Entertainment Blog
11/14/2018
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     Warren Central’s unsettling fall musical, Sweeney Todd, wanulls guaranteed by the cast to be the most unique musical Warren has ever done. The show, which opened on Nov. 8th, lived up to its expectations with a stellarly casted ensemble and amazing set design.

     Much of the musical’s subject matter was explained in the opening song “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.” This song informed audiences that Sweeney Todd (Richaun Stewart) is a barber who murders his clients. He joins with Mrs. Lovett (Nikira Tillman) to cover up the killing spree by baking his victims into meat pies.

     The primary characters, casted by theater director Jeffrey Dalstrom, were each perfectly fit for the role they played. Stewart played Sweeney Todd as flawed and vengeful, yet somehow still soft and kind to Mrs. Lovett. Stewart and Tillman worked together well, bringing much-needed comedy to an otherwise very heavy musical. Both leads were incredible at singing and acting, all while never dropping their British accents. The beggar woman, played flawlessly by Olivia Pennington, also brought a remarkable talent to the stage. Pennington was hilariously engaging in every scene she appeared in, and managed to sing beautifully while still in character.

     Another component of ‘Sweeney Todd’ that made it less heavy were the two lovers of the musical. Anthony Hope (Ashton Kester) and Johannah (Sara Shuffitt) were full of sincerity, and each had singing voices that greatly suited their characters.
In addition, even the chorus of the musical demanded attention. They added individual personalities, and their background interactions were excellent throughout the show. However, top-notch singing and acting were not the only things that made ‘Sweeney Todd’ memorable.

     The set, lights and props designed for this musical thriller were extremely intricate and suiting. With a two-story set and hand-made slide, the setup for ‘Sweeney Todd’ was the most unique it could have been. The light design captured the gloomy tone of the musical, and the set as a whole reflected the ‘old London’ setting well.

     This production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ was definitely worth seeing, and will likely be remembered as the most complex yet eerily wonderful show put on at Warren Central.

11/14/2018
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    The phenomenon that is Black Friday occurs every year on the day after Thanksgiving, and is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. It is busy because Black Friday kicks off the holiday season. Cyber Monday, a similar concept, occurs on the Monday after Thanksgiving, but encourages people to do their shopping online. These two days are important for the economy because around 30 percent of annual retail sales happen between Black Friday and Christmas.

    Not all Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals occur on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Many retailers offer deals earlier, usually beginning in early November. For Black Friday, most deals hit their peak the week before Thanksgiving and the average discount is 20 percent. Cyber Monday, however, has the most sales on Thanksgiving day. Electronics, sporting goods and video games are the most coveted goods for online shoppers.

    Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to grow each year, seeing record sales and spending. Online shopping has especially grown in popularity due to advancements in technology in the recent decade. However, shopping in stores has not yet died out, and it is expected that 2018 will see new records once again for in-store purchases.

 

Stats

 

  • In 2017, online sales rose 18 percent, according to Adobe Systems Inc. Sales hit a record of $7.9 billion. Forty percent of these purchases were done from mobile phones.

  • The NRF survey reported that stores hired between 500,000 and 550,000 seasonal workers in 2017.

  • According to the National Retail Federation, last year over 174 million Americans shopped during the Thanksgiving weekend

  • In 2017, shoppers spent a combined $7.90 billion online on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.


 

Deals

 

$80 off any Ipad - Walmart

Get a playstation Slim 1TB with the Spiderman game for $200 - Walmart

33% off a Google Home Hub - Walmart

Save $40 on a 8-Quart Pressure Cooker - Walmart

Save $50 on wireless Boise headphones - Walmart

Half off a mini Google Home - Walmart

Element 55" Smart 4K UHD TV for $199.99 - Target

Samsung 65" 4K HDR UHD Smart TV for $799.99  - Target

Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe bundle for $299 (includes Switch console with Mario Kart 8 game built in. Plus dock, left and right Joy-Con controllers) - Target

Fitbit Versa smartwatch for $149 - Target

Hatchimals Surprise for $34.99 (Reg. $69.99) - Target

iPhone® XS or iPhone XS Max with $250 Target gift card - Target

Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL with $200 Target gift card - Target

Amazon Echo for $69 - Target

Echo Dot Gen. 3 for $24 - Target

Echo Dot Gen. 2 for $19.99 - Target

Nintendo Switch bundle with turtle beach headset and case + $90 Kohls cash - Kohls

 

11/14/2018
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    More than two decades after his death, Tupac Shakur’s mantra “The Hate U Give” (THUG) has been worked into a film that tackles hate firsthand.

