Category Archives: Arts + Entertainment

Movie Review: “The Highwaymen”

by Samuel Rodriguez

The new Netflix movie release “The Highwaymen” is one that sets high expectations but cannot deliver.

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Credit – Netflix

The story revolves around two of the United States most infamous criminals: Bonnie and Clyde. However, the movie places a twist on the story as it focuses on the the two policemen that caught the criminals, Frank Hamer and Maney Gault.

Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) are former Texas Rangers hired to track Bonnie and Clyde and put an end to their rampage. The story focuses on the brotherhood between the two rangers and their journey in tracking the infamous criminals that leads to their capture.

The story takes place in the mid 1930’s and begins with Bonnie and Clyde breaking prisoners out of Eastham Prison Farm in Texas. In response, Texas Department of Corrections Chief Lee Simmons (John Carroll Lynch) convinces Governor Ferguson (Kathy Bates) to hire former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer to search for Bonnie and Clyde. Hamer comes out of retirement and is joined by former partner Maney Gault to work independently away from the FBI and track the notorious criminals.

The lack of respect for the ‘old timers’ becomes an apparent theme throughout the movie. The two rangers are seen as irrelevant and out of date, but still upset the modern policeman despite the opposition they were in. The climax of the movie is the inevitable death of the two criminals at the hands of the rangers and their group of men. This occurs as the rangers arrange an ambush and emerge from the bushes and gun down Bonnie and Clyde in their car.

The difficulty that was presented in tracking the criminals was a lack of support from the people. Anyone that the rangers would ask to help them would not help and saw Bonnie and Clyde as heroes and people that were doing good against the government. This prompted 20,000 people to attend Bonnie Parker’s funeral in Dallas, while Clyde Barrow’s service drew 15,000.

The Highwaymen is an interesting film that draws a different view on the historical Bonnie and Clyde manhunt. However, the story develops slowly and does not build as much anticipation from the audience and could have been better.

 

SJB Unsung Heroes: Ms. Amy Krisch

by Kyle Moats

Ms. Amy Krisch is one of St. John Bosco’s hidden gems.

While Ms. Krisch is a well-known face in the staff and administration, she may not be as well-known to many parents and students. This is ironic in that the students at St. John Bosco are the primary beneficiaries of her many efforts and the results her events provide.  

I had the privilege of being able to sit and really get to know who “Miss Amy” – as she is affectionately known – is and how important her position is to us at St. John Bosco.

Ms. Krisch’s road to St. John Bosco has been equally lengthy and interesting. She was born one of three daughters, in a town outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent most of her early childhood there. As she grew up however, her family moved frequently due to her father’s job in the Aerospace industry, moving them from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, then to Livermore, California and back to Pennsylvania for her senior year of high school.

Ms. Krisch attended California State University, Monterey Bay where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Communication with an emphasis in Practical and Professional Ethics in 2007. While there, she was a player on the Women’s Golf Team and worked for Pacific Grove Golf Links.

Unfortunately, during a round in her sophomore year, she hit a tree root and tore tendons in her wrist and her role of player transitioned to that of coach and mentor. Ms. Krisch also volunteered with the PGA and LPGA Tour and The First Tee of Monterey County, an early indication of leadership potential.

“I love golf and I got that love from my dad, my forever coach. It became our thing and still is today,” said Krisch. 

After graduating from CSUMB, she worked at the Portola Hotel and Spa, looking to build a career in the hospitality industry.  She capitalized on an opportunity to organize Portola’s employee golf tournament and realized she wasn’t ready to give up golf completely.

She made the decision to further her education in Arizona where she attended the Golf Academy of America, Phoenix, earning an Associate Degree in Business focusing on Golf Complex Operations and Management in April of 2009. As is common with many graduates, jobs after college are often difficult to find, especially for a female trying to break into the male-dominated golf industry.  

With limited jobs available, Krisch started working for the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) as an information ambassador, and six months later moved over to the Spay/Neuter Clinic as a surgery scheduler and – on occasion – veterinary assistant.

We almost, unknowingly, lost Ms. Krisch before we had her to a career as a veterinary technician. She thought she had found her calling in veterinary work but a job opportunity within the AHS Development Department became available.

