Latest phone apps take up students’ time

BY CHASE OCHRACH

Sophomore Lauren Macari can play Flappy Bird for hours on end without stopping. Even when she loses, it just entices her to want to keep trying.

Flappy Bird, along with Candy Crush, are two gaming apps that are trending right now.use

Macari said her cellphone game addiction is Flappy Bird.

“I am absolutely addicted to Flappy Bird because I want to beat the game so badly and I haven’t yet so I get extremely frustrated but I love the game anyway and the bird is so enticing,” she said.

Sophomore Valentina Espana said she loves to play Candy Crush.

“I am sort of addicted to Candy Crush. I definitely get so excited when I move up in the levels. Currently I’m on level 73 and it took me a couple months to get there,” she said.

Sophomore Maria Santana is another who is in the Flappy Bird camp.

“I have started to become obsessed with the game and I can play it for hours,” Santana said.

Junior Alexis Diaz said she loves to play Candy Crush and it’s her No. 1 cellphone game addiction.

“I’m obsessed with playing Candy Crush and I get so excited when I move up and I get extremely frustrated when I lose a level and then lose a life. I can spend five to six hours playing it each day and I feel very accomplished when I move up a level and I have even not gone to sleep certain nights because I’m obsessed with moving on,” Diaz said.

Freshman Irene Maniatopoulos said she enjoys playing Flappy Bird but is not obsessed with the game.

“I like to play Flappy Bird and I used to play it all the time but I’m no longer addicted to the game since it took up so much of my time. I’ve played nonstop hours each night and day playing but about a month ago I realized it was consuming my time and curtailed how much I was playing,” she said.

Spanish teacher Ester Calderon said the phone apps can be an interference.

“I hate that students can’t concentrate in class because they’re too busy playing games on their cellphones,” she said.

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TV Review: How I Met Your Mother Series Finale

TV Review: How I Met Your Mother Series Finale

BY JAKE LENDER

After nine seasons, “How I Met Your Mother” has sadly come to an end.  Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas thought it was time to finally show fans how the main character, Ted Mosby meets the mother of his kids. The long awaited finale was the most watched episode in the series, racking up 12.9 millions views.

Even so, fans may not know that Bays and Thomas decided to make an alternate ending that will be released along with the DVD due out this fall. The point of this alternate ending was to make everybody happy with the ending of the show.

“How I Met Your Mother” was a great show, but in the last two seasons started going down hill due to the overused jokes and a pointless storyline. 

In the episode before the finale, Barney Stinson and Robin Scherbatsky get married. This wasn’t a big surprise.  The show has always been hinting that this would happen. The big surprise with Robin and Barney comes in the season finale when things get a little rocky for the couple.

The constant fighting between Robin and Barney was expected. In the show, Barney is a big ladies man who doesn’t respect women at all and Robin is obsessed with her career.  In the past, Robin and Barney dated but broke up because they just weren’t happy together which we now know was a big foreshadowing for the future.

Everybody tuned in to just watch what would happen to Ted and the mother, whose name was revealed later in the episode. The episode shows Ted and the mother going through life together happy until they receive some bad news.

This episode is full of surprises. Every character is affected, whether in a good or bad way. The show was great, looking back at it now. It is amazing that the people who made it could make quality episodes for nine seasons even though it may have gone a bit down hill at the end of the series. This show is worth watching, but it should really be watched in order so it won’t be confusing.

And for those who didn’t enjoy the ending that aired, it’s probably worth getting a hold of the DVD when it comes out.  The alternate ending will probably take the ending of the show   in a whole new direction to please those viewers who were not thrilled with the way the season finale ended.

“How I Met Your Mother” was a great show and the series finale ended just the way it should have. It is easy to tell that the whole point of the series finale was to wrap up the series in the most surprising way possible and the episode definitely accomplished that.

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CD Review: Louder

BY TARA BAGHERLEE

After being part of Broadway productions “Les Misérables” and “Spring Awakening” as well as playing Rachel Berry on the FOX show “Glee,” actress and singer Lea Michele finally released “Louder,” her debut solo album, on March 4.

The album comes out with a bang, displaying her versatile and dominant voice in a variety of songs with different tempos and beats. Fans of artists such as Pink and Demi Lovato should give this album a listen, as should everyone else who loves Michele’s voice.lea michele

Michele has endured a difficult past couple of months with the passing of her boyfriend and fellow “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith in July 2013, yet her new album does not show any signs of weakness, with powerful ballads and strong lyrics to prove Michele won in the battle against tragedy, all while producing a compelling first record.

