Is Hollywood Out Of Original Ideas?

Lately, it seems like all that is playing in theatres are remakes of classic movies. I don’t know about you, but I’m over it, and I want some new and original ideas. As a consumer and a viewer, I am tired of seeing new renditions of my favorite movies. I decided to write a blog post about this after hearing classmates, friends, and family discussing the same issue and felt the same way I did! Recent remakes of movies include Jumanji (2018), Tomb Raider (2018), and Freaky Friday (2018). My feelings aren’t enough to fill a blog post, so I decided to do some research on why so many remakes are coming to theatres.

“Why Is Hollywood Producing So Many Damn Remakes”   https://mashable.com/2014/10/09/hollywood-film-remakes/#kFPurDCtfsqd

Excuse the language, but this article was a great resource into why so many remakes are being made. I took the main points of the article and shortened it, for your convenience Remakes work and have proved to be successful.

  • While the ratings are lower than the original movies, the total grossing of remakes are much higher.
  • Remakes are a safe bet to make. No risk of an audience not liking the plot.
  • International audiences want to see more remakes.
  • Licensing to characters. Other companies own licenses to characters, so to maintain that license they have to make remakes of movies. (EX: Spider-Man)


Why Hollywood’s Obsession With Remakes and Sequels Need To Die”  https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qbxq77/end-the-hollywood-sequel-franchise-beetlejuice-indiana-jones

These article titles are insanely aggressive! While this article focused on both remakes and sequels, I’ll be focusing on the portion written regarding remakes. This article was filled with much more emotion regarding remakes, mainly negative emotions. Personally, I dig this article, it put my emotions about remakes into actual words. Again, I will be shortening the main points of the article.

  • Remakes are never very good.
  • Remakes are destructive regurgitation.
  • Remakes are disrespectful to cinema.
  • We as a society should not allow remakes to consume cinema.

“What’s driving the resurgence of reboots, remakes and revivals in TV and film”   https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/driving-resurgence-reboots-remakes-revivals-tv-film/story?id=47645549

This article is similar to the first one I added, very informative. It gives readers more insight into the motives behind Hollywood, rather than focusing on the emotions of consumers. You already know I shortened those points.

  • Remakes are making a resurgence and becoming more prevalent in shows and movies.
  • Defines remakes: Older story line with fresh faces.
  • Risk averse strategy, or relying on plots that viewers have already seen.
  • It is easier to draw a crowd to a movie, where the ticket price has increased, if they know what the plot will be like.
  • We notice more remakes because there is more advertising.
  • Remakes draw in a dedicated audience, and new age groups.

Asking A Bigger Population*

For data from young adults I took to Twitter, tweeting the following: “Hey guys please vote and retweet so I can get some data! What type of films would you rather watch?”. Asking people to retweet the poll allowed more access a more diverse range of people, getting answers from different high schools and colleges.The two options listed were “Remakes of movies” and “New and original films”. I deleted the poll after receiving exactly one hundred votes, and found out that 87% of people would rather watch “New and original films”, with 13% voting that they would rather watch “remakes of movies”. From this poll, it seems that the majority of people agree with me, we want to see original ideas instead of remakes!

*My twitter account and the content included does not reflect the views of JMU University Program Board.

media for blog on hollywood


After researching Hollywood’s obsession with remakes, I can conclude that it is strictly because they want money. However, Hollywood trying to make a quick buck is angering their audiences. Hollywood’s main reasoning behind the increase in producing remakes was because it brought in a dedicated audience, but that same dedicated audience is starting to resent the remakes. The younger age groups seem to agree with my opinion and want less remakes and new original ideas, proving Hollywood wrong once again. Hear your viewers and consumers out Hollywood, enough with the remakes!



Special Events

Luna Lovegood: Lucid or Lunatic?

In a world of three-headed dogs, dragons, unicorns, and werewolves, is it logical to believe in other creatures like nargles and wrackspurts? Does Luna Lovegood deserve being called ‘Loony Lovegood,’ or is she just as bright at Hermione Granger?

