Not dark enough
by Meagan McMichael
In the new thriller Dark Skies, inexplicable events start to occur in the Barrett family household. The youngest son Sam (Kadan Rockett) begins having nightmares about strange creatures visiting the house. They aren’t really nightmares at all, but are real. Strange events start to pile up as birds crash into all sides of the family’s home and members of the family suddenly lose chunks of time loss. Slowly, each member of the family starts experiencing possession.
When mother Lacy (Keri Russell) finally gets tired of all the unexplained things happening in her house, she does some research to find out what is happening. She learns her family is being visited by aliens. At first, her husband Daniel (Josh Hamilton) doesn’t think they need help but after a couple of arguments, he agrees to find someone to help them. They seek help from a conspiracy theorist and an alien expert and learn that the alien they are dealing with are called the grays. If the family cannot come up with some type of defense, one family member will be abducted. Dark Skies isn’t so much the type of scary movie that will give you nightmares, but is more likely to make you jump out of your seat in suprise. If you like a thriller, you’ll probably like Dark Skies. Grade: B
Playstation 3 vs. Xbox 360
by Kyle Horak
Senior Ryan Cleary shoots the last zombie and continues to the next level of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in zombie mode. He is happy with his game console choice. “I have always had a Playstation, and I think the graphics are way better,” he said. “Also, the online play is free, unlike Xbox where you have to pay money to play online.” With two major choices for serious gameplay, students have strong feelings about the platform they’ve chosen.
As more and more students play video games online, the difference between the free Playstation online play versus Xbox 360’s fee for the same play is one overwhelming reason why so many prefer Playstation. Junior Melanie Sanders, however, said, “I play Xbox 360 because my dad has always had one and also my boyfriend plays, so I just text him and tell him to get online and we play together.” Some students don’t mind paying for online play. Senior Scott Gutherie said, “More of my friends have Xbox, and I will pay to play online because I’m playing with better graphics and controls.”
The choice between these two popular game consoles also depends on the availability of games. Some are available for one console, but not for the other. For example, the Xbox 360 game Gears of War 2 is a huge success among gamers, but it is not available for the PS3. Senior Rayshard Height said, “I like PS3 better because I think they have more exclusive games and those are the games I really like to play. Xbox just doesn’t provide those games.”
Others prefer a system based on its style and presentation. “I memorize the controls better [with Xbox], and the Xbox controller fits your hand way better and is easier to play on,” said senior Tyriva Kirk. “Also, I think that Xbox is prettier with its green color.”
When it comes down to it, people will always have a preference for one game system over another. In choosing one, however, it is important to recognize what aspects of a game console are important to you and what console will match your needs best.
App it up
by Liam Megonigal
Pete’s Picks Editor
After a long day at school, you finally arrive home and are looking forward to an afternoon of relaxation. You plop down on the couch, unlock your phone, but all of your apps are outdated and boring. Need a better way to pass time? There are a slew of new apps that will have you glued to your phone for hours on end.
