Patriot’s Day Review

Title: Patriot’s Day

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 2 hours and 13 minutes

Release Date: January 13th 2017

Grade: A-



Patriot’s Day is drama/action movie about the Boston Marathon Bombing of April 2013. It tells the story of the tragic event, tracing the lives of those involved immediately before and during the bombings, and the manhunt following the act of terrorism. The story is based off of the accounts of all involved parties.


The movie stays very true to the events of the bombings and the aftermath, even cutting in real security camera footage. The biggest diversion from the true events are Mark Wahlberg’s and Michelle Monaghan’s characters. They are surrogates, representing all of the members of the Boston Police Department during the events. The cast for this movie is perfect. Every actor looks overwhelmingly similar to their real life counterpart. No one in the cast feels overused, but there are some who feel underused, although it is understandable that at times, their situation was not important to the real life story.


Examining the movie from purely a movie standpoint (as if the events hadn’t happened), it is one of the most exciting movies ever made. There were parts where I could barely breathe in my seat and could feel my heart pounding in my chest. But, knowing that all of this really happened made it that much more devastating and nerve-wracking. There were events that I didn’t know occurred. After looking them up online, I found that the events portrayed in the film were extremely close to reality.


The movie’s one major flaw is that in the beginning, the focus shifts too much (I mean before the bombings). In an effort to introduce all of the main characters, the movie overexerts its exposition before getting into the actual story. But, it is a flaw to be overlooked, considering the final product.


This movie has plenty of heart, probably because Mark Wahlberg, Boston born and raised, had lots of say. And this movie showcases exactly what the tragic events of April 2013 show: Boston is strong. Not many other cities could’ve survived an event like this, but Boston shows just how great humanity can be, especially in the face of terror.


In a month crowded with too many bad sequels (Resident Evil, Underworld) and cheap money grabs (The Bye Bye Man), this is truly a movie to see. It is gripping, it is emotional, and it is real. And it is worth every cent.

Top New Year’s Resolutions of 2017


The making of New Year’s Resolutions is a tradition practiced all around the world. It derived back during the time of the Babylonians, over 4,000 years ago, and still carries over into today. People often use the idea of New Year’s as a time to close the door on a certain chapter in their lives, and begin fresh with a new one, which is where the resolutions come in.

New Year’s Resolutions are typically a decision to do, or not do, something in order to accomplish a personal goal or break a habit. Usually almost everyone makes them, so we figured it would be an interesting idea to ask the students of Westlake High School what their New Year’s Resolutions are.

Here are the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions of 2017:

  1. Be Happy
  2. Eat Healthier
  3. Dress Nicer
  4. Get Better Grades
  5. Get Better at Organization
  6. Workout
  7. Surround Myself with Positive People
  8. Time Management / Less Procrastination
  9. Lose Weight
  10. Stay the Same / Not Change Myself

Whether people stick with them or break them, New Year’s Resolutions are a positive, happy trend that will live on through history. Hopefully reading some of these will inspire you. What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

La La Land Review


Sebastian, role played by Ryan Gosling, and Mia, role played by Emma Stone, are two characters who both aspire to do what they love, although they face many hardships.  Mia, whose hopes are to become a successful actress, is subjected to rejection, and Sebastian, who strives to keep the love of Jazz music alive, barely manages to make a cent.  


As they begin to make their way into each other’s lives and their successes begin to peak, they are faced with decisions that eat away at their growing love.  The two must decide whether they should go their separate ways or reject life changing opportunities to remain with each other.  
La La Land is truly inspiring and simply makes your heart sing. It is an extraordinary film that is definitely worth a trip to the movies!

Westlake Indoor Track and Field 2016-2017


As the winter sports season draws to a close, the Westlake Track and Field team is extremely happy with all the results from the season. However, with the League and Westchester County meets behind us, there are still more challenges to come, such as Class B and State Qualifiers to follow.


Nonetheless, the team has once again grown together to become one big family made of strong individuals who always leave their best efforts on the track and jumping mats and in the throwing circle and sand pit. Although we are the only team to practice outside in the dead of winter, we are not worn ourselves, as we tackle old standing records and bring titles and hardware home.


