Reviews

Bobby Tarantino II

by Elijah Lynch

published 11/2/2018

Logic broke into the mainstream with his last project “Everybody” after he saw criticism from his last album about him only making woke music (music with importance or has a message behind it) he challenged himself to make party music. Bobby Tarantino II was an amazing project selling 125 thousand units its first week.

Logic makes magic while showing his lyrical ability. The song  “44 more” gives off Jay-Z vibes as he talks about saving his money so his children can grow up and be successful. He did throw subs or subliminal disses like in lines like “I done made 20 million dollars (preach)I don’t flex to be acknowledged” referring to hip-hop culture of throwing money away in the club just to go broke later down the road.

On the same song, he let those at the top of the rap game know he has not only the talent but also has projects that can be compared to the greats. He says “Sold more albums my first week than Harry Styles and Katy Perry” showing that he can not only hold his own in rap but the former most popular genre.

His nerd side gets exposed by having the opening to the album be a recording of the animated show “Rick and Morty.” which he was featured on the last season of the show where he made a song for the episode “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender.”

“Bobby Tarantino ll” was a phenomenal project showing Logic full range from “woke” music and hype party music. I suggest this project for any fan of early rap who isn’t really into newer “mumble rap” music to show that hip-hop still has some lyricists. Logic has released a project every year since 2009 and won’t be stopping anytime soon. The overall feel of the projects is 8/10 and will go down as one of Logic’s best projects.

Movie review of “Black Panther”                                                                   By Elijah Lynch

published 4/10/2018

The movie “Black Panther,” a Marvel adaptation of the Stan Lee comic, hit theatres blackFebruary 16 of this year. The piece was transformed into a film filled with action, adventure, and comedy. It follows T’challa,  king of Wakanda, in his first days in power when a distant family member comes to challenge his throne.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie; the whole time I was on the edge of my seat. Before I watched the film I read spoilers and even heard facts about the movie, and surprisingly it didn’t ruin it for me; but made me watch more closely for extra details. The extra attention made my  movie viewing experience even better.

“Black Panther” has had success both critically and financially. The film grossed $203,000,000 opening weekend, and over a billion dollars overall so far.

In  my opinion, a big part of making a movie is making the characters come to life. The creators did a fantastic job with casting Chadwick Boseman as King T’challa as he has fantastically played many talented African Americans in their biopics. From James Brown, Jackie Robinson, Floyd Little, Thurgood Marshall. Since he has played such historic African American men, I believed it was only right that he broke into the superhero genre.

Black Panther not only did the original comic justice, but greatly surpassed it. It was a movie that unites both the Marvel and African American communities together.” Black Panther” is a  great film, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a breathtaking experience.

Tech

Autodesk Sketchbook                                                                    By Isabella Walker 

Produced by Autosketch

Available exclusively for iOS devices

published 3/8/2016

Autodesk Sketchbook is a free mobile app that is meant to be used as a digital sketchbook. The app is downloadable on any mobile device, and while not the most advanced of apps, the lines used are all realistic, and imitate the tools that you could use in a physical sketchbook. It would be better if the the page wasn’t so touch sensitive, it’s very easy to make a mistake. It would also be more helpful if the “undo” shortcut wasn’t near the bottom. However, it is very easy to use, and can be used without internet, which is great for when data runs out. This app is perfect for students, due to its simplistic design. I’d give the app four out of five horseshoes.

Movie & TV

13 reasons why 13 Reasons Why missed the point          by Kay Brown                                    

Published 5/18/17

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original show based on the novel by  Jay Asher and executive produced by Selena Gomez. The show aired its first season on March 31, 2017.

The show tells the story of a 17 -year- old girl Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) who kills herself early in the show. She leaves behind a box of tapes dedicated to each person who contributed to her death, one of them being Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), whom Hannah has a crush on.

The show was highly acclaimed and talked about even before it came out. However, it did not live up to the hype and missed the bulls-eye on many important issues. Here are 13 reasons why 13 Reasons Why missed the point.

