Original Movie Poster

Blue Beetle (2023)

Alianna Kendall-Brooks | Staff Writer

In Aug., 2023, DC Studios released “Blue Beetle”, a superhero film directed by Puerto Rican filmmaker, Ángel Manuel Soto. The film follows Jaime Reyes, a Mexican-American teenager, as he returns home from college to help his family deal with the effects of gentrification within their neighborhood. As the eldest child, Jaime takes on the responsibility of helping his family and begins working for Kord Industries, a corrupt company responsible for the displacement within his community. While working he runs into an unlikely love interest, Jenny Kord, the niece of CEO Victoria Kord, who gives him the blue beetle scarab. Unknown to Jaime, the scarab is alien technology integral to Kord Industries plans of creating a private supervillain army. When he arrives home, the scarab fuses to his spine and turns him into the “Blue Beetle”.
As the first solo Latino superhero film, “Blue Beetle” showcases Latine culture as Jaime relies on his family to unlock his true power. The culture, values and dynamic of Jaime’s family allows them to stand against Victoria Kord and her plans to destroy their community. The “Blue Beetle” cast achieves remarkable progress in portraying Latine people in film. Although the film has been underrated by critics and viewers, I personally found the movie to be groundbreaking and heartfelt. For those looking for a new superhero movie, “Blue Beetle” subverts cliche expectations and taps into the beauty of Latine culture.


Original EP Cover

Pro Vida By Kali Uchis (2015)

Micah Oliphant | Staff Writer

The debut EP “Por Vida” by Kali Uchis is a revolutionary piece of work showcasing the Colombian superstars’ angelic essence, musical talent and versatility. “Por Vida” is Uchis’ stepping stone, showcasing her dainty, innocent-like vocals behind timeless pop-funk and groovy instrumentals that put life in the listeners ears with every track. Uchis mixes sounds of R&B with pop, creating a niche subgenre many like to call “pretty girl R&B.” “Por Vida” is an EP about the motions of love and the chess game that most succumb to. She opens the EP with “Sycamore Tree,” an acapella piece about her interaction with a lover, waiting on them to make the next move. Following up with “Call Me”, a tune where the young artist yearns for a romantic partner and desperately asks the “boy” to call her. The rest of the nine-track EP follows this road back to isolation, closing with “Loner.” “Por Vida” sets Uchis’ tone within the music industry, with hits like “Lottery”, “Melting”, and “Ridin’ Round”, showing how Uchis’ sound is here to last. This EP is extremely nostalgic for me, and my favorite body of work by Uchis. It’s a fun but tragically relatable album about the cycle of love and the inevitable feelings that comes along with it, mixed with reggae-influenced, soulful rhythm and blues. Thus creating a unique but enjoyable sound fits for everyone. “Por Vida” is an EP for all the loverboys and girls out there, and certainly one I will be streaming for life!

Original Show Poster

Ugly Betty (2006)

Eleanor Saunders | Staff Writer

“Ugly Betty” is a dramedy series on Netflix that follows the life of Betty Suarez. Betty is a 22-year-old Mexican American, living in Queens, New York who aspires to have her own magazine one day. For her first career job, Betty is hired as an editor’s assistant to a very prominent magazine, Mode. Her boss, Daniel Meade, is the most eligible bachelor in New York. Daniel’s father, Bradford Meade, hired Betty for one reason: she is ugly and Daniel won’t sleep with her because of it. The show follows Betty as she navigates a very opinionated working environment. Despite her coworkers making fun of her diet and criticizing what she wears, Betty is still able to do her job effectively. In the process, she helps Daniel become a better person and gets noticed by a new and fresh magazine for her passion for fashion.
Not only is Betty’s work life hectic, her home life is too. Betty lives with her sister, Hilda, her father, Ignacio and her nephew, Justin. There is never a dull moment in the Suarez’s house. Due to the workload of her new job, tensions have risen in Betty’s home. Hilda believes that Betty doesn’t have time for her family anymore and battles with job insecurity and low self-esteem. On the other hand, Justin neglects his schoolwork to focus on Betty’s career. Betty and Hilda find out that Ignacio has been an illegal immigrant in the United States for 30 years. This causes problems with his prescriptions for his heart problems and a very clingy case worker to enter into his life. If you are looking for a show that is light-hearted, funny, well-rounded and all about fashion, this is the perfect series for you.

Original EP Cover

“Like..?” By Ice Spice (2023)

Nadia Hargett| Staff Writer

The breakout rapper Ice Spice’s debut EP, “Like..?”, was released on Jan. 20 of this year and successfully set the tone for her Bronx-based sound. Named after her iconic use of the word “like” in her songs, the six songs featured on the EP experiment with cartoony instrumentals and club beats while still maintaining that iconic brazen sound of drill music. Ice’s down-to-earth attitude paired with her catchy hooks and use of slang terms such as “smoochie” and “munch” have made the EP stick in the minds of the teenagers and young adults of this generation, generating sudden and unparalleled social media buzz. Repping a city that birthed legendary rappers such as Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim and Jay Z, Ice has had no problem making her mark. Although her lyrics are simple and aren’t necessarily poetic or possess any in-depth meaning, you can’t help but get them stuck in your head. Her songs “In Ha Mood” and “Princess Diana ft. Nicki Minaj” are my personal favorites from this release, evoking a fun and confident feeling that makes you want to get up and dance no matter where you are. As Ice Spice herself explains, “It’s for the baddies that get it, for the confident people, for the people that get money. It’s just music to feel good to, to get ready to, to work out to.” If you give this EP a listen, you’ll certainly feel like a baddie by the end of it.