Category Archives: Movies/TV/Theaters

‘Ginny and Georgia’ review and summary

By: Ayamei Her

Note: In both season 1 and season 2, it mentions some sensitive topics such as: eating disorders, body dysmorphia, depression, self harm, abuse, sexual abuse, racism, and drug abuse. 

If you don’t know what ‘Ginny and Georgia’ is, it is Netflix’s current #1 show and it is full of drama and intensity. In season one, the show introduces a mother with her kids in a car together, on their way to a new town to live in. Georgia (the mom) has moved her two kids (Ginny and Austin) around through many cities and towns. Georgia wanted to settle, and she wanted stability, so she decided on the small town of Wellsbury.

Ginny was upset about the move, she always felt like Georgia was always disrupting her life once she felt as if she had settled in, although Ginny was worried about fitting in and making friends, she made friends quickly with Maxine, and her twin brother Marcus, who lived across the street from Ginny and her family.

At her new school, Maxine introduces Ginny to her friends Abby and Nora, and they become a friend group and combine their initials together to make a name for the group which is “MANG”. 

The first complication is that Ginny develops feelings for her best friend’s twin brother Marcus. Despite those feelings, Ginny starts dating a boy name Hunter. Ginny sneaks Marcus into her room nearly every night though, keeping him close and exploring her feelings for him. Eventually, she cheats on Hunter with Marcus, but inevitably, with time, everyone finds out about Ginny and Marcus’s secret affair. 

Now, with Georgia, she is one of my favorite characters because her back story is just so deep; her character does so well with hiding it. She is clever, playing mind games with people, while most of all trying to be the best mother she can be for her kids. Georgia has a very rough past and decided to hide it from her kids to protect them, she ran away from her abusive home and joined a dangerous biker gang who protected her while she was pregnant with Ginny, raising her alone at the age of 16.

Georgia has done some unspeakable things such as kill people who she felt she had to protect her kids from. She says from time and time again that she does everything for her kids and to protect her kids. 

Georgia and her son Austin
Ginny and Georgia

A private investigator was sent to see into Georgia’s past to see who she really was. He finds out that she has been through a life of crime and pain and tells Ginny that he knows about her mother’s life, and that he doesn’t want someone with a past like Georgia’s to be around Ginny and her brother Austin. After Ginny was told, she put the pieces together and left home with her brother, and that’s how they ended season 1. 

Season 2 starts with showing that Ginny and Austin went and stayed with her father for awhile, and it shows that her mother is angry at Ginny, but misses her kids very much and still has no idea that Ginny knows of the crime Georgia committed. Soon, Ginny tells her father about her self harm, but begs him to not tell her mother, so he secretly puts Ginny in therapy so she can get the professional help she needs.  

During this, Ginny moves back to her mom’s and starts the angsty teen rebel phase where she starts to skip school, smoke, and spontaneously dyes her hair. 

While Ginny starts to seriously date Marcus, Maxine and Nora continue not being friends with Abby and Ginny, but Abby and Ginny start to become friends.

During Ginny and Marcus’s relationship, everything was going great and they seemed to be perfect for each other. But Marcus starts to have a depressive episode and feels like his happiness is only coming from Ginny. He says that it’s not fair to have his happiness depend on one person, and he can’t love her if he can’t love himself, so he decides to break up with Ginny.

Ginny and Abby decide to reconnect with Maxine and Nora, and they all become friends again. During Maxine’s show, that she was acting in for school, Marcus takes Ginny out in the hall and they break up which leaves Ginny heartbroken. 

Marcus and Ginny

I won’t spoil the ending of season 2 in case you haven’t watched it, but I would recommend watching the show if you like a roller coaster of emotions and tons of new surprises.

All images taken from the Ginny & Georgia Instagram page at: gngbts

HP Theatre Arts proudly presents: ‘The One Act Plays’

By: Erin Moore

This winter, Highland Park’s theatre club has been working tirelessly to put together five one act plays, to be performed one after another this coming weekend. Whether it be costumes, sets, props, lights, sound, mics, acting, stage managing, or our hard-working directors, lots of hours and effort have been put into these productions. 

