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Reel Adventures: The Savvy Teens’ Guide to Great Movies

by John Lekich

Choosing a movie from the TV guide or the shelves in the local video store can be a daunting task even if you’ve followed all the reviews. Vancouver critic John Lekich has not only followed but written some of those reviews, and in this selective guide he gives readers in their mid to late teens some ideas about what to look for.

Lively and informative, his guide provides synopses of 250 movies and includes capsules of information about particular stars and suggests further viewing. Eclectic in its coverage of different genres, the guide draws from classic movies from the 1930s to the present, well-chosen for their appeal to young adults.

Grouping the 250 selections into the categories of coming-of-age, sci-fi and adventure, “think about it” movies, horror, and comedy, Lekich gives for each title the credits, a short synopsis, a memorable moment and a message. These messages are the only real misstep in Lekich’s guide, as they sometimes give away the ending, and inevitably trivialize the more substantial films. Taken together, the messages form a mind-numbing list of clichés. Why not encourage young viewers to decide for themselves “what the film is trying to say” (as Lekich unfortunately puts it)? On the other hand, Lekich does not rank the movies: being included in the guide is enough recommendation, and Lekich does leave further value judgments to the viewer. Unlike the daunting 1,646 fine-print pages of the best-selling, comprehensive 2003 Movie and Video Guide by Leonard Maltin (which is comparably priced), Reel Adventures is an approachable introduction to an appealing selection of movies.


Reviewer: Gwyneth Evans

Publisher: Annick Press


Price: $11.95

Page Count: 176 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 1-55037-735-3

Released: Sept.

Issue Date: 2002-11


Age Range: ages 15+