“The Upside” Movie review

Nick Wilson | Staff Writer

Only five years after the global hit The Untouchables(2011), Director Neil Burger and screenwriter Jon Hartmere create an Americanized spinoff of the French film. The Upside entails a story of a wealthy billionaire, Phillip (Bryan Cranston), who was recently widowed and paralyzed from the waist down due to a paragliding accident. His need for a day-to-day caretaker leads him to hire an unlikely and unqualified candidate, Dell (Kevin Hart), an ex-convict attempting to stay out of jail, as an act of rebellion and fatalism. Despite their opposing lives and struggling differences, the two quickly come across an unlikely bond. Phil introduces Dell to opera, modern art, kumquat, a line of luxury cars, and other stereotypical billionaire things; Dell urges Phil to appreciate the humbler pleasures of his lower class life including hot dogs, weed, and Aretha Franklin. Almost as if two pieces in a puzzle, the pair unables each other to rediscover the upsides to life and live life to the fullest.

While majorly focuses on the comedy and drama aspects of their relationship, The Upside is able to stay similar to its popular predecessor. However, that means that it also brings the flaws from the earlier movie— reliance on stereotypes between white and black, rich and poor, and rotations from comedical irrelevance and longing scenes to dramatic sentimentality and heart-filling encounters. Two strong performances from both Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, however, are able to keep a viewer intrigued in the story’s character development. The undeniable chemistry between Hart and Cranston accomplishes all it can to support the character developments of both Phillip and Dell and allows for the story to unveil toward a heart-warming ending.

It’s uplifting to see another side of Kevin Hart, known most commonly for his comedic talents displayed in his own stand-up series, along with Ride Along(2014), Central Intelligence(2016), and Jumanji(2017). Don’t be alarmed; The Upside is still filled with plenty of Hart’s comedic genius, possibly even too much. Burger attempted to utilize Hart’s talents to the fullest, allowing him to crack the audience up for essentially every scene from the movie, aside for the occasional plot-shifting heart-to-heart scenes that impact the lives of Dell and Phil. Comedy tends to be overused at some parts, however, included a scene that Dell must change a catheter that last for ages and an irrelevant foreign shower scene that just seems out of place and dried out(no pun intended). This overuse of comedy seems to direct the plot off the main topic of attempting to allow Phillip to live his life in joy and for Dell to reconnect with his struggling family who he was forced to leave to do his time in prison.

    The light and elegance of the plot line still somehow shines through across the comedy of the film and still fills the hearts of the audience. An undeniable bromance between Dell and Phil does no less than perfect to save them from their own internal problems, but also provides one of the first feel-good movies of the year with as many high and low moments that can fit into the 126 minutes. It would be hard to imagine The Upside won’t rack up views in the box office and plenty of positive audience reviews.

Veterans Day Program

Written by Sydney Snyder

Photography by Sydney Carlsgaard

The Veterans Day Program is a monumental event for Center Grove High School.  The teachers who organized the program, the students, the veterans and the speakers made the Veterans Day Program a success.

“The teachers involved met once a week starting in the middle of September until November 8th every morning before school,” social studies teacher Brad Timmons said.

Each morning the social studies teachers made pamphlets, decided the seating arrangements, created the schedule for the program and designed the PowerPoint presentation. The teachers also invited a set of speakers to deliver stories about their experiences in the military to the students of Center Grove.

“I was responsible for contacting Mr. Burris and Chief Clift,” Timmons said.

A Center Grove Student listens attentively to a veteran guest speaker during the Veterans Day Program last Friday

A Center Grove Student listens attentively to guest speaker and 2003 Center Grove graduate, Sgt. Evan Hutson during the Veterans Day Program last Friday

Eric Burris, when he entered the service, was one of the youngest people legally in the military.  Burris joined the Navy, completed sniper school, served for 16 years in the military and was on a search and rescue team. Chief Clift served for 22 years as a Navy SEAL and subsequently took a leadership position in the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command. He presently serves as a teacher within the sniper school at Camp Atterbury.

“It is always nice when you meet veterans and see them reach out to the kids,” Timmons said.

Timmons enjoys meeting veterans that are related to or are friends of his students. Students and faculty get to listen to the inspiring and insightful stories of veterans as well as those of former Center Grove students. John Frank, the previous organizer of the Veterans Day Program, retired after the last school year and left this event in the hands of his colleagues.

“We missed Mr. Frank’s insight,” Timmons said.

Even though Frank was not part of this year’s program, the teachers still had access to his resources. The social studies teachers contacted Frank a couple of times for advice while preparing for the occasion.  Although Frank was not in charge of the program due to his retirement, the teachers in charge of the program have helped with the Veterans Day Program in previous years.  

Despite the absence of a major figure in past years’ Veterans Day Programs, the social studies department put in enough hard work to organize a program equally as impressive as those in previous years.

Finding the College Fit

Jessica Kelly | Staff Writer

Many students find themselves drowning in countless booklets, pamphlets, brochures and letters from colleges, a collection of papers so extensive that the college search seems impossible to even start. However, each school offers a wide range of opportunities unique to itself; so the search for a college is really just a matter of matching the correct students to the correct education opportunities.

With plenty of options available on the local, national or even global level, the importance of campus visits becomes apparent. Christian Larbi, a sophomore majoring in Human Resources at IUPUI, stresses the impact that tours had on his decision-making process.

Christian Larbi talks to the publications students about his experiences in choosing IUPUI.

Christian Larbi talks to the publications students about his experiences in choosing IUPUI.

