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Arts & Entertainment

It's the “endgame” for some iconic Marvel casts

By: Nikko Dul

 

     The new upcoming movie “Avengers Endgame” is what people of all ages are excited about to see, after “Avengers Infinity War” left us with questions and mixed emotions. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the last film yet it left many of us with broken hearts due to the death of some of our favorite characters.

In this upcoming installment we all hope to see our favorite characters come back to make another appearance, but for a few it may be their last appearance in the Marvel Comics world.

Marvel has had a small opening for people to purchase tickets for an early access viewing of the movie, with a run time of three hours long. It sounds like this movie will be the final installment due to some of these cast members, most Notably is Chris Evans who portrays Steve Rogers or what most of us know him by as, Captain America. Evans tweeted out that, “Avengers Endgame will be his last and final film as Captain America as he will hang up his mantel”.

There are other Marvel movies coming out within the Marvel universe that may have Evans appear, since they shot the film before filming for Endgame.

Another fun fact about this upcoming movie is that Stan Lee has his final cameo after his death on November 12, 2018, which left fans heartbroken. Stan Lee created most of these Marvel comics; formed into movies, and his little appearances in all the movies always left fans with a smile on their faces.

As Marvel closes of the series with Endgame they gave a very emotional ending which may have something to do with the first movie of this series, for an 11-year series starting with Iron Man and ending with all the Avengers together. If I were to recommend any non-Marvel fan to watch the whole series, I would. The movies will make you remember your childhood and leave you with a smile after all the movies.

“More than Blue” shows how we should love people in our lives.

By: Krystal 

Two main characters in “More Than Blue” love each other in a way that no one can understand except for them, and they wish the best for each other even when life gets hard.   By: Hoie Li

 

  “More than Blue” is a movie that recently came out in Taiwan on March 15 2019, and directed by Gavin Lin.

            The two main characters, K and Cream, knew each other when they were in  high school. Both of them lost their families in accidents and disease. They decided to live with each other as friends, since they had no family.

             K knows that he has the same disease as his father, but he decides to hide it. He always felt lonely. He wants family’s love and he doesn’t want to leave Cream because he knows how bad the feeling of abandonment is. K wants Cream to have a wonderful life. He knows, though, that he can’t give her a good life, so he tries to help Cream find a good man to married to. Although K thinks that this is the right way to provide for Cream, it actually makes Cream feel upset.

             The reason why I like this movie is because it’s very realistic. People in life don’t feel naturally comfortable talking to each other. We’re scared to feel hurt and we don’t want to hurt people. We always think that the ways that we solve problems are right, but actually they might be childish and unthoughtful.

              We always learn new things everyday from different experiences. Love is hard to tell because you don’t know if what you are doing it’s wrong or right. Life is full of strangeness and disease. Nobody wants to see bad things happen. We don’t want to wonder, we want to experience life for ourselves.

           “If love can be explained using language, then nobody will get hurt in this world.” Of course, not everyone knows how to love, and not everyone understands your love, just like how I didn’t fully understand K’s love when I watched the movie. I think the best memories in our lives are of loving each other, and fulfilling each other’s promises.

                   We should not try to hide and run away from weird stuff. We should learn to thank all the things around us. We should tell people that we love them. It doesn’t matter if they’re family, friends, or others. Angels can teach you how to love, but evil can teach you how to protect yourself. Speak yourself is the best way to prove that you love people. For example, mom always tell kids to be independent, teachers always teach kids to be open mind. Everyone is using their way to telling people how to being a good person.  

            Mistakes prove that we are trying, but time won’t stop, and wait for everyone. Love is a beautiful thing. Life is full of little moments that are ove from little things, which will make your day. In the movie, K and Cream feel happy because they can eat dinner together. However, I ask myself. Why don’t we just make life be easier, and use smiling instead of crying.

“More Than Blue” teaches us about ourselves and is a very interesting, fun movie to watch.

“Beychella 2018” unfolds how a creative vision became a cultural development

By: Jael Bryant

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter performing at the Super Bowl Halftime show in 2013 earlier.

     “Beychella 2018” unfolds how a creative vision became a cultural development

     After watching “Homecoming” the only word that I could say was “Wow.” Even though the performance shown in Beyoncé Carter-Knowles “Homecoming” was from a year ago, Beyoncé never fails to impress.

The movie premiered on Netflix on April 19, 2019, and was directed and produced by Beyoncé herself. The two hour and 17 minute documentary reveals how a cultural movement, being as African Americans coming together as one was turned into an artistic vision. The film includes background singers, male and female dancers, an orchestra, and a live marching band. She includes a compilation of the songs throughout her career with epic choreography. Sis went full out!

