Superman movie is superflop

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor
From ridiculously unnecessary slow motion gunfights to hallucinogenic dream scenes, it is no wonder that “Batman Vs. Superman” suffered a 68.4% revenue loss in the box office from opening weekend.

The movie opens with the all-too-familiar death of the Mr. and Mrs. Wayne. Yes, the same one they have played in the opening of every Batman movie that has ever existed, but this time with a twist. Slow motion.

There is no denying that there are some aspects of the movie that are quite enjoyable. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor performance, for example, was stellar. He was about the only character that was even mildly developed.

Superman, played by Henry Cavill was a fantastic character and Cavill did a marvellous job of portraying the hero. However, he was grossly underdeveloped. Throughout the movie, the hero remained the same charismatic do-gooder and his individual plot was largely focused around his love interest, Lois Lane.  Romance can sometimes make or break a movie and this instance was definitely straddling the fence. Superman’s almost constant canonization of Lois made the movie feel more like “Lois vs. The World (Ft. Some Other People)” as opposed to a superhero movie.

Batman too was remarkably underdeveloped. I found myself wanting to take a nap every time Ben Affleck’s depressing excuse for a Batman was on screen.  Not only was he stale, he was honestly pointless. I would have much rather watched Jesse Eisenberg and Henry Cavill play rock paper scissors; it would have been far more entertaining than the dry version of Batman that was shoved towards my eyes.

“The movie definitely could have been better,” said Jake Hawkins, 11, “the majority of it was honestly just boring and really didn’t make sense.”

What makes the movie all the more disheartening is Wonder Woman. Now you may be asking yourself; “Whoa! Wonder Woman was in that movie?” And the answer is yes. Remember that busty brunette with the all-too-unrealistic “battle outfit”? That was supposed to be Wonder Woman. However not once is she introduced as Wonder Woman. Throughout the entire move she remains the beautiful- yet-mysterious girl who just miraculously swoops in and saves the day. Gal Gadot’s character is simply overlooked as another set of long tan legs and is blatantly thrown into the mix for sex appeal and is regarded as nothing more than “that one hot chick.”

The movie, overall was mediocre at best. A potentially powerful story was teeming with rudimentary characters, desultory plot developments and unnecessary special effects; however Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Luthor was arguably his best and Henry Cavill was enjoyable, for the short time he was on screen, but I definitely would have loved to have seen so much more from a franchise that had so much potential.  

ISTEP stress

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor
Photo by: Amanda Wiggins, staff photographer

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ISTEP, who could imagine that five simple letters could cause so much stress? The ISTEP test has made a reappearance in high schools across Indiana.

Freshmen and sophomores, even sophomores who had previously taken the ECA, had to take the ISTEP test the week before spring break. However, the scores were not counted for students who have taken, and passed the ECA. Sophomores that have not taken the ECA will take both the ECA at the end of the semester and ISTEP in both March and April.  

“I think it’s ridiculous that we had to take the ISTEP again,” said Zoe Jackson, 10. “I thought we were finished with that in like the 7th grade.”  

For the past year, many Indiana lawmakers have tried to replace current standardized testing with a cheaper, generic version in order to save money.

“A bill just passed that has cancelled ISTEP after next year (2016-2017 year). It will be replaced by something eventually but that is unclear at this moment,” said MVHS counselor, Jamie Beaver.

The Indiana Board of Education has plans to eliminate the ISTEP test within the next two years and replace it with a new test, the nature of which is undecided. According to chalkbeat.org, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz has proposed reshaping the state testing system so students would take a series of shorter tests that could be combined into a final yearly score.

Star Wars: The review

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor
Photo by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

Star Wars 2

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, the new “Star Wars” movie, absolutely blew me, and millions of other people, away. Earning almost 300 million dollars on opening night, “The Force Awakens” now holds the title for highest grossing film ever, beating “Avatar” (2009) and “Titanic” (1997).

When I was about seven years old, I had a huge crush on Hayden Christensen’s character Anakin. I was totally in love with him and, admittedly had a huge poster on my  wall, next to my “High School Musical” poster. Naturally, I had very, very high expectations for “The Force Awakens” and needless to say, I was not disappointed.

My favorite character in the movie, by far, is Kylo Ren. Though I may be a bit biased because I am absolutely in love with Adam Driver, I still have a certain draw toward Kylo. Critics seem to think he is a weak and whiny character and while they’re not entirely wrong, I also see a sort of complexity in him. He may be a bad guy, but he also feels pain and hurt and longing, and I feel as though Driver nailed it.

Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, was absolutely brilliant, and no, I don’t have some secret love for her. Although, after this movie I can guarantee her face will be one I won’t forget. She gave such an amazing and convincing performance as Rey and her rawness really added to the whole movie. I truthfully cannot wait to see more from the 23 year old in years to come.

Though there were a few minimal inconsistencies and given conveniences within the plot, overall, it was a pretty solid. The idea behind and the thought that went into character development and plot development was certainly worth the over 30 year wait between movies.

