10 Cloverfield Lane Review

Title: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Rating: PG-13

Grade: A-

Runtime: 1 hour and 43 minutes

Release Date: March 11, 2016

Reviewed By: AIDAN GLENDON

10 Cloverfield Lane is a drama/horror/mystery that is set in the same world as the original Cloverfield, which quickly became a cult classic. The producers wanted to expand on the world they created and did it by creating a movie that is completely separate and has a different form the original. For instance, Cloverfield is a found footage movie, while its successor is not. The ‘sequel’ is about a woman who ends up in a car crash and is rescued by a man who brings her to his bunker. When she wakes up, he tells her that the world as they know it has ended and that the three people in that bunker are the only survivors.

The movie is built from a very small cast. Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Michelle, the victim of a car crash and John Goodman portrays Howard, the man who rescues her. Even though Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the star, John Goodman is the top-billed cast member, and for good reason: this movie showcases some of his best acting. Howard is one of the most morally ambiguous characters in movie history. Something in your gut makes you question whether or not you trust him, yet you can’t deny that his actions make sense. He is both a crazed villain and a brilliant hero. IF you see the movie twice, you could watch it once and pick out everything that makes him seem evil, or untrustworthy; but watching a second time, you could see that he is a good man doing the right thing. He essentially portrays two different characters at the same time. Bradley Cooper also has an insignificant cameo. John Gallagher Jr. rounds out the cast playing Emmett, the third survivor in the bunker. His character is important to the story, but serves as more of a buffer between the two main characters and is relatively undeveloped.

The film’s script is central to the movie. All of the dialogue is important, as it always comes back. Nearly every line in the film has a payoff later on. The script is so delicate, that if one character’s lines were removed, the entire outcome of the movie may be changed.

My final note about the film is that the last 10 minutes differ greatly from the rest of the movie. It essentially turns a drama movie into a sci-fi movie. For those who are familiar with the original source, the genre-flip is expected and beautify executed. The movie caters to a very specific audience, but allows outsiders the chance to enjoy the low-budget spectacle. 10 Cloverfield Lane outshines its predecessor in almost every way, making it a must-see for sci-fi fans.

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Deadpool Review

Title: Deadpool

Rating: R

Grade: B+

Runtime: 1 hour and 48 minutes

Release Date: February 12, 2016

Reviewed by: AIDAN GLENDON

Deadpool is a superhero/comedy movie about a mercenary who, when he develops a terminal cancer, looks to a shady organization to save him by turning him into a superhero. However, this superhero is anything but, using senseless violence and foul language to hunt down and kill his enemies, rather than placing them safely behind bars. However, two members of the team known as the X-men try to get Deadpool to change his ways and become one of the true good guys.

The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the role that undoubtedly saved his career. It also stars Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Ed Skrien.

The movie is as formulaic as any other superhero movie, but actually feels fresh due to the explicit nature of the film. The stakes are higher because people actually die. The script is fantastic with rapid fire jokes, both inside of the film and through fourth wall breaks. The very opening scene, introducing all of the people involved in the making of the film, is laugh-inducing. The action sequences of the film are wonderfully done. They are filled with violence and are well choreographed, exactly how an action movie should be.

This movie is definitely one of Marvel’s finest, but a lot of the jokes are tailored to those who are more familiar with the brand. However, many jokes land with a regular audience. The movie was very well received by critics, and was treated to one of the biggest R-rated movie openings of all time. It’s a great time at the movies, and I highly recommend it.

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Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

Title: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Rating: PG-13

Grade: D+

Runtime: 2 hours and 31 minutes

Release Date: March 25, 2016

Reviewed by: AIDAN GLENDON

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a superhero/drama/action movie that is a follow up to the 2012 Man of Steel. The movie continues the adventures of Superman as he faces off against Batman, and faces and even bigger threat in the form of Lex Luthor. The movie attempts to raise interesting questions about the nature of God with the existence of beings such as Superman, but these questions are not nearly as important to the director as the mass explosions and the many fight scenes in the movie.

The movie stars Henry Cavil as Superman, portraying him as the dark, brooding superhero that Superman was never meant to be; Amy Adams as Lois Lane, who is practically useless throughout the movie; Jess Eisenberg as Lex Luthor (and a terrible one at that); Gal Gaddot as Wonder Woman (who is pretty useless in the movie); and Ben Affleck as Batman, one of the few good parts of the movie.

