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The Independent

Hollywood’s ruff patch with animal rights

Hollywood’s ruff patch with animal rights

February 21, 2017

“A Dog’s Purpose,” is a movie that tells the story of a dog who gets reincarnated as different ...

Brother Against Brother: When Heroes Clash

Brother Against Brother: When Heroes Clash

May 25, 2016

Captain America was thrown down an elevator shaft like a human paper ball down a life-sized metal wastebasket. The...

‘How to be Single’ – A Movie Review

Cecilia Hernandez

March 15, 2016

Filed under Arts & Life

“How to be Single” is by far the best romantic comedy for people craving a realistic outcome. I must confess, I watched the movie mainly because it was released two days before Valentine’s Day.  As a single lady myself I thought, “this movie is made for me!” Within the first few minutes, I recognized that...

Crimson Peak: A Gothic Fantasy

Crimson Peak: A Gothic Fantasy

November 3, 2015

From the moment the opening credits roll, it is very clear that you are watching a Guillermo del Toro...

Black Mass

Black Mass

September 22, 2015

It’s been hard to watch Johnny Depp since 2003 without seeing Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp’s portrayal...

This Generation’s Rocky Horror

This Generation’s Rocky Horror

September 22, 2015

Rarely does a sequel outdo its predecessor. The challenges they have to overcome by standing on their...

Review: Blue Like Jazz- An Odd Tale of Self Discovery

Syed Ahad Hussain and Desiree Dylong

April 28, 2012

Filed under Book Reviews, Movie Reviews

    Blue Like Jazzis a 2012 adaptation of the celebrated Christian author Donald Miller’s semi-autobiographical book of the same name, directed by Steve Taylor, Miller co-wrote the screenplay with Ben Pearson and Taylor. Both the novel and film Blue Like Jazz follow author Donald Miller as he struggles with his growing and sometimes turbulent faith in God. Although the novel is less plot-driven than the film, both work to show how Donald’s resolution towards his Christian faith is not only due to his own self-reflection, but also due to the stories and experiences of those around him. Both works help to portray how seeing the passion and experience of others can impact the way we see ourselves. The film is reminiscent of the Coen Brother’s 2008 dark comedy A Serious Man in many ways. Just like Larry Gopnik, A Serious Man’s protagonist, Don (played by Marshall Allman, based on Miller) questions God’s existence, religion’s implications, limitations and reflections on his miserable life. After being unable to find eternal solace and peace in his life, Don leaves his hometown when his promiscuous, separated parents refused to accept his religious beliefs, and he ends up in Reed College, a liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. According to some of Donald’s fellow Christians, Reed is known as a godless and heathen school. In the novel, Donald has no shame in telling fellow students about his Christianity. The film takes a different approach and showcases Donald hiding his faith out of fear of being judged by his fellow classmates. Don soon finds his place though when he develops a crush on a classmate named Penny (played by Claire Holt), a rebellious, free-spirited and sympathetic girl who hated the corporate culture and their apparent corruption. The college’s current ‘Pope’ (played by a humorous Justin Welborn) also acts as Don’s guardian angel. The Pope’s own ambiguity towards religion, overshadowed by his molestation by a priest as a child, makes Don even more stubborn and assertive in assisting the Pope with his random mockeries of the local church The on-off relationship of Don and Penny comes to a serious halt when she finds out about his mother’s pregnancy by the church’s married bishop, a sad truth that left Don bitter and at odds with God. Blue Like Jazz is a courageous, honest, comic, yet tragic account of a young man with religious upbringings discovering himself and his relationship to God. The theme of both loving and resenting something bigger than yourself is part of what makes the book and film relatable to a larger demographic other than those of the Christian faith. The emotions that come with being passionate about a way of life is something anyone can relate to.  ...

