‘The Platform’ movie review

By: Eva Olson

Image taken from: Platform
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8228288/

‘The Platform’ is a Spanish horror/thriller movie released in early November of 2019. This movie follows the main character, Goreng, and his journey in this vertical prison that has a moving platform that stops at each level to give people food. Because there is only one platform carrying food, not every level gets food. Every level has two people on it and every month you get sent to a random level. Throughout the movie, Goreng has to fight for survival and learn who he can and can’t trust, and he has to make some tough decisions that make him question his morals.

I thought the movie was very suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. I thought the pacing was perfect and helped create suspense. The plot was very interesting and I thought it was very original and not like a typical horror movie. I thought there were a lot of good plot twists that weren’t predictable and surprised me a lot. I liked how the movie didn’t rely on jump scares for suspense.

This movie was pretty gory and had some pretty gross scenes. There was a decent amount of blood and other kinds of gross things (think about how character may have to get food). There were multiple scenes where I felt the need to look away because it was too gross. Although it was kind of gory, it wasn’t constant and in every scene which I liked.

I thought all the characters were very interesting and I liked how everyone wasn’t specifically good or bad and they were conflicted at times. I also liked how the relationships between the characters would change constantly. I thought the acting was good and they did a great job casting each character.

I thought this movie was very good overall. I think I would’ve liked it better if the movie was originally in English so the dialogue would match up (it was dubbed in English) but the movie was still good. If you’re looking for a suspenseful thriller/horror movie then this is a good option.

I give it a 7.5/10 rating.

‘Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ movie review

By: Eva Olson

Image taken from: Newspaper
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9376612/

A new Marvel movie recently came out on September 3rd called ‘Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’, and I went to go see it. It follows the story of Shang Chi and his complicated past with his father, who wears the ten rings and uses them for money and power. His father sends assassins to bring him home to help him search for Shang’s dead mother, and destroy her village because he believes that she is alive and the village is keeping her prisoner.

I thought the theme of the movie was great; there was a good balance of both sad and funny topics in the movie and I was never bored while watching it. The funny parts made me laugh, the fight scenes were suspenseful, and I loved the bond between the main character and his best friend.

I thought they did a great job with the casting for the characters and the costumes were very good in my opinion. I also enjoyed how there were many ties to the original Avengers movies and other Marvel movies and characters.

I also loved the overall look of the movie. The visual effects made everything look so realistic and interesting and the fight scenes were perfect and very entertaining to watch.

The pace of the movie was very good and so was the camera work and scenery. I also loved the cultural representation in the movie. The plot was amazing and I loved the way the movie ended, the after credit scene also left me wondering.

I really hope there will be a sequel but overall, the movie was very good and if you like Marvel and haven’t seen it I would one hundred percent recommend watching it. 9.5/10 rating

How queerbaiting came to be

By: Annika Getz

Many people in the LGBTQ+ community are familiar with the term “queerbating”, but most that I’ve spoken to aren’t aware of the history behind it.

For readers who don’t know, queerbaiting is the practice of implying certain characters in movies or television programs to be LGBTQ+ through subtext, without ever outright saying it. This is often meant to appeal to queer audiences without off-putting straight ones.

Studios try to draw in queer audiences through the promise of representation, without ever confirming it, lest they upset their homophobic audiences. This is a common practice, which has been going on since the beginning of LGBTQ+ representation.

Some popular examples of queerbaiting include: ‘Voltron’ (2016-2018), ‘Supernatural’ (2005-2020), ‘Sherlock’ (2010-present), ‘Merlin’, (2008-2012), ‘Star Wars’ 7, 8, and 9, ‘Teen Wolf’ (2011-2017), ‘Supergirl’ (2015-2020), and many many more. And while I have not seen all of these shows, the general consensus is that they each hint at queer characters/relationships, without any follow through.

But where did this practice come from? Who first had the idea to trick queer viewers into
watching purely heterosexual programs?

The answer is an entirely different, and much less harmful practice called queercoding. Queercoding is very similar to queerbaiting, the main – and most important – difference between the two, is intent and reasoning.

