PrideTime Senior Editor
At McMahon, we hear about different artists and their paintings. However, we don’t really hear about artists that focus on sculptures, more specifically, in this case, cardboard sculptures. Garrett Acuna, a senior, started his work last year. His sea turtle sculpture, featured in last year’s art show, won second place and was actually his first piece.
When did you start working on sculptures?
AP studio art is my first art class so it’s weird. I did a sculpture for fun and Pierce told me I should keep doing more. Then I heard the Maritime Aquarium was closing down (rumored), so I wanted to make cardboard sea creatures to respect the endangered ones.
What was your first sculpture?
It was the giant sea turtle. It was from last year’s art show which won second, I think. It’s an old one though, the actual one is at school because of how big it is.
How long did the sea turtle take?
It took half a year. I didn’t have any art classes and out of spite, I started it. I spent all my free time in Pierce’s when I could work on it. I started with an image in my head and tried to sketch it.
What do you mean by “out of spite?”
It was out of spite because I kept trying to get into 3D media and it never worked out. She said it never fit my schedule but I would always get a study hall when Pierce teaches that class.
Why did you start with a sea turtle?
As a kid and now, I love sea turtles. I would drag my mom to the Maritime Aquarium so I can see their exhibit and watch how they swim. I would buy puzzles about the animal and even little plushies.
Can you explain the process?
I started with an image in my head and tried to sketch it then after once I have a horrible drawing, I would get a picture from the internet as a sort of guide. Then I add my own twist to it. For the shell, I cut out panel by panel so it shows how each square is different because nature isn’t perfect. Even the most imperfect animal is beautiful. I started with the shell and added the head arms and legs after. I was thinking of adding a tail but I decided not to. I later hot glued the pieces and added supports.
What did you work on after that?
Well, I took a break after it and then once I got into AP, I started the hammerhead shark. There was a brief period where I made a baseball bat wrapped in fake barbed wire.
What really inspires you?
Well, I don’t know what exactly inspires me. I look around and see what people made and how they did it and I just love the idea of an image in your head becoming a reality on simple cardboard or plaster. Plus, it’s just how the people I love just motivate me to keep doing more artwork and make more out of what I do no matter how big or small.
What are you working on now?
I’m sketching out two little metal figures: a small dog and a man playing the viola. I’ve also tried expanding for plaster and much more mediums.
Acuna continues to work on building his pieces to gain experience. Even though he says he started that piece out of spite, he now really enjoys sculpting and continues working on other sculptures.
Your skin can change your mood based off of how it looks. Have you ever had that one breakout that turns into more breakouts and keeps getting worse? Do you feel like your skin complexion needs a little boost? Well, here are a few tips to try at home so that you will be on your way to having better skin.
1. Get some rest: I know, it might be hard to do when you have school, homework, a job, or after school activities. Do whatever you can do to get seven to eight hours of rest a night and your skin (including those under bags) will get better. Some things you can do to help you fall asleep at night is to take a nice warm shower or bath, drink some tea, and turn off your alerts from your phone. Sometimes sleep is worth the sacrifice. Plus, sleep gives you much better results than face creams. Eat some citrus: Citrus fruit is a good way to keep your organs healthy which leads to healthy skin. Try to include Vitamin C in your diet, like oranges, which helps prevent wrinkles and gives you a little bit of a detox.
2. Massage your moisturizer: some of you might me thinking to yourself, “What do you mean massage?” You may be putting your moisturizer on your face, but you might not be doing it correctly. Instead of just dabbing it on your face, go in a gentle circular motion. Also try to find a moisturizer that is meant for your skin type, for example if you have dry, oily, or combination skin. Some good moisturizers that are affordable are CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, Differin Oil Control Moisturizer with Sunscreen, Simple Hydrating Gel Cream, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream, and many more
3. Massage your moisturizer: some of you might me thinking to yourself, “What do you mean massage?” You may be putting your moisturizer on your face, but you might not be doing it correctly. Instead of just dabbing it on your face, go in a gentle circular motion. Also try to find a moisturizer that is meant for your skin type, for example if you have dry, oily, or combination skin. Some good moisturizers that are affordable are CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, Differin Oil Control Moisturizer with Sunscreen, Simple Hydrating Gel Cream, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream, and many more.
4. Stay Hydrated: Hydration starts from the inside out. Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is very important for your skin. And if you don’t like water try coconut water, which has good nutrition. A tip on how to drink water throughout the day is to set a goal to drink half of your body weight or just to keep water bottles around you always whether it’s in your backpack, locker, or car.
