By Shayla Scallorn
Social Media Editor
Seven straight-laced boys attending a prestigious preparatory school quickly take a liking to their new English teacher who offers them a new perspective on individuality, life and the value of literature. The 128 minute drama "Dead Poets Society" directed by Peter Weir will not only heave at your heart strings but leave you questioning society and contemplating the true power of literature.
Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard) is an outgoing and motivated young man placed on a career path towards medicine by his overbearing father. Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke) is painfully shy, struggles socially and is under constant pressure to live up to his successful older brother’s name.
Neil, Todd and their group of friends are all students at Welton Academy for boys set in 1956 New England. The school's four pillars (tradition, honor, discipline and excellence) stress the importance of a strict, uniform-learning environment. It is essentially a breeding ground for the nation’s future doctors, lawyers and scientists.
By Rachel Lau
It’s that time of year again when you can sit down, relax, grab some candy, and flip on Halloween themed movies. Of course, there are several to pick from, and I have chosen three of my favorites.
I’ll start with one of the classics that I’m sure most of you have at least heard of. The movie Hocus Pocus was made in 1993 and was directed by Kenny Ortega.
The movie won’t keep you in your seat for too long because it’s only an hour and 36 minutes, but it’s sure to keep you occupied. This fantasy-comedy takes place in Salem, Mass., where three witch sisters are resurrected on Halloween night.
They soon learn that a lot of things are different in the 20th century than 300 years ago. They must achieve all of their goals by sunrise or they will disintegrate. It’s up to Max, Allison, Dani, and the cat Binx to stop the witches and save everyone. I look forward to watching this movie every year because I grew up watching it with my friends.
By Ian Adler
Star Wars fans had been waiting and hoping for a continuation of the Star Wars franchise for seven years since the latest film, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. After the purchase of Lucasfilm, Star Wars’ notorious production company, by Disney in 2012, the rumors and confirmations of Episode VII spread like wildfire over the Internet, news, and Star Wars fanbase.
I first took note of the reboot of Star Wars culture after shopping at Kohl’s, where a year or so ago, shelves were filled with Star Wars graphic t-shirts on sale. Now, the stock ranges from Star Wars BBQ tongs, children’s toys, and onesie pajamas. The enormous commercial market for Star Wars helps make being a “Star Wars nerd” much more appreciated.
“Star Wars is back,” senior Isaiah Workinger said. “It’s prevalent and I’m excited.”
The release of Episode VII is set for December 18, and already $48,000,000 was profited in the first 48 hours of ticket presales according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, including my two ticket contribution. With the series beginning in 1977, Star Wars has brought in a total of around $28,000,000,000 in revenue from all of their assets, which include toys, movies, and TV shows.
In addition to the new movie, Star Wars: Battlefront was released on November 17, with gamers flocking to their local stores to pick up their copies. The game is a continuation of the popular Battlefront series that reigned over Playstations, Playstation 2’s, PC’s and Xbox’s since 2004.
With all of the excitement around the new movie, we have to question, will it reach our standards? Or will “true fans” of the galaxy far, far away be left wondering, “That was it?”
From the battle between armies of Jar-Jar Binks’s and poorly CGI’d droids on a grassy field, to Anakin Skywalker’s widely accepted sub-par acting abilities, and the mismatched victory of Obi-Wan over a four armed lightsaber wielding robot, Episodes I, II, and III aren’t usually seen as the highlight of the Star Wars series.
“I think they were kind of bad,” senior Brian Treible said. “ There was a lot of CGI and there was unnecessary stuff in it like Jar-Jar Binks.”
Personally, I don’t think that those three films were as terrible as everyone makes them out to be, but I very much understand the favoritism of Episodes IV, V, and VI.
“Obviously Episode IV, V, and VI made Star Wars what it is,” Treible said. “I heard from people that were around when the first episode came out that they went to movie theatres multiple times just to watch it.”
“Even though Episodes IV, V, and VI were made first, I feel like they were ahead of their time,” senior Judge Kunce said. “I like the graphics and effects. I thought they were better than those in I, II and III, even though those were more modern.”
While some doubt lies in the previous letdowns of the series, many fans are quite confident the movie will impress even the strictest of critics.
“I think it’s going to be really nicely done,” Treible said. “They actually have props in this one, and J.J. Abrams is good, he did the Star Trek movies.”
“I am very much looking forward to the new movie,” Kunce said. “I didn’t want to study into it too much because I just want to find it all out for myself when I watch the movie.”
