Category Archives: Entertainment

Entertainment

Deadpool

Marvel’s movie fun without the family
Jamie Koebke
Business Editor
One of my most anticipated movies of 2016 is finally is here.
Now I’m going to start by saying I’m your typical “I haven’t read the comics but I’m a huge fan of the movies” person.
The first five minutes had my complete attention, I was in love. Not only because Ryan Reynolds smokin’ hot body, but the movie was hilarious!
Of course there were serious moments that Ryan Reynolds, as Deadpool, ruined with some sarcastic remark. The movie itself was not what I was expecting. The movie has an R rating, it was full of profanity and violence. It’s not a normal Marvel movie. It was in no way family friendly.
In typical Marvel fashion, Stan Lee made a cameo appearance, in the most unexpected way.
I think the thing I liked most about Deadpool was all of the constant X-Men jokes and references.
I must be honest, this movie makes me want to start reading the Deadpool comics.
Overall I give Deadpool a solid 10/10.

The undead bite again

Our bloody Valentine
Heather Silvola
Guest Writer
February 14 is a day to show your lover how much you care. But who needs love when you have the winter premiere of “The Walking Dead.”
Past this point I should warn you, if you haven’t caught up on “The Walking Dead,” get out from under that rock and go catch up! In other words, there will be spoilers.
We’ve seen a lot these past few seasons; from the death of some beloved characters to, in my opinion, the introduction to some of the greatest characters we’ve had on “The Walking Dead.” We are brought back into the show with an explosive beginning, to say the least. I was prepared to lose some characters but nothing could prepare me for the shot that stopped my heart, temporarily. We had a couple growth arcs and to me, that was the best part. I’m quite proud of these two characters but what one said really stood out.
“Because God has given us the courage to save it (Alexandria) ourselves,” said Father Gabriel from “The Walking Dead.”
Overall, I’m satisfied with the winter premiere but it’s left a gaping hole in my heart that only can be filled with seeing how the situations play out in later episodes.

Late to the game: reviewing older games for those who want to save some cash

Seeing this review fills you with determination
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Quickly taking the Internet by storm, “Undertale” proves that you don’t need fancy graphics to be great.
While the game looks like it could have been released back in the days of the Sega Genesis (1988), that doesn’t stop “Undertale” from pulling off some incredible feats.
But is “Undertale” really worth $9.99?
Keep in mind, this review may contain small spoilers.
Gameplay:
“Undertale,” a puzzle role-playing game, allows the player to take control of a child, who falls into the underground world of monsters.
The puzzles and battle systems create an interesting atmosphere when taking in account that “Undertale” knows that it’s a game.
So any action you take really affects the full outcome.
The battle system introduces the idea of “MERCY.”
Most games have players programed to kill any monsters the characters may encounter.
Using the “talking it out” or “MERCY” method, “Undertale” makes players decide whether or not some monsters are worth saving.
This affects the game, giving “Undertale” more replay value, and adding so much more passion to any play through.
“Undertale” does have a few more interesting gameplay mechanics, but talking about them will spoil the game. They make the game much more interesting.
Story:
“Undertale’s” story follows after a war between humans and monsters. Once, the two races lived in peace, but now the humans drove the monsters under a mountain.
Legend says that if someone were to climb the mountain, they would never return.
That’s where the player comes in. Controlling a lost child trying to return home to the world above.
While the base story isn’t really that exciting, the characters the player meets makes the game.
“Undertale’s” characters are really interesting and really don’t take themselves too seriously.
Each one follows, or rather, makes fun of basic character tropes. Most characters are puns of themselves as well. Such as Sans the Skeleton, and his brother Papyrus, both share names with fonts. Both also personify each font’s personality.
It’s as silly as it seems.
The story can be a tear jerker, slightly scary, or a plethora of other emotions, all based on what choices the player makes. Meaning the adventure can be just as unique as each character.
Graphics:
“Undertale’s” graphics are oddly deceiving. While it was only released in October of 2015, the games graphics look that of a game 1980s.
That doesn’t make “Undertale” ugly or boring, just different, but in a good way.
Some of the most breath taking scenes in “Undertale” comes from great use of 8bit graphics and sprites.
Every character designed shines beautifully and shows personality through every pixel.
Sound:
This one takes the cake.
Probably the most enjoyable part of “Undertale” comes from the soundtrack.
Harking back to the 1980s of computer generated sounds for video games, “Undertale” captures the mood and setting while still being mistaken for a Super Nintendo game.
Soundtracks of games rarely make you feel immersed like “Undertale’s” soundtrack does.
(Pro tip: Even if you decide to skip out on playing the game, look up the soundtrack on YouTube. Please.)
Overall:
“Undertale” delivers a treat to the gaming world, not a hard game and really makes the player fall in love with each and every character. While a single play through spans 5 hours, “Undertale” is worth the $10 dollars.
“Undertale” can be bought on Steam and does not require much more than a computer that can run Facebook properly.
Happy Gaming.