The film is directed by Zach Snyder, who seems hell-bent on destroying everything that people love about the comics. He is so obsessed with making his movie look like a billion dollars that he forgets he needs to actually make a coherent film. The parts focused on Superman spend too much time debating whether he is a God or a demon (questions which the film fails to answer, partially due to lack of trying). The movie as a whole is too crowded, and Snyder never slows to let the audience know what is going on. Snyder even kills off a massively important character from the comics without even telling the audience that it is that character.

Jesse Eisenberg is also a horrible Lex Luthor, playing a bratty, tantrum throwing, mid-life adult who seems so crazy that it is hard to believe not everyone knows he’s a supervillain. He is given almost no motive to stirring up trouble, other than the fact that he is crazy.

The movie is an utter disgrace to superhero movies.

It feels like the entire film is trying to be something more, but cannot follow through (although most of this is due to the shortcomings of the director, who continues to undermine the entire DC movie universe). I am convinced that Snyder is a Marvel plant in the DC Company, purposely making the movies terrible to keep Marvel on top (that’s the only logical explanation I can think of). However, people will see this movie. It will make lots of money, and DC will let Zack Snyder continue to make movies until he runs the superhero genre into the ground.

But honestly, if you want to see a good superhero movie, go see one by Marvel. They actually care what their audience thinks.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2! Review

Reviewed By: ARIANA RICH

The family you love is back!

If you were a fan of the original movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the sequel is must see. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, a romantic comedy,  keeps the charm of the first story made fourteen years ago alive, with even more laugh out loud moments.  

It turns out that Toula’s parents, Gus and Maria, aren’t actually married after all due to the fact that the priest who married them in Greece never signed their marriage certificate 50 years ago.  This means there has to be another big, fat, Greek wedding.

On top of of planning another crazy wedding, Toula and Ian also face another problem: there is no longer a spark in their marriage and their only child Paris will soon be graduating high school.  This means leaving her big, loud, Greek family for college.  Just as Toula was told, Paris is told to “keep her eyes open for a nice Greek boy, so one day she can make babies,” a classic original line from the first movie.

After seeing this movie, you will be wishing for a crazy, Greek family!

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Small Town Colleges

By ELAINE CAREY

Choosing the right college for you depends on many different features. You may be looking for a school dedicated to athletics, one well-known for its science or arts program, or an institution that prides itself on modernized dorms and facilities. You will also look at the surroundings of the school; some students are attracted to big cities, but for those who are not, there are plenty of colleges nestled in quintessential college towns.

A small town college would be ideal for someone who does not want to be in a major city. Students seeking a quiet, low-key area, and would enjoy access to a city when desired would best fit Forbes’s list of the best college towns. According to Kathryn Dill, they include: Ann Arbor, Michigan; College Station, Texas; Iowa City, Iowa; Provo, Utah; and Gainesville, Florida.

Dill notes that some of the best small town colleges include: West Point; Dartmouth College; Williams College; Middlebury College; and Carleton College. These small town colleges offer close-knit communities and classic college experiences. Certain people flourish better in small towns then in large, spread out cities; therefore, attending one of these listed would be a perfect fit.

Going to school in a small town also gives students plenty of opportunities to meet other college students. Small towns host many events for students to meet each other, whereas, larger cities make it more difficult for students to meet.

It is up to the student to decide what kind of environment they want to live and learn in, but these small town colleges are certainly a great choice.

 

Works Cited:

Dill, Kathryn. “The Best And Worst College Towns In The U.S.” Forbes. Forbes.com LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

<http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2015/12/14/the-best-and-worst-college-towns-in-the-u-

s/#7050836e14df>.

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Does skipping breakfast have any effects?

By ARIANA RICH

Breakfast, a “healthy” meal, skipped by 31 million Americans each day, is perceived to be more important than any other meal.  

Skipping breakfast has both negative and positive effects.  

Some may say that breakfast eaters tend to have healthier habits, but whether you eat or skip breakfast, it truly has no effect on the amount of calories you burn throughout the day and does not affect your metabolism.  

