K-12 (2019) Poster


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Not bad but could have been better
lypy6 September 2019
Loved most of the songs and the whole movie was aesthetically really pleasing! I enjoyed the first 30 minutes of the movie very much but the rest wasn't as good for some reason. Some of the songs didn't really fit with the plot too well and the acting was a bit cringeworthy at times. I love Melanie but I think the casting & script could have been better. Despite that, I think that she did a great job on this movie considering that she wrote/directed it besides acting etc. Maybe Melanie was just too involved in making the K-12 film because some parts of the movie seemed rushed or just not making sense at all. I got to admire her ambition though: she had a vision of this movie that would explain the album and I think she succeeded in that. If you're going to listen to the album, I recommend watching this movie first (although it isn't that good by itself so just do it for the songs).
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Interesting concept, nice costumes and amazing music and dancing, altough poor acting
alexandraandreeabutoi6 September 2019
If you are a Melanie Martinez fan, I think that you will be blown away by the music (which, to me, sounds more mature and I'm glad that her style has changed a bit, it sounds much better). The costumes are out of this world and the filming place is beautiful. This movie is full of modern issues and I think that it's great for adolescents to watch. It's not hard to understand, even though it is mainly symbolistic. Right now I'm going to talk about what I didn't like. The acting is super cringey at times and I couldn't help but repeat their lines in my head with a better acting. But I think that is understandable. I think that those parts were the door appeared or when you could hear that goddess or whatever it was speaking were kind of forced. We all know that Melanie Martinez likes wicca and all, but I didn't quite understand what those scenes were doing to this movie. Mainly, this movie is full of cliches, but you can't help falling in love with the visuals. That's why my rating is pretty high for the quality of the overall movie.
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As crazy as you'd expect. MM fans you'll LOVE IT.
fastxaxe-181365 September 2019
I just saw this with my 15 year old daughter. I'm old. Let's not dwell.

The cinema was full. The vibe was positive. The movie looks gorgeous, the pastel colours, the well framed shots and the costumes all looked amazing.

I was wondering after 10 mins into the start of a bus ride , was there going to be music?

O yeah. There was music. So so much music.

If you like MM this will blow you away. The story based around some he'll like school was secondary to the real story of acceptance both of yourself and others.

MM and her friends share an actual super power. Not spoiling it, but do not upset them they will totally ruin you.

Her songs were threaded throughout the movie, tying what really is chaos into a nightmare like vision into MM's dark side.

You will not like this movie if you treat it as a typical movie, this isn't one. It's 80mins of music video interspersed with scenes that may not make sense to us in reality, but do in this world.

Stay past the credits to see MM working hard in the studio showing how she's learning to dance.
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more of a music video , not much of a movie
ortizeu6 September 2019
I give it a 8/10 because there's barley a storyline , it more of just music videos . the story makes sense for the most part , there just isn't much of it . some parts get a little confusing because the music videos sometimes wouldn't have much to do with the clip before , but it all aligns. as for the visuals , the visuals are astounding , and very beautiful . i am a little biased because i'm a huge melanie martinez fan , but , i still expected more of a story . i like how this movie / films talks about topics such as bulimia , transphobia , fake friends , & bullying . the comedy is kind of cheesy but i like it .
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Don't watch for the plot, because there is basically none
cronawillownya6 September 2019
As a long time Melanie fan I've been waiting 3-4 years for this album/movie release. To be honest, I'm disappointed. The music featured in this movie is wonderful by itself but the way Melanie chose to integrate the music into the plot was just plain terrible. Many times throughout the movie, scenes will abruptly end and cut straight into a song that has nothing to do with the previous scene and you will be very confused. The entire experience felt more like 13 different music videos smashed into one accompanied with bad acting and a terrible script. If you simply are looking for good music you will be pleased, but if you are looking for a plot you will find it missing.
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A 90 minute music video- all for fun
rkdavis-644716 September 2019
When watching this movie, suspend your expectations for a well developed plot or fully developed characters. I went into this movie expecting just that, and it was a bit disappointing. However, if you love Melanie for her music and artistry, you'll get many doses of it. I did cringe at a few parts (cheesy acting alert!) but overall I am happy with the experience and left a bigger Melanie Martinez fan. The movie itself made the album that much more interesting. For example, my sister said "play that song with the puppet scene!". You feel more connected to the album. The messages in the film are pretty standard "society sucks and this is why" in regard to patriarchy and suppression and objectification of women. What I like about it is that many middle schoolers and high schoolers will be able to extract those messages easily and in a relatable way.
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More of a well-made music video
ludwiggrundberg7 September 2019
This movie is really aesthetically well-made, smooth transitions between scenes and music as well as highlighting problems in today's society. However, this is more of a 90 min long music video rather than a movie with a plot. The storyline was confusing and played little role in these 90 mins. I also have to note that the acting of some characters were not remarkable, sadly Melanie Martinez falls under this category. Overall, this movie is worth watching if you like Melanie Martinez and her music, not something that would entertain the masses (which movies don't always have to do). If I would rate this as an artwork; a solid 8. If I would rate this as a movie: a weak 4.
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Basically just a long story based music video, but very well done.
nraveles-718246 September 2019
This movie is a loose interpretation of a "movie" in all the best possible ways. It follows Cry Baby's journey through school days and what happens at the school itself, with it being an overaly exaggerated and at the same time very true representation of how the american school system treats their students.

