Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings – Patrick Connolly

Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings
Patrick Connolly
Anchor Contributor

“If you must blink, do it now.”

You might as well listen to Kubo, voiced by Art Parkinson, the heroic protagonist who begins his stories with that sentence. Such an opening sentence will probably become the next “once upon a time” for further generations down the line, as it should! “Kubo and the Two Strings” is a visually masterful, if somewhat flawed, moviegoing experience that should dazzle fans of stop-motion animation worldwide.

Created by LAIKA Animation Studios, the studio responsible for films such as “Coraline,” “ParaNorman,” and “The Boxtrolls,” the story seems straightforward on the surface, but goes into deeper territory than most animated films this year even dare.

Kubo is a storyteller who uses his magical origami to bring his stories to life. But he has to be back by sundown, or else his two evil aunts—both eerily voiced by Rooney Mara—will capture him, and bring him to his grandfather—voiced by Ralph Fiennes—for vengeful purposes. One night, he breaks from his normal routine to visit his father’s grave, a beautiful scene, only to be found by the dastardly duo. Through circumstances that won’t be spoiled here, Kubo is joined by a Monkey—voiced by Charlize Theron—and a man-sized Beetle—voiced by Matthew McConaughey—to find the pieces of armor that could bring his grandfather to justice once and for all.

From start to finish, this film is a visual masterpiece. Every inch of this film is filled with wonders and delights that could only be created with the magic of LAIKA. There are sequences where the stop motion animation and computer animated backgrounds blend seamlessly, to the point where you stop asking “how did they do that?” and just go along for the ride.

In regards to its narrative structure, however, only the amazing first act can live up to its spectacular visuals. The last time I’ve seen such grace and maturity expressed in an animated film was “Inside Out.” The second act goes more for a traditional adventure narrative, which is breathtaking fun, but the third act greatly disappoints. Without giving too much away, it tries to express its ideas on the power of storytelling, similar to “Life of Pi”, if you will, but does so in such a poor way that it almost derails what came before.

Thankfully, even in its disappointing third act, “Kubo and the Two Strings” is a wonderful visual experience that proves Disney and PIXAR aren’t the only animated companies casting a spell.

Horoscopes for September 12th 2016- September 18th 2016 – Jason Windrow

Horoscopes for September 12th 2016- September 18th 2016

Jason Windrow

Anchor Contributor


Aries (March 21- April 19) Aries, your determination and imagination should be put to good use this week. Try your hardest to make your own soup. Soup is just a mess of broth, vegetables, and sweat so it should be a piece of cake or in this case, a spoonful of soup. Get your friends to try the soup and if they spit it out it’s probably just an indication that it’s too hot.


Taurus (April 20- May 20) Taurus, buy some high waist pants this week and look at copies of Vogue magazine. The semester has just begun and there’s plenty of time to reinvent yourself. Reconnect with old friends and invite them over.


Gemini (May 21- June 20) Try using the gun emoji in any conversation you can. The stars say this emoji can be used in-group messages, messages with your partner, even messages with your mom, if you don’t take your chance to use this emoji what is the second amendment for?


Cancer (June 21- July 22) Cancer, walk some place far this week and sit down. Write how many times you see people wearing flip flops or talk to a stranger. A lot can happen if you sit in one place, this summer has been full of movement and you deserve to sit.


Leo (July 23-August 22) Leo, perfect your social media skills this week. Cultivate your posts, plan your captions, and gain followers. Take  random pictures in Walmart at once (24 to be exact) and then uploaded the pictures every hour. Tell your followers that you are doing the “24 Hour Walmart Challenge” even though you’re just chilling on your couch. It will sure turn heads and increase follower count.


Virgo (August 23- September 22) Invite your friends over for a dinner party, and cook them some meatloaf. Better yet, invite your friends over, hide in your room, abandon the ingredients for meatloaf on the counter and leave them with detailed instructions on how to cook the dish. Come out of your hiding place when that sweet aroma of meat tickles your nose.


