By Kendall Howze and Jackie Lyons
Last January, the CW channel began airing the teen drama Riverdale, based on the well-known Archie Comics. The show takes the characters from the relaxed, humorous comic and drastically changing the setting, placing the characters into a murder mystery plot. The death of Jason Blossom sends the town of Riverdale into pandemonium and skepticism.
As Riverdale joined Netflix, its audience grew, and it became one of the most discussed shows. A concern, however, was whether or not Riverdale would live up to expectations. Would the show be the suspenseful teen drama that kept viewers dying for the next episode like it promised to be, or would viewers be underwhelmed?
Fortunately for the producers, Riverdale was highly praised by its audience and by critics. The show won a 2017 Teen Choice Award in the “Choice Breakout TV Show” category. Senior Gopika Gopinath agreed that the first season of Riverdale “lived up to expectations. It caught [her] attention.” She, along with many others believe that the show deserved its Teen Choice Award and all of the attention it received.
This October, season two of Riverdale began to air on the CW channel. The show promised more drama and suspense for its viewers in the second season, as well as new developments in the romantic relationships in the show that began in season one. To follow the award-winning first season, an equally engaging second season was highly anticipating. While it is difficult for sequels to live up to the original (for example, Jaws 2, terrible movie), Riverdale is trying its best with the new plotline surrounding a shooting at the popular Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe diner. With the town of Riverdale in danger and tensions running high, each character is forced to deal with their own conflict in addition to the safety of the town.
Only five episodes having aired so far, viewers already have varying opinions of the newest season. Many feel that the quality of the teen drama has not changed and is just as exciting as it has always been from the first episode. Gopinath said, “The second season has been intense. The show keeps me interested in the plot. It always keeps you on your toes. It has everything; it’s romantic, it’s mysterious, funny.” She, like many other fans, have the same high regards for the new plotline and all of Riverdale’s beloved characters. Many viewers feel that the characters are not only entertaining to watch, but growing and developing.
While the first season seemed to be unanimously regarded as a show deserving of an award, many feel that the second season is losing its touch. Senior Maria Salandra, a fan of Riverdale since its first episode, said, “[Riverdale’s] starting to suck. It’s not at all living up to the expectations.” Salandra is not alone in her opinions. Many fans have begun to lose interest in the show, feeling that the plot is too far-fetched after a main character was shot and surrounding characters are figuring out how to cope with the shooting and keep themselves out of danger. Could Riverdale be taking the drama a little too far?
Though there are many mixed reviews about the second season, only five episodes have been released. The show has many episodes to either win back the viewers who are questioning their loyalty to the show, or sully their reputation. Hopefully the next few episodes are able to draw the audience back in, but so far it doesn’t seem like Riverdale will be unanimously winning any awards.
By Sofia Weddle
In today’s modern Hollywood, it’s truly rare to see an old-school murder film; especially when production companies can take advantage of overly avante-garde storylines or simply create another superhero rendition. So what exactly happens when a famed Agatha Christie novel goes on for its fourth movie adaptation (IMDb) with a star-studded cast? It’s either a success or a flop, and critics have already blasted Murder on the Orient Express hard. Variety journalist Peter Debruge bluntly states that “the movie is a failure overall, juggling too many characters to keep straight, and botching the last act so badly that those who go in blind may well walk out not having understood its infamous twist ending”. However, was the film really deserving of its lackluster IMDb 6.8/10 rating, or is the movie critic community pointlessly searching for an Oscar nominee film in a simple murder mystery?
Set on the Orient Express train traversing from Istanbul and across Europe, detective Hercule Poirot investigates thirteen train passengers and suspects to solve the confusing murder of Mr. Ratchett; a fake art dealer and millionaire. Agatha Christie, the late mystery writer, constructed stories of detective Hercule Poirot and his trials in investigating confounding murders. According to Mr. Singleton, an English 12 teacher at Glenelg High School, Agatha Christie is “prominent as a mystery writer because she found a formula that worked… She found a character that worked in Hercule Poirot… Is it literature? Probably not. Does that matter? No, it doesn’t matter. It’s a good thing to read. People read it for escapism and because they enjoy it”. The latest retelling of one of her most famous books, Murder on the Orient Express, has garnered much controversy over its redundancy, as well as much publicity due to its acclaimed cast of Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, and Olivia Colman. Although a fourth adaptation may seem unnecessary, and it might well be, Murder on the Orient Express is a compelling movie when looked at alone. While the entirety of the film itself is probably not Oscar-worthy, the set and graphics should be in the running.
