Avengers 4: Endgame Trailer

Recently, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were hit by two trailers for upcoming films within the same month. Disney’s Marvel released the trailers for their upcoming films Captain Marvel (2019) and Avengers 4: Endgame (2019). Endgame, being the final addition to the multi-million dollar project that is Marvel’s The Avengers, is the slightly more anticipated film.

The first trailer for Avengers: Endgame was released on December 7, 2018, and as of today (December 25, 2018) has acquired 75,832,393 views on YouTube alone. The first frame is the iconic helmet donned by Iron Man, which would have a happy and excited connotation if it were not for the condition of the helmet. As Tony Stark reaches out to the disembodied helmet of his prized Mark 50, the viewer notices that both the piece of technology and Stark himself appear battered and bruised.

Stark begins recording a message for his girlfriend, Pepper Potts, who also runs Stark Industries. He asks tells her not to feel guilty about his impending death: Tony is stuck in the Benetar, the ship used by the Guardians of the Galaxy in Infinity War. Stark explains that he ran out of food and water four days ago and that oxygen will run out in a day. He gives a heartfelt message to his love back on Earth, telling Pepper that he will dream of her as he drifts off. As he ends the recording, the frame transitions into the classic logo for Marvel Studios, but with a gut-wrenching twist: it fades into dust, imitating the results of Thanos’ snap.

The scene transitions to the suit worn by Thanos in Infinity War. Thanos appears in the frame, but only partially: the viewer can observe his right hand, with the gauntlet melted to it due to the raw power released by his snap, brushing against the plant life on Titan 2, which is where Thanos retired to after the battle. The frame cuts to the Avengers headquarters in upstate New York, inside of which are Natasha Romanov and Steve Rogers, the latter with tears running down his face. As Natasha does a voice-over explaining that Thanos achieved his goal of wiping out half the universe, the viewer can see Bruce Banner scrolling through pictures of the heroes who are missing, including Scott Lang, Princess Shuri of Wakanda, and Peter Parker.

The frame cuts to another shot of the Avengers compound, then to broken-looking Thor. As Steve Rogers does a voice-over explaining what everyone has lost due to Thanos’ malevolent mission, the video exhibits Nebula running a comforting hand over Tony Stark’s shoulder. The trailer cuts to Clint Barton; however, he’s in Japan, wearing a leather suit, with a katana, which shocks Natasha as she watches him pull off his mask.

The trailer cuts swiftly to Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanov once more, but this time they’re in an airplane; Steve is back in his old suit, and his rugged beard is gone as he opens his old compass with a picture of Peggy Carter inside. Natasha assures Steve that their mysterious plan will work, and he agrees. The frame cuts to the iconic Avengers logo in purple hues, with the word “Endgame” under it. The logo is made up of the metaphorical rubble left behind by Infinity War.

All of a sudden, the screen goes black, and Scott Lang’s voice can be heard, asking is anyone is home. The footage that matches it appears, and Scott Lang seems to be asking someone to let him in as Steve Rogers comes into the frame and asks if the footage is recent. Natasha Romanov appears beside him, saying quietly that this footage appears to be from the front door of the compound. The image of the Black Widow’s face fades out as the screen goes black except for one word: April, which is when the highly anticipated movie will be released.

-Arushi S. 

Film Review: Aquaman

This past week, my family and I went to go see the new movie Aquaman. For me, I personally enjoy Marvel movies better than DC movies (in my own opinion, not everyone has to agree). However, this movie was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Jason Momoa, the person who plays Aquaman played the part perfectly.

The movie starts off with Arthur Curry/Aquaman’s parents and how they met. His father, Thomas Curry, was human while his mother, Atlanna, is Atlantean making Arthur half-Atlantean. Because he is only half, the people of Atlantis reject him and call him the “bastards son”. From a young age, Arthur is trained by Nuidis Vulko, Atlanna’s loyal advisor so that one day, he might have a chance at ruling Atlantis.

