Favorite Christmas Films

by Lina Montz
Staff Writer 

Everyone’s favorite Christmas move… Elf!

When it comes to favorite Christmas movies, there are so many to choose from. Even though there are a numerous amount of Christmas holiday films with differentiating plots, the theme is always the same: the importance of friends and family. Yet, while the themes of all these Christmas movies boil down to the same matter, everybody has their favorites. The interesting part about it is that when it comes to Holiday films, those of the comedic genre are most favored. Shown in the poll results below, most people voted for Elf and A Christmas Story, two popular Christmas comedies. Why is it these two films beat out Christmas classics such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Perhaps it relates back to the prevalent theme of family and friends as the true meaning of Christmas, but also the need for entertainment in terms of laughter. As far as the Other category goes, some names that were thrown out were National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause, and Die Hard. (All comedies and one action film set around Christmas time).

Poll Results -
: 40%
A Christmas Story: 24%
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: 14%
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: 10%
Other: 12%

Grace Fulton’s Revenge

by Ashley Fisher

Grace Fulton

She may not be a household name just yet, but Grace Fulton is certainly starting to turn heads. The sixteen-year-old up-and-coming actress is most known for her portrayal of Young Melinda on the television show Ghost Whisperer and Celina Rice in the movie Badland. Currently, she can be seen as Young Victoria on ABC’s hit show Revenge.

“Lineage,” the eighth episode of season two of Revenge was full of many surprises, but Victoria Grayson’s lethal reveal was by far the biggest shock. Flashing back to when she was just fifteen years old, we learn how and why the Hamptons Ice Queen became the manipulative master we all love to hate. Being forced by her mother Marion to shoot her presumably soon to be stepfather, Victoria is then sent to an inpatient psych ward for six months. When she returns, Victoria gets thrown out to the streets after her mother’s boyfriend turns out to be quite the pedophile. It’s clear that Marion is to blame for the downfall of her daughter’s innocence and it’s no surprise that Victoria executed a charade in which she hired an actor to seduce and then dump her mother during Thanksgiving dinner.

Q & A with Grace Fulton

Bay Eagle: How does the younger Victoria compare to the older one?
Grace: We’re seeing Victoria before she’s been affected. So she’s definitely more innocent and just wants to please her mother. Her mother’s love was so conditional. You really see in the episode how she became the way she is now. You can see how messed up her life was and how it just tore her world apart and caused her to be a survivor.

Bay Eagle: People have been mentioning that you look a lot like Charlotte, Victoria’s daughter. Did anyone on set think so?
Grace: Oh that’s so funny because when I got on set, some people from hair and makeup and wardrobe said that I reminded them so much of Charlotte. People were saying I sound like her too! I think it’s because I was studying not only Victoria, but Charlotte as well. Like the mother-daughter dynamics and how a daughter picks up on a mother’s behavior.

Bay Eagle: What do you think was Victoria’s breaking point when she was younger?
Grace: Well, thinking about how much trauma it would be to walk in and see a man dead and that your mom shot him… The first thing going through my mind when I was going to play the role was, I’d be afraid my mom was going to shoot me next. To shoot anyone, you’re unhinged. So I think that was a huge breaking point for Victoria.

Bay Eagle: How did you prepare for such an intense role?
Grace: I just pretend I’m in that position right away. I was shaking so bad when I was filming; it’s just a really shocking scene. When you think about what’s going on, it’s so alarming. I mean this girl has never seen anything like this before. Her image of love must be so warped now. She thought her mom liked this man and now she shot him? Then she’s having Victoria shoot him… It’s just really confusing. My lip was trembling so badly during the scene. I have no idea why! It was just a really emotional time.

Bay Eagle: Why do you think Victoria shot the man?
Grace: I think how it works is, because Marion shot him, she’d be taken away from Victoria and possibly charged with murder. Whereas if Victoria shot him, she would just get charged with self-defense. That’s how it was in Marion’s mind at least. Victoria didn’t shoot him to be “hailed as a hero,” as Marion put it. She did it because her mom said, “They’ll take me away from you.”

Grace Fulton in Revenge.

Bay Eagle: What do you think was the most important part of the flashback?
Grace: Well the best thing about that flashback is that it’s the first time you’re seeing Victoria when she’s young. And for the first time, you really just feel this pain for her. You start to understand her a little bit more and how hard she had it. That was really the job of the flashback.