Libra (September 23- October 22) Libra, invest in a drum machine, and try your best to recreate the “Stranger Things” theme song. Make an entire album with your recreations and then realize you wasted a lot of time but still had a lot of fun. Get a week ahead on your homework this week you’ll thank yourself in the future.


Scorpio (October 23- November 21) Start using the phrase “this may sound cosmic” before saying something really mundane this week. Imagine walking down 5th Avenue in a huge fur coat and glam rock platforms while listening to “Distant Stars” by Sun Ra.


Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) Sagittarius, try your best to locate old furniture left on the side road. Sit in it for an hour, if you don’t feel itchy afterwards pick it up and give it the love it deserves. If you do feel itchy afterwards, immediately run away and take a shower.


Capricorn (December 22- January 19) Capricorn, ask someone special on a date to get pizza with you but don’t actually get pizza. Instead just have that special someone meet you at your favorite pizza place, explain why it’s your favorite pizza place, and tell them that the date is over but there will be a second one.


Aquarius (January 20- February 19) Aquarius, listen to Rihanna’s “ANTI” this week and really feel yourself this week. This summer has been rough but this semester you can pull a lot of power moves and take on anything. Power moves could be anything from drinking black coffee to wearing a bathrobe to class.


Pisces (February 19 – March 20) Pieces, you’re still in a summer mood even though school just started. Do something about it this week. Write a letter to a distant relative, put that letter in a bottle, and cast it out to sea. Or just listen to that song “Message in a Bottle” by The Police, you’ll get the same joy probably.

Go undercover and binge watch Quantico – Tess Rhoat

Go undercover and binge watch Quantico

Tess Rhoat

Anchor Editor


Quantico is a drama series based in Quantico, Virginia. The show follows the lives of young FBI recruits for 21 weeks of training, as they strive to become special agents. Each trainee has hidden secrets, including the main character, Alex Parrish, who ends up being a suspect in a terrorist attack. The show begins to evolve into a bit of a mystery as trainees start to believe that Parrish was framed from someone in the academy itself, and bond together to figure out who the terrorist really is.

Throughout the season, Parrish is on the run, and while this is going on we get flashbacks of the recruits in training. The flashbacks follow Parrish throughout the process of narrowing down who the terrorist could be. The major characters include Alex’s love connection, Ryan Booth. They fell for each other when Parrish first started the academy.  There are also twins who are hiding that fact by trying to act as one person Yasmine Al Massri. Then, there is Alex’s best friend, Shelby, who is labeled as a “rich girl”. Each character adds to the mystery and keeps viewers wanting more episodes.

Throughout the series, there are many action scenes that add excitement and spark emotion alike. In the beginning, there is an action scene at Grand Central Station, and one of the characters’ bodies was found in the rubble after the explosion. Not only was this a plot twist, but it was also a devastating moment in the show.

When watching the series, it can be a bit confusing because there are so many characters to keep track of, but by the middle of the season or so, it becomes clearer.

The show returns on Sunday, September 25th 2016, which is just in time for you to binge watch the first season!

Event Preview: Portland, Maine – Kristy O’Connor

Event Preview: Portland, Maine

Kristy O’Connor

Anchor Editor   


With the fall coming up fast, many students may be looking for opportunities to explore places that they may not have visited before. They can fulfill this desire with the upcoming trip to Portland, Maine that is being run by Student Activities.

Those who want to get out of Rhode Island for the day have the chance to attend this trip on October 15th from 7a.m. to 11p.m., including travel time. Those attending will be in the city from about 11:30a.m. to 7:30p.m. before heading back to Rhode Island College.

Michelle Arias, a student activities trips and events coordinator commented,“The goal of this trip is to give students a new experience and allow them to explore a different part of New England.”

Arias commented that there is an array of activities to do in Portland such as shopping, dining, sightseeing and exploring. Cape Elizabeth is one of the main attractions, and is definitely a hot spot to visit if you attend this trip.

