Black Panther: The movie that’s taking the nation by storm
Feb21

Black Panther: The movie that’s taking the nation by storm

Black Panther, one of the most anticipated movies of the year, is revolutionizing superhero movies and carving a path for more movies like it. The film was released into theaters on Friday Feb. 16, with some theaters showing screenings the evening before to help make room for eager audiences. African American director Ryan Coogler oversaw the movie’s production, and the movie has a mainly black cast. Coogler focuses on bringing authenticity to the marvel cinematic universe by incorporating different parts of African culture into the world of the Black Panther. Coogler brought in consultants who are experts on African history and politics to work on defining Wakanda— a fictional African nation in the film that comes from the real Wakamba tribe of Kenya. The fighting used inthe film is based on African martial arts. With the use of real world cultures in a fantasy world, fans were ecstatic when news of the films production was released (IMBD.com). With preorder ticket sales and box office sales were estimated to be around $218 million in its first weekend (Nytimes.com). It was predicted that this would be enough to make Black Panther the fifth highest opening weekend in the history of Marvel Studios, and could break the current record for the President’s Day box office sales (comicbook.com). According to NBC, the film is now the first highest opening weekend for Marvel movies. On Jan. 10, 2018, after tickets were made available for presale, Fandango’s managing editor, Erik Davis, tweeted that the movie’s first 24 hours of advance ticket sales exceeded those of any other movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Nytimes.com). This, however, came as no surprise seeing as how the movie’s teaser—not the full trailer for the movie, reached 89 million views in just 24 hours. For a short time there was even a “Black Panther Challenge” which was an online fundraising effort to help kids in Harlem see the movie. Ellen DeGeneres helped push the challenge and it blossomed to include more than 300 fundraisers aiming to send thousands of young fans to the theaters (Cbsnew.com) People all over America gathered to watch the film’s early release in select theaters nationwide, including Temple’s Cinemark. Junior graphic design major, Chriscina Lampkin, saw the early showing of the film with a group of friends, having preordered tickets over a month before. “I’ve seen a lot of Marvel movies and [The Black Panther] was good in many ways,” Lampkin said. “The movie impacted me positively because it is good to have representation. And the roles are usually flipped in every other movie, having a majority of the major roles being white with a...

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A Fatal Flop: The Maze Runner movie review
Feb09

A Fatal Flop: The Maze Runner movie review

When the Maze Runner series was first made into a movie in 2014, fans like myself were excited to see how the story would play out onscreen. However, after seeing the final instalment of the films, I am left disappointed and disgruntled. In rating the Maze Runner: The Death Cure, I would give it four of ten stars. Maze runner: The Death Cure is the final movie in the series and had been anticipated for a long time by fans. After main actor Dylan O’Brien (Thomas) was injured during filming, the production was stopped temporarily until he fully recovered. Now after three years since The Scorch Trials was released in 2015, fans get a final look into the world of The Maze Runner. The Death Cure’s plot is described as saving their friends by breaking into the legendary last city, a city controlled by the villain organization, “WCKD.” It is stated in the description that anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the “Gladers” have been asking since they first arrived in the original maze (in the first two movies). Though the movie did answer many questions that popped up in the earlier movies and it was supposed to provide closure to viewers, I was left with a lot of questions and criticisms by the end of the film. The movie was longer than I expected: around two hours and thirty minutes. Granted, the filmmakers tried to stuff the last two books from the series into this movie. That’s right, two books, one movie. I felt I was missing a lot of what was going on and was barely able to keep up with what was happening and why. The movie follows a fairly steady plot line, however, there were a few things that happened that weren’t explained well enough. In my personal opinion, taking a break from production effected the acting from the rest of the characters. The acting and stunts were mediocre but could have been cool if improved upon. There were some stunts where I saw that the stunt people did the motion before the timed event. For instance, there was a stunt person jumping something like thirty seconds before an explosion; and another where two guards turned around late when a glass door behind them had already opened so they could stop the fight happening inside. One character that was over dramatized was the assistant head villain Janson (played by Aidan Gillen). I felt that he could have performed his role better. They used his character to be more “jump scare” (a film technique used to startle the audience)...

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What to expect from the 2018 Winter Olympics
Feb09