Her time in the Spay/Neuter Clinic was cut short when she accepted the position of development coordinator, responsible for grant writing and overseeing tribute and memorial gifts. Eventually, Ms. Krisch began helping with AHS’ Signature Event, Compassion with Fashion, managing one of the event’s critical fundraising components – the silent auction – thus starting her career in event management.

She quickly took both her educational assets and practical experience on the road and went to work for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Orange. Her responsibilities there developed in many areas but the majority of her time was spent as the Events and Logistics Campaign Manager for the Light the Night Walks at Angel Stadium and Cal Baptist University in Riverside.

Fast forward to March 2014, where Ms. Krisch entered the unique world and community of St. John Bosco High School. She was hired as a consultant for the Braves Gala and was offered a full-time position as the Special Events Manager for all of Bosco’s events including the SJB Golf Classic, the Alumni Memorial Mass and SJB-hosted tailgates before home football games.

Currently, she is the Director of Alumni Development and Special Events. The title just scratches the surface of her diverse and varied responsibilities. Essentially, there are two major areas where she focuses her efforts. As the Director of Special Events, her primary focus is to find creative ways to help programs raise money for current and future needs.

Some examples of this include sport-specific events, such as the Bosco Football Golf Classic (formally the SJB Golf Classic) which is a cornerstone for the football program, Texas Hold’em and Casino Night for Bosco Baseball and Aquatics and Bosco Baseball’s St. Patty’s Day 5K Run.

She also spends much of her time producing SJB’s signature fundraising event – the annual Braves Gala. The event hosts anywhere from 350-400 attendees and proceeds are critical to St. John Bosco, providing both merit and need-based aid for students, pathways, and other programs. She also works on “pop up” events designed to help Bosco continue to grow and increase exposure by getting people to come to campus.  

As the Director of Alumni Development, Krisch works to find different ways to keep our current alumni active and engaged with their alma mater and essentially cultivate more alumni to return home to their Bosco days.

Ms. Krisch feels that the connection is mutually beneficial as SJB Alumni are the business leaders we need in our community whose assistance and guidance ensure a strong future for the students of St. John Bosco. It links them with fellow Bosco brothers, providing benefits and opportunities to their businesses and interests as well. Her job challenges her to keep, build, and expand those bonds.

Ms. Krisch celebrated five years at St. John Bosco in March of 2019. Even with her family in another state (finally settling in Denver, Colorado) she was determined to settle down from her travels and promised herself she would invest her time and talent to see what she could develop.  

With much of her first year at Bosco spent working with the Margheritas Guild and the Parent Association, the immense outpouring of welcome for her personally, as well as the volunteers who consistently came alongside her to help create successful events that benefited the students, solidified her feeling that she was in the right place. She has stayed, frankly, because she believes in St. John Bosco High School. She believes that this is a unique place with great accomplishments and continued potential.

I feel the best way to describe Ms. Krisch is as a “One Woman Army.” No matter how busy she is, and she is always busy no doubt, she takes the time to handle one more thing, assist a coach, welcome a student, and more. Currently, she is juggling the Braves Gala, Graduation, and the Bosco Football Golf Classic – just to name a few of her many responsibilities!

Even though her job is hectic, it is satisfying. Miss Amy, at this time, cannot imagine being anywhere else. We cannot imagine Bosco without her and thank her for being the true epitome of a Bosco unsung hero.

 

A+E: Lil Uzi Makes Statement In Return To Rap Game

by Nnamdi Chugbo

Lil Uzi Vert has finally made his return to the music industry.

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The Philadelphia based rapper, born Symere Woods, had been on a hiatus from releasing any music since the artist released his hit single “New Patek” in September 2018, and his best selling album, “Luv is Rage 2,” in August 2017. Uzi struggled to release music due to  contract disputes with his Generation Now label executives, Don Cannon and DJ Drama. However, on March 28th, 2019, Uzi made his long awaited return to the music scene with a controversial single titled “Free Uzi.”

