Hurricane Heist is a theft of two hours

WARNING: Spoilers ahead (but you likely won‘t watch this movie anyway)

After watching the trailer for The Hurricane Heist, I was dead (as was half of the cast). In just two minutes and ten seconds, I saw the “no witnesses” trope, the “where is she” meme and some “let’s go save the world” shenanigans. Those are all real quotes, by the way.

There was also some joke about citizens of the state of Alabama owning five billion firearms, but whatever. Already, The Hurricane Heist is shaping up to be another crappy action movie in which the special effects take priority over the screenplay.

Unsurprisingly, The Hurricane Heist flopped in theaters around the country, not earning even one tenth of its budget on opening weekend.

So how was it, really? I had to find out for myself.

The actual movie aside, my experience watching The Hurricane Heist was probably one of the best viewing experiences I’ve had at a theater—simply because I was the only one there. The seats were also pretty comfy. To be fair, it was a Tuesday night showing at 10:00 pm, but my complete solitude speaks to the overall underperformance of the movie.

The characters were a mixture of bizarre and boring. The strangest by far was main character and crusty-money babysitter Casey Corbin. Five minutes into her introduction, Corbin rams a truck into an already crashed car (with people still  inside it) and proceeds to drive straight through a tobacco field while cracking a smile and engaging in awkward side conversations.

The main antagonist is the archyetpal one who wants money, so he tries to steal cash that was on its way to be shredded. However, he doesn’t get any of it because he’s the bad guy, and you’ve got to stop the bad guy, right? Theft is theft and theft is wrong, but when the plot revolves around stopping someone who tries to take money that belongs to no one, it’s strange to see the main characters start to systematically kill off the bad guys.

To the movie’s credit, there are a few aspects of the story that are much less laughable. The logic the characters used in making their decisions and their motivations were really well fleshed out. The information the characters had about what was going on and what to do next based on that information felt reasonable and made sense for the most part. In a scene where a Corbin wanted to take a baddy’s firearm, she explains briefly that she can use her pistol with no ammunition as a bluff.

Instances where characters explain themselves or talk about some plan of theirs can seem lazy from a storytelling perspective, but it seemed to fit well enough. Then again, there were also times char- acters would do really dumb stuff, like shooting at the one person they need alive or deciding to build a car bomb by looting supplies from of the local Lowe’s.

The dialogue was painful to listen to. Boring conversations were there only for some basic character introduction and provided very little background into the lives of the characters. Thinking back  to the very beginning of the movie, Corbin and the undercover main antagonist discuss something unmemorable when suddenly the evil villain mentions something about Corbin not knowing many things about him. Boring and unoriginal work perfectly together to make me want to leave the theatre.

What really ruined the movie (if you didn’t already consider it ruined) was the ending. At this point, some other inferior reviewer might write something along the lines of “I really don’t want to spoil the ending, but…” and then go on to say something vague that infuriates the reader more.

However, The Hurricane Heist ended abysmally, so here goes.

All the bad guys die. Literally all of them. Unlike other ridiculous thrillers, The Hurricane Heist has a wide array of somewhat relatable antagonists you get to bond with for the first ninety percent of the movie. They may all be unoriginal archetypes (no surprise there), but they also felt real enough to deserve an end other than a ridiculous cop out. However, just as the bad guys are about to escape with literal tons of money, the good guys hunt them down to save the girl. Either they shoot them somehow while riding in tractor units or force them into the storm.

Overall, The Hurricane Heist is not horrible, but also not quite okay. To put it in perspective, it’s not the worst way you could spend two hours, but more likely than not it would be more productive to binge watch the Veggie Tales television series in that same amount of time.

Seven podcasts you should check out

Podcasts are a totally underrated form of entertainment and education in my opinion. They’re perfect for long road trips and plane rides, or even just for a fun distraction on a more everyday basis. And, I promise, podcasts are not as boring as you may think. Here are the JagWire’s suggestions.

Up First

Want to feel like you have life on the ropes and not the other way around? Listen to Up First while you get ready in the morning or on the way to school! This ten minute podcast from NPR runs down the top three stories of the day every weekday morning in a way that is comprehensive yet accessible. It’s a great way to stay informed without becoming overwhelmed by the countless headlines you find as you scroll through the news on your phone.

