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Rachel Brands, Author

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The Bellas are back in Pitch Perfect 2, in theaters now (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/pitchperfectmovie).

“Pitch Perfect 2” fails to live up to standards set by the first film

By Rachel Brands
May 21, 2015
The sequel to 2012s ‘Pitch Perfect’ came out on Friday, May 15. The film featured all of the previous cast members from the first one, most famously Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. The movie started with the Barden Bellas in trouble when Fat Amy accidentally shows her private parts to the entire crowd during the performance for the president’s birthday. This causes them to end up in a difficult competition that no American team has even won before. However, before they can do that, they must band together and “find their sound” again. That’s it. That’s the plot. For the record, I loved the first ‘Pitch Perfect.’ It was funny, entertaining, and the songs were wonderful. The writing was great and it kept me engaged the entire movie. Its unnecessary sequel was mediocre at best. The original movie was an amazing piece of film that should have been left alone. The sequel that has insisted on being dragged along behind it is an embarrassment to the entire franchise.
Enjoy the mystery of cloning in Orphan Black (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/orphanblacktv).

TV Blog: Enjoy a unique cloning story called “Orphan Black”

By Rachel Brands
May 4, 2015
“Orphan Black” is a drama created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, and starring Tatiana Maslany. The show airs on BBC, yet is filmed and takes place in Toronto, Canada. “Orphan Black” focuses on the morality of human cloning. This theme is introduced when the protagonist Sarah Manning takes on the identity of a woman she saw commit suicide who looks identical to her. Sarah later finds out the woman is Beth Childs , a police officer, and realizes she is in over her head. Sarah then finds out a truth that will shock her even more: she and Beth are part of a large group of clones.
Freshmen orientation integrates incoming students to high school life

Freshmen orientation integrates incoming students to high school life

By Rachel Brands
May 1, 2015
The orientation for next year’s freshmen class took place on April 28 at Huntley. The orientation for freshman with last names A-L went from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The one for freshman M-Z went from 7-8:30.
American Horror Story Freak Show recently finished season four, and hopes to continue to season five later in the future (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/americanhorrorstory).

“American Horror Story” still continues to surprise audiences

By Rachel Brands
March 19, 2015
'American Horror Story' is unlike anything else on television. Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the show has been pushing the boundaries of horror since it started. Each season has different characters and settings, yet (mostly) the same actors. Season one follows an estranged family when they move into the murder house, season two shows the brutality of an insane asylum in the 1960s, season three explores a school for witches, and season three is about a freakshow in the 1950s.
The set for the Academy Awards still leaves many in awe (www.facebook.com/TheAcademy/).

The Academy Awards touches audiences everywhere

By Rachel Brands
March 4, 2015
The 87th Academy Awards premiered on Sunday, Feb. 22 with Neil Patrick Harris as the host this year. Harris is no stranger to hosting awards shows, but this is his first year hosting the Academy Awards.
Watch The Walking Dead on AMC every Sunday (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC)

TV Blog: The Walking Dead

By Rachel Brands
March 4, 2015
"The Walking Dead" starts with former sheriff Rick Grimes waking from a coma and finding himself in a zombie-infested world. He hunts down his family and assumes the role as leader in the group they are in. Rick & Co. travel from their camp to Hershel's farm to an abandoned prison to Terminus, forming bonds and suffering many casualties along the way.
The finale of Parenthood starts on Thursday, Jan. 29 (Courtesy of  facebook.com/Parenthood)

TV Blog: “Parenthood”

By Rachel Brands
January 29, 2015
'Parenthood' is a drama created by Jason Katims, the creator of successful show Friday Night Lights. The NBC drama shows the lives of the large clan of Bravermans: grandparents Zeek and Camille, their children Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Julia, and their children.
The new season poster for Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Courtesy of fxnetworks.com/shows/its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia).

TV Blog: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

By Rachel Brands
January 11, 2015
'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' is the gem of comedy. It follows twins Dennis and Dee, their 'father' Frank, and their friends Mac and Charlie as they run their bar Paddy's Pub, plot to scam others out of money, and go on other outrageous adventures.
Dexter cover for season eight (Courtesy of facebook.com/dexter)

TV Blog: “Dexter”

By Rachel Brands
December 16, 2014
[D]exter is a crime drama adapted from the book series by Jeff Lindsay. It is about Dexter Morgan, blood spatter analyst by day and serial killer by night. The thing about Dexter, though, is that he only kills other killers.
Marlowe middle school hosts a breakfast with Santa

Marlowe middle school hosts a breakfast with Santa

By Rachel Brands
December 8, 2014

arlowe Middle School was decorated exquisitely for Christmas on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 6. The school hosted a Breakfast with Santa event from...

