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The better of being a proud Indian: Aikytha Night 2017

On Nov. 18, 2017, the India Student Organization hosted Aikytha or India night and there are only three words that can describe such an event: colorful, exciting and creative. As you walk into the Atwood Ballroom you are surrounded by a feeling of friendliness and overall positive energy, and that never dimmed once throughout your time there. The evening was made up of dancing, food, fun and enthusiastic vibes, that as an audience member, it makes you feel as if you were in India that very night. This was the idea the organization had gone off of when the whole event was staged as a flight simulator. When the audience has arrived into “India,” right away we started to witness the culture of the country. Creatively, they expressed their traditions with a story of a couple, one from northern India and the other from southern India, and their desire to… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Movies

Murder on the Orient Express: An average mystery with a star-studded cast

Kenneth Branagh’s “Murder on the Orient Express” paints a suitable picture of a classic murder mystery. It stars Branagh as the famed detective Hercule Poirot and he has one of the most talented ensemble casts you’ll see all year. Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr., Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Willem Dafoe play a group of passengers on the Orient Express, a train in which Poirot finds himself on in search of a short vacation from solving mysteries. Branagh’s direction of Orient Express creates a sinister atmosphere after the train finds itself caught in an avalanche and ends up stuck in the mountains, leaving the passengers and Poirot all trapped together with a dead man, who was killed the in the middle of night. Poirot then must investigate every person as everyone becomes a suspect. While the movie focuses intently on the mystery… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Video Games

2017 Holiday Video Game Guide

Each year the holidays bring about a break from school and work with an increased opportunity to delve into some the year’s biggest gaming titles out now. Here’s some titles I think should be on your list this year. South Park: The Fractured But Whole (XB1, PS4, PC) Fans of the popular TV show South Park will enjoy the new RPG from Ubisoft that builds off the original game South Park: The Stick of Truth. Even those not familiar with the adult cartoon franchise have something to enjoy in the simple to pick up RPG action. However, those who find the South Park humor style to be immature will want to stay away as Ubisoft did a fantastic job replicating the shows feel in the game.   Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (XB1, PS4, PC) Potentially the best game too few people are playing, Wolfenstein II picks up where the… Keep Reading

Image courtesy of Warner Brothers
Lifestyle/Movies/Reviews

Review in: Just Disappointment League

Justice League was a critical point film. After the release of Wonder Woman, Warner Brothers’ DC films found the perfect turning point to relieve themselves of some of their prior filmography gaffs. The lukewarm Man of Steel, followed by the universally panned Batman V Superman, and the identity-confused Suicide Squad all combined to give DC superhero movies the earned reputation of being inferior Marvel film clones. With the release of Wonder Woman, I honestly felt they finally began how to understand the tired formula they were ripping off. It was decently paced, I liked the character development, and the only real improvements I could offer were to lose the abused slow-mo, ditch the awful CG effects, and to improve the story and dialog writing to not require so much damned exposition. I think you can figure out the reason for including a mini-review in this review if you weren’t already… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Movies/Reviews

Thor: Ragnarok thunders its way to the top

This November, Thor: Ragnarok thundered its way into theaters, featuring the titular God of Thunder. This version iterates with a more colorful and more funny Thor than we’ve seen in past films. Humorously styling himself as “the strongest avenger,” he struggles with the oncoming threat of the goddess of death: Hela. Played by Cate Blanchett, Hela proves to be too much for the God of Thunder after she is released from her inter-dimensional prison. This is realized when she effortlessly destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir in an early melee in the film. The humor and colorful set pieces were designed to homage the Thor comics of the 1980’s. This design largely worked well with the plotline of the movie, but the soundtrack felt out of place in some of the key moments of the movie. Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant song worked for the trailer, but not the climactic battle in Asgaard. The… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Video Games

Gamers battle back against microtransactions in Battlefront 2

In 2017, nothing was more likely to turn a player away from a game than the implementation of “loot crates.” The idea of buying a random item with a mere chance of getting something useful is not in line with the experience all gamers are looking for. When Electronic Arts (EA) unveiled their latest multiplayer shooter, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, a vocal community of gamers quickly took a stand. The game went into beta in October and it was quickly discovered that the loot crate system in the game gave an upper hand to anyone looking to buy their way to victory. Originally seen in “free to play” titles, the loot crate system has carried over to full retailer releases, often in ways that impact play. Purchasing these loot crates allows for gamers to unlock random items. Whether it is heroes, weapon upgrades, or simple things like celebrations, the majority… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Reviews/Video Games

Dead Space: A post-mortem for Visceral Games

Dead Space was a series I was always curious about but never explored. I was a wimp when it came to horror until fairly recently, and I think I can chalk up my acclimation to it from bad horror films. I had forgotten the series existed until recent news broke about Electronic Arts dissolving the development studio of Dead Space. Late October to early November is turning out to be the period of time for EA to get another load of well deserved anger pointed at them. The death of Visceral Games (Dead Space), Acquiring Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall), and the massive controversy about Star Wars Battlefront II’s micro-transaction models and grind for a $60 game have soured my opinion of the company below the already subterranean bar it then held. This is going to be a post-mortem for the death of Visceral, a review of their claim to fame: Dead… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Movies/Reviews

New Jigsaw film fails to live up to franchise success

Back in October, Lionsgate released the latest installment in the Saw franchise.  Saw fans were elated for the return of their favorite gory film franchise on the big screen.  It stars relatively unknown actors Matt Passmore and Callum Keith Rennie as the main characters Logan and Detective Halloran.  Tobin Bell also cameos in a few scenes in his iconic roll as John Kramer aka. Jigsaw. The film starts out in its usually predictable beginning with a bunch of people stuck in traps meant to cause horrible pain and mutilation.  This case being a metal collar attached to a chain leading to a bunch of whirling buzzsaws on a wall.  Next, a taped recording of John Kramer telling them the usual “you must give a sacrifice of blood in order to survive” and proceeds to start the trap.  The prisoners soon realize that they need to cut themselves on the saws in order to prevent their demises.  Most of them succeed… Keep Reading

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