A+E: Oscar 2020 Predictions and Story Lines

By Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the Oscar Nominations being released this last Monday, the buzz for the Academy Awards has gone into full swing with as much excitement as there is controversy.

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One of the biggest disappointments of the nominations is that there is not a single woman nominated in the Best Director category. With the Golden Globes having the same outcome in their nominations for this category, I did not anticipate the Oscars to follow suit. While I’m impressed with the current field and feel that none of the nominees are undeserving, there were many great female directors this past year in Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), and Lulu Wang (The Farewell), just to name a few. 

Another problem I personally had of the nominations was the complete shut out of Uncut Gems from any of the categories. While I found this movie to be quite polarizing in opinions, I thought it was one of the best films of the year and deserving of some recognition. I especially feel bad for Adam Sandler, who is not normally known for Oscar-worthy performances but delivered the best performance of his career and one of the best performances of the year in general.

The Academy Awards still did surprise me in a few positive ways as well. I knew Joker was definitely going to at least grab a few nominations, I did not expect it to completely dominate with eleven nominations in total. This makes it the most nominated movie of the year and also the most nominated “comic-book” movie of all time. Another great surprise comes in the form of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite grabbing six nominations including Best Picture and Best Director for Bong Joon-ho. This was probably my favorite movie of the year and while I did at least expect a foreign film nomination, I did not expect it to be a serious contender in categories where foreign films rarely get recognition.

With all things considered, here are some predictions into who I feel will win and who I want to win some of the major categories that will be announced on February 9th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The Best Picture nominees are Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Parasite.

This is always my favorite category when it comes to the awards season and this year’s race seems to be one of the most competitive in recent years. I could see this going a few different ways, but my favorite and the movie I hope wins is Parasite. It is Korea’s first Best Picture nomination, but I feel that it is simply just going to stay as a nomination, as I just can’t see critics and voters being drawn in numbers to a foreign film, especially with movies from Tarantino and Scorsese in the mix. I also do not see Joker winning in this category, because it has not won the best picture award at any of the major shows and I can’t see the academy ready for a comic-book movie to win the grand prize. My prediction here goes to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as movies based on the movie industry tend to have a slight edge and while 1917 won the Golden Globes, I don’t see it gaining enough support when movies are not split up between comedy and drama.

The Best Director nominees are Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Todd Phillips for Joker, Sam Mendes for 1917, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Bong Joon-ho for Parasite.

This is going to be another seriously competitive category with Scorsese and Tarantino being clear frontrunners that come to mind. Again, Sam Mendes did win the Golden Globe award for Best Director, but I believe the Oscars will stick with more traditional staples and give Scorsese the win for The Irishman. I also like Bong Joon-ho to win the award, but I can’t picture any wins for Parasite outside of the foreign film category.

The Best Actor nominees are Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory, Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Adam Driver in Marriage Story, Joaquin Phoenix in Joker and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes.

I don’t see how this award can go to anyone but Joaquin Phoenix and he is my personal choice to win as well. No one else has really been in the discussion and Phoenix has swept the best actor at all other award shows.

The Best Actress nominees are Cynthia Erivo in Harriet, Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan in Little Women, Charlize Theron in Bombshell, Renée Zellweger in Judy.

Zellweger has to be the clear favorite here and my prediction to win the award as she has won the most awards including a Screen Actors Guild Award this past weekend going into the Oscars, however, I think Cynthia Erivo’s performance in Harriet is definitely more than worthy of the award.

The Best Supporting Actor nominees are Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes, Al Pacino in The Irishman, Joe Pesci in The Irishman and Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Continuing with the trend of these acting awards having clear favorites, this can’t go to anyone else other than Brad Pitt. While I thought Pacino and Pesci were both phenomenal, since they are in the same movie, it’s going to be hard to gain enough votes for one of them. 

The Best Supporting Actress nominees are Kathy Bates in Richard Jewell, Laura Dern in Marriage Story, Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit, Florence Pugh in Little Women and Margot Robbie in Bombshell.

Scarlett Johansson has had herself an incredible year with nominations in both acting categories. I think she has a better chance to win this one with her performance in Jojo Rabbit, but I think Laura Dern will continue to win this award season following her Golden Globe and SAG award.

Sports: Are The Braves Seeing Double?

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

Just like Football season, the Braves take down Monarchs. They now have taken down the Monarchs to become the best team in the CIF Southern Section for Football, and now have knocked off the Basketball powerhouse to become the best team in the Trinity League, for the time being. The Bosco Braves Friday night, marched into the Bosco Thunderdome, and completely dominated the Monarchs. Bosco was lead by their typical team leaders, however, the big reason for the win, was the dominant defense.