  1. Suicide is not a blame game. The show makes Hannah’s suicide seem like a way to get back at the people who impacted her decision, but taking her life was her decision alone, and the blame should not be placed on other people.
  2. By having Hannah make tapes dedicated to individual people, it characterizes her as being spiteful. By Hannah making the tapes and sending them to people who are trying to grieve in their own way is harsh because it forces people to live with what she put out into the world.
  3. Mental illness is not brought up once in the show. It is obvious through the show that some of the characters are traumatized from events in their past and are suffering from mental illness. For example, Justin seems to have been abused but never seeks any help from it, and Hannah continuously describes this feeling of loneliness which is most likely depression.
  4. The events in the show may be triggering to some viewers who have had traumatic events happen to them. Despite the warning in the episodes with graphic scene including vivid scenes lasting several minutes depicting sexual violence. The intent was to spread the message about how physical abuse can impact people but it disregarded people who have gone through it.
  5. It glamorizes the idea that once you are gone someone will care about you or pay attention to you, and somehow you will get what you didn’t have when you were alive. This can not be proven true or false because no one knows what happens beyond the grave.
  6. It also glamorizes the idea of a revenge suicide. That after someone takes their life they will have to live with the pain of losing you. That leaving an artifact that exposes their truth in the form of a letter, videotape will make your impact and time on earth worth something.
  7. The show provides a limited view of a high school experience. In order to have the experience that the characters had one would have to live in a very specific part of town. Also, have the resources and luxury of having their parents not being present.
  8. The show has zero diversity in it; all of the main characters are white. People of color are under-represented in this show: Mr. Porter (Derek Luke), Jessica (Alisha Boe), Sheri Holland (Ajiona Alexus),  Courtney Crimsen (Michele Selene Ang), Zach Dempsey (Ross Butler) , and Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro) are the only people of color featured in the show.
  9. In an attempt to stress how important this subject is, the message came off as funny. They tried too hard and the message was lost in the entertainment purposes. For example, memes mocking suicide and the characters struggles were circulated soon after it aired.
  10. The show gives the message that high schools are ill equipped to prevent or see the signs of possible teen suicide. It does so by providing a Hollywood version of a high school. No real high school has only one counselor present; this would make the school ill equipped to deal with college readiness, career prep, and the emotional side of being a teenager.
  11. It turned negative attention to teens who are having suicidal thoughts. Now the students are battling their own demons while going to school and having to hear jokes about suicide and “here’s your tape.”Which may prompt students to consider suicide.
  12. The show shines a light on suicide making it seem like a  crime scene that multiple people are involved in. When in reality there is no crime web, it is just Hannah and her decision. She even makes a crime web like chart with all of the 13 people on it.
  13. When people take their own life, it is their life, and their decision.

Even though the show was not good for suicide and mental health awareness, it was a great show for entertainment purposes. The shows captures you and makes you want to watch to see what the next tape and person could’ve done.

It is important to note that this show just an adaptation of a novel, and that despite the 13 reasons listed above, this was how the author of the novel wrote it. This was the original plot and changing the plot to make mental health and suicide health sensitive would not be true to the book.

It would not be fair to only look at the show and blame the directors, screenwriters, and the producers who worked hard on the project, when they simply took the plot from paper to film.

The second season is expected to air in 2018, consisting of 13 episodes.

“Life” Movie Review                                                                                 Published 4/27/2017

By Justin Seabrook

life

photo from IMDB.com

If you’re looking for a science fiction thriller that will throw twists and surprises at you at every turn, then you should go check out Life.

This movie stars Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”), and Rebecca Ferguson (“The Girl on the Train”).

After the returning voyage of soil samples from Mars arrive at the international space station, the astronauts (played by Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson,
Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga
Dihovichnaya) aboard soon realize that more than dirt came back within the samples.  They quickly realize that the alien life aboard their ship poses a bigger threat than they thought.

