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Movie Review | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


Years ago, the movie-adaptation of the famous Lord of the Rings Trilogy shook the world. Now, the prequel to the series, The Hobbit, gets a thrilling trilogy of its own. An Unexpected Journey, the first installment, tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, Frodo’s beloved uncle and adventurer. Bilbo is an average hobbit living in the Shire, when the wizard Gandalf approaches him and asks him to accompany a pack of exiled dwarves on their journey to reclaim their home. Bilbo proves he is more than just some ordinary hobbit as he goes on the adventure of a lifetime, filled with dangers at every turn.

I liked The Lord of the Rings because of its stunning visuals and beautiful music score and The Hobbit did not disappoint. I also loved seeing Bilbo and hearing more about his story. I loved that the dwarves that were introduced, even though I would have liked to get to know them more. I would recommend this movie to anyone who has seen The Lord of the Rings and loved it!

Written by: Michelle Greenwood

Documentary Review | Best Worst Movie

Best Worst Movie (PN 1995.96 .D65 B47 2010) is an incredibly entertaining, and endearing documentary about the creation, history, and drama behind one of the worst movies of all time:  Trolls 2.  This documentary follows the lives of most of the main cast of Trolls 2 after the failure of the film.  Most of the actors have moved on in life, and pursued better jobs/careers.  Decades after the release of the film, fans have given the movie new purpose, and it has become a “cult classic”.

This documentary was beautiful in its own way, as it showed how a horrible movie like Trolls 2 can unite people from all over the globe.  It is funny to see how the movie became a “cult classic”, and the cast who starred in it finally had their first taste of fame and stardom after so many years.  I give this documentary 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it to anyone interested in cinema theory, and the effect that movies can have on social behavior.

Written by: Jared McGrail

Movie Review | Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Before the Galactic Empire, the Jedi Order prospered in the galaxy. A young boy by the name of Anakin Skywalker is found by two Jedi Knights and believed to be the Chosen One, the one who will bring balance to the universe. After the threat of an evil order, the Sith, is found to be real. The two Jedi knights must fight to protect Anakin and save the universe from the phantom menace.

Out of all the Star Wars movies this one has the best lightsaber fight scene in the whole series. While the introduction of some characters and the horrendous acting of others really lowers the quality of the film, Star Wars has an impervious charm that always keeps you wanting more. It is a film that is entertaining to watch and has very enjoyable scenes but some production aspects leave a lot to be questioned.

Written by: Tommy Barriga

Movie Review | Here and There

Pedro lives in a small town in Mexico, but has been away working in the United States. We watch as he comes home to his family and works to build his relationship with them and spend time with them. Things are going well despite some health complications, but in the end Pedro loses his job and the family runs out of money, so Pedro decides he is going back to the United States, even though his family wants him to stay.

This film offers a glimpse into what life is like in Mexico and some of the challenges people face there. I particularly enjoyed it as it reminded me of my mission, but regardless, this documentary is great for anyone who likes a good foreign film. The end of the film was quite interesting to me as it made me question Pedro’s real intentions; he wanted to leave to be able to help his family, but his family wanted him right there with them. Did he really want to go the US to help his family or was it for some other reason? I thought the film was a bit slow moving, which is why I gave it four stars instead of five, but overall I think it was a great.

Written by: Jeshua Osorio

Streaming Documentary Review | Infinite Football

After an unfortunate accident playing soccer, a young Romanian boy broke his leg and was never able to play again. Fast forward 27 years, and this man has become obsessed with uncovering the reasons to his accident and discovering how to change the rules to soccer so that the tragic injury won’t happen to anyone else. This documentary follows along as he comes up with new unique strategies to change the way soccer is played.

It was interesting to see the new ideas proposed in this documentary, but the end result seemed so different from the original that it could be an entirely new game. If the new rules did end up making it into higher level leagues, it is likely that they wouldn’t be very popular, the sport would lose interest. I also didn’t think the documentary explained the rules well enough. Instead, it showed random, unnecessary scenes, such as a city council meeting over a land dispute. I do think that the new rules make an interesting game, and I am open to see how it goes.

