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  • Articles,, Movie, Movie Review, Movies

    Review of The Great Hack: A Documentary About Data Rights and Democracy

    the great hack

    The 2016 election was an election that shocked the United States. Many people were confused as to how Trump became elected despite his scandals and lack of political experience. Earlier that year, there was a movement in Britain to leave the European Union, famously known as Brexit. Strangely enough, there is a commonality between the Brexit movement and Trump’s presidential campaign: Cambridge Analytica, a data company. Not only does this documentary, The Great Hack, investigate the intrusive role of this company in Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election, but it also raises awareness about the right to own your own data. As for myself, I found myself watching with awe and horror how big companies had so much leverage in determining the future of a nation by using our data.

    Here’s a trailer if you’re interested in The Great Hack:

    If you’d like to read more about this topic, please visit

  • Articles,, Movie, Movie Review, Movies

    A Review of “Mona Lisa Smile”

    Mona Lisa Smile

    The Run Down

    “Mona Lisa Smile” is a movie starring Julia Roberts as a professor at a women’s college. It is set right after World War II when women were still seen as housewives. The college is very traditional and conservative in view, while Julia Roberts plays a more liberal woman who wants to teach the girls that they can break tradition, get an education and get married, and other newer ideas of the time.

    My thoughts

    It is a great movie to watch, even though some of the issues do not apply in today’s world. The various girls at the school represent different types of characters and their lives address different issues. Despite the women going to college, the school teaches them how to be a proper wife, marriage takes priority over their education. One of the women has to choose between going to law school or marrying her boyfriend. Another simply marries the man her family wants her to, and her life becomes a disaster. Julia Roberts’ character, Katherine Watson, guides them through different ideas of women empowerment through her art history class.

    It is a great movie to watch with friends or on your own. It is interesting to consider the different roles that were expected of women and how far we have come. The setting combined with the different characters truly makes an amazing movie that urges you to think along with the women at the college. It is also just a feel-good movie as it has an inspiring and happy ending. It leaves you feeling good, so if you need a happy movie that also addresses some interesting topics, you should watch “Mona Lisa Smile.”

    You can see the movie on Netflix and watch the trailer below:

  •, Movies

    4 Movies That Prove We Are Stronger Together

    Girl Power Movies

    Movies that provide a Girl Power Boost when you need it most!

    Mean Girls (2004)

    via GIPHY

    Throughout Mean Girls, there is a constant, underlying theme: girls against girls. Society encourages female competitivity as if there is a limit to the amount of women society can accept. This movie is a comedic, but honest portrayal of the daily struggles teen girls endure.

    Legally Blonde (2001)

    via GIPHY

    Legally Blonde puts the questions of brains and beauty to rest. Elle Woods gets dumped by her Harvard bound boyfriend because according to him, she is too blonde. Elle decides to let her fury guide her to success. Which in this case means Harvard Law. Legally Blonde shines a shimmering light on the fact that girls can do anything!

    Chicago (2002)

    via GIPHY

    Ladies, we have to stick together! Chicago illuminates the possibilities that arrive when women put aside their differences and focus on what makes them alike. Through music, dance, and criminal activity – the female prisoners exhibit Girl Power in a unique form.

    13 Going On 30

    via GIPHY

    13 Going On 30 is a great reminder that WE ARE STRONG. Society places a pressure upon women to find their Prince Charming. However, this movie provides a glimpse into the future of a 13 year-old girl who’s only worry in life is being popular and receiving her first kiss. The next day, Jenna wakes up as a 30 year-old woman. Her experience as an adult causes her to want nothing more than the simplicity of being a teenager. 13 Going On 30 is sort of a fairy tale, but it accurately conveys the importance of patience. Life is too short, so don’t treat it like a race.

  • Movies

    Why You Should Watch “The Carrie Diaries”

    Why You Should Watch The Carrie Diaries

    To set the scene: In The Carrie Diaries, the story focuses on Carrie, a teenage girl living with her sister, Dorrit, and her dad during the ’80s.

    Her mother has just passed away when the show begins, and it depicts the life of Carrie and her friends. They are in their junior year of high school, and Carrie has a job working for a magazine in New York City. The show is about the struggles of being a teenager and the choices we have to make.

    Why it is good for a teenager to watch? Throughout the lives of the characters, the show addresses various issues teenagers might deal with in their lives. The first depicted issue is how Carrie deals with the loss of her mother. The show demonstrates Carrie and Dorrit overcoming all of the obstacles of the school year plus the death of their mother. They both have different methods of dealing with life without a mother, but it eventually works out for them.

    Another issue is sexuality and the acceptance of it.

    I do not want to give away spoilers. However, the show does a very good job of depicting a gay teenager battling coming out to his friends in an unaccepting world. Besides these issues, one of the more prominent struggles of a teenager is dating. The Carrie Diaries shows various relationships, some healthy and some not, and gives examples of how to deal with the different types (through the story-line). It is overall really helpful to see relationship situations that are not over-dramatized (despite it being a tv show).

    Last, the most common issue addressed is sex. The idea of sex is portrayed in a positive way, which is refreshing. In the show sex is not a horrible act, it is just something that teenagers have to think about. However, the show is very focused on having sex when you feel comfortable, not when forced or peer-pressured. It promotes healthy sexual relationships if that is what you want. Overall, the show addresses, in a positive way, some of the issues teenagers deal with today.

    From the focus-based description, the show kinda sounds boring, but I assure you it is amazing, and I highly recommend it. It is full of drama (not cheesy drama) and humorous, well-built characters. The show as a whole comes together to form an amazing story.

  • Movies

    Hallmark vs. Netflix: Christmas Movies

    Hallmark vs. Netflix: Christmas Movies

    This Christmas, before you settle down to watch another Hallmark movie, consider flipping over to Netflix.

    There are plenty of new movies to watch that rival Hallmark in more than one way. You can watch Netflix anywhere, their movies have better female role models, and the relationships are more realistic.

    Hallmark is a staple for the holidays, whether it be finding romance through a secret billionaire, or building an Inn with a stranger after someone you knew passed away and left it to you. There is no doubt that these movies are entertaining. I watch them with my mom and best friend every week. However, there is always that nagging feeling that the women are not getting the attention they deserve. I noticed that a lot of the movies end up with less focus on the girls’ careers and more on her finding love and moving away to where the guy lives.

    I am all for finding romance and fantasizing about what you could have. However, dreaming about the perfect job is just as valid. In the future, I want to support myself financially and love what I do for a living before I love and support someone else. Some of the Hallmark movies do allow women to have bits of their success. However, most don’t, and I am tired of the male-dominated success and males characters leaping in to save the day.

    I need a strong female role model that gets to have her career and her romance, too.

    This is what you get with the Netflix movies The Holiday Calendar and The Princess Switch. Both films have a romantic plot, but also have a career motivated subplot. Go ahead and watch them if you haven’t. Bonnie from The Vampire Diaries and Vanessa Hudgens are in them.

    While watching one Netflix movie, I was prepared to guess the ending they. Guy proposes to the girl after knowing her for three weeks; the girl says yes, and a week later they’re married under a romantic canopy of lights. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised to know that the characters considered their relations rationally and allowed time to grow their bonds. There was not one instance where someone cheated on a spouse through flirtation or physical touch.

    Hallmark finds it romantic to fall for the guy who was awful at the beginning or the guy who wants to leave his fiancé for the other woman. It’s crazy to think about how that would go down in real life. Consider you have a significant other. Said significant other gets called away to business in some small snow-covered town miles away. A local girl bakes him a pie when his car breaks down, and immediately it becomes about her being his long-lost soul mate. How would you feel? Enraged? I would hope so. It would all sound so romantic if you were the girl and some guy in a fancy tuxedo came to your bakery two nights before Christmas. It would be fate, then. No, it’s just adultery.

    Don’t get me wrong; I will continue to watch Hallmark movies as I am just as addicted as the next fan. My point is, keep in mind that these are not all healthy romantic plots. They are just fantasies.

    Here are some links to Hallmark and Netflix movies that I love:

  • Movie, Movies

    Best Media With Rewarding Friendships Between Women

    Movies and TV shows and video games that emphasize friendships between women have always held a special place in my heart. Seeing a healthy and realistic representation of friendship between women can be extremely validating, so without further ado, here are the best movies and TV shows and video games that feature friendships between women.

    I’ll be including ratings next to each piece of media listed, so keep in mind the rating before you begin watching.

    Additionally, check out the website Does The Dog Die if need be. It will tell you anything about a piece of media that some might find upsetting, like if the dog dies or not. If you have any trepidation about any of the following movies, TV shows, or video games, then I suggest you run the title through this website. Find the link here:

    Clueless (PG-13)
    If you haven’t seen this extremely quotable movie, then what are you doing? It’s a classic. One of the best things about this movie is the friendship between Ty, Cher, and Deon.

    Pitch Perfect (PG-13)
    Like Clueless, this is another fun chick flick with sharp witty dialogue.

    Fried Green Tomatoes (PG-13)
    This movie focuses on two different pairs of friends, and revolves around a murder. It’s a touching movie that everyone should watch in their lifetime.

    Hidden Figures (PG)
    This is the story of African American women mathematicians who worked at NASA during the space race. Their friendship and achievements are inspiring, do yourself a favor and watch this movie if you haven’t already.

    Uptown Girls (PG-13)
    This movie is a bit of a tear jerker, but the odd friendship between the two female leads works because of how unlikely the pairing is.

