Latest thriller brings twist to a social work case
Oct19

Latest thriller brings twist to a social work case

If you want to watch a movie that pulls you into the storyline within the first 15 minutes the new suspense/thriller Case 39 is a good choice . The audience is hooked by the story of a little girl named Lily who lives with abusive parents, or so the viewers think. Academy Award winner Renee Zellweger plays Emily Jenkins, the social worker who gets Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland) out of her apparently bad situation. And then comes the scene that really kicks the movie off. Emily comes in on the parents trapping Lily in an oven as they try to gas and burn her. Little does the audience know, Lily’s dying would have been a happy ending. But 15 minutes doesn’t make for a good movie. So Emily saves Lily and allows the little girl to  live at her house. And with this, Emily’s life drastically begins to spiral down as she starts to unravel the mystery of who and what Lily really is. This movie definitely has the ability to make the audience jump in their seats. It also makes viewers cringe and have the urge to itch their skin as well. One scene nearing the middle of the flick, involves the regretful death of Doug, played by The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper. In a scene that shows Lily’s personality turning from an “innocent child” Lily gets Doug to tell her his biggest fear in life, wasps. The next time we see Doug, there are wasps coming out of places where wasps shouldn’t come, like his own ears and eyes. By telling Lily his fear, Doug seals his own doom. I went into this movie with the mindset of not expecting much. I did not think two of the three big name actors in the movie were capable of this genre of movie, partially because I have never seen them in this sort of role. The movie hasn’t received much publicity by commercials. In fact, the film was shot in Vancouver in late 2006 and was delayed twice before its final release date at the beginning of October. The reason for the delay has been kept unknown. I walked into the movie with low expectations and not knowing much about the plot.However, I was continually surprised throughout the film.  In the end, I thought it was an excellent thriller. Though Case 39 is not as chilling as Paranormal Activity or other films, people who are easily frightened should not pay $8.50. If they are not fans of demons or devil type movies then this film should be avoided. A scene in particular toward the end of the movie shocks...

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Facebook: Zuckerberg’s billion dollar idea
Oct05

Facebook: Zuckerberg’s billion dollar idea

Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in the world. How come? Because he created the largest social network on the face of the planet. Why? All because of a broken heart…. A headstrong Harvard undergraduate and computer programming genius, Mark Zuckerberg played by Jesse Eisenberg embellished an idea in 2003. He created enemies, made long-lasting friendships, and began his career at the young age of 20. Director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin take the audience back to the moment when Zuckerberg created Facebook. A heated argument and break-up ended a horrible night of furious blogging while simultaneously drinking beer — ultimately leading to the creation of connecting 500 million people all around the world. Facebook.com is The Social Network. On the window of Zuckerberg’s dorm room, best friend and later CFO of Facebook.com Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), calculates a formula that assists in perfecting the site. Working tediously and many endless hours to perfect the specific codes it takes to create such a website, Zuckerberg completed his plan, which soon spread nationwide, then to another continent. Fortune does come with fame, but Zuckerberg’s fame wasn’t always on the upside. He is hit with two different lawsuits after officially putting the site online. The Winklevoss twins, who hired Zuckerberg to build a website for them, claimed he stole their idea, so they sued him for ownership — for $65 million. Saverin, who signed some contracts that weren’t legitimate in keeping him as one who gets a certain percentage of the company’s money. Sorkin not only does a wonderful job of creating memorable one-liners that will live on after the movie goes off the big screen, but in telling a young billionaire’s story. Eisenberg’s character is not exactly like the real Mark. Sorkin and Eisenberg wanted to create their own version of the computer genius. Eisenberg said, “The character, as created by Aaron and me, is an intense and ambitious and serious person …. He’s accused of stealing this idea that he knows he’s the only one who could possibly create. He’s accused of betraying friendship when he feels his friend was taking his company in the wrong direction.” To think Zuckerberg even knew this social network would reach past the Ivy League universities and into the big world is fascinating. Facebook.com is ultimately everywhere. In the end, none of it really mattered — not the fame, not the money, not even reaching the one million  user goal. All Zuckerberg really cared about was Erica Albright — the woman who broke his...

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Television comedy full of laughs
Oct05

Television comedy full of laughs

The Thursday night lineup on NBC is set for more laughs this year, with the new Outsourced joining mainstays Community, The Office and 30 Rock. NBC comedies need to build up all the strength they can, with star Steve Carrell leaving his role as Michael Scott in The Office at the end of this season. The Office was getting back to what it does best, pranks and goofy office marketing, in the season premiere. The second episode finally had some reconciliation for Paul Lieberstein’s Toby, who Scott has hated throughout the series. In mandatory counseling sessions, Toby finally reaches Michael. It was one of Carell’s best performances. Outsourced is about an American novelty company that moved its call center to India to cut costs. Manager Todd Anderson  must move with his center or lose his job. The show focuses on cultural differences, and the pilot is certainly worth watching. Look for the show to improve each week, as the character nuisances become more defined. The second episode was already better than the first. Community was a breakout hit for NBC last year. The clever show about community college students brought in Betty White for the first episode. She even sang during the credits. Other networks are bringing back their comedy standbys. CBS still reels in viewers week after week with Two and a Half Men. Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother also return. These two shows don’t get the viewers Men does, but they do very well in younger, more educated viewers. ABC’s sophomore comedy Modern Family is also looking to return to its comedic geniuses. The show won an Emmy this year for Best Comedy. The first and second episodes were as good as ever. Over at Fox, it’s dangerous to follow shows that aren’t animated, chock full of singing, or focused on paranormal events. If Fox ever gets its hand on a cartoon about alien-investigators who also are in a  show choir, perhaps it could outlast the Simpsons. Glee is still dominating Tuesday nights, as it even held top spots on iTunes single downloads for a while. It has recorded 34 Billboard Hot 100 songs already this year. Unfortunately, the singing – does autotune count? – is more important to fans than plot lines. The people behind Arrested Development are showcasing Running Wylde on Fox Thursday night. Will Arnett stars are a businessman who is in love with his childhood sweetheart, who is also an environmentalist. Her daughter, Puddle, narrates. The pilot left much to be desired, especially compared to Development. If network TV still isn’t enough, FX’s late night shows are back as...

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Affleck paints The Town green with huge box office success
Sep28

Affleck paints The Town green with huge box office success

Ben Affleck’s new movie The Town hit the box office and stole the number one spot, taking in $23.8 million its opening weekend. The crime thriller from Warner Brothers takes place in Charlestown, a distinct blue-collar neighborhood of Boston where crime is a part of everyday life said to be handed down from father to son like a trade. In the opening credits the quote, “I’m proud of where I come from. It’s ruined my life, literally, but I’m proud.” from a resident there sets the mood. Doug MacRay (Affleck) was born and raised in the area. He is the leader of a gang of bank robbers but starts to realize things can’t stay like they are forever or he will end up in prison like his father (Chris Cooper, Remember Me). The opening scene has the gang taking down a local bank and forcing the bank manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall, Everything Must Go), to open the safe and then randomly taking her hostage. The guys set her free unharmed, but the emotional damage is obvious. Doug’s best friend and right hand man James “Jem” Coughlin  (Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker) worries about the girl as a possible tip off to the police and convinces the others that something has to be done. Doug steps in and says he will take care of things. Knowing he should stay away from her, he finds himself falling for the person who could mean the end of his life as he knows it. To add to the mix Jem won’t let him just  leave the business and the FBI headed by SA Adam Frawley (John Hamm, Mad Men) is hot on their tails. The script by Affleck, Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard is based on the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan. This is Affleck’s second movie to direct but his first to cast himself in the lead role, a wise move and likely a big reason for its success. The locations are authentic, and the action is nothing short of intense. At one point there is a full-on car chase with gunfire in the narrow city streets with the gang dressed in full nun garb with automatic weapons. One of the funniest, yet nerve-wracking scenes is when the crew is in mid- switch to another vehicle during their getaway when they look over and see a lone cop in his car. After what seems like an hour-long staring contest, the cop just turns his head, and the gang is on the move once again. One of Affleck’s best moves was casting Renner as his co-star. Renner puts on quite a...

