Watch with Me

Watch With Me: West Side Story (2021)

https://www.20thcenturystudios.com/movies/west-side-story

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

This 2021 remake, directed by Steven Speilberg, is a visually stunning renewal of a classic musical.

The movie centers around two lovers, Tony and Maria, played respectively by Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, as they are caught in the midst of a gangwar between the Jets and the Sharks. With incredible vocals and choreography to match, it is no wonder that the movie had been nominated for several oscars.

As well, the way the movie was directed made the viewer feel as though they were watching the movie on stage. There were times during the movie where the lighting would either be focused on the eyes of a character, or be spotlighting a character. This would make the character or certain features of said character stand out to the audience. 

This was also key to the main story, like when Tony went looking for Maria and she was given a spotlight to make her stand out more among the alley way of hanging laundry. 

What one would infer from watching this movie is that it is another retelling of Romeo and Juliet. There are two people who fall instantly in love with each other, being kept apart by their two families. And this would be mostly correct. However, while it is a retelling of a classic play, it still takes it in a different direction.

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Watch With Me: The Tender Bar

The Tender Bar movie review & film summary (2021) | Roger Ebert
Screencap from the movie. From https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-tender-bar-movie-review-2021

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

The Tender Bar is a movie that follows the true life story of journalist J.R. Moehringer. The cast is composed of many well known actors including Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan. However, the true magic of the movie is less in the actors, and more in the message that is conveyed. Spoilers ahead…

As a writer who often struggles to write an article or a story, it was very easy for me to relate to the main character. While our upbringings were very different, I felt like I was able to understand his struggle to find what he really wanted to write about. 

In the movie, Moehringer is raised by his mother, always bouncing from one house to the next, as she couldn’t hold a job and his father was only really known to him as a voice on the radio. 

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Watch With Me: Dune

By Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

Dune 2 Officially Announced, Will Get Theatrical Window
Dune Poster. https://collider.com/dune-2-announced/

Dune: Part One is an exciting and thrilling movie that leaves viewers begging for more. The movie stars many renowned actors, such as Zendaya and Timothy Chalamet. Additionally, the movie is a major development from its 1984 counterpart.

Both Dune movies are inspired by a series of 15 novels with the first being released in 1965. 

They are essentially Star Wars, even inspiring George Lucas to make the classic series. 

Both share very similar qualities, from an order of beings with powers over the mind, to a galactic empire bent on becoming the most powerful force in the universe

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Watch with Me: ‘Halloween Kills’ at The Box Office

By Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

Halloween Kills (2021) - IMDb
Halloween Kills poster, image from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10665338/

The movie, Halloween Kills, premiered nationally on Oct. 15, 2021. The movie picks up immediately after the Halloween movie in 2018. This new addition to the franchise makes the very idea of the masked killer quite ridiculous.

It plays off the idea of mob mentality, with the entire town banding together to take down Michael Myers, who miraculously survives a house burning down around him, while also killing 12 firemen in the process. I personally can’t believe it took them this long to realize they should stay in groups when facing a killer like this. 

As a slasher film lived up to what everything is meant to be, it is meant to be full of kills that make you want to throw up. 

Also, the movie brings in characters that we have not seen for a couple of movies. Some of these characters were side characters that had no real role in the events of the previous movie. We see a recast of Tommy Doyle, played by Anthony Michael, and Lindsey Wallace, played by Kyle Richards. Both characters were children when Michael first attacked Laurie Strodes, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis. 

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Watch with Me: Free Guy

By Andrew Wheeler ~ Assistant Opinion Editor

Free Guy Director On Making A Fun Movie For Gamers And Non-Gamers And Ryan  Reynolds On Keeping The Film "Authentic" - The Illuminerdi
Free Guy promotional poster. Image from https://www.theilluminerdi.com/2021/08/04/free-guy-shawn-levy-reynolds/

There’s a certain expectation surrounding movies based on video game properties, as companies all too often try to maximize profits without actually caring for the source material. When it was announced that Ryan Reynolds would be headlining Free Guy, a film with its own identity on top of numerous video game inspirations and elements, many were skeptical despite the charm he brings to projects. I was skeptical too, but I am happy to report that this movie is an exception to this concern.

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Watch With Me: Cruella! Cruella! Cruella!

By Hunter Epperson ~ Copy Desk Chief

*Article contains spoilers 

On Saturday, my friend Rose and I went to Venue Cinemas to see Cruella

Picture of the flyer for Cruella. Photo retrieved from Wikipedia.org on Aug. 22, 2021.

Rose and I enjoyed the movie.

For me, what I enjoyed about Cruella is that it gave a backdrop to why Cruella from 101 Dalmations became the evil, cold-hearted, controlling woman that she is. 

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Watch With Me: The Owl House

By Andrew Wheeler ~ Guest Writer

Flyer for “The Owl House”. Photo retrieved from IMDb.com on Aug. 24, 2021 by Hunter Epperson

I am sure that the majority of us in this day and age were brought up with Saturdays watching episodic cartoons, enjoying the silly antics of classic “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Scooby Doo”. For those with more relaxed parents, perhaps there was even a dash of something like “Family Guy” mixed in. Good or bad, these memories stuck with us and will always be looked back on fondly as a result. However, the cartoon age is changing.

