Footloose bursts back on the big screen with fans unsure of change

By Lauren Jones After hearing that the 1984 Footloose was remade, many refused to see it because some movies shouldn’t be touched. However, those who hadn’t seen the original were pleasantly surprised. The film, starring Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid, is a feel-good movie, and many who have seen it agree that those not wanting to see it should give it a chance. Footloose is the story of Ren McCormack (Wormald), a teen rebel from Boston who moves to the small town of Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle after his mother’s death. He quickly learns of the town’s strict laws; playing loud music and dancing is forbidden. The laws were established by Bomont city councilman and Reverend Shaw Moore (Quaid), whose son and four other teenagers were killed in a car accident after a night of drinking, playing loud music and dancing. Ren is frustrated by these rules but learns that he isn’t alone after meeting the reverend’s daughter. Ariel (Hough) is a troubled teen whose only dream is to leave Bomont. With the help of his friends Willard (Miles Teller) and Rusty (Ziah Colon), Ren challenges the laws and moves that the  prohibiting of public dancing be abolished. The acting is good and the movie is nearly identical to the original except for a few major parts (the scene where Ariel stands between two cars driving down a highway was cut), but many who have seen the first Footloose would agree that it just isn’t the same. It’s hard to judge characters in the new film without comparing them to the original actors. And while Wormald does a good job portraying Ren, most would agree he’s no Kevin Bacon. The dancing was choreographed well, although the style has been adapted for this generation and may not appeal to those who love the original. If you’ve never seen the 1984 Footloose, you may like the new version. Sophomore education major Niata Owens said, “I liked the storyline of it, and I liked the ending. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was still a really good movie.” Sophomore communication major Kent Franze was skeptical about seeing the film. “I went in thinking it wasn’t going to be good and that it was going to be corny and shame the original, but I left with a positive outlook,” he said. “I was happy with the movie overall.” After noting remakes that have been made this year, it seems the movie industry is running out of ideas. However, it’s no reason to write off a movie that may be better than you think.  Owens said, “Even if...

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Facebook users grapple with change

By Terryn Kelly Facebook is an ever-changing social network. The company is constantly updating the site with new features intended to make the experience more enticing. Unfortunately, for some users the regular revisions of the interface appear to be more of a burden than they are a help. Freshman cellular biology major Megan LaLonde said, “I have not used any of the new applications on Facebook, reason being because it changes every time I get on my page. I like the older version.” An expanding number of the Facebook community continues to favor the earlier adaptations of the site. Senior cellular biology major Angel Cook said, “I prefer the older version of Facebook because it was simpler and easier to use. I do not like the idea that Facebook is always making updates and changes without informing its users that they are doing so.” Since the users are the ones who have helped make the website what it is today, Cook thinks that Mark Zuckerberg should get some insight from members on how they feel about the current features on Facebook before making changes.  “I do not like the fact that they do not ask for the users’ input on what changes we would like to see. After they have acquired a substantial amount of suggestions, they should allow us to vote on them and then make the changes that we all agreed upon,” she said. When using group chat, the user can communicate with friends outside of the group and from the usual chat feed. Senior music major Tasha Jefferson has used the feature but has mixed emotions about doing so. “I have used it, but it does get annoying when you do not want or need the feature. It is helpful when you want to group chat or to get group messages across.” Another feature is a tab that allows people to see what they posted on the same day an entire year ago. Jefferson has used this feature before and said she loves it. There is also a smart list which allows the user to determine who will be able to see certain subjects that are posted. Cook finds this feature to be helpful to her. “I have some professors and older people as my friends on Facebook, and some things I post are just for the young people and not for them. Sometimes I post what is on my mind,” she said. LaLonde occasionally uses the feature as needed. She said, “If I am looking for a specific answer that has to do with that general area I can click on it and ‘stock’ to...

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Gungor release filled with creativity, emotion
Oct04

Gungor release filled with creativity, emotion

Michael Gungor tweets, “Do we move the horn player so that he isn’t so blocked by the concert bass drum? These are OK problems to have.” This is what the leader of the band Gungor has to wrestle with as his band tours across the country promoting a new album Ghost Upon the Earth. Despite the instruments described, the group isn’t a symphony or jazz group. And it isn’t exactly a rock band either. Gungor calls its music “liturgical post-rock,” and the new album strays even further from the realm of traditional contemporary Christian music than the breakout 2010 album  Beautiful Things. It is music designed to reflect the emotional reaction to life, creation, pain and the mysterious connection between God and man. Ghosts Upon the Earth plays more like an experience than a worship album. The tracks are musically and lyrically complicated and diverse. The band surprises listeners with  string, flutes, minor keys and accidentals. These are not songs that will or should be covered by amateur guitarists at camps, or be heard around the country on Sunday morning church services. Gungor, the leader of the group, didn’t start the band to follow in the footsteps of Matt Redman, but to honestly and purposefully express himself and the band. According to the web site, the record is full of meaning, from fast violin arpeggios that represent a primordial universe to the first heart beats of Michael and his wife Lisa’s baby girl,  it’s much different than a lot of music out there. Gungor songs typically convey the feeling of the message through the music itself, not just the lyrics. The song ‘When Death Dies’ seems to transform from an elegy into a bass-and-drum driven dance song, paralleling the resurrection itself as Gungor sings, “When death dies, all things live.” The song “Ezekiel” beautifully sets Ezekiel 16 to music as tender as the grace it describes, and the listener can feel the pain of God through the notes. Ghosts upon the Earth is exactly what should be expected from Gungor. It’s a different form of worship than what is heard in most contemporary churches, but it emphasizes the beauty and art involved in worshiping. It invokes awe in the way a poem or great painting might. It may not be made for participation, but listen to it to hear gifted artists create for their creator. “Music doesn’t have to fit the mold to move people’s hearts, and at the end of the day, that’s really what we’re trying to do,” Gungor said in an interview on his site. “We’re trying to make honest music that opens people’s...

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50/50 movie attempts to mix in comedy with a serious subject
Oct04

50/50 movie attempts to mix in comedy with a serious subject

Cancer is never a funny subject, but in their new movie, somehow Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen make it work. 50/50 tells the story of Adam (Levitt) and his best friend Kyle (Rogen) as they deal with Adam’s recently diagnosed spinal cancer. After finding out that he is sick, Adam looks online to see what his chances are, and the Internet tells him he has 50/50 odds of surviving. On the surface, it sounds like the movie would just be about Adam’s struggle to cope with his possibly fatal illness, and that is certainly a part of it. But the story goes much deeper than Rogen’s crude humor and Levitt’s portrayal of a cancer victim. Early on, Adam realizes that his girlfriend is cheating on him, and Kyle’s quest becomes finding his friend a rebound girl, although secretly he is just intending on taking his friend’s mind off of the situation. This works, but it also shows Adam that many people will just pity him, and he doesn’t want that. Some of the most interesting character development comes from Adam’s meetings with his therapist and obvious love interest Katherine (Anna Kendrick).  A 24-year-old college student going for her doctorate, Katherine is a slightly scatter-brained counselor at Adam’s hospital. The dialogue and emotions flying between these two characters are strong, and manage to be both dramatic and light-hearted when needed. Everyone in the movie has a great depth to them, but these two really move beyond the rest. Instead of being a depressing, two-hour cryfest, 50/50 manages to focus not only on the person suffering from cancer, but also on the people surrounding them. Adam’s father has Alzheimer’s, and his mother is an overbearing control freak.  His best friend Kyle is a free spirit who is only concerned with having fun and being there for his friend. Each of these characters comes alive in the movie, and the acting is superb. The film, more than anything, is a celebration of life. It puts a human face on a touchy subject and forces the audience to look at the ugly reality of cancer. The way it presents itself is unique and it’s hard to limit this movie to one genre. I walked into the theater not sure what to expect. Having Rogen in it meant there was a good chance of some foul humor in the film, and that was there. Levitt meant there was going to be a lot of drama and suspense, and that was there, too. But an excellent balance was found between the two, and I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. Typically there is a lull...

