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REVIEW: ‘A Thousand and One’ is a hazy epic straight from a storybook

 It’s never too early to plan ahead: while some moviegoers concern themselves with what might take home the gold at the 2023 Oscars, others look to this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which has once again provided us an early glimpse at the films to watch for next year’s upcoming awards season. There may not be any making quite as many waves as the Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic winner “A Thousand and One,” whose millenium-spanning story announces writer-director A.V. Rockwell as a talent to watch.

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‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ succeeds on charisma check, but just barely

 On Friday, Jan. 20, Amazon Prime Video released the first three episodes of the second season of “The Legend of Vox Machina,” animation studio Titmouse Inc.’s adaptation of the wildly successful Dungeons and Dragons actual-play show “Critical Role.” Though impressive in scope and showing plenty of promise for what’s to come, season two so far is underwhelming, if not as an adaptation, then as a story on its own. This season, “The Legend of Vox Machina” follows titular adventuring party Vox Machina as they track down legendary magical items to help them defeat a cadre of villainous dragons dubbed the “Chroma Conclave,” bent on ruling the world. If it sounds played out, that’s because it is — mostly.

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5 and Why: 5 best places to read on campus

 As students and faculty return to the University of New Mexico main campus, it can be harder than ever to find a nice, relaxing place to unwind with a good book. To help readers get back in the swing of things amid the bustle of a new semester, fifth year student Arely Ortega shared five of her favorite places to read on campus. El Centro de la Raza As far as study spots on campus go, you can’t get more welcoming than the various student resource centers on campus. To Ortega, the most relaxing of these is El Centro de la Raza, located in Mesa Vista Hall.

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LETTER: Support House Bill 43 this legislative session

 How many of you have been to La Posada? Or the movie theater in the Student Union Building? Have you sat by the Duck Pond as the trees start to bloom? There are a lot of memories that I hold dear from my undergraduate experiences at the University of New Mexico, but of all the resources and activities UNM has to offer, the support services for sexual violence are the ones that meant the most to me. Fall 2019 was the most complicated semester of my life. As a student, I took advantage of counseling at SHAC, academic accommodations, and regular visits to the LoboRespect Advocacy Center to navigate the dramatically different landscape after my incident. I took advantage of the resources available to me and they made an impossible situation possible.

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REVIEW: 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' brings back our favorite fearless feline hero

 “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” brings back the fan favorite legendary cat from the “Shrek” franchise for an adventure filled with delightful storytelling and nostalgia. A surprisingly delightful movie, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” shows that Dreamworks Animation Studios can still produce films comparable in quality to the “Shrek” and “How to Train Your Dragon” movies of old. With the spring semester starting up and the thoughts of graduating or simply moving on to the next year of college hanging over many of us, the movie helps one escape with a nice dose of childhood nostalgia.

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REVIEW: ‘The Last of Us’ adaptation honors and furthers video games

 On Sunday, Jan. 15, HBO released the first episode of the highly anticipated “The Last of Us” series, based on the critically acclaimed game of the same name created by publisher Naughty Dog. The TV show comes one day after the game's 10th anniversary, originally released on Jan. 14, 2013. A big challenge with any video game adaptation is trying to create a series that will be engaging for the incoming viewer but faithful enough for fans of the game. It feels like most of the time with adaptations like this, the writing falls flat and is inaccurate to the game — with “The Last of Us,” fans have nothing to worry about.


OPINION: “Avatar” highlights the danger of computer-generated films

 Well, it’s official: we’re gonna see a whole lot more “Avatar” in the next 10 years. With “Avatar: The Way of Water” poised to make its money back, essentially confirming that we’ll see an “Avatar” 3, 4 and 5, we can rest easy knowing know that the original “Avatar” truly did have some sort of cultural impact and naysayers were just wrong. This begs the question, though: what about its impact on filmmaking, or rather, lack thereof? At the time of writing this article on Saturday, Jan. 14, the sequel is poised to reach $566.7 million at the US domestic box office over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend which will put it at number 13 for the highest grossing films of all time in the US and Canada, according to Deadline.  

GALLERY: Monster Truck Rally

OPINION: Monster trucks rally is a Rio Rancho smash hit

 On Jan. 13 and 14, the Rio Rancho event center sold out every seat in the house for the Toughest Monster Truck Tour. And my god, were they tough: the flips, the stunts, the cars smashed are all enough to attest to that — and the crowd ate up every moment.  The trucks featured included Dozer, who made their indoor arena debut, Buckshot and the corvette Rat Attack. Dirt Crew, my personal favorite truck, looked like a dump truck (monster-sized, of course). Also present was Tailgator, who rivaled Dirt Crew for best aesthetic with a gator-themed truck, and Maximus, a brand new truck who made their debut.

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“This Place Rules” doesn’t rule

Two years ago on Jan. 6, 2021, a group of right-wing pro-Trump rioters stormed the capitol building in Washington D.C., marking the violent culmination of a historic cultural and media frenzy around the polarizing 2020 election cycle. This event, and the frenzy leading up to it, are the subject of journalist and documentarian Andrew Callaghan’s new documentary on HBO, “This Place Rules,” which premiered Dec. 30, 2022. Though laudable, the filmmaking is surprisingly shallow, making “This Place Rules” an ultimately skippable watch.


5 and Why: 5 tips to help survive senioritis

  The spring semester is about to begin at the University of New Mexico and with that, a new set of seniors and another wave of burnout. UNM’s Student Health and Counseling and the Women’s Resource Center came together to give us five tips to prevent and survive senioritis. “Stress is an inevitable part of college. But it's definitely (on the) high-end your senior year. This is where you are feeling that burnout; you have a lack of motivation. Maybe you're a little bit lazier than you were previously. You can have feelings of hopelessness. You can have thoughts of giving up. You may also feel panic and anxiety and worry as well,” Tiffany Martinez-Durant, Education and Outreach Manager from SHAC, said. 

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OPINION: What’s a New Year’s resolution without resolve?

For most people, the new year brings a fresh chance to start over with a clean slate and implement changes into one’s life. However, each year, New Year’s resolutions create the opposite of resolve. Instead, they serve only as another thing to do in a world full of short-lived trends. I don’t have a problem with the idea behind resolutions. In fact, I like the idea of having a long-term goal for the year — it seems to me as if they can only provide benefits. However, as we often see, that’s not quite the case.

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OPINION: Free menstrual products needed on UNM campus

Across the University of New Mexico campus bathrooms, there is a distinct lack of menstrual products. Not only is there a lack of free products, but the overarching lack of access generally is also apparent. How is it that there is access to free condoms in every dorm, the Student Union Building and various other buildings, yet not free menstrual products? Both are essential: one for safe sex practices and the other for sanitary practices for something that is natural and not always preventable.

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LETTER: Not enough cameras: the recent influx of film and digital media students at UNM

In the recent fall 2022 semester, there has been a major increase in enrollment of students into the film and digital media program at the University of New Mexico. Intro classes have noticeably increased in number of students present. Classes that used to be 16-18 people in number have increased to 23-25 students per class. This means more students per instructor, bigger groups to work in and less cameras per student. This offers a wide range of problems, but it also offers a lot of hope. Hundreds of new students have appeared seemingly out of nowhere, surprising employees, instructors, and other students who have been in the program for a while.


REVIEW: Cate Blanchett is ‘Tár’-iffic in ‘Tár’

It wouldn’t be a true awards season without talking about the latest film starring Cate Blanchett. In the case of 2022, this happens to be writer-director Todd Field’s “Tár.” After receiving a strong critical reaction at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year, “Tár” finally saw release here in Albuquerque on Friday, Oct. 21, allowing us non-Venice attending folk to dig in to the masterpiece that Field has crafted. This is a film best approached with as little information as possible, so I will keep my summary extremely broad: it centers on world-renowned composer Lydia Tár (Blanchett) who slowly becomes embroiled in controversy during final preparations for a career-setting performance. This summary is extraordinarily reductive, but part of what made “Tár” most striking is how shocking it is, due in large part to how little I knew about it going in.

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REVIEW: Taylor Swift’s “Midnights (3am Edition)” is a gorgeous compilation of nighttime thoughts

At midnight on Oct. 21, Taylor Swift released her new 13-song album entitled “Midnights.” Shortly after,  a “special very chaotic surprise,” as Swift called it, of seven more songs — titled the “3 am Tracks” — were then unsurprisingly released at 3 A.M. Together, the two come to form ‘Midnights: 3am Edition,”  a collection of 20 new songs that are a truly spectacular set of stories representing those nights when thoughts leave you staring at the ceiling. Anyone looking for the “old Taylor” will find artifacts of her old albums throughout this new one, but “Midnights” truly represents how Swift has grown as an artist and a person.


OPINION: Films need to put more effort into cinematography

The principal concern of the filmmaker is image. Story, character, even sound are all secondary to the creation of compelling images. Think of the shower scene in “Psycho,” Gene Kelly and the lamppost in “Singing in the Rain.” With their composition, these iconic images, both within and outside their original contexts, provide sensations beyond sight to the audience — touch, smell, taste, even intrigue; a sixth sense of danger and imbalance or joy and virility. Now, think of an iconic shot from the past few years in film, particularly blockbusters: those we’re leaving behind to later generations. Our cultural footprint. Think of a shot as divorced from the context of plot as well, just what’s in the frame. Finding anything interesting? Likely not.

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5 and Why: 5 places to take photographs in and around Albuquerque

The city of Albuquerque and its surrounding area provides ample opportunity for both professional and amateur photographers to photograph places that are both beautiful and unique. Isaac Martinez, a film student at The University of New Mexico and practicing photographer for the last four years, spoke to the Daily Lobo about his favorite spots to take photographs with some common and uncommon spots.


OPINION: Queen Elizabeth II leaves behind legacy of violence, colonialism

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Sept. 8, 2022. She left behind a legacy drenched in blood from her long imperial reign. Hidden behind the veil of elegance, jewels and wealth, the English monarchy has long stood as a bloodthirsty, villainous force. One of the most gruesome examples of the violence committed by the monarchy was their response to the Kenyan Mau Mau independence movement in the 1950s. Occurring at the start of Elizabeth II’s reign, English troops sent hundreds of thousands of people in both Kenya and Malaya to be imprisoned in detention camps, enduring forced labor and starvation — acts carried out in the name of the Queen.

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OPINION: UNM needs a new mural and I know where

As a senior at the University of New Mexico, I have had four years to familiarize myself with our campus. Over that time I have fallen in love with so many aspects of our school's beautiful architecture and landscaping. However, like many other students, I know of a handful of areas on campus that don't necessarily bring me joy. In fact, they do quite the opposite. One spot in particular that has bugged me for years is the area between Zimmerman Library and the Education Classrooms building.

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