The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/BuffyTheVampireSlayer)

TV Blog: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

By Rachel Brands
November 21, 2014
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ is a television show created by Joss Whedon that ran from 1997 to 2003. The show centers around Buffy Summers who moves to Sunnydale, California with her mother after she was expelled from her old school for burning down the gym (it was overrun with vampires).
South park opening (photo courtesy of southpark.cc.com)

South Park season 18 episode 6 review

By Rachel Brands
November 18, 2014
South Park releases its sixth episode titled “Freemium Isn’t Free.” The episode lunges right into the plot when the first scene is of Jimmy telling Kyle to download the new Terrance and Phillip game because it’s “totally free!” Kyle plays the game and quickly discovers it is free (only not really) because it is also totally stupid. Stan, however, can not get enough of the game and is soon in trouble with his parents for spending over $400 playing it.
South park opening (photo courtesy of southpark.cc.com)

South Park season 18 episode 7 review

By Rachel Brands
November 17, 2014
South Park screwed with the minds of its fans everywhere with “Grounded Vindaloop.” The episode starts as a seemingly classic Cartman-messes-with-Butters scenario when Cartman tricks Butters into thinking he is in a virtual reality, when really he is wandering around town wearing goggles and a set of headphones.
Courtesy of stvincentfilm.com

St. Vincent Movie Review

By Rachel Brands
November 13, 2014
“St. Vincent” is a dramedy written and directed by Theodore Melfi. The film stars Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy as neighbors Vincent and Maggie. Maggie is a single mother who moves in next door to Vincent along with her young son Oliver. The two get off to a bad start immediately when the movers Maggie hired inadvertently destroy Vincent’s fence and rip a branch off a tree in his yard. Times are tough for Maggie and Oliver, causing Maggie to work crazy hours and leaving Oliver alone most of the time. An incident at school where the other boys steal Oliver’s phone and house keys leads to him spending the afternoon at Vincent’s until his mother gets home from work.
South park opening (photo courtesy of southpark.cc.com)

South Park season 18 episode 5 review

By Rachel Brands
October 31, 2014
South Park hits its midseason mark in season eighteen with “The Magic Bush.” The episode begins with Cartman gleefully finding out that Butters’ dad owns a drone. Cartman is thrilled and immediately begins plotting to use it to spy on people in the town. Cartman sneaks the drone to his house and then Butters meets him (and Kenny) at Cartman’s house so the boys can play with it. Everything starts okay until Cartman stumbles upon Craig’s mom getting dressed. Being boys, they stick around to get a closer look and have a good laugh over her ‘bush.’
South park opening (photo courtesy of southpark.cc.com)

South Park season 18 episode 4 review

By Rachel Brands
October 16, 2014
South Park brings back old characters Nathan and Mimsy in this week’s episode “Handicar.” Do not be surprised if you do not remember Nathan and Mimsy. They have only been in two episodes: “Up the Down Steroid” (season eight, episode two) and “Crippled Summer” (season fourteen, episode seven). Nathan and Mimsy are portrayed as the stereotypical tough boss and his idiotic sidekick. They are Jimmy and Timmy’s (but mostly Jimmy’s) rivals, and in all three episodes they attempt to sabotage either Jimmy or Timmy’s shot at success. This episode is no different.
South park opening (photo courtesy of southpark.cc.com)

South Park season 18 episode 3 review

By Rachel Brands
October 15, 2014
South Park airs its third episode called “The Cissy,” and it is not at all what I expected. The episode begins with Cartman being more creepy and menacing than usual. He uses his inner monologue to refer to the mysterious object in his front pocket that he will use to “do what I should have done a long time ago.” The mystery object turns out to be a pink bow that Cartman uses to pretend to be transgender, or “transginger” as Cartman calls it, in order to use the girls’ bathroom. However, the dumps that Cartman has been taking in the girls’ bathroom are unbearable, and the girls want him out. This causes Principal Victoria to approve a special transgender bathroom made especially for Cartman.
The freshman mixed choir perform on the stage (Brands).