Each meet has been looked forward to; maybe not the one happening on the day of Super Bowl Sunday, but the will to compete and compete with our very best is there. Led by amazing coaches, Devon White and Martin Rodriguez, and by great leaders on the team, it is almost impossible to think that any dream is out of our reach.


The team likes to showcase the hard work that’s being put in, to show off the dedication in numbers, color, athleticism and to make those who believe in us proud.


Thanks to those who put in the hard work and made everything possible, we were able to put together an amazing team that makes the future look bright. As long as the athletes gave it their all, continue to give it their all, and left it all on the track, there was never disappointment on any of our coach’s faces.


There have been many results throughout the season and records broken that are inspiring:  


Girls at the League Meet:


Nicole Izzo, advanced to the 55m dash finals

Mary Lyons, 2nd overall in the 600m

Alexandra Leitch, 3rd overall in the 1000m

Joelle El Hamouche,5th overall in the 1000m

Arianna Edwards, 2nd overall in the 1500m

Faith Summers, 2nd overall in the 3000m

Julia Remo, 1st overall in shot put

Julianna Castellano, 2nd overall in shot put and 3rd overall in weight throw

Cynthia Briggs, 3rd overall in shot put


Guys at the League Meet:


Eric Nieves, 2nd place overall in 55m dash

Kane Lyons, 3rd place overall in 55m dash

Kane Lyons, 2rd place overall in the 300m

Manny Corona, 2nd place overall in the 3200m

4x200m team (Eric Nieves, Brian Kelly, TJ Policarpio, and Kane Lyons), 1st overall

Peter Vogel,1st place overall in high jump


Records Broken:


The girls 4×400 school record relay time was broken at the Ridgewood Winter Games – Faith Summers, Mary Lyons, Colleen Bradley and Arianna Edwards


Mary Lyons broke the 600m school record at the League meet
Julianna Castellano broke both the shot put (section 1 kickoff meet) and weight throw (league meet) school records

“Hold Up” Beyoncé is Pregnant


Beyoncé posted a photo on February 1st, 2016 and broke the internet with the news of her pregnancy of twins with husband Jay Z.


The internet went crazy when the news was revealed, showing the power a musical icon can have on Pop Culture. The multi-award winning singer, songwriter and actress posted a photo on Instagram Wednesday with a baby bump and the caption, “We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. The Carters.”


When the Carters revealed that they will be adding two new editions to their family, Beyonce’s fans all over the world responded and made the Instagram photo the most liked photo ever on Instagram with over 9.4 million likes and counting, beating out pop singer Selena Gomez who currently held the Instagram title.


An hour after Beconcé’s big reveal, there were more than half a million tweets about her pregnancy. Anthony Minda, Westlake student and diehard Beyoncé fan, was shocked when he saw the post: “I was shaking and did not know what was happening because she’s the best person ever. I was in shock,” whereas Peter Psaltakis, another Westlake student, was not surprised that the couple was expecting.


Many people are excited that Beyoncé and Jay Z will welcome two siblings for their famous five year old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, including Julia Remo of Westlake High School who said, “I am so excited that Beyoncé is having twins, I love Blue Ivy and I cannot wait to see the new babies.”
It is unknown how far along Beyoncé is in her pregnancy, and some worry if she’ll still be able to headline the Coachella music festival in April. The baby news blew up the internet this week, and now, the world is patiently waiting for the arrival of Beyoncé’s twins.

Westlake Volleyball


On November 5, 2016 the Westlake Varsity Volleyball team took home the Class B Section 1 title for the first time since 2008.

In order to make it this far, the Westlake Wildcats had to beat every other team in the league.

“I was so nervous to be back,” Junior Laine Peterson said, alluding to the team’s loss in section finals just two years earlier. “I knew everyone was going to have to work extremely hard to pull off this win.”

This especially tight-knit group of girls proved that putting your heart into a sport and a team really pays off. Senior Captain Kelly Martin says that the feeling of winning was “indescribable. It was probably the most rewarding moment of [my] entire life so far.”

The team, of course, could not have made it as far as they did without the help of their amazing coach, Carmen Bates, who was awarded the Conference 3 Coach of the Year.

