Entertainment

Entertainment reviews all things music, art, movies, books, TV, and anything else that stimulates the soul.

Cinematic Chat: the Percy Jackson adaptation and representation

by Elsa Ying (’23) | November 18, 2020 In March 2021, author Rick Riordan announced the search for directors and a cast for a television adaptation of his beloved fantasy series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Set to air on Disney+ in early 2024, the series was greenlit in January 2022, followed quickly by casting…

Chadwick Boseman’s legacy and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

by Jasmine Salgado (’26) | November 18, 2022 Due to his superb acting skills as well as his gentle and charismatic personality, it was only a matter of time before Chadwick Boseman became a global phenomenon. Throughout his career, Boseman aimed to accurately represent Black America’s history through his roles. His performances in Marshall as…

On the Same Page: description and dread in “Bunny”

by Katherine Winton (’25) and Smriti Vijay (’25) | November 18, 2022 In light of Halloween, Saint Francis’s Book Club picked Bunny by Mona Awad to read and discuss in October. Bunny is narrated by college student Samantha Mackey, who believes herself to be the classic outsider amidst her fellow classmates. These classmates are a…

“Enola Holmes 2”: a sequel worth the wait

by Hadley Fay (’26) | November 18, 2022 Everyone’s favorite young fictional female detective is at it again, solving her second case. Enola Holmes, played by Millie Bobby Brown, previously established herself to be worthy of the family name in the first Enola Holmes movie, which was released about two years ago. A few weeks…

“Midnights”: record-breaking lyrics and production

by Katherine Winton (’25) | November 18, 2022 On October 21, Taylor Swift released Midnights, her first original album since Evermore in late 2020. After the album announcement on August 29, many people waited in anticipation for the expected thirteen tracks. Three hours after its midnight release, Midnights was followed by Midnights (3am Edition), a…

Climate change must van Gogh: climate activists use food and famous paintings to protest

by Akshara Panchumarthi (’26) | November 18, 2022 Recently, the treatment of famous artists’ masterpieces, some of which took years to create, has been making headlines. Climate change activists have resorted to extreme measures in order to gain much needed attention to their cause. Throwing tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers and mashed potatoes…

On the Same Page: retellings and tragedy in “Song of Achilles”

by Katherine Winton (’25) and Smriti Vijay (’25) | October 7, 2022 This month, Saint Francis’s Book Club chose to read Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which follows Patroclus, a young prince in Ancient Greece. Exiled from his kingdom after causing the death of another boy, he meets a handsome demigod prince named Achilles.…

Latinx Hispanic representation in pop culture

by Smriti Vijay (’25) and Katherine Winton (’25) | October 7, 2022 From September 15 to October 15, the United States celebrates Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual commemoration of the contributions of Latinx Hispanic Americans to the history of the United States. Throughout the month, the country observes culture from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean,…

Cinematic Chat: “Avatar” (2009) and social context

by Elsa Ying (’23) | October 7, 2022 James Cameron’s iconic science fiction film Avatar (2009) returned to theaters on September 23 to generate excitement for its long-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of the Water (set to release in December 2022). Avatar’s re-release offers yet another opportunity to appreciate the gorgeous special effects and production…

“Stranger Things 4”: a cultural and thematic masterpiece

by Hailey Harris (’24) | October 7, 2022 Roughly seven years ago, Netflix released Season One of Stranger Things. The series, which had been rejected by other studios over twelve times before its release, would go on to become one of the biggest shows on the platform. This summer, the show’s highly anticipated fourth season…

Banned Book Club: “Gender Queer,” the most banned book of 2021

by Kylie Chen (’24) | October 7, 2022 “Books unite us. Censorship divides us.” These six words were the theme for the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2021 Banned Books week, and they have become especially important in the past couple years, as an increasing number of books are being banned in the United States. According…

