High School Musical 3  DVD release
Feb24

High School Musical 3 DVD release

The Film: HSM3 is exciting to watch and explores the many emotions seniors feel their senior year. It is just as hard to say goodbye to the cast as it is for them to say goodbye to each other. Special Features: The two-disc special edition has an expansive selection of special features to choose from. Viewers can go behind the scenes of prom and graduation and learn how the stylists chose specific outfits to suit each character and their personality. The bloopers are a treat, and the deleted scenes hint that there may be another HSM movie following the last in this trilogy. Sing Along: The extended version features a sing-along version of the movie with the choice to switch between the different dance routines and songs. Digital Copy: The best reason to buy the special edition of HSM3 is the inclusion of a digital copy disc. The digital copy of the movie allows buyers to save the film onto their computer and into their iTunes, which can transfer the movie onto an iPod or...

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Slumping economy, TV shows cut short
Feb24

Slumping economy, TV shows cut short

By Evan Duncan The economic crisis is not just hitting businesses, banks and real estate. Most industries are pinching pennies these days, and entertainment is no exception. Television networks are cutting costs, and the effects are showing up on screen. Marketwatch.com says automotive ads, which normally supply one third of all TV ad revenue, are disappearing as auto sales decline. Overall, television profit is down 40%. Executives are being forced to find new ways to be successful. In January, NBC announced a plan to give Jay Leno the 9 p.m. central time slot five days a week. That means five hour-long dramas, such as E.R., will not be returning in the fall. Conan O’Brien will be taking over the Tonight Show at 10:30, and Jimmy Fallon will run things in Conan’s old slot. In the life of college students, who spend most evenings studying or with friends, this move may not have much impact. Tanner Perkins, a junior English major, is unfazed by the adjustment. “Let’s just say, watching Craig Ferguson at midnight is worth more than watching Jay Leno any time,” he said. “Jay Leno is only good for wasting time for the good shows.” Even before the economic troubles, TV networks had been facing issues. Digital Video Recorders, or DVRs, allow viewers to record television and watch it later. DVR users can also fastforward through advertisements. Web sites like hulu.com offer shows on demand with limited commercial interruption. As fewer viewers are seeing ads, advertisers are not willing to pay as much as they had before. Cheaper ads mean less money for networks to put into content. As other businesses falter, even less money can be put into advertising, especially on a medium that is not as influential as it once was. “I love Lost, but I watch it online,” said sophomore biblical studies major, Brittany Montgomery. “That way it fits my schedule. I can pause it when I want, and I don’t have to sit through blocks of commercials. I barely even use a TV.” Despite the worries of executives, the crisis has been good for some shows. The Sarah Conner Chronicles of Fox, for example, would normally be canceled after the low ratings it has received. But Fox, like other networks, has little material after last  year’s writer’s strike and low funds to develop new shows. For Conner...

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Dakota Fanning all grown up, stars in new sci-fi thriller Push
Feb10

Dakota Fanning all grown up, stars in new sci-fi thriller Push

New sci-fi action movie Push features Dakota Fanning as Cassie Holmes, a second generation “watcher,” and Chris Evans as Nick Gant, a second generation “mover.” Now before you get confused about what  a“watcher” and “mover” are, let me explain what each means. There are several different kinds of people with supernatural abilities in the movie, including Watchers, who can see and draw the future; Movers, who can move things with their mind by using telekinesis; Pushers, who can convince people to do anything by pushing their own thoughts on them; Sniffs, who can see the history of something by smelling it; Shadows, who can act as a shadow over other people, hiding them from potential watchers or sniffers; Shifters, who can change any object for a short period of time; Bleeders, who emit a loud shriek that can disable and potentially kill people; Wipers, who can wipe away people’s memories; and Stitchers, who can heal others. The premise of the movie is a heated struggle between two factions of people with abilities: The division, who are the “Galactic Empire” of the film, and the rebellion. Although the idea behind Push seems pretty original, the film is rather bland. The idea of two superhuman groups battling each other has already been used several times in movies like X-Men, Jumper and the popular TV show, Heroes. Young actress Dakota Fanning does a great job of keeping the movie interesting in her scenes with superb acting. She almost upstages the other actors in the film while breaking out of her “little girl” roles such as that in War of the Worlds and Uptown Girls. The plot is more or less shaky. Its twists take away from the movie more than they gain the viewer’s interest. The love interest between Nick and Kira (Camilla Belle) is vanilla. The two actors share little chemistry on screen and add much more complexity to the plot than what is otherwise needed. In fact, the duo is plain boring to watch. When the two actors look into each other’s eyes, viewers can almost see each of them thinking “When will this be over?” Few on-screen twosomes rival the mediocrity that Nick and Kira exemplify. The action in the movie is enjoyable and entertaining, but the lack of plot direction can’t be covered up with all the special effects, gun fighting and mind games. Summing it up Overall, the movie is disappointing due to the lack of quality and over-hyping by the media. The only things that save this film from being a complete failure are Dakota Fanning’s superior acting and the slow-motion, high-energy action scenes. The bottom...