It is claimed that breakfast helps us lose weight, and that skipping it can raise our risk of obesity.  Skipping breakfast is often placed on people’s diets in hopes to trigger numerous health benefits. However, Adda Bjarnadottir, author of “Is Skipping Breakfast Bad For You?”, says that “people are less likely to be overweight or obese, and have a lower risk of several chronic diseases” if breakfast is eaten. It is also said that breakfast eaters tend to eat a healthier diet.

According to Bjarnadottir, on the other side of the controversy, “people who skip breakfast tend to smoke more, drink more alcohol and exercise less” and run low on nutrients. They also increase their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.  

It is thought that those who skip breakfast often make up for missed meals with junk food, definitely not a positive for healthy eating. 

Based upon the facts, breakfast is not a meal that should be skipped.

Works Cited:

Bjarnadottir, Adda. “Is Skipping Breakfast Bad For You? The Surprising Truth.”Authority Nutrition. Authority Nutrition, Nov. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2016. <https://authoritynutrition.com/is-skipping-breakfast-bad/>.

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Everything Wrong with Social Media

By AIDAN GLENDON

Human beings now live in a world where everyone can share anything, so long as they have an email, a username not taken by someone else, and a password that is ‘unique’ and will be remembered by the user.

People can use Twitter to put their thoughts into the world; Instagram to showcase their favorite moments with friends; Facebook to update everyone in their lives; and a plethora of other social media sites, such as Tumblr, Flickr, Snapchat, etc.

However, this oversharing may not be the best thing.

While staying in contact with people is great, social media limits people’s privacy, and it also creates a dependence on social media in the user, not to mention people become too obsessed with capturing the moment instead of enjoying it.

1.Invasion of privacy

Social media gives people insight into another person’s life.

Colleges use it to follow their students. Employers look at people’s social media to see if their employees are respectable outside of the office.

Once someone puts something on social media, it is there for all to see. Suddenly, everyone knows all of the details of another person’s life, just by seeing a couple photos, tweets, and Facebook posts.

Nobody can keep anything secret. The expression of new spreading like wildfire has never been truer. And, while the fast travelling news has its merits, it makes it almost impossible for anyone to keep something a secret.

I know a guy who said he was sick one day and did not go to work. One of the bosses was on Instagram that day and saw photo someone else posted with the boy who was “supposedly sick” at the mall. The boss called him in to talk about it, and he was fired. While it was his own fault for skipping out on work, he was not the one who posted anything to social media. It was someone else who invaded his privacy and caused him to lose his job.

2. Dependence on social media

Social media is a part of today’s culture. There’s no way around it.

IF you don’t have some kind of social media, people suspect the worst; you could be a criminal hiding with a new identity, someone in witness protection, an alien, or anything.

Social media is the new form of identity.

However, many people, especially teenagers and young adults are constantly on social media, whether they are updating people about their own lives or reading about their friends’.

People are on social media at work, at school, even while walking on the street. Nobody pays any attention to the world around them.

Everyone is obsessed with their pocket sized, 4 x 2.5 inch LED world. Everyone is living to show others how they live, rather than living for themselves.

People have become so dependent on social media that companies have developed social media marketing teams because posters and billboards are irrelevant compared to social media advertisements.

Everyone is too obsessed with capturing and sharing as opposed to living.

Live the moment, instead of capturing it.

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Ex Machina Review

Title: Ex Machina

Rating: R

Grade: B

Runtime: 1 hour and 48 minutes

Release Date: April 24, 2015

Reviewed By AIDAN GLENDON

Ex Machina is a drama/mystery/sci-fi movie about a young programmer who is selected to perform a test on a female AI (Artificial Intelligence) to determine if she is conscious. The week-long experiment takes place in an isolated billionaire’s estate.

The movie stars Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2, Unbroken), and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.). The cast is relatively unknown, and very small, but performs brilliantly with each character coming across as truly unique.

The film’s script is well-written, with an amazing and original plotline, but sometimes the movie seems to limp along. The film makes great use of the nature surrounding the estate belonging to Oscar Isaac’s character. The cinematography is beautiful, as is the color scheme of the film. Everything is pristine and bright, emphasizing the innovation occurring in the lab.