Temple Run 2
The sequel to Temple Run could not be more successful. It reached 50 million views only 13 days after its release on January 17 and became the fastest growing mobile app in history. Temple Run 2 is similar to the original in that it is a foot race. The sequel features a giant monster chasing you. Imangi Studios added new environments as well, including rivers, rope swings, and rail carts to add a more entertaining edge. With fewer bugs and improved graphics, the new app has a 4.5/5 rating and is very popular. Grade: A
Everybody knows the feeling–you are at the movies and really have to go to the bathroom, but you know the climax will come as soon as you leave. This new app eliminates that dilemma. The app provides information about different moments in various movie that would be ideal to take breaks without missing important scenes. It also gives a synopsis of the first three or so minutes to keep you caught up in case you are running behind. The app even tells whether it is worth sticking around after the credits for any specials. It’s a helpful app that will definitely come in handy next time you go out to the theater. Grade: B+
Sometimes texting gets boring, and you want a new way to communicate quickly with your friends. Snapchat solves this. The app allows you to send photos or videos to your friends. The catch: The received photo or video can only be viewed for ten seconds or less. After that, it can never be opened again. If the person receiving the picture or video takes a screenshot, the app will notify the sender. This new app has spread quickly and there are now over 20 million snaps shared every day. Snapchat is a cool way to share a laugh with your friend by sending embarrassing or funny pictures and videos that can’t be spread any further. Grade: B
In Ruzzle, you challenge friends or a random opponent to see who can come up with more words in two minutes on a four by four set of letters. The words can be formed in any direction as long as the letters connect, and the goal is to beat your opponent in the best of three rounds. Points are determined based on how many letters you use per word, as well as the difficulty of the word. The game was created by MAG Interactive and currently has 20 million users. Ruzzle is a great way to compete with your friends and improve your vocabulary. Grade: A
by Christian Harrison
After months of anticipation, North Beach finally saw the addition of a new Plaza Mexico restaurant on February 4, with the business opening to a line of eager customers. The eatery is owned by the same family that owns the Mexico Restaurant in Huntingtown. Located at 7th and Bay Avenue in North Beach, formerly the location of Thursday’s Bar and Grill, Plaza Mexico has high expectations to live up to.
Anyone who loves the delicious food and beverages at the Mexico Restaurant won’t be disappointed. The menu offers all of the same dishes along with a few additional items. The variety of options will satisfy anyone’s taste, with seafood, chicken, pork, beef and even vegetarian options on the menu. Plaza Mexico is in the perfect location to lure in customers from the nearby boardwalk and beach. There is even an outside dining area, providing customers with the option to eat outside during warmer weather.
The venue has large booths along the wall and tables in the middle to house big parties. The bar is large to accommodate adult parties, but the family and eating area is small and slightly crowded. The interior is decorated with beautiful murals that compliment the Mexican theme throughout the restaurant.
Plaza Mexico has amazing service; the food always arrives quickly, and is warm and fresh. Customers can snack on free chips and salsa which are available at the table during the short wait time. One of the best things about Plaza Mexico is the large portion sizes available at great prices.
From the look of things, Plaza Mexico will be a huge success. County residents are very excited to see this restaurant come to life. So far, this new Mexican restaurant is living up to the high expectations. The delicious food options and affordable prices are only a few of the reasons to give Plaza Mexico a try. Grade: A-
The Rock has the golden snitch
by Kayla Emerson
Special Projects Manager
Dwayne Johnson stars in this action-packed thriller about a father who is willing to go to desperate measures to save his son. After being wrongfully accused of distributing drugs, the teen, Jason, is arrested and sentenced to a ten years in prison under mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Risking the safety of his family and his own life, the father makes a deal with the United States Attorney to become an undercover informant in order to complete the dangerous mission of infiltrating a drug cartel. If his undercover mission leads to an arrest, his son will be set free.
The story line of Snitch was inspired by a Frontline documentary about how changes to the federal drug policy of the United States encouraged the imprisoned to “snitch” on their accomplices about information on drug deals in exchange for reduced time in jail. In the movie, Jason is targeted by the federal government for ill advisedly accepting a package containing a full box of Ecstasy as a favor for a friend. Because Jason refuses to tell on the drug dealer, his prison sentence remains the same. His father, furious with the government’s accusation, is determined to build a major drug bust to get his son out. He puts his life in danger to prove his son’s innocence.
Snitch is full of action, drama, and anticipation. It puts viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next. The movie captures the sense of desperation and sympathy as Johnson’s character is undergoing a life-threatening mission to save his son. The phrase, “Inspired by a true story,” added under the movie title on ads is a ploy to make Snitch more enticing to action-movie lovers, giving it a dramatic depth that the movie properly displays. Although the initial story line of Snitch is generic, the complexity of the characters and the intense action scenes make this movie a must-see. Grade: A-
What’s new with Black Ops 2?
by Alex Guest
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is one of the most anticipated video games of 2012, hitting stores on November 13. Game Stop in Dunkirk hosted a midnight release event for diehard gamers so they could get the game as soon as possible. Junior Erik Larson said, “I had to wait a couple hours in line, but it was definitely worth the wait.” Infinity Ward started the Black Ops franchise, but were busy creating Modern Warfare 3 in recent years, allowing the Treyarch game company to produce the Black Ops series. Within 24 hours of its launch, Black Ops 2 became the biggest launch in video game history, grossing over $500 million dollars.
