BSGE’s Favorite Movies of 2016 Reply

This past year, thousands of movies were released by a wide range of directors and each with varying degrees of interest. The most popular movies viewed by BSGE students were Deadpool, Moana, The Jungle Book, Zootopia, Rogue One, Finding Dory, and Suicide Squad.

Deadpool, released on February 12, 2016, dealt with a former Special Force operative, Wade Wilson, with the goal of hunting down the man who nearly destroyed his life. It was a rated “R” film but even with this age restriction, it was still widely popular, with many personal opinions. Pamela Baican ‘17 said, “A lot of my friends watched this and I don’t regret it. A lot of actions were involved which I really liked.” Kyle Breen ‘22 said that the movie had “lots of ‘rude humor’ but even though it made me laugh a lot, I wouldn’t recommend it to most people.” More…


The Force Awakens – And So Does a New Breed of Star Wars Reply



I grew up on Star Wars – and yes, I am aware of the faint laughter I hear from “original” 1970s fans as I say that. But I’m as real a fan as a teenager in 2016 can be. My parents thankfully raised me on the original trilogy, and so when I heard that George Lucas had sold Star Wars to Disney, I cringed. I rolled my eyes at promotional merchandise and trailers and the spherical orange wannabe R2-D2.

But of course, on December 17th, I found myself at the premiere of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, robe-clad with lightsaber in tow. More…

Dr. Helfenbein on Movies: Science Fiction Movies of the 50s Part II Reply

Dr. Helfenbein is an avid film watcher (or, as some would say, cinephile) and will be writing a semi-regular column for the BACC Rag in which he recommends older movies students might be interested in watching. 

In the previous column, I mentioned that the large number of science fiction movies produced in the 1950s may in part be due to the atomic zeitgeist: by 1949, both the United States and the Soviet Union had atomic weapons. Many science fiction movies of the era deal with radioactivity in one way or another. In this column, I have written about two of these movies, both of which deal with the (fictional) effects of radiation, but go in opposite directions: one to the little and one to the big.

incredible_shrinking_man_poster_05The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) directed by Jack Arnold from a screenplay by Richard Matheson (from his novel) is the story of Scott Carey. During a day outing on a boat, an unusual mist passes over the vessel . . . and Carey’s body. Apparently, it is of no concern, but as the weeks go by he notices that his clothes are too big for him. Initially he thinks he may have lost weight. Eventually he goes to the doctor and discovers that not only has he lost weight, but he has also grown shorter. A visit to a research lab determines that the mist that Carey encountered was radioactive. He also remembers that weeks before the boating trip he had been exposed to a chemical insecticide. This combination has caused a change in the molecular structure of his cells. As time goes by, Scott Carey can no longer work, his relationship with his wife deteriorates, as does his relationship with the family cat once he is mouse-sized (and then there is the spider in the basement he must confront when insect-sized). It would seem as More…

Dr. Helfenbein On Movies: Science Fiction of the 1950s Reply

Dr. Helfenbein is an avid film watcher (or, as some would say, cinephile) and will be writing a semi-regular column for the BACC Rag in which he recommends older movies students might be interested in watching. 

The first two decades of the sound era (the 30s and 40s) saw few science fiction movies (notable exceptions being the serials Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers). Whether it was due to the atomic era and Cold War or just to the fact the time was right, the 1950s saw an explosion of science fiction on the big screen: space monsters, alien invaders, colliding planets, giant invertebrates, and mad scientists all made it to the big time in the decade that gave us Fortran and rock ‘n’ roll. In this column I’ll deal with selections from the unfriendly-visitors-from-outer-space subgenre.

            The Thing From Another World (1951), directed by Christian Nyby, tells the tale of a group of scientists, military personnel and news reporters at a station in Antarctica. They find, buried beneath snow and ice, a space ship . . . and its lone occupant. The Thing is a classic of claustrophobic horror with most of the action between humans and bloodthirsty alien taking place in the confined quarters of the station, the exterior an inhospitable frozen zone. This movie served up the UFO-mania r More…

“SELMA” Tickets Free for Students Reply

On Monday, Janlarge_w2uuoiXk7HdICSSTMrQuj98tgAwuary 19th, America celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Although many students celebrated with a day off from school, a group of 27 African-American business leaders in New York spread awareness with free movie tickets for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. This group created a fund that offered 27,000 New York City middle/high school students the opportunity to watch the movie, “SELMA,” for free. Starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “SELMA” takes place in 1965, the year of Dr. King’s campaign for equal voting rights. The movie depicts his three-month long march from Selma, Alabama (hence the movie title) to Montgomery, Alabama, that led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the greatest victory of the Civil Rights Movement. The movie also shows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s brothers and sisters’ involvement in the journey for equal rights.