Episode suggestion: whichever one is most recent!

This American Life

Is there a voice more soothing than that of Ira Glass? I think not. Besides helping me fall asleep at night, Glass (the host of This American Life) is a wonderful storyteller. His radio show is intriguing, genuine, funny and poignant. This American Life sometimes covers stories that are fairly obscure (like the true meaning of summer camp or the tale of a car dealership in New Jersey trying to meet its monthly quota) and other times shares ones that are equally relevant (for example, differing views on immigration or Trump’s America).

Episode suggestion: “No Coincidence, No Story!”

The Moth Radio Hour

Another fantastic podcast for story-lovers is The Moth Radio Hour. Storytellers switch every week, and you never know what a story is going to be about until you listen. Sometimes the recordings are live, sometimes the episodes are themed and sometimes it’s just a stranger telling you something crazy, terrifying or emotional that happened to them — but it’s always good.

Episode suggestion: “The Prince and I”

Modern Love

The sister podcast to its namesake column in The New York Times, Modern Love is a guilty pleasure for all us hopeless romantics. Modern Love the column features new write-in essays every week on, in their words, “love, loss and redemption.” The podcast version includes a reading of a particular essay by a well-known actor, as well as a follow up with the essay’s author and comments by column editor Daniel Jones on why he chose to print this particular essay. The follow-up makes the podcast  stand out from the column to me, especially for essays that may be decades old.

Episode suggestion: “An Empty Heart”

Foreign Language (Radio Ambulante)

This suggestion is a little more broad. If you’re taking a foreign language class or just trying to keep up a particular language, find a foreign-language podcast that suits your fancy. Even if you don’t understand everything, following how real people speak will improve your skills. For Spanish speakers I suggest Radio Ambulante, a longer weekly podcast that follows interesting stories in Latin America and the rest of the Spanish speaking world (including the US).

Episode suggestion: “In the Dark”

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast

I’m a junkie for FiveThirtyEight in general, and their new-ish politics podcast came as a blessing during the most recent election. It’s conversation style, and I like how the informality takes a certain edge off of pressing political issues.

Episode suggestion: “Does Trump’s mood matter?”

S Town

While I never got into Serial, this podcast follows a similar story-like format. And boy, is it a weird story. Forc those of you who like dark, real-life mysteries, this is 100 percent up your ally. Morbid, a little sweet and certainly complicated, S Town will keep you on your toes and possibly awake at night.

Episode suggestion: Episode I

Illustration by Nina Scott-Farquharson

The JagWire’s yearly restaurant Recommendations

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill? Many Chapel Hillians have one restaurant that they believe is the best. Whenever families are deciding where to eat, some family members have strong opinions on where is best. So, next time your family has to make a decision, consider the following restaurants and opinions of others at Carrboro High School.

Do you like pizza? There are a couple of delicious options for you. Mellow Mushroom combines the creative and hipster cultures of America with delicious Italian flavors. One of the most famous Mellow Mushroom pizzas is the chicken pie, comprised of BBQ chicken, mozzarella, cheddar, caramelized onions and applewood smoked bacon, finished with a BBQ sauce swirl.

The next option is the Napoli wood-fired pizza food truck in Carrboro. Although this isn’t a restaurant, their pizza is some of the best pizza you can get in North Carolina. Napoli imports the majority of its ingredients from Naples, Italy. It was founded in 2014 when the founders built their own wood-fired pizza oven that can cook a pizza in two minutes.

Another option is 411 West, located on the west end of Franklin Street in the heart of Chapel Hill. 411 strives to provide the value of quality service and outstanding food at an affordable price. 411 isn’t as well-known for its pizza, but more for its appetizing Italian dishes including lemon linguine, lasagne bolognese, chicken marsala and gnocchi.

If you aren’t a pizza lover, how about some Mexican food? Apart from the common chain options of Chipotle and Moe’s, there are numerous local Mexican restaurants in Chapel Hill that will please
the palate.