Old is the new “new”: recent reboots in media

by Mae Mansour (’24) | October 7, 2022 Over the past few years, many retired shows and films have reemerged on screens with new generations and storylines. These reboots tend to be more reliable for success, as they aren’t risky investments like other, newer programs. By reviving characters and plotlines, reboots often provide needed closure…

Body positivity: how Jax does it right and Victoria’s Secret does it wrong

by Caroline Luu (’26) | October 7, 2022 In a society where only “ideal” bodies are featured in popular media and body shaming is prevalent, many teenagers and young adults experience insecurities about themselves, including American singer-songwriter Jax. When she was a young girl, she developed body dysmorphia and eating disorders after being influenced by…

Cinematic Chat: growing pains in “Turning Red”

by Elsa Ying (’23) | April 8, 2022 Disney’s recent movies tend to focus on stories of families of color, whether through the lens of magical realism in Encanto or Marvel’s expansive universe in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, their most recent film, Turning Red, illustrates an entirely new perspective by…

“Normal People” fails to execute on its premise

by Katherine Winton (’25) and Smriti Vijay (’25) | April 8, 2022 Normal People by Sally Rooney was published in 2018 and quickly rose to fame. It won the 2018 Costa Book Award for Best Novel and the 2019 British Book Award for Book of the Year, and in 2020, it was adapted into a…

culture.png: the effect of war on fashion

by Pujita Tangirala (’22) | April 8, 2022 Welcome to the last issue of culture.png, a column where I break down various topics in pop culture and their relevance to society today. Whether or not we are aware of it, clothing created for military purposes has trickled into street fashion. Furthermore, the cultural exchange and…

“Servant of the People”: television to reality

by Smriti Vijay (’25) and Anya Nandiwada (’25) | April 8, 2022 On November 16, 2015, the political satire series Servant of the People was released, depicting the life of fictional high-school history teacher Vasiliy Petrovych Goloborodko. After Goloborodko is recorded ranting about corruption, he’s confronted with unexpected results. The political satire explores Goloborodko’s journey…

An up-close look at Olivia Rodrigo in “Driving Home 2 U”

by Hailey Harris (’24) | April 8, 2022 Olivia Rodrigo had a whirlwind 2021 starting with the release of her smashing hit “drivers license.” Following the single’s release, she recorded her first album, SOUR. Since then, Rodrigo has been named Time Entertainer of the Year and performed on huge stages, like Saturday night live and…

“The Batman” thrills with a new face of Gotham City

by Sanjana Srikanth (’24) | April 8, 2022 “I am Batman!”  For years, this infamous phrase has characterized the Batman we’ve all grown to know and love: the crown prince of Gotham City, an orphan determined to carry the burden of Gotham’s future on his back by fighting for criminal justice.  For the people of…

Racism in Disney movies: a tale as old as time

by Kylie Chen (’24) and Amaya Malik (’22) | March 21, 2022 Disney animated films are a staple in our lives, functioning as both entertainment and a way of teaching children important life lessons. In recent years, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has promised to make films and shows with “an increased commitment” to diversity, and…

culture.png: the future of fashion & technology

by Pujita Tangirala (’22) | March 21, 2022 Welcome back to culture.png, a column where I will break down various topics in pop culture and their relevance to society today. A runway show that recently caught my eye was Balenciaga Winter 22; when I saw its intriguing title “360°” and its artificial snow storm trapped…

Cinematic Chat: offscreen diversity in “Avatar: The Last Airbender”

by Elsa Ying (’23) | March 21, 2022 The rising demand for racial and ethnic representation in film, television and all forms of media has recently sparked conversations about representation offscreen. While television shows and movies have portrayed people of color on screen from the beginning of the industry, more often than not, they were…

A movie to die for: “Death on the Nile” review

by Vishnu Potharaju (’24) | March 21, 2022 The past year has been a big year for murder mystery fans. From HBO’s TV adaptation of One of Us Is Lying to Selena Gomez’s latest role in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, murder mystery has remained a popular genre in today’s television and movies. This…

