Category Archives: Entertainment & Food

Music Review: “Red (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

By Laci Bassaj

Taylor Swift released her second re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version), on
November 12, 2021. While the original album was only 16 tracks, Red (Taylor’s Version)
consists of 30 tracks, including re-recordings of songs from the original album, as well as songs
“From The Vault” that were originally supposed to be on the album but didn’t make the final cut.
The album has a runtime of 2 hours and 10 minutes, including features from Gary Lightbody of
Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran, Phoebe Bridgers, and Chris Stapleton.

This album is the second re-recorded album by Taylor Swift, following her first re-
recorded album Fearless (Taylor’s Version), released in April 2021. Similarly to her first re-
recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version) stays true to the original, with few noticeable
differences. The only exception is “Girl At Home (Taylor’s Version),” which originally had a
country sound to it, but has been transformed into a pop song. Along with “Girl At Home
(Taylor’s Version),” some of my other favorites from the album were “Message In A Bottle
(Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” and “The Very First Night (Taylor’s Version) (From The
Vault).”

Another song that stood out to me was “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” When I was listening to the album, this was the song I was most excited for. This was the very last song on the album, and I almost wanted to skip all the other 29 tracks just so I could listen to this song as soon as possible, but I chose not to. “All Too Well” was already one of my favorite songs, and I love this version even more. To go along with the emotional song about heartbreak, Taylor Swift released a short film, which I also enjoyed. Overall, I loved Red (Taylor’s Version), and have been listening to it nonstop since it was released. Taylor Swift took an album that was already amazing, and made it even better. The songs “From The Vault” have become some of my favorite songs on the album, and I love the re-recordings even more than the originals. I loved this album and I look forward to the music Taylor Swift releases in the future.

Food Review: Mochi + Donuts = Mochinut

By: Noelani Discipulo

Dessert – Mochinut

CHEWY GOODNESS. 

Mochinut is mainly known for their chewy mochi donuts, which are made from glutinous rice instead of regular flour. The glutinous rice adds to the sweetness of the donuts as well as their chewiness. Their donuts come in an assortment of flavors that are glazed, embedded, or topped onto them. Mochinut varies their flavors every day, however at this location they do announce their flavors in advance at @mochinut_cerritos on instagram.

There are multiple locations throughout the Southland, and each store offers different flavors and product offerings. At this location, they provide drinks and Korean-style hotdogs.

Their hours are from 11am – 10pm every day. The one downside is that they only provide half a dozen or one dozen donuts, and you can’t buy a single donut.

11312 South St, Cerritos, CA 90703 / IG: @mochinut_cerritos or @mochinut_official

How to Make Holiday Yams

By Joseph Kilis

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Cans Yams
  • 2 Cups Cranberry Sauce
  • Miniature Marshmallows

For Crumble:

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Butter (Softened or Melted)

Instructions:

     1: Preheat your oven to 350°. Mash your yams at the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish, and mix half of your crumb mixture in with the yams. Smooth out.

     2: Add your cranberry sauce over the mashed yams, and also smooth it out. Make sure the sauce is cooled so it has some stability for the next layers.

     3: Add the rest of your crumb mixture on top of the cranberry sauce. It will crumble, so attempt to smooth it out without mixing it too much with the cranberry sauce beneath it. Add the cut nuts of your choice to this layer.

     4: Add a good amount of marshmallows to the top, just enough to cover all the cranberry sauce and crumble added. 

     5: Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the marshmallows are a nice golden color. Take out to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Cartoon Yam Vector Images (over 710)

Home Sweet Home Alone: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

Rating: 1 out of 5.

We love to start the holidays early, especially with our Christmas movies. There’s no better feeling than watching a Christmas movie, especially the Home Alone movies. Even though the new movies will never be better than the original, it’s just like every other Christmas movie.

Home Sweet Home Alone is directed by Dan Mazer, produced by Hutch Parker and Dan Wilson, with the story by Mikey Day, Streeter Seidell, and John Hughes. The cast consists of Archie Yates (Max Mercer), Ellie Kemper, Rob Delaney, Aisling Bea, Kenan Thompson, Pete Holmes, Ally Maki, and Chris Parnell.

