2017 Best Album’s

2017 was overall, the best year for albums; hands down. Let us give you a rundown of the best albums of 2017.

At number one we have Drake, More Life. On this 22-song project, we see many of Drake’s sides: a variety of friends (old and new), local and global, heartbreaks, solo, and features. With features such as Young Thug, Giggs, Kanye West, etc. Drake really put out his best in this album.

Next, is a new artist who featured on Rihanna’s Anti album: Sza. Sza unravels through largely improvised meditations on love and sex, and all the promise that both endure. Fans went crazy when she dropped her album Sza, because she talked about self love, and the confidence a woman should have. From working 9 to 5 and being his “weekend,” Sza flourishes in her own way.

3) 4:44, Jay-Z, the 47 year old multi-millionaire, dropped the year’s self confessional. Jay-Z confronts his own failings as a husband in “4.44” and being a public figure in “Kill Jay-Z.” With multiple samples of music from the 60’s, Jay-Z gives publicity to his own wealth, which his daughter will inherit in the future.

Number 4 is rap’s most powerful voice, at the top of his game, Kendrick Lamar. With his album Damn, one of the number one albums of the year on the charts, he talks about his deepest feelings, world problems, and a lifetime of battling anxiety. With slow jams to upbeat jams, and 50 lines without a break in one stretch, his creativity really made this album perfect.

An unforgettable album that’s still played in many people’s cars, is SweetSexySavage by Kehlani. Kehlani dropped this album mid January, after her mixtape was released in 2016. The album was attracting and appealing to many of her fans, because she wrote all of the songs on the album (aside from the “Intro”). It debuted number three on the U.S. Billboard 200. On her album, Kehlani mentions her previous boyfriend Partynextdoor, who is also a singer/songwriter. She talks about growth, as a person and as a singer, and also how she’s learned from her past. She embraces change, and writes to her young fans to accept how they are.

Agra Culture restaurant review

By Natalie Braga, Piper Gallivan, Alivia Arredondo

Agra Culture is a new restaurant in Highland Park (721 Cleveland Avenue) that offers healthy and delicious food for everyone. Our experience there was positive, comfortable, and filling!

This restaurant has a very fresh and exciting feel to it. The colors were all either white or black, giving it a clean and vibrant look. The whole front wall was windows which allowed lots of natural lighting. The whole experience is a perfect mix of fast food and fine dining. It is an order at the counter system, so when you walk in you are immediately greeted by friendly employees ready to take your order. You can take as much time as needed because there are menus to take near the door. After ordering, they give you a table number and about 10 to 15 minutes later a waiter will bring your food. There is a wide variety of options for seating: you can choose between 2 types of booths, tables, and where to sit. If you want to feel even closer to nature, you can sit near a wall of leafy green vines. This restaurant has a very “LA lifestyle” vibe, which adds a fun, new, and unique addition to Highland Village.

The customer service was also very pleasing. When you walk in the door and start to order your food, the workers there all seem to be happy and seem like they genuinely want to be there. They greet you with a smile as they welcome you to the restaurant and politely ask for your order. This really helps the cozy, and nice, feeling of the restaurant. When you are ordering, the workers there are very patient with you, and also, if you’re not sure what to get, they will gladly give you suggestions on what they think is good. Once you get your food and are seated, they will come up once or twice during the meal to make sure everything is going well, or if they see you are done with something they will politely take the empty plate away.

Take a look at the menu and it is clear that this restaurant focuses on healthy and nutritious ingredients to create delicious dishes. One major positive with the menu is the inclusiveness for all diets with the use of helpful icons informing customers if a dish is vegan, gluten free, etc. Though the prices may be slightly higher than your average restaurant nearby, the quality and freshness is clear when you get your plate. They offer breakfast options all day, alongside their usual salads, sandwiches, and trademark Agra Bowls.  Between the  three of us, we ordered three separate dishes, one smoothie, and pita bread and hummus. Each was unique and tasty in their own way, and here are our reviews.

The Chicken Harissa sandwich was quite a delight. The avocado really helped balance out the flavor of the red onion and the chicken. The chicken itself was a well proportioned, perfectly done chicken breast that was grilled (having the chicken crispy was also an option), and it had just the perfect amount of flavor.