“Free Uzi” was a freestyle over the beat of “Gangway” by G Herbo, who is credited as an inspiration to Lil Uzi Vert. The song features Uzi discussing his issues with Don Cannon and DJ Drama, and plays along with the fact that fans have been constantly leaving comments under their social media posts to free Uzi from his corrupt record deal that causes him to struggle to release music.

Prior to Uzi releasing this song, he took to his Instagram page to repost fans who used #FreeUzi on his Instagram story. Uzi was not done at this point, as about 12 days later he came out with two more singles, “That’s a Rack,” and “Sanguine Paradise.”  

Fans are now in a frenzy, wondering whether the two singles that the Philadelphia rapper recently released will be featured on his long awaited album, “Eternal Atake.” However, the recent increase in activity in music from the artist is a ray of hope for all fans who are patiently anticipating his work.

Another promising occurrence that happened for fans was Lil Uzi Vert’s recent signing to Roc Nation and Jay-Z. After his two year struggle with his label executives, it is a sigh of relief that he is finally able to be managed by someone as legendary as Jay-Z.

Jay-Z has a reputation for helping artists in times of need. For example, he was able to help Lil Wayne release his Free Weezy album on Tidal under Roc Nation in 2015, then helped him resolve tax issues during his legal battles with Cash Money, Wayne’s label.

Having Uzi back in the rap game is a breath of fresh air for all people who enjoy his music after his two year hiatus. As fans continue their wait for the long-delayed Eternal Atake, they are satisfied by the fact that Uzi is finally back to being himself and is still making good music, as he showed us he can still do on “Free Uzi,” “That’s a Rack,” and “Sanguine Paradise.”

A+E: MCU Phase 4 Preview

by Jalen Manson

(WARNING: SPOILERS FROM “AVENGERS: ENDGAME” AHEAD)

A snap, a reversal, and the death of a beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe legend brought the end of Marvel’s phase three.

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Possibilities for future Marvel phase four movies (not confirmed)

Since the first “Iron Man” film debuted in 2008, Marvel has taken a group of characters and created a 22 movie-long MCU (cinematic universe) over the last 11 years of real time.

Within this time, the 22 movies released were divided into three phases, with approximately seven movies in each phase.

The first phase of the MCU set the tone for tremendous success down the line, introducing Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye as the original six Avengers. Phase one included the movies of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “The Avengers,” where all heroes came together to defend the Earth.

From here, the universe continued to develop and jumped into phase two, which continued the saga, introducing new characters and continuing the stories of others. Phase two included “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Ant-Man.” This phase set phase three up perfectly.

Phase three is arguably the franchise’s best selling period, jam-packed full of blockbuster movies. “Captain America: Civil War,” “Doctor Strange,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Black Panther,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Captain Marvel,” and headlined by the famous “Avengers: Infinity War” and recent “Avengers: Endgame.” Spider-Man’s sequel movie “Spider-Man: Far From Home” will cap off phase three this summer officially.

The end of all these remarkable and memorable phases leads Marvel to it’s new and futuristic phase four. No official information has been leaked or let go about this new and future phase, but fans are speculating about what is to come.

At the end of Endgame, Iron Man had a sad but heroic death, Captain America went back in time and retired in the future, and Thor seemingly joined the Guardians of the Galaxy. The “big three” of the MCU is seemingly broken apart now, and the franchise will look to head in a new direction.

The question that remains is: what direction will this be? Fans already speculate that Captain Marvel may take the helm as the new “Cap” of the group. At the end of Endgame, Steve Rogers (Captain America) passed on his shield to his good friend and sidekick Sam Wilson (Falcon) which leads us to believe that Wilson will become the new Captain America.

Black widow died in Endgame as well, and Hawkeye wants to live life with his family as he previously did. That leaves “Professor Hulk” now as the only remaining of the original Avengers, and a new six may emerge.

At the end of the day, Marvel’s first three phases will be extremely hard to top for the future. You can guess that Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Sam Wilson, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and others will be major parts of the MCU for the foreseeable future.

