Thursday, December 10, 2015

One More Arrow For Jennifer Lawrence

Elizabeth Both
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Katniss Everdeen has been the ultimate powerhouse at the box office for the past 3 years, and with the last installment of the epic franchise it would seem that it would make over 120 million at the box office in its opening weekend, but something didn’t quite click. Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 only made 102 million in its opening weekend compared to Catching Fire’s opening weekend that broke a November record with 161 million. What gives? Why did it drop 60 million in the past two years?
 Mockingjay Part 2 was a fitting finale for the franchise. That’s what all movie critics are saying, and they’re right.  The whole franchise was pretty epic to watch on the big screen, but something still didn’t feel right by how the movies portrayed the books. Hollywood made The Hunger Games into one of the biggest blockbuster series of the 2010’s, yet the fanbase has seemed to die a little.  I was more of a fan (and speaking for my peers as well) in middle school when the first movie came out. It was a huge hype, and always is, to see a favorite book turn into a live action reenactment. Attending the midnight premiers was fun for the moment, but all of a sudden growing up just came into play. The moment they announced that the last film would be split into two parts, I lost my interest.
 The reason for my loss of interest into seeing the films is because right then and there, I realized that this franchise is just like any other, it’s about the money. The Harry Potter series deserved to be split up into two parts to be able to portray the book correctly; that made sense. Splitting up the Twilight Saga was a little bit different. Twilight consisted of four books, and it seemed unnecessary to split it up into two (terrible) movies, when it could’ve been done in one. Hunger Games just consisted of three books, yet they still wanted to split it up.
 The reason why I’m even still holding onto a piece of the franchise is due to the one and only--Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence has got spunk, humor and true talent on screen. She brings Katniss alive from the books. I still do like the story for the purpose that it centers around a strong, female character that can do combat without a man trying to save her. Compared to the other young adult novel, Twilight, this was the exact opposite, and at the time it seemed like the Hollywood spectrum was reversing on Young Adult novels.

 Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 was well done, and was on a much larger scale than first two movies. It actually was a little bit more fun just to see Jennifer Lawrence making awkward jokes during the all the promotions for the movie itself. As the world says goodbye to the franchise, Jennifer Lawrence hits theaters again one last time in 2015, for the movie Joy, playing Joy Mangano, creator of the Miracle Mop. It sure is a different role than the young, dystopian leader in Hunger Games but it’s just one more film to prove that Lawrence is ready to tackle other projects and say goodbye to Katniss.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Walking Dead gets stressful

Elizabeth Both
Opinions Editor

Sunday nights are no longer focusing on traditional family dinners; it’s now filled with an hour of The Walking Dead. The hit AMC show has been going crazy with their ratings. In March 2015, the season five finale drew a stunning 8.2/10 rating among adults ages 15-49, and had 15.8 million viewers.
 The spin-off summer show Fear the Walking Dead achieved major ratings during its first season, especially the pilot episode, which broke a cable record with 10.13 million viewers. What is this saying about the nation? Do we crave a zombie apocalypse to participate in a fluid manner, or would we want it turn into cannibals and chaos?
The Walking Dead is a fantastic show, it has clever writing keeping the audience on their toes (what happened to Glenn?!), and beautiful camera shots throughout all seasons. Back when it first premiered, not a lot of people knew about it other than fans of the comics it’s based off of. I sadly only started watching it in the middle of the third season, but my family and I could not stop watching. It’s pure entertainment.
 The fact that the show airs on Sunday night is insanely tough since it’s a school night. Most viewers don’t get to sleep until 11:30 p.m., after watching The Walking Dead and the aftershow, The Talking Dead.
 So far this season is as good as it gets. The show is extremely stressful and the whole vibe is different than last season. Last season there were cannibals, abusive husbands, and unnecessary deaths (Noah, Tyreese, Bob). The group was looking for a place to live, and especially after Terminus, they were scared of connecting with anyone.
 The current sixth season is ending right after Thanksgiving (what a way to end the holiday), and the nation has to wait until February for new episodes.
 So far this season, each episode has been taking place over the course of just a couple of hours. There are at least three different stories going on, so the waiting time is even longer to get answers to cliffhangers. Glenn has been the biggest mystery so far: is he dead or alive underneath Nicholas’ guts?
 I think Glenn is not dead as of right now. In the comics (spoiler!) he is killed by the ultra villain Negan (who was just casted and the producers have confirmed will appear in 2016).
 As a major scaredy cat myself, I am surprised I can handle watching this show. Between cannibals, disintegrating zombie skin (which I tell myself is just the result of some crazy makeup since it looks so gross), and mass zombie attack scenes (guts being ripped out, seeing people get eaten alive) this show is not for young viewers. It may sound quite revolting, but it has intense, well written scripts for each episode. The writing is so well done that it keeps viewers wanting more. If the show was lazily written, The Walking Dead probably would not have the same hype that it does have now.
 The Walking Dead brings my family together for a special Sunday dinner. Nothing quite says family bonding time like watching the zombie apocalypse unfold. The show is likely only going to get more intense and bloody, but at least my family is right beside me.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged amazes the community

