Grosse Pointe South's student views on popular culture.

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Isaac Piecuh ’14 | Staff Writer

As school comes to a close, you may find yourself at a crossroads; what exactly will you do with all your newfound freedom? Will you relentlessly tan despite a complete inability to do so? Will you perfect a double backflip off of the Farms’ Park High Dive? Or will you masterfully grill hamburgers to a perfect medium, earning the title of Grillmaster Extraordinaire?

The answer, dear friends, is none of the above. No, this summer will be spent watching movies, as any and all free time should be. But in order to optimize your moviegoing experience, you’ll need to know which films are worth seeing. That’s where I come in.

Using extensive film expertise and vast stores of knowledge, I have crafted the ultimate movie guide for the upcoming summer. I call it, “Top 10 Summer Movies.” Enjoy, and be sure to put your newfound knowledge to good use.

10) Edge of Tomorrow

Release Date: June 6, 2014

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

I know what you’re thinking: “Tom Cruise, ew!” But bear with me, please. The guy, for all his kooky scientologist tendencies, knows how to make some entertaining action flicks. One of Cruise’s latest, “Oblivion,” proves that he is capable of delivering entertaining sci-fi; what it lacks for in depth, it makes up for in fun. Edge of Tomorrow looks to improve on this shallow past with an actually interesting premise. In the film, an inexperienced soldier must relive the day of an alien invasion until he finally figures out how to stop the interstellar baddies. Think Groundhog Day, but with evil aliens. While the film likely won’t go down in the history books, it’s sure to be an enjoyable ride; isn’t that what really matters?


9) How to Train Your Dragon 2

Release Date: June 13, 2014

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Kit Harington, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill

There’s something inherently lovable about most of Dremworks’ animated films, and 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” was as sweet as they come. The film tasks our hero, Hiccup, with saving the world from an evil dragon hunter. While that does sound inherently childish, give up the tough guy routine: nobody’s fooled. The film will surely be filled with adorable high-jinks, family-friendly laughs, and heart wrenching sweetness. Bring your little sister as an excuse if you must; we all know you’ll love it, too.


8) Let’s Be Cops

Release Date: August 13

Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.

If you’ve never witnessed Damon Wayans Jr. in action, you’re missing out. He starred in the criminally underappreciated “Happy Endings” TV show, and is the kind of guy who you immediately fall in love with on screen. Pair that with “New Girl” star Jake Johnson and you’ve got a recipe for success. The duo plays a pair of friends dressed as cops at a Halloween party who find their pretend duties escalating quickly. Directed by Luke Greenfield, who led the surprisingly wonderful “The Girl Next Door” (2004), “Let’s Be Cops” has the potential to be the sleeper comedy hit of the summer.


7)Begin Again

Release Date: July 4

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightly

“Begin Again,” which premiered at last September’s Toronto Film Festival, stars Mark Ruffalo as a lonely record executive who bonds with a hopeful young singer-songwriter (Knightley). Like last year’s excellent “Inside Llewyn Davis,” it looks to be an emotional character study set against a music industry backdrop. If nothing else, I’m excited to see Mark Ruffalo do his classic Mark Ruffalo thing.

Oh, and this movie has Adam Levine! I don’t mind spending every day… watching your movies, Mr.Maroon 5!


6)The Giver

Release Date: August 15

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep

While the market seems to be saturated with young adult novel adaptations, “The Giver” is an excitingly introspective take on futuristic coming-of-age cliche. It depicts a 12 year old boy (Thwaites) discovering the stains of a so-called utopia when he’s selected to take over the position of “Receiver of Memory” from an elderly man (Bridges). The film looks appropriately subdued, and promises to leave audiences talking and, more importantly, thinking. Besides, at least its not another Hunger Games/ Hunger Games clone (I’m looking at you, Divergent).


