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.