The documentary conveys culture, diversity, and aesthetic perception.  Beyoncé goes through the steps she took to get to the show that she wanted to perform. These extensive steps included eight months of mapping out how she wanted the presentation to feel for the audience; picking her performers, designing the costumes, and getting the show to finally come together. She wanted everything to be perfect for the audience to see the show exactly how she had envisioned it in her head.

“Homecoming” is way deeper than just Beyoncé singing a couple songs and having some dancers in the back. Coachella 2018 was the first Coachella event that invited an African American woman to perform on stage. She took this invitation to thank all the people who came before her to give her the opportunity to do this. Beyoncé also wanted this inspiring performance to show the generation that is coming after, to tell them, “You can do it too!”  Finally, she wanted everyone that has done something for their community to feel like they were up on that stage too.

Personally, I thought that the movie was amazing and really inspirational. At the end of it, it really inspired me to go clean up some leaves and sing Kumbaya. My favorite part of the Netflix premiere was that her husband Jay-Z, her sister Solange Knowles, and her old group “Destiny’s Child” made an appearance. I feel like it was a great addition to the performance and it went really well. Another thing I loved about the performance was her wardrobe changes, her different outfits were amazing.

All in all, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter proved that she is back. This uplifting performance showcases her true talents and what she does besides dancing and singing.

“The Division 2” is an exciting and engaging game

By: Jonathan Chan

Player takes cover from enemy fire.  By: Jonathan Chan

     “The Division 2”, a game that would take a player more than 50 hours to complete, is the definition of fun and engaging. Expansions for the game have been announced and are in development making improvements from the previous games in the series and also introducing new captivating features. The game’s graphics are extremely realistic to the point where even the smallest of details can be found. To add to that, it encourages cooperative (co-op) play making gaming with friends very enjoyable.

“The Division 2”, made by the video game company Ubisoft, came out around March of 2019 and is available of many gaming platforms. The game is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) which means that many other people coexist within the same world as the player. People would label this game as a “looter shooter” which means that aside from the main story, the goal would be to acquire better gear as the player progressed.

“The Division 2” is about how a mysterious person releases a disease worse than smallpox upon the citizens of the United States killing most of the population. This leads to the criminals who were locked up in prison or in hiding to rise up and claim the country. Since this game takes place in Washington DC, many different criminal factions rule the city and terrorize the citizens that survive the disease. The Division Agents who the player takes control of, are sleeper agents meant to enforce law and order during the times of a national disaster. They are given the latest military tech and weapons to fight the opposing criminal factions.

The criminal factions include the “Hyenas”, “True Sons”, “Outcasts”, and “Black Tusks”. The first criminal faction the players encounter are the “Hyenas”, a loosely organized gang of raiders who prey on struggling civilians through violence and intimidation. They use traditional firearms and nonconventional weapons such as baseball bats, Molotov cocktails, and trash can lids. The “True Sons” are a group of paramilitary warlords that use their overwhelming firepower and combat experience to claim the city. The “Outcasts” are angered survivors who were put into forced quarantine and are now bent on exacting revenge on the people who imprisoned them and the society that stood by and did nothing about it. Their leaders believe that punishing the guilty through spreading sickness and killing indiscriminately is the way. Lastly, The “Black Tusks” is a private military organization (PMC) with an unknown agenda. They are well trained and have technology that rivals the government.  

The gameplay for “The Division 2” can escalate from casually shooting at enemies without thinking to sitting on the edge of your seat strategically moving your player around without taking too much damage from your opponent. Unlike other shooting games where the player has a sense of immunity to bullets, it punishes the player if they stay out of cover for too long. In the beginning, the player starts out with low damage weapons and slowly make their way up to more and more powerful weapons. The game provides the player with a large array of weapons like handguns, sniper rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, light machine-guns, rifles, and more. The game has a system where each item has its own rarity. It starts at common, uncommon, rare, legendary, high-end, and exotic. Common would be the lowest tier and exotic would be the highest tier.

“The Division 2” rewards the players well at the end of every boss fight. All of the loot received from them are randomly generated meaning sometimes someone finds a piece of armor and another time someone finds a new gun. The amount of satisfaction when you find the item you’ve been looking can be compared to finding a 50 dollar bill on the floor.

The game does have it’s own problems though. For instance, a large number of enemies can spawn near the player and it would result in an unfair death. Another problem I’ve encountered was that sometimes, dead enemies would stand back up in a “T-pose”. Other than that, the game was pretty polished. I’m actually glad that “Ubisoft” put out a game that worked well on day one of release.