5. Try an at-home facial: Take a few minutes out of your day (preferably before you go to bed) and put on a moisturizing face mask and relax. After a while, take off the mask and moisturize your face. You can go to the store and buy a mask that looks best for your skin type or you can look up some ways to create your own mask at home. But make sure that you test it out on your hand or arm before putting it on your face, because some ingredients can make your skin irritated.
Do these tips on daily basis and the quality of your skin will likely improve, but it will take some time, so don’t feel discouraged when you don’t feel like you see any immediate changes.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Lady Gaga has been in the music-industry for over 10 years now. However, according to the artist herself in a recent instagram post, she claims that winning an oscar was “... a moment in my life that I will never forget. My whole artistic journey flashed before my eyes.”
Lady Gaga was nominated for “Best Original Song” at the 2019 Oscars with her song “Shallow” sung by her and actor Bradley Cooper for their 2018 movie A Star is Born. The famous song was written by Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt for the soundtrack of the movie. This has been the most awards Gaga has received for a song with 32 award wins that include: 2 Grammys, a Golden Globe, and now an Oscar.
The song “Shallow” is a dialogue between a man and a woman talking about their problems and searching for new experiences. The lyrics, “In all the good times I find myself longing for change, and in the bad times, I fear myself,” has the meaning of trying to stop being someone you’re not, but fearing that someone might judge you for being yourself.
A crucial lyric in the chorus is, “We’re far from the shallow now,” which has to do with what the movie portrays since it is about a singer who is very talented, but judged by her looks. Gaga connected these lyrics to the #MeToo movement, saying “We are living in a time where there’s so much conversation about women’s voices being heard,” and that is exactly what’s happening in the song.
“It is one of my favorite songs at the moment. I’ve been a big fan of Lady Gaga over the years and am very proud of her accomplishment with this song. It is truly amazing and can make me cry,” Sarah Conroy (‘19) said this when asked her opinion on the song.
Personally, I think this song can have many different meanings to the person listening to it. Gaga’s beautiful and powerful voice does a great job at making the song meaningful and heartfelt, it will also give you goosebumps when jamming to it. I would recommend this song and even the whole A Star is Born soundtrack to any romantic soul out there.
Photo Credit: Rolling Stone
Aside from working and playing Club Penguin Rewritten with her friends, Mariana Elguera (‘19) has an artistic side many may not know about.
Brought up in a creative family, Elguera has had much time to watch and learn from them. Although, she might have taken things into her own hands and looked up videos on how to improve her art, she is still relying on her family.
Growing up, Elguera had to take many mandatory art classes in elementary school, but she’s found more passion in high school. Elguera has had much more liberty, being able to take more classes that came to her interest.
Elguera has taken many classes that other students may take for their senior year to take the easy way out, but she’s taking them to continue improving.
Having this in her favor, Elguera has worked with each and every art teacher. She takes advantage of how close she’s gotten to her teachers so that she can have her art critiqued and so that she can learn different aspects to make her artwork have more meaning.
Despite being told by both teachers and students that her art is amazing, she still wants to accomplish more with her pieces and wants to continue learning.
When she was younger she made a portrait of her father, now being her favorite piece, and till this day continues to have it to encourage her to do more. However, It signifies more than just her dad. It’s Elguera’s start of something, her first real piece which she put all her effort in.
Within this first true work of art, her mother played a big role in her uprising. Elguera’s mother has helped her throughout her journey. When she was younger her mother helped Elguera by actually putting in the work or by giving her inspirational thoughts.
Elguera’s mom has always helped her when doing school projects, in doing posters for science fairs or class. Her mom would give her feedback on what to improve or helpful tips to make it look more appealing for everyone to see.
Elguera has completed many pieces of art with different mediums. Each piece comes from just about anything. Her inspirations are endless, getting them from dreams, music, and old memories.
“Out of all the mediums of art, I’ve never done a digital piece before,” Elguera said.
She’s completed one piece inspired by her best friends dog, Gio, and now she’s working on a poster inspired by the music she listens to. At first, she had many difficulties with knowing what each gadget in the toolbar was used for, but after learning the program she fell in love with Photoshop.
Enjoying working with technology, Elguera hopes to study Graphic Design in her future at the University of Connecticut in Stamford.
