Gotham: Not to bat an eye at
Oct23

Gotham: Not to bat an eye at

The Fox hit show this fall is Gotham, and it has all of its newly-acquired viewers on the edge of their seats Monday after Monday.   The showed premiered on Sept. 22, and a few episodes into the season, it is evident that the story line is packed with countless twists.   The plot centers around a young James Gordon, who is new to the police force. As we all know, Gordon later becomes Commissioner Gordon and works side by side with Batman.   But in the Gotham television series, Gordon is trying to figure out who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. Wayne is still a child in the show, so if you were expecting to see Batman, you will be disappointed. But producers do a great job of laying out the back story of how and why Wayne became Batman.   Bruce Wayne, played by the young actor David Mazouz, is 13 at the time of the show and is already showing signs of being a hero.   He is amazed at the amount of effort Gordon gives in order to bring justice and safety to Gotham.   Viewers can see the light go off in the young Wayne’s mind when he asks Officer Gordon if there is even a chance that Gotham could be saved from the dangerous people running the city.   Gordon responds, “However dark and scary the world might be right now, there will be light.”   This show gives Batman enthusiasts a glimpse of how Gordon and Wayne came to be such loyal friends.   Officer Gordon seems to be the only law enforcement person who isn’t crooked or part of the mob that controls the city.   He promises Bruce that he will find his parents’ killer, and Wayne trusts Gordon, seeing him as almost a father figure.   The show is packed full of all the old players in the Batman movies.   For example, Penguin has already played a major role in the first three episodes. He continually causes problems for Gordon in the early stages.   To begin with, Gordon is faced with a tough decision: Kill Penguin or be killed himself.   Gordon decides to keep Penguin alive but forces him to leave Gotham.   Penguin is now back though, creating more problems for Gordon.   What makes this show stand out from the others is the detail that went into filming the. The producers did an excellent job portraying Gotham as a dark and dangerous city, run by criminals.   The show is casted perfectly, as well. Jada Pinkett Smith plays a dark, sadistic and manipulative mob boss...

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The Maze Runner
Oct14

The Maze Runner

Based on the first novel of James Dashner’s bestselling trilogy, Maze Runner presents a suspenseful and dark version of dystopian ideals found in films like The Hunger Games and Divergent.   The movie begins with 16 year-old Thomas waking up inside of an underground elevator. When he surfaces, he finds himself surrounded by dozens of other teenage boys in the middle of a meadow.   He doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, or even who he is. Apparently, none of the boys can remember anything about their past lives, recalling only their names.   The group lives in a primitive camp built in the meadow, dubbed “The Glade” by residents of the dystopia. The men call themselves “gladers,” and have made a life in the primitive, green setting by building their own homes and growing their food.   Anything else they need is sent to them once a month through the mysterious elevator. Along with the necessities comes a new boy, who is introduced to the lifestyle and encouraged to adapt to the strange circumstances.   Some gladers have lived there for years, and many have died there as well.   But why are they stuck in The Glade, and why can’t they just leave?   Surrounding the camp on all sides and towering in all of its ivy-covered glory are the solid stone walls of The Maze. The only way out is through the maze, but very few enter it.   The brave men that volunteer for the treacherous task are called “runners,” and it is their sole mission to run the maze, mapping and charting all of the alleys and passages in hopes of finding the escape route.   However, there are few problems with running the maze. The “runners” must return to the Glade before nightfall, because the opening to the maze closes. No one has ever survived a night within the walls, thanks to the Grievers—large, grotesque creatures that haunt gladers’ nightmares.   To make things worse, the maze changes each night as walls shift and new pathways open, making the possibility of finding a way out even more challenging.   Shortly after the arrival of Thomas, everything changes.   Do they stay and die in the Glade? Or should they face the maze and all its dangers once and for all?   Sacrifices will be made, alliances will be formed, and many will die before the maze trial is complete.   Maze Runner proves to be both entertaining and thrilling. It’s a little slow in the beginning, but once the events start rolling, one after another, the audience is greeted with non-stop...