Personally, I love Luna Lovegood. She is a kind, intelligent character who always has the right thing to say. She provides a different perspective during times of hardship. A time that really sticks out in my mind is when she calls Dobby “sir.” Luna is a pureblood wizard, and she treats Dobby like another wizard without even giving it a second thought. House elves are usually treated as less than people, even by Sirius Black. Luna’s kindness shows in so many ways, but so does her amazing intelligence.

Luna is a close match in intelligence with Hermione. Rowling said, “She’s slightly out-of-step in many ways, but she’s the anti-Hermione. Hermione’s so logical and inflexible in so many ways, and Luna is likely to believe ten impossible things before breakfast.” Luna is a true Ravenclaw in many mays. Ravenclaw values intelligence as well as wisdom, wit, and creativity. Luna is clever sometimes, but it is really her outside-the-box thinking which sets her apart as a Ravenclaw: She came up with the idea to ride the Thestrals to the Ministry, so they wouldn’t draw people’s attentions; she led Harry to one of the Horcruxes and when answering the riddle ‘which came first, the Phoenix or the flame” to get into the Ravenclaw common room, she demonstrates her ability to think differently. Her answer was, ‘a circle has no beginning.”

Luna may be a bit ‘loony,’ but that is what makes her truly belong to Ravenclaw.


Put MAAP on Your Map

MAAP garage, short for Madison Automotive Apprentices, is a Porsche restoration shop/coffee shop located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Affiliated with James Madison University and is recognized as a JMU building. Address: 1070 Virgina Avenue MSC 4812 Harrisonburg, VA 22807. The owner of the facility is Cole Scrogham, a Porsche motorsport specialist that has acquired decades of track engineering experience, behind the scenes of Porsche production testing, and restoration of Porsche’s precise automotive engineering. Cole’s oldest son Michael Scrogham works alongside Cole with their restoration projects while also running the MAAP Coffee shop inside of the garage. MAAP Coffee shop is one of the best places to get any type of espresso drink. Michael is a 2016 JMU engineering alumni. His engineering capstone project that was done over the course of two years and focused on developing an energy efficient solar powered espresso machine. He continuously is developing his methods for producing high quality espresso drinks with new uncommon methods such as aeropress and pour overs. MAAP incorporates their years’ worth of Porsche engineering experience in all they do.

Cole Scrogham

MAAP garage is very young and still has plenty of room for growth. At the moment they provide focused institutes on specific subsystems in automotive mechanics for their students. As well as trying to provide internships with automotive experts. Right now they have a JMU engineering student working at MAAP as a paid intern to help them with their multiple restoration projects that they have laying around their garage. Cole sent 4 MAAP students to Amelia Island, Florida as an internship opportunity to work with auction experts of very expensive vehicles. They were able to get hands on experience with a wide range of rare vehicles that you most likely would never see driving on the roads today. The opportunities opening up at MAAP are just getting started and are very undervalued at the moment. I believe within the next few years MAAP will make James Madison University the number one option for students interested in the professional motorsport field.

madison automotive apprentices pic

Entertainment, Film

Worth the Watch? Boss Baby


I was apprehensive to watch Boss Baby, actually I had no intention of watching the movie. There are numerous activities that I would rather do than watch Boss Baby; be stung by a bee, get kicked in the heel by a scooter, eat burnt toast, etc. Boss Baby seemed like another film that DreamWorks rushed out of production and into theatres to make a quick buck, with no intention of putting thought or effort into the plot. The hatred I felt for Boss Baby arrived immediately after I saw promotions for the movie. I didn’t understand how anyone could be interested in seeing a movie where the main character was a baby that wore a suit and had a stupid smug grin on his face. The trailer alluded to cheap jokes about business and baby stereotypes and didn’t seem to delve deeper into what the Boss Baby’s mission was about. The trailer disgusted and confused me in one sitting, therefore my interest in seeing the movie was non-existent. Before Winter Break, my suitemate, Jenny, showed us a clip from Boss Baby, one that she laugh-snorted at every time, and she told us that we had to watch the movie because it was her favorite movie. I was intrigued by how my suite mate could deem this movie her “all-time favorite,” and when I asked her why she responded, “You are just going to have to watch it, I can’t explain it.” After receiving her vague answer, I decided to make a movie night out of it, thus the entire dorm was going to watch Boss Baby.