If you’ve seen the signs up all throughout the hallways of  Highland Park Senior High, it’s likely you’re aware of the five winter one acts to be performed this coming weekend. “Call Me Stan,”  “Put a Ring On It,” “Clowns with Guns,” “Speed Date,” and “The Bifrost Incident.” Each one act is directed by our very own HPSH seniors including James Nins, Evan Nelson, Ryan Terry, Julia Williamson, Liv Knafla, Max Nutter, Bella Schmitt, and Spike McIlrath. 

The following synopses are spoiler-free and are from the HPSH Thespian Society Schoology group.

“’Call Me Stan’ [is] a dark comedy about parents meeting their daughter, Brittany’s, boyfriend, but something’s not quite right about him. He’s too old, too rich and even red!” 

“In ‘Put a Ring On It,’ Allison tests the limits of just how chaotic a family dinner can get as she is willing to do whatever it takes to get her boyfriend to propose to her.”

“’Clowns with Guns’ takes a theatrical and absurd look at the repeated and seemingly endless cycle of school [gun] violence. It happens, everyone is terribly upset, things continue on as normal, it happens again.” Note: due to the violent content of this one act, people are free to leave at intermission if the feel necessary.

“It’s Valentine’s Day and the pressure is on. Seventeen crazy characters search for love in a round-robin game of ‘Speed Date.’ Everyone’s in on the action: a hopeless people-pleaser, a Frenchman, a guy hung up on his previous girlfriends, an art therapist, a clown, and more. They’re desperate, chatty, needy, strange–and the clock is ticking. Will they find love before time runs out?”

“A mix of Greek tragedy and Norse mythology set in the far future, where the old gods and trains through space exist. ‘The Bifrost Incident’ is the story of the end of the world told by a criminal investigator slowly going mad from cosmic forces.” Note: this one act is not well suited for children, it is more PG-13 than G. Audience members may also leave at intermission if the choose

Tickets will cost $10 for adults and $5 for students. Cash, card, and check are accepted. Performances will be in the Highland Park auditorium on January 20th @ 7 and January 21st @ 2 & 7. Concessions will be available during intermission. 

If you’re interested in viewing these stories, want to come watch friends/family, or want to support the arts at Highland, be sure to come watch! 

For more information, visit @hptheatrearts on Instagram, look for the posters in the hallways, or ask anyone you know involved in the one acts. 

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ review/analysis

By: Kaylen Fuentes

Image taken from: https://www.watervillecreates.org
/shows/eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind/

*Warning: This article contains spoilers*

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a 2004 film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. The film follows a couple, Joel and Clementine (played by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) who go their separate ways and each undergo a medical procedure to have the other person erased from their memories forever.

In the story, it unfolds for the watchers as it unfolds for Joel, which is one of the reasons I found the timeline of this movie to be interesting.

The movie begins in modern time after Joel’s memory has already been erased, and then we supposedly meet Clementine for the first time. Then we are introduced to the old storyline of Clementine being the first to want to get her memory erased and Joel doing the same out of revenge. We then learn they have met before and they become aware that they had their memories erased, and we see the entirety of their relationship in reverse order leading up to them dodging and hiding to avoid the erasing from completing. But ultimately it ends in a breakup when Joel realizes that they can’t stop their memories from being erased, so they have to cherish the moments they already have. 

By the end of the movie everything makes sense. The full circle that was made throughout becomes more apparent to the watchers. I think that having the story being shown to us in such a different order, compared to other films, makes our comprehension of Joel and Clementine’s relationship distorted just as it is to Joel in the beginning of the movie.

My understanding of this film is that Joel and Clementine’s relationship is a circular narrative. Joel and Clementine are two people who are destined to continue meeting and to continue to fall apart, which is something they both know and have both accepted.

However, just because they are meant to fall apart does not mean they aren’t destined to continue this loop, because I believe they are. Their relationship is predestination, not in the way that they are soulmates and will always be together, but in the way that no matter how hard they try they cannot truly forget one another, and meeting over and over is their version of fate.

My overall thoughts on ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. I think this was a refreshing movie to watch especially now, because of how many movies of the same plot, storyline and predictable ending already exist. I really enjoyed watching this film and can’t wait to watch more movies written by Charlie Kaufman because I’ve heard he has a lot of movies like ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’.

