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Netflix’s dark show “Mindhunter” provides insight on killers’ psychology

By: Savinie Lin

Actor Johnathan Groff plays Holden Ford in Netflix's new show Mindhunter.

When you see crime cases on the news or hear about it, your first thought might be to wonder, “Why did they do it?” Perhaps you try to find out what the criminal’s motives are, but have you ever wondered why they committed the crime the way they did?

Netflix released the show “Mindhunter” worldwide on October 13, 2017.The series is based on the true crime book, “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.” In general I’m not a fan of true crime shows or anything graphic, but the psychology behind the show made it captivating and left me on the edge of my seat.

The show is about two FBI agents who conduct research on the psychology of criminals and use their knowledge to help solve ongoing cases. “Mindhunter” includes characters that are based on actual convicted serial killers such as Ed Kemper, Jerry Brudos, and Richard Speck. It showcases prison scenes with these characters that are chilling to the point that I felt uncomfortable, but they made it feel realistic and straight to the point.

I don’t know much about psychology or how crime cases are solved, but the show does a great job explaining the psychological reasoning behind the cases.

In one episode, FBI agent Holden Ford is talking to Kemper who discusses the murders he had committed in great detail. The show later explains why Kemper performed the crime the way he did.

He explains he murdered girls due to the hatred and trauma his mother inflicted during his youth. Another instance is with subject Monte Rissell, who claimed that if his mother had allowed him to live with his father then he wouldn’t have committed the crimes of rape or murder. Rissell explains that his intention with the first victim wasn’t to kill her. But Dr. Wendy Carr, another character on the show, explained that Rissell killed the first victim because of their compliance in the beginning and the behavior led to Rissell wanting to gain control over the situation. These are some of the examples of psychological analysis the show has.

The cast does a great job at bringing the characters to life. Jonathan Groff plays Holden Ford, one of the agents who uses the research to solve ongoing cases. Anna Torv plays Dr. Carr who explains the psychology of the criminals. The show has new faces such as Cameron Britton, who plays Kemper, and does a great job at making the character real.

However the show does include graphic scenes that are not for the lighthearted. The show has pictures of victims, murder cases described to every detail, talk of pedophilia, rape, and murder. However, the details make it realistic and creepier and will have you wondering what will happen next.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this show to anyone who is interested in psychology, true crime shows, or would like to watch something new. Watching this show is a new experience with a plot idea that is so unique. It’s a show that will always leave you wanting to know what happens next. The producers, David Fincher and Charlize Theron, used details from the book itself and scenes taken from the real interviews with the serial killers.

Stranger Things 2 Review

By: Zev Curiel-Friedman


Will, Dustin, Mike, and Lucas must again take on the Demonic Demogorgon to keep the town of Hawkins safe.

On October 27th, Netflix released the second season of Stranger Things and nothing was the same. In season one, the main characters Mike, Dustin, and Lucas lose their friend, Will, to the Upside Down, an alternate universe inhabited only by a demented version of present day, and the monster Demogorgon. With the help of their friend Eleven, who has telekinetic powers, they are able to free Will, but is the real problem solved?

If you were looking forward to watching the boys bond together with the return of their friend, you’re out of luck, as Will becomes corrupted by an augmented demogorgon and becomes a spy for the evil creature. Mike and the boys, along with the help of new character and possible love interest, Mad Max, must again take on the unnatural creatures of the upside down.

Max comes from California with her brother Billy, and is at first  uninterested in joining the boys group, but over time they are able to gain her trust and she was able to grab the hearts of Dustin and Lucas. I loved watching the boys really change from season one, going from baby faced little kids, to burgeoning tweens, who are just learning about their feelings.

Another new character that joined the show was Bob, the new love interest of Joyce (Will’s mom). He’s a bit of a nerdy guy who works at a Radioshack, but provides a lot of spunk and charisma, along with many humorous moments.

An additional aspect of season two that I really enjoyed was the pairing of Hopper with Eleven. They are both really powerful characters and I think by pairing them together they really bought out the best of each other through the season.  

In season one Eleven barely spoke, as it was her first time ever being outside of containment. In this season I liked how we could still see the old Eleven, but also see how much she had changed.

Despite the high expectations of the new season, the Duffer brothers did a great job of coming up with a storyline that showed a lot of emotion and showed how each character was unique. In conclusion “Stranger Things 2” is must watch tv and worth every hour of its running time.

The golden circle review

By: Donna Li

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2017.

Secret services and weird gadgets, how exciting is it to watch a spy movie! The answer is, very exciting. I mean who doesn't love a good spy movie. Kingsman: the Golden Circle is the second installment of the Kingsman movies.

    This movie was highly anticipated mostly because Kingsman: The secret service, did so well. Kingsman: The golden circle was action packed, extremely funny, and overall a really good watch. I would recommend it to anyone of age.     