Hannah Goulding and Claudia Kolinchak
Staff Writer and Features Editor

Thursday, Friday, Saturday night! Mask and Zany performed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare directed by Teddy Carroll in the Stephen J. Buck theater. It was a play that hilariously highlighted all the famous scenes of Shakespeare's main works. Tyler Brennan, Flo Minniti and Josh Searle made the audience roar with laughter with their twist on every piece of literature that Shakespeare has to offer. From the start of the play, opening with the famous Romeo and Juliet, the actors portrayed the highlights of the play perfectly and with humor that made the whole audience invested in the show. Every single play or sonnet was put in a way to make even the characters portraying them have a plot. It made the play even better when the actors had their own spin off where they would talk about themselves and would have their own issues to face. Towards the end of the play, the actors even had the audience participate in portraying a play and it definitely made the audience enjoy what they came to see. Overall, the play was amazing to watch and it did not fail to make the audience impressed. Amazing job to Mask and Zany, you have once again made a wonderful play.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mask & Zany begins the Fall season strong

Jacob McCloskey
Staff Writer
This fall season’s lineup of Mask & Zany productions is arguably one of the strongest in recent years. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged took place on Oct. 22-24 and featured a cast of only three people. Not only was this feat remarkable, but the production was student directed by New Hope’s own Teddy Carroll. With a cast of the hilarious Josh Searle, Tyler Brennan, and Flo Minniti, the show made audiences laugh many, many times. The plot consisted of the three people attempting to perform all of Shakespeare’s works as quickly as possible. Through this, there were plenty of opportunities for the distinct Mask & Zany style of humor, fake vomit, crossdressing, and audience interaction. This trio has proven to be hilarious separately in previous Mask & Zany productions, so seeing them all together on the same stage proved to be even better.
 On Nov. 19-21 will be the performances of the studio play, The Beaux Stratagem. Taking place just before Thanksgiving break, the show will be a great way to end the fall season. This mainstage play is much bigger, both in cast, set, and plot. This production features a large, intricate set, and about 14 actors. Even more importantly, it features a thick plot containing a wide range of scene types from comedy, romance, drama and action. The story is essentially about two men who are pretending to be other, more important people in order to gain money and possibly find love. These men are Tom Aimwell (Jacob McCloskey) and Jack Archer (Mikey Iverson), who plan to pretend to be a master and servant. Through this, they hope to find rich women who they can marry and obtain money through. Of course, they run into many issues along their journey. This play features a cast of Mikey Iverson, Sabrina Rothschild, Fiona Male, Abby Bultemeier and many more. With both of the shows in this fall season being so impressive, it would be a shame to miss either of them.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Breaks the Internet

Max Charney
Staff Writer
The third trailer for the upcoming Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was shown at halftime during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game on October 19. Causing millions of nerds to sit through football. Within  three days the trailer reach 40 million views, but that is not the impressive part. After the trailer was shown,tickets for the film went on sale. Immediately, the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens site crashed followed by the crash of Fandango’s website as they were met  with an overwhelming number of fans trying to buy their tickets.
 It is more than clear that fans are excited and ready for the film, but one thing remains unclear: What exactly is the plot? Disney has done more than a fantastic job of keeping the plot a secret from the public. When watching the trailers, fans are unable to put the pieces together.
 One thing fans have noticed in the third trailer is that it has a much more darker and mature tone to it than any of the other trailers. In one scene Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is shown melting Poe Dameron’s (Oscar Isaac) mind with the force, in another Rey (Daisy Ridley) is crying over an unknown person’s body, and these scenes are accompanied by many shots of Tie Fighters and X-Wings exploding in combat. Also, in every trailer that has been shown, a First Order Trooper (the name of the new Stormtroopers) as gone flying, meaning the trooper has been shot or exploded. But there will be fun moments because well as Star Wars is never that dark.
 Luke Skywalker has not been in a trailer yet or even on the poster. But it is believed that he was the one that narrates the second trailer. Speculation is that he is out in the galaxy trying to recruit and rebuild the Jedi Order, explaining why we have not seen him just yet. He is part of the cast and most certainly will make an appearance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween classics to watch this season

