"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

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

Review: Blomkamp’s ‘Chappie’ is flawed, but still enjoyable

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

Neill Blomkamp is one of the more interesting sci-fi directors out there.
Beginning in 2009 with his breakout debut feature, “District 9,” the South African director has become a unique voice among science fiction directors. His films have action, but are usually accompanied by some kind of deeper social meaning. “District 9” was about apartheid with aliens while “Elysium” was about the 99% versus the 1%.
This brings us to Blomkamp’s third feature as a director, “Chappie.” Continue reading

Review: ‘Kingsman’ an absolute blast from start to finish

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

What do you get when you mix the director of films such as “Kick Ass,” “Layer Cake” and “X-Men: First Class” with the spy action movie genre?
A pretty entertaining film, as it turns out.
“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” based off of the comic book entitled “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar, focuses on young Eggsy (newcomer Taron Edgerton), a delinquent who, after getting into trouble with the law as well as his abusive stepfather, contacts the mysterious Harry Hart (Colin Firth). Continue reading

Nicole Franklin discusses film industry with students

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

Last week, as part of Black History Month at Fairleigh Dickinson’s Florham Campus, Nicole Franklin gave a lecture about small-time independent filmmakers and how difficult it is to get into the filmmaking business.
Franklin herself is an independent filmmaker who has been in the business for many years. The lecture was concurrent with the film course, “Blondes and Bombshells,” taught here on campus.
The 45-year-old filmmaker always wanted to tell the stories she viewed in her mind on the screen. In 1990, she moved out to Los Angeles in order to tell her stories. Continue reading

Review: Cumberbatch a good ‘Imitation’ of Alan Turing

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

It never ceases to amaze me how good some people are with numbers. I was never great at math or numbers in general (I am a communication studies major after all), so I am always surprised when people use numbers to great effect and are able to solve complicated problems after some time or with relative ease.
Pair the story of one of the greatest mathematicians in the world with a potential Oscar-winning cast and story, and you have a great idea on your hands.
“The Imitation Game” focuses on the life of brilliant mathematician Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. In the midst of World War II, he attempted and (considering this is a true story, this is not a spoiler), eventually succeeded in decrypting and breaking the Nazi Enigma Machine. The machine carried out secret messages from the Nazis that contained military secrets. Continue reading

Review: Satisfying first part of final ‘Hunger Games’ films

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

It seems that one of the newest trends circling around Hollywood is taking the final book of a wildly successful series and stretching it out to multiple films.
“Harry Potter” was the first to have done this.
Considering that that final film made at least over a billion dollars combined, many major film studios have attempted to keep their cash cow flowing for as long as possible (i.e. the “Twilight” saga and the upcoming finale to the “Divergent” series).
This brings us to today’s topic, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.” Continue reading

Review: Biker television drama embarks on one final ride

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

Binge watching is when users who are signed up with video streaming websites such as Netflix or Hulu take an entire TV show and try to watch every episode back-to-back until the entire show is finished. This is a relatively new phenomenon that is sweeping the Internet.
While I myself am not an avid binge watcher (I have some semblance of a life), I do dabble in it when it is necessary, such as when a show everyone has been telling me to watch begins its final season and I decide to watch it the day that the final season begins.
Enter “Sons of Anarchy.” Continue reading

Opinion: Too many superheroes in film and TV; good or bad?

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

These days, superhero films and television shows are becoming all the rage, as 29 films and 11 television shows will be released over the next several years.
This humongous upswing of superhero news all began on Oct. 13, when Marvel Studios announced that Robert Downey Jr. would be joining the cast of “Captain America 3.” The story will pull inspiration from the famous “Civil War” storyline, in which Captain America fights Tony Stark.
Two days later, DC Comics unveiled their entire cinematic universe line up, which is planned from 2016 until 2020. It features a “Batman vs. Superman” movie, a Wonder Woman movie and two Justice League films.
The following week, the trailer for the Avengers sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” was released and gained 34.3 million views within 24 hours of its release. Continue reading

Opinion: Reaction to ‘eagerly anticipated’ Gaiman event

JON SCOTT
Entertainment Editor

This past Friday, as a part of FDU’s WAMFEST 2014, celebrated fantasy author Neil Gaiman came to speak to students as part of the ongoing theme, “The Illuminated Word.”
I remember being particularly excited by this panel. Having never been to a WAMFEST Panel before at FDU (you would think after four years I would have actually gone to one, but, surprisingly, no) and considering Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, I was very curious to hear what he had to say and eagerly anticipated the event. Continue reading

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.
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.
Continue reading