The Oscars 2022 predictions: who will win?

by Ridhima Vakkalagadda (’24) | March 21, 2022 The Academy Awards, or the Oscars, is an annual event that has people anxiously waiting for its arrival every year. But why? The Oscars are incredibly renowned awards, and those that win see their popularity dramatically rise. During Oscars, there have been many interesting wins and mix-ups,…

COVID-19 infects the entertainment industry

by Smriti Vijay (’25) | February 14, 2022 The COVID-19 pandemic created a high demand for entertainment; however, live productions and in-person attendance were no longer plausible due to the risk of spreading the virus. The sharp decline of in-person entertainment attendance, coupled with the sharp increase of at-home entertainment, presented a change in the…

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” perfectly culminates the franchise

by Vishnu Potharaju (’24) | February 14, 2022 Since their release in 1962, the stories of Peter Parker and his vigilante activities as Spider-Man have become a cultural phenomenon around the world. Inspiring dozens of comic runs and even three separate film versions, Spider-Man is now one of the most renowned superheroes in the world.…

Cinematic Chat: Marginalized identities in “The Sex Lives of College Girls”

by Elsa Ying (’23) | February 14, 2022 In recent years, HBO Max has proven that it is no stranger to producing content for the teen demographic; however, the comedy-drama television series The Sex Lives of College Girls diverts from their traditional high school drama to depict college life through a refreshing new lens with…

“Don’t Look Up” delivers with music, satire, and familiar faces

by Katherine Winton (’25) | February 14, 2022 Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and other top-billing actors of the 21st century, Don’t Look Up has received mixed reviews from viewers since its release last December. Adam McKay, who is known for writing Ant-Man, Holmes & Watson, and other hit comedy movies also wrote and directed…

Is “Tick, Tick… Boom!” overrated?

by Anoushka Roshan (’24) | February 14, 2022 When I first discovered Tick, Tick…Boom! on Netflix, I was ecstatic. A musical with Andrew Garfield? Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda? Sign me up! Based on the life of Jonathan Larson, the mind behind the hit musical Rent, Tick, Tick…Boom focuses on Larson’s personal life and the struggles…

culture.png: science in the shape of art

by Pujita Tangirala (’22) | February 14, 2022 Welcome back to culture.png, a column where I will break down various topics in pop culture and their relevance to society today. With recent public interest in combining STEM with art, organic design is slowly reaching the mainstream. By pulling inspiration from nature, organic design breaks patterns of modernism…

culture.png: rearranging the puzzle pieces, from past to present to future

by Pujita Tangirala (’22)|November 19, 2021 Welcome back to culture.png— a column where I break down various topics in pop culture and their relevance to society today. One of my favorite songs this month has been “Droppin Jewels” off Young Thug’s new album, Punk. But what’s a good album without a great album cover? The…

Who killed Tim Kono?: a review of “Only Murders in the Building”

by Vishnu Potharaju (’24) | November 19, 2021 Mystery. Betrayal. Selena Gomez. A man in a tie-dye sweatshirt. All are the puzzle pieces for a perfect mystery show. Hulu’s latest release, Only Murders in the Building, combines all of these elements. Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, the show stars Martin, Martin Short and…

Squid Game review: children’s games with a deadly twist

by Anoushka Rohan (’24) | November 19, 2021 Although it was released in early September, almost everyone has watched or at least heard of the Netflix TV show, Squid Game. The premise of the hit series was simple: contestants in dire need of money played simple children’s games in order to win an enormous cash…

The San Francisco Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit: a no Gogh?

by Melissa Paz-Flores (‘22) | November 19, 2021 You’re sitting in a concrete warehouse, surrounded by projectors showing irises, starry nights, and self-portraits of Dutch impressionist Vincent van Gogh. This is the “Immersive Van Gogh Experience” in San Francisco. “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” is promoted as a “360-degree digital art experience.” Its location in…

