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Monthly Archives: October 2012

By Meryl Gottlieb | mg986611@ohiou.edu | @buzzlightmeryl

First reaction: REALLY??!!

This is not a song that you cover vocally. This is a song in which you foolishly dance in secrecy to or in flash mob form – nothing else!

The worst part about this is that the New Directions will be performing this at Sectionals or Regionals. Are you kidding me?

If the Journey tribute from season one didn’t work, then how is “Gangnam Style” going to? Oh right, because ever since season one, the New Directions just lavishly performs all the top chart hits, and its members are no longer underdogs.

Not to mention the fact that “Gangnam Style” will hardly still be as huge as it was a month ago. Just like with “Call Me Maybe,” Glee was unfortunate enough to be on hiatus when the song went viral, and rather than try to play catch-up, they should just ignore it altogether.

Performances like this are killing the show. Glee used to be centered on the characters and was top notch, but it sold out after its phenomenal initial success and has truly gone down hill.

While I will always be a fan (because I will forever be attached to these characters and will always be mesmerized by what comes next, despite how ridiculous they may be), I cannot shake this feeling of disappointment about how commercialized the show seems sometimes.

I mean look at the cast! They are adorable and funny (as evidenced by this video – hello Darren), and they are obviously all talented – don’t waste their skills!

Reading the comments on this YouTube video alone demonstrates how all of the fans do not even want the New Directions to perform this song.

Also, can we point out the obvious here: Jenna Ushkowitz will sing “Gangnam Style.” While I’m thrilled she gets to sing this season, let’s not be racist Ryan Murphy.

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By Will Ashton | wa054010@ohiou.edu

Fans of Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller’s movie adaptation of Sin City have been waiting seven long years for things to finally come together for its sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

While the directors have been assuring that the movie will be made, fans were quickly growing discouraged as these promises grew to seem emptier and emptier as time passed.

But now, it has been confirmed that the film is in motion as filming began on Sunday, Oct. 28, in Austin, Texas.

Based on Miller’s popular comic, the film is set to feature a majority of the film’s original cast, with a few notable exceptions including Brittany Murphy, who passed away in 2009, and Michael Clarke Duncan, who just passed away last month.

Both Rodriguez and Miller are returning to their directors’ chairs this time around. No word has been announced as to whether Quentin Tarantino will return as a guest director again during this outing (best guess, probably not).

Hopefully, this film should show some promise again from these two filmmakers.  In the years since Sin City’s release, with the exception of Rodriguez’s half of Grindhouse and (most) of Machete, neither director has gone on to make any films that are very good.  Must I remind you of dreck such as The Spirit or Spy Kids: All the Time in the World?

By Will Ashton | wa054010@ohiou.edu

Little by little, Disney seeks to find world domination.

After buying Marvel Studios for $4 billion in 2009, which paid off famously thanks to the massive success of The Avengers, it was announced today that the Mouse House has just bought LucasFilm in similar fashion for the same price, $4 billion. Current co-chair head of LucasFilm Kathleen Kennedy will now become president.

The biggest news, however, is that in addition to announcing the purchase of the studio, Disney will also be developing Star Wars: Episode VII for 2015, followed by Episodes VIII and IX.  The long-term plan is to have a new Star Wars film every two to three years.

Kennedy will be acting as executive producer on Episode VII.  While Lucas will remain a “creative consultant” on the film, this will be the first Star Wars movie that will be almost entirely out of Lucas’s hands.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” Lucas said in a press release. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”

This news holds on the heels of the announcement earlier this year that Lucas will be moving away from LucasFilm and big-budget films to go back to his routes as an independent filmmaker.

LucasFilm also holds the Indiana Jones franchise, but Star Wars is Disney’s primary interest in the deal.  This deal will also likely push away a big money deal from 20th Century Fox, who have distributed and financed the Star Wars films since the beginning.  They may be still involved, much like Paramount remains some custody to Marvel films such as The Avengers.

In addition to new movies, Disney will also be pushing for Star Wars in other areas.  Those mentioned include games, parks, and television shows.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars already has a show on Cartoon Network, and rides featuring Star Wars have already been included into Disney World, so these changes are not as drastic.

“I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime,” Lucas said.

By Will Ashton | wa054010@ohiou.edu

Halloween is tomorrow, and if you’re anything like me, this is the time to sit back and check a few horror/holiday flicks off your list.

But perhaps you don’t know where to begin your time of blood, screams, and crackles? Well, I’m here to help. I’m not the world’s biggest horror aficionado, but I still have my personal favorites, and as the clock is now officially counting down to All Hallows Eve, I offer you my seven Halloween picks.