This movie tackles many issues in our society and not in an overly "in your face" way that many others do. It's enjoyable while getting a point across, something most movies cant do. It also pokes fun at itself in a sense, not taking anything too seriously with Melanie and her friends seemingly having a lot of fun with this project,

The BIGGEST compliment is the directing, set desgin, and most of all, choreography. I did NOT expect this much choreography from her but wow did she really go in with the dancing. My personal favorites have to be the "The Principal" and the "Show and Tell" scenes.

Overall, if you like surrealism, dark humor, fantasy, and most of all music, i'd highly recomend this movie. Couldnt recommend it enough.
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a pretty good film, i guess
Costello3366 September 2019
As a Melanie Martinez fan, the movie isnt really a masterpiece or ''the best movie ever'', the album itself is amazing and the film is like a -very entretaining- visual to it, nothing more. (the film is a 7/10, not the album btw)
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Filling in the gaps with gorgeousness
(Warning: this review is almost as long as the film)

For all those expecting to see a feature-length film: this is more like a series of music videos, one after the other, with some dialogue. It's interesting to read that Melanie Martinez, who's responsible for pretty much this whole thing, originally planned it to be much longer and had to cut several scenes to fit the budget. To put it simply, it shows.

From a musical perspective that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The choreography is absolutely outstanding. Martinez is just as good as the professional dancers and their moves fit the themes and moods of the songs. There's diversity among the dancers, too, although given their messages I would have quite liked to see some more variation in body type. The problem is that the powerful emotions Cry Baby displays while she's singing and dancing just aren't carried through into the script.

Honestly, the writing isn't bad, and for someone like Martinez who is known for writing music to branch out into scriptwriting is a brave thing to do. She knows she's putting it out there for criticism and that's what she's going to get. It just lacks something - there are scenes where a song will end with a furious character literally murdering an antagonist only to show the same character blandly smiling and chatting with her friend. It's very obvious where Martinez's talent lies, which is to show emotion through music and dancing; adding dialogue to the mix just seems to complicate things unnecessarily. The images in the film - Martinez holding up an orange as dancers lie around her like a religious painting; a woman cutting open another woman's head; a character about to be dissected by a science teacher - speak louder than the script ever could.

I'll acknowledge the elephant in the room and say that the visuals in this film are absolutely stunning. I've never been a fan of Martinez's pastel aesthetic but this is another level, diluting the cuteness with toned-down shades of pink and blue and imposing camera angles of misty fields so that it is more sophisticatedly sinister than cloying. I found myself wanting to sleep in a bedroom as cosy (and enchanted) as Cry Baby and Angelita's. It is obvious and rewarding how much thought went into hair, costumes and makeup. The special effects are hit and miss - there's one awkward moment where a character stares into a mirror and it shatters, only for it to be left painfully obvious where the shot changed - but when they work, they really work. A school bus goes under the sea and flies through the sky, and this manages to be convincing. Ghosts are ghostly enough. Puppets are enjoyably creepy and two characters even manage to levitate during a playground fight. For all its eerie prettiness, though, there is a frustrating lack of substance.