Image result for boss baby


            Rotten Tomatoes: 52%

Common Sense Media: 3/5

Roger Ebert: 2/4

“Considering that it’s based on a cute but pretty story-lite picture book, this animated comedy exceeds expectations — especially if you’re a fan of Baldwin’s work on 30 Rock.”

-Betsy Bozdech (Common Sense Media)

“The Boss Baby’s eventual affirmation of sibling bonding and familial love makes all its toddler toilet humor a bit more bearable.”

-Bob Hoose (Plugged In)

“The animated feature The Boss Baby has some hilarious moments. If, that is, you’re a grown-up.”

-Neil Genzlinger (The NYTimes)


So, it seemed my initial review of the movie (before watching) wasn’t that far off from final reviews by critics who had seen the film. While my initial review was more demeaning and harsh, many critics and ratings appeared to like the movie, but not love it. I had no intention of liking this movie, however seeing the reviews made the movie seem less daunting than it was. After reading the reviews, I decided to read a synopsis of the plot, to give myself another perspective of what the movie was going to entail as opposed to the trailer.

Image result for boss baby


“A new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator — a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim. The most unusual Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at Tim’s home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. The instant sibling rivalry must soon be put aside when Tim discovers that Boss Baby is actually a spy on a secret mission, and only he can help thwart a dastardly plot that involves an epic battle between puppies and babies.”

The review didn’t provide any more detail than the trailer did, I was still unable to grasp the concept of the Boss Baby’s secret mission with puppies. I was interested to see where Tim came into the plot, his character’s imagination seemed like an interesting trait that wasn’t discussed in depth. At this point my life had been consumed by Boss Baby, roommates talking about the funny scenes, reading pages of reviews, and drowning myself in plot summaries, it was finally time that I sat down and faced my fears.

Image result for boss baby


I was dreading a night watching the bad jokes and awkward animated faces for an hour and a half. As I sat down and watched the introduction credits roll by I could feel myself getting more and more worried, but to my surprise I enjoyed the movie! Watching the movie, I couldn’t stop laughing, the jokes turned out to be delightful and funny, with enough jokes for kids and adults. The kid jokes were stupid enough that older audiences could get a chuckle, but the adult jokes hidden between the lines were great!  The plot, while it had some holes, was touching and light-hearted, and concentrated on the bond of two siblings. The characters were well thought out and used their own talent to their advantage throughout the movie.

Image result for boss baby


Boss Baby was a touching story about how genuine the love for our friends and family are, and how we can only love something as we build a relationship with it. Tim and Boss Baby hated each other at the beginning of the movie, but after working together, finding out their passions and their fears, and learning what it means to give up something you have always wanted in order to keep a friendship, they were able to finally come together and love each other as a family. Anyone with siblings can relate to the basic plot; jealousy towards the new addition to the family, and then the irreplaceable love that each and every sibling finds in their life. The cluelessness of the parents that feels so incredibly real to kids was conveyed perfectly by the movie and was something that as a kid I could relate to. The movie is a great film for all ages, as both parents and children can relate to the characters. The hour and a half long movie captures the entirety of a sibling’s bond, the hatred of the unknown, and then the never-ending love for each other. My journey with this movie was similar, hatred and then love.


Looking to watch a new movie, maybe something that you hate, but might end up loving? Watch a movie at the Grafton-Stovall Theater! April movies include; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and The Avengers. Tickets are only $3 and popcorn is just 50 cents. Don’t forget about the FREE advanced screening of Truth and Dare on 4/10 at 7p. There is also a FREE outdoor screening of The Avengers on 4/20 at 7p on Festival lawn.




Concert Flashback Friday: Time to Get Groovy

Ahh.. the 1970’s. The era of the Rolling Stones, ABBA, and The Village People. Where were you when the Beatles called it quits?

Not born yet, I know, but, technically, neither was James Madison University. Yup, the greatest school on earth changed its name from Madison College to its current name in 1977.

