The Lion King back in 3-D

One of the most beloved movie classics of all time was re-released Friday in select theaters – Walt Disney’s The Lion King.  For those unfamiliar with the plot, The Lion King is about a young ambitious lion, Simba, whose father Mufasa, the king, is killed by jealous uncle Scar. Simba, thinking it is his fault, flees Pride Rock and meets some colorful   characters. As Simba grows older and after years of exile, he is persuaded to return home to overthrow Scar and claim the kingdom as his own, thus completing the “Circle of Life.” This time the film is enhanced with 3-D effects to attract not just the older generation, but also the new one that has never experienced The Lion King in theaters before. Some who were just children 17 years ago have the chance to make this the first Disney film their kids see in a theater. Millions of devoted fans are thrilled that the movie is being re-released. Junior sport management major Alexandra Taylor said, “I was 4 years old when The Lion King came out, and I thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever seen. I wanted to go back every day and watch it. To this day, it is still my favorite movie.  Watching it reminds me of my                    childhood, and I know when I see it again, I will feel like a kid once more.”  Junior math major Melissa Donham said, “I loved The Lion King when I first saw it. Excluding all the princess movies, it’s definitely one of the best Disney movies. All the songs are great. When I first saw the preview in                 theaters, I got really excited.” There are mixed feelings about the changes to The Lion King, however.  Junior psychology major Audrey Hale said, “It seems like everything is in 3-D now. Making The Lion King in 3-D makes me sad. It’s as if a little bit of my childhood is being taken away. I’m sure little kids will love it, but we know the old version. It’s more sentimental.” This re-release of The Lion King sparks a possible new trend. Will more classic, traditionally hand-drawn animated movies become 3-D? There has been discussion within the Disney Company that, if Lion King does well, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Alice in Wonderland will be the next ones to be digitalized.   Donham says that re-releasing cartoons is a great idea. “It’s really smart on their part. People like me, absolutely love Disney movies, so they’ll make a lot of money doing it. “  Hale said, “We’ll certainly go with a big group so we can all...

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New channels for student enjoyment
Sep13

New channels for student enjoyment

In today’s world, the media and entertainment are everything, and if you aren’t up to date, you’re out of the loop. Luckily, the university has upgraded its television package to Campus Televideo, a partner of DirecTV. The previous service provider, Time Warner Cable, under the Digital Transitions and Public Safety Act of 2005, began switching channels to digital broadcast. This created a problem as it would hardly be practical for the university to provide digital-analogue converter boxes for all of the televisions on campus. Thus, Information Technology personnel began searching for a new provider and service. Director of IT Shawn Kung best describes the choice as follows: “Campus Televideo is able to provide more       channels, especially sports, for less than the cost of our previous provider.” With 100 channels, 15 in high-definition and 14 sports channels, the choice was clear. However, with such variety to choose from, students could spend hours on end watching television. Vice President for Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee addressed this issue by reminding students, “We are to be in this world, not of this world.” If the student body can realize that reminder, it can experience the great entertainment that has been offered this year and remain an “unapologetically       Christ-like university,” Weathersbee said. Also, on top of the popular entertainment channels, UMHB decided to implement a few channels for its own use. “Channel 2 is our lineup. We purposefully left channel 3 blank for analogue devices, 4 is the UMHB information   channel, and 5 is reserved for airing university events such as ceremonies or football games,” Kung said. Also, the IT department has introduced an emergency broadcast system, which will take over all television channels with a red  message screen informing students of severe weather, school closures and campus lockdowns. The message will yield to regular programing after a few minutes, except in case of a lockdown, when it will remain on the air until cleared by campus police. Sophomore sports management major, Esther Gibbs, is in her third semester as a student worker for IT, said, “The new    system could be very useful, but, hopefully, we won’t have to use it that much.” With safety measures in place and    entertainment galore, the student body can expect to rely on Campus Televideo for entertainment for the entirety of the three-year...

