Green Day Takes the Stage at the Verizon Center

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Green Day performed at the Verizon Center on March 13th, 2017, and I was lucky enough to see them.

Their performance started off with the song “Know Your Enemy” which is off of their 2009 album “21st Century Breakdown.” This song was a great opener, getting the crowd and the band pumped up.

The band then moved forward with two songs off of their new album, “Revolution Radio” (album), “Bang Bang”, and “Revolution Radio” (song). These two songs work perfectly together to introduce the audience to the new material while simultaneously pumping up the crowd even more.

The band then proceeded to play some hits off of their 2004 album “American Idiot.” These songs were “Holiday,” “Letterbomb,” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” really stood out to me among the set not only because it is one of my favorites by the band, but also because they played the first verse and chorus acoustically letting the audience sing.

The band then spent most of the rest of the show playing hits from the 90s such as: “Longview,” “When I Come Around,” “Basket Case,” and “She” with a couple of newer tracks riddled throughout.

Another standout moment of the concert was when the band brought up a 16-year-old girl to play guitar with the band to a cover of Operation Ivy’s song, “Knowledge.” After she finished the song, the band let her keep the guitar.

The band finished off the main set with two songs from their new album called “Still Breathing” and “Forever Now.”

“Still Breathing” is my personal favorite song from “Revolution Radio” and had the entire audience shouting along with Billie Joe Armstrong as he sang.

“Forever Now” is a six-minute long track that wasn’t my favorite when listening to the album; however, listening to it live was a completely different experience. Green Day pulled off the transitions into the different movements perfectly and really made me appreciate the epic song.

The band then came on for an encore and played “American Idiot” and fan favorite “Jesus of Suburbia.” “American Idiot” was awesome, but “Jesus of Suburbia” was unreal.

“Jesus of Suburbia” is a nine-minute long song with five different movements that the band transitions through perfectly. The only way I can do this song justice is to tell you to find a live performance on YouTube and you will get half of the experience I had seeing it live.

Armstrong then came out with an acoustic guitar and played the songs “Ordinary World” off of Revolution Radio and “Good Riddance (time of your life)” off of 1997’s “Nimrod.”

“Good Riddance” happens to be my favorite song and is always the last song at a Green Day concert. The experience I had watching my favorite band play my favorite song will probably not be matched ever again.

The concert was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I recommend that if you are into rock music, it is a must to go see this band perform because it is something special.

89th Academy Awards Becomes One to Remember

On Tuesday, February 26th, 2017, actors, directors, cinematographers, and any other member of the film industry gathered in Dolby Theatre located in Hollywood, CA for the 89th Academy Awards.

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the awards ceremony that concluded the film year for 2016. Kimmel brought his hilarious antics to the stage with his entertaining skits and his roasts towards Donald Trump. Matt Damon also took part in the show and renewed the feud of Damon vs. Kimmel.

As many figured going into the Oscars, ‘La La Land’ won a good amount of Oscars, walking away with five awards out of the 14 they were nominated for. This tied the number of Academy Award nominations as ‘Titanic’ and ‘All About Eve’.

The biggest moment of the night for ‘La La Land’ was the card mix up for Best Picture. A little past midnight, the presenters for Best Picture announced that ‘La La Land’ had won the award. However, it was revealed that ‘Moonlight’ had actually won the Oscar for Best Picture.

According to Variety, the card mix-up was “one of the most equalizing and wonderful moments in Oscars history.” ‘La La Land’ then shared the stage with the members of ‘Moonlight’ and created a warm, heartfelt moment in the Oscars.

Diversity was represented as a huge factor for the Oscars this year after coming off a controversial awards show last year.

Last year, the LA Times wrote many small articles that pertained to the lack of diversity in the categories for each award which started the #OscarsSoWhite argument. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs addressed the situation at the annual Oscar Luncheon last year to all who attended the awards show.