My favorite part of the movie overall, other than BB-8 who was an absolute pleasure, was most definitely the return of the great Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford. Having a character of such legendary prowess come back and bring such a classic feel to the movie was so welcoming and honestly made me feel like I was watching one of the originals.

“The Force Awakens” was truly cinematic gold and I can not wait to see what Episode VIII has to offer.

You’re racist… and so am I

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

For some, racism is a very difficult concept to grasp, and I am not entirely sure why.

Even as a privileged, middle-class, white woman, I see racism everywhere, even though I do not personally experience it. In no way is it possible for me, a privileged, middle-class, white woman to experience racism. Let me say it one more time, it is not possible for me, a privileged, middle-class, white woman to experience racism; however, that is not what this article is about.

Racism is everywhere. Literally everyone is racist to an extent because racism has become such a pivotal part of today’s society that it often goes unnoticed. Granted, just about everything is racist so it is hard not to be racist because we have gotten so used to accepting the racist things that happen every day. We simply disregard them as stereotypes and “it’s only a stereotype because it’s true” has become simply a camouflage for racist tendencies. It is important to recognize that prejudice is inherent in society  and try to avoid it as much as possible.

Racism is about more than just not liking black people. Racism is the fact that it took 223 years to have a person of color in the White House.  Racism is unlawful killing of people of color that receive little to no media attention, much like the death of Sandra Band in July of 2015. Racism is the fact that, according to the ACLU, black Americans are 20% more likely to experience police brutality. Racism is the fact that women of color make up to 63 cents to the dollar less than white men and 13 cents on the dollar less than white women.

Just because a white person has black friends, does not mean it is okay to say the n-word. Just because bindis are cool, does not mean they can be worn as a fashion accessory by someone of a different faith.

Everyone does racist things because we live in America, a country founded and deeply rooted in racism; for example, in 1964, some states required black voters to take literacy tests in order to vote. However, just because we grew up with this institutionalized racism does not mean that we need to conform to the set standards and expectations of racist America.

Star Wars gives women a lead they can look up to

Story by: Sydney Shurman, Reviews Editor
Photo by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

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When people watch movies, they absorb the story and form an opinion about it, whether that opinion is good or bad. However, people rarely take away the small nuances that can actually speak volumes about where we are at as a society. Since Star Wars was the biggest movie of the year, any messages it sends will be heard loud and clear, and the feminist message practically screams.

Star Wars has a history of strong female characters, notably Princess Leia. However, Rey is in a class of her own. Not only is she the actual protagonist of the story, but it is made clear from the beginning of the movie that she does not need anyone to save her.

The truly amazing aspect of Rey however, is that during the movie, it is actually possible to forget about gender entirely. It is great that Rey promotes feminism by being the complete opposite of a damsel in distress. What truly promotes feminism though, is that her gender is not even important. She is a tough-as-nails, incredible, fully realized character who fights her own battles. Period.

Throughout the entire movie, the audience sees Rey simply trying to survive, and she does a pretty fantastic job of it. She remains modestly dressed the whole time, and people of all genders can find something to love.

There is no need for oversexualization, acting dumb, needing saving, or any other common female character tropes. Rey proves that society may just be changing for the better, and she provides hope for the future of all characters.

The Force Awakens lots of theories

Story and Photos by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor.

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With a booming franchise such as “Star Wars,” fan theories run amok and since the release of Episode VII, minds of fans, myself alike, have many theories.

My Theory

While I am not necessarily a “Star Wars” expert, I have seen all seven movies far more times than I would like to admit. What I will admit is that after the first time seeing “The Force Awakens” my mind was reeling, so naturally I saw it three more times and solidified my very own fan theory.

My theory is more of a combination of several different theories with a little twist of my own. I think that yes, Rey is Luke’s daughter, and here is why: When we, the audience, are shown Rey being left on Jakku in a flashback, she is wearing the traditional clothing of a Jedi Warrior. I believe that after Rey was born, she was enrolled in the New Jedi training that her father, Luke, created. Rey’s force abilities are so strong, there is absolutely no way that they just developed with no prior training.

It is also probable that Rey and Kylo Ren knew/know each other. Han tells the audience that Ren, his son, was part of the New Jedi and that he lashed out and murdered all of the padawans, resulting in the end of Luke’s New Jedi and pushed Luke into seclusion. It is my belief that In the midst of Kylo murdering everyone, Luke saved his daughter by putting her on a ship, wiping her memory, and sending her somewhere she could not be found.

In the battle between Kylo Ren and Rey, there were many opportunities for Ren to kill Rey but he did not, leading me to believe that he a) knows Rey and thinks she is the one who is supposed to restore balance to the force, much like how Anakin was supposed to restore balance to the force, which sure worked out well for him, and b) knew that if he killed Rey, the revolution would die.

Now, you may be asking, “But why would the bad guy want the good guy to live?” and the answer is actually not as confusing as it may seem. Kylo Ren is a bad guy. There is no denying that fact, but I think there is a reason. I think that Ren is playing an angle and trying to take down the first order, much like Anakin was playing both sides, working with Palpatine and the Jedi council, I think Ren is doing the same thing, just on a much larger scale.