“Us” is a scary movie that is going to stay on top for awhile.

By: David Huang

The right is Wilson and the left is Red that is from the underground.

     “Us” follows an African American family, the Wilson’s, who take a nightmare-like vacation to Santa Cruz. One night, a group of assailants show up at the Wilson’s vacation home. The Wilson’s then find out that they are faced against the “underground” versions of themselves.

One of the reasons that “Us” is a stellar movie can be seen in it’s displays of  straightforward scares unlike other movies. Although there are still some jumpscares that draw you into the darkness of the movie even more, it is much bloodier and may frighten you much earlier. There are some funny scenes like characters making jokes, weird faces, and saying lines with funny pronunciations that makes the audience laugh.

Another main factor of why I like the film is that the cast is made up of fantastic actors. While I was watching “Us”, I noticed that everyone had such different and strong personalities. I liked how Adelaide, the female lead, plays two characters at the same time in ”Us”. She plays the good side of Adelaide, and the bad side of Red. I also appreciated her empathetic and protective side when it came to her family.

However, a lot of people say that when director Jordan Peele came up the storylines for “Us”, they were not good. Many people did not understand the end of the movie and felt like Peele was in a hurry to finish his storylines. But I think that Peele wants us, the audience, to find the secret at the end of the movie that makes the most sense to us as individuals.

“Us” is for you if you are a fan of jump scares, blood, backstories, and humor filled movies. If you do decide to watch it, I swear it will not be a waste of your time.

“Shazam!” is the most entertaining DC superhero movie

By: Zhigang Lin

     “Shazam!” is a fantasy/science fiction movie that was released on April 5th, 2019. It is  based on the DC comics character of the same name. It is the seventh movie made that takes place in the DC extended universe, which means all the stories from DCEU superhero movies are happening in this universe. Directed by David F. Sandberg, it stars Zachary Levi as Billy Batson and Mark Strong as Thaddeus Sivana.

“Shazam!” follows the life of Billy Batson, a foster kid who is placed in a group home with five other kids. When Billy is chased into a subway by bullies, an ancient wizard named Shazam is summoned. The wizard names Billy champion because of his “pure heart”, which causes Billy to turn into an adult superhero. Meanwhile, Sivanna, the antagonist, steals the Eye of Sin and comes back to Earth with evil powers. Through a series of challenges, Billy Batson is able to control his superpower. Sivanna comes to Billy, forcing him to give up the Shazam power.

Shazam, also known as Captain Marvel, is an original comic series by DC comics created in 1939. This comic series was very popular back in the day, even outselling Superman!   Every time Billy Batson says “Shazam!”, he turns into an adult superhero!

The magic word “Shazam!” is an acronym containing six immortal elders: Wisdom of Solomon, Strength of Hercules, Stainma of Atlas, Power of Zeus, Courage of Achilles and Speed of Mercury.  

DC made a huge stylistic change in this movie. Common characteristics of previous DC superhero movies are dark and serious, and they usually discuss humanity. This movie, however, was more comedic than serious. The protagonist, Billy Batson, is a teenager but turns into adult superhero. This contradiction of a teenager’s soul in an adult body created a lot of funny scenes. Unlike other superheroes who use their superpowers to save the world, Billy uses his as a way to chase money and fame. It is funny when a powerful adult superhero acts like a child, using his powers to make videos to post on the internet.

The film "Shazam!" portrays the process of Billy Batson turning into Shazam very delicately. Starting with Billy Batson’s fight for his friend Freddy, his teaming up with his friends to defeat Dr. Sivana, the panic he experienced when he gained the power of Shazam, the fear of bearing the hero's responsibility, and the pain of being rejected by his mother, the topic of growth has become the theme that "Shazam!" can't escape. The theme of growth is a classic theme in many movies. When Shazam first meets Dr. Sivana, Shazam (Billy) chooses to escape, and transforms back into Billy. This is the part in the film that I think is most worth thinking about. When we are kids, we all look forward to adult life. But when we grow up one day and become adults, we miss our childhoods. The film uses such a plot to insinuate a metaphor for our dislocation.

Overall, I think “Shazam!” is a great movie. I definitely recommended that you watch it, and if you do, I hope you enjoy those two hours at the theater. The overall rhythm is great, every part of the movie connects and every part is just at the right length. Moreover, the film still has some dark themes typical of DC, and also incorporates many other elements like comedy and, of course, the horror elements that the director is so good at. Underneath the comedic story is actually a story of juvenile growth, where Shazam and the Dr. Shivana are like a coin on both sides; one is optimistic, one is evil-minded.