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“MAD MAX: Fury Road”

By Nathaniel Dunaway
 Entertainment Editor

In 1979, Australian filmmaker George Miller released his feature-film debut: a dystopian action thriller entitled “Mad Max.” The film starred Mel Gibson as Max, a role that would launch the then 23-year-old actor into stardom.

Inspired by the 1970’s oil crisis, in which oil prices skyrocketed, affecting millions of Australians in particular, “Mad Max” (and its immediate sequels “The Road Warrior” and “Beyond Thunderdome,”) follows Max, a lawman, and his travels through a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland, where he encounters vicious motorcycle gangs, mutants, vengeance and driving. Lots and lots of driving.

Miller had always planned a fourth film in the franchise, but the project remained in development hell for nearly 30 years. When it finally became a reality with the release of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” this month, the response from fans and critics alike was virtually unanimous: it was worth the wait.

“Fury Road,” essentially a reboot of the series rather than a strict continuation, stars Tom Hardy (“Bronson”) and Charlize Theron (“Monster”) as Max Rockatansky and Imperator Furiosa, respectively.

The film begins with Furiosa, a badass, one-armed raider, leading a convoy of war rigs from the Citadel — a colony led by the film’s antagonist, Immortan Joe — to Gas Town, a city with a monopoly grip on gasoline. Halfway to her destination, however, she veers off-road, thus setting the insane events of this insane film in motion.

As it turns out, Furiosa is actually smuggling Immortan Joe’s Five Wives (the women he keeps as “breeders”) to safety. When the masked, deformed, and insane Joe realizes this, he leads a war party after Furiosa to retrieve his wives.

If that description of the film sounds somewhat Mad Max-less, that’s because it is, for the first act at least. Early on, Max is captured and serves as the “blood-bag” (an unwilling blood donor) to Nux, a Citadel raider played by Nicholas Hoult (“Warm Bodies”). Only after the first half-hour does Max cease being a passive character to whom things simply happen, and becomes the driving force of the film, when he decides to aid in the rescue of Immortan Joe’s Five Wives.

Still, Charlize Theron’s Furiosa is constantly at odds with Tom Hardy’s Max for the title of “Fury Road’s” true action hero. Max’s name may be in the title, but it’s Furiosa’s mission that the audience invests in — first when she seeks to save the Five Wives, and later, when she seeks revenge on Immortan Joe, played terrifyingly by “Mad Max” alum Hugh Keays-Byrne. Regardless, Furiosa will still inevitably go down as one of the great action characters of all-time.

“Fury Road” is filled to the brim with explosions, gunfire, fights, frenzy, and fun. It’s an action film in the purist sense, in which the action serves as perfectly-executed exposition in the telling of a great story. It’s never action for action’s sake, never mindless or aimless.

The title of “action film” has a sour connotation to some, suggesting a men’s only club of overwrought violence and one-liners, but “Fury Road” is about as far from Steven Seagal as you can get, mainly due to Imperator Furiosa, the epitome of the strong female hero.

She’s a scarred, battle-hardened fighter with no time for in-depth introspection or (and thank God/George Miller for this) a love-interest. But the feminist themes don’t stop there, with the story of the Five Wives’ escape from the clutches of Immortan Joe serving as an allegory of sorts for the reproductive rights of women.

Action doesn’t always mean flame-spewing electric guitars and hand-grenade spears. It also means what the characters do, and in this film, what they do and what decisions they make are paramount. “Fury Road” takes place over a frenzied three days of mayhem, leaving little breathing room and even less room for needless character arcs. What the characters do inform who they are, nothing more, nothing less.

In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, the idea of a two-hour long film encompassing what is essentially a single car chase would come off as overdone and gimmicky, but in George Miller’s hands, it’s truly a sight to behold.

So go out and behold it, as soon as you can. You’ll be glad you did.

4 paws out of 4.

“Down the Drain:” a biography of Julia Fox

Written by: Ruth Simonsen | Digital Media Manager

Content warning: this article contains spoilers

Julia Fox, once known as Kanye West’s rebound girlfriend, is best known for donning head-to-toe black latex outfits and hand-drawn eyeliner. In the media’s eyes, she was no more than arm candy to the controversial rapper. 