The players jump back and forth between Black Ops hero Alex Mason in the 1980’s and his son David in 2025. In the campaign mode, the player pursues terrorist leader Raul Menendez through the decades. He is considered the biggest threat to the world since Osama Bin Laden. “The campaign is very good, because you can go back and change your character’s fate so you’re always experiencing something new,” said junior Nick Dege. The storyline has twists and turns that force the player to engage in the fiction of the game and choose his or her own destiny. Surprisingly, the story is complex enough to keep players interested, while being short for an average. For a dedicated gamer it requires about six hours of playing time to conquer it.
Black Ops 2 has an interactive campaign set in hot spot areas like Yemen, Pakistan, Angola, and various middle eastern countries. The game also has an online multiplayer format, and the player can play an abundance of game modes including fast paced death match or strategic search and destroy. The online maps are significantly smaller in size than in the first Black Ops, with very few places to camp and hide from opponents. Kill streaks do not exist in the game anymore, but have been replaced by score streaks. Score streaks come to gamers who work well with their teams.
Another game mode is Zombies, and it isn’t the same as in past games, in which the gamer is stuck in one map. The big addition is Transit, an entertaining but difficult campaign in which the player travels by a fortified bus from one map to the next opening up new areas as you go. “I like the new Transit game mode”, said junior Tyler Brotherton. “It gives the game a new twist that makes it very exciting and it’s never the same, so you don’t know what to expect.” The player has limited time on each mini map or the bus will leave you behind and will not be back for several rounds.
Black Ops has all of the components of a good game from a very exciting storyline to letting you fight off hoards of zombies. This Call of Duty edition is definitely worth the wait.
Breaking Dawn breaks box office records
by Mikey Allen
The fifth and final movie in the Twilight Saga, based on the books by Stephanie Meyer, has swept the country in a blood-sucking frenzy. Breaking Dawn, Part Two has finally brought the vampire lovers and werewolf worshipers together. Bella Swan appeared to be dead in the cliff-hanger ending of Breaking Dawn Part One, but in this movie she comes back from the dead as an ice cold vampire.
The Cullens find themselves in a bad situation when the evil Volturi learns about Edward and Bella’s love child. The future of the child is unknown, and the royal family of vampires don’t want to take any risks of their kind being discovered, so they decide to dispose of the child. Knowing that a fight is coming to protect the child, the Cullens prepare for the worst and seek help from their friends of their kind from around the world. They gather a battalion of unique vampires and even join in an alliance with their rivals, the shape-shifting werewolves.
There are a lot fewer cheesy love scenes (though the film is still chock-full of them) in this installment than in the last. And, there is a lot more action, with an intense battle scene in the end followed by one of the biggest plot twists in film. The new edition is perfect for the typical Twi-hard looking for one last vampire fix. If you are a normal moviegoer, you might think this is a film to avoid, but you might want to rethink that and check it out. Grade: B+
The invasion is back
by Jess Ward
After a group of Koreans invade Spokane, Washington, a group of rebellious teenagers
fight to take back their country. The film, which is a re-make of the 1984 Red Dawn which starred Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, was released on November 21. The new version features Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Conner Cruise, and Jeffery Dean Morgan.
The teens are left stranded in the woods after the invasion kills most of their parents, but luckily Jed (Hemsworth), a US Marine, and is able to teach the others how to fight back. “Wolverines” is the outcasts’ adopted name,after their high school mascot. After months of battling the Koreans on their turf, a few of the teens are killed or left without much hope. The group runs into a Marine Corps Sergeant (Morgan) and two other Marines who aid the Wolverines in forcing the Koreans back to their own country. The ending may leave you heartbroken and ready to cheer on the rebels at the same time. Red Dawn proves a well-done remake and is rated PG-13. Grade: A-
Twitter vs. Instagram
by Liam Megonigal and Dawson Fielding
From the November 9, 2012 edition of The Patriot Press.