Bay Eagle: Did you get to meet Madeleine Stowe?
Grace: I actually, amazingly enough, met Madeleine years ago because her daughter danced with me at Westside Ballet Academy. My mom knew her from The Last of the Mohicans and Twelve Monkeys and they would talk and visit and Madeleine would have a script on her lap. When I got this audition, I hadn’t seen her in years. I went on set and the AD said she wanted me to meet someone. Madeleine came around the corner and she goes, “Grace, it’s so good to see you!” It was so sweet because she said, “I’m so happy it’s you.” It’s such an honor to be playing a young her.

Bay Eagle: How does playing Young Victoria differ from playing Young Melinda on Ghost Whisperer?
Grace: Two entirely different characters. When I was playing Young Melinda, I was handling someone who saw ghosts. The thing about Melinda is that she was very confused – she didn’t understand why she could see ghosts and no one else could. She had a little bit more spirit and spunk and curiosity, whereas Victoria has been raised in a household with an extremely overbearing mother. You can just imagine the situation of being raised by Marion. Victoria was willing to do anything for her mother and it just shows how much she cares about family.

Bay Eagle: For anyone who has never seen Revenge, why should they watch?
Grace: It’s an amazing show! It hooks you in. The plot twists and the emotions – there are these high highs and all of the sudden it drops you in the next scene. It’s just a really complicated drama and it’s really intelligently written. You really don’t expect what happens most of the time.

Bay Eagle: Who is your favorite character from the show?
Grace: There are so many good characters, but I have to confess, I really love Victoria. I don’t know if it’s Madeleine Stowe’s acting and how brilliant she is, but I love watching her in every scene.

Bay Eagle: Who’s better at revenge? Emily or Victoria?
Grace: I think two can play at that game. Emily does a really good job of using resources and Victoria’s really good with words. She’s good at cornering someone and making them feel so little with her words. It’s intimidating.

Bay Eagle: Who would you be more intimidated by? Emily or Victoria?
Grace: Emily’s something you don’t expect and Victoria’s passive-aggressive. They’re both equally frightening.

Bay Eagle: Will we be seeing more flashbacks of the younger Victoria?
Grace: I don’t know. I hope so! She has a big backstory so who knows?

Bay Eagle: What’s next for you?
Grace: I’m actually writing a script right now. My dad gave me the idea of using the resources I have to make a film so that I’d have what I need to make it. For instance, we have a motorcycle, I have a friend who has chickens, we’ve got a church I could film at, there’s a beach in town, I’ve got tons of teenage friends. Then it’s just about creating a story. It’s basically just a cliche, silly story that I’m working on bringing more metaphor and depth to.

Bay Eagle: Anything else you’d like to say?
Grace: I’m sixteen. Everyone thinks I’m fifteen, it’s really funny. All these websites are saying, “she’s actually fifteen,” but I’m sixteen.


I’m Gonna Wreck It!

by Jocelyn Suarez 
Staff Writer 

As most of you have heard, Disney’s new animated movie Wreck It Ralph hit theatres last week. It stars voice actors: John C. Reilly (Ralph), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope), Jack McBrayer (Fix It Felix), and Jane Lynch (Calhoun). This wonderful cast of actors, amazing plot, and gorgeous animation all mix together to make an outstanding movie for all ages. The movie starts out with Ralph, the bad guy from the old arcade game Fix it Felix Jr. Ralph, feeling tired of living in a game he is not welcomed in. To show that even though he is the “bad guy”, he is not a bad guy he heads off in search of a medal to bring back to his game. The movie has wonderful references to countless new and old video games, even the famous Skrillex is referenced in the movie!

Wreck It Ralph has a wonderful moral, and a fun plot line. With many references for the old gamers, and others for the newbies, it is a wonderful movie for both adults, teenagers, and little siblings. While you are watching, look out for the small references such as ‘Top Shelf’ and countless others. The imaginative way that the writers personified the interior of the arcade is terrific and will definitely make anyone look at video games just a tad bit different. Warning, you may cry, the ending is very powerful and make sure to see the credits roll.

Before the movie, there is a new disney short titled Paperman, this cute five minute short is heartwarming and fun to watch. The short tells the story of a man whose papers are constantly caught in the wind and his struggle to find his new love.
Both Wreck It Ralph and Paperman are wonderful films and everyone, of all ages, should see the two especially if you love games!

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

By: Amita Chauhan, Staff Writer
Pictures: Jessea Keller, Photographer

With the holiday season just around the corner, Starbucks has re-launched their line of popular seasonal drinks.The coffee franchise has even brought back their festive red cups with the promotional slogan, “Rekindle the Season.” From 2-5 p.m. on November 15th through November 18th, Starbucks has their “Buy One, Share One” event where with the purchase of one holiday drink, a second one is given for free.

