Wrath of the Titans Movie Review

Did you ever see a movie and realize that the only reason you went to see it was because it had gnarly actions scenes? While Wrath of the Titans was a good action movie, the plot left something to be desired.

It is the sequel to Clash of the Titans, an equally horrible movie in terms of plot and character development. While the cast is quite impressive in terms of acting chops, there is not any real acting happening, unless you count fighting with swords acting. The film has very little going for it, but the same cast, plus a few new faces.

A decade after Perseus-the demigod son of Zeus- (Sam Worthington) defeated the Kraken, he is trying to live a peaceful life as a village fisherman and the single parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. While there is mention of Helius’s mother, there is never an appearance nor flashback to show how Perseus’ son came to be.

However, while Perseus tries to live a good life, a struggle for power has begun to rage on between the gods, who are weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion to them. Realizing that their immortality is running out and that soon they will be too weak to control the imprisoned Titan, Kronos, the gods, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades and Ares meet to decide on a course of action. When they meet, Ares and Hades betray Zeus and Poseidon, capturing Zeus to feed his life energy to Kronos.

Perseus who realizes that the world is going to hell, after his village is attacked by a rampaging chimera, decides that the monsters that are allied with the Titans have no interest in human life and that he must do something to insure his son’s future. To battle the oncoming monsters and save humanity, Perseus rides his winged-horse, Pegasus, to team up with warrior Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon’s demigod son Agenor (Toby Kebbell), and fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighly) to embark on a quest into the underworld to save Zeus and slay some monsters.

Jonathan Liebesman directs the film from a screenplay by Dan Mazeau, David Leslie Johnson and Steven Knight. The movie is visually impressive, but the Imax, 3D, and HD digital projections, really only serve the purpose of being able to view the awful acting in more lifelike ways. While the visual effects are more spectacular than the last film, The Clash of the Titans, the acting and the plot leave this film very poorly put together. The  unfortunate casualty in this film is Rosamund Pike, who usually makes good decisions when it comes to film choices. I suspect that even she is cringing at the horrible film that she had a part in making. Despite the action scenes and special effects, I still cannot stop thinking about Sam Worthington’s horrible mullet and Aussie cover up accent. I know this film isn’t for everyone as most of its audience will be there because they want to watch a two-headed dragon level a forest or a gigantic Cyclops destroy a village. Yet, if you are like me and enjoy a good film, go see The Artist instead. This is certainly a film for people who are only going to see it for its action sequences, dudes with mullets, and blond chicks wielding swords.

The Coarseness of It All!

 

The Coarseness of It All!
Photo courtesy of Jessica Miller

“I am Professor Antlerwhistle and this is stick!” said Professor David McGinnis, director of the University play The Coarse Acting Show.

A silence ensued while the audience gazed upon the spotlighted yardstick in Professor McGinnis’s up-held hand. The scene mocked Simba from The Lion King when the cub was being held up in front of the Pride Lands.

The Coarse Acting Show by Michael Greenoffers instructions and a taste of what coarse acting is about and how to perform it. The performers made the silly-written show into a hilarious time had by both the cast and the actors.

“I think that this play takes a different approach on comedy, meaning rather than the actor being funny in character, the actor was encouraged to break character and make the scene funny by doing the exact opposite of what a good actor would do,” said Sophomore Jimmy Simeon.

The play was a composite of four separate plays. Each play had a new spin on the original along with humor that only coarse acting could do. Every segment was filled with new twists and random turns. Each of the plays was a mock version of some very well-known tales from Shakespeare to Herman Melville.

One minute the audience would be watching a battle ensuing in England, and then the White Whale would enter on stage leaving the audience in tears from laughter. The play was great fun for the audience, but it was not all games for the actors and crew to pull together.

McGinnis said that what made the show work with the silliness was “Control, as hard as that may be to believe. Humor like this has to dance on the edge without losing balance. Any hack can get up in front of people and act silly. It takes craft to seem silly while maintaining control.”

This control is in thanks to the team effort from both the backstage crew and the actors. In every performance the duties are to deliver the same silly and messy results every time so that the point is understood simply and clearly by the audience.

The audience is another crucial point in determining the direction of a play. The audience determines on the mood and flow of the play through the level of interaction. During certain times the director, in character as Professor Antlerwhistle, would have audience members come onto the stage to teach them a few methods in coarse acting. Each method taught to the audience would be see time and again in the play, and it would make each instance funnier. The audience shared an understanding of each coarse move

As the cast emphasized throughout the play, remember “all pain is felt through the stomach!”