This movie is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in generally dark, including the plot and the overall setting, sci-fi movies with twists, that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Life is unlike any other science fiction movie of this year. The actors truly portray the part of astronauts dealing with the unknown, weighing in choices that will ultimately saved themselves, or the human race as a whole. The movie features beautifully designed cgi animation, and incorporates it seamlessly as the plot goes on, with a cast of actors that truly know how to show reactions to something that may or may not be there.

Life is still available in certain theaters around the country. It has not been released online yet. I give this movie four out of five horseshoes.

“I Am Not Your Negro” Review                                                             Published 4/6/2017

By Kierrah Daniels

Although Black History month has concluded, that doesn’t mean you have to stop learning about the history of the black community. If black history month has piqued your interest and you want to know more, consider the documentary I Am Not Your Negro.

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The Nickelodeon Theatre is located on Main Street in the downtown section of Columbia.  Photo by Kierrah Daniels

The documentary is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and it highlights James Baldwin and his view of the ‘post reconstruction’ America. Baldwin shares the story of him and three of his peers Medgar Evers, Malcolm X , and Martin Luther King Jr. (all civil rights advocates) as they travel throughout the south trying to invoke change. Their stories are told through a series of interview clips, pictures, and the intricate details of cold case files.This movie is shot all over the south and does a good job accurately presenting many of its historical factors like the architecture, monuments and atmosphere of the period. It also has a phenomenal soundtrack and character development that keeps its audience invested in the show. The documentary provides an authentic look into black history and even shines a light on the Black Lives Matter Movement today. I Am Not Your Negro is an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature. I rate this documentary 5 out of 5 horseshoes, and I look forward to seeing more of Baldwin’s work in  the spotlight.  The film originally premiered here in Downtown at the Nickelodeon Theater.  Although this film is no longer playing in theaters, the film will be released digitally and on DVD on May 2, 2017.

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photo from IMDB.com

“Split” Review                                         Published 3/14/2017

By Jessica Green

I recently saw the movie “Split” and it is a movie to see. The movie starts with three girls — Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula), and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) — who get kidnapped in a parking lot by a man named Kevin (James McAvoy), who you might know as Mr. Tumnus from “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Kevin having  23 other personalities and the three girls not knowing this makes the movie even more suspenseful. Kevin was very believable in the fact that he had multiple personalities.

The acting in this movie was pretty believable, especially in the beginning in the movie. This made me enjoy the movie a lot. The end’s performance was what decreased my liking for the movie. The movie started off believable but strayed away from the plot just like the movie “Cabin in the Woods”  where the same thing occurred. Overall, the movie was very good. I would give it 4.5 horseshoes, and I recommend this to teens and people who like suspenseful movies.  

This movie is currently playing at Sandhills.

“The Huntsman Winter’s War”

Review by Kylan Carter                                                               published 5/13/2016

In this spin off to “Snow White and the Huntsman,” we are introduced to the Queen Revenna’s (Charlize Theron) little sister Freya (Emily Blunt). Freya becomes the ice queen due to a devastating loss and betrayal. She makes a kingdom of her own and raises children to be her huntsmen. We see the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) we know from Snow White and the Huntsman grow up, being raised by Freya. We are then introduced to his wife Sara (Jessica Chastain) who isn’t whom she seems. In the end, Freya has the final say over love and revenge, and the audience gets another look at the benevolent evil queen.

Although the plot had a beautiful concept, I found the movie very anti-climactic. The action scenes could have been better. The build up was drawn out and the climax fizzled out. The majority of the suspenseful moments were expected and easy to guess. Compared to the first movie, it was a good portrayal of the original fairy tale.  This movie was more of a pathetic attempt to be “Frozen.” If you watch the trailer before the movie, you will be very disappointed.. It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t waste my money for the theaters. It had good acting and animated effects, but overall it was just dull. I would wait for it to go on DVD or Netflix. I give the movie a three out of five horseshoes.