Since their split in 2022, however, her fame continued to skyrocket and she saw her following grow. Now, she proudly calls herself a female sex symbol, with her bleached eyebrows and lilting voice. 

Once Fox released her recent biography, “Down the Drain,” the world was surprised she was not always this famous.

Julia Fox spent much of her early years in the small town of Saronno in Italy. After moving to New York City to live with her father, her life quickly began to grow rockier by the day. Between her father’s verbal and physical abuse and her mother’s spontaneous wrath, Julia spent most of her childhood couch-surfing and searching for solace in any place that promised even the slightest bit of happiness. 

This mindset frequently landed her in unsafe situations — including a relationship with a controlling drug dealer who stalked and threatened her. However, through her ex boyfriend, she was first introduced to narcotics, many of which would haunt her for the rest of her life. 

The rest of her teen years were spent traveling between Italy and New York City — working as a dominatrix — then settling down as a sugar baby for an extremely wealthy client. Through this resource, she gained her footing by creating a clothing brand leading to a life of extravagance — only to realize she was the one truly being taken advantage of. 

As Julia continued to grow and age, she met and lost many people in her life. Between her near- death experiences and the deaths of many she knew and loved, Julia weaves a cautionary tale with heroin, its use and addiction, as one of the primary villains.

Now, at Julia’s celebrity status, I thought of her as another Kim K, Megan Fox or Hadid sister. I was quick to judge and even quicker to dislike. It was not until I saw an excerpt from her book that my curiosity was piqued. From there, it was pure, unabashed adoration of her and the life she persevered through. 

I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster, first laughing at her snark, then suddenly crying as she described her feelings and experiences of loss. Now, as she finally feels comfortable in who she is and the role she plays in the world today, she ends her biography with this: “Sometimes you just have to say f-ck it and throw your whole life down the drain just to see where you come out on the other side.”


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A new version of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” comes to Netflix

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor

Content warning: this article contains spoilers and mentions of murder.

Film fanatics may be familiar with the title “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” a thriller that stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law in an unconventional love triangle. Netflix has taken on a noir remake of the story with the leading man played by Andrew Scott, who is well known for his roles in “Sherlock,” “Fleabag” and more recently, “All of Us Strangers.” The director’s choice to make the show in black and white was due to the original book cover by Patricia Highsmith. Set in the 1960s between New York and Italy, “Ripley” is a captivating story that is hard to look away from.

In addition to Scott, the new Netflix series also stars Dakota Fanning and Johnny Flynn. Each actor delivered a unique perspective to the remake of the classic story within their individual roles. The chemistry between the trio was undeniable.

Andrew Scott’s stoic performance as Tom Ripley gave the series its unsettling tone. In contrast to Matt Damon’s portrayal of the character, Scott plays Ripley as a calculated, apathetic man with little remorse for his actions. In the 1999 film, Ripley is more frantic after his murders and genuinely seems to be upset about his wrongdoings. Both interpretations are incredible portrayals of the multi-dimensional character, but the passiveness of Scott’s performance is almost terrifying to watch.

The most uncomfortable scene in the series was the practically silent 20-minute murder sequence of Greenleaf, as Ripley tediously and clumsily carries out his plan. The blood on Ripley’s fingers looks black, but the audience can see its unmistakable deep red color as they experience the brutal death of Dickie Greenleaf. Ripley goes on to steal Greenleaf’s identity for his wealth and status. 

Every few minutes there is a shot of religious art, whether it is Greek, Roman or Catholic, a statue or a painting on a church ceiling. Tom Ripley walks in the shadows of these works of art, and at some points, he silently ponders them. This could be interpreted as a higher power looking down at him as he continues to commit acts of sin, whether he chooses to acknowledge it or not. He views himself as the puppetmaster of everything around him, but truly knows he is on the verge of spiraling out of control. Characters such as Marge Sherwood, Dickie Greenleaf’s girlfriend, can see right through Ripley’s actions but have no way to prove his wrongdoings. Something is not quite right with him, which all the people he interacts with take notice of.

The juxtaposition of Tom Ripley’s character is what made the 1955 novel and the 1999 film unique. Though he is a con-man and murderer, the character is also described as a sensitive man. The 90s movie depicts Ripley as a queer man, in his odd relationship with Dickie Greenleaf, and even gives him a lover at the end of the movie. His acute awareness of the people around him is what makes him the enticing villain he is. 

