TRENDS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
releasesof the week music
Come Get It: The Very Best of Aaron Carter — Aaron Carter
Do You Love Me Like You Say: The Very Best of Terence Trent D’Arby — Terence Trent D’Arby
Down In Albion — Babyshambles Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour — Living Colour
Lord of War — (R) Nicholas Cage, Ethan Hawke
Two For The Money — (R) Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey
Venom — (R) Bijou Phillips, Jonathan Jackson Asylum — (R) Natasha Richardson, Ian McKellen
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - Page B1
Trends Contact — Christina Gomez, email@example.com
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Meatless eaters can ﬁnd thin options on campus
By Deanna Ledezma Entertainment Reporter Nearly all college students worry about gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15,” but for vegetarians, it’s not necessarily a question of how much they eat as much as what is available to eat. Living on campus presents a challenge for vegetarians, whose meat-free diets aren’t always accommodated by dining halls or
what meager food they ﬁnd in the refrigerator. Instead, vegetarians need to explore their options and experiment with the essentials of a vegetarian diet: beans, brown rice, whole grains and fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts. While foregoing meat may seem a severe limit on a college student’s eating options, a vegetarian diet can expand one’s taste buds and inspire cre-
A. D. Brown/Star illustration
ativity in the kitchen. Having conquered the college-student diet with The Starving Students’ Cookbook in 1983, author Dede Hall’s newest title, The Starving Students’ Vegetarian Cookbook, offers ideas for veggie-friendly cooking that require a single pan and 15 minutes to prepare. With promising recipes for tofu spinach lasagna and zucchini enchiladas, Hall’s cookbook appeals to vegetarian students with tight budgets and busy schedules. Whether you’re combing the aisles of H-E-B for the ingredients
to a vegetarian chili recipe or you’re looking for something more convenient to heat in the microwave between classes, the grocery store’s frozen food section presents more than just the traditional veggie burger. Gardenburger, Morningstar and Boca offer meatless versions of black bean burgers, chicken, sausage, meatballs and buffalo wings as an alternative to meat products high in saturated fat. With the widest assortment of vegan and vegetarian frozen dinners, organic food producer Amy’s Kitchen makes pesto pizza, vegetable lasagna, black bean burritos, Thai stir-fry and Indian samosa wraps for people with more adventurous palates. Most of these dinners require only a few minutes in the microwave and, as frozen dinners go, are remarkably appetizing and ﬁlling. Just as a vegetarian is an animal’s best friend, Amy’s is a vegetarian’s best friend. Soymilk, as its name implies, is a product derived from soybeans and is loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein. Everyone, not just vegans and vegetarians, can enjoy soymilk in cereal, with cookies or as a
delectable beverage. When buying soymilk, choose organic versions fortiﬁed with calcium and vitamin D. Available in the dairy section of every grocery store, Silk soymilk is the most popular nondairy milk and comes in a variety of creamy, smooth ﬂavors including plain, vanilla, chocolate and “Very Vanilla for Kids,” which has the thickness and sweetness of a milkshake. Expanding its products beyond simple milk, the Silk brand also makes soy coffee creamer, Chai tea and eggnog, a seasonal treat. The carton is much more entertaining and informative than the translucent plastic jug holding other milk. With trivia about renewable energy and recipes for chocolate chip cookies and French toast, you’re sure to impress your friends. Next to a steakhouse, dining halls may present vegetarians with the greatest meal-planning obstacle. With hamburgers, pepperoni pizza and corn dogs as cafeteria mainstays, it’s often too easy for a vegetarian to surrender to the lethal combination of french fries and a Coke. However, it is possible to get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals out of a single meal trade by considering the
food sources of important nutrients. Although the salad bar is a vegetarian’s most obvious choice, opting for dark green leafy vegetables in lieu of iceberg and nuts instead of croutons are healthier selections. Lacto-ovo vegetarians, those who consume eggs and milk, can enjoy a veggie omelet rich in protein, iron and vitamin B12. Whole-grain bread, pasta and fruit are also essential to a healthy vegetarian diet. Maintaining a balanced diet is important to the well-being of all college students, not just vegetarians. Living on campus often makes eating right a challenge, but the health, ethical and environmental reasons for vegetarianism can outweigh the temptation and convenience of meat. If planning an elaborate meal isn’t an option, opting for quick and easy vegetarian dishes can meet a person’s dietary needs and budget. No one has to fall into the daily routine of a cheeseburger and fries, when veggie-friendly meals are waiting at the grocery store, in the refrigerator or at the dining hall. As for people considering a vegetarian diet, remember that it’s never too late to turn a new leaf.