Late to the game: reviewing older games for those who want to save some cash

Plague INC
Latetothegamegraphic

Taking on the world, one plague at a time
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

In a mere 20 minutes, civilization could be collapsing in a fight against the next great plague!
“Plague Inc: Evolved” put you in a position of control over a disease destroying the world. Along the way you have to evolve your plague so it becomes impossible to cure. But is it worth $14.99?
Gameplay:
So much detail goes into this game’s mechanics. The idea is to level up your plague as it spreads throughout the world. How it evolves depends on where you start in the world, how fast it shows symptoms, and how quickly the world catches on to it.
Meaning you have many categories to make your plague become deadly or weak.
Another large part of the game is how you decide it should spread. Though the plague mutates on its own, you can still control if travels faster airborne, or if it can survive harsh temperatures and travel though food and so on.
The game seems limitless at first, but it doesn’t stay that way. Each plague has its own, optimal way of growing, and won’t work well if you choose another route.
Graphics:
The game looks like a “Risk” board game. Just a map of the world that serves as a visual to how fast the plagues travel, as indicated by red spots.
The game isn’t bad to look at, though. The little animated cells of each plague moves the same way the real counterpart would.
It’s pleasant and does what needed to be done for the game.
Sound:
The game’s soundtrack really doesn’t do anything. There is ambient noise to set the mood, but it’s not great. The sound effects are annoying. It’s not even worth the time. Just ignore the music and put on Netflix or Pandora in the background. You’ll thank me later.
Overall:
“Plague Inc: Evolved” will entertain you for hours. It’s not easy either, so you won’t just fly through it. I highly recommend giving it a shot. This game might need a new laptop to play without any problems, but lowering the settings should make it run quite smoothly.
Happy Gaming.

Welcome back to a time long, long ago in a Galaxy far, far away

Review of the new “Star Wars” movie

Lauren Schwartz

Staff Writer

This past weekend, I saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and if you liked the original trilogy, and the prequel trilogy, than this classic continuation of good vs. evil across the galaxies does not disappoint.

Not only does this movie catch you up on the rebels, but it also gives you an inside look on the First Order, the new name for the Empire, showing us that although mass-produced and identical in appearance, the Storm Troopers are indeed people too. Which, to be honest, I had never thought of before. I just thought they were sad excuses for soldiers that couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn and got killed with one hit, regardless of the bulky armor they clomp around in.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has elements in it that truly make it a “Star Wars” film, as well as providing fresh new faces that give the franchise a renewed energy. J.J. Abrams did a great job reviving the work of George Lucas in this film, seeing as the film reminded me of its processor, “Star Wars: A New Hope.” The writers of the film did a good job providing some comic relief to prevent some scenes from being too suspenseful or scary for younger audiences, similar to that of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Overall, I, personally, would give “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” a solid eight out of ten stars because although it was an amazing movie with astonishing special effects, there were still quite a few plot holes probably big enough for me to shove my entire body through. With that being said, this movie was defiantly worth the money that I paid for my ticket and I would watch it again, probably even buy when it gets released. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” deserved all of the hype that was built up about it and superseded my expectations I had about the film.

 

Late to the Game: reviewing older games for those who want to save some cash

bread2

A game about finding your inner bread, then toasting it
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Have you ever wondered what your bread feels like when you toast it? Well look no further!
Sort of.
“I Am Bread” follows the story of a piece of bread, slowly ruining a man’s life by finding any way, shape, or form to become toast. Bossa Studios created a game that’s different, and interesting. But is it worth $12.99?
Gameplay: 8/10
Playing as a piece of bread can get tedious. The game can be easily described as rage inducing. But that’s the point. You have very limited movements that need to be coordinated to quickly find a way to toast yourself. Which is frustrating because 60% of the surfaces in the levels will either leave you dirty, growing mold, or just completely inedible. If you can finish the level, you’re left with such a satisfied feeling of “I did it.”
The controls are awkward at best, but adds a bit of charm to the game itself. Keyboard controls are extremely restricting for someone (such as myself) who only uses gamepads such as 360 controllers. The game tackles controlling something most overlook; figuring out a way to make bread interactive. Bossa Studios ran with it, and somehow made controls that (sort of) make sense in such a scenario.
Graphics: 8/10
To be fair, this game wasn’t out to break barriers graphically. The nice bright colors and solid environments are satisfying to look at. The “gross” look for the dirt and mold you have to avoid are cartoonish yet make you gag enough not to want to roll around in it, as the bread that is. The bread puns hidden throughout the world were nice touches as well.
Sound: 7/10
“I Am Bread” is not known for its soundtrack. The music loops, so if you take your time in a level, you may find yourself hating the music after an hour or so. The sound effects and noises are spot on and great, but the looping music really can annoy you. After a while, I just turned the sound off and listened to some in the background. I recommend if you do this, pick something soothing.
Story: 6/10
The story is hilarious, but after 10 minutes, you really don’t care much anymore. It really only explains why you make toast everywhere in the house, not just the kitchen. If you want a good story, this may not be the game for you. If you like funny bits of information in between levels, you’ll enjoy what you get.
Overall: 7/10
I do recommend it. For the money possibly, you’d be buying a cute, fun frustrating game, and possibly the best drinking game. The game can be purchased on Steam and does not require a top of the line gaming computer.
Happy Gaming