Queercoding began back in the mid 1900’s, and is, much like queerbaiting, the act of hinting at characters being LGBTQ+, without confirming it. The difference however, is that when characters were queercoded, it was because prohibitions of the day stopped them from being openly queer. There are, of course, no rules, present day, stopping companies from adding gay characters.

The beginning of queer representation was in the early 1900’s. Gay characters were used for comedic affect in silent films. Men dressed in more feminine outfits were used for quick, cheap jokes. Some examples of this type of portrayal include ‘Algie the Miner’ (1914) and ‘The Soiler’ (1923). This evolved into what we now call the Sissy stereotype. Gay men are portrayed as feminine, weak. This was, and is, used to enforce straight men’s masculinities.

I think Quentin Crisp, English writer and actor, said it best “There’s no sin like being a woman. When a man dresses as a woman, the audience laughs. When a woman dresses as a man, nobody laughs.” This type of portrayal was but a preview of what was to come though.

One detail which will become relevant involves the 1915 Supreme Court case of Mutual Film Corporation vs. the Industrial Commission of Ohio. It was there that it was decided that free speech did not apply to film. They said that “Because film can be used for evil, we cannot regard censorship as beyond the power of the government.”

In 1922, Hollywood was reeling over movies recently released, portraying, sex, violence, orgies, and other indecencies (there had also been some real-life scandals with many popular stars at the time). It was then that studio heads hired William H. Hays, former postmaster general, to rehabilitate the film industry.

In 1924, Hays released “The Formula”, a list of recommendations for studios to follow regarding what should and shouldn’t be their films.

In 1927, Hays suggested that studio heads get together to discuss censorship. Both MGM and Fox agreed to meet. It was from this meeting that the Hays Code (released in 1930) was born. The Hays Code was a list of do’s and don’ts that studios had to follow, in order for their movies to be screened. This list included things such as profanity, nudity, drugs, white slavery (though unsurprisingly, black slavery was left out), miscegenation, childbirth, sex perversion etc. The Code essentially put a ban on gay characters. Some groups, mainly the Federation of Women’s club, wanted theaters to be raided by the police if they screened films which did not adhere to the Code.

Films were to go through the Code Office before release, and if they should have any indecent material, the script, characters, camera angles or anything necessary would be changed before its release, examples include ‘The Lost Weekend’ (1945) which was originally about an alcoholic coming to terms with his sexuality, that was altered to be about an alcoholic struggling with writer’s block. And ‘Crossfire’ (1947) originally about homophobia, but rewritten to be about anti-semitism instead.

Many studio heads, some of them gay themselves, were upset by the censorship, which had stopped progress of gay representation in its tracks. It was from their desire to portray gay characters on screen, and their inability to do so, that queercoding was born. Screenwriters knew that LGBTQ+ audiences would be able to recognize a coded gay character, while they flew under the radar of straight ones.

Some good examples of queercoding include, ‘The Maltese Falcon’ (1941), ‘Young Man With a Horn’ (1950), ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ (1955), ‘Ben Hur’ (1959), and ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ (1959). I could continue listing films, but I fear this article would be too long for anyone to read, so we’ll move on.

The only other way for gay characters to be portrayed in more obvious ways, was through villains, or death.

The villain trope is shown well through the popular 50’s and 60’s cliché that was lesbian prison movies, which portrayed lesbians as big and scary antagonists, who were often authority figures amongst the inmates (though never guards of course). This made many young lesbians fear their queerness, and often try to deny it, lest they end up in prison. It also made straight people afraid of lesbians, and was overall just pretty harmful.

Joel Cario, from ‘The Maltese Falcon’ (1941) is another good example of a queer coded antagonist. Like many male antagonists of the time, he was more feminine, and fit the sissy stereotype as much as a villain can. He was even confirmed to be gay in the book on which the movie was based.

This is a trope which has wormed its way into the modern day. Many antagonists, particularly in children’s movies, are coded to be either queer or genderqueer (or just defy gender norms).

