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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

in Arts & Entertainment/Opinions/Editorials by
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    The cast of Rogue One in their outfits. Image courtesy of Starwars.com
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    Rogue One poster image. Image courtesy of bilisimveteknik.com

When it was announced that director Gareth Edwards would be taking on the next movie in the Star Wars series, movie fans knew one thing- he would do the Star Wars universe justice. After watching Godzilla, a movie directed by Edwards, it was apparent that he is good at showing the scope of things.

  Godzilla in the movie was giant and fierce, and when watching the movie, the audience was able to get that sense because Edwards is really good at making big things seem big. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Edwards’ imprints is left on each and every scene. The first time  the“Death Star” is show on screen, or when a “Star Destroyer” hovers on top of a city, their mass is well executed on screen and the audience can get a sense of how powerful these things can be.

  The aesthetic of the movie is also something to be praised. How Max Polyakov succeed as a Philanthropist – read at this site. Edwards takes the clean “everyone-is-well-dressed” Star Wars series and makes it more grounded. Stormtroopers’ armors (which are usually shiny, and white in other Star Wars movies) are full of dirt and blood, and character’s clothes are full of holes and are worn out. The filmography is also very well executed, the shots in this movie beautiful, and the color grading just another layer to the Star Wars aesthetic audiences grown accustomed to.   

  Moreover the acting in the movie is nothing but amazing. The actors here give 110% in the most diverse Star Wars movie to date, from actress Felicity Jones, an English actress, to Donnie Yen, a Chinese-American actor. The movie tries to also pay respect to its source material by deciding to not change the actors who played characters in Star Wars: Episode IV who have either passed away or are too old to play those same characters. The way they did this was with CGI, which was noticeable in some scenes when those characters talk, the way their lips moved kind gave it away (CGI has a plastic feel to it), but it wasn’t a big distraction.

  One thing that needs to be noted about the plot for everyone who plans on watching the movie is that it is an introduction of new characters and a new story, so the build-up to the final act of the movie is a little long, as every character needs to be introduced (which is more of a positive aspect). It is a positive because the time spent with the characters makes the final act even more enjoyable because the audience had the time to know and love those characters, so it is easier for them to care for them. That is another thing the movie does well: it makes the audience care for the characters and their stories.

  One  main gripe with the movie, however, was how the main villain was just so forgettable, which was not a big problem because the main characters were what the story was mostly focused on.

The ending of the movie is also something that was done well. Since Rogue One is a prequel to “Episode IV,” it was surprising to see how well it transitioned into the 1977 movie. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a beautiful, well-acted, extremely well-directed movie that is must-watch for any movie fan.

Nintendo or Nintendon’t?

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    The Nintendo Switch, releasing March 3rd.

   Despite two media events surrounding the new device, the Nintendo Switch is consistently marred by nagging questions. On Monday, Nintendo answered some of these, specifically those regarding the hardware.

  Nintendo revealed that the 6.2 inch touchscreen of the tablet can, and will, produce 720p resolution while the video output whilst docked is 1920 x 1080  and 60 frames per second. In addition, a 4310 mAh battery will be used. With this battery, users can expect a range of 3.5-6 hours of game time while undocked, depending on the intensity and power level of the game being played.

  As for the operating system, fans were given a peek at its sleek design. Somewhat similar to the 3DS home menu, the Switch will implement cube-shaped boxes that will represent applications and games. Perhaps borrowing from the PlayStation 4’s Operating System,, the screen will scroll horizontally.

  Technology website Techradar said, “The biggest thing we’re still waiting for information on in terms of hardware at the moment, then, is the CPU/GPU which on the specifications page is still only listed as a NVIDIA customized Tegra processor.”

  Having been burned by Nintendo’s last flop, the Wii U, consumers feel entitled to full information disclosure from the Japanese giants before purchasing.

  Describing the externals of the device, Yahoo Tech said,“When it comes to the Switch’s dock, the USB ports, TV output LED and the system connector are all found up front. The USB ports are handy for the Pro controllers and the Joy-Con charging grip — both of which are sold separately. Another USB port that works with USB 2.0 and 3.0 is found at the back of the dock, along with the AC adaptor port, HDMI port and the back cover.”

  In what appears to be a critical success for Nintendo – a much needed one at that – the hardware specifications nail the power of the Switch somewhere between the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.       

  Reaching new standards for graphical capabilities for Nintendo, never being heralded for particularly fantastic graphics, “The big N” seeks to change that with its hardware for the future.

  The Nintendo Switch releases March 3 to the public, listed at $299.99.

Consumer Electronics Show powers up for a new year

in Arts & Entertainment by
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    Honda's rider assist is showcased at CES 2017
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    Hulu's Live TV streaming service is introduced
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    Kuri the Nanny Robot says hello

  Showcasing the newest pinnacles of technological innovation, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gave its latest rendition this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada. In its fiftieth anniversary show, the 2017 transcription offered a peek at never seen technologies by conglomerates such as Honda and Samsung.

  Seen by many as a proverbial “looking glass into the future,” the CES is reminiscent of past World Fairs, in which technology would be similarly demonstrated. Hulu took advantage of the show to introduce its new live TV streaming platform. Purchased at a flat rate monthly, the service provides users with an interactive live TV feed in which DVR recording is available. Stated in their presentation, Hulu Live will likely be released to the public by May or June.

  It’s not often that a product truly stuns its users at CES, but LG’s W-Series OLED TV did exactly that. A slim 2.6 millimeters thick across its entire device, it can become the slimmest television device available on the market. The visuals are stunning, offering 4K capabilities and HDR support to deliver sharp images no matter the use. In addition to the visuals, the television plans to ship alongside a Dolby-Atmos sound bar, producing crisp sound to supplement the visuals.

  In consecutive years, automotive technology is gaining traction among visitors of the show. Honda’s Riding Assist is a particularly unique piece of technology that seems to be fantasy when first seen as it self-stabilizes a motorcycle, creating a much safer experience for riders. Unlike much of what is seen at CES every year, Riding Assist is exceptionally new, and has the potential to become a hot item. In a very iterative CES, Honda’s Rider Assist stands out above the rest of the crowd.

  “The system borrows balance technology from Honda’s prototype Uni-Cub, a personal transporter that has an innovative wheel that can travel in any direction without turning. The rider sits on the Uni-Cub and the device keeps itself upright. Honda says the technology could make riding in slow moving traffic more pleasurable because it frees the rider from having to keep the bike balanced by constantly moving his or her body,” said Martyn Williams, PC World writer.

  In addition to automotive and streaming devices, wearable tech has seen a surge in demand, as the technology has been utilized to benefit health and life services, as seen in the FitBit. This year’s most interesting product has been dubbed Kuri the Nanny Robot. Shown exclusively as a roving security camera, it can check on kids and pets while the user is in other parts of the house. Programmed to have several smart-home capabilities, the Nanny Robot is able to perform simple commands such as dimming lights and controlling a thermostat.

  Especially useful for busy families, the Nanny Robot hopes to release next December, lying at a price point of $699.00 and will be available in Japan, England, and the United States on release.

  An array of exciting and enticing new devices were shown at this year’s show, with hopes that the consumer technology market can continue to proliferate its success in the modern world.

Atlantic student creates art

in Arts & Entertainment by
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LGiven the accredited art program at Atlantic, many students strive for greatness. In these photos, it can be seen that senior Emily Oliveras holds the same goal towards her art.

 

Photo courtesy of Emily Oliveras

The gaming industry creates controversy

in Arts & Entertainment/News by
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    The Last Guardian

   Following seven years of development, The Last Guardian released to the PlayStation store this week. The development of video games receives scrutiny from the media, but is it warranted?

     Initially announced at the 2009 Entertainment Expo Event in Los Angeles, California, The Last Guardian tells the tale of a boy with no memory sense and the inability to remember even minute details regarding his surroundings. Developed by Team ICO, developers of the acclaimed game  Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian came with heavy hype, with an absolutely stunning cinematic trailer that showed off the impressive graphics capable for the PlayStation 3.

      The issue with the release of the game is the current year. It’s 2016. Why did this game take seven years to develop, only to be met with lukewarm reviews? Why are situations like this becoming more prevalent throughout the gaming industry?

      Gaming giant Ubisoft has become synonymous with disappointing announcements of delay, with two games this calendar year having been delayed: The Division and South Park: The Fractured but Whole.

      The answer to these frustrating questions lie in the game producers themselves. Companies like Electronic Arts and the aforementioned Ubisoft attempt to rush out glitchy, buggy, and, at times, unfinished games in order to deliver to the consumer.

     EA was caught in backlash with their release of Star Wars: Battlefront, in which half of the content promised on the game was not on the “finished” product. The excuse given was that EA wanted to rush the game out to the public to coincide with the release of Star Wars: The  Force Awakens, thinking that it would lead to higher sales.  