 

Howl-O-Scream Horrors

Last Thursday students enjoyed a 10 dollar trip to Busch Gardens Howl-o-Scream in Tampa sponsored by CAB.

As I presented my ticket, horror movie screams rang through the park. However, I was not scared until a voodoo women jumped out from behind a door that led to nowhere that I realized what I was in for. The entire night actors in costumes jumped out of bushes and came within inches of my friends and I. At the time, in my mind they were not actors, and I was in immediate danger.

I jumped , kicked, howled, and screamed. But the sounds of others drowned out my cries for help. My friends just watched as I embarrassed myself.

Howl-o-Scream is a yearly attraction that runs during the entire month of October. Every year thousands of children and adults flock to the park for the infamous adrenaline rush that follows riding gravity defying coasters and staring at demons that resemble death.

If you hate waiting in lines you should reconsider going to Howl-O-Scream. The typical wait to get on a coaster was about an hour to an hour and a half. I didn’t mind because I was with friends so we talked and  laughed so the time spent waiting passed by relatively quickly.

We didn’t have much time to spend at the park since the buses were late. I only got to ride one ride and it was Busch Gardens’ wooden coaster, Gwazi. Standing at over 100 feet tall, the coaster is a ride to be reckoned with. Gwazi can reach speeds over 50 miles per hour, with 90 feet drops and enough twists and turns to leave you a little shaken up when exiting the ride.

Upon exiting the Gwazi platform, my friends and I headed over to The Death Bayou, a place that was haunted by a demonic voodoo woman and her minions. While we were standing in the line a few creatures from the bayou paid us an unwelcomed visit and reminded me that I really don’t like haunted houses. Instead my friends went into the haunted house while I held on to a police officer for dear life. Amazingly, when my friends came back they were still in one piece.

If you like realistic haunted houses then Howl-O-Scream is definitely the place for you.

Caribbean Student’s Association hosts Talent Show

Wednesday, Oct. 23 the Caribbean Student’s Association (CSA) hosted a talent show in Selby Auditorium to showcase some of Saint Leo’s talented students.

The name of the talent show was “So You Think You’ve Got Talent 3: Pink Paradise.”

“They totally stole that from ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ Anger!” said Sophomore Marie Ryan.

The entry fee to attend was 2 dollars. People who wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month got in for 1 dollar. It was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., but actually started around 7:50 p.m.

Selby Auditorium was packed. There were so many people in attendance that some had to sit on the stairs. Everyone was excited to see their friends and fellow students perform.

There were twelve acts total. The first contestant, Bianca Grant, began singing and then danced. The music and routine changed throughout the performance. The second contestant, Josh Lim, sang while playing his acoustic guitar. The third contestant, Cassandra LaVoie, also sang while playing her guitar.

Following Cassandra’s performance, six bold volunteers were requested from the audience to participate in an impromptu dance competition. This started out as a competition for dancing in general but quickly escalated to a “twerking” contest. The host jokingly scolded those dancing by insinuating that their moves were not appropriate for a Catholic school. The winner was Jessica Torrent. She had the crowd in an uproar with her bold moves.

The fourth contestant was Daniel (Danny) Francois who delivered a spoken word performance. The next act was composed of Natasha Amrisma and Tanganyika Smith. They were introduced as a “dynamic duo” and sang a duet. The following contestant was Keke Williams who also sang a song.

Due to microphone issues, there was a short intermission at this point. When the audience returned, there were multiple dancing competitions for audience volunteers. This time it was specifically twerking competitions. The winners of the dance-offs received tickets for free entry to CSA’s party on the weekend.

After this twerk fest, the Saint Leo Dancers performed a routine. Their energetic dancing was followed by Samuel Aelly who played the piano while singing. The next contestant sang a song as well. She asked not to be named. Jenifer Morales was eleventh in the line up and sang a song in Italian. The final act was a song sung by Erica Zigon.

The crowd was very involved and supportive throughout the night. They cheered for every contestant and often sang along with the performers who sang more popular songs. If a contestant was nervous, the crowd encouraged him/her with enthusiasm.

The Saint Leo Dancers came in third, Danny Francois came in second and Samuel Aelly placed first. This was an exciting evening full of energy and entertainment.

For the playlist of contestants, click here.

Superfood Craze!

A cross section of a dragonfruit, a superfood.

All over America people are discovering a new diet trend that could help lower cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease, and help enhance mood levels to increase happiness. And no, it isn’t a drug so there are no side effects to worry about later. This new diet is based on a phenomenon called superfoods.