Lexi Anderson

It’s that time of the year again! Everything has become automatically spooky. That’s right, Halloween. We all love the lead up to Halloween. Pumpkins, ghosts, and skeletons are all wonderful, but something to really look forward to is the movies.
 Ah, Halloween movies. Something about eating the candy gathered from trick or treating and watching a feel good halloween film or getting friends together for a scary movie night makes October a special occasion. There’s definitely some must watch films to watch during this season. Let’s take a look at a few.
 First up is essentially anything created by Halloween extraordinaire, Tim Burton. We are all familiar with the stop motion expert of the film industry, who seamlessly intertwines creepy aesthetics with lovable characters. A few that may stand out are Corpse Bride, and of course The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Corpse Bride (2005) is a personal favorite of mine, following the tale of soon to be wed Victor (Johnny Depp) and his run in with Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), a former bride to be that was killed by her so called “lover” so he could inherit her fortune. This is a lovely story, full of spooky scenery and fun musical numbers, not to mention an impeccable score composed by Danny Elfman. Currently, Corpse Bride holds a certified fresh rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. I suggest you check it out.
 Next up on the Burton list is the universally beloved The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). This film is directed by Henry Selick but was produced and conceived by Tim Burton, who did the storyboarding and designed the concept art for the stop motion. The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Halloweentown’s pumpkin king, Jack Skellington, who is bored with the usual routine of scaring people, and ends up opening a portal to Christmastown. Here, he decides to try kidnap Santa Claus and take over his role, but things soon go awry. This movie also has a stellar soundtrack, including the popular tune “This is Halloween.” The Nightmare Before Christmas is a terrific film, good for both the Halloween and Christmas season. It currently holds a certified fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, both a critic and fan favorite.
 Moving on from Tim Burton are some classic scary movies. Even if you aren’t a fan of scary movies, it is a must when the Halloween season comes around. Halloween (1978) stars original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis as she is stalked by psychiatric hospital escapee Michael Myers (you know him as the guy with a white mask, navy blue jumpsuit, usually carrying a knife) on Halloween night. This movie is a classic, spawning seven sequels and providing common slasher tropes for horror movies to come. Although it was a fan favorite from the beginning, Halloween initially garnered negative reviews from critics. Eventually, critics began to praise the movie more, especially for its camera angles, lack of violence and gore, and simple music. Now, Halloween is considered one of the best movies of 1978, holding a certified fresh rating of 92%. Even if you don’t particularly love horror movies, Halloween is a must see.
 High budget, critically acclaimed movies are all wonderful, but it would be a shame if everyone’s favorite Disney Channel original movie, Halloweentown, wasn’t included in this article. Halloweentown (1998) is a movie that everyone should see, and honestly it’s likely that most teenagers have. Halloweentown is a tradition, a staple in my Halloween festivities. This Disney Channel movie follows Marnie, her brother Dylan, and sister Sophie as they follow their grandmother into the magical Halloweentown, where broomsticks are used and potions are created. Although it seems like a dream, something evil is brewing in Halloweentown and Marnie and her family have to help defeat it. This movie is undeniably cheesy, but that just makes the movie even better. It’s a family friendly, cute Halloween flick that also spawned 3 sequels (I’d ignore the last one though), that is sure to brighten up your Halloween. If you haven’t already, catch this movie on Disney Channel this season to experience the whimsicalness that is Halloweentown.
 These are just a handful of movies the great holiday of Halloween has brought us. Whether you enjoy scary, light hearted, or a mix of the two, there is something out there for everyone. Enjoy this upcoming Halloween, and happy watching to everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Farewell to 53 years of Sabado Gigante