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Movie shows young poets’ work
Oct04

Movie shows young poets’ work

By Natasha Christian The annual Writers’ Festival hosted movie night for literature fanatics at Shelton Theater. This year’s showing was Louder Than a Bomb, an award-winning documentary directed and produced by Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs. The film made its debut at the Austin Film Festival and won the award for best documentary feature. Set in the Chicago area, more than 60 schools battle in the world’s biggest youth poetry slam. The movie follows four teams as they transform painful life experiences into writing gold.  Director of the Writers’ Festival, English Assistant Professor Dr. Jessica Hooten, is excited about the documentary and said it gives viewers an enlightening perspective on poetry slam. She said,  “It is such an inspiring film…some of them (performers) are actually from the inner city and have issues with anger and issues with family lives that they need catharsis. They need ways of understanding what is going on in their lives and ways of dealing with that emotionally.”  She further iterates the cycle between pain being an inspiration for words and words becoming a coping mechanism. “Louder Than a Bomb shows how these students’ home lives have affected their poetry and how their poetry has formed their lives, and that reciprocal process between the two,” she said. “It’s a fantastic film.” The Writers’ Festival is roughly 10 years old. Well known published authors come to UMHB to speak to Crusaders and locals. Hooten is preparing for the gala on Feb. 9-11, 2012. Five writers, Susan Isaacs, Daniel Taylor, Susana Childress, Brett Foster and Albert Haley, will discuss a variety of topics, including spiritual themes and Christian identity. All speakers will host workshops for writing enthusiasts who wish to spruce up their skills. Junior English major Jamie Dye is ready to receive some words of wisdom from credible sources. “I’m hoping to gain some knowledge from people who are actually experienced writers and have been published,” she said.  “Their work has merit, and they’re willing to teach you. I hope they can teach me some tricks or tidbits.” Assistant Director of the Writers’ Festival and senior social work major Amberly Clay thinks the workshops at UMHB offer something other universities cannot. “Not a lot of writers’ festivals have one-on-one like ours does. A lot of writers’ festivals that you go to have 30-40 students in a workshop or even 100 students. Here, it is a very personal workshop,” she said. For those who are not interested in literature, Hooten said there is more to the event than meets the eye. She said, “The Writers’ Festival shows living writers who understand the power of literature to transform...

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Reality of TV vs. real life professions

Everything on television these days is either over scripted or over dramatic. With today’s reality-based shows, it seems that the entertainment world is trying to get a better grip on reality, but what is the “real” reality behind all those over-the-top TV shows? When it comes to professionals such as policemen, nurses, or chefs, these are difficult to accurately personify on camera. The problem is  that they are serious occupations, but does TV take the right steps in portraying them as they really are? Cold Case, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds are only a few current shows featuring on-screen cops. But do these shows come close to the real life of an officer? Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police at UMHB, Gary Sargent, was actually led to his career by a TV show series called Adam 12. As an adult, he has become less involved in shows with police characters. Sargent said, “I have been doing this for 30 years, and there have probably been about two or three days of drama like you see on TV shows all combined together. Most of it is just daily doing the same things over and over again.” He explained that some people have been in law enforcement for many years and have never even had to draw their weapon. “It is kind of like being a fireman. When the bell rings, you have to be able to perform, but the bell does not ring that often. That is what it is no matter where you are at in your law enforcement career.What you see on TV is just not accurate portrayal.” Another profession that is seen frequenting the television screen is nursing. With shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Nurse Jackie, and HawthoRNe, nurses are on every channel. Coordinator of Health Services, RN Debbie Rosenberger, said, “Most of them are not portrayed very well. They show us not adhering to our scope of practice and not being very compassionate and pretty ditzy in a lot of them.” She adds that there are a few shows that portray nurses with morals and character, but not many. “I do take great exception when they portray us as not caring because nurses are held in one of the highest regards for our credibility and our compassion, and I dislike it when the media erodes that.” She said that nurses are supposed to be patient advocates and that she would like to be able to turn on a show where they act as such. Another on-camera profession that has grown in popularity is that of a chef. From shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, and...

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