Page B2 - The University Star
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Tips for losing 10 pounds (without giving up everything)
By Amy Bertrand St. Louis Post
Brynn Leggett/Star photo All eyes are on the ball as a student eats it high over the net at the Student Recreation Center Friday during a volleyball pick-up game.
Workout innovations key to weight loss By Maira Garcia The University Star The tradition of making a resolution to lose weight and get ﬁt for the New Year is one that will never die down. However, making a resolution and actually going through with it are two opposite things. Lucky for us, there is hope. Working out can be more interesting than running in place on a piece of revolving rubber or lifting heavy pieces of metal at 45 degree angles. The key to making the resolution come true is to make workouts creative and doing a few lifestyle changes. According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, more than 108 million people are either obese or overweight. So count about ﬁve people around you, and three of those have an unhealthy amount of weight draped on their bodies. Beginning an exercise regimen can be a daunting task, but with brain-stimulating exercises classes, Texas State Campus Recreation has various programs to start the road to a new and better you at little to no cost. Because learning to swim isn’t just something you were supposed to do at six, Adult Swim emphasizes breath control to get you over your fear of water and learn to swim. Basic swimming techniques like the front crawl,
breast stroke and even diving can be mastered. The class runs from Feb. 19 to Mar. 5 and costs $25. Wallﬂowers, retreat from your posts and take a dare by learning how to salsa, foxtrot or how to two-step with instructional dance classes. Salsa, ballroom dancing or basic country dancing will instruct you on how to strut your stuff and get ﬁt, just like the contestants on Dancing with the Stars. No partners needed either. Classes begin Feb. 12 and are $25 a person or $40 a couple. The Student Recreation Center offers ﬁtness and wellness classes like yoga, cardio dance, which combines hip-hop with cardio movements, and even Turbo Kick, which emphasizes high energy, kickboxing and music. An unlimited group exercise pass for these classes and many more runs at $50 for the semester. In addition to these classes, the SRC offers a personal trainer package. You meet with a trainer to determine your workout needs and receive a ﬁtness assessment, which includes ﬂexibility, body fat and endurance tests. This is probably the best route if you have never exercised, don’t know how to achieve the results you want or you just need someone to give you that extra push. In addition to exercise, the most important thing to couple
with it is a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean starving yourself or eating yucky food. For starters, you have to keep away from tons of sweets like soda, which is loaded with empty calories, and cravings of a cheeseburger at 2 a.m. Excessive alcohol consumption doesn’t help either because trust me, beer bellies are not sexy. It is all about restraint and self-discipline. Instead, eat foods that are made with whole grains, lean meats like turkey or chicken, fruits and veggies, and, of course, plenty of water. Web sites like dietforum.com suggests stopping eating by 6 p.m., as late night snacking can often be the culprit for weight gain. If you just can’t stop, dietforum.com advises people to drink two cups of water or eat a small hard candy if you feel like snacking. One of the healthiest things you can do to help change your body is by quitting smoking. Most everyone knows it is bad for you, and with all the cardio you will be doing, who wants a big, brown, slimy loogie to ﬂy out midworkout as a result of your smoker’s cough. Taking the effort to change your body for the better is a big commitment that can be made easier by taking creative steps. Preventing the early onset of diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease is something your future self won’t regret. Here’s to a better you this new year.