    Originally a best-selling novel by Angie Thomas, “The Hate U Give” tells the coming-of-age story of a young girl who finds her voice after witnessing an unjust police shooting. The film focuses heavily on topics such as Black Lives Matter, white privilege, gang wars and the drug trade, offering a diverse view on what it is like to grow up in Black America. The excellent thing is that while “The Hate U Give” takes on these issues with thoughtfulness, it is also comical, relatable and ultimately optimistic.

    The story of “The Hate U Give” is told through the eyes of Starr Carter, played with a beautiful maturity beyond her age by Amandla Stenberg. Through narration, Starr informs audiences that there is two versions of herself; the one who lives in a poor, black neighborhood, and the one who attends a white, private school upon her mother’s desire to give her and her brothers a ‘better life.’

    The main conflict of the film is presented to us when Starr attends a party in Garden Heights, where she reconnects with her childhood friend Khalil. After shots are fired at the party, Khalil offers to take Starr home, but is shot and killed by a white police officer on the way. The young officer fires at Kahlil after the teen reaches into the car window to retrieve his hairbrush, mistaking it for a weapon. This single occurrence drives the rest of the film and is what ultimately causes Starr’s two identities to come crashing down. As word of an impending grand jury investigation spreads, Starr’s community is rocked by protests, and she receives threats from a local gang to keep her mouth shut.

    Although these issues are heavy, director George Tillman Jr. does an excellent job of handling them in a way that prevents the film from forcing one opinion. Its adaptation does not neglect or linger on ‘teenage life,’ but serves as an entertaining depiction of what it is like to be a teenager, from fighting with friends to falling in love. Because of this, “The Hate U Give” is a rarity-- an important film that deals with difficult subject matter but is also incredibly entertaining.

    Even with heavy issues, ‘The Hate U Give’ does not just settle for easy answers. The film also challenges ideas like “not seeing color,” a phrase Starr uses to confront her boyfriend by saying, “If you don’t see color, you don’t see me.” Overall, this is a film about identity, but it is also a film about blackness itself. As Starr tries to find her identity, audiences are exposed to many diverse identities along the way, showing that no black experience is the same.

    Tillman Jr.’s adaptation of “The Hate U Give” provides a pathway across racial division with patience, honesty, well-earned anger and an amazing ensemble. The film is ultimately a terrifyingly entertaining teenage story about finding one's voice and is bound to be the best film of 2018.

11/14/2018
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     Many people have friends who have gotten so close that they are now considered family, and there are so many ways to show gratitude to these significant people. From family friends to classmates and teammates, friends can stem from many different places. Even if friends are not able to physically spend Thanksgiving together, there are many ways to show a friend how much they mean. Here are some ways to give thanks back to those special friends who have always been there.

 

A personal handwritten letter

     Best friends always lift each other up, but sometimes a person forgets how much he or she means to his or her best friend. To remind these phenomenal people how much they mean, a personal, handwritten letter can go a long way. It stresses how important the friend is and can make a person feel appreciated.

 

A Box of Sunshine

    This project is designed to help make someone’s day by making his or her day a bit brighter. Gifting these boxes are also based on the element of surprise. It is a regular cardboard box on the outside and is designed to explode with bright yellow once opened. To make a “Box of Sunshine,” decorate a small box yellow and orange and fill it up with things that are yellow or orange such as yellow nail polish, a yellow mug, Golden Oreos, Gushers or a bag of regular Lays.

