Tag Archives: 2019

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil proves to be a beautiful disaster

Story and art by Scarlett Hatton

The 2014 film, Maleficent was a fantastic retelling and origin story of the beloved Disney classic Sleeping Beauty told in the villain’s perspective. The film captured the dynamic character development of Maleficent [played by Angelina Jolie] and the magical world she lived in. Throughout the movie, Maleficent became a motherlike figure to Aurora [played by Elle Fanning], ultimately being able to save her from her eternal slumber with “true love’s kiss.” This character shift made for a very happy ending to an amazing, complete story. Then, Disney decided to give us a totally unnecessary sequel that seemingly no one asked for.

Theoretically, a continuation of this story could have been interesting. However, in this instance, the film was barely a continuation of the first movie at all. Not only did it have an entirely unrelated storyline, but the writers seem to have forgotten the ending of the last movie. While the first film ended with Maleficent rid of her evil ways, the second movie began with her as the villain. This came as a surprise because the entire first movie was about the character growth and development of Maleficent. Ultimately, it was not necessary to have any prior knowledge of Maleficent to understand this movie. Whether that was their intention or not, the film was less enjoyable to watch and felt unnecessary to the original story. 

As mentioned previously, the storyline of this film was lacking. The movie began with Prince Phillip proposing to Aurora, Queen of the Moors. Once Maleficent heard of their engagement, she argued with Aurora against this future marriage. After some convincing, Maleficent agreed to have dinner with Phillip’s parents, King John and Queen Ingrith. During dinner, Ingrith began insulting Maleficent by bringing up her past and even claiming that she was not a good mother for Aurora. By this point of the movie, it was painfully obvious that Ingrith was the main antagonist. Unfortunately, the entire movie was badly written in a predictable manner. Maleficent got so mad at Queen Ingrith that she cursed King John in a fit of rage. Because the main antagonist needs to be conscious for the entire movie, the writers chose for King John to be cursed instead of the logical choice of Ingrith. This is one of the best examples of poor writing choices. 

After the dinner scene, the plot became very messy. Maleficent was shot by the Queen’s iron bullet, fell into the ocean, and was rescued by a fairy. The fairy took her underground, where she encountered many creatures just like her. This storyline is redundant, predictable, and can be found in many kids’ movies. The last main portion of the movie was the battle scene. This lasted for a long time and was quite different from the first movie which did not have as much violence. Coincidentally everything worked out in the end. It was a happily ever after, somehow, despite the death and destruction that the battle caused.   

Despite its flaws, the movie was stunning to look at. The incredible special effects and detailed costumes showed throughout, proved the high budget and effort that was put into the film. Compared to the first Maleficent, the visuals improved tremendously. Each setting and character were so much more believable and realistic in this movie. The beautiful visuals even distract from some of the strange dialogue. It is a shame, however, that the writing could not live up to its image.

No one else could play the role of Maleficent better than Jolie. Her character was convincing and had depth, which most characters lacked. During the movie, it was clear who was written as a main character opposed from a background character. Small roles were very one-dimensional and did not really add much to the storyline. It seemed like the movie introduced almost too many new characters for the writers to handle. However, even smaller roles had incredible detail that did not go unrecognizable. 

With its mainly younger audience, the predictability and plot holes are forgivable. Yet there was so much that could have been done to improve the story. There is no doubt that the film was full of different side plots and characters. As a whole, the movie was unnecessary.  However, Jolie’s talented acting and the beautiful visuals were its redeeming qualities. 


Acting: A-

Writing/dialogue: C




Following Highlander Band: Band scurries through Cardinal Stadium

Photo by Sophia Perigo 

Story by Gracie Vanover

As the mid-day sun floats above the Cardinal Stadium the band prepares their skyscraper and subway props. The band warms up and positions themselves to their dot ready to start a new day in the big city.

This weekend, The Highlanders traveled just across the bridge to perform for the Bands of America [BOA] Louisville Regional. The band placed 9 in their class and 17 out of 28 bands, but many were not disappointed. 

“Even though we didn’t make finals, I still feel like it was [a] great performance. Going into BOA I was definitely feeling a little nervous since we hadn’t got to spin equipment that morning for the run through and only really got to do opening dance full out,” said junior guard member Arianna Lamb. “But, once we got through warmup and were walking to the performance gate I could tell it was going to be a good show just by all the positive energy the band was putting off going into the performance.”

With the competition being smaller than normal at BOA many held their heads high 

with hope.

“I felt like we had more hope in making it into finals,” said sophomore pit member Allison Farber.  “But I do miss the bigger competition because I [would have] felt better about not making it in.”

Although their competition seemed easier, the show had many working parts added during after school rehearsals which proved to be a challenge for some.

“I love the preshow. While it is a cliché song, I think it is good to have it as the opening of the show because it symbolizes the morning,” said senior baritone player Lindy Lawerence. “[Percussion staff member] Dave Isaacs did a great job at making it and the transition to the loud alarm that wakes the band and the audience up. The tarps are good too. They add more theming to the show. They have worked well so far for me, but I do know they have caused some people to trip during the few times we have used them. I since they aren’t taped to the ground, I worry that they may cause problems during a show if there is wind.”

