Fan Expectations for Predator (2018)

Recently I came upon a movie called Predator featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was about his crew of commandos going to South America and eliminating a threat. What they didn’t know was that the cause of the threat wasn’t human. Throughout the movie they were being hunted by the Predator, an alien from outer space who came to earth to hunt.

This was the major plot of the Predator movie which led to several other movies. I later found out that it was getting a reboot this year. The only thing on my mind is that the other Predator movies haven’t been successful as the first one. One other remake of a successful Sci-Fi movie is Alien. You might remember the movie Alien Covenant that came out last year. The movie turned out to be not that bad. I don’t see why Predator can turn out the same way as Covenant did. I think fans have a better view for this movie just like the first and most successful one.

The reason why the first movie turned out so good was because it was very straightforward. There were no love interests and not a lot of backstory. Fans wanted this out of Predator 2 but didn’t really get that same aspect as the first film.

I also think they should use a rural area for the setting in the new movie. The setting in the first Predator was a jungle in South America and the setting for Predator 2 was in Los Angeles. If you can see what i’m getting at right here it is that the good movie of the two had a rural area as the setting and the bad movie didn’t.

But maybe this movie doesn’t have to be Predator type like movie. It could also be a whole different kind of movie in the saga. Like a movie that actually talks about the Predator’s backstory. Like the movie Prometheus did for the Alien franchise. But seeing that the movie is named Predator it is most likely going to be a Predator based film. Which means it should be straight forward.

-Max U.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender Wiggen is just six years old when he is admitted to battle school. The school where young kids learn how to fight in ware, because one day the buggers (an insectoid alien race) might attack Earth.

Ender does extremely well at the school and moves through the ranks faster than anybody else. He’s even given command of his own army years younger than anyone. These armies are made up over other students, but they compete against each other in the game where they enter an anti-gravity chamber with suits and non-lethal guns. To win the game, you need five people to cross over the enemy’s gate. Ender’s army is extremely successful, and the commander in charge of the school push them more than they have pushed any other army. Until one day, Ender is sent to straight to command school, younger than anyone else ever has. He is pushed to his limits here. Not knowing what he is truly doing.

Personally, I loved this book. It was so different from anything else I have ever read, and as a big reader, I’ve read a lot of science fiction books. I would definatly suggest this book for anyone who wants a good science fiction book to read, one that doesn’t follow the same basic pattern of ever science fiction book that has ever been written.

-Ava G.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available for download from Overdrive. 

TV Review: Stranger Things Season 2

My father and I have always wanted to watch Stranger Things but we never had the time for it. When we finally had the time we watched the first season. Lucky for us at the time, the second season was at least one week away.

The second season was really cool. You could really see the character development in everyone. The thing I liked about this season was that it answered my questions that I had.

I like how Stranger Things uses a lot of Dungeon and Dragons references in the episodes. I just hope that the next villain for season 3 is another Dungeon and Dragons villain.

This season also continues with the adults in the show being completely oblivious. If you thought it was funny that Mikes dad had no idea what was happening last season, then you are in for a treat. Season two also introduced a character named Maxine who is actually a main character in the season. I feel like she is going to have a bigger role in season three.

My favorite character in the whole season was probably Dustin. He was very funny when they were in danger and always made a big commotion about everything. I hope that Dustin remains this way and never changes. I also liked how sometimes Hopper would just dive into the situation and not think of it first. It made it look like he was very committed to what he was doing. He didn’t care what the odds where he just wanted to discover what was going on.

Another thing I liked about season two was that the 1980s in Hawkins, Indiana were so real. I can say that for myself because my father lived in Indiana in the 80s. Another fun element they did again was hire actors from the 1980s. I hope they keep doing that in more seasons.

Another thing was that since Will was back he had a lot more screen time. The season also showed how Mike and Will are really good friend. They would go to the end of the earth for each other.

I would recommend Stranger Things season two for anyone who saw the first season and liked it.

-Max U.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Privacy? Or Security? Which would you prefer? Little Brother takes place a few years into the future, in a San Francisco that’s already well-monitored. After a terrorist attack, the surveillance tightens to catch the terrorists, but also monitors everyone else without their permission. The Department of Homeland Security has decided that the Bill of Rights can be ignored in the name of “freedom”—a freedom that allows the DHS to monitor everyone without their consent.

Marcus Yallow skips school with his friends, but then his world forever changes after the terrorist attack—and getting picked up by the DHS. He determines to take revenge on them, and in doing so, raises questions about rights: the right to privacy, the right to liberty, the right to justice, the right to stand up for ourselves. Marcus’s technological prowess is admirable, but perhaps isn’t completely surprising considering that almost everything is under surveillance. However, his abilities with technology allow him to do what he does, and he does it well, eventually bringing others—many others—into his fold.