Carrburritos was an idea brought to Carrboro from California by owners Cail and Bill Fairbanks. In California, there were burrito joints around every corner. Cail created all of Carrburritos’ recipes with the advice of a friend who had lived in Mexico. Now, Carrburitos finds itself among the top Mexican food restaurants in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.

Another great Mexican option is Armadillo Grill; many CHS seniors love going to Armadillo Grill during the lunch period to pick up a quick taco.

If you are not much of a Mexican or Italian-food fan, maybe burgers or Chinese food can cure your hunger. One of the most famous burger joints in Chapel Hill, since 2013 when it first opened shop, is Al’s Burger Shack. Al’s Burger Shack has crafted a mouthwatering menu that has some of the most creative burger creations around, including the Kenny J, Melly Mel, Paco, Sally Mack and even a hot dog, the Dirty Dog. It even includes a great selection of sides to accompany your burger, including sweet potato fries, crinkle cut fries and the “shack salad.” And, for vegetarians, there is the healthy Kaarin burger.

Another strong burger spot is Hickory Tavern, located under the Hampton Inn and across from Gourmet Kingdom.

Transition facilitator at Carrboro High, Lorrie Marro, says that the best thing about Hickory Tavern is the “amazing sports atmosphere.” She also recommends their delicious lemon pepper wings.

A popular Carrboro Chinese restaurant is Jade Palace. It is known for its modern interpretation of classical dishes and its insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients. They also have a delivery service that is very convenient.

Another Chinese offering is Gourmet Kingdom. While a bit pricier, Gourmet Kingdom provides enormous servings of food in each of their dishes. With 150 options, there’s something for everyone.

Chinese restaurants and burgers are great choices to take into consideration when choosing where you want to eat because they are sure to fill you up.

Choosing where you want to eat out is an important task that can take time. But, with the proper consideration of all options, it will be impossible for you not to find an enjoyable meal here in Carrboro or Chapel Hill. Hopefully you can turn to this helpful guide the next time you need help deciding.

Views of the stars

If you’ve ever picked up the morning paper, or scrolled around any number of lifestyle websites, you’ve probably come across your “daily horoscope.” Dependent on planetary movement, horoscopes are said to predict anything from your day-to-day areas of opportunity to your overarch- ing critical flaw (also known as your Lilith moon). Although the scientific merits of astrology — the study of celestial bodies used to develop horoscopes — are debatable, many people feel that it can be used to further our understanding of events in the natural world.

“I think the stars control a lot more than we know,” said Clara Ruth Logan, a Virgo and CHS junior. “If you find your birth chart, it’s crazy accurate.”

According to Cafe Astrology — the leading website for finding your birth chart — a birth chart goes beyond a horoscope, as it takes into account your exact time and place of birth to more accurately identify the effects of the celestial movements in your life.

I sat down with Diamond Blue, a CHS senior and self-professed astrology skeptic, to go over her birth chart for the first time.

“I wouldn’t say I know everything about astrology,” Blue said prior to the birth chart reading, “but I do know some things; I’m not the person to go to about it or anything.”

Blue’s birth chart reveals that, like Logan, her sun is in Virgo. On the surface, it may seem like this means that Blue and Logan share similar qualities, but that is not necessarily true. Because the two were born on different days, at different times, and in different locations, their birth charts — and according qualities — are unique.

The placement of her opposition sun, for example, indicates that Blue is likely to consider both sides of any given situation.

“That’s crazy,” Blue said, in response to this placement. “My mom was just getting on me about that the other day. She told me I’m always trying to argue—always trying to see the other side of something.”

Like Blue, CHS librarian Kara Watson — a Scorpio — is willing to recognize some value in astrology, despite fair skepticism.

“I think astrology is fun and interesting,” Watson says. “I used to read my horoscope when I was little, because my dad would leave the newspaper on the table.”

As far as the scientific support for astrology, Watson is not so convinced; “I don’t really believe in it,” she says.

She does, however, admit to seeing astrological effects here at CHS.

“When we have a full moon, I notice some interesting student behavior.”

Illustration by Ruby Handa

Battle of the Biscuits

Rise Biscuits and Donuts

Location: The location at Rise is the better of the two, with lots of parking all around it. It is right smack in the middle of Carrboro, so it’s an easy walk if you live nearby.