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Photo by Bosco Basketball Twitter

 

From the opening tip, the Braves’ on-ball defense was smothering the Monarchs offense. The Braves won the opening tip and laid in a nice swish. For the majority of the game, the Braves team seemed well gelled together and looked like guys that had been playing together for the past 10 years.

In the first quarter, the Braves were led by Wynton Brown and Josh Camper. Wynton led both teams in rebounds posting 8 rebounds. Brown was the team leader in rebounds, with 8, but the Braves as a team were unstoppable on the glass as they dominated by posting 37 rebounds. 

Mater Dei did finish the game with 26 rebounds, however, the majority of the rebounds did not come until the 4th quarter. Mater Dei posted a total of 32 rebounds. The Monarchs though did not seem to be gelling together well as a team. Throughout the game the constantly looked for one player, and his name is Devin Askew.

For those of you who do not know,  Askew is a 5-star recruit who will be attending the University of Kentucky. 

Askew, however, was kept at bay for the majority of the game as the Braves seemed to be running a double team on him forcing other Monarchs to shoot the ball which they were unable to.

When asking Head Coach Matt Dunn on how the Braves had so much success against, Askew, he said, “Our guys came prepared, we knew he was going to be a problem unless we set a tone against him. Our team stuck to the plan and made sure that as a team we would do our best to stop him. Obviously, he is great and there is no denying that, but we made sure that we stopped him.”

The Braves are an excellent team, simple as that as long as they continue to play as a team together, and will be a true contender to win the trinity league title.

I was able to ask coach Dunn on how he and the Braves will be able to replicate success against the Monarchs later on in the season and he said a true classic coach answer, “I am focused on our next game and that’s it. We will wait and see.” 

The Braves improve to a record of 17-5 and now are 3-1 in league tied for first place.

FINAL SCORE: 70-62 Braves

NEXT GAME: Santa Margarita  

 

Sports: Soccer Looks to Keep Momentum going and Win a Trinity League Title Over Mater Dei

By Johnathan Gonzalez

St. John Bosco’s varsity soccer led by Coach Dave Sabet has been on a tear this season with an outstanding record of 14-2-2, and a league record of 2-0-1. The Braves are coming in with fire to prove to their rivals within the state and the very tough Trinity League that they are very here to win it all and become a team that can challenge for a State title.

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While not having the greatest season last year, the Braves have proved that it was a fluke and are coming off a big win in the Trinity league against JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano) in winning a close 3-2 game. They have returned to the top and will continue to fight until they bring home the Trinity League title.

This year’s team is playing with a higher level of confidence than previous years and junior Gabriel Torres believes it is a key to their success.

Junior Gabriel Torres said, “Coming into this year I did expect to have run that we are having. I believe with all the talent we have on the team this year we all play with major confidence in one another,” said Gabriel Torres.

St. John Bosco’s soccer team has been embracing the Bosco brother-hood. They act as if they are brothers, not just friends and classmates or teammates they play as brothers on the field and in the class having each other’s back no matter what. Junior Christian Briseno really likes how the team is playing but understands they must stay consistent if they want to win titles.

“Coming into this new soccer year I had high expectations with the guys we had and with our coaching staff we had I knew we were going to have something special but our goal going into the end of the season we need to stay consistent to be able to win trinity and make a run for CIF,” said Christian Briseno.

The team seems to have a new sense of clarity following their down season from last year and looks to be out to prove who they really are, a team not to be looked down upon following defeats of Top tier teams like JSerra, Servite even Hamilton a school from Arizona.

There were still some doubts heading into this season with David Veloz unsure if there was enough good players for the team to succeed well into the post-season run.

“Coming into the new season I didn’t know what to expect. My expectations were for us to win Trinity but heading into the pre-season it was going to be a struggle and I thought we were going to need help as previous years in our teams only had 1-2 really good players,” said Senior Captain David Veloz.

However, these doubts were gone quickly into the season with Veloz’s confidence in the team going way up.

“Our goal as a team is to have each other’s backs and do what’s best for the team to be able to win trinity and move onto CIF we have a very good team this year and I’m hyped coming to the final stretch of this season thus being my last season,” said Veloz.

St. John Bosco has a very deep and talented team not to be messed with, especially with the streak they have coming off two very big interleague games. With the confidence they have with each other to win trinity and make a run for CIF, they will do anything to make it come true.