When sophomore Nic Leininger gets out of his Cross Country practice at 4:30, the first thing he does is unlock his iPhone and shuffle through the apps to find Twitter. “I like to feel in the loop, and see what my friends are saying,” he said. Over the past few years, Twitter has become one of the largest social networking sites in the world. As of June 2012, Twitter has over 500 million users worldwide, 140 million in the U.S. alone.
Not far behind Twitter is Instagram which joined the list of social networks in October 2010. Unlike most social networks, Instagram consists only of pictures with customized captions rather than posts only containing words. Another difference between Instagram and most other social networks is that it is only available through an application on smartphones, though it is directly linked to Facebook.
Instagram is preferred by some because of the simple interface of quickly scrolling through pictures as opposed to reading through a large number of tweets. “I like how there isn’t as many long stories about people on Instagram and it is just pictures,” said senior Kelly DePaulo. Users also enjoy the ability to personalize and edit their pictures on Instagram. With nothing but picture posts, Instagram creates less of a chance for cyber fights than Twitter. Junior Adam Kratz said, “I like Instagram more than Twitter because there is less drama and cool pictures instead.” Instagram’s popularity has been steadily growing, with a total of 80 million users worldwide.
The fast and easy set up of Twitter makes it more appealing to users that Instagram. “Twitter is more active, and has more posts than Instagram,” said sophomore Ryan Knight. Twitter averages almost 340 million tweets daily compared to 250 million posts on Instagram. However, Twitter’s popularity isn’t the only reason people enjoy it. Junior Shaylah Sullivan likes its funny features and parody accounts like ‘TED’s tweets’. “There is nothing really funny on Instagram,” she said. Twitter is constantly coming out with new updates to keep users interested and satisfied. “I like how the new Twitter lets you customize your profile, and you can upload pictures easier and faster,” said Sullivan. Celebrities and sports announcers’ constant informational updates to their followers are also a factor in the large number of users.
Twitter and Instagram are two convenient ways to stay informed and communicate with friends. Though you may prefer one to the other, both are having an impact on the social media world.
by Stacy Linkins, Kyle Horak and Christian Harrison
From the November 9, 2012 edition of The Patriot Press.
Apple’smarketing strategy can be considered genius. The company, currently worth over $600 billion, has successfully created a system of periodic new releases of its
products to the public, with each new product slightly updated from the previous version. By creating a market group of eager and dedicated costumers, Apple has made bank. The iPhone 5 was released to the United States on September 21 and within the first three days the company had raked in over $5 million in sales. Among the crowds hanging outside of Apple Stores for days waiting for the coveted iPhone 5 were a few students. Opinions on the iPhone 5, however, are a solid mix of positive and negative.
The newly-designed iPhone is easily distinguishable from previous iPhones. One of the most noticeable upgrades is the screen size, which increased from 3.5 to 4 inches. This makes the iPhone 5 more comparable to the Droid, a tough competitor for Apple. Sophomore Brandon Snow said, “I love the new iPhone with its bigger screen. It makes it easier to see and control.” In addition, Apple eliminated an entire layer of their touch screen, making this iPhone even thinner than those in the past. Although this creates a lighter feel for the iPhone 5, the phone is still somewhat bulky due to its increased length. “They’re too big,” said junior Shaylah Sullivan, who has one. “They don’t fit in pockets.”
Another noted improvement is the clarity of the front-facing camera. Apple improved it from a VGA to a 1.2 mexapixel still camera. In other words, the front camera on previous iPhones simply took a still shot of a video, whereas the iPhone 5 camera takes actual pictures. “Compared to the iPhone 4, the camera has improved and makes everything more lifelike,” said senior Danielle Bowman. The iPhone 5 camera also possesses a new Panorama mode, which links multiple photos together into one as you move your phone in a long, horizontal motion. The main camera was also improved.