 

Open If You’re Ever…

     As humans, everyone is designed to feel different emotions every day. Unfortunately, sometimes no one is around to help with overbearing emotions. With this gift, it reminds that special person that even if one cannot be there physically, he or she cares for him or her at all times. Making this gift can be quite time-consuming, but it is worth every second. To make this, the only supplies necessary are containers to hold pieces of paper, paper and a writing utensil. First, one would have to determine and label each container with each emotion to focus on with the personalized notes. The containers keep personalized notes separated by different emotions that the letters apply to. Finally, all is left is to write small blurbs to fill each container with all that apply to each sentiment.

 

Pictures

    As the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Showing appreciation for a best friend can be as little as giving him or her a tangible picture of you two together. Pictures can remind friends of good memories and happy times. With a quick trip to the store for a picture frame and photo, one can make a friend feel on top of the world.

 

Freshly-Baked Pastries

     The quickest way to any person’s heart is through his or her stomach. Making pastries with someone special in mind is making pastries with love. It can be as simple as a box recipe from Walmart or putting something together from scratch. This way of appreciation could be for people who are bad at showing emotion or struggle with the right words to say.

 

11/14/2018
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    The Jenna and Julien podcast is a weekly podcast created and hosted by a popular YouTube couple, Jenna Mourey and Julien Solomita. This podcast has a laid back and calm atmosphere in which the hosts discuss a multitude of topics. The podcast is casual and comedy driven, but the hosts will often delve into more serious and complex topics as well. The podcasts being calm in terms of tone makes it very easy to multitask while listening and not get distracted by the podcast. Even with the calm nature, the podcast rarely seems boring, making it the perfect podcast to listen to while doing other things. The episodes vary in length, with the shorter episodes being around thirty minutes long and the longer episodes exceeding an hour. The podcast, which started in 2014, currently has more than 200 episodes, so there is plenty of content to keep anyone busy.

    Created by Jenna Mourey, better known as Jenna Marbles, her YouTube alias, and her partner Julien Solomita, known for his vlogging channel. The podcast takes the chill and relaxing feel of their personal YouTube content and puts it into a podcast format.

     The podcast often discusses lighter topics such as Jenna and Julien playing simple games such as, “Don’t Get Me Started,” a ranting game where the players must rant on random subjects. These episodes are often fun, with playful banter between the couple, creating an entertaining experience for listeners. On one podcast, they did Vine quizzes where both hosts took a quiz to see who was more knowledgeable on vines. While some of the lighter podcasts include games, some of the other podcasts include Jenna and Julien discussing current events or telling personal stories. One podcast in particular involves the two hosts attempting to scare each other with scary stories. Another podcast simply included Jenna and Julien giving life advice to viewers who had tweeted them on Twitter.

    Jenna and Julien keep an air of comedy to the podcast, always cracking jokes and keeping a friendly and sassy banter. The podcast contains many running jokes, including jokes about Jenna and Julian's astrological signs, constantly referring to each other's actions as an Aries or Virgo thing to do. Another joke is about the couple’s dogs, Kermit, Marbles and Peach. The dogs are often in the podcast room while the two are recording. Kermit often cries for no reason, sometimes leading to a joke, depending on when Kermit starts crying. The constant comedy and recurring jokes help give the podcast a feeling as if the hosts and listeners are friends.

    While many of the podcasts discuss lighter topics and games, others take on more serious subjects. These episodes always provide an interesting discussion on the topic at hand. Jenna and Julien both make sure to look at the topic as a whole and will often play devil's advocate, even if they agree. They always make sure to keep an open mind when discussing more serious topics. One podcast episode comes from January 2018, where Jenna and Julien discuss the recent drama surrounding YouTuber Logan Paul. In this podcast, the discussion covers the drama, taking into accounts the facts and feelings. While discussing the drama, they also discuss the reactions and affect the drama has on YouTube as a whole.

    While Jenna and Julien are the main hosts of the podcasts, they often invite guests onto the podcast to interview or discuss a topic. Many of these guests are other popular YouTubers or other internet famous people. Some of these guests have included Shane Dawson, Rob Dyke, Christine Sydelko and others. One of the most recurring guests on the show is Debbie Mourey, Jenna’s mother. While having one of the host’s mother be a common guest on a podcast may seem odd, Debbie is incredibly laid back and often comes on to play games with Jenna and Julian or to tell stories about Jenna when she was younger.

