One Direction infection is plaguing the nation once again

Courtney Carroll

One Direction fans were shocked to hear about Niall Horan, the charming Irish blond of the band, when he released a new single. Continue reading “One Direction infection is plaguing the nation once again”

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Stranger Things have happened

Courtney Carroll

If you have Netflix, then you’ve probably seen the new summer series Stranger Things as you’ve scrolled through the show and movie choices.

The directors, Matt and Ross Duffer, often referred to as the Duffer Brothers, who have collaborated on other film projects such as Hidden, Eater, and We All Fall Down. The US Cross-Platform Audience established the show to be the most popular digital original series in the United States during the week of July 17th, and 8.2 million people have watched it. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 95% critic rating, and it was given four out of five stars on Common Sense media. TV Guide refers to Stranger Things as a “Steven Spielberg meets Stephen King sci-fi thriller”. It has already been renewed for a season two.

The show depicts a small town in Indiana in 1983 where a young boy, Will (Noah Schnapp) is abducted. Will’s mother (Winona Ryder) and brother (Charlie Heaton) cope with his disappearance in different ways as the town’s police chief investigates the case as it becomes stranger and more intense. Will’s friends, Mike, Lucas and Dustin (Finn Wolfhard, Caleb Mclaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo) are greatly affected by the boy’s disappearance and try to aid in solving the mystery as well, where they meet Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) who tries to help them. As the search goes on, mysteries such as failed government experiments and supernatural monsters unravel as the show progresses.

Nostalgic viewers continue to watch and recommend Stranger Things because of its 80’s vibe and soundtrack including “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash, “Africa” by Toto, as well as songs by Joy Division, New Order and Dolly Parton. The 80’s atmosphere was  inspired by movies and television programs like E.T., The Goonies, Firestarter, The Thing, Poltergeist, The X-Files, Twin Peaks and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The show was scored by two members of the band S U R V I V E, Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon.

Sophomore Ali Woodward had a lot to say on the subject of the show. “I managed to sympathize with characters after just the first episode, and that is a hard thing to achieve. Each character is incredibly singular in their own way, and even the ones that died early on made a fantastic impression on the show itself, but no one won my heart like the children did. I fell in love with every single one right off the bat, and I don’t even like kids.”

Sophomore Marina Hernandez said, “I like everything about Stranger Things. It is addicting without having much action in it. The story plot is brilliant and the character development was done amazingly. You get so in touch with them since they are made more realistic than most TV show characters.”

“I like that it’s horror but not cheesy horror,” sophomore Grace Bost said. “They don’t overuse jump scares and they lead up to big moments really well.”

Viewers want a Season 2. They can’t wait for more from the Duffer Brothers and the talented cast.

Sizzling must-see summer blockbusters

Searlait Coffey

Summer is here and so are cringe
worthy, but spectacularly entertain-
ing summer blockbusters.
Pixar’s long, long, long
awaited sequel to “Finding Nemo”
(2003), will finally be here on June
17, 2016 with “Finding Dory.” The
beloved blue tang charmed our
hearts with her combination of am-
nesia and optimism. Now she’s back
and not so better than ever. Dory
struggles to search for her family in
the new movie. Old characters are
sure to make an appearance in the
new film, such as Crush, Dude, Mar-
lin, Mr. Ray and Nemo. We all have
to just keep swimming until we get
to find out Dory’s life story.
“The BFG” was published way back in
1982, writ- ten by the
infamous children’s author Roald
Dahl. An arguably equally
infamous person, Steven Spielberg,
has directed a live action film
of the old classic. If you
haven’t read the book, first of
all you need to, and
second of all you’ve got until July 1st
to get your life together to read the
book before seeing the highly antici-
pated film.
This has been one of the
most arduous and stressful election
years since 2012. What better way
to kick back and watch the future
world crumble in “The Purge: Elec-
tion Year?” The all-too appropriate
movie title will be the franchises
third installment. The previous films
being “The Purge” (2013) and “The
Purge Anarchy” (2014). The thriller
will be released on July 1, 2016.
The all-male “Ghostbusters”
came out in 1984, with its sequel
coming five years later. So, natural-
ly, it only took 32 years for the all-
female reboot to come out. Melissa
McCarthy, Kirsten Wiig, Kate McK-
innon and Leslie Jones are the new
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold
Moranis and Ernie Hudson. Look for
it in theatres on July 15, 2016.
The big super hero movie of
the summer is more of an anti-hero
movie. “Suicide Squad” features no-
torious villains The Joker, Harley
Quinn and several lesser known DC
universe baddies. If you feel like be-
ing a little rebellious this summer,
don’t go see this movie, or maybe
you should so you can make fun of it
for trying to be cooler than the other
flopped super hero sagas. Either way,
it comes out August 5 so live it up.