Apple made several other changes to the new iPhone, one being the new dock connector, dubbed “Lightning” by the company. This unfamiliar connector is 80% smaller than those on previous iPhones, which causes problems for many iPhone users. Senior Maggie Gottlieb stated, “My dad has an iPhone 4, but, because the dock connector is different on my iPhone 5, I can’t use his charger.” Bowman had the same issue. “Now, I can’t go to my friend’s house and charge my phone when I forget my charger because they don’t have the new charger.” Although Apple does include a new charger with the iPhone 5, the phone-to-phone versatility is now limited.
Some other differences between the iPhone 4 and 5 include small nuances in the camera and the microphone/speaker system, an updated Maps app, and the new iOS 6 operating system. Snow said, “The only thing I don’t like about the phone are the maps. I don’t like how they upgraded them.” Apple publicly apologized for glitches in the iPhone 5’s maps software back in September and suggested users download other third-party free apps.
Fortunately, Apple did not raise prices for the iPhone 5. The pricing plan still follows that of the iPhone 4S – $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB, and $399 for the 64GB with a two-year contract. Although the new iPhone 5 model does have some small negatives (size, the change in the dock connector, etc.), Apple makes up for it with great advances in the camera features and the processor, a 1.02GHz dual-core A6 chip. Junior Josh Singshinsuk, who pre-ordered his iPhone 5, said, “It’s the first iPhone that I’ve had. It’s great.”
New TV Shows
From the November 9, 2012 edition of The Patriot Press.
The new T.V. season is here, and we asked members of the Journalism II & III: Broadcasting class, the creaters of WNHS-TV, to take a look.
NBC’s new television series Go On on NBC Tuesday at 9 p.m.is a refreshing addition to the network’s Tuesday comedy lineup. Matthew Perry stars as Ryan King, a brash radio sportscaster dealing with his wife’s recent death. After the effects of his wife’s death start to set in, his performances on the air begin to go down hill. His boss, Steven (John Cho) becomes worried about King and forces him to take part in group therapy. The group, led by charismatic facilitator Lauren Schneider (Lauren Benanti) welcomes Ryan as another troubled comrade. The motley group plays an important role in creating most of the humor on the show with hilarious supporting roles by Suzy Nakamura (Yolanda) and Brett Gelman (Mr. K). The show is a light, yet heartwarming testimony to people who are both mourning and in the process of getting over depression. The show’s ability to relate to the everyday problems people face in life makes this new comedy appealing. The jokes are fresh and always generate smiles. In terms of comedy television these days, this show should Go On for many years. Grade: A –Jenna Hakun, WNHS-TV
Starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as a Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Elementary premiered September 27 on CBS. The show is contemporary, portraying the eccentric Holmes as a recovering drug addict paired with Dr. Joan Watson as his “sober companion.” Holmes’ impossible intellect and extraordinary attention to detail allow him to use logical deduction to solve crimes that are not what they first appear. In the first episode, Holmes is requested by the NYPD to consult on a crime scene where there has been an obvious struggle, but no body. Utilizing an incredible photographic memory, Holmes draws distinctions between crime scenes in recent photographs and the present crime scene to locate the body in a safe room revealed by a hidden switch. In the second episode, Holmes connects the first murder to another murder occurring shortly after by examining the victim’s facial structure and connecting the two deceased as previously unknown half-brother and half-sister. The intriguing parallels drawn by Holmes and the entertaining dynamic between Holmes and Watson make for a likeable show with great potential to earn a second season. Elementary airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. Grade: A –Jacob Horn
Vegas, the top rated new show of the season, is a suspenseful drama inspired by the true story of a Las Vegas Sheriff/Rancher working to return Las Vegas to peace back in the early 1960’s. Las Vegas is emerging as a gambling and entertainment mecca. Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quade) wants his ranch to be undisturbed by the crazy happenings in Vegas, now swelling with corruption as the mafia takes over. He is asked to look into the murder of a casino worker. Taking on this duty, Lamb runs into Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis), a tough Chicago gangster who wants to make Vegas his own. Assisting Lamb are his two deputies, his brother Jack and his impulsive son, Dixon. The curious assistant district attorney, Katherine O’Connell, who grew up on a ranch near Lamb, lends a hand in keeping the peace. In the series, Lamb and Savino are engaged in a battle for control of the crazy city. For both there is no turning back. The show airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Grade: B+ –Morgan Lang
