Pitch Perfect 3 review

By Natalie Braga, Piper Gallivan, & Alivia Arredondo

The Barden Bellas are back in the third installment of the Pitch Perfect series. This movie was filled with jokes, music, and all of the fan favorite characters. After seeing it in theatres, we found ourselves simultaneously hating and loving it, and here is why. (Warning: this will contain spoilers.)

The plot strayed from the general predictable storylines of the first two movies. In those, the characters goals were laid out at the beginning, and you could easily tell they were going to achieve their goals. In this movie, the plot kept taking weird turns and it was hard to tell what was going on.

The overall plot was the Bellas, now in their early 30s and dissatisfied with their lives, are going on a reunion tour across Europe for the USO to be together one last time. On this tour, there was also a competition where DJ Khaled, a powerful and comedic character, was going to pick one of the acts to open for him on his upcoming tour.

As with most movies, there were sub-plots, but these didn’t really add to the movie, instead making it more confusing. Nothing seemed more out of place than Fat Amy and her dad’s storyline. He was a powerful, crime-bust, drug dealer who had been out of touch with her since she was a teenager. He recently found her and was trying to get the 180 million dollars that she had stored away from her mom. Through all of this, he ends up kidnapping the Bellas and holding them hostage on a boat with the threat of harming them.

Then came a scene that was more like a spy movie than anything else, with Fat Amy setting off a bomb and saving her team members. It was hard to understand why this was incorporated because it was a major distraction for a movie that already had a lot going on.

The ending was not what would be expected, with DJ Khaled only picking Becca instead of all of the Bellas. This led to a heartwarming and emotional scene, where they tell Becca they support her, and that they all love each other. Although the plot, at times was all over the place, the ending was still nice for a series so many people love.

The music and the acting overall in the movie wasn’t up to the standards set up by the other two movies. There seemed to be a lack of music, which was very unfortunate. However, the songs and remixes that did make it were quite good and the girls continue to be very talented singers. Music is such an important factor in movies, especially in the Pitch Perfect series, so to cut the amount of music in this movie was a bad idea by the writers and disappointing to the viewers.

The acting in this movie wasn’t bad, but overall there were some parts that seemed to be forced and unnecessary. For example, many of the scenes with Fat Amy and her father were not very well acted out and the whole thing seemed very forced. It is hard to tell why DJ Khaled got lines in this movie. Though some people disagree, he seemed to have lines that didn’t add much to the story and the acting was subpar. Aside from him, the Bellas and the other supporting actors did a good job with their parts. Most of them were able to bring their characters to life and seemed very believable, which was pleasing to watch and is appreciated.

In comparison to the other two Pitch Perfect movies, it seemed to be not as high quality and more forced than the others. Nearly all the characters came back, excluding Jesse, Bumper, and for the most part Stacy, if you don’t count her small and somewhat irrelevant appearances of her being pregnant. It was sad to see that Jesse was gone due to him being a very beloved character in the last two movies, and to cut his character entirely was a disappointing.

The girls still had crazy, hilarious personalities that were amusing for the most part, however, they seemed a little overdone after having the same jokes being made as the other two movies.

Though this plot continued to mostly follow Becca, this was the first movie where Fat Amy played a major role, which made sense due to her being a fan favorite. Unfortunately, we found her to be a bit too overpowering in comparison to her smaller, but still important, roles like before.

Besides these things, the bubbly personalities of the talented group still kept their charm, and were still satisfying enough to watch for anyone who had become invested in these girls over the years.

Overall, the movie was not the best quality, and we expected more from the creators, however, we don’t regret seeing how the beloved Barden Bellas’ trilogy came to an end. For those who have never seen the other movies, the jokes and plot may seem confusing, but for those who loved the first two, it is worth it to watch the Bellas go on one last crazy adventure together.

Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis

Minneapolis will be hosting Super Bowl LII in the new U.S. Bank Stadium, Sunday, February 4 at 5:30 PM CT. The Super Bowl is the final game of the NFL season, played every year for the past 52 years in a different state, and is the biggest annual sporting event in America according to Sports Illustrated. This is the second time Minneapolis has hosted a Super Bowl; they also hosted Super Bowl XXVI in 1992.

It was first announced that Minnesota would be hosting in 2018 in 2013, just after the Minnesota Vikings went 5-10-1 (5 wins, 10 losses, and 1 tie in a season). Since then, the team has improved tremendously, going 7-9, 11-5, and 8-8 in 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively (Check out Pro Football Reference for more stats).

We will not know who will be competing in the Super Bowl until the end of the playoffs, which continue on January 13, and end on January 21. It is possible that the Vikings, who are headed to the playoffs with a win-loss ratio of 13-3, will make it to this Super Bowl, and as MPR reported, it would be the first time in over 25 years that a Super Bowl participant would be competing in their own state.

