Thankful for Thor:  a review of the new film
Nov16

Thankful for Thor: a review of the new film

Marvel has been producing quality movies since Iron Man debuted in 2008, and Thor Ragnarok falls in line with Marvel’s other superhero films. Thor Ragnarok’s opening debut was Nov. 3 and has been received with mostly positive responses. On IMDb, it has an 8.2/10 rating, and according to Vulture, the third installation to the Thor movie series earned the highest rating of any Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes. The film begins with Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, chained up by a fiery monster named Surtur. Escaping to Asgard, Thor meets up with his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and they’re transported to earth to find their father. After discovering that they have an evil sister named Hela (Cate Blanchett) who decides to take over Asgard, the duo find themselves on a mysterious planet called Sakaar run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). As the power struggle ensues in Asgard, Thor is trapped on Sakaar, forced to battle gladiator-style against none other than Hulk. The rest of the movie is about Thor and his focus on getting back to Sakaar to confront Hela. This was by far my favorite Thor film, as Thor: The Dark World, that was released in 2013, was a disappointment. It was boring compared to Thor Ragnarok, which was filled with many comedic moments as well as plenty of action. There are some characters in the movie that make a stunning debut, such as Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a fierce and brave warrior who quarrels with Thor constantly. There’s also Korg, another warrior trapped on Sakaar who wants a rebellion against the system on Sakaar. And of course there’s the Grandmaster, who rules over the planet with great eccentricity. Also, the Incredible Hulk makes a return after his last appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps my favorite part about this movie is the incredible graphics. Everything appears so lifelike, and, no spoilers, but the last fight scene is one of the most epic ones I’ve ever seen. Would I recommend this movie? Absolutely. Whether you’ve always been a Marvel fan or know little to nothing about the franchise, this film incorporates all kinds of genres that are sure to please just about anyone. In an industry that seems to be rehashing the same ideas over and over again, this film is refreshing in its originality. Thor Ragnarok breaks the typical barrier of an action film, combining humor, adventure, and drama in one package. Also, make sure to stay after the movie for two after-credit...

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Stunt Night Preview: Classes prepare for this year’s Stunt Night featuring Crutoons
Oct13

Stunt Night Preview: Classes prepare for this year’s Stunt Night featuring Crutoons

Stunt Night is a tradition that has been a part of the university for 107 years. Every year, directors lead each class in performing a skit in front of a live audience, where two winners are selected – the audience’s pick and the judge’s. This year’s theme is CruToons where underclassmen and upperclassmen will take the stage and perform skits based on classic cartoons. The freshmen will be doing their play based on the square-shaped cartoon SpongeBob, sophomores will create a skit featuring the characters from The Fairly Odd Parents, juniors will pretend to be The Flintstones, and seniors will act base their performance on Scooby-Doo. These classic characters will come to life Oct. 19 and 20 in Walton Chapel at 7:00 pm. This is freshman business major Eunice Michaelson’s first year as director for her class. “Just to sum up our plot a little bit, this is where we dive deep into the world of Bikini Bottom,” Michaelson said. “SpongeBob and his friends are there and we see Sandy on the scene and she is devastated because she misses her home – the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.The plotline is SpongeBob’s trying really hard to cheer Sandy up because she’s having a really bad day. In the end, we’ll see if his efforts work or not.” Michaelson has high hopes for the freshman class, as the whole group is determined to win. Every freshman is bringing their unique talents to the table. “Every person that I’ve met here is so awesome,” Michaelson said. “And seeing them come together and working towards a common goal brings each other closer because there’s competition involved too. We want to win.” Junior multimedia and information technologies major Chase Mariott has enjoyed his time as a director for the junior class. “My favorite part about being the director for the junior class is just getting to hang out with our cast and my co-director,” The junior said that “Every practice is tons of fun and full of laughter.” “Our theme for the juniors is the Flintstones. So, we are all there, but the main focus is on the kids, Pebbles and Bam-Bam, and their transition from home to UMHB. There’s also some hidden chemistry between Bam-Bam and Pebbles,” Mariott said. This year’s classes are hoping to entertain a wide variety of audiences as nostalgia comes to the stage during Stunt...

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All Saints inspires audiences everywhere
Sep14

All Saints inspires audiences everywhere

The movie All Saints is a PG Christian film that was released on Aug. 25. The movie wasn’t heavily advertised before its release. Despite this, Rotten Tomatoes rated this movie as 93 percent fresh, and my personal rating would be a 7.5 out of 10 stars. The film runs for an hour and 48 minutes and includes footage of the congregation that the story is based on in the credits. The film centers around Michael Spurlock, who decides to trade in his corporate sales career to become a pastor. Unfortunately, his first assignment in his sales career is to close a country church and sell the prime piece of land where it sits. He soon has a change of heart when the church starts to welcome refugees from Burma. Spurlock now finds himself working with the refugees to turn the land into a working farm to pay the church’s bills. The movie is based in Smyrna, Tennessee and the movie was filmed in the same church. This movie is based on the true story of this Episcopal Church. History versus Hollywood even did a comparison of the two stories and concluded that there were only minor tweaks. While the movie isn’t a fast-paced action adventure or a slow and steady romantic comedy, it still has plenty of potential. The movie goes at a well-paced speed and has a straight forward plot. The movie gives each character enough screen time for the audience to know their role in the church and a little about their past. We know enough about everyone to understand their lives without needing a long backstory. It was the perfect amount of information to know these characters and feel empathy for them. I thought the actors did a splendid job. John Corbett played Michael Spurlock, and I believe he did a good job showing the emotional and physical struggles the real pastor went through trying to keep this tiny church afloat. Watching Nelson Lee portray Ye Win, the main refugee who seeks the church’s help, was inspiring. These actors helped make these characters feel as if this struggle was happening to the audience as well, and I believe it made the movie more enjoyable to watch. One thing I thought was cool was how the movie brought back the refugees and put them in the movie. They played themselves. Those are not extras. Those are the people this story happened to. In the movie, Atticus Spurlock (played by Myles Moore) becomes friends with one of the children refugees named Po (played by John Wise Win). However, the real Po is somewhere in the background and the...

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PAC almost finished: Faculty prepares for art performances
Aug23

PAC almost finished: Faculty prepares for art performances

In the spring semester of 2017, ground was broken to make way for a new Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center on campus. Now, construction on the building is close to being finished and performances are being planned. The building is quickly becoming the new pride and joy of many and after $20 million, months of hard work, and seeing the building’s result, it is easy to see why. The new Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center will be able to seat up to 546 people in the performance hall, which is 246 more than the 300 seats in the Hughes performance hall. This new feature on campus will bring students live cinema, plus it will be equipped with a spacious lobby and a box office with a walk-up window. The Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center will also hold classes for students looking to broaden their performing skills. “We don’t have an official date for the dedication ceremony at this time, but it will be in October. At that event, which will be open to the public, there will be a ribbon cutting and tours of the facility,” James Stafford, Director of marketing and Public Relations, told Belton journal during an interview. Director of Operations & Technical Director for the Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Erik Vose, believes the new addition to campus will be extremely beneficial and will open more options for the College of Visual and Performing Arts to offer the student body. Shyanne Hoffman, a freshman forensics major with a music minor, says she is excited for the new opportunities the building and the class will have in store for her. “I think it’s going to be a great addition to UMHB and I’m excited to see what amazing things it has to offer.” Hoffman said. Freshman music education major, Makaila Showels, believes the newest addition to campus will be able to give her a new sense of responsibility. “I am very excited. I never had a chance to perform or work in a brand new Performing Arts building. “This building will provide music and performance students with a professional level performance space that will help them gain better experience as performers,” Vose said. “The rest of the student body will also have a beautiful new venue to visit for their Fine Arts Experience credits. Hopefully, they will enjoy the experience enough to come back even when they don’t need credit.” The Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center is the last project of the 2011 Campus Master Plan and will pave the way for more innovative plans to...

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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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