War may not change, but Fallout does

fallout
New and improved take on wasteland life
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor
Following total atomic annihilation, the rebuilding of this great nation of ours may fall to you. That’s why Bethesda has prepared this educational video game series for you to better understand the future!
Fallout 4 comes from the minds and hearts of Bethesda Softworks, makers of The Elder Scrolls as well, packed with more to do than some could comprehend. In an article by Official Xbox Magazine, Bethesda’s Lead Producer Jeff Gardiner said, “I’ve played the game for probably 400 hours, and I’m still finding stuff that I haven’t seen.”
I can say I’ve played the game for 60+ hours and everything still feels new. Everything about the game has been revamped; the enemies move in a more realistic, less clunky way (ghouls shamble and scurry like zombies, rather than running straightforward), the scenery will often leave you gazing into the horizon, and everything is useful.
Old fans of the Fallout series will appreciate the opening to the game, as it takes place before the bombs fell and created the post-apocalyptic world seen in the series. After you crawl out from the fallout, you’re free to do whatever you want. You could play for days and never touch the main storyline, or bust out said storyline without doing anything else.
Aside from the massive overhaul of enemies, graphics, and useful ‘junk’, you’ll encounter more Non Player Characters (NPCs) than previous installments. Most NPCs have a unique look to them and with over 13,000 lines of dialogue, (more than Skyrim and Fallout 3 combined) players aren’t expected to hear the same rabble from one settlement to another.
Workshop settlements are something completely new to the Fallout world. It takes elements from Minecraft and Sims and allows to build up a town you find or, in some cases, tear everything down and start anew. You can add anything from crops (which play a role in running supply lines between settlements), machine guns (adds defense), or simply aesthetic items like paintings of cats.
Power Armor has been given an upgrade too. No longer is it worn like a piece of clothing, but actually as a suit of armor. You power it up with a fusion core, and then jump into it. With being able to modify the armor and change the paintjob, comes the responsibility of maintaining it. During a fight, the armor can become damaged and fall off; however, it does stay in your inventory, but cannot be used unless repaired.
The large majority of the in-game weapons can be customized in some way. This ranges from adding nails to a wooden board, to transforming a pistol into a fully automatic sniper rifle. The possibilities here are endless, but the junk needed to make these enhancements are not. Chico tip: Vegetable Starch breaks down to adhesive, a rare and extremely useful crafting item. Starch is renewable through growing crops.
In Fallout 4 (the very beginning being the only exception) everything is optional. The amount of player freedom can be staggering. The best way to play any game is your way and the Game Director for Fallout 4, Todd Howards, agrees, ““Let’s have our cake and ice cream. The more we can say yes to the player, the better we are.”

Freaky film for a fall night

13 ghost
Raven Café shows “Thir13en Ghosts”
Kayla Flanagan
Guest Writer

It’s probably safe to say that for most people, Wednesdays aren’t exactly the day of the week that comes to mind when you are thinking of a day to do something fun. Trust me, it’s no different in my mind. However, when I heard that the Raven Cafe located on the main strip of downtown Port Huron was showing one of my personal favorite Halloween movies – “Thir13en Ghosts” – at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, I figured it may be an interesting evening out.
The coffeehouse is known in the area for having a comfortable, bookish atmosphere – especially the upstairs portion, where the movie was shown from a projector, the walls lined with an eclectic selection of books. Whether a person is stopping by for the first time, or has been in the establishment on a few occasions, or is a devout regular, the general consensus is that it is a nice place to be.
Austin Gonzales, 20, of Port Huron, said that he had been to the Raven a couple times before. “They were showing a movie I like, and I had never actually been upstairs before,” Gonzales said on why he was there that night. He felt that it was a great way to kill time on an otherwise uneventful, cool autumn evening.
Jordan Bailey, also of Port Huron, quickly agreed. “I love it here,” Bailey laughed. She was more than glad to be at the coffeehouse on an easygoing Wednesday evening.
The movie “Thir13en Ghosts” (2001) is the story of a man – played by Tony Shalhoub – and his two children who inherit an extravagant house from a rich uncle he had never heard from. When they, along with the children’s nanny, arrive at the house, all seems too good to be true. After the awful truth of the house is revealed by a psychic who worked for the uncle, the whole night becomes about how the family will survive and get out.
While watching the movie, customers were able to order from a variety of items on the menu, such as soups, sandwiches, other entrees, desserts, and beverages – including coffees, teas, shakes, and alcohol.
This was one of the last Wednesday night films at the Raven for October. But be on the lookout for further evening events offered at the local coffeehouse. Check the Raven Cafe Facebook page or stop by and find out for yourself what all the buzz is about.

