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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

Lifestyle/Movies/Reviews

Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World” calls attention to international violence

On Monday, October 23, the Department of Theater and Film Studies kicked off their annual event: the International Film Series. It is an event that showcases internationally recognized films that have otherwise made their mark in the film industry. The starter of the series this year was the truth telling movie named In a Better World directed by Susanne Bier. Susanne Bier is a Danish director who is changing the way the world looks at movies. Her main focus in all of her movies, no matter what the theme, is to demonstrate using family structures that are endangered by outside forces. The first of her films that were recognized by critics and made its way to America, was Broken Hearts (2002). Soon after that, another film of hers that made its way to America and then to the New York Film Festival was Brothers (2004), which was then remade by… Keep Reading

Lifestyle/Movies/Reviews

The Foreigner: Action packed chaos

Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan go head to head in the action-packed, twisted movie, The Foreigner. Jackie Chan plays Ngoc Quan, an immigrant and British citizen from China who seeks out revenge after his teenage daughter is killed in an explosion. The movie begins with Quan picking up his daughter (played by Katie Leung) from school. Their lives seem normal and her biggest problem is getting the perfect dress for the school dance. Quan drops her off and watches her walk into the store. A couple of seconds later someone blows up the shop, injuring and killing dozens of people. Amongst the deceased is his daughter. Before moving to England, Quan’s wife and other two daughters were kidnapped and murdered by Thai pirates. She was the only family member he had left. The story comes off as a little cliché, but it takes a slightly different direction than expected. Quan… Keep Reading

A & E/Events/Lifestyle

KVSC and GREAT Theatre recreate War of the Worlds broadcast

Only 79 years ago, the radio show War of the Worlds, by Orson Wells, took the nation by storm. The GREAT Theatre paired up with St. Cloud State University’s radio station KVSC on October 28, to recreate such a legendary broadcast. The broadcast that created terror in America in 1938 has become a staple in American history. Orson Wells, renowned director, and writer was famous for his realistic writing skills. At the time, Wells wanted to write and put something on-air that was terrifying for Halloween night. He had produced a story about aliens invading New York City, then quickly spreading to other parts of the nation. Because it was only showcased on the radio at the time, the audience could only listen to the story as it unfolded, using life-like sound effects and voices making it all more realistic. So, for those who had decided to tune in later… Keep Reading

Satan’s Little Helper: The method actor of madness

I find it a relieving feeling that I can continue to be surprised by my movie stack. I often buy by the title or covers alone, but I don’t remember where I managed to find this movie. Whether you believe me in saying that or not – and considering the season, I understand why – this film blindsided me with how much I enjoyed it in actuality and not in mockery or at its expense. Satan’s Little Helper is a genuinely enjoyable film and one I find hard discussing in detail like I normally do. The reason I find it hard to discuss this movie, other than it’s religiously polarizing title, is my usual style involves dissecting a movie down to core elements and going into detail why they work and don’t work. A boon for when the subject of discussion is a horrible film that has more cracks in… Keep Reading

A & E/Lifestyle/Reviews

Big Mouth is a big yes from me

There is a new gut-busting adult cartoon series that has just joined the rest, and it is the Netflix original Big Mouth, directed by Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg,  and Nick Kroll. This show about the beauty an,d awkwardness of growing up, is nothing short of hilarious, engaging, and yet shocking all at the same time. Big Mouth is about pre-teen boys Andrew Glouberman (voiced by John Mulaney) and Nick Birch (voiced by Nick Kroll) living their normal middle school lives as the big, disgusting, and crude Hormone Monster (also voiced by Nick Kroll) comes to help transition them from being boys, into being men. They are also accompanied by a female character named Jessi Glaser (voiced by Jessi Klein), who also has a Hormone Monster appear as well, to get the female perspective of the transition into womanhood. This show is definitely not one to show to your 7th-grade class… Keep Reading

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