New characters could be rumored to debut as well, especially with Fox reaching a new deal with Marvel Studios that may allow iconic characters such as “The Fantastic Four” and the “X-Men” assimilate into the MCU. With Thanos dead, comic book villains such as “Galactus” and “Dormamu” or any of the Celestials can emerge as universe-threatening villains.

Whoever emerges, it will be hard to top the villainy of Thanos, an intergalactic psychopath who literally wanted to wipe out the entire universe as we know it. Thanos could arguably be one of the greatest villains in movie history. At the end of Infinity War, people were stunned and shocked walking out of the theatre, because for the first time in movie history it felt like, the super-villain one. Thanos was strong, smart and determined in his conquest to acquire all six infinity stones and take over the world.

Of course, through various intense heroics, the Avengers defeat the evil Thanos in Endgame, killing him off properly and restoring life in the universe, five years in the future.

It will be a tall order to fulfill to get the kind of dynamic action and character connection MCU fans have experienced for a little over a decade. However, the integration of new characters and the furthering of little-known ones could rekindle and start new relationships that fans can connect to and can experience for the future.

Time will tell where the franchise goes from here. Marvel would be foolish to just discontinue the MCU now, especially after the last two movies have absolutely obliterated the box offices. Endgame forced some theaters to stay open for 24 hours for multiple days of the week, with extremely early morning showings never seen before.

After one weekend, the movie already made about $1.2 billion, making more than last year’s Super Bowl. Bigger movies can be foreseen in the future as well, with people of all generations having a connection with the characters in these films.

The way these characters in the MCU were built up is truly remarkable to look back at. Captain America, Iron Man and Thor each had three individual movies, in which audiences and Marvel fans all over the world built connections with the various and core characters of the Avengers.

Due to this, it only leads us to believe that Marvel Studios – led by the Russo brothers – can have similar success for the future in continuing to craft this multi-verse. We look forward to the new and mourn the old, as the MCU will live on.

Whatever direction the franchise takes, it’s been an amazing 11 years, and Marvel Studios, ‘[We] love you 3000.’

 

Movie Review: “Us”

by Joshua Adoh

Jordan Peele has uncovered the meaning behind the twist end in his latest movie release, “Us!”

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The brilliant and terrifying film has already notched more than $100 million at the box offices. Horror is not the foundation of the film, but rather a means of execution. 

Lupita Nyong’o’s masterful acting in “Us” returns respect to the horror genre. The film is an too early favorite to be just the second film in the genre to win an Oscar for “Best Picture” along with 1992’s “Silence of the Lambs,” as the amazing soundtrack from Michael Abels only solidifies the film’s merits.

After Jordan Peele’s latest success, in the movie “Get Out,” he could have easily made another socio-political horror film, but instead he manufactured the odd yet intriguing film “Us.” 

It is quite different from “Get Out,” as it is a perplexing film that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Warning, this movie may have you walking out of the theater with a skewed and twisted perspective on society.

This movie’s about – maybe the monster is you. It’s about us, looking at ourselves as individuals and as a group. The protagonist in the movie is the surrogate for the audience, so it felt like at the end of the day, I wasn’t doing my core theme any justice if I wasn’t revealing that we have been the bad guy in this movie.  -Jordan Peele

How would you feel if you realised you weren’t as innocent as you believed?

How would you feel if the actions you’ve taken to save yourself meant harm to those around you?

These are the kind of questions that Jordan Peele indirectly asks his audience through his oddly relatable and multi-layered protagonist named Adelaide, played by Lupita Nyong’o. In the beginning of the film, the traumatic childhood that the character Adelaide experiences was indeed terrifying, yet incomplete.

[Jordan Peele] wanted to make a monster movie, and in the best monster movies, the Universal monster movies, they allow their villains to have these different layers and to be multidimensional,” said the Los Angeles Times.

In the first weekend release, “Us” destroyed box office records and almost doubled analysts’ opening weekend projections, according to the LA Times.

For all those who do not like scary movies, you are in luck. Although “Us” is advertised as a horror film, it is certainly not typical of the genre.

Jordan Peele wanted to change the perspective of his audience while telling his story in a unique way, and he believed horror was the best way to execute his vision. This does not mean there are no scary moments, however.