Her first single off of the album is “Cannonball,” which describes her journey with pain and how she came out on top, expressed in lyrics such as “I think I found a light at the end of the tunnel” and “I’ve got this new beginning, and I will fly, I’ll fly, like a cannonball.”

Michele’s vocals not only shine in the song “Cannonball,” but throughout the whole album, especially with a classic Michele-like ballad such as “Battlefield,” where she describes a difficult breakup with a loved one.

Not only does Michele conquer ballads with ease, but she also provides a large selection of happier, livelier songs. In “On My Way,” Michele sings “I know my heart’s too drunk to drive, but I’m on my way to you,” with an extremely catchy chorus following it, bound to be stuck in one’s head for days.

The title track, “Louder,” is another energetic song, beginning with a catchy guitar solo as Michele (loudly) leads into the chorus with “I just wanna hear your voice, don’t be afraid, why don’t you scream a little louder?”

The most unique songs on the album are “Burn with You” and “You’re Mine,” since they showcase a deeper side of Michele, with distinct beats and lyrics that have never been heard before.

“If You Say So” is the most heartbreaking ballad on the album, since Michele penned it about Monteith’s death. The chorus describes Monteith’s last words to Michele before his passing with the lines “It was just a week ago, you said ‘I love you girl,’ I said ‘I love you more,’ then a breath, a pause, you said ‘if you say so’.”

Other tracks include “Thousand Needles,” “Don’t Let Go” and “Cue the Rain,” which begin with a softer tone, eventually leading into the chorus, with the booming voice Michele is known for.

“Empty Handed” is a relaxing song, keeping a calm tempo throughout the track and showcasing Michele’s softer side, similar to “What is Love?” and “The Bells,” which are available on the deluxe version of the album.

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Curtain Call: Les Misérables


BY ZUE LOPEZ  AND CARLY SCHREIDELL

The Circuit Online takes a behind-the scenes look at the cast of AMT’s  production Les Misérables on March 5-8 in the auditorium.

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Movie Review: Bad Words

BY JENNIFER SCHONBERGER

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Actor Jason Bateman hasn’t done a bad job in his directorial debut with “Bad Words,” released March 28. The “Horrible Bosses” and “Arrested Development” actor not only directs but also stars in the comedy, as the 40-year-old grade-school dropout who competes in a spelling bee against brilliant overachievers a fourth of his age and stirs up all kinds of trouble.bad_words

Bateman’s character Guy Trilby has found a loophole around the rules of participating in the Golden Quill National Spelling Bee: he never in fact did complete the eighth grade. Having a grown man in the competition against children obviously infuriates all of the over-competitive parents (while it mocks their behavior, too).

Yet while Trilby stirs up anger among those involved in the televised competition, especially the director of the spelling bee Dr. Bernice Deagan (Allison Janney), he stirs up confusion among the film’s audience: Why would a 40-year-old man be so determined to win a spelling bee against elementary and middle schoolers? Journalist Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn) tags along on Trilby’s journey so she can find out.

It’s apparent from the beginning that there must be some mysterious reason rooted in Trilby’s past, but the reason ends up being shocking and adds an emotional element to the otherwise raunchy and sarcastic scenes in the movie.

Even though it’s based around young kids, Bateman doesn’t shy away from adult humor and more vulgar but humorous aspects of the movie; it is rated R after all. This can be seen in the most predominant and funniest relationship present in the movie, between Trilby and his t10-year-old competitor Chaitanya Chopra (Rohan Chand).

Their unlikely friendship results in the taking away of an adorable little genius’s innocence and the reveal of a caring and compassionate side of Trilby that doesn’t seem to be evident in his character at the beginning of the movie. Chand’s hilariously sweet and innocent remarks are sure to evoke nostalgia for childhood in the audience; for a child actor, he adds a lot to the movie.

Bateman does an excellent job not only playing a misanthropic, mean-spirited character who goes through a transformation, but also at successfully directing a story that, although the humor gets ridiculous at times, accurately targets how ridiculous society can be.

“Bad Words” is funny, lighthearted, and highlights the unlikeliness of some relationships; it deserves nothing less than a Bee-plus.

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Book Review: Cress

BY ANA BEATRIZ GONCALVES

In the third installment of Marissa Meyer’s “Lunar Chronicles,” “Cress,” the dystopian futuristic world is never short of adventure, romance and fantasy. Classic Grimm’s fairy tales inspired the series, along with elements of science fiction. The first book, “Cinder,” was released in 2012, and the sequel, “Scarlet,” was released in 2013. This set the stage for the next book in the line, released on Feb. 4.Cress

The story continues following the adventure of Linh-Cinder (Cinderella), the cyborg mechanic who becomes the centerfold of the Lunar domination of Earth. After discovering her true identity as the princess of Luna, a colony on the moon, Cinder and her friends attempt to rescue Emperor Kaito (Prince Charming) from the impending danger of a possible intergalactic war with the citizens of the Moon. This futuristic plot line reels in readers from all different types of genres and doesn’t disappoint them.

