The wildly popular coming-of-age novel, The Fault in Our Stars is getting the silver-screen treatment. This best-selling novel by John Green is about cancer stricken teenagers Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, who meet at a support group and eventually fall in love.
When released, the novel received fairly positive accolades for its first few weeks on the shelf, and then began to pick up speed and sold incredibly well. It received critical acclaim from “NPR,” “The New York Times” and “The Critical Review.”
“The Fault in our Stars” has recently been receiving media attention because of the upcoming release of its film adaptation. On January 29th, the first official trailer was released, and has so far received over 11 million views on YouTube. The trailer gives a brief, but thorough preview of what is to come by sporting some of the more classic scenes of the novel as its centerpieces.
However, like any book-to-film adaptation, there have been complaints about its casting. Leading actress Shailene Woodley, along with co-stars Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff, are not living up to fan expectations of the characters described in the book.
Freshman Taylor Hannon remarked, “Shailene Woodley is a dull actor, and I don’t think she will live up to playing Hazel.”
The author, John Green, has said that physical appearance was never a big deal when casting actors, but the same cannot be said for the fans who became really invested in the characters. This could be turned into the debate of whether a film adaptation ever does the book justice. However, the success of the Harry Potter films remains a testament to the possibility of success when a novel is turned into a film.
Freshman Adrian Benn has “spent an immense amount of time of my life crying during sad books, movies and TV shows, but few times compared to The Fault in Our Stars. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product in theaters.”
“I found this to be an amazing book, and recommend it to anyone that reads.” freshman Leah Smith-Green added.
However, everyone doesn’t share these positive opinions. Freshman Nicolette Burns said, “The plot was unrealistic and predictable, but I may still go and see the movie.”
The Fault in Our Stars seems to be a title that will either reinforce the love shared between fans of the novel or act as another classic example of how films have a hard time capturing the true essence of a well-written book. Either way, the box offices are sure to see their numbers shoot to the stars.
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Being a college student can be hard, especially when it comes to studying for exams and doing homework and struggling through whatever else these vigilant students must go up against in their stressful daily lives. But it is important to remember that taking some time to relax is key to keeping motivation high. The naps, spending time with friends and going to the beach when weather permits are all great ways to rest, but another source of stress relief that has become exceedingly popular is Netflix.
If you somehow haven’t heard of it, Netflix is an incredibly popular Internet television service that has over 44 million members worldwide. With this service, users are able to rent either movies or television shows online, which are sent to them in their mail, or they are able to stream movies or television shows directly from the Netflix website. This method of watching television has become very popular in recent years and is Netflix’ s main source of income, earning them more than 3 million of their total 4 million dollars of revenue in 2013.
This Web service hosts many shows and movies from many different companies, but in the last few years, Netflix has also begun to host their own original series. These series have become very popular and include, but are not limited to, ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Hemlock Grove’ and ‘House of Cards,’ which is currently the eigth highest-rated series on Netflix by the International Movie Database rating scale.
“I really liked ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ said senior Ashley Hill. “It was interesting and I always felt a sense of anxiety after watching it, which really drew me in.”
‘Orange Is the New Black’ was first released as a Netflix original on July 11, 2013. This show tells the tale of Piper Chapman, who has been sentenced to fifteen months in an all-woman’s prison after being convicted ten years ago for smuggling drug-money to her drug dealing girlfriend. This show has received good reviews. It is rated at 8.6 out of 10 on IMDb.
“I also watched ‘Hemlock Grove’ and liked the show,” said Hill. “It was different, but not my favorite. I felt like the acting wasn’t that strong, but I did like the creepy feel it gave off.
‘Hemlock Grove,’ a show that premiered on April 19, 2013, is quite popular and tells the tale of a fictional town, Hemlock Grove, in which two characters, Roman Godfrey and Peter Rumancek, attempt to shed light on recent murders in the town as well as on the secrets within their own lives. This show has gotten more mixed or negative reviews from critics than ‘Orange is the New Black’ did, but still holds a fairly good score of 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb.
“House of Cards,” a political drama, is an incredibly popular Netflix original series that holds a 8.9 out of 10 review on IMDb. This show premiered on February 1, 2013 and recounts the story of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), who decides to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him. This show is highly acclaimed and has received multiple Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominations as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. ‘House of Cards’ is also the first show to receive awards for an online-only television program.
Hill has yet to watch ‘House of Cards,’ but states that she intends to in the future.
These shows are incredibly popular and show that it is possible for online streaming services such as Netflix to successfully hold their own programs online. This recent move towards online streaming television is impressive and points at many possibilities for the future of television.
If you are interested in ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ‘Hemlock Grove’ and ‘House of Cards,’ all three have new seasons planned for the upcoming year as well as more planned for the future. Definitely take the time to check them out if you are bored or procrastinating or doing whatever you happen to be doing in your free time.
