Moviegoers don’t feel so lucky after watching the new Nicholas Sparks film
Apr24

Moviegoers don’t feel so lucky after watching the new Nicholas Sparks film

The latest Nicholas Sparks novel-turned-movie is The Lucky One. This film tells the story of Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) a U.S. Marine who had served three tours of duty in Iraq. He survives on the battlefield and credits a photo of an unknown woman as the one thing that kept him alive during his time of service. When he returns to the United States, he is determined to find the woman in the photograph and thank her. He discovers her name is Beth Clayton (Taylor Schilling) and takes a job at her family-run kennel. Chicago Sun Times movie critic Roger Ebert said, “I’m not going to say anything at all about the odds of that happening (Thibault bumping into Clayton). The odds are overwhelmingly against anything in any movie happening, so I should just shut up and pay attention. This is yet another love story adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, and it has been cast with appealing romantic leads, a snaky villain with a drinking problem, a grandmother with infallible instincts and a lot of adorable dogs. It also has leaves bursting into bright autumn colors, and a lake just right for a couple to steal away for a quiet chat on a rowboat.” The movie is filled with ups and downs with Beth’s ex-husband not liking the new relationship that is forming between she and Logan. By the conclusion of the movie, Logan realizes that Beth could be more than just his good luck charm while he was in Iraq. There were undoubtedly good parts of the movie, when both Efron and Schilling showed their acting abilities, but overall it didn’t live up to the hype that is created by the trailer. Sparks has a reputation of well-produced films from the novels he wrote like The Notebook and The Last Song. The Lucky One will not be joining the ranks of these. The movie critics also weren’t too fond of the movie. It only received a 21 percent rating on Rotten Tomato. However, with two popular actors cast in the main roles, both Efron and Schilling drew in the audience that was needed to make the film successful.  Girls who had been fans of Efron since his High School Musical days were eager to see the latest romantic movie starring the popular actor....

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Steve Harvey gives man’s viewpoint

Many are familiar with the comedian Steve Harvey, whether it is from listening to his syndicated radio talk show titled Steve Harvey Morning Show or watching him on TV while he hosts Family Feud or possibly because of his New York Times bestselling book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The book has  been produced into a movie which hit theaters Friday. Critics have had mixed reviews on the book. Some have referred to the book as outdated, misogynistic and ignorant. Others praise Harvey in his efforts to educate not just African-American women but all females in general. Harvey had both women and men in an uproar after they read his matter-of-fact/common sense based book. He does have valid points such as women settling for less in a man and what a woman should or should not do in a relationship. But since he is a man, unfortunately, it is from a man’s point of view. The book could have definitely been balanced out with a woman’s perspective. After having a chance to read this book, women should conclude that this is the opinion of only one man, and not all men think this way. Yes, there are some who do, but people cannot use this book solely as a guideline for their love lives. Many women wonder who Harvey thinks he is to give women relationship advice when he has been married three times and divorced twice. He also cheated on his ex-wife Mary Shackleford. The two were married for 10 years and divorced back in 2005. Shortly  after Harvey’s book was published, Shackleford shared with the media the ups and downs in their marriage claiming various infidelities and mistreatment. The question remains if one can actually take advice from someone who is far from perfect when it comes to relationships. Is there any credibility? Perhaps the most interesting chapter in the book is chapter 8, “Why Men Cheat.” Harvey tries his best to explain the reasoning behind the deed, and slightly touches on what it is like after being exposed and how to win back the woman he hurt. He said, “We are capable of calculating the collateral damage that comes with getting caught, and we know that getting back into the graces of the women we cheated on–and her mother, and her friends, and anyone else who’s sympathized with her having to resurrect herself from such a devastating life event–will require a Herculean effort.” Now, with his book hitting the big screen, it will be interesting to see it bought to life. The movie will include Megan Good, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown and many...