Sports: Basketball Looks to Get Off the Open Division Bubble with Win Against “Team in Red”

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

Braves versus the “Team in Red:” a rivalry as old as time. One will stand, one will fall. But who will come out on top?

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(Photo by calhisports.com)

The Braves are riding the wave of two wins which came against Orange Lutheran, and most notably a win versus the Servite Friars. The final score of the road win was 71-67. The team was lead by Josh Camper, and Wynton Brown who combined put up 24 points. Brown was also the leading rebounder with 14 rebounds, Holm was right behind him with 9 rebounds as the Braves dominated the glass against the Friars.

However, two days after the Braves defeated the Fiars, the Braves took on the Lions of JSerra and were defeated by a score of 55-54. The game came literally down to the wire as star Isaiah Holm attempted a buzzer-beater, however, it bounced up and down four times before it bounced off the back iron for a miss. A true killer for the Braves. 

“It looked good, it felt good, and it was continuing to bounce up and down and roll around like it was so sort of joke. Until it finally hit the ground. It hurt I felt like I let my team down. But it is what it is nothing I can change now,” Holm said. 

Now the Braves face the Monarchs tonight, which will be no piece of cake. As the Monarchs continue to prove to be one of the nation’s most recognizable teams. 

Both teams are having excellent seasons, as the Braves and the “Team in Red” will take the court tonight inside the “Thunderdome.” The Braves come into tonight’s game with a record of 15-5 (2-1) and will be lead tonight by their seniors: Chico State-commit Isiah Holm, Northern Arizona-commit Wynton Brown and captain Josh Camper. All three of these young men have been nominated for the McDonald’s All-American game.

Coming into this game the Braves have been playing well, but they will need to step their game up to another level in order to beat the “Team in Red” for the third year straight. The “Team in Red” are sporting the same starting lineup as last year, and this gives them a huge chemistry advantage. However, the Braves do have a core of seniors that for the most part have been playing together since freshman year. 

This season, the Braves shooting has been the story, as they are averaging 65 points per game to go along with shooting 45% from the field. The most notable scores are Camper who averages twelve points per game along with Lamaj Lewis who also averages twelve per game. 

One area the Braves do struggle in sometimes is ball movement, as they only average 14 assists per game as a team. 

“Yes, we lack in assists, no excuse. However, we have a quick-fire offense that can put up a shot within the first 5 seconds of our shot clock,” said Josh Camper.

But the Braves will have to do more than hit shots to beat the “Team in Red.”

“We gotta fight. Simple as that. They are a tough team. They have the same roster as last year and continue to get better from game to game. We need to take them down early and light up the scoreboard. It will be a team effort.”

The Braves take on the “Team in Red” at 7:30pm and will have a tough match up on their hands. The Braves will rely on each other to win and look to hand the “Team in Red” their fourth loss of the season.

FINAL SCORE:

64 – 61 Braves

Sports: Divergent Story Lines Dominate Championship Weekend

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

Championship weekend continues to loom on the horizon, and we could potentially see a rematch of Super Bowl 1, which would make Roger Goodell ridiculously happy. On the other hand, we could see the “feel good” story of the year surprise all the doubters and make it to the big dance. Whatever teams move onto the Super Bowl will provide some high-end entertainment for viewers across the world.

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AFC

Titans vs. Chiefs, arguably the most unpredictable match up, takes place Sunday at 12:05pm (PST). The Titans are rolling on the offensive side of the ball because of one man. The man nicknamed “Tractorcito” finished the regular season as the league’s leading rusher and has been steamrolling over defenses this postseason. 

Derrick Henry ran the ball 64 times over the last two playoff games and put up 377 rushing YDs, but wait he only has 1 TD. How have these Titans knocked off the Patriots and the Ravens? The answer: head coach Mike Vrabel, who continuously this season has proved he can coach.

He’s adjusted his defensive scheme each game this postseason and made the decision to put the ball in Ryan Tannehill’s hands week 6 and make him the starter for the remainder of the season. Vrabel continues to show that if you run a balanced offense, and adjust your defense each week to who you are playing, you will consistently contend against any team. The Titans will be a headache for Andy Reid and the Chiefs this week.

The Chiefs have arguably the league’s top Quarterback, an innovative coach, and a new and improved defense. Kansas City this season overcame the loss of Patrick Mahomes, for two weeks, and completely reshaped their defense, which proved to be the Achilles’ heel last season. We all remember the Dee Ford incident. The Chiefs’ off-season included several moves to bolster a weak defense and add one key piece to an offense that lost their Pro Bowl running back to suspension.

