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The Student News Site of Ottoson Middle School

The Ottoson Insider

The Student News Site of Ottoson Middle School

The Ottoson Insider

Photo courtesy of Arlington High School Building Project. https://ahsbuilding.org/
A Guide to the Changes at Arlington High School
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Arlington High School (AHS) is the main public school in Arlington for grades 9-12, and is recognized as a U.S. News & World Report Gold...

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Etta L-S.November 21, 2023

On November 9, 205 eighth graders out of around 500 at Ottoson participated in a tour of the Minuteman High School. Minuteman is an “award-winning...

Back to Beatlemania: Now and Then, The Final Lyrics To An Era of Music
Back to Beatlemania: Now and Then, The Final Lyrics To An Era of Music
Sabrina JS.November 11, 2023

It’s been 61 years since the Beatles 1962 debut song, Love Me Do, was released. Now, more than half a century later, they are releasing what...

To Watch Or Not To Watch: All The Summer’s Best Movies, Ranked.

All movies here are rated PG-13 or below. Movies rated R are not included.

Additionally, before watching any movie rated PG-13 or above, please have a parent or guardian approve of your viewing. 

Welcome back, Ottoson. This summer has been one of sunny weather, blazing hot temperatures (anybody remember those 2 days of the first week of school?), and unreplicable experiences. For avid movie-goers, however, this has also been one jam-packed summer as well. From Barbenheimer to haunted houses, let’s recap 6 of this summer’s highlights. Rated, in order, and with a few personal comments. 

 

#6: Elemental

★★★★

Rated PG

Ah Elemental. The movie that won over about half of its audience and left the other half wanting their money back. Many people stated that it was a cliche movie, and it was, in some form. However, you can argue that it touched on many important subjects, such as separating different people due to their physical aspects. While there is not much to say about the movie, it’s still quite a good movie, just not enough to earn 5 stars. 

However, if you are looking for a cute Pixar romance to watch with your 10 year old cousin, this is definitely a good option. Ember and Wade (the two main characters) are very expressive and “human”. 

 

#5: Transformers

★★★★

Rated PG-13

What can I say about this movie? It’s a pretty good one, but it’s sort of a basic action movie too. Is it an interesting film? Yes. Is it definitely worth watching? Yep. Is it really deep and philosophical? Not really. This movie is about the Transformers (wow, right) and how they’re aliens that come to Earth. Then, Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos), alongside Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback) and company, must help them save the world from an imminent doom. 

Personally, I love a good action movie. I also love a good philosophical, deep thoughts, wow-I-didn’t-think-like-that movie. Sadly, this isn’t a great combination of the two. Sure, there are some deep-ish thoughts, but nothing too much. However, it is nice to sometimes just have a hardcore action movie, so this film wasn’t bad. In fact, it was quite incredible and I loved the animations for the Autobots. Additionally, they filmed it in Cusco, Peru and weeks after seeing the movie, I traveled there and it was clear it was an amazing and highly interesting set to work on. Especially since it is a functioning and lived-in city. It was beautiful how they spotlighted Peruvian culture and showcased their traditional dances as well. 

 

#4: Indiana Jones

★★★★★

Rated PG-13

Alright, calling all Indy fans. The beloved classic brings back the amazing actor Harrison Ford to reprise his role as Indiana Jones in this fifth installment of the beloved series. This gorgeous addition to the franchise is an amazing story about how Indiana, and company, search to retrieve the Dial of Destiny. 

This film is truly spectacular, especially from a cinematic perspective. Prior to watching this, I had only watched the first one, and it’s quite a change. The obvious gore and special effects used in the first movie were very impressive and almost nostalgic as a look back into the past. However, this modern film introduced us to incredible special effects and animations that could have never been dreamed of all those years before. 

 

#3: Haunted Mansion

★★★★★

Rated PG-13

Who doesn’t love a good, hilarious Halloween flick? Sure, you could watch Hocus Pocus for the 23rd time (Ok, maybe do that too), but why not stream Haunted Mansion as well? The new version is the perfect mix between that Hocus Pocus “ahhh– oh wait, that’s so funny” thrill factor and the amazing cinematic experience that Disney movies are becoming. 

If you’d like to find out more about Haunted Mansion refer to the previous To Watch or Not To Watch edition for a synopsis. 

 

#2: Blue Beetle

★★★★★

Rated PG-13

Alas, we finally got it. The Latin superhero flick we’ve all been waiting for. The abuelita, the Mamá, the cup of tea, the El Chapulín Colorado reference, the extraterrestrial AI, Blue Beetle’s got it all. It’s indubitably one of the best movies of the summer. 

Apart from being such a raw and honest representation of Latin life, Blue Beetle is an amazing movie for other aspects as well. The effects, both sound and visual, and costumes were amazing. It’s a true role-model for movies using such special effects. The music was very intriguing as well. Additionally, the backstory and lore were incredible as well. The details of the story were very well planned and executed beautifully. However, it’s not enough to take away a star, but something that could be done better (or built on in a sequel) is the love life between Jaime Reyes and Jenny Kord. It is true that this movie was not advertised as a romance and did not have to include nor feature the relationship. But, nevertheless, it is true that if the screenwriters decided to include a romance, they could have built on it more. This is something that they could touch on, if they decide to make a sequel. There is much story and concepts to be explored within the subject. 

Overall, though, this movie is definitely #2 of all the summer movies for all of the elements and the beautiful, artistic way the cast and crew crafted the movie. 

 

#1: Barbie

★★★★★

Rated PG-13

You can’t think “summer 2023” without immediately thinking about the Barbie movie. Thousands of movie-goers decked out in pink went to theaters around the world. You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting someone wearing its merch. The doll’s movie revolutionized perspectives on patriarchy and being a woman. With its star-studded cast including Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and America Ferrera, this movie pleased fans of all ages. What I appreciated most about the movie was that it was not just a mushy view of the past and a talk about how “girls can do anything!” but then failed to follow up on it. It’s pretty certain to say that Barbie followed up and followed up some more. Barbie may have been one of the only movies that actually understood how it felt like to be a girl in our misogynistic society. This, and its overlooked humor, makes Barbie the top of this list. 

I have to be honest, I was skeptical before seeing the trailer. I really didn’t want to watch yet another “perfect world, perfect girl” 45-minute long movie about Barbie, her boyfriend and, who am I kidding, 35 dolphins. I had never been an avid fan of the franchise, but after I saw the trailer any doubt I had disappeared. It was so hilarious, I immediately knew I had to watch it. And thank goodness I did. Barbie is most definitely one of the best movies of the 21st century. What I especially loved was that it didn’t just focus on Barbie’s empowerment, but also how Ken needs to learn to stand up on his own. This flick definitely embodies and represents what the new generation of movies should look like. 

 

Sources: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9362930/ 

https://movies.disney.com/indiana-jones-and-the-dial-of-destiny

https://www.paramountmovies.com/movies/transformers-rise-of-the-beasts

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About the Contributor
Sabrina JS., L&D/Journalist/Editor
Sabrina JS has been part of the L&D team for two years and has recently become an editor for the Insider. She also is a journalist who contributes To Watch or Not To Watch to the newspaper. She enjoys the topics of politics and fashion. Sabrina is an avid traveler and loves to visit new and interesting locations. Her most recent trips have been to New York and Peru. Sabrina also loves to draw and specializes in human illustrations.

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