Beatriz Martinez-Olivera
Staff Writer

A Chilean TV host named Mario Kreutzberger (AKA Don Francisco) said farewell to 53 years of “Sabado Gigante.” Well known and very respected in the Spanish community, his show consisted of game shows, bringing families together, helping people out, comedy segments, interviews, upcoming singers, and just everything you could ask for in a variety show. This show aired in more than 40 countries. It was Univision’s longest-running program that drew tens of millions of viewers every Saturday night for three hours straight.
  It was what people in the Spanish community would grow up watching every Saturday at 8 p.m. with their whole family. The show sadly ended on Sept. 19, with lots of famous singers, comedians, TV hosts, interviewers, and even taped a message from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama there to say farewell to the show via video.
  President Obama said, “Saturday won't be the same anymore for a lot of Americans,” and that he would be missed. The show also got a video message from Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.
  Don Francisco was very humble on the day of his last show. “A show is not done by one person, it’s done by a team,” Francisco said. “By many people, many whom you do not see, you do not know who they are. They work hard, they put their hearts into it and their talent into it.”
  He started the show by asking prayers for Chile after an 8.3 magnitude earthquake shook the nation earlier that week. With teary eyes, he proceeded to introduce some of his family members, which were very present in the audience. Some celebrities made it that day, including Enrique Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Marc Anthony, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and many more. Some of the celebrities could not believe that it was the end of this show, for it was some of their first appearances on the program.
  It was extraordinary night for the show. There were tears here and there. Don Francisco ended his show by taking a bus with all of his staff and camera crew, ending the evening by saying, “Hasta luego Sabado Gigante.”

Colbert takes over late night television

Jonah Slominski
Staff Writer

On Sept. 8, 2015, a new era of the The Late Show kicked off, with Stephen Colbert taking over for the recently retired David Letterman. How Colbert can fill Letterman’s shoes remains to be seen, but so far Colbert has taken the challenge in stride.
  This is still like any other late night variety show, with Colbert doing an opening monologue, interviewing celebrities and interesting people, and a guest musical act. Audiences have just started to see what Colbert can do with an entire hour time slot. He is best known for Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, where he entertained while addressing current events.
  After the opening monologue and commercial break,  Colbert is seen sitting behind the desk, reporting on the day’s news, in traditional Colbert Report style. This was an excellent move on Colbert’s part, as it allows him to go to a comfort zone of sorts while the rest of the show looks to find its groove. However, this is not The Colbert Report 2.0, as his super-righteous and conservative character is not seen here. Instead, viewers see the actual Colbert, who is still sharp, quick-witted, and more informed than the character he used to play.
   Colbert seems able to strike a good balance between entertainment and information with his guest interviews. In comparison with The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon rarely has an interview that can be viewed as informative or thoughtful, as it has become mostly a platform for celebrities to advertise their next movie or TV show,while playing fun games with Fallon.
  Colbert has had guests on such as presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Bernie Sanders, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, as well as popular celebrities who are also activists like George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson. He also has the ability to switch between taking a backseat to the guest and letting the guest take over, like when he had new Daily Show host Trevor Noah on. He also knows how to take control and keep an interview from stalling, like when he was interviewing GOP hopeful Jeb Bush.
  Once Colbert and The Late Show find their identity and style, I believe that The Late Show could be the late night show to watch. Colbert is not only willing to have on popular celebrities but also lesser-known guests. He also has experience on TV, as he spent much time working with late night legend Jon Stewart of The Daily Show as a correspondent, then transitioning to his own show, The Colbert Report which was wildly successful during its nine-year run on TV.
  With all this coming together, Colbert looks primed to dominate the late night viewers and become the new face of late night TV.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Festivals Start Paving Way to Oscars