Adele re-enters the music world

by Hailey Harris (’24) | November 19, 2021 After six years, British pop star Adele is finally saying “Hello” to the music world again. With the upcoming release of her fourth album, 30, the singer shared information about the album with her stunning new single “Easy on Me.”   Many fans were surprised that the new…

Cinematic Chat: the “‘Twilight’ Renaissance” and racism

by Elsa Ying (’23)|November 19, 2021 Stephanie Meyer, the author of Twilight, started one of the most recognizable franchises of the early 2010s. Not only did Meyer’s original four-book series achieve huge commercial success, but also the film franchise that followed all but cemented Twilight’s place in pop culture. However, its widespread popularity also instigated…

Disney’s “Cruella” is a wicked cinematic experience

by Sanya Kher (’25) | October 11, 2021 The movie Cruella presents viewers with outstanding camerawork and brilliant character development. However, it is fast-paced and can be confusing at times. The New York Times described the film as “engag[ing] [to] the eye,” and “fresher than most recent Disney live-action[s],” but also complains that it “doesn’t…

MTV VMAs 2021 Recap

by Mae Mansour (’24) | October 11, 2021 With musical artists and celebrities able to return to the stage live and in person, this year’s MTV Video Music Awards was a hit. The show was much more interactive as compared to the pre-recorded, crowdless 2020 MTV VMAs. The event, hosted by artist and nominee Doja…

Cinematic Chat: Black Widow and feminism

By Elsa Ying (’23) | October 11, 2021 Black Widow (2021) is only the second female-led movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after Captain Marvel’s release in 2019. Despite the fact that its heroine, Natasha Romanoff, was established as early as the second movie of the twenty-four film franchise, it wasn’t until over a decade…

culture.png: the different expressions of fashion

by Pujita Tangirala (’22) | October 11, 2021 Welcome to Culture.png— a column where I will break down various topics in pop culture and their relevance to society today. A particular topic I have been lately fascinated by is modern fashion: my favorite designers are currently Ava Nirui (Heaven by Marc Jacobs), Dingyun Zhang (Yeezy),…

The obsession with 17

by Anika Jain (’22) | October 11, 2021 “And I’m so sick of 17 / Where’s my f****** teenage dream?” These acerbic lyrics from the opening track of Olivia Rodrigo’s record-breaking, debut album SOUR have been on repeat for many teenagers this year. While Rodrigo’s song “brutal” was a fresh listening experience, her lyrics touch…

The success of Outer Banks second season

By Hailey Harris (’24) | October 11, 2021 The Kooks and Pogues are back! Season one of Outer Banks first aired in April 2020 during the beginning of quarantine. The Netflix Original series follows the lives of five teenagers—John B., Pope, Sarah, Kiara, and JJ—as they look for $400 million worth of gold in North…

The story behind Taylor Swift’s re-records

By Hailey Harris (’24) | May 10, 2021 In the past month, you may have heard about Taylor Swift’s new, or not-so-new, album. Swift’s decision to re-record her sophomore album Fearless nearly 13 years later is one that comes with a long back story and a lot of courage.  n 2005, a year before her…

“Thunder Force”: an underwhelming viewing experience

By Ridhima Vakkalagadda (’24) | May 10, 2021 We all know superheroes, right? They are the amazing fictional characters who spend their days saving the world and stopping the bad guys; however, what do they look like? Are they the ones in the fancy costumes with the incredible looks and values, or are superheroes different…

Entering the fold: Netflix’s successful adaptation of “Shadow and Bone”

By Elsa Ying (’23) | May 10, 2021 Within the past decades, the young adult genre has grown exponentially to establish itself as one of the biggest markets for books. With an average of thirty thousand books published each year, mostly centering teen stories, a few series and their authors have risen to be considered…

Low-key Likes: unwinding indie

By Louis Chavey (’22) | May 10, 2021 Welcome to the last issue of this year’s Low-Key Likes, a digestible music column featuring a relatively unknown song, artist, and album along with some needed context, a short description, and lastly, what makes them each worth a listen, respectively. Summer is almost here, and while some…

