Video Game Review
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release date: Nov. 22, 2013
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
A Link Between Worlds is exactly how I envisioned Zelda 3DS. Exhilarating, memorable and disturbingly addictive. This indirect sequel to the Super Nintendo classic A Link to the Past introduces a idiosyncratic concept that combines a feeling of stealth with nostalgia.
Link, a descendant of the hero who hopped between the worlds of light and darkness in ALTTP, awakens from a nightmare involving a dark, shadowy figure. Gulley, the blacksmith’s son, tells Link that he’s overslept once again, and must report to work immediately.
The blacksmith handcrafted a sword that he wished to present to the Captain (who presumably oversees the soldiers of Hyrule Castle), who absentmindedly strolled out of the blacksmith’s house without it after getting lost in conversation. Link is then ordered to deliver the sword to the Captain, but unexpectedly gets himself into trouble.
Before returning to Hyrule Castle, the captain decided to stop at the sanctuary at the base of Death Mountain before returning to his duties. Link walks in on a conversation between Seres (the daughter of the sanctuary’s priest) and Dampe, who attends to the cemetery just next to the sanctuary. Just when Seres goes to retrieve the Captain, the door slams shut, signifying the start of a treacherous road of trials.
An androgynous sorcerer named “Yuga” has terrorized the sanctuary and transformed both Seres and the Captain into paintings. Despite Link’s valiant efforts, the sorcerer gets the upper hand and transmutes himself into a wall mural. He also is successful in turning Zelda, the princess of Hyrule, into a painting which allowed him to resurrect the demonic beast, Ganon.
These events prompt Link into setting out on an adventure around Hyrule (which has shown little to no geographical aging). He retrieves a bracelet tat allows him to “muralize” himself onto walls, which greatly aids him in battles and traversing through dungeons, ruins and castles.
You’d think that returning to a previously explored overworld would be unimaginative, but A Link Between Worlds has epitomized how a game series should go about rekindling its classic roots without ruining the experience for dedicated players. Mixing together a lingering nostalgic aura with a few sprinkles of modernity proved to be sensational for old and new Zelda players.
It brought the player to an alternate world called “Lorule,” where it’s princess, Hilda, is (supposedly) wanting to save Princess Zelda and her own world through the help of Link.
There’s only one point of criticism I have about this game. One is the lack of a proper challenge during the first playthrough. Although the game offers a “hero mode” at its completion, most of the dungeons were far too simplistic and didn’t really prompt any critical thinking. The final boss fight was a bit of a joke and could very easily be figured out.
On the upside, the score was immaculately orchestrated. Leading up to the final boss fight, the music of Lorule invoked a sensation of finality. It’s almost as if the citizens of Hyrule and Lorule were calling out to Link to save both worlds.
A Link Between Worlds is a game I’d recommend to any midcore gamer who’s looking for excitement, whether or not they’re familiar with the Legend of Zelda franchise. It certainly satisfied my trademark Zelda withdrawal, and has me looking forward to Zelda Wii-U even more.
A foreboding aura fills the air when Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), captain of the MV Maersk Alabama, begins packing his suitcases. Not a word is spoken from the time he heads out onto the road and says goodbye to his family to when he boards his ship. Sailing from the Gulf of Aden to Mombasa seems like another day on the job, but little does Phillips know that he’s about to experience the most traumatic event of his life.
Captain Phillips relied heavily on actions and thrilling events to progress the story, rather than dialogue and “telling.” It was crafted in a way that the viewer could piece the plot together while enjoying the constant feeling of danger, suspense and not being able to escape the impending hijacking of the ship.
Mr. Phillips’ crew begging their captain to return home after they scare of the pirates the first time was depressing and terrifying. They just knew that those pirates would return to the ship and hijack it, yet the captain wished to follow his orders and deliver the cargo to the right location at the right time.
This movie has all the necessary elements of a great action thriller. There’s the starting point which sets the groundwork for the road of trials, as well as a nail-biting “calm before the storm.” Instead of there being a two-hour heart attack with no points of calmness, the last part of the second act included an attempt at building a relationship between Phillips and Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi), the pirate “captain” who took over the MV Maersk Alabama. This doesn’t go over so well with Muse’s crew, mainly Bilal (Barkhad Abdirahman) who makes a point of torturing Phillips any chance he gets.
