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Culture

Movie Review: 'The Land' more than just a skateboard flick

“The Land” opens up with a simple, overstated question directed to four teenagers: “What are you going to do with your life?” The school principal asks each of them individually, cut between footage of the students committing a crime later that evening. It’s a question that resonates vividly throughout the film’s 90-minute runtime, interwoven between footage of the students committing crimes later in the narrative. We follow a coalition of naive, high school skateboarders by the names of Cisco, Junior, Patty and Boobie, on the streets of Cleveland. The group’s friendship is tested through a very saturated plot that is predictable and cheesy at times.


Freddy Fazbear is the evil, animatronic villain of "Five Nights at Freddy's," a popular indie game developed by Scott Cawthon.  Courtesy: ScottGames/Steam
Culture

Column: Indie games break down barrier between creator and fan

Indie video games are what Bandcamp releases are to major music labels — a disruptor that allows for a more accessible market for smaller developers to release their games. Big developers like Nintendo or Activision have long dominated the game development industry, but indie games are now on the rise after gamers have grown disenchanted by major studio releases not living up to hype, or relying too heavily on in-game purchases and expensive downloadable content. It’s titles like the horror-survival game “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” which are developed independently, that are giving rise to the indie game movement.


Music

Review: 'Autograf' puts on a passionate and upbeat show

It’s not often you find yourself at an anniversary show of a music group on Halloween. That turned out to be the case at the El Rey Theater, when the electronic music trio Autograf performed on Oct. 31st to an enthusiastic crowd. Drinks were overpriced, but that’s just the nature of a concert venue. But the show made up for the outrageous drink prices with the passion and stage presence of the group. A relatively new group that started in 2013, Autograf hails from the windy city of Chicago, a town famous for good music and a long history of legendary musicians. Autograf may be next on the list, as their performance at the El Rey was one worthy of Electric Daisy Carnival.


Culture

Film Review: 'Only the Brave' deserves a spot among great war films

When we think of war films we tend to think of “Saving Private Ryan”, “Apocalypse Now,” and “Fury” as examples of great contributions to the genre. “Only the Brave,” a 2006 film by Lane Nishikawa, takes the genre in a different direction. Nishikawa’s film follows the soldiers of the 100th battalion in the French combat theater of World War II comprised of Japanese-Americans who enlisted from the Japanese internment camps instituted after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Nishikawa — who wrote, directed and acted in the film — had a clear focus, and from this he created what amounts to a hidden gem in the war film genre. With many films in the genre, the focus is on the mission the soldiers must face, giving the film a distinct path. “Only the Brave” only introduces the soldiers’ mission in the second act of the film. By stepping away from the first act introduction of the mission, Nishikawa has created a different form of war film.


Movies

Film Review: 'The Witch' offers complex themes, frights

At first watch, there isn’t much meat on the bones of Robert Eggers’ “The Witch.” On a superficial level – thanks to its incredibly simple premise, small production scale and what could be interpreted as an ambiguous ending – one could think it’s a skeleton of a movie, with small bits of flesh clinging to its ribs in the form of the occasional jump scare. Don’t fall into that trap. It’s easy to think that the final product far outweighs the expectations that a horror lover may have for “The Witch,” but you’d be doing yourself a disservice in the process. So how do you get the most out of the the film, and experience it the way Eggers intended the audience to?


Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue
Movies

Review: The Hateful Eight is another triumph for Tarantino

Long after Quentin Tarantino’s career is said and done – no matter how polarized the debate over his impact on cinema – film nerds and students alike might very well turn to his latest picture, The Hateful Eight, as the one that is the most Tarantino-esque in his catalog. That is to say, a gritty, consistently suspenseful, dialogue-drowned opus that blends multiple genres together in ways no one else can, and in a manner that is immensely satisfying, whether that satisfaction comes from bullets or from sheer filmmaking brawn. Tarantino’s eighth feature begins with bounty hunter John Ruth, otherwise known as “The Hangman”, transporting the captured Daisy Domergue to Red Rock to collect his reward, but not before running into old acquaintances and being forced to stop for shelter along the way at Minnie’s Haberdashery due to a storm.


