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‘Wonder’ teaches life lessons

posted Dec 12, 2017, 9:48 AM by Makenna Beesley


Based off of the novel by Raquel J. Palacio of the same name, “Wonder” hit the theaters on Nov. 17. The story takes you through the lives of Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a 5th grader who’s been homeschooled and has a facial deformity; his sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic); Via’s best friend Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell); and Auggie’s first friend, Jack Will (Noah Jupe). Throughout different events, you get the perspectives of each character and the struggles they are going through that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Auggie is struggling with starting public school and worrying about how the other kids will treat him due to a genetic facial deformity. Despite bullying and being avoided like the plague, Auggie manages to make friends with Jack Will. However, as Halloween comes around, Jack makes the mistake of trying to fit in with cool kids and bullies.

Your heart breaks with the main character, as more bullying happens to Auggie, and now Jack isn’t there to defend him. And by switching perspectives, you also learn about Via’s struggles of always getting overshadowed by her brother and losing her best friend.

            By the end of the movie, Auggie has won the hearts of many of his classmates that had previously bullied him. The story shows a very common problem that kids deal with today--bullying and making friends--though not everyone has the extra struggle of a facial deformity. “Wonder” accurately shows how mean kids can really be and that some adults, especially parents, don’t recognize the bullying.

I went with a friend, and there were multiple times that we were both almost in tears. It teaches the life lesson of “If given the choice to be right or to be kind, always choose kind,” through a story rather than just saying, “Do this,” and “Don’t do that.” I give “Wonder” five out five cardinal heads.




"Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera

posted Dec 5, 2017, 9:54 AM by Alivia Lange

“Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera holds an important message

I listened to the song “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera the other day, and it made me realize how much emotion is put into this song and that it needs to be more popular.

Although it was originally released in 2002, “Beautiful” is an amazing song with powerful and positive lyrics. The song made a huge impact on me the first time I listened to it. It can be a powerful song for people with anxiety and insecurities; it really helps me when I have moments during my anxiety.

The song tells you that no matter what people have to say about you, you are still beautiful in every single way. It makes you realize that with confidence you can build yourself up but also break yourself down by listening to those people. Teenagers often struggle with self-worth or body image, so this song can help them remember their value.


I give this song 5/5 cardinal heads.


The Emoji Movie connects to our daily lives

posted Nov 21, 2017, 9:45 AM by Stephanie Brozovich

S
ony Pictures Animation’s newest film caught the attention of many children today with a great connection to our daily lives with technology. Today many children and students are constantly texting each other, some even in class during school, and within these texts, using emojis. “The Emoji Movie” does an excellent job making this connection to the daily lives of these children.

The movie starts with a school filling with students, who are constantly texting and have their phones during class. Within these texts are emojis, and the movie switches to the lives of these emojis being used. The main character Gene (T.J. Miller), is preparing to be a “meh” emoji but runs into conflicts with the original emoji, Smiler (Maya Rudolph). Gene and his two friends, Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), attempt to escape Smiler and her attacks. The three resolve Gene’s conflict and learn a valuable lesson about being yourself and not forcing yourself to be someone you’re not.

Young children will learn a great life lesson from watching this movie, while being entertained with the creative animation and cartoon-style characters. The emotions that many students feel today, such as a boy trying to impress a girl, are shown very well, as he tries to use the right emoji when texting her when they aren’t together. The movie is also really easy to relate to since the emojis are very humanlike. I would recommend this movie to young children. For high school kids, it’s the perfect movie to take a younger sibling or niece or nephew to. For this daily connection to our lives, I give “The Emoji Movie” five out of five cardinal heads.

Green meets expectations with new novel

posted Nov 13, 2017, 9:50 AM by Amanda Smith   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 9:50 AM ]

  

       Four years after his hit novel The Fault in Our Stars, John Green released his long awaited novel, Turtles All the Way Down, on Oct. 10. The story dials in on Aza, a 16-year-old from Indiana who lives with mental illness, in constant fear of contracting diseases, sending her through an “ever-tightening spiral”. The book is written in first person, allowing the reader to really see into the mind of Aza and what she battles every day.

    After a local billionaire who had been accused of fraud goes missing, Aza and her outgoing best friend, Daisy, seek to locate him to claim the $100,000 prize. To do so, Aza reconnects with the billionaire’s son, Davis, her childhood friend. Switching back and forth from reality to her intrusive, anxiety-induced thoughts, Aza juggles a possible relationship, her lifelong friendship, and the bond with her mother.