“Inception

by Jefferson Fulmore

Now streaming on Netflix is the movie “Inception.” The storyline of this movie deals with developing and extracting ideas from a person’s mind through dreams. Leonardo DiCaprio stars, playing a man named Ebes who is a dream engineer that extracts information through other people’s dreams. DiCaprio’s performance is surprising because usually he stars in more “real-life” roles. Honestly, he does an amazing job in this abstract role.  The cinematography in this film provides the viewer with jaw-dropping effects.Composer Hans Zimmer’s score elevates this drama by adding suspense to this psychological thriller. Overall, I rate this movie as a five out of five horseshoes.

I recommend you see this spectacular movie.

Restaurant Reviews

Cracker Barrel

by Alexz Wilson

Have you ever wanted to go somewhere for dinner because you are sick of eating at home? Well, Cracker Barrel has breakfast all day and specials for dinner every weekday.

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Vegetable plate at Cracker Barrel (Photo by Alexz Wilson)

If you aren’t a fan of pancakes or country ham, try the delicious country vegetable plate. You get the selection of four vegetables and your choice of biscuits or cornbread. Their selection is wide in variety, ranging from sweet baby carrots to fried apples. (Which are my personal favorite) You can get it all for $7.59 and wash it down with their homemade raspberry tea.

Now if you are a meat lover, they have great choices for you too. From steak to country ham, the choice is always up to you. The summer menu features an amazing campfire chicken- or you can select the campfire beef- which includes a half-chicken spiced just right in their personal campfire seasoning, corn on the cob, carrots, red skin potatoes, onions and tomatoes. They place it in foil and cook it all together allowing the savory juices to combine in a mouthwatering extravaganza! This also comes with homemade biscuits or cornbread and pairs well with their freshly brewed sweet tea.

Cracker Barrel is located in Sandhills between Red Robin and The Home Depot. There is not a fairly long wait during the week, but it can get crowded quickly. The service is fairly decent and they always show a clean storefront. After you eat and before you pay, you also have an assortment of candies, toys, clothes, and a multitude of other items to select as you leave. So next time you are starving for some dinner and don’t know what to choose, stop by your local Cracker Barrel. Their warm country home-style will make you feel welcomed from the minute you walk in.  

Zaxby’s

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Wings and Things (Photo by Mi’chael Kelly)

By Kiara Letman

Sick of eating the same thing every day?  Are you distracted during fourth period because you are too busy deciding lunch?  If so, try going to Zaxby’s and ordering a Wingz and Thingz combo.

This meal is the best value for your money.  The combo offers five chicken wings, three chicken strips, fries, bread and a drink of your choice.  It costs $7.99 and is worth every penny.  This meal is in student price range and gives you more for your money.

Zaxby’s is located at 101 Clemson Rd. Columbia, S.C.  It iss not far from the school and is worth the trip.  The menu includes chicken wings, sandwiches and salads.  The service at this specific Zaxby’s is great also.  You will leave satisfied.  So check out Zaxby’s whenever you are stuck on what you want.  It will be worth your while.

Book Reviews

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Review

By Halin Miklas                                                                                       Published 5/19/2016

Before going to see the movie, I recommend by first reading the book, “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs. The book is geared toward teens and young adults. This is not a book you would give to a ten year old on account that there is a lot of adult language throughout the novel. Not only that but it’s a dark and downright weird book. But that doesn’t mean it is not a good one.

The main character has many bizarre encounters with different people and places, and since Ransom Riggs is such a great writer, it feels like we are part of those encounters too.

Right off the bat we’re thrown into the action and we don’t come out of it until we’ve finished the book. Riggs throws us into another world and once you’re in, you don’t want to leave.

There are photographs in the book too, and even though some of them are a little disturbing, they tie into the story well. The characters can also be characterized as strange, but by the end of the book, you’ll be in love with each and every one of them and their peculiarities.
“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” is a fun and fast paced novel. The ending will make you want to pick up the second book right away, so if you’re going to buy this book, be sure to purchase the entire series, you won’t be disappointed.

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