Elizabeth Both
Opinions Editor

As the summer blockbuster movies die down, CGI dinosaurs are replaced by Matt Damon lost in space (again! two movies within the past year!).
 Early in September, the annual Toronto Film Festival premiered its biggest contenders for the fall season:The Martian, Black Mass, Sicario, The Danish Girl, Room and Steve Jobs.
Fall movie festivals foreshadow potential Oscar contenders. The Martian, based on the book by Andy Weir, is predicted to be a huge success at the box office for an early October release, but will fail with Oscar nominations. The book was fun, but I just don’t think it will make Academy members swoon. One major hit for the awards race and the box office will be Steve Jobs, out Oct. 9 and directed by Danny Boyle, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, written by Aaron Sorkin.
Sicario, meaning hitman in Spanish, stars Emily Blunt as an FBI agent enlisted by the government to track down an anonymous drug lord. The film has gotten rave reviews for Blunt’s performance and received a rare ‘A’ from Entertainment Weekly.
 The documentary He Named me Malala, screened at the Toronto Film Festival as well, looks deep into the Taliban’s attack on the young Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, who became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever.
Horror director Guillermo Del Toro finds his way back into his dark Halloween aura with Crimson Peak, in theaters Oct. 16.
 Bill Murray plays a rock music promoter stranded in Kabul in Rock the Kasbah, out Oct. 23.           
 Daniel Craig joins in on the fall fun with the new James Bond movie titled Spectre, out November 6.
 Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie make their first debut as a couple in a film since 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in By the Sea which Jolie directed, out Nov. 13.
 Keep an eye out for these movies; some of them are bound to make an impact for viewers and voters alike.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Boyhood shines light on reality

Arian Behpour
Arts and Entertainment Editor
Sometimes we don’t realize that life is full of good and bad moments that are more important than we originally perceived. The goal Boyhood sets out to accomplish is to show us these moments and their immense impact on life. Boyhood chronicles a boy as he grows up and becomes an adult. This film doesn’t have much of a plot. Instead, it tries to simulate real life as close as possible. For a film that has been in the making for about twelve years, its amazing nothing went wrong.
  The film is very simple. The acting feels real and nothing seems staged. Patricia Arquette gives the best performance in the whole film. The viewers feel for her as she does anything to help make her children’s life easier. Ethan Hawke is good, but his character isn’t given a lot to work with. Ellar Coltrane definitely had a grand breakout role with this film. He started at age six and kept acting until nineteen. The more he grows up the better his acting ability becomes. Even as a child he acted better than most child actors.
   The direction does not have any glit or glammer. Its straight forward, but not for lack of attention or boredom. Richard Linklater directed this film in a way not to take away from the film or the reality the film portrays. There are many instances of beautiful imagery that reflects how life, nature, and the emotions are explored in the film.
   Boyhood covers so much ground that many viewers might find a little bit of themselves in there. There are some moments that hit hard on the heart strings and that make the viewer ponder worldly themes.
  It is no wonder the film is nominated for an Oscar for best picture. We all were children, and we all will grow up. This film reflects on those infinite moments experienced by billions of human beings all around the world.

Into the Woods We Go

Lexi Anderson
Staff Writer

  Over this past winter break, my sister and I took our usual trip to the Regal Barn to see the highly anticipated musical-comedy, Into the Woods.
  Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall, is a twist on the classic fairytale characters we all know and love. It features iconic characters such as Little Red Riding-Hood, the Wolf, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and others along with the newly introduced baker and his wife.
  The Witch, played by the simply amazing Meryl Streep, sends the baker and his wife on a quest through the woods to find specific objects for her. In return ,she’ll make the baker’s wife (played by Emily Blunt) fertile.
  The other characters happen to all have their own reasons to go into the woods as well. Little Jack has to go to a different town to sell his goat, Cinderella is  going to the ball, and Little Red Riding Hood is bringing bakery goods back to her grandmother. Their storylines begin to intertwine as the story unfolds.
  As my sister and I sat down in our seats we waited excitedly for the movie the start.
  Into the Woods opens with a montage of the different fairytale characters singing the charming, but extraordinarily long, song “Into the Woods.” What starts out as a sweet tune turns into an intense, almost headache-inducing noise. Nonetheless, I still had hope as the movie began.
  The biggest fault in this movie is that there was a distinct point where it could’ve ended, and you felt like it was going to end.
  With about 45 minutes of the movie left all seems to be resolved: Cinderella is marrying her prince after being indecisive about him throughout the whole film, the baker and his wife have a child, Jack’s mom is wealthy, Rapunzel and her prince are happy and in love, Red and her Grandma are happy, and the Witch has regained her beauty. Right when you think the movie is going to close, another conflict arises that lasts another 45 minutes of the movie.
  Although the ending of the movie was heartwarming, I really just wanted it to end.
  I saw Interstellar with my sister as well, which was a whopping three hours long. Honestly, I felt like the two hour long Into the Woods lasted much longer.
  Although the movie itself wasn’t amazing, the acting and singing of the cast was quite good, with Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt doing a particularly good job. The fairytale-like costume design was also great, and the film has even been nominated for an Academy Award for this category.
  Overall, I would give Into the Woods three stars out of five. It lacked depth and didn’t really wow me, but it was still an enjoyable watch. The cast was great, and the musical numbers were fun and catchy. Surely, it’s not something I’d watch again, but I don’t regret having gone to see it.