Movie Review: The Giver Reply

The Giver by Lois Lowry was recently turned into a movie. Released on August 15th, it revolves around a boy who lives in a futuristic black-and-white world where the idea of ‘sameness’ is created to eliminate conflict. Everything is controlled, from emotions, to weather, to memories, therefore preventing people from making bad decisions and causing war and other difficulties. Therefore, most people are unaware of harmful events and actions, since the memories of the past were erased from the minds of everyone except for one person, whose responsibility is to transfer those memories to the next person chosen to receive them.  Jonas, “The Receiver,” was chosen to accept the memories.  Throughout the movie, he learns many things that stun him, things he never thought possible in a peaceful but artificial society.

The film, starring Brenton Thwaites as Jonas, and Jeff Bridges as the Giver, basically follows the main plot of the book, though a few things are tweaked.  The actors, even though they are older than they were supposed to be, did a good job of portraying the personalities of the original characters, Thwaites as a boy absorbing a lot of shocking information, and Bridges as a wise man who has experiences beyond one’s imagination, suffering from the pain of loss and knowledge.

 The movie and book were both exceptional, however, some details added or taken away made the book slightly better. Fans of the book were somewhat disappointed in the movie, but most agree that it was beautiful in its own way. More…

Divergent: Book vs. Movie Reply

Divergent has been a popular topic ever since the books came out. Being the first book out of the Divergent trilogy, Divergent introduces a dystopian future in which the only city left after a horrible war is split into five groups, otherwise known as factions. The five factions are Abnegation, Dauntless, Candor, Erudite, and Amity. These factions group people based on their most apparent quality. Abnegation represents selflessness, Dauntless represents bravery and courage, Candor represents honesty, Erudite represents intelligence, and Amity represents peace.



The book revolves around a 16-year old girl named Beatrice Prior. The plot of the book starts on the day of her aptitude test. In this society, once a child turned 16, they had to take an aptitude test that determined which faction they would live in for the rest of their lives. Beatrice was feeling very anxious, but she felt ready. After waiting a bit at her school, she was called in by a test distributor named Tori. Tori told Beatrice that she would go through a series of simulations in which she must make decisions that would best fit the situation. After the simulations were over, Tori nervously told Beatrice that she was Divergent. Tori explained that people who were Divergent were rare because they had an aptitude for more than one faction. Beatrice’s test showed results in aptitude for Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite. Tori said she must hide her Divergence and that she should just pretend that her results were inconclusive. The rest of the book goes into More…

Catching Fire: Book VS. Movie Reply

The Catching Fire book came out on September 1, 2009. The book starts out with Katniss and Peeta’s new lives in the Victor’s Village a year after they won their Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta no longer have to worry about death lurking at their sides. Or at least that is what they believe. The second book of the series describes the 75th year of the annual Hunger Games, meaning it was time for the 3rd  Quarter Quell. Since the Quarter Quell only came every 25 years, President Snow and More…

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters: Book vs Movie

For those who watched The Sea of Monsters this past August, they can be sure to remember the angry whispers that surfaced once credits rolled in. Most of these angry whispers came from those decent audience members who actually read the writings of the great Rick Riordan. Okay, maybe I was the only one hollering my head off… But what can be expected? More…

The Hunger Games: Book vs. Movie Reply

In case you don’t know already know, The Hunger Games is about Katniss Everdeen, a girl who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem. Panem is split into 12 districts and the Capitol. Katniss is from District 12, and volunteers to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games to save her sister.  The story is told from her point of view. It describes her relationships with other characters, her thoughts, and her surroundings, which is important in the constantly life-threatening Hunger Games arena.  The book was extremely captivating, and hard to put down.

The movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, told much the same tale as the books.  Jennifer portrays Katniss as the brave, and selfless soul she is, and Josh perfectly plays the part of the lovesick school boy staring from afar. The first installment of The Hunger Games film franchise had smaller budget than the sequel, Catching Fire.

Although both the book and movie tell the story well, the book was definitely More…

The Hunger Games!