So grab your bowl of candy and let’s wind down this dark, spooky trail.

  1. The Evil Dead 1&2 and/or Army of DarknessI’m kind of cheating here, sure, but if you haven’t seen any of these, you need to check them out. Before Sam Raimi became a household name making the (original…) Spider-Man trilogy, he had another series. When it comes to plot, the Evil Dead movies are pretty much as simple as they get: Five friends head down to an abandoned cabin, where they stumble upon the Necronomicon, a book of Sumerian texts which casts hellish spirits onto their festivities. Following our main protagonist Ash, played by no other than The Chin himself Bruce Campbell, the film(s) may sound like every other horror movie today. But through invocative camera work, strong atmosphere, and a great sense of humor, these films are trademarks in low-budget horror; representing everything you’d want in cheap horror thrills and laughs. Watch this now before the remake, which actually looks surprisingly awesome, comes this spring.
  2. Dead Alive, a.k.a Braindead Much like Raimi, before Peter Jackson made a little-known series of films about Lord of the Rings, he was actually a cult-favorite, low-budget horror director in New Zealand. Heavily inspired by the Evil Dead movies, he made what I easily consider one of my favorite horror/comedies of all time, Dead Alive. Titled Braindead by everyone outside of the U.S., the movie is considered one of the goriest films of all time, as it follows a young man named Lionel who must fight a town full of zombies caused by a Sumatran rat-monkey. Much like Evil Dead, even on a very low budget, it’s easy to see Jackson’s talent boom through his innovative camera angles and unique sense of humor. Filled with great one-liners like “I kick ass for the Lord,” and one of the most bloody awesome (literally) climaxes I have ever seen, Dead Alive should fulfill your thirst for blood, laughs, and gore.
  3. Scream- The quintessential horror movie of the ‘90s, I consider Scream to be the near perfect balance of horror and comedy. The combination of Kevin Williamson’s insanely witty and loving script, combined with Wes Craven’s expert direction of horror, the movie is able to be self-aware without being too self-aware, a problem so many horror comedies (besides The Cabin in the Woods and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) suffer from today, and refreshingly original during its time.  If your movie features David Arquette and Jaime Kennedy, and makes them not only likeable, but two of the best characters in the whole film? Then you have magic. While not as good, Scream 2 is also just as worthy as the first. But 3 and 4? Let’s just pretend they never happened…

  4. The Nightmare Before Christmas- But perhaps you’re not a fan of the blood and gore, yet still want to participate in the Halloween movie fun? Then, if you somehow missed it during your childhood, check out The Nightmare Before Christmas. Produced by Tim Burton (but NOT DIRECTED, a very common mistake) and directed by Harry Selick (Coraline), the film follows Jack Skeleton, the king of Halloweentown, who, one day, stumbles upon the land of Christmas Town and decides to create some mischief fun.  Beautifully animated, incredibly clever and original, and featuring a killer soundtrack, The Nightmare Before Christmas has been a Halloween (and Christmas) classic for me since childhood, and remains one to this day.
  5. Trick ‘R Treat- While not my favorite Halloween film, Trick ‘R Treat still remains a criminally-underrated Halloween horror flick to this day.  Following four interwoven Halloween stories, the film focuses on a high school principal, a college student, a group of teenagers, and a Halloween-hating woman, among others, as they fall victim to the terrors and haunting powers which live around the town on one Halloween night. Both inspired and bold, this movie isn’t afraid to get dark and edgy, all the while remaining fun and unique.  While some stories are better than others, and the film may be slightly uneven, it still deserves way more fans than it actually has, so seek it out and enjoy this hidden Halloween favorite.
  6. The Nightmare on Elm Street- It was a toss-up between this and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the originals of course, but ultimately I found the former a little more festive for this time of the year. If you don’t know about this flick, or don’t recall the name Freddy Krueger, then you must have been living under a pretty solid horror rock throughout your whole life. Arguably the ultimate horror movie slasher, Krueger is unquestionably one of the most memorable villains in film history, let alone horror movie history.  Plus, the movie features a small performance by no other than Johnny Depp himself.  So, what are you waiting for?  Check it out.  Also, you can skip the remake (sorry Jackie Earle Haley).
  7. Halloween- A Halloween horror list without Halloween would be the equivalent of apple pie without apples. The two go together unquestionably. The influence to countless horror slasher films to follow, Halloween remains so memorable, even to this day, because of its effective use of atmosphere, tension, and music, among other factors. It’s extremely simplistic, almost even to a fault, yet captures so much with so little that it is undoubtedly a must-see for Halloween. Despite all the sequels, and the remake (which I consider half a good film, half a completely terrible film) to follow, nothing beats the original.