Mirror Mirror: Remixing Snow White

Desiree Dylong, Staff Writer

April 17, 2012

Filed under Movie Reviews

  What will you get when America’s red-headed sweetheart plays an evil queen, a prince gets tied to a tree by dwarfs, and a princess carries a dagger? You get Mirror Mirror, the newest adaptation on the tale of Snow White. Most of us are familiar with Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 1937. We know the scenario of Snow White biting the poison apple and succumbing to the evil queen’s wicked trick. The ending of the tale, when the handsome prince kisses Snow White and rescues her from a deep sleep, has become embedded in the pop culture stratosphere. Mirror Mirror, which is directed by Tarsem Singh, retains aspects that are reminiscent of the conventional Snow White tale. For instance, there’s the handsome prince, the evil queen, and Snow’s seven companions. However, Mirror Mirror spins a new twist on the ending of the classic tale, which will be left unspoiled. Once the evil queen, played by Julia Roberts, wishes Snow, played by Lily Collins, to be dead so she can become the most beautiful of all in the world, the princess has no choice but to leave her life at the palace and learn to survive in the woods. Snow then meets the seven dwarves, and with their help she learns to fight, and becomes much bolder than the Snow White that we are all acquainted with. Towards the end of the film, the queen terrorizes the woods in an effort to find Snow. The Prince and the dwarfs attempt to protect the princess, but she objects. Instead she explains how she has read many stories where the end results in the prince saving the princess, but Snow wants to change the ending. With her dagger in tow, she leaves the prince in order to battle the queen and gains the control of her ideal ending. Along with Mirror Mirror, this summer’s upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman, directed by Rupert Sanders, will offer the audience another perspective on the Snow White tale. However, while the PG rated Mirror Mirror has its comedic moments, and is targeted for younger demographics, Snow White and the Huntsman presents an adaptation geared for adults. The trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman presents a darker take on the tale. Since it will reach an older demographic, it has the potential to take the classic tale to a completely different level than Mirror Mirror. For instance, although Julia Robert played a queen who was wicked and was consumed by vanity, the character also had her comedic moments such as trying to fit into a corset. Those humorous moments of the queen give viewers a break from her villainous ways. In the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, the evil queen, played by Charlize Theron isn’t comedic and appears downright menacing as a clip shows her in a snow covered forest before her black cloak morphs into sinister black crows. The two films also differ in their approach to Snow White. While Mirror Mirror gives a portrayal of a Snow who is brave enough to save herself, as the film’s younger demographic do not want her behavior to be too audacious or violent; however, the upcoming film with Kristen Stewart presents a more fierce portrayal of Snow White. In preview, Stewart who plays Snow, is dressed similar to a knight as she dons a silver shield and armor. In another instance, Stewart’s character is huddled among an army as they all hold their shields. This version of Snow goes into battle, and faces perilous violence. Snow White and the Huntsman offers a more ferocious side to Snow White that a PG rated film can’t get away with. While these films may differ in their approaches, they both work to deconstruct the traditional version of the well-known tale. These new versions of Snow White portray strong willed young women who fight and rescue themselves. With these two films, the notion of the helpless female is erased and new perspectives take place. Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman’s appeal to different demographics will create the opportunity for both children and adults to view films that present different perspectives on conventional norms....

Review of Tron: Legacy

Ivan Favelevic, Editor In Chief

January 25, 2011

Filed under Movie Reviews

The movie industry has been going through a transformation this past decade. This reform has nothing to do with the new 3D wave or the sudden emphasis on vampires. The fact of the matter is that the movie industry, much like any other entertainment industry at the time, is dominated by geek culture. "The Dark Knight", "Spider-man", "Lord of the Rings" are based on comic books or reside on what was otherwise considered geek culture. With this revolution underway, it would only seem fair that the holy grail of geekdom be tapped before the current generation moves on and a new fad rises. For that reason we now have Disney attempting to create their next megafranchise with "Tron: Legacy" In case you missed the first one, "Tron" is the story of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a video game designer who creates his own virtual world and accidentally gets trapped in it. "Legacy" picks up twenty years later as his son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), is convinced to go after his father in his virtual world. Once he arrives, he discovers that his dad is being held captive by a computer generated clone. He enlists the help of a computer program named Quorra (Olivia Wilde), and together they try to save Kevin and exit the grid. The story "of Legacy" sticks close to its roots, with the first half being an exploration of the grid while the second is an elongated chase scene. The dialogue is as cheesy as one can expect and the actors all do serviceable jobs (with the exception of a scene-stealing cameo by Michael Sheen). The movie is structured in such a way that you are always treated with some sort of eye candy to distract you from the awfully hammy script and needlessly complex jargon. Nonetheless, where the story lacks in substance, the film more than makes up for it with energetic visuals. The light cycles make a triumphant return in a sequence that more than makes up for the price of admission. Furthermore, the use of 3D is actually a worthwhile investment, with the grid coming to life as every little spark flies at you. The art style is impressive throughout and the soundtrack by Daft Punk compliments it perfectly. It is one of the most atmospheric and pulse pounding scores ever written for a film and if you are a fan of either their previous work or electronic music as a whole you will not be disappointed. The need to revitalize this franchise was present. The curremt market made it a perfect fit, and enough time had passed since the previous film for it to be missed and for the visual bar to be raised. The film delivers where you expect it. The action is fast paced and the look remains original throughout while still resembling the source material. The story may be cheesy and throwaway, but that is really not the reason one goes to see "Tron." So grab those 3D glasses and head to the nearest IMAX, because this is one visual treat that you will not regret seeing....

Review: The Quiet

Dino Pollard, Sta

September 29, 2006

Filed under Arts & Life, Movie Reviews

Some films are perfect for mass audiences. They're feel-good, they make you laugh, and once the lights come back on, you can leave the theater without a negative thought in your head. But then there are other films that are far more disturbing and leave the audience with a feeling of unease. The Quiet definitely falls into...