'Frustrated' is probably an accurate word for how Martinez felt trying to condense a planned three hours' worth of plot into about half that. 'Frustrated' is an accurate word for how viewers will feel when this leaves some characters' stories rushed or untold. It's a sad spoiler alert that the bully character, Kelly, is never given redeeming qualities or even a backstory. We see Cry Baby's mother passed-out drunk and yet Cry Baby still has a home, complete with a magical alarm clock and a pet tarantula, with no other indication of what her home life is like. Cry Baby spends a much too fast-paced section of the film skipping from song to song as she recruits friends, finding one in a cafeteria and introducing her as 'Magnolia' without having even spoken to her (I can just about excuse this scene because of the incredible dancing). On the bus, she talks to Angelita as if they have met before, but this is never explained. She finds another friend, whose name could be Flora or Fleur due to the lacklustre sound editing in the scene, who suffers from an eating disorder. All it takes is a very in-your-face speech about loving yourself from Cry Baby and Flora/Fleur is cured. Martinez checks off a list of societal problems - body image, the patriarchy, transphobia - without devoting more than five minutes to most of them, leaving some subplots that the story would have made sense without. A transgender teacher never gets her acceptance, for example, and the sources of the children's 'powers' are never clarified. Doesn't Kelly have powers? Doesn't Flora? Cry Baby's character can become convoluted due to all the conflicting morals she's pushing - why is she singing about being unsure of her body when she's already made the revelation that bodies are temporary? I couldn't help but think that the messages, especially coupled with the spiritual aspects of the film, were not as subtle as they could have been, though Martinez has demonstrated her mastery of metaphors in the past. It seemed like 'Strawberry Shortcake' and 'The Principal' could have been simplified versions of 'Alphabet Boy', whilst 'Orange Juice' was another level of 'Mrs Potato Head'. This loss of ambiguity in favour of expositional dialogue, as well as errors in pacing in which the lengths of gaps between songs would vary too much or too little, was probably the most disappointing part of the film. Perhaps it's the surrealism causing the confusion - although there are fine lines between fantasy, surrealism and using the above two to justify style over substance, and Martinez has parked her pastel pink school bus over all three.

For all its flaws, it's obviously very worth a watch for fans of Martinez's music and for all who enjoy films with a strong aesthetic, as long as they're willing to settle for some moments of questionable acting (Martinez is actually one of the strongest actors in the cast). It's by no means a triumph of cinema, but for what it was meant to be it's definitely a treat to both listen to and look at. There is a distinct lack of the dark comedy that was promised, and at times it's more like watching a sleekly nightmarish ballet than a human-made film about humans, but it should be considered where it came from. All of it is straight out of the mind of a woman with a clear creative vision, one which she has executed for the first time into a project full of loving detail. It's like Wes Anderson shot a musical based on a fever dream Tim Burton had about Mean Girls. Whilst it's ultimately missing the sarcastic, flawed, slightly scary side of the Cry Baby character we saw from Martinez's first music videos, it's a visually impeccable continuation of her story - and it's definitely a lot more interesting than a typical day at school.
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Pastel Nightmare
LadyMortimer6 September 2019
Don't go in expecting you're gonna get a movie with fleshed out characters or a coherent story. The thing you're gonna get is just a bunch of music videos mashed together. The way the story is written is how kids from elementary school play make-believe with their friends. (only the friends have magical powers, everyone wants to get a bit of that spotlight, being a bit grotesque sometimes for the fun,...). It seems as if Martinez had a lot of fun with this project and I don't blame her, if I had the chance I would do the same. My main problem with the movie is that it tackles way too many themes (bullying, transphobia, body image,...) and it ends up being a "we live in a society"-mess wherein only the obvious get stated without saying much in depth about it. I do praise the movie for the costume design and set design, the colors in this movie had me in awe and that's what you kind of expect if you've seen Martinez previous music videos for her Crybaby album for example. I would recommend this movie to people who are a big fan of Melanie Martinez and for the people who watch movies solely for the aesthetic.
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Alright for Melanie's first movie!
rienamid6 September 2019
K-12 is just as it says-- an enchanting musical with a unique touch and wonderful aesthetic. I think people should see this film for its wonderful aesthetic and visual representation, but dont watch it expecting good writing and a plot.