Is the wait for Outer Banks Season 2 finally over?

by Emily Williams (’22) | March 29, 2021 The name Outer Banks has become commonplace on the tongues of so many teens across the country. The drama/mystery ten-episode series came to Netflix at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020, and it blew up immediately. Teens fell in love with the likes of John…

DeLuca’s tragic but meaningful departure in “Grey’s Anatomy”

by Hannah Valencia (’22) | March 29, 2021 As news of the Coronavirus outbreak surged, so too did my TV consumption. In fact, a coveted list rests in the Notes app on my phone, housing the titles of the 45 shows I’ve finished whilst in quarantine. I pride myself in the list’s variety; shows range…

Recapping the 2021 Grammys

by Anoushka Roshan (’24) | March 29, 2021 In case you missed it, the 63rd annual Grammys award ceremony was held last Sunday. While it was one of the lowest-rated Grammys in history and was surrounded by a lot of controversy, such as the snub of The Weeknd’s nomination for Song of the Year for…

“Bright Star” is a bright success: Saint Francis’s 2021 student-run musical

by Sophia Tran (’24) | March 29, 2021 From Thursday, March 18, to Sunday, March 21, Saint Francis’s annual student-run musical hit the stage with a new COVID-safe format, showcasing the sweet, bluegrass-style musical Bright Star. Yet the transition to a virtual performance did not inhibit students from organizing a stunning show. From its swinging…

WandaVision: a unique exploration of grief during a time of loss

by Arhana Aatresh (’23)| March 29, 2021 For over a year, many people have been sequestered in their homes, besieged by grim headlines and death tolls, with little respite. Thankfully, media in forms ranging from movies and television shows to books and podcasts have provided an outlet for many. WandaVision, Marvel Studios’ first release since…

There is much more to “Ginny and Georgia” that meets the eye

by Hailey Harris (’24) | March 29, 2021 Like most of us, I have been desperate for new content to binge-watch. When I saw Netflix’s Ginny and Georgia trending #1 in the U.S., I decided to give it a try. Immediately, I was shocked to find out that there was much more to the show…

Netflix’s “Yes Day” is perfect for family movie night

by Ridhima Vakkalagadda (‘24) | March 29, 2021 The one word “no” is what most parents tell their children all the time. Most people are very familiar with this word, and they usually despise it until they become parents and start the whole idea of “no!” again. This idea of “no!” is what starts Yes…

Low-key Likes: revitalizing R&B

by Louis Chavey (’22) | March 29, 2021 Welcome back to Low-Key Likes, a digestible music column featuring a relatively unknown song, artist, and album along with some needed context, a short description, and lastly, what makes them each worth a listen, respectively. With spring just beginning, we will look at some mellow R&B songs…

The show must go on: behind the scenes on “Bright Star”

by Seamus Mohan (’22) | March 29, 2021 Last March, thousands of student actors, stage technicians, and directors collectively mourned the loss of the plays they had worked so hard on, now canceled due to the new COVID-19 pandemic. Across the nation, actors posted memories of their productions online and sang songs they would never…

Is “One of Us is Lying” worth the read?

By Ava Davis (‘23) and Anna Morokutti (‘23) | March 1, 2021 What happens when life-altering secrets don’t stay secret for long? In the popular young adult fiction book, One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus, readers find out. After five high school students find themselves in detention together, their lives take a turn:…

Rappers on the rise: Trevor Daniel, Lxst, and Guwop Reign

By Will Li (’23) | March 1, 2021 The rap scene has certainly changed over the past few years with the rise and fall of “Lil” rappers, the surge of emo rap, and the creation of a “TikTok rap” genre. While newer artists like DaBaby and Jack Harlow have added variety to the rap scene,…