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Scary movies becoming more of a reality for viewers
Sep28

Scary movies becoming more of a reality for viewers

What ever happened to the good ole classic scary movie? The ones where there’s a serial killer man in a mask and a house tormenting teenage kids? For the past five years or so, plot lines for scary movies have turned in an all new direction. There was a craze for a time of seeing who could come up with the goriest flick by means of torturing people, but even that plot is now old. Story writers and film makers have recently been blowing up the box office with movies about demons, exorcisms and now even the devil. The reactions of most to watching these sorts of movies are chilling. Scary movie plot lines seem to have gone from the unrealistic, mass murderer in your house, to realistic. Viewers of these movies are afraid because demons are out there and exorcisms do happen. Senior marketing major Julia Bishop doesn’t enjoy watching scary movies because they remind her of the bad things in the world. “For as much as I hate scary movies, I can watch them,” she said. “In older scary movies, it was very obvious who the bad guy was, but today it’s turned more realistic. Your neighbor next door could be a serial killer or the girl in class with you could be demon possessed.” The Exorcism of Emily Rose could be traced to kicking off this series of movies, and  after that came The Village and Devil, both directed by M. Night Shyamalan. However, the most famous of these demonic movies would be Paranormal Activity. Numerous students from UMHB went to see the movie the opening night at the midnight showing. For freshman Stacy Hillin, scary movies are an enjoyment because of the suspense theyembody. “Watching movies about demons and things like that doesn’t bother me because I know that the content isn’t real,” Hillin said. “It’s just like movies about aliens and science fiction. It’s entertaining because it’s fake.” Hillin said that if you feel affected by the storyline of the film, simply don’t watch it. However, with the sudden population of demonic flicks comes with some Christians not wanting to see them because of what they are about. Sophomore Rudy Nerio believes that Christians shouldn’t be scared to watch these movies just because of what the movie may or may not represent. He said, “I think that it’s OK for Christians to see scary movies because if they have a strong faith already, they should not be affected by anything that happens in the...

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Inexpensive, but just as addictive: D&D
Sep28

Inexpensive, but just as addictive: D&D

The times, they are a changing. One of the greatest things humanity has seen is the past few years in the leaps and bounds made by technology. One of the most changed areas of technology is the current state of video games. In 1972, Pong was released, a game that bounced a white ball back and forth across a screen. Boring, but addictive. But now we are given gorgeous cinematic experiences with games such as Bioshock 2 and Final Fantasy XIII. For college students, there is just one problem. Money. A new game will typically run around $60, far over the average entertainment budget for a college-going person. Instead of picking the latest and greatest game, he is left to ogle the store windows in the rain while his friends huddle around the warm glow of a PS3 power light. Luckily, there are a plethora of great free-to-play games out there, as long as you know where to look. That’s where I come in. One MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) should sound familiar. Dungeons and Dragons Online was originally a pay-to-play game, but the creators switched to a free method of play in June 2010. Set in the D&D universe, the gameplay feels very familiar to long-time fans of the dice and paper game, yet it remains friendly to first time adventurers and gamers alike. Six different character classes are available right out of the gate. There is the hardy fighter, the devout cleric and the sneaky rogue, just to name a few. The options don’t end there, either. Like classic D&D, the player can also select a race for his character to be. Options include old favorites like the human or elf, with some new ones  such as the metallic warforged thrown in. The story begins with the chosen character washing up on the shore of the island of Korthos after a white dragon destroyed the ship the player was traveling in. For a free online game, the scenery is gorgeous to look at. Textured waves lap at the shore of the beach, and character facial expressions convey a wide range of emotions. Birds flit through the air, and the starting zone actually feels like an island jungle ripe for exploring. If the scenery stands out as a contender with online games, the combat brings home the gold. While typical online games are just one-button hack-and-slashers, a lot of thought went into DDO to make it feel like the source material. Each class has their own set of skills that they can use in a wide variety of situations, and they each gain more as they...

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