The trailers leave lots of speculation, leaving Treible questioning “Where’s Luke? What’s Luke doing?” Luke’s face never appears in the three official trailers released, but we can hear his voice and see his hand upon R2D2.
“When I watched one of the trailers, I think Luke was talking and I want to find out what’s up with that,” Kunce said. “He said something about ‘My sister has the force’, so I just want to find out when I see the movie, I’m excited for that.”
We were also introduced to the new antagonist, Kylo Ren, a Darth Vader admirer who plans to “finish what you (Vader) started.” The new main protagonists include Rey, the possible daughter of Han Solo and Leia, and Finn, an ex-stormtrooper who appears to be a new member of the Rebel Army.
While new characters are introduced, the original cast members also make some appearances. “They got Han Solo back, they got Chewbacca back, they got Luke back, Leia, all those good characters,” Treible said.
Personally, I’ve watched the third trailer at least 20 times, and it hasn’t failed to give me chills yet. I think that the suspense the trailers leave us with is all part of the plan to entice doubtful fans, but I myself am entirely confident that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be one of the most thorough and impressive movies of the decade.
May the force be with you all.
By Taylor Bosley
This past December, Sony was set to release “The Interview,” a “comedy” surrounding the assassination of North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco. After a group who calls themselves “The Guardians of Peace” threatened the movie theaters that intended to play the movie, many theaters pulled the movie and it could only be found online and in select theaters. Many Americans viewed the pulling of the movie due to the threats a violation of the First Amendment and cried out the infamous phrase “freedom of speech.”
The attention surrounding “The Interview” has no ties to freedom of speech, it ‘s an issue of human decency, or rather a lack there-of.
Early in the movie there is a scene where Rogen and Franco are driving through the city and ask about the “speculated” starvation of the North Korean people. They are pointed to a “grocery store” and then an overweight boy to dismiss the allegations. An overweight kid eating candy is hilarious, right? Maybe it would be if it was not found by the United Nations that one fourth of children in North Korea suffer from chronic malnutrition. That means 25% of all kids living there do not receive enough food to grow properly, which often leads to stunted growth.
Besides the staggering 25% malnutrition rate, the UN also found that two thirds of all North Koreans are unaware if they will even have a “next meal.” To make a movie that centers jokes surrounding an issue like starvation will desensitize viewers to the actual hardships the North Korean people face each and every day.
When there is a land of people ruled by a power hungry leader who dictates almost all aspects of life, including the haircuts of the citizens, there is not much room for laughter. While Kim Jong Un does not deserve any support, the people he rules over do. To make a mockery of the struggles they face is indecent.
The use of satire, as “The Interview” is said to use, is an important aspect of media. Although when that “satire” desensitizes others to the starvation and complete dictatorship a land faces, not much good can come from it.
By Claire Krackow
Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy in the December 2014 movie, “American Sniper” (based on a true story) saved countless lives on the battlefield and turned him into a legend.
After returning home to his wife and kids after four tours, Kyle discovers that he can not leave the war behind.
Chris Kyle, who was nothing more than a cowboy from Texas, found out that maybe his life needed something more, something where he could express his talent and help America in the fight against terrorism. Kyle joined the Seals to become a sniper, a person who operates alone or in a team to maintain close visual contact with the enemy and engages from concealed positions. Kyle’s biggest struggle wasn’t with his missions, but it was with the relationship he had with others because of the reality of the war. Eventually, he develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the obstacles he faced with being involved in the war. This causes him to struggle with being a husband and father to his family back in the States and although he is home, he cannot leave the war behind as it haunts him everyday.
This film does more than portray the horrors of war, it focuses on the horrors that come after; the post war suffering when those who served have come home. In this film, Kyle was not killed by an Iraqi, but by a U.S. veteran whom Kyle was trying to help heal, long after he had returned from the battlefield. Allegedly, this veteran had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This film raises awareness of the effects on veterans after they return home that more people should be aware of. Not only are they hurting physically, but they are hurting mentally as well. These obstacles can change a man’s life forever, the friends that they lose and the horror that they witness will live in their mind forever.
Many people referred Chris Kyle to a “bloodthirsty warmonger” but he was a smart warrior who fought hard for his country and for his fellow troops.This film brought many people to celebrate and believe in America again, but also to realize the sacrifices that our troops made and to appreciate them. There is much success in the film, “American Sniper” and much more to learn.
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