“Control” celebrates the life of a punk god

Madeline Wheeler

May 18th marks the 36th anni-
versary of Joy Division’s lead
singer Ian Curtis’ suicide on
the eve of their perspective
tour of America.
Curtis departed this world with
a blossoming music career, a
newborn baby, and tumultuous
personal struggles with love and
his epilepsy.
The 2007 film Control directed by
Anton Corbijn lays out Curtis’s
rise to fame and gradual self-
destruction. Beginning in Curtis’s
hometown of Manchester when he was
a teenager, Curtis is depicted as
a normal, long-haired British teen
who smokes in his bed shirtless and has
shrines of Bowie, Lou Reed, and the
Doors glittering on his walls. After
stealing his friend’s girlfriend
Debbie, he marries her when he is
19 and she is 18, only after a cou-
ple months of dating. Shortly after
eloping, Curtis joins the band War-
saw when the members spoke of
needing a singer in a smoke filled
venue. As the band gains a little
more popularity, Ian decides that he
wants to start a family with Debbie
due to the increase in funds from
more gigs, and the band changes
their name to Joy Division.
Curtis works a normal job at an
employment agency to take care
of his family during the day and
sweats and jerks on stage to a mosh-
ing audience in the smoke of an
ancient concert hall at night. Dur-
ing a fight in a drive home from an
unsuccessful gig, Curtis has one of
his first seizures due to his epilepsy,
which worsens and depresses him
throughout the course of the film.
His deep concern about his
health distracts him from his fam-
ily because he does not want to
be a burden or leech to them. He
drifts into an affair with a journalist
named Annik as his disconnection
increases, which makes him tempo-
rarily happy but damages his family
life which he cannot let go of.
Curtis believes he cannot solve
any of his problems and after a
night of heavy drinking and sei-
zures, he writes a suicide note short
and devoid of direct meaning and
hangs himself in his home.
Sam Riley, member of the band
10,000 things, portrays Curtis with
a vivid electricity and sweet yet
rebellious nature. In Riley’s face,
shockingly similar to Curtis’, the
audience can clearly see the break-
ing down of the thriving, bright ge-
nius that once was the subject of the
screen. Riley’s live onstage perfor-
mances as Curtis copies his manner-
isms to perfection down to the epi-
leptic nature of Curtis’ dance moves
and the look of pure blue shock in
his eyes.
The movie was filmed in flaw-
less black and white, adding to the
authenticity of the classically grey
and dead Great Britain. How could
anyone so miserable heal when ev-
erything is grey around them?
Curtis’ feelings are summed up in
this line from the song “New Dawn
Fades”:
“Oh I’ve walked on water, run
through fire,
Can’t seem to feel it anymore,
It was me, waiting for me,
Hoping for something more,
Me, seeing me this time, hoping
for something else.”
Joy Division disbanded after
Curtis’ suicide, and the formation
of the band New Order followed a
couple years after with some of the
remaining members.