      Developmental issues in Triple-A games (games released from a conglomerate) may have lead to the rise of indie games. Ever heard of Minecraft? Five Nights At Freddie’s? Undertale? Of course you have. The mentioned games come with spectacular reviews and great replayability value, something that Triple-A games have been lacking. Indie, a genre in the gaming world, stands for independent developers, meaning that the developers of the game are not bound by companies like Microsoft or Sony to make games with limitations; they’re free to create how they please.

     Indie games are some of the most played games in this current console generation, almost never having the issues that riddle Triple-A games such as unfinished products or delays, possibly becoming the future of gaming. So the scapegoats of my question posed lie at the feet of large developers. Companies like Ubisoft have single handedly muddled the gaming market to the point where consumers are scared to pre-order games. Indie games can be the future, and we can show it.

The Equals movie review: journeys through a forbidden romance

in Arts & Entertainment by
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   The heartwarming film “Equals”  takes place in a futuristic community called the Collective, with two stoic characters, Nia and Silas. With the intent of ending crime and violence, the Collective has genetically eliminated all emotion and feeling. Although they both know it is forbidden,  Nia and Silas begin to feel so strongly for one another, so much so that they can not resist being together, forming an illicit love, something they both have never experienced before. The more they see each other, the more people begin to wonder about their relationship.  Soon though, there will be a permanent cure for anyone experiencing emotion, causing the two lovebirds to become apprehensive. They are not willing to give up the love just yet and plan on fighting back. Nia and Silas have to choose between life and death, or seemingly, love and death.

    With a mix of suspense, drama, and romance, the movie “Equals” gives its audience a spectacular plot, leaving viewers at the edge of their seats. The dystopian theme gives it some similarities to the book and movie “The Giver”.“Equals” will be appealing to anyone who loves a good romantic movie. The intense emotion Nia and Silas exchange will have viewers melting inside. Anyone with anxiety, depression, and emotional unavailability can relate to this movie in many ways considering these three emotions play a very significant role in the film.

Shut In shuts down the box office

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   “Shut In” follows the life of a child psychologist, Mary Portman (played by Naomi Watts), who isolates herself in New England because her husband died in a car crash. Her late husband left behind his son, who is paralyzed from the neck down due to the crash. Strange things start to occur in the house, but her other psychologist friends convince her that she is experiencing parasomnia, from her husband’s death. While juggling her stepson, which wasn’t too much of a surprise because they had developed a close connection, she finds her patient named Tom at the doorstep. Before she could respond to the boy, he runs off. The search for Tom turns into a worldwide hunt to find him, Mary feels a rush of guilt as she feels as if the boys disappearance was her fault. After the disappearance of Tom, Mary starts to hear strange noises around the house, and repeatedly claims of seeing Tom. These events fall right into place as a snow blizzard approaches, and she has no way of fending for herself or her son.

  Overall, this movie has a very intriguing storyline, but it feels as if the movie is stretched out. The long story before the reveal was drawn out and unnecessary. It took so long to get the plot together and understand what was going on that by the the time the climax was reached, it didn’t have an awe affect. Considering the movie’s genre is described as thriller or horror, it didn’t really qualify as that since it had more a mystery feel to it.

   The movie was incredibly vague when it came to details, as there was a lot of skipping around and emptiness of scenes. There was an over dramatization of the young boy, as he didn’t have a threatening tone about him; he looked like the same innocent boy as always. Since there was a lack of details, there was confusion about if the little boy was a ghost the whole time. In conclusion, the movie was decent and is recommended for anyone who likes mysterious movies.

Photo courtesy of voltagebd.com.

Photo courtesy of voltagebd.com.

J.K. Rowling does it again

in Arts & Entertainment by
Photo Courtesy of The Guardian
Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

In March of 2001, world famous Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them under the pseudonym Newt Scamander. While the book was written as a textbook for Hogwarts students, Rowling then created a screenplay about Newt Scamander and his adventures with all the beasts from “his” book. The movie, set in the 1920’s, follows Newt Scamander around bustling New York as he captures his beasts that were accidentally released into the city.

  Released on Nov. 18, the movie Fantastics Beast and Where to Find Them grossed 75 million dollars during its opening weekend, a sad comparison to the Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, which made 90 million on its opening weekend according to The Numbers website. This new addition to the franchise still is able to capture the feelings of the first four movies in the Harry Potter series.