Throughout the movie, Arthur’s skills are continuously tested as he faces things from spiteful half-brothers to revenge-filled humans to creepy creatures under the sea. However, he is not alone. Alongside him is Mera, daughter of King Nereus of Xebel, played by Amber Heard.

I am not going to spoil the movie so you’ll have to watch the movie to find out what happens next.

The plot of the movie is great, however it lacks comedic relief in my opinion. Despite this, everyone portrays their characters well and there is not any awkward or unnatural acting anywhere which is a plus!

I recommend this movie and is great to watch as a family.

-Phoebe L.

Dragon Bones by Lisa McMann

The last book I finished before my winter break was Dragon Bones, part of the The Unwanteds Quest Series written by Lisa McMann. The story follows two young twins, Thisbe and Fifer. Thisbe has been captured by the evil Reviner and must be rescued. The story follows both girls, switching perspectives and showing the reader the struggles of both girls.

The climax of the story is when Fifer gathers a group of her friends, who try to find and rescue Thisbe. Everything is going as planned until the gang encounters the Reviner. Alex, Fifer’s brother and lead wizard, starts to fight the Reviner but is quickly overrun. Eventually, Alex is killed and because he is the lead wizard, once he is gone, all of the magic the group used no longer works. Without their magic, Fifer’s group loses all their fighting ability. They quickly lose their confidence and are forced to retreat, leaving Thisbe behind. Little do they know, Thisbe and a friend of hers that she met while captive, had already escaped and are trying to survive until help arrives.

Overall, I thought this book was very well written. I like how the author switched perspectives between the two twins, so you could see what was going on in each of their lives. The ending was cliche and expected, but that was the only problem I had with the book. I would rate this book a strong eight out of ten and would recommend the story to middle schoolers.

-Daniel C.

Dragon Bones and the rest of the Unwateds Quests series is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall is one I have been reading for years and have yet to tire of. The series is about four sisters named Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty. Shortly after Batty, the youngest, was born, their mother passed away, leaving their father to care for them. Mr. Penderwick is a botanist who throws out Latin phrases along with advice to his daughters. He can be quite lenient and unsure of his judgement, but he has his daughters’ respect and love. 

I love how each of the sisters is so unique and wonderful in their own way, and how Jeanne Birdsall writes from their perspectives is amazing. The sisters have such contrasting qualities, but these qualities compliment each other. Their father raises them with solid values, and though they make some mistakes, they are incredibly down-to-earth characters who find ways to solve any issues they have.

One aspect I find entertaining about their relationships with each other is the meetings they have, which are called “MOPS”, or Meeting of Penderwick Sisters. The sisters discuss problems they’ve noticed with their family or friends, and how they may be able to solve them. Despite their separate personalities and occasional arguments, the sisters are still so close and supportive of each other.

Rosalind is kind and compassionate, and is a wonderful older sister for her siblings. She is especially fond of her sister Batty, who is very attached to her. Her maturity and leadership results in her sisters looking up to her, even when she questions her own abilities.

Skye is adventurous and impatient with frivolity. Her relationship with Batty is entertaining to read about; Skye is uncertain with how to act with her younger sister while maintaining a tough exterior. 

Jane is a writer, with her mind constantly wandering, even during conversations (which tends to irritate Skye). On the Penderwicks’ trips throughout the series, Jane consistently manages to haul a stack of books with her. 

Batty is curious and shy, and she loves animals. Her sisters are protective of her, even if some of them pretend they aren’t. 

As the series progresses, the sisters grow older, and their changes in character are interesting to see. Though the plots of these books don’t revolve around a real villain or conflict, the stories are still so exciting, engaging, funny, and heartwarming. This really is a wonderful series, and the audiobooks read by Susan Denaker are amazing as well!

– Mia T.

