The television

Once upon a time there was a world with no streaming services. If you even had a television, you couldn’t binge watch all you favorite shows. You couldn’t just watch T.V. at anytime in any place. You couldn’t even decide what you wanted to watch. You would watch what was on. Your parents were the remote control for you grandparents. Before remote controls, there were buttons connected to the giant box we called the T.V. 

The first showing of a working television was on January 26th, 1926. There were three crucial inventors of the television: John Logie Baird, Philo Farnsworth, and Charles Francis Jenkins. It was first made in the Jenkins Factory. It cost between $1000 and $3000. It was a large cube with a screen less than half the size of the box.

The first advertisement for the television aired in 1941. 

The first television remote was developed by Zenith Radio Corporation in 1950. it was attached by a wire and had big and bulky buttons.

In the 1990’s ‘‘streaming’’ was first named as a demand service but never really became a thing until 2008 when Hulu first came out. Hulu was owned by NBC and Fox. 

There are so many streaming services that they really took business away from cable networks. There’s Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Playstation Vue, fuboTV, CBS All Access, Disney+, and so many more. Cable networks are slowly being shut down and suddenly you have a million Netflix and Hulu originals like The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, etc. 

The television is slowly getting bigger and bigger physically. The variety of shows is getting bigger as well.

Many people say that watching television lets them explore different perspectives and have a world away from our own. Others believe that the same thrill of escaping can be found in books. As people continued to make and buy televisions the new ideas for shows expanded. People began to become invested in a character’s life. 

*Disclaimer* I am not hating on any streaming services, just simply writing about the changes that have happened with television. Thank you.

Should you get Disney+?

I think it was no secret when Disney came out with Disney+ on November 12, 2019. But, though it sounds packed with an endless amount of shows and movies, should you get it?

First of all, Disney+ is a streaming service recently launched by Disney. It has a variety of shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. It is packed with hours of classic Disney movies and series from many years ago, as well as newer content. Specifically, it has about 500 movies and 7,500 TV shows. 

To be fair, Disney has done a really nice job at making Disney+ affordable for many people. At $7 per month or $70 per year, it’s less expensive than Netflix’s cheapest option at $9 per month. Also, unlike Netflix, they do not charge extra money for quality changes. 

Personally, one of my favorite benefits of Disney+ is its ability to download. All of the shows on Disney’s streaming service have a small button that you can click that allows you to download them. This means that for road trips or vacations where there may not be internet or a bad connection to WiFi, you could just download what you’d like to watch on the app and have it available any time, anywhere. 

Disney+ will also be adding content as it continues to be used. Many newer shows will also appear after their appearances in the theater and as a home-video, including movies like the realistic version of Disney’s The Lion King.

There is a good chance that there is something you will enjoy watching on there. After all, it was announced they reached over 10 million people that have already subscribed. 

So, in the end, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in the content that Disney produces. If you subscribe and pay the monthly fee, you can cancel at any time. If you don’t know whether or not you should, there is a seven day free trial that might help you to make up your mind. 

Movies to watch on snow days

Snow days are the days when school is cancelled because of heavy snowfall or other extreme winter weather. Here are a few movies to watch on those snow days: 

  • Home Alone is a great 90s movie. The movie is about an eight-year-old boy who protects his home from burglars when his family accidentally left him home alone on their way to Christmas vacation.
  • Ocean’s 8 is about a woman who gathers an all female crew to attempt to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s yearly annual Met Gala.
  • The Hustle is about a girl named Penny who is a con artist and trap men into giving her money, whereas Josephine is a wise con artist who cons the world’s richest men into giving her money.
  • Almost Christmas is a Christmas movie starring Gabrielle Union. This movie is about a dad who invites his five grown up children, who can’t stand each other,  home for the holidays.
  • A Madea Christmas is one of Tyler Perry’s movies which is about Madea’s niece who wants Madea to come with her to surprise her daughter for Christmas at her new home in small town Alabama.

