Every Body has a Story

archivedThe Archived by Victoria Schwab is a story about a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. The dead are called histories and the place where they rest is called the Archive. Their lives are seen in pictures that only librarians can read. Mackenzie Bishop is tasked with making sure the histories, remain asleep but that proves to be difficult when someone is intentionally waking them up. Victoria Schwab uses her enchanting imagination to reveal the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable lose and hard-won redemption.

Schwab wrote a masterful, dark and beautiful novel. Her descriptive ways take you into this imagined world where bodies are filed away like books. This book changes the way you see the dead. You’ll realize that when we lose people that they aren’t truly gone because they left footprints on everything they touched.

Schwab’s book helps those who are suffer from the loss of a loved one heal. She reminds us that they are not truly gone and to morn by their graves is to mourn for the empty shell they once occupied. We carry those we love with us because of the memories made together.

-Book review by Cheyenne Hixson


The Prophet, Book Review by Auston Blair

What do we do about love? About religion? About beauty? All these topics and more are discussed in Khalil Gibran’s, The Prophet. The inquisitive townspeople of Orphalese sit down with the chosen prophet Almustafa and ask him to speak on various subjects. The purpose of this book is to get the reader to really ponder their views on the big questions of life that we ask ourselves, and others, every day.

prophetPersonally, I enjoyed the book. At first, I was a bit skeptical, seeing as how Gibran’s version of Christianity is a bit different than mine. But upon reading the book, I discovered that the story was basically the same story as the one in the bible where Jesus teaches everyone the beatitudes. What really stood out to me was where some of the lines of knowledge that Almustafa gave the townspeople. One in particular is his knowledge of beauty where he states, “… beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.” The Prophet persuades me to think outside of our societal beliefs and find a deeper meaning to the pre-conceived ideas of freedom, beauty, giving, friendship, religion, etc.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes philosophy or religion or anyone looking to perhaps challenge how they view different ideas. As a student, this book would be great for other students to read because we are in a time in our lives where we are all trying to find ourselves. We’re trying to discover who we are and what we believe in.


My Best Friend’s Wedding

My Best Friend’s Wedding is a romantic comedy staring A-list stars Julia Roberts, Dermont Mulroney, and Cameron Diaz. This is not the story line you’d expect with the movie title given. This 90’s romantic comedy gives you a love triangle you hope ends up with everyone still alive and a happily ever after.

We start with two childhood friends Jules and Michael, who make a deal that if each other is still single at the age of 28 they would marry each other. Four days before Jules’ 28th birthday, she receives a phone call from Michael and never expected to hear that words that came out of his mouth. “I’m getting married, ” Michael says. He can’t help but gush to Jules that he found the love of his life and plans to marry her ASAP. His bride-to-be is a 20-year-old blonde, Kimmy (Cameron Diaz) with a billionaire family fortune. Jules suddenly realizes she is in love with Michael. To make things even stickier for Jules, she becomes Kim’s maid of honor. There’s bad karaoke, an embarrassing gay fake fiancé, a moment Jules could have told Michael how she feels, and a kiss that kept you on your toes wondering who he would choose.

Film-making always has a direction where you think to expect to know the outcome. There is one rule in romantic films, you play along with the “jeopardy,” that usually ensures a happy ending. The reality that Jules might lose Michael becomes a palpable terror; and the film’s crescendo, the one moment where she has the chance to tell the truth, arrives. Michael stares into her eyes, searching, and says, “If you love someone, you say it. Right then … out loud.” We hold our breath, silently begging Julianne to just tell him. She stares back, the words are about to come out, and then … nothing. The moment passes by and we know that her chance is gone forever.

Another aspect of film-making is the casting. In a romantic comedy you always have to have a Hollywood sweetheart as the main character and a gorgeous hunk to play the love interest. Jules was the perfect role for Julia Roberts. From the big red hair to the big smile and vivacious personality. You wanted her to win the love she hoped for from Michael. Making the opposite love connection polar opposite of Jules is Kimmy, the bubbly, young, blonde that shows competition. Casting these three main characters gives the audience so many different personalities you don’t know who to love more, the sexy red head or the bubbly perfect blonde. You’re torn and also torn at who Michael will choose in the end.

My Best Friend’s Wedding is a romantic classic every girl falls in love with, even though it may have not been the ending we all hoped for. It kept us guessing the whole time on who he was in love with, but the truth was he loved them both just

different kinds of love. All women who love a good romantic comedy, this is the movie to see. Its plot line gives goose bump moments, cringe worthy scenes, and hopeless romantic hopes for love.