This subconsciously instills a distrust of LGBTQ+ people in the youth. Some examples include Scar from ‘The Lion King’, Governor Ratcliffe from ‘Pocahontas’, Hades from ‘Hercules’, and Ursula from ‘The Little Mermaid’. This coding is even more obvious when you compare the villains to their hero counterparts. The male protagonists are usually hyper-masculine, and the female ones are incredibly feminine.

Another popular trope of the time which has made its way into film today, is the trope known as “Bury your gays” which is just what it sounds like. Gay characters being killed off while their straight counterparts get to live.

In the 50’s and 60’s, whenever characters were a bit too obviously queer, too at risk of being picked up on by straight audiences, the screenwriters killed them off, so the movie could pass the code, and be released.

One good example of this is the 1955 film, ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. Both boys in this movie are pretty heavily coded to be queer, though the one who’s more obviously gay of the two (the one without a female love interest), Plato, dies at the end of the film.

After around 30 years, the code was beginning to weaken, and characters were becoming a bit more obvious with their queerness. Movies like ‘Ben Hur’, and ‘Suddenly Last Summer’, which were both more heavily coded (both were written in 1959, and by Gore Vidal, who would later confirm certain characters to be gay), were being released, and put real strain on the code.

‘Some Like it Hot’ (1959) is considered by many to be the final nail in the coffin, though the code would technically stay in effect until 1968. The film was about two men dressing in drag as a disguise, to escape the mafia bosses trying to kill them. It plays with the idea of gender identity and norms, without fitting the sissy stereotype. It’s more than the one off joke of “man dresses up as woman and it’s the funniest thing to ever happen,” trope from the 10’s and 20’s.

In 1961, the film ‘The Children’s Hour’ was released. In the film, two women, Martha and Karen, run a school for girls. One of these girls, angry after being punished for misbehaving, falsely accuses the women of being lovers. After the accusation, a string of unfortunate events ensues, including a lawsuit. Martha then admits her romantic love for the unambiguously straight Karen, who obviously, does not reciprocate Martha’s feelings. The film ends with Martha committing suicide. The message was that yes, queer people existed, but they were immoral, filthy, and not something discussed or tolerated by decent folk.

However, also in 1961, the movie ‘Victim’ was released, depicting the first gay protagonist. While it was banned from U.S. cinemas, and given an X rating in the UK (it was later given a rating of PG-13), it was still major progress.

In 1968, the code was finally taken out of effect, and two years later, the first real LGBTQ+ movie was released: ‘The Boys in The Band’. No one dies, and everyone’s out. This sadly wasn’t the end of homophobia in cinema though.

‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2005), though wildly popular, faced serious criticism from a baptist church upon its release. The film was picketed, and when one of the actors, Heath Ledger, passed away, a religious hate group even protested his funeral. They claimed he had died for his portrayal of a gay character onscreen.

It’s this type of protest that scared studios into queerbaiting, and while their concern is understandable, it’s also incredibly harmful. Queer people have a hard enough time finding representation without being tricked into watching shows and movies without it.

There’s also something worth saying about the possible profit off of actual LGBTQ+ films. The movie ‘Love, Simon’ (2018), grossed 66.3 million dollars worldwide (40.8 million in the U.S. and Canada) against a $10-17 million production budget, making it one of the most domestically successful teen movies to be released recently. Many moviegoers even saw it several times in one day, according to social media posts made shortly after the film’s release.

To summarize: queercoding was one thing, but what it’s turned into is a complete – much more harmful – other. While much progress has been made with queer representation in the media, there’s still a long ways to go. And if I ever had a chance to talk to a major studio head, I’d ask them which side of LGBTQ+ history they’d like to be on, one which benefits the community, or continues to marginalize it?

For more information, please visit:

Hollywood science: Fact or fiction

By: Grace Helmke

Hollywood has allowed us to visit incredible places and experience thrilling adventures filled with death-defying jumps, and heart-wrenching love stories. It has allowed science to come alive in a way that’s never before been seen. It has led us through stories of time travel, cloning, and so much more.

However, sometimes these films have a little more fiction than fact. Today, we are going to explore the science behind some famous TV shows and movies, and determine whether or not they are fact or fiction. 