“This year, we all know there’s an elephant in the room. I have asked the elephant to leave,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

This year would be different as almost all nominations included a non-white nominee. Viola Davis, Mahershala Ali, and ‘Moonlight’ would headline this historic change. They would walk away with awards such as Best Supporting Actress and Actor and even Best Picture.

Casey Affleck won the Academy Award for Best Lead Actor for his role in ‘Manchester by the Sea’, but an article on his sexual harassment allegations from the Wesleyan University newspaper overshadowed his great accomplishment. According to the Huffington Post, the article slams Affleck about the claims, but the article was described as a “tangle of illogic, misinformation and flat-out slander.” Director Kenneth Lonergan, who’s an alum of Wesleyan, defended Affleck on the incident.

 

Beyoncé Blesses Social Media Again with Pregnancy Announcement

Beyoncé Knowles, the hip-hop mogul and superstar, decided to break the Internet when she made her pregnancy announcement and released pregnancy pictures.

 

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The infamous Instagram picture announcing Beyonce’s pregnancy. Photo courtesy of Google images.

 

On February 1st, Beyoncé made a post on Instagram saying that she was currently pregnant with twins, which had the entire Internet buzzing.

“We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. – The Carters,” wrote Beyonce for the picture’s caption.

While Beyoncé did specify how many children she will be having, she did leave out the genders of the children, the due date, and how far along she is in her pregnancy. Many people had mixed reactions to her announcement.

“I mean, hearing Beyonce is pregnant was cool. She is pregnant, really who cares, I mean, she is the Queen Bey but who cares. Beyonce sneezes and the whole world has to say bless you,” said Brian Oguike, a senior at Boys’ Latin.

Oguike later went on to say, “That was kinda tough [the picture that she released];, she was slaying, she definitely killed it.”

Other, more supportive views on the pregnancy were shared as well.

“I felt general happiness just for her, I suppose. I was also glad to hear this news before Carson Rehfield because he always knows these things before I do,” said Mrs. Ricci, the Upper School librarian. Ricci later said, “They were very beautiful [the pictures she posted on Instagram], but she is really pregnant, like very far along. I am wondering how she kept it from everyone for so long.”

According to a writer from Chron.com, “In less than eight hours, Queen Bey’s lingerie portrait of her draped in a veil and clutching her bulging belly notched over 6.33 million likes and 334,000 comments in less than eight hours. Selena Gomez was the previous record holder with 6.3 million likes and 250,000 comments with her Coca-Cola sipping portrait. Within 20 hours, Beyoncé’s likes blew up to over 8.12 million likes.”

On February 8th, exactly one week from the day of the posted Beyonce’s picture, it now has 10,068,244 likes along with 482,140 comments.

Golden Globes Kicks Off 2017 Awards Season

January 8th, 2017, actors, actresses, and directors from all genres of movies and tv shows gathered at the Beverly Hilton for the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

The many awards given to the tremendous movies and tv shows really made this Golden Globes especially iconic. Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award made huge headlines regarding the then President-elect Donald Trump and the inauguration this past Friday.

Movies like “La La Land” and tv shows like “Atlanta” received media-wide attention for the number of awards they won and the speeches made afterward.

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La La Land Cast Members and Crew courtesy of http://i2.wp.com/thenet.ng

According to the Golden Globes website for winners and nominees, all together “La La Land” won 7 Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone also took home Best Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture in a Musical/Comedy. Director of “La La Land” Damien Chazelle won Best Director and Best Screenplay.

On the Golden Globes website, Donald Glover was recognized as Best Actor in a Television Series in a Musical or Comedy. His show “Atlanta” also won Best Television Series Musical or Comedy. The rapper turned actor made a great acceptance speech and touched the heart of the crowd thanking his family and son in his speech.

According to US Weekly, Glover talked about how his family had impacted his life in a way that his previous life with his father couldn’t. “‘I really want to say thank you to my son and the mother of my son for making me believe in people again and things being possible,’” Glover stated.

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Donald Glover with both of his Golden Globes courtesy of https://static.independent.co.uk

Glover went on to talk about his father and the tribulations he faced. His speech was emotional and heartwarming as the crowd gave him a gracious applause for his speech and all of the hard work he has accomplished.