The Interview provides comic relief

Dylan Waterman
Staff Writer

Dave Skylark, played by James Franco, and Aaron Rapoport, played by Seth Rogan, run a popular celebrity talk show, “Skylark Tonight”. Dave Skylark is the host while Aaron is the show’s producer. In the beginning of the movie, Aaron starts to believe that their show is a joke, and feels that they need to do more than just talk to celebrities about their new, unusual news. They later find out that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a huge fan of the show and in an attempt to legitimize the show, and themselves as journalists, they are granted access to interview him. While preparing themselves for this big event, they experience an unheralded twist. The CIA recruits Dave and Aaron to assassinate Kim Jong-un while in the process of interviewing him. This appears to be a tough task for Dave and Aaron, as they are two of the least qualified individuals to implement this action.
  Coming from one that has seen the film, I enjoyed it a lot. After the Sony hacking scandal that reportedly involved North Korean hackers, this movie was available in only a limited number of theaters, but it was also released on Google Play, is available on OnDemand, and a few other sources. It is now most notably available on Netflix. Throughout the whole movie there is great comedic chemistry displayed between Rogen and Franco, but it does not distract the viewer from an actual plot. Dave and Aaron meet an ally while in North Korea, who helps the guys ready themselves for what they must do. Things like this make the movie very unpredictable and exciting, as there are many of them throughout the film. Overall, this is a funny and exciting story that will certainly please those who enjoy contemporary screwball comedy.

D’Angelo’s Black Messiah Addresses Race and Society

Tyler Brennan
Staff Writer

After a fifteen year hiatus from any formal music release, singer, producer, and songwriter D’Angelo bestowed unexpected music fans his latest album, Black Messiah, at the turn of the new year.
  On Dec. 12, 2014 producer Kevin Liles released a 15-second teaser for the new album on YouTube. Three days later on December 15, 2014 the album was released to traditional online outlets such as iTunes, Google Play Music, and Spotify.
  This is the third release from the critically acclaimed R&B artist, whose previous records, Brown Sugar and Voodoo pioneered the rhythm and blues genre. D’Angelo’s style has often been compared to Prince and Marvin Gaye for his unique and soulful singing voice. His latest album draws influence from more traditional R&B acts such as Funkadelic and Sly & The Family Stone because of its focus on live instrumentation.
  D’Angelo is accompanied with full live band called the Vanguard, whose big names include The Root’s Questlove, A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip,  Pino Palladino, James Gadson and Kendra Foster. The band provides profound and chaotic instrumentation for the soulful range of D’Angelo’s infamous voice. The album often feels experimental and nuanced for utilizing a hectic sound to emphasize the soulful and spiritual element of the piece.
  Q-Tip and Kendra Foster collaborated with D’Angelo on lyrics which glide upon subjects of politics, religion, and sex. Kendra Foster’s lyrical prowess can be heard on “The Charade”, the third track into the album which reflects upon a history of social and political racism and injustice experienced by African-Americans.
 Some of the albums songs such as “1000 deaths,” “The Charade,” and “Till it’s done (Tutu),” seem to be inspired by the recent racial incidents in Ferguson and Staten Island. According to D’Angelo the album’s lyrics have been in production for the past fifteen years and they coincidentally have relevance in today’s political climate. He pushed for the albums release to be sooner than the originally scheduled 2015 date, stating: “The one way I speak out is through music. I want to speak out.”
  While the United States public still grieves and reflects on the racial violence that has been reported by the media, writers and musicians have stayed silent. D’Angelo boldly addresses the issue through music with his ambiguous comeback album. In an era of turmoil and confusion, listeners can gain a sense of calm and righteousness through the Black Messiah.

Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Oscar Winners Predicted

Elizabeth Both
Staff Writer

 This year has been an extraordinary year for movies. Between Chris Pratt swooping in on an alien adventure in Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy as one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, to Richard Linklater's coming-of-age drama taken over the span of twelve years, Boyhood,this year was jam packed. The Oscars are taking place on Feb. 22, and these are the movies that I think will steal the screen scene during the ceremony. Also according to an Oscar Prediction Poll, 82 people in New Hope Solebury voted for who will win Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Picture at the star studded ceremony later this year.

Best Picture: Most Likely Winner- Selma which was a beautifully constructed film, depicting how the Selma to Montgomery Marches in 1965 came to be with raunching truth. Especially with everything that has happened in 2014, this is the type of raw nerving urgency that America as a whole needs to see. After all, it is our history.
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • American Sniper
  • Whiplash

Best Actress: Most Likely Actress- Julianne Moore, a four-time nominated actress in the Academy, and as of 2014 appearing in 62 films, long deserves the walk down the podium.
  • Julianne Moore-Still Alice
  • Reese Witherspoon-Wild
  • Rosamund Pike-Gone Girl
  • Felicity Jones-Theory of Everything
  • Marion Cotillard-Two Days and One Night

Best Actor: Most Likely Winner: Eddie Redmayne, portraying the young genius Stephen Hawking in the 1960’s before his illness and as his illness approaches. The performance is real and is currently being compared to Daniel Day Lewis’s performance in My Left Foot, which won Lewis a Best Actor statuette back in 1990.
  • Eddie Redmayne- The Theory of Everything
  • Benedict Cumberbatch- The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton-Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Bradley Cooper-American Sniper
  • Steve Carell-Foxcatcher

Best Director: Most Likely Winner: Richard Linklater for Boyhood with its cinematic dynamic move of filming over the time of twelve years, it is distinctive for showing a story of how a young boy grows up to become a young man. Linklater is super humble, and with his previous Golden Globe win for Best Director, the win is definitely locked in.
  • Richard Linklater-Boyhood
  • Morten Tyldum-The Imitation Game
  • Wes Anderson-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman
  • Bennett Miller-Foxcatcher

Best Supporting Actress: Most Likely Winner: This is a tough category since all of the performances were extremely well done but the frontrunner is going to be Patricia Arquette. Arquette has outdone herself and shown through as the average American mother dealing with nasty husbands, income struggles, and still tried her best to be the best mother possible for her two children.
  • Patricia Arquette- Boyhood
  • Laura Dern-Wild
  • Keira Knightley- The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone-Birdman
  • Meryl Streep-Into the Woods

Best Supporting Actor: Most Likely Winner: J.K Simmons was outstanding in the music overdosed hyper-thon, Whiplash. His tough guy manner is hardcore and burns to the touch. Edward Norton comes around as a close second, but J.K Simmons is going to take the win.
  • J.K Simmons-Whiplash
  • Edward Norton-Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo-Foxcatcher
  • Ethan Hawke-Boyhood
  • Robert Duvall-The Judge

Best Original Screenplay: Most Likely Winner: This is also a very tricky category this year since such good writing has been flowing through the movie industry in the past year, but going for the Oscar I think it’s going to be Wes Anderson. To put that much detail into a movie is one thing, but to put it down on paper to make it come to life is a whole other award in itself.
  • Wes Anderson-The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Richard Linklater-Boyhood
  • E.Max Frye and Dan Futterman-Foxcatcher
  • Dan Gilroy-Nightcrawler
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman

 From an Oscar Prediction Nominations Poll  82 people in New Hope Solebury voted for who will win Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Picture at the star studded ceremony later this year, no more Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards!
The results are listed below.

Best Picture
  • American Sniper with 24 votes
  • Gone Girl with 17 votes
  • The Imitation Game with 14 votes
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel with 9 votes
  • Birdman with 5 votes
  • Boyhood with 5 votes
  • Selma with 3 votes
  • The Theory of Everything with 3 votes
  • Whiplash with 2 votes
Best Actress
  • Rosamund Pike with 30 votes
  • Jennifer Aniston with 20 votes
  • Felicity Jones with 10 votes
  • Julianne Moore with 9 votes
  • Reese Witherspoon with 9 votes
  • Marion Cotillard with 4 votes
Best Actor

  • Benedict Cumberbatch with 25 votes
  • Michael Keaton with 20 votes
  • Eddie Redmayne with 14 votes
  • Steve Carell with 11 votes
  • David Oyelowo with 6 votes
  • Timothy Spall with 6 votes