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Cru Film premiers new movie, The Walk
Apr24

Cru Film premiers new movie, The Walk

By Katelyn Holm Cru Film has been a part of the university for more than eight years, producing a variety of short films. Director of performance and media studies Dr. Diane Howard and director of computer graphics design Donna Teel have been vital to the program. Senior performance studies and English major Kelsey Broussard wrote the script for the film, which premiered April 16 and 17. The story features a young woman named Kenzie and her struggle with her upcoming marriage to her fiance, Mark. Kenzie’s father left her when she was a child, and she worries that Mark will do the same. Through the help of her mother and best friend, Kenzie is able to overcome her fears and realize that God’s love is all she needs. Sophomore communication major, production supervisor  and acting coach Chris Collins was the director and Elisabeth Hauser the editor. The film features original musical compositions by media support technician Jared McClure. The film program involves students in authentic film production processes so they will be prepared to work on film sets and on productions in    real-world jobs. This filmmaking process begins in the screenwriting course in which each student develops an original short screenplay. Cru Films are submitted to film competitions and festivals, and DVD copies are housed in the Townsend Library. With her last year directing for the Cru, Howard shared how special this year’s production is. She said, “What has meant the most is the heartfelt commitment of our film students to the development process of their films from the beginning of fall through the following spring.” Sophomore education major Susan Torres starred in the film. Torres said, “I told (co-star) Jasmine if I got it, I hoped she would get it. That’s the only way we would do it… If another opportunity comes along, I would try it again.” Sophomore Christian studies major Jasmine Knight said, “I want to incorporate media and film. Having an idea in your head, watching it transform into film, then showing it? I love that feeling because it’s exactly what I imagined.” Collins shared his vision for The Walk. “I’m hoping men are mindful of the importance of being a significant figure in their daughters’ lives and women realize if they are caught up in situations like this to try and see someone who will always be there for them if not an earthly figure–God.”...

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Widespread controversy over GCB
Mar27

Widespread controversy over GCB

GCB has surrounded itself with controversies since the show’s debut. Based on Kim Gatlin’s fiction book, the dramedy puts its own spark to the already heated debate. The series is set in a posh hub of Dallas called Highland Park. Amanda Vaughn, a young widow of two, goes back to her southern hometown. The women she once teased back in high school are now out for revenge. These women are also known as “good Christian belles” who are wives, moms and active church goers. Vaughn calls to attention that the women are hypocrites. To the world they seem like the ideal Christian wives, but take a closer look, and they are the complete opposite. Will this show up the ante of negative Christian stereotypes? Will it have an effect at all? College of Business Instructor Mindy Welch suggests that entertainment can consume a person’s thoughts only if they open those doors. She said, “The influence that TV has on you is only as much as you allow it to have.” Kristen Chenoweth, a good Christian belle on the show, has publicly stated that she is a believer and defends it. She said, “The Bible tells us that we’re not supposed to judge, and people shouldn’t judge before seeing the show. I’m a Christian. I think that’s pretty well known, and I would never do anything that I think crossed the line.” Junior Christian studies major Aaron Massey, has not seen the show and thus suggests it may be formulated based on American secular viewpoints. He said it “…could be a response of what the American culture has seen within the church…. TV shows attract attention because they talk about normal everyday activities. This show is going into what’s common … especially in the Bible Belt.” So will the show impact American society? Massey believes it will shed a negative light rather than positive light on believers. He said, “It will shape how nonbelievers will view the church. It will show that Christians are indeed human and they do mess up … but it will be seen more in a hypothetical sense.” So, how should Christians respond? Welch suggests they should stand tall and portray the real religion through actions. She said, “… It is critical, as Christians, that we are aware that this is how we are being portrayed, or thought of on TV. We should do everything we can to not perpetuate the biases, but rather rise against them and prove our faith with our actions.” Massey’s advice is Christians should actively disprove the stereotypes in the show. He said “We should examine ourselves, not only as individuals,...

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Will the fever stick with new CD?
Mar27

Will the fever stick with new CD?