The third book kicks off with Cinder and her friends rescuing Crescent “Cress” Moon (Rapunzel), a girl with long hair trapped in a satellite, resulting in the crash of the satellite and the separation of the friends. With Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood) taken prisoner by Levana (The Evil Queen), Cress and Caswell Thorne (Rapunzel’s prince) falling in Africa, and Cinder and Wolf (Big Bad Wolf) lost somewhere unknown in the world, they must find a way to reunite and save the Emperor from a disastrous wedding that could end in war.

“Cress” uses elements of space travel, biogenetic engineering, and futuristic technology to set this fantasy tale in the improbable future of Earth. Readers will be captivated by the action and non-stop suspense, and will be anxiously awaiting the next book of the series, which has promised to feature a new version of Snow White.

The thrilling action sequences don’t allow the reader to put the book down, captivating them until the very end and keeping them on their feet until the next book release. With vivid details and a compelling plotline, “Cress” will appease all ages. The fourth book, “Winter,” is set to be released in the winter of 2015.

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Movie Review: Divergent

BY LISA RIENHARDT

“Divergent,” starring Shailene Woodley as Tris and Theo James as Four, is an action-packed film that will easily keep the attention of fans of the book and new viewers. People who enjoy dystopian tales, such as “The Hunger Games,” will find this film to be right up their alley and enjoy it from beginning to end. It was released on March 21.

The majority of the script for this adaptation is well written and closely follows the book it is based upon; however, there are a few lines throughout the movie that will cause audience members to roll their eyes.divergent_poster_hq

This book adaptation follows a young girl named Tris who lives in a post-apocalyptic world where people are divided into groups called factions, and every year children of age must choose what faction they belong in based upon the value they hold most dear. If children choose a faction that is different from the one they were born into, they must then leave behind everything they know and successfully complete an initiation into their new faction. Tris is divergent, meaning she embodies multiple values. This puts her at risk of being hunted by the government. Despite a warning to stay hidden in her home faction, Tris chooses to be bold and leave her faction in favor of Dauntless, the faction of the brave.

Due to the book’s extremely large fan base, many viewers will go into this movie with high expectations, and for the majority of the film, the casting for this movie was spot on. Woodley and James do a great job and really become Tris and Four for viewers. Any reservations viewers had about the casting prior to seeing the film will melt away within each character’s first five minutes of screen time.

Even though the majority of the acting is great, there are a few times throughout the movie where the acting is absolutely atrocious. It is obvious to viewers that no one had taken the time to show Woodley how to react to death, and her crying is ridiculous and hard to watch. This is annoying because it so easily could have been fixed.

The soundtrack for this movie is what really shines. The music is timed beautifully with the images on the screen. It creates an effect that captivates the audience and inspires feelings of anticipation and excitement. The soundtrack makes up for some of the cheesier moments within the film and manages to keep audiences from groaning.

The cinematography of “Divergent” is stunning. Director Neil Burger uses interesting shots and camera angles that provide something for viewers to focus their eyes upon during every second of the film. This really helps to keep viewers visually engaged. For example, in the beginning of the movie, there is a scene where Tris jumps off a building. During this scene, there is a striking image of Tris’ dress flowing around her as she jumps.

“Divergent” relies heavily on emotional reactions from the audience. Burger really wanted viewers to connect to each of the characters. He successfully creates fear in viewers’ hearts as Tris and Four go through some harrowing situations.

This film is entertaining, but it is nowhere near a cinematic masterpiece.

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CD Review: Mastermind

BY REID OVIS

The hardcore rap artist Rick Ross released his sixth studio album, “Mastermind,” on March 3, but has come up short in artistic value. With radio-popular singles such as “The Devil is a Lie” and “Thug Cry,” “Mastermind” can be considered a relatively successful commercial release with its position in the top three rap albums in sales ever since its release. However, the mix of shallow, meaningless lyrics and un-catchy choruses both contribute to the artistic demise of this album.

Rick Ross, previously known for quite meaningless, superficial lyrics, takes it to a new low in “Mastermind.” Instead of talking about the struggles of being famous, like in his older albums, he raps about his superiority compared to other artists and calls himself a “mastermind” multiple times.