The Neighbors on ABC stars Lennie Venito and Jamie Gertz as a couple who encounter a clan of aliens who buy a whole community on earth to live in. Not knowing what they are getting into, the human family realizes that they are not surrounded by normal people and begin to experience cultural differences with the aliens. Although The Neighbors is supposed to be a comedy, the show really is not all that funny. Airing on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. along with shows like The Middle and Modern Family, The Neighbors definitely falls short. Although some concepts are amusing at first, like the fact that the alien neighbors are all named after famous sports stars, the rest gets old very fast. If you are looking for a new sitcom to make you laugh on these chilly, fall nights The Neighbors is not for you. Grade: C- –Emily Armiger
For reviews of more T.V. shows by members of the WNHS-TV staff, visit The Patriot Press Online at http://patriotpress.edublogs.org.
Neon Trees tell new stories in Picture Show
by Trevor Feinberg
from the May 10, 2012 issue of The Patriot Press
The Utah based, alternative rock band, Neon Trees released their new album, Picture Show on April 17th. All of you who remember this band’s 2010 hit “Animal”, will find much to appreciate with this album. It lstarts off very strong with half a dozen songs that are bound to get you moving, leading off with the upbeat “Moving In The Dark” and following with the crisply propulsive “Teenage Sounds.” The second half of the album slows things down a bit with songs such as “Still Young” and “Close To You.” Another plus to the this album is that there are eleven songs ranter then the measly eight on their last.
The album’s main fault is ultimately it’s repetitiveness, namely the fact that it basically runs at one speed. However, this album defiantly has a few very good hooks that are bound to become commonly heard on the radio sooner or later. Overall, “Picture Show” is a fairly strong album and definitely has the potential to stand out in the alternative music scene. Grade: B
Mraz’s Love is a five star disk
by Kelly Jensen
from the May 10, 2012 issue of The Patriot Press
Jason Mraz released his fourth album, Love is a Four Letter Word, on April 17. Mraz is more laid back then ever and is obviously opening up his heart to love. He shows many differnt styles of music on this album, including jazz and reggae. It’s safe to say that this is his best album yet and he’s on his way to the top!
Mraz expresses seems to want to just go with the flow and have fun with life. He shows off his happy-go-lucky side in songs like “Everything is Sound” and “Living in the Moment.” It’s hard not to be happy listening to this CD. Mraz is definitely sending off some great vibes.
Whoever all of these love songs were written to is one lucky girl. In “The Woman I Love” he talks about how no matter what, “I’m gonna love you, like the woman I love.” He has some great pick up lines built into his music that would win any girl’s heart. He starts off the song, “I Won’t GIve Up” with, “When I look into your eyes, it’s like watching the night sky. Or a beautiful sunrise. There’s so much they hold,” in a voice that gives you the chills. This song has become a huge hit playing on radio.
It’s no surprise that Mraz has produced yet another great album. He is a very talented songwriter and musician. Great things are expected from him in the future. Grade: A+
Think like a winner
by Zac Brown
Pete’s Picks Editor
from the May 10, 2012 issue of The Patriot Press
Think Like a Man is based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book designed to help women understand how the man’s brain works. In the film version, four men are blind-sided when their wives emotions are stirred up by the concepts in Harvey’s book.
The cast, including Harvey, Kevin Hart, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, and many others, are all lively and energetic. These underrated actors and actresses get the chance to show America that they belong in the big leagues. This movie is incredibly hilarious, and comedian Hart’s character, Cedric, has the audience laughing from beginning to the end. Even though the movie is a comedy, it shows its romantic side with a heartwarming storyline and then plays with the audience’s soft side. The men aren’t portrayed as guys who are weak and incompetent, but strong and confident in themselves. One point that is handled well in the film is the fact that they added multi racial couples, bringing diversity to the film.
