Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Catching Fire


Suspenseful, intriguing to the eye, and amazingly breathtaking: these are just a few ways to describe Francis Lawrence’s Catching Fire which premiered on Thursday, November 21st. Theaters were packed and audience members were certainly pleased by this film: box offices totaled an astounding $297 million after two weekends. Based off of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the movies gave viewers more of a visual aspect of the games they've been reading about for the past six years.
     Although Catching Fire runs two hours, the audience is quickly pulled into the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. Jennifer Lawrence is convincingly competitive and powerful as Katniss Everdeen, who wins the previous 74th annual Hunger Games with Peeta Mellark played by Josh Hutcherson. This dynamic duo fights viciously for control as leaders of District 12, and their relationship may suffer in the process. 
     I recommend this movie to people who are able to comfortably watch highly dangerous circumstances unfold before their very eyes. This movie was very well put together by a production team that clearly worked hard to do so. If you are up for the challenge, take a trip to your local movie theater and check out Catching Fire: may the odds be ever in your favor. 

By: Natessa Storm

Review: Thor

            “Thor: The Dark World” is a super-hero movie through and through. The directors understood this, and they used it to their advantage.
            As the years have gone by, super-heroes have been taking on bigger and bigger challenges. When many super-heroes started, they tackled low-level criminals. In current movies, they save the world. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) bests them all. In this movie, not just one but nine worlds need saving. And, predictably, he can save them all from Earth. However, in a nice break, the action centers in and around London. (New York City must still be rebuilding from “The Avengers.”)
            Watching the first “Thor” movie and “The Avengers” is helpful to understanding parts of this one, though not completely necessary. “The Dark World” does focus on Thor’s family relationships (when it’s not focused on the action). The best scenes are the ones with Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Their relationship is enjoyable to watch because it is dynamic. Loki consistently has the best lines.
            Characters who were brushed aside in both “Thor” and “The Avengers” feel more fleshed out in “The Dark World,” particularly Darcy (Kat Dennings), Frigga (Rene Russo), and Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). However, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) fell a little flat. Maybe it was all the evil matter coursing through her, but she and Thor do not have any chemistry.
            “The Dark World” is thoroughly enjoyable, and a must-see if you are a fan of Marvel’s other new movies. If super-heroes aren’t your thing, don’t bother.
By: Emma Morrison

Friday, November 22, 2013

Melrose Blood Drive

On November 7th, I became a first time blood donor for the American Red Cross. I have always wanted to donate blood and needles don’t affect me, so it made sense.  However before the 7th, I did not know where I could donate blood.
The Melrose High school blood drive was the perfect solution for me. Being able to leave my class in order to donate, I headed to the Marcoux Gym to be one of the first blood donors of the day. After reading up about what I was getting myself into, a nurse checked some of my vitals and made sure it was safe for me to donate. Although lying on a table in the middle of the gym was odd, it only took 15 minutes.  Throughout the process extremely kind, presumably qualified, nurses took care of me, and making sure I was as comfortable as possible.
After donating, Student Council members took care of me and the rest of the donors, making sure we ate drank enough so that we wouldn't pass out. Even though I wasn't the least bit hungry, student council made sure I ate from the array of foods they had. After consuming a copious amount of  brownies, cookies, gummies and pretzels, I went back to class feeling healthy and proud.
Each donation can save about three lives, and it only takes about an hour. I understand that for some people needles are not an option, and others have medical restrictions, but I encourage anyone who may be physically and mentally able to donate to such an amazing cause. I’m proud to call myself a donor, and plan on donating again at Melrose High’s Spring blood drive.

