Are you Split about  seeing this movie?
Feb08

Are you Split about seeing this movie?

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells The recent PG-13 film Split made a grand entrance to theaters Jan. 20. Split is a psychological horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. This two-hour thriller keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as they wait to see how the story will progress. A quick fun fact is that at the end of the movie, there is a surprise reference to Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable. The movie revolves around three teenage girls who are kidnapped by a man who experiences associative identity disorder (D.I.D), which is also known as multiple personality disorder. Actor James McAvoy’s personalities in the movie are Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig. As Marcia (Jessica Sula), Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) try to understand what’s happening and plan their escape, they must also figure out how to manipulate each personality that threatens their safety. The actors selected did a wonderful job portraying their characters. McAvoy did a spectacular job transitioning between personalities and gave each personality its own essence of reality. The character design for each personality was so detailed. From the way they dressed, to the manner in which they talked or walked, to the quirks each personality had, everything was specific to that personality. Each of the girls played their parts really well. The troubled teen and main character Casey Cooke hints at a mysterious past that the audience learns more about throughout the movie. The dialog between characters was very well designed. Each line is tailored to a specific personality and is crucial to the plot. The set design was also well thought out. There were separate spaces where each personality resided while they were conscious. This movie also has a smaller theme embedded into the story–how powerful someone’s beliefs can be. This belief system is a constant re-occurrence in the movie. One thing that really made this movie stand out from the rest was that it brought three different social issues into the spotlight. D.I.D. is controversial among mental health professionals, but the movie provided some information about the disorder and the personalities in a way that the audience can understand. The other two issues that are also brought up are sexual abuse and child abuse. The issues are seen in the flashbacks of the characters and explain why the characters have turned out to be who they are during the movie. All-in-all, this movie is a definite must-see for those who enjoy the suspense and are curious about the peculiar situation the characters find themselves in. I would give this film a nine out...

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Doctor Strange Blows away Marvel fans everywhere

Published in the November 16, 2016 issue of The Bells Marvel, almost as a rule, produces some of the most popular and widely viewed films in the United States, with an eye for quality and storylines like no other. Their latest film, Doctor Strange, is no exception. The movie features Benedict Cumberbatch as the eponymous hero-to-be, Doctor Stephen Strange, Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, and Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius, the human antagonist of the story. The acting was exceptional, the special effects could not have been better, and the storyline, while different from its comic book origins, did an amazing job of staying in canon. Doctor Strange begins his hero’s journey as an arrogant neurosurgeon. He is shown performing brain surgery, and showing off his impeccable memory and displaying extreme confidence in every aspect of his demeanor. Once out of the hospital, he is shown in a luxurious apartment. The audience sees numerous awards displayed throughout his home as well as other signs of his wealth. From a drawer full of expensive watches to the Lamborghini that ends up being the instrument of his fall from prestige, it all shows his extravagant lifestyle. Strange is shown driving distracted, before getting into an accident that ultimately costs him the use of his hands. He hears of another man that has had similar issues concerning nerve damage, and he seeks him out in order to learn his secret. This puts him on the path that will bring about the events that put him on the path of a sorcerer. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a good deal of bias towards Marvel movies, and waited for more than a year to see the movie, seeing it twice in the week immediately following its release. At face value, the movie is entertaining, just another superhero movie with great special effects, the occasional joke, and at least one swoon-worthy actor. Beyond the simple story though, it carries a deeper message, showing the story of a man who goes from incredibly self-centered, to becoming much less self-involved (albeit through some fairly extreme circumstances). One of the best features about Marvel is the teaser trailers that hint at movies to come; little clues that certain characters will be interacting in one of their upcoming movies. Doctor Strange has two of those, one after the initial breakdown of important characters throughout the movie, and another after the full credit roll. Never leave a Marvel movie before the lights come on in the theater. Doctor Strange is one of the best Marvel movies in a while. The amount of...

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Coming this fall: Find out what you can expect on your TV this season

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells October, the time when fleece sweaters, Halloween, and Pumpkin spice become trending topics. But perhaps most importantly, October is the time when new TV series arrive. CBS plans to air three new shows on their network that will have viewers laughing along and getting hooked on medical drama. The show Man with a Plan is a comedy about a contractor, Adam (Matt LeBlanc), who begins to look after his three kids more often when his wife Andi (Liza Snyder) starts working. However, he discovers that the job is not so easy, as his children are wild, and he must learn how to take control of the situation. Man With a Plan will air Oct. 24. The Great Indoors is a sitcom that follows Jack Gordon (Joel McHale), a reporter that once wandered around the globe in order to scoop out incredible stories. Now, he is the boss in the digital section of a magazine, working with young writers who fail to truly understand nature. He must figure out how to connect to his coworkers who are into pop culture and things he doesn’t have a clue about. The Great Indoors will air Oct. 27. Pure Genius is a medical drama about a wealthy, tech-savvy man, James Bell (Augustus Prew), who partners up with Dr. Walter Wallace (Dermot Mulroney), a surgeon, to create a hospital with advanced medical technology, in hopes of treating patients with mysterious illnesses. Pure Genius will premiere Oct. 27. In addition, The CW will air two new shows – No Tomorrow on Oct. 4 and Frequency on Oct. 5. No Tomorrow, a comedy- drama, stars Tori Anderson as Evie and Joshua Sasse as Xavier. Evie falls in love with Xavier, but she soon discovers that Xavier is not as suave as he first appears. He believes that the apocalypse is coming in a matter of months, which explains his exhilarating, carefree lifestyle. Evie, although skeptical of his idea, joins in on his adventurous routines. Frequency, a drama, is about a detective named Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List). She discovers that she can speak to her father Frank Sullivan (Riley Smith) in the past by using a radio. Together, they try to change the past and rekindle their damaged relationship. ABC also has two show premieres – Conviction, which will air Oct. 3, and American Housewife on Oct. 11.   Conviction is a drama about the daughter of a past United States President, a rebellious attorney named Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell). After having a run-in with the law, she is blackmailed into examining cases that may not have...

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Pokemon Go: the app that captured the world

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells   Claiming over one hundred million downloads in the first two and a half months since its release, Pokemon Go has won the hearts of many smartphone users. People who had played the game before and new players alike leapt at the opportunity to take part in this exciting new installment in the world of Pokemon. The game is a virtual reality based version of the well-loved series. The user walks around in the world and can see one of three interactive parts of the game; a Pokemon, a PokeStop, or a Pokemon Gym. Pokemon are caught with PokeBalls. PokeStops can be used to collect items and attract Pokemon. And at a Gym, a player can battle the Pokemon of other players in an attempt to take it over. As of right now, seemingly the only goal of the game is to collect all 150 available Pokemon. Initial opinions of the game before the release were on opposite ends of the spectrum, but gamers were anxiously anticipating the July 6 release date. When the day came for the app to be released, users flooded the servers with attempts to play, causing the game to have quite the rocky start. Server issues plagued users for several weeks, causing frustration. Eventually the issues were sorted out, and people began to play. For a while it was like magic. To be able to see Pokemon on the screen in any given location was an interesting new twist to smartphone gaming. Users were everywhere, from parks, to grocery stores, to private premises in a few unfortunate cases. Junior public relations major Bryan Guice said, “Pokemon Go is a fun way to spend some of your down time away from class and a great way to exercise. The downside is people aren’t the best decision makers most of the time. Most people become so engulfed when they play that they won’t look both ways before crossing the street, or they refuse to stay off of private property.” While currently sitting at a rating of a 4.1 on the Google Play store and three-and a- half stars on the Apple Store, Pokemon Go is a great game that could be doing better. Freshman Multimedia and Information Technology major Emily Tomlinson said, “It’s a fun game with a great concept that brings people together, but I think people are losing interest. The company keeps failing to listen to the suggestions and complaints of the users.” The problem with the game, according to the users right now, is that it feels like a different game. Concepts like...

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Have you heard of BEN-HUR?

Published in the August 24 issue of The Bells Two brothers stand at the starting line, waiting to begin a chariot race of a lifetime. From the moment Ben-Hur begins, the audience is thrown into action. Ben-Hur is a remake of the 1959, Oscar-winning film. Several reviewers, including Rolling Stone and CNN, believe the new film doesn’t come close to comparing to the original epic. As I have never seen the original, I went into the film as an uninformed moviegoer without any standards to compare the film to. While I do not believe this film will be 2016’s Best Picture, I was thoroughly impressed. Ben-Hur tells the story of the Jewish prince, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), and his quest for vengeance against his Roman adopted brother, Messala (Tony Kebbell). Hur and Messala are devoted friends and brothers until Messala leaves Hur’s family to join the Roman army due to his insecurity over his birth family. A few years later, Messala returns to Jerusalem only to have Hur and his family arrested for treason against Rome. The film takes place during the period where Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbaek) and his army were killing those who wanted freedom against Rome. Hur is sentenced to be a galley slave, while his mother and sister are supposedly jailed and crucified. Five years later, Hur finds himself back in Jerusalem thirsting for revenge. Huston plays a convincing Judah. The audience is able to mourn with him as he loses everything he has after being falsely accused by Messala. And the audience will find themselves cheering him on in the intense chariot race scene that will determine the fate of the two brothers. Love plays a huge role in this version of Ben-Hur, as well. Once Jesus teaches Judah about the importance of loving your neighbor, he is never the same. Judah’s story intermingles with the life of Christ. And the film portrays a biblically accurate depiction of Christ’s crucifixion that left more than one audience member with tears on their cheeks. Another notable appearance in the film is Morgan Freeman’s Ilderim who serves as Judah’s advisor/life coach/ trainer. Ilderim’s guidance saves Judah’s life more than once in the film. Ben-Hur combines biblical, fictional, and historical elements that when put together depict a moving tale of suffering and redemption. If you can sit through the two and a half hour film, Ben-Hur is a...

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BTX; the places to be for Cru and locals alike
Aug24

BTX; the places to be for Cru and locals alike

Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 issue of The Bells Students have officially arrived to their home away from home in the great city of Belton, Texas and the fall semester is in full swing. For some, it is a new adventure full of excitement. For others, it’s just another year in the place they now call home. While it is important to study and be successful in your academic career, college is also a place to make memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you are new to the area, or have been in Belton for years, there is something for everyone to make the best out of your college experience. Go Hiking Hiking is a great way to see the beauty that central TX has to offer. There are many hiking trails located around Lake Belton for all skill levels. Chalk Ridge Falls Park Trail is a great spot for those looking for some adventure. It is a 2.5 mile, moderate trail that features a waterfall and a suspension bridge. Just a short drive up the road in Temple, Texas, Miller Springs Park located at the Miller Springs Nature Center is also a popular spot for hikers. It is a somewhat easier 1.2 mile trail that also features a waterfall. Hiking trails can be found all around Belton, so get out and explore the area. Enjoy the Lake Since the summer heat is still in full effect, going to the lake is a great way to cool down and have some fun. There are two lakes in the Belton area, and they are just a short drive up the road. Belton Lake features picturesque beaches for swimming, while Stillhouse Hollow Lake contains camping spots, fishing, and water skiing. Going to the movies Grand Avenue Theater in Belton, which is located near the Sonic and Walgreens, has movies to offer for everyone. This theater also has deals for UMHB students, including $5 movie Tuesdays with your Cru Card. It’s a perfect way to have some fun with your friends without breaking the bank. Explore downtown Belton Every Crusader should explore the town of Belton outside of campus. A great place to immerse yourself in the local culture is to travel downtown Belton. Not only is it a great place to experience the town’s history, but it is also a great way to take advantage of the shopping and eateries that are nestled on the bank of Nolan Creek. You can also check out the Bell County Museum or shop in antique shops in the downtown area. Either way, get out and see these amazing things our town has...

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