• Arts & Entertainment

    Is “The Birth of a Nation” a Sundance darling or a wide release flop?

    “The Birth of a Nation” is a period biopic about the story of Nat Turner. Like many historical melodramas, the filmmakers were liberal in their use of artistic freedom with the narrative. This is not a failure of the film but rather the filmmaker’s choice to value theme and allegory over historical accuracy. Turner, a slave in the Antebellum South, is not only able to read but is also a preacher. While this may not sound strange today, in the pre-Civil War South it was rarely witnessed. When slave owners take Turner across the country to preach to other slaves, he discovers his voice is the only sign of hope…

  • Arts & Entertainment

    A Monster Calls: A fantasy film that tells it like it is

    Someone unfamiliar with “A Monster Calls,” could dismiss it as the typical fantasy-fiction adventure centered around a child's friendship with a friendly beast. While this is technically true, it is so much more than that. “A Monster Calls” separates itself from the rest by instilling its fantastical story with a commitment to realism and emotional complexity. The film weaves its superb screenwriting and acting to create a cathartic story about coming to terms with grief. The film revolves around young teenager Conor O’Malley, played by actor Lewis MacDougall. Every night, Conor is terrorized by a recurring nightmare in which he is desperately trying to grasp his mother’s hand as she…

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Clint Eastwood delivers with “Sully”

    A basic screenwriting tip is to start your screenplay on a special day. Clint Eastwood’s latest film “Sully” certainly does that. “Sully” begins on January 15, 2009, the day a US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to make an emergency water landing on the Hudson River. The film is set during the subsequent inquiry held by the National Transportation Safety Board into the forced landing. Flashbacks are used heavily to depict important contextual events relevant to these hearings. The forced water landing along with important events in Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger’s flying career are primarily depicted through flashbacks and dream sequences. “Sully” begins with the miraculous water landing that took place…

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Film Review: “Blair Witch

    No matter what your opinion of the “The Blair Witch Project” of 1999, it’s fair to say that it is an extremely influential film. Through its intentionally amateur camerawork combined with an ingenious use of viral marketing, and its effective atmosphere through minimalist scares, it has earned its spot in the annals of Horror Cinema. Because of this small independently funded film that showed that you don’t need million of dollars to make a horror film, we’ve been lucky to get films like “Paranormal Activity” and “V/H/S.” Even since the widely panned sequel “Book of Shadows,” the franchise laid dormant for all the 2000’s and most of 2010’s until Lionsgate…

  • Arts & Entertainment

    “Everybody Wants Some!!” lets the good times roll

    “Everybody Wants Some!!,” directed by Richard Linklater, is told with the perfect touch of lightness and complexity that comes together in a terrifically fun and insightful movie. The 2016 film is told with a loose storyline that meanders in all the right directions. It is amazingly rich and has an unforgettable ensemble of characters. “Everybody Wants Some!!” depicts the seemingly never-ending good times of a group of hard-partying college kids on a school baseball team. Set in the 80’s, the film is full of short shorts, mustaches and disco. The film is deeply nostalgic, while still seeming universal and timeless. Although this film will particularly resonate deeply with college students,…