Then came the smoothie which was very refreshing. The flavor of the fruit was very noticeable and it went well with the smoothie being cold. There was a variety of choices for smoothies and we highly recommend trying one.

Pita bread and hummus was our side dish and we thought it was really tasty. However, the portion of hummus to pita bread was a little off. It was still really good though. The bold flavor of the hummus was very well complimented with the bread, and it was a great kickoff to the meal.

The Mediterranean Bowl is from the breakfast selection and would be perfect for breakfast, lunch, or brunch! It was filled with scrambled eggs, spinach, tomatoes, and olives. You have the choice of adding quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat toast on the side. I added a pinch of salt after my first few bites to enhance the flavors a bit more. The portion size seemed pretty small at first, just because we are used to huge American portion sizes, but it was actually very filling. The taste was very good and left me feeling very refreshed and healthy.

Lastly, the Stir Fry Bowl seemed to be a perfect balance of rice, vegetables, and protein, and was also dairy free, which was something we were looking for. It came with cilantro brown rice, organic peppers, onion, Thai sauce, and chicken (which could also be swapped for tofu). When it arrived, it looked wonderful with many different colors, textures, and flavors on the plate. Though it looked a little small at first, it also was very filling and satisfying by the end.

Overall, Agra Culture is a fun new restaurant for those who want tasty food that won’t make you feel guilty afterwards. We give it 4.5 out of 5, and recommend trying it out!

BTS fashion

BTS is probably my favorite music group right now, and I’ve noticed that pretty much whatever they do they dress up (nicely) in some sort of way. I love their style so much, honestly, that I believe they are fashion icons. They don’t pay attention to masculine or feminine standards of clothing; BTS wears whatever suits them, and it is so great to see them wearing things you don’t often see men wearing. For one of their most popular photo shoots (for their album Wings), they wore a lot of colors, patterns, and textures of clothing. An example is of the member Suga, he was wearing a silk pink suit with a knit white sweater, which you could say is not the most masculine, and I think that is important. It’s not just photo shoots where their clothes stand out, because that’s somewhat expected to wear something unusual and different, but they are seen out in public wearing things like this as well.

Another thing they do, that is pretty uncommon in fashion, is the fact that they dye their hair very often. They don’t just dye their hair blonde or brown, but colors ranging from orange to mint green and so on. I think it’s really cool seeing them not only with their outfits, but the fact that they dye their hair and then style their outfits to go with their hair color. This is just truely iconic.

BTS have a great fashion sense, and that’s why I love them. I love the fact that they go to the airport, and instead of wearing comfortable casual clothing, they dress up! BTS member Jin actually wore a suit in the airport, which I mean is pretty common for people in business, but they all dressed up like that, (not in a suit but layers and such with accessories). They can just be out in public and they wear basically the same things you would see them wear in photo shoots.

Film review: Blade Runner 2049

★★☆☆

***Article Contains Spoilers***

Before watching Blade Runner 2049, I had never seen the original Blade Runner. To many who had, Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to a science-fiction classic and defining movie of a generation. To me, it is just another Hollywood film.

Blade Runner 2049 has received mostly excellent reviews from Blade Runner fans old and new, and it’s not hard to see why. The new film does what the original did and more, and to fans, that’s a miracle. But to me, it’s a disappointment.

To be certain, Blade Runner 2049 is a stylish, smart film, but it’s neither beautiful nor profound. It has been called “visually stunning” by a multitude of critics and “deep” by most. But glossy, realistic graphics are not beautiful by that virtue, and simply bringing-up philosophical concepts is not profound.

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, now over 90 years-old, with its grand Futurist city and equally-grand capitalism, is the obvious predecessor to the original Blade Runner. The new film proffers the same apparently imminent, bleak vision of the future we have been fed for the past century. The city is updated, shinier now, but it is still the same city. Suffice it to say, the vision is no longer fresh, compelling, or believable.