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The Fault in Our Stars outshines recent books
Apr15

The Fault in Our Stars outshines recent books

THE BELLS – By Jessica Pitcaithly Soon to be released in theaters as a major motion picture, The Fault in Our Stars is not only a phrase from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, but also an eye-opening and touching novel written by John Green. People might expect the book to have been written in medieval times. Instead, it takes place in modern day and deals with a difficult topic that readers all over the country have appreciated. The plot focuses on Hazel Grace, a 16 year-old girl living with terminal cancer. She narrates the novel from a first-person point of view, showing the everyday struggle of the terrible disease. Forced by her mother to join a support group for her illness, Hazel reluctantly partakes in tedious sessions held in “the literal heart of Jesus,” (inside-joke book humor).  This ends up changing- her life forever. At first, Hazel dreads going until she meets Augustus Waters. Soon, the book speeds up as an unconventional love story unfolds. Augustus, or Gus for short, is a handsome boy. Initially, he is over-determined to get to know Hazel, and readers might be unsure of how they feel about the character. But as the book continues, readers intently follow the path of this couple’s relationship as they suffer from illness and a huge hunt for answers about Hazel’s favorite book: An Imperial Affliction, which plays a big role in the story. Green delivers a shocking ending that readers will not see coming. This unexpected turn furthers his message of the book about dealing with cancer. As a whole, The Fault in Our Stars is a fun and unique novel. Avid readers should carve out the time to delve into its honest truth about a difficult, real life topic. This book made me look closer at my life and count my blessings. On the other hand, it made me realize that I should enjoy the small things because of how short life is and take advantage of the moment. The popular novel is being adapted into a film and will star Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Gus. With Woodley making a name for herself, the film has already gained a large following. It comes out in theaters June 6. But before sitting down to watch the film, get comfortable, open the book and read. Regret will not even cross your...

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God brings theaters to life
Apr15

God brings theaters to life

In an era when darkness and violence have come to be the thrills moviegoers seek, glimmers of light are flickering across the silver screen. Competing with blockbusters like Divergent, God’s Not Dead brought in viewers interested in a message of life-changing redemption. The plot is derived from various real-life stories of court cases and students who challenged the authority of professors and universities to force them to abandon their faith. The multiple storylines that are interwoven to build the plot are fresh and strong. Nothing is sugarcoated. The message of the gospel reached people where they were. Some accepted it, but others rejected it. Further, superb acting by Kevin Sorbo, who played Hercules in the 1994 series, combined with appearances from the popular Duck Dynasty couple, Willie and Korie Robertson and Christian rockers, The Newsboys, draw upon a wider demographic of moviegoers than some other Christian films. The story is set mainly on a college campus where a freshman needs to fulfill a philosophy credit. He ends up in the class of a professor who is a devout atheist. The instructor tells the entire class to write “God is dead” on a piece of paper and sign it. The young student, passionate about his Christianity, refuses. The angered professor issues an ultimatum. The student must prove in three lectures that God does, in fact, exist. If he fails, he fails the class. As the lectures go on, the true reason behind the professor’s unbelief begins to come out. In a heated exchange, he admits that he hates God, to which the student replies, “How can you hate someone who doesn’t exist?” Finally, after the final week of class periods devoted to the existence of a creator, a driver strikes the professor in an intersection. A pastor and a missionary who provide a side plot and comic relief are at the scene when it happens. The pastor prays with him, and he dies in the street reconciled with God whom he once hated. The movie ends at a Newsboys concert where Willie Robinson, who had heard of the freshman’s strong defense of his faith, encourages everyone present to text “God’s not dead” to everyone on their contact list. The movie audience receives the same mandate right before the credits roll. Because of the full range of emotions, the well-developed storyline and the call to action, this is a must see for Christians looking for practical ways to share their...

