Mount Hood

John Wick movies ranked

Written by:  Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

Content warning: contains spoilers for “John Wick: Chapter 4”

The “John Wick” movie universe returned on March 24 with the release of the fourth installment, “John Wick: Chapter 4,” which left audiences reeling with unexpected shock. Here are all four movies in the franchise — ranked from worst to best, by the News Editor — as audiences question whether or not to mourn the beloved protagonist.

4 — “John Wick: Chapter 2” (2017)

Ranking on Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

The second installment of the franchise continues right after the violent events of the previous movie, which arrive to haunt John Wick and permanently kick him out of retirement. As far as sequels go, I thought the movie was good. There were significantly fewer action sequences than in the first installment, which was disappointing. Frankly, the middle of the movie left me on the brink of snoring. However, I have to give them credit for the fight sequence in the mirror cabinet, as well as the shocking and bleak ending that plagued me for weeks. 

3 — “John Wick” (2014)

Ranking on Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

The inaugural movie which introduces the audience to the character of John Wick received mixed critic reviews. This was the film that established John Wick as the bada–, titular character known as “Baba Yaga,” successfully managing to instill fear amongst audiences and the assassin underworld. Even though it was the lowest-rated movie in the franchise, the movie was heavily packed with both action and emotion, which I believe makes it a strong contender for the position as one of the top three movies in the series. 

2 — “John Wick: Parabellum” (2019)

Ranking on Rotten Tomatoes: 89% 

This movie cements the legacy of the John Wick universe as possibly the best action or neo-noir film series. In my opinion, the most daring and unrestrained movie in the series — “John Wick: Parabellum” goes heavy with gore and violence, which functions well in adding to the thrilling intensity of the stakes at play. This was the film that truly left me terrified for John Wick’s survival.

1 — “John Wick: Chapter 4” (2023) 

Ranking on Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

In the alleged “final” installment of the franchise, “John Wick: Chapter 4” follows John Wick on the run from the villainous “Powers That Be” — the High Table. The movie put to rest a long-standing debate regarding the shocking betrayal by the character of Winston Scott, the manager of The Continental Hotel, in the third film. This was the perfect movie to wrap up the beloved franchise, as well as the story of the weary and heartbroken but formidable assassin — even if, at times, I felt the long runtime to be excessive. Moreover, the fight scenes and long-range shots were excellent, appearing straight out of a video game. 

Keanu Reeves is a fantastic actor, and a perfect casting for a character in a franchise that grew with time in size, scope and success. I am content with the ending of the series. However, if Keanu Reeves decides to return with the mantle, I will happily line up to watch him in theaters once again.

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Instrumental beats

Written by: Gretchen Sims

“Satellites” — Cavement

“Out For a Walk” — Same as Different

“Sidewalking” — Jazzdroid

“humify” — hope mona

“When You’re Gone” — Piano Guys

“Purple love” — Discant Of Venus

“Titanium – David Guetta” — Eklipse

“Happy Ending” — rjoseph

“A Thousand Miles” — Josh Vietti

“Travel by Night” — Itsuju

“Time After Time” — Celestial Aeon Project

“All of Me” — The Piano Guys

“For the Love of a Princess” — 2CELLOS

“Soul Dreaming” — Zmeyev, flowless

“Afterglow” — AWL

“Close To You” — Tang Jia

“Curious” — Lushi

“The Martian Nextdoor” — Keyser

“10,000 Hours (Instrumental Version)” — Laura Sullivan 

“Pirates of the Caribbean” — 2CELLOS

“Angel of Music” — Laclede Quartet

“All I Ask of You” — Laclede Quartet 

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Ghibli in theater

Written by: Gretchen Sims

Anime fans across campus listen up. It is everyone’s dream to go back in time and be able to watch their favorite anime for the first time all over again. What if one is now able to achieve the next best thing?

Studio Ghibli movies are often a staple, almost a gateway drug, for most anime fans — usually the first film an experienced viewer will recommend to an anime viewer. These heartwarming films may even be a core memory in many childhoods. What if the fantasy of traveling back in time to watch one’s favorite Studio Ghibli film for the first time is practically achievable?

Fathom Events, a leader in the entertainment industry and a top distributor of content to movie theaters, hosts an annual Studio Ghibli Fest to showcase all the groundbreaking films by Hayao Miyazaki. This Fest is meant to celebrate the ongoing impact that Studio Ghibli continues to have on the animation industry. These unique and beautiful animes are beloved by fans across the world.