“It wasn’t so much about questions; it was about feeling,” Larbi said. “For me, it [the campus] was really close to home and pretty, you know? And it was really high-quality for the cost.”

Cost is a major point of concern for many students when selecting how to further their education. Finding a university with abundant but affordable options and resources can be a daunting task. But despite this struggle, there are such colleges, Larbi was able to find a way to get involved on-campus that allowed him to interact with incoming students and exhibit the leadership skills necessary for a Human Resources major.

“I’m on O-team, and what we get to do is a lot of orientation work basically,” Larbi said. “So transfer students, and students coming from different campuses, I help them get registered for classes and get used to it here on campus.”

By being aware of his options, Larbi can enrich his own education through real-world experience. Not only does he have an advantageous position on-campus, but Larbi is able to access resources to observe his major in action in Indianapolis.

“I also had to do a lot of job shadowing, because downtown is only a couple of blocks away from here, and a lot of Fortune 500 companies have headquarters here,” he said.

Larbi emphasizes the practicality of job shadowing and explains that the opportunities he has found have enriched his education. By providing a glimpse into the application of his studies, the experiences Larbi has had clarified the path he wants to take in the future.

“It gives me a better understanding of my major and myself, because I kind of see myself as a leader, so seeing other people going through leadership and decisions, and seeing how that breaks down makes me a better leader and a better student.”

Although the search for a college or university can be taxing and overwhelming, the opportunities and experiences students gain will allow their futures to become clearer to themselves. According to Larbi, college is about finding oneself as much as it is about getting an education. With this in mind, students may be able to explore themselves as they explore their options and find the right school for them.

Click on the link below to hear more about finding the right fit when it comes to College:

IUPUI and “The College Fit”

Collaborators: Maddie Weeks, Abigail Edminster and Jessica Kelly

Reviewing “Views” by Drake

By: Ryan Stemle

After much anticipation, Drake has finally released his coveted album “Views.” This highly predestined collection of music contains 20 songs and features from Pimp C, Future, Rihanna, and PARTYNEXTDOOR.


Unlike Drake’s last collaborative album with Future “What a Time to Be Alive,” there is more of a mixture of high-paced anthems, Marvin’s Rooms, and everything in between. The variety of Drake’s music is widely criticized, but in “Views,” Drake puts together this assortment of hits in a beautiful way. If you are celebrating success, going through a breakup, or just want to hear good music, “Views” might be where you want to tune your ears.


Drake’s upbeat bangers include “Hype,” “Controlla,” “Grammys” and “One Dance,” while his softer, slower pieces include “Redemption,” “Fire & Desire,” and “Keep the Family Close.” This album has potential to explode in a way that “Take Care” did. These albums are similar in their assortment of flavors, and there is no debate that Take Care was one of the greatest albums ever created.


5 Songs to Look For:


“U With Me”: This song, produced by Noah “40” Shebib, is Drake confused, talking to his main piece about their messy relationship status. Drake takes his voice to another level during the last verse putting the icing on the cake to an instant classic.


“Too Good” (feat Rihanna): Drake and Rihanna are a collaboration like Jimmy McElroy and Chaz Michael Michaels. Whenever they come together, sparks fly. Everything they put together is worth a listen no doubt.  


“Feel No Ways”: The combination of Jordan Ullman’s catchy beat and Drake’s flow is unmatched. Every time I hear this song, I feel invincible. If this came out before the start of the semester, I probably wouldn’t have a D in calculus right now.


“Hype”: Drake tells you to look back at all of his accomplishments in this high-paced song. This song title is very appropriate considering how it makes you feel while listening to it.


“Controlla”: This song just makes you happy. It will turn that depressing unproductive study hall period into a happy unproductive study hall period.
This album is growing on me as I am writing this review for it. Writing down just five songs was very hard, so I suggest you do yourself a favor and download this album immediately.

Impact of the Florida Primary

The Florida Primary was yesterday. It is known as the primary that picks the Presidential candidates for both the Republican and Democratic parties. Though the race is close, the main candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are expected to win the state.  As a senator from Florida, Marco Rubio is another candidate for the Republican party that has a shot at winning.  


So what does all this information have to do with Indiana?  Here are the top four important things that the Florida Primary will tell the state of Indiana.


  1.  After the Florida Primary, the people of Indiana will have a good idea of the two main candidates running for President. This allows voters to see the main political front runners for both parties. Will it be Trump and Clinton? In a random lunchtime survey of 30 students, 18 believed it would be Trump and Clinton, and 12 believed it would be Trump and Sanders.  
  1.  Demographically, Florida is almost like several states in one. The state has a large immigrant population, along with a number of retirees who vote there in addition to the native Floridian population. Sophomore Donald Atkins said, “I think that makes the Florida Primary more interesting.”


  1.  The winner of Florida will take a lot of delegates.  Florida has 50 total delegates to give out, and the winner will receive all 50 of them.  The winner-takes-all state is a very important in the race and is one of the states with the most delegates in the country.  The race will most likely be very close and could go either way in the actual election.  


Senior Sam Pratt said,  “I believe that Florida’s delegates are very important and will play an important part in the election. I think that Trump and Clinton will win it.”

  1.  If Marco Rubio loses his home state, his run for president will be over.  He has even expressed that whoever wins Florida will become the GOP candidate for the election.  Rubio, who garnered attention in recent weeks for feuding with frontrunner Donald Trump, stated. “I realized that win or lose, there are people out there that see what I’m doing and follow it as a role model.”  


When Indiana’s primary rolls around in May, the candidates will be pretty much decided. But yesterday’s Super Tuesday vote for Trump will likely have a major impact on who that will be.