The movie follows the same format as the previous ones, but focuses on Max Mercer, who lives in a similar family situation. Max and his mother Carol stop by an open house being run by broke couple Jeff and Pam, who can no longer afford to pay it’s mortgage. Max goes to the bathroom there, and afterwards converses about their collection of porcelain dolls. Carol suggests selling them for money, and after finding them worth thousands of dollars scramble to sell them, only to find one missing. Tracing the doll back to Max, they decide to try and break into the house to retrieve it. Max, on the other hand, gets ready for a trip to Tokyo for Christmas. On the day of, though, Max accidentally gets left behind, and subsequently has to face Jeff and Pam solo. He decides to fill the shoes of Kevin, and sets up traps to catch them in the act.

Even though every Christmas movie is meant to be wholesome and cheerful, I wasn’t feeling any sort of direct emotion towards the movie. The movie seemed uneventful and felt like every other remake of Home Alone. It felt stale and sort of dried up, along with being typical and harboring no aspects of the original Home Alone movies. The story was trying too hard to make sense of it all, and as a result didn’t seem as important. The movie felt slow but at the same time felt like the movie was happening all at once. If you enjoy any particular Christmas movie there are good characteristics to take away from the movie, but this Christmas movie was personally not my favorite.

Archie Yates as Max in HOME SWEET HOME ALONE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Philippe Bosse. © 2021 20th Century Studios.

Video Game Review: Omori

By Yael Ventura

Content Warning: Omori features a cute hand drawn aesthetic but the plot covers very heavy themes along with containing flashing lights. If you aren’t comfortable with heavy themes, please skip this game.

Pseudonymous artist OMOCAT released the trailer on April 21, 2014 for an upcoming project called Omori. The video gained traction very quickly as people awaited its release. After 6 years and 8 months of development for what felt like forever, Omori was released on Steam for Windows and MacOS on Christmas Day of 2020 to amazing reviews, with a Nintendo Switch port coming in the near future along with an artbook.

What originally started out as a small comic on Tumblr entitled Omori’s Story, it featured panels of a boy named Omoriboy with his friends as they play games and hang around. Later it is revealed that all of the story took place in Omoriboy’s imagination, with him drawing his “friends” and adventures in his sketchbook.

Omori is an indie Horror RPG made in RPG Maker where the player controls the character Omori exploring the world of HEADSPACE, Omori’s dreams. When your best friend Basil goes missing, your group, consisting of your closest friends, go on a big journey to find him. As the story progresses, you begin to uncover the truth behind all the horror elements of the story.

Outside of HEADSPACE, you control Sunny, a boy who became a shut-in after an incident caused him to become more isolated. Sunny is moving out in three days and the player controls Sunny as he hangs out with his friends one last time before he moves away.

The horror aspects of the game are really well made. There are a few jumpscares, as expected of anything in the horror genre. What the game does really well is how it scares players with a tense feeling. Another great aspect of the game is how the game scares those players who like to explore the areas of the game. The music also fills players with a deep feeling of dread and leaves them scared to continue playing. Omori is an amazing RPG, best played blind. The game gives multiple warnings about the themes that the story covers. If you can handle said themes, the game is a wonderful experience. Players really get connected with the characters of the story, which only makes the truth more gut-wrenching. There is a lot of replay value with the multiple endings the game features.

Suicide Squad: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

The Suicide Squad knocks the first movie out of the park with an even bigger cast and an eventful ride.

Directed by James Gunn and produced by Charles Roven and Peter Safran, the film introduces to us a new team of villains. These villains/heroes are portrayed by Idris Elba (Bloodsport), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), John Cena (Peacemaker), Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher), Sylvester Stallone (King Shark), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), David Dastmatchian (Polka-Dot Man), Pete Davidson (Blackguard), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Julio Cesar Ruiz (Milton), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), Flula Borg (Javelin), Peter Capaldi (Gaius Grieves), Sean Gunn (Weasel), and Michael Rooker (Savant).
Director James Gunn's new take on The Suicide Squad succeeds in gloriously  gory fashion where its 2016 predecessor failed | Film News | Spokane | The  Pacific Northwest Inlander | News, Politics,

This enormous cast makes the best scenes and the most amazing adventures of the movie. The movie is very vibrant and full of action, the story is driven and well written, making it a fun but impactful story.