QUEEN BEY DROPS LEMONADE

Georgia Geen

0006

Beyonce performs in her music video for “Hold Up” from Lemonade. Photo by http://www.independent.co.uk

Mystery surrounded the exact
content of “Lemonade” in the days
leading up to its release on HBO,
but predictions that it would
be another “visual album” held true.
Beautiful is the only word that can
describe the opening measures of
the first song, “Pray You
Catch Me,” which are simple, but
crescendo into the opening lyrics.
Arguably, it’s one of the
strongest points of the song.
Orchestral sounds contribute
variety to the sound of the song and
album overall, making it different
from Beyoncé’s usual R&B style.
“Hold Up” is jaunty with repetitive,
echoing beats that provide consistency
between the first two songs, despite
the difference in overall style. Like
most of the album, watching the film is
necessary to appreciate the full
effect of this song, due to the
stunning visual element. There’s
an enjoyable reference to “hot sauce,”
mentioned in the previously released
single, “Formation,” in the form of a
baseball bat that the Queen Bee uses
in a rather destructive, yet liberating
manner.
It’s at this point in the album that
the genre-hopping becomes apparent.
While this definitely hurts the
over-all consistency and clarity,
the variety in style also improves its
listenability.
Drum beats and jazzy opening vocals of
“Don’t Hurt Yourself” add character
to the song. Vintage rock tones
throughout this song combine nicely
with the singer’s modern, attitude-
filled vocals. Moments of channeling
Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. Beyon-
cé’s emotional and coarse singing-
style hint at tones of influence from
Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.
The lyrics of the most unapologetic
song on the album, ironically enough
titled “Sorry” can get a little repetitive
for some listeners, but are nonetheless
coupled with enough variety and mu-
sical embellishments to make the song
a standout. Trap elements towards the
end of the song expose the more se-
rious message conveyed towards the
end of the song. The heartbreak con-
veyed with the line, “He only want
me when I’m not there” mixes sur-
prisingly well with the pop-culture,
internet frenzy that became the refer-
ence to “Becky with the good hair.”
The use of transitions are extreme-
ly strong within the entire album
and are even better within the film.
Strong imagery of black culture links
the differing styles, but the musical
and visual transitions do an excellent
job of making the work cohesive.
“6 Inch” has a strong buildup to
flaring, echoing vocals. The feature
by The Weeknd provides contrast to
Beyoncé’s more sultry sound in the
beginning of the song. It’s the first
work of the album that doesn’t have
any obvious theme of infidelity; rath-
er, it can be interpreted as a bit of a
feminist anthem. Assuming the entire
album is reflective of elements of the
singer’s experiences, it’s likely that
she’s building herself back up after
the admittance of being cheated on.
After a rapid change in style, the song
ends with fading, emotional vocals,
“Come back, come back, come back,”
which are likely adding an even sad-
der twist to the past-tense undertones
of the next song.
“Daddy Lessons,” a tribute to the
singer’s father, begins with old-school
blues instrumentals, complete with
layers of trumpet, percussion and
saxophone. Later, it moves into some-
what of a borderline-country feel
with steady guitar instrumentals and
a background of musical shouts and
clapping, reflecting the loving noisi-
ness of a family gathering. The singer
admits the flaws that her father had
with the line, “When trouble comes to
town, and men like me come around,
oh, my daddy said shoot,” implying
that her father knew his daughter
should avoid men like him (which she
later found in her husband). The pain
that it causes to admit this is conveyed
through the emotional tones of the
vocals. “My daddy warned me about
men like you, he said, ‘Baby girl, he’s
playing you.’” The film includes home
footage from the singer’s childhood
which features her father, adding to
the sentimentality of the song.
“Love Drought” loosely traces the
line of a ballad with its slower, me-
lodic sections. A level of conflict is
brought up by the lyrics “10 times out
of 9 I know you’re lying, but 9 times
out of 10 I know you’re trying.” The
song covers the journey and difficulty
of forgiveness, with lines of open-
ended questions mimicking those of a
tense argument or discussion between
spouses.
“Sand Castles” hits listeners with
an intense few lines of piano chords.
Hints of contradiction are brought
up with the lyrics, “And although I
promised that I couldn’t stay, baby,
every promise don’t work out that
way.” This part of the album seems to
focus more on the journey and com-
plications of forgiveness, rather than
the danceable beats of empowerment
present in the beginning few songs.
The instrumentals play as important
of a role as the lyrics in conveying the
message, which continues into the
next song.
“Forward” is extremely short, and
so similar to Sand Castles that a listen-
er might not realize that the two are
different songs, especially since James
Blake sings more or less the entirety
of the piece. Transitions remaining
an important part of the album, the
vocals start to break up and the piano
turns to synth in preparation for the
next song on the album.
“Freedom” makes a few small ref-
erences to the theme of emotional
freedom, but the overall message
is one of black empowerment as a
stance against brutality, made espe-
cially clear through Kendrick La-
mar’s rap feature, saying “Channel 9
News tell me I’m moving backwards,
Eight blocks left, death is around the
corner.” Within the film, the im-
ages of the mothers of the victims of
police brutality holding pictures of
their late sons is extremely powerful
and emotional. Even the title, “Free-
dom,” which is repeated many times
throughout the song in an almost gos-
pel-like style makes reference to the
Civil Rights movement. Musically,
the transition is made successfully,
but the theme clashes a little bit with
the overall album, as does Daddy Les-
sons. Upon further reflection, consis-
tency can be seen, however. It’s as if
Beyoncé is looking within herself, her
race, and her heritage to draw power
to address the issues facing her rela-
tionship.
“Formation” is an incredible single,
but it can’t help but feel as if it were
tacked on at the end of the album,
since its theme doesn’t necessarily
fit in with that of “All Night,” which
feels like the proper end of the album.
Not to say that the same issue isn’t
present throughout the rest of the al-
bum’s genre hopping, but in the other
instances the quality of the transi-
tions made up for it. However, when
listened to in context of the film, the
song rolls during the closing credits,
which makes it fall into place more so
than in the album alone.

