dose not get alone with many people. He gets bullied a lot at high school a new Mexican called Pedro moves to the school and Napoleon and Pedro become best friends. There is a school election coming up for school president and Pedro is one of the candates for school president but his main compition is one of the most popular girls in the school and her boyfriend is the jock. While all this is happening napoleon is having a hard time with his family uncle Reco is looking after Napoleon in this movie I thought the cinema photography was really good and I thought the roles the chareutres played were really well don’t I though all round it was a great movie wotha brilliant story line and I had a good laugh at napoleons awkward and uncool humor
    i give it 4 our of 5 stars

    Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is the typical sad-sack, luckless loser that deals with the trials and tribulations of his life. he has no friends, he’s picked on by bullies, he has a somewhat-odd home life … but through it all, he’s sure things will be just plain okay in the end.
    Napoleon, lives with his cool funky grandma and his 32-year-old geeky brother (who cruises chat rooms for ladies). When grandma leaves then ends up In hospital uncle rico, a self-starter who’s still living in the days he was young, comes and takes her place whilst being occupied by his carrier promoting his breast in larger and selling his Tupperware set.
    This movie is a low budget quirky PG rated movie that may not suit with everyone’s liking …but there is no harm done in watching it. This comedy themed movie is a classic teen movie but in a different pov, Unlike most ‘teen’ movies where it’s based on a popular snobby pretty girl or a arrogant jock and a whole lot of love and lust, this movie is based around the ‘nerds’ of school and they are not trying to fit in like most geeky nerds do, they are just a bunch of misfits refusing to fit in, and just fit in with others like them
    Sure, it’s a high school movie, and there are the populars girls and guys but not much time is devoted to them Making it a different movie and has its own unique story line so it is a must see!
    I think where the film ultimately succeeds, is that its not predictably unlike some ‘dramatic’ over acted teen movies these days and has a great sense of the 80’s vibe with the groovy soundtrack played throughout the movie.
    And the fact these movie was made on an extremely a low budget in 2004 and became a big hit and is still a popular movie to this day. So obviously there is a reason this movie is still around….. Because it is so good! So go
    watch it!
    By Stephanie stembridge

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