All posts by Matt Haggard

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald- Amazing or Too Action Packed?

By Rachael Gilkison/ Staff Writer

The second installment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise has gripped the attention of readers since it came out on November 16. Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald picks up where the first movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them leaves off. In this film, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) continues being a mother to his “Fantastic Beasts” while also slowly falling in love with Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and maybe even Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz).

Newt begins the movie by meeting his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) at the French Ministry of Magic. During this meeting, he discovers that the obscurus Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) had survived the incident in the train station in the previous movie. It is revealed that Credence is living in Paris with a maledictus named Nagini (Claudia Kim). Because of Credence’s importance to the the the pureblood movement, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) practically begged Newt to go track him down and keep him out of Gellert Grindelwald’s (Johnny Depp’s) clutches.

Though some may feel that this movie had too much action for it only being the second movie, many fans like how how fast paced it is. There was never a slow moment, and every plot twist left you on the edge of your seat with suspense. There were relationship issues left and right, ranging from a non-consensual love hex to an article looking too far into a close friendship.

One of the obvious best parts of this movie is Jude Law’s portrayal of younger Dumbledore. Law tapped into Dumbledore’s rebellious streak perfectly. He also was a great Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Dumbledore. He played the role of a supportive, loveable, and loyal friend to Newt and his other students flawlessly.

Another great actor in this movie is Callum Turner, who plays Theseus. Though Newt and Theseus don’t exactly have the best relationship, Callum emanates the big brother tough love vibe perfectly. Even though Theseus is marrying Newt’s childhood best friend that he clearly liked, he still manages to always look out for what is in Newt’s best interest.

On top of all of the great actors, this movie also helped expand some relationships between the characters. We got to see Newt and Tina’s relationship stretched, and Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob’s (Dan Folger) relationship fluctuate as the movie goes on. We also get to see how the characters interact around each other. The audience sees how Newt and Theseus and Leta all act when they are together versus apart. There is obviously history between Leta and Newt even though his brother plans on marrying her. There is also tension between Newt and Theseus for some unknown reason.

The best thing about this movie is all of the tie-ins to the Harry Potter series. Nagini, one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, was shown as a main character during the movie, giving us insight into her past. The audience also learns more about the Lestrange family background through Leta.

Love, Simon warms the heart

by Halle Wynn/Staff Writer

Brimming with emotion and amusement, Love, Simon portrays an emerging teen relationship. This movie is not just another high school musical; Love, Simon tells a different kind of tale.

Love, Simon features a teen who faces the challenges of coming out. The main character endures challenges and fears approval from his family and friends.  In the movie, a romance builds when Simon mingles with a peer through social media.

Eventually, Simon falls madly in love with this male teen whose identity is not revealed. In the course of time, the anonymous individual reveals his name as “Blue.” Although Simon and this classmate grow closer, the relationship remains hidden from those acquainted with Simon.

 A character named Martin arrives in the film to provide some plot twists and turns. Drama club fanatic Martin is infatuated with Abby, who is one of Simon’s best friends. When Simon’s emails with Blue are found by Martin, Simon fears a social backlash. Martin agrees to not tell anyone, but forces Simon to accomplish a personal favor for him. Martin declares Simon has to help him impress the so-called hottest girl in school.

Dedicated to hiding his relationship and sexuality, Simon helps Martin and experiences mental chaos along the way. The complicated and unexpected journey of revealing Simon’s sexuality will leave viewers impressed.

Director Greg Berlanti demonstrates his exquisite skill with this well-organized film. Not only has Berlanti directed Love, Simon, but also Life as We Know It and the astounding TV series Political Animals as well. In addition, Berlanti proves his love for directing romantic comedies with The Broken Hearts Club and of course, Love, Simon.

Not only is Love, Simon educating, but a relatable movie to go see, with all the romantic drama. On another point, the soundtrack parades the movie with songs such as “Love Lies” by Khalid and Normani and “Never Fall in Love” by Jack Antonoff and MØ.