The original Blade Runner score, composed by ambient-electronic music pioneer Vangelis, has been replaced in the new Blade Runner by a bombastic and overwrought orchestral score composed by Hans Zimmer. Vangelis’s score was forward-thinking and remains fresh; Zimmer’s is another score by Zimmer. How is it that, as time draws on, sci-fi becomes less inspired in all aspects?

At 163 minutes, for a film with an absurdly sociopathic comic-book villain, action-movie violence, a holographic girlfriend, and a secret that could “break the world,” Blade Runner 2049 is also a remarkably boring and drab drama. K (Ryan Gosling), the film’s protagonist, is not unsympathetic because he’s (spoiler alert) a replicant (robot), but because he has zero charisma. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is now old and bitter, no longer the romantic hero he was in the original, and plays a smaller role in the film than one wished or expected. Our villain, arch-capitalist Niander Wallace, played by the ever-intimidating Jared Leto (I kid), is more of a parody than a genuine terror, with his casual gratuitous cruelty and incessant Biblical allegory. There is also Mariette, possibly the film’s most intriguing character, a street-urchin prostitute and, as we later find out, a replicant revolutionary. Her role in the film is minimal, but I would gladly watch Blade Runner 2049 again if it were written from her perspective.

Every other character is forgettable, except Joi, the aforementioned hologram. She (it?) is cute, bubbly, and completely devoted to K (she was programmed, after all). But she is, as the film ceaselessly emphasizes, just a hologram. It’s hard to care very much about a character who can be “played” and “paused” at any time by her master, err, boyfriend. It’s not hard to see why some critics have pegged this Blade Runner as misogynist.

Despite its flaws, it would not be fair to dismiss Blade Runner 2049 entirely. As previously stated, it is undeniably stylish and smart. There are a few particularly exhilarating moments, such as when K and Deckard duel in front of a holographic Elvis. They trade witticisms and the action is entertaining in the most authentic way. It is a pastiche, but a worthy one. If Blade Runner 2049 worried less about being seen as so serious and embraced this side of its personality more, maybe it wouldn’t be so frustratingly middlebrow. The film’s big twist near the end also felt remarkably genuine and affecting. However, it killed all the momentum the film had, leaving it to end with an awkward 40-minute epilogue.

Although they are undeveloped, and at this point tired staples of smart sci-fi, the philosophical concepts Blade Runner 2049 brings up are certainly worth discussing. They are “What are the socioeconomic implications of modernization?” and, “What makes us human, with respect to AI?” Blade Runner 2049 makes three claims; modernization will further the social divide between men and women concurrently with the rise of AI, and this will inevitably lead to the oppression of the lower classes (the former, which is apparent in the modern world, is more intriguing than the latter, which thus far history has proven to be false). Also, the defining characteristic of humanity is that it is self-sacrificial, not necessarily that human women can give birth. The last claim would be more interesting if it didn’t result in the protagonist sacrificing himself for what is the most contrived, sappy ending I have seen in a film in years.

At first glance, Blade Runner 2049 appears to me to be a film unsure of what it wants to be; an unabashedly lowbrow sci-fi flick, or a lofty philosophical drama. But, I know that’s false; Blade Runner 2049 set out specifically to fill a certain niche (The Matrix, The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, etc.) of thoroughly entertaining movies that keep you thinking throughout. It’s a shame it couldn’t live up to those standards.

Taylor Swift’s new singles

Natalie Braga, Piper Gallivan, Alivia Arredondo

The international pop sensation Taylor Swift has just released her new album Reputation. This album has shocked the nation with her new, bold lyrics, videos, and image. She has made it clear that she has grown and developed into a new person and is nothing like her past self. With this new album and image, she has released four singles: “Gorgeous,” “Call It What You Want,” “Ready For It,” and “Look What You Made Me Do.” While three singles had already come out prior to our writing this, we gained early access to the lyric video of “Call It What You Want” and we will be giving our opinions on each.

“Look What You Made Me Do”
This hit single was the first of the four that was released on August 24, and the first look the world got at Taylor’s new self. Though it may get stuck in your head, the quality of it is nothing amazing. The lyrics are very dramatic and attention grabbing and incorporate many hidden references throughout. These may be subtle, but they clearly get the message across that Taylor is done with all of the drama and because of all the things that people have done to her, she has become someone new and stronger. However, the extreme dramatization of all of the lyrics make the whole song sound not only repetitive, but also somewhat childish. At no point in the song does Taylor showcase much vocal talent, and considering half of the song is her repeating the line “look what you made me do,” we believe this song definitely got its point across, but is really not very enjoyable.