    Juno (PG-13)
    The friendship between Juno and her friend is really special, especially since her friend is so supportive and caring towards Juno during her pregnancy.

    Mean Girls (PG-13)

    Orphan Black (TV-MA)
    This fun science fiction series is about clones, and thusly one actress plays upwards of ten different characters. We get to see how the friendship between these women grows into something special. Keep in mind that this show is rated TV-MA for a reason, so keep that in mind before you watch it.

    Parks and Rec (TV-PG)
    Leslie and Anne’s friendship in this show is great because their relationship is allowed to have its ups and downs. Plus, who wouldn’t want to celebrate “Galentine’s Day” every year with their female friends?

    Orange is the New Black (TV-MA)
    The friendship between Poussey and Taystee is really well developed in my opinion. The fact that they became friends in prison out of necessity of company is extremely moving. Keep in mind the show does have a TV-MA rating for a reason.

    Life is Strange (M)
    This game brings front and center the friendship of high schoolers Max and Chloe in a murder mystery. Keep in mind that the game has an M for mature rating for a reason.

    The Last of Us (M)
    Ellie and Riley’s friendship one of the best things about this game, and that’s saying a lot for such a well designed game. Making friends is tough, but making friends in the zombie apocalypse is even harder. Keep in mind that this game is grueling and at times extremely violent. It certainly warrants its M rating.

  • Movie Review, Movies

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II Movie Review by Jana

    The Incredibles II is finally back after a fourteen year wait! I’m going to be talking about my general thoughts on the movie, and give it a score out of ten. Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for The Incredibles and The Incredibles II.


    The thing I loved about the first movie was the politicized nature of the supers, and the way the movie subverted common superhero tropes. I think it’s fair to say that The Incredibles subverted tropes similar to the way Watchmen had subversive politicized superhero tropes, but certainly not to the same extent as Watchmen. Instead of existing in a society that fully embraced them, the heros in The Incredibles faced backlash for civilian casualties / property damage they caused while performing saves. Another thing I loved about the first movie was the excellent score, which I’m happy to report is not absent in The Incredibles II.

    The second movie had an interesting villain who I would have loved to have been more fleshed out. Evelyn/ Screenslaver is a fascinating character whose motivations felt poorly explained and even lacking in important details in her big villain monologue to Elastigirl.

    Her distrust of supers goes back to her father’s love of them, and his reluctance to use the family’s safe room while they were getting robbed. He instead opted to try and use his direct line to supers who arrived too late, and he was thus killed for his over reliance on supers. Evelyn’s father was shown to be an important political figure to supers and advocated for their rights.

    Basically, Evelyn dislikes the way the general public overly relies on the actions of the supers and wants the public to go back to distrusting them. Also, her hatred of supers ties into the way she uses them to try and give the supers a bad name: screens. Her villain identity is called Screenslaver, and she used screens to hypnotize people into following her orders. Screenslaver delivers a monologue regarding the way people are overly reliant on technology, and seems to make this point very well by demonstrating her ability to hypnotize anyone looking at a screen. She fashions screens into goggles for the supers, and forces them to act in a way that makes the general public distrust them.

    This is such a fascinating character with commentary about people’s reliance on technology, and I would have liked it if we got more backstory and explanation about this character. It’s worth acknowledging that she might have gotten more fleshed out in scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.

    Like the first movie, The Incredibles II was as much about superheros as it was about the Parr family dynamic. I loved the way Bob and Violet’s father / daughter relationship evolved, and gave Bob room to make mistakes as a parent. Additionally, Helen’s move to front and center superhero for a short period of the movie was excellent. Bob’s jealousy when Helen was selected to carry out a mission instead of him wasn’t condemned or painted as a negative aspect of Bob’s character. Rather, his jealousy was understandable, and he made a visibly painful effort to demonstrate his happiness for her success.

    This tied into how he grew as a parent for all of his children. While Helen was out on the mission, he had be the sole caregiver for his children, something he clearly wasn’t used to. His jealousy seemed to make him resent this work at first, but as he got better at these parental duties, he began to enjoy carrying them out more. His frustration over not being able to understand Dash’s homework led to him pulling an all nighter to learn the math so he could help his son do well on the test. His comically botched plan to save Violet’s relationship with her love interest backfired and led to a heartfelt apology where he admitted to some degree of fault for the relationship’s undoing. As a quick aside, the way the family weaponized Jack Jack’s powers was hilarious; holding Jack Jack like a gun and saying, “pew pew” to make lasers shoot out of his eyes was comedy gold. Another brilliant moment I enjoyed was at the very end of the movie when Evelyn/ Screenslaver was arrested. Violent makes the comment, “Yeah but she’s rich, so she’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist.”

    Overall, I’d give The Incredibles II a 7/10 simply due to how enjoyable it was, but wish it could have offered a more fleshed out villain.

    Catch a sneak peek here: