Walking out of a packed screening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend, I couldn’t help but wonder why these Marvel superhero movies draw me back to the multiplex so consistently. I don’t read the comic books from which the franchise sprung, and I haven’t loved all of the preceding films.
What makes movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier so appealing isn’t their story arcs, which I usually can’t keep up with. It’s not the action sequences, which increasingly make me feel like I’m watching someone else play a video game. It’s the sense that Captain America and his comrades are just here to give us a good time. They don’t let themselves get too dark and moody over the state of the world today, the way Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy did. They understand that we come to superhero movies to get away from real life, and then allow us to do so for a few entertaining hours. No more, no less.
Hayao Miyazaki, an extremely successful Japanese film director, animator, illustrator, producer, and screenwriter, internationally released his final film The Wind Rises, on February 28th of this year.
This visually stunning movie follows Jiro Horikoshi, a young man living through WW2 with dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer. The audience follows the triumphs and struggles of Horikoshi, dubbed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as he tries to pursue his passion while maintaining a relationship with his ailing wife.
Miyazaki holds true with his work, creating an elaborate world in which his characters reside. Intricate details are painstakingly placed in each scene which is even more impressive given that each is hand drawn. His animation techniques provide an authentic look which is a refreshing change from modern computer-generated animated movies.
For those who have seen the giant pile of woodchips on the east side of the school and are wondering what is afoot, the mystery has been solved. Tracy Landboe, science teacher, explained that her ecology students are getting their hands dirty this semester. “Last year my ecology students started a native plant garden on the east side of the school, where it had been just weeds and invasive species,” Landboe said, “we are expanding it this spring, and I currently have about 50 shrubs all potted up and ready to plant.” Every single one of Landboe’s ecology students will be planting one native plant.
Landboe explained that although the garden may not look very impressive at the moment, we should be expecting much improvement within the next couple of years. “It usually takes plants about three years to begin to thrive and look good, but every year the garden should get nicer and fill in more,” Landboe shared. The garden consists of entirely native plants, many of which are edible. “We planted native strawberry, native blackberry, thimbleberry, flowering current and salmonberry,” Landboe described, “all of these are edible.”
Reviewed by Noah Foster-Koth
Adapting a movie from a book is often — erroneously — seen as an easy path for filmmakers. On one hand, your screenplay is basically written, and the book’s fans provide a built-in audience for your movie. On the other hand, there are a million things that can go wrong when a book is translated from the page to the screen. The characters may no longer resonate. The book’s message may not survive intact. Inevitably, fans will complain that their vision of the book was different, and condemn the film for its perceived deviations from the source material.
One could argue that Darren Aronofsky’s latest project — a big-budget interpretation of the biblical story of Noah — was doomed to fail from its inception. The Bible has the ultimate fan following, and Noah is one of the most popular of all Old Testament heroes (some people are even named after him). Yet after sitting through Noah, what bothers me isn’t that the Black Swan director has taken reasonable creative liberties with a key passage from the Bible. It’s that those creative liberties don’t save the movie from being a loony mess.
Model United Nations seeks to encourage dialogue about and solutions to pressing global problems by simulating a UN meeting. High school students represent various countries and committees, ranging from the General Assembly to the Economic and Social Council, and from Afghanistan to Uganda. Our very own Roosevelt Model UN team and their adviser, government teacher Ian Malcolm, attended the Washington State Model UN conference on March 22 and 23.
The diplomats below spent the weekend among the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington debating global issues, writing well researched position papers, and coming up with solutions to problems ranging from the violence in Central Africa, counterfeit drugs, underdevelopment, whaling, and child marriage. They did a great job representing their assigned countries and Roosevelt High School. If you have one of them in class, ask them about their experience.
- Ian Malcolm
Advisor, Model United Nations Club
GA: General Assembly
UNODC: UN Office of Drugs and Crime
ECOSOC: Economic and Social Council
AU: African Union
ICJ: International Court of Justice