     Some of the new beverages include the peppermint mocha, caramel brulee latte, and gingerbread latte.The caramel brulee latte is made with espresso, steamed milk and caramel Brulée sauce, topped with sweetened whipped cream and caramel Brulee topping. Peppermint Mocha consists of steamed milk, mocha sauce and peppermint flavored syrup, topped with sweetened whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.Gingerbread Latte is espresso, steamed milk and gingerbread flavored syrup, topped with sweetened whipped cream and nutmeg.

     Starbucks is also selling coffee mugs and thermoses with festive designs. Furthermore, the coffee shop has released their exclusive Christmas Blend. This blend, in particular, captures the spirit of the holidays because it encompasses flavors of aged Sumatran beans and mild spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg.

     The benefits of Starbucks’ promotional offer aren’t limited to the shop itself. By buying three Tazo or Starbucks products at your local grocery store, Starbucks will reward the you with a $5 Starbucks gift card. This card can be used towards buying e-Gifts, online coffee blends,  or just used the next you stop by.

Battle of the Bands: Strokes vs. The Black Keys

by Jocelyn Suarez
Staff Writer

If home is where the heart is, then my home is music. Pure music, the type of music that releases the anger, the music that can bring tears to your eyes and relieve all the stress from the days work, the music that can tie people together; that can bring knowledge of what it means to be human. The music that can start revolutions and can bring down walls of hatred; this is the music that should be praised and showcased for eternities. So tell me why, why, must people fight over the power and dear joy of old music versus new, modern music that is pushing the envelope just a bit further? So what’s so great about old music? The 60’s, hippies, right? 80’s what Cruel Summers and Broken Promises, nothing else. For all those before ‘85 haters, here are two, very hellacious bands that could amp up and turn that frown upside down about old school music, and the best part is. They are part of this century!

Guys, let me show you; Battle of the Bands! The Strokes vs. The Black Keys!

The Strokes’ album Angles

The Strokes: The Strokes are an American band hailing from New York. Now if you’re into that garage band, punk revival wave, then this band’s for you. In 2001 their debut album Hard To Explain helped them launch the famous album Is This It; The Strokes were a hit. Is This It was ranked 199 on Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time. The band consists of Julian Casablancas as lead vocalist, Nick Valensi (guitar, backing vocals), Albert Hammond Jr. (guitar, backing vocals), Nikolai Fraiture (bass), and Fabrizio Morietti (drums, percussion). Their second most notable album is also the most recent, Angles which has their second major hit Under Cover of Darkness. Some other notable songs are:

  •   Last Nite – Is This It  (2001)

  •   The Modern Age – Is This It (2001)

  •   Under Cover Of Darkness – Angles (2011)

  •   Taken for a Fool – Angles (2011)

  •   Reptilia – Room on Fire (2003)

  •   Is this It – Is This It (2001)

  •   Take it or Leave it (Live in L.A) – Hard To Explain (2000)

The Black Keys’ album Attack and Release

The Black Keys: The Black keys are an American rock duo from Akron, Ohio. The two members are Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). This band has an abundance of raw blues infused rock and old school sound. The band’s first album was made in Patrick’s basement, and the group gained much popularity from touring small clubs and a quick album productions. Their first four albums were completed in a makeshift studio until Attack&Release, which was produced in a professional recording studio. The group’s boom in popularity spiked with the release of Brothers which most people know from the song Tighten Up. Here are some other songs to hear:

  •   Leavin’ Truck – The Big Come Up (2002)

  •   10 A.M Automatic – Rubber Factory (2004)

  •   Hurt like Mine – Thickfreakness (2003)

  •   I Got Mine – Attack&Release (2008)

  •   Strange Desire – Magic Potion (2006)

  •   Howlin’ for You – Brothers (2010)

  •    Nova Baby – El Camino (2011)

Healthy Tips for Hard-Working Students

by: Kevin Qualls

It’s 6 A.M. You stayed up all night finishing up your APUSH notes, and unfortunately only obtained 4 hours of sleep. You don’t want to get out of bed not just because you’re tired, but because you have 3 exams today. What do you do? Well, for starters, let’s modify your schedule.

Step 1: Organize Yourself

Have a binder for each subject, and for each binder, catego- rize the subject according to notes, HW, quizzes, etc. And to make it even more fun, buy a book cover for each of your books. Not only will you add swag to your book, but it will make the experience of going to class more fun because you’re more organized! And remember, the more fun you have, the easier the class is.

Step 2: Put Your Priorities First

If you know you have three exams the following day, study them first. Tests make up a larger percentage of your grade compared to homework assignments.Also, do your homework, assignments, etc. in the order your schedule is. For example, do first period’s homework first, second peri- od second and so on.

