Double Decker Movie Reviews: Jumanji and The Greatest Showman

By Brandon Matzke and Nevin Hooper

Hello there! It is I, Brandon, here with a new concept for film reviews (at least in this school blog): double decker movie reviews. See, Nevin and I had both seen movies that are currently in theaters: Nevin saw The Greatest Showman and I saw Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. And to prevent us wasting too much of your time, here’s our thoughts on the films in one article. Ready? Let’s go!

The Greatest Showman

by Nevin Hooper

I saw it. The Greatest Showman. I was Continue reading →

Dreams Series #1: Mike

by Christian Lubbers

Fast facts:

Age: 48

Childhood dream: State ranger

Current occupation: Shop helper at Lowe’s.

“My dream was to become a state ranger dressed in green, I pursued my dream and graduated college with a degree in forest health, my wife later had a child and i decided to stay instead of leaving my family. Later I roamed around where we lived at the time and found an apple orchard. I worked with them until sun up till sun down. After 7 years I decided to leave and later I worked with a church camp for 12 years. I was a helper there, but I quit because they did not agree with me and my political views. Finally I ended up here at Lowes, I originally was just helping out with the snow but they decided to keep me. Five years later I meet you.”

Groundhog Day Movie Review

By Brandon Matzke

Well, this week has the year’s first and only Groundhog Day. That special day when a particular rodent climbs out of the ground, and tries to avoid his shadow. But it’s also a special day to watch a classic Bill Murray movie: Groundhog Day. And to celebrate that, here’s my review of it.

Plot

Meet an egotistical weatherman, Phil (Bill Murray), covering the famous tradition of Groundhog Day: go to Puxatawny, record the groundhog, and get back home. But there is one catch. Somehow, Phil has become stuck in a time loop. No matter what he does he cannot stop reliving February 2nd due to mysterious circumstances. And he can’t even go wherever he wants due to a freak snowstorm. So, Phil is forced to do whatever he can to live the day right, and to hopefully get out of this time loop.

Positives

Usually, the problem with these “time loop” movies is that it becomes very annoying to deal with the same events over and over again. But this film never got dull, mostly because of it’s brilliant decision to have Phil’s actions change the events of the day. Also, Bill Murray in this movie is great; despite apparently having minimal direction for this film, he manages to give a hysterical yet heartfelt performance, convincingly playing a jerk who eventually turns into a decent guy. The supporting cast does great too, like Rita MacDowell as Phil’s co-worker Rita, and the rest of the townspeople come off as convincing and entertaining, despite the constant repetition of the film. And the direction from Harold Ramis (a comedian gone way too soon) is absolutely great as he works comedy, dread, drama, and basically everything into the story seamlessly.

Negatives

I guess I would’ve liked a different song to come from Phil’s radio… but it is supposed to get annoying, so…. Uh… I don’t have any negatives…

Overall

Groundhog Day is a classic film, and one of the best the 90s had to offer. It deserves all the acclaim it’s received, from that 96% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes to that 4/4 from Roger Ebert. It’s one of my favorites, and deserves an 11/10.

Bowling coaches speak on the challenges of the job

by Levi Houtman

Every coach experiences the major amount of difficulties that they experience as the season continues on. Each coach needs to motivate, support, and provide for each of their players needs.

This is easier said than done. Different types of players introduce different obstacles coaches need to overcome to keep the team on track. Coaching takes time, practice, motivation, determination, and careful planning so no mistake is costly. People overlook the barriers that coaches go through, and typically blame them for everything a team does incorrectly.

I spoke with Mike Eaton, who currently coaches Davenport University’s DII bowling team, and had coached for Grandville’s Varsity bowling team for the past few years, to get his insight on the difficulties that coaches go through each year.

Q: What are some difficulties you go experience when preparing for an upcoming season?
“From previous years, you gain experience on what you can expect. Trying to predict what types of players will be on the team.”

Q: What are some ways you’re able to keep your players healthy throughout the season? 

“Not overworking them. Bowling isn’t the most physically demanding sport, but regardless of sport, having your guys healthy is very important.

Q: What do you do if they’re having trouble in school?

A:  “If one of my players is struggling in school, I’d have them focus on their schoolwork because it’ll get them farther in life.”

Q: What are some of the barriers that you experience as the season progresses and how do you continue on past them?
“Players motivation sometimes begins to go on a downfall. Trying to keep them motivated, and constantly having them improving their shot.”

Q: As the season continues how do you keep your players on track? Having a major goal in mind?

“Tell them the importance of what they’re currently doing and how it could help them on later in life. You’d be surprised what bowling can do for you.”

To get more in depth on what others think about the difficulties coaches go through when overseeing a team, I spoke with Christian Lubbers who was on Grandville’s bowling team for the 2016-2017 season to get his thoughts on coaches barriers.

Q: What do you think is the most challenging thing coaches go through?

“Keeping all of their players on track throughout the season. Having a large number of players that you have to keep watch on and knowing on what areas they can improve on seems difficult to me.”

Q: Do you think coaches or overlooked or underlooked?

“I believe that most people today don’t see the difficulties that they go through so under looked. They don’t see the difficulties that they go through in order to operate a large team.”

