Halloween movie reviews

by: Zoe Greiner and Montana Pelletier

Movies reviewed:
Hocus Pocus (1993), Halloweentown (1998), Twitches (2005), The Shining (1980), Scream (1996), The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Hocus Pocus (1993)
Rating: PG
Stars: 5/5
Actors: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, Omri Katz, Sean Murray, Doug Jones
Thoughts: An utter classic. It brings me back to the Halloweens of my childhood, when I sat in my living room in the absolute dark, eating myself into a coma. It has many silly moments and silly characters, but has a serious theme that all kids with siblings can connect to. There are also a few adultish references that still make me laugh now.
You can find it on freeform.go for free with commercials

Halloweentown (1998)
Rating: G
Stars: 3.5/5
Actors: Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag, Joey Zimmerman, Emily Roeske, Phillip Van Dyke
Thoughts: In complete Disney Channel fashion, this movie starts out with an angsty teenager and a cool grandmother. There was sibling rivalry and the plot was predictable. I will always find joy in a fantasy-esque Disney movie that grasps a teenage dream of being extraordinary. However, the acting is subpar and reminds me of every bad Disney show ever. So, overall, it’s great if you want to relive the glory days, but watching it again is seriously questionable.
You can find it on iTunes, Amazon Video, YouTube, and Google Play for 3 to 6 dollars.

Twitches (2005)
Rating: PG
Stars: 3/5
Actors: Tia Mowry, Tamera Mowry, Kristen Wilson, Patrick Fabian, Jennifer Robertson, Pat Kelly
Thoughts: Wowza. Another bad Disney film that I loved as a child. Somehow, the acting isn’t as important, as the story itself, when watching kids movies. The storyline in itself could be fascinating, but the fact that it feels like a soap opera ruins it. The twins, Tia and Tamera, haven’t done a lot now, and it’s kind of understandable because only kids want to watch that acting.
You can find it on iTunes, Amazon Video, YouTube, and Google Play.

The Shining (1980)
Rating: R
Stars: 4.5/5
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Joe Turkel, Barry Nelson
Thoughts: The Shining is a classic that has few faults. This is a great combination of jump scares and thrilling mind games. As the movie continues, you start to be driven crazy, just like main character. It’s a fully immersive storyline that draws you in immediately. If you are into oldies, then you’ll love this.

Scream (1996)
Rating: R
Stars: 3/5
Actors: Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy, Liev Schreiber
Thoughts: Although bloody, this movie is undeniably funny. The mix of betrayal, gore, and mystery, combined with witty and quick jokes make this perfect for Halloween. However, it is difficult to get attached to the characters which stops this movie from trapping your attention like it wants to.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Rating: R
Stars: 2.5/5
Actors: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams
Thoughts: From this movie came the Paranormal Activity style of horror films. Handheld camera, first person POV, and completely relatable characters. Because this movie was the first of its kind, it wasn’t executed wonderfully. The idea behind never really seeing the witch, and leaving a mind boggling amount of questions with you, is admirable, but stopped you from enjoying yourself completely. If you consider yourself a movie-hipster, watch this. But don’t expect to get very scared.

Highland Park Athletic Hall of Fame

By: Gabe Mattick and Riley Lumpkin

On Saturday, October 7th, 2017, Highland Park Senior High inducted the following individuals, and teams, into the Athletic Hall of Fame: John Heller, Louise Kramer, Charles Portis, Gary Podas, the 1999 Basketball Team, and the 1977 Volleyball Team. All of the inductees that were inducted into the Highland Park Athletic Hall Of Fame had notable accomplishments in their sports, while also helping the school thrive.

We attended the luncheon on Saturday morning, and listened to the various inductees and what they had to say. The first inductee was John Heller. He served as Head Football Coach from 1985-2000 and as the Athletic Director from 1995-2009. He did not say much about his accomplishments as the Highland Park football coach, but focused more on his amazing achievements as the Athletic Director. In an approximately 15 minute speech, he gave the audience a great story of how he was able, with the help of many parents, students, and teachers, to add on a field house to the school, and help install brand new lights onto the football field.

The next inductee was Charles Portis, and the 1999 Boys Basketball Team. Charles Portis was a school counselor and coached boys basketball from 1989-2010. He helped lead the 1999 Boys Basketball Team to a great season and a state title.

Next up, was Louise Kramer and the 1977 Girls Volleyball Team. No one from the 1977 team was able to attend the luncheon, and neither was Ms. Kramer, but we did get to hear a few words of their accomplishments, including a quote from Ms. Kathleen Kramer (who is not related the coach of the 1977 Volleyball Team) “The team that year went 6-0 in conference and went on later that year to win the state tournament with coach Louise Kramer.” Kramer coached from 1972-1978.

The final inductee was Gary Podas, who is the current golf coach at Highland Park Senior High. He has been the coach of the boys golf team since 1979, and has lead numerous boys golf teams to conference titles and state. He is the longest serving coach in the SPPS district.