The story opens up with the first group on their way to complete a mission along with showing off some of the opening characters. It isn’t until a couple minutes later, after an exaggerated and eventful battle, that we are introduced to the main group that continues the rest of the movie and carry out an important mission.

Bloodsport, or Robert DuBois (Elba), is given a very important role and portrays it well; his character stands out as well as his “abilities.” We are introduced to other important characters and given background on them, yet their background stories didn’t take away from any of the movie’s story time which was a good thing to see.

Amanda Waller (Davis), along with a few other workers, help the team in order to complete their mission. Amanda Waller becomes enraged with the team or makes her to where she could have too much power, not enough to take away from the movie’s true aspect. As the team is on their mission to first retrieve Harley, and to get help from a mad scientist Gaius Grieves (Capaldi), we see some action and slight competition from the characters during their “accidental” cleanout mission to retrieve Rick Flag. We see some solo adventures and action scenes from Harley, which were truly a highlight–her stunts and action were a sight for sore eyes.

We see the team starting to get along and create bonds on their mission to get Gaius Grieves in a momental bar scene. After they retrieve both Grieves and Harley they are on a mission to destroy anything that relates to a mysterious project that is called “Project Starfish.” As per usual, Amanda Waller stretches the truth that the team finding out the main villain is an invasive and enslaving alien that can take over multiple people at a time killing off a human’s life as soon as they enslave them. “Project Starfish” was started when a group of astronauts saw a giant-eyed starfish floating in space named Starro, those astronauts sent by the government took the starfish and brought it home with them to Earth causing a conflicting chain of events.

The final scenes of the movie revolve around taking down Starro, this scene was eventful and a delight to watch. Not too much was going on at one time to take away from the movie. The fight wasn’t making me anxious but making me excited to see what will happen next for the team after the mission is complete.

This movie was incredible, making for a more eventful and much greater story than the first Suicide Squad movie released in 2016. The Suicide Squad as a great addition to the DC Universe. The characters are always close to comically accurate, making them look and have better characteristics then in the comics. The twist and turns of the movie weren’t too dramatic for the movie. Every bit of new information or action didn’t take away from the movie or create any confusion, it just made the story even better. Even though I would have loved to see more screen time of the new characters as well as Harley the movie was perfectly laid out, with perfect inserts of comedy. Even though I wish more DC films could be like The Suicide Squad,  other films are possibly meant to be more light weight. The Suicide Squad, like Joker and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, have sort of a deep and dark storyline that most people like to see. 

Overall The Suicide Squad was truly delightful and had a very laid out and perfectly timed storyline. The action wasn’t too little and wasn’t too much, the story was eventful and easy to keep up with. Even if you didn’t know much about the villains before this, the story has a quick and easy way of giving you that information about the villains without taking away from the events of the story. This great DC film has me and possibly many others wondering: What will DC do next to become an even greater and popular franchise?

Watch The Suicide Squad (2021) (4K UHD) | Prime Video

Halloween Kills: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

Halloween Kills was an eventful horror movie and a fun addition to the Halloween series. 

How to Watch 'Halloween Kills' for Free from Home | IndieWire

A Blumhouse, International Pictures, Rough House, and Miramax Production. Directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Malek Akkad, Jason Blum, and Bill Block.

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode), James Jude Courtney (Michael Myers), Judy Greer (Karen Nelson), Andi Matichak (Allyson Nelson), Anthony Michael Hall (Tommy Doyle), Kyle Richards (Lindsey Wallace), Robert Longstreet (Lonnie Elam), Nancy Stephens (Marion Chambers), Dylan Arnold (Cameron Elam), and Omar Dorsey (Sheriff Barker). 

Some can argue that Halloween Kills is “good,” “okay,” or “terrible,” but I would describe the overall experience of Halloween Kills as simply “eventful.” The movie offers a very eventful and fast-moving story. Sometimes you can find the story irrelevant but still enjoy the aspects of the movie.

The beginning felt very rushed, seeming like they wanted to get straight to the point with the movie. It’s very hard to keep up with the actual story of Halloween, but the best part is watching Michael go around on his traditional killing spree. Some scenes felt very dramatized and not involving itself to actually stopping Michael. It was very eventful to watch how Michael catches his prey–idiotic but eventful. The movie isn’t particularly scary except for the loud bumps and loud music, and no real jumpscares. The movie also offers little flashbacks and even characters from previous Halloween movies. Many scary movies nowadays feel like an action movie. Halloween Kills doesn’t truly give you that feeling but it gives you the thrill of watching Michael.