    Green is notorious for writing sappy romance novels for teenagers, but in my opinion, TATWD is his most mature novel yet. According to an interview with Green on Good Morning America, it is derived from his personal experiences with mental illnesses and the barriers it can create when it comes to forming or maintaining relationships, which gives it a real and relatable feel.

        Personally, this book makes my list of favorites, following Green’s Looking for Alaska (2005). He definitely met, and even exceeded, my expectations. Goodreads gave his novel a 4.3/ 5 and I give it 5 out of 5 cardinal heads.

Go to Bella Luna Cafe for a perfect first date

posted Nov 1, 2017, 10:09 AM by Makenna Beesley


Are you looking for a place to impress a date? Something a little more fancy than Applebees or Olive Garden? Or are you just looking to try a different culture’s cuisine? Bella Luna Cafe might be the place for you. They serve all sorts of Mediterranean food, from hummus to quinoa to chicken de Chateau. Bella Luna has two locations in Wichita--New Market Square and Bradley Fair.

This summer, I ate lunch at Bella Luna Cafe in New Market Square. The venue is small; they only seat a small number of people — my guess would be somewhere around 50-100 people. The service was quick, especially considering we had a group of 15, and the food was amazing. I do give a little warning — it is somewhat expensive. To start, we all shared hummus and chips, one of the dishes Bella Luna Cafe is known for. I had the lobster ravioli and quinoa. I had never tried the rice-like side but quickly found that is was delicious.

Even with it being expensive, the combination of trying new foods and the more personal atmosphere makes Bella Luna Cafe an excellent choice for a date or a small dinner party to celebrate with your friends.

Exact directions, menus, and other information can be found on Bella Luna Cafe's website



‘The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving’

posted Oct 17, 2017, 9:50 AM by Alivia Lange


The songs on Camila Cabello's new album “The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving” show great emotion and what things she went through. Included with the album is a dedication that’s a little different than the typical.

“To the hurting, thank you for teaching me that even if at night you take me into the deepest depths of the ocean, I will still wake in the morning. To the healing, thank you for the tears. When they finally came, they tasted like God. To the loving, you are even more beautiful than I remember,” it reads.

Cabello’s top songs include “Havana (Ft. Young Thug)” with 367.9 thousand views on the Genius.com website, “OMG (Ft. Quavo)” with 226 thousand, and “I Have Questions” with 281.8 thousand.

Even though the album has a lot of emotion, most people don’t know the story behind “The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving.”

“The story behind the album starts with the second song that you'll hear called ‘I Have Questions,’ which I started writing in a hotel bathroom on tour a little over a year ago.I was completely broken during that time, I was in the kind of pain that's uncomfortable to talk about... I was making music about everything BUT what I was going through. One day I just could not run anymore. I pulled up the lyrics from the year before, and ‘I Have Questions’ was written," she told Billboard magazine.“I realized I wasn't making music just to make an album anymore, I was making this music to heal. ... I didn't write it with the intention of delivering a message, but I realized the message was in the hurting, the healing, and the loving.” (See the full story here.)

            I really like these songs because they’re really from the heart, and they just connect with me when I hear them. When I hear “Havana” I can really relate to how she feels during the song. “Havana” is about her falling in love. Her song “I Have Questions” is about a friendship, not a romantic relationship. I feel with a friendship you think it’s going to last forever. You start considering that person like they’re family, and you don't see an end to that, so if they suddenly leave, it’s a shocking or abrupt ending that’s worse than a gradual growing apart. I can relate to this in so many ways, it just hits you in the feels when you hear the song, and when you understand the lyrics, it just means so much more.

I give Camila Cabello’s new album five cardinal heads.

Rating 5 cardinals.jpg


 

 

 

 

 

 


'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'

posted Oct 13, 2017, 8:05 AM by Cassie Brozovich


In the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Captain Jack Sparrow’s luck is running out as his old nemesis, Captain Salazar, hunts him down to break a curse. When Jack decides to help a young lad and lass find the trident of Poseidon to break curses of their own, Salazar finds them and the battle between the pirates begin.

The animation and CGI in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ was marvelous. If I were a young child watching the movie, I would have thought every bit of it was real. The crew’s makeup and effects fit the movie phenomenally with all of the action that was occurring.

    As a fan of Johnny Depp, I was excited to see him back in action. In this swashbuckling movie, I was kept at the edge of my seat, not knowing what was coming next. Even though I didn’t know what to expect with this drawn out series, I was thoroughly impressed with how it turned out. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ definitely deserves a 5 Cardinal Head rating.