I would like to rewatch this movie after a while to see if iI have a new understanding of it, but for now I can confidently say that I recommend this movie to anyone looking for something happy and sad all at the same time.

I rate this movie 5/5 stars and you can rent it on Prime Video.

Review of ‘Wednesday’

By: Stephanie Caballero Benitez

*Warning this review may contain spoilers.

The new Netflix series ‘Wednesday’ came out November 23, and since then has done really well. Lots of people have watched the show and many have enjoyed it. 

What is ‘Wednesday’ about?

In ‘Wednesday’, we follow the story of the teenager Wednesday. As it’s known from ‘The Addams Family’ Wednesday isn’t an ordinary girl, her entire family isn’t.

The first scene we see on episode one is Wednesday throwing piranhas into a pool to get revenge on some bullies for her brother Pugsley. This incident causes the expulsion of Wednesday, which leads to her getting transferred to Nevermore. Nevermore is an academy that welcomes outcasts, freaks, and monsters. Wednesday is to temporarily live in Nevermore.

While at Nevermore, Wednesday experiences things that make her interested in staying at the school. Someone attempts to murder her and she runs into a monster that is killing people near the forests of Nevermore. Wednesday stays in this school trying to solve who the monster is, by staying, Wednesday finds out secrets about her family and ancestors.

I personally enjoyed this show very much as I am a fan of ‘The Addams Family’. Wednesday was portrayed by Jenna Ortega very well and I definitely think that the role was made for her. I also really enjoyed how Tim Burton added the song “La llorona” onto a scene with Wednesday, since it seems that some don’t know ‘The Addams Family’ is a LatinX family.

Another thing that I liked about the film was the people that surrounded Wednesday, some were very different from her, especially her roommate Enid and the sheriff’s son Tyler. 

Other people had different opinions on the show. Some didn’t like how Wednesday and her family were portrayed. They believe that instead of a no affection family, and a Wednesday that talks bad about her mother, it should’ve been a very loving and accepting family just like the original show ‘The Addams family’. Some people feel as if the monster was really fake looking, cartoony looking, overall just out of place. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the storyline and development of this show and hope for a season 2. I would give ‘Wednesday’ a 9/10. You can watch the show on Netflix.

‘The Good Doctor’

By: Leticia Bugg-Sam

Image taken from: https://www.imdb.com/title/
tt6470478/mediaviewer/rm
1094250497/?ref_=tt_ov_i

‘The Good Doctor’ is about a surgeon who struggles with autism and savant syndrome, and being a doctor with autism and savant syndrome can risk a patient or themselves to feel scared and confused on what’s going on. Most of the patients on the TV show didn’t trust having a person with autism to do a surgery on them because they’re afraid that he will start breaking apart and freak out and he will end up doing something wrong and something dangerous that could end up with the patient in danger or even death. The people on the show didn’t believe that there’s a person with autism that’s smart with medical knowledge. They all thought that he was dumb and weird and that he wouldn’t be responsible enough to even be a surgeon.

The first season of the show started off with him getting a job at the hospital to become a surgeon. Nobody knew that this person could be a doctor because he was running late and they already all knew that he has autism so they all thought that he was dumb to be a surgeon. The only reason they knew about him was because the person who runs the whole entire hospital introduced him to the people who were already working there, like the managers and the more experienced doctors that knew more about the surgeries.

But this isn’t just about the doctor Shaun Murphy, it’s also about other surgeons trying to get the position they want throughout the season. Lots of training surgeons get let go by the way they act, or by someone who already took their place.

Also, the stories about the doctor with autism, and the other surgeons, aren’t just about them trying to become doctors, they’re also about what they go through in life away from all the surgeon stuff. Some of their lives are bad, they either had a good past or a bad past, and some of them were really sad. I felt bad for the surgeons who had to go through all that the did at such a young age.

I would give ‘The Good Doctor’ a 4/5 because it’s very entertaining to watch them perform surgeries. You can watch ‘The Good Doctor’ on Hulu.