Chopped self-cooking challenge: a walkthrough

Madeline Wheeler

Resurfacing from the wicker basket
of terror on my version of the Food
Network’s hit show Chopped are red
onions, a can of tuna, quail, and gummy
worms. Why me?
Chopped is aired late for a cooking
program (10 pm) for its intense competition
directed towards older audiences.
Heads will roll with the stress
of the competition, as I learned myself.
The clock begins to count down and
the sweat beads are forming on my pale
forehead. I have 40 minutes to make
a dish worthy of being served at the
Ritz Carlton. The quail immediately
puzzles me. I have never cooked an
entire animal in my life. I decide to
salt it, throw in a stick of butter and a
rosemary sprig and slam it into the 350
degree (standard heat) kitchen hell pit.
Now that that beast has been defeated,
the culinary queen, myself, turns to
the can of tuna. How do I even open
this? Culinary Gods, help me now. I
decide to get myself a nice meaty warrior
knife and stab it into the lid. Juice
spews onto my floral apron and the
smell is intoxicating. Please let me give
up. I stab a couple more times until the
juice is able to flow into the sink and
I am able to jam a spoon through the
major stab wound to remove some of
the contents.
Alright now what to do with this.
I dice the red onion (only a couple tears
were shed, mostly from stress) and
stick it in with the tuna. Add a little
salt, pepper, and paprika. Eureka! Let’s
add it on top of the sweltering quail,
shall we? Lovely.
Now for the kicker- gummy worms.
I was mistaken at first sight- they are
indeed sprinkled with sour powder. I
decide to dilute the sugar with water
and pour it into a pan to boil down
with ketchup and spices for a super
sweet quail BBQ. Yee-haw!
As I pull the bird out of the oven, I
have to clench my nose closed because
of the foul stench. With my barbeque
basting brush, I spread the thick concoction
over the surprisingly tender
bird, and hope it tastes better than its
odor leads on.
I let the steam roll off of the bird as
I look on with a major sense of pride.
I created this culinary Frankenstein
in less than an hour and it’s smell and
ratchet appearance make it difficult for
me to stick a fork in. So I decide this is
a simply a prop and pretend I am the
editor of Southern Living’s recipe section.
Whipping out the trusty ol’ iPhone
5c, Instagram worthy shots one after
the other appear on my camera roll.
Technological magic at its finest. Now
it is time to dispose of the bird on an
unwanted neighbor’s lawn.