The movie makes the audience think about what defines the values of a relationship and the qualities that can make it rich and strong. The only thing you won’t like is the fact that the movie is an emotional roller coaste. By the end of the movie, however, you will feel joy from the love expressed between these couples. Grade: A
You’d be a Lucky One to see this movie
by Justin Taylor
from the May 10, 2012 issue of The Patriot Press
Nicholas Sparks does it again with another heartwarming tale about love, tragedy, and true happiness. In the movie The Lucky One, Logan Thibault, played by Zac Efron, is a marine in the U.S. military fighting in the war in Afghanistan. While overseas, he finds a picture lying in the rubble. He goes to pick up the photo, flips it over and finds writing on the back that says, “Keep Safe.” Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bomb hits the spot where he was just standing. He believes the photo is a miracle that saved his life. Going home, Logan becomes determined to find the woman in the picture and thank her for saving his life. He goes on a journey of self discovery and along the way gains true love.
Though the acting is a little slow and The Lucky One jumps around a bit, it is still easy to follow the story which will make you want to see what’s in store for this marine. The downside to this movie is that while it appeals to the female audience, not many guys will want to sit and watch. The few war scenes may attract the male crowd but they don’t last long enough to keep the audience hooked. This is a chick flick that will have girls going crazy over Zac Efron and his search for his guardian angel. Grade: A
The One Direction this band is headed is up the charts.
by Kelly Jensen
from the April 18, 2012 issue of The Patriot Press
“Baby, you light up my world like nobody else. The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed, but when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell. You don’t know, oh-oh, you don’t know–you’re beautiful!’ That is the catchy, well known chorus of British-Irish boy band One Direction’s smash hit, “What Makes You Beautiful.”
The five man group rocketed to stardom after a third place finish on season seven of U.K.’s talent competition, The X Factor. Thier debut album brings back the teeny-bopper style hits we used to love from previously successfull boy bands like N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. In fact, “What Makes You Beautiful” was written by Carl Dalk and Rami Yacoub who worked with Britney Spears on Baby One More Time, an equally catchy tune that helped launch Spears into her incredibly successful music career.
One Direction has already reached celebrity status in the UK where their popular single hit number one, and now the craze has spread to the United States. Their album Up All Night debuted at number one on the U.S.Billboard 200. The reason is apparent–with 13 songs focusing on being young, having fun and teen relationships, the upbeat music is relatable and easily gets stuck in your head. Only time will tell if One Direction has what it takes to stay on the minds and in the hearts of teenage girls, but their music is surely good enough to stick around for the time being. Grade: A-
The odds are ever in your favor
by Stephanie Dowell
from the April 18, 2012 issue of The Patriot Press
Junior Noah Most reads the school assigned novel for English, and as he’s reading he loses interest quickly and switches books. Most picks up the first in the series of the extraordinarily popular trilogy The Hunger Games. As he’s reading, Most becomes entranced in the ever-changing storyline. “I like the series for the twist in the plot and it keeps you on your heels,” said Most. The series leads you into a world of war, friendship, and love and takes you on a journey to discover the possible future.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins takes place in the future when the world has recently circum to war and wants to maintain peace. The country Panem, which was once the United States, is separated into 12 districts, like states, and each has its own specialty. To maintain the peace in the country, Panem holds an annual event where two teens (a boy and a girl) from each district are picked to participate in the Hunger Games where they will fight to the death until one person is left standing and is claimed the winner. They do this in hopes to scare the people of Panem so that no one rebels against the Capitol. The Hunger Games is broadcasted to the whole country and is mandatory to watch.
Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, volunteers to be a tribute in her sister’s place after her younger sister is chosen for the Hunger Games. A boy named Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson, is also chosen. They are then sent away to the capital where they meet all of the tributes and train for the event in hopes that they will be the one to emerge victorious.