Sometimes simple changes can bring about big results. When it comes to losing weight, more often than not, it’s all about numbers. “Simply think of your body like a machine,” said Beth Mueth, a dietitian at Missouri’s Belleville Memorial Hospital. “Calories in have to equal calories out in order to maintain your weight. The majority of us have calories in more than out, but all it takes is a little change to turn that the other way around.” It takes 3,500 calories to build a pound. If you have a deﬁcit of 100 calories every day for a year — either by eating less or exercising more — you can lose 10 pounds in a year. Going on a diet where you give up everything you love is not going to work forever. Katie Duggan, a dietitian at St. Louis University School of Public Health, said teaching people to make small changes is often the only way to bring about results. “A lot of people want weight loss to be their New Year’s resolution,” Duggan said. “It’s a constant struggle for most Americans. At any given time, millions of people are trying different diets to lose weight, but most of the weight is regained as people return to their old eating habits. “The key is to make small changes that are reasonable, achievable and realistic to maintain.” Duggan said she often tells her clients to write down everything they eat and drink; then they start looking at small changes they can make in that pattern. “Over the course of a year, a small change can easily add up to ﬁve, 10 — even 15 pounds,” Duggan said. “You don’t have to give up everything. I believe people get stuck because all of these things. If you have a favorite food, you don’t have to give it up.” So, with the help of wire services, health experts and our own experiences, we’ve come up with a list of 25 ways you can lose 10 pounds in 2006.
Switch from whole milk products to skim milk products. If you consume three servings a day, you can save up to 200 calories a day. That’s 20 pounds you can lose next year.
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When you go to a restaurant, ask for half of your portion to be put in a doggie bag right away. Even if you only go out twice a week, you’ll easily save enough calories to lose 10 pounds a year. Reduce the use of butter and margarine. Use applesauce in recipes instead of oil. Try fatfree, butter-ﬂavored spreads or sprinkles (unless you’re watching your salt). Just eliminating a pat of butter on your morning toast will let you drop 10 pounds. Chill soups, gravies and stews, then skim off the fat that ﬂoats. Doing this can save you up to 100 calories a serving.
Use extra-lean ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey. Instead of bacon, use Canadian bacon or prosciutto, a lean Italian ham. Buy beef labeled “select” instead of “choice” or “prime” (select meats have less fat). Trim all fat from meat cuts. Is a tall glass of juice your morning ritual? Swap that 20ounce orange juice for a real orange and you not only save more than 100 calories, you also get some ﬁber while you’re at it.
Meatless products, such as imitation hot dogs, bacon, burgers and sausage, are available at many grocery stores. They often have half the calories of their meat counterparts. Eliminate that daily coffeehouse run. Switching from a 16-ounce cappuccino to regular coffee with artiﬁcial sweetener can save you more than 10 pounds a year. Switch from fried potato chips to the baked ones. Doing so saves 90 calories. If you do this every day, that’s your 10 pounds.
Learn how to add 10 minutes of exercise a day. The goal is 30 minutes a day. If you walk for just 30 minutes — even just three 10-minute walks a day — you will lose 13 pounds this year. Cut back on egg yolks. It’s the yolk that contains virtually all of the fat and cholesterol. Try using egg substitutes. Or, in most recipes, you can use two egg whites instead of one whole egg. If you love microwave popcorn, you don’t have to give it up. Just switch to the light kind and save tons of fat and calories, enough to lose 10 pounds if you eat it every night. Use sugar substitute instead
of sugar in all your baking. If you use a couple of teaspoons in your iced tea and a couple on your morning cereal, you could easily lose 10 pounds by switching to a substitute. Switch your afternoon soda to a diet soda to save 150 calories (per 12-ounce can) a day.