5) What If

Release Date: August 1

Starring: Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver

I love Harry Potter. You love Harry Potter. Almost everyone with a pulse loves Harry Potter. So when the Boy Who Lived comes out with a new movie, it demands our attention. Fortunately for us, “What If” actually looks like a great, quirky rom-com for all of us to enjoy. It stars Radcliffe as an average guy who falls for a taken girl and shows the struggle that comes for loving the right girl at the wrong time. While it may be more adequately titled “Adventures in the Friendzone,” “What If” throws off the right kind of quirky vibes; think “(500) Days of Summer” with British lead and (hopefully!) a happy ending. For that, I’m interested.


4)Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date: August 1

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel

Marvel’s going out on a limb with “Guardians of the Galaxy”; the concept is a bit (excuse the pun) out of this world. But if it’s even half as good as “The Avengers” (2012), their last foray into Superhero teams, audiences should be thrilled. The film stars a team of cosmic misfits who are forced to band together and fight evil. The main characters include an Ent, a foul-mouthed, trigger-happy raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper, no less), and a sassy green woman, but the movie avoids taking itself too seriously. It recognizes its innate ridiculousness and uses that to its advantage, seeming to deliver a fun action adventure that’s worth looking forward to.



Release Date: July 11

Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette

“Boyhood” is the kind of indie darling that may be magical enough to wow mainstream audiences as well as critics. The film, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, is a drama telling the story of a young boy growing into adulthood. While this seems like a rather mundane premise, the film itself was shot in a way that no other film has been before. Director Richard Linklater filmed the main character, Coltrane, over 12 years, actually showing his evolution from boyhood into a young man. The same actor plays the main character at all ages; the growth in the film happened in the real world as well. Considering Linklater’s great track record with films like the “Before Sunrise” trilogy and “Dazed & Confused” it seems like “Boyhood” is more than just a gimmick; it could be a monumental step forward in film making.


2) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 11

Starring: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke

Following the surprising success of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), “Dawn…” continues the story of Caesar (played by Andy Serkis using Motion Capture) and his band of hyper-intelligent monkey’s as they creep towards world domination. The the first film took its admittedly absurd premise to surprisingly dark places, and “Dawn…” seems to continue its somber depiction of Primate dominance. Gone is the laughing face of James Franco, replaced by the ultra-serious character actors Gary Oldman and Keri Russell. It’s a post-apocalyptic film about monkey’s ruling the world; sounds like fun, right?


1) 22 Jump street

Release Date: June 13

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube

“21 Jump Street” (2012) was a total blast; since both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill ooze likability, they make a great pair of bumbling undercover cops. This year, the duo returns, and this time they’re going to college. Hopefully, “22 Jump Street” will be something other than a carbon-copy of the original; all it takes is a solid new storyline for the pair of stars to shine. I can’t wait to watch Tatum and Hill be deliciously immature; with the two of them, it almost has be funny.


I’ve just given you a complete gold mine of information. The 10 movies you see above may not all be critical hits; they might not even do great commercially. But I can confidently say that each and every one will rock your socks off. So trust me. Enjoy your summer, and make sure to head to the closest theatre. You won’t regret it.


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By Angelica Kalogeridis ’15 | Staff Writer

As the lights dim and the curtain slowly begins to open, choir students are preparing for what will be their last show this season: Broadway.

Choir students have been working on the music since April and been in tech rehearsals since May in preparation for tonight’s debut at Grosse Pointe Performing Arts center, choir director Christopher Pratt said.

Additionally, 34 seniors have been working on perfecting their senior solo performances. These performance, divided between the three shows, will give graduating seniors the chance to say goodbye after hundreds of hours of rehearsals, Pratt said.

Pratt, who is finishing his second year as South’s choir director, promises the show will be entertaining for all audiences.

“The audience can expect a high energy and diverse show, featuring our seniors throughout each show,” said Pratt.

Helping to prepare the 34 seniors and working out the logistics is a lot of work, Pratt said. However the solos will be the most enjoyable aspect of the show for the the audience.

“Seniors solos represent four years of hard work coming to an end,” said Olivia Withers ’14.

Seniors prepare for their solos months in advance in order for them to be a perfect closing for the year, Withers said. She has been rehearsing with her voice teacher once a week and occasionally practicing at home.

“I’ve been preparing for about a month and a half now,” said Withers. “I’m especially excited, though, because it’s my last choir show.”