Trailers for the movies: 

Home Alone

Ocean’s 8

The Hustle

Almost Christmas

A Madea Christmas

The HPSH Theatre Program proudly presents: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Come fall in love with this romantic comedy featuring young lovers, a disapproving father, a band of simple-minded actors, and mischievous fairies.

Performances are this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:00pm and a Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm.

The running time is just under 2 hours with intermission.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.

‘Joker’ review

Joker was released a month ago and has already become an icon to film history. It has made over 300 million in the U.S and even more in other countries. Joker has now been titled as the highest grossing film, with its rating, of all time.

Joker takes place in 1981 and is about a man by the name of Arthur Fleck, who is played by Joaquin Phoenix. Arthur suffers serious depression issues and problems with constantly laughing. He has a passion for playing as a party clown.

Many people see Arthur as a freak and often will poke fun at him, or even beat him on the street. Arthur takes care of his mother in his small apartment while he’s not at work.

When a coworker of his gives him a gun, his entire life changes and he soon starts doing things to people that causes debates and havoc around the city. He dresses as a clown which is seen as an icon around the city of Gotham.

When I first saw this movie, I was instantly impressed by the uncomfortable camera angles and blurred backgrounds; it really fit for the unsettling and eerie feeling to the movie. The film’s awkward feeling fit very well for the movie but often would get a little consistent and would get a little awkward in a bad way and drew out the scene for too long. Other than that, most awkward moments were fitting.

I believe that the acting in the movie couldn’t have been better. Joaquin Phoenix really made you believe he was psychotic human being. The side actors were also very talented and something that really stuck out to me, was the reactions to certain things that occurred to the film. Such as when a person was killed, they would respond in a way that would make you feel uncomfortable and feel like it was almost real.

This film also sets a very high message to real life. Whether it’s debates, the economy, or the way people are treated these days. It kind of makes you think about how awful individuals can be to each other.

Overall, I believe that this movie deserves the love it has been getting and I’d give it a solid 9/10

‘Coraline’ review

Button eyes and spiderwebs, Coraline is full of the stuff of nightmares.

Coraline was originally a novella written by Neil Gaiman, published all the way back in 2002. It quickly won many awards, which may I say, it deserved. In 2009 it was adapted into a stop motion film by Laika, which also appears to be quite well received. 

And in this one occasion, the movie may be just as good as the book.

Coraline is about a young girl, called Coraline, who has just moved to a new house. She feels as though her parents don’t pay enough attention to her, and she’s slightly ignored, not to mention bored. Then, she finds a small door in her house, which was originally boarded up, but suddenly one night, it is not. It leads Coraline to a fantastical world with two other parents and all the stuff she could ever want. But her other mother has more plans than just trying to make Coraline happy, and Coraline must fight not only for her own life, but also her parents’, to get out of the other mother’s world.

The book and the movie do have some differences though, the movie spends much more time exploring the world and characters, while the book is very fast paced. 

The book and movie are listed as horror, so while they are aimed at children, they are also full of ghoulish imagery. For example, the scene in the movie with Misses Forcible and Spink; trust me, you do not want to know that scene.

Neil Gaiman is also the author of novels such as American Gods, Good Omens, Anansi Boys, and more.

Laika, the studio that made the movie, also has made other movies such as Paranorman, Kubo and the Two Strings, and recently Missing Link.

I cannot recommend Coraline high enough. The book is short and a fun read, and I could rewatch the movie over and over again. If you are looking for a spooky movie to watch after Halloween, or just a fun time, Coraline is a must-see.

John Witherspoon passed away at the age of 77

On October 29, actor and comedian John Witherspoon, who starred in countless movies and many TV shows, for over the past 4 decades, died at his home at the age of 77 from a heart attack.

The family of John Witherspoon released a statement to the media saying:

“It is with deepest sorrow that we can confirm our beloved husband and father, John Witherspoon, one of the hardest working man in show business, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77.” The family continued the statement by saying, “We are all in shock, please give us a minute for a moment in privacy and we will celebrate his life and his work together. John used to say ‘I’m no big deal,’ but he was a huge deal to us.”

John Witherspoon was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1942. He later began his career as an entertainer and became a stand up comedian in the 1970’s. Just a few years after, he made his first television debut by appearing in shows including a detective series called Barnaby Jones.