If you can’t take diet soda, just downsize your soda portions. If you usually pick up a 44-ounce soda in the morning, switch to a 24-ounce size and save about 200 calories a day. That’s about 20 pounds this year. Switch from 100-plus-calorie sandwich bread to the light whole-wheat bread. You save 100 calories per sandwich, and you get the beneﬁt of goodfor-you whole grains. Swap out your cheese. Replace the ounce of cheddar or American cheese on your sandwich with an ounce of nonfat mozzarella, and lose 11 pounds next year.
Switch from two tablespoons of regular mayonnaise to two tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise on that sandwich.
Portion control is essential when it comes to eating meat. A portion of meat is three ounces — about the size of a deck of cards. Most people eat two to three times this. Try putting just a portion on your plate at meals. Replace your regular beer with light beer and save about 50 calories per bottle.
Forgo regular bottled salad dressing (2 tablespoons, about 150 calories) for an equal portion of fat-free dressing (about 40 calories) for a net savings of at least 100 calories. Take the stairs every day at work. If you go up and down often enough (say up and down ﬁve ﬂights three or four times a day) you’ve got your 100 calories.
Don’t supersize anything. Switching from the 6-ounce fries at McDonald’s to the 2ounce size saves you about 300 calories. So doing that just twice a week can lead to a big weight loss. Remove the skin from a chicken breast after cooking and save 100 calories each time.
Instead of topping ice cream with crumbled cookies, crushed chocolate candy or hot fudge, top it with two tablespoons of fresh berries and save about 100 calories.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The University Star - Page B3
Movies bring fresh ideas, interesting look for 2006 By Brian McSwain The University Star
Let’s face it – it was a great year across the board in 2005. Deadly hurricanes, recordbreaking gas prices, nose-diving approval ratings, spying from the White House, lawsuits, scandals, oh, and all those little scufﬂes overseas. Last year will forever be remembered as the year that brought us movies like 50 Cent’s opus Get Rich or Die Trying and the stunning futurism of Doom. And how could we forget movies like The Son of the Mask, Transporter 2, Alone in the Dark or even the feel good event of the year Yours, Mine, and Ours. Of course, 2005 wasn’t all bad; it gave us an end to the ongoing train wreck that had become the Star Wars series. With a new year comes new beginnings and, all puns aside, a new hope for movie fans. This year is already looking to be a busy one for Hollywood, with all the explosions, skin, bad dialog and snazzy special effects one could hope for. Hopefully, festivals like Sundance, SXSW and the Toronto Film Festival will continue doing their parts to break the grasp that Hollywood has held over cinema for so long and explore the ﬁner and funnier sides of cinema. Here are some of the movies to keep an eye out for in 2006.
but new director Alexandre Aja has already been compared to the likes of Rob Zombie and even Wes Craven. The preview looks gritty, harsh and brutal – everything we’ve come to expect from good horror ﬁlms these days. Recent remakes of classic horror movies have only disappointed (with the exception of Texas Chainsaw Massacre), but with Aja at the helm, this movie may be just what the genre needs, or it could go the same way as The Amityville Horror. We’ll just have to wait and see. X3 Release date: May 26 Dear reader: If you grew up reading the comic books or really liked the other two movies, you can go head and skip this bit because you already know how amazing this movie is going to be. If you have seen the preview in theaters or online, then you too know what to do on May 26. If you have no idea what this movie is about, think
of it like The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, except the battle is between good and evil mutants, and its a big one. Unveiled in this third installment is Angel (pre-metallic wings) and, ﬁnally, Beast, who is played by a very hairy and blue Kelsey Grammer. Clerks 2 Release date: TBA Didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? How about an answer to your prayers for a Clerks sequel? Santa may be fake, but Clerks 2 is very, very real. All the cast is returning, and this one has Jason Lee with a pretty wicked mustache. Sure, there is always the concern that sequels ruin the original, that Clerks 2 is in color (gasp!) or that Kevin Smith is just selling out. First off, shame on anyone who accuses Kevin Smith of selling out. Secondly, the movie has Rosario Dawson, so chances are you’ll see it anyway.