6 seasons and a movie: The ‘Community’ movie

By: Kaylen Fuentes

‘Community’ was released in September of 2011 and aired its 6th and last season in March of 2015. ‘Community’ is a sitcom about a bunch of college students of all different ages and backgrounds. The students all develop a study group for their Spanish class where they all become very close. The show follows their everyday lives in their community college study group. 

In season 2, episode 20, titled “Paradigms of Human Memory” characters Abed and Jeff talk about the show ‘The Cape’ they go on to argue about whether or not the show will get big. Abed goes on to say that the TV show will be a huge success and go on to have “6 seasons and a movie.”

Over the years, fans constantly referred back to this, wanting more to do with the ‘Community’ characters and it wasn’t found to be a coincidence because ‘Community’ ended after its 6th season. For years there had been speculations and fans rooting for the unspoken promise of a movie alongside the 6 seasons. But. September of 2022, it was made official, the ‘Community’ movie was confirmed. 

On September 30th, 2022, Joel McHale tweeted about the return of the ‘Community’ family, along with many of his other cast members including: Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi and more.

However, many were left wondering if all the original ‘Community’ characters would be returning such as, Chevy Chase, Donald Glover and Yvette Nicole Brown, because they weren’t on the returning cast list. 

Chevy Chase was written off in season 5 due to problems behind the scenes, with the writer for the show, Dan Harmon, and other cast members like Donald Glover. But, in an interview at comic con with ‘Variety’ Harmon said, “I don’t even know if it’s legal for him to come back, that may be out of my hands. There may be something I sign for with an insurance company.”

It was also speculated that though Donald Glover was tagged he will not be a part of the movie because he is focusing on other projects such as writing a movie trilogy and being increasingly busy with his show ‘Atlanta’. However, Harmon addressed these rumors at the Business Managers Breakfast at Variety. Harmon said, “I think that Donald is coming, based on word of the mouth, but it’s just the deal isn’t official or wasn’t official. It would be difficult to really commit to doing this thing without Donald. So I believe he is coming back.”

Harmon also implies in this interview things about other names missing from the list such as Yvette Nicole Brown. He says, “I think if there’s names missing from the list, their deals are agreed upon enough that it’s okay to say they are on the list, and anybody that’s not on a list, it’s just not the case YET. So there is nothing official about anybody being out.”

There aren’t many specific details so far about the release of the ‘Community’ movie: when it will take place, who will be in it for sure, will there be guest stars or even what it will be about.

As for when the movie will be released, the timeframe has been vague. In an interview with ‘Variety’, Dan Harmon says, “It’s a matter of when. It still doesn’t mean there’s going to be a movie tomorrow. It means there is definitely going to be one.”

My guess is we can expect it around 2024. As far as the concept and story of the movie goes, I am hopeful the writers and directors are able to recapture the same humor and concept as the 6 seasons of the show. The movie is expected to be released on Peacock and is now in production.

You can watch the 6 seasons of ‘Community’ on Netflix now, but in the near future will be able to watch the ‘Community’ movie on Peacock.

‘Wendell & Wild’

By: Stephanie Caballero Benitez

In this article I will be reviewing and summarizing ‘Wendell & Wild’ from Netflix.

*Warning: This review contains spoilers. 

Short summary:

‘Wendell & Wild’ begins by giving the watchers a little background about the main character throughout the movie, Kat. We start with a memory of Kats’s father and mother at a brewery, which later on we are informed used to be Kats fathers brewery.

Leaving the brewery, the family gets caught in a storm, making roads dangerous. Kat suddenly screams as the apple she had bitten had worms in it. The scream causes her father to take his attention off the road and onto Kat. The father loses control of the car, which makes the car fall off the road/bridge they are driving on and into the water.

This is what leaves Kat as an orphan later on, and also into the criminal justice system where she is treated unfairly.

Kat is sent to a girls school to better herself and her opportunities of getting out of the system. Kat dislikes the idea of the school and finds out the only reason she is there is because the school was offered money if they accepted her.

Kat begins having nightmares about her parents. The demons Wendell and Wild are also introduced through her visions/dreams. The demons believe that Kat is a hell maiden who will be able to summon them into the world. In exchange for Kat summoning them they offer to bring back her parents from the dead. Kat agrees and makes a deal with them but to summon them she needs ‘bears-a-bub’, a plushie owned by Sister Helley. She steals the bear and makes the deal and sister Helley finds out about the plushie and the hell maiden mark.

