Enchanting Harry Potter series get a not-so-magical makeover
Aug24

Enchanting Harry Potter series get a not-so-magical makeover

Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 issue Finally, there is a new book out that features the world-famous Harry Potter and his friends. So like Sirius Black, the Harry Potter fans did their waiting. It’s been nine years since the release of the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the years since, “Potterheads” have anxiously-awaited any continuation of Harry’s story. And now, with the release of, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, fans can finally have their fix. The new story begins 20 years after the Battle of Hogwarts and focuses on Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger-Weasley, Draco Malfoy and all their children. And even though the wait was long, it was worth it. As a massive Harry Potter fan, I was ecstatic when I discovered that there would be a play coming out introducing the world to the newest generation of wizards and witches, while also letting us take a glance at what was happening with the original group of Hogwart’s students. But because the play would be debuting overseas, I was concerned that I would never get the chance to see what happened to my favorite characters. I was hoping there would be a way to see the play without having to buy a plane ticket. When it was announced that the script would be released as a book, I knew it would allow me and other Harry Potter fans to get the knowledge we need without the travel.While the script gives the reader a feel of the play, it leaves much to the imagination and dismisses details of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The book also does not mention most of the minor characters that made the Harry Potter series memorable. Another downside of the Cursed Child is that the beloved J.K. Rowling does not write it. The play was actually written by Jack Thorne, who based the play off of a new original story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne. Since the story is only based on a story from Rowling, the Cursed Child gives off a fan-fiction vibe. There are points in the story that do not make sense because they conflict with happenings in the series. Despite the errors of the book, there are some things the book got right, like the introduction of the new generation: Scorpious Malfoy, Rose Granger-Weasley, and Albus Severus Potter. While there are others characters in the book, the play focuses on these children as they try to make a name for themselves outside of their parents’ shadows. While the book did have its ups and downs, it was actually really good....

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BTX; the places to be for Cru and locals alike
Aug24

BTX; the places to be for Cru and locals alike

Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 issue of The Bells Students have officially arrived to their home away from home in the great city of Belton, Texas and the fall semester is in full swing. For some, it is a new adventure full of excitement. For others, it’s just another year in the place they now call home. While it is important to study and be successful in your academic career, college is also a place to make memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you are new to the area, or have been in Belton for years, there is something for everyone to make the best out of your college experience. Go Hiking Hiking is a great way to see the beauty that central TX has to offer. There are many hiking trails located around Lake Belton for all skill levels. Chalk Ridge Falls Park Trail is a great spot for those looking for some adventure. It is a 2.5 mile, moderate trail that features a waterfall and a suspension bridge. Just a short drive up the road in Temple, Texas, Miller Springs Park located at the Miller Springs Nature Center is also a popular spot for hikers. It is a somewhat easier 1.2 mile trail that also features a waterfall. Hiking trails can be found all around Belton, so get out and explore the area. Enjoy the Lake Since the summer heat is still in full effect, going to the lake is a great way to cool down and have some fun. There are two lakes in the Belton area, and they are just a short drive up the road. Belton Lake features picturesque beaches for swimming, while Stillhouse Hollow Lake contains camping spots, fishing, and water skiing. Going to the movies Grand Avenue Theater in Belton, which is located near the Sonic and Walgreens, has movies to offer for everyone. This theater also has deals for UMHB students, including $5 movie Tuesdays with your Cru Card. It’s a perfect way to have some fun with your friends without breaking the bank. Explore downtown Belton Every Crusader should explore the town of Belton outside of campus. A great place to immerse yourself in the local culture is to travel downtown Belton. Not only is it a great place to experience the town’s history, but it is also a great way to take advantage of the shopping and eateries that are nestled on the bank of Nolan Creek. You can also check out the Bell County Museum or shop in antique shops in the downtown area. Either way, get out and see these amazing things our town has...