So there you have it.  These may not be the best horror films, or even the best Halloween films, but they are all worth watching, in any order. So turn off the lights, turn on the DVD/ Blu-Ray player, and have yourself some good horror fun.

By Will Ashton | wa054010@ohiou.edu
Frankenweenie | Directed by Tim Burton | Rated PG
RATING: 4/5

Ladies and gentlemen, Tim Burton is finally back.

After underwhelming performances with his last two features, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows, and after making one of the best films in his resume, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Burton returns back to his former glory with his new film, Frankenweenie.

A stop-motion animated film based on a short film he made early in his career, the film follows Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan), a young boy isolated by the world he lives in, who only finds companionship through his caring parents and his loyal dog, Sparky. Victor grows his love of science and making short films with Sparky as the protagonist.

One day, when attempting to please his father and join the baseball team, he loses track of Sparky, who runs onto the street and gets hit by a nearby car. Devastated by the lost, Victor destines himself to bring his dog to life through his hometown of New Holland’s constant formation of lightning. He digs up his dead dog and attempts to give him life once again, and, magically, he is able to restore his best friend once again. He attempts to keep this a secret, but a secret like this can only stay hidden for so long before his classmates and neighbors catch word of his new creation.

Without a doubt, Frankenweenie is the most passionate and creative Burton has been in years.  Judging by the amount of heart brought into not only the story, but also the uniquely hilarious character designs and visual style presented in the movie, we can see that this movie carries more inspiration in Burton than he has had in the past few years.

This is likely because this is the most personal film that Burton has made in a long time, maybe ever.  Looking into the character of Victor, we can see many similarities to him and Burton’s childhood. His, and the film’s, love of black-and-white monster movies and, most likely, his dedication to a childhood pet is able to be reflected into the main protagonist, and therefore we, the audience, are able to emotionally be connected into his story and quest.

In addition to the film’s strong emotion connection, the film’s simple, but strong, script by John August is able to challenge heavy topics like morality, playing God, and the practicality of science in a way that’s honest and smart, while also not slowing the film down or over-boggling it with heavy-handed metaphors.

Looking back at another film released this year similar to Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, I believe that, while ParaNorman is indeed a good film, that Frankenweenie ultimately ends up being the movie that it wanted to be.  Shot completely in black-and-white, Frankenweenie is able to harken back to the monster and horror films of the ‘50s and early ‘60s with enough love and tongue-on-cheek that it plays itself off nicely as both a homage and parody of these films in equal balance.

While ParaNorman also held a strong emotional connection, and gave a strong sense of character, it also felt at times like it was losing track of what it was supposed to be, or what it set up to be, from the beginning.  Frankenweenie never forgets what it is and what it wants to be.  Both films touch on very similar themes of death and referencing earlier horror films, but ParaNorman loses this during the second act, saving itself by remembering what it was intended to be, mostly, around the third act.

Not to mention that this film is animated beautifully, and the use of black-and-white is able to show the dimensions and hidden detailed touches added to the characters more clearly.  Being the lover of stop-motion animation, or Claymation, that I am, it’s wonderful to see that we have not one, not two, but three different ones that came out this year.  But looking back at each, The Pirates! Band of Misfits and the aforementioned ParaNorman, I feel that this is unquestionably the best of the three.

The film does carry some flaws.  While the film is very funny throughout, it also feels the tendency to go for poor gross out jokes, making the film somewhat uneven comically between jokes such as these and its natural dark humor.  Additionally, there is one supporting character in this film that, I’m pretty sure, is borderline racist for no particular reason and also the ending, sadly, decides to go soft despite the themes and plot leading to go otherwise.  But, hey, it’s Disney.  What was I suppose to expect?  I should be grateful that both of Victor’s parents are alive.

In his first effort directing a stop-motion film by himself (he co-directed Corpse Bride with Mike Johnson), Burton proves that there’s both life and creativity to be found within the filmmaker.  Much like the film’s title character’s journey, Burton’s career has been given the chance to get struck by lightning and to be brought back to life.  Tim Burton, welcome back.

By Nicolien Buholzer | nb360409@ohiou.edu | @nicobuholzer
Community will return to NBC Thursday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m.

Human beings, rejoice!

After weeks of tweaking the calendar, NBC has finally decided to stop toying with our emotions and decide just when Oct. 19 will be.

The fourth season of Community will premiere Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. — moving the show back to its Thursday time slot. The cult favorite will replace 30 Rock, which will have ended its final, 13-episode season (and again, I say, thank you, 30 Rock, for bowing out gracefully before our relationship turned bitter and resentful, as with The Office).