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Free theater admit for Cru with ID
Feb10

Free theater admit for Cru with ID

With Belton being such a small town, extracurricular activities are limited. There is no glamorous shopping mall, and only a handful of restaurants. However, there is one thing this area has that many other towns its size do not. The Beltonian is Belton’s very own movie theater located minutes away from campus at 219 E. Central Avenue. It is a small theater with one screen that opened its doors in December of 2007. Since then, it has been a fun spot for students and the people of the community. Malinda Castleberry, the theater manager, has been with The Beltonian almost since the beginning. “I’ve been here since February of last year, but I’ve been managing since September,” she said. So what makes this theater unique and what draws people to it? For one reason, it’s cheap. The price for adults is just $4, and $3 for children. They even have a special on Saturdays in which students from UMHB get in free with their student ID. Junior education major Robyn Pharis said, “In comparison to other theaters, it’s definitely cheaper. Even the student price at Temple is more than a regular price at The Beltonian.” Another distinctive quality of the theater is food service. “We have a wait staff that serves before the movie and a little bit into the movie,” Castleberry said. They try not to serve too much once the feature has started because it can be a distraction. The menu consists of typical movie treats: popcorn, candy and nachos. However, the theater is under new ownership, they have added a foot-long hotdog and a small pizza. Senior exercise sports science major Jeremy Whitehurst said, “The food was good.” The theater chooses the films they show carefully. Castleberry said, “being a small theater, we’re very limited on the kinds of movies that they’ll let us have. We are a family theater, so anything that’s rated PG-13 or R for nudity or sexual content is automatically ruled out.” You won’t find anything gratuitous in this neighborhood friendly spot, which is another reason people like it so much. Sport management major Ally Sargeant said, “the staff is really personal. I like it because it’s like an old-fashioned movie theater.” Freshman volleyball player and communication major Jasmine Austin was impressed with the arrangement of the place. “They have tables set up in front you so you have lots of space, and the seats are so comfortable,” she said. Other students think the proximity of the theater to campus is a major plus. Junior marketing major Rob Neuenschwander said, “It seems pretty cool. It gives people something to do in Belton...

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Preston Gilchrist’s series ‘Daughters of Eve,’ overlooked Biblical characters

By Lauren McKenzie Displayed among the books on the second floor of the Townsend Memorial Library are a series of religious portraits by Preston Gilchrist, an art professor and director at the River Oaks Art Center in Alexandria, La. The showcase, which was created to symbolize over-looked women in the Bible, is entitled “Daughters of Eve.” The series made its debut Jan. 12. Faculty, staff and students were invited to attend. Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and longtime friend of Gilchrist’s, Ted Barnes, owns several of the artist’s pieces and went to the opening night of the exhibit. “I was in Louisiana back in the summer, and I saw the beginnings of the work,” Barnes said, “I really liked the show, so I thought why don’t we don’t we do a show at UMHB?” The images of “Daughters of Eve” have been compiled from old, black and white Victorian photographs that Gilchrist searched for at several different flea markets as well as online at e-Bay. “Very soon into collecting these photographs, I knew I wanted to do a personal project with them,” Gilchrist said, “but (I) did not have a clear idea what the pieces would look like. This project was one that took a long time to develop.” Unlike a normal photograph, the works are created through a process called cyanotyping. To create a cyanotype, a light sensitive solution is mixed together and painted on paper. After the solution dries overnight, digitally created negatives are taken and contact printed onto the paper. The women depicted in Gilchrist’s pieces are unspecified. Art Professor Hershall Seals said the anonymity behind the paintings adds to their originality. “He doesn’t know the names of the women in the photographs,” Seals said of Gilchrist’s work, “which makes it mysterious because you’re looking at this anonymous person, and they’re representing somebody from the (Old) Testament, like Rachel, for example.” Gilchrist focuses on portraying women in the Bible who play important roles but are often unnamed, like the mothers, sisters and wives of more familiar characters. He said his work is not finished. “I will continue to make more pieces in this series,” Gilchrist said. “As a matter of fact, my ultimate goal is to have a piece for every woman mentioned in the Bible. I also fully expect the pieces to look different over time, and while I do not have any specific ideas how they will look, it is the process itself which holds my interest.” His series will be displayed in the Townsend Memorial Library until Feb....

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Preview of films to hit the box office in the new year
Jan27

Preview of films to hit the box office in the new year

With movies like The Dark Knight, Twilight and Iron Man, 2008 was a year for the record books for the Hollywood industry. The start of the new year also promises movie-goers a reason to visit the theater. Movies like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Transformers Revenge of the Fallen will build on the stories set by previous entries into their respective stories. Listed below is a 2009 movie-viewing guide, including films expected to be box-office hits with a short preview of what makes each significant and view worthy. X-Men Origins: Wolverine The previous X-Men disappointed critics, but 20th Century Fox has promised that this installment into the X-Men universe will not have the same reputation. X-Men Origins: Wolverine gives viewers a chance to look into the background of one of the most popular characters in the comic book and superhero world. This film deserves a chance after the X-Men resume was tainted by The Last Stand. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Shia Labeouf returns to his role as Sam Witwicky in the new sequel to 2007 summer blockbuster, Transformers. Director Michael Bay has kept plot information on lock-down, but with the first movie being such a hit, viewers can expect the sequel to be just as action packed and full of visual eye-candy. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince The new addition to the Harry Potter saga is expected to be the best in the series thus far. Fans of the novels know what to look forward to in the story of Harry Potter and his epic struggle between being a teenager and a hero. Harry’s showdown with “he who must not be named” may not necessarily go great for him this time around. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel Who doesn’t love singing chipmunks? This movie will be great for kids and anyone who liked the first film. Year One Michael Cera and Jack Black team up in this “prehistoric” comedy. They play two hunter-gatherers in a primitive tribe, and are banished, leaving them to explore an earlier version of the world than what we recognize. The comedy duo of Cera and Black is sure to be hilarious. New Moon Teenage girls, begin screaming now. The Twilight series is back with sequel New Moon in which an accident leaves Edward separated from Bella and the rest of his vampire family. Although mostly intended for teens, the first film was stunning, and the sequel, hopefully, will be just as impressive. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus The last film of the late Heath Ledger looks interesting to say the least. After Ledger’s  death, Jude Law, Johnny Depp and...

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