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The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

The Equalizer’ review: Entertaining but slow-moving at times

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor
Let’s face it: movies based on television shows rarely live up to or even come close to the original. The only ones I can think of that have been remotely successful as well as entertaining were Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” franchise or 2010’s “The A-Team,” which, unlike a few other opinions, I thought was a stupidly entertaining film.
So imagine my surprise when I first saw the trailer for “The Equalizer” and found myself actually looking forward to it.
“The Equalizer” is an adaptation of the television show that ran from 1985 to 1989. The show followed Robert McCall – played in the television show by Edward Woodward – a middle-aged retired intelligence officer who uses his skill set to help those in need and provide justice to those who deserve it. In the film adaptation, Denzel Washington portrays McCall, a retired Special Forces officer trying to live a quiet, normal life. One night, at a diner he frequently visits, he strikes up a friendship with Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl who works as a prostitute for the Russian mob. After seeing her get badly hurt by the mob, McCall takes it upon himself to come out of his retirement and brandish his, to steal a phrase from the film “Taken,” “unique set of skills” to dish out vengeance upon the Russian mob and any of those who deserve justice.
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‘Tusk’ review: Bizarre horror entry from director Smith

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

As I sit here typing at this review, my first since returning from Wroxton, I realize something:
I could not have picked a stranger film for my first review back at FDU – one where I’ll never look at walruses the same way again.
In his new film “Tusk,” Kevin Smith returns to the director’s chair after being absent for three long years. Continue reading

Analysis of student film: Why female directors are important

AMIR MUHAMMAD
Contributor

Over the course of three weeks this summer in the quiet town of Chestnut Hill, Penn., FDU students led by professor David Landau worked together to create the film “Stray” – the story of a killer who seeks to settle down in a small town. It originated as a short film that Landau and FDU students shot in the past, which was accepted as a part of the Emerging Narrative Program at the Independent Filmmaker Project – one of the oldest independent film organizations.
This time, however, “Stray” was turned into a feature length film.
With student director Nena Eskridge heading up the project and Landau co-producing, students like Alex Price, Maggie Kaszuba, Roxy Barrett and Danica Carothers took on different roles and tasks in the production. These students fulfilled the jobs of assistant director, assistant camera and more in order to bring the film together behind the scenes, while hired actors such as Michelle Page, Annie Corley and Aaron Lustig performed on screen. Continue reading

Review: ‘Catching Fire’ lives up to expectations

JON SCOTT
Film Critic

After seeing “Thor: The Dark World” for a second time last weekend, my opinion on it had not changed, but I thought to myself, “what qualifies as a good sequel?” For me, personally, a good sequel qualifies as expanding the world that was last introduced, developing the character arcs set up last time and taking them to a different place and seeing how they have changed since the last movie, while also setting up new characters for potential future films.

While “Thor: The Dark World” did do that, I realized that there could have been better moments of character (such as with Jane Foster and Thor). However, the next sequel to come out in November was “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

The sequel to the worldwide smash- hit “The Hunger Games” picks up after the events of the first film. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) have won the 74th Hunger Games, and have returned home to District 12.

But there’s a storm coming.
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Review: ‘Thor’ sequel is solid addition to Marvel movie franchise

JON SCOTT
Film Critic

In the last few years, Marvel Studios has become a powerhouse studio, thanks to their genius strategy. In just the short span of five years, Marvel has churned out hit after hit. This past summer, they initiated Phase Two of their Cinematic Universe with “Iron Man 3,” which went on to gross over $1 billion worldwide. Now, Marvel hopes to strike lightning twice with “Thor: The Dark World,” a sequel to 2011’s “Thor.”

The film picks up right after the events of “The Avengers.” Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been brought back to Asgard to stand trial for his crimes against the people of Earth. Meanwhile, our favorite God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) is traveling with his companions across the
Nine Realms trying to bring about peace. It seems that since Thor’s absence in “The Avengers,” the Nine Realms have erupted into chaos.
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Review: ‘Ender’s Game’ film adaptation stays true to book

JON SCOTT
Film Critic

Films based on book adaptations are rarely as good as the source material. They miss the point of the book and instead try to condense it into a product that contains stiff, wooden acting, poor dialogue filled with meaningless jokes, and a script that misses the point that the book makes. Now, some of these adaptations are the rare exception to good movies. The “Harry Potter” franchise, “The Hunger Games,” and “Holes” are a few of the exceptions that come into my mind.

Now we have the latest film adaptation of another acclaimed best seller, “Ender’s Game.”
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Fairleigh Dramatics hosts ‘Gender Swap’ showcase

Photos by Monique Vitche

Review: Tom Hanks stars in ‘intense’ blockbuster based on true events

JON SCOTT
Film Critic

Films based on real life events always seem to be a big draw for Oscar picks. Moviemakers feel as if what had actually transpired in real life can be replicated on the big screen, hoping that these stories can provide inspiration and hope. The public also likes Tom Hanks. He is one of the most recognizable and likable actors working in the industry today. Put these two elements together and you get “Captain Phillips,” the latest film from director Paul Greengrass (“The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “United 93″).

“Captain Phillips” focuses on the real life story about the crew of the Maersk Alabama, a freighter which was hijacked by Somali Pirates in 2009. During the hijacking, the film’s captain, Richard Phillips (played by Hanks), was taken hostage in a lifeboat by the pirates for three days. This resulted in the Navy SEALs having to step in and control the hostage situation. In Greengrass’ take on the story, we also briefly get to see the lives of both Phillips and the pirates before the hostage situation occurs.

I did not know what to expect going into this film. I had recalled seeing the hostage situation unfold on television but did not remember any of the details of what had occurred. I was more curious in seeing it because I have liked Greengrass’ other work, with “The Bourne Ultimatum” being one of my favorite action movies of all time. Also, Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors working in Hollywood. I was interested in seeing what these two could bring to this story together. What I saw on screen was probably one of the most intense films I’ve ever seen in a theater. I walked out with my heart pounding in my chest. I could not stop thinking about it.
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Review: ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’

AYINDE J. STEVENS
Student Voice Editor

By now we all know the story about how J.K. Rowling managed to pull herself out of what she considered rock-bottom to become one of the wealthiest women in the world – all with the idea of a skinny kid who has magical powers.

Rowling has continued her success with her new novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling.”
The novel, which takes place in contemporary London, has Detective Cormoran Strike looking into the suicide of Lula “Cuckoo” Landry, a supermodel whose death even had, hypothetically, the BBC talking about it. Landry’s adoptive brother, John, asks Strike to take up the case, utterly convinced it was murder.
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Review: Saying good-bye to Vince Gilligan’s ‘Breaking Bad’

JON SCOTT
Film Critic

How do you describe perfection?

It’s rather difficult to do so. When you are able to bear witness to something that helped define the age of television and revolutionized the drama genre like no other show before, it is hard to be able to define just how perfect it is. The show in question is AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” which recently wrapped up its series run.
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