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Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Principal Thomas outlines the highlights of Graduation week during the Senior meeting.
Around Campus
Things Seniors Need To Do Before Graduation
Alyssa Chavez, Emma McWhorter, and Ariel BolichMarch 29, 2024

Graduation is just around the corner. So many exciting things are happening like prom, graduation, graduation parties, and the overall excitement of it being our last year of high school. But unfortunately, this is the last quarter of high school and...

Hundreds of enthusiastic students from various disciplines converged at Grand Canyon University (GCU) to participate in GCUs Forensics Day! The event buzzed with excitement as students explored the intricate world of forensics through interactive exhibits, engaging workshops, and insightful talks by industry experts. It was a day filled with learning, networking, and inspiration, showcasing the vibrant academic community at GCU.
Around Campus
GCU Lab Forensics Trip
Emma McWhorter, Staff Writer • March 22, 2024

The GCU Forensics field trip was an exciting opportunity for all of Mrs. Sherman's five classes. They took a trip down to Grand Canyon University located in Phoenix, Arizona, where they were able to do multiple labs and even got to go inside of GCUs own...

Camping tent with fairy lights at Memorial Park Campground in 2023.
Around Campus
Ideas for Spring Break '24
Ariel Bolich, Staff Writer • March 7, 2024

Spring Break is right around the corner. Many teens go out of town on vacation or to visit family. But what if you're staying home and don't have plans? Here are some fun activities that will satisfy your boredom. If you are into Arts and Crafts, patiently...

BMX champion Koshi doing breath taking stunts on the ramp for the students.
BMX "No Hate Tour" Hits Verrado High!
Sonny Cruz, Around Campus Editor • January 29, 2024

The BMX "No Hate Tour" rolled into Verrado High School on January 22nd, and it wasn't just about doing cool tricks – it was all about taking...

Eric Haenfler conducting the Agua Fria Distract honor in the song Incantations.
The 4th Annual District Honor Band
Kevin Reinhardt, Editor-At-Large • January 16, 2024

On January 13, 2024, at 2 pm, the Agua Fria Union High School District hosted the 4th annual district honor band at Desert Edge High School....

Principal Thomas and Assistant Principal Bonessi became human sundaes with ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream dumped on their heads.
The Winter Wish Assembly Is A Success
Aria Anderson, Staff Writer • December 20, 2023

This month’s Wish Week Assembly was made extra special when students, teachers,  and admin staff participated in some wild stunts for charity....

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Ranking The Hunger Games Movies

The Hunger Games is a movie series that has 4 movies and was originally released in 2012.

The Hunger Games: Ranked
Now that the full Hunger Games movie series is on Netflix, many people have dedicated their time to revisiting the beloved 4-movie adventure. So, it is only right to provide our very official ranking! Based on the books written by Suzanne Collins, the movies follow a teenage girl named Katniss who lives in the poorest district of the tyrannical country of Panem. During the 75th Hunger Games, a competition in which 2 tributes from each of the twelve districts are chosen to participate in a battle to the death, Katniss’ sister is chosen. Katniss volunteers in her place and thus begins the wild ride of Katniss’ fight for rebellion.

THE HUNGER GAMES (2012) 6/10

As the opening to the series, The Hunger Games is a relatively decent movie. Not straying far from the book, the film presents the audience with a harrowing story and brings the tyrannical country of Panem to life. The reaping scene is very emotional along with the scene leading up to the Games. Katniss being dressed by her stylist, Cinna, in a dimly lit room with the threat the Games bring over her makes the audience feel truly scared for her. As she’s lifted into the Games, we get to see the landscape that the Games are set on: a lush green forest with a large lake in the center. As we follow Katniss on her journey through the Hunger Games, we watch her battle with the Careers (tributes from Districts 1 and 2 who train for the Games), form an alliance with the 12-year-old tribute from District 11, Rue, and unfortunately watch Rue’s death. The scene with a young Amandla Stenberg as the tribute is by far the saddest moment in the movie. Watching the young girl focus on Katniss winning, rather than fearing the death she was succumbing to is enough to make anyone watching shed a tear. As the movie continues, Peeta and Katniss form an allyship once the capitol announces a rule of allowing 2 victors as long as they are from the same district. Peeta, near death, hides in a pile of bushes until Katniss finds him. From here, until the end of the Games, the movie is mostly uneventful. We lose Thresh, the other tribute from 11, which impacts Katniss, but that remains the most significant thing. Once Katniss and Peeta come face to face with Cato, the last remaining tribute, they are all attacked by mutated wolves created by the capitol. Cato does not make it out and Katniss and Peeta have won! Actually, no. The capitol revokes the rule last minute and the pair attempt a double suicide with poisonous berries to force the capitol to let them both live. The movie ends with Haymitch, the District 12 mentor, warning Katniss of the danger of her pulling the stunt with the berries. As a whole, the movie feels a lot shorter than its 2.5-hour runtime and sets up a great start to the whole series. The camera work is very shaky, with the camera running alongside Katniss for the majority of the movie, but it also throws the audience directly into the arena with her. Still, it remains impressive that while this movie is a very good watch, it, unfortunately, falls to the bottom of our ranking.

