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April 18, 2024

  • Jeanette Winterson for “gAyPRIL”
    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Fall brings variety of promising films

With the $49 million opening of Shark Tale this past weekend it is officially the start of the fall movie season. Yes, it seems like the dull days of August and September couldn’t get over fast enough and this year the coming months offer an intriguing slate of movies big and small that are definitely worth a look at a theater near you.

October

Friday Night Lights ” A film that opens today, it is based on the true story of the improbable run of a high school football team on their way to a Texas State Championship. The film boasts the acting chops of Billy Bob Thorton as the emotional coach and the skilled direction of Peter Berg (“The Rundown” and “Very Bad Things”).

Upside ” Sports movies can be great. People are already mentioning this film in the same sentence as “Hoosiers.”

Flipside ” Sports movies are often terrible. Remember when “Varsity Blues” was mentioned in the same sentence as “Hoosiers”?

I Heart Huckabees ” From David O. Russell, the writer/director of “Spanking the Monkey,” “Flirting with Disaster” and “Three Kings,” “Huckabees” has been coined an “existential comedy” about a man named Albert (Jason Shwartzman) looking for the meaning of life. Albert becomes so frustrated he hires a husband wife team of existential detectives (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) to observe him and tell him the meaning of his life. In the search the movie weaves among a group of eccentric characters including a firefighter (Mark Whalberg) a superstore executive (Jude Law) and his eccentric girlfriend (Naomi Watts).

Upside ” David O. Russell is one of the budding new directors in Hollywood along with Spike Jonze, Alexander Payne, Paul Thomas Anderson and Wes Anderson and new films from this group are always intriguing.

Flipside ” Russell has always straddled a fine line between irreverent and cloyingly pretentious. A film about existentialism might have overstepped that line.

Team America: World Police – This is definitely the most controversial movie of the summer. From the deranged minds the created “South Park,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone, comes the story of an actor who is recruited to pose as an Arab and infiltrate a terrorist organization. Along the way they fight Kim Jong-il and those wacky liberal elites. Parker and Stone have definitely pulled no punches in this very adult comedy.

Upside ” In this heated political season it is time for both sides of the political spectrum to get a nice smack in the face.

Flipside ” However, shocking people just for the sake of shocking people isn’t clever or funny.

Sideways ” Alexander Payne has always been celebrated for his depiction of the downtrodden suffering through a midlife crisis. First it was a pregnant woman stuck in the middle of abortion politics (“Citizen Ruth”), then it was the downfall of an unhappy and bitter school teacher (“Election”) and the midlife crisis of an aging man dealing with retirement (“About Schmidt”). Now he delivers a mature and smart comedy about two friends who have a wild weekend before one gets married. The groom to be (Thomas Hayden Church) and best man (Paul Giamatti) meet two women and deal with the decisions they have made throughout their lives.

Upside ” Payne has delivered strong films throughout his career and many are saying this is his best work yet. Using strong character actors like Giamatti and Hayden Church make the film even more intriguing.

Flipside ” Payne has had a reputation for disliking his characters and “About Schmidt” was considered by some to be a failure.

Ray ” Ray is the story of the recently departed musical legend Ray Charles (Jaime Foxx). The film centers around a 20 year period in the life of Ray Charles where he rose to fame, battled a crippling addiction to heroin and persevered again putting his life back together. The film has been well received at film festivals all over the world and Jaime Foxx apparently delivers a star making performance that he only hinted at in “Any Given Sunday,” “Ali” and “Collateral.”

Upside ” Ray Charles was a true American legend and his life story makes for a captivating story. Foxx will be nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award

Flipside ” Some have questioned its pace and length (152 minutes). Did director Taylor Hackford lose the chance at a great movie because of his reluctance to chop his movie down?

The Grudge ” Japanese horror guru Takashi Shimizu, creator of the Japanese original hit, “Ju-On,” promises to terrify American audiences just as he terrified his home country. The film stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as a woman who is in charge of a haunted house, which sends its victims into a violent rage before they are killed.

Upside ” The preview has been freaking people out for weeks now just in time for a pre-Halloween release.

Flipside ” The film is apparently very non-linear and true to its Japanese origins. Will that translate well with American audiences?

November

The Incredibles ” Pixar has delivered nothing but record smashing hits ever since 1994’s “Toy Story.” Here they tell the tale of a dysfunctional family of superheroes who are past their prime and hiding in a witness protection program. The father, Mr. Incredible, is tricked into donning the superhero suit again and is led into a trap by an old enemy and his family must rescue him.

Upside ” Everything Pixar touches is golden

Flipside ” Will people want to spend another $10 after just seeing “Shark Tale?”

The Polar Express ” The film is brought to life from the creative mind of Robert Zemekis (“Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump”) and based on the brilliant children’s book of the same name. In the film a boy who begins doubting if Santa Claus exists is awakened in the middle of the night to a train that promises to take him to the North Pole.