Actor Nick Robinson displays believable and cheesy skills by portraying an emotional teenage guy. Regardless, the film certainly shows everyone deserves a magnificent love story. In the end, Love, Simon is a heart-warming story.

 

Prom night approaches

by Ella Hunsinger/Staff Writer

As prom approaches, the school, as well as people attending prom, are preparing for the big night. Prom is a great way to celebrate and dance with friends. However, there are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes, to make the night go as planned. Staff and students all work hard to make the decor, music, lights, and food exceptional.

Staff members are a big part of the planning and assembling process that goes into prom. This being said, students also help by gathering information from other students to make sure the music, food, and so on are up to par. This is known as the prom committee. They are the reason prom is as great as it is. On a different note, students who are attending prom, but not helping plan it, also have jobs to fulfill. This includes getting their dress or tux, pictures, transportation, and dinner reservations (if applicable.)

Ms. Kristin Harker and Ms. Trisha Louden, both a part of the math department, are also junior class sponsors who help to plan prom. Both had a favorite part about planning the event. Harker stated, “Choosing the theme was the most exciting part.”

Louden, who is in her first year at Greenfield, stated, “My favorite part of planning prom was getting involved in the community and meeting some of the amazing parents that are willing to help out!”

Lydia McIntire and Hailey Dodds, both on the prom committee, had positive outlooks on the upcoming prom. McIntire said, “I am looking forward to seeing it all put together. And to make it the best prom yet.”

Dodds stated, “The thing I am looking forward to the most on the night of prom, is seeing that everything the committee has worked so hard to put together, has finally come into place and making it a memorable night for all students attending.”

Aubree Cole, 12, will be going to her last prom at GC. Cole said her advice to other seniors attending their last prom was, “Go all out, especially since it’s senior year. You only get to experience prom so many times in your life.”

Cole said, “My favorite thing about prom is dressing up with all of my friends and breaking it down on the dance floor with them!”

FAR CRY 5 scores on graphics, story

by Gavin Hudson/Staff Writer

Far Cry 5 was one of the most anticipated games of this year and with good reason. Set in current day Montana, in a fictional “Hope County,” a cultist group has taken over. With the main antagonist being named Joseph Seed and the Protagonist being unnamed, it makes for an interesting story.

When you first load into the game it will ask you to create a character which no Far Cry game has ever done. I felt like there were very minimal options compared to a create-a-character system from Fallout but that is me being picky. Once you have created a character, you will be thrown into the story, where you are in a helicopter talking about how you are going to arrest the cult leader. One of your companions is talking about how you should just go back and get the National Guard involved but that does not occur. After a walk through their camp with creepy cultists staring at you, you enter Joseph Seed’s church. When you go in, he accepts getting arrested and says if God wants him to be free he will help him. At this point the cultists attack and you run away and begin your Far Cry adventure.

My experience with the beginning was just my constantly thinking about how awesome and amazing the graphics look and I still think it has some of the top graphics of some games competing with it right now. As for content, I have poured four days into the game and still have not come close to 100 percenting it. I did, however, beat the main story in 3 days, which was a product of my constantly playing it, so with casual playing, I would assume it would take about a week and a half or so. If you are looking for content this game has many side missions and collectibles to hunt for.

Far Cry 5 has a lot to offer and is definitely a pick up for any completionist or anyone trying to find a game that will last them a long amount of time.

GC students, staff offer thoughts on 2016 presidential election

By Matt Haggard/Staff Writer

As election day is just a few days away, the race for the office of the President of the United States is stronger than ever, with Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton battling it out. Every election year there are three debates to give a chance for the American people to see how the candidates will handle a series of matters, and this year’s debates were certainly eventful.

The first presidential debate was on Monday, Sept. 26, and it was moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Republican nominee Donald Trump attacked Hillary Clinton when she chose to stay home to prep for the debate instead of campaigning. He followed that up by saying that he has been traveling around to Detroit and Philadelphia meeting great people and hearing from Trump supporters that they are upset with what politicians have done. Meanwhile, Clinton defended herself against Trump’s remarks by saying, “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing,” according to a USA Today article by Josh Hafner on Sept. 26. A NBC News/ Survey Monkey poll taken after the debate stated that the voters believe that Donald Trump won the debate.