By Olivia Terranova

Friday, November 1, 2013

Deep thoughts with Duncan, Vol. I

Mr. Girard and Geoff Rowe
Hello, readers of the Imprint blog. I, Duncan McLeod, have taken it upon myself to ask the hard questions to various teachers and students, these questions being of course, ones of deep philosophical nature.  For this article, my five questions focus around the concept of perfection, such as utopia, and my interviewees were the esteemed Mr. Girard, Physics and Chemistry teacher extraordinaire, and Geoff Rowe, snare drummer and student beyond compare.  So follows here the five questions and ten answers provided to your unhumble philosopher, Duncan McLeod.
Mr. Girard was asked: “Do you believe that a utopia or its opposite, a dystopia, could truly exist in this world?” His reply: “No, the way the world has been structured so far, it seems to me to be something we cannot actually achieve.”  I then asked if we are closer to, a dystopia or utopia, and his opinion on this was varied, stating we are closer to a “dystopia, but on some levels of society closer to a utopia.”  I proceeded to ask if a permanent world peace could exist, and he replied in a manner shadowing his answer to the first question. “Based on human history,” he said, “I don’t think that could ever happen.”  The fourth of the questions asked was “Can a perfect being exist?”  To this, he replied “an individual, yeah. It is rare, but possible.”  And the fifth and final questions asked was that of “If such a form of perfection can be achieved, how many paths in life lead there, is there only one path?” and he responded stating that it was “definitely not one path … It would be a long path.” He ended on the bittersweet optimistic statement of “we gotta live life hoping.”
To the student Geoff Rowe the same questions were asked, and his answers were recorded just the same.  When asked if he believed if a utopia or a dystopia could exist, he responded claiming “yes, though it would be unlikely to last particularly long,” and in answer to the second of the queries, he responded that he does believe we are closer to a dystopic society, and did not elaborate further.  When he was asked if he felt that a permanent world peace could exist under any circumstances, he claimed that “perhaps a long lasting peace, but it would eventually come to an end.”  As to the possibility of a perfect being, he believes strongly that it is possible, though whether he feels that there has been such a person he refused to say.  And as to the paths by which one might achieve world peace, utopia, or perfection, he states that if it is possible, there is an infinite number of paths.

Glossary of potentially confusing terms and words used above:
  1. utopia: a perfect society, a paradise
  2. dystopia: a flawed society, a horrible place
  3. extraordinaire: a person of great regard within a field (term of respect and admiration)
  4. shadowing: used here to mean resembling, or alike to
  5. bittersweet optimistic statement: something positive with some negative interpretations
  6. queries: questions

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Comella's Homemade Italian Food

Comella’s, a popular new restaurant downtown, is taking Melrose by storm. The new restaurant serves Italian food – dine-in or take-out – and offers a wide variety of everyone's favorites. Next to the TD Bank downtown, Comella’s has a small storefront accessible by Main Street or from the parking lot in the back. Inside there are a few small tables, enough for a handful of guests. An extremely large menu board and many friendly faces welcome you from behind the counter. One of Comella’s unique qualities (that has made them pretty well know at MHS) is their five dollar large cheese pizza offer. Trust me, these pizzas are amazing. High school kids on a low-budget and on-the-go parents should definitely try these pizzas. The other homemade food they offer is also just as good. I give Comella's five out of five stars.

Here is a link for their website to see the menu and catering opportunities:

Comella's Restaurants

By Elisa Lemack

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

World Series Preview

For all of you Bostonians who are unaware of the Red Sox’s recent success, I’m here to let you know that they are, in fact, in the World Series for the third time since 2004. And for the Sox fans out there who just started watching the Sox (i.e., most of you), stop being fair-weather fans. If you didn’t watch the Red Sox during the regular season, then don’t act like you’ve been a fan forever. Admit it: you just jumped on the bandwagon and started cheering. But anyway, I won’t judge if you want to jump on. I’ll just fill you in.

For the first time since winning the World Series in 2007, the Boston Red Sox are back. This time around they will be taking on the St. Louis Cardinals, who defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. The Series starts tonight with the Cardinals travelling to Fenway for Game 1, which will start at 8:05 p.m. For the Sox Jon Lester (15-8 regular season) will take on Adam Wainwright (19-9 regular season). Lester has a 2-1 record in his last three games with an ERA of 2.33 while holding opponents to a .229 batting average. However, Wainwright is also 2-1 in his last three games with an ERA of 1.57 while holding batters to a .231 batting average. When the Sox were facing elimination against the Tigers, Lester was quoted as saying, “We have options, give up or fight.” The Sox later came back and won the series.

