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The Foothill Dragon Press

The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

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Spirits, Stone, and Social Networks!

“Jackass 3D” is side splitting hilarity Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Jackass 3D:

What do you get when you combine feces, motorcycles, snakes, and a huge steaming pile of the purest form of human stupidity and low-brow humor? You get Jackass of course.  The kings of Darwinism are back in their latest iteration of the oh-so-popular line of extreme physical comedy, this time in the form of Jackass 3D. 

All the usual suspects are here, including Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and the rest of the crew.  The stunts are just as mind-bogglingly gross, hilarious, and outlandish as anything else they’ve ever done; and this time it’s all in the form of the overpriced gimmick known as 3D.  Upon sitting down for this 90-minute marathon of “jackassery”, a suspecting, or hilariously unsuspecting, viewer will be thrown into everything from a port-a-potty slingshot to a ballgame incorporating all the wrong appendages.  The stunts range from painful to puking, and you’ll laugh the whole way through.  While this “unique” brand of humor certainly isn’t for all, it will almost certainly be enjoyed by both fans of the series and immature adults (and teenagers) alike.

A Very Cautionary “Go see it”- 6/10

Waiting for Superman:

Children, waiting, hoping, and praying for an answer to one of life’s hardest questions, “What path should I take and what should I do be successful?”  A difficult question indeed, and one, that for many, is sadly not being answered by the current American educational system.  A stark, but oddly hopeful, expose of the current state of the American school system is what’s at play in the brutally honest documentary, Waiting for Superman.

Documentarian Davis Guggenheim (director of An Inconvenient Truth) sets out to explore this infinitely complex topic of education through the eyes of the children, parents, and teachers who experience it everyday.  Striking an ideal balance between personal narratives and irrefutable statistics, the film manages to tell a deeply personal story while still maintaining its overall broad scope of focus. 

In the eyes of a small 5th grader and his single mom growing up in the Bronx, the only hope for educational success comes in the form of a single lottery to determine whether or not he gets into a local charter school that’s considered more than a cut above the local competition.  Human stories such as this, and others incorporated in the film, gives it the distinctive and gripping tone it needs to deliver the powerful message it contains.  Waiting for Superman is, simply put, something that every American should not only see, but listen carefully to, because the warning it gives is something simply too important to be left ignored.

Don’t Ignore It – 8.5/10

Paranormal Activity 2:

“Can lightning strike twice?” seems to be the apparent question that Paramount Pictures has tried to answer in the sequel to last year’s indie horror hit with the release of Paranormal Activity 2.  The film gained praise and recognition for the incredible amount of believability its plot incorporated.  The story and setup were relatively simple, a young married couple with no children being slowly tormented by some sort of demon from the wife’s haunted past, with the entire film shot by a single handheld camera. 

Now move to this year’s sequel, and the similarities become immediately apparent, with the same basic composition of the film remaining virtually the same.  Some elements have changed; however, including the fact that the sequel takes place in the original wife’s sisters’ family, which includes a teenage daughter and a baby brother.  The film also switches from its single camera point-of-view to a multiple-camera narrative style with most of the film shot with somewhat grainy closed circuit cameras. 

Despite all these new innovations and rethinking’s in the films storytelling and plotline, the film still falls fatally short in one key category, maintaining the oh so special sense of authenticity that made the first one so great.  Paranormal Activity 2 sadly becomes simply a “hollywoodized” version of the first, incorporating incredibly flawed plot elements and special effects in various moments throughout the film, and what the moviegoer leaves with is a sense of being ripped-off after having experienced the original film.

Easily Avoidable – 4/10


Following in the tradition of his memorable roles in American History X and Fight Club, Edward Norton is back again, this time in the form of arsonist and murderer, Gerald “Stone” Creeson, in the aptly named film, Stone.  Getting the obvious praises out of the way, the cast of the film is stellar to say the least, including the likes of Robert De Niro and Mila Jovivich. De Niro stars as the parole officer deciding whether or not Stone will finally gain his freedom, while Jovivich stars as Stone’s cyrenesque girlfriend charged with the task of seducing De Niro into releasing Stone from prison.

What results from these complex characters is something far better than your average prison drama, instead it’s something distinctly different, a strange and bizarre sort of character study into the question of what it really means to be a prisoner in the world.  Rather than focusing on an over the top action-packed plot, Stone slows it way down in both story and tone.  The most intriguing moments of the film come from the numerous and complex conversations that occur between Norton and De Niro, and during the “encounters” that take place between De Niro and Jovivich.  Eventually, upon have viewed the entire film, the moviegoer will almost certainly end up asking who is the real prisoner in the film?  And while different people may come to different conclusions about that question, what most will agree on is the fact that Stone is something certainly worth seeing, due in part to everything from its various amazing performances to the larger intriguing questions it begs to ask.

Get past its darkness, and see its brilliance – 8/10

The Social Network:

“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies” reads the movie poster of the recently released Social Network.  The Social Network provides an interesting look into the formation of what has become a major force in today’s society.  Focusing on Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerburg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network depicts the incredible founding and lightning-fast growth of the largest social network in the world.

Truth be damned, The Social Network sets out to tell one thing, an intriguing story, which, depending on your point of view, can either make or break the film.  Though the film is based on a supposedly factual account of the founding of Facebook, the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, many have called into question the legitimacy of many of the events portrayed in the film.  If one is able to get past this potential flaw, The Social Network makes for a fascinating look at the current state of the modern world as we know it; one in which our lives are dominated by letters typed on a keyboard or the pictures posted on a page.  If for nothing more, the film is worth seeing simply because of the level of relevance it holds in today’s constantly interconnected society, and it will probably be long remembered as a portrait of the current state of the world in the year 2010.

An Undeniably Important Film – 7.5/10

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Spirits, Stone, and Social Networks!