By: Samantha Carr


Love & Basketball

Love & Basketball is a classic film that tells the stories of two basketball players who are also lovers. The movie spans from their childhood all the way through college and their adult years. Love & Basketball can best be described as a romantic drama. It came out in April of 2000 and has Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps as the two co-stars. They put on an excellent performance of two people who have the same dream of playing for the NBA one day. The movie begins when they are both 11 living in Los Angeles in 1981.

At the beginning of the movie, Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and her family move to Quincy’s (Omar Epps) neighborhood in L.A. The first major event in the movie is when they meet at age 11. They play each other in basketball and he is surprised at how good she is. The movie then jumps to their senior year in high school. At this point in time, they have a love-hate relationship. They are both very focused on their basketball careers. Quincy has multiple schools wanting to sign him, but Monica hasn’t been recruited yet. Eventually, there is a major turn of events when they finally realize that they love each other. They become a couple and commit to the same college: USC. When they reach college, their relationship goes through some trials. Monica is doing well on the women’s team while Quincy decides to drop out and go pro. This causes them to break up and go their separate ways in life. The next major event in the movie is when Monica decides to play for an All-American team in Italy. She moves there, and in the meantime Quincy gets engaged to another woman. At this point, five years have passed since they were in college. Monica quits playing, and upon returning to L.A. she is crushed when Quincy tells her about his engagement. She challenges him to play one last game with her: a one-on-one match. She tells him that if she wins, she gets to win his heart back. Do Monica and Quincy get back together? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

One aspect of filmmaking that was prevalent throughout the movie was background music. It was used to better convey the mood of a particular scene. For example, the night that Monica and Quincy first kissed there was a love song playing. Also, during their basketball games there was always fast-paced music playing. This was used to hype up the scene and give the viewer a sense of urgency. A lot of the games played were championships, and this music added to the excitement.

Another part of film-making that I found great in this movie was the acting itself. The two co-stars were excellent in playing their roles. With each step in their relationship, as the viewer, I felt where they were coming from. It was very understandable. It was said that the directors of the movie put a lot of thought into the actors before deciding on Sanaa and Omar. During their one-on-one match that I talked about earlier, they conveyed so much passion for each other through the acting. I felt as though I was in the scene with them, feeling what they felt. That’s how acting is supposed to affect the viewer.

Lastly, this is a classic film that I would recommend for everyone to watch. Even if you aren’t into basketball, it is still a drama that will keep your attention from beginning to end. I’ve watched it more than 10 times, and my reaction to it is still one of awe. I’m amazed by the storyline as well as the terrific acting. However, if you won’t just take my word for it, watch it and find out how amazing it is for yourself.

By: Ashley O’Guinn


The Room

The Room was a really good movie. The main purpose of the movie was to show how far a mother would go to protect her child. This movie had some twist and turns. The mother of the little boy took risks to make sure that he wouldn’t live in that room forever.

I really like the strength the mother had; she had been kidnapped and kept in this room for over six years. After giving birth to her son, she realized that she wanted to show her son the world and to let him know that there is more outside the four walls and door that they were kept in. She waited until her son was five before she told him what really happened and why they were trapped in this room. She made up a plan to try to escape, and it worked. By wrapping her son in a rug and faking his death, her son was able to escape the monster that was holding them captive.

I would recommend this movie to everyone because it gives insight on how strong a mother could be when her child is in danger and it also shows the mother making sacrifices so that her child could explore this big world and become something in this life. Her son really saved her life. Some students would find this movie to be entertaining and a thriller. I know that a lot of students aren’t parents, but just seeing this movie will show the love that a mother has for her child.

By: Angel Stone


Stand By Me

Stand by Me is an American classic and will always be one of my all-time favorite movies.  It stars River Phoenix, Will Wheaton, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell. The date is set in the late 1950’s in a small town. This adventure film is fun for the whole family.

The movie starts by introducing a group of young boys.  A teen known in the town has been missing but no one knows where to find him. Some of the young boys heard their older, hell-raising brothers talking about how they have seen the young man’s body. Push comes to shove the young boys all set out on what they called a “camping trip,” which was really a search party for the body of the young man.  Little did the boys know, their older brothers were also going back to the body.

As this film took place most of the setting is in the great outdoors; however some of the sets had to be constructed. The most memorable set was the tree house scene in which the boys are playing cards. The set design team made a 3-d tree three-walled tree house with a trap door to allow the stars to act like they were climbing a ladder into the tree.