Daredevil’s dissapointing second season

Searlait Coffey

0008

The Punisher(Jon Bernthal), Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Elektra (Elodie Yung). Photo by http://www.screencrush.com

“Daredevil” was the first Netflix
and Marvel original series mashup.
“Jessica Jones” followed in November
2015, and was received just as well, if
not slightly better, as the first season
of “Daredevil.” However,” Daredevil’s”
highly anticipated second season
fell miles short of its predecessor’s
success.
The second season introduced a
plethora of new characters. The infamous
villain known as “The Punisher,”
whose civilian name is Frank
Castle, was played by Jon Bernthal.
Bernthal is best known for his role in
“The Walking Dead” as Shane. The
Punisher’s character and storyline
was easily the best thing about the
newest season. Sure, he has a body
count that approaches the hundreds,
but the man loves coffee and dogs.
What other redeeming qualities does
a mass murderer need? Not to mention,
everyone he punishes deserves
their punishment because of their
many criminal activities.
Another new character was Elektra,
less commonly known as Ellie.
French actress Elodie Yung portrayed
this complicated anti-hero. Elektra
began as a simplistic past love interest
for Matt Murdock. She quickly was
revealed to be far more than that, as
a series of episodic flashbacks developed
her character more and more.
The decision to bring in both of
these characters in a whole new season
was ambitious, given the capacity
of their impact on Daredevil and New
York’s story altogether. However, having
both of them with two entirely separate
plots was distracting and frustrating.
When I found myself wrapped up
in the Punisher’s conquest, an exceedingly
unnecessary fight scene would
ensue amongst Daredevil, Elektra and a
clown car’s supply of ninjas. If I had to
summarize the entire season, that sentence
would suffice.
The older characters, Foggy (Elden
Henson) and Karen (Deborah Woll)
somehow became less interesting, Karen
more so than Foggy, but still not the
characters I remember loving in season
one. Their attempt to form a budding
romance between Matt and Karen was
an utter failure. The characters had little
to no chemistry, in fact, there’s a far
more apparent sexual tension between
Matt and Foggy, and certainly Karen
and Foggy.
One especially disappointing unclarified
plot line was the deterioration
of Matt’s senses. In an earlier episode of
the second season, Matt experiences a
loss of hearing and has a minor panic
attack where he becomes helpless.
There was never any follow up for the
cause of this episode, and it proved to
be far more intriguing problem than
any other foe faced later on in the season.
Overall, the second season did not
live up to its hype, but rather diminsihed
the already stellar story and characters
that had been established in season
one.

SUMMER THEATRE SELECTIONS

Hayley Parrish

0006 0007

From left to right. The Byrd Theatre and Movieland Theatre. Photo by Séarlait Coffey