   We start the movie off with a pretty intense car chase that eventually leaves all but two members of the Kingsman secret service dead, Eggsy and Merlin. This calls for doomsday protocol, where they discover another secret service organization called the Statesman. During their stay at the Statesman, Eggsy and Merlin hear about an evil drug cartel, whose goal is for the President to legalize drugs. To do so, the head of this evil organization, Poppy, has announced to the world that she has poisoned every single recreational drug, and those who have taken it will die. She offers to give out the antidote as long as the President complies to her demands. But the President has other plans; to just leave those who have taken the drugs for dead so that Poppy’s business also dies. So now it’s up to  The Kingsman and The Statesman to work together to save the world.

    Eggsy’s role, played by Taron Egerton, was just so believable. His acting was way above par. Every expression he made, every feeling he felt, I felt it too. When he was sad I was sad with him. When he was mad I was mad for him. The director made us love his character so that even if he did mess up, we can't hate him. What made this movie even better was that Channing Tatum was in it, playing as a Statesman secret agent. Sadly his role in this movie wasn't a major one. He definitely didn't have as much screen time and I wished he did.

    The graphics in the movie were very realistic as well. There was one scene with a human blender, which I’m sure was very fun to film, but was not very fun to watch. Poppy’s “lair” is in this really remote place, the middle of nowhere really, with a whole bunch of trees and a giant forest (of course). It almost looks too nice to be true, so that was the one thing that was off for me.

    My favorite part of this movie, and any other spy movie, are the gadgets. These gadgets are the coolest things, I mean, where else can you find a bulletproof umbrella that's transparent on one side so you can see your enemies while attacking them, but they can't see you. The Kingman movies aren't something I would normally watch, I’m more of a romantic comedy type of girl,  but once my friend showed it to me, I was hooked. I can't wait to find out if there is going to be another installment.    

 

Teens with a dream have potential to “make it big”

By: Manuel Diaz

 

Many bands have one big dream: to make it to the big stages. Some bands and groups of people have a planned path for doing so. From arranging gigs here and there to becoming a popular topic. Seen on morning shows for the first time has been a great way for the sibling rock trio Saving Forever to be introduced to the public.

    Saving Forever from Chicago Illinois took a big leap this year with their change in music, from soul to alternative pop. Kavah explains how they played music for their local church on Sunday services. Jumping into the world of pop was the scariest thing they’ve ever done. But as an old wise voice once said to me:“The prettiest things usually come from the scariest places”.As the band’s new single “Million Ways” begins to gain popularity among their growing

Fanbase, i begin to wonder if these three teenagers may be ready for fame.

When asked what the band name means in an interview ,Kavah the oldest of the brothers said “It means that we want to save our music forever”- Kavah Harris on the morning show. He thinks music is being forgotten through time, he wants his music to have an impact on the world and be talked about.

    Their newly released single “A Million Ways” begins with a speedy guitar/bass guitar combination, which begins to assimilate funky rock sounds. Which is broken off at the sound of the 4/4 base tempo and counter tempo “clapping hands effect”, and tambourine hits,  which adds the pop style to the piece.In my personal opinion, and as a young music lover, i would give this new single a 7.5 out of 10. Playing with other people as a whole ensemble is a tricky task. The three brothers Khaden, Kye and Kavah Harris are lucky to say they can be a band and a family all at once. Although they have a long way ahead of themselves i believe with time they can “make it”. The fact that they are teenagers, plays a big role in their presentation as artists; if they can perform art like this, they will only get better with experience and hard work.

    A few years from now when they’re out playing concerts all over the world they will look back at how long they’ve made it. Saving Forever will grow to be famous as a family and music creators.

 

Super Mario Odyssey masters platforming in a global adventure

By: Ben Sheh

 

Cappy accompanies Mario on his adventure as a hat companion, bringing the new capture ability.

 

Mario is back with new adventures and more platforming than ever before with the most anticipated fall release on the Nintendo Switch, “Super Mario Odyssey.” This colorful adventure marks a new path for the Mario franchise as the game world expands to a global setting with multiple vast kingdoms to explore. It’s truly a platformer that lives up to its legacy.

“Odyssey,” like it advertises on its box, takes Mario on a “globe-trotting adventure.” Each kingdom contains a vast sandbox-like environment—each with its own unique atmosphere, as well as its own set of Power Moons to collect. The game revolves around collecting these moons to power Mario’s spaceship, allowing the player to reach more areas as they collect more Power Moons. Classic gold coins still function as basic currency like in classic Mario games, but each kingdom also contains a number of special purple coins hidden in nooks and crannies. These allow the player to customize Mario’s appearance with purchasable clothing. While the cosmetic change is quaint, I found myself wishing for a more tangible impact—and therefore incentive—to buying and using clothing. Some Power Moons can only be obtained by wearing a certain set of clothing, but that is the only real gameplay benefit to wearing them.

Platforming gameplay is always tight with the Mario series, and “Odyssey” is no exception. Mario’s jumps, leaps and other acrobatics feel smooth and responsive. The kingdoms also give the player a sense of real scale thanks to open set pieces like artificially frozen-over deserts or beaches filled with soda water. (I’ve never wanted a Mario level to exist in real life so badly until now.) Mario also gains a new companion named Cappy, a sentient hat that helps Mario reach far-away coins.

