Reviews

Movies:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 

The third movie in The Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part 1, was released Nov. 21, 2014. The movie is based on parts of Susan Collins’ book Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games series. The movie, which was preceded by The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, follows Katniss Everdeen after the events of the 75th Hunger Games.

The first two movies focused more on Katniss trying to survive in the actual Hunger Games and protecting the ones she loves. Mockingjay shifts the focus to the start of the rebellion and the actions taken by the different districts. Katniss herself becomes the face of a rebellion, while struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (caused by the events of the prior films). In this movie, Katniss Everdeen goes from the girl on fire, to the Mockingjay, and we now see the repercussions of her actions in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

Compared to The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1 feels slower, and action scenes were few and far between. I’m aware that the slow pace of the movie was sometimes necessary to the plot, but I couldn’t help but yawn. In the end, I was left wondering why producers didn’t just make one movie. Overall, I felt that Mockingjay Part 1 succeeded in getting me pumped up for the final installment of The Hunger Games, but it was lacking on its own.

-By Bailey Miller

Interstellar

Interstellar is a phenomena in the space-science fiction film genre. The movie is a lengthy two hours and 49 minutes of stress-
ful suspense; there’s no time for your attention to be anywhere else. Interstellar is a climactic film that induces gasps, tears and wide eyes to the whole audience and will magnify your view of the contortion and the fluidity of time.

-By Emma Reinberg

Music:

2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole

J. Cole takes a huge step up from his last album, Born Sinner, in terms of quality, production and lyricism in 2014 Forest Hills Drive. This time around, the beats are more upbeat and cohesive. He raps about his childhood experiences in Fayetteville and the difference between living in New York City. Cole isn’t afraid to voice his opinion on various topics. In the song Fire Squad, he criticizes popular white artists Justin Timberlake, Macklemore, Eminem and Iggy Azalea for stealing the sound of rap. Although it may not be considered a classic, it’s Cole’s best cohesive work yet.

-By Byron Aguilar

This is All Yours – alt J

alt-J has certainly come a long
way since their first album, An Awesome Wave. This Is All Yours has a certain pastoral element that was not present in their previous album. The album often refers to a Japanese city where deer roam free in its central park, possibly a reflection of the album’s sense of creative freedom that differs from their freshman album. The new album shows that alt-J is more than just a one-hit-wonder. This Is All Yours is a calming masterpiece of downbeat, organic-sounding gothic mixtures of instruments and voices not existent in their first album.

-By Emma Reinberg

Four – One Direction

The five members of One Direction make teenagers scream as they tour to promote their new album, Four. The album has elements of folk influence mixed in with the group’s pop sound. Songs by One Direction are as catchy as ever. The group has shifted away from the sweet and enchanting songs of previous albums, and taken on a more mature sound.

-By Jennifer Cervantes

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