October 31, 2014

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Halloween Special Issue -

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UM alumni hopeful for their up-and-coming snowboard company -

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UMass hockey looks to end road trip on a high note with weekend series against Maine -

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#WrongDoor: Why I am not surprised? -

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B-horror films: hits and misses of the nightmare genre -

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Appreciating campus workers -

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UMass hosts Ebola panel to address concerns of the public -

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UMass Democrats hope to get more students connected -

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The broke college student horror comic buyers guide -

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UMass Republican Club: Not just for Republicans -

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To live and die and live again -

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Five reasons why Halloween is the best holiday -

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The anatomy of a horror game -

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Berger has first shot at securing starting role with UMass basketball -

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Robert Johnson’s deal with the devil -

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Humans vs. Zombies: UMass’ most dangerous game -

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Group Halloween costumes inspired by the roles of Hollywood icons -

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A haunting at UMass -

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At the end of your rope? Write about it. -

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UMass men’s soccer heads down to Carolina for a weekend pair of games -

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Five movies you should see in 2013

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With award ceremonies such as the Oscars and Golden Globes currently reviewing last year’s best films it would be apt to look forward to what will be claiming all the accolades in 2013.

On top of the usual reboots and sequels there are some excellent original ideas in line for release; from epic Sci-Fi to innovative comedies as well as new book adaptations. Although this past year had some excellent films it is more than likely that 2013 will usurp it. Here are a just a few to look out for.

“This is the End” (June 14, 2013)

The red-band trailer for this film is an excellent place to start in order to understand the hype surrounding this comedy. Starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill, the cast plays a group of partygoers.

“This is the End” may not be the No. 1 comedy at the box office this year, especially with the upcoming release of the “Hangover III,”  but it may be the most quoted and liked of all the comedies coming out in 2013.

“The Monuments Men” (December 2013)

Directed by George Clooney and starring himself, alongside Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Bill Murray, “The Monuments Men” is based on a book of the same name, which concerns the true story of an Allied task force trying to recover stolen pieces of art and treasure from the Nazi thieves and Hitler.

These unlikely museum directors and curators have the difficult task of trying to return these masterpieces as they are trapped behind German lines during World War II. Not only is this a stellar cast, but a film that has an intellectual heist and thriller written all over it. With an Oscar-friendly cast and a compelling and thrilling story, this will be a great film that will probably be at the forefront of upcoming accolades.

“Elysium” (Aug. 9, 2013)

“District 9” writer and director Neill Blomkamp’s sophomore feature film will take place on a ravaged Earth and a new living area in space called Elysium, which is a beautiful and technologically advanced area specifically designed for the rich.

The film will take place in the year 2159, when two classes of people exist: the wealthy that live on Elysium, and the rest of living on an overpopulated, diseased and impoverished Earth.

Matt Damon returns to the genre of full force action as he plays an unlucky ex-convict who is reluctant to accept a mission that involves him traveling to Elysium to jack into the brain of a wealthy man in order to retrieve sensitive information about Elysium.

It is said that the graphics and special effects are incredibly beautiful in this film, as they should be on a $120 million dollar budget. Not only should this be one of the better Sci-Fi films but it will strike up debate about the differences in class and wealth, a prevalent issue at this time.

Oblivion (April 12, 2013)

“Oblivion,” much like “Elysium,” is a Sci-Fi film that features a destroyed Earth, which after facing an alien invasion is left in shambles with very few human survivors.

Tom Cruise plays the lead role as a human that is sent to Earth occasionally to repair drones and other technological machines. The official trailer of “Oblivion” brings audiences on incredible views of Earth and starship action along with other futuristic and exciting technology enhanced by fantastic special effects.

Cruise’s character will begin to question the very existence and memories of Earth after rescuing a female human and encountering a band of surviving humans led by a character played by Morgan Freeman. Joseph Kosinski, director of  “Tron: Legacy,”  takes the reins with this film, and his use of special effects that were ever so prevalent in “Tron” will once again be one of the defining characteristics in this futuristic post-apocalyptic story about the fate and memories of a much destroyed Earth.

The Great Gatsby (May 10, 2013)

Directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan, “The Great Gatsby” will be a very highly attended film; whether or not it is received well is another thing all in itself.

Luhrmann likes to focus very much on visuals and making his films aesthetically pleasing. DiCaprio has become a somewhat dynamic actor and one that suits the character of Jay Gatsby. Luhrmann’s interpretation of the infamous book “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, will be the second depiction of the book, but this one will have much more panache and flair than Jack Clayton’s divisive version.

The distinctive directing style will certainly give the film a unique look and feel and having DiCaprio, Maguire and Mulligan will surely guarantee this to be a huge box office draw.        Debatably the most highly anticipated film of the year, especially after its delay from a Christmas 2012 release, it is certain to divide opinion amongst audiences with fears that the visuals will take precedent over the timeless narrative.

Luhrmann’s unique style of directing wins him a lot of fans but also garners him a lot of haters, and if he takes too many liberties with this story and turns it into too much of showy and glitzy film, it could spell disaster for him and the film.

Ryan Sacco can be reached at rsacco@student.umass.edu

 

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