Throughout the film, director Kenneth Branagh delivers heart-pounding suspense and mystique combined with amusing quips and gorgeous scenery. After every one of Poirot’s questionings, the audience second-guesses their own suspicions and is left clueless as to the murderer’s identity up until the final reveal. Coupled with this artistic tension, the snowy mountain landscapes surely fed the eyes of every viewer, leaving a great desire to ride the real Orient Express (or simply vacation to a fake-snow ski resort). The acting was superb in every way as well, and left hardly anything to be desired. But honestly, what more could one expect from the likes of Judi Dench (Hollywood royalty) or Johnny Depp (the world’s favorite pirate).
So yes. Murder on the Orient Express may not have been necessary to remake again, but critics can’t deny its entertainment value or stunning production. And staying true to the film industry, Murder on the Orient Express isn’t where Hercule Poirot’s mysteries end: the end of the movie brings him an invitation to the Nile where (surprise!) a murder has occurred. Sound familiar, Agatha Christie fans? But all-in-all, in the new age of action-obsessed movie junkies and the overly complex real world, maybe a journey back to old Hollywood with Murder on the Orient Express is what we need. So I say bring on the no-frills, old-school murder mysteries; the more Agatha Christie, the better.
By Jacob Kersh
On October 18th, 2017, Adobe announced a substantial amount of updates to the various programs that make up its Creative Cloud bundle at the Adobe MAX Creativity Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. They also introduced many new programs and concepts that only fuel the notion that the company is taking the graphic design and filmatography industries by storm.
Three Adobe apps that have been available in a beta capacity are officially launching: Adobe XD CC for user interface design, Adobe Dimension CC for 2D to 3D compositing, and Adobe Character Animator CC for 2D character animations.
Adobe XD will be vital in the production of mobile phone apps and will likely revolutionize the app development industry, so be prepared for a slew of visually appealing, perfectly optimized applications to surface in your device’s app store during the coming months. Developers from Creative Bloq described it as “simplicity at its finest, with a stripped-back interface along with all the tools you need to design and prototype UIs.”
Adobe Dimension will serve as a huge asset to designers looking to utilize three-dimensional objects in their creations but also make their process more streamlined and compatible with primarily two-dimensional programs, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Test users from TechCrunch stated that Dimension is able to “keep things simple but is still powerful enough to allow designers to create photorealistic images for their packaging, product shots and branding needs.” In a world where the digital arts are dominated by flat and simple design choices it appears three-dimensional design is finally making a comeback!
Adobe Character Animator will essentially be a more complex, intuitive Animoji for up-and-coming graphic designers. Users from MacWorld who tested the program said that “using [their] own facial movements to bring a character [they] designed to life is a process that [they] have found to be extremely entertaining.” Additionally, Adobe envisions that Character Animator will primarily be used for live broadcasts (will be able to directly connect to Instagram live), student projects, and cartoons.
Adobe’s most renowned program, Photoshop CC, is also receiving a myriad of updates that give designers an entire new arsenal of creative tools and intuitive user interface suggestions. It appears as though Adobe has put an immense amount of thought into this new addition.
For example, Photoshop is gaining 1,400 new brush strokes from Adobe's acquisition of KyleBrush and has tremendously improved upon brush preset management tools and automatic brush stroke smoothing—features that users have been asking about for the better part of the past three years. These new features will directly assist concept artists that use Photoshop’s brushes to make their work appear as though it was painted by hand, and also allow the general user base to more easily paint over two-dimensional objects. Additionally, Adobe is introducing new tools and tutorials that are designed to make it easier for first-time Photoshop users to learn how to do basic tasks in the app, which are available in the new Learn Panel. This version of Photoshop will be much easier to learn for the millions of beginners who try it for the first time every year, and should help to prevent rising graphic designers from being discouraged by the complexity of the program. According to Glenelg Junior and aspiring visual communications director Hassan Malik, “ the tutorial-like function will be very helpful for me because it will make Photoshop much easier to work with; when I opened it for the first time a year ago it was a bit overwhelming.” A few other updates for Photoshop include a new Curvature Pen tool, a symmetry painting experience for creating mirrored brush strokes along a symmetric axis, and better integrated selection and masking tools.
One thing designers should note is that Adobe is planning to raise the price of its Creative Cloud plans in North America in the near future. Starting on March 1 (or when a contract is up for renewal), pricing across all plans will increase. The Adobe CC plan that provides access to all apps for individuals, for example, will be priced at $52.99 a month instead of $49.99 going forward. Although this is quite the yearly increase, the majority of the community has welcomed the increase wholeheartedly because of all the new features Adobe has implemented based solely upon user suggestions. Glenelg photographer Jordan Chizmadia says, “I don’t think this small increase will affect Adobe because they already have such a huge following who require Creative Cloud for their businesses. And I know we couldn’t live without it in Photo class.”