S.O.S, the boys are back! I’m sure we are all shocked about the great news that The Jonas
Brothers have made a comeback. It’s been almost two weeks since they announced that they
would start making more music for all their JoBro fans. I don’t think any of us were prepared for
Recently, The Jonas Brothers released their new single “Sucker”, and for the first time in nearly
6 years performed it in New York City at The Box Theater on March 1st. Fans were surprised to
see them having it been only hours after they had just announced their new song. At the venue
they also played their old songs such as, “That’s Just The Way We Roll,” “Burnin’ Up,”
“S.O.S,” and “Year 3000.”
They then performed on the Late Late Show With James Corden where they mentioned they
were working on a new documentary about their childhood to where they are now. They said that
they had went to therapy together prior to their reunion, then spoke about why the band had split
up in the first place. “During that time we started to realize there was magic that we felt we were
missing, so we started playing music together and we realized right away that this is where we
were meant to be,” Nick Jonas explains.
In an interview on Elvis Duran’s Z100 radio show, Joe Jonas said, “We have probably 30-40
songs recorded that we can’t wait to release.” There they explained that they have a whole album
ready be to shared with their fans and how their songs match up with each other’s voices.
“Balancing Nick's sound, DNCE's sound and, to be truthful, Kevin bringing so much heart into
this, it's been incredible.”
Their new song, “Sucker”, is very upbeat and is about being head over heels in love with
someone. On top of the great bop being released, they made a music video where they had all
their significant others Danielle Jonas, Priyanka Chopra, and Sophie Turner join as well. Rumors
had it that fans have been confused about the band getting back together when their social media
accounts suddenly reactivated in 2018. Nick Jonas then cleared the rumors by saying “I can tell
you there is no reunion planned, but I can never say never.”
Now that they are back together and planning great things for the future, we can all look forward
to them announcing their tour dates! Here is what some senators had to say about The Jonas
Brothers revival: “Their comeback brings back childhood memories,” says Juliette Ochoa (‘19). “I
hope they don’t break up again,” says Mariana Elguera (‘19).
All hair is different, which is why we are all uniquely beautiful. We have different curls due to the different hair types there are.
Straight and curly hair depends on your level of follicle. A hair follicle is a very small organ underneath the skin that make hair. Strains of hair are forced through a tube which affects the hair shape and pattern, which allows it to grow. People with curly hair have asymmetrical follicle.
All together there are four hair types: Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4. As the number increases, the curlier the hair gets. Hair Type 1, includes people who have naturally straight hair. When their hair is wet, there are no curls at all. Straight hair is hard to damage, but also very hard to hold a curl.
Type 2 is wavy hair. Wavy hair has a texture between straight and curly hair and is likely to become fizzy. In type 2, there is Wavy 2a, 2b, and 2c. Type 2a is very close to straight but has very loose waves. After Wavy 2b and 2c are very similar, and pretty much have the same pattern but Wavy 2c is more wavy than 2b.
Type 3 is curly hair. Curly hair is well known to have a “S” shape, and sometimes a “Z” shape. Curly hair has a lot of volume and most people who have curly hair have a very full head. Curly hair can be more difficult to deal with because it requires a lot of care and can often get dry. Without proper care, you will have less defined curls. There are three types of curly hair: Curly 2a, 2b, and 2c.
Type 4 is coil hair. Coily hair has very tight curls and it’s very coarse. Coily hair is usually very thick, fragile and easy to damage. Type 4 has three different types: Coil 4a, 4b, and 4c.
Arts & Entertainment Editor
From Left to Right: Nicole Ostaszewski, Michael Secchi, and Willow Macol
Three students from Brien McMahon High School were selected to participate in the All-State Festival, which consists of choir, band and orchestra. Michael Secchi (‘19), Willow Macol (‘19) and Nicole Ostaszewski (‘20), have all been rehearsing for countless hours each week to prepare for this festival.
In order to be selected for All-State, you must audition and be accepted into Western Regionals. This is a choir, band, or orchestra ensemble that is selected from people who live in the western part of Connecticut. There are also Eastern, Northern, and Southern Regionals. After performing in the Western Regionals Festival, you will have the opportunity to audition for All-State.
“It starts out with finding out what the repertoire is. After that, you have a couple of weeks to learn the piece and all of your scales. Then you go to the school where auditions are held, go in at your given time and audition,” says Secchi.
Whether you want to major in music or not, music festivals are a place where you can meet other like-minded people to bond over something that you love.