The 1970’s brought great things for JMU, just like the University Program Board brings great concert artists to JMU. Thanks to Dave Imre, a former UPB chair member and CEO of Imre located in Baltimore, UPB now has hands on some of the greatest concert shows brought to JMU in the late 1970’s.

Let’s have a flashback together on how the process went for choosing concert artists back then, shall we?


Look at this poster! Do those names sound familiar? That’s right! UPB brought Hall & Oates to Godwin. According to Dave, he remembers having to drive them to and from their hotel before they played their set. “The students drove university white panel vans to transport the bands and the roadies back and forth from their hotel to Godwin” said Dave. “They were extremely nice…and very young at the time.”


You might not recognize this rock group, but they were a hit in the late 1970’s. UPB brought Little Feat to JMU in 1978. What’s special about this is that the band broke up about a year after they performed in Godwin Hall. Isn’t that crazy? Well, at least I think so. Just so there are no rumors floating around either, UPB didn’t cause them to break up!


Now, we treat our artists with the utmost luxuries the Shenandoah valley can give! Each concert artist have riders that say what they want in their dressing room while they are waiting to perform. Dave looks back on his time interacting with the artists and their thoughts about what UPB gave them. “Some of the bands were understandably disappointed in the locker room ‘accommodations’ and the on-campus catering we provided in Godwin,” said Dave. However, UPB did something right for our most recent Wilson artist.

Let’s take a moment to flash back to just a few months ago when UPB brought JESSE MCCARTNEY to JMU! He featured his rider on his Instagram story (pictured above).

The greatest didn’t stop there for UPB in the 1970’s! We also brought Happy the Man, George Benson, The Marshall Tucker Band, Geil’s with Elvin Bishop, and Michael Johnson and Burton Cummings. These artists were the talk of the town when they were here.

Dave remembers just how the Harrisonburg community needed this music scene. “Our music-starved Harrisonburg crowds were boisterous and loudly showed their appreciation when Hall and Oates broke into “Sarah Smiles” or when the Marshall Tucker Band started playing their biggest rock-a-billy hits towards the end of their set. They literally raised the rafters at Godwin Hall.”


Now, JMU, remember that we have brought amazing artists for your enjoyment at such a cheap cost! We brought Jesse to you in the fall and you will just have to wait a little longer to see who we are going to bring for the spring! Keep your eyes out, Dukes. The time is almost here.


Entertainment, Film

Is this the Real Life or Black Mirror?

By: Paula Richards

Picture this: you and your friends are hanging out, laughing, having fun… all those good things that college kids do. As the time nears 9pm, everyone suddenly quiets down and stares at their phone. The host of the app congratulates you on tuning in and comments on the growing number of people that join in every night. The host even offers to pay you because you utilize the app. Meanwhile, for 15 minutes, you and your friends are slaves to your screen. It’s a social media cult.

hgIf you have a smartphone, chances are that you’ve heard of the new app HQ Trivia. The app started up in late 2017 for iPhone and joined Android in January 2018. With virtually no advertising besides word-of-mouth, this app has garnered over 1 million users. Part of the appeal is the fact that HQ is completely free to use and still offers a real world monetary prize.

HQ Trivia is revolutionizing the way trivia is viewed and played by younger generations by providing easier accessibility by merging digital platforms with reality. That combined with the zero risk of playing, high benefit, and immense popularity of the app makes it very addictive.


What you probably didn’t know about HQ Trivia is that it was created by founders of Vine (RIP). Additionally, host Scott Rogowsky, was a stand-up comedian before he solidified his place in trivia fame. No wonder our generation loves it so much.

In any case, it doesn’t change the fact that it eerily reminds me of the “Fifteen Million Merits” episode of Black Mirror where everyone is riding bikes. In general, HQ is little more family friendly, and has a lot more benefits.


Speaking of benefits, the trivia questions on HQ are so challenging that even Scott Rogowsky admitted he would never be able to complete all twelve questions. If you’re anything like him and most of the population, winning a game of HQ can be almost unattainable. What is attainable is an absolutely free screening of Game Night (before it even hits theaters) at Grafton-Stovall Theater on Tuesday, February 20 at 7pm!