     With the calmer and more laid back atmosphere of the podcast, it is a fun podcast to listen to the majority of the time. The problem is that there are a few podcast episodes and some segments within certain podcasts which can be slower and slightly boring. While the hosts’ relaxed nature can be a plus, sometimes the podcast can just feel too relaxed, leading to it feeling as if nothing is happening. While these slow segments of the podcast are not frequent, they are still a problem.

     The Jenna and Julien podcast is an incredibly mellow and fun podcast to listen to. It is perfect to listen to while working or just trying to pass time. The hosts have great chemistry and bounce off of each other well. The variety of topics they discuss help make every episode of the podcast feel unique. While some games and topics have multiple podcasts with Jenna and Julien playing them, it is always because the game was interesting and fun or there was more on the topic to be expanded upon, the podcast never feels repetitive. The Jenna and Julien podcast is a great podcast to listen to. The podcast discusses a wide range of topics, from interviewing popular internet people to playing games, or even talking about current events. With a large amount of episodes and a variety of topics discussed, this podcast can be enjoyed by a wide audience.  

8/10

11/14/2018
By:

    Buzzfeed Unsolved is an amazing YouTube docuseries in which creator Ryan Bergara and co-host Shane Madej investigate locations that are allegedly haunted in an effort to prove that ghosts are real. The show stands out not only with its content but also with the humor that both hosts bring.

     Bergara began the show in February 2016 and, shortly after, Madej was brought on as an investigator and researcher. What makes this show stand out is that Madej is a skeptic when it comes to the paranormal, while Bergara is a believer in spirits. The opposing views give representation to all members of the audience.

     Additionally, the show never attempts to falsify evidence in order to trick the audience into thinking that the crew has gotten a glimpse of the supernatural. This is in sharp contrast with some other paranormal investigation shows in which the hosts capture a lot of evidence such as disembodied voices and apparitions in unbelievably short amounts of time. Bergara and Madej, however, are not afraid to show that there is no evidence of the supernatural because they want their show to be factual instead of theatrical. There are some episodes where they walk away from a location with no supernatural evidence at all, but they always make up for the lack of supernatural evidence by providing humor.

     Bergara and Madej often tease one another for their opposing views and make jokes about ghosts and the locations they are visiting. The show is known for the men’s banter and how they also argue with the spirits.Humor is an important part of the show. Unlike other paranormal investigators who take their work overly seriously, both hosts like to make their work fun. They are not afraid to openly make fun of spirits or joke about how creepy a location may look. They also are not worried about looking weird to the audience. Madej openly antagonizes the ghosts using silly voices and cracking jokes about how they died. Bergara often screams and panics over the slightest of noise, which also adds to the humor of the situation. A big part of the job for them is to be overly dramatic about the things they do, because it fills the silence and makes of for the lack of evidence in the event that they do not find a ghost.

     The show features popular haunted locations all across America as well as some lesser known areas. Bergara and Madej have investigated popular location such as the Winchester Mystery House and the Goatman’s Bridge. When they investigate well-known places like these, they show the truth about the locations.

     Ghost Adventures is another popular series that has investigated the exact same areas, and these group of investigators walked away with a lot of evidence of the paranormal. However, when Madej and Bergara investigated them, they walked away with very little evidence at all. It makes Madej and Bergara rise above the rest when they go to popular areas and get different results than other investigators. It gives the viewer the feeling that they are being more honest than some other investigators.

     They also break free from similar shows by investigating lesser-known locations. They have investigated places like the Sally House and the Montezuma Mansion, which very few investigators have tried to explore. This makes the show more interesting by deviating from the normal routine that so many paranormal shows follow. Normally, the shows investigate well-known places so people will watch, but by filming at remote locations the Buzzfeed Unsolved crew has created fresh content for lovers of paranormal TV shows.

     Overall, this show is so much different than others of the same genre. Madej and Bergara have a fun dynamic that brings humor to the show, but they are also honest to their audience. The show makes itself stand out and is entertaining. This is the perfect show for anyone who likes to laugh, but also appreciates the creepiness of supernatural TV shows.