“Music festivals are where people who have enough passion and talent come together for one common purpose and create a sound they’re all invested in,” explains Ostaszewski.
Macol, Secchi, and Ostaszewski all agree that the music department at BMHS has helped and prepared them for the audition process and other musical endeavours.
“When the teachers know that you’re getting ready for an audition, they’ll support you no matter what. I’ve done multiple mock auditions with all three teachers, where I received feedback which have helped me realize and correct my mistakes myself,” said Secchi.
Even with all of the help and support given by their teachers and friends, Macol, Secchi, and Ostaszewski wish that more people would try and understand what music festivals are and take the time to appreciate them.
“Not a lot of people realize how hard of a process it is to actually get into All-State. People say, ‘You’re just going to do another music festival.’ Meanwhile, I’m over here practicing for more than 20 hours a week and shredding charts, seeing how I can play something differently or more musically. That’s the side that people don’t see, all the behind the scenes work. All the pencil marks on the paper, all the wrong notes, the messed up rhythm, it’s all fixed with those hours of rehearsal,” says Secchi.
***This review contains minor spoilers, with a major spoiler indicated beforehand***
On Friday, March 8, the much-anticipated Captain Marvel finally released in theaters. Directed by filmmaking duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and produced by Marvel Studios, the movie is the 21st in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the first to feature a sole female lead (aptly released on International Women’s Day). The film stars Brie Larson as the titular hero Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Samuel L. Jackson (reprising) as S.H.I.E.L.D agent Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull leader Talos. A wide supporting cast, including Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, Djimon Hounsou (reprising) as Korath the Pursuer, Clark Gregg as (reprising) Phil Coulson, Lee Pace (reprising) as Ronan the Accuser, and Annette Bening also appears. Set in the 1990s, the film follows an alien Kree warrior (Carol Danvers) who slowly uncovers her past on Earth while waging war against another alien force - the shapeshifting Skrulls.
While the films of the MCU have peaked in quality in recent years, most notably with the releases of movies such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain Marvel unfortunately does not stand among most of the MCU in terms of quality. While not inherently bad, or even the worst in the MCU for the matter (that honor would go to 2008’s The Incredible Hulk) - Captain Marvel is surprisingly mediocre for such a successful time in Marvel Studios.
The primary flaw in this film comes down to its lead - Brie Larson. Regardless of your opinion on her controversial comments regarding race and gender during Captain Marvel’s press tour, her acting in this film is unfortunately weak. It’s a shame, too - Larson is a capable actress, having (rightfully) won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film Room (2015). In Captain Marvel, however, Larson is largely devoid of any personality or charisma that the other characters have. Her performance is sadly characterized by a certain stiffness, and Larson’s sarcastic and quippy delivery of most of her lines make Carol Danvers appear as disagreeable and careless. In itself, portraying a character as rude is not bad, as previous MCU heroes (such as Thor or Iron Man) have been portrayed that way as well. Her sarcasm and quips are comparable to MCU lead Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man, who maintains a similar attitude - but Downey Jr.’s character has far more of a charisma and heart.
Larson isn’t helped by the poor writing of the film, either. And I don’t view her performance in this film as a complete reflection of her abilities as an actress - think Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Larson & Christensen were hampered by exceedingly poor writing, as they were frequently forced to deliver odd and strangely-worded lines. The tone also shifts between serious and humorous very quickly at times, which is somewhat jarring as an audience member. And perhaps the poorest aspect of the writing is that Carol Danvers lacks a solid personality arc. She starts out the film as a sarcastic, witty, and rude, and she is still acts that way at the end of the film.
Aside from Larson, the acting in the film is very good. A digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson is a bright spot, along with Ben Mendelsohn, who brings a unique perspective that adds further character to an otherwise seemingly lackluster Skrulls. Lashana Lynch and Annette Benning also stand out in their appearances - although I feel that their scenes could have been much more powerful than what the final cut of the film actually was.
The plot of the film is somewhat disorderly and hard to follow at times, which is only complicated by Captain Marvel’s various flashbacks throughout the film. The fight scenes vary in quality - the opening battle on the alien world Torfa, and a first act clash on a LA Metro light rail train are executed well, while the final fight leaves something to be desired. The movie also makes several notable controversial retconns pertaining to the history of a certain character, christening and object within the MCU, that, while not entirely unreasonable in-universe, are somewhat disappointing as compared to what many fans theorized would occur.
