Each day at school, senior Alex Mont eats lunch by himself in Room 310, three floors above the noise and chaos of the student cafeteria. He has been eating the same lunch every day for the past 10 years: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grapes, carrots and cookies. In the quiet room, he pores over his math homework, sometimes smiling over a particularly hard problem.
Immediately after the Dec. 26 tsunamis crashed across the shores of 12 countries, people began counting the dead. Twenty-four hours after the first waves struck land, the death toll was slated at 22,000. Two days later, that number had more than tripled. 80,000. 119,000. 130,000. The number of dead and missing currently stands at 286,000 and is still climbing.
She lives two lives. Sometimes she is a well-adjusted, attractive teen who can look in a mirror and grin. In her other life, she is too repulsive to ever win someone's affection—worse, she's fat. For senior Elysia S., month-long fasts are the typical response to a fluctuating self-image.
I can feel the changes come over me as the night begins. My nails are transforming into pointed claws, and my teeth are growing into vicious fangs. The beast within has begun to rear its ugly head. That time of the month has come.
He was so skinny you could actually see his heart beating hard against his skin. A tiny boy with jutting ribs and toothpick arms, he looked more like an eight-year-old than his actual age of 13. His name was Moises.
The Forgotten is one of those movies that talented actors prefer to forget once they've been paid and the production is done. It's more than just a weak movie with a dumb plot; it's an embarrassment.
The Day After Tomorrow is one of those disappointing movies that look amazing in previews but turn out to be mundane at best. It's one of those movies that have awesome special effects—awesome, but not awesome enough to save a slew of one-dimensional characters and a predictable plot. You know the type: think The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions and you'll have a pretty accurate idea.
A white-haired woman roams alongside a teen with dreadlocks amid thousands of vinyl albums. Two Latino youths flip through Sublime CDs beneath a poster of Madonna posing seductively in a wedding dress. As Billie Holiday croons softly in the background, a middle-aged man with a ponytail looks over the latest AC/DC CDs.
Where only first names appear, names have been changed to protect the identities of the sources.Ally McBeal and Ling. Buffy and Willow. Britney and Madonna.
Her skin is freckled and sun-damaged, sagging under eyes that are heavy-lidded from sleepless nights. She shovels food into her mouth like an animal and punctuates her sentences with colorful profanity. When she smiles, her teeth are yellow and horse-like. No one would guess they are looking at one of the most beautiful faces in showbiz.
Everyone needs Julia Roberts in their life. She's smart, uninhibited and will encourage you to fulfill your deepest potential. Her roles fit this description, anyway. In truth, she plays them so skillfully that the line between illusion and reality is sometimes blurred. At least we know her smile's real.
As pop stars and chick flicks (sometimes featuring pop stars) top the charts, love has been exploited in movies a million ways to suck Mandy Moore-worshipping teenyboppers into theaters for a Kleenex-fest of cheesy lines, two-dimensional characters and depressingly predictable plots. You know the type—boyfriends tremble in their wake. So it is with great pleasure that I proclaim Something's Gotta Give to be the antithesis of these movies, a truly hilarious romantic comedy marked by a superb script and cast.
Ron Howard's The Missing is like a Thanksgiving dinner that never ends; there are extra helpings of everything, but by the time you've eaten your eighth serving of mashed potatoes, they don't have much taste. Such is The Missing—chase scenes, gunfights and murder become as bland as stale stuffing as the movie slowly approaches its final scenes.
Junior Amanda Lee lives in a house of flashing lights. Every phone ring is marked by a blinking yellow beam. Each time someone pushes the doorbell, a white strobe pulses near her father's desk. The smoke alarm is bathed in the glow of a flickering red bulb. While the lights may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, they are actually an essential part of keeping Lee's life sane.
Struggling nations all over the world are in need of aid, and most Americans wouldn't even be able to find these countries on a map. They can, however, rattle off J-Lo's last three boyfriends and describe the evolution of Michael Jackson's controversial face. So how do you educate several million star-obsessed Americans on worldly problems? You make a movie, of course.
Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and John Cusack are officially three of the coolest actors ever. Unlike with most modern Hollywood superstars, good looks aren't really the factor here. (Well, on Cusack they don't hurt.) No, these guys can act. Case in point: Runaway Jury, the intense and well-scripted drama in which Hackman, Hoffman and Cusack show off their acting ability with a colorful drama addressing exploitation of both people and justice.
She huddled in the tree with her friend as the rebels approached. They clung desperately to the branches in strained silence until her friend lost her grip and fell. As the rebels began to shoot, she too slipped from the branches, breaking her wrist as she slammed into the ground beneath the flying bullets.
Sophomore Jocelyn Dowling has one thing on her mind as she fights her way through the Potomac River's raging rapids in July 2003: staying afloat. Capsizing could mean the loss of three days' worth of food and supplies tied loosely to the seat behind her. Water sprays across her face as she maneuvers through the whitewater, edging past jagged rocks that dwarf her red canoe.