Withers plans on wowing the audience with her song choice “Fairytale” by Sara Bareilles, she said. Although Withers is choosing an effective ballad without choreography, some seniors plan on featuring their creative array of dance moves.

“I’ve gotten to know so many of the seniors,” said Adam Vanosdol ’16. “I’m happy to call some of the them my closest friends.”

Vanosdol said he even was asked to be featured in Claire Rundquist’s senior solo. He said her solo is unique, and he couldn’t be happier to support her in her last performance.

“We have been having a lot of rehearsals and really crunching it in,” said Vanosdol. “But I am so excited to be a part of it.”

The senior men’s number is something to look forward to, Vanosdol said. They have been working so hard and it’s going to be a show to remember.

“I’m excited for the seniors,” said Vanosdol. “They deserve their time in the spotlight.”

Broadway is the last show closing out the four performing years of choir’s seniors, Vanosdol said. It’s going to be a unforgettable night that deserves a large audience to honor all their hard work.

“This is our last show of the year,” said Pratt.  “We are looking forward to sending our seniors off with a great show.”

Broadway shows are May 29th -31st, at 7 pm.  Ticket prices are $15 for the floor and $10 for the balcon. Click here to purchase tickets.

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By Franny Aliotta ’14 | Staff Writer

Producing their eighth studio album, The Black Keys have created “Turn Blue,” exhibiting different moods and sounds that everyone can enjoy.

The first single released is “Fever” which has an electronic keyboard riff that sounds similar to the “Monster Mash,” but the guitar chords and signature strong drum beat from Patrick Carney in the background makes this song seamlessly fit with the Black Keys’ fashion.

“In Time” has a stimulating guitar riff that sounds like it belongs in the “Addams Family” theme song.  It stays with this eerie and creepy mood that “Fever” gave but paired with lead singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach’s falsetto voice, it surprisingly still works for the band.

“Turn Blue” has the usual bluesy-rock style that has been on previous albums and especially on their most recent album, “El Camino.” But this particular track is even jazzier than before and slows down tremendously from the band’s normal pace.  It is a much more relaxed song but still maintains this mysterious feeling with echoing guitar sounds.

Another song that has a slower beat is “Weight of Love” which starts off like “Turn Blue,” but has a harsher electric guitar to keep the band in their alternative rock genre. Almost seven minutes long, the guitar solos seem unnecessary and not thought out, taking away from the good parts of the song.

“It’s Up to You Now” sounds like a typical Black Keys song, with a jungle sounding drum beat and a classic rock sounding guitar riff that matches the notes of Auerbach’s voice. However, there is a distant “Ooh” in the background coming from a high female voice that again gives the song a certain peculiar vibe that is everywhere on “Turn Blue.”

The beginning of “Gotta Get Away” separates from the album in a good way, sounding more country rock than the other songs.  The lyrics are explaining getting away and crossing the country as the chorus sings “I went from San Berdoo to Kalamazoo/Just to get away from you/I searched far and wide, hopin’ I was wrong/But baby all the good women are gone.”

It seems that the electronic keyboard and synthesizers were an experiment for the band this album, popping up again on “10 Lovers.” The high pitch sounds were not as fitting as they were on other tracks, but it was still an interesting combination of instruments.

The Black Keys never fail to make music that not only hipsters and coffeehouse junkies can enjoy, but the mainstream music world also adores anything that has the hazy voice of Auerbach and the distinct drum line of Carney. “Turn Blue” makes for another successful album.

Grade : A-

Listen to this album if you like: The White Stripes, Cage the Elephant, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys.

By Matthew Schulte `15 | Staff Writer


After a hard year of studying and completing homework assignments, it’s time to have some fun. That being said, with the school year coming to an end and prom right around the corner, what better way to get into the “graduation mood” then to view five incredible and classic teen flicks.


5. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

If you’re lost, you can look and you will find  Jared Hess’ “Napoleon Dynamite”…time after time. Somehow, awkward, quiet and tater tot-toting Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)  manages to steal our hearts, along with Deb’s (Tina Majorino.)

