Gangster Squad sets bar high for 2013

By Leif Johnston “Every man has a badge” is a powerful statement made by Sgt. John O’Mara. This statement alone sums up the newly released movie Gangster Squad directed by Ruben Fleischer. A story driven by misfits coming together to stop the most powerful gangster in the West sets the bar high for films that are to come out in 2013.  Director Ruben Fleisher shows that he can steer away from his usual comedy films and create one that is action packed. The squad is in constant battle with Los Angeles’ most power-hungry mob boss, Mickey Cohen played by Sean Penn. The dialogue in the movie is serious and businesslike, but Gangster Squad member Sgt. Jerry Wooters, played by Ryan Gosling breaks up the suspenseful fighting scenes with numerous great one-liners. The acting in this film is brilliant. John Brolin, plays the honest cop that will turn to extreme measures to put Los Angeles’ monster to rest. Emma Stone plays the damsel in distress but playing it with a hard to get yet seductive demeanor. This aspect gives this film the depth that it needed to take it from an ordinary gun slinging action film to a movie that forces characters to make ultimate sacrifices for the future of the city, even though their families safety is on the line. The amounts of gunfire in this movie will more than likely bring criticism its way. But you can’t really have a true portrayal of a gangster film without excessive amounts of bullets fired. This film delayed its premier date after the Aurora shooting, but this move possibly made their chances of gun control arguments even greater in light of last month’s event in Newtown Conn. Regardless of the number of shootouts it still gives viewers a  glimpse into what it might have been like post WWII trying to contain these greedy mob bosses that took down anything that interrupted their progress. If you have a weak stomach this film may not be for you. The opening scenes will show that director Ruben Fleischer didn’t shy away from the bloody gruesome punishments that gangster Mickey Cohen orders on people in his usual way. Gangster Squad is a film worth the overly priced ticket. Grab some popcorn and enjoy this must-see...

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Actors gather for 70th Golden Globe Awards

By Paola Nunez The Hollywood Foreign Press Association chose Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as the hosts of the 70th annual Global Globes awards ceremony. Not only did the two introduce the 2013 winners, they also raked in 19.7 million viewers and kept them laughing throughout the show. “Amy Poehler and Tina Fey made a great duo as hosts. I didn’t expect them to make me laugh as much as I did during their introduction to the Golden Globes,” said freshman Education major Tawnie Yeaw as she recollected her favorite parts of the show. Winner of the Best Screenplay, Motion Picture globe was Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, an award originally thought by many viewers to be presented to Tony Kushner’s Lincoln. In a backstage interview, Tarantino mentioned that, “What they’re (the audience) saying is I should soften it… they’re saying I should whitewash… and I never do that when it comes to my characters,” an aspect in Django Unchained that may have given it the edge it needed to win. The Best Television series, Comedy or Musical globe went to the actors from Girls, which beat out the top rated show The Big Bang Theory and three time Emmy-award comedy winner Modern Family. Homeland won in the category of Best Television, Drama, receiving a globe for a second year in a row, beating out Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, and The...

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There’s a new bachelor in town