A worker at Slaughterhouse whos costume is called Leather Face, positions himself at the end of a tunnel to await the houses attendees. The Slaughterhouse is built in a warehouse that after the halloween season is over doubles as a movie production space.
Culture

Halloween: Local haunted houses rated

Halloween is all about fear (among other things). Those who enjoy Halloween either want to scare people or get scared. For those who choose the latter, a popular choice is to visit a haunted house. Depending on how easily scared you are, you may need a scorecard. Worry not. The Daily Lobo has your haunted house picks covered.


Culture

Movie review: Surreal documentary confronts perpetrators of Indonesian genocide

The haunting lengths that the human mind will go to to protect itself is the primary subject of Joshua Oppenheimer’s riveting new documentary, “The Look of Silence.” “The Look of Silence” serves as a companion film to Oppenheimer’s earlier film, “The Act of Killing,” which used a unique approach to bring to light the horrendous, but mostly unknown, events of the Indonesian genocide of 1965. The genocide was a result of the Indonesian military takeover of the government in response to anti-communist fervor brought on by propaganda.


The Setonian
Culture

Play review: 'Book of Mormon' an entertaining show ... if you're not offended

“South Park” writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone are at it again. Out to offend as many people as possible, their new musical “The Book of Mormon,” also created by Robert Lopez, focuses on the next target of their signature satire: Mormons. It’s difficult to describe “The Book of Mormon.” The plot revolves around a young Mormon missionary, Elder Price, played by Billy Tighe, and his forced companion Elder Cunningham, played by A.J. Holmes, and their adventure in Uganda. Their goal, of course, is to convert the indigenous people of Uganda to Mormonism. To put it simply, this play is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. Possibly the weirdest thing anyone will ever see.


Culture

Album review: Sinners and saints alike will love 'Cynics & Saints'

Picture a naked blue woman with fiery red and black hair flowing behind her sitting on a faceless white horse with freakishly long legs. They may say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but no one ever says, “Don’t judge a CD by its cover.” CD covers are made for judging. Combined with the first track, they give you an impression of what the disc inside will hold. First impressions aren’t everything. Lara Ruggles sneakily tricks listeners into expecting another simplistic, cookie-cutter indie rock album with the first impression of her newest release, “Cynics & Saints.”


Culture

Movie review: 'Güeros' explores youth with subtle surrealism

"Güeros" brings a frenzied drama to adolescence in a film that follows Tomas (Sebastián Aguirre), a young boy, who has a series of adventures when he is sent to Mexico City to stay with his older brother Sombra (Tenoch Huerta). Tomas’ stay in Mexico City begins after his accidentally dropping a water balloon on a baby, which is only the first of several events that set a tone of understated surrealism in the film. Tomas’ visit serves to shake his older brother, who is in a rut because of the shutdown of his school due to student strikes.


Culture

Album review: Metal snobs beware: 'No Epitaphs'; is fun, but nothing special

“No Epitaphs,” the upcoming release from heavy metal punk band Ramming Speed, is an interesting blend of traditional heavy metal and epic guitar riffs that actually consist of more than fast-paced power chords. The first track, “No Forgiveness in Death,” gives off an impression of energetic epicness. The fun riffs mixed with the perfect head-banging beat will make fans want to get up and move with the music.


Culture

Movie review: 'American Ultra' underestimates the potential of its own story

Small-town American angst meets ultra violence in “American Ultra.” At least, that’s supposed to be the joke in the new stoner comedy. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are cute and convincing as characters Mike and Phoebe, a slacker couple whose mundane lives are upturned when Mike finds he might be something more than he thought. Mike is a nervous, unambitious guy who works nights at a convenience store and smokes heavily with his girlfriend, who is the best thing in his life. In one of the funnier recurring jokes, he tries to find the perfect time to propose to Phoebe.


Culture

Album Review: Mike Krol lays an egg with "Turkey"

The problem with some music is one can’t tell whether the musicians are satirical performers, which typically consists of musicians performing badly on purpose for some unfathomable reason, or if some insane person actually thinks what they’re producing is good music. This is the bewilderment listeners may experience while listening to Mike Krol’s newest release, “Turkey.” Named after the term used for a third consecutive bowling strike, “Turkey” is supposedly the mark of Krol “making it.” If this is making it, then music standards have fallen even farther than I thought.


Culture

Movie Review: Despite simple plot, 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' nails action-comedy

With boxy German cars and stark, grey walls topped with barbed wire, the first 15 seconds of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” thrusts viewers directly into 1960s Berlin, the Cold War era, as Napoleon Solo, played by Henry Cavill, crosses from West to East. The opening images of the film tease with the aesthetic of the time, complete with grainy, hand-held images. But this spy thriller never fully embraces ‘60s kitsch: it chooses instead to transpose the imagery onto a glossy Hollywood star vehicle, with the occasional zoom, rainbow sun flare or split screen shot to keep the audience visually in the time period.


Culture

Album review: R&B album unique with grunge tones

With the fall semester approaching quickly, students are hustling to get ready for classes and cooler weather. One of the most important items on the checklist is, of course, what music they’re going to study to. Fans of R&B and Jazz may find “Under the Savage Sky,” the newest release from Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, moving its way up their “must buy” checklists. “Under the Savage Sky” opens up with “Willow,” a fun, energetic song with heavy guitar riffs and deep, gritty vocals complete with background “oohs” and “ahs” to round out the sound.


"Me oh My"
Culture

Review: Rich lyrics strike spark in ordinary country album

Country boys and girls, grab your finest cowboy hat and a box of tissues and get ready to dive into the show. This is going to be a deep one. On Tuesday, the country band known as the Honeycutters will perform at Low Spirits Bar & Stage to show off music from their April release, “Me Oh My.” To give a preview of the material for their upcoming performance, this critic had the chance to listen to “Me Oh My” in its entirety.


The Setonian
Culture

Musicr eview: "Born on Fire" an ideal album - if you like one specific sound

Ike Reilly’s seventh album offers many things for fans to look forward to: raspy vocals, upbeat rhythms, occasional guitar solos and a few misspelled titles. The indie rock “Born on Fire” is a record five years in the making, but it sounds more like country rock meets campfire sing-along with instruments. A truly great record is able to capture the hearts of listeners regardless of whether they are die-hard fans of a particular genre. Unfortunately for Reilly, his release falls short of that: this album can expect to be bypassed by those of the heavier rock n’ roll community.


The Setonian
Culture

Review: French film similar to Helen Keller story

Feeling, hearing, speaking: the often intense, sometimes intimate relationship between the senses and interpersonal communication. These are the elements that make “Marie’s Story,” the new film by Jean-Pierre Améris, a unique variation on the common subject of communication. “Marie’s Story” centers on a French monastery — a school for the deaf — and a nun named Soeur Marguerette, played by Isabelle Carré. Her sole mission is to teach Marie, a young, blind and deaf girl portrayed by Ariana Rivoire, how to communicate and eventually find pleasure in a world outside her own perception. The story is similar to that of Helen Keller, which has been dramatized as “The Miracle Worker” in English several times. The concept is well-trod, and it feels that way in the film. The two primary characters go through little development. Marguerette starts out as a woman with something missing from her life and trying to fill the void with teaching Marie. She then discovers a newness and excitement about the world through her own eyes in the process.


The Setonian
Culture

Review: 'Fury Road' does action right

In “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the latest addition to the groundbreaking post-apocalyptic film series directed by George Miller, Mad Max describes himself as “a man reduced to a single instant.” “Mad Max: Fury Road” is very much a film obsessed with the instant: particularly frantic instants of fire, twisting metal, and endless sand. Miller has taken the Mad Max concept and not only expanded on the world of the story, but pushed the elements that made the earlier movies popular as far as he could. The plot of “Fury Road” revolves around Max, played by Tom Hardy, and Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa as they attempt to steal the wives and war rig of the tyrannical warlord Immortan Joe, played by Hugh Keays Byrne, who also played the villain in the original Mad Max. Immortan Joe, not too happy about theft of his wives, sets out after the heroes with a whole party of white-painted warriors on an array of deadly vehicular monstrosities. The breakneck narrative of “Fury Road” takes place almost entirely in, on and around these constructions — particularly the war rig, a giant semi equipped with armored hatchbacks and machine guns.



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