Price: Rise doughnuts are reasonably priced, and so is the coffee. The biscuits are more pricey at nearly $5 with toppings, but they are still very delicious.

Variety: At Rise, you have a variety of biscuits, doughnuts, coffee, “hashpuppies”, salads and even chicken strips.

Time: Rise is super fast for donuts, but you might have to wait at least five minutes for your biscuit, especially  if the restaurant is crowded.

Vibe: Rise is very cute and resembles a boutique city bakery. You can go inside and sit down, and there’s even a chalkboard to draw on in the back.

Overall: Rise Biscuits is a place to go to meet your friends and have a nice meal before work or school. If you want a really fluffy but generic biscuit, Rise is for you.

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

Location: Sunrise’s location is farther away from CHS than Rise is, but there’s usually less traffic. The only traffic is actually the line into the drivethrough. Sunrise is on the northern end of Franklin Street, so it is not too walkable from downtown. There is, however, a small parking lot on one side.

Price: Sunrise’s biscuits are less expensive than Rise, but only by a bit; a chicken biscuit is $4.29. Overall, they cost about 50 cents less than Rise’s.

Variety: At Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, there are a variety of biscuits as well as coffee, great sweet tea, cinnamon rolls, hush-puppies, fries, grits, sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and small break- fast platters.

Time: Sunrise is super quick as it is a drive-through, so you shouldn’t have to wait more than two minutes for your food, but the car line itself can take upward of ten minutes.

Vibe: There is something to love about a local kitchen that serves biscuits; it’s just plain Southern. It is a family-run kitchen, with both owners being born and raised in the South. It’s just like something you might see on TV.

Overall: Sunrise Kitchen is the place to go when you’re in your pajamas, on the go or just want to sit in the car with your friends and listen to music. If you are looking for a real Southern biscuit or meal, this is the place for you; they’re homemade and fluffy — one of the best I’ve ever had.

Darkest Hour Does Not Deserve the Limelight

Darkest Hour, the 2017 drama which follows Winston Churchill’s first weeks in office, won two Oscars Last night — Best Actor (Gary Oldman) and Best Makeup. It was nominated for four more awards, including Best Picture. I enjoyed the movie alright, but in my opinion, Darkest Hour was overrated.  

As my friend pointed out to me after the final scene, Darkest Hour is a war movie without the fighting — a concept I can stand behind, in theory. Yet at points the film was too slow, and as someone who likes slow movies that’s saying a lot.

There were only two conflicts throughout the entire two hours: who should succeed Chamberlain as Prime Minister and whether or not Great Britain should engage in peace talks with the Nazis. This sounds fine, until you realize every scene is the same argument played out between different characters in different locations.

Darkest Hour also contains quite a few WWII cliches: the young, bright typist whose brother is killed in the war; generals constantly huddled in the War Rooms around a giant map with colorful tacks on it; Winston Churchill reading important documents in the bathtub or eating an absurdly large breakfast; Parliament dissolving into yelling matches out of frustration, etc. Alone none of these is problematic, but in order for a film about WWII to receive such critical acclaim, I thought it would be a little more unique.

One thing that did make Darkest Hour stand out from similar films was its cinematography. Much of the movie was shot and edited to be deliberately beautiful, with its clean lines and calculated color scheme, unlike most historical films I’ve seen. However, personally the artistry trivialized the brutal, inhumane war happening off camera. While it was lovely to watch aesthetically, to me Darkest Hour romanticized the war as puzzle for Churchill to solve rather than recognizing the sheer loss of life it meant for most Brits not in his position of authority.

Finally, imagine my disappointment when I learned that the most powerful scene in the movie — the one where Churchill rides the Underground and talks to Londoners about whether to negotiate with the Nazis — never actually happened! Did I mention this is the climax of the story?

Overall, Darkest Hour was fine, and I’m sure historical junkies enjoyed it more than I did. But its lack of excitement, creativity and tact left me wanting so much more.

Creatures of Carrboro

The JagWire traveled around the school asking different students these two questions: What is on your mind lately? What helps assuage your worries? These are their answers.