Written by: Michelle Greenwood

TV Show Review | Lost: Season Two

In season one of lost, the survivors of a mysterious plane crash were just trying to survive. Now, in season two, they are desperate to escape and return home. But as they try new things, new mysteries and problems arise, such as the discovery of fellow survivors and the island, the scary inhabitants who were there long before them, and a secretive experimental initiative. With these frightening new complexities, how will Jack, Sawyer, Kate, and the rest of the passengers react?

I liked season two a lot better than season one. I thought that the new characters were super interesting as they added a much needed refreshing aspect to the original cast. I was also happy that this season learned more about the “others” and who they are, all the while still keeping the mystery. I think the directors set up for season three well, and I am excited to start!

Written by: Michelle Greenwood

Documentary Review | Examined Life: Philosophy is in the Streets

Examined Life: Philosophy is in the Streets is an incredibly interesting philosophical project. Astra Taylor, the films director and videographer, interviews different philosophers who continue to go about their daily lives. As they walk the streets of New York and San Francisco, many different controversial ideas are laid in front of us. Issues ranging from world hunger, to global warming, the U.S.A., these philosophers delve deep into the systematic problems with the world today, and what possible consequences these issues could have.

I really enjoyed this documentary because of how informative it was. It addressed complicated issues in a manner that just got to the point and explained them how they really are. The philosophers spoke in a way that anyone could understand the issues. The documentary was well put together and was edited in a way that was entertaining for any viewer. I would recommend this documentary to anyone who is interested in philosophy.

Written by: Jeshua Osorio

Documentary Review | Nobody Knows

This is a Japanese foreign film about a group of siblings that must stick together when their mother leaves them. At the start of the film they move into a new apartment with their mother and for just a little bit of the movie their mother is with them. Soon she leaves though, saying that she is going to work, but she is really leaving them to have fun. The four siblings are left in the charge of Akira, who is 12 years old. At the start they have some money, but it isn’t long before that runs low, and Akira struggles to provide for his family. Fortunately Akira finds aid in a friend so he is not completely alone.

This movie was fascinating and  had a way of pulling me into the film. It was a very realistic film and despite the fact that its story line is very sad in itself, it wasn’t a dark, sad film, although there are some very sad parts. The acting was good; the main actor even won an award. It is a very touching film, and I would definitely recommend this foreign film. I give it 5 stars.

Written by: Aaron Conrad

Documentary Review | Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness

This documentary focused on a man named Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese man who helped to rescue a lot of people. During World War 2 he was a diplomat who was stationed in various countries, but in this film we mostly learn about what he did while he was stationed in Lithuania. Sugihara was from Samurai descent and grew up with those values. He was talented at learning languages, and excelled in a school for diplomats. While he was stationed in Lithuania, which was under soviet control, he wrote visas for over two thousand Jewish people, even though a lot of the requirements weren’t met. He knew that he could get into trouble, but he also knew that it was the right thing to do, so he did it. Even when Sugihara was transferred to different locations he was still writing visas where he could. Sugihara worked long and hard, and risked a lot to help those people.

I think that the documentary is well made and easy to understand and follow, and for me the best part about this documentary was that it left me feeling good. It was inspiring and was a good change of pace to learn about someone doing the right thing when most of the time we hear about what’s wrong in our world. Also the film wasn’t too long which helped me to stay engaged, which was great. I’d say this is a good film and I would recommend it.

Written by: Aaron Conrad

Documentary Review | The Magic of Illusion

The Magic of Illusion is an interesting documentary that is both informative and entertaining. It explains much of our perspectives of art in a historical and efficient way. It is beautiful to watch if you like art, because it explains why so much of the art in Florence was so revolutionary. The music played in it is classical and renaissance. It does a remarkable job of interpreting the art from the renaissance period. The object of the film is to explain more about how the illusion of 3D in paintings was developed, which still impacts us today.

I really enjoyed watching this documentary. It explains why art in the Renaissance period was so revolutionary, and it does it in a manner that those who don’t know about art, like me, may still understand it and admire what was done in those times.  The music in it really suited the documentary to enhance the viewer’s experience. I gave this documentary a 4/5 because it really was interesting, but I’m not that into art. I would have liked it more if they had related it to those who don’t fare too well with art. But again, it was still good.

Written by: Jeshua Osorio

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