Now, let’s talk about the ending. The final act wasn’t as exciting as it should have been, but thankfully it built up to a half-decent climax. Unfortunately, the movie ended on a slightly anticlimactic note, but the mental state of Captain Phillips was heartbreaking and haunting. As usual, Tom Hanks pulled off playing a memorable character, this one being a real person whose ship was actually hijacked. The way he begged for his family and was riddled with pain is just more prove that Hanks is one of the most versatile actors of our generation.
Despite some minor flaws with the story towards the end of the film, I’d recommend Captain Phillips to any moviegoer who enjoys a good action flick.
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Released: Oct. 11, 2013
Journalists have a pretty bad rep. According to a study conducted in September 2012, journalism is the least trusted profession next to banking and politics. With that being said, we don’t need the paparazzi to make the stigma any worse than it already is.
Photographers who harass famous people, are physically aggressive towards them and wait outside their homes are not journalists. They’re the ones who are doing what they’re not supposed to be doing, which is behaving unethically and invading a person’s right to privacy.
All they’re looking for is meaningless gossip which is bound to be exaggerated in some form. For example, I almost always hear stories about celebrities being spotted walking without a wedding or engagement ring on their finger, so right away the reporter jumps to conclusions about how their “relationship is in trouble” and before you know it, the rumour has become widespread and is taken as fact.
This doesn’t bear even the slightest resemblance to what journalism is supposed to be.
In journalism, we’re all about telling the truth and fascinating stories about people. It’s our duty as reporters to disseminate the most important and significant stories in an objective way.
Paparazzi are proving themselves to be no more than ruthless harm to famous people who deserve the same amount of privacy and respect as we do. Taking photos of a movie actress on the red carpet is one thing, but engaging in a high speed car chase just for some unavailing photos is unacceptable. Not just to the person you’re harassing, but sometimes you put your own life in danger.
Some people might think that a celebrity fluffing off a paparazzo is simply out of conceit, but little do they know that the situation can be far more serious than it may seem.
In May 2012, Halle Berry lit into a paparazzo who hid outside of her daughter’s school waiting to take photos of her. I don’t know about you, but I think harassing children (of famous people or not) just to satisfy your gossipy needs is pushing the envelope even more than doing it to their parents. Luckily though, Halle didn’t stop. She successfully got a bill passed in California criminalizing the harassing of children who have been singled out because of their parent’s profession.
That’s a substantial amount of progress in itself, but now it’s high time for a regulation to be put into place where these children’s parents are concerned, because to me paparazzi aren’t any different from a high school student taking unflattering photos of someone and posting them all over social media.
When I watched television growing up, there were a few distinct moments that always stuck out in my mind. I can’t really put my finger on what made them so special, but it was probably because they were extremely well-written and gave me chills, not to mention the fact that I would think and talk about those moments days later.
Here’s a list of my top four moments from children’s television back in the 1990s.
For those unfamiliar with Are You Afraid of the Dark?, it entailed a group of children who called themselves the “Midnight Society” huddling together near a fire in the woods taking turns telling horrifying and heart wrenching stories.
In this particular episode, a foreign exchange student named Julie is contacted by the ghost of a girl who died in an accident at her high school in the 1960s. The girl, Candy Warren, hands Julie a mysterious necklace that allows her to transport back to the 60s so she can “take Candy’s place” and prevent the accident, which ultimately changes reality.
Why was this moment so alluring to me? The ending of the episode sent chills down my spine. By Julie going back in time to stop the accident, she unknowingly saves Candy Warren’s life and finds out that she became the assistant principal of the high school.
Another episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? takes a spot. This episode, “Tale of the Dream Girl,” wasn’t so much terrifying as much as it was tear jerking. What’s interesting to note is that this episode inspired M. Night Shyamalan to create the movie “Sixth Sense.” In “Tale of the Dream Girl,” a teenager named Johnny doesn’t realize that the girl who keeps stalking him is actually the ghost of his dead girlfriend, who died in a car accident in the 1950s. At the end, his sister finds his obituary and tombstone, making Johnny realize that he is a ghost as well.
I will always remember this moment as being one of the best I’ve witnessed on television. Although the show was meant to be scary, this episode was heartbreaking.