Happy Hunger Games! But was it really, though? Last month marked the big screen premiere of Harry Potter 2.0- err, the Hunger Games, and people went capital C crazy. I couldn’t walk through the hallways without hearing “OMG HUNGER GAMES” or something about how “hot” Josh Hutcherson is. People were staying up all night to watch the midnight premiere and hustling to read the whole series before the movie came out, which seems a little counter-productive to me- if you’re not already a fan of the books, why not just wait a week to see what happens in the movie? Why put in the extra effort to read the books super fast when you can just watch it and be surprised? But I digress. For some reason, I never got into the Hunger Games like most people did. Yes, I did read the first two books, and I did get pretty excited to watch the movie, but I was never a hardcore fan of it. I think my expectations, of both the books and the movie, were what led to my ambivalence towards the whole series.
But about the movie. The first problem I had with it was with its shaky camera work. Seriously, I spent half the movie with a raging headache and whiplash because whoever was holding the camera was suffering through a More…

2009 Summer Movies Reply

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 24):
This sci-fi action flick is the sequel to the 2007 Transformers movie. In it, Sam Witwicky, portrayed by Shia LaBeouf discovers the history of the Transformer machines on Earth after receiving strange visions about them. The Transformers, as depicted by the movie, are somehow related to the beginning of civilization on Earth. They are said to have existed in the times of Ancient Egypt, where a lot of the movie actually takes place. It also deals with the government trying to More…

Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire, Best Movie by Far Reply

by George I ’10

Every so often,
an independent film comes
along and makes a splash in
awards scene. For the past
couple of years, it was Juno
and Little Miss Sunshine.
This year, that film is undoubtedly
Slumdog Millionaire.
The film has already
received heaps of critical appraise,
and won eight Oscars
at this year’s awards. Slumdog
Millionaire, directed by More…

Movie Review: Puts the “Wow” In “Chihuahua Reply

Just when you thought we didn’t need another talking animal movie…
In “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”, Drew Barrymore is the voice of the lead character, a spoiled Chihuahua from Beverly Hills named Chloe. When her owner goes on a vacation where dogs are not allowed, she leaves her self absorbed, irresponsible niece, Rachel, to look after Chloe. While taking care of Chloe, Rachel decides to take a More…

Movie Review: Stepbrothers: A Surprising Success Reply

Will Ferrell’s newest film is a crude comedic adventure. It takes you through the world of two individual characters that stumble upon each other as a result of their parents’ recent marriage. Inappropriate and abrasive humor rages throughout the film, with Ferrell displaying some unnecessary imagery towards the middle of the 98-minute spectacle.
With the (tremendous lack of) success achieved by “Semi-Pro” and “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”, “Step-Brothers“ has to be viewed with low expectations. When done so, the film soars; it’s rude and raunchy humor make the viewer unexpectedly laugh in hysterics. The never-stay-positive attitude quickly deteriorates as Ferrell and Reily immediately jump into their senseless antics.
The co-actors John C. Reily and Will Ferrell team up again, as they did in Talladega Nights, to make the audience gasp in disbelief and roll in the aisles in glee.
Just remember; go in thinking it’ll be the worst movie ever.

Movie Review: The Dark Knight’s A Bright Light Reply

This second movie in director and co-writer Christopher Nolan’s Batman film series needs a new title. “The Joker” or “Heath Ledger’s Brilliance” would be more appropriate because 2 minutes into the movie, the Joker steals the the spotlight. His performance in the more than 500 million dollar (and still counting) grossing movie rocked the audience; inspiring emotions never experienced through movies before.
His performance rivals Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Like Depp, everything from Ledger’s smiles to his hand motions carry the essence of The Joker.
Of course credit should also go to Johnathan and Christopher Nolan and the other writers.Thanks to their intense dialogue, the depth of The Jokers’s persona are well developed and consistent.
Christian  Bale delivers a solid but bland Batman. The Dark Knight like most good movies is about more the Batman and the Joker. It explore the roles of hero and villain and the ideas of order and anarchy and of human nature. Even people who don’t usually enjoy action films will love The Dark Knight.

Movie Review: Indiana Jones Is Worth Every Cent and Then Some Reply

When a popular
franchise is being revitalized
after 19 years, there are
bound to be huge expectations.
Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom Of The Crystal
Skull, which was released
into theatres on May 22, is
one of the most highly anticipated
films of the year. The
previous installment in the
series, The Last Crusade,
was released on May 24, More…

Movie Preview: Iron Man Reply

Iron Man Strikes Theaters! Iron Man, based on the Marvel comic, hit movie theatres May 2, 2008. Directed by Jon Favreau and Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a billionaire weapons maker. When demonstrating his newest weaponry in Afghanistan, he was kidnapped by a terrorist who said he was going to hold him captive unless he built a missile. Instead of making the missile, Tony Stark built a suit that helped him escape. When he More…