Jurassic Park’ 

Image taken from: http

‘Jurassic Park’ centers around the idea that one one could create dinosaurs from blood in a mosquito, encased in amber, and preserved for millions of years.

This is simply false.

Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist, said that the likelihood of cloning a dinosaur is close to impossible. In order to make this happen, you would need the whole genome. However, no one has ever found dinosaur DNA. So, it’s incredibly unlikely that a T-Rex could get loose and wreak havoc in the future. 

‘Star Trek’ 

A major part of the show was the crew’s ability to travel at the speed of light. They called this warp speed. Warp speed essentially distorted the fabric of spacetime, allowing the crew to travel superluminally, or faster than the speed of light.

Einstein’s theory of general relativity suggests that this is not a totally unheard of thought. In fact, it’s entirely possible. In 1994, a scientist named Miguel Alcubierre discovered what today is known as the Alcubierre Drive. His theory was that it’s possible to bend space time in a way that contracts in front of you, and expands behind you, moving you in a forward motion.

‘Back to the Future’

This classic 80s film features the creation of the DeLorean, a time travel machine.

Is time travel truly possible?

NASA tells us it is, but not in the way one thinks. In NASA’s words, “Although humans can’t hop into a time machine and go back in time, we do know that clocks on airplanes and satellites travel at a different speed than those of earth.”

So, although it’s not possible to go see the dinosaurs, or visit famous historical figures, it is possible to travel in space for three years and come back to find that five years have passed on earth. This is called time dilation, and is an incredibly prevalent topic of study in physics and astronomical sciences. 

‘Contact’

This film features a lot of fictional science and inaccuracies. It was praised for its realistic depiction of the search for extraterrestrial life.

The film used radio signals and the translation of alien language using mathematical equations. This is incredibly accurate and is rooted in science. Math is a universal language. So, it’s entirely possible that their forms of communication could be based upon science and math.

There are also some concepts that have stirred debate; such as the idea that the main character traveled through a wormhole to speak to the aliens. It’s difficult to say whether or not a person traveling through a wormhole would survive or not.

For a significant period of time, it was believed that upon entering the wormhole you would either be stretched out into a spaghetti noodle, or be expanded into molecules. Both would mean certain death. But a Harvard physicist recently discovered that not only do wormholes exist and can connect one part of the universe to another, but it’s possible to travel through it. The only catch is that you would have to do so very slowly. It would actually take less time to go to the location directly than it would through a wormhole.  

For more information, please visit:

Why live action adaptations are bad

By: Bijou Kruszka

Live-action adaptations are getting out of hand. It seems like there’s always a new film that has everybody on the internet talking, and it’s hardly ever people saying, “Oh wow, look at this cool new idea for a movie.”

No, the discussion usually goes along the lines of, “Oh wow, I can’t believe that they’re adapting this movie, and it looks like garbage.”

How did we get here?

Technically, this trend started in 2010, with the remake of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. This movie is genuinely good, and it did what adaptations are supposed to do: stay somewhat faithful to the story in tone and plot, while adding some fun changes and fixing anything that needed to be fixed.

This continued in 2015, when Disney released ‘Maleficent’, which also follows what adaptations are supposed to do. This was the film that started the never-ending train of remakes.

After that, Disney started to release 1 or 2 live-action remakes every year. Why? Because of the money. For example, 2017’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ made over 1 billion dollars in the box office.

All Disney had to do to make money was use the nostalgia to get parents to take their kids to see it, get a few celebrities in the cast, and boom, 1 billion dollars. They think that because some live-action movies were good, all of them would be. So, they don’t put much effort into it, leaving the terrible movies we’re getting.

Now, because Disney only has a limited amount of movies that deserved the remake treatment, they started adapting the good movies, like ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Aladdin’. Though these movies are nowhere near perfect (like the issues with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and Stockholm Syndrome), most of their problems are embedded in the plot, and can’t be removed without heavily changing the story. Plus, the originals have added charm because of the magical elements, which are elevated because of the animation. When you take the animation away, it feels flat and dull.