Although I didn’t always agree with everything Marcus did (mostly regarding his personal life), the book was a really good discussion about freedom and privacy and the lengths the government and citizens can go to—from trusting the government unconditionally, to taking issue with it when they’re doing wrong.

-Aliya A.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow is available to download from Overdrive

Film Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a really great film, but as a classic Star Wars film it really didn’t strike me. That’s the problem with many fans. They are torn between whether they should like this movie or not, which is why I’m writing this review. After I saw the movie, I was a little confused. The whole point of the movie was about admitting your mistakes and finding yourself. They where the two big main ideas that made an impact on the story.

Other people were mad with the choices that director Rian Johnson made. Fans where stating that The Last Jedi didn’t live up to The Empire Strikes Back‘s name. Which they where right. It was a perfect film to have in the middle of a trilogy. Even more fans just wanted to see J J Abrams direct the movie. He was wonderful with The Force Awakens and I wouldn’t mind if he directed the next trilogy. If there are any J. J. fans out there don’t worry, he is directing the next movie.

Rian Johnson changed Luke’s character a little bit to be very funny on the big screen to balance his inner conflict. People were still having trouble understanding Luke’s character in the movie. Even Mark Hamill didn’t understand why Johnson put him in the position he made for the movie. Fans strongly disagreed with Luke in The Last Jedi. Ryan Johnson also made the planet that Luke was on with a lot of detail. For example in the background you could hear the Porgs do their little cry.

But hands down it was an excellent film. I just wonder what Rian will do with the next trilogy considering the events that close out the movie. This was the longest Star Wars movie we have gotten but if you’re patient and a huge fan of the franchise, then I recommend you see it.

-Max U.

Want by Cindy Pon

Vividly conjured from bestselling author Cindy Pon’s colorful imagination comes an alluringly dark society set in near-future Taipei, where sickness and pollution plague its inhabitants. A thriller spun into sci-fi, the book depicts a story about a group of teens who try their hand at changing their society for the better by toppling the empire of the rich minority.

With stunning prose dripping with imagery so powerful it induces incredibly lifelike images, Pon does a brilliant job highlighting the stark contrast between the privilege of the rich and the scraps the poor pick up behind them, illuminated by its futuristic setting. It’s a story about division, unity, and vigilante justice, highlighted with an ever-so-sweet touch of friendship and romance. The novel does a brilliant job of conveying a message that today in society we like to turn a blind eye to: the manipulating and unorthodox methods used in business to make money. Creating a problem to sell a solution. Eradicating those who try to stand in the way. It’s the harsh truth we always knew existed.

There are so many reasons this novel stands distinctly apart from others for me. For one, it hits close to home: the Taiwanese heritage runs in my veins as potently as it does in the novel, with its allusions to language and culture exposing the often overlooked traditions of the Taiwanese. And then, of course, the characters, so different from one another and yet sharing both a powerful bond and a common goal, become comrades on the way along the journey.

Finally, Zhou, the main character, has a voice that stays with you long after the turn of the last page. “I was going to become what I wanted to destroy,” he says bitterly, of trading his street-rat identity for esteemed upper-class socialite.

Ultimately, Want reflects, in its intrinsic essence, humanity’s inevitable tendency to divide itself, whether by wealth, race, gender, religion, sexuality, or pure hate. It’s a powerful message to recognize those who cannot speak for themselves because we do not listen.

Here’s to hoping that that message is amplified throughout the world, throughout time, and proclaimed as a lasting testament to human nature, so that we ourselves can be bettered.

-Esther H.

Want by Cindy Pon is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also free for download from Overdrive

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent was one of those books that everyone had read and I hadn’t and everyone loved when it came out. So I didn’t read it thinking that it was all talk and not a very good book. But, when I eventually got around to reading the book, I was pleasantly surprised.

This book is based in the future, in the city of Chicago.  It is divided up into five factions, the Abnegation who believe in selflessness, the Dauntless who believe in bravery, the Candor who believe in the truth, Erudite who believe in intelligence, and Amity who believe in peace.

Beatrice Prior, a 16-year-old that grew up in Abnegation transferred to Dauntless on the day of her choosing ceremony carrying a very dangerous secret. She is one of the divergent, she had an aptitude for more than one faction, something many of the factions leaders consider very dangerous.

Like most other dystopian society books, Divergent starts off as a utopia. Everything seems perfect. But it isn’t. The flaws in this perfect society show through and eventually chaos breaks out.

Overall, this book was great. It might not be as amazing as everyone has said it was when it first came out. But it is still a great read. So, if you haven’t read this book a would defiantly recommend it. It is fairly long though, but I would say it is worth it.

-Ava G.

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available online from Overdrive