CATCHING FIRE (2013) 10/10

Catching Fire is the sequel to The Hunger Games, and from the moment it begins, it becomes clear that this movie is different from its predecessor. For one, the difference in the camerawork is astonishingly more professional, and the budget has been increased, most likely from the success of the first movie. The movie opens with Katniss back home in District 12. Not only does Katniss struggle with severe PTSD from the prior games, but she must also prove to sadistic President Snow that her relationship with Peeta– a cheesy PR stunt to ensure the survival of herself and Peeta in the 74th games– is real, for the murmurs of rebellion throughout Panem have decided to make Katniss the face of the movement. Snow feels threatened by Katniss, so much so, that he and the new head game maker, Plutarch Heavensbee, fabricate a master plan to terminate Katniss Everdeen and put out the spark of the rebellion; the tributes for the 3rd Quarter Quell will be reaped from the existing pool of victors in each district. Katniss’s participation in the games is inevitable, for she is the only living female victor in District 12. However, the male tribute selection is between Haymitch and Peeta, and despite his low odds of winning against victors trained and experienced well beyond himself, Peeta volunteers. The other victors are much older than Katniss and Peeta, yet none of them want to fight in the games, and each tribute pulls PR stunt after PR stunt in an attempt to get the games canceled. The games continue, however, and each victor gets picked off one by one until Katniss, Peeta, Finnick O’dair, Johanna Mason, Beetee, and Wiress remain. In a way, we feel as if we are a part of the Capitol audience, rooting for our favorite victors as if they are real. There is a distinct improvement between Catching Fire and its predecessor. Better camerawork, better casting, and the fantastic pacing of the movie all contribute to why Catching Fire tends to be the fan favorite.

MOCKINGJAY: PART 1 (2014) 6/10

Mockingjay Part 1 captures the true beginning of the war between the Capitol and the districts. Unlike the first two movies, Mockingjay Part 1 does not take place in the glamorous capitol or a ravaging arena. Instead, most of this movie’s setting is limited to District 13, in its very grey color palette. Literally, the residents of District 13 only wear monochromatic grey outfits. But it makes sense- there is no more color, glamor, or fashion left in the country of Panem. The main focus of this movie is District 13’s attempt to make Katniss the face of the revolution, to truly make her the “Mockingjay.” After some bargaining, Katniss agrees to become their martyr if they rescue Peeta, and the other victors, that have been captured and tortured by the Capitol. Mockingjay Part 1 has the same professional camerawork as Catching Fire. At this point, the Hunger Games franchise has arguably been the most beloved and successful dystopian movie franchise of all time. And although the movie is entertaining and well-written, the general plot of the movie is the most boring of all 4 movies. Nothing happens, and as we watch Katniss’s film propaganda videos, we can’t help but reminisce about the action-packed, emotional rollercoaster of the movie that was Catching Fire. At least we got the iconic “If we burn, you burn with us!” monologue. To put things short, the Mockingjay Part 1 is a build-up for what is to come, and it’s a nice movie, but nothing special compared to the rest of the franchise.

MOCKINGJAY: PART 2 (2015) 8/10

Mockingjay Part 2 contains what Mockingjay Part 1 lacked, and it only took a year. War is consuming Panem, and the Capitol can no longer deny this. With action, death, and hearbtreak, Mockingjay Part 2 will keep the audience on the edge of their seat, rooting for Katniss and her colleagues as they weave in and out of the Capitol on a mission to infiltrate Snow’s mansion. Along the way, they must avoid malicious boobytraps consisting of landmines, mutts, and plenty more, that have been set up by the Capitol’s game-makers as a last-resort defense against the rebels. Not everyone makes it out alive, but the ending is worth the sacrifice, with the biggest plot twist that truly shows Suzanne Collin’s genius. The theme of dictatorship and corrupt government shines through this beautifully shot, beautifully written piece of cinema. Mockingjay Part 2 may not have the glamorous costumes of the first and second movies, but it has the violence and action. Mockingjay Part 2 was a perfect way to end the series, and it’s safe to say that the ending was well deserved.

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