Ready For It”
Taylor begins this beat based, intense song, with the bold lyric “knew he was a killer first time that I saw him,” letting the listener in on the topic of this song, which is to no surprise, a boy who has given her trouble. The majority of the lyrics in the verse are backed by a distorted beat, which Swift tops with a mix somewhere between rapping, singing, and talking. Though this type of singing runs throughout not only this song, but the whole album, we agree that this style of singing does not seem to suit her voice or persona. The verses use some lyrical tricks to connect different lines which can be catchy, however, in terms of substance they seem lacking and recycled. They are the usual, arguably average, boy-centric lines that Swift has been using since the beginning of her career.

The pre-chorus, and chorus, slows it down and is when she goes more into her familiar singing voice, which is enjoyable enough but nothing we’d really listen to again. Each chorus ends with the title line of this track, with Swift pausing before speaking the line “Are you ready for it?” This transitions into a loud and repeated computer generated sounding rhythm, which could possibly be entertaining in some crowded and large settings, however, once again, it’s not something we’d really see ourselves listening to on anything near a daily basis. This repeats itself a few more times, but the song really never hits a peak moment and to us, seemed quite bland and overused. It really doesn’t seem to have any major distinctions from the rest of her singles, and doesn’t seem to be anything special that will go down in history. Overall, it is okay for a possible party tune but nothing we’d truly recommend.

Gorgeous
Swift’s “Gorgeous” was released in late October as one of her first singles for this album. This is a simple song – just about a crush she has on a guy she sees from across the room. It has no significant meaning or anything that really makes it stand out from anything you’d hear within 5 minutes of turning on KDWB. It seems the most similar to her old “prime of Taylor” music, but lacking the fun and upbeat tone that used to make her music more easy-going and catchy.

Taylor is definitely going for a new vibe, and wants to portray that in her new songs, but by doing that, she is downgrading the quality. Her lyrics are portraying having a crush as something that’s troubling her, and something that the man has to enjoy. Towards the beginning of the song she says; “Cause look at your face (look at your face)
/And I’m so furious” This kind of sentence is repeatedly said throughout the song, portraying that she is mad at the way he looks. She is also bragging about a boyfriend she already has. By talking about this new guy she thinks is gorgeous, she is implying that she is thinking about cheating. She says:

“And I got a boyfriend, he’s older than us
He’s in the club doing, I don’t know what
You’re so cool, it makes me hate you so much (I hate you so
Much)”

This is not something that a role model for a lot of young girls should be saying as something that’s right or that it’s a situation that people should strive for. She is also saying that the gorgeous man should automatically like her, even if she’s not treating him well. The first lines of the song state: “You should take it as a compliment/ That I got drunk and made fun of the way you talk.” The idea is that he should be grateful for how she’s treating him, even though she doesn’t do anything nice and is just assuming he wants her. Overall, this song is just bland, and doesn’t achieve the point it’s trying to make. But fun fact, the baby saying gorgeous at the beginning of the song is Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds daughter!!

Call It What You Want”
Compared to the other 3 songs we reviewed for this article we found this one to be the least disturbing. Although many of lyrics have no value, for instance the lyrics “I want to wear his initial on a chain around my neck,” and “My baby’s fly like a jet stream.” These lyrics give off no true value to the song and they don’t have a deeper meaning. This song has a rather catchy beat. Unlike her most recent songs, this song’s beat is not dark and EMO, but more upbeat like her old self.

However, many of the lyrics in this song do not entirely support women in our constant fight to earn the respect we deserve. One of her lyrics read “ He loves me like I’m brand new,” this compares herself as an object that is bright and shiny and well new. This can give the impression to men and other women that women in general are shiny new objects that can just be replaced and this is not a good message for younger girls, boys and girls, and boys of all ages to be hearing.