Jordan Peele’s “Us” brought respect back to the horror genre and may be the second film in it’s genre to win an Oscar for best picture. I think it is safe to say that Jordan Peele will not be leaving this genre for some time.

Movie Review: Triple Frontier

by Jalen Manson

On March 13th, 2019, Netflix released new gripping action movie “Triple Frontier” directed by J.C. Chandor.

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Starring Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck, the movie sports a special cast. It is an nonstop action-filled picture that brings new twists and turns in seemingly every minute.

Tom “Redfly” Davis (played by Affleck), Santiago “Pope” Garcia (played by Isaac), William “Iron Head” Miller (Charlie Hunnam), Francisco “Catfish” Morales (Pedro Pascal), and Ben Miller (Garret Hedlund) partner back up from their old military days and go on a money-driven adventure to steal the fortunes of a wanted drug kingpin.

“Redfly” is now a divorced and single dad, struggling with his relationship with his daughter and with money. “Pope” is a private military leader at the Triple Frontier in South America, and is the driving force.

“Catfish,” “Iron Head,” and Ben Miller all meet together back in their hometown with the motives of helping Pope and Redfly and the mission is set and discussed.

Their heist on the kingpin is successful, and the men then load the money to go home and strike rich, under the radar. However, this doesn’t all go as planned when the weight of their money and passengers causes them to crash their helicopter on the way home.

With no outside help or contact with anyone, the five have to fight their way home. The way to get home is troubling and tough, as they have to balance their morals and lives between the money they are taking with them.

This movie is action-packed, filled with shootouts, chase downs and the unfortunate deaths of “Redfly” and an innocent mule. Through all of this, it just becomes a fight to get home for the remaining men by the end of it.

By the very end, the men all seem to realize their desire for cold-hard cash has gone too far and they choose to give all their checks from the heist to Redfly’s family.

Overall, “Triple Frontier” was a solid movie, earning a 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.5/10 on IMDb. The cast was star-studded, raising expectations for director J.C. Chandor to put together a classic.

However, the movie sometimes lacked a distinct flow, and the heist may have been taken too early, dragging out some later parts.

But, if you’re looking for action, this movie is the one for you and although it’s out of theaters, is available to watch on Netflix now.

 

TV Series Review: “You”

by Samuel Rodriguez

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

The popular show “You,” premiered on Netflix on December 26th and, since then, has quickly caught the attention of many viewers.

The show was originally premiered in September on Lifetime but had almost no viewersmarket until it started showing on Netflix. The popularity of this American thriller is no surprise.

Last week, Netflix declared “You” had drawn the sort of audience to make it a ‘huge hit.’ The streaming service said that “You” was on track to be watched by 40 million households within its first four weeks on the service,” stated The New York Times.

The show has received a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.9/10 on IMDB. The sudden outburst of attention has built up a much bigger fanbase that are begging for the second season to come sooner.

The show focuses on the relationship between Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a brilliant manager of a simple bookstore, and Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), an aspiring writer whose limitations are set by the people she surrounds herself with. Joe immediately falls in love with Beck and becomes obsessed with her life and eliminates the obstacles that are keeping her from blossoming into a better writer. The justification for Joe’s actions is based throughout the season from the constant question, ‘What would you do for love?’

To Joe, he would do anything for love, even if that means killing to make his partners life prosper. Upon meeting Beck, Joe becomes her silent stalker as he watches her and follows her around town. He analyzes her life and sees the truth of it that Beck fails to see: that she surrounds herself with people she hopes to be but all they do is hold her back.

Joe takes it upon himself to eliminate those people for the betterment of Becks life. He fakes the deaths of the people he has killed for Beck by using their phones to access their social media to make it seem as if they disappeared.

Beck and Joe begin a relationship, only for it to end in a couple of months. During this off period, Joe dates another girl in which he repeatedly reminds himself that “she’s good for me,” but in his heart he knows he isn’t satisfied without Beck.

He stalks Beck on social media during this period and states that he’s only happy as long as he knows that she is too. Beck and Joe dramatically get back together and everything is as good as it has even been, until it isn’t. 

And you’ll have to watch the show to see what happens…

 

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