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‘God’s Not Dead 2,’ A sequel for the books
Apr20

‘God’s Not Dead 2,’ A sequel for the books

Christians are slowly becoming a minority in the world, and the debate over “separation of church and state” has gained momentum in recent years. The God’s Not Dead movies, produced by Pure Flix Productions, are based on real court cases that deal with this issue. The first God’s Not Dead film follows Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) as he debates his college philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) after refusing to sign a piece of paper with the words, “God is dead.” Harper’s evidence wins his class over, and the movie ends with Sorbo reconciling with God before tragically passing away, while the rest of the city is enjoying a Newsboys concert. In God’s Not Dead 2, we are taken back to high school. Devout Christian and AP History teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Hart) must face the repercussions of answering a student’s (Haley Orrantia) question in class relating the teachings of Jesus to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Throughout the film, you’ll root for Hart as everything around her crumbles. Her fellow co-workers, as well as the media, turn against her, while she faces the possibility of losing her teaching certification. Things do not look good for Wesley as incriminating evidence builds around her. It’s not until her handsome, non-believer lawyer, Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe), decides to fight the case with a new perspective, that things start looking up. Returning from God’s Not Dead is Pastor Dave (David A.R. White), who provides comic relief in the film, while still adding to the storyline. Reporter Amy Ryan (Trisha LaFache), who is now in remission from her life-threatening cancer in the first film, struggles with finding her faith. And Martin (Paul Kwo), the Chinese foreign-exchange student who converted to Christianity at the end of GND, returns with many (147 to be exact) questions about the Bible for Pastor Dave. Other appearances in the film include Sadie Robertson from the popular A&E TV show, Duck Dynasty, and the Christian rock group, Newsboys. Over half of the movie takes place in a courtroom. And although this may sound a bit tedious, the filmmakers do a good job of keeping the audience interested and unsure of the final verdict, while transitioning effectively between the main storyline and the various subplots. The filmmakers chose actors and actresses that fit the part of their respective characters perfectly. However, I felt like some of the characters could have been more dynamic such as Orrantia’s onscreen parents (Maria Canals-Barrera and Carey Scott). I also felt like there were a few stereotypes in the film that weren’t necessary, such as picking (or not picking) the jury...

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‘Batman v Superman,’ super flop
Apr20

‘Batman v Superman,’ super flop

*******Possible Spoilers********** Out in theaters now, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has mixed reviews. The PG-13 film has its most positive ratings from the loyal DC Comics fan base, though some of the fan base and most of the movie critics found the movie to fall flat to the hype surrounding the film. The film takes place after the events from the 2013 film Man of Steel, which was also directed by Zach Snyder. Man of Steel has an overall better rating then Dawn of Justice. Man of Steel has a 56 percent from Rotten Tomatoes and Dawn of Justice has a 29 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. Dawn of Justice opens with another Batman backstory. It then moves to the events that happened at the ending of Man of Steel. But it is shown as the destruction caused by Superman through the eye of Bruce Wayne. After all that, the story fast forwards a few years into the future, where Superman is being praised for his heroic duties, while Batman’s obsession of Superman has caused him to be more ruthless. The story progresses once more when a civilian, who lost his legs due to Superman’s fight in Man of Steel, defaces a statue built in honor of Superman. Shortly after these events, Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent at a party hosted by Lex Luthor. While attending the party, Wayne spots a woman unlike the others who is later revealed to be Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is portrayed by Gal Gadot, who is most known for her work in the Fast and Furious films. Wayne is at the event to steal some information he needs to figure out something he is searching for by putting it on an external drive. While Wayne is distracted, Prince moves in to steal the drive. Throughout the film Wayne is plagued with nightmares that show a post-apocalyptic world where Army officials are seen wearing a black armband with a Superman logo. During one of these nightmare sequences, we see a cameo from the Flash who is portrayed by Ezra Miller. Miller is best known from his work on Perks of Being a Wallflower, 2012, and Trainwreck, 2015. Batman really commits to defeating Superman after an explosion leaves Superman as the only survivor. Prince returns the stolen drive to Wayne, claiming it is coded and she is unable to retrieve her picture. Wayne solves the code and there he finds files on Cyborg, The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and a thing of kryptonite in Luthor’s possession. Then begins the fight of the century, with Luthor as the grandmaster. Overall the movie...