 

The movie has a great twist ending, which I will not spoil here. However, the film is extremely relevant; as with every technological innovation, it seems that humanity is getting closer and closer to perfecting AI, but it seems that nobody is considering what comes after. No inventor is considering just how dangerous good artificial intelligence can be, rather they just want to be the ones to invent it to gain the fame. The movie showcases humanity’s race to destroy itself, by creating something it cannot begin to comprehend.

I would recommend this movie to any sci-fi fans who appreciate films that are done well. The thought  behind this film is commendable and it is executed outstandingly.

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Big Hero 6 Review

Title: Big Hero 6

Rating: PG

Grade: B+

Runtime: 1 hour and 42 minutes

Release Date: November 7, 2014

Reviewed by: AIDAN GLENDON

Big Hero 6 is a touching animated/action/adventure movie about a genius boy named Hiro. Hiro is the victim of terrible tragedy, suffering the death of both of his parents at a young age.

The movie tells the story of Hiro and a robot named Baymax, who serves as a robot med-bay, but also a friend of Hiro’s, as he needs one. A supervillian emerges in the city of San Fransokyo (an obvious mash up of San Francisco and Tokyo, and Hiro decides he must use his talents to create a group of superheroes with his genius friends, all of whom have a special talent, relating to their ‘power’ which is just a combination of machinery and science.

It is a wonderfully touching movie, and one of the most ambitious efforts from Walt Disney pictures. If this movie is any indication, Walt Disney animated movies are on the rise again, this being the third of three recent great ones: the first, Wreck-It-Ralph and the second, Frozen (my least favorite of the three).

The movie features a large cast of voice actors: Ryan Potter as Hiro; Scott Adsit as Baymax; and notable voices by Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, and Alan Tudyk.

The animation in the film is absolutely breathtaking. Big Hero 6 utilizes its animation to bring the fictional city of San Fransokyo to life, while providing distinct differences to each of the main characters. However, the movie fails in developing most of the side characters, only developing the main character and his brother’s invention. Hiro’s four friends remain almost unchanged; although, it is okay because they remain morally ‘clean’ throughout the film, while both of the main characters suffer a fall from grace, for which they must make up.

This is by far one of the best animated movies I have seen in my life. It did win the 2015 Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Unfortunately, this movie did not prosper the same kind of success that Frozen did, while this movie deserved it much more (this flick is not a musical, so it probably did not garner as much attention).

Big Hero 6 is fantastic, and is available to rent now.

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San Andreas Review

Title: San Andreas

Rating: PG-13

Grade: C-

Runtime: 1 hour and 54 minutes

Release Date: May 29, 2015

Reviewed by: AIDAN GLENDON

San Andreas is a disaster movie about a rescue-chopper pilot who undertakes a dangerous plight to rescue his family in the wake of the largest ever recorded earthquake hitting the San Andrea fault line. This movie is not one for the critics, but it is a spectacle to behold. It is great fun and boasts some of the best special effects I have ever seen in any movie.

San Andreas accomplishes what it set out to do: be one of the most exciting popcorn movies ever. It isn’t supposed to be groundbreaking. It isn’t supposed to be critically acclaimed. It’s supposed to be fun, and fun it is. It is the disaster movie of all disaster movies.

The movie stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (The Game Plan, Fast and Furious 6), as Ray, the rescue-chopper pilot; Carla Gugino (Night at the Museum, Man of Steel), as Emma; and Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson Series) as Ray’s daughter, Blake. Paul Giamatti is also in this movie, playing a scientist who developed a technology able to predict the massive earthquakes minutes before they happen. His part grounds the story in real life, not making it a plausible event, just more plausible than the movie 2012.

The scripting in this movie is pretty terrible. There are some solid one-liners, but a majority of the dialogue can be predicated before the words leave the mouths of the actors. The entire plot also relies on coincidence, that certain things are exactly where characters need them to be, to save someone.

But it is the special effects that are the marvel of the movie. The ground splitting open, giant crashing waves, and falling debris all look spectacular in this movie. It is more than likely that a majority of the film’s budget was devoted to this. There is a clip available online that illustrates what San Andreas would look like without special effects, and it is quite pitiful.

Ultimately, this movie is a fun time, and one that requires little-to-no brain activity. It is an exciting movie to watch. Plus, the Rock is awesome at saving people’s lives.

Go see this movie, or, if you are skeptical, rent it when it comes out on DVD.

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