Entertainment, Film

Worth the Watch? Boss Baby

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

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.

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REVIEWS*

            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.

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PLOT*

“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.

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WATCHING THE MOVIE

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.

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FINAL REVIEW

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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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, Film

UPB Rates Superheroes

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an advanced screening of Justice League! Want to know more about the members of the Justice League for the advanced screening on 11/14? UPB rates Justice League members.

 

This is Superman.

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Powers and abilities: flight, super-strength, super-speed, vision powers, superhuman intelligence

Weaknesses: kryptonite, magic

Origins: Born as Kal-El on the planet Krypton, but was rocketed to Earth before Krypton’s destruction.  Adopted by a couple from Kansas

Alias: Clark Kent

An American cultural icon and played by Henry Cavill, we rate Superman a 10/10

 

This is Wonder Woman.

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Powers and abilities: Superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, agility, healing, technology (Lasso of Truth, tiara)

Weaknesses: vulnerability to Piercing Weapons

Origins: sculpted from clay by her mother and daughter of Zeus. Her official title is Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta

Alias: Diana Prince

A compassionate warrior, advocator of peace, and strong female role model, we rate Wonder Woman 13/10

 

This is The Flash.

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Powers and abilities: superhuman speed, superhuman reflexes,

Weaknesses: mortality

Origins: Police scientist in Central City.  Lightning-struck chemicals spills over Barry, and he gains power through the speed force

Alias: Barry Allen

The fastest hero is the DC Universe and has the potential to change reality, we rate The Flash 8/10

 

This is Aquaman.

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Powers and abilities: amphibious, marine telepathy, strength, speed

Weaknesses: water deprivation

Origins: Son of a lighthouse keeper and exiled Queen of Atlantis, was taught to control his powers and would eventually inherit rule of the seven seas

Alias: Arthur Curry

Interested to see Aquaman played by Jason Momao, but the ability to talk to fish? We rate Aquaman 3/10

 

This is Cyborg.

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Powers and abilities: mechanically enhanced body, intelligence, strength, speed

Weaknesses: focus

Origins: Body is destroyed in a tragic accident, but was saved through experimental technology that replaced body parts with machinery

Alias: Victor Stone

Also a member of Teen Titans, half man and half machine, we rate Cyborg 6/10

 

Come to Grafton on 11/14 for a FREE advanced screening of Justice League at 9:30pm!

Entertainment, Film, Uncategorized

Is Leo Actually Going to Win the Oscar?

The people have spoken, but what will the Academy say?

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Since 1994 (before some of us were even born), Leonardo DiCaprio has been receiving Oscar nominations. In 1994, it was a Best Supporting Actor Nom for his performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. In 2005, Leo was nominated for Best Actor in The Aviator and then again in 2007 for Blood Diamond.

Seven years later in 2014, America’s favorite non-Oscar-Winner was nominated for Best Actor in The Wolf of Wall Street. There was some speculation that 2014 might finally be the year, but in the back of our minds, we all knew Matthew McConaughey deserved it for Dallas Buyers Club. (Come on, the man lost 38 pounds for the movie)

It’s 2016 now and Leo is once again nominated at the Oscars for Best Actor for The Revenant. People (the internet) really, really want Leo to win this time. So we decided to dig in to see if Leo is likely to bring home a little golden man on Sunday.

 

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So far Mr. Dicaprio’s performance in The Revenant has won him a…

Golden Globe 

  • BAFTA Film Award
  • EDA Award
  • Australian Film Institute International Award
  • Awards Circuit Community Award

Critics Choice Award

  • Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award
  • Chicago Films Critics Association Award
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award 
  • Denver Film Critics Society
  • Dorian Award
  • Georgia Film Critics Association
  • Kanas City Film Critics Circle Awards
  • Sierra Award
  • Nevada Film Critics Society
  • North Texas Film Critics Association
  • Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards
  • Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards 
  • San Diego Film Critics Society Award
  • Satellite Award

Screen Actors Guild Award

  • Seattle Film Critics Award
  • St. Louis Film Critics Association
  • Utah Film Critics Association Award
  • Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards

The award that’s most revealing in this long list is his Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award. 
For the past ten years, the actor who’s won Best Actor at the SAG Awards also won the Oscar for Best Actor. Every year. For the last ten years. This seems like a VERY promising sign for Leo. If he doesn’t win, it’ll be destroying a ten-year streak.