Volunteer opportunities for high schoolers in the Twin Cities

Volunteering is a great way to help out in your community, earn volunteer hours, boost your resume, and gain new experiences. There are many different opportunities right here in the Twin Cities that can suit your different interests, and here are some of our favorites.

Animal Humane Society
Calling all animal lovers! The Animal Humane Society (115 Beulah Ln, St. Paul, MN) is a great way to spend your time by helping out at the shelter by doing various tasks. You may be bathing a dog one day, and helping a customer adopt a rabbit the next. If you’re into animals and want to help them stay happy and healthy, then this may be the place for you. If you are 16 or older and physically capable of handling animals, check it out at https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/volunteer.

Science Museum
Volunteering at the Science Museum of Minnesota (120 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN) is a great opportunity for all people who love to learn all about STEM and help others! Volunteers do all types of things including preparing a fossil, helping direct families, and answering questions about an exhibit you can learn all about. You also get many benefits such as free omnitheater films, free museum admission, free parking during volunteer shifts, a discount on the museum store, and more! If you’re 16 or older and willing to dedicate 4 hours a week or 4 hours every other weekend, apply at https://www.smm.org/volunteer

Literacy Program
The Literacy Program offers a great, easy way to volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are available Monday – Thursday from 4pm-6pm. This program offers the opportunity to work with children from grades k-3 with lessons on reading, writing and fun activities to help them in their everyday lives. Volunteers would be assisting staff members with teaching the lessons, on using vowels, blending spelling, language structure, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Head on over to 690 Jackson Street St. Paul, MN 55130 for a great fun way to help out the community! For more information about this program visit https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp2789513.jsp

Feed My Starving Children
If you haven’t heard of Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) come out from under  the rock you’re living under. FMSC is a great, fun, easy way to make a big impact of the lives of many children. Volunteering is super simple and fun. You can bring your friends, family coworkers, anyone! Volunteers pack a specially made meal pack that suits the needs of the world’s neediest children. FMSC is also a great way for groups of people to bond and do some good for the world. For more information go to https://www.fmsc.org

Friends of the Mississippi
Friends of the Mississippi (FMR) is an organization based in St. Paul that works to protect and restore the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities region. They work in and around the river to combat things trying to disrupt the life and natural beauty surrounding our river. The Mississippi is something so close to home, that many of use take granted of in our everyday lives. Volunteering here is an amazing way to show your appreciation for the natural resource that we are very lucky to have right here in St. Paul. There are a lot of hands on opportunities to work with FMR, and can work for everyone. An easy way to volunteer is with their over 60 organized clean-ups throughout April and November. If you participate in 4 or more events you get SuperVolunteer status with a free T-Shirt and access to many events! You can also organize a group of 20 or more and complete your own event. They have a special program for students so we can complete our volunteer hours. For more information on how do get involved, click here: https://fmr.org/serve-river-participate-fmr-events

Children’s Hospital
Volunteering at the Children’s Hospital is an amaizng way to help people that need it the most. When you volunteer, you won’t be doing the tasks you might think of at a hospital; you’ll be helping to make the kid’s lives a little bit better. Volunteers help young children do what they’d be doing in school, like math or reading, and planning activities for them to enjoy. You’ll also do things like read to and play with the siblings of patients, to make their time their more enjoyable. For more information go here https://www.childrensmn.org/support-childrens/volunteer/

There are so many ways to help out all around the Twin Cities, and we hope you found something that inspires you to go out and try!

NBA athletes and their pay

According to businessinsider.com, NBA players are the highest paid players in the world, (right behind the NBA are cricket players in India), with an average player making $6.4 million a year. The NBA has had many players that have been paid millions of dollars to shoot and dribble a basketball. Some of the NBA’s best players are being paid anywhere from 20-30 million dollars.

This year NBA players have been getting paid higher than ever. Stephen Curry, the point guard from the Golden State Warriors, got paid a 5-year, 201 million dollar contract to play with the Warriors. This would make his annual salary just about 34 million dollars. Behind him is Lebron James, the small forward from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lebron James has a current annual salary of about 30.3 million dollars. The third current highest paid NBA player is Paul Millsap, the power forward from the Denver Nuggets. His annual salary is about 31 million dollars. Some of the highest paid players in the NBA are paid so much just to stay with their current team and not leave to play somewhere else.

One of the most recent pay boosts is Andrew Wiggins from our local team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. He recently signed a 5 year, 150 million dollar deal. The contract had been available to him for some time now, but he didn’t take it because he wanted to let all his fans and teammates know that he wanted to stay in Minnesota no matter what and that pay wasn’t something that was a deciding factor. Wiggins, like most players, want to be seen to be players that don’t care about pay and love playing the game itself. The NBA likes to advertise their players as people who care and love where they play.

Many people believe that all the money NBA players make is from their play on the court, but a lot of their money and earnings come from off-court things. This can, and does include: advertisements, sponsors, charity, appearances on TV, and the internet. As the years pass, more and more player in the NBA tend to get paid more and more on and off the court.