Despite his roles in shows, in 1995, John Witherspoon arguably starred in his most known, and iconic role, in the comedy film, Friday starring Chris Tucker and Ice Cube. In this movie he played the role of Ice Cube’s dad. He continued to play his dad for the rest of its sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next.

Ice Cube and many other celebrities that worked with, or were close with, John Witherspoon spoke about his death over social media. “I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon, Life won’t be as funny without him.” Ice Cube wrote on Twitter.

Another huge role John Witherspoon also played was the character, John “Pops” Williams, in the hit show The Wayans Bros, where he also played a father figure. “I’m sad. Broken. Hurt… yet extremely grateful to God that I got to spend 5 years of my life working with one of the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving men,” Marlon Wayans, who played the son of John Witherspoon on The Wayans Bros, wrote on Instagram.

Many other celebrities including Regina King, Edie Murphy, Chris Tucker, and countless others sent their condolences and reminiscing about the times they shared with John Witherspoon.

John Witherspoon is survived by his wife and two sons. 

‘Predator’ (1987) review

Predator was released in 1987, and made $98.7 Million in the box office. It become an 80’s classic with tons of memorable quotes and scenes. This movie is one of my all time favorite movies and here’s why.

The story is about a crew of hard and tough expendable men, run by a man named Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who are called in on a rescue mission in the jungle. Unfortunately, they are too late. They then find out there’s something inhuman in the trees hunting them down. It’s up to them to survive in the jungle and fight the creature off until the chopper arrives.

The writing in this movie is very well done. Especially for an 80’s movie because it holds back on the cheesy lines and cheesy jokes. It obviously has that vibe due to its certain camera angles of the characters muscles and the way the speak. But a majority of the movie is very well written for the era.

Which brings me to the acting, the acting is very well done, and each character is unique in some way, and you can easily pick a favorite character. Every character has a response that feels genuine and different for the situation.

The writing in the the movie is really well done because the first 45 minutes is more of an expendable action movie. But the rest of the movie is a somewhat thriller and almost horror. They have the watcher get into something they do not expect.

The action in this movie is used only when it needs to be, which makes it even more unique. When there is action it is very enjoyable and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Overall, I give this movie a solid 10/10

‘Donnie Darko’ (2001) film review

Donnie Darko, an atmospheric, wacky and very confusing psychological thriller that has a lot of theories behind what it actually all means. The film over the years grew a cult following, and I am one of those followers. I am going to explain my thoughts and review the movie in this article

Donnie Darko was released in 2001 and made about $7.5 Million at the box office. The film wasn’t really well known at the time it was released, but over the years it grew a cult following due to the very original and strange feel to it.

The movie is about a high school kid by the name of Donald “Donnie” Darko played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and needs to take medication and speak to a therapist. Donnie one late night, wakes up and sleep walks out of his home to find a man in a bunny costume who tells him he has 28 days until the world ends. Donnie finds out the next day that a jet engine fell into his room and no one knows where it came from. Donnie starts to look into time travel and it’s up to him to find out the truth.

I first watched this film 2 years ago and it became my all time favorite movie. The actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, is my favorite actor as well. In this movie, he pulls off the slightly insane and unstable teenage boy very well. You can tell he really got into the role.

The other actors in the movie such as Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is Jake Gyllenhaal’s real sister, plays Donnie Darko’s sister in this movie which makes the chemistry between them feel very real. 

Jena Malone, who plays Donnie’s girlfriend, also is very good in the film and they wrote her character just right to make you understand why she likes Donnie Darko as a person so much.

There is much more examples to talk about with the acting, but I would like to get into the story. The story is very well paced and honestly, you don’t really know what is going on in a lot of parts in the film, but that is what makes it so good. It makes you think a ton and wonder what it all means. It makes you more engaged so you’ll want to know the truth behind everything in the end.

You’ll eventually get very attached to the characters and story the deeper you look into it while you watch it.