Kansas City began this off-season by adding defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and allowing him to bring in the defensive position coaches that would allow the Chiefs to be elite. The second large move was trading for Frank Clark, who in my personal opinion is a huge upgrade over Dee Ford, who has moved on to the 49ers. Then general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid signed free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu and drafted safety Juan Thornhill. 

Thornhill continuously proves that he is going to become a star. Thornhill, however, suffered a devastating injury. Yes, he tore his ACL, an injury that has become more and more prevalent in the league. Before his injury week 17, Thornhill forced 3 INT, 5 PD, and 1 TD. But, not all is lost, Tyrann Mathieu continues to be the unsung leader of this defense. All experts thought that Mathieu was having a Pro Bowl season, but unexpectedly was snubbed from the roster. Mathieu has put up numbers, which include 4 INT and 12 PD. Those are Pro-Bowl numbers, and Mathieu is such an impact player that when he is just in the zone a QB will think twice about throwing to his side of the field.

NFC

The Packers will travel to the West Coast this week to take on the 49ers in Levi Stadium, Sunday afternoon at 3:40 (PST). Both teams this season have had Super Bowl contending years and would be fit to represent the NFC. However, these teams faced off earlier this year and the 49ers won convincingly by a score of 37-8. Do I expect the same outcome? No, the Niners, in my opinion, have taken a step back since that game, but still are great, but the Packers are a different team in the playoffs and are nothing short of DANGEROUS.

The Packers have a former league MVP and arguably the most talented QB to ever play the position in Aaron Rodgers, along with a young and innovative head Matt Lafleur. Packers fans also have two huge playmakers on the offensive and defensive side of the ball to look forward too, respectively.

Aaron Jones, who tied for first place in league rushing TDs and averaging 4.7 yds per carry, is a top-three rusher in the league this season. Jones posted numbers that included 1,084 rushing yds, 236 rushing attempts, which all resulted in a league-best 16 rushing TDs. The Packers also have arguably a top-five WR in the NFL, Davante Adams.

Adams this season struggled a bit with production early on. However, he was able to turn this around the second half of the season, and posted numbers which included 997 receiving yds, 5 TDs, and 83 receptions. Yes, these are low numbers for a leagues star WR, however, the majority of these numbers were posted second half of the season which allowed for him to be top 15 in the league numbers second half of the year. 

On the defensive side, you have the “Bash Bros,” Preston and Za’darius Smith. These two guys continue to prove that they are headaches for offenses. Za’darius Smith is popularly viewed as either one of, if not, the best pass rusher in the NFL this season. Smith posted numbers that included 41 solo tackles, 13.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.

The 49ers this season proved that they are the league’s best all-around team. Niners fans waited for years for their team to return to the top. They’ve done it, and you might be asking, “How?.”

Well, it began with drafting smart, namely Nick Bosa, Mike McGlinchey, George Kittle, and Deebo Samuel. Every single one of these guys brings something to the table. The Niners’ front office was also smart by allowing themselves to spend money on big free agents and trading for Stars. Most notably, Richard Sherman, Emmanuel Sanders, and Kwon Alexander. The Niners will prove to be a headache for the Packers.

This weekend will show either a true underdog story, a rematch of Super Bowl 1, or even a team most people overlooked before the season started. Either way, we are in for an exciting weekend and an even better Super Bowl.

FINAL SCORES:

Chiefs 35 – Titans 31

Packers 28 – 49ers 21

News/Op-Ed: Top Four Cautious with Three Weeks ’til Iowa

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

This past Tuesday night featured six of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates on the debate stage and with the Iowa Caucuses less than a month away, each candidate tried to push their electability in this much more condensed field.

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Held in Iowa, the main topic of the night’s debate really came down to who can beat President Donald Trump. In this regard, senator Elizabeth Warren shined, she came equipped to challenge those who saw her as too far left to win a general election and delivered one of the best lines of the night. When discussing the electability of women candidates, she noted that the four men on stage lost ten elections, while she and senator Amy Klobuchar have never lost an election. Although she started off slow in the foreign policy portion of the debate, she pushed a strong message of universal healthcare that saw her separate herself from the more moderate mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden. Overall, she had a very strong performance that she will use to gain momentum heading into these first cycle of primaries.