Scene one: Sean with his shirt off. Scene two: Sean with his shirt off, working out. Scene three: Well, you get the picture. Season 17 of The Bachelor kicked off with bachelorette Emily Maynard’s Dallas ex-boyfriend, Sean Lowe. The opening moments included a wedding dress, Fifty Shades of Grey, one gymnast’s tumble and far too many awkward introductions. Kacie from Ben’s season returned, upping the count of single ladies to 26. The unmemorable girls go home, the entertaining ones stay. Nothing has changed except the deepness of Lowe’s v-necks. Now, fast-forward to episode two. The bachelor’s helicopter entrance proves one of the most ridiculously memorable appearances in the show’s    history. One-armed Sarah scores the first date with Prince Charming, which turns out to be more of a sympathy move than one motivated by     chemistry. They free-fall 300 feet for champagne. Nice play, producers. After a terribly corny group date, 12 lucky ladies leave with nothing but a head full of even more hairspray. Sean takes Desiree on outing number two, where he pranks the poor, oblivious girl. What a jokester. On a serious note, Tierra wants to punch everyone and Amanda issues the silent treatment. How uncomfortable. Back at the hen house, Katie chickens out and opts to leave, while Brooke and Diana get the boot. What better way to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day than kicking back for a third dose of Mr. Lowe and his pretty princesses? In episode three, the blonde grabs solo date number two, a Guinness world record. For what, you ask? I’ll tell you. For the longest on-screen kiss. The debacle earns Tierra some one-on-one time with her handsome hero, while AshLee waits impatiently. Hopefully the bachelor isn’t looking for an athletic wife because the second group date turns into a volley for Sean’s love on the beach. Amanda creeps people out, yet again, and the Kacie stages an intervention. The cocktail party turns into a tug-of-war, pulling the bachelor all over the place and leaving everyone upset. Taryn and Kristy leave without roses and a promise that true love is out there somewhere. Maybe they just  won’t find it on prime time...

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Art exhibit highlights Christian symbol

From a sixth century coin, to pieces from the Middle Ages and  Renaissance, to modern American works, the Cross/ Purpose art exhibit displays how artists throughout history have depicted the crucifix and cross in various expressive ways. The traveling show from Christians in the Visual Arts includes 49 artworks and is on view until Feb. 1 in the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts. An opening reception was held Jan. 10. Professor and Chair for the art department Hershall Seals said the exhibit complements the university’s values. “Since this is a Christian institution, we felt it was a really good fit to bring quality works of art that deal with our primary theological source, which is Christ,” he said. Though it deals with a religious theme, Seals believes it can be of interest to a wide audience. “The show is not only interesting to Christians who are more theologically  interested, but it’s also a show that appeals to fine artists who may or may not be that enthused about the subject,” he said. “What’s so interesting is the variety of art in it and the quality of the prints and drawings and paintings.” With pieces spanning so many time periods, the exhibit is also a lesson in art history and has received positive reactions so far. “People who have seen the show love it,” Seals said. “I think they can get a miniature art history overview…. You can see by looking from picture to picture to picture where that thing came from,historically speaking, by the way that image is drawn, the technique. To me, the takeaway is the beauty of the differences in the art historical time frame.” Sophomore graphic design major Brittany Davis found the etchings particularly  interesting. “They had so much detail on such a small amount of space,” she said. Sophomore fine arts major Sarah Wright was also impressed with the quality of the show’s pieces. “I really enjoyed looking at the old lithograph pieces that incorporated a lot of figures, symbols and beautiful details of the moment Jesus was on the cross. I also enjoyed looking at the abstract versions of Jesus’s crucifixion as well. The impact of the harsh lines and the use of colors emphasized the pain and suffering He had endured,” she said. Overall, Davis enjoyed the exhibit’s theme and the quality of the show and believes other students should take advantage of the opportunities to see such works. “UMHB chooses art exhibits that have a lot of meaning,” she said. “All art is meant to communicate to the viewer. That’s the point of art, to evoke feeling and emotion, so the...

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Boys Like Girls makes comeback
Jan08

Boys Like Girls makes comeback

Clad in leather and cutoff denim, the sweaty band looked out at the screaming Austin crowd and stated simply, “Boys Like Girls is back.” Initially, the power-pop fellows compared themselves to the music greats they toured with. They made a name for themselves with “Hero/Heroine” from their debut, self-titled album and later went on to share a stage with LMFAO, Cute is What We Aim For, Hit the Lights, and other chart-toppers. With this exposure, Boys Like Girls received more attention for their second work, Love Drunk (2009), which produced multiple successful singles. Now, three long years later, the band has nearly disappeared from the music scene, and its music no longer goes hand-in-tattooed-hand with head banging or fist-pumping. Instead, the group has adopted a fresh, more relaxed sound that audiences might not expect. Even so, as lead singer Martin Johnson hashtagged on Twitter, #BoysLikeGirlsIsBack. After the lengthy hiatus, the Massachusetts-born quartet released its third album, Crazy World Dec. 11. The 11 tracks by Columbia Records are still considered part of the pop punk genre, but the new sound unfortunately resembles a ’90s alternative rock band rather than All Time Low or The All-American Rejects as the label suggests. Despite the changes in rhythm and beat, Johnson and friends have kept their songwriting intact. Still, the foursome has unfortunately lost a lot of their edge during the musical hibernation. What sets this album apart lies in the windpipes of Johnson. His voice has improved with age and experience, and his tenor sounds better than ever in Crazy World. The 2009 Billboard hit, “Two is Better Than One,” may have met its match with “Be Your Everything.” This track received immediate positive feedback when fans had the chance to stream the heartfelt beat online before the record was released. Though the tune lacks the star power Swift provided in the old duet, the new jam seems less sappy and more like a genuine love ballad. BLG also picks up a banjo or two, giving songs like “Shoot” a country vibe. A harmonica even accompanies “Crazy World,” incorporating more of the western style into the project as a whole. “Red Cup” channels some of Boys Like Girls’ youthful energy and gives fans a blast from the past, a reminder ofwhat the old band sounded like. This nostalgic track stands out as one of the few upbeat tracks on an otherwise leisurely and pleasant piece of music. Johnson penned some of his best work in “Hey You,” which completes the album and makes critics forget about the previous flaws. “Life of the Party” shows off the skills of guitarists Morgan Dorr and...

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Kimberly Spradlin visits, talks Survivor
Dec06

Kimberly Spradlin visits, talks Survivor

Over the years, Chapel has had several celebrity guest speakers including politicians, major league baseball players and New York Times best selling authors among others. However, as varied as that sounds, Chapel was able to broaden the scope just a little more this past week with a Survivor. Kimberly Spradlin, winner of the 24th season of the hit reality television series, Survivor, stepped back on campus last week. That’s right, stepped back on campus. Spradlin was a freshman at UMHB 11 years ago. In a 45-minute question-and-answer session, University Chaplin Dr. George Loutherback interviewed Spradlin about her time at UMHB. “I honestly had an incredible experience here,” Spradlin said, “This is the only place that I actually felt like I had a college experience, so I feel very fondly about Mary Hardin-Baylor. Being back on campus is really fun.” As a freshman resident of Burt Hall in 2001, Spradlin immediately plugged in on campus. She represented the freshman class in the Miss MHB Pageant. She had an experience here comparable to that of many of the students today; she had to eat at Hardy, she had to attend Chapel and she built relationships at UMHB. Loutherback even had a part in pulling a prank on the future celebrity. A trickster herself, Spradlin had played a joke on a senior football player in a class taught by Loutherback, and the athlete recruited the professor to help get her back. Loutherback called her in to ask why she cheated from the football player on a test and tell her that consequences could lead to expulsion. On Survivor, Spradlin was able to outwit 17 other contestants, but she was no match for Loutherback’s cunning prank. What made her a prankster as a college student made her a survivor on CBS, her ability to be social played a huge factor in the game. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Survivor host of 12 years Jeff Probst was asked to comment on Spradlin’s success, and he pointed out her social skills. “She was great at the social game,” Probst said. “So many faces and great at reading a situation and equally good at stopping a disaster before it starts.” Her mastery of the social facet of the game even won her the Sprint Player of the Season award which raised her winnings to $1.1 million. The Survivor then entertained questions from the audience. Spradlin was bombarded with questions about her game strategy, her life after the show and what she did with the prize money. After chapel, she took pictures with fans in Mabee. The former Crusader now owns a bridal shop in San...

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