Super Tuesday sweeps the nation
Mar05

Super Tuesday sweeps the nation

After months of campaigning, the primaries came to Texas. Texas is known to be a Republican state, there is room for Democrats’ presence to grow in the future. Due to the high population growth of Texas, Democrats look to take as many votes as they can from the state in 2020. The question going into the presidential election is simple. Is Texas big enough for both Democrats and Republicans? Let’s look at the facts. Progressives such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been running on a platform of Medicare for All. Some Texans may place hope for such health plans. According to the United States Census Bureau, 186,000 Texans lost their health insurance, leaving the total population of Texas that was without insurance at 17.7% of the population in 2018. This was a rise from the 17.3% of Texans without insurance in 2017. Texas leads the rest of the states with the most people uninsured, making it possible that Texas could flip parties in the 2020 presidential race. Because of the rise of Democratic support in Texas, Democrats have started to target Texas in their campaign destinations. Candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and former candidate Mike Bloomberg all visited Texas in the week before the primaries. This marked Texas as an important spot in the primaries. Leading the pack of candidates in visits, Joe Biden visited Texas 16 times since the start of 2019; Donald Trump was right behind him with 15 visits. Candidates such as Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race in the days prior to Super Tuesday. These former candidates, along with former congressman Beto O’Rourke, joined together at Joe Biden’s Texas rally on Monday, March 2 in Dallas to announce their support for the candidate. It seems that their support was vital, as Biden took not just Texas, but nine other states out of the 14 states that participated in Super Tuesday. Sanders took the most important spot: California. On the other side, incumbent Donald Trump took all 14 of the states, bringing his Republican delegate count up to 833. Republican challenger Bill Weld did not increase delegates whatsoever, leaving him at a total of one. De La Fuente, another Republican challenger, had no delegates by the night. The Bells polled 50 random people outside of Bawcom Student Union on Monday, March 2, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. It was determined that while the majority of the campus is conservative, there was a somewhat large population who planned on voting Democrat. According to our polling of the 50 random people, 21 of the students either planned on voting,...

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Study abroad in London

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is holding an information session for its London Studies Program in the spring of 2021. The session is being held by Dr. Holcomb in Davidson room 204. The meeting is set to be on March 5 from four o’clock to five...

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Korean film “Parasite” wins big at the Oscars
Feb25

Korean film “Parasite” wins big at the Oscars

The Academy Awards have come and gone once again, but cinema has been changed forever. One can have optimism that this change is for the better. Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho spoke about the Oscars with disdain last year in an interview with Vulture, saying “The Oscars are not an international film festival. They’re very local.” He called the American love for his newest film “Parasite” “strange”. It is strange. American audiences don’t typically watch foreign films. Many Americans claim that they don’t have the attention span to put their phones down and appreciate the film for what it is. Bong Joon-ho also said after winning the Golden Globe for best director earlier this year “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many amazing films”. He couldn’t have been more right. Recently, I’ve started to go through the Criterion Channel, a streaming service of classic films. These classics include the filmography of acclaimed international directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini. Sadly, The Academy has never acknowledged these films. Out of the 92 years of the Academy Awards, only 13 films have been nominated for best picture that weren’t in English. Out of those, none won until this year. This is a reason to celebrate. While Bong Joon-ho never expected to win, he swept the major categories with 4 wins for “Parasite,”: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film and Best Director. This type of sweep is not typical for the Academy, but much less for an international picture. As film fans, art lovers or people who just want to diversify their cultural appreciation, people everywhere can celebrate these historic wins for Bong Joon-ho and the filmmaking community. All we can do now is hope that the Academy keeps on this track and that this will encourage audiences to watch more international...

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“Sinister:” A perfect film to watch of Halloween
Oct31

“Sinister:” A perfect film to watch of Halloween

If you ask any of my friends, they can all tell you that my favorite holiday is Halloween. I go all out. I watch at least three horror films a week during the month of October. One movie, though, has come back throughout the years. Some watch “Halloween” every October 31, for obvious reasons, but I watch Scott Derrickson’s “Sinister.” Not only is it one of my favorite horror films, but it’s also one of my favorite movies. It’s an understatement to say that Scott Derrickson is talented. Looking at his filmography, there are few movies that are below average. The standouts in his film catalog are Marvel Studio’s “Doctor Strange,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “Sinister.” Each are very different films and great on their own regard, but I’d argue that “Sinister” stands out above the rest. “Sinister” follows Ellison, played by Ethan Hawke, a murder novelist who moves his family into a new town. The problem, though, is that he moved his family into a house where the family before was found dead. They weren’t just found dead, but the entire family was found hanging from a fallen tree branch. Ellison made the decision to not tell his family about this incident, instead acting like everything was okay. Soon, Ellison finds reels of 8mm film that contains footage of the family who lived in the house previously being hanged and other murders. Slowly, Ellison finds that these murders are connected in a terrifying way. These connections lead Ellison down a dark path as he unravels what is at the heart of the murders. “Sinister” is one of the most tense experiences I’ve had watching a film. The film is unrelenting as it masterfully builds up to scares. Even though they start in a cliché manner, every scare in the film finds a way to twist the cliché in a way that audiences don’t see coming. From the famous lawnmower scene to extremely flexible children, each scare is great in its own right. Oftentimes, horror films rely on loud music and flashy camera tricks to scare audiences, but “Sinister” never pulls away. It racks up the tension by never backing out of a scene until the film feels that it earns its scares. The film, though never graphic, makes you feel every second. Time goes slower watching Ellison sift through the reels of film. Sometimes you may want to look away, but you just can’t bring yourself to. This is a sign of not just a good horror film, but a great one. It’s a masterclass in filmmaking, and one that will haunt your dreams for years....

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Two Will Smiths can’t save “Gemini Man”
Oct25

Two Will Smiths can’t save “Gemini Man”

From “The Life of Pi” to “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” Ang Lee crafts technical and action-packed marvels of cinema… sometimes. “Gemini Man” has everything going for it. The film has star power with Will Smith playing two main characters in the film, the budget for the film is roughly $140 million and it has a talented director behind the camera. Sadly, none of these aspects of the film can save the bore that is “Gemini Man.” The film is fascinating, but sadly for all the wrong reasons. I really tried to find a positive note in the film, and the only thing that could be considered positive is the VFX. The de-aging technology used in “Gemini Man” is the best that the technology has been. Most of the time, the technology is seamless and I never thought about how young Will Smith looks. That being said, there are scenes where the technology doesn’t look right. Will Smith looks closer to a character out of a video game rather than a realistic version of Smith in his 20s towards the end of the film. There are elements of “Gemini Man” that could have been great, but the film isn’t able to pull through on the story. The philosophy of cloning could have been a really cool touch. The film tries to hit the deeper notes, but doesn’t get into anything that could be considered worthwhile for the audience. Instead of going deeper into what could make a great film, “Gemini Man” decides to play it safe and never even scratch the surface in anything worthwhile. We instead follow bland characters through exposition dumps and action, of which none contribute to the film. The action doesn’t know how it wants to work. Sometimes the action is underwhelming: the action is shot close-up and you can’t tell what exactly what is going on. What makes this even worse is that the action is either boring or completely over the top. People try to push each other off of motorcycles, bullets glow orange when shot and the fight scenes easily go too far into the realm of cheesiness when trying to be serious. The whole problem is that “Gemini Man” doesn’t mean to do anything. When trying to be serious, the film comes off almost comedic, when trying to be comedic, the film comes off as cheesy and when trying to be fun the film comes off as boring. I really wanted to love Will Smith and Ang Lee’s newest outing, but I found myself wishing that the film would just end. Rating:...

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