Superfoods are a group of foods easily found in nature. These foods are not high in calories, but have a great amount of nutrients such as proteins, omega-3, and various vitamins. There are several types of super foods including Green Superfoods, Fruit and Nut Superfoods, Seaweed Superfoods, Bee Superfoods, and Herb Superfoods.

Green superfoods are great for weight loss because they contain a high amount of fat burning compounds and healthy bacteria that help clear the digestive track to prevent sickness and weight gain. The chlorophyll in this group of superfoods is excellent in the production of hemoglobin, which promotes oxygen rich blood and is great for cells. Some foods in this category are green leafy vegetables such as spinach, parsley, lettuce, and broccoli sprouts. These greens help prevent heart disease and cancer, however most people only eat these less than occasionally according to the health specialists at Foodmatters.com.

One type of superfood that is good for immune system is fruit and nut superfoods. Fruit and nut superfoods help a person’s body to build up the immune system in order fight everyday toxins emitted from cigarette smoke, radiation, and pollution.

One delicious way to help build the immune system is Raw Cacao, not the cocoa powder usually mixed with hot water or milk though. That type of cocoa powder has been contaminated with sugars and other enhancements. It has also been exposed to about 302 degrees of heat, and raw cacao has only been exposed to about 260 degrees. This allows important minerals and vitamins to still remain intact in raw cacao. Raw cacao contains a very high amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants are used to metabolize fats and proteins used to fuel the body. Raw cacao is also a great source of iron.

Acai Berries are also a great source of antioxidants. These berries taste great when blended into fruit drinks and smoothies.

Another nutritionally dense food is kale, which is found in the Seaweed category. When prepared correctly, kale is high in calcium, antioxidants, and can promote weight loss.

Nori is another seaweed superfood used in the preparation of sushi rolls and is also very high in nutrients. Seaweed can also be used to stimulate an inactive thyroid gland to enhance the metabolism and stimulate weight loss. A dish prepared with seaweed can also help break down chemical bonds between fat cells and help a person lose a few extra pounds in the process.

Superfoods have been available since the beginning of time, but Bee superfoods are notable because, according to Egyptologists and archeologists who study ancient Egyptian life, Egyptians who indulged in raw honey at least once a day lived much longer then people who didn’t. This may be because raw honey contains concentrated nutrients and enzymes that are essential to a long and healthy living. Raw, unprocessed honey also has many anti-bacterial properties that help to strengthen the body’s natural defenses against sickness and disease.

Herbs are another type of superfood. Some popular herbs in this category include aloe vera and ginseng. Aloe vera is a bit different from most superfoods because, due its healing properties for the skin, it is mostly used in lotions. Aloe vera is essentially used to moisturize skin and speed up the healing process of burns and scars. The natural sulphur in aloe vera makes aloe vera the perfect skin smoothing agent. Ginseng is another type of herbal superfood. This herb is usually taken in pill form as well. Ginseng is a natural mood enhancer, it also helps to release stress, and reenergize the body.

Lots of major brands claim that their foods are really healthy. But as the consumer you have to know what to look for. One tip that is guaranteed to lead you into a healthier lifestyle is to always look for foods with only one ingredient such example berries and meets. These foods are good because no preservatives have been added, which means that the product is in its freshest state. Foods with a long list of ingredients usually have much better natural alternatives that may cost a bit more but are better for people in the long run.

Another thing to look for is the label if the product contains more 7 percent of calories from saturated fat, put it back! If the product gets more than 10 percent of its calories from sugar, put it back! True superfoods are certified organic foods (it usually says certified organic/ USDA organic on the label).

The superfood trend may seem strange at first, but once people start feeling better and looking better, it will all be worth it!

Monster University Movie Review

It’s been 12 years since Pixar introduced us to the loveable one-eyed blob Mike Wazowski and his gigantic furry scare partner in Monsters, Inc., one James P. “Sulley” Sullivan. But instead of a “where are they now?” sequel, “Monsters University” travels back in time to tell the tale of how these two unlikely friends ended up in the scare business to begin with.

For Mike, being a scarer—a superstar monster who creeps into human children’s bedrooms to make them scream as a way of powering Monstropolis—is the only thing he’s ever wanted to do. For Sulley, there’s a family legacy to live up to since his dad was one of the most famous scarers ever.  They arrive as freshmen at Monsters University, each intent upon becoming scare majors. But some roadblocks await.

This is a great movie for any college student who needs a little bit of motivation.

Mike is a natural born student. He works hard. He studies hard. There’s just one problem: “What you lack is something that cannot be taught,” the stern head of the scare program, Dean Hardscrabble, tells him. “You’re not scary.”