Because Disney is a media giant, others are following their lead, like the ‘Sonic’ movie. Although it isn’t an exact adaptation, it is a live-action movie using a name almost everyone knows with a few celebrities in the cast.

If more movies are made like this, it does not bode well for the film industry. Not only does it feed the idea that movies don’t have to be original, but it also just means that companies like Disney will get millions of dollars for something they didn’t put effort into because people will still want to see how terrible the movie is.

In the end, live-action remakes, though fun in concept, create a lot of problems, especially with unoriginality.

Elon Musk’s SNL feature

By Caroline Crosby

I’ll begin with a confession. I watched the SNL episode that featured Elon Musk on the night it aired, May 8. However, “watched” may not be the most appropriate term for my experience. 

For context, it was technically Sunday. That evening, I had participated in every IB student’s favorite recurring nightmare: furiously writing an overdue English essay until ungodly hours of the night. For reasons still unknown to me, I decided to reward myself (after its completion) by watching the entire program at 4 am rather than sleeping. 

So, in a delirious, half-conscious haze, a few extreme opinions were formed. To clarify, I’ve never been a devote supporter of Elon Musk. Nor am I particularly familiar with his life’s details. Most of my thoughts on his content made little sense then, as you may have guessed. 

After some thorough reflection though (and thorough re-watching), I’ve returned to share!

Surprisingly, the “lovable billionaire’s” appearance as a celebrity host on the widely popular ‘Saturday Night Live’ was a bit mundane. For someone who spends their free time manufacturing flamethrowers and sending cars to space, I’d have thought that Musk would be more adept with simple jokes and public entertainment. 

To expand on that, SNL’s celebrity host changes episode to episode. They appear in “sketches” throughout the show and act as announcers for the regular act changes and assorted commercial breaks. You can think of the weekly guest as one of those charismatic hosts on ‘Jeopardy’, but make them moderately political and multiply their contractual salary by 1000. 

Many of these featured, famed individuals consistently use SNL’s opening monologue to connect to fans. This usually consists of a heartwarming, comedic, or down-to-earth routine that hosts write and perform themselves.

Elon, however, broke the mold – as he has many times before (though usually with the aid of inane sums of money), and somehow achieved to be neither down-to-earth, comedic, or heartwarming. 

This isn’t to say that nothing good came of his performance, though. 

After all, I, a middle-class high school student, can now proudly support the space cars and hieroglyphic named children (all due respect to little X Æ A-Xii), with the knowledge that I would absolutely demolish Elon Musk in a game of ‘Apples-to-Apples’. Or any other terrible, serialized, and humor-based activity for that matter.

Getting down to the specifics, the sketch capitalized on a very exhaustive comedic narrative. Namely, that Elon is rich; you aren’t.

But fear not! He also unearthed the time, in September of 2018, when he “smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast”. I admire the guts it takes to bring up something that publicly embarrassing, but…why? What did it add? The only line I found outwardly laughable was what he said about OJ Simpson. Which speaks for itself, I feel.

In any case, SNL has always been famous for its lighthearted satire of celebrities and superficial social stereotypes. However, it can prove difficult to land a punchline about the “hilariously” unfathomable economic gap between people like Elon Musk and everyone else, when you are Elon Musk. The man, the myth, the legend: could pay his way into a class or two on writing standup comedy, preferably before performing in front of a live televised audience. 

To no one’s surprise, the most notable extent of his social media influence is economic.

Perhaps the raging sea of devoted fans would argue that “You could buy, demolish, and rebuild an entire country from the ground up with his pocket change alone! Elon Musk doesn’t need to be funny, he’s rich!” To these individuals, I might admit that such a controversial statement merits a degree of truth. Do wealthy people really need to be good at everything they do? In Elon’s case, I believe we have our answer.

Scathing criticism aside, I would like to clarify that any and all critique is directed only towards the content of his routine, not the delivery and performance. I’ve noticed a circulation of comments on social media that target Musk’s monotonous tone and use that to dehumanize him. Jeers like “I like the way he tries hard to host the show like a human does,” or “Him and his mom talking sounds like 2 robots trying to simulate human emotion,” under the YouTube clip of the SNL appearance (linked below) are uncalled for.