As we’ve seen before, Taylor is known for bashing out friends/exes in her songs which hasn’t gone well for her before and only causes her more trouble. In this song some of her lyrics read “All the liars are calling me one,” and “All the drama queens taking swings/All the jokers dressing up as kings.” This could have been an intentional insult to some of the other artists in the music world and insulting them could just create another Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift battle so why create the unnecessary drama? Overall, this song was not our favorite of hers but it was, however, our favorite of the 3 we reviewed.

After listening to all of Taylor’s new singles, we found ourselves quite disappointed by the end. Her new image, persona, and sound seems honestly quite fake, and they don’t showcase the talent we know she is capable of. The songs seem overdone and really don’t have much substance or redeeming qualities. On a scale from 1-10, we give them a 4.5, and we hope to see some stronger music from her in the future.

STRANGER THINGS 2

By : Eddie Lopez

The new Stranger Things season 2 debuted on October 27th, and the fans are going crazy! The new season has broken records; placing, once again, first, on the most viewed TV series on Netflix, with the premier being viewed by 15.8 million people. For perspective, that’s about ⅓ of ALL Netflix subscribers that were watching, and it’s what the season deserves.

Stranger Things 2 has delivered exactly what fans have been asking for in a sequel. The same 80’s sci-fi vibe, and all the traits we all loved were brought back for the new installment. Exploring everything we were left questioning in the last season; like more of Eleven’s backstory (SPOILER ALERT: yes, she’s alive!). And tying up the ends from the last season’s epic cliffhanger. So, if you haven’t watched it yet, then…Go. Watch. It.

It’s been over a week since season 2 was released, which is a fair enough time to finish the 9 episodes, so spoilers ahead!!!!

The new season comes with new characters, who add, yet keep, the same feel we all loved from season 1. It also introduces a new villain, the Mind Flare, aka – Shadow Monster, which taunts Will in his nightmarish visions of the Upside Down. The Upside Down is also explored in more depth, explaining more of how it works and why it is there. It also brings back the lovable gang of middle schoolers, Mike, Lucas, Will, and Dustin. There is also more exploring of their families and personal lives.

The story stays in Hawkins, Indiana, whilst also having a stand alone episode in the city of Chicago. It follows Eleven in search of her long lost sister, who had also been kidnapped and experimented on by Dr. Brenner in Hawkins National Laboratory. Although her sister Kali is left untouched by the story, and only seems to be brought into the show as a way for Eleven to let her anger out, she also teaches Eleven how to control her powers and her angry past. Fans are already anxious to see what the producers do with her in the upcoming seasons, but for now, Kali is left forgotten.

Although there were many small things left unfinished, like Eleven’s mom’s story, her sister, and Max’s past, fans are very satisfied with the ending of this season; leaving mostly everything solved and happy. Yet, something still lurks in the sky of the upside down, the MIND FLARE!

It is revealed that they indeed did not quite defeat the Shadow Monster and it is still lurking in the Upside Down. I guess we’ll have to wait till season 3 next year.

Starbucks new Zombie Frappuccino

The Zombie Frappuccino is a blended beverage that’s more “treated than trick” with delicious apple and caramel flavors. It has a green body made with Frappuccino cream, infused with flavors of tart apple and caramel, and topped with a pink whipped cream “Brian” and a red mocha drizzle.

The intentionally disgusting looking drink had been available in all Starbucks stores, in both the United States and Canada, and this is not even the first year that Starbucks has served a Halloween themed drink. You could pari your drink with mummy cake pops, or Day of the Dead cookies which the store also has for purchase.

According to some of the Starbucks workers I asked, they said the point of the drink was to scare customers, especially the early morning Frappuccino lovers. Some of the customers I also asked, told me that they didn’t liked it, and that it tasted like gas, while others told me that they really liked it, and though it was very sweet, the bitterness of the mocha syrup, and the creaminess of the Frappuccino base helped balance things out.

Starbucks started their Halloween offerings in 2014, when they introduced a limited edition Frankenstein’s Frappuccino, and in 2015/2016 it served the vampire inspired Frappula Frappuccino. The Frappuccinos usually start appearing on Oct 26 – 31.

As for me, the first time I heard about the Frappuccino, I was at work, and one of my coworkers asked me if I had tasted the new Starbucks. I told her no, and she was like “don’t try to taste it” because it made her to feel bad. But I wanted to try it, and it was good, and I liked it. I also encouged my friends to try it, some of them liked it, and some said it had too much sugar, but it was still good though.

I hope you guys try it, and share how you felt about it, and about how it tasted.

BTS “Love Yourself: Her” album review

BTS is a South Korean boy band that is popular all over the world (internationally famous), and recently they released a new album Love Yourself: Her on September 18, 2017, by Big Hit Entertainment. This album has a total of 9 tracks (not including hidden song “Sea”). This was their comeback album, which also came with a performance of them singing while dancing specific choreography for the songs.

The songs they put on their newest album are:

1. Intro: Serendipity
2. DNA
3. Best of Me
4. Dimples
5. Pied Piper
6. Skit: Billboard Music Awards Speech
7. Mic Drop
8. Go Rather Than Worrying (Go Go)
9. Outro: Her

“Serendipity” is a solo song sung by Jimin; he even has a music video made for it with over 37 million views on YouTube.

“DNA” is the most popular song on the album, sung by all the members of BTS, and they made a very colorful, energetic, and beautiful music video for it that has over 134 million views. It was #1 on iTunes in over 29 countries. They also released teaser trailers for the music video, which were very popular trending videos on YouTube for awhile.

“Skit: Billboard Music Awards Speech” is a 1:47 speech they gave while receiving their Billboard Music Award, which was received by them in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 21, 2017. BTS was so grateful that they won this award, they traveled all the way from Korea to America to go to the Billboard Music Awards just because they were nominated. You could tell they were very happy about the outcome of them winning.

“Mic Drop” is a song sung mainly by the rappers of the group: Jhope, Suga, and Rap Monster. This is a very popular song on their album, because of its strong hip hop influence, which is very different than the rest of the album. It still fits in though. Rapper “Rap Monster” (or Namjoon) has revealed in an interview that this song was inspired by former president Barak Obama’s mic drop after his speech. (This song has been rumored to have a music video coming soon)

 

New November Netflix TV shows and movies

The streaming service, Netflix, is adding many new great and binge-worthy TV shows in the month of November like Marvel’s Punisher and Stranger. They will also be adding new movies to Netflix this month like Men in Black with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and Darkness Rising. We will be giving you brief descriptions of a few of the new fun and exciting TV shows and movies being added in November to Netflix.

Starting on November 1st, you can enjoy Stranger: Season 1. The preview for the series states: “With the help of a gutsy female detective, a prosecutor who has lost the ability to feel empathy tackles a murder case amid political corruption.” With actors like Seung-woo Cho and Donna Bae, it should be a great series to watch!

The other most noteworthy series being added, is the much anticipated Marvel TV show Punisher. The show information reads: “A former Marine out to punish the criminals responsible for his family’s murder finds himself ensnared in a military conspiracy.” It stars former The Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal, and should be a very thrilling and exciting Marvel Netflix series!

Also available November 1st, is Men in Black. The 1997 movie is about a cop who is enlisted to work with a retired government agent. They work as a team to monitor space aliens living on Earth. If you like action and adventure, and comedy you’ll love this movie. It is a little under an hour and a half and rated PG-13. This movie also stars famous actors, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Tommy Lee Jones, and Rip Torn, along with many other great actors.

If you like scary movies, and horror is your favorite genre, Darkness Rising is for you. The 2017 movie is about a woman and her friends breaking into their childhood home, which is abandoned. At the home, her mother went crazy and almost murdered as a child. Darkness Rising stars Tara Holt, Christian Ganiere, and Bryce Johnson. This terrifying movie received a 3.3 rating on IMDb and will be released on Netflix November 27th; giving you plenty of time to watch other shows and movies.

 

 

 

For more information see:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/netflix-november-2017-new-releases-movies-tv-1051740/item/nov-4-netflix-s-new-releases-coming-november-2017-1051683

http://www.vulture.com/2017/10/whats-new-on-netflix-november-2017.html

Halloween movie reviews

by: Zoe Greiner and Montana Pelletier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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