Technically, the film is a mixed bag. The visual effects vary in quality, with Captain Marvel’s “photon” powers occasionally looking very poor. The editing is highlighted by quick and choppy cuts, and the cinematography is so poor at times that it is hard to tell what is going on due to poor lighting. The score is generally unnoticeable, and the soundtrack (which, unlike the Guardians of the Galaxy films, is mostly non-diegetic), often interjects at critical moments in the film - such as the final fight scene - which just furthers the movie’s over-saturation and difficulty to comprehend.
Captain Marvel also makes several very subtle politicals statements as well - despite, quite surprisingly, lacking any overt “girl power” feminist message (contrary to Larson’s press tour comments). The political message, rather, seems to be a subtle jab at U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts at constructing a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. This is seemingly alluded to multiple times, primarily due to the Kree-Skrull war primarily occurring on “Border” planets (and, **SPOILER ALERT** a later reveal that the Skrulls are mostly families fleeing the violent Kree, and not mainly the violent warriors that they were initially portrayed as *end spoilers*).
Several of the movie’s twists were positive, however, and I did walk out of theater positively surprised with a few of them. It is also worth mentioning that the film also featured a nice tribute to Marvel creator Stan Lee, who passed away in November 2018. As I’ve made clear, I have mixed feelings about this film. There are other issues I didn’t even touch on in this review (Goose the cat, namely) that decreased the quality of the film in my mind. Ultimately, the mediocrity of this movie not making it the poorest in the MCU is largely a testament to how good the films in the MCU have been. The redeeming qualities of Captain Marvel don’t elevate it much higher in my mind, and with the lack of development that Carol Danvers received, I am not particularly excited to have her be at the forefront of the MCU for Avengers: Endgame and beyond. I do hope that Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Endgame, will transform the character of Captain Marvel for the better in the long run, as they have for Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Star Lord, Gamora and Scarlet Witch in the past.
Christopher Landon, is the director of both Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U. He has also directed previous movies such as Disturbia, Paranormal Activity 2, Paranormal Activity 3, Paranormal Activity 4, and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. I have watched most of the Paranormal Activity movies. The difference from his other movies and Happy Death Day, is that there is a use of repetition in the Happy Death Day movies. In the first film, the use of repetition worked a little more because there was more tension and suspense.
Walking into the theater, I didn’t have high expectations due to the first movie. The first movie wasn’t anything special. It consisted of a scene being repeated over and over again with slight differences, which made it uninteresting. This only changes at the end when they tried to find the killer. Similarly, the second movie had repeated scenes with slight differences, but the machine was exposed and so was the killer. Although both endings were interesting due to the fact that they were trying to reveal the murderer, the repeated scenes takes away from it.
Personally, it was hard for me to stay awake during the movie. I didn’t like how in both of the movies, they were showing the same scenes throughout the movie and the use of repetition. However, I wasn’t the only one with these views. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone who likes action and suspense. But, if you enjoy comedic horror, then this is the perfect film for you.
Released six months after the purification of Sweetner, these 12 songs are effortlessly captivated
by Ariana Grande’s voice.
Image credit: Pitchfork
This album deals with overcoming her public break up, the lost of her past lover Mac Miller, and
accusations of cultural appropriation.
Towards the beginning of the album the track “NASA” talks about the boundaries in a
relationships with space metaphors . Drag Queen, Shangela Laquifa Wadley, starts the song with
the opening lines: “This is one small step for woman / One giant leap for womankind”. It was
used as a reference from Neil Armstrong’s moon landing quote but is used to empower women.
In the middle of the album the song “fake smile” with the lyrics “I can't fake another smile, I
can't fake like I'm alright Woo, ah (Woo, ah) And I won't say I’m feeling fine. After what I been
through, I can’t lie Woo, ah (Woo, ah),” address how it’s very hard for Ariana to smile after all
of her hardships such as the terrorist attack in Manchester, her failed engagement with Pete
Davidson, and the loss of her ex-lover Mac Miller.
“Ghostin” goes deeper into the emotion of how it feels bad to be with someone but love
somebody else. It is probably the most touching and personal song on the album. The lyrics that
touched me was “We'll get through this, we'll get past this, I'm a girl with A whole lot of
baggage But I love you, we'll get past this, I'm a girl with A whole lot of baggage, yeah”.
Personally I really like this song because the message of trying to be strong even if you’re not
happy with who you're with and trying to get passed it.
Image Credit: Stereogum