The music in the background of the movie was music that was set in that time. The boys at one point were walking down the rail road tracks singing a very popular country song from that era.

I personally loved the film. I would recommend anyone that likes an old-time feel of the country, think late 1950’s, to watch this film. This movie really puts in perspective some of the ways it feels to by a young man in the south.

By: Noah West


The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight is the eighth film from writer and director Quentin Terantino. The film can be classified as a western drama among many other things because of its wide breadth of creative elements. This movie stars some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Tim Roth. This film takes place post-Civil War era in the middle of winter in Wyoming.

As a winter storm approaches, nine strangers are required to take shelter together in Minnie’s Haberdashery. The nine strangers are made up of interesting characters such as a bounty hunter and his fugitive captive, a Union and a Confederate veteran, a hangman, and the potential sheriff, and they soon realize that none of them may actually be who they appear to be. As they all first arrive, they are wary of one another. One of the biggest issues is when the ex-Confederate soldier, General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), learns that there is a black ex-Union soldier (Samuel L. Jackson) that will be joining them. As the night progresses, the characters become even more distant from each other. The climax of this movie is when someone poisons the coffee, murdering two of the characters. The rest of the story-line is centralized around the remaining characters trying to decipher who was behind the poisoning and why they did it.

The writing of this movie is phenomenal. Staying true to his signature writing style, Terantino portrays the movie in chapters. These chapters do not always go in order, skipping from the present tense to the past tense. This works exceptionally well at keeping the audience in mystery and suspense as to what actually happened in Minnie’s Haberdashery. The film is all placed in the present until it goes back before anyone arrived to the Haberdashery and shows who was involved in the plot against the other strangers and what their goal was.

When dealing with a Quentin Terantino film, you automatically know there is going to superb acting involved and The Hateful Eight did not disappoint. Terantino put together an immensely talented cast including his veteran stars Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen. The only main actress in the film, Jennifer Jason Leigh, really stood out among the cast for me. She plays a character named Daisy Domergue who is an alleged murderer set to be hung whenever the storm ends. Leigh’s character was incredibly complex and in the end terribly psychotic. There is one scene in particular that really caught my attention where she is covered in blood and screaming at Jackson’s character, Major Marquis Warren. Her incredible acting ability made it seem so realistic and chilling that you cannot help but applaud her raw talent and dedication to portraying her character justly.

Overall, this film was everything you could ever want and more. As an avid Terantino fan, I had very high expectations for this film which he easily surpassed. Although I think this movie is incredibly brilliant, it may not be for everyone. Some people may get lost in the intricacy of the plot line and not really comprehend what the point of the story is; while others may be bothered by the language and the bloody violence of the film. However if you are looking for a film with an incredible story line, lots of plot twist, mystery, and violence, then you will highly enjoy and appreciate this film.

 

By: Briyana Dyer


Birdman

Birdman, released in 2015, tells the story of an actor, who was known highly for being a superhero. Michael Keaton stars in this comedic satire as a washed up actor as he tries to put together a Broadway play he has written. Throughout the course of the movie he battles with himself, his friends, his actors, and his family leading up to opening night. Alejandro González Iñárritu directs this original, dark, comedic satire, with cast appearances from Edward Norton and Emma Stone.

Michael Keaton, who just happened to play Tim Burton’s Batman in the ’80s and ’90s, plays Riggan Thompson. Thompson is a Hollywood actor who is best known for his role as Birdman, the star of a superhero movie. Thompson now decides to receive credit for not only directing, but producing and starring in a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” Whenever the movie first starts, the play is just days from opening, and so many things have to happen for this to be his perfect comeback as Riggan Thompson; not Birdman, as he is so famously known. Everyone in Times Square is more ecstatic to have the “Birdman” in their midst, almost expecting something from Thompson the “Birdman”, not Riggan Thompson the theater enthusiast.

What is portrayed is a backstage drama that is full of stress and mayhem. On stage everything is looked at as controlled and well composed. Between shows and sometimes acts however there is chaos, both emotional and physical. Riggan just happens to be on the edge of a financial downfall, he’s divorced, his daughter (Emma Stone who gives a great performance) is fresh out of drug rehab and she also happens to be his personal assistant with his acting career. To top it off, he has also impregnated one of the cast members. What a nightmare to have! There is also Riggan’s “Birdman” ego, which talks to him in a deep freaky baritone. Riggan also thinks he possesses the actual powers of Birdman, which include flight and telekinesis.