Another strong performer was Buttigieg, who continued to show why he is the best debater in the Democratic race. He came out very strong on foreign policy, showing why he is the most level headed and best equipped to take on the challenges as the head of state. His veteran experience was used to separate himself from the other candidates and had very few rebuttals on the points he made. His attacks on Trump’s approach to Iran showed his understanding of this complicated issue and made it difficult to remember that he is only just a mayor. Inverse to Warren, while he did shine on foreign policy, his more moderate approach to healthcare could set him back in the Democratic race, as more and more of the party seems to shift farther left on this issue.

This debate also featured very few bad performances with Tom Steyer being the only candidate that I can say did a bad job presenting himself. Steyer did little to persuade anybody that he was better equipped than other candidates on any issue, he also lacked any enthusiasm to attack other candidates, which would have been the only way he could gain momentum. While I don’t think his polling will get worse, it is hard to picture a long term path forward in this race.

On the other hand, I felt that Biden, Sanders, and Klobuchar did not stand out, but did just enough to not hurt them going forward. Biden had a solid performance in the debate that shows that he still can compete on the stage and had no real slip-ups that could seriously hurt him. Klobuchar, while not making any lasting impressions, definitely did enough to show herself as another alternative to moderate voters who don’t like Biden and will hope to have a stronger showing in the coming debates. Bernie Sanders also did what he had to do in last night’s debate, showing himself as the most progressive candidate on issues like healthcare, but struggling in the debate with Warren in regards to comments he made about her electability.

Overall, this debate lacked the back and forth battles that previous debates seemed to have, with many candidates looking to have done just enough to keep themselves in their current positions. It will be interesting to see how the Iowa Caucuses plays out and its effects on the following debates.

Sports: Geaux Tigers

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

LSU overcomes shaky start to roll over the Clemson Tigers. Joe Burrow was nothing short of immaculate for the majority of the game as Coach O gets his National Title. However, this game has seemingly ended with two things, one Joe Burrow sealed himself as the number one pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The second fact being, is Trevor Lawrence as great as we thought he was? 

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 In the first quarter, LSU was struggling to keep pace with Clemson as it looked like Trevor Lawrence and Clemson were gonna keep up their undefeated streak. The Clemson Tigers and LSU Tigers both began the game with back to back defensive stands and punts. Until Clemson was able to strike first with a 1 yard Trevor Lawrence run for 7. This touchdown left a lot of questions in LSU fans and the announcers’ heads, what is happening to Joe Burrow, as he was making passes out of character. This included missing wide-open receivers, and through a very wobbly ball.

Then in the blink of an eye, Joe Burrow answered Trevor Lawerence TD with a 52 yd back shoulder through to Ja’marr Chase. Chase had an impeccable game finishing with 9 receptions, 221 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns.

However, the seemingly unstoppable LSU Tigers all of the sudden were facing down the barrel of a 17-7 deficit with 10:38 left in the second quarter. LSU then would answer with a Joe Burrow TD run, a Ja’marr Chase TD reception, and a Thaddeus Moss TD reception to go up 28-17. All this offensive success, however, was backed by their outstanding defense.

Heading into halftime, many people thought we were going to see a shot for shot second half. However, this could not be farther from the truth.

Clemson did open the second half by forcing a three and out against the LSU offense which allowed Trevor Lawrence and Clemson Tigers to march down the field and score. Travis Etienne(RB, Clemson) capped off the strong opening drive by Clemson with a 3 yd touchdown run. Then after the touchdown head coach Dabo Sweeny left his offense on the field to attempt a two-point conversion. 

Lawerence then after scrambling around for several seconds, which felt like an eternity, Lawerence then would sling one into the hands of Amari Rodgers to cut the lead down to a score of 25-28 LSU. 

After this score, you would not see Clemson hit the endzone again. Burrow continued his spectacular performance by capping off a 3-minute drive with finding Thaddeus Moss for his second TD reception of the game. Moss as of late has been nothing short of a TD machine just like his father Randy Moss. Moss a Junior, has the option of coming out for the NFL Draft this season, however, he can also return to LSU. Either way, whenever Moss declares for the NFL draft, whatever team lands him will be adding a large target for their QB as well as adding an additional blocker.

Burrow, and the LSU Tigers would then march down the field one more time for yet another passing touchdown this time finding Terrance Marshall Jr. for a 24-yard touchdown. The highlight of the drive was when Joe Burrow, would run off the field pointing at his right ring finger saying time to fit me.

LSU would cap off the game by forcing one more punt and stripping Trevor Lawrence of the Ball allowing LSU to run out the clock and hold up the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy.

Joe Burrow ended the night with being the record holder, for the all-time college football touchdown leader with 60 total on the season. Joe Burrow is an all-star talent, and will most definitely be someone to change a franchise around.

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