The musical aspects (songwriting, choreography, and singing) of the film are amazing as usual with Melanie's work, but there are many potential plotpoints in the film itself that are just touched on once and never mentioned again. Some songs made seamless integration into the plot, for example "Wheels on the Bus", but others appeared out of nowhere and brought nothing to the plot, like "Strawberry Shortcake".

The movie's timeline is through the school years of Crybaby, but for most of the movie you couldnt tell at all what grade she was in at that time. Along with this, most of the characters are forgettable and dont have defining personality, but hey, at least it looks pretty!

I do think that Melanie put too much on her shoulders for this film. She wrote the script, directed, was the lead actress, did all of the songs, and edited the whole thing-- I applaud her for all the effort she went to make this film. For all of this being new to her, I think she did well, but I think that she should take it easy next time.

The film left me a little disappointed with more questions than answers, but at least I left the cinema with 14 new bops to add to my playlist.
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At least it's free..
sheltonamirah7 September 2019
Melanie Martinez has always been one for interesting visuals and concepts, and nothing exemplifies that more than K-12. The music video portions of the movie are beautiful. Amazing sets, catchy songs, gorgeous costumes and intricate choreography, but it seems as though aesthetic was the main focus of the movie. The plot - if you choose to call it that - is definitely where the movie falls flat. It's clear that Martinez's heart was fully invested in her directorial debut, but the writing itself reeks of immaturity. The integration of the songs itself is also done very poorly. While some songs like 'Wheels on the Bus' are weaved carefully into the plot, you also have abrupt starts and stops of scenes for songs like 'Teacher's Pet'. As a Melanie Martinez fan, though I can admit its faults, I liked the movie. For the casual viewer? I think you're better off watching the visuals themselves as opposed to the full hour and thirty minute feature film.
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Disappointing as a film and a piece of art; lacking collaborative element
thewanderlustphotobug7 September 2019
I was willing to give K-12 a chance because it is a unique concept to release a whole film to launch an album, and it could have been a great opportunity to merge people and ideas from different art sectors (writer, directors, cinematographers, with Melanie as the musician). However, I've also heard a lot of horror stories from music video directors about musicians who are super controlling over the video concept and don't let the directors and other creative heads do their thing, and unfortunately that's what happened here. As a writer, the script and plot was super disappointing and cliche.

Just when a cool metaphor is shown through the visuals, Melanie (as a character) must explain it in narration or forced dialogue. While Melanie has some interesting metaphors and concepts, she isn't a scriptwriter and hence most of her writing completely overrules the show-don't-tell rule in cinema. While it's good that she might have wanted to tell a very personal story, there are some techniques in scriptwriting that shouldn't be ignored.

Similarly, Melanie directing a work she is starring in and wrote really messed up some of the shots. You can tell there's some clunkiness in the transitions between shots and that whoever planned the shots/directed the shoot, didn't really have a strong grasp of certain shooting techniques especially regarding choice of shots.

One way she could have improved this is actually really simple: she could have not starred in it. Sometimes what you need is to take a step back and see the film as a whole.

One good thing, however, was the absolutely stunning cinematography, which kudos to Josh McKie on that one! The beautiful cinematography and aesthetic only goes to show how wonderful this movie could have been if it was a collaborative effort rather than just Martinez trying to do everything.
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Alluring visuals, but reminiscent of a high-school play.
amberazuniga6 September 2019
I love and support Melanie's creative vision and music, but K-12 was a cluster of lackluster clichés sprinkled with social issue undertones-both of which I'm not the biggest fan of. The acting was sub-par, with only a couple of characters convincing enough to make me believe that this alternate reality was real. This film would have been better off as a series of music videos whose stories bled into one another, as there was really no clear storyline/plot in K-12 either. I do, however, have to give credit where credit is due; the visuals, costume and set design, location, and choreography were very solid and enchanting. You can also clearly tell that Melanie has grown spiritually and that her confidence has raised tremendously-she absolutely shines during the High-school Sweethearts bit! Despite my critique, I do hope that she continues to write and direct; Melanie truly is a breath of fresh air in the music industry and I'd love to see what she is able to execute as the years pass by.
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amazing masterpiece
luistaal6 September 2019
She did what she had to do! amazing movie and music
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Amazing and Super Different!
rottensdecoracao6 September 2019
The movie has an amazing and super different start, the songs are super cool and CryBaby's Empowerment is Spectacular! In the end, I imagine several possibilities! LOVED IT
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Don't expect a lot
mcnofx6 September 2019
If I wasn't a big Melanie fan I would've turned it off after about 20 minutes. A lot of reviews are right when they say it's basically a 90 minute music video. The writing kinda sucked and Melanie isn't a great actress, unfortunately. It could have been better I think if she had not directed and written it by herself.