If you saw the movie, you can also safely conclude, Leo killed it in his performance!

He spent hours in a make-up chair everyday. He braved real elements (cold, snow, physical strain) to film this movie and he only had about one hour a day to nail his performance because the director wanted to shot using only natural light. Without giving anything away, for a good chunk of the movie all Leo can do is grunt and moan, and it’s the most passionate, pain-filled, believable and telling grunting and moaning ever. He steals the camera without saying a cohesive sentence.
The blogosphere and the past precedent seem to point to a clear Leo-Victory… but we will have to wait and see on Sunday. 

Let us know if you think Leo should take home the Oscar or if you are rooting for another leading man!

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Watch Leonardo DiCaprio (fingers crossed) win on Sunday at the Oscars and watch his award-winning performance in The Revenant for just $3 at Grafton, March 16-19 at 9:30p.

Written by Film Committee Chair Brenna Cashen
Film, Uncategorized

University Program Bat

We’ve all heard the stories of the Grafton Ghost. You may choose not to believe. You may have felt a slight chill on your neck that you attributed to the heartfelt “okay”s in The Fault in Our Stars or maybe when we learned to feel out all our emotions in the animated tearjerker “Inside Out”. Maybe we don’t believe in the supernatural and the most frightening thing to us is realizing we have no dining while in line at Dunkin during finals week or waking up to 30 missed emails from Kathy White of the Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club, a recurring nightmare of mine. You can doubt the presence of the Grafton Ghost all you want, but there is no doubting the presence of the UPBat. December 11th, 2015 UPB tweeted “Tonight, there sadly will not be any movies showing due to a bat in Grafton. Yes, we are being completely serious.” After a twitter poll was administered, the bat was affectionately named Eugene. He reappeared on UPB’s twitter feed January 27th. “Eugene is back you guys…” While there have been no UPBat tweets since, one projectionist can attest that she has seen the bat and believes it to be fluttering around Madison Union somewhere.

Written by Film Committee Member Jenna Stone
Film, Uncategorized

A Personal Take on an American Horror Story Season Theme

American Horror Story: Sandman/Wonderland/Dreamers

The idea here is to delve into the realm of dreams and nightmares. And not wholly Nightmare on Elm Street territory, though Murphy is free to go there if he wants to. Here’s what I’m thinking: Fairies.

Why? Well, Fairies in the old lore weren’t so much Tinker Bell as they were like housecats with the destructive capability to literally shatter your mind. See, Fairies comes from the name “Fair Folk.” They were called so because, while some of them were very pretty and fair, the people back then didn’t want to call them anything bad because they didn’t want to piss Fairies off. If they did, Fairies would work their magic to smash things, bring roofs down atop a family’s heads, spoil food and drink, plague their vision with terrible sights, and even steal their souls away. Plus, these Fair Folk lived in an environment that wasn’t safe for any mortal to live in. Two examples would be 1) if you ate the food, you’d either be trapped in Fairy Land forever or lose all desire for human food and you’d eventually starve to death, and 2) if you happened to look into a mirror made in that Land, your soul would be sucked into in an instant and you’d die if it shattered.

Oh, and they had a habit of stealing away human babies and replacing them with one of their own babies. It was called a Changeling. How did they behave? Remember that little girl from Asylum? The near emotionless one that killed her playmate and mother? That’s how those Changelings usually behaved if they lived to be older than five. Only, they can bypass locked doors, they can read your mind, and they can call their real mommy and daddy if they’re in trouble.

Inspiration: Guillermo del Toro, Fairy Folklore, and Neil Gaiman

 

Written by Film Committee Member Michael Shipley