Category: Arts & Entertainment

Movie Review: Spenser Confidential

By Kevin Barry

Staff Writer

Spenser Confidential (based on the Ace Atkins novel “Wonderland”) came out on Netflix during the start of the lockdown (March 6th, 2020). Reaching 85 million households, Spenser Confidential was one of the biggest hits of early quarantine. Among many others, Mark Whalberg, Winston Duke, Iliza Shlesinger, and even Post Malone play key roles in the movie. The film revolves around Boston’s own Mark Whalberg who plays a Boston ex-police officer with a strong moral compass and a bad temper. The film’s an action movie that revolves around crime, but there’s a ton of funny moments in it (compliments to Mark Whalberg). 

In the beginning, Spenser has reason to believe his boss was a dirty cop, and when he went to his house early on a Sunday morning he found a drunk boss and a wife with bruises. With a strong moral sense and some unresolved anger issues, Spenser throws his boss on the ground, throwing punch after punch until his partner throws him off. 

That little act lands him 5 years in prison; it cuts to Spenser’s last day in Prison, when the other prisoners give him a goodbye present. By goodbye present I mean they jumped him, or tried to at least, as being a cop he got the jump on them and didn’t get badly hurt. Whalberg in this scene played himself, being cocky, funny, and the underdog all at once.

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Erased: A Town Without Me

By Joseph Gray IV

Staff Writer

Erased Is One of the BEST Live Action Manga Adaptations | CBR

Erased (Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi) is originally a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Kei Sonbe from 2012 to 2014. In 2016, Erased was given an anime adaption that only lasted 1 season that held 12 episodes, but was completely finished. Netflix released a live-action adaptation in 2017 that was screen written by Tonomi Okubo, but live-action adaptations have a horrible reputation for butchering the material. Erased is a mystery, Sci-Fi thriller that takes place in 2007 and 1988 in beautiful Industrial Hokkaido, Japan from the perspective of Satoru Fujinuma (Played by Yuki Furukawa).

Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old failing manga artist who cannot seem to catch a break, his projects always being rejected all the while he works a dead-end job as a pizza delivery driver. Satoru is very reserved and almost complacent, having no real goals in life. An unwanted and uncontrollable ability suddenly comes into Satoru’s possession, time travel, or as it’s referred to as, “Revival.” Revival occurs whenever something bad happens around Satoru, sending him back randomly 1 to 5 minutes until he fixes it, usually with no benefit to him, and his possible injury. After an accident seen by his co-worker, Airi Katagiri (Played by Kasumi Arinuma), Satoru’s Mother visits Tokyo from Satoru’s home region of Hokkaido to take care of him.

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Movie Theater’s Reopening & Summer Movie Releases

By Bella Kaguyutan 

Staff Writer

Theaters and Covid-19: Safety tips and guidelines - CNN

Source: CNN

The past year has been a bit of a movie drought. There is typically nothing to watch with a few interesting releases here and there. But these releases are brought to us through a new method of initially releasing onto streaming services. Production companies have tested putting their movies out onto streaming services for their initial release. 

Movie theatres have begun to reopen as more and more of the population becomes vaccinated. With this is a program called Cinema Safe. This program promotes guidelines and precautions that are recommended to keep the movie theatre’s patrons and staff safe. These guidelines involve air filtration, reduced capacity, mobile ticketing, and the typical mask wearing and social distancing that we have come accustomed too. As restrictions have been lifted just in time for summer releases the following list contains movie releases spanning from June 15th to August 30th.

 Lakefront movie nights will begin at Lake Kittamaqundi June 21st. Visit the Columbia Association’s website for more information.

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Movie Review

By Isabel Sinnott

A&E Editor

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a new TV series in the Marvel Universe, the second of a set of three TV shows to be released in 2021, with WandaVision premiering back in January and the Loki show coming on June 9. There will be mild spoilers for the beginning of the show present in this article.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier focuses on Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), the Falcon, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the Winter Soldier, as they try to find their place as heroes in a post-Endgame world. With the death of Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Sam was given the shield to become the new Captain America, but chose to give it back to the government. He didn’t feel like he should be the one to hold the shield and despite Steve’s belief in him, didn’t think that he could measure up to Steve’s legacy. However, even though the government seemed to respect Sam’s decision to leave the mantle of Captain America behind, they soon gave it to John Walker, a soldier who had fought in the army.

In the first episode, the situations of each of the main characters are introduced; Bucky is going to therapy to try to deal with his past as the Winter Soldier and make amends, while Sam is working missions and trying to help his sister with their family situation. The first episode sets up the foundation for the story and by the second episode, they reunite to work together when a violent organization called the Flag Smashers emerges.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League: A Movie Review

By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Zack Snyder's Justice League review: "A fascinating, flawed climax to  Snyder's grand DC experiment" | GamesRadar+

Image Source:

Where to Watch: HBO Max

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a reimagining of the 2017 film Justice League. Back in 2017, Snyder had written the entire script and directed before stepping away due to personal reasons. Warner Bros. then hired a new director to take over, Joss Whedon, who ended up taking the film in a completely different direction and using little of Snyder’s original footage. The movie ended up being a major flop in the eyes of movie goers everywhere and earned around $657 million at the box office, which was pretty awful considering the fact that the movie cost more to produce. 

For years, the studio refused to admit that there even was a Snyder Cut while fans and cast members called for the version to be released. In March 2020, three years after the initial release of Justice League, Snyder was finally able to announce the release of his version of Justice League which would later arrive on HBO Max.

This movie is a follow- up to Snyder’s 2016 Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice film, which in short, includes Batman and Wonder Woman facing off with Superman. But in this sequel, Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead while Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) are looking for heroes to fight alongside them. Their team ends up including the Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).