The Hills Have Eyes Release date: March 10 This remake of the 1977 Wes Craven classic about a slightly dysfunctional family on their way to San Diego that gets lost and stranded in the middle of the desert, only to encounter a much more “dysfunctional” family of mutant psychopaths, was one of the best and most inspirational horror movies of the era. The plot isn’t a gem,
Photo courtesy of View Askew Dante and Randal will be returning to the big screen in a sequel to Kevin Smith’s 1994 cult hit Clerks.
Thank You For Not Smoking Release date: TBA This satirical ﬁlm about a tobacco lobbyist’s search for power and glory has a starstudded cast and is already being called one of the standout comedies of the year. It’s like a “TRUTH” ad, except, you know, funny. Director Jason Reitman leads a cast including Aaron Eckhart, Adam Brody, Sam Elliot (remember the mustached cowboy in The Big Lebowski?), Katie Holmes, Rob Lowe, William H. Macy, Robert Duvall and David Koechner, of Anchorman and The 40 Year Old Virgin fame. A comedy about the balance between
professional ethics and paternal duties, Thank You For Not Smoking will surely be a must see for anyone who enjoys laughing at how scary reality can be. Later in the year, it only gets better with a new Tenacious D movie, starring Ben Stiller and the legendary Ronnie James Dio, currently wrapping up production. Expect an Aqua Teen Hunger Force full-length feature and even a remake of The Omen. But don’t you dare forget about Mission Impossible III, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift or especially Miami Vice, all invading your mental environment this summer.
Photo courtesy of Working Title Films The Big Lebowski star Sam Elliot is coming back in another movie this year, Thank You For Not Smoking.
Page B4 - The University Star
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Page B5 - The University Star
A little info to acquaint new students with Texas State MAIRA GARCIA Entertainment Columnist To all the newbies on campus, let me be the millionth person to welcome you to Texas State. Though everyone has aged since grade school and a good chunk of us have matured, the experience of attending a new school is still a traumatizing one. You may not know many people, know where anything is or yet understand the function of the two horses with the naked dude in The Quad. It is confusing and very traumatic. However, there is help in deciphering college life. Search through the “College” section of a bookstore and you can ﬁnd The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, speciﬁcally the college edition. The book gives you simple instructions on a variety of topics such as surviving roommates, how to avoid doing laundry and dealing with unexpected visits from your parents. One of my favorite sections in the book is “How to Identify a Party School.” Texas State ob-
tained a reputation of being a party school in the ’70s when the city went wet. Going through the checklist in the handbook and remembering when I ﬁrst set foot on the campus, my feeling of laughter soon turned to, “Oh my god, why did I come here?” Let us enter trauma-phase one. Texas State is nestled in the quiet hills of San Marcos, a town not too big but not too small. Naturally, once a person has experienced everything San Marcos has to offer, things tend to get a little boring, which is when the parties take their cue. Think about this for a second though. Debauchery, like it or not, will occur at some point just about anywhere when a bunch of people with a license of freedom gather to entertain themselves. Essentially, Texas State is a pretty average university on the Many students pass through the Quad on their way to classes. rise as far as recognition goes. unfounded reputation as a party You will ﬁnd the same people as Enter trauma phase two. you would ﬁnd at any other large Texas State is changing, grow- school. Admission standards are to midsize university: jocks, frat ing and sprouting new limbs in getting a little higher as some of boys and sorority girls, artsy kids, every direction. The school is you new recruits already know nerds, hippies and everyone else trying to shed its small town im- (even if it is .5). Baby steps, peoage, and more importantly, its ple, baby steps. in between.