This year, Studio Ghibli Fest 2023 is showing at local cinemas. Here is a list of one’s favorite Studio Ghibli films that one can attend as well as their showing times.

“SPIRITED AWAY: Live on Stage” — April 23 and 27

“Ponyo 15th Anniversary” — May 7, 8 and 10

“Kiki’s Delivery Service” — June 11, 12 and 14 

“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” — July 9 and 11

“Castle in the Sky” — July 10 and 12

“Princess Mononoke” — Aug. 5, 7, 8 and 9

“Porco Rosso” — Aug. 20 and 22

“The Wind Rises 10th Anniversary” — Aug. 21 and 23

“Howl’s Moving Castle” — Sept. 23, 24, 25 and 27

“Spirited Away” — Oct. 28, 29, 30, 31 and Nov. 1

Showings may either be in Japanese with English subtitles or dubbed. Depending on one’s preference, be sure to check out these showings in a theater near you or visit Fathom Event’s Studio Ghibli Fest homepage at

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Welcome home, neighbor

Written by:Mikayla Coleman

Content warning: this article contains themes pertaining to psychological horror 

Nostalgia — derived from the Greek words “notos,” meaning return, and “algos” meaning pain — has been a hot commodity in the contemporary art, horror and gaming scenes. Modern games such as “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and “Undertale” have enthralled audiences with the feeling of longing for the past and simultaneously terror-filled experiences. A new alternate reality game has hit the scene with a wonderful harmony between the horrific and the familiar — “Welcome Home.” 

“Welcome Home” is an interactive horror alternative reality game, or ARG, where users explore a website by clicking, highlighting and isolating images to unravel the mystery surrounding a beloved and forgotten 1970s children’s television show. 

“You are to accompany a colorful cavalcade of puppets as their beloved neighborhood begins to skew and distort into a nightmarish memory that they can barely recall. Through illustrated books, recordings and an array of old merchandise, you will find what dwells within this colorful home,” says the project’s creator, Clown.

Despite its bright and friendly appearance, through exploring, audiences will become attuned to the dark underbelly of the world of the neighborhood. 

The game’s cast consists of several muppet-inspired characters with their own unique quirks, including Eddie Dear, Howdy Pillar, Barnaby B. Beagle, Frank Frankly, Julie Joyful, Sally Starlet, Poppy Partridge and the series’ beloved main character, Wally Darling. A thorough description of each character, detailing their individual attributes, interests and relationships, is listed on the project’s website, which can be accessed at 

Clown, the artist behind ClownIllustrations, is a Northern Californian artist specializing in illustration and character design. Clown is currently working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio arts. Their artistic interests are vast, including sewing, building puppets and creating stories and art that blur the line between macabre and delightful topics. 

“Welcome Home is a way to explore what I can do as an artist and try out new things, especially with limited materials” says Clown. 

The production of “Welcome Home” has been in progress since 2018, and with good reason. Clown’s immense attention to detail is what gives Welcome Home an immense amount of utterly-70s charm and believability. 

Recently, “Welcome Home” has gone viral on a multitude of social media platforms, particularly Tiktok and Youtube, where fans of the game have shared their theories and findings while poking around on the project website. The project is still in-progress, but has a massive audience waiting for the continuation of the friendly and freaky friends that make up “Welcome Home.” 

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Spring reads

Written by: Jude Bokovoy

Reading gives one the ability to relax, calm the mind, enhance their vocabulary and learn depending on the book. Start this spring off fresh with a new book and reading spot. Fellow students gave suggestions on what to read and ideal reading locations now that the sunshine is out. 


“The Pilot’s Wife” by Anita Shreve — A widow searches for an answer to why her late husband’s plane crashed. Was it an accident, intentional, or even worse?

“Verity” by Colleen Hover — A struggling writer accepts an exciting yet unusual job offer to get her out of her financial burden. 

“How Will You Measure Your Life” by Clayton Christensen — This book will show one how to maintain motivation at work, find happiness in the world and shift one’s focus to what is truly important.

“So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love” by Cal Newport — Western Oregon University Center for Professional Pathways book of the month is about finding appreciation within your work, instead of searching for work that fits your current passions. It often begs the question: is one’s mindset “what can this job offer me” or “what can I offer the world?”

Places to read in Monmouth, Corvallis or Salem. 

Parks — Take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, soak in some sunshine and read a good book. This could be on a park bench, in front of a view or on a blanket alongside a picnic. Parks not too far from campus include Riverview Park, Madrona Park, Bush’s Pasture Park, Riverfront City Park, Avery Park & Natural Area and the Riverfront Commemorative Park. 

Cafes and bakeries — What’s better than reading in a relaxing space while drinking or eating a handmade good? Sip and skim at these nearby cafes and bakeries: The Sippery, Starbucks, Rick’s Place, Brew Coffee & Taphouse, Panera Bread, Ovenbird Bakery, Karma Coffee Bar & Bakery and New Morning Bakery.

Libraries — Why not go to the home of books? Libraries on and off the Western campus include the Hamersly Library, Salem Public Library and the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. 

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Video essay recommendations

Written by: Mikayla Coleman

In an ever changing and expanding digital space of content creation, the video essay has become a staple genre on video-sharing websites such as Youtube. 

A video essay is an essay in video form that aims to persuade, educate or critique and analyze a specific topic, theme, person or thesis. This open-ended definition leaves a lot of freedom for creators to artistically express themselves and their opinions in a unique way that can be as academic or as casual as one desires. 

Use this list as a jumping off point for getting into the diverse, fascinating and passionate world of video essays on Youtube.

Ro Rambdin — Ro Rambdin is a 20 year old Tiktok and Youtube influencer from Seattle, Washington who creates incisive commentary videos on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to present and past youth-cultural events. 

  • “Do We Need S*x Scenes? – Penn Badgley and Intimacy in Media” 
  • “Elon Musk and Grimes: A Retrospective” 
  • “Chick Tracts: An American Tragedy” 

Philosophy Tube — Created in 2013 by Abigail Thorn, a British content creator and playwright. , Philosophy Tube seeks to provide free lessons in philosophy after the 2012 increase of tuition in the United Kingdom. Thorn’s videos are inquisitive, hilariously scripted and visually interesting with different elaborate costumes and sets to match each video’s contents. Thorn has also documented their story of coming out as transgender and uses their platform to advocate for better health care and treatment of transgender people around the globe. 

  • “The Rich Have Their Own Ethics: Effective Altruism & the Crypto Crash (ft. F1nn5ter)”
  • “I Emailed My Doctor 133 Times: The Crisis In the British Healthcare System”

  • “Capital Punishment (& Prison Abolition) | Philosophy Tube”

Mina Le — Mina Le is a Vietnamese-American content creator whose work focuses on modern and historical culture of fashion and film. Le’s unique style dominates her videos, making the viewing experience not only intellectually stimulating, but incredibly visually appealing.  

  • “‘toxic’ femininity: what’s up with girlbloggers, female manipulators, and femcels?”

  • “WHY EVERYTHING IS SO UGLY: The Curse of Modernism” 

Izzzyzzz — Internet personality Izzzyzzz, or simply Izzy, is a New Zealand-based video essayist who creates videos on modern and historical internet culture, pertaining mostly to childhood nostalgia. Izzy lightheartedly uses a combination of both subjects to deep dive into niche experiences of growing up while internet usage became more accessible, allowing viewers to be once again immersed in the fun and often-times clunky experiences of early 2000’s computer games and internet culture. 

  • “Exploring the Lore of Purble Place” 
  • “The Horror of Anti-Piracy Screens” 
  • “A Deep Dive into Animal Crossing” 

The Leftist Cooks — Formerly named “The Leftist Cook,” The Leftist Cooks is a collaborative Youtube channel between Irish creators Neil Farrell and Sarah Oeffler focusing primarily on leftist topics, including but not limited to LGBT+ and gender issues, workplace conditions and personal near-death experiences. 

  • “This is Not a Video Essay” 
  • “Polyamory and the Family” 
  • “Capitalism and the Body” 

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Spring bops

Written by: Mikayla Coleman

“Spring Has Sprung” — Skegss

“Back Pocket” — Vulfpeck, Vulf

“Hutch” — Barrie

“Don’t Trust Me” — the booyah! Kids

“Where’d All the Time Go?” — Dr. Dog

“Golden” — Hippo Campus

“A Bird’s Last Look” — Macabre Plaza

“Cinnamon” — Palehound

“Back in Your Own Back Yard” — Sun Ra

“Vacation” — Honeywhip

“Running Wide Open” — Coma Cinema 

“Afternoon Of A Swan” — Speedy West

“Over the Hill” — Ginger Root

“Ladyfingers” — Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

“Oh, Pretty Woman” — Pomplamoose 

“Morning” — Azymuth 

“Prism” — Say She She 

“The Flower Called Nowhere” — Stereolab 

“Masterpiece” — Big Thief

“Linger” — The Cranberries 

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