Coach Bates wasn’t the only Wildcat recognized though: Senior Kelli Kinlen was given an All Conference Honorable Mention; Sophomore Sydney Roell was awarded All Section; and Senior Captains Caleigh Carr and Kelly Martin were awarded All State.

The Westlake Varsity Volleyball team’s 2017 season was one like no other. Overall, the Westlake Volleyball team had an amazing season and they hope to be back at the section finals next fall to defend their title!

What Will Be the Popular Sale of the Holiday Season?


With the holiday season coming into full swing the week following Thanksgiving, stores prepared for, “an estimated 137.4 million people [that] plan to or are considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend,” according to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights.

The real question of the season is: what will be the most popular gift?

The Target and Wal-Mart price war also has people questioning which store to purchase their gifts. Target is “focus[ing] more on deals and value than it did in 2015,” Phil Wahba from suggests.

Clothing and accessories, as usual, will be the popular sales this holiday season along with an increase in technology.

According to Business Wire, the technology gift given most this year will be wireless headphones, which is “driven in part by tech industry movement toward wireless audio devices.” Apple’s new IPhone 7 will be another popular gift this year.

Regardless of whether you wrap up clothes, accessories or technologies this holiday season, remember to bring the holiday cheer.

Works Cited

“November 2016 Consumer Survey.” National Retail Federation,

“Record-Breaking Holidays Ahead for Tech: More Consumers Than Ever Plan to Give Technology Gifts This Season, Says CTA.” Business Wire,

Wahba, Phil. “Target Unveils a Christmas Plan to Respond to Walmart’s Price War.” Fortune,

Don’t Use Your Inside Voice


On Tuesday, November 8th, Donald J. Trump won the Presidential Election of 2016 and became the 45th President- Elect of the United States.

For some, his win was a success. It would cause change. It would help the economy. It would benefit all people.

But for others, his win signified the frightening reality of America. In the aftermath of the election results, the country feels more divided than ever. It seems that you either fully support Trump’s presidency or would do anything to get him away from the White House.

Despite your views, however, every person in the United States deserves a choice, a voice, and a way to be heard. All civilians deserve to be accepted, valued, and respected.

Although we, the American people, like to say that every citizen is given those things, we are not.

Minorities now have a leader who is endorsed by a KKK member, who has threatened to ban all Muslims from the U.S, and who has called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers.

Women now have a leader who has openly bragged about sexually assaulting other females, and currently has over a dozen women accusing him of sexual harassment.

People of the LGBT community now have a leader who has the power to appoint conservative Supreme Court Justices, who can possibly repeal the same-sex marriage act, and a Vice President who believes in conversion therapy.

To most of the United States’ population, Trump’s plan for the country does not seem to be one that will “Make America Great Again.” Instead, it seems to be appropriating racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic thoughts instead of battling those outdated and shameful ideas.

But the election is over, and Donald Trump will soon be leading this country, whether we like it or not.

Maybe his stance on some issues will shift, and maybe they won’t, but all we now know is that the majority of America does not believe in equality for all. The people have spoken, and they have said loud and clear that certain people in the U.S should not be heard, should not be given equal rights, and should not be allowed the same opportunities as others.

In January, when Trump is sworn into office, do not let him and the Senate, Congress, and other government officials discriminate against the people of this country.

This election has taken away the voices of so many people in America. Instead of being discouraged about the results, instead of leaving the fate of this country in the hands of Trump, speak up against the prejudice flooding our home.

Help your community by raising awareness for climate change, volunteer at a children’s hospital, or simply show your support for those afraid to practice their religion freely.

Join a club that stands up to bullies at schools, bullies online and bullies in the White House.

If you are lucky enough to have a loud enough voice in this country, use it.

Some donation and volunteering opportunities include:

Health and Wellness Organizations

The American Foundation for AIDS Research

World Health Organization

Disability Organizations

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Autism Speaks

Women’s Rights/Reproductive Rights Charities and Organizations

Planned Parenthood

Black Friday: Saving or Scam?