Fashionably Late in Movieland Being editor of the Trends section can, with fair assumption, mean that you are pretty hip concerning news and popular culture. You should be able to recite mundane facts about ﬁlm, music, art and television with remarkable rapidity. While having dinner with friends it occurred to me, and all in attendance, that I completely and totally missed the boat with movies. Not so much with movies that are in current circulation now, but movies everyone should have already seen. As they quizzed me on American classics from The Godfather to Top Gun, I had to sheepishly admit I hadn’t seen them. CHRISTINA GOMEZ Entertainment Always Editor one to see the glass half full, I have decided to embark on a massive game of catchup. Each week, I will review and chronicle my experience with a new movie I should have already seen. If you have any suggestions, as always, e-mail them to me at starentertainment@txstate. edu. If you haven’t seen the ﬁlm either, take heart, we can get through this together.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) Of all of the ﬁlms I haven’t seen, this one garnered the most sighs and rolled eyes. I guess most just assumed that Compulsory Grail Night was a staple at my nursery school, too. I get it. I am a sheltered Catholic kid, no need to throw tomatoes at me. Walking into the local Hollywood Video, my ﬁancé made it known to all passers-by that
I was a Monty Python virgin about to embark on the maiden voyage. With all the hype surrounding this ﬁlm, I was set up for a gigantic fall. The movie wasn’t that funny. I know, I know. My e-mail address appears on the ﬁrst page of Trends. Forward your hate mail there. The jokes were silly and sophomoric, the sound was miserable and the sexual innuendos were, at best, worthy of a junior high locker room. With catapulting livestock and coconut-clapping henchmen, I was supremely bored by Grail. Perhaps I am more accustomed to the ﬂashy-trashy lighting, perfected sound and decipherable dialogue of more modern comedies. Whatever the case may be, I spent the entirety of the ﬁlm with the volume on max, asking for the jokes to be explained to me. Of course, the ﬁlm had its moments, but they were too few and far between.
As for my next adventures into Cinema Past, here is a small list of ﬁlms on my list to see. Scowl at will.
• • • • • • • • • • • •
The Godfather Trilogy Top Gun Scarface The Princess Bride Ghostbusters James Bond (I haven’t seen one) Gone With the Wind Fatal Attraction Gremlins The Rocky Horror Picture Show Blazing Saddles The Rocky saga
lecting friends from assorted backgrounds. Believe me, they do come in handy, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a wallet to lend you $20 or perhaps something a little deeper, like helping you ﬁnd your true religion (Soka Gakkai, anyone?). Enter trauma-phase three. If there is one thing that is true about the students at Texas State, it’s that they are down-right friendly. Maybe it’s our Texas upbringing or the prolonged sense of euphoria from the night before, but believe me, most of us are nice. So don’t be afraid, we won’t bite (hard). End trauma phase. Eat ’em up Bobcats. Welcome to Texas State and all that other good stuff. Don’t worry, you chose a good school with good instructors and a very lovely meal Bradley Sherman/Star ﬁle photo plan. Welcome to the next exciting four (ﬁve, six, etc.) years of your life. And don’t worry about No matter what you are into the trauma and confusion; it will or the people are with whom subside in two to four weeks, just you typically associate, you will don’t forget your handbooks, ﬁnd them and many more. It and yes, the horses with the namay also be a good idea to reach ked dude do have a purpose (free outside your circle and start col- speech).