These are just a handful of the new features Adobe is introducing today, and more details on changes debuting across the entirety of Adobe's broad range of apps can be found on their official website. In all honesty, they have really outdone themselves this year in terms of making their programs more intuitive, user-friendly, and streamlined; the precedent they have set will continue to affect the digital arts community for years to come.
By Sofia Weddle
Ah, Crocs. A true representation of a love-hate relationship. Whether involuntarily forced into them by our parents or excitedly slipped on with a gang of Jibbitz weighing us down, every true American kid has experienced these controversial shoes. Are they sneakers? Flip-flops? Sandals? I truly have no idea, but I love ‘em.
More recently, these clog-sandal hybrids have arrived on the haute-couture runway. The fashion community is surely familiar with outlandish trends, but this style is turning heads across the world. Critics argue that Crocs are just plain downright ugly, while the houses of Balenciaga and Christopher Kane ignore these pessimistic voices with vibrant spin-offs of the childhood staple.
Even in Glenelg, the shoe is gaining popularity, both casually and athletically. Most teenagers use Crocs as a type of slip-on shoe for sports, but the Croc has found a new place as the fashion-forward necessity for Generation-Z. Specifically, avid Croc fan Hassan Malik says that “Crocs really just go with any outfit […], and they’re very comfortable, [...] they’re really different, and I’m kind of making a fashion statement. I respect the Croc gang”. And truthfully, there is a gang; 179,000 Instagram members to be exact. These tight-knit followers, including some Glenelg students, can be found pairing the trend with gray joggers, khakis, shorts, vibrant skirts, or sweatpants. I, myself, have on numerous occasions worn these ~interesting~ shoes proudly with a sweater, jean jacket, and leggings.
Thus, as much as Crocs are dissed by major fashion outlets and judgemental teenagers, these shoes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, either on the high fashion runway or in the Big Red halls of Glenelg. So I’ll keep my camo Crocs and wear them too.
By Kendall Howze
This November, an extremely important event is coming up. It’s a day to give thanks for the things that we have been blessed with. Surprisingly, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving. 37 years ago on November 12th, the world was graced with the birth of Ryan Thomas Gosling. Ryan’s acting career in 1993 on The Mickey Mouse Club. While he was only in three episodes, he made quite a lasting impression. Even as a child, he was able to steal the show with grade A dance movies and a beautiful singing voice.
Over the years, Gosling has captured the hearts of many. In honor of Gosling’s 37th birthday, we are going to highlight some of Gosling’s greatest roles over the years. One of his most well known roles was Noah Calhoun in The Notebook. After the movie was released, his character quickly became many women’s ideal significant other. Gosling plays a man who falls in love with Allie Hamilton, played by Rachel McAdams, as a teenager. Due to their differing social classes, Allie’s parents forbid their relationship. Noah, despite their separation, refuses to give up on her, vowing to love her forever. Fans of the movie were pleasantly surprised when Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling himself recreated their iconic kiss in the rain at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards.
While Ryan Gosling could have been a “one hit wonder,” he came back in 2011 with the role of Jacob Palmer in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Gosling’s on-screen chemistry with Emma Stone was praised by many critics. In the movie, Gosling’s character, Jacob Palmer, helps a man that he meets in a bar who just recently separated from his wife. Palmer agrees to help the man, Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) by transforming him from an average looking man whose wife just left him to new and improved I-bet-you-wish-you-didn’t-leave-me-Cal Weaver. Senior Gopika Gopinath agrees that, “Ryan’s acting skills are unique in the sense of his engagement with his audience.”
To add a few honorable mentions to the list of Gosling’s greatest works, his movie The Place Beyond the Pines in 2012 showed Gosling’s versatility as an actor. While Gosling plays the easy going or comical character in many of his films, he plays a bank robber in The Place Beyond the Pines, struggling to provide for his illegitimate son.
Let’s not forget about his award winning movie, La La Land. His movie won not only an Oscar, but a Golden Globe. Fans were graced with Gosling’s rather surprising ability to play the piano beautifully. In addition to his piano playing skills, Gosling had quite a few chances to sing in the movie, something we haven’t seen from him since his Mickey Mouse Club.
Keeping that in mind, how should you spend Ryan Gosling’s birthday? Watching all of his movies! Maybe not all of them, but the classics listed above paired with a bowl of popcorn will surely make for a great night. Senior Easha Qasba says she thinks, “Ryan Gosling’s birthday is a great day to watch all of his movies.” Everyone, make sure you get ready for the 12th.