As MPR points out, if the Vikings can survive the playoffs by defeating the New Orleans Saints, and then winning their conference championship game, they will become the first franchise in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their hometown. It would be the team’s fifth Super Bowl (their last was in 1977), having won not a single previous one.

But, while this may sound nice to Vikings fans, to the organizers of Super Bowl LII, it could create a great “headache,” according to Sports Illustrated. Hosting a Super Bowl is already a technical feat, but the logistical problems that would arise from the Vikings reaching the Super Bowl would make it even more impressive. Just by making it this far, the Vikings must host a divisional-round game at home on January 14, making it the first time a Super Bowl host city has also hosted a divisional-round game, and if Philadelphia loses, the Vikings will also host the NFC title game. According to CBS Minnesota, Downtown Minneapolis will be revoking parking permits in the area on the day of the game, in order to free-up parking space for attendees. If the Vikings do make it to the Super Bowl, the facilities which they, and their competitors use, will have to be swapped, to allow the Vikings to use their home facility as noted by Sports Illustrated.

The Super Bowl is more than just an annual football game and cultural event. For local and national businesses, it is a big commercial opportunity. It receives 100 million American viewers annually, more than three times more than the Oscars, the second largest TV event in America. Thus, the cost of a Super Bowl advertisement is roughly $5 million for a thirty-second spot, not including PR, digital promotion or contests. In total, a good campaign can cost around $10 million, according to ForbesA pop-up marketplace called North Local Market, displaying over 20 local brands, will be set up in City Center in downtown Minneapolis, from January 26 through the Super Bowl (for more information see  the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal).

But, not everyone is happy with the Super Bowl. According to the Minneapolis StarTribune, A coalition group has organized a protest march on the day of the game, from Peavey Park to U.S. Bank Stadium, in a route as of yet unrevealed. Activist Jess Sundin, a head organizer, said she expects to see “several hundred protesters.” They will be protesting against, in their own words, the “racism and corporate greed,” they perceive in the Super Bowl and the various side-acts connected to it.

Individuals interested in attending Super Bowl LII, who do not already have tickets, will be disappointed; the going price on StubHub, one month away from the game, is upwards of $3,200. Fortunately though, according to MPR, the Super Bowl host committee has announced Super Bowl Live, a 10-day festival leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. It will be held outside in Nicollet Mall, and will include free concerts, ice sculptures, and food.

The Vikings must win only two more games in order to make it to Super Bowl LII, and fans will be impatiently waiting until they next play. If they do make it, it will be a historic moment for the Vikings, the NFL, and Minnesota. If they win the Super Bowl, it will be a historic moment for American sports history in general.

Things to do in the Twin Cities

By: Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

Minnesota winters can be dreadful, and some people like to stay inside away from the cold. This year though, there are many events and places to visit. The Twin Cities is a great place to have fun this winter.

Starting off with Saint Paul, there are many different things to see and do. This winter you can spend your time outdoors ice skating, or indoors watching a movie.

Next, to the Cathedral, there is the Red Bull Crashed Ice Championship. This event takes place January 19-20, 2018. Saint Paul has hosted this event the past six winters. This sport is challenging, which makes it fun to watch. Skaters race through a long ice track with many obstacles. This event is free! Although you can purchase tickets to access better views, the price ranges from $20-$350. You can purchase tickets here: Tickets.

The Crashed Ice Championship is not the only exciting thing to do outdoors, there is also the Wells Fargo WinterSkate. You can go ice skating next to the Landmark Center. This is a small rink perfect to learn how to skate, or practice skills. Skate rentals are $4 per person, or if you are a Wells Fargo cardholder your skates are free. Open skate hours are Monday-Thursday from 11am to 4:50pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-10pm, and Sunday: 11am-8pm.

If you aren’t a fan of the outdoors but love sports; the 2018 NCHC Frozen Faceoff is for you. The Frozen Faceoff is a championship involving the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. This tournament is taking place downtown at the Xcel Energy Center, March 16-17, 2018. Tickets are on sale now, prices are based on seating and are from $50-$379. You can purchase tickets here: Tickets.

 

 

 

Saint Paul is also a fun place to learn and get away from the cold. Visiting the James J. Hill House, the Twin City Railroad Museum, the Science Museum, and the Minnesota Transportation Museum is a way to have fun indoors. If you don’t like museums, there is the Omnitheatre at the Science Museum.

 

 

You can also have lots of fun indoors playing mini golf. Can Can Wonderland is an indoor course, created by artists. Mini golf is not the only fun thing at this location, there is also an arcade, a restaurant, and two stages. Can Can Wonderland is located in the Hamline Midway neighborhood.