After nearly a year of uncertainty about whether there would be a fourth season, how long of a season it would be, when it would air, what was happening with Dan Harmon, what the show will be like without Dan Harmon, what happened to Oct. 19, whether the show would be on Fridays (effectively hammering the nail in the coffin) — wow, have we really been put through this much torture? — human beings can finally relax.

As long as NBC doesn’t decide to play more dirty tricks on us.

And while fans can look forward to some rather timely holiday episodes — if they air — they can also  settle down knowing NBC finally set its midseason schedule.

Midseason schedule:

SERIES PREMIERES:

— Deception, Monday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m.

— 1600 Penn, Thursday, Jan. 10 at 9:30 p.m.

— Ready for Love Sunday, March 31 from 8-10 p.m.

RETURNING SERIES:

— The Biggest Loser, Sunday-Monday, Jan. 6-7. The series will air Mondays from 8-10 p.m. until the return of The Voice.

— Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, Jan. 8 with back-to-back episodes at 8 and 8:30 p.m., and continue to air in that hour each week.

— Parks and Recreation will move back an hour to 8:30 p.m. starting Jan. 17.

— Smash, Tuesday, Feb. 5 9-11 p.m., returning Feb. 12 to its regular day and time at 10 p.m.

— Community, Thursday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m.

— The Celebrity Apprentice, Sunday, March 3 from 9-11 p.m. for four weeks before shifting to one-hour episodes starting March 31 at 10 p.m.

— The Voice, Tuesday-Wednesday, March 25-26

— Revolution will go on hiatus starting in November, only to return Monday, March 25 at 10 p.m.

 

By Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D | Directed by Michael J. Bassett | Rated R
RATING: 0.5/5

 

First Words

It has been a while since I felt the eagerness for a movie to hurry up and end until I saw Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. I will admit that I haven’t sat back and critically thought through the statement I’m about to make, but I must say that Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is one of the WORST movies I have ever seen.

Plot

Several years after the events in Silent Hill, Heather (Adelaide Clemens) and her father, Harry (Sean Bean), have moved around and changed their names several times due to an incident Harry had a few years prior. While getting settled in a new town and with her 18th birthday approaching, Heather continues to be haunted by a place called Silent Hill. When her father is taken to Silent Hill, she must go to the very place that’s been haunting her with the help of a new friend (Kit Harington). On the journey to save her father, she doesn’t realize that she will also discover the details of her life that have been hidden from her.

Positives

I struggled finding anything good about this film. Other than the fact that I was happy that the films running time wasn’t longer than it was, I couldn’t see a positive with this movie. After a long thought I was finally able to find a somewhat bright spot. All though the film is a complete travesty, the creatures in Silent Hill were interesting. By interesting I don’t mean how they acted or the story they were involved in, I just mean the look of them. The look of the creatures fit the ridiculous place known as Silent Hill. 

Negatives

Where do I begin? Let’s start with the acting. I don’t want to take jobs away from anyone but I hope I never see any of the stars from this movie in another film again. As the film moves forward, the acting constantly took steps back. Harington as Vincent was the standout culprit of bad acting. Every line he blurted out wasunbelievable.

Now in defense of the acting jobs that were done, one could say that the story and the script played a big part in what the actors were able to do. When you’re forced to say terrible lines then it might seem that you can’t act. When your character is someone involved in a terrible story then it, again, might seem like you can’t act. The excuse relating to the story might have the most valid case of them all because the story created for this sequel was all over the place.

The movie wasn’t good before Heather went to Silent Hill but when she got there it got even worse. Throughout her journey to find her father, she ran into creatures that felt like they were thrown into the story to create some sort of action and nothing else. All the random events lead to a final act that will leave you speechless. From our protagonist finally being confronted by the feared demon child Alessa to the final battle involving the most random characters from the film, everything about it was poorly thought out and put together. The end was so bad that confusion becomes an instant feeling because there is no good explanation for what you just saw. Lastly, I want to quickly say that 3D in the movie did nothing to enhance the film. It was poorly used and often forgettable. The 3D, if used better, would have been the entertainment Silent Hill: Revelation 3D desperately needed.

Last Words

Michael J. Bassett and everyone else involved in the making of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D really need to sit back and think about what they just released for the world to see. Is this a movie they really want to be associated with? Is this a movie they really want their names attached to?  If I would have known what I was going to witness, I would have just taken the money I used to buy the ticket and thrown it away. If someone can put out a product that makes an individual feel this way, then that’s ver