By Levi Livengood
Heavily weighted finals can often be the bane of many students’. Perhaps you find yourself doing good work the whole year for a really important class. You always do your homework and participate in class. Then suddenly when finals come around, you mess up and find that your grade in this important class fell. Not only did it fall, but it dropped hard. Perhaps you had close to a 100%, then suddenly you find yourself down at a B. While a B by itself is hardly something to cry over, circumstance can make the loss more bitter. A valedictorian could easily lose his place through something like this, even mere weeks before graduation.
Yet, on the other hand, a weighty final can inspire herculean efforts on the behalf of students. A student who believes that he will not perform well on a test will either stay up studying for a long time, or give up trying. Wheat and chaff in other words. The point of a properly designed final is to test the student’s ability to retain the information that he has learned over the course of a year or so. One can argue whether this is a quality that we want to judge in the first place, but let’s assume that it is. If a course is taught correctly, then a final should show that the majority of students should demonstrate the same understanding or better of the same subject matter as they have over the past year. B students should get a B or better. A should get an A. From this point of view, then, a heavily weighted final makes sense because it embodies the nature of the course perfectly. The student has been studying the subject matter for precisely this moment.
Of course, we cannot blame those who are the victims of circumstance, such as the valedictorian who loses his place after one bad night of sleep. But with the way classes are currently structured, a weighty final makes the most sense. A student should understand what he has been taught and should be able to easily demonstrate that knowledge, otherwise he has failed the class.
This is not to say that classes ought to be structured this way with this end in mind, rather that the rationale behind heavily weighted finals makes sense within its context.
The trailer shows a world after the events from Endgame and gives us a peek into how the future of the MCU is going to play out. Spider-Man has to deal with the death of Tony Stark/Iron-Man. We see a closer look at the possible main villain of the movie, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck, who is also Mysterio, and what he calls the Elementals creatures, that come from his own earth. You heard that right. This movie plans to introduce moviegoers to the Multiverse. This where there are multiple universes that are slightly different than ours, according to Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury. But this could be a total lie as Mysterio is known for lying and being a trickster in the comics. Mysterio turning out to be a villain would not be even slightly surprising. Hopefully there’s more than this foreseeable twist.
There are some shots within the movie that shows Peter Parker wearing his Iron Spider suit, a black and red suit with wings, his Stark suit from the last movie, an all black stealth suit, and maybe a new suit. There’s also a possibility that we see an early formation of a New Avengers group or something comes from the Multiverse that is going to impact the future. And lastly there’s a possibility that we see our old Avengers group or the remnants of them.
The movie seems exciting but doesn’t feel like Spider-Man, because it doesn’t really deal with similar material at first glance. Yet it’s nice because it will likely fill in many of the questions we have left over from Endgame.
By Levi Livengood
For many, the representation of minority groups in the media is a major concern, arising for many reasons and for different goals. There is a particular focus on LGBT, black, and asian representation, especially at Independence.
Movies grab plenty of attention, positive and negative. With regards to the topic at hand, there is particular concern. According to a 2015 study by USC Anneberg School for Communication and Journalism, women were just 30% of all speaking characters in the top 100 grossing movies of that year, whites were slightly over-represented at 73.1%, which is slightly larger than the current majority of whites in the US, which is 62.6%, and other minority groups were underrepresented when compared to the general population, with asians not featuring at all in the speaking roles of 40 movies, and finally, at least one LGBT person featured in only 14% of the films.
Many see this as a major problem, arguing that since the United States has a substantial plurality of minority groups, they should see more direct representation in the media. Some also see an agenda of sorts where Hollywood executives will deliberately seek out to have white actors play the main roles in a film, even if it means changing the character’s race, whatever their reason may be. Some point to the casting of Scarlett Johansson, a white woman, to the main role of Ghost in the Shell, which was an adaptation of an anime and manga of the same name set in japan.
Is this actually a problem? For many, the lack of diversity in Hollywood illustrates a past that has not been left behind, namely one of a white majority society dominated by straight men that is slowly evaporating and must share with the others in society in the name of fairness. For others this whole controversy is a non-issue and even overblown. For one, the lack of female representation in not universal, as they feature heavily in romance films. Likewise, the gap dramatically closes for other genres of film beside action. Some argue that this is less an act of discrimination against women, and more of a pandering to the main market for a film. Men enjoy action movies far more than women, and women vastly prefer romance to action. This does not illustrate a conspiracy per se, but more the fundamental differences between men and women.
But women are not a minority, what about the other groups of people? To start, it is true that there is overrepresentation and underrepresentation of the majority and minority respectively. The LGBT make up between 1-8% of the general population, so the statistics on their representation are not particularly grievous. Likewise the degree to which minority groups are generally represented in speaking roles does not vary more than 10%.
Where their concern is different is with regards to the leads of films. There is a clear overrepresentation of white, straight, males in this regard. Is it necessarily negative? Perhaps, though I take issue primarily where characters who are of a particular group are removed from that group and put into another for any reason. Some argue that it is good that white characters are made more ‘diverse’ because it aids in representation and helps to right old wrongs throughout the past century. Yet I strongly disagree with this position and find it hypocritical. If it is wrong to race swap minority characters, then we must say the same for majority characters if we are to recognize actual equality of these groups.