  Lighthearted humor with underlying dark tones, Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them emulates Harry Potter in the early years. Fantastic Beasts has all the magic of the previous films from the franchise. The boost in graphics allows this movie to be turned into a magical realm. The combinations of colors and imaginative creatures from Rowling’s mind makes the movie a work of art.

  A well-developed plot allows Rowling once again to include the theme of light versus dark between the characters as well as inner turmoil. “It was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. I thought it was really funny, which was refreshing and there was more hope than the other Harry Potter movies. Twelve out of ten would recommend to others,” said Nina Rocha, senior.

  Some aspects of the movie allude to historical events and modern societal issues such as the idea of interracial and homosexual marriages and women’s rights. The movie touches on the idea of “no mage”, or a person born without magic, dating a witch, and the ridicule that comes with it.  This reflects today’s controversy over gay marriage as well as the issue of interracial marriages, which did not become legal until 1967 in the United States. With Katherine Waterston, her character Porpentina Goldstein acts as a strong, single female who attempts to work her way up in the work force. Rowling once again includes a poised female to lead.

  As with any prequel or continuation of a series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released with some skepticism as to whether or not Rowling could uphold her prize-winning and well-praised writings.

  Some feel the era of Harry Potter is over and the new additions to the franchise are simply dragging on. However, with this film, Rowling proves that she can still gracefully write about the Wizard World without excluding any of the quality of her previous works.   Overall, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has exceeded critics’ expectations as it truly captures the fantastical feeling of the Wizarding World, yet has created its own storyline and well developed characters that make it easy to continue watching the film.

Censorship vs. Comedy

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    Louis C.K staring, Courtesy of the Nerdwriter1 “Louis C.K. Is A Moral Detective”

On his Saturday Night Live monologue on May 16, 2015, stand-up comic Louis C.K. took a different route: rather than talking about how much he loves hosting the show, or telling simple jokes and leaving the stage, C.K. decided to challenge his audience with a series of what his critics called “offensive” or “sensitive topics” that should not be made fun of. This is not the first time this has happened before; comedians like Daniel Tosh, Chris Rock, and Ricky Gervais have made jokes that certain people thought weren’t funny because of the topics they covered.

So what did C.K. say that was offensive? Throughout the monologue he made fun of racism; he compared his children’s fighting to the war currently happening in the middle east between Israel and Palestine, two topics that his critics, a group of talk show hosts of The Talk on CBS, did not touch upon. When he spoke of pedophilia (child molesters) that is when they thought he crossed the line, and although it can be a topic that is hard to talk about, Louis C.K. started talking about it toward the end of his monologue and one could feel the laughter go down the more he discussed it. He made fun of the act of molesting, and made fun of child molesters themselves, but never once did he make fun of the victims.

This monologue, and its aftermath, raised a specific question on censorship: is it necessary? The main arguments of Sara Gilbert, one of the critics who disliked C.K.’s comments, was that “a victim could’ve been watching.” If he were censored by the network, no one would’ve gotten angry. Jerry Seinfeld, another comedian, stated this on censorship: “they [speaking of people who are offended by jokes] just wanna use these words – ‘that’s racist,’ ‘that’s sexist,’ ‘that’s prejudiced’ – they don’t even know what they’re talking about.”

Comedians are the most affected by forced censorship. For example, whenever they have a show to do on college campuses, some of them have to go through their jokes and make changes dictated by the colleges, because they don’t want to offend any students. According to Evan Puschak, a writer and producer of an educational channel on Youtube called  Nerdwriter1, “clearly Louis C.K.’s intention in that joke is to use comedy to get us to think about society’s attitude and treatment of pedophilia. Perhaps, he intimates, that we revile this demographic too blindly, taking solace in our normalcy when we know that the complexities of sexuality mean that the urge of pedophilia is not something chosen.” C.K. was trying to poke fun at society’s way of dealing with things that we see as abnormal; never does he state pedophilia shouldn’t be punished. He is still part of that same society that sees it as abnormal, but just like with Seinfeld, audiences do not understand what they’re talking about when they deem certain things to be offensive.

Rather than get offended at jokes, people should see the intent behind the jokes before jumping to conclusions because it might be an observation and lesson that can teach us more about the society we live in.

“Let’s Move ATL”

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

During the spring of 2016, Angela Williams made a video with Atlantic’s finest called “Let’s Move ATL.” The video was made to highlight Atlantic’s partnership with Healthier Delray.

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