With an all-star cast, unique filming style and an incredible setting, “Ripley” is a must-watch for any fans of the original film or audiences interested in the noir genre. The eight-episode show goes into more depth than the movie was able to, and it did not disappoint.


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Review: “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

Sam Dunaway | News Editor

If you’re anything like me, ‘90s movies played a major role in your childhood entertainment. The 1995 classic “Jumanji” was no exception. Upon the announcement of a sequel, I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical. But as long as you’re not looking for a thought-provoking work of art, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is worth the watch.

The film follows four teenagers who who find themselves sucked into the game of Jumanji but unlike the original board game, Jumanji now takes the form of a video game. Falling deep in a mysterious jungle, they must finish the game in order to leave. There’s just one difference – the four teens are in the form of their video game characters, portrayed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black.

The humor and talent of the actors is really what makes this movie enjoyable. With Kevin Hart’s fiesty and loud personality and Jack Black’s portrayal of a snobby popular girl, you almost forget about the lack of intriguing dialogue and presence of cheesy one-liners.

The movie would definitely prove disappointing if you’re feeling nostalgic and longing for the world of Jumanji. Apart from one scene with the actual board game and the classic, suspenseful thumping, the sequel just doesn’t measure up to the original. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” focused on comedy and the balance between appealing to adults and children alike. It lacked character development and was often cliché. But thankfully, the comedic genius of the actors overshadowed the lack of any real emotional connection with the characters.

If you’re looking to dive into the world of Jumanji, you’re better off with the 1995 original and the 1981 illustration book by Chris Van Allsburg. But I would suggest this movie to anyone looking for a fresh, amusing and humorous adventure.

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Rick and Morty voice actors change for season 7

Written by: Sophie Taylor | Designer

Content warning: mentions of domestic violence

Rick and Morty. Since its initial release in 2013, averaging 1.52 million viewers per episode,  it is a cartoon loved by many. Its latest season, season seven, has created a lot of buzz since people started realizing that in this upcoming season, Rick and Morty would be voiced by different people. The show was created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland and Roiland has voiced both Rick and Morty for the past six seasons. 

In May 2020, Roiland was charged with two felony counts, one for domestic battery and one for false imprisonment, from an incident with a woman he was dating. After these charges, Roiland was dropped from Rick and Morty and other shows such as Solar Opposites. 

Now, with the man who voiced the two main characters in his show being fired, many are asking what happens next? As people began to find out Adult Swim and Hulu severed ties with him, they began to question who would replace him. Turns out, we wouldn’t have an answer until the seventh season aired Oct. 15 of this year. 

The search for the new voice actors took about six months, with thousands of applicants auditioning. Scott Marder, who helped Dan Harmon in the selection process, said that finding the right person to voice Rick took so long that they considered going global in their search. 

“No one sounded exactly like Rick. It was tricky,” he said in an interview with Lesley Goldberg at The Hollywood Reporter. 

It was also important to note that the voice actors were chosen so that fans couldn’t recognize the change in voices, unlike Roiland’s character, Korvo, who in the show was shot with a “voice fixing ray” altering his voice. 

After the voices were revealed, congratulations are due to Ian Cardoni, the new voice of Rick, and Harry Belden, the new voice of Morty. Fans have already started making comparisons between the old voices and the new ones; some have said they welcome the new takes on the characters, but others say that the “improvisational tone” that Justin Roiland brought to the characters just isn’t there anymore. 

Many fans are also upset that Sean Kelly, a voice actor who gained a lot of recognition for sounding exactly like Rick and Morty, was not offered the role of both Rick and Morty, similar to how Roiland played them both. Many comments on TikTok videos regarding the voice change are all about Kelly. Before the release of the new season, comments were begging for Kelly to be chosen. 

Even now, comments say Kelly was robbed and still deserves the part. As more episodes and seasons are released, fans will have to decide: is the show good enough to keep watching after such a big change, or is it not? 

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Summer ’24 concerts

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer

It’s been almost four full years since the Covid-19 pandemic, when lives were completely changed in an instant — forcing people to stay inside, away from friends, family and the things they love most. One of the many things that were missed was amazing concerts. This year, artists and bands everywhere can finally perform, once again, with no restrictions. Here are the summer concerts coming to Oregon: 

June Concerts: 

Vampire Weekend — The “Only God Was Above Us” tour is June 19 at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater located in Bend, Oregon. 