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Night lights and blankets won’t ward off the Dark

Director Troy Nixey gives you a scary bedtime story with Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. It is not the most frightening film you will ever see, but it will certainly make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The thing that makes it a scary tale and not a run-of-the-mill horror movie is that it lacks the cliches of most horror films. There is no gratuitous gore or violence or pathetic twist at the end. Not that the film is original, as it is a remake of a 1973 film by the same name. Actress Bailey Madison plays Sally, a little girl who has been sent by her mother to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in Blackwood Mansion, which is in the middle of being refurbished. Her architect father is in charge of the renovation and does not have time for her. Sally is left all to herself in the big mansion, and she finds out that she is not alone. First she finds a basement and in it a grate that is bolted shut. Behind that grate is a whispering voice that beckons Sally to come to it. Unable to restrain her curiosity, Sally opens the grate and releases an evil upon the house that had not been seen since the previous owner, Emerson Blackwood, inhabited the house. The acting along with the script is average. Madison does a good job by convincingly playing a curious little girl.  Pearce’s acting is rather flat, and the self-absorbed father he tries to create is less than believable. Holmes proves she is more than eye candy in her role as surrogate stepmother. The real strength of the movie is the setting and the lighting. The mansion is so eerie yet not unnaturally so. Viewers will be unnerved by the creepy house. When voices begin calling Sally to come see them, it makes it all the more scary and all the more believable. The film was produced and written by Guillermo del Toro.Themes from Pan’s Labyrinth are visible throughout the movie. One similarity is how both films’ protagonists are little girls who are ignored by their families and must entertain themselves only to find a mysterious world. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark  is a scary bedtime story and should only be expected to go so deep in its undertones. The purpose of the movie is to frighten you. It does that. It sends chills down your spine and even makes you jump at points. When Hollywood seems to  be producing only bad remakes and comic book films, it is nice to...

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2011 VMAs break records

MTV hosted the annual Video Music Awards and set new standards by attracting the largest audience in the network’s history. A whopping 12.4 million people tuned in to watch the ceremony Aug. 28, ranking it the number one cable telecast of the year among viewers aged 12 to 34. Amid the eye-catching stage design created by modern angles, celebrities collaborated to create unforgettable moments from beginning to end. Lady Gaga kick-started the show by singing her newest song “You and I” as her male alter ego Jo Calderone with a solo from rock legend Queen guitarist Brian May. Beyonce turned heads as she revealed a baby bump underneath her sequined blazer after her high energy performance, and cameras quickly panned to daddy Jay, who was celebrating in the audience with Kanye West. Other performances included Ne-Yo featuring Pit Bull, Kanye West and Jay-Z, Chris Brown, and two VMA debuts by Adele and Young the Giant. Famous actor Jonah Hill revealed his new slim physique and handed out the first award to Britney Spears, who bagged Best Pop Video Award. Later in the show, Spears received the Michael Jackson Award followed by a dance montage of her greatest hits. The Foo Fighters fans fought for their favorite band to win Best Rock Video, and Nicki Minaj beat out the guys to land Best Hip Hop Video. West posed no interruptions this year and instead showed himself humble when receiving Best Collaboration with Katy Perry’s song “E.T.” Justin Beiber proved he can hang with the best by winning Best Male Video, and Lady Gaga took home Best Female Video for her hit “Born This Way.” The Video of the Year Award went to Katy Perry for “Firework,” and Best New Artist went to Tyler the Creator. Russell Brand gave a speech in remembrance of the recent death of Amy Winehouse. He also touched on the seriousness of alcoholism as he showed his remorse over the lost talent. Bruno Mars performed a rendition of Winehouse’s cover “Valerie,” and the cameras flocked to the audience to catch celebrities singing along. The VMAs ended the show with a performance by Lil Wayne, whose new album debuted in stores the day after the awards ceremony. Sophomore economics major Michael Reeves explained why the VMAs are most memorable to him. “I think the performances are one of the best parts and finding out who’s number one of the categories to win the awards, especially when you have great artists who generate awesome music.”    ...

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Faculty talent displayed in art show
Sep13

Faculty talent displayed in art show

By Terryn Kelly The creations of art professors are on display in the Tyson Gallery at the Townsend Library through Sept. 30. The name of the exhibit this year is Modern Art History and includes paintings, sculptures and other art forms. Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Ted Barnes explained why the faculty display their works with such pride. “Art educators are expected and desired to be both artists and teachers,” Barnes said. “They expect and want to demonstrate expertise in the discipline, and it demonstrates to our students the professional qualities and expectations needed to be a professional artist.” He also said that “we try to present a UMHB faculty exhibition at least every two years. This year’s UMHB faculty exhibit showcases current works by our distinguished artists/teachers; art is a body of richness that contributes to the richness of our culture.” Barnes also has art on display titled “Mixed Media Collage.” He said the inspiration for his pieces come from many places. “I work with ideas based on paradox, and working with found collage materials seems appropriate,” Barnes said. Concerning his motives for inspiration, he said, “I come from a background in advertising design and popular culture, so found graphic design or typographic images relate to my overall conceptual ideas and aesthetic.” Professor Barbara Fontaine-White has taught in the  art department since 1998 and has been involved in the faculty art shows. Two of her pieces on display feature Billie Holiday and Rosa Parks and are part of “a series based on the lives of American women and their accomplishments,” she said. “I chose Billie Holiday because she was a pioneer jazz/vocal performer who achieved great success despite many hardships, including a harsh childhood and later drug and alcohol abuse.” Fontaine-White showed great interest in other historical icons, also. “Rosa Parks served as an important catalyst for the modern Civil Rights Movement. The actual photo fragment I used depicts one of the Civil Rights marches supporting the 381-day Montgomery bus boycott,” she said. Professor Helen Kwiatkowski has a colorful painting on display titled “The Heart Remembers Everything,” which is part of “The Little Helen Series.” “Originally all the paintings in the series were done using photographs from my childhood, and the content was all memory based,” Kwiatkowski said. “Over the past 10 years, the content has evolved into a fusion of fact and fiction and addresses things I am confused about, concerned about and amused by.” Professor Phil Dunham contributed two pieces titled “Blue Vase” and “Grey Vase.” As for his creative process,  he said, “I’ll just start and not really know what will...

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River improvements, movie theater in the works for city of Belton
Sep13

River improvements, movie theater in the works for city of Belton

The rumors are true.  A $4.5 million six-screen movie theater will be opening in the spring in Belton, and Nolan Creek is undergoing a $1.5 million recreational improvement project. Both of these additions will benefit UMHB as well as students by providing more local entertainment options. The proposed Nolan Creek plan will allow for the creation of a whitewater park that will be used for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and tubing. Mark Arrazola, programs director at The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce and UMHB class of ’05, believes that both additions will help keep money local. “With the addition of new businesses and attractions to Belton, students are getting a lesson on shopping local. Why drive far and spend money on gas when you can do the same thing here and save money, travel time and support the community?” he said. Grand Avenue Theaters will be located on Oakmark Drive behind the Walgreens and Jack-in-the-Box in Belton.  It will premier first-run movies in auditoriums ranging from around 75 seats to 300. The three larger screens will have 3-D options as well as reserved seating. Unlike the other theaters in Temple or Harker Heights, Grand Avenue Theaters will offer a movie and grill format.  There will be a full cafe when patrons walk through the door with menu items such as burgers and pizza and an old fashioned soda fountain. David K. Leigh, president of Grand Avenue Theaters, has several big ideas for the independent theater. “We want to use kiosks for customers to order tickets as well as food,” he said.  “After you place your order, you take the buzzer and go find a seat. When the buzzer goes off, you go pick up your tray and enjoy.” Also, don’t be surprised if Grand Avenue Theaters creates an app that enables the purchase of tickets and food. “We are trying to appeal to both the younger and older generations. The younger moviegoers want to do everything online and before they step foot in the theater,” he said. “However, the older crowd likes the box office feel of waiting in line and getting their big bag of popcorn and carrying it into the theater.” Although the theater will be all digital and social media savvy, Leigh hopes to create a retro vibe with the art deco decor in the cafe as well as the neon sign above the entrance. Ticket prices will be competitive with the surrounding theaters, and Leigh is hoping to be able to offer discount ticket prices on certain nights designated for students. As if a new theater is not enough excitement for a...

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