The second presidential debate was on Sunday, Oct. 9. This debate was moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. At the beginning of the debate, Cooper brought up the, at the time, recent video that was released showing Trump and NBC’s Billy Bush talking about sexually harassing women. Trump said that it was just “locker room” talk. Other than that remark, he never directly answered the question. Clinton came back saying that Trump is not suitable for the presidency because of his insults to various different groups of people, including women.. A POLITICO/ Morning Consult poll taken said Hillary Clinton won the debate.

The third and final presidential debate was on Wednesday, Oct. 19, and it was moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace at University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada. One point that was brought up in the debate, was when Mr. Trump used a slang word for men in Mexico, saying “We have some bad hombres here and we’re gonna get them out.” Trump went on the offensive against Mrs. Clinton regarding the Clinton Foundation. She did not respond to his remarks. An NBC News/ Survey Monkey poll that was taken about the results of the last debate stated that Hillary Clinton won.

Several students and faculty talked about their opinions on the election and the candidates. Mrs. Davenport, a government teacher, stated, “I think this election has been unusual, in a lot of ways… The candidates themselves are very dynamic personalities and can be very polarizing people.”

Grace Elders, 10, spoke in a similar vein. “I think this year’s election is very divided. Both Hillary and Trump are two very different people with different ideas for the future of this country.”

Matt Dobbins, 11,  had his own opinion. “I think this year’s election is becoming a huge mess.”

Mrs. Davenport believes that there has not been a least interesting part of this year’s election process, saying, “Because I teach government, it’s always interesting to see kids who are getting ready to vote for the first time, really be involved and taking an active part in things.”

Elders formed some opinions about the candidates while watching the debates. “After watching the debates, I believe that both Trump and Hillary have flaws in their campaign. Also, I believe that when either one gets in office, they would make completely different decisions,” she said.

As for the future of the election, Dobbins said, “I think the election can only get worse from here. There will be more rumors spreading and more backlashing going on.”

Mrs. Davenport compared this election to others in the past. “Levels of controversies, just seem to be a lot different in this election… There would always be voters that strongly support one side or the other but this election there’s been so much discussion about candidate’s backgrounds and fact checking.”

Davenport talked about how this election has changed politics in America. She said, “I think with every new election in a more digitally connected age we see new ways to reach voters and so I think with each election looking forward in the future we will see new ways of campaigning.”

Students had differing opinions about who they would support if they could vote.

Rose Gerard, 10, said, “Though I do not truly support either candidate, I believe that Hillary Clinton is the most influential candidate because she focuses more on what she will bring to the country as opposed to what she will take away. She is also more influential to the younger generation because of her positivity towards things as opposed to negativity. She could bring a sort of professionalism to the table that I believe the other candidate cannot bring.”

Elders  responded, saying, “In the beginning of the election, I was a Bernie supporter. I thought he would be able to help the U.S become a better place for not only Americans, but for countries we associate with as well. However, since he isn’t a candidate anymore, I believe Hillary would be the better option.”

Dobbins said “I support neither of our candidates because they’re both the worst options possible. Why there couldn’t be a third better option?”

Emmalyn Roberts, 9,  stated, “I think neither of the candidates are good because they both have done really bad things and now are not owning up to them.”

As there have been many controversies and debates, this election season will be very competitive with many different opinions. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Inauguration day is on Friday, January 20, 2017.

 

Picture created by: Matt Haggard

Rocket League Rumble reaches new heights

By Steven Coffin/Staff Writer

Rocket League Rumble released July 7, 2015. It was a sports game that mixed soccer with rocket powered cars, and it received critical acclaim and was soon streamed by many popular YouTube gamers including Jacksepticeye and Markiplier. It was a new idea and people loved it. Since then it has died off, there have been several attempts to revive it; including adding a basketball mode and a hockey mode, but they didn’t add enough to keep players interested, the new mode Rocket League Rumble is their latest, and best, attempt to make Rocket League relevant again.

