The top three most underrated animated films
Mar08

The top three most underrated animated films

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells From Disney to DreamWorks, animated films take us on journeys into an exciting, new world. Many times, amazing movies are overlooked by critics because they don’t fit certain criteria. However, a good film is something that you can look back on and still enjoy. The movie has to stand the test of time. Sometimes, I’ll go on Netflix and watch movies and shows that I watched when I was younger, just to bring back memories. Some of them make me wonder, why would I ever see this? This is so stupid. But others, those small gems in Hollywood land, have a close place in my heart that I will never get tired of seeing. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you – The top three most underrated animated movies. These movies either did not perform well at the box office, received poor reviews from critics, or are not as well known as they deserve to be. Treasure Planet  (2002) Here is a movie that combines stunning visuals with an interesting storyline. Many times in movies, animated or live action, the creators get so consumed with special effects that they forget the most important element in a movie – telling a story that sticks to the minds of the audience. Treasure Planet is about a rebellious teen named Jim Hawkins who receives a map to legendary treasure. On his journey to finding the treasure, he forms an alliance with a cyborg, John Silver, whose only motivation is to get to the treasure first. On the way, they encounter numerous obstacles in their pursuit. This movie sparks creativity. The animators create a world with a steampunk and Victorian feel, reminiscent of the book Treasure Island. The relationship between Hawkins and Silver is an interesting one, as Jim lacks a father figure and Silver represents the dad he never had. The friendship between the two only gets more dramatic when Hawkins finds out what Silver’s true intentions are. Sadly, Treasure Planet did not perform well at the box office. With a budget of $140 million, the film only made $109.6 million in return. The Prince of Egypt (1998) It is rare to get movies and shows based off of the Bible, but it is even rarer that these Biblical films capture the true emotion and passion behind the stories (ahem, I’m looking at you Noah) like DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt. This movie follows the story of Moses and the events that followed, which led to Pharaoh letting God’s people go. I love everything about this movie. The idea that Moses...

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“Holy cats, Batman!”
Feb22

“Holy cats, Batman!”

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells “Clever and self-knowing.” “Smart, funny, and fast-paced.” “A great action/comedy on its own terms.” These are just some of the many reviews of the new hit movie The Lego Batman Movie which premiered on February 10, 2017. And with a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this film seems like a shoe-in for an Oscar or two. The Lego Batman Movie is about, you guessed it, Legos and Batman. When something amiss goes on in Gotham City, Batman goes on a mission to prevent any more damage from being done. There are many obstacles in his path, though. There’s the new Commissioner of Gotham City, Barbara Gordon, who wants to defeat crime in a way Batman doesn’t agree with. Also, he finds out that he has adopted a boy, Dick Grayson, aka, Robin, who is eager to help Batman in any way he can. The movie tackles themes such as loneliness and the importance of friendship. Because Batman usually works alone, it is difficult for him to have to work with others. There are many aspects of the film that I enjoyed. At the beginning of the movie, the film pokes fun at itself by stating the obvious, like how an innocent bystander gets caught up in trouble, just like in other action movies. In fact, the movie does a really good job at making fun of its own story and the history behind Batman. There are a ton of references to old Batman cartoons and movies and how Batman goes through “similar phases”, as shown by Alfred, Batman’s butler, who pokes fun at him by listing different Batman films throughout the years. What’s unique about this movie is that it doesn’t just limit itself to the DC universe. There are numerous characters from other movies such as Voldemort from Harry Potter, Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, and a velociraptor from Jurassic Park. Another interesting thing is that The Lego Batman Movie practically acknowledges that the real world is out there because by referencing live-action movies. Also, the jokes in the movie are sure to please a wide variety of age groups. Batman, known to be a serious character in other films, brings about a new interpretation. He’s gruff, tough, conceited, and absolutely hilarious all at once. At the end of the film, you can really see his temperament shift to that of a more caring personality. However, that’s not to say the film doesn’t have any flaws. I thought it was a bit too fast-paced. There were scatterings of serious issues here and there,...

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Best devotionals for students to read
Feb22