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Watch With Me: Manifest

By Jessica Head ~ Media and Marketing Manager

Warning: mild spoilers

Photo of Manifest flyer. Photo retrieved from RottenTomatoes.com on Aug. 24, 2021 by Hunter Epperson.

Imagine coming back from vacation and seeing your fiancé now married to your best friend. That is in a way what happened to Michaela Stone, one of the main characters in Manifest. 

Manifest is the story of flight 828, a commercial flight going from Jamaica to New York. Once it lands, the flight team and the passengers are informed that six years have passed for the rest of the world and everyone on the flight was presumed dead. 

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Watch With Me: Love, Death & Robots

By Jessica Head ~ Media and Marketing Manager

*content warning: article does contain mild spoilers, and not safe for work (NSFW) content. 

Photo (above) is a flyer for “Love, Death & Robots”. Photo retrieved from IMDb.com on Aug. 16, 2021. 

The Netflix series, “Love, Death & Robots”, volume one aired in 2019, and volume two aired earlier this year. This series is a collection of animated short clips, each with a unique story. The stories include shapeshifters, vampires, cats, monsters and even the ocean. 

The genres span across science-fiction, horror, dark-comedy, fantasy, and multidimensional. Some fans were upset that volume two  was noticeably shorter than volume one, but if you are like me, I watched both volumes in a day and a half, and already rewatched episodes multiple times. So does it even matter? 

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Watch With Me: Twin Peaks Season 1

Alyson Draper ~ Web Editor

CW: Mild Spoilers, Abuse

     I am sure any fan of cult classic TV shows is familiar with Twin Peaks, the TV debut of David Lynch. 

     David Lynch was already well known for his surrealist approach to filmmaking, especially with his flagship film “Eraserhead” (1977). So seeing Lynch take a stab at a prime time TV show was a bit strange for people familiar with his work. 

     The show is supposed to be a parody of the prime time soap operas that were popular at the time, but with that signature Lynchian twist. “Twin Peaks” follows Special Agent Dale Cooper as he enters the small Washington town of Twin Peaks to investigate the mysterious murder of the primaddona Laura Palmer. 

     As Cooper and the police force of Twin Peaks begin to uncover the mystery behind Laura’s death, it is clear that something dark is happening behind the scenes. But despite its rather dreary premise, the show still keeps an air of comedy about it with Cooper’s endless positivity and love of coffee mixed with the strange and endearing characters that populate the town. 

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Watch With Me: The Science of Magic and High School Sports

Image result for the irregular at magic high school
Blu-Ray Cover found on https://www.amazon.com/Irregular-Magic-School-Complete-Blu-Ray/dp/B07JBQ4146

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     Earlier this week, we discussed in one of my classes how in fiction, anything that is outside the realm of known science, specifically in early comic books, is called magic. 

     This got me thinking about an anime I watched where magic is crafted through science in the future. This anime is called Mahouka Koukou no Rettōsei or, in English, “The Irregular at Magic High School.” The show is an adaptation of a novel series of the same name by Tsutomu Satou. This may be a rougher anime for those who are newer to the Japanese animation genre, but I found the show very entertaining if for nothing else than the mechanics of the magic.

     To summarize the show a bit, it follows the stories of Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba, siblings from the powerful Shiba family of magicians. The show starts with their acceptance and beginning as freshmen in First Magic high school, one of the nine magic academies across the nation of Japan. 

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watch With Me: MacGyver

Promo image for “MacGyver” taken from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1399045/

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

In 1985, the original MacGyver introduced the problem-solving genius of Angus MacGyver. Now I didn’t watch this show, but I caught glimpses of reruns and heard the references and whispers of titular characters. I, personally, can’t watch old television, just personal opinion, but I was/am still fascinated by the idea of a character that workshops on the fly to solve overly dramatic problems. So, I can’t say how it compares to the original show, but I can say that of what I’ve seen so far, the 2016 MacGyver remake has been pleasantly over the top and buddy cop.

MacGyver (2016) is another one of those NCIS, CSI, LAW & ORDER, “we’ve got a case, let’s solve it,” government special forces show about a discreet government organization called “The Phoenix Foundation.” Phoenix is a special forces organization that is so secret even other government organizations don’t know they exist. They work to solve threats and hazards to America that either can’t be handled by other organizations, illegal investigations, or investigations into other government organizations. Each member of the team has their specific skill. I can’t list every character due to spoilers, but I can list the core members of Phoenix.

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Watch With Me: “Monster Incidents”

Kemono Jihen – 02 – Random Curiosity
Image from: https://randomc.net/2021/01/20/kemono-jihen-02/

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     The first week of January marked the release of this year’s first season of anime. I was way deep in Dungeons and Dragons and missed it, but spent my week playing catch up. There were a handful of shows that fit into the genres I am interested in, and I watched what had been released of those already. 