 

Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis are part of the cast, but serve as background characters in association with Riggan Thompson. Edward Norton plays a huge role as the award winning actor, Mike Shiner. Personally this is a loved movie. It was a very different style of movie for me. Action movies with flashbacks and different scene cuts are usually my cup of tea. My favorite thing about this movie is the never ending camera. What I mean by this is that the camera never really cut scene, and if it did it was very well hidden. It’s like the camera was rolling the entire movie, the ending of one scene was the beginning of another; which I found that very interesting. A scene that comes to mind is where Emma Stone was above the stage with Edward Norton, and then the camera moves away from them and the next scene has already begun, Edward Norton is already back on stage rehearsing. I think what grabbed my attention the most about the whole “never ending camera” idea is that it was done so well. Another thing I loved about this movie is the story line. Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of Birdman, did extremely well with this picture, along with the entire cast. The flow of the movie kept me wondering what was going to happen next. Keaton practically carried this film on his shoulders. Another big aspect of this movie was the music. Most of the time it was a drum solo. Jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez keys the mood with his exciting drum beats and fast paced playing. To me, whenever the drum solo was going on, it always seemed like Keaton was in a rush, or something exciting was happening. A scene that comes to mind is where Michael Keaton just happens to walk around outside in his underwear at a fast pace. The drumming speeds up as he walks faster; it plays in well. I think the selection of the jazz style drumming was terrific and well placed for this movie. The whole movie was one big roller-coaster of events that seemed to take place back to back, tying in with the never ending camera again.

 

The intensity of this movie never dies down, there are plenty of emotional ties throughout the screening that leaves the viewer on edge, just as I was. I would call it a backstage story; a story about the making of a Broadway play and all the chaos that unfolds leading up to opening night. There are many theatrical shots at actors, and even their egos. This piece is filmed in the Times Square/Theatre District. To make this movie look even more realistic it is filmed with a shaky handheld camera, obviously showing that it is an original piece. There is a joke towards the end though: the joke is that the similarities between Keaton’s career as Batman and his onscreen career as Birdman strike me as more than a coincidence. Overall, though, Birdman struck as a witty, but dark sense of humor tied into one big screening. Michael Keaton did a terrific job with this one and should be commended for his spectacular performance. So, if there happens to be a hungering for good movies, this one can be added to the list.

By: Dylan Neely

 


Titanic

Titanic is one of those movies that no matter how much I or anyone else can try and sit and explain or give our opinions, nothing, and I mean nothing, will be as good as just going and seeing this classic movie.

With that being said, I’m going to try my best to give the most accurate review on Titanic I can. This true romance movie starts out with two opposing lives. The two main characters are both boarding the ship nicknamed “the Ship of Dreams.” Even one of the men said “God himself couldn’t sink this ship.” We see a well-to-do woman, Rose, who is boarding the ship with her mom and fiancé. Then we see Jack, a not-too-put-together young man who just happened to win tickets to board the Titanic while gambling with his buddy.

Later on in this movie Jack sets his eyes on Rose and it is love at first sight. A random shipmate takes a dig at Jack saying getting to Rose is going to be way more than a challenge. Jack, being the determined guy he is, didn’t take that answer. He ends up saving

her from her own doom. They meet while she is standing over the front of the ship wanting to jump because of her woes. She feels like she can’t escape and that she’s trapped in this room she cant get out of.

Eventually during the movie Jack and Rose fall in love. Not long after they fall in love the ship to hit a iceberg, leaving them with only hours left together. The ship does go down and Jack does not make it.

Though this doesn’t end with the happiest of endings, for some reason this is okay. Titanic will forever be the exception to the rule. The movie gives us so much hope and life that we almost forget that Jack doesn’t make it—kind of.

By: Alexis Dube’


Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth and others. It takes place in California in the ‘90s.

There are three main stories in this movie that all tie together in the end; “foot massages don’t mean shit.”

The cinematography in this movie is breathtaking. Every shot is crystal clear and beautifully done. The lighting during the dancing scene was beautiful, also in the scene where Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) is over dosing on heroin. The entire scene in the dealer’s house is perfectly executed.

The acting of each character is also well executed. Travolta’s character acts like he knows what he’s doing and he’s done it before. Jackson’s character is calm and collected, ready for anything. Their performances as two gangsters is charming and riveting at the same time.

I’ve seen this movie over and over and I never get tired of it. Perfectly done, a classic. This movie is definitely a must see in our society.

By:  Laura O’Neill


%d bloggers like this: