IT: Chapter Two (2019) Review

By Decklynn Johnston

For quite some time, everyone has been buzzing about the sequel to IT: Chapter One. Chapter Two came out on September 6th, 2019. I went to see it with some friends on September 9th, and I can say I was not disappointed with the movie. IT was originally a novel written by an author named Stephen King, who is known for his horror-themed novels. There was a popular original film made in 1990 with a sequel as well.

If you’ve seen IT, then you know it’s about a demonic clown that terrorizes a group of friends. One of the group’s members, William “Bill” Denborough had a little brother named Georgie who got eaten by the demonic clown, Pennywise. The story then sets itself in motion. In the end, the self-proclaimed Losers fight off Pennywise for good, and make a blood oath that if IT, Pennywise, ever returns to the town of Derry, they would come back to destroy IT again.

In Chapter One, they’re all in the 12-14 age range, now fast forward to Chapter Two, 27 years later. They’re all grown up, and leading their own lives for the most part. However, IT returns to Derry and Mike, the only member of the Loser’s Club that stayed behind in Derry, calls all of his old friends to give them the terrifying news. Now, we all know that their childhoods were traumatizing, mainly because of Pennywise but also because of personal things that were happening in each of their homes. However, despite these traumatizing experiences, the ones that left Derry don’t remember most of it until they return to their hometown. 

The best part about this movie is that they connect all of the complicated backstories. With seven main characters, you’d think it would be difficult to successfully be able to have each character’s story line fit appropriately into the story,  but the producers do a very good job at it. Not to mention its relevance to the book. The remakes (2017 & 2019) are more of an accurate representation of the book, including more of the book’s events and the storyline than the 1990 version did. The graphics were good and the plot was planned out very well, and the movie progressed smoothly. All in all, the move was made really well.

Another thing that makes the movie amazing is the comedy mixed in with the horror. Most movies that mix these genres overdo it to the point where it gets a tad bit annoying. However, IT Chapter Two has its comical moments, but it still serves its purpose as a horror movie very well.

And lastly, let’s talk about the character development and actors. All of the characters go through changes that benefit the story. Chapter Two loops around to connect the characters to their adolescent selves, childhood events and not to mention the actors they picked out were fabulous for the job. The cast did an amazing job at portraying the characters in a similar way the cast did in Chapter One. 

Overall, IT: Chapter Two exceeded my expectations and was an excellent movie, and is even a movie you could watch more than once without getting bored with it. This movie lives up to its big reputation. IT has the perfect mix of horror, comedy and drama, so in all, this movie won’t let you down.

2019 Live-Action Disney Remakes

After recent premiers of Disney’s Christopher Robin and Beauty and the Beast, it’s to be expected that Walt Disney Studios has a few more exciting revamps in the works. Here I have a definitive list of upcoming live-action remakes of your favorite Disney Classics.

Dumbo (March 29, 2019)

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A 1941 classic, re-imagined, about an elephant teased for his large ears.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QPdRfqTnt4

A real tear jerker. If you have a soft heart, be prepared to bust out a few tissues during this one. Although Dumbo leads with a sad, tragic beginning, it does have plenty of humorous scenes and end with an uplifting message too. I know I’ll cry while watching it, but I am more than excited for this one.

Alladin (May 24, 2019)

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A remake of the 1992 tale of a street rat who meets a genie and uses his wishes to try to win the heart of a princess.
https://youtu.be/9g5knnlF7Zo

There’s no doubt that the original Alladin had it all. Comedy, drama, action, romance, all packed into one, 90 minute movie. I can only imagine the kind of excitement a live-action version will bring us. Just the teaser trailer for the new movie looks thrilling.

The Lion King (July 19, 2019)

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1994 blockbuster revamped. A young lion cub eagerly awaits his spot as king of the pride, but later finds himself in a harmful situation regarding his evil, uncle Scar.
https://youtu.be/4CbLXeGSthDxg

At some point, we have all heard the phrase “Hakuna Matata, it means no worries.” And I have absolutely NO worries that this movie won’t be amazing. Seriously though, who doesn’t love the The Lion King? This trailer does not disappoint.

Lady and the Tramp (Fall 2019)

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A new twist on the 1955 film about a stray mongrel and a upper class Cocker Spaniel’s love story.
There is no official release date or trailer for the movie yet.

The Lady and the Tramp was one of my all time favorite movies when I was little. I mean, come on… It’s about DOGS! I can’t wait to see what Disney has in store for the 2019 version of this one.

Walt Disney Studios is bringing many exciting live action films to theaters this year, but there are even more to come. Disney has released a list of the films they intend to release in the next five years. Movies such as Toy Story 4, Snow White, Pinocchio, The Sword in the Stone, and Peter Pan are just a few we can expect to see in the near future.

Movie Review: Not Alone

By Reagan Despain

Struggling with her best friend’s suicide Jacqueline Monetta decided to create a documentary about people who have survived a suicide attempt and people who have struggled with mental illnesses. With the help of Kiki Goshay, Jacqueline was able to understand better why her friend committed suicide. While having one-on-one interviews, Jacqueline, and the audience was able to learn about depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide attempts, getting help and treating mental illness.

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https://vimeo.com/user47660839tion

According to Jacqueline Monetta on her website, studies show that about 90% of teens that kill themselves have suffered or is suffering from a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug and/or alcohol abuse, or a behavioral problem. Some teens might have been subjected to sexual or physical abuse or a very traumatic experience.  They may also be struggling with sexual identity or they might be having problems with their family, friends, or even problems at school.

Teens usually show clear warning signs before a suicide attempt. These warning signs might include: substance abuse, little or too much sleep, displaying extreme mood swings, talking about wanting to die or kill themselves, talking about being hopeless or having no reason to live, and talking about being “trapped.” If you notice any of these signs in a person or yourself you should immediately seek help or help the person in need.

“More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.” -American SPC

This film was very emotional and inspirational. I chose the word inspirational because I think that it opens up the eyes of the audience and makes them want to help people in need. The movie as a whole was actually really good and I would definitely recommend you watch it.

For more information about the film go to http://not-alone.live/

Movie Review: Den of Thieves

By Kayla Mustain

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To be honest the only reason I wanted to watch this movie was because Gerard Butler starred in it. The storyline was what kept me interested.

“Big Nick, original gangsta cop in the flesh.” -Tony Z

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Gerard Butler is the bad cop that is good at getting the bad guys. He is known as the boss of the Regulators, which is a small unit of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. To the cons everywhere, he is to be feared for sure. The most experienced group of cons in Los Angeles, the Outlaws (little cliche I have to admit), are a bunch of ex-military. The Outlaws use their knowledge and skills to create a perfect circumstance where they avoid the law. As soon as Gerard’s character, Nick, hears of the Outlaws latest feat, he decides to take up the unique case.

“You’re not the bad guys, we are.” -Nick

The movie has a lot of back and forth between the Regulators and the Outlaws. In the end, you will end up like me, unsure of which side to pick and who the good/bad guy even is. There is quite a bit of foreshadowing and little clues that make you believe the movie is going to go a completely different way than it actually ends up going.

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 “We got a problem. It’s a major crime. Get to know your enemy, boys. Every big-time crew has been busted, these are the guys who took them down.”

Den of Thieves is more about the process of planning a heist than the process of law enforcement. The Regulators aren’t exactly good but they aren’t completely bad. The Regulators are loyal to each other and fierce, same as the Outlaws. The only problem they have is each other.

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Jumanji (WTTJ): Movie Review

By Jacob Stone

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Jumanji (WTTJ) is a good movie but it doesn’t have anything on its predecessor Jumanji ?that was made in 1995, but that is a review for another time. We are talking about the Jumanji made in 2017, which was a very long wait even for myself, but it was kind of a let down with all things considered. The best thing about the movie was the cast, my favorite being a teenage girl stuck in Jack Black’s body and a nerdy white kid stuck in The Rock’s body. The premises of the movie is that Jumanji always finds a way, so when a kid says, “Who plays board games?”, the game turns into a game cartridge. Why you would put a mysterious game cartridge in your gaming system I’ll never know, but he gets sucked into the game. The game is found many years later by a group of teens who decide to play it. There is only one unforgivable sin in this movie, and it’s this scene:    Image result for jumanji  helicopter gif

Let me explain, the helicopter turns at a 90-degree angle. Under any circumstances, this could never happen, but it was convenient for the director.  Overall, I’d rate this movie a 6/10. It’s not the best movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly not the worst. The cast was great and the humor did not feel forced. If you want a funny movie with action and adventure, this movie is for you.

Movie Review: 12 Strong

By Kayla Mustain

The movie 12 Strong is drama/action movie that is rated R. The name of the movie is the first thing that intrigued me. I decided to watch it when I found out it was based on a true story. It seemed realistic and had great actors, so definately my kind of movie. It starred Chris Hemsworth as the captain.

The movie begins with the tragedy of 9/11. From then on the captain, Mitch Nelson, leads the Special Forces Team into Afghanistan. Once he is there, he joined with an Afghan warlord, General Dostum, who is part of the Northern Alliance to take down the Taliban. The movie is complex and patriotic at the same time.

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“The most important thing you take into battle, is the reason why.” -Colonel Mulholland

It dealt with realistic struggles but also had some comic relief. They were greatly outnumbered, and it seemed almost impossible for them to make it out of the last battle they faced against the Taliban.

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“Fifty thousand Al Qaeda fighters, and you’re just an army of twelve.” -General Dostum

In the beginning, I didn’t really care for the Afghan warlord mostly because he seemed a little put off about helping the captain even though they are going against a mutual enemy. It was nice to see him go from being a stony warlord that refused to really communicate with the captain about military strategies, to sharing stories and even becoming great friends with the captain at the very end. He was my favorite example of character development.

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What I believe is one of the best attributes Captain Mitch Nelson has is that he was a great leader and soldier. Although Northern Alliance General Dostum refused to really talk to him because of the sole fact he hadn’t killed anyone before, he still managed to get on his good side for being a good leader. By partaking in the tactics of Afghani horse soldiers, the captain added to his advanced military knowledge to form a great army.

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“We’re fighting with horsemen against tanks.” -Captain Mitch Nelson

 

Why The Room is the Best Movie of All Time.

By Alex Guadarrama

When we think about great movies, we tend to think about movies that are made by Disney, Pixar, or even M. Night Shyamalan. But the film The Room is something else. I will go ahead and say right now that it has its flaws, more than the modern movie. Now, this is still a great film in its own way, you’d have to watch it too understand. Personally, I liked the movie, but to the public that wasn’t the case.

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Wiseau (left) Franco (right)

Tommy Wiseau is a man of mystery. He’s the one that took it upon himself to direct, write and star in the film. Tommy at one point in his life had six million dollars; where he got the money is a complete mystery. With a six million dollar budget, you’d expect it to succeed, but that wasn’t the case, unfortunately. The movie made a total of 1,800 dollars at the box office. Needless to say, it failed.

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How the public reacted to The Disaster Artist

 

The plot of the film was great, don’t get me wrong, it was the acting that butchered it. When it was all said and done, you’d expect the movie to completely fall off the face of the earth. Wrong, that wasn’t the case. Fast forward fourteen and a half years later and we have a second adaptation. Hollywood hits James Franco, Dave Franco, and Seth Rogan star in The Disaster Artist a film that is a documentary based on the “The Room.” Needless to say, the film skyrocketed and became an instant hit.

Second chances are very much real, but we don’t always get the luxury to make a big comeback as Wiseau did. The success that The Disaster Artist achieved caused many to go back and realize that The Room was so bad that it was so good. It balanced perfectly. The film was so great that actor, James Franco, won the best leading actor in a musical or comedy at the 2018 Golden Globes. Tommy was invited to the Golden Globes and was asked to come on stage by James Franco himself when he won his award.

 

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Never give up on your dreams!

Tommy will finally make his dream come true. The Room will be re-released on January 10th for a one night only showing at selective theaters. If you’re interested in watching it, the closest theater showing The Room will be at The Razorback Cinema in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Let’s just hope this time around he makes more than 1,800!

 

Top 5 Christmas Movies

By Michael Mann

Ahh, Christmas movies, one of the best things about Christmas, second to only the presents we receive. Today, I’ll be finding the best Christmas movies that I’ve ever watched.

5. Die Hard

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 Source: Rio Theatre

You might be thinking “Die Hard that’s not a Christmas movie, dislike!” Well, I’ll level with you. I just really enjoy watching this movie…that’s pretty much it. I enjoy action movies and this is probably one of the best I’ve ever watched. For those of you who’ve never watched it, it’s about a cop named John McClane visiting his ex-wife and his daughters during Christmas. He joins his ex in a Christmas party at the place she works, which happens to be a multi-billion dollar business. Terrorists then take over the building and hold everyone in the building hostage. McClane is the only one who can save all the hostages. Hey, I personally need a break from the countless animated Christmas films with morals that are constantly airing on every channel.

4. Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

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Source: Santabanta.com

Yeah, it’s an animated movie with a moral, I know. I said I needed a break from them once in awhile, not that I hated them…heck, I love them. A Christmas Carol is about a grumpy old man named Scrooge who hates everything, especially Christmas. He gets visited by three ghosts of the past, present, and future. They show him the error of his ways, yadda, yadda, yadda. Although the animation is a little nightmarish at times…

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Source: Covering Media. Scrooge looking into your soul.

I still really enjoy watching this each and every year.

3. Nightmare Before Christmas

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Source: GETWALLPAPERS

It is the only Christmas film that will give you nightmares on purpose. The plot is about a tall skeleton, named Jack Skellington, living in a town where everybody obsesses over Halloween all year long. Jack starts to get weary over only celebrating the one holiday, and decides to take a walk in a forest where he stumbles upon trees that have doors with symbols that represent all the major U.S. holidays.

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magic doors for Easter, Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Source: Etsy

Jack, being curious, decides to go through the one with the tree on it. It ends up being a town dedicated to only Christmas. Jack seeing all of this decides to try and convince the town to adopt the holiday.  Not only is the plot original, the animation is just fantastic, I love knowing about the amount of effort put into making this movie be stop-motion rather than just a cheap CG movie. Although I’ve seen this at least a hundred times, I still look forward every Halloween and Christmas to watch them another hundred times.

2. Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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Source: TV Guide

Yes, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, not the live-action adaptation. Even though I found Jim Carrey’s Grinch funny, I’m referring to the original animated one. If you haven’t watched this movie it’s about a town called Whoville,  and before this goes any further, yes, it’s made by Dr. Seuss like it says in the title. Whoville is inhabited by Whos who love Christmas, but there is a nasty creature who lives on the outskirts of town who hates Christmas named the Grinch. The Grinch is plotting to ruin Christmas. I really suggest watching this movie if you haven’t already. Those of you out there, like me, who enjoys watching this movie, there is a 3-D adaptation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas coming out on November 9th, 2018.

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“How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” 2018. Source: IMDb

Honorable Mention: It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!

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The stop-motion version of Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Sandy. Source: Wikipedia

I would put this as number 1 on the list if it wasn’t just a 22-minute special of an animated T.V. show airing on Nickelodeon.The plot is about Spongebob accidentally spreading hate around due to Plankton and his schemes. I love seeing the hard-work they poured into just a single episode by making it stop-motion. I strongly suggest watching it if you haven’t in awhile or haven’t watched it already. In my opinion, it’s the most quality episode of SpongeBob there has been for quite awhile.

1. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town & A Year Without Santa Claus

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Just beardless Santa with a penguin, nothing unusual about that. Source: The Music Universe

There are two reasons why I picked two movies for number one. First reason, they’re both really good movies. The plot is great the animation is great. Reason two, “A Year Without Santa Claus” follows the same Santa and just adds more characters and makes the plot different from the first movie. The plot in “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” is pretty much the backstory of Santa, how Santa became the Santa we know and love today. The second one is about Santa being sick and everyone finding out and becoming sad. In the end, Santa gets up despite his illness and saves the day. You pretty much know the story even if you haven’t watched the movie. Even though the plot is a little cliche’, I still really enjoy watching these movies twice a day every day of December each year since my birth and until my eventual death.

Did your favorite Christmas film make it on the list, or disagree with any of my choices? Write it in the comment section below.

IT (2017) Review

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By Maya Dally

For quite a while now, it’s been no secret that people have been excited about the new IT movie, a remake of the original 1990 film. IT was written by Stephen King, a very well-known horror author who has made his name by writing some of the best novels, possibly ever. Many, many of his books have been made into movies, for good reason in most cases. Saturday night of this past weekend, I went to the Neosho 6 with a couple of friends to see IT, my hopes were very high. Needless to say, I was not let down.

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The story closely follows the same plot as the book and original movie, obviously with a few changes. A boy’s little brother dies in their small town, a mystery of sorts. From there, strange disappearances and deaths are a regular occurrence in the town of Derry. Seven kids set out to figure out what’s going on and how to stop it. This involves trying to defeat an evil clown named Pennywise, played by actor Bill Skarsgard who did fantastic. Most of the movie is sort of based around child actors, and that can be a pretty difficult task to manage if the kids are especially young. However, I think it’s easy to say that all of the children in this movie did great. There was never the awkward cringe feeling that you get sometimes while watching bad acting, mostly because there was no bad acting. I can definitely see all of the actors/actresses having a successful life with their careers.

Another thing that is difficult to do, but they somehow pulled it off, is keeping up with all of the back stories. Often, when movies include the stories of all the main character’s lives, it’s easy to feel like everything is jumbled and confusing, but this movie does a great job at getting those stories in while also being able to keep the plot moving. It had such a nice blend of horror, sadness, feel-good, and humor. Really, it was just very well-made.

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Overall, all of the cast members did incredible at portraying their characters smoothly. The graphics and production, in general, were also very nicely done. I know some people are nervous about the movie because there is this stigma that the original is always better, but I really don’t think this was a let down in any way. If you are someone who watches scary movies through your hands covering your eyes but still want to see the film, I think it’s easy to say that if you just focus on the plot more than the horror aspect, you should be fine. IT is most definitely a movie that you should watch more than once to pick up on things you missed the first time. I’m sure it will be just as good as your first experience with it. All in all, this new movie really lived up to all the hype brought along with it.