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Searching for Excellence

Article by Ryan O’Donnell

An old adage states that it only takes seven seconds to make a good first impression; obviously, some leniency is offered to film directors for this unwritten rule. When trailers for rookie filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching first popped up on television and the Internet, everyone rolled their eyes and prepared to write Chaganty off as an unoriginal hack. The kidnapping story had been done since the dawn of the century, in a mass of madly mediocre movies such as Olympus Has Fallen, The Call, and Kidnap, adding absolutely nothing new of note to the genre. Searching vows to set itself apart and above from its counterparts — and it certainly delivers. Continue reading

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 Entertainment
Most Anticipated Fall Movies

Article by Kevin Lewis

As the end of the year approaches, so does awards season. It is a time where films compete to become the best of the best. While some movies have the chance to come home with the gold, others are looking to make gold at the box office. This year’s crop of fall movies has a little bit of everything for everybody. It marks the return of multiple auteur directors whose previous films have been lauded by critics as well as the return of franchises that have been run into the ground but looking for another shot.

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Entertainment
Paddington 2 Review

Article by Kevin Lewis

At first glance, Paddington (2015) should not have been a good film. It had all the trappings of terrible kids movie: a CGI character who is annoying and only there for “comedic” fart jokes, lackluster plotlines and cheesy acting, but somehow the film managed to exceed everyone’s expectations. The film about a polite bear who loves marmalade was a genuine delight for all-ages . Unfortunately, the film was not seen by many people here in the States, however, it did manage to find an audience overseas and was successful enough to warrant a sequel. To the many people who did not witness the friendly bear’s first adventure, it would be easy to dismiss another entry in this franchise and for good reason. Most kids films that feature a CGI animal only get worse with each entry; Alvin and the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear and the Scooby Doo just to name a few. Paddington 2, instead, earns the right to stand by some of the greatest sequels ever made: The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, The Godfather 2. This is not a hyperbole. Continue reading

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Opinion
Something Fishy

Opinion by Jess Harmon

SP-JessA year ago, Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, won Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards. I remember watching the absolute chaos on my screens, as they announced the wrong winner, claiming that La La Land was the Best Picture winner before quickly correcting their mistake and announced that Moonlight was the true winner. The immense joy and pride I felt when I heard that this film got the recognition it deserves, is one that only cinema can provoke in me.  A year later I was desperately hoping that one of the films that made me feel the way Moonlight did would win the same title.  I was rooting for Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, because it pushed boundaries, generated conversations, and reminded me of why I fell in love with film in the first place. Sadly, Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro, was the winner of Best Picture for the 90th Academy Awards and to say the least, I did not get that same feeling of joy, and here is why. Continue reading

Entertainment
The Disaster Artist: The Ultimate Disaster Piece

Article by Ryan O’Donnell

 

When people think of life’s greatest mysteries, quite a few things come to mind: the creation of Stonehenge, the fate of Amelia Earhart, the disappearance of the colonists at Roanoke, and of course, the entire production process of The Room. Dubbed “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” by many film critics, viewers spent almost the entirety of the bizarre film asking themselves rhetorical questions. Why are all of these subplots getting abandoned? How did this monstrosity of a movie cost $6 million to make? Most importantly, who is Tommy Wiseau, where did he get all the money, and what country is he from with that kind of accent? In the midst of his laughable pipe dream of winning an Academy Award – and shamelessly ripping off acting legend James Dean in doing so – Wiseau was quite innovative in a sense. He managed to carve out his own legacy by being a remarkably horrible actor, producer, writer, director, and human being. The Disaster Artist, a film based on Tommy Wiseau’s friend-turned-Hollywood whistleblower’s autobiographical book of the same name, serves as the perfect sentiment to Wiseau’s legacy. Continue reading

Entertainment
Winter Movie Guide
By Kevin Lewis

As the year comes to a close audiences are looking for an escape from the holiday madness. This December is a significant movie month for Oscar contenders and some big blockbusters. Here is a list of films that I think you should watch this holiday season (after you have seen The Last Jedi, of course):

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Entertainment
5 Fun Filled Winter Activities
By Chloe Keith

WinterFest at Kings IslandIMG_0681.jpg
This year, Kings Island has created a winter wonderland called “WinterFest”. With multicolored light displays, entertaining performances, an ice skating rink, and thrilling amusement park rides, you can’t go wrong. “…It’s a fun place to spend time with the people you love” says Renee Perpignan of Kings Junior High. At WinterFest, there’s fun for the whole family. Children can decorate cookies and even meet Santa. You won’t want to miss out on this unique experience!
Operating Hours:
December 15-30 (Exc. 12/24 and 12/25):
Sunday -Friday 5pm-10pm /  Saturday 4pm-10pm Continue reading

Entertainment
It’s a Wonder
By Ryan O’Donnell

After several years of persuasion and demand from fans, R.J. Palacio’s New York Times bestseller-dubbed by Entertainment Weekly as a “crackling page-turner”-finally splashes onto the silver screen. Wonder essentially plays out as a classic “underdog triumphs above all” tale, whilst also being a coming-of-age story; the latter type of tale being something the film’s director Stephen Chbosky has a great deal of experience with, seeing as he wrote the best-selling novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower and produced its film adaptation. Although Chbosky has proven that he is certainly no rookie at pulling instantly classic novels from the bookshelf to the big screen, his adaptation of Wonder is rather hit-or-miss. Continue reading

Entertainment
Blade Runner 2049: A Runaway Success
By Ryan O’Donnell

The year was 1982. Wayne Gretzky was firing slap shots left and right, Jelly Belly sales were at an all-time high thanks to the President who “won one for the Gipper,” and anyone with either the name Jenny or the number 867-5309, no longer wanted to get out of bed in the morning. In the midst of pop culture, a strange new movie named Blade Runner was quietly released into theaters, boasting game-changing special effects, exciting storytelling, and a thriving new star named Harrison Ford. Despite these factors, the film flopped at the box office like a fish out of water and split opinions down the middle.  Over time, critics and audiences have re-evaluated the picture and given it a much more warming welcome. The film still retains an overwhelming cult following and has been considered one of the greatest science-fiction films ever made. The American Film Institute even placed it on their list of the 100 greatest films in the history of American cinema. Now, 35 years later, a long-awaited sequel has been released into theaters.

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