Just like that, Mike’s dreams of being a scarer was going to take more work than he assumed.  Sulley’s got the opposite problem. He is a natural born scarer who wrongly assumes his genetic gifts mean he never needs to study. Soon he’s in search of a new major too.

Monsters University has two reassuring and comforting themes: recognizing and overcoming natural weaknesses, and understanding why people need friends to accomplish that task. Mike Wazowski is a model of self-discipline, determination and focus. He’s a whiz at all things academic, determined to overcome everyone’s belief that he’s not scary enough. He’s similarly adept at whipping his unlikely Oozma Kappa brothers into a team that actually has a fighting shot at winning the Scare Games, which is a game to prove who the best scarer is. But it’s not until he comes face-to-face with a situation that reveals just how not scary he really is that he has to reckon with the reality that he may not have what it takes to be a scarer.

In that moment, Sulley steps in to encourage his friend not to give up and to remind him what an inspiration he’s been to so many other monsters—not the least of which is himself. Sulley’s easy reliance on his natural gifts has made him lazy and arrogant, and Mike helps him see that talent alone isn’t enough. It must be coupled with discipline if it’s going to be fully realized.

On the flip side, Sulley eventually helps Mike see that sometimes desire alone may not be enough to overcome inherent weaknesses. In the end, Mike and Sulley realize they’re a better, stronger team together than either of them could ever be individually. It’s a significant moment when Sulley warmly gives Mike full credit for being the brains behind his brawn.

Monsters University is ultimately, then, more about friendship than scaring (or partying). Mike and Sulley each have some important growing up to do. And even though they’re both initially convinced that they have what it takes on their own to pursue their dreams of being scarers, in the end they need each other’s talents and encouragement. Along the way, they learn the incredibly valuable lesson that cheating and breaking rules while trying to prove they are the best in the scare games does not pay off. It also shows a heartwarming story about why learning important lessons together makes a big difference. They realize that even though they got expelled from college and things didn’t go the way they wanted, they can still work their way up to their dreams by starting from the bottom. This movie is perfect for anyone needing a boost on completing their dream goals.

A Review of Catching Fire

A Review of Catching Fire

“Catching Fire,” the long-awaited sequel to “The Hunger Games,” astounded audiences with intense action scenes and fantastic costume designs.

This movie continues where the first left off with Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson) facing the consequences of their rash actions in the Hunger Games. Uprisings that were hinted at in the first movie come to a head in this one with the advent of the 75th Annual Hunger Games and the Third Quarter Quell. A Quarter Quell is supposed to happen every twenty-five years and instates a special twist to the Hunger Games that changes each time.

In this Quarter Quell, two victors from each district in previous Hunger Games were sent as tributes.

Although the movie didn’t follow all of the smaller details from the book, the overall plot was the same. The book, written by Suzanne Collins, is told in the first-person perspective of Katniss. To deal with this, the film had to add scenes not mentioned in the book to provide some background on why some of the actions in the movie take place.

Like the first “Hunger Games” film, the cinematography involved many ‘shaky camera’ scenes to parallel the first-person narration in the books. In contrast, the scenes where Katniss is not present are filmed with slow camera pans to provide a third-person point of view.

The acting in the movie was alright; a few characters spoke in mumbles or barely reacted to dramatic events.  This could have been on purpose to reflect how the characters were written in the book. For example, President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) subtle and quiet speech in the movie seems to be inspired by his snake-like description in the book.

The special effects were simplistic, but amazing to see. All television screens were replaced with holograms projected into the air. Many of the animals, or ‘Mutts’ as they are often called in the books and movies, were computer generated but looked like real animals. Naturally, pyrotechnics were a staple with cloths being set on fire without harm to the wearers and sparks raining from the invisible walls as contact was made with them.

The book often alluded to the garb of the Capitol as gaudy and silly, but the movie made it all seem chic and fabulously beautiful. They should all look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book.

There are two dresses in particular that stand out. The first is worn by Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). It looks like a simple orange sundress from afar, but up close it can be seen that the dress is made up of thousands of monarch butterflies. Their wings were placed in various poses to make it seem as though they had all just landed on her body. The second dress is Katniss’s wedding gown. It is a white strapless piece with a wide skirt. When she spins, it catches fire and burns away to reveal a shimmering black gown complete with large bird wings that seem to come from nowhere.

This is a good movie for someone to see if he or she enjoyed the first Hunger Games movie or the book. It is also a good movie for those who just enjoy young adult dystopian fiction movies.