From corn fields to Broadway

By Rachel Brands
October 8, 2014
[T]he PAC was packed on Oct. 7 at 7:00 p.m. for the HHS choir’s first concert of the year. The theme for this concert was Broadway musicals.
South park opening (photo courtesy of southpark.cc.com)

South Park season 18 episode 2 review

By Rachel Brands
October 2, 2014
[S]outh Park bounces back from last week’s mundane episode with “Gluten Free Ebola.” The episode begins with the boys cheerfully greeting their classmates as they walk through the halls of their elementary school. It is unusual for anyone to be this nice in South Park, especially Eric Cartman.
South park opening (photo courtesy of southpark.cc.com)

South Park season 18 episode 1 review

By Rachel Brands
September 30, 2014
South Park’s eighteenth season gets off to a mediocre start in season premiere “Go Fund Yourself.” Last year’s season premiere struck me as simply okay, and this year was no different. The episode starts with the boys rattling off ridiculous, filthy names that I cannot repeat because this is a school website. As it turns out, they aren’t saying dirty names just for kicks – they’re trying to come up with a name for their new Kickstarter company.
The track to recovery

The track to recovery

By Rachel Brands
April 16, 2014
Most people can't fathom why anyone would want to run for fun. Other people, like Rebecca Cords, can't imagine having a different hobby.
Wrestling Recognition

Wrestling Recognition

By Rachel Brands
February 28, 2014

I am not a sports fan. I never have been and more than likely never will be. I am so far gone that I do not have the faintest idea why anyone likes sports. Baseball...

Science Olympiad prepares for regionals

Science Olympiad prepares for regionals

By Rachel Brands
February 27, 2014
Science Olympiad is practically unheard of in Huntley High School, much to the disappointment of the active members.
Courtesy of MCT Campus

Coca-Cola on diversity

By Rachel Brands
February 27, 2014
Coca-Cola recently released a commercial entitled "It's Beautiful" that has caused an uproar among Americans on Twitter. The commercial included images of everyday American families while "America the Beautiful" was sung in the background in order to advertise Coke products.
Dakotah Henn and his pet snake (courtesy of D. Henn).

Lions and tigers and reptiles, oh my!

By Rachel Brands
February 7, 2014
Dakotah Henn was three when he adopted his first animal. His father had a habit of taking Henn to the pet store when he was young to look at all the animals. One of the trips stood out from the others, and that was the day when Henn came upon the lizards.
Courtesy of MCT Campus

Sherlock Series Three

By Rachel Brands
January 30, 2014
I just spent my entire Sunday afternoon watching the third series of BBC's "Sherlock." The entirety of the third series came out in the UK quite a while ago, but I never got around to watching it. I had to go to work, I was busy with school, I was simply too lazy to get my laptop out; these are several reasons I had for waiting so long to watch.
Huntley Wrestlers Lose to Dundee Crown

Huntley Wrestlers Lose to Dundee Crown

By Rachel Brands
January 25, 2014
On Thursday, Jan. 23, wrestlers from Huntley strolled into the gymnasium of Dundee Crown High School after a half hour long bus ride. The gym was large and donned with Dundee's school colors, red and blue. The wrestlers from both teams stretched before the matches began, and all took part in supporting their teammates by watching them wrestle and cheering them on. Parents and friends participated in vocally showing their support during matches as well. Whether the victor was Huntley or Dundee was obvious based on the side of the bleachers was cheering. Huntley lost to Dundee Crown by seven points, with a score of 33-25.
The end of an era

The end of an era

By Rachel Brands
December 20, 2013

Twelve years ago, Phil Crespo was in danger of being unable to graduate from Huntley High School. Twelve years ago, Principal Dave Johnson went the...

Leading a work of fiction

Leading a work of fiction

By Rachel Brands
December 7, 2013

Stop for a second and think. When someone say “good leader” what do you think of? More importantly, who do you think of? I am a firm believer in the...

(J. Bednarczyk).

Do you believe in magic?

By Rachel Brands
November 26, 2013
Making an impression with the essence of magic.
Spanish club designs mural

Spanish club designs mural

By Rachel Brands
November 13, 2013
Spanish Club is one of the many new clubs starting after school, and held a meeting this Tuesday, Nov. 12. The club was created by co-presidents Holly Baldacci and Alexis Adams.
Marching band finishes season strong at Lincoln Way East High School

Marching band finishes season strong at Lincoln Way East High School

By Rachel Brands
October 22, 2013
The bright lights illuminate the football field at Lincoln Way East High School as the Huntley High School Red Raider's marching band take their positions.
Not so different

Not so different

By Rachel Brands
October 11, 2013
Junior Koki Ito isn’t like the other students at Huntley High School, and for one obvious reason: he’s from Japan.
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