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Barbie In The Twelve Dancing Princesses Movie Review

By Lydia Jensen

Co-Editorials Editor 

Image Source: Mattel & Mainframe Entertainment

Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, directed by Greg Richardson and with music performed by the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, is an animated movie that was released in 2006. Starring Barbie (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) as Genevieve, the story (based on “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” by The Brothers Grimm), follows the lives of twelve royal sisters, each of whom love to dance. Within the castle they live in, they are seen as very rambunctious, and as they get older, it begins to cause problems for their widowed father, King Randolph (voiced by Christopher Gaze). 

The princesses, keeping the memory of their mother, share a love of ballet shoes and music, while still retaining their individuality and unique senses of style. This begins to change, however, when they are met with their fathers cousin, Rowena (voiced by Catherine O’Hara), who seeks to destroy their individuality by turning them into what she believes are perfect princesses. 

Barbie movies are criminally underrated. The use of Barbie as a main character in each movie is certainly the main factor of this, but there’s also a general societal notion that shows and movies directed towards kids or with that demographic in mind are below criticism, or not to be taken seriously. But with the rise of Gen-Z nostalgia that can be seen on Tik-Tok, youtube, and in memes in general, people need to start realizing that even shows like The Backyardigans, (a toddler-children’s tv show that aired on Nickelodeon), can introduce kids to anything from different styles of music to interesting character archetypes each episode, and their exposure to meaningful plots and quality driven dialogue and music can impact the way those generations of kids approach not only culture and their own relationship to the world around them, but life in general. 

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Lights! Camera! Con-Artist! Great Pretender Anime Review

By Allison Diaz

Staff Writer 

Great Pretender Online Zdarma CZ [Dabing&Titulky] HD | Cartoon online,  Photo book, Watch cartoons

Konichiwa! Hello! Ni- Hao! Bonjour! Travel the world with the international confidence men who play “robin hood” with the world as their stage. Great Pretender, a Japanese original crime comedy anime that was written by Ryōta Kosawa, directed by Hiro Kaburagi, and animated by Wit Studio, who is known for Attack on Titan, Vinland saga, and Seraph of the End.  

The anime follows the self-proclaimed, “Japanese World Swindler,” Makoto Edamura who tries to swindle an elite Confidence man, known as Laurent Theirry. Ironically, the “Japanese World Swindler” gets swindled instead–but into something bigger, something that is far more dangerous and risky.

 The first season consists of 14 episodes, which are divided into three cases, Case 1: Los Angeles Connection, Case 2: Singapore Sky, and Case 3: Snow of London. Each case is a unique heist in which the international con-artists attempt to take down an ill-minded person with power. As you watch the anime, you’ll slowly figure out that in each case, the backstories of each main character, Edamura, Laurent, Abbie, and Cynthia, are explained. The last case, Case 4: Wizard of Far East, takes place in season 2 and consists of 9 episodes. 

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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Video Game Review

By Leaana Khan 

Co-Editorials Editor 

Image Source: USgamer

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a real-time strategy RPG developed by Vanillaware and published by Atlus for the Playstation 4. It was released in Japan in November 2019 and got a global release in September 2020. The game is split into a side-scrolling visual novel type segment and real-time strategy battles. The game centers around thirteen highschool students in 1980s Japan fighting in mechas called Sentinels in a sci-fi style war against robots known as Kaiju. 

While this initial description may sound a bit lame and unoriginal, the mechanics of the game and the plot keep the story interesting with things like time-travel and branching storylines that already took place in the past. After the prologue, the story starts off a bit tame and full of classic slice-of-life anime tropes, but it slowly escalates into one of the most convoluted but well thought out plots I’ve ever seen in a video game.

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Magical World of Mamma Mia!

The Best Summer Musical

By Gabrielle Fernandez

Staff Writer 

Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures

The iconic dancing queen movie of 2008, Mamma Mia!, will sing and dance it’s way into your heart like no other film will. Starring incredible actors like Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, and more it is a movie you will never forget. 

All the way in Greece is where the movie was shot and took place in, specifically on a fictional Island called Kalokairi in 1999. Mamma Mia! Is categorized as a musical romance comedy, a very light hearted but heart felt film that is magical entertainment for all ages.

On a small resort island in Greece, Donna, a single mother, is planning a luxurious wedding for her daughter Sophie and her fiance Sky, who are due to marry in a few days. Sophie, the mischievous bride, has wanted to know the story of her dad and who he is her whole life. Finding three potential father figures from her mother’s past, she invites all three to her wedding in hopes to find which one is her real father in order to be walked down the aisle during her big white wedding. Donna, unbeknownst to their presence on the Island, eventually finds all her past lovers in her old goat shed where all the drama begins. 

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A Final Update of Hammond Performances and Showcases

The Expected Releases from the Performing Arts Department This Spring

By Isabel Sinnott

A&E Editor

“Miss Gender” logo from the play written by Keche Arrington and set to be performed by the Hammond theatre department

As the 2020-2021 school year draws to a close, the arts department at Hammond has started to work on a few final performances and showcases. The theatre, dance and music programs have all worked on different performances and acts throughout the second semester, and as there is just about a month left before seniors leave, and a month and a half until the end of the year, the various performances should soon be released to the rest of the school.

The theatre department has several different shows in progress, the first being Miss Gender, which has started being recorded and is planned to be released on May 17. Miss Gender is a fun play that stars senior Avery Moe in the lead role of Lou and has a strong 14 person cast, and has been in the works for several months by students in ITS and the rest of the theatre department, with a trailer set to be released in the next few days.

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