Best devotionals for students to read

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells College can be a fun yet stressful time in a person’s life. But in the midst of trials, the most important thing to do is to turn to God. You might wish you had more time to dwell in God’s Word, but classes and other college-related activities take up a lot of time. However, it’s important to realize that there is always time for God. It helps, even in the most exhausting and challenging moments of your life, to pause and see what the Lord has to say to you. I’ve always found that devotionals are a good place to start when wanting to find peace. The Bible app, found on Android and Apple devices, allows users to read the Bible, watch Christian videos, highlight verses, create notes, and access devotionals. There are five devotionals that I believe will benefit students in their walk of faith. College Student Devotional – This devotional is a 14-day plan that has a story about real college students’ struggles and a Bible passage that relates to the story. At the end of the narrative, the devotional asks you questions that helps you deepen your understanding of your own life. Exploring Your Gifts – God has given each of us our own gifts and talents. College is a perfect time to discover what He has given us and how to utilize our abilities for His glory. Exploring Your Gifts is a four-day plan that walks you through how God is preparing you for great things, by using examples of leaders in the Bible such as Moses, Esther, Hosea, and Timothy. Divine Direction – This seven-day devotional discusses a principle each day that will help you seek God’s direction in your life. These principles cover decisions involved in starting, stopping, staying, going, serving, connecting, and trusting in God. Chasing the Light – Chasing the Light helps readers to “pursue the Light of the World.” What’s interesting about this devotional is that for each day, there is an inspiring image of nature with a Bible verse that you can post on social media. Stability in a Fragile World – This devotional helps you find peace in Jesus. At the end of the devotional, there are affirmations that remind you that God is an infinite and loving Father who will always help you in your trials and tribulations. Devotionals are just one resource to strengthen your hope in Jesus. Reading the Bible, praying, and connecting with other believers will also help ignite your faith and restore peace in your heart and mind. You don’t have to walk...

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Swishes coming true: An overview of intramural basketball
Feb08

Swishes coming true: An overview of intramural basketball

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Heart pounding. Beads of sweat dripping. The thrill of running back and forth and dribbling the ball with only one goal in mind – making a basket. Created in 1891 by a physical education instructor named Dr. James Naismith, basketball has become one of the most renowned pastimes in the United States. The sport has been ingrained in today’s culture. When most people think of basketball, they picture NBA stars such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Some UMHB students got the chance to feel like these mega stars for a moment, when they signed up to participate in the university’s intramural basketball league Many players have had past experience playing basketball and bring that feature to their teams. Robert Harris, a junior exercise physiology major who is on the men’s 5v5 team Play2Win, has had plenty of practice on the courts. “I’ve loved to play basketball since I was about ten,” Harris said. Another student, Sarah Moshier, a senior nursing major who is on the women’s 5v5 team TuneSquad, has also had previous experience with basketball prior to joining intramurals. “I’ve been playing basketball since I was nine or ten so it’s always been something I really love,” Moshier said. “I played basketball in high school so it just made sense to continue playing in college.” Besides having experience, another reason some have joined intramural basketball is to learn more about teamwork and getting along with a lot of different people. “[My favorite part is] just playing with my team and learning how to play with people you don’t play on a team with all the time,” Harris said. One thing that many basketball players agree on is that playing a game is a really good workout. Running back and forth on the courts can burn off a lot of calories. On top of that, basketball can also help to ease stress. “It’s good stress relief to be able to run around and do something I love in the midst of all the nursing school chaos,” Moshier said. But perhaps the most important aspect of being on a basketball team is to have fun and form friendships. Moshier has been on the same team with her friends, TuneSquad, for three years. “I have made a lot of lasting friendships since I really had to reach outside of my usual circle to find girls that could hoop,” Moshier said. Maya Kovalic, a freshman math major who is on the women’s 5v5 team Day Old Pizza, says that she enjoys playing basketball because she gets to laugh, have...

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Where are they now- Randy Clayton
Feb08

Where are they now- Randy Clayton

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Randy Clayton played for the UMHB tennis team during the 1983-1984 season. He was the captain of the team when they won the Conference Championship in a playoff game against St. Edwards. Clayton also won the Conference Singles Title during the season. In 1983-1984, UMHB was in the Big State Conference and was in the NAIA Division. Clayton received three degrees while attending UMHB: a sociology degree with a religion minor, and a Physical Education minor. Clayton graduated from UMHB in 1985 and went to get his master’s at Texas A&M University at Kingsville. There, he recieved another two degrees in sociology and psychology when he graduated in 1990. Currently, he works as a Juvenile Probation Officer (JPO). For the past seven months, he has worked in Lampasas, and previously worked for 10 years in Waco. “I got into this work in Waco when I was a Tennis Director at the family YMCA. The facility decided to take out all the tennis courts and put in a new gym and outdoor swimming pool,” he said. “They said I could stay on and direct something in the gym and pool but I decided to try something else.” Clayton says his resume consisted mostly of youth activites, and he decided to try to work with the county and maybe recieve some retirement benefits. Clayton filed many applications for different openings with the Juvenile Probation Department. “I think having a Master’s degree really helped me, and the boss was a tennis fan. I even saw him at a Baylor Bears tennis match and talked to him for a moment or two. I think that helped with me being selected to get the JPO position a few days later,” he said. The requirements for becoming a JPO include but are not limited to: at least 21 years of age; good moral character; Bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university; one year of graduate study or work experience in juvenile, criminal, social service, or related field; no disqualifying criminal history; and to never have had any type of certification revoked by lawful authority of the former TJPC or TJJD. “[UMHB] opened my eyes to a job like this. I was in the Baptist Student Union organization…but, once or twice we did some ministry at the Belton Juvenile Detention Center. I went with some students and we played guitar and did a bible study with the youth. That was my first awareness that there was a ministry for that population. I put it in the back of my mind, never thinking I might be doing...

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