As someone with Aspergers, Elon Musk may struggle with public speaking and anxiety. Prosody has long been a source of difficulty for people with autism. Individuals on the spectrum may speak in a monotone way, or do the opposite and exaggerate their intonation. The first instance seems likely here. Attacking Musk for something beyond his control is callous, to say the least.

Though, he is an adult and an accomplished CEO who has addressed and spoken to national audiences before. Numerous times, even. It’s not impossible to handle.

Entertaining a live audience, however, in addition to writing and performing a stand-up act using a medium you’ve never experienced before, is an entirely different matter. 

Really, it’s important to remember that the man is by no means a professional comedian, and a creative medium of this scale is difficult to pull off even for those with years of experience. Regardless of all questionable punchlines, I applaud him for taking a break from running a company and launching things into space, and setting out to try something new.

To watch the performance in question, please visit: 

Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ review

By: McKenna Nutter

On April 23rd, 2021, Netflix released an 8 episode series called ‘Shadow and Bone’. ‘Shadow and Bone’ is based on the young adult fantasy novels by Leigh Bardugo, of the same name. The Netflix adaptation is a mix between two series, ‘Shadow and Bone’ and ‘Six of Crows,’ both series by the same author, and taking place in the same fictional universe, known as the Grishaverse. Adaptation writer Eric Heisserer worked very closely with original author, Leigh Bardugo, to bring the character and world to life.

‘Shadow and Bone’ follows orphaned Alina Starkov as she uncovers long-awaited, extraordinary power. Her struggle to stay with childhood best friend, Maylen Oretsev, or Mal, becomes a lot harder when they are seperated due to an incident dealing with the land of complete darkness and dangers that runs across the country of Ravka, called the Fold.

The show also follows other stories, only for them to come together in the end. Kay Brekker, the leader of the Crows, leads Inej Ghafa and Jesper Fahey in a dangerous, million kruge (form of currency) heist, creatively bringing ‘Six of Crows’ characters into the ‘Shadow and Bone’ plot. 

According to many original fans, who have read both book series, Netflix’s adaptation is a fan favorite, and one of the most well-done adaptations ever made by Netflix.

The show was shot in Budapest, and stars Jessie Lei Mei as Alina Starkov, Archie Renaux as Mal Oretsev, Ben Barnes as General Kirigan or the Darkling. Freddy Carter stars as Kay Brekker, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, and Kit Young as Jesper Fahey.

Fan favorite characters, such as Nina Zenik, Matthias Helvar, and Genya Safin also make multiple appearances played by Danielle Galligan, Callahan Skogman, and Daisy Head.

After the announcement of the cast and release of the trailer, book fans had been highly anticipating the release of the show, and many were not disappointed. 

‘Good Omens’: A review

By: Bijou Kruszka

‘Good Omens’ is an Amazon Prime mini-series following the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley as they work together to stop an 11-year-old Antichrist. The show, although not without its faults, is very entertaining. It is a good, but quick, watch.

To start, let’s look at all the positives. The
first few minutes of the show are narrated by God,
who is voiced by Frances McDormand. The
monologue is reminiscent of the clever writing
style found in Douglas Adams’s ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’. It does an excellent job of setting the tone for the series, and it is a very entertaining start.

Both protagonists, Aziraphale and Crowley, are well-written, and their relationship dynamic works very well (some would say too well, but I’ll touch on that later).

Aziraphale, played by Michael Sheen, has a very interesting character arc. The series follows him internally debating whether he should fight for Earth with Crowley, or turn his back on them and be with his fellow, but inhumane, angels.

Crowley, played by David Tennant, also has an interesting character. He is very loyal to Aziraphale, and he is best described as chaotic neutral. He is often in scenes blaring Queen music out of his car, and from a person who loves Queen, I appreciate just how many scenes they play Queen songs in.