The University Star - Page B6
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Photos courtesy of (clockwise from left): www.classicmoviekids. com, XXX:StateOTU, CNN. com, Universal Studios, Lions Gate Films, Paramount Picutres, music. msn.com, Reuters, Focus Features, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, 20th Century FOX NIXON GUERRERO Entertainment Reporter Well, here we are. It’s 2006, and we all should be looking forward to great year in ﬁlm. But before we do that, let’s take a gander at the best and worst of 2005. Instead of presenting you with the standard (and boring) best-this and best-that list of ordinary, I thought I’d ﬂare it up a bit. Plus, I believe you shouldn’t just mention the best of the year. You should really also trumpet
the worst. So with that in mind, I have some fun and not-so-standard categories for last year’s bittersweet stream of ﬁlms. Enjoy! Worst Sex Scene Award: My vote for worst sex scene goes to Tom Welling and Maggie Grace of The Fog. Come on! We’re supposed to buy that daytime television, passionless shower scene. Now I’m not saying that sex scenes make a movie better, but I am saying that bad sex scenes make an already bad movie worse. Best Sex Scene Award: And the
honor goes to Viggo Mortenson and Maria Bello of A History of Violence. OK, you have the ohso-sexy and yummy Maria Bello wearing her old high school cheerleading outﬁt (which still ﬁts, mind you) seducing Viggo in a wonderfully steamy manner. I still love the one line she utters mid-straddle in response to Viggo’s moan, “Shh…My parents are in the next room.” That’s hot. Worst Remake Award: Hmmm. Maybe it’s just me, but did The Fog really suck, or what? The original should never have been touched. In fact, no more of John Carpenter’s ﬁlms should be remade. And if Hollywood thinks about messing with Halloween, they’d better think again. A lot of horror fans, myself included, won’t like that one bit. Best Remake Award: Some may hate me for saying so, but I felt Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a good movie and a worthy comparison to its original. Many have commented on Depp’s Willy Wonka as being creepy and unsettling. Personally, I thought he was hilarious. Worst Sequel Award: XXX: State of the Union. Do I really have to say more? Oh, wait. I almost forgot about Be Cool. Oh, well. Best Sequel Award: Although I didn’t love Saw II (great title by the way), it still managed to make one’s skin crawl and mind twist
until the third act. The acting was a bit dry for my taste but the plot twists and turns were enough to keep this movie above water. Best Song Award: Forget the “Ring of Fire” trend that’s going on. Hands down, the year’s best song goes to Terrence Howard’s performance in Hustle and Flow of “It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp.” Keep in mind I usually don’t listen to rap, but hot-damn if this song isn’t the grooviest. Advancement Antithesis Award: This award is given to the director who took a sizeable step backward as far his career goes. His name is Walter Salles, and after making the awesome, very well-received Motorcycle Diaries he decided to helm the ill-fated remake, Dark Water. Boo! Busiest Actress Award: This year’s winner is Rachel McAdams. She had three starring roles in very high-proﬁle ﬁlms this year: Red Eye, Wedding Crashers and The Family Stone. I kind of see her as the new Julia Roberts. Busiest Actor Award: Now this young man has grown to be a great actor. Jake Gyllenhaal starred across Sir Anthony Hopkins in Proof and has gone from being a military assassin in Jarhead to a lovesick cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. This guy is money. Superﬂuous Support Award: After you see a movie and ask
yourself what it could’ve done without or what should have never been in the ﬁrst place, you’ll usually come up with a couple of things. This year’s excess fat that should’ve been trimmed off Batman Begins is Miss Fish-eyes, Katie Holmes. She had no business being in the company of such ﬁne actors as Sir Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. It was like ﬁnding a scabby Band-Aid (retch) in the best sundae of the year. Rookie of the Year Award: Without a doubt in my mind or a moment’s hesitation do I name Miranda July rookie of the year. She wrote, directed and starred in her incredibly touching and equally funny independent ﬁlm Me and You and Everyone We Know. She is well on her way to being one of the greats. What the f**k were you thinking? Award: Many who know me are familiar with what I think is the biggest disappointment of the year was and that’s Fantastic Four. As the credits rolled, my eyes welled up, and I could barely poignantly whimper a broken man’s emotion. But I can now, and would like to ask director Tim Story — what the f**k were you thinking? Sleeper Success Award: This goes to the movie that didn’t have a lot of publicity and had little going for it, yet managed to work its way up to number one several weeks in a row – one of my per-
sonal favorites of the year, The 40 Year Old Virgin. I can remember seeing this movie and asking others if they’d seen it. I’d get a puