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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
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    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Super Bowl ads try too hard

Another Super Bowl has come and gone, and with it a brand new batch of high-concept advertisements. While the game may have proven to be a let down, the commercials were more refreshing than they have been in years. So who were the big winners and losers of this year’s gridiron classic?

Winner: Aging Rock Stars. Nostalgic rock stars proved en vogue this year as Ozzy Osbourne and Willie Nelson were able to milk their own troubles for laughs. Willie’s ad for H ‘ R Block features the musician shilling for a shaving cream company in a tongue in cheek reference to his own very real tax problems. Ozzy flexes his acting muscles playing up his fried, constantly confused, appearance surprised reaction to the horror of having the Osmonds as children.

Loser: CGI. A painful lesson we learn from watching some select super bowl commercials — CGI does not make for an interesting commercial. This was most evident in the spots for Gatorade, featuring three, yes three, Michael Jordans. Other offenders were a Levi’s spot featuring stampeding buffalo, which had nothing to do with their jeans, and yet another Jordan ad featuring an increasingly unfunny Jackie Chan battling an uncooperative shirt tag.

Winner: Beer. Anheuser-Busch outdid itself this year with several funny spots, including ones featuring a man enjoying a beer in a very suggestive clown costume, a mom with a whole lot of back, an old man carting off a giant fridge of beer and a Clydesdale football game being interrupted thanks to a zebra checking the instant replay.

Loser: Cars. Several car companies had Super Bowl ads that amounted to a combination of special effects, loogies on wind-shields and Celine Dion. These spots proved uneventful, boring and sometimes downright horrifying. Winner: ESPN.

Sports Network ESPN put together two truly inspired commercials for the broadcast. In the first, Joe Montana lost his Super Bowl ring in a bowl of soup, only to be recovered and worn by Stuart Scott. In the second various sports fans spoke hopefully about the futures of their woeful teams.

Loser: Ads with a message. It’s one thing to be against drinking and drugs, but these groan-inducing commercials are in a league of their own. So far, I’ve deduced that everyone who does drugs shoots their friends, runs over children, supports terrorism and gets pregnant. I guess I better pass then.

Winner: Movies. Some movies cemented their status as can’t miss blockbusters, including Anger Management, The Hulk, Terminator 3 and the upcoming Matrix sequels.

Loser: Movies. Other movies, however, didn’t fare so well. The Recruit, Bruce Almighty, Tears of the Sun and Daredevil rolled out previews, hoping that simply having a Super Bowl commercial would ensure a hit. However, the content of the previews seem to say otherwise. The worst offender — Bruce Almighty. They took a can’t miss premise, added Jim Carrey, and the best they could show you was a dog peeing in a toilet.

Winner: Terry Tate. In the hands down funniest commercial of the night, Terry Tate played a linebacker on the lookout for slackers in the office. The spot worked thanks to great editing and great lines like Tate clothes lining an employee and then screaming, “Next time, remember to put a cover sheet on your TPS reports, Doug!” Absolutely hilarious.

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