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Cru Culture: On your own or with a date, five things to do on Valentine’s Day

One day, in third century B.C., there was a Roman priest named Saint Valentine. He served under Emperor Claudius. Emperor Claudius believed that single men would be better soldiers than married man. So, he passed a law making marriage illegal for all young men. Saint Valentine saw how horrible this law was, so he began marrying young couples secretly. When Claudius found out about Valentine’s rebellion, he had him killed. Valentine was brave and defiant, ultimately choosing love over war. For this, Valentine was canonized by the Vatican, and two centuries later he was given a feast day, the day the church honors and commemorates a saint’s life. Can you guess what day this was on? February 14. There are several other traditions related to Valentine’s Day. In France and England, the holiday marks the beginning of the bird’s mating season. This symbolizes love, fertility, and the promise of spring. Valentine’s Day rose to popularity in the United States in the 17th century, where friends would exchange small gifts and notes of affection. The first Valentine’s Day card was sold in 1840 by “The Mother of the Valentine,” Esther Howland. Today, over one billion cards are sent each year. But want to do more than exchange cards? Do you want to go all out for your significant other? Well, keep reading on and we’ll give you a few ideas for this weekend. Are you single? No problem. These five things you can do by yourself or with friends. Trust me, you’ll “love” it. Before we get started, the weather on Valentine’s Day (a Sunday) is looking a little bit rainy (50% chance). Warm, with a high of 75, but rainy. So, if you want to do anything outdoors, you may want to try Saturday. Go on a picnic Yes, it’s simple, and cliche, but it’s effective and fun. Make sandwiches, don’t forget candy and drinks, bring your ice cooler, and turn on your ultimate romantic Spotify playlist. You can’t go wrong. (Bonus: Bring chocolate covered strawberries, pineapples, or an Edible Arrangement.) Go to the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum There’s plenty of interesting exhibits, artifacts, and a locomotives to check out. Call their hotline for information on admission and hours. Or visit their website at www.rrhm.org. Plan something together A lot of times, people think the gifts and presents given on Valentine’s Day have to be a secret. However, with your significant other or friend, you can openly talk about how you are going to spend the day. You can go to the spa, go to the movies, or simply stay in and watch Netflix. It takes the pressure...

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Popular series return as part of Spring TV lineup
Feb16

Popular series return as part of Spring TV lineup

From superheros to sitcoms, this Spring’s TV lineup has something for everyone. Here are just a few of the things to look forward to in the coming months. Legends of Tomorrow, TV-PG This season, on the long awaited spinoff of the CW’s popular shows Arrow and the Flash, we will get a look at the minor characters who play both heroes and villains as they pair up with Rip Hunter, portrayed by Authur Davill. Hunter decides to go against the Grand Time Council and put together a ragtag team of heroes and villains who are forgotten about, and who play no major role in the timeline. This team consists of White Canary, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Captain Cold, Atom, Heat Wave and Firestorm. When they realize that Rip Hunter is on a revenge-like quest and their futures were forgotten, they become upset and want nothing more to do with Hunter’s mission. But, when they realize they have an opportunity to time travel and become legends, things change. black-ish, TV-PG One of ABC’s most popular programs returns to finish season 2 by asking a question that everyone would like to know, can a man and a woman be friends? The episode focuses on the main character and narrator, Dre Johnson, who is portrayed by Anthony Anderson, and his wife Rainbow, portrayed by Tracee Ellis Ross, who becomes jealous and a little freaked out when Dre’s childhood best friend and international pop star Gigi, portrayed by Tyra Banks, stops by to visit. Rainbow tells Dre she finds it weird that the two spend so much time together and that Gigi takes Dre to red carpet events and to celebrity hotspots. During Gigi’s time with Dre, she tells him that her boyfriend doesn’t like their friendship. So in attempt to make Gigi upset, Dre begins to call Rainbow his “bestie” and do the same activities that he did with Gigi. In the end Gigi’s boyfriend and Rainbow realize that Gigi and Dre are really just friends and they would rather allow the two hang out than deal with their significant other’s ridiculous best friend activities. Fresh off the Boat, TV-PG Television’s favorite Asian American family is also back. After ending the first half of the season on a Christmas episode that was as funny as it was festive, the Huang family are getting ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their family back in Washington D.C. Unfortunately something occurs and they are stuck in Orlando. Still in the spirit of celebrating the Chinese New Year, the Huang family sets out to find others. They find themselves at the Asian-American Association of Orlando, where...

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