It’s 6pm on Thursday, where are you? Most Americans are enjoying a Thanksgiving meal with friends and family while some are lining up outsides retailers doors hungry for savings. It makes you wonder, are the doorbusters deals saving you money?

Last holiday season, according to USA Today,  “An estimated 205 million Americans went shopping last year over black Friday weekend.” Black Friday is known for the having the lowest prices of the year, however, it is the worst time to shop because of the insane crowds of shoppers all searching for savings.

The retailer’s job is to attract customers into their doors by offering a few products at a low discounted price, while the majority of their items are left without a discount. By doing this, the retailers have dragged you into their stores for the “deals” you came in for; however, you still end up purchasing something else even if it is not on sale.

Black Friday retailers are known for offering deals with limited quantities. Some dedicated shoppers camp outside so they do not miss out on these doorbuster savings. Sometimes the retailers offer lower-quality merchandise for Black Friday called derivatives. These derivatives are made with cheaper materials in order for retailers to offer low prices. Not all products sold are derivatives, but you must always be aware if the product you’re purchasing is the real deal or not.  

A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal studied product pricing throughout the year and found out that “most items are offered below Black Friday price points at different times throughout the year,” Backman noted. It was found that the best time to buy a TV is not on Black Friday but rather the week before the Super Bowl, and the best time to buy jewelry is after Valentine’s Day for the lowest prices.

Stores may hand out discounts on Black Friday and throughout the Holiday season, but before checking out in stores and online, make sure you are only buying what you need and you’re not overpaying.

If you shop smart, you may just find a good deal.

Work Cited

Backman, Maurie. “Is Black Friday a Scam?” USA Today. Gannett, 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

5 Best Shows of Fall 2016


As the holidays approach, many people will be spending time with their loved ones. However, many will be looking to escape their loved ones, and find some respite in the form of a small-screen binge. So, without further ado, here are the 5 best new shows to binge over your holiday break:

5: The Good Place

The Good Place is a comedy that revolves around a case of mistaken identity: Eleanor Shellstrop is welcomed into the good place, the place where only the best of the best go after their time on Earth has come to an end, only Eleanor is not the best of the best; someone made a huge mistake. The comedy explores what a theoretical afterlife could be like, without singling in on a single religion, but rather a non-denominational paradise. The Good Place is hailed by critics as one of the most original of this fall’s new broadcast comedies.

4: No Tomorrow

No Tomorrow is a quirky rom-com that is centered around a shy, risk-averse Evie Covington who meets the free-spirited Xavier Holiday in the midst of a romantic crisis. What sets it apart from the average TV rom-com is Xavier’s theory that the world is going to end, and his mission to live every day to the fullest. Together, they both learn to open themselves up to new experiences, while falling in love.

3. This is Us

This is Us is a drama centered around 4 people who all share the same birthday, and how their lives are interconnected. Essentially, this show is Game of Thrones for regular people. But the world building in the first episode alone justifies the shows huge popularity. It is one of the few shows on television that is centered not on superheroes, or robots, but just people. The first episode alone feels special. Also, the plot twist at the end of the first episode will make the viewer need to continue watching.

2. Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor is a political thriller about Thomas Kirkman, a low level cabinet member who becomes the President of the United States after a terrorist attack kills most of the government during the State of the Union Address. This show is based off of the very real, of well-known concept of a designated survivor, and explores both the rebuilding of the government and the investigation into the terror attack that wiped out the government. The show sees Kiiefer Sutherland’s return to TV after 9 years of 24, which alone makes the show worth watching.

  1. Westworld

Westworld is not only the best new show of the fall, but the best show of the year. Based off of the movie of the same name, it is essentially Jurassic Park, but with robots instead of dinosaurs. The theme park is a western theme experience where the wealthiest guests can come and take part in the adventures written by the people behind the scenes…or people who create their own. The show is so excellent because it makes the viewer care about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) characters just as much as the organic humans. It raises interesting questions about the future of technology and the human condition. 8 episodes in, the show has not slowed down and continues to be one of the best hours on television. With the budget it currently has, HBO is grooming the Game of Thrones’ successor, and this show deserves it. A flawless cast, stellar scripting, and an interesting plot make this show one not to be missed.