Tag Archives: Review

CHERUB excites columnist

By Lauren Holstner
Do you love spy novels involving teen spies?  Then CHERUB: The Recruitby Robert Muchamore is the book for you.  This book is one of the best spy novels I’ve read in a while, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.In CHERUB James is pretty much an orphan, though he does have a little half sister named Lauren.  He gets scouted for CHERUB, an elite spy school that sounds more like boot camp.  He has to learn everything and go through 100 days of intense training.  Even though CHERUB is the name of there school, no one knows what it stands for, not even the headmaster, who even asks students to help them figure it out.This book is full of action at every corner, from their training, to their trip to Malaysia, and even foil a plot to kill hundreds of people.  I loved all the action and adventure, this book makes you think what even James Bond went through. Since Muchamore used to be a private investigator his knowledge of the subject really shows in his writing.

This is a great read for anyone looking for a new exciting book filled with action, adventure, romance, and of course teen spies.

‘J. Edgar’ flawed but enjoyable to history buffs

By Chase Palmer

In this new movie, Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover, who was the head of the FBI from its inception to his death in 1972. J. Edgar chronicles this man’s life during this time period and also dabbles in some rumors over his supposed cross-dressing habit and sexuality; however, the film rarely exploits these themes. They focus more on his role in the Palmer Raids, Gangster Wars, and such. This makes the film have plenty of historical elements to it. If you are a history buff then I would recommend “J. Edgar” to you. However, if you usually fall asleep in AP European History, then you might as well skip this film.

This film is not perfect, nevertheless. The 37-year-old DiCaprio plays Hoover even as an old man, meaning that this movie contains a heavy use of facial prosthetics and CGI, required to make DiCaprio and other main actors in the film appear older. The makeup guy’s approach to this technique makes the characters look like unrealistic wax figures. At first it seemed funny, but after a while it took away from the film’s believability aspect. Although the makeup makes DiCaprio’s and other actor’s parts in the movie look like caricatures rather than characters, I thought that the film’s cast was pretty strong, not anything Oscar worthy, but still pretty strong.

The reason why I said J. Edgar ‘rarely’ explores the rumors aimed at Hoover is because I felt that the writer was trying to persuade to us that J Edgar Hoover was gay, a rumor that surfaced after his death. One scene in the film shows Hoover making out with Associate FBI Director Clyde Tolson, played by Armie Hammer. I later learned that his film was written by Dustin Lance Black. I noticed that all of Black’s movies leading up to this one were about homosexuality, the most well-known of these being “Milk, another biographical film about gay rights activist Harvey Milk. Think what you want about these scenes in “J. Edgarand Black’s intentions behind them. I personally think that the gay rumors over Hoover served as Black’s original intentions to write the screenplay to “J. Edgar”.

The worst quality of the film is the color. The color is poorly lit and gives the whole movie a bland effect throughout. I believe thatJ. Edgar is worth seeing, but if you are interested in J. Edgar Hoover’s life and the times in which he lived, I recommend this film only as an entry point.

A midsummer night’s play

By Grace Runkel

Warning: This is not your English teacher’s Shakespeare.

For 51 years Kentucky Shakespeare has been performing various works of William Shakespeare in Central Park. What started out as a small theater troupe in 1949, has grown into a local tradition.

Every June Kentucky Shakespeare puts on a summer-long event called Shakespeare in the Park. Every Tuesday through Sunday at 8:30 theater-goers make their way to Central Park in Louisville for free entertainment. Their first production of the season is The Complete Works of Shakespeare.

While on my way to see The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), I began to mentally prepare myself for several monotonous hours full of stiff actors babbling in a Shakespearean tongue, but I was quickly proven wrong.

Romeo and Juliet was the first play performed and consisted of a Juliet who wore a Snooki styled wig and a balcony scene performed on a construction lift. These, combined with many other slightly off details, transformed this over-told play into a hilarious comedy.

Some of the other highlights of the evening were a rapper’s version of Othello, the Moor of Venice and a mash-up of all of Shakespeare’s comedies.

The best part of Shakespeare in the Park is that admittance is completely free. Drinks are available for purchase, but many people bring their own snacks and drinks. Another popular item to bring is a blanket or cushion since wooden benches are only comfortable for so long.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) will be performed through June 26, but if you cannot make it to that show do not fear. Beginning June 28 and going through July 10, Shakespeare in the Park will be putting on As You Like It. Then Two Gentlemen of Verona will be performed on July 14 through the 17. The last show of the season, The Orphan of Chao, will be presented by the University of Louisville and will play July 19 through the 24.

For a cheap way to spend your summer nights, a trip to Shakespeare in the Park cannot be beat.

For more information about dates and times visit http://www.kyshakespeare.com/Kentucky_Shakespeare/Welcome.html.

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Vengeful Adaptation

By Joshua Green

Staff reporter

During recent years comic books have been adapted into film versions, and V for Vendetta is no exception.  The movie adaption of V for Vendetta was similar to its comic book counterpart, but proved to be quite different.  For whatever reason the movie was dissimilar, it still proved to have the same key underlying themes.

   The film adaptation for V for Vendetta was written by the two Wachowski brothers in the mid 1990’s.  Only after the Matrix trilogy was completed was the screen play given any serious consideration.  The Wachowskis offered James McTeigue the director’s role in the production of the adaptation.  The three working in conjunction came up with a final skit that closely mirrored V for Vendetta, but applied elements that linked better in our modern times.

   V for Vendetta was filmed both in London, United Kingdomand Potsdam, Germany, but the majority of the filming was done on indoor sets.  Only three scenes required specialized locations in Berlin in order to be shot.  The last scene of V for Vendetta actually required getting the British government involved in order to use Westminster in London. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s son is said to have added in granting access to the location, but the calms were denied by the film makers themselves. The film makers stated that it took several months and negotiations to gain access. Filming began in early March 2005 and continued until June 2005. V for Vendetta was shot by cinematographer Adrian Biddle, who died shortly after production due to a fatal heart attack.

   The film was choreographed in order to reflect David Lloyd’s noir styling he used in the comic. Dark scenes and gray tones give the feeling of a lifeless totalitarian government. The Shadow Gallery, V’s home in the comic book, was made completely by hand due to the lack of places with similar features. The Shadow Gallery is well built making it hard to tell if it truly exists. Anything of old culture that the government tried to erase like in the comic book are all contained inside V’s home with minor differences, but feels almost identical to the comic.

   The story of the movie does not take place after a globalnuclear war like in the comic book, but is separated by war and terrorism.  Great Britain is in shambles when the fascist reactionary force Norsefire comes to power.  Norsefire purges Great Britain from most of its woes but creates greater ones due to the loss of freedom.  The view of Norsefire quickly changes after a biological terrorist attack that kills a large number of people, allowing the group to seize total power.

   The film is full of Matrix like fight scenes that show the extent of V’s abilities. Action isn’t the main focus of V for Vendetta like it was in the Matrix, but shows the Wachowskis unique idea of action sequences. Hugo Weaving did an excellent performance as V despite his limitations of wearing the Guy Fawkes mask. His voice acting and body language helps visualize what V is feeling beneath the mask. Natalie Portman plays the film adaptation of Evey Hammond. She did well for the role considering she doesn’t quite fit the idea behind the comic book version of Evey. Portman is much older the Evey in the comic, and also does not fit the character of Evey well. The supporting characters appearedto have made up for the lack of accuracy in the film adaptation. All the roles are well played and the special effects are good for 2006. 

   V for Vendetta is worth watching even though to truly understand the movie I had to watch it a second time to understand the symbolism involved in the story.