Boo! (Or the lack thereof)

A review of the “Goosebumps” movie
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor
Only 90s kids would remember “Goosebumps!” Well, now we won’t be the only ones. The new “Goosebumps” movie was released on Oct 16 just in time for Halloween.
Directed by Rob Letterman, starring Jack Black, with music composed by Danny Elfman and the nostalgia that many folks in my age group share for the books and popular tv series, it was definitely a fun show. However, it did not reach its full potential.
I find that Nicolas Rapold from the New York Times worded it perfectly, “But more often than not, Mr. Letterman uses his movie as a toy chest of characters more than as a medium.”
Unlike that eerie feeling I got from reading the books and watching the series as a child, “Goosebumps” left me feeling like I had just looked at a yearbook from high school; the faces and characters were familiar, some I had memories of, but ultimately it didn’t make me feel anything.
Any possible character development or heartfelt moments for our protagonists were grazed over by Jack Black’s lack of seriousness and simply the lack of experience by the younger actors and actresses.
The collection of monsters that appeared on screen were actually well chosen considering there were 182 books to choose from. Some of the main monsters were arguably the scariest in the books and tv series – the werewolf from “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp,” the venus fly traps from the “Give Yourself Goosebumps: Lost in Stinkeye Swamp,” the giant praying mantis from “A Shocker on Shock Street,” and, of course, Slappy the Dummy from “The Night of the Living Dummy” saga.
While Slappy the Dummy was the most evil character in the books and the main antagonist in the movie, the creepiness attached to his clever schemes was lost in transition to the big screen. The other creatures, although large and destructive, also seemed to lose their terrifying blood-thirsty drives. You would definitely have nothing to fear about taking your little ones to see this movie.
Overall, it’s not as great as I’d hoped it to be; perhaps do to my inflated standards hyped up by nostalgia. However, it’s not terrible and it is a good way to introduce the newer generation to a franchise I loved so dearly when I was their age.

Walking on air

WALK_IMAX_Payoff_Poster_lo
A review of new film “The Walk”
Therese Majeski
Guest Writer
Visually absorbing and thrilling, “The Walk” is often quite literally breathtaking. Immersive, “The Walk” employs sweeping shots of stunning heights and death-defying high-wire deeds to deliver a deliciously vivid sense of vertigo.
Telling the true story of high-wire walker Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a man driven to practice his craft on the heights of the World Trade Center, “The Walk” dances a fine line between visual effects and plot, a balancing act that has eluded similar films. Yet, “The Walk” manages this challenge, grounding high-air stunts and visual effects with a strong base of plot and character.
As Philippe gathers an eclectic crew, including his street musician girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon), and a heights-fearing math teacher, to help him with his artistic coup, the film constructs empathetic characters while simultaneously structuring the plot to convey ever increasing suspense.
The events of the movie, from the team’s initial preparations to the stringing of the crucial cable, build organically towards the tension of Philippe’s climactic moments on the wire. “The Walk” is also remarkable in that it successfully reinvigorates the trite theme of a protagonist reaching for an impossible dream. Rather than appearing forced as many dream-driven films often have, “The Walk” is believable; Philippe’s passion and devotion to his craft render his aspirations wholly credible.
“The Walk” is notable for its lack of dependence on special effects, but it is also immensely successful in its use of visuals. Boasting an array of stunning shots, “The Walk” is captivating.
Though an exciting story, “The Walk” is also a love letter to a departed landmark, capturing the vanished grandeur of the Twin Trade Center with arresting special effects. The entire film is surreal in the beauty of its images; as Philippe strings his wire between the towers in the dead of night the cityscape beneath glows with an arresting golden splendor. Perhaps most stunning, however, is Philippe’s actual walk during which viewers feel as if they themselves are on the wire, standing at an unbelievable height over New York City.
Although “The Walk” is primarily a family-friendly film, parents should be aware that there is brief, strong profanity and a slightly extended, if obscured, scene of nudity. Not entirely without flaws, for example a slightly awkward first-person narration by Philippe throughout the film, “The Walk” is nevertheless a delight of story and image that can leave viewers walking on air.