Third Eye Blind & Yellowcard — The “Summer Gods” tour is taking place June 14 and will also be at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend. 

Cavetown- Indie-rock artist, Cavetown, is stopping by June 14 to perform at McMenamins Historic Edgefield Manor in Troutdale, Oregon. 

Cage The Elephant — Cage The Elephant is performing their “Neon Pill” tour at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater June 24. 

July Concerts:

Noah Kahan — Up-and-coming artist, Noah Kahan, is performing his “We’ll All Be Here Forever” tour July 1. The venue is located in Ridgefield, Washington, but if one can make the drive it would be worth it.  

YG — Rap artist, YG, is coming to the Roseland Theater July 10 in Portland. 

Amtrac — American DJ, Amtrac, is bringing his electric music to Portland at the Holocene nightclub, on July 11. 

Blink-182 with Pierce The Veil — Mainstream rock band, Blink-182, shocked the world when they announced their “One More Time” album tour, featuring legendary rock group, Pierce The Veil. This tour will be July 13 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. 

A Day To Remember — Florida rock band, A Day To Remember, is performing their “The Least Anticipated Album” tour July 14 at the Moda Center. 

Portugal The Man — Adding to their hundreds of previous tours, Portugal The Man is performing July 20 at the McMenamins Historic Edgefield Manor located in Troutdale, Oregon. 

August Concerts: 

Alanis Morissette — The “Triple Moon Tour” will be taking place Aug. 4 at the Moda Center. 

Wallows — The “Model Tour” is Aug. 6, and the group will be at the Moda Center in Portland. 

Jhene Aiko — Performing her “Magic Hour” tour, Jhene Aiko will be taking the stage at the Moda Center Aug. 8. Tickets are selling fast, so get them while still available.

Olivia Rodrigo —  Recent up-and-coming pop artist, Olivia Rodrigo, will be performing her “GUTS” world tour in Portland at the Moda Center Aug. 10. 

Fitz And The Tantrums — This iconic pop group will be performing their “Good Nights” tour Aug. 12 at the Roseland Theater. 

Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers — Rap artist, Hobo Johnson, is bringing his crew to perform at the Roseland Theater Aug. 14. 

Foo Fighters — Legendary group, Foo Fighters, is performing their “Everything Or Nothing At All” tour, Aug. 16, at Providence Park in Portland. 

Peso Pluma — Latin artist, Peso Pluma, will be bringing his “Exodo” tour to the Moda Center Aug. 17. 

Elle King — King is taking the stage Aug. 20 at the Revolution Hall located in Portland. 

Twenty One Pilots — This iconic rock group is performing their “Clancy World Tour” at the Moda Center Aug. 21. 

$NOT w/ Cochise — These two up-and-coming rap artists are performing at the Roseland Theater Aug. 22. 

Kid Cudi — “INSANO: ENGAGE THE RAGE” tour will be stopping at the Portland Moda Center Aug. 22. 

$uicideboy$ — The $uicideboy$ are bringing their highly anticipated “Grey Day” tour to the Moda Center Aug. 25. Tickets are selling fast, get them while still possible. 

Dave Matthews Band — Still performing after 27 years, the Dave Matthews Band will be continuing on their legacy at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater Aug. 27. 

Kings Of Leon — The “Can We Please Have Fun” tour is coming to Portland this summer as the band will be performing at the Moda Center Aug. 28. 

Bonus September Concerts: 

Jelly Roll — Performing his amazing “Beautifully Broken” tour, Jelly Roll will be performing at the Moda Center Sept. 1. 

Def Leppard w/ Journey — These iconic rock groups took the world by storm announcing this duo tour. They will be performing at the Moda Center Sept. 3. 

Future w/ Metro Boomin — Rap artists, Future and Metro Boomin, are performing their “We Trust You” tour at the Moda Center Sept. 7. 

The Script — This soul rock group will be performing at the Roseland Theater Sept. 8. 

Mitski — Alternative artist, Mitski, is bringing her beautiful music to Portland Sept. 21, performing at the Moda Center. 