There has been much talk about the books and great eagerness for the movies. The books’ popularity grew through word of mouth, as well as through the media, giving people a reason to try out this series. “People kept talking about them, and I heard they were really good, so I decided to try to read them and, once I started, I couldn’t stop,” said alumni Lindsey Mysior.
The Hunger Games is well on its way to being the next big teen sensation and is being compared to that of the Twilight Saga and the Harry Potter series, but let it be known that this trilogy is superior in comparison. “The Hunger Games is written better, it is much more violent and political, and the heroine of Hunger Games is most definitely not the useless chick Bella Swan is,” said senior Allegra Moran.
The success of the books is easy to understand, being that it’s simple to follow and effortless to read. There’s no confusing story line or complicated characters to keep up with. “I knew I had to read it. They are really good books, you can’t put them down,” said sophomore Nathan Stern. Mysior also favored the books unpretentious structure. “I read all three books within a week, and I want to read all of them again,” she added.
The trilogy comes with a strong female lead that is tough and brave. Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old girl, is not a hopeless romantic who waits to be saved and looks to fall in love. Her purpose it to win and to keep her family and friends safe. “Katniss, even though she whines and cries, she can still kick some butt and is not afraid to fight to stay alive,” said freshman Matt Kinneer.
The realism that comes with the books are far more captivating than sparkling vampires and wizards flying around on brooms. “Hunger Games isn’t as corny or mushy as Twilight, and it is more realistic than Harry Potter,” said senior Mekleet Faltamo. Most added, “I prefer the hunger games for the shocking reality of a future situation that could happen if the world crumbled.”
Though the Harry Potter movies are finished and Twilight is coming to an end as well, The Hunger Games can keep everyone satisfied and thrilled for the movie releases. The trilogy comes with action, adventure, and a little bit of romance, providing entertainment for everyone of different ages and social groups. “I liked the meanings behind the The Hunger Games a lot, and some of the characters were as well developed in the three books of that series as some were in the seven books of Harry Potter,” said senior Anna Elkins.
It’s Pink Friday, Pink Friday, gotta get down on Pink Friday.
by Zac Brown
Pete’s Picks Editor
The Barbie is back! Nicki Minaj released her newest album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded on April 3rd. This album has gotten a lot of attention since its release date with the hit singles “Starships” and “Turn Me On”. Ripping through clubs all over the world, these songs have become very popular. As a result, the album Pink Friday sold over 375,000 copies in its first week. Minaj’s album has gotten so much publicity that she was given the chance to perform one of her hit singles, “Roman Holiday” at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
The album opens with a burst of energy with single “Roman Holiday”, an upbeat song that starts the album off well. Other songs on the album include “Beez in the Trap”, “Roman Reloaded”, and “Whip it”. Throughout the album the songs are uptempo and a lot of fun. It keeps you on your feet and it puts you in the mood to dance. The songs aren’t too long and they all keep the same pace throughout the whole album so you won’t be switching back and forth between tracks. The album also features other big artist such as Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Chris Brown and many more. This album is definitely a must get.
Some Nights drags on until the Fun is gone.
by Chris Baxa
from the March 12, 2012 issue of The Patriot Press
Fun, a rising young band, released their biggest album to date, Some Nights last month. This album has received a lot of attention since features the band’s hit single “We Are Young.” The song has been playing in commercials for the new Chevrolet Sonic that debuted during The Super Bowl. Fun have also received a lot of publicity since the single and this album dropped, playing live on TBS’s Conan then being interviewed the next morning on VH1’s The Buzz. USA Today called Some Nights a “Massive singalong chorus”.
As for the Album, it opens with an intro that slowly brings you into the upbeat chorus of the song “Some Nights.” The disk’s, pardon us, “fun” songs include “Some Nights,” “It Gets Better,” and of course, “We are Young.” The album’s inconsist mix of upbeat songs and slow songs really throws you off. The album starts out fast pace and fun, then slows down until “We are Young.” The songs themselves are very long, most over four minutes, and drag on. Grade: B-