By Katelyn Holm With his trademark hair-flip and signature smirk, Canadian boy Justin Bieber turned his humble beginnings into renowned celebrity status. Possessing one of the biggest Twitter followings in the world, the “Baby” singer topped the charts with his first and second platinum albums My World and My World 2.0. In spite of all this momentum, the singer capitalized on what the press dubbed “Bieber fever,” filming a 3-D concert experience. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never premiered in early 2011 and made $31 million opening week. After the film, JB’s fan-base continued to grow into more than nine million “beliebers” who eagerly awaited a Christmas album. Under the Mistletoe proved that the third time’s a charm. With $1.25 million in sales, it was a very merry Christmas for Bieber. Now, only five months after that jolly holiday album release, Bieber has a fourth piece in the works. For his eighteenth birthday, Bieber guest-starred on The Ellen Degeneres Show. On live television, he announced the date of his single “Boyfriend” from the newest album Believe. The song, produced by singer/songwriter Mike Posner, highlights a new sound for JB. This fresh sound matches the heartthrob’s new darker locks and more grown-up look. Bieber and his fellow producers hope to appeal to a more diverse audience with the recent changes. Are older listeners immune to the Bieber fever? “Boyfriend” hit iTunes Monday. Devoted fans and curious music junkies alike purchased the track, eager to hear the artist’s new sound. R&B beats have replaced the previous pop tones, and Bieber even raps a few lines. Were beliebers ready for that side of Bieber? Sophomore English major Rachel Almeida says no. “I think ‘Boyfriend’ was decent, I mean his voice is less feminine now. I’m not a fan of rap, though. He should stick to singing.” “Boyfriend” was just a taste of the upcoming record, which will release later this year. The album will contain lyrics and music written by Bieber himself, who has integrated into the writing and producing of his first album as an adult. Believe also contains some collaborations with artists like Drake, Taylor Swift and Adam Levine. Junior exercise sport science major Josh Reese summed up the controversial artist’s talent. He said, “Justin Bieber is Justin Bieber. No matter what he does with his hair, rapping, or making perfume, he is going to be successful at whatever he does. That’s why I have Bieber fever … I feel like there is nothing he can’t do.”...

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Hunger Games feeds cravings of excited fans

The announcement of “May the odds be ever in your favor,” started the bloodbath that is the 74th Annual Hunger Games as the movie hit theaters March 23. Long anticipated, the film had a lot of critics to impress. Millions across the world caught the hunger bug that infected them with an unappeasable desire to know the life of Katniss Everdeen. The pit of that desire couldn’t be completely filled until they saw the book-made-movie on the big screen. No movie is ever as good as its literary counterpart, Hunger Games included. It’s impossible to show the full scope of someone’s characteristics in the couple of hours that a movie lasts. Someone who hasn’t read the books might appreciate the well-made film, but it wouldn’t be nearly as intense an experience for them as those who have read it are sure to have. Since the main action of the movie focuses on teenagers forced to slaughter each other in an arena for public entertainment, it’s no surprise that the film shocks and keeps those in the audience on edge, often holding their breath in anticipation of the next brutal attack. It’s an emotional ride from the very beginning as main character Katniss offers to take the place of her younger sister Prim when the annual reaping selects her as the female tribute to fight for her home district. As the story rushes forward, it not only continues entertaining but also silently poses questions about humanity. Seeing the action played out by real people as opposed to reading about it in a book forces the ideas of oppression, freedom, government control and the debatable goodness and evil of humans into the open, into the arena of the mind, vulnerable to any opposition that might come whizzing toward it. The majority of the movie will have those who previously read the book thinking, “That’s exactly how I pictured it.” Some letdowns, however are evident. Hometown friend Gale,  played by very-easy-on-the-eyes Liam Hemsworth, barely has any lines in the movie, making it a bit difficult to understand his character and the tight connection he shares with Katniss. Peeta Mellark, almost comes off as a bullied wimp to be pitied, instead of a confident yet reserved young man. One of the most entertaining facets of the movie is how the people from the Capitol are portrayed. Colorful and strange in the book, the movie does a great job of showing the surgically altered and vibrantly decorated citizens who find nothing but enjoyment in the annual gladiator-style bloodbath among teenagers. With a running time right at two and a half hours, the movie is...

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