‘Duplicity,’ two sides for every story
Mar31

‘Duplicity,’ two sides for every story

The Movie Duplicity is not unlike many espionage movies before it. Elements from Mission Impossible and Mr. and Mrs. Smith weave themselves into the plot of the film and the planning process by the characters in the movie rivals Ocean’s Eleven and it’s similarly named successors. Julia Roberts adds a slick, sneaky and sexy feel to the story alongside stunning co-star Clive Owen, playing a pair of spies plotting to take down their respective companies. Pros Despite an awkward opening scene, the movie starts rather quickly and wastes little time giving no more background to the characters than what we would absolutely need for the story. Duplicity’s strengths lie in its thrilling moments. When plans are set into motion, it is easy to get emotionally involved in the outcome of the covert operation. The ending to the movie is superb, shocking and surprising to movie-goers. The film keeps viewers on their toes, wondering where things are going to go next, following every emotional rise and fall and guessing the outcome of the worst (and best) situations in which the characters find themselves. Duplicity is not going to have the same kind of ostentatious entertainment as a movie like Transformers or Pirates of the Caribbean, but delivers its value in the intellectual play between both of the main characters, Ray and Claire. Cons The movie goes back and forth in time too much, causing problems in the continuity of the film. Information is not provided about what is going on until the actions are set into motion, which breaks the momentum and becomes problematic. An attention span is required to enjoy the movie to its fullest. There are so many details involved that viewers have to remain on their toes to catch each little facet of the plot. Duplicity is hard to follow, but if you can keep up, the reward at the end of the movie is worth it. The Bottom Line The Bells gives Duplicity a three out of five bell rating because of Julia Roberts’ impressive return, an interesting heist story and some great chemistry between both of the leads. The film makes use of great cinematography and mixes the use of older-style editing with great camera work to pull off a visual treat. The twists in the plot keep the audience guessing at each turn and pulls everyone’s emotions into the final steps of the heist. Although not distinctive in its ideas, Duplicity does a lot of things right and pulls it all together into a pleasant, but forgettable...

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CAB sponsors event, coffee and live music draw crowd
Mar31

CAB sponsors event, coffee and live music draw crowd

By Russell Dotson Texas Java opened its doors for more than 200 students March 3 for an event hosted by the Campus Activities Board. This small-town coffee shop has progressively become the local student hotspot for studying and social networking, so it was only a matter of time before student organizations began to bridge the gap between campus and students’ favorite caffeine dive. Jeff Sutton, assistant director of campus activities, organized the event with Jennifer Larkin, a junior history major, who serves as the executive board member over logistics. “We had a lot of students say they wanted to do coffee house events,” Sutton said. “They like music, and they like free stuff.” So CAB came up with an idea. “We tried combining as many things as we could, passed out free drinks, and had live student musicians, and then we were able to pass out some surveys to find out what students would like to do next year.” Once students filled out the survey, they got a ticket that was good for any drink in any size. “The surveys gave us vital information, helping us know what events students have gone to and what events they liked, and what they have heard about from other places that they would like to bring here,” Sutton said. The first musicians to hit the stage were Ryan Chandler and Jacob Campsey, who call themselves Two Guys and Two Guitars. After Chandler and Campsey were Alison Hankins, Mark Rojas, Jonathan Dean, Abbey Smith and Megan McCuscy. “Jeff and I wanted an easy, low-key event,” Larkin said. “It was a great opportunity to get feedback on CAB that we might not necessarily have gotten on campus.” Larkin is one of three executive board members working with CAB. “I plan events, make sure they go well and make sure that if any problems come up, I can deal with them,” she said. “I also take event ideas and make them a reality.” Larkin and the other two board members meet throughout the week, assisting with the planning and oversight of events. They work closely with 30 other students who volunteer their time and services. Mara Prindle is a freshman who works with CAB. “At the meetings, we talk about the upcoming events and volunteer to help with them. Each event has to have a chairperson. I served as the chair for Ladies Night and Preview Weekend last semester,” she said. For the Texas Java event, she handed out flyers in Johnson where she lives. Last semester, the Beltonian, Belton’s dinner-and-a-movie movie theatre, started offering UMHB students a free movie pass on Thursday nights. Sutton...

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Chapel explains cultures
Mar31

Chapel explains cultures

By Evangeline Ciupek Colorful flags from different countries lined the Walton Chapel stage behind a glass podium and two microphones. The President of Cross Cultural Cru, Viktoria Meadows, walked up to introduce International Chapel. Suddenly a microphone fell out of its holder and landed with a loud “thunk” on the podium. She smiled. “Hi, I’m Viktoria Meadows, and I break microphones,” she said. The students laughed. Cross Cultural Cru, an international organization, hosted chapel this month. Director of International Student Services, Elizabeth Tanaka, said 15 countries are represented by 59 enrolled international students. “Our biggest group is from China and after that Taiwan and after that India,” she said. There are also students from Morocco, Nigeria, the Bahamas and Kenya, to name a few. Last year at International Chapel, sophomore from Malaysia, Wan Juin Tan, performed a Chinese Kung Fu sword dance. This year, she gave the students a glimpse of her spiritual journey. Tan met God at UMHB. “I was so nervous when I first got here. Everything was so new. But then I became a Christian, and everything became better, easier, and everything made sense. I never felt nervous again. Everyone is here for me, and God is here for me all the time.” Since her sword dance in chapel a year ago, Tan has started a Chinese Kung Fu organization on campus. “I feel like I’m so involved, and now UMHB really became my school. Not only the school I go to in Texas, but the school I belong to,” she said. When she was considering coming to Texas, the first thought that came to her mind was the Texas stereotype of cowboys riding horses on the prairie. “I was wondering if I needed to learn how to ride a horse,” Tan said. Following her testimony, the audience played a trivia game. The international students asked questions that pertained to their countries. Students learned that the estimated inflation rate in Zimbabwe is five billion percent. In Kenya, people rent swimsuits when they go to the beach. And South Korean vendors sell duck bok yi just as New York vendors sell hot dogs. Business administration and management major, Jane Zhang, arrived in the U.S. this semester. She is from Beijing, China, and volunteered during the Beijing Olympics. As it is for most first-year students, her English as a Second Language courses consume her time. “I only study ESL. If I can’t finish it, I can’t begin my original classes. So I must finish it first. I don’t have a lot of time to miss the things in China. I chat with my parents everyday on MSN,” Zhang...

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Annual event encourages healthy living
Mar31

Annual event encourages healthy living

By Russell Dotson More than 500 people attended the annual Health Quest Friday at the Mayborn Campus Center. Representatives from 60 health related businesses in the greater Belton community set up booths with informative pamphlets and other items for visitors to take with them and receive various free health tests. Coordinator for Health Services, Debbie Rosenberger, said this is the 10th year for the free fair. “Counseling and Testing and the Health Center started Health Quest 10 years ago, which at that time were separate entities,” she said. Nate Williams, director of Counseling and Testing and Health Services, worked on creating the event 10 years ago with Jeannie Rupp, the former coordinator of Health Services. “Health Quest was in the Shelton Theatre until it grew too large. Then we moved it into the Sub,” Williams said. Rosenberger remembers the health fair from 2004, when she came to work at UMHB. “There were about 30 vendors. We had too many for Shelton, so we had a massage parlor down in the SUB,” she said. “It has really grown since then. Over 500 usually come. The purpose is to disseminate information about health so people can make healthy lifestyle choices and be informed….” This year’s fair had more vendors than every before. “Of the varying community organizations, all the local hospitals were here, as well as the Central Texas Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure, American Cancer Society and Red Cross,” Rosenberger said. Many attendees walked around with little cups filled with a tasty red slushy. Lou Nichols, was giving the cups out to promote Sunny Sky Products, a line of health beverages. Several optometrists had booths, and even the Wal-Mart Vision Center promoted eye health. Not all of the booths were directed solely at personal health. Aware Central Texas, ACT, had a booth to spread awareness of child abuse and neglect. It is a non-profit organization that receives referrals from Child Protective Services. ACT gave out pamphlets showing people how to help by volunteering time. They also handed out invitations for an art auction at the Salado Silver Spur Theatre, April 16. The proceeds will go to Helping Hands Ministry and ACT. Just inside the arena’s double doors, Maryland Fenwick, a senior nursing major, stopped visitors to have them fill out raffle tickets. She invited students to fill out Health Quest evaluation forms for a chance to win an iPod Nano donated by Dr. Larry Montgomery from Montgomery Chiropractic. Fenwick helped organize and promote this year’s Health Quest fair as a part of her degree requirements. “The capstone project is a senior project...

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2009 Student Art Show

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The Watchmen makes  top of box-office charts
Mar10

The Watchmen makes top of box-office charts

The Movie Consider yourselves warned. The Watchmen is not your typical superhero movie, and the heroes are not what most would consider “super.” Despite having mixed reviews, The Watchmen grossed $55.7 million over the weekend, earning $4.55 million at its midnight showings alone. The film presented some interesting concepts and did some good things while destroying the image Superman, Batman and Spiderman have built. The superhuman group isn’t all that different from any average Joe. They curse, drink and smoke cigarettes while trying to save New York from the criminal population. If I had to compare the characters to a popular superhero, I would say they are most like Batman. Batman is an average guy who helps Gotham as a vigilante, just like the Watchmen. The group is made up of six members: the Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, The Comedian, Rorschach and Nite Owl. The only character with supernatural abilities is Dr. Manhattan, a godlike figure in the film. The adaptation from graphic novel to film is impressive to say the least. The visual styles are beautiful and vivid, and the special effects add an exciting feel to the production. Like the innovative Sin City, The Watchmen uses interesting camera angles and overly-dramatic lighting to give a dark touch to the movie. **ADVISORY** this film is not for young viewers or people with weak stomachs. Rating The content of the film is surprising. There was much more cursing, nudity and gore than I anticipated, and the naked Dr. Manhattan made several scenes uncomfortable and awkward to watch. The Watchmen almost boasts its R rating by filling the movie with nude scenes and other adult content. The gore also made viewers in the theater cringe at times. Many would deem the film inappropriate and lewd at times, but The Watchmen does a couple of things right. Pros First, the plot is pretty interesting and keeps true to the “save the world” theme that most superhero movies stick to, but puts an exciting twist on a stock idea. Second, the film ties the plot into important events in U.S. history and shows how things might have gone with a superhero group helping out the American side. The movie gives an alternate reality of a New York City gone wrong during the Cold War. The nuclear standoff between Russia and the U.S. is a key element in the story. Now, on to the things the movie did poorly. Cons The nudity, language and gore really take away from the value that The Watchmen could have had otherwise. It all just gets a little ridiculous and over the top. The 163-minute run-time...

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