The soundtrack in the movie is very fitting and gives off that very atmospheric and monotone feel to it. The directors cut, I have to say, is very unfitting with the music and it just does not fit with the scenes. But the normal cut is very good with the soundtrack.

This movie’s take on time travel feels very realistic because the character has a disease which makes what he sees in the movie somewhat understandable. In the end, you don’t really fully know how exactly Donnie came across the Rabbit named Frank and how Frank himself found out about time travel. This makes the viewer really think.

Overall, I personally really love this movie and believe it is very underrated, even with the cult following with it. It keeps you on edge and it makes you feel somewhat sad in a good way in the end when it’s over. Because you didn’t want it to end, because of all of the great characters and unexplained moments.

I’d give Donnie Darko a solid 10/10.

‘Hellboy’ 2019 reboot review

The new Hellboy film was released on April 12th of this year, and made only $40.8 million at the box office. There has been a lot of hate towards the reboot and I’m going to give my personal thoughts on the pros and cons of the movie.

Hellboy tells a story of a half-demon who works with a organization to stop demons and other creatures around the world. When Niue, the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich), is resurrected, and out to get revenge on her past betrayal, and has intentions to reek havoc on the world, it is up to Hellboy (David Harbour) and his known associates to put a stop to her before all hell breaks loose.

This movie seems to have a tough time making the pacing right. The film instantly starts off with narration and it seems as if they quickly rushed in the backstory for the antagonist just so they could get right into the Hellboy action.

Which brings me to the character Hellboy. Hellboy as a character is introduced somewhat quickly, they get right into the action when they show him. David Harbour is a great actor and portrayed the character really well in the new adaptation, he kind of is one of the very few things that keeps the movie going with his sarcastic and lazy attitude.

One downside I’d have to say is that he seems very weak as a fighter in scenes, which often in other movies adds more intensity, but he nearly dies by many different enemies in the movie and it kind of makes you disappointed in him.

It seems as if the movie tries adding a lot of side stories as well that never go anywhere. For example, Hellboy at one point joins his father’s old team to stop a group of giants. Out of the blue, they decide to betray Hellboy and attempt to kill him, but they all get killed off pretty much right away. The movie does this often, they’ll add many useless side stories that aren’t asssential to the plot, and they never go anywhere interesting.

The film action wise is honestly pretty enjoyable; it is filled with nonstop action and isn’t afraid to get bloody. The movie alone is very gory and I think they used a bit too much at times, and it doesn’t really get you to take scenes seriously. But once it comes to the action, it will often go on for a good 10 to 15 minutes and it’ll keep you entertained.

The visuals aren’t bad, but there are certain scenes where the CGI will look embarrassingly noticeable and you can tell they just threw it together quickly. But other than that, the visuals can often be pretty decent, they aren’t Planet of the Apes  good, but it’s normal enough most of the time, where it doesn’t really bother you.

As I said earlier, the acting in the film is good, but the characters alone, besides Hellboy, aren’t that interesting. It seems as if they just made these characters and gave them a backstory and some powers and that’s about it. They don’t really give them enough personality, they’re just people who stick by Hellboy’s side most of the movie. Also, Hellboy’s father in the original Guillermo Del Toro series is more of an interesting and developed character, but in this one, he’s just in this movie for the sake of him being in it and isn’t really important to the plot.

Which brings me to comparing this film to Guillermo Del Toro’s adaptation. This film had a director switch which really changed the whole Hellboy feel. The original one had a memorable style and color scheme to it; it felt like it was hardly worked on and it had an unsettling feel to it. This one is very lackluster compared to that and just feels like a gory, action packed comic bookish styled movie made solely for teens.

Now let’s talk about the soundtrack. The soundtrack is pretty fitting with the film’s style, it has heavy metal and early 2000’s remixes. Sometimes though, the music seems somewhat unneeded or it just doesn’t fit with the scene.

Overall, this movie is quite a mess. But it if you enjoy action packed and brutal movies and come just to see some action and don’t care about the plot, then this is your kind of movie. I myself think it is very enjoyable and action packed but story wise, it’s a mess and the writing is pretty awful.

I’d give this movie’s action a solid 7/10 and the story a 2/10.