Even though everyone in and around Boston seems to think that the Red Sox will take the Series, many forget that the Cardinals have had an amazing season as well. The Cardinals held the Dodgers’ star rookie Yasiel Puig to just 5 hits in 22 at bats on their way to winning the NLCS in six games, shutting out the Dodgers 9-0 in game six. The Cardinals’ pitcher for Game 1, Adam Wainwright, is a star pitcher who was voted to the 2010 All- Star Game, where he pitched one inning and struck out two of the American League’s best hitters. Wainwright is on a roll as of late; during the 2013 postseason alone he has struck out 20 batters while allowing just one walk, one home run and just four earned runs. While the Cardinals’ batters left a little to be desired during the NLCS, the pitchers have picked up the slack, holding opposing batters to a batting average of .211 while allowing four homeruns.

The Red Sox, though, have been on a tear as of late both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Boston's base runners are doing a good job this postseason, stealing eleven bases during the ALDS and ALCS combined. Although the Sox hit a meager .204 during the ALCS, they’ve hit a little better during the postseason as a whole with an average of .234. Even with those numbers, though, the Red Sox players always seem to come up with a big hit and the perfect time. Shane Victorino propelled the Sox to the World Series with a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning of Game 6. And before that, Jarod Saltalamacchia hit a walk-off single to tie the ALCS at one game to one.

If you’re a bandwagon fan and haven’t seen him pitch before, Koji Uehara is turning into the Red Sox’ star closer. The Red Sox acquired him this past offseason as a free agent. In 2011, he was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Texas Rangers. Uehara won the ALCS MVP award for his masterful pitching performances against the Detroit Tigers, and he will look to keep it rolling in the ALCS against the Cardinals. Uehara’s story is amazing, and to go from being traded from team to team to being able to win the ALCS MVP award is incredible. I have a feeling that he will be a centerpiece for the Red Sox organization for a long time to come.

Whether you’re a long-time Red Sox supporter or just getting into things, most would agree that the Sox will take the World Series. A lot of people keep bringing up the fact that the Red Sox swept the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series but that is irrelevant. These are two completely different teams with different managers than were in place at the 2004 World Series. Having said that, I believe that no matter how the Cardinals try to compete with the Red Sox, Boston will bring the title back to Boston in five games.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Captain Phillips

            Imagine being stranded on a ship in the middle of the ocean and forced to give away all of your money to complete strangers in order to save your own life. Based on the true story of the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009, Captain Phillips, directed by Paul Greengrass, tells the story of a courageous crew that was attacked by Somali pirates. More importantly, it tells the story of the kidnapping and survival of Richard Phillips. The Maersk Alabama cargo ship was sailing on the Indian Ocean and was bound for Kenya. At the same time, Somali pirates were planning their attack on the ship to capture millions of dollars.
            Tom Hanks plays the character of Richard Phillips. He portrays Phillips as a man who means business, but as soon as he finds out there is a possibility that the ship might be attacked, he slowly begins to unravel and show his vulnerability. As the captain, he is responsible for the lives of every man on the ship, but Phillips was not quite prepared for the danger they would be faced with when they were attacked by armed pirates.
            Barkhad Abdi takes on the role of Muse, the leader of the Somali pirates. Muse is looked down upon by most of the Somalis because of his appearance: small and skinny. His nickname among them is “skinny rat”. He takes this to heart, for he is the leader of the attackers and he refuses to be looked at as someone who is a coward. This creates tension between him and the other three attackers which becomes apparent from the moment they step onto the ship. When Muse and Phillips come face-to-face for the first time, it is very clear that Muse strives for the leadership role. Once the Somalis gain control over the Americans, Muse proclaims, “Look at me, I am the captain now.”
            The relationship built between Phillips and Muse throughout the movie is powerful to say the least. Phillips loses all control to Muse and is forced to take all orders from him, which includes giving away their $30,000 that is locked away in the safe. The crew hopes it is enough to keep them away but that is not all they want: the pirates demand to take Phillips. Willingly risking his life to save other people on the ship, Phillips agrees to leave with the pirates. The last hour of the movie will take most viewers on an emotional journey. Hanks and Abdi build a strong sense of empathy towards the other character. This movie is recommended for audience members who enjoy plenty of suspenseful moments, as many will be left holding their breath and on the edge of their seats.

By: Natessa Storm