Cappy brings the main draw of “Super Mario Odyssey,” as Mario can throw him onto enemies heads to take over their minds and control them directly. Problem is, Cappy can only be thrown using motion control, meaning that those using handheld mode on the Switch will be physically jerking and waving the screen around (a less than ideal situation).

My biggest complaint with Odyssey is its reluctance to break off old gameplay mechanics. For instance, why is jumping on enemies still an attack option (that you are often forced to use on bosses) when the cap is is the centerpiece of combat? It’s dated design that doesn’t make sense in modern Mario games, where platforming is three-dimensional. The “three-hits to defeat a large enemy” trope is also present. While it’s not a huge issue, it takes away the surprise factor of combat.

Speaking of combat, there’s no denying that the game runs extremely well on Nintendo Switch. The game experiences a smooth, consistent 60 frames-per-second and has vibrantly colored visuals. Everything pops, from the hairs on Mario’s head to the golden sand of the Tostarena Kingdom and the green foliage of the Wooden Kingdom. I experienced no slowdown throughout the entire game, even during intense fight sequences where fire visuals were everywhere. Sound design is also top-notch, with a full orchestra accompanying each kingdom. There are even 8-bit pieces composed for special puzzle sequences that harken back to the 1980s. I particularly like the 8-bit Cascade Kingdom remix.

Overall, Super Mario Odyssey presents a unique experience with lovely polish and tight gameplay. The few blemishes like the motion-controlled cap throws are just blips on an otherwise perfect experience. The exploration to find coins and moons will keep a player engaged for hours on end, and the unique kingdoms burst at the seams with fun to be had. Super Mario Odyssey is a definite must-have for Nintendo Switch owners and platforming fans.

Olivia Holt’s “Generous” is a new twist to her child-friendly career

By: Gordan Liang

 


Olivia Holt recently released her new single, "Generous"

Olivia Holt, star of the now ended Disney show, “Kickin It” recently released her new single “Generous.” If I were you, I wouldn’t get too excited just yet. I think that a song about having “The type of night you never had before” would do just that.

After listening to “Generous”, I thought that it’d only be fair to compare it to her previous songs, so I listened to them. Now, I am obsessed with the song “History” which came out in 2016. I listen to it as often as I can. I only wish that Holt would make more songs like “History” which have a more appropriate message, which is one of the many reasons why I love the song.

Like many of Holt’s songs, “Generous” has a fast tempo. The song itself is catchy which is one of the few reasons why I occasionally listen to the song. If I were to disregard the lyrics, this song would be one of my go-to songs for many occasions. The beginning of the song really draws you in and makes you want to listen to the rest of the song.

Holt, who was/is a role model to many children around the world, may have lost many fans with this song. One of her previous songs, “Phoenix” talks about being fierce. Another one of her songs, “History” talks about loving another man because they go “way back” which is why they “love like that.”  Her career has always been kid-appropriate until she released her new song, “Generous” which talks about what many teenagers in this generation desire. Three letters; including that “Good love you deserve,” which may not sound that bad when written out, but would sound really weird had you listened to how it’s sung.

When I first listened to this, I was hoping that the song was a cheerful one because I was already in a bad mood. The song didn't cheer me up. In fact, the song put me in a worse mood. I expected someone who was on Disney to be a better role model and set better examples. I expected that someone who was on Disney to know who their audience is and perform accordingly, but I guess not.

I will always respect Holt for her amazing performance in the show “Kickin It”. My sister was blessed with the opportunity to meet her. She has every right to grow up and sing about what she would like to sing about. If she wants to sing about teenage desires, who am I to try to stop her? I respect her decision to move on and not be a kid anymore but I can’t help but wonder, what is happening to these old Disney stars?

iPhone X is not worth splashing $1,000 on

By: Emily Cai

The front view of iPhone X

This year, Apple announced three new iPhones: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X.With a starting price of $700, $800, and $1,000 respectively. Should you spend an extra $200 on the iPhone X instead of the iPhone 8? The answer is you should NOT, for several reasons.

    The biggest difference between iPhone X and all the other iPhones is that it has Face ID. It is used to unlock your iPhone X, authorize purchases and payments. However, this technology is not advanced enough to ensure nothing will go wrong with Face ID. Will Face ID still work if you do your make up, or take off your make up?. What will happen if you get into an accident and part of your face is injured? Growing a beard? Wearing glasses? Or in the dark? The answer to these questions are all uncertain.

        On the other hand, ever since the iPhone 5s launched in 2013, fingerprint secured authentication has been proven to be efficient, safe, and infallible. It is not worth spending $1,000 on technology that is not mature enough.

    Additionally, iPhone X and iPhone 8 have nearly identical features. Both of them have A11 Bionic chip (based system), Wireless charging, splash, water, and dust resistant.

       Some people might say the camera quality on the iPhone X is better. iPhone X has 12 MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, portrait mode on front and back cameras, and higher pixel qualities. If you are looking for the Portrait mode, you can choose the iPhone 8 Plus that starts at just $800. Unless you are a photographer. Many people can hardly tell the difference between the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus by just looking at the picture.  

    In conclusion, the iPhone X is not worth spending $1,000 on it when you can get nearly identical features for $700, or $800. Keep in mind, you are still getting a new phone from Apple.