Film Review: Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe

Phineas and Ferb were one of the biggest childhood shows of this generation, and the attention that this movie received is no doubt due to the many nostalgic memories many people had. The show sheds light on Candace, one of the main characters and older sister of the two brothers who create all the inventions. I would recommend and rate this movie fairly well as it provides a new view on a childhood favorite.

The movie overall was good and had many standout aspects. What story and character
development lacked, the soundtrack and environment did more than made up for it. The soundtrack especially was outstanding given what the show is meant to portray, and the songs fit the situation and character interactions perfectly. The movie also has the same witty humor that the show had when it aired, with minor interactions between characters livening up the movie and creating a fun atmosphere. The story was not necessarily deep, but it allowed the characters themselves to shine rather than detracting too much of the viewer’s attention while still being relevant to the development of the main characters. One minor issue I had with the movie is that many side characters were just there to be in the show, rather than having some sort of impact. They felt more like afterthoughts rather than side characters that were important in one of our favorite childhood shows.

Overall, I would still say this movie is one of the most entertaining animated movies to have
come out recently and is worth watching for not only the nostalgia but a great time overall as there are many comedic and wholesome moments throughout the movie that remind us why this franchise is one of our childhood favorites.

-Benjamin L.

My Favorite Episodes from The Office

The Office is one of those shows that will never die off. After being aired over 15 years ago in 2005, it is still one of the most talked-about shows. Making people wonder, what makes this show based on a boring topic so addicting. Some of these episodes are worth watching over and over for the rest of my life. Each one consists of different hilarious jokes and drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat laughing. Here is a quick rundown of my favorite episodes in the series.

To start off is probably my all-time favorite episode, “The Injury”(s. 2 e.12). It begins with a screaming Micheal on the phone. He tries to explain how he needs someone to get him to bring him into to work because he is too hurt. At first, everyone is actually worried that something had happened to him. But later on, they find out he had burned his foot. The funny part is how he had burned it. He tells the story of his love to wake up in the morning and listen to crackling bacon. Of course, he has no butler, so he explains that he leaves bacon on the grill next to his bed at night, then wakes up to plug it in and goes back to sleep. But this time he steps on this George Foreman Grill as he wakes up. Dwight is Micheal’s biggest fan, so he is very worried and rushes off to get him and crashes into a pole, but he still keeps on driving. As Micheal acts as Micheal he gets very angry that no one is treating him special, so he calls in a favor. The building owner happened to be in a wheelchair, so Micheal called him to talk to the workers about being disabled but remember Micheal had only burned his foot. After being harassed by Micheal an unexpected twist happens. Dwight ended up having concussion after crashing so he is urgently taken to the hospital. The episode ending scene is a funny moment when Micheal, who is his emergency contact goes with him and tries to stick his foot in the CT scan while Dwight is in there.

Another one of my favorites is ” The Merger”(s.3 e.8). This episode is kinda a clash of two worlds. We see the Scranton branch absorbing the Stamford branch which includes an old friend, Jim who had moved away because Pam had turned him down in the previous season. Micheal tries to impress all the new employees but fails except for one due to his different type of management. The one is Andy Bernard, who tries to be the biggest Suck up to Micheal. This in return gets Dwight real mad because he sees it as Micheal replacing him. During this episode, we see the reunion of Pam and Jim. There is so much excitement that they will finally be together. But there is a new problem, Karen Filippelli, a new love interest for Jim. Micheal uses the whole episode trying the unify the two branches but they don’t seem to click. He begins receiving major lash back for his management style and one new employee ends up quitting. In the end, this episode has ups and downs full of drama that kept everyone wondering what would happen next.

Next up is an amazing, but heartbreaking episode, “Goodbye Micheal” (s.7 e.22). Like TV shows, when they say the main character is leaving, they will most likely end up staying in the end. The first time I watched it I did not think Micheal, the star of the show, would actually leave. But he did, and I ended the episode in tears. It begins the introduction to Micheal’s replacement being shown around, but everyone knows, Micheal Scott can never truly be replaced. He spends the day trying to get a special moment with all of his workers and how are now his best friends. As time runs out we see a new side of Micheal, a soft loving friend. My favorite part of this episode, and my favorite scene in the show, is the goodbye between Micheal and Jim. Jim discovers Micheal is really leaving a day before he said he was and goes to talk to him. They have a heartfelt conversation where Micheal was in tears the whole time. He says they must save the goodbyes for tomorrow and be happy today. Another just well put together scene is the goodbye between Micheal and Dwight. The best friends sit together as Micheal hands Dwight a letter of recommendation that is the sweetest words ever spoken. On the edge of our seats, we see Micheal leave for the airport without a goodbye from Pam. But the very last scene we see with Micheal Scott is Pam running to him in her bare shoes in the airport giving him the biggest hug.