     One in particular kept catching my attention and it was not until I watched the first episode that I realized I recognized it. I read a good amount of manga, but oftentimes they are unfinished or dropped, so the shorter form ones fall out of my brain pretty quick. Kemono Jihen, Monster Incidents, was a manga I had read and either finished or dropped for whatever reason but remembered greatly enjoying it.

      Originally a manga by Shou Aimoto, Kemono Jihen was taken and adapted by studio Ajia-do. At the moment it only has 4 episodes out but could have up to 13 or 25 depending on how much content there is to adapt to animation. Spoiler warning for at least the first episode and maybe bleeding into the other few. 

      Kemono Jihen tells the story of a small supernatural detective agency lead by Kohachi Inugami, a tricky Tanuki, which is a Japanese racoon, essentially, considered supernatural in many myths and folklore. Inugami heads to a farming town to investigate rapidly, and strangely, decaying animal carcasses. In this town he meets Dorotabo, a young boy ostracized and left to work the fields while the other children go play. Spoilery things happen and it is revealed that Dorotabo, actually named Kabane, is a half-demon who was left by his parents with his aunt. 

     Inugami, because of spoilery things, decides to take Kabane with him back to town, to Tokyo. The setting of this story is in a kind of suspended time period with a very traditional outskirts but a somewhat futuristic Tokyo. It is jarring but interesting and passes by without any big mess, so it is fine to just let it slide. 

     In Tokyo, Kabane is invited by Inugami to join his agency and help protect the balance between Kemono, supernatural monsters or beast, and humanity. The agency is simply titled “The Kemono Office” and Inugami explains that his customers usually come to him. In this agency, Kabane meets two other children just a bit older than him. 

     One is Shiki, another half-demon similar to Kabane. He is a big abrasive and rough and does not start very welcoming towards Kabane but warms up to him after a short while. Shiki is half spider demon and is able to produce a silk thread that nothing can break free from. The other is Akira. Though quite delicate and feminine in personality and appearance, Akira is a boy. Akira, like Shiki, is 15. Akira is a snow kemono and can create ice and snow when he focuses really hard on it. Another child is introduced really soon in the show, a kitsune girl who is sent by a more powerful kitsune woman to steal an object of Kabane. A short comical interaction between the girl, Kon, and Inugami smooths things over and she becomes an ally of the agency. Kon has transformative and fiery powers from her foxlike-demon powers.

     Kabane himself possesses extraordinary strength and regenerative powers. That combined with no sense of pain and a history that has eliminated his fear makes him an absurd powerhouse for combat. He is monotone and aloof, keeping to himself unless spoken to and only gets upset about very specific triggers. 

     The show is action and supernatural but has comedic events as well. It also features a cast of children in a found family type scenario at the agency, giving a wholesome flare to some of the interactions. If this sounds like a show you are interested in, you can find it at Funimation.com/shows/kemono-jihen/ or if you have access to the Japanese Netflix.

Watch With Me: Critical Role

Art by Meg Simmons, taken from https://geekandsundry.com/5-more-essential-critical-role-episodes-starring-the-mighty-nein/.

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

To get back into this semester, instead of talking about anime, I wanna talk about what I spent my whole break watching. Over 500 hours of a series of people playing dungeons and dragons. I know the idea of watching people sit at a table and play pretend about a world of dragons, elves, beasts, and other fantasy creatures is very niche and unique, but I want to talk about it for those who may be interested in that kind of thing. I will only be talking about the second campaign today since it is a little more palatable to people who don’t know the game as well, and is higher in production quality than the first campaign.

Critical Role is a company name for a group of “nerdy ass voice actors that sit around and play dungeons and dragons,” as voice actor Mathew Mercer explains every week. The second campaign follows the adventures of the Mighty Nein, a group of colorful adventures who meet in the town of trostenwald. Now as far as the plot, I can’t say much due to the vast amount of spoilers and character development, but I can talk about the main cast of characters and a little about how their adventure goes (and is going). 

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Watch with Me: It’s Not Anime, It’s A Million Little Things

A Million Little Things TV Show: News, Videos, Full Episodes and More | TV  Guide
Cover Art for Season 1 of “A Million Little Things” digital copy

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     For this last week, I wanted to skip out on the Anime and save some good ones for the spring, so instead, I am going to talk about a show I binged Sunday night. A Million Little Things is a drama on ABC that explores the facets of adulthood friendship after the suicide of a close friend. It tackles issues like suicide, depression, relationship troubles, passion for work, and self-sacrifice. And while this show did make my eyes water and my heart hurt at times, it was also very inspiring and comedic due to how the characters handle their issues. 

     The show currently has two seasons out, with the third season airing its first episode on Nov. 19. The show is available to stream on Hulu and on ABC’s own website abc.com/a-million-little-things.

     I think something this show does well without even getting to the plot is how it tackles diversity. It has representation that is not forced or used to progress the plot; it just is the characters. However, the show does not throw these facts by the wayside either. One example is Rome, a black man struggling with clinical depression, being at odds with his family because, in his culture, they just do not talk about that stuff. The character explains in a handful of scenes that in his house, being sad is just part of life and you get over it. 

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