What to expect from the 2018 Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea from Feb. 9- 25. Ninety-four countries from around the world will be competing in this year’s games. The Russian athletes’ National Olympic Committee was suspended in 2017 along with The Kuwait Olympic Committee and The Brazil Olympic Committee. This means that athletes will not be able compete under these countries. However, recent reports show that chosen athletes from Russia will still be competing under the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) emblem. The official Olympics website states that this will be the first ever Olympic Winter Games with over 100 gold medals to be awarded and that it will also feature the greatest number of women’s and mixed events in the history of Olympic Winter Games. Some examples of the sports that athletes can compete in are ice skating, curling, bobsledding, luge, and skiing’s high jump. There are 102 events under fifteen sport disciplines, with six new events that viewers can watch for the first time. Four of the new events are: the Snowboard Big Air, Speed Skating Mass Start, Curling Mixed Doubles, and Alpine Skiing Team. This is a big step from the first official Winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix France. Only sixteen nations attended the first games and only held sixteen events under nine disciplines. Now, so many things have been added and the whole world will be watching these games unfold. Senior interdisciplinary education major Allison Mckeown said that the Olympics is one of her favorite events. “The Olympics are important to me because they represent unity and the strength of the human spirit. No matter what’s going on in our country and our world, the Olympics provide a two-week reprieve, when I can be proud of my countrymen and marvel at the amazing things that humans can do,” Mckeown said. Mckeown said that she will be glued to her screen when the Olympics air on TV and watching the coverages on news apps. She is not the only person who is excited for the Winter Olympics. Sophomore nursing major, Skaiye Finney, said she feels that the Olympic sports are one of the greatest events worldwide, due to its underlying message of perseverance, excellence and commitment. “I am intrigued by the idea that Russia will not be competing under their flag, while also kind of disappointed since they are one of America’s greatest rivals. I am also incredibly intrigued by the new Nigerian bobsledding team that is turning heads worldwide. Their presence goes to show that dreams are attainable and very possible,” Finney said. “On a global scale, the Olympic Games are a beautiful display...

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Should the campus become closed?
Feb09

Should the campus become closed?

There are only two major events that happened on campus in the past few years that would cause concern. On Jan. 25, an email was sent out to students and faculty about a suspicious man whom they were hoping to identify. According to campus police, he did not do anything illegal, but had approached students earlier in the week and said things that made students concerned. No threats were made, and the police were able to identify the man on Jan. 26 with the help of the Belton police Bell County Sheriff’s department. The last major incident was a sexual assault that happened at Independence Village during the spring semester of 2017. With the most recent incident on campus, some students have said they felt that the UMHB campus should become closed. These students think that this will make the campus safer. I personally think that the campus is already safe and that a closed or “gated” campus would be more restrictive to students and Belton civilians. Thankfully, up to this point there haven’t been any other major crimes on campus. UMHB’s Chief of Police, Gary Sergeant, said that in the past year there has been less than 100 crimes committed on campus and a majority of them were minor offenses. “The university has always had a strong commitment to campus safety, and we do our best to find a happy medium between security and accessibility,” Sergeant said. Technically, UMHB is considered to be an open campus. A closed campus is identified as a campus that restricts access with fencing, gating, guard stations and special access cards for students/faculty. UMHB has shown consistency with certified police officers patrolling 24/7 and security guards who patrol the buildings and parking lots. All resident halls can only be entered by students living there and all other buildings on campus require a cru card for entry after the buildings close. UMHB also has trained professionals on call (254-295-5555) and a total estimate of around 400 security cameras spread around campus. There are universities such as Rice University and Dallas Baptist University that are gated and have very strict rules for students. There are other colleges like University of Texas or Baylor University who are considered open campuses because of how spread apart and open to the public they are. Compared to these schools, I believe UMHB is well balanced with security and accessibility. UMHB would not be able to completely close off the campus because of where the campus is located and how integrated we are in the surrounding community. There are many neighborhoods surrounding our campus, and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd...

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Confessions of X: the captivating new romance novel
Jan26

Confessions of X: the captivating new romance novel

The UMHB bookstore started selling Suzanne Wolfe’s novel the Confessions of X at the beginning of the spring semester and it was chosen as the book for discussion in the English Honor Societies book club, so I decided I would join in on the fun. The Confessions of X is a mix of historical fiction, Christian fiction and romance, and is an imaginative correspondent to Saint Augustine’s Confessions. The book follows the life of X, the daughter of a tile-layer and mysterious lover of Saint Augustine of Hippo. The novel paints a perfect picture of the ancient culture and is well researched despite it being historical fiction. Though we know X existed, we only know of who she was through Augustine’s Confessions and I think that Wolfe did a wonderful job keeping X vague enough to give her anonymity while still being personal enough for readers to relate with. The novel is described as “a reflection of what it means to love and lose… while deftly exploring one woman’s search for identity and happiness within very limited circumstances.” The book starts with X in her old age and we learn a lot about her life without giving too much away, but enough to leave you wanting more. In the second chapter, we start with the very beginning of her life and obtain background information, family, and beliefs before we go into the main storyline with Augustine. Readers watch X grow into a young woman, meet Augustine and start a family with him as his lover. Because of the difference in social classes, they can never marry, but knowing this, they both decide to love each other anyway. Now typically, I’m not a romantic, but I found myself rooting for a relationship I knew was bound to end but because of the way it was written, I couldn’t help myself. It was sweet to watch them fall in love and the adorable notions they made after they decided to be together. This book portrays a rare TRUE LOVE not often seen during this time period. The whole book is worded elegantly and the first few chapters need to be read slowly for the reader to fully comprehend the meaning behind the words, but after you start reading, you become more used to the style and it flows more freely off the tongue. I had a limited amount of knowledge concerning Augustine and his confessions, but I was still able to understand everything about him, their life, and the story. I enjoyed this book and would give it a 6 out of 10 at first glance, simply because I knew I...

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