Upside – The book has been a Christmas staple for years and the animation is top notch. Zemekis has described it as “paintings in motion.”

Flipside ” Will people want to spend ANOTHER $10 after just seeing “Shark Tale” and “The Incredibles?”

Seed of Chucky ” The demonic doll is back and this time he has a kid. Murder, mayhem, and some hilarity is bound to ensue

Upside ” Us college kids always have a soft spot for these kinds of schlocky horror films

Flipside ” November, why is this thing coming out in November?

Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason ” The follow-up to the hugely successful “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” in the film Bridget (Renee Zellweger) returns and her insecurities get the better of her as she has trouble being with the “perfect man” (Colin Firth). Apparently in the world of Bridget there is no such thing as happily ever after.

Upside ” Texas native Zellweger got high marks for her first outing as Bridget and all of the players that made the first go-round a success are back for round two.

Flipside ” Is it possible to catch lightening in a bottle for a second time? The first was at the height of Bridget Jones mania and people may not be interested in the insufferable Brit anymore.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie ” SpongeBob and his crew are brought to the big screen in the wild adaptation of the hit cartoon series. The film is an adventure in search of King Neptune’s missing crown and of course SpongeBob’s crew, Squidward, Patrick and Sandy are along for the ride.

Upside ” The show is a sensation and adults key into the humor just as much as kids. It is an added bonus that “Mr. Show”‘s Tom Kinney provides the voice of the title character.

Flipside ” Nickelodeon hasn’t had a hit film adaptation from a TV show since the Rugrats went to Paris. Is it going to perform like “Rugrats” (good) or “Hey Arnold” (bad)?

Alexander ” One of the most recognized and controversial figures in human history is portrayed on the big screen. Alexander tells the story of Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell) and his quest for power, conquering 90 percent of the known world. The film deals with his relationships with his sister (Angelina Jolie) and his best friend and right hand man (Jared Leto). The film was directed by Oliver Stone, but it is unclear how he deals with some of the more controversial elements of his life, including his alleged bisexuality.

Upside ” The film was recently pushed back to have a better chance at getting Oscar glory.

Flipside ” The project was very expensive and audiences weren’t that enthused with this years’ other sand and sandals epic “Troy.”

December

Ocean’s 12 ” This sequel to 2001’s suave caper comedy revolves around three elaborate heists throughout Europe done by Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) band of thieves. To make things worse an angry Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) is hot on their heels looking for his $160 million back. The all-star cast also includes Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Vincent Cassell, Don Cheadle, Peter Fonda, Elliot Gould and Carl Reiner.

Upside ” If Ocean’s 12 is anything like its predecessor audiences are in for the most fun at the theaters this holiday season

Flipside ” The plot seems rather confusing and the only person to have a huge success since the original is Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy

The Aviator ” This high profile biopic stars Leonardo DiCaprio as enigmatic billionaire Howard Hughes. The film focuses more on the starry eyed early life of Hughes when he was an aviation visionary and not his more reclusive later years. The film is directed by Hollywood legend Martin Scorcese, who considers this film a labor of love.

Upside ” It has all the pedigree for a great success

Flipside ” Scorcese had a notoriously hard time delivering his last period picture, “Gangs of New York” which got decidedly mixed reviews.

Hotel Rwanda ” One of the under the radar pictures that tend to explode with buzz around award season “Hotel Rwanda” tells the story of a hotel owner (Don Cheadle) who houses Rwandan refuges, saving them from genocide.

Upside ” It has been getting rave reviews in the festival circuit and apparently Don Cheadle anchors the film with a powerful performance.

Flipside ” Will most Americans, including citizens of Bowling Green, ever get a chance to see it?

Meet the Fockers ” How do you improve on an ensemble comedy cast that includes Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner and Robert DeNiro? Apparently, you add Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand into the mix. This time around the tables are turned as Greg (Stiller) and his fiancé (Teri Polo) take her parents (DeNiro and Danner) to meet the Fockers (Hoffman and Sreisand). Personalities clash between the two very different families and hilarity, of course, ensues.

Upside ” They may have added the right ingredients to make it even better than the original

Flipside ” Will Barbara Streisand be able to play her annoying persona for laughs, or just be more annoying than usual?

The Life Aquatic with Steven Zissou ” Wes Anderson is back with a comedy about the relationship between a Jacque Cousteau oceanographer, Steven Zissou (Bill Murray), and his estranged son (Owen Wilson). Anderson has specialized in offbeat and fractured family comedies dealing with multiple relationships and he delivers more of his specialty here. This time however, the backdrop is a wild revenge story where Zissou vows to get revenge on the shark that ate his friend.

Upside ” Anderson delivers the good and I will be standing in line.

Flipside ” This is much more of a madcap comedy then Anderson has ever done. It is a big risk for the young filmmaker.

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