Having said that, the music was awesome and the musical parts weren't cringey. Set and costume was great.
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The reflection of Melanie Martinez's growth both as a person and an artist
jppreto996 September 2019
K-12, while different from Cry Baby, shows an improvement in Martinez's lyrical content, which now makes reference to bulimia (Orange Juice), sexual harassment (Strawberry Shortcake), Donald Trump (The Principal), extramarital affairs (Teacher's Pet), and so much more. It's more socially relevant than her previous album, And the movie is fantastic. The plot, sure, is plain and simple, because the dialogue is there only to connect the songs to one another, but if you're a MM fan, you'll love it. It's funny, magical, and even thought-provoking at times. The visuals are levels above the Cry Baby music videos. It's way more ambitious, and the budget was very well spent on, with the costume design, the art direction and the special effects. The acting is on the same level of the speaking roles in the Cry Baby music videos, but it isn't bad, some of the actors can be really funny. I just didn't like the editing of it, because after a musical number, the screen goes black for one second or two, and that kinda damages the continuity of the film. I can't wait for what Melanie does next!!
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so good
lilikoijuice6 September 2019
All the songs are amazing and the movie is stunning. even though it's more of a movie length music video than a real movie :/
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Amazing,Relatable,Iconic,Aesthetically pleasing
rodriguezasia6 September 2019
Watching it currently on YouTube Live and it's almost over but it is one of the BEST MOVIES IVE SEEN IN AWHILE. Now one of my favorites
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This film changed my LIFE
noach-805725 September 2019
A amazing movie that should be praided everywhere! The songs are bangers and the massage it gives to the younger audience is heart touching! 10/10 from me!
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washingtonr-573975 September 2019
K-12 is a great movie that tackles serious and important subjects. I recommend everyone to see this beautiful work!
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really disappointing
theangelssayhello7 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It's a musical and the music is absolutely fantastic. Although, I didn't expect the music to take up 90% of the movie. The songs are really enjoyable though even if they all sound a little similar (my personal favorite is the song in the credits, which was the best by far).

The actual film part was.. how do I say this.. trash. The concept is amazing. I love that it's trying to give off good themes about how oppressive school can be and then taking it to the extreme. The writing itself seems like it was made in less than a month. It's very fast-paced. I watched this on Youtube, the moment the livestream started, so I could see everyone elses thoughts along with mine. You could not tell it was a movie. People were actually confused because it genuinely looks like little snippets from a longer version. It gives no explanation whatsoever to what was happening. I'm not even sure what happened.

You could blink and miss basically all the dialogue in the whole movie. Scenes were random, although most were for foreshadowing (the foreshadowing itself was pretty vague and boring), songs were back to back with no talking in between to show what was happening. The acting was.. eh. It was pretty cheesy but I think the acting was a lot better than the writing.

I don't even know who some of the characters are. It doesn't explain it. Who are these people? No idea. Neither does anyone else have a clue. It was boring and I was just waiting for it to get better. The ending was anticlimactic and the cliffhanger was probably one of the worst things by far (I'm ashamed to even call it a cliffhanger).

.. the boy eating glue was repulsive. It was like he was making out with it. I'll have that in my memory for the rest of my life.

Would I watch this again? No Am I glad I didn't pay to see it? Yes, dear god yes

but good job for melanie
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If you're a Cry Baby at heart you'll love this movie
carartorres7 September 2019
So vivid and creative, being a fan since he's days on the voice seeing this project come together is absolutely amazing!!
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