With HQ, every night is Game Night. Let this one be meaningful.

Entertainment, Special Events

Hey! Hey, you! Look at this UPB Blog!

Hey, have you heard? UPB is one of the largest student run organizations at JMU!

What is UPB, you ask? No, it is not University Puppy Boards…although we are as fun as puppies.

We are made up of ­130 students who plan events for both the University and the Harrisonburg Community.

Do you like free food? Or other FREE giveaways?

There are different events all over campus every single week that offer food, giveaways, and other prizes!

So…how about you check out one of our free events?

glow yoga insta

Late Night Breakfast (February 15 @ Festival 10PM-12AM), Glow Yoga (February 16 @ Festival Ballroom A 8PM), or Spotlight Concert Series featuring Snail Mail (February 23 @ TDU 7PM).


Or the ones you have to pay for…if you’re into that. There are plenty of events to choose from!

Weekly Movies at Grafton Theatre ($3 cash or flex), Bus Trip to Leesburg Outlet Mall (March 17) or the Spring Concert (will be revealed soon!)

Doesn’t all of this sound fun? If you’re interested, why not come to these events? Or, apply for UPB. Or better yet, follow us on social media for constant updates about events @UPBJMU.  

Special Events

Money Moves

We all struggle with saving money, especially after coming back from winter break. If you’re anything like me, you spent way too much money on holiday gifts for your loved ones (and treated yourself too). If your goal for yourself coming into 2018 is to be more responsible with money and now you’re trying to figure out how—look no further. Here are a few tips on how to change your mindset on money and hopefully make a positive change (lol).

Work on what you want to change about your own life, and try not to compare it to others.

It’s stressful to be in college—everyone is worried about getting a job and making a ton of money when they graduate.

Money isn’t everything. It’s important to remember that good things take time and hard work, so if your goal is to be successful financially, take time to set strategies in place and be patient while you work toward your goal.


Living within and sticking to a budget is a practical way to hold on to extra cash.

I know you’d rather eat out than cook for yourself, but you can do it! Plan out times to go shopping, make grocery lists and stick to them, and be willing to put in the effort to cook/meal prep.


Lastly: save, save, save!!

When budgeting, set aside money for the essentials and keep the rest in savings. If you have a job, putting aside a percentage of your paycheck and leaving it untouched will make a huge difference.


If this post inspired you to learn more about saving money in the new year, JMU’s very own Brad Barnett will be speaking on how to save money next Tuesday (Jan. 30th) in Festival Ballroom B at 7:00!



The Weirdest Shrek Merchandise The Internet Has to Offer

By: Taylor Sarlo

Members of our generation are called “internet natives,” because most of us can’t remember a time in our lives where we didn’t use the internet. We also had to privilege of growing up in the Golden Age of Shrek. By combining the popularity of Shrek, and the prominence of the internet, we can find some crazy things. I’ve compiled a list and ranked  some of the strangest Shrek themed items the internet has to offer, so you don’t have to! You’re welcome!

Shrek Twinkies


We begin this list with Shrek Twinkies. Twinkies themselves are already a questionable food group, but now that the filling is “ogre green,” they become even more sketchy. The picture looks like the cream is a dollop of guacamole. Why is Shrek looking at me like that? Is $3.99 a lot of money for ten Twinkies? Why are they offering me a vacation? The longer I look, the more questions I have.

Weirdness Score: 7/10

Usefulness Score: 2/10 because Twinkies are BAD.

Shrek Mug


This mug has a lot of Shrek’s on it. The reason I’m counting it as “weird” is because it has too many Shreks on it. And they overlap, so you can’t even see the whole Shrek. Additionally, Shrek is a movie targeted towards kids, but kids don’t need mugs, right? Mugs are for coffee or tea, and whippersnappers are not the primary consumers of these caffeinated liquids. Or am I out of touch with the youth of today?

Weirdness Score: 4/10

Usefulness Score: 10/10

Shrek Fondue Fountain


Ah, fondue. The epitome of the elegant dining experience. And while one might describe it as fancy and decadent, would anyone use these words to describe Shrek? I would not. Is someone having a Shrek themed wedding? The room you can see in the background looks nice enough, someone here obviously has good taste, why throw in Shrek? What is coming out of the fondue fountain? Is it that Twinkie Guacamole again?

Weirdness Score: 8/10

Usefulness Score: 6/10

Shrek Nike Air Force Ones.


Complete with what I believe is a metallic Nike swoosh and little Shrek head ornaments. The only thing that could make these better is if they lit up every time you took a step. I really appreciate how Shrek himself holds out his hands, offering you, his loyal fans, his fancy shoes. I think I might be warming up to the Shrek merch a little bit.

Weirdness Score: 7/10

Usefulness Score: 9/10

Shrek Play Dough Root Canal Game


Okay, I take back what I said. This Shrek merch is insane. SHREK PLAY DOUGH ROOT CANAL? 1. Who thought a root canal makes a fun game? 2. That open, gaping mouth is the stuff of nightmares. 3. Someone has informed me that this game comes with BUGS AND GRUBS that hide in his doughy teeth. 4. Shrek can’t chew anything with those smushy teeth? Why are they that color? Is his tongue made of playdough too? I want to apologize to anyone who gets nightmares tonight after seeing this.

Weirdness Score: 11/10

Usefulness Score: -2/10

Shrulk Backpack


And the grand finale, The Shrek 2 backpack. Shrek looks a little different, maybe he was feeling under the weather during the photoshoot? Oh wait, that’s not Shrek, that’s the Incredible Hulk! And as incredible as Shrek is, he is not an active member of the Avengers. I want to know if this was intentional design choice or a big mistake no one in corporate noticed?

Weirdness Score: 9/10

Usefulness Score: 7/10

Did this list reignite your childhood love and devotion to Shrek? Do you like FREE FOOD and FREE GIVEAWAYS and FREE MOONBOUNCE ADMITTANCE? Then come to Late Night Shrekfest at Late Night Breakfast on Thursday January 18th at 10pm in The Festival Drum!





Ways to Save Money in College

By: Alyssa Lothamer

Every college student knows the struggle of being broke. If you are not that great at budgeting, try these tips and tricks to save money that are easy to implement into your daily life.

  1. Download FREE Coupon Apps!

There are tons of free couponing apps that are downloadable on your phone. A few are Groupon, Flipp, Target Cartwheel, and Walmart – Shopping and Saving. My personal favorite is an app called Shopkick. It gives you points just from walking into stores! The easy to use app has products for each store that you can go around and scan to get points, so you do not even have to purchase it. If you buy the products, then you can scan your receipt and receive even more kicks (points!). Once you reach a certain amount of kicks, you can redeem them for a giftcard to Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon, and more! So, if you are procrastinating, just go around Target and find products to scan and gain points!

  1. Use Dining Dollars Gold and pack your meals as much as possible!

If you live off campus, then look into Dining Dollars Gold. It is basically like Flex, but you can put money on as you please. Also, you get 5% off of each transaction and you do not have to pay the sales tax. We all know how expensive dining plans are, so if you pack your meals everyday and use Dining Dollars Gold when you want coffee or a snack, you can save some money!

  1. Utilize your JACard.

There are plenty of stores and sites that give students discounts if you just show them your JACard. To name a few, TOMS, Madewell, and Topshop offer a 10-15% discount when you make purchases from them. For some food destinations at specific locations, they offer a discount for students who present their student ID. Chipotle, BDubbs, and Pizza Hut have some discounts for hungry students, depending on the location. Just ask at the register to save a couple of bucks!

  1. Go to free UPB events.

University Program Board hosts many different events on campus where you can even get free giveaways and food. Save a punch and head over to Late Night Breakfast or a Spotlight Show in TDU and get Campus Cookies and a free concert. The events that UPB hosts are so diverse and we have something for everyone. Follow them on social media to find out when are the different events. Facebook: University Program Board Twitter: @UPB Instagram: @UPBJMU and Snapchat: @UPBJMU

Hopefully these ideas will help you keep in mind that just because you are a college student, it does not always mean that you have to be broke! You can budget and take advantage of opportunities that are already happening to save money and not have your bank account crying.