Halloween begins with looking at the story of Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet) and his encounter with Michael Myers, as well as the story of two cops who encounter and battle against Michael. The movie then gives you the traditional Halloween opening credit scenes with lit up pumpkins and the familiar music.

The movie starts exactly where it left off with Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Green), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) going to the hospital after a battle to get rid of Michael. As you can already tell if you’ve seen the trailer or knew about another Halloween movie, Michael is obviously not dead nor is his terrorizism on Haddonfield. An amazing opening house fire scene shows you exactly the kind of treat you’re in for the rest of the movie.

We continue to see scenes at the hospital as we follow Judy and Karen. At a bar on Halloween night, we are introduced to some of the old survivors from previous Halloween movies, as they and others at the bar find out Michael is very much still alive. The town becomes determined to end Michael’s reign of terror and goes on a town watch to find him. We start to see Michael take out many of his new and old victims throughout the manhunt. Laurie and the rest of the hospital also become involved with the finding and ending of Michael.

Halloween Kills marks new high in 'horror renaissance' | Horror films | The  Guardian

Allyson and Cameron, with Cameron’s dad (the little boy Lonnie all grown up) also become involved with the manhunt for Michael. With the escape of an asylum inmate, it creates complications for the town as they mistake him for Michael, dividing the town in half. After realizing Michael’s plan, Allyson and Cameron head to the original Myers house to put a stop to Michael. The end is near and we see little hope of Allyson stopping Michael, but help comes to step in ultimately stopping Michael but not truly stopping or ending the Halloween series, yet.

Halloween Kills was a very eventful and fun Halloween movie to watch. It doesn’t particularly give you that scare factor or have you sitting on the edge of your seat, but it is still eventful to watch. It felt as if it were missing important factors to make it more of a “scary movie” and not like an action movie. The scenes with Michael were great and the suspense factors were sort of lacking. Many of the actions characters take feel as if they were not involved in stopping Michael and more for the drama of the movie. Even though the logic of the victims wasn’t the best, it was fun to watch and made you want to scream at them, “No don’t do it!” or “Why would you do that?” I couldn’t remember the last time I had fun watching a horror movie, and even if movies like this aren’t scary enough for you it’ll still be very enjoyable to watch. Many of the scenes and actions taken can have you waiting for more, or not waiting at all.
Halloween Kills is an exciting start to the Halloween season.

And just in case you wanted to know, in 2022 the finale to the Halloween series will be released: Halloween Ends gives me the excitement to see how it all finally ends.

HALLOWEEN KILLS - Michael Myers Halloween Horror Movie T-Shirt – Fright-Rags

Knott’s Scary Farm Review 2021

By Jacob Miranda

Imagine you were sitting on a bench in the middle of the Boardwalk Square, talking to a nice dressed man. Someone was on the side of the road was selling newspapers, others were just strolling about, but aside from a few baseball bats (maybe they were just going to play a game), it was nice. The man is reminiscing about “a dame I had met at the Coasters diner.” She sounds nice enough, but it was getting late and you mention that you need to be back home by 6:00. He gave you a friendly wave goodbye, but you couldn’t help but double back and notice the giant hole on the side of his face.

You were in the Gore-ing ‘20s, the new scare zone for Knott’s Scary Farm, located in the left part of Boardwalk. It’s a seemingly nice place, full of color and life. Well, sort of. All the people are dead, but less in an “I’m going to haunt you” way but more in a “Casper the Friendly Ghost” way. It’s more peaceful, but not without the occasional double back or jumpscare. Either way, it’s a pleasant break from the horrors that you would have seen for the past 4 hours.

I decided to embark on this trip, and I bought a ticket for Knott’s Scary Farm on Friday, October 8. I went in almost blind, but in a 6-hour trip, I was still able to go through 4 out of the 8 mazes and take a quick visit through all of the scare zones, though that isn’t even half of what the expansive horror experience has in store. In addition to over half the mazes being located in a spot behind ghost rider that is usually locked, there are also 30 different specialty foods, 4 different shows, and 3 different art galleries, all of which I could unfortunately see. Either way, Knott’s Scary Farm is definitely popular, and if someone is able to scrape up a whopping 108 bucks (or find some sort of discount. Here’s a tip: I got my ticket through the TAP, at a third of the price), I would recommend it, so long as you get some sleep beforehand.