With fall just beginning and tickets costing only $8 for RIC students and $12 for non-RIC students, there is no better way to spend a Saturday than in a different state surrounded by nature, culture, and new experiences.

Adventure of Sinbad – Sara Massa

Adventure of Sinbad

Sara Massa

Anchor Contributor


Everyone loves a little magic in their lives, and if you decide to watch the anime Adventure of Sinbad, you will not be disappointed. This new Netflix series, a prequel to the well-known anime, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, aired April of this year.

The two shows are based around the tales from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, Sinbad telling the story of the man who would become king of the island kingdom, Sindria. We follow Sinbad as he conquers towers, called “dungeons,” full of traps, tricks and treasures, and watch him win over the djinns’ trust and respect to help him become king.

The anime is thirteen episodes long, and spans most of Sinbad’s life, but is mainly focused on his teenage years. When I started watching it, I was not a fan of Magi, and only started watching Sinbad for my interest in the legend of Sinbad. After watching five episodes in a row, however, this anime made me want to give Magi another chance.

The show is filled with action, adventure, and comedy, but not so much comedy that it covers up the main plot of Sinbad’s quest for the throne. The creator, Shinobu Ohtaka, created an amazing art design and designed a hooking storyline filled with magic and adventure. And if you’re thinking you have to watch Magi to understand Sinbad, that is where you are wrong. Even though this series is a prequel, the anime revolves itself around Sinbad and his friends, so there are no spoilers for you.

A road paved with rock: part one – Jonathan Carney

A road paved with rock: part one

Jonathan Carney

Anchor Editor


During the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing, little bit by little bit, the songs that first made me love my genre. I will include little anecdotes about when I first heard each song and what step in my journey it was. Where along the path down my post-6th grade musical journey, it appeared in my life. I will also give a large segment of the complete story here.

The first “metal” song I was ever truly exposed to was System of a Down’s “B.Y.O.B.” I make use of quotation marks here because the band refuses to identify themselves as metal, or any genre for that matter. However, the general population considers them to be such. I was first exposed to this song in the seventh grade while attending the Fernwood school in Portland, Oregon (now “Beverly Cleary,” as her books take place on a nearby street.) My journey was initiated by an eccentric, mind-older-than-a-seventh-grader’s individual with blood-red glasses and long red hair darker than mine that flowed to his shoulders. He was a member of the small group of three individuals I principally remember gravitating towards in my one year attending school in Portland. Honestly, I’m not sure he was as keen on being friends with me as I was with him. Still, one day at an after-school program, he took me to the computer, went on YouTube and told me he was going to show me something that would get me off of that “country nonsense.” And while it didn’t happen immediately, a year or two would prove he was absolutely right.

The song “B.Y.O.B.” rushes through the intro in an exhilaratingly rush of notes, and Daron’s initial screech is soon followed by Serj’s barking verse. This fast-paced song eventually surprises the listener by slowing down for a seemingly mellow, slower chorus, only to speed up immediately after. Close to the end of the song, one such transition is performed in such a sudden and unexpected manner as to jolt the listener out of the false sense of security that the calmer chorus created, a tactic SOAD is infamous for. SOAD wrote this hit back in 2005 as a protest against the war in Iraq. While I picked up on the anti-war sentiment, I would not learn the song’s full meaning until much later.

After first watching the music video, I would queue it up constantly again and again after school. But, for some reason, I was still too lazy to search more songs like it, or even more songs by the artist. I don’t know why I never looked for more despite being so thoroughly excited. Perhaps I was afraid if I found an even better SOAD song it would make me love that first gem less. Or maybe the opposite would happen, and I would be disappointed by the rest of the material after hearing that first iconic song.

Still, this first song touched a part of me. I loved this unsettling, vicious ballad of corruption, a defiant and angst-fueled cry against a powerful external force.