Hollywood is rolling out summer
blockbusters but the tried and true
Virginia Center Commons Regal
Theater is a bust. Where will you
go now? What other theaters exist?
Well, have no fear, the hawk eye’s
entertainment section is here to
review all theaters in the immediate
area.
Science Museum’s IMAX: Can’t
go scuba diving? Now your eyes
can at the science museum. With
their specialty designed reflective
screens and science themed movies
along with the kid friendly
blockbusters or after dark showing
of more mature classics such as
2001 A Space Odyssey, the IMAX
Theater is totally awesome. Not
the best for your everyday theater
unless you really like documentaries
about nature or space. However
if you’ve never been, definitely
spend the day exploring the exhibits
and then retire to the theater
for a space movie, it’s well worth
The Goochland Drive In: Feeling
like your regular movie experience
is getting a little drab and
you have a really comfortable
car? The Goochland Drive in is tons
of fun. The tickets are a bit cheaper
than the regular theaters and the
snack are super cheap. Things on
the main menu range from .25 cents
to $3.50 and they also have a gluten
free menu. Also, dog friendly (as
long as your dog doesn’t like bark
during movies). The owners and staff
are super nice. Plus sometimes they
have double features! Zootopia and
The Jungle Book here I come!
The Byrd: Ah, a Richmond favorite.
Super cheap tickets, cheap
snacks, super uncomfortable seats
and couple month old movies but it’s
awesome. Maybe bring a pillow for
the seat but if you sneak in your own
snacks from your house, the least
amount you can pay is $2. That’s
the kind of budget for activities that
I’m working with. There’s one big
theater but it has a balcony and the
décor is ornate. On Saturdays a man
arises from the stage and plays the
piano. Overall it’s a good time. But
for popular movies, show up early,
the line can get sort of long.
Bowtie’s B-movie theater: Often
we forget that there’s more to movies
than just the big brand name companies.
Most movie theaters only give
us the Walmart or Target selection
of films to watch. Well get ready for
the Whole Foods of movie theaters,
it’s bowties creation cinemas. Located
in the parking lot of the renovated
train station that is movieland is
where the criterion theater resides.
Criterion is defined as “a principle or
standard by which something may
be judged or decided”. Ooh burn
other movie theaters. The theaters
are small, the smallest being Theater
One which has less than 20 seats, the
biggest being Theater Four which
has about 50. Unlike other theaters
the seats are leather and recline a
little, there is also no long rows of
stairs, all the seats are on the floor
like those first rows of seats that no
one ever sits in in the front of most
theaters. It’s a little weird at first
but it doesn’t take a long time to
adjust to. Along with independent
movies, the criterion also features
foreign films. Since the theater can
only show four movies at a time, the
showings change frequently. It also
includes its own snack bar, ticket
counter, and restrooms. The only
thing it doesn’t have that the main
building does it a bar.
Bowtie Movieland: This theater
came to town about 10 years
ago. Most of the company’s locations
reside in northern states.
They’re are not nearly as big as
AMC or Regal Theaters but they
still use Fandango so they’re still
convenient enough to be able
to buy their tickets from an app.
Since it is a smaller company the
theaters are a bit nicer than your
average big box theater, the tickets
are also slightly cheaper. Also, he
seats aren’t leather like the criterion.
Originally the building that
it is inside of was a train station
and they took the exposed brick
and train parts to their advantage
in the decor. You can expect the
same movies and snack option as
any other theater like a Regal or
an AMC. However after 9:00 p.m.,
there is a curfew for anyone under
the age of 17. Sorry, underclassmen.
Movieland also hosts some
movie watching events such as insomnia
theater which features popular
cult-classics like Donnie Darko
and Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Also there is Movies and Mimosas in
case you want to hang out with your
grandmother. My one critique, Movieland,
your website is kind of really
ugly and no exceptionally mobile
friendly. Get on that, web designers.

Rotten raspberries awarded to the worst films

Garrett Gauntt

This year, Sam Taylor-Johnson’s
“Fifty Shades of Grey” and Josh
Trank’s “Fantastic Four” won big. To
the poor souls that missed the Oscars,
it’s fine to keep reading, for this
is not a story about the Oscars. This
is a story about its offensive younger
brother, The Razzies.
The Golden Raspberry Awards
(The Razzies) was created in 1980 by
John J.B Wilson. The Razzies were
created to bring to light the worst of
cinematography and films each year.
It’s usually held the night of or around
the weekend of the Oscars. This is the
troll of movie awards, it’s the award
the people that are at the Oscars do
not want to take home at the end of
the day.
Voting is strictly anonymous. To
vote you must become a member of
the site and award show by paying
$4.97 at Razzies.com. Anyone can
become a member and there are no
restrictions on who can apply. Being
a member, along with other benefits,
gives the right to vote in all categories
of the Razzies. These categories
include worst picture, worst screen
play, worst actress, worst actor, worst
supporting actor/actress, worst director,
worst couple and last, but not
least, the Redeemer award.
This year the Razzies were back
at full speed. Awarding “Fifty Shades
of Grey” with Worst Picture, Worst
Screen Couple, and Worst Screenplay.
Its two lead actors, Dakota Johnson
and Jamie Dornan, won Worst
Actor and Actress.
“Fantastic Four” did not receive as
many awards but received the biggest
awards. The notorious worst editor
award was given to Josh Tank for
his directing of “Fantastic Four”. It
was also awarded (along with “Fifty
Shades of Grey”) the award for worst
picture.
The least offensive award of the
night for the Razzies award show is
the Reedemer Award. This goes to
anyone in the cinematic business who
has over the past year grown back to
stardom and at least acceptability. The
award was given to Sylvester Stallone
for his performance in “Creed”. This
award shows that though the Razzies
were made to broadcast horrible cinematography
that the people and
members of the award show can still
create some sort of cordial award.

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