While we see how truly hilarious scenes in the show are, it is much more than that. We see real friendships developed and goodbyes that make your heart sink. I loved the contrast between funny and sad. Showing that one show can have many sides, not just one. The writers did an absolutely amazing on in taking an ordinary job and showing the beauty in it.

-Lilly G.

Christmas Movies!

Home Alone (1990) - IMDb

During the winter season, there are a plethora of different Christmas movies to choose from. Once I sit down to watch Christmas movies with my family or friends the hardest part is choosing which one to watch. There are varieties of different Christmas that appeal to different people. I will be breaking down my favorite Christmas movie of all time.

My personal favorite Christmas movie of all time has to be Home Alone. I have watched it over and over again since I was a kid. Starring Kevin McCallister played by Macaulay Culkin this movie is a comedy that will never grow old. Beginning with young Kevin who got in trouble and was sent to sleep in his family’s attic.

The following day Kevin’s family was going on their holiday trip, but they forget Kevin at home. Kevin thought his wish to have no family, since they were mean to him, had come true. Living up his solo life until 2 thugs come to try and rob the McCallister’s house. Kevin then sets up bobby traps and tricks to try and protect his house from the robbers. Kevin successfully fights them off multiple times, but the robber’s Harry and Marv will not quit. After many battle rounds Kevin was finally able to fight the burglars off permanently. Later on, Kevin befriends an elderly man, who was known to be a criminal, but finds out he is just a man who lost his connection to his son and feels lonely. After Kevin encourages him to make up with his son, he realizes that family is important along with the impact children have on their parents. During all these events Kevin’s mother was finding the fastest way home from Paris to make sure Kevin was safe at home. Once his whole family returns they get to spend the Christmas holiday together and realize the importance of family.

Though it may be a little cheesy, this movie remains one of the best Christmas movies. Not only is it a classic, but it is also a rollercoaster ride. The character development from a bratty kid to one that is able to spread joy and love. The action scenes are also a great laugh. We get to see a little boy beating up two full-grown men with his mischievous little tricks up his sleeve.

-Lilly G.

Home Alone is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

TV Show Review: The Office

Starring Steve Carell, John Krasinski, and Rainn Wilson, The Office is about a group of staff members who work for a Dunder Mifflin Paper Company branch in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The group is followed around by a documentary crew that is filming them for a PBS special. This series is an adaptation of the show The Office from BBC.

Throughout the show, you will witness the love drama of Jim and Pam, pranks made by Jim and Michael, as well as funny office gossip. Steve Carell plays Michael Scott, the obnoxious boss who rose to the level of incompetence. Michael Scott frustrates anyone he comes in contact with, even his boss Jan Levinson. Meanwhile, Jim (played by John Krasinski) and Dwight (played by Rainn Wilson) have an ongoing battle. Jim is always playing pranks on Dwight, trying to disturb and anger him. You have most likely seen scenes of these famous pranks on social media. Dwight, throughout the whole series, tries to land a Branch Manager job, but Michael demotes him to “Assistant to the regional manager” instead of “Assistant regional manager.” The entire staff makes fun of him for this and brings it up any time they can.

Like in any typical American Office, there is a sales team, which includes Jim and Dwight, an accountant team, who includes Angela, Oscar, and Kevin as well as human resources and costumer service with Toby and Kelley. Later on in the show we meet some new characters like Andy Bernard aka the Nard Dog (played by Ed Helms) and Karen Filippelli (played by Rashida Jones).

I have watched this series many times before and I laugh each time I watch. Especially in these times of uncertainty, people need light, funny shows to keep them sane and have a good laugh, and The Office is no doubt one of those shows. I recommend to watch this show soon because they are taking it off of Netflix on January 1st 2021. However there is talk that The Office might movie to the streaming service Peacock. If you don’t have either of those streaming networks, the series is always playing on comedy central.

-Giovanna S.

TV Show Review: Seinfeld

I’ve only seen the first two seasons of Seinfeld so far, but I’m greatly enjoying the show.

Jerry Seinfeld, the main character, is a stand-up comedian who lives in New York. Many of his performances are inspired by events or people in the show, and we get to see these performances at the beginning, middle, and end of each episode. The three other main characters are George, Elaine, and Kramer, who lives in the same apartment complex as Jerry and frequently pays him visits. Jerry and his friends are always making comments about the strange habits of humans no one else seems to address.

Since the show takes place in ’90s New York, it’s interesting to see the difference in style in terms of hair, technology, clothing, and more.

What I like about the show is that it’s very light-hearted and entertaining. There’s no real plot to the series, but that’s what makes it fun. For instance, the entirety of one episode takes place in a restaurant. However, it’s far from boring. The characters and the jokes keep the audience interested and amused.

Though the show might seem similar to Friends since both shows include single characters living in New York, the differences in characters, story, and humor set them apart from each other. Unlike Seinfeld, Friends has a more complex plot and I think the characters have more complicated relationships with each other (although, as I’ve only seen the first two seasons of Seinfeld, this might change). However, I still enjoy both shows!

I would suggest the show to fans of Friends and The Office, or anyone looking for a TV series that is light-hearted and comforting.

– Mia T.

Running for Governor by Mark Twain

Running for Governor: Twain, Mark: 9781523289370: Amazon.com: Books

“Running for Governor” is a unique artistic work, a special genre between satire and short story. While a novel should be about character and plot, “Running for Governor” doesn’t focus on character or plot, but describes a bunch of cleverly arranged news stories and interspersed commentary. In that sense, it’s like a funny story, or a satirical essay. However, it is different from the general satirical sketch, because although it does not focus on depicting the character, it cannot be said that it does not show the character at all. It runs through the process of the emotional change and awakening of a character “I”.

Aesthetically, humor and satire belong to comedy. When something that is intrinsically ugly takes the form of something that is good and just; or, on the other hand, when something essentially good is expressed in some harmless form which is not in harmony with its essence, it tends to have a comedic effect — the former may be satirical and ridiculous, the latter humorous and ridiculous. “Running for Governor” is based on this contradictory principle of content and form, and adopts hyperbole to create a comic effect.

As a master of critical realism, the artistic feature of Mark Twain’s writing is based on his profound insight into the various social conditions and human affairs of capitalism. The sharp point of criticism directly points to the hypocrisy and ugly soul of capitalism. The irony in language is the most outstanding feature of “Running for Governor”. As for the use of language, Mark Twain is not impatient, but slowly, through vivid and delicate brushwork to show the subtle changes and contrasts in the text incisively and vividly.

-Coreen C.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Image result for the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy starts off on a normal Thursday – until, of course, a repulsive alien race arrives with the intention of destroying the entire Earth in order to construct a new galactic bypass.

Seconds before Arthur Dent is vaporized along with the entirety of his planet, he is lucky (or unlucky) enough to be saved by his friend Ford Prefect, who is actually a researcher for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which is exactly what it sounds like), and who has been stranded on Earth for the past fifteen years.

As Arthur and Ford travel throughout the galaxy, they team up with Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed, slightly insane president of the galaxy; Trillian (Zaphod’s girlfriend), the only other human being left in the galaxy; and Marvin the Paranoid Android, an extremely intelligent but extremely depressed robot.

Together, this unorthodox crew will travel across the galaxy in search of the universal question of life as well as the answer to the question no one cares about. They will face indescribable horrors in the form of Vogon poetry and two white mice; they will almost die, then improbably survive, then almost die again; but above all, they will remember the mantra of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: DON’T PANIC!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is an extremely entertaining novel that truly combines humor and science-fiction into one unforgettable book. Adams makes up for a lack of plot with an overabundance of satire and hilarity that will leave the reader racing from cover to cover faster than they can say ‘Magrathea.’ Fans of science fiction, humor, or reading in general will immediately fall in love with this prime example of imaginative fiction.  

-Mahak M.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is available for checkout at the Mission Viejo Library. It is also free to download from Overdrive

TV Review: Fresh Off the Boat

Fresh Off The Boat is by far my favorite television show to watch. It is so funny and at least for me, very relatable. It also stars Constance Wu who is one of my favorite actresses. Every episode of this show is always something new but yet extremely funny and relatable in a new way. It is also a very family friendly tv show, unlike many recent shows so, it is something that everybody can watch and enjoy.

This show is about a Chinese family who moves from Washington D.C’s Chinatown to Orlando where, they know nothing about the culture. The mother in the show, Jessica Huang, is like your typical Asian mother and as the show progresses, you get to see how she immerses herself in this new culture. The sons Eddie, Emery, and Evan all have extremely different personalities and each act like the different types of kids that you see growing up.

There are five seasons of this show, but as it has gone on, it feels like it has lost some of the Asian culture that made it so enjoyable in the first place. It is still a really good show but, the first season is by far the best with each subsequent season seeming to progressive farther and farther away from the representation of Asian culture that was the basis of the show when it first started. Though, after having watched the new episodes that are coming out in season five, it seems that the show is starting to go back in the direction of Asian culture that made it so relatable in the first place.

The best part of this entire show, is the grandmother, who only speaks Chinese but yet is the funniest character in the show. She is just so unlike any other character I have ever seen represented in media. She is so superstitious while extremely American at the same time which makes her my favorite character.

Overall, this show is great and is perfect for families to watch. I love it, and would recommend anybody who just wants to watch something comedic to watch it.

-Ava G.

School of Rock Movie vs. Musical

Both the movie and play School of Rock is about a guitarist Dewey Finn who has been living off of his friend Ned who is a substitute teacher. Ned’s girlfriend gets annoyed that Dewey keeps living off of them and tells him that he has to pay rent or get kicked out. So he poses as Ned to become a substitute teacher at Horace Green, an expensive well known school. Instead of teaching his class normal things, he teaches them about rock and roll, turning them into a rock band to preform at the battle of the bands which Dewey hopes will earn him some money and be his breakthrough.

Both the movie and the musical were very good and where very similar. The movie, which was the original had a couple classic rock songs in it, which I really enjoyed. I actually enjoyed the movie even though I normally don’t like children’s movies. It was different then everything else I had recently seen. It was really nice seeing something that was different then every generic movie that has been coming out. So, even though it is 15 years old it is still a great family friendly movie.

I saw the musical first and when I saw the movie pretty much the same story line, which I liked. Because, it meant that the musical adaption of the movie didn’t take to many liberties and didn’t completely change the meaning of the story. Though, the musical did have some differences, it was obvious that it was purely just to make it work as a musical adaption. They had also added some modern day jokes and themes into the musical which kept it interesting. It was also nice that they had kept some of the original songs from the movie as well as adding some originals. They also had all the kids playing their instruments live which was cool to see.

Overall, I really enjoyed both the movie and the musical. Though the entire story is a bit childish and dumb. It was different and I liked that. I would totally suggest seeing the movie and the musical if you have a chance. I found it as something that was just kind of fun to see.

-Ava G.

Film Review: Sierra Burgess is a Loser

This teen rom-com movie was released on Friday, September 7, 2018. This movie can literally make you die from laughter one minute and cry in another. A basic rundown is that there is this girl named Sierra Burgess, played by Shannon Purser. She is an insecure yet empowering young women. One day she gets a text from a random number which she soon finds out that it’s from the most popular guy of her rival school, Jamey (played by the one and only Noah Centineo).

Sierra ends up catfishing Jamey and doesn’t tell him who she really is. This leads her down a long path of having to tutor the most popular girl in her school Veronica who also low-key bullies her in the beginning, lying to Jamey, her best friend Dan, but most importantly, herself.

The next part is sort of a spoiler so don’t read this next part: Jamey ends up finding out that Sierra was the one who was catfishing him and is so shocked that he demands that both Sierra AND Veronica stay away from him. In this process, Sierra also loses her best friend Dan (who is one of THE best characters in the movie.)

Sierra ends up making a song for Veronica called “Sunflower” which is basically an apology to Veronica for embarrassing Veronica in front of the whole school.

Overall this movie is super entertaining and has great messages behind it. I totally recommend this movie. It’s out now on Netflix.

-Phoebe L.