I started out my night by going through the Mesmerizer Maze, the newest maze located in the Carnevil Scare Zone. Set in an carnival overseen by the great showman Mesmerizer (yes, that’s his name) the Mesmerizer takes you through many aspects of a fair, but also included lots of the freaks advertised around Boardwalk, along with hypnotizing you (you walk across a “tightrope” and walk through a room with swaying walls), and scarers dressed as carnies are everywhere. I especially like how all the scares were set up. For example, one of the scarers was tied to what I believe is a bungee cord, and she would jump down for a ledge to scare people, rather than just hide behind a wall, which is a decision I respect a lot. Overall, I’d give this a 9/10. It’s definitely really good, especially for a new maze, and I hope to see it again next year.

The next maze I went to was Dark Ride, located at the Dark Castle/’80’s Dance Floor/Storage Building. This one made us travel through an abandoned theme park ride, with us walking through the ride in its entirety. One thing I do praise is the fact that they took what I last remember being a dance floor and being able to turn it into a full blown maze. Other than that, it’s alright. There weren’t many scarers, and the maze mostly relied on the shock value every time you turned another corner. I also didn’t really hear as many screams from in front of me as others. I feel that the knowledge that something scary coming up shakes you up a little bit, so missing that element really made this maze lack fear. Overall, I’d rate it more on the lower side of the spectrum, maybe a 4.5/10. It’s not the best, but if there is no line, I would think twice before walking past it.

The third maze I went to was Wax Works, which involved us exploring a (you guessed it) wax factory, run by an evil man named Agustus Scratch. He uses his factory as a cover, and turns people that visit into statues for display. Even before you get in, the scenery is full of TVs showing old-style ads for the wax sculpture tour. A giant devil’s head is mounted on top of the entrance, and whenever Agustus talks, the devil’s mouth moves as well, which I found cool. You are mostly taken through the main factory work area, with few scares with people and more of just visual props. Written on the walls on multiple occasions were the words, “I will mold you into my image,” many prop structures involved people being tortured, and one of the handful of scarers was even “stuck in one of the vats.” I think this maze pulled off visual scares better than Dark Ride did, and I would put this higher up on the list at maybe a 7/10. If you don’t know where to go next, I definitely think this one is worth checking out.

The final maze I went to was Paranormal Inc. Right off the bat, I knew something was different in this one. Instead of people being put into the maze one by one, they were sent in droves, and I immediately knew this maze was not like the others. When I got to the front, we were told that we were a live audience for a ghost hunting show, and it was especially cool because it was the last season. We were brought into an area in a sanitarium, where a previously caught ghost was accidentally let loose. The scares don’t start immediately, though; instead, the actor talked to the ghost on a clock nearby before it sprang out and a person dressed as the ghost was carried by. From there, we are told to evacuate the scene, and we travel through the sanitarium before actually being sent back to the 1860s, when the place was still open for business. Overall, I think that was the best maze I’ve been on, and it’s definitely a 10/10. But I later found out that the maze was actually closing, and I am happy that I was able to go on it before then.

The scare zones were pretty cool, though the main attraction was definitely the mazes. They all felt similar, except for the Goreing 20s area, but they all had their quirks that separated them by more than just theme. The Forsaken Lake area, though small, was the only area to be covered in fog. Carnevil had vicious clowns roaming around, and if you stopped to look at them too long they weren’t afraid to stance you up (my sister now knows that from firsthand experience). The Hollow mostly relied on it’s darkness, which actually got me a few times. One person was hiding in what I now see as an obvious spot, but walking past I didn’t give it a second though until it was too late. The Ghost Town Streets, in addition to being the biggest zone, were also the best in my opinion. The scarers were all dressed as cowboys, but they had metal on their shoes and hands that made sparks whenever they slid on them, which I found genuinely awesome.

Overall, I liked my experience, and would definitely go again. The price is very high, but I feel that for the most part it’s worth it. If you are able to get enough money for a ticket, and have at the very least a decent sleep schedule, try setting off a night to go. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Map of Knott’s Scary Farm
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