Amador’s Favorite Movies and Shows

Mark Liu and Andi Hurr

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Hidden Figures

Imagine being looked down upon no matter how great your achievements and qualifications are. That is the central theme of director Theodore Melfi’s hit new drama Hidden Figures.

Taraji P. Henson stars as mathematician Katherine G. Johnson, the woman who calculated the flight paths for the first US manned earth orbit, Janelle Monáe appears as Mary Jackson, an aspiring aeronautical engineer, and Octavia Spencer as, Dorothy Vaughn, the supervisor of the West Area Computers division of NASA.

The narrative encapsulates the struggles that both African Americans and women had to go through before the Civil Rights and Second Wave of Feminism. On the path to success in the middle of the Space Race, these African American women endure hardships that are almost entirely a result of their gender and skin color.

For example, Johnson is not allowed to drink coffee out of the same pot of her white co-workers and the bathrooms at the Langley aeronautical center where she works are segregated. Jackson is denied entrance into engineering courses because of her race and thus has to study on her own. Vaughn is barred from a promotion to director, despite the fact that she performs the tasks of one.

The movie focuses on the progression of the womens’ lives as they work on the Friendship 7 Mission, the first manned US orbit of the earth. Despite solving difficult problems regarding complication of the ships’ orbit paths, the womens’ work is constantly under appreciated, most prominently when Johnson is reassigned after the end of the program instead of being retained or promoted.

Overall, the film does a great job in displaying the adversity and strife that these courageous women had to display on a daily basis. An uplifting tale, many will be inspired by the achievements that they accomplished despite their circumstances.

“I though it was a beautiful movie about facing and overcoming adversity,” said Marvin Srivongese (‘17), “I would definitely recommend it.”

A brilliant movie with a powerful message, Hidden Figures pays homage to the hidden figures with which without, the US would have lost the Space Race. It is a must see.

 

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel’s latest installment in the Captain America series proved to be a hit. Directed by the Russo brothers and starring Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, the film grossed over $1.1 billion at the box office, easily the highest total in 2016.

With many people fearing the actions of super heroes, the government decides to push for the Hero Registration Act, a law that limits a hero’s actions. This results in a division within The Avengers.

Iron Man stands with this Act, claiming that their actions must be kept in check otherwise cities will continue to be destroyed, but Captain America feels that saving the world is daring enough and that they cannot rely on the government to protect the world. This escalates into an all-out war between Team Iron Man (Iron Man, Black Panther, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine, and Spider-Man) and Team Captain America (Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Ant Man). Unexpectedly, the teams must deal with a new villain that rises seemingly out of nowhere

“Captain America civil war was my favorite movie of 2016 because it combined a lot of super heroes that have their own movies into one, similar to the avengers storyline,” said Nishant Gopalakrishnan (‘18).

The success of the Captain America series has clearly shone through with the latest release and should bleed over into the film. Be on the lookout for another compelling story and another massive box office total.   

 

Finding Dory

Continuing the acclaimed movie, Finding Nemo which had captured the hearts of every kid growing up, its sequel, Finding Dory certainly lived up to the hype. Directed by the duo of Andrew Stanton and Angus Mclane, the movie starred Ellen Degeneres as Dory, Albert Brooks as Marlin, and Hayden Rolence as Nemo. Finding Dory was wildly successful garnering over $1 billion.

Not long after Nemo is found and returned home safely from his adventure, his pal Dory begins to remember bits and pieces of her past. Dory is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them.

Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species. Dory now knows that her family reunion will only happen if she can find mom and dad and save them from captivity.

“My favorite movie of 2016 was Finding Dory because the storyline was well written and baby dory is also really cute,” said Aileen Shen (‘18).   

Bringing back nostalgic feelings, Finding Dory encapsulates the feeling of its prequel and takes its audience back to their childhood days. It is the perfect follow up to a classic.

 

30 Rock

30 Rock returned for a final, abbreviated season consisting of 13 episodes which began airing on October 4, 2012. Season seven continues to develop the relationship between Liz and Criss, as the pair tries for children and considers getting married.

Meanwhile, Jack attempts to improve his future prospects at the company, first by trying to “tank” NBC and convince Kabletown CEO Hank Hooper (Ken Howard) to sell it, and later by plotting to discredit Hooper’s granddaughter and future CEO, Kaylee Hooper. Ultimately, however, he begins to wonder if he is truly happy.

Elsewhere, Tracy has found success with his new movie studio, which produces comedy films mostly starring African American actors, in similar fashion to Jenna prepares to marry her longterm boyfriend Paul (Will Forte), and Kenneth has started a relationship with Hazel, unaware that she is using him to get her moment on TGS.

“My favorite TV show of 2016 was 30 Rock because it’s really funny and I am a Tina Fey fan” Annie Tor, (‘18).

There’s plenty of charisma to go around on 30 Rock, and Fey will go just about anywhere for a laugh. Her absurd, yet almost believable, showbiz send-up is full of them.

 

Empire

Lucious Lyon is the king of Hip-hop. An immensely talented artist, the CEO of Empire Entertainment and a former street thug, his reign has been unchallenged for years. But all that changes, when he learns he has ALS; a disease that is going to render him disabled and incapacitated in a matter of three years. The clock is ticking, and he must choose which one of his three sons to take over his crowning achievement, without destroying his already fractured family.

“My favorite TV shows of 2016 was empire. There’s nothing like empire on tv right now and it portrays the music industry in a super interesting way” Sunidhi Sridhar (‘18).

Empire marries original music with a gripping storyline to produce one of the most engrossing shows of 2k16. This television series incorporates many celebrity cameos, ranging from Ice-T to Naomi Campbell to Raven Symoné to Mariah Carey.

If anybody is a fan of composed soundtracks, engaging family politics, or has wondered if there’s something more behind the manufactured celebrity image, Empire is the drama for you.

 

New Girl

Jess Day is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who just suffered from a bad break up. Goofy, positive and vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she should not.

After she leaves her cheating boyfriend, she sets out to gain her own independence in the world. As a result, she moves in with three bachelors, Nick, Jess, and Coach. More prone to friendships with women, she is not used to hanging with the boys-especially in her apartment. However, she learns to cope with her anxiety and eventually becomes more involved in the lives of her three roommates. 

Of the three men, Nick is the most grounded. He had big plans for life, but somewhere along the way, he stopped caring and settled with being a bartender. He usually is the smartest guy in the room by having an uncanny knack for reading people and uses humor to deflect everyone and everything.

Schmidt is a hustling young professional in the business world who fancies himself a modern-day Casanova. Though his heart is usually in the right place, he is always scheming ways to climb the social ladder and is driven by an immature and almost obsessive urge to be on “the scene”.

The third roommate, Coach, is a former high school athlete who currently makes his living as a personal trainer. Set in his ways and with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude to dating, Coach is most comfortable when he is in the gym.Though he will never admit it, Coach’s macho athletic exterior is actually a cover for his shyness around women, and he struggles to translate his personal confidence into conversation, preferring to speak in sports metaphors-or not at all.

“New girl makes me laugh out loud every time”  Sunidhi Sridhar (‘18).

As their relationships progress, the four friends come to realize they need each other more than they ever thought they would and end up forming a charmingly dysfunctional family. With all the happenings among the roommates and Jess, it will definitely make your day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amador’s Favorite Movies and Shows