Rocket League Rumble has officially released and I finally have a reason to go back to my Game of the Year 2015 contender. The new Rumble mode adds a whole new side of Rocket League I never expected to see. There are some obvious flaws of the new mode, however, but nothing is perfect. Rocket League is no exception. Rocket Leagues’ soccer with cars idea was creative already, but now players can use special abilities to make amazing trick shots to crush their enemies.

One great thing about the new update is it gave me a reason to come back to Rocket League. They have updated the game multiple times, and added new modes, like hoops, but after a week or two of playing, I stopped the game, and dropped it. The new Rumble mode truly makes each round unique, and gives players the ability to create some truly amazing shots that will keep your adrenaline flowing for hours. Hoops, however, did not add enough to the game. I for one, did not enjoy the goals; they were odd and it was hard to save a goal. Also, hoops minimized the fields, which I did not enjoy at all. Rumble keeps everything from the main game, and adds improvements that all players wanted, but few of them expected.

The power-ups included in the Rumble mode aren’t all great though. It becomes a game of luck. There are some power ups, like one that teleports you to another person’s location and vice versa, that don’t come in handy often, while other power-ups, like spikes, that allows you to attach the ball to your car, can  be used to easily get a point. The gameplay is uneven, and if a player gets stuck with only getting bad power ups, the match becomes boring.

When Rocket League released July 2016, it was a game easy to play, but hard to master. The new downloadable content changes this, though; it is easy to play and easy to master. Matches used to be based around skill and mastery of control. Players of Rumble don’t have to master anything, and they don’t have to have any skill in the normal Rocket League mode. A player with the spike ability can touch the ball, do a couple jumps, and score a point regardless of their skill level. I have only been to a few matches where skill actually matters.

When it does matter, Rumble shows its true form. Every power up has a critical use, and using a power up a second before you are supposed to can lead to a point for the other team. You can center the ball using the magnet, but if you are going too fast while using the magnet, it may lead the ball directly to an opponent’s Haymaker or spikes. Or a straight haymaker punch to the ball can easily turn into a goal for the other team with a precise use of the plunger, used to pull the ball towards you. These moments make Rocket League Rumble great, but they come few and far between.

Psyonix probably designed the mode this way to make it more accessible to new players, but to long time players like me, it is a sad sight to see. Rocket League is now a game that purely runs on adrenaline and fun, pulling off amazing trick shots has become extremely easy so pulling off something that looks ridiculously difficult doesn’t mean as much because it was actually just a lucky use of one of the many abilities.

Rumble is more fun than the normal Rocket League modes. There has yet to be any ranked matches with this mode, though. Since the enjoyment has increased and the skills required decreased, we could possibly be looking at the new Rocket League. I see ranked Rumble matches in the future, and I see more updates and game modes in the future. With Psyonix, Rocket League’s developers, updating the game frequently, it may evolve from a small indie title to a major Esports title soon.

Another great part of the update is the community is still in pretty good shape. The chat is occasionally spammed, or comments including “Delete this game”  will be posted due to the other team being bad, but it is usually full of compliments and apologies. With Rocket League being out for a little over a year, I figured the community would be full of hate comments and more spam. After a month of playing Rocket League, spamming was already rising, but it has leveled off since then.

Rumble was a new take on the normal Rocket League formula. It added power ups and significant edge-of-your-seat action, even though I felt like it wasn’t as difficult as the normal mode, and it had some uneven gameplay. With some power ups being extremely better than others, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I have played it for ten hours and I plan to play ten more. Rocket League has evolved majorly, and since all the updates are free, Rumble is incredible for its price. I strongly recommend the new mode to all players of Rocket League, and I believe it is a wonderful reason to buy this game today.

 

Picture provided by: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/541/19543697172_bf94c1a9e9_b.jpg