In honor of Stephen Hawking: The Theory of Everything (2014)- Review

by Nevin Hooper

Unfortunately, on March 14th, the famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, Stephen Hawking, passed away. I thought in order to remember his accomplishments, and me being a movie buff, I would review the biographical film, The Theory of Everything, starring the excellent Eddie Redmayne as Hawking.

The film follows Stephen (Eddie Redmayne, in a touching performance that earned him a worthy Best Actor Oscar), as he falls in love with a college friend, Jane (Felicity Jones, in a phenomenal performance that got her a nomination for Best Actress). All seems great until he gets diagnosed with his debilitating condition that will haunt him for the rest of his life, though he is still determined to figure out the answer to the universe, and struggles to keep his relationship with Jane.

First, let’s talk about the best part of this movie, Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne totally disappears into this character, and is unbelievably great as Hawking, portraying his physical appearance, and his little moments of intelligence and kindness perfectly. I never saw Redmayne throughout the entire movie, I only saw Stephen Hawking, and his performance must be seen to believe.

Felicity Jones never gets talked about for her performance in this movie. She is so overshadowed by Eddie Redmayne’s exceptional performance that Jones never seems to be mentioned for her equally phenomenal performance. While, yes, she didn’t have to do as much as Eddie Redmayne, her emotional strength is still extremely powerful, showing her emotional imbalance for Stephen perfectly, and very much earned that Best Actress nomination.

The music in this movie was stunning. I loved everything to do with music in this movie; it was quiet, yet at times it was grand and wondrous. It was sad, yet it was mesmerizing, and was just fantastic.

The direction was very calm, yet fast paced, which contributed to the mood of the film, also helped by the excellent.

I love this movie, it was emotional. It was powerful It resonated with me. Enough to give it an 11/10.

Black Panther Movie Review: Always Bet on Black

by Brandon Matzke

Rating: PG-13

Well, I finally saw a new movie in theaters this year! Yay! You see, I avoid the movies during January and February, due to the low-quality material usually put out. But the moment that a great new movie comes out (or at least a pretty good one), my film-going experience kicks off once again. But back on the subject, how was Black Panther? Well… Continue reading →

The Four: Battle To Stardom Finale Review

by Jake Fontaine

The Four: Battle to Stardom, Fox’s newest singing competition, ended its search for the world’s next superstar, revealing the winner on last Thursday’s two hour finale.

Drum roll please…congratulations to Evvie McKinney on winning the title of IHeartRadio’s “On The Verge Artist,” a record deal with Republic Records, and the opportunity to produce a song with icons, such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, and Meghan Trainor.

However, if the ultimate goal of the show was to truly find “the next superstar,” then Zhavia (pronounced Jhuh-VI-uh) should’ve been crowned the victor.

Plain and Simple.

I’m definitely one to give credit where credit is due, so I’ll begin with that before my emotions get the best me.

McKinney, a 20-year-old vocal powerhouse from Memphis, is exactly how I put it: a vocal powerhouse. She has a charismatic stage presence, an insane vocal range and pours her heart out during every performance. I love the fire in her eyes and I’m a genuine fan.

As the hardcore fanatic I am, I’ve watched my fair share of talent competitions, with the extensive list including shows like The Voice, American Idol, etc. You name it, I’ve probably watched it.

Now, I’m usually one to root for singers like McKinney: the ones who can belt the highest, loudest note and add some oomph–the vocal powerhouses. Yet, the point of The Four wasn’t to find the best singer, but rather discover a star in the making.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, a judge on the show, stressed since the The Four first aired that it “isn’t like other talent shows” and that he’s “here to find a superstar.”

I hate to break it to you, but there’s already a Jennifer Hudson.

Already a Kelly Clarkson.

Already a freaking Beyonce.

There’s no need in the music industry for another belting, female powerhouse. Moreover, there’s no room for one.

Which brings me to the one that got away: Zhavia, a 16-year-old artist from Orange County.

Like I said: an artist.

A potential superstar.


With her original tone and style, which she describes as a mix of R&B, reggae, hip-hop, and jazz, Zhavia brings to the table a uniqueness the music industry has yet to see–and fans love.

Since her first appearance on the show, Zhavia has gone from 2K followers to a staggering 1.3 million.

To put this into perspective, the Voice’s most beloved contestant and season 9 winner, Jordan Smith, currently has 153K followers on Instagram; therefore, Zhavia has nearly 10x the amount of followers.

Major key alert (as DJ Khaled would put it): Zhavia connects with the audience.

Sure, her range isn’t out this world and her vocals need some fine-tuning; but, a superstar doesn’t need to be the best singer, or the singer who can belt the highest note.

Selena Gomez isn’t. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Taylor Swift’s range is mediocre. (Sue me).

What is needed, however, is an immense fanbase–something Zhavia has obtained since she’s stepped into the spotlight.

So congrats to not only McKinney, but also the show itself.

You found the superstar you were longing to find, but you let her slip right through your hands.

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 →

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.


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.


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.


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…


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.