Dreams- A mini series preview

by Christian Lubbers

I don’t typically do summaries on people’s lives due to the fact that nobody is the same. However, people do share some qualities and similarities such as having goals that they longed for their whole life. I interviewed three people in total and asked roughly the same questions about the beginning of their lives and how they ended up where they are now.

My first person I interviewed was Mike from Lowe’s; he did everything he could to achieve his dream but fell short with the timing of his first born child. The second person I interviewed was Alyssa from PetSmart; she did not make strong attempts to become what she wanted because an insecurity crushed her dream at the very beginning of her life. Finally the last person I interviewed was Curtis from OfficeMax; he started with his dream but when the going got tough he moved on with his life.

If we have your attention, stay tuned for more details on Mike, Alyssa and Curtis.

 

Top 5 Jim Carrey performances

By Brandon Matzke

Well, today is beloved comedian Jim Carrey’s 56th birthday. Despite rarely appearing in major blockbusters anymore, there was a time when this man ruled the world; from his comedy hits like Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber, to his more dramatic roles in his later career. And he is one of my favorite comedians ever, so I just had to celebrate his long career with my picks for his best performances. Honorable mention: Lloyd Christmas in Dumb And Dumber; sure, it’s definitely not Oscar-worthy, but for playing a total idiot, he nails the role. Just avoid the sequels and you’ll be fine.

5. The Mask (The Mask)

This must’ve been Carrey’s dream come true: a living cartoon character! Very loosely based on the comics by Dark Horse (which are capable of traumatizing anybody who reads them), this film follows Stanley Ipkuss, a man with a vivid imagination and a dull life until he discovers a mysterious mask, which turns him into the powerful yet zany…. Mask. Clever name, I know, but he nails this role. He’s so much fun to watch as the Mask, from his exaggerated movements to witty remarks, I could tell this was a role he could only dream of. My only problem with Carrey’s performance is the Stanley Ipkuss; compared to the bouncing ball of energy known as the Mask, he’s so… dull. I mean, would you rather watch the banker Stanley Ipkuss, or the walking too-nuts-for-Looney Tunes (yes it is spelled like that) Mask?

4. Ace Ventura (Ave Ventura: Pet Detective)

Ace Ventura is a film that either you love or hate, but I personally believe Carrey gives his best purely comedic performance in it. When the dolphin mascot of the Miami Dolphins is kidnapped, it’s up to the off-the-wall nuts pet detective Ace Ventura to find her. Carrey here is a character who’s both insane and smart; beneath the weirdness is a rather intelligent man who truly cares for his animal clients, and will do anything to protect them. Even if it means playing the role of a crazed former football player, complete with a tutu. The movie absolutely hysterical to watch, and most of which is because of Carrey.

3. Truman Burbank (The Truman Show)

A blend of Carrey’s comedic and dramatic performances, Truman Burbank is an unknowing star of the world-famous Truman Show: which chronicles his life on a day-to-day basis. However, by the time he celebrates his 30th birthday, he notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Carrey was 100% right for being angry at the Oscars for not a single mention: he basically plays two versions of this character; the “Carrey-ism” Truman, the wacky guy he pretends to be in public, and the “human” Truman, a man confused about his place in the world. The rest of the film is great too, from the believable world of the Truman Show to the world around it, it might not be 100% realistic but you can believe it could happen. And Carrey helps this too, with his relatable performance as Truman which made people question if they were secretly on TV for decades. If I haven’t made it clear enough, I recommend this one to anyone interested. Along with the next two…

2. Joel Barish (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind)

This is my personal favorite film Carrey’s been in, but Carrey isn’t the only reason this gem stands out for me. Eternal Sunshine follows Joel Barish, a man who recently suffered a harsh breakup. Of course, breakups are hard. But this is the not-too-distant future, where you can get memories erased overnight. When Joel decides to use this procedure, things get weird and emotional as he tries to hold on to memories of his former lover. Carrey nails the role of an introverted man, who has no clear idea as to what’s going on. His interactions with Kate Winslet’s Clementine are purely heartfelt, as he tries to hold onto the woman who’s being erased from his entire memory. Carrey isn’t the best part of this movie; he’s merely the icing on a delicious cake, from it’s amazing oscar-winning script, to the breathtakingly bizarre visuals and talented cast. I thought this would be number one, until I discovered the next pick.

1.  Andy Kaufman (Man On The Moon)

What I consider to be one of the most underrated movies ever made, Man On The Moon is based on the life of the famous comedian Andy Kaufman: a comedian now considered ahead of his time, from his strange pranks on his audience, to his tragic death at only 35. About ten minutes into this movie, I completely forgot I was watching Carrey. He completely absorbed himself into this role, mastering all of Kaufman’s mannerisms and humor. I looked up Kaufman’s original skits to see how close Carrey got, and he perfectly nailed them. He also keeps heart into this role, something that could’ve been completely swept under the rug with almost any other actor. My personal favorite scenes of the film are details of Kaufman’s more hidden life, from his romance with his eventual wife to his final goodbye to everyone close to him in a scene which… made me cry….