Actors like Casey Affleck and Viola Davis also made headlines at the Globes winning awards for their respective movies. Affleck won Best Performance in a Motion Picture in a Drama for his movie “Manchester by the Sea”. Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress in any Motion Picture for her work in Denzel Washington’s movie “Fences”.

Television shows also made some surprises at the Awards Ceremony. The British TV show “The Crown” would trump powerhouse “Game of Thrones” and even the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” to win Best Television Series in a Drama. Claire Foy, star of “The Crown”, won Best Actress in a Drama Television Series.

The highlight of the night was Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her many contributions to the film industry. Streep starred in the comedy movie “Florence Foster Jenkins”, which was also nominated for Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy.

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Meryl Streep giving her acceptance speech courtesy of http://static6.businessinsider.com

In her speech, Streep talked about freedom of the press and referred to Trump’s mocking of a reporter with a disability. According to the Golden Globes Website article, Streep stated that the press will need help to get past this. “They will need us, and we certainly need them,” Streep expressed in her speech stated in the Golden Globes article.

Streep paid homage to her long-time friend Carrie Fisher, who passed away of a heart attack just before the New Year. Streep referred to Fisher as “Princess Leia” and quoted her at the end of her speech stating, “‘Take your broken heart and make it into art.’”

Featured Image: http://www.criticalhit.net/images/2017/01/golden-globe-awards.jpg

 

Overwatch League Wants to Become NFL of Esports

Blizzard Entertainment is basing their new esports league after conventional sports leagues like the NFL and MLB. The league will start off only in the Americas and has plans to move to Europe, China, Korea, and the Asia-Pacific Region and will start in 2017. 

The Overwatch League is looking to bridge the gap between esports and conventional sports. Instead of having independent teams that can be from anywhere in the world, the league is planning on having teams stationed in cities around the world. The idea behind this is to make people get attached to a home team like they would in the NFL or NBA.

Another big advance for the league is that players will be given health benefits and a minimum salary. This takes away the risk of pursuing a career in the game because players are now guaranteed money and  health care, whereas before they only got money based off of performance and had no benefits.

The league is going to have a combine where they invite players of high-skill rank in the game’s competitive game mode to show off their skills and be evaluated for teams. Players have to get a special invitation from Blizzard to join the combine, and teams will sign the player they believe are best suited for their team according to the video Blizzard made explaining the league.

Existing pros have varying opinions on the league, but one thing is certain; they do not have enough answers.

“‘I’m not concerned as a [pro] player. I just like playing the game and everything seems good so far to me so we’ll see what happens,’” commented Lane ‘Surefour’ Roberts in an interview with Yahoo Esports. Surefour is one of the best pros in the game right now, playing for one of the best teams, Cloud 9, but not all pros share his openness to the idea of their teams splitting up.

“‘I just want to play with the people I like. I don’t like the idea of being forced to play for some other team. Even if I got paid triple what I got now I would simply still not do it,’” commented Timo ‘Taimou’ Kettunen in an interview with Yahoo Espots. Taimou played for the number one team in the world, EnVyUs, so it is understandable why he and his teammates would not want to change teams.

The Overwatch League seems to be an interesting experiment to bridge the gap between esports and conventional sports, which if done right, could change the way the world looks at sports, but if done wrong could destroy the Overwatch esports scene altogether.   

“Rouge One,” First Star Wars Spin Off

“Star Wars: Rogue One” is finally happening. This is one of the most hyped-up movies of the last few years. This is so much of a new take on such a classic series. This will be the first spin-off movie of the Star Wars series.

Gareth Edwards is the director of the upcoming spin-off. Edwards is best known for directing movies such as Monsters, Factory Formed, and most recently Godzilla (2014).  In all these movies, he is  known for adding a scene of scale.