Valentine’s Day movies show that the medium may be falling short at each and every attempt to capitalize on the holiday of love
More than the shortest month of the year, February is a sugarcoated, candy flavored construction paper cutout of a heart. Valentine’s Day can serve as an excuse to be overly public with your loved one as well as equally public with the fact that you have a loved one. Then there are always the people who put their bitterness of not having a valentine on display.
For movie companies, however, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to capitalize on the lonely, fragile or naïve hearts of the youth and produce hackneyed, gushy movies meant to make couples fall deeper in love and make single people buy more popcorn. This year, the big, trite Valentine’s Day release is a novel adaption called ‘Endless Love’, starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabrielle Wilde.
Although originally written as a romantic thriller by Scott Spencer in 1979, the 2014 adaption of the ‘Endless Love’ movie appears to diminish the raw, passion of the book to a clichéd plot about a bored, privileged girl who falls in love with a boy upon meeting him, although the pair must fight to be together because their parents forbid it.
Scott Spencer himself wrote for the Paris Review that the movie will be “a Valentine’s massacre,” because the script adaptation is void of the insanity, danger and bizarreness present in the original novel.
Movies, like this one, that are released on Valentine’s Day are generally ill-received by critics and viewers alike. They rely on the eager hearts of teenage girls and lonely young adults who will watch these two beautiful people interact on screen and imagine themselves in their position.
They won’t take into account the unhealthy codependence of such a relationship or the complete lack of talented or imaginative screenwriting because they will be deferred by the veneer of Valentine’s Day, and the movie will do relatively well despite the lack of any actual cinematic substance.
“They’re super sappy and they prey on female emotions,” said freshman Rachel Lambert.
“They never have a strong female lead. Instead, they have a strong male lead who is trying to make a girl happy and make her like him because, apparently, she can’t do that on her own,” Lambert added.
Through the years, there have been many Valentine’s Day releases that have followed the typical romantic comedy formula for success among the lonely hearts and idealistic teenagers.
Last year, the Nicholas Sparks movie adaption ‘Safe Haven’ was released, the year before that, it was ‘The Vow’, and in 2010, we had the appropriately named ‘Valentine’s Day.’ It seems that, as long as these movies will sell well in the box office, we will be subjected to their sugary romanticism year after year.
It’s not all bad, however. Some see the release of these Valentine’s blockbusters as a worthwhile opportunity for fake, clichéd romance to bud into the real thing.
“I think it’s a good way to get brownie points with your woman or at least it gives you an excuse to take the girl you like out on a date,” said freshman Kendall Billups.
The movie industry has been able to strategically release plot-less films on Valentine’s Day and still do relatively well because of the number of couples looking to do something romantic, the preteens who want to dream about their future and lonely people who go out of spite.
Only time will tell whether we will ever realize that watching these movies is basically turning your brain off for an hour and a half; but this realization definitely won’t be coming this year, or the next, as Valentine’s Day 2015 is set to see the release of the highly anticipated ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film.
With over 50,000,000 downloads, the popular game known as Flappy Bird has become an instant fad this year.
Even though this game was made in May of last year, the game has risen to prominence because of the rage and frustration it causes, despite its simplicity. You may have become familiar with the game from friends, relatives and the many videos online of people playing the game; trying to show off their skill or lack thereof. The object of the game is to make a bird flap its way through a series of pipes simply by tapping the screen to keep the bird “flapping” in the air. Sophomore Katherine-Anne Christy says “It’s literally Angry Birds and Mario World combined,” and that best describes the way the game looks because of its graphics.
There seems to be no end to the game, and the fun of it comes from trying to get a high score. But once you get the hang of the game,which means getting past the first pair of pipes and so on it becomes progressively harder to maintain rhythm and concentration. It becomes addictive because you want to keep beating your previous score. What starts out as a few tries may turn out to be an hour or more of playing the game because of how it attracts your attention and inevitably causes you to waste time trying to beat a high score. Although getting a high score will allow you to show off and boast about your tapping ability, the game can become frustrating and stressful. As easy as it is to get through the pipes, it’s just as easy to lose at the game. Even though many players may recommend the game, it’s best played in moderation to prevent stress, anger, profane outbursts and broken mobile devices.
“I think it’s frustratingly addictive and the more you fail, the more it makes you play” says sophomore Robert Sutton.
But if you’re willing to give it a try, all it takes to get the score you want is a lot of patience, focus, and concentration.
Despite its popularity, on February 8, 2014, “Flappy Bird” was removed from stores by its creator Dong Nguyen. Nguyen took down the game because of all the bad press that surrounded his game as well as accusations surrounding the game’s success. Because of how famous the game became, many believe that Nguyen may have used Internet bots to promote his game and also help boost the game’s ranking in the stores. Allegedly, he didn’t think using bots was wrong. Another issue raised surrounding the game was that some of its graphics resemble those from a Super Mario World game; like the green pipes and the bird, who looks an enemy from this game. With this in mind, it’s easy to assume that the creator may have ripped off Nintendo, even though there have been no legal charges filed against him.
Although the game was free to download on the Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, the game was raking in $50,000 a day (and will now continue to do so even after the game was taken down from the stores) from ads alone, which worked perfectly for advertising companies since the game reached a large number of people. But most people think the biggest reason that Nguyen took the game down may be that he was overwhelmed by all the fame and hate he received from having made such a successful game. He made it so simple and different, that people praised it because of how difficult it was and how it allows the player to keep playing for a higher score, either for self-pride or for showing off scores against friends.
If you happen to be one of the many fortunate people who were able to download the game, then keep playing and sharing your scores. You happen to have a piece of gaming history that will continue to haunt avid players and confused gaming companies alike.
Students on campus have tried their hardest to master the game, and this is a small list of some varied scores recorded.
Senior Nikki Cuthbert 213
Sophomore Dakota Grizzle 117
Junior Tim Pepper 56
Sophomore Robert Sutton 14
Senior Michelle van Patten 16
Sophomore Glen Johnson 19
Freshman Mitchell Wilson 21
Freshman Kiki Decruise 25
Freshman Nicolette Burns 4
The start of the year means a lot of things, one of which is award shows. Many of them do a good job of reflecting what movies, shows, and songs have been the best throughout the year. Most of the time you only end up hearing about these award shows’ decisions when they aren’t popular; example, Macklemore winning “Best New Artist” at the Grammys over the favorite Kendrick Lamar. Both are really important figures in their genre which has become the most mainstream by leaps and bounds. They both rap about issues that are important to and reflective of current society. Lamar focuses on racial issues, and Macklemore has become a household name as being a champion of gay rights. Now, which issue is more important is not my place to guess, but I can say that the issue of sexual equality is a hot button issue right now.
While the Grammy’s have been under fire, the Golden Globes were generally well received by the public. American Hustle had their two female leads (Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence) win for the “Best Actress/Supporting Actress in A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy” while Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto swept “Best Actor/Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama.” Both of these movies are incredible and worth your time and money.
The Golden Globes are not a joke, but at the end of the day movies want to win Oscars, which are the highest of movie awards. There are many good movies and actors/actresses this year to pick from. American Hustle has been projected to win a lot of awards, but I don’t think 12 Years a Slave should be counted out for winning best picture, as it has been reviewed by many high up movie critics as one of the most realistic depictions of slavery in cinema. My guess for Actress awards is that American Hustle will take home the Oscar for both just like the Golden Globes. The men aren’t so easy. DiCaprio is a popular choice since everyone wants to see him finally win an Oscar, but Chiwetel Ejiofor of 12 Years a Slave and McConaughey of Dallas Buyers Club both acted, possibly, the role of their lives. A front runner for the supporting actor role is Barkhad Abdi who played the head pirate in the biopic “Captain Philips.” This is the only movie Abdi has ever been in and wowed the watchers with his terrifying portrayal of a Somali pirate that toward the end you almost end up being sorry for.
After these ceremonies are over there are bound to be people who think something or somebody else should have won, but at least most of the nominees were almost as good. For movies and music this year there have been strides in improving these forms of art, which you can see in the overall quality of the music and cinema of 2013.
Arts & Entertainment Editor
On February 2, actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in Manhattan due to a heroin overdose. Hoffman, 46, struggled with substance abuse and addiction on and off for years, and has become a favorite actor among many adoring fans.
Hoffman appeared in a slew of popular movies, many of which received awards or were nominated for awards. Among the list, some stand out titles are ‘Punch-Drunk Love’, ‘Capote’, ‘The Big Lebowski’, ‘Happiness’, ‘Patch Adams’, ‘The Master’, and most recently ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’. The range of personalities and roles Hoffman was able to master were often regarded as being truly impressive by other starlets and a-listers, and he was truly well loved by his co-stars and employers, as well as his family and friends.
Hoffman’s death, as with any death, is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers of substance abuse, even in the rich and famous. His death has been hailed as a tragedy in a slew of tweets and social media posting by actors and actresses, and has redirected the spotlight of media coverage on the prevalence of drug related issues in common day cinema. What goes on underneath of the veil of film with the actors and directors is not always known to the public, and Hoffman’s death is no exception.
On the other end of the spectrum, but no less demoralizing, is the passing of Shirley Temple Black, more commonly known as Shirley Temple. The former child actress died in her home at the age of 85 on February 2. Temple became a household name throughout the 19030’s and the 1970’s, and made a name for herself for being multitalented in singing, acting, tap dancing and being generally adorable with her curly locks and witty retorts that out adults in their place. She starred in multiple shows and movies, including ‘Little Miss Marker’, ‘The Littlest Rebel’ and ‘Little Top’. Performing with huge names in the music industry became commonplace for Temple, as she made appearances with Bing Crosby and Clark Gable. She was the voice and face of her generation, and remained in the hearts of so many people for so long.
No one death is greater than another, whether it is from natural causes or a drug overdose, the death of any loved actor or actress can be a system shock to fans.