Valuable artistic music should be judged based on both the message it conveys as well as the impact it has on listeners, whether it is catchy sounds or deep lyrics. “Mastermind,” however, does not fulfill these requirements whatsoever. Yes, the well-known rapper has top-notch hits throughout the years, but none of the songs on his new album add up.

Although Rick Ross is one of the most dominant, successful rappers in the last 10 years, he comes up short on his sixth album. His old songs such as “Pirates” and “911” are easily better songs than any on this recent release.

Buying this album is only a good idea for die-hard Rick Ross fans. Otherwise, listeners looking for inspiration might want to look elsewhere in the crowded music world.

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Movie Review: Non-Stop

BY MEREDITH SHELDON

FEATURES EDITOR

The anxiety-provoking thriller “Non-Stop” successfully portrays the heightened sense of urgency and fear that air marshall Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) feels when receiving threatening text messages on board a non-stop flight across the Atlantic. use

The suspenseful film, directed by Jaume Collett-Serra, and released in theaters Feb. 28, is jam-packed with non-stop action and tension and appeals to all audiences, even those viewers who are deterred by violence.

The phenomenal cast members contribute immensely to the overall success of the production. Neeson stars as the protagonist who attempts to save the passengers on board the jeopardous flight. Marks receives anonymous text messages, once in the air, stating that the unknown sender of this electronic hate mail will murder a random passenger on the plane in 20 minutes if $150 million is not transferred to his or her private account.

Throughout the film, the audience becomes increasingly frustrated when the passengers on the plane do not realize that Marks is indeed the hero in this situation. Marks, who is implementing important yet somewhat violent procedures in attempt to unveil the identity of the anonymous antagonist, appears to the passengers as a terrorist. However, since the audience is aware of Marks’ intentions, it is aggravating to watch the passengers on the plane complain about and distrust him.

It is astounding that the 106-minute production was filmed entirely in one location, an airplane. As small and condensed as the space on the plane is, the camera angles and technique used are truly effective in depicting the setting and situation of the passengers and crew trapped onboard.

The beautiful and talented Julianne Moore plays Jen Summers, who is seated next to Marks on the flight and aids him in his search to discover the mysterious and enigmatic predator. Moore’s subtle and clever humor lightens up the movie and adds a certain sense of hope to the passengers. After watching her in the TV series “30 Rock” and other popular movies like “Crazy, Stupid Love” and “Psycho,” viewers will be excited to see a familiar face of comedy act in a genre different than that of her specialty.

Marks, whose back story is that he lost his daughter at age 8 to cancer, develops a kind-hearted and fatherly relationship with a little girl named Becca (Quinn McColgan), who is 8 years old and is flying independently for the first time. Despite the constant anxiety running through Marks’ mind, it is so cute to see how he bonds with the little girl, as if she were his daughter. McColgan, the young actress, is beyond adorable and she perfectly portrays an innocent and scared unaccompanied minor.

The non-stop action and suspense in this film is definitely not to be missed. The movie successfully depicts the frightful scenario and leaves viewers on the edge of their seats.

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Movie Review: Endless Love

BY ZOE BIRGER

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On Valentine’s Day, the romantic drama “Endless Love” debuted on the big screen and is another flop at the box office.Endless Love” is a remake of the original movie from 1981 starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt.

Based on the 1979 novel, Alex Pettyfer stars as David, a valet at a restaurant and lowly car mechanic. Gabriella Wilde stars as Jade, the privileged daughter of a successful, wealthy doctor.

“Endless Love” really seems to be endless as you sit and watch.  The boredom starts to consume the viewer within the first 45 minutes, and that’s when the “getting up out of the theater and leaving” feeling really kicks in.

The two embark on a summer-long romance but keep getting pulled away by Jade’s over-protective father Hugh, played by Bruce Greenwood. Over the course of the summer, Jade and David spend every day together and eventually run into trouble. Hugh ends up bailing David out of jail and forbids him from seeing Jade, just before an oncoming car slams into Jade. These events are overwhelming for the viewer, and not realistic whatsoever. The fabrication of the plot line is too fluffed up with fantasy relationships and impractical expectations.

Jade quickly recovers and leaves for college while David stays in town. Months later, David runs into Jade’s mother and she fawns over David’s love for her daughter. Jade and David reunite and plan to run away together. A candle falls over in Jade’s deceased brother Chris’s room and starts a house fire, where Hugh gets trapped and David saves his life.

So much happens throughout the movie that it’s hard to keep up and causes one’s mind to be constantly whizzing. Accident after accident, it seems like the movie is never going to end.

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