Low-key Likes: trap gems

By Louis Chavey (’22) | March 1, 2020 Welcome back to the first Low-Key Likes column of 2021, where I recommend a relatively unknown song, artist, and album under a unifying theme or genre. I will provide some needed context, a short description, and lastly, what makes them each worth a listen. In this issue,…

“Drivers License”: a chart-breaking anomaly

By Anoushka Roshan (’24) | March 1, 2021 If you are even remotely interested in pop culture or music, you have probably heard the song “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo. Released in January 2021, Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single, “Drivers License,” quickly hit number one within a week of its release and broke several records. Rodrigo…

“Enola Holmes”: an unrealistic and underwhelming viewing experience

by Anoushka Roshan (24)| November 16, 2020 Art by Allyson Wang (’23) Last month, Netflix released the much anticipated movie Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown, who many of us know from Stranger Things, and Louis Partridge, who is touted to be the “new Timothée Chalamet.” The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Henry Cavill,…

Low-Key Likes: indie potpourri

By Louis Chavey (’22) | November 16, 2020 Welcome back to Low-Key Likes, a digestible music recommendation column featuring a relatively unknown song, artist, and album under a unifying theme or genre. I will provide some needed context, a short description, and lastly, what makes each of them worth a listen. This week is a…

Sam Smith’s “Love Goes”: a canvas of experimentation

By Nikita Senthil (’23) | November 16, 2020 Entertainment industries were among those heavily impacted by the pandemic, some initially booming, such as streaming services, while others halted abruptly. Recording artists saw tours cancelled, and those who were lucky enough to have a finished album on the way found themselves postponing release dates for fear…

A24’s overnight success: how Generation Z revitalized cinema

By Matthew Tran (’23) | November 16, 2020 “There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture.” During the 89th Academy Awards, stunned cinephiles reacted in dismay to the eventful Best Picture winner confusion: the unorthodox, independent drama Moonlight became the true winner of Best Picture, beating that night’s heavily favored La La Land. Moonlight…

A deep dive into Ariana Grande’s new album

by Hailey Harris (’24) | November 16, 2020 One of the world’s most renowned singers, Ariana Grande, just dropped her new album Positions. Although she released several singles over the summer, it has been 21 months since her last album. Let’s take a look at her newest 14 songs from the album: Her first song,…

Curtains!: behind the scenes with the cast of “Mamma Mia!”

by Arianne Nguyen | April 6, 2020 Every year, the Saint Francis drama program puts on a blowout acting, dancing, and musical extravaganza. “We work six months of rehearsal to put on an hour and a half show,” Patrick Gammon (’20) said of the spring musical. “And we do it for six shows. And all…

Low-key Likes: R&B recommendations

by Louis Chavey | October 5, 2020 Welcome to Low-Key Likes, a digestible music recommendation column that features one song, artist, and album that are relatively unknown and fall under a unifying theme or genre. For each of these, I will give some background information, a brief description, and lastly, provide reasoning for why they…

Love them or hate them: acknowledging the end of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”

by Hailey Harris | October 5, 2020 Drama, intrigue, and Hollywood’s “It Girls.” Keeping Up with the Kardashians (KUWTK) has aired since 2007, essentially the entire lives of the Class of 2024. Over the course of 14 years and 20 seasons, viewers have seen each and every detail of Kourtney’s, Kim’s, Khloé’s, Kendall’s, Kylie’s, and…

The good, the bad, and the ugly: “The Kissing Booth”

by Sama Karim | October 5, 2020 Before its long-awaited sequel was released this summer, this summer fling Netflix rom-com was a literal teenage sensation in 2018 because of the drama, the romantic relationships, and heartbreaks, the movie raked in millions of views across the country. If you guessed The Kissing Booth series, you are…

The best albums of 2020

by Camden Westendorf | October 5, 2020 For many people around the world, this year has been a year full of sadness and distance, both physical and emotional. I have found that I have had to replace sources of happiness I normally depend on heavily, like seeing friends and playing sports. At first, I tried…