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Spring movies provide break for viewers
Apr02

Spring movies provide break for viewers

THE BELLS –By Jordan Yarbrough and Leif Johnston Two movies have recently hit the big screen in the last month that target very different audiences. The first is geared toward Christians and is a religious film about Jesus’ life. The second is a book that turned into a movie, fitting perfectly into the recent trend. The film Son of God has been filling theaters across the country and has topped the North American box office, raking in over $26.5 million in less than a month. Produced by Mark Burnett, it has been received well by a wide variety of audiences. Making religious movies always seems like a touchy subject now that no one wants to step on any toes, but Burnett quickly gave a reason why he knew his film would do well. In a recent interview with Fox News he said,  “In general media circles … people get uncomfortable around God. But actually, more Americans as a community go to church than do anything else. More Americans go to church on Sundays than watch football. Son of God illustrates that in such a huge way…. What does this nation stand for? The Bible and free enterprise are the two things that built the nation.” Son of God illustrates the life of Jesus Christ better than any other movie or television show that has been available to the general public. It is a film that someone who doesn’t know much about Christ’s life on earth can understand. It is accurate to scripture, and the timeline of events makes it easy to follow.  One reason the movie is doing so well is because it doesn’t fictionalize any of the stories of Jesus. “If you came to the movie and you didn’t know anything about Jesus, you would really get a sense of the journey of his life. It was our job to make sure that the journey emotionally connected with you,” Roma Downey, who played the Virgin Mary in the movie, said. “So we told the story on the one hand as a political thriller… It is a beautiful love story. There is intimacy to it, and we hope that you’re drawn in… and you get a sense that you really know who Jesus is.” Divergent is another movie people are dying to see. With a strong female protagonist, it doesn’t just attract girls. Like The Hunger Games, there is a lot of action but less romance, making it a great movie for everyone. From a pregnant teen in ABC Family’s old TV show The Secret Life of an American Teenager, to the strong lead, Tris, in Divergent, Shailene Woodley...

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Cru Knights: a Gatsby-approved party
Feb25

Cru Knights: a Gatsby-approved party

Lights. Camera. Cru Knights. The legendary man pageant is one of the highlights of the spring semester. Each year, male students from across campus come together to represent an organization or group. They dance, make videos, strut and compete to win the title of Mr. Crusader Knights. This year, 23 men hit the stage under the direction of junior computer graphics design major Lauren Theodore. The goal was to put on a show that would transport audiences back in time and showcase the hard work each contestant put into the performance. For this year’s theme, the directors selected Roaring Twenties. Each advertisement and decoration featured Art Deco elements, and all the glittering gold and extravagance resembled a party Jay Gatsby himself would be proud to host. The set, designed by junior exercise sport science major Shannon McGorty, wowed audiences and cast members alike. Sophomore public relations major Katie Valenzuela helped run social media on the promotions team. She was excited to find ways to make the theme come to life for the audience. “We were like ‘Hey, come dressed in your best Roaring Twenties Great Gatsby outfit,’” Valenzuela said. “We (wanted) to transport these people into a different place and really create an awesome show for them, so for the audience to be able to be part of the production is something really neat.” Juniors Braxton Tucker and Taylor O’Rear emceed the event, transitioning between dances and videos with 20s-styled jokes and one-liners. “Please silence all cell phones because they don’t even exist yet,” Tucker quipped on opening night. The competition began Friday with parody videos submitted by each contestant. Their assignment was to spoof a viral YouTube or music video. New spins were put on old favorites ranging from “Charlie Bit Me” to the Sonic commercials with those two guys in a car, and a few music videos in between. After each cluster of parodies, one set of men would perform their group dance on stage. The contestants ended the night with a large group dance. Saturday evening was filled with struts, interviews and plenty of dancing. Former Mr. Cru Knights and alumnus Tanner Clarke was featured in a number before crowning this year’s champion later in the evening. “I’m really blessed to do this from a different perspective. Getting to pour into these guys every single day, doing devotionals at practices, really helped me to be part of their lives even though I wasn’t a student anymore,” Clarke said. “Giving away at this point is a blessing for me because I get to pass on what I had as a student to somebody else.” After an interview...

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