Childish Gambino — Shocking fans everywhere with his “New World” tour, Gambino will be performing at the Moda Center Sept. 24. 

Green Day — This alternative rock band will be performing their “Saviors Tour” Sept. 25 at Providence Park. 

Boogie w/ a Hoodie — Performing his “Better Off Alone” tour, Hoodie will be taking the stage at the Moda Center Sept. 25. 

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Poetic justice

Written by: Taylor Duff | Staff Writer    Sophie Taylor | Designer

Content warning: this article contains mentions of violence and sexual assault/grooming.      

Kendrick and Drake have a tangled past that includes almost 10 years of static. As Kendrick Lamar’s popularity increased, Drake embraced him — giving him an interlude on his 2011 album, “Take Care,” and inviting him on the ensuing Club Paradise tour. 

The beef between the two began when Kendrick made a personal attack on Drake and 11 other rappers during his feature appearance on Big Sean’s song, “Control,” in August 2013, and tensions escalated. In October 2023, Drake, with fellow rapper J. Cole, released “First Person Shooter.” In the song, J. Cole boasts about his proficiency at rapping. He calls himself, Drake and Lamar the “big three.” 

Lamar responded to “First Person Shooter” in March 2024 by criticizing Drake and J. Cole during featured verses on “Metro Boomin” and Future’s song, “Like That.” Lamar rejected the notion that there was a “big three,” stating, “f–k the big three, it’s just big me.”

In response, Drake released a song titled “Push Ups (Drop and Give Me 50),” in which he mocked Lamar’s height. Within hours of Drake’s diss, Rick Ross responded with a single called “Champagne Moments,” claiming Drake had undergone plastic surgery, including a nose job, false abs and a Brazilian Butt Lift.

Drake’s “Taylor Made Freestyle” implied that Lamar was too cowardly to release music in the same week as Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department.” Drake used artificial intelligence to hurl insults in the voices of Lamar’s heroes: Tupac and Snoop Dogg. 

Lamar released “Euphoria” — after the HBO show of which Drake is an executive producer — which read like a laundry list of grievances against his sparring partner. Lamar described Drake as “predictable,” a “master manipulator” and a “habitual liar.” Less than 72 hours after “Euphoria” dropped, Lamar released a second song, “6:16 in LA.” In this track, he alleged that someone within Drake’s organization was leaking negative material.

Drake’s response was the song, “Family Matters,” which elevated the conflict to new heights. He quotes: “You mentioned my seed; now deal with his father,” Drake said. “I gotta go bad, I gotta go bad.” Drake hypothesized in the song that Lamar could be a perpetrator of domestic abuse — the star has never faced such an allegation. 

Within 20 minutes of Drake’s release of “Family Matters,” Lamar responded with a third diss track, “Meet The Grahams,” which began with the foreboding warning, “You messed up the minute you called out my family’s name.” Each verse was addressed to one of Drake’s closest family members, including his mother, father and six-year-old son, as well as an alleged “daughter” no one knows about. Lamar claims Drake covertly fathered a second child and was hooked on gambling, sex and drugs.

On his fourth diss track, “Not Like Us,” Lamar accused Drake of having connections with underage women. This is one of Lamar’s most popular quotes from “Not Like Us”: “Ain’t you tired? Tryna strikes a chord and it’s probably A Minor.” Drake alleges that an informant purposefully fed Lamar several statements with the expectation that the star would rap about them. 

The “Not Like Us” cover art is also an overhead picture of Drake’s house marked with red tags that would normally represent sex offenders on such websites, making more allegations about Drake. Producer Metro Boomin entered the battle by releasing a beat dubbed “BBL Drizzy,” urging fans to rap over it. Drake had previously criticized Boomin on “Push Ups,” instructing him to “shut up and make some drums.” 

Drake countered with “The Heart Part 6” May 5, denying Lamar’s claims of grooming accusations and saying that his crew deceived Lamar over the secret child. Matters took a bad turn when a security officer outside Drake’s home was shot. It is unclear whether the incident was related to the rappers’ dispute. The latest, Drake raps over “BBL Drizzy,” halfway through his part on Sexyy Red’s “U My Everything.” Shots going back and forth make this a rap battle for this generation and it’s apparent everyone has chosen a side: Kendrick or Drake. 

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