Edwards has described the plot of the movie as an elaborate heist to steal the plans for a secret military weapon. Already, this movie is drawing similarities to past heist movies such as Oceans’ 11.rogue_one_cast_revealed

This will also be the first in the series with a leading lady as opposed to having a leading male. Actress Felicity Jones will be leading a cast of already highly regarded Oscar winners and action stars like Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, and Donnie Yen.

Actress Daisy Ridley has already crushed a lot of the rumors floating around that this could be how viewers learn about The Force Awakens character Rey and her missing family. Ridley, in an interview with The Guardian, said, “I’m not being funny you guys, but just because [Erso’s] white and got brown hair … it doesn’t mean she’s my mom.”

This is a spin-off movie with a lot of potential. Local movie guru Adam Osborn said, “It will definitely work; people love theses kinds of popcorn dramas.”

In regard to the casting of Felicity Jones as the lead actress, he was very confident in the decision. “She will be okay; Disney knows what they are doing. The supporting cast will build up her character,” said Osborn.

Mr. Osborn believes “You will absolutely see more spin offs. There are so many ideas from the source material, they could make years worth of content from.”

Mr. Osborn also said that this film could bring in more fans. “Probably not as many as The Force Awakens did, but people will definitely go see it. And a lot of the older, much more hard core fans will jump on it as well.”

A lot of people are definitely looking forward to this on a classic series. It will be much grittier on a series that’s so light hearted and joyful. “Rouge One” is set to come out on December 16th.

Dicaprio Wins First Academy Award

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Hollywood, California— Leonardo Dicaprio successfully outshined his fellow competitors in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category to win his first Academy Award on February 26, 2016.

Leonardo Wilhelm Dicaprio began his aspiring acting career in 1985 as the supporting cast member on the T.V. show Growing Pains at the age of 11. Dicaprio was an unassuming young man who worked hard to achieve public notice at such a young age.

Dicaprio’s first film appearance was in Critters 3 in 1991, which led to him starring in This Boy’s Life with Robert De Niro in 1993 as well as starring in a supporting role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape the same year. These performances paved the way for acquiring international recognition for his passion as an actor through his leading role in Titanic (1997).

Throughout the early 2000s, Dicaprio has gained national acknowledgement for his work in a variety of different film categories. During these two decades, he starred in movies such as Catch Me If You Can (2002), Blood Diamond (2006), Inception (2010), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and The Revenant (2015). Through each of these movies, Dicaprio looked to display his array of talents.

According to oscar.go.com, Dicaprio was nominated for an Academy Award in the following films: “The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Blood Diamond (2006), The Aviator (2004), and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).”

Not only did Dicaprio use his acceptance speech time to thank his coworkers, he also took the time to enlighten the crowd on current events like, “the natural world, pollution, climate change, underprivileged children, and people’s voices who were drowned out by the politics of greed,” bustle.com affirmed. Since Dicaprio is an environmental enthusiast, he saw the sheer importance of relaying critical world problems to an audience who might not be aware of such issues.

Dicaprio worked tirelessly to make each role he portrayed the best it could possibly be and waited long enough to win his first Academy Award.

As reported by Film Society Club Leader Mr. Barron, Dicaprio is a little like “Peyton Manning, actually, since both of them couldn’t win the top honors in their respective fields. I’m glad that both Leo and Peyton have silenced their haters.”

For senior Cody Carlson, he believed “Dicaprio was overdue to win an Oscar. His performance outdid the other nominees.” Carlson also considers Dicaprio’s acting evolution to be extraordinary and claimed, “he has progressed in the sense that he commits to any role no matter the difficulty.”

Comparably speaking, senior Colin Amy felt as though this was not his best work, but it was “his year to win.”

Senior Nate Puciato wholeheartedly agreed with both Cody and Colin regarding Dicaprio and suggested, “he has always been an elite actor.” Puciato also indicated that Dicaprio “should have won an Oscar for one of his earlier performances.”

With much time and effort, Dicaprio has evolved into a premier American actor. He is a passionate and diligent performer who goes about each role as if it was his last. It was just a matter of being nominated enough times before Dicaprio finally took home his first Academy Award for his decisive persona featured in The Revenant.