“I know what I have to do; I just don’t have the strength to do it,” Ren told his father before that most fateful death of the fearless Han Solo.

I think that was true, but I do not think Kylo killed his father. I think Han pressed the button on Kylo’s saber (sword?) and killed himself.

“But why would he do that?” you may also be asking, but again, I can totally justify your speculation.

I think everyone knew that the only way to take down the First Order was to do so from within and since Ren had a call toward the Dark side, who better to do it? But as we can all see, that backfired. I think Ren wants to be a good person but he cannot because the call from the Dark side is so strong. He knows what he has to do and knows that he has to take down the First Order, but not only does he have to do so in secret, he also has to maintain his bad guy facade. I think Han killed himself because it was what Kylo had to do to prove his loyalty to the First Order.

I am sure there are a million holes in my theory and there is no way I am completely right, but I have a lot of faith in my theory (and the force) and I cannot wait so see what Episode VIII brings.

Star Wars 2Other popular internet theories:

Rey is Luke’s Daughter.

Possibly the most common, Star Wars fans have had a field day with this theory. Many people speculate that she is the daughter of Jedi master, Luke Skywalker, and believe that he fell in love with someone after the “Return of the Jedi.” There are also very obvious parallels between the storyline of Rey and Luke. Both were abandoned on a planet without their parents, both are led by droids to serve a higher cause, and most importantly, both are one with the force. Many argue that it is impossible for Luke to have had a child, but is it really? While it is against the Jedi code to have a family of any kind, Anakin married and had children with Padme Amidala,though we see how well that worked out, so there is defiantely a possibility that after “Return of the Jedi,” Luke Skywalker finally settled down.

Rey is Han and Leia’s Daughter.

While possible, this theory is one I’ve had some trouble grasping. Though Leia is the daughter of a Jedi- turned Sith-master, there is no way the force would be that strong in the offspring of a non-Jedi, making it hard to fathom Rey being her daughter. Not to mention, if she was her mother, then where was the motherly affection? Not once do Han or Leia show any sort of affection towards Rey apart from the ending when Leia hugs Rey after her return from StarKiller Base. If they were mother and daughter, wouldn’t Leia and Han have been far more excited to see their only daughter after so many years?

MVHS faces off with a potential threat

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

2016 is in full swing, and already MVHS has been the center of  a school threat. An MVHS parent made a post on Facebook, and it quickly became the talk of the hallway. She claimed that her son was approached by a boy he did not recognize and was asked if he wanted to help “shoot up the school’ the following Tuesday.

Dr. Robbins was notified of the incident Monday night and immediately sprung into action. Law enforcement began to investigate and security measures were taken so school could continue as regularly as possible for the following day. Officers and teachers were stationed at the front, rear, and side doors of the building and preformed bag and locker checks.

No deadly weapons were found and the day continued.

At 2:00, MVHS principal Bernie Campbell sent out an email explaining the entire situation and announcing that the student who had made the alleged threat was identified. The MVHS junior has since been suspended, is facing expulsion, and is in police custody facing a felony intimidation charge, which according to Indiana law, warrants a maximum of up to two years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.  

Top 5 reasons to be politically aware

Story by: Dakota Fisher, Sports Editor

Being politically aware is hard, especially when you are young. Older generations often underestimate the power of young people who are politically aware and it can be hard to convince anyone otherwise. Here are a few reasons to be politically aware, even though no one wants you to be.

  1. The Future.

Even though the Baby Boomers and GI Generation like to say that they were the last good generation and that our generation will be the downfall of American society, they could not be more wrong. Paying attention to what is going on in the big scary world of politics and using your voice to stand up for what you believe in and how you want your government to be run is important to safeguard the future of America.

  1. Preparing for 18.

Minors often have the mindset that since they are not eligible to vote yet that they do not need to worry about politics, but I could not disagree more. Knowing what is going on in your government can make you aware that are changing and laws that are being passed that may affect you. Even minors are affected by laws and although you may not be a legal adult, it is still important to be prepared for what you will face when you go out into the real world.

  1. Reassurance

In my 16 years, not once have I met someone who does not want to make their own decisions. Having a say, or at least an opinion about what is going on in my life is a great feeling and being aware of what is going on on the world of politics is, for me, very reassuring. Even though I can’t vote yet, I can still use my voice to promote the people I would want to represent the country I live in. Knowing what is going on in the government can give you a sense of freedom, if you will, that can help you to better understand the world around you.

  1. Ignorance, or lack-thereof

It’s really hard to be taken seriously when you do not know who the vice-president of the United States, and yes I have actually met people who do not know that Joe Biden is the VP. I suppose the point I am trying to make here is that ignorance is not bliss. Being ignorant is not cute or funny, despite what some people think. Ignorance is just laziness trying to disguise itself.

  1. It’s Easy

It is a common misconception that being politically oriented is hard, but really, it’s as easy as riding a bike. There are infinite amounts of resources available to you; from peers, to TV to online news outlets, there is no shortage of information about the world of politics. It is not hard in the slightest to educate yourself or to have someone educate you about politics. I know for a fact that here at MV there are people willing to talk about politics for days on end. You need only ask.