Another criticism is that the roles minority characters perform are not particularly flattering in many cases. Some point to the prevalence of muslim antagonists in the 2000s, representing terrorism. Others point to historical problems, such as black face or the general portrayal of blacks in films like The Birth of a Nation. I do think this criticism is valid where applicable. To be sure, the portrayal of many minorities has not been good now or in the past. I will point out though that the majority is not spared from negative stereotypes either. Everyone knows about the spoiled, rich, white girl stereotype that is prevalent in the media and even on this campus. Likewise, many minorities consider it a joke and insult to tell someone that they are acting ‘white’. If this is okay, then other negative stereotypes, where they are meant as a joke alone mind you, are also okay. I draw the line as soon as a stereotype is meant as more than a joke and paraded as a legitimate criticism against a group of people, white, black, asian, gay or straight.
By Matthew Valenzuela-Serrano
Note: There will be a spoiler warning near the end of the article. Please be wary before you read!
The end of the Infinity Saga has arrived. The opening weekend of Avengers Endgame has reached 1.2 Billion at the global box office, it’s safe to say that this movie has been Highly anticipated since 2012. We finally see the end for characters we love and they are well written, well executed and fulfilling.
The movie is three hours long and it was perfect. Of course it had its flaws, the first 30 minutes were slow and felt like we watched it already. This is due to the trailers for the movie using only the first 20 or minutes of footage. I kinda expected those first 20-30 minutes to be in a darker tone due to Infinity War ending with half of everyone dead, however there were a few jokes that didn’t really need to be said at the beginning, but they were clever. The movie did show life after Thanos snapped his fingers, which was very important to the overall story because the snap needed to hit deep with the audience and raise the stakes, otherwise trying to avenge the dead wouldn’t be meaningful at all.
There’s also the feeling of knowing somebody has to die, and at times it seemed like anyone of the Avengers could die, but their deaths were unexpected and a major surprise. The story is not focused on Thanos this time as opposed to Infinity War, where the main focus was Thanos and him trying to collect the Infinity Stones. The movie definitely focuses on Tony and Cap’s friendship as well as the rest of the Avengers.
During those three hours the movie changes tones from super sad and dark to being almost like a heist movie to going to a full on action packed blockbuster. And this is super well written. You can expect to cry and go through many emotions; it's a rollercoaster.
Outside of it being a comic book movie, the story itself is fantastic. There are a few plot holes and some certain dialogue that is interesting and could branch off into future movies. Other than that, there’s not too much to talk about.
!!WARNING: SPOILER REVIEW BELOW!!
!!WARNING: SPOILER REVIEW BELOW!!
We are now in the Endgame. This movie was everything it needed to and more. It concluded the story of Iron Man, Steve Rogers Captain America, Black widow, and Thanos. But continued the story of all the people who were snapped away and the remaining Avengers.
When the movie started to get into time travel, the rules they had used made enough sense for the story to work but left few potholes and by the end there were questions to be asked. For instance, towards the climax Loki escapes the battle of New York with the tesseract changing the ending of the first Avengers movie. Another part is when Nebula from the present shoots and kills Nebula from the year 2014 but present day Nebula doesn’t die. It’s confusing but it left room for multiple realities/ alternative universes that could be used.
There a few character changes in the movie. At the beginning Tony Stark comes back to earth but passes out. He was assisted by Captain Marvel. The Avengers go to where we last saw Thanos and kill him. There’s a five year time jump, Tony has a kid, Steve Rogers shaves his beard, Hawkeye becomes an assassin killing people involved in organized crime, Captain Marvel unnecessarily cuts her hair short but travels to planets helping them, Thor becomes fat and moves Asgard to somewhere in Iceland, Hulk and Bruce Banner become Professor Hulk,and lastly Ant-Man comes back from the Quantum Realm which was 5 hours to him. The true hero of the story is a rat who steps on the controls for the quantum van from the second Ant-Man movie. The biggest and most important story element is Tony having a kid.
These changes made a lot of sense, the time jump showed the Avengers and how their failure to stop Thanos affected them. Eventually they go back in time to 2012, 2014, 2013 and the 1970’s the Avengers split into teams, Tony, Steve, Ant-man, and Hulk go back to back to New York 2012 to get the Space, Mind, and time stones. Nebula and War-Machine go back to 2014 to collect the power stone, Black Widow and Hawkeye get the soul stone leading to Black Widows death, Rocket and Thor go back to get the reality stone but Thor gets back to pick Moljinir, and finally Cap goes back to get the space stone again from the 70’s after losing it.
It's interesting to go back to these time periods because The Avengers find something within themselves at these points in time. Nonetheless The Avengers create their Infinity Gauntlet and Hulk undoes the snap. Then a large battle ensues with all the mcu heroes coming back to fight 2014 Thanos who also wants that gauntlet. Our heros win but at the cost of Tony stark wielding the gauntlet and Snapping away Thanos and his army but he himself dies.
Finally Steve goes back in time and takes the Stones to where they belong before any time consequences happen.
It’s truly a Generational event, it’s the end of our heros who we grew up with, an 11 year journey ends. It’s a beautiful ending, that brought tears to my eyes more than once.