Boy Meets World depicted the ups and downs of a child’s life as they reach adulthood. What stuck out about the series finale was the raw emotion displayed by the main cast members. They did not want the show to end, but they knew that it was time to move on from the show. As for the characters, they departed for New York, but not before saying one final farewell to their teacher, Mr. Feeny.
Moody’s Point was a “show within a show” to the Amanda Show, which starred Amanda Bynes from 1999 to 2002. This episode was considered the finale to Moody’s Point, because the Amanda Show was unexpectedly canceled in 2002, even though it was set to go on for another season until 2003.
That’s probably why it was so alluring to me. The way it ended was enchanting, and we’ll probably not know what happened after this moment.
The music industry can be a brutal business. There are thousands of hopefuls who attempt to achieve their big break by displaying their talent online, promoting themselves through family and friends and performing in their local communities. But the sad truth is, very few of these people will actually land solid record deals, garner millions of fans and join the ranks of the A-listers we know today.
Having said all that, what qualities must an aspiring artist have (whether they’re solo or part of a group) in order to drop countless chart-topping singles and accept prestigious awards? What must they do if they want to become a household name?
To even be remembered after singing the last note of a song, an artist seriously needs to consider their “secret sauce” or “X Factor.” After all, it takes a lot more than just having a great voice to make a living off music.
You might have perfect vocals, but if you don’t show a pittance of charisma, confidence and emotion, chances are you won’t be listened to again. That, or some music-goers won’t see (or hear) past your voice and take into consideration who you are as an artist.
You also need to think about what uniqueness you can bring to the forefront. If you look like at Lady Gaga and Katy Perry for example, they’re known for their outlandish styles of clothing, as well as their music videos and on-stage performances. You don’t pay any attention to how their voice sounds, so instead you wonder how such eccentricity was even thought of. Another example is Madonna, who is recognized for continuously reinventing her music, image and influencing over 100 popular artists today.
Don’t get me wrong. I realize that you need to have a solid voice to back up your secret sauce. All I’m saying is that in order to even be successful, you need to bring a lot more to the table than just vocal talent.
My advice for any aspiring artist, whether you’re independent or seeking a record label, is to wait a bit before uploading your next YouTube video or performing at your pub downtown. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and contemplate who you are as an artist. Consider what you want to be known for if you achieve your big break into Hollywood.
The Guilt Trip
I won’t lie. When I first watched the trailer for the Guilt Trip, I was expecting a wacky, crazy adventure between a mother and son who shared a close bond. I hoped for another prodigious comedy that could be added to the list of “timeless classics.”
But unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead, we got a story that taught some very important lessons, but was extremely flat.
Andy Webster (Seth Rogen) is a self-absorbed inventor attempting to get his organic cleaning product “ScioClean”, into a major retail store. Each store dismisses him before he can finish his pitch, visibly spiritless about his delivery. After another disappointing sales pitch to K-Mart, Andy visits his mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand) before leaving on a cross-country trip to Las Vegas. He tells her that his pitch ended well so that she wouldn’t worry about him.
Joyce tells Andy that he named after a boy she fell in love before she met his father. After some research, he discovers that Andy is alive and unmarried, and invites on unknowing mother on the trip with him. She continues to intervene with his life, coddle him and criticize him (to Andy’s displeasure). Eventually Andy points out that the reason he miraculously had an extra pitch meeting in San Fransisco is because he wanted his mother to reconnect with the love of her life. Joyce becomes disoriented upon hearing this, feeling like she was lead on the entire time.
Squeezing in a few humdingers into the picture here and there doesn’t classify a movie as a “comedy.” A comedy needs to have well-written jokes, material, and hilarious situations. The Guilt Trip felt more like a distant mother and son unexpectedly working out their differences. This movie wasn’t funny and got really slow at some points. Seth Rogen is a comedic actor, so he should have acted more like it. I realize his character was supposed to be a taciturn, condescending man, but you could tell it really didn’t suit Rogen’s expertise.
Barbra Streisand has years of experience on stage and in the recording studio, so she was unknowingly hilarious throughout the whole movie. Even when she was giving motherly advice to her son, you just had to laugh at the way she did it.
Overall, the Guilt Trip was an absolute let down, with Rogen and Streisand really not playing off each other very well. If these two are ever in another film together again, it’s best that they not act as a duo.
Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Written by: Dan Fogelman
Cinematography: Oliver Stapleton
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
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