Disney remakes a ‘tale as old as time’

posted May 3, 2017, 11:17 AM by Makenna Beesley   [ updated May 8, 2017, 11:33 AM ]

Image result for beauty and the beastDisney’s newest remade live action film, “Beauty and the Beast”, was a hit in box offices for a reason. Emma Watson was a perfect Belle, with her partner Dan Stevens as the Beast. This remake of a favorite classic didn’t disappoint, from the witty banter between Lumiere and Cogsworth to the plights of Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou. Even though the producers had to change and add elements to this story, they were so well integrated, it was sometimes difficult to tell if they’d been in the original or not.

The basic plot is the same, with the opening telling the story of a wicked prince who is cursed for not helping an enchantress, who turns him into a beast and places a spell on the castle and everyone who lived there. Belle is then seen in the village years later, with Gaston trying to woo her and Belle’s father leaving for the market. We then see the beast for the first time, and Belle takes her father’s place as prisoner. The familiar story continues from there, where despite her fears, Belle becomes friends with the enchanted staff at the castle, and learns to look past the beast’s terrifying exterior, which allows her to see the kind heart and soul of the prince that’s hidden on the inside.

The makeup, costumes and special effects were amazing. It felt so realistic, and the Beast’s whole image was astounding. I found myself re-falling in love with a movie I first watched as a kid. Anyone who loved the original will love this remake as well. I especially loved the Beast’s added song, “Evermore”. I was laughing, singing along, and marveling at the whole universe that was made. For this ‘tale as old as time,’ I give “Beauty and the Beast” five out of five cardinal heads.

CSHS play successful once again

posted Apr 11, 2017, 8:34 AM by Amanda Smith

For the second consecutive year, the school and community could enjoy a spring play.  This year’s play was “The Legend of Robin Hood… Sort of”,  directed by Kacy Blake. Although I did not watch last year’s performance, I was set on watching the satire remake of Robin Hood.

The first thing I noticed while watching the play was the perfect choice of the cast. Sophomore Caden Runnalls took on the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham, which I found to be the perfect choice. His quirky mannerisms and attitude made his scenes intriguing and funny. Sophomore Ben Doffing acting alongside as Robin Hood created a funny and playful atmosphere.

Seniors Chloe Henderson and Michelle Willson’s experience in acting was apparent throughout the performance, with Willson portraying three characters: Friar Tuck, Seller #1, and King Richard, and Henderson acting as Witch Waye.

Other actors included senior Matthias Doffing as King John, freshman Amy Zoglmann as Little John and junior Cassie Brozovich as Maid Marian. Like the other performers, these actors did a fantastic job as well, each one bringing their own kind of attitude and portraying each character effectively.

The play included puns, my favorite type of humor, and a lot of dry humor. With the cast being these type of people, the play was a huge success in my opinion. Because of the humor and well executed performance, I give this performance five out of five cardinal heads.

The Founder finally tells his story

posted Mar 29, 2017, 8:52 AM by stu.zachschwarzenberger@usd356.org   [ updated Mar 29, 2017, 8:54 AM ]

“The Founder” is a true story about how Ray Kroc, a traveling salesman from Illinois, met the brothers Mac and Dick McDonald and turned their small burger business into the huge franchise that it is today.

When I saw the commercials for this movie, I instantly wanted to see it. Why wouldn’t you want to see how one of the biggest businesses in the world started? It was released in theaters on Dec. 16, 2016.

The movie begins showing us the life of Ray Kroc as he’s trying to sell a milkshake maker to several restaurants, to no avail.So, he heads back to his apartment, where we learn that Ray has tried to sell several things in the past with the aspiration that one day he would make it big. Suddenly, Ray gets a phone call from his company letting him know that a small shop called McDonald’s has ordered several milkshake makers. To his disbelief, he heads for the restaurant.

What he finds is the first burger joint to ever use the “Speedy System”. The “Speedy System” is a carefully laid out building where every employee can move in perfect motion and make food ready for the buyer in under 30 seconds. This inspires Ray to speak to the owners of the restaurant, the McDonald brothers, about turning it into a franchise. The brothers very cautiously agree to the idea and have Ray set up plans for the country-wide expansion.

The drama between Ray and the brothers, along with all the decisions he makes to keep the company moving, makes the movie very entertaining, and it was great to see how this massive corporation came to be. The reviews for this movie are generally pretty good, and I feel the same way. I’d rate this movie four cardinal heads out of five.

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