Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

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

Review: Gravity


            Gravity is a movie that shouldn’t work, but it does. Only two credited cast members and a running time of 91 minutes are what make this tense, powerful thriller work. Any longer and the movie would seem gimmicky, but any shorter and the audience would never have a chance to take a breath.
            Gravity takes place in space. Two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) on a mission to repair the Hubble Space telescope are the only survivors of a catastrophic collision with a fast-moving debris field. They embark on a journey to find a way back to Earth. The tense moments are broken up by quiet that gives the audience time to enjoy the breath-taking imagery of Earth viewed from 372 miles above the ground.
Director Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) is a master at inducing empathy from the audience. He plays with the orientation, or lack thereof, of space. The shots where the Earth is above the astronauts are disorienting, and make the audience sympathize with Mission Specialist Ryan Stone (Bullock). Cuarón’s occasional use of first person camera shots is artful. These shots truly put the audience in the character’s shoes, or, in this case, space-suit.
Although it is classified as a sci-fi thriller, the movie touches upon deeper themes of mortality. In contrast to its tag line “don’t let go,” the movie is mostly about letting go, both physically and emotionally. Stone has a deep back story, but Cuarón makes the smart choice to let Bullock tell the story with words instead of with flashbacks.
Because there are only two characters, the movie is not heavy with dialogue. But when the characters do talk, the script for the entire movie is wonderful. The movie is not chock full of quotable lines, but the words sound real. Cuarón co-wrote the script with his brother Jonás.
            Sandra Bullock gets the bulk of the screen time, and she carries the movie. She does a wonderful job, but it is a shame that George Clooney was not in it more. When he is in the movie, he provides much needed comedic relief.           
This movie is not for people who hate adrenaline rushes. The entire movie is emotionally draining, but in the best way possibly. Unless you stressful situations are your anathema, you should take an hour and a half to see Gravity.

by: Emma Morrison

Friday, October 11, 2013

Red Sox in ALCS

For the first time since 2008 the Boston Red Sox are on their way to the American League Championship Series. The Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series, 3 games to 1. Boston put an end to Tampa Bay's season with 3-1 win at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. Game 1 of the ALCS takes place tomorrow night at 8:00 pm as the Red Sox host the Detroit Tigers.

Everything seems to be clicking for the Red Sox, with David Ortiz hitting 2 home runs and Dustin Pedroia getting 5 RBIs in the ALDS. It seems like hiring former Sox pitching coach John Farrell as the new manager was a smart move by Boston's front office.

Jon Lester (1-0 in the postseason) will be taking on Anibal Sanchez (0-1) in game one.

By: Alden Bedsole

Sneak Peek into Spirit Week

One of the most beloved weeks in Melrose High Schools falls around the Thanksgiving holiday: Spirit Week! The halls will be vibrantly decorated by student government on Sunday, November 24th and the kick-off to this exciting event will begin the very next day. There has been plenty of buzz about what this year’s theme is and senior class advisor Ms. Mochi shared the news with us, “The theme for this year is board games. The seniors have wanted to do this since their sophomore year!”
            The class of 2014 has spoken: Candy Land is the theme for the seniors, Chutes and Ladders has been assigned to the juniors, Monopoly for the sophomores, and Clue for the freshmen. While many of the traditions of Spirit Week are being kept, there are a few changes being made. This year, the teachers are assigned their own theme: Scrabble. Also, the homecoming dance will be moved to the Knights of Columbus, “We figure more people will want to go because you can wear shoes there,” Mochi smiles. Problems have surfaced in the past with ordering the themed T-shirts but the student government swears that they will stay on top of their game and everything ready early, so pay up!
When asking Mochi what her favorite part of spirit week is, she was quick to reply with, “Powder Puff. It makes me anxious; it’s always a close game and typically aggressive no matter how strict the rules.” She followed up, “I would never want to see it go away though. I know one of the high schools in Newton eliminated theirs completely because they thought it was sexist.” With the amount of praise Powder Puff receives at MHS, it is almost too hard to believe that this game will ever be taken out of Spirit Week.

Another popular event during Spirit Week is the pep rally. For all of the freshmen that are new to our pep rally this year, this is when we get our half day. But this is also an event where students and teachers are both heavily involved in various activities and games that are more than likely going to be clogging up your Facebook newsfeed for days. No activities or games have been specified by the student government yet, but Mochi says, “They have good tricks up their sleeves this year.”

by: Natessa Storm