 

 

 

 

Saint Paul isn’t the only place to have fun this winter, Minneapolis and other cities also have a few winter activities. If you are brave and don’t mind the cold, you can race or watch the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival. There are many events during the festival, which include: cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, ice bike riding and many more! This is located in Uptown Minneapolis and taking place February 5-7, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a fan of art, this winter you can visit the Midwinter Light. This event is taking place at The Commons, January 27-31 from dusk-10pm; this is open to the public and free. Artist Jennifer Hedberg created art using ice and light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, please visit:

https://www.minneapolis.org/calendar/seasonal/events-for-winter/

https://www.visitsaintpaul.com/things-to-do/winter-fun/

Chocolate is going extinct

Scientists have recently had theories that support the idea that chocolate will go extinct in the next 30 years. Right now, the main producers of cacao plants (chocolate) are Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Unfortunately, the arable land in both of those places is a being greatly affected due to climate change. The air and soil temperatures are changing, and the way the beans are growing has changed.

The next biggest reason the plants may go extinct, is because of an insect-spread fungal diseases called “witch’s broom” and “frosty pod.” These diseases have already destroyed many of the cacao trees in Central America; their original natural home. Scientists, and farmers alike, are currently trying to find ways to keep those diseases contained, and not let them spread to the new chocolate empires.

800,000, out of the 25 million people, in Ghana, farm chocolate as their main crop. If these plants go extinct, not only would those people lose their biggest crop, and therefore their biggest source of income, the economy would be greatly affected. Most of Ghana’s economy comes from chocolate. Without that crop being exported, they would lose out on billions of dollars.

For more information, please visit:

“Chocolate Is a Bittersweet Way of Life in Ghana.” NBCNews.com https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/chocolate-bittersweet-way-life-ghana-n212741.

Lee, Bruce Y. “Could Chocolate Actually Go Extinct In 40 Years?” Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2018/01/01/is-chocolate-going-extinct-whats-being-done-to-prevent-this-disaster/#37c65561540f.

Freelanceqz. “The world’s two largest cocoa producers want you to buy their chocolate, not just their beans.” Quartz https://qz.com/981562/ghana-ivory-coast-are-marketing-more-chocolate-to-the-world/.

Sports schedule for: Jan 15-20

For  a full calendar of events please refer to: http://www.stpaulcity.org

Winter Sports: Co-ed Nordic Ski, Adapted Floor Hockey, Gymnastics, Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball, Wrestling, Girls Hockey, Boys Hockey, Boys Swimming, Danceline, Cheerleading, Alpine Ski

Activities the Week of January 15-20

Monday Jan 15:

MLK Holiday

Tuesday Jan. 16:

Co-Ed Nordic Ski @ Baker National Park  3pm (Bus 1:30/5:15pm)

Boys Basketball @ Central C-Squad 4pm  JV 5:30  Varsity @7pm (Bus 3pm/8:30pm)

Girls Basketball vs. Central @HP C-Squad 5:30  Varsity @ 7pm

CI Adapted Floor Hockey vs. Dakota United @ Humboldt 4:30pm

Boys Swim/Dive @ St. Louis Park (Bus 3/7pm)

Wednesday Jan. 17:

Gymnastics  vs. Johnson and Mpls. Southwest vs. Mpls. Washburn @ HP 6pm

Thursday Jan. 18:

Boys Swim vs. Johnson @ Humboldt 5pm(Bus 3/6:45pm)

PI Adapted Floor Hockey  vs. Rochester Raiders @ Freidell Middle School 5:30pm

Girls Basketball @ Christ’s Household of Faith (Salvation Army)  JV 5:30 Varsity @ 7pm (Bus 4:30/8:15pm)

Boys Hockey vs. Simley @ Veterans Memorial Community Center  JV 5:30  Varsity 7:30pm (Bus 3pm for JV and 5:15pm for Varsity/9:30pm)

Girls Varsity ‘Blades’  Hockey vs. Rochester Mayo @ Phalen Arena 7pm

Wrestling @ Central 7pm (Bus 5:30/8:30pm)

Friday Jan. 19:

Girls Basketball vs. Harding @ HP  C-Squad 4pm  JV 5:30  Varsity @ 7pm

Boys Basketball @ Harding C-Squad & JV 5:30  Varsity 7pm (Bus 4:30/8:30pm)

Co-Ed Nordic Ski @ Hyland Hills 4:30pm (Bus 3:30/7pm)

Saturday Jan. 20:

Boys Varsity Hockey vs. Legacy Christian Academy @ Blaine Super Rink 3pm (Bus 1/5pm)

Co-Ed Nordic Ski @ Theo Wirth Park TBD

Boys Swim True Team Invitational vs. Edina @ South View Middle School 9:30am (Dive bus 7:15/1pm  Swim bus 11:15/3:30pm)

Wrestling Invitational @ Eastview HS 10am (Bus 8:45/5pm)

Gymnastics Invitational @ Park-Cottage Grove 11am

Boys Basketball @ St. Croix Lutheran C-Squad 11am  JV 12:30  Varsity 2pm (Bus 10/3:30pm)

Go Scots!