Jack Knowles, Freshman:

“Honestly, I’m mainly worried about school work and stuff; [there are a lot of] super tight deadlines because of snow days. What helps me is just relaxing or taking a quick nap, especially when my workload is excessive.”

Vilja Saether, Junior:

“Is it bad to say Trump? Him and the North Korean leader; we all die if they start a nuclear war, and if they want to start a war, they will also die themselves. Maybe it’s because the US is a main power country, so its actions affect the whole world, not just the US as a country. Maybe we have other, smarter leaders in the world that can help us and that now after all of history we know it won’t lead to anything. I could also say quizzes and tests, but I only have to pass so it’s OK, I don’t worry as much about them.”

Aadit Nerkar, Junior:

“Well I worry about work, and I worry about the big issues going around in the world; following the news and hearing all the big things. It’s like you’re [always] wondering, ‘What does this mean?’ and ‘Where are we gonna end up?’ and ‘Why is this happening?’”

Sophie Therber, Senior:

“I guess the biggest thing recently is the whole process of going to college because I’ve been accepted to a few places, but I still don’t know exactly where I’m going to go or what I’m going to do. If I spend too much time thinking about it, I’ll drive myself to the ground, so it’s good to focus on other things.”

Joe Zhang, Senior:

“I worry about Nebraska football; I don’t know.”

Photos by Chelsea Ramsey

Black Panther: A Look Back at the Year’s Impressive Movies

Black Panther breaks the boundaries of a typical comic book movie to become a seminal entry in the Marvel universe. The movie takes place in Wakanda, a country that brands itself as third world but is actually technologically advanced compared to other nations due to its possession of vibranium — the strongest metal on Earth — which helps to power their city and technology. After his father dies, his son, T’Challa, returns back to Wakanda to serve as the country’s new leader. However, two factions within the country challenge the throne and T’Challa must team up with some unlikely allies to save Wakanda from entering a world war.

Wakanda has survived all these years under the appearance of being a poor country, but many characters, such as Na- kia, believe the country “is strong enough to help others and protect itself.”

In fact, this viewpoint is one of the main arguments of the villain, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, played by Michael B. Jordan. After a difficult childhood — one of the most heartbreaking moments in the movie — Killmonger believes Wakanda should share its weapons with those suffering in the world so they can overthrow their repressive governments and invert the existing racial order. Killmonger is one of my favorite villains in recent Marvel movies. His motives, while vicious, are understandable especially once you know his backstory.

Not only does Black Panther have a mostly Black cast, but most of the film’s central characters are female. T’Challa is surrounded by various women including  his mother, who’s a guiding presence; his ex-lover Nakia, who brings out his heart; his sister, who is a tech genius and adds to the comedy of the movie; and finally his bodyguard, a striking character with crazy fighting skills.

Lastly, Black Panther is thought-provoking. It questions what it means to have pride in one’s country, especially if it is being ruled by someone destructive. In addition, it addresses current foreign policy concerns as some countries shift toward isolationism rather than globalism. Black Panther, while still packed with traditional action scenes, places emphasis on Black freedom and creativity and helps breaks the absence of Black actors in American movies. It is a powerful, vibrant movie that shines not only as an action film but as a significant one.

Get Out: A Look Back at the Year’s Impressive Movies

Get Out by far deserves the Oscar for best picture and best original screenplay.

The depth of the content in the movie is unbelievable. Get Out conveys the roots and concepts behind slavery while incorporating modern technology as it relates to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. The satirical film adds horror and comedy to a topic that many people are uncomfortable discussing: race.

In brief, Chris, the main character, and boyfriend of Rose, goes with her to her parents’ house for a weekend getaway. Coincidentally, it’s the same weekend that her family is hosting their annual get-together party with their closest friends. During this time, Chris begins to pick up on the personality and comments of her family and their friends that begin to make him question their intentions. He slowly discovers the “sunken place” and that his lovely girlfriend and his in-laws are not who he thought they were.

If you thought that synopsis was a cliffhanger, just watch the movie. You’ll be even more shook at the ending.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Pizza Places: Reviewed

IP3

by Niya Fearrington

As teenagers, we are always looking for something fun and cheap to do with friends. My personal favorite is getting pizza. The best pizza restaurant is the famous Italian Pizzeria III, otherwise known as IP3.