The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Book vs Movie: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. It’s a good book that bring to light bullying in middle school. Wonder is about a boy named Auggie Pullman. He’s been homeschooled all his life, and now his mother has decided to put him into public middle school. Of course, we know that middle school can be cruel. For Auggie, it’s a bit more than normal bullying.

Auggie was born with a facial deformity. Throughout his life, he struggled to accept this, often wearing an astronaut helmet when he went out in public. As expected, Auggie is bullied in his new school. He has one good friend who tends to stick by him. Just like in real life, and perhaps more for Auggie, he goes through ups and downs with his family and friends.

The book is very good, and shows how a family must always be there for each other. Auggie’s family is there for him throughout the book. It also shows that friends can be there to help too.

Now, the movie. I actually did not like the movie, I’m sad to say. Though I loved the book, I felt like Auggie was a jerk to his family, especially his mom. His mom is always so supportive of him and just wants the best for him. I just felt like Auggie acted like a brat who thought he could get whatever he wanted. This makes me sad, because Auggie is not like that in the book (in my opinion).

My interpretation of book Auggie was that, yes, he had his difficulties in school. And sure, he might of argued with his mom. But I think that it was the heat of the moment, and he always apologized in the end.

With movie Auggie, I felt like he yelled and screamed at his mom when he didn’t get his way. Then, he would run to his room and slam the door. When his mom came to comfort him, he would yell at her more, even though she was trying to make him feel better. And when he apologized, it sounded insincere.

In summary, I enjoyed the book, but thought that the movie was not enjoyable.

-Sophia D.

Wonder, both the book and film, by R. J. Palacio is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. 

Minecraft Guide to the Nether and the End by Mojang

Any real Minecraft fan should have this book. The Minecraft Guide to the Nether and the End is the ultimate survival guide that you should be sure to pack before stepping through that portal.

The book is full of juicy facts and tips that will increase your chances of surviving in these two perilous dimensions. It includes all of the Nether and End mobs, the blocks you find in the two dimensions and their uses, and much, much more! Want to learn how make a Nether portal? You’ll find it in here! How to locate a stronghold? You will find that on page 52 and 53!

I am definitely a fan of Minecraft and I have read this book multiple times! If you liked this book, make sure to check out other Minecraft survival guides, such as the Guide To Creative PVP Minigames, and the Guide To Farming. I am not sure if this book is available at the library, but you can get your own copy at the nearest Barn’s and Noble. Good luck bold adventurers, clever crafters, and worldly wanderers! Stay safe out there and don’t die!

-Brandon D.

Silent

The silence woke her. It was all wrong, it was too quiet. Yet, the radio played in the background and there were people dancing everywhere. However, it seemed as if her brain muted the sounds and they seem to dim and eventually disappear. She was a lonely flower in the cracked, dry earth, while others were bright, warm flowers in a meadow. They were everything that she was not, and they ridiculed her, laughed at her, pointed at her. She didn’t really care. At least, she thought they didn’t bother her anymore.

She wondered what silence sounded like, as it was what woke her. As hard as she tried, her memory seemed to be muffled and covered up. She couldn’t remember what really woke her. Was it really the silence? Or was it more? At first she thought silence must sound white, lifeless, and dreary. Then she walked up to the attic. In this dusty, light-filled room, silence became something entirely different. It was placid and almost warm. It was still and it was almost beautiful. Unlike downstairs, in this attic, she no longer felt beleaguered by the dancing people and the wild party. All of a sudden, she opened her eyes and felt the lurid scene unfold in front of her. She was immediately ill and she sprinted down, turned on the Christmas music, and attempted to calm her illness. This illness defined her unlike anything else, and she let it because she lacked the courage to overpower it. It was due to this illness that she always faints and she always questioned the sounds of existence. She thought that she was insane. She had no friends and her parents are constantly fretting over her. However, what she doesn’t see was that what she has is not a mental illness. It is her own personality dying to shine through the mask that she has covered it up with. Inside, she was beautiful.

-Angela L.