Step 3: Change Your Diet

You are what you eat. Try not to eat so much junk food, because they contain too much sugar that will bring you up a little, but dramatically bring you down, causing fatigue, tiredness, and stress. Just remember when eating to have moderation. Try eating blueberries. Studies have shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improve both learning capacity and motor skills. They also help protect the brain from oxidative stress. Can’t sleep? Try drinking a nice warm glass of milk before you go to bed. Milk has a vital amino acid called tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin, a chemical that your body needs for chilling out and relaxing.

Step 4: Get Sleep

It is better to sleep 8 hours and only study a bit, rather thanr cram in a bunch of information and only sleep for 2 hours.

Summer Films

by Shakeel Madhav

Summer has always been the primetime for movies and oh boy, this summer is sure to be as explosive as a Michael Bay film. Granted, with every great movie hyped to breaking point, there are just as many terrible films, whether hopeless cases of cinematic travesty or a failiure in disguise of something greater. Whatever the case, follow this guide closely for the films to watch first.
1. Most Likely to Succeed: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Many had come to praise the last installment, part 1, for its darker approach and the larger development of character arcs, although let us be honest; as unfair as it is to say, Deathly Hallows Part 1 just…ended. Yep, it ended in probably the best possible place where one can end a movie, but that did not stop many moviegoers from feeling unsatisfied. Of course, this small trivial matter will probably do little in the wake of all of the die-hard fanbase and even casual fans. This film has plenty going for it due the separation of the book into two parts, which will hopefully increase the hype enough to make the climax and twist exciting, explosive and most importantly, profitable. I feel that the Harry Potter franchise could be in the best possible position it could be in. If only the Last Airbender followed Potter’s Example.

2. On the Razor’s Edge: Cars 2: For good reasons, Pixar has achieved the adoration of moviegoers and critics as the golden child; the untouchable entity that can only improve time and time again, the same studio who has been known for making children films that can question the intellect and integrity of even the most stauch scholar. However, it is this situation in its own that causes the most concern with the fate of Cars 2, the sequel which pits Lightning McQueen and Mater in the world scheme competing against the best racers Yuurop and Asia has to offer. It’s an understandable plot which I could say extends the character arc of both characters, but I feel that the focus may be a bit too lost from the trailer on its own. I think I only saw Lightning McQueen, the main character of the franchise, in two scenes where as Mater got well over twenty, and especially considering that most of it is, well, Larry the Cable Guy, it’s concerning. In fact, he even gets his own side plot with the whole secret agent business. On the bright side, the animation itself is stunning and for actual racing fans, the cars appear to be quite faithful to their real life counterparts. Will Pixar keep their head in first place, or will they stumble in the wake of favorites Rango and Kung Fu Panda 2? I don’t know, why are you asking me? Sheesh, people these days…

3. The Mystery: Super 8: Although we know little of this film, what we do know promises greatness, with J.J. Abrams of Star Trek as the director and Steven Spielberg of Jaws, E.T. Indiana Jones, Saving Private Ryan, etc as the producer. The film follows a premise familiar to both giants involving a few young filmmakers from the 70s producing a film with their Super 8 until, you guessed it, ANCIENT ALIENS. However, from what we’ve been given (or not given) and just from the style of the producer, we could assume that it could be a thriller in the style of Jaws in which the antagonary force is subtley hidden away, with the town experiencing mass kidnapings, murders, train crashes, etc for unexplained reasons. Who knows, maybe the film will just be alien schlock but either way, the result is sure to bring suprise. Even the critical reception has been extremely random, with certain prestigous directors saying it is the best thing since sliced bread while others say they’d rather eat sliced bread peppered with four thousand year old bone marrow and with an exuberant hint of infant fecal matter. The outcome is quite…… alien to me (*dodges several pitchforks and broken glass).

4. Redundant Redundant:Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Wait, did you see that tumbleweed? Little Known Fact: Tumbleweed does not actually lifted by the wind but actually shifts its weight so to roll as far away from this terrible film as possible. Mr. Popper’s Penguins is powered by the nuclear reactor core known as The Comedy-Filler-Tron Assembly Line, a magical device that produces schlock comedy films by the dozens. It’s a rather simply procedure: Add a desperate but well loved comedian (Jim Carrey), then add an animal considered to be cute (penguins) and finally throw in some god awful CGI and have the second item dance in the trailer. The concept is predictable, with the run-of-the-mill workaholic that learns to love, and animals thrown in the mix. How about no.