Location: The restaurant is located on the west side of Franklin Street, so it’s easily accessible to most CHS stu-
dents.

Price: Being highschool students, most of us don’t have a steady income, so price is very important when deciding where to hang out. The prices at IP3 are very affordable, with two slices of cheese pizza and a drink costing only$5. What a steal!

Value: You might think, just two slices? However, the size of each slice is out of this world! One slice of pizza is bigger than my entire hand. Imagine… two ginormous slices of pizza, not to mention the fifteen topping options. All with endless refills of your favorite Pepsi products, lemonade or homemade sweet tea, and the small ice cubes seem to make the drink taste better, especially for all the ice chewers.

Variety: Now, don’t get attached to the pizza because this Italian pizzeria  offers way more than just that. They serve everything from illustrious Italian pasta dishes like manicotti to more American cuisine like cheeseburgers. Other options include a variety of sandwiches and salads to hold you over if you’re not too hungry.

Time: You will never have to wait more than ten minutes for lunch or twenty minutes for dinner on a busy day. As a senior, one of my favorite things to do is to call ahead and request my order. By the time I arrive my food is being packaged up. With a 50 minute lunch period, this gives IP3 an advantage over other local lunch spots.

Vibe: Great pizza and great prices mean nothing if the vibe is off. The walls at IP3 are plastered with photos of UNC alumni, aerial looks of Franklin Street and images from one of the most important nights of the year: the UNC v. Duke basketball game. This lets you know that you’ve set foot in a Chapel Hill favorite.

On both sides of the entrance two TVs constantly air athletic games, making it a great place for you and your family to enjoy dinner while watching your favorite sports team. On top of all this, the employees complete the experience. Brothers Angelo and Vincenzo Marrone have run IP3 since 1980, making the atmosphere like that of a true family.

Overall: IP3 is a place for the people. Hot pizza, loaded with cheese to perfection, at a reasonable price sounds too good to be true. And if you’re not in the mood for pizza, there’s a plethora of other food options. If you haven’t had an opportunity to eat at this wonderful spot, you should really stop by.

Pizzeria Mercato

by Lily Ervin

Price: The price for each pizza varies, from $13 to $17 for a whole pizza: a bit pricier than IP3. But if you go out with your friends, obviously you could split the cost. For a whole pizza, the price is pretty good, especially after you’ve tasted it.

Variety: Mercato has a nice variety for a pizza place, from pizzas to their salads, and drinks to desserts. If you are not in the mood for pizza, there are other options too. There is antipasti (the first course in an Italian meal), including pork belly and sausage and piatti, which is like lasagne. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase by the slice like at IP3, but you can  split one pizza between two people, so one slice at IP3 is about two slices at Mercato.

Mercato’s desserts are all so delicious and fancy. My personal favorite is the bodino, which is caramel and chocolate Italian
custard.

Vibe: Whether you’re walking in on a busy night or a chill afternoon, the vibe at Mercato is always fun. Going with friends or family, you’ll always feel welcome. The wait staff is super nice and friendly, typically what you see in the town of Carrboro. If you sit at the bar, you can watch and listen to the chefs making the pizzas in the ovens behind the counter. Or, sit by the window to see the people of Carrboro while enjoying your meal.

Wait time: Overall, the wait time is fairly short. During the day, Mercato is not as busy as at night, and the wait time is very short. At night, the restaurant is more crowded; it’s the only specialty pizza place in Carrboro, and it’s really good. But for a busy place, you will not have to wait longer than 25 minutes in my expe rience. You can always get a drink while you wait and stand or sit outside on a nice night.

Overall presentation: At Mercato, everything’s meant to impress. Right away your table gets a large glass pitcher of water, which is something I have always liked because I like to serve myself water when I need to.

Their menu is easy to read and not too long, so you don’t have to decide between so many choices. They have roughly ten choices of pizzas, and you could always add on more toppings. I am always very content with how my pizza looks and tastes. All the pizzas are adorned with toppings to make them look like a masterpiece, and the flavors match the presentation.