Folding the switchblade back into his palm, senior Tony Offut stared calmly at his cousin's torn and bloody face as the blare of a distant siren filled the street.
It's fifteen minutes into sixth period, and one head is already down. Senior Shane Senior rests his head on the wooden desk of his on-level English class as his teacher, Maureen Diodati, struggles to keep the class focused.
It was past 10 p.m. when his father stood over him, cursing, interrogating him about skipping school that day. His father expected better from him, and senior Johnnie Ramos, then in eighth grade, knew that. But when his father pulled out a belt and held it high over his head, Ramos knew this wouldn't be just another lecture.
It's been told all too many times: the story of how ghetto teenagers living on the violent streets of New York (it's always New York) are rescued by some stranger from a completely different world. But in "Take the Lead," the story is updated with Antonio Banderas and dazzling dance moves, from the fox trot and salsa, to hip hop. In the film, the characters are real, their stories seem believable, and the dances keep the beat to an overall wonderfully told story.
From the hot twist on the word "Seven," this movie looked like an intelligent, well thought-out action film packed with enough explosions to keep the guys cheering, and enough spice to keep the girls from rolling their eyes. Unfortunately, it does neither. Besides having a cool name, "Lucky Number Slevin" fails to impress, trying to bring sharp wit and humor to a plot that ultimately fails. It's sad that with big-name stars such as the adorable Josh Hartnett, the classy Lucy Liu, and the bold Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman, the movie was still disappointing.
Karen, a freshman, looked over at Mike, her boyfriend of one week, and couldn't stop smiling. She knew it wasn't Mike's thoughtfulness that made her so happy, or the way he called her right after school and right before bed, or the way he walked her to all of her classes and carried her books. Her joy had more to do with the diamond necklace and matching bracelet she'd just finished unwrapping for her birthday in a box signed "Love, Mike."
The pale white stone steps of the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa are soaked with the blood of Ethiopians killed or injured by their own government. Thirty-six died in protests this past June. Eighty have been killed since then.
It was past 1 a.m. when Christopher, a junior, and his cousin walked down a street in Langley Park, his white shirt conveniently covering shank slipped in his back pocket. Moments later, Christopher felt the cold slap of silver handcuffs against his wrists as an undercover cop shouted, "You're under arrest."
Senior Miguel Pena stands in the hallway facing the wooden doors of the Blair auditorium, buttoning up his black blazer. The flag of the Dominican Republic is stamped proudly on his back as he waits to perform for the Hispanic Festival at Blair in May. He pulls off his black dress shoes and laces up his Jordans with haste. Adjusting his curly black hair, he holds a sleek microphone tight as he waits for the beat of the reggaeton music to heat up. He takes a deep breath. "This is the night," he whispers. Smoothing out his blazer, Pena is ready to present himself to Blair as L' Migue, a rising star on the local reggaeton scene.
"Roll Bounce" ? yet another movie where the neighborhood kids gather to compete against, and hopefully defeat the rich enemies with all odds against them ? is very similar to last year's "You Got Served." However, "Roll Bounce" is much more successful in its character presentation than "You Got Served." The only mistake director Malcolm D. Lee made was casting Bow Wow as X, the main character.