Besides Aziraphale and Crowley, there is a whole cast of side protagonists. For starters, there’s the “Them”, a group of 4 kids led by Adam, who just so happens to be the Antichrist. Though the children don’t get much screen time, they’re always entertaining and feel more like children than most young protagonists.

There’s also Newt Pulsifer and Anathema Device, a witchfinder and a witch, respectively. While Newt doesn’t get much development, he helps Anathema realize she doesn’t have to live her life centered around the prophecies written by her ancestor.

The villains, Lord Beelzebub and Archangel Gabriel are antagonists you love to hate. Beelzebub is just plain evil, as expected from a demon, but Gabriel is evil in a passive-aggressive way, which isn’t a common occurrence and is an interesting character trait.

The ending of the series is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It’s closed enough for a nice series finale. But, it’s also open-ended just enough for a possible second season.

On the other hand, let’s look at the possible negatives. No series is without its faults, and ‘Good Omens’ is not an exception by any means.

First off, due to its religious contents, it is not a good fit for some. That’s not necessarily a negative if you enjoy that; just something to keep in mind for people who don’t. In fact, a group of Christian moms petitioned Netflix to take ‘Good Omens’ down, but failed to realize that the show was on Amazon Prime, which is hilarious.

Then, there’s the issue of queerbaiting. For those of you unaware with the term, queerbaiting is when fictional media hints at characters being LGBTQ+, but don’t ever confirm it to keep conservative audiences watching. People have said that ‘Good Omens’ is guilty of queerbaiting, but I disagree. The whole concept of ‘Good Omens’ would turn conservative audiences away, so if the creators of the series wanted Aziraphale and Crowley to end up together, they would have. I don’t deny that the characters have romantic tension, but I think that may have been accidental, and that queerbaiting is an inaccurate accusation.

Lastly, I wish there could have been more character development. Side characters like Newt and Adam’s friends barely get much screen time, therefore not giving them a chance to grow.

In the end, ‘Good Omens’, though accused of queerbaiting and unpopular with conservative audiences, is a good series, and an excellent binge watch for a boring weekend.

‘May I Please Enter’ by Alan Resnick review

Alan Resnick, known for his creepy and strange lil’ shorts that he puts out every once in a while, made this Adult Swim “small” known as “May I Please Enter”. And with it being sorta one of the “newer” ones of his, I thought I’d review it, in an opinionated way, talking about what I personally saw in it, so yeah, here we go.

So, Alan Resnick has been making stuff for years and years, whether it be mini series’, shorts, music videos, etc, and the common theme which most people and I could probably notice when watching his stuff, is that he really enjoys making people uncomfortable. Through either building unrealistic, yet surprisingly tangible tension, or through breaking the viewer’s expectations so irrationally, that they might not even know how a scene was supposed to make them feel. It definitely might not be for everyone, but hey, I think it’s pretty good, so yeah, this short “May I Please Enter,” is assuredly no different. 

Once you get to this point in the article you should probably watch it on YouTube if you’re interested (https://youtu.be/TgxSIFcTvLo). It’s about 10 minutes, and at least I think it’s pretty good enough to the point that it’ll be worth watching to avoid what could be considered spoilers. (That and you’ll probably not really understand like 80% of this without watching the short beforehand anyway).

So, it opens up with Alan in some sorta cowboy getup, doing a sort of “reality show” where he tries to enter someone’s home, and that’s supposed to just be the show I guess. By the first minute, he already sets the tone pretty well by contrasting the somewhat “upbeat” opening theme with an eerie aftermath of him looming towards the door of the house he “selected” and being strangely threatening towards the random people who he comes across while they wonder if he should come into their living space.

One thing you’ll notice, is how blunt, awkward, and strangely obvious every line of dialogue happens to be. This, while also adding to the humor of it all, sets the unsettling tone pretty well, as it leaves the viewer to desire some semblance of normalcy in an already uncomfortable situation.

Even self aware stuff, such as the “He reminds me of North American colonialism”, almost parodying the viewer trying to make sense of, and take meaning from, what they are being presented with, really just feeds into how unnatural it all is from the start. 