4. Footloose (1984)

After a hard night of dancing, kick off your Sunday shoes and watch Herbert Ross’ eternally corny and sparkly dance flick, “Footloose.” Post viewing, you’ll probably begin to understand, or perhaps even respect Reverend Shaw Moore’s (John Lithgow) ban on dancing.


3. Grease (1978)

Truly a pioneer of the dance battle, Randal Kleiser’s  “Grease” is a cheery and colorful musical that also happens to be a perfect example of why jazz hands should be banned at high school proms across the nation.


2. Prom Night (2008)

Although cliché, Nelson McCormick’s “Prom Night” renders every high school graduate’s worst fear:  Being chased by an obsessive, coldblooded and barbarous killer. Sounds like a night to remember.


1. Back to the Future (1985)

Time travel, flux capacitors and flaming cars would suffice enough to give Robert Zemeckis’ “Back to the Future” a high scoring rank on anyone’s list of best Prom movies, but in the end, Marty McFly’s rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” immortalizes the film, putting it on a pedestal all of its own.

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By Taylor Wouters ’15 | Staff Writer

As the actors rehearse their lines, the backstage crew works to make sure the curtain rises in time for opening night of “Will Rogers Follies.”

Having been involved in stage crew since eighth grade, Eva Doherty ’15 is preparing for her third show as a stage manager.

Photo courtesy of Eva Doutery '15 Dougtery and Abbey Schuetze working crew for "Will Rogers Follies". This is Dougtery's fourth year as a crew member and first year as
Photo courtesy of Eva Doutery ’15
Doherty (left) and Abbey Schuetze ’17 (right) work crew for “Will Rogers Follies”. This is Dougtery’s third production as a stage manager.

“My favorite part of being on crew is watching the shows come to life after months of hard work,” said Doherty. “It’s breathtaking to go from lines on a page to a living show that inspires audiences.”

This year, Nate Turner ’14 said he will be participating in his second production as a crew member.

“I am the student director of the show and also call the flies,” said Turner.

Being on crew also makes for meeting new people who have similar interests, Turner said.

“The friends I have made and the conversations I have with other crew members are a completely different feeling than when I have been on stage as an actor,” said Turner.

Since they are behind the curtain, the crew members aren’t seen by much of the audience, said Doherty.

“Crew isn’t there to be praised and glorified, we run the show from behind the scenes because that’s what we love to do,” said Doherty. “Crew holds the show together running the lights, sound, sets, props, costumes, curtains, and making sure it all happens correctly.”

Photo courtesy of Eva Doherty '15 Nate Turner '14 tries on wardrobe for "Will Rogers Folllies" while working crew for the musical.
Photo courtesy of Eva Doherty ’15
Nate Turner ’14 tries on wardrobe for “Will Rogers Folllies” while working crew for the musical.

Although it is what they love to do, both Doherty and Turner agree that working crew is difficult work.

“The most difficult part of my job is following the orchestra and script at the same time to ensure that the set is being shifted at the exact time,” said Turner.

Along with that, Doherty said it is difficult to be in charge of others while being their friend, too.

“The most difficult part of crew is having to be the person always quieting others and running around trying to get everyone ready in order to start the show on time,” said Doherty. “Not everyone understands that it’s my job.”

The stage crew also tends to be the last ones out the door at night, Turner said.

“The crew (are) the first ones in the building and the lasts ones out,” said Turner. “We very rarely have down time, whether it is taking attendance, writing cues, or rehearsing set or prop movements, we always have work to do.”

The crew has done a great job this year, drama director Meaghan Dunham said.

“It’s tough because we ask a lot of them in a very short period of time, so they have to be very committed,” said Dunham. “They don’t get a lot of glory, but they work really hard and have to be very dedicated.”

Due to all the crew’s hard work, Claire Rundquist ’14 said the show is able to run smoothly.

“Without all of the help we get from the crew the shows wouldn’t be possible,” Rundquist said. “They work just as hard, if not harder than the people actually on stage performing.”

The actors and crew will be running the show May 1-3 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at North’s Performing Arts Center.

[info]For more information on South’s production of “Will Rogers Follies”, as well as performance times and ticketing, click here.[/info]