Later on in the movie, we find out that Sister Helley is also a hell maiden which is why she was warning Kat.

Once the demons are summoned into the world they begin making deals with mostly everyone to be able to gain control/power. They make deals with Father James and Irmgard and Lane, the owners of most buildings in the town. The deal was for them to bring people from the dead so that Irmgrad and Lane will win votes in a council so that they are able to do whatever they want with the town.

Once they win, they begin to destroy the town. Kat sees the mess that this deal has created and reaches out to Sister Helley who offers to help. By summoning the demons, Kat also creates an entrance for the father of the demons to be able to come to earth. Their father is summoned and makes peace with the demons and agrees to leave them alone in return for Sister Helley to give him back all his children that she had captured.

The demons offer to help Kat make everything go back to normal. They fight off Imgrad and Lane and prevent them from going any further with their plans. Imgrad and Lane end up arrested and all the people who had come back from the dead begin to die again.

Kat gets peace with talking to her parents one last time and also gains the power of being able to see into the future.

Overall, I would give this movie a 8/10 because the movie is very well done and it seems like the entire production worked hard on this as it is a stop motion movie that took longer to produce than other movies (7 years). I also really enjoyed how the movie was not rushed at all. 

The upcoming television show ‘Lockwood and Co.’

By: Jocelyn Knorr

Image taken from: Wikimedia Commons

‘Lockwood and Co.,’ a middle-grade children’s book series by the author Jonathan Stroud, is getting a Netflix adaptation. The source material has defied description repeatedly; I have pitched it in the past as “teenagers with swords and an unhealthy lack of respect for the supernatural,” and “Percy Jackson’s goth cousin from across the pond.”

Much more poignant than the middle-grade tag suggests, the series speaks to a past in which the dead—capable of killing with nothing but a touch—have come back to haunt the living. Curfews are enforced across Britain as the ghosts are most dangerous at nightfall, and ghost-hunting agencies have sprung up, desperate to capitalize upon the need for forces to fight the paranormal scourge.

The worst part, to me, is that only children can see them; ergo, thousands have been conscripted into the agencies as a sort of slapdash army, and sent out each night to fight back the dark while the adults sleep safely behind iron-reinforced thresholds. This has all been going on for fifty years when we meet our main character, by the name of Lucy Carlyle.

Lucy is an experienced agent, with a sharp Talent (which is essentially the ability to see and hear ghosts) and seven years of professional experience under her belt. She’s in London, searching for a job after being let go from her previous agency position, when she meets the titular Anthony Lockwood. He—and his friend George—run a tiny independent agency, completely free of adult interference. It is here where most of the series unfolds before us. For spoiler’s sake, I will allow the rest of the plot to remain in obscurity.

The live-action adaptation is coming out near the end of January; it is being directed by Joe Cornish, who also directed ‘Attack the Block’ and ‘The Kid Who Would Be King’. For those who have been scarred by book adaptations in the past—the ‘Percy Jackson’ movies come to mind—have no fear! Jonathan Stroud himself has a consultant role on the show, described in this interview. He’s cautiously optimistic about it—he has described the script as “brilliant,” and was looking forward to visiting the set at the time of the interview.

The 8-episode series is now in post production; ‘Bridgerton’ actress Ruby Stokes has been cast as Lucy Carlyle and Cameron Chapman as Anthony Lockwood. Ali Hadji-Heshemati rounds out the trio as George Karim. Not much else is known at this time, except for a specific release date—the 27th of January, 2023.

I would recommend this show to anyone who enjoys paranormal fiction or suspense stories, as well as fans of the Percy Jackson books. If they stick closely to the source material—and, judging from the official teaser, they will—it promises to have just as much heart, spunk, and action.

‘Juno’ review

By: Emilia Moberg

*Warning: Spoilers and mentions of abortion*

Image taken from: https://www.rotten
tomatoes
.com/m/juno

‘Juno’ is a 2007 film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. It centers around 16-year-old Juno, played by Elliot Page, as she navigates being pregnant and adoption, on top of normal teen experiences and struggles. 

The film begins with Juno taking multiple pregnancy tests, which all come back positive. She decides to get an abortion. However, before entering the abortion clinic, Juno runs into her classmate, Su-Chin, who is protesting against abortion outside the building. The girls discuss a school assignment, and just before Juno enters the clinic, Su-Chin tells her that “her baby probably has fingernails!” Once inside, all Juno can focus on is the other patient’s fingernails. This deters her from getting the abortion and she decides to put the baby up for adoption. 

 I find this scene really important to understanding the meaning behind the film. Many critics have tried to claim the film as “anti-abortion” because of this scene, however writer Diablo Cody has firmly stated that she is pro-choice and that anti-abortion was not the message she was trying to convey through her writing. I agree with this and believe that Cody was trying to illustrate the juxtaposition of naivety and confidence that comes with young age. Juno did not choose to go through with the pregnancy because she thought abortion was morally wrong. It’s more plausible that she was unnerved by the thought of a baby having fingernails, as a 16-year-old might logically be. Juno felt empowered to get the abortion initially, but changed her mind over a small detail that may or may not be true. The movie does an excellent job of creating scenes that feel stylized, yet realistic to the teen experience, and bring the watcher into the Juno’s life. 

Despite critics, the majority of reactions to the film were overwhelmingly positive. It received an Oscar for Best Writing of an Original Screenplay, as well as 89 other film awards and 100 nominations. ‘Juno’ timelessly captures the essence of being a teenager and the complexities that come with it. 

A review on ‘Enola Holmes 2’

By: McKenzie Welch

Image taken from:https://www.imdb.com
/title/tt14641788/

*Warning: Contains some spoilers*

Many people have heard the name Sherlock Holmes, but have you heard of Enola?

Enola, alone spelled backwards, is a display of what it’s like to live in someone’s shadow, especially when you have the same aspirations. Enola Holmes wants to be a detective, just like her brother, but somehow she always finds herself twisted up in cases much bigger than either she or Sherlock could have ever imagined.

‘Enola Holmes 2’ follows Enola as she navigates through starting her own business, the idea of loving someone else, and a case that continuously involves her in dangerous situations.
Life is hard, but life as a woman in 1885 is harder. Enola is perpetually looked down upon, especially in a detective setting, for both her age and her gender. As she tries to get her business off of the ground, it seems as though the people around her are using all of their force to push her down deeper. It isn’t until she finds a pro bono case for a young girl named Bessie that Enola finds herself with some work to do.

A case of a missing woman turns into a murdersome, blackmail-filled catastrophe quicker than the blink of an eye. Sarah Chapman, who is fighting for the lives of many girls working in a match factory, is missing. But who else is involved?

It isn’t long before it’s clear that Sherlock and Enola’s cases are intertwined. Again. Whilst neither of them are quite happy about the scenario, they do make a good team, and the pair result in plenty of humor-filled moments.

Whilst I won’t spoil the ending of the movie, I will say that it’s quite unexpected. The layout of the film makes it so viewers are practically detectives themselves, working alongside Enola to solve the case.

This movie has both romantic and humorful moments, but the true genre is action. There are many escape scenes, fight scenes, and more that kept me completely enthralled. Despite the main focus being action, there are many important themes that present themselves throughout the film, like being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.

The film was also somewhat based on a true story, as there was a real Sarah Chapman who stood up for the girls who were working and dying in a match factory due to the cheaper phosphorus the factory’s owners had decided to start using. This gave representation for the women working in the factory, and displayed the mistreatment of women in the nineteenth century.

All in all, I gave ‘Enola Holmes 2’ a rating of 4.5/5 stars. I greatly enjoyed the fact that, despite being action, the movie contained moments that were tender and based around family and friendships, which are two things that I find extremely important. Also, I was intrigued by the movie and its happenings the entire time I was watching.

My only critique was that some of the plot twists were fairly easy to decipher as long as you were paying attention, which can make the movie slightly less entertaining, but it was nothing too extreme as to deter me from finishing the movie.

I believe that if you enjoy action movies with moments of romance, comedy, and friendly banter, you should give this movie a try.

You can watch ‘Enola Holmes 2’ on Netflix.