Alan Resnick honestly builds tension in a pretty impressive way as well. As one YouTube commenter put it, “This is a horror movie without the horror”. There is so much rising discomfort in how the audio cues, visual hints, and even scenes that look as though they contain eerie foreshadowing, all ultimately go nowhere, and just leave the viewer dazed and confused by the end of it all.

Like, the “other people live in this house” thing, just perfectly had the atmosphere of the obvious cadence which tells you “something’s not right”, but it just ends unresolved with Alan wanting to just go and see more of the house.

There’s plenty of scenes like this throughout that also do the “fake foreshadowing” thing, like the whole breathing slipper/weapon scene and whatnot, but I think you get the idea.

Another smaller scene I wanted to point out, was the whole part about those “funny little phrases they bought on the internet” with most notably the one that went: “Imagine being so wealthy that your body stops moving”, which sorta predicted the whole phenomenon of NFT’s that’s going on right now if you think about it. It’s not too important specifically to this review, but I just found that interesting watching it again and wanted to mention it here for whatever reason.

But honestly, no scene in this short really is integral or meaningful to the plot, which at the same time, makes all of it equally important, if that makes sense. I mean, without the atmosphere this is total nonsense, and nothing anybody does really matters, but honestly, that’s kinda what makes it, and things like it so interesting.

I mean, most narratives in general, take place in a comfortable “grounded” reality in how people interact with each other on a day to day basis. Like if you watch a movie where it takes place in a sorta crazy ol’ fantasy world or whatnot, characters will still be made to be like, relatable to the viewer. But this makes it seem almost as though our own world is more unreal than any fantasy situation we could see in a movie or book, as we watch just how honestly strange and unsatisfying everyday interactions, and general human behavior, could be as viewed as, through the perspective of a sorta artificial intelligence based robot, or something like that, looking into the breakdown of human behavior as a whole.

So, that’s how efficiently I feel Alan makes our world seem fictional. Like everything they do in the short, easily could be something people do in their every day lives, but it’s presented in such an unconventional, yet uncomfortably blatant way, that it feels almost like an uncanny reflection of how we as people see ourselves, and how incredibly alien and awkward it all feels when you just ever so slightly offset the typical path of how life plays out as a whole in human society.

So yeah, I personally thought it was amazingly strange, creepy, and awkward throughout all of it. And like all Alan Resnick’s shorts, I could definitely find the humor in the discomfort of it all, so I’m not gonna give it a score or anything, all I’m gonna say is, if you’re into this sorta thing, I hope you enjoyed it, and if not, at least you can see where I’m coming from with this breakdown/review of it.

‘Forrest Gump’ review

By: Charlie Fragassi

*Note, even though the movie is over 25 years old, spoiler alerts in this article

The movie ‘Forrest Gump’ is a fictional story that was made in 1994, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Eric Roth.

The movie starts off with Forrest at the bus stop where he’s telling people the story of his life. He starts off as a young kid growing up in rural Alabama.

Forrest is classified as a slow learner in the movie and you can see it displayed throughout the movie as it takes him longer to understand things.

Forrest finds the love of his life Jenny. Jenny and Forrest spend a huge part of their life together until Forrest goes to college on a football scholarship because of his lightning fast speed.

After college, Forrest enlists in the army and makes many friends. Forrest gets deployed in Vietnam where he loses one of his best friends, Bubba. Throughout his stay at the army he becomes a national level ping pong competitor, and wins $25,000 which he used to buy a shrimping boat.

Forrest is financially stable and is living well when Jenny pops back into his life. He asks Jenny to marry him and she originally declines but later on in life sees Forrest on national TV as he was running across America. She finds Forrest and he finds out he has a kid. Jenny then marries Forrest and they all move back to Greensboro, Alabama.

The movie ends with Forrest talking to Jenny at her gravestone as she had a virus and didn’t make it through.

This is a tremendous movie as it takes you on an emotional roller coaster and fits all genres for everyone to love. I liked how it included many historical events throughout the movie and displayed them as accurately as possible, all while still making the movie entertaining and funny.