While the band attends competitions every weekend, BOA is quite different from the usual two-hour drive to regular invitationals.

“BOA competitions are some of my favorite competitions because they’re not anything 

like a regular competition is. With BOA competitions you get to see bands from all around the United States instead of just seeing our typical competitors that are from Kentucky and Indiana,” said Lamb. 

This weekend the band will be hosting the 

29th annual Floyd Central Invitational. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults at the gate. Shows will begin at 3  p.m. Be sure to come out to support the Highlander Band as they perform in exhibition. To find the schedule for the band go to their website: www.floydcentralband.org. 


Following Highlander Band: Highlanders hustle through Lawrence Central

Photo by Brock Kennedy 

Story by Gracie Vanover

After a successful weekend at Columbus North High School, the Highlander Band set out again this past weekend to Indianapolis to battle some of the biggest bands in the nation. Facing off against top bands like Avon High School’s Marching Black and Gold proved to be a challenge, but our Highlanders pulled through with an excellent performance. 

On Saturday the band rolled into Lawrence Central High School and performed SynchroniCITY for the second time in the competitive scene. Although the competition was harder, many still had high hopes for the performance.

“Before every competition I make sure I go into it knowing no matter what happens I tried my best,” said eighth grade guard member Graysen South. “I always try and think we are gonna do pretty well but we are going against top bands so it’s sometimes hard to keep hype. I try and focus on keeping my part of the show as best as I can and worry about ranking after we perform.”

Many of the members thought this was one of the better performances of the season. 

“Overall I think we had a good performance, as always there is always room to improve,” 

said sophomore baritone Kent Vitale. “Personally I didn’t see any catastrophic failures.”

Even other bands and their spectators were blown away by the power of the Highlander 

band and their show. 

“I felt accomplished because like people we don’t know liked [our show],” said eighth 

grade mellophone Robert Munoz. “Parents of students that have new uniforms every year and usually step up due to the size and the funds of the band applauding for a band half the size makes me happy cause like it means you did something right.”

Although the band did not place in the top three of their class or win category awards 

they made great progressions in the show. 

“The sound was much much better than last week. Many people were out of tune last 

week and the front ensemble completely messed up,” said freshman percussion member Lizzie Floyd. “This week we completely changed it and blew it out of the water. The front ensemble did amazing and the winds were in time and completely in tune. It’s grown a lot and I can’t wait to see how it changes over this next week for BOA.”

Next week, the Highlanders plan introducing more props and performing the fourth movement of their show which has been highly anticipated by the band’s members. 

“[I’m] definitely [excited for] Preston’s trombone solo and the trombone feature,” said 

sophomore trumpet player Charlie Roution. “Our stopping point right now isn’t a great one but once the 4th movement is introduced the show will be 10 times better.”

This weekend the band heads to Bands of America Louisville Regional at Cardinal 

Stadium. To follow the Highlander band and their journey through ISSMA and Bands of America be sure to check back weekly. To find their performance times and information on the band you can go to their website floydcentralband.org. 


Following Highlander Band: Marching band jolts audience awake at Columbus North

Photo by Sophia Perigo

Story by Gracie Vanover

Beep. Beep. Beep. This past weekend the Marching Highlanders woke up audience members in Columbus, Indiana at Columbus North High School for the first competition of the season. The band unveiled their show SynchroniCITY for the first time for the competitive marching season and was ready to take the win.

The band played Friday evening at the FC vs Vincennes Lincoln game the night before the morning of rehearsal for contest. Friday was the first time FC supporters had seen the show at a game this football season.

“I think we did alright, everyone was in high spirits once it started,” said junior Tatum Schaefer. “Musically we could’ve done better as a whole just because we got off time and separated by sections. Other than that I think it was a very good first performance and gives me hope for the rest of our season.”

For freshmen this was their first experience on a field other than their own and for sophomores the first time they marched on Columbus North’s field since last season the performance was rained out and moved inside. 

“Last year was stressful from the rain making our performance iffy, but marching against our competition was nice to see what we had against us,” said sophomore Ryan Gude. “However, we did win most of the awards, so I feel confident that we’ll do good this year.”

Of course with any show some had the pre-show jitters but they did not allow that to stop them in their tracks. 

“[At first] I was nervous but then I realized I didn’t have to be [since we’ve worked so hard],” said freshman Faith Andres. 

This year the Highlanders have progressed farther than they have in past years even though they did not reveal it all on the field.

“I feel like we are much farther along than previous years,” said junior Abbey Taylor. “Getting our music and drill much earlier than previous years has definitely made a major impact on our progress.”

Although the band did not reveal everything they have on the field this weekend they won multiple awards including best auxiliary, best percussion, sweepstakes, and 1st in Open Class. The band will continue their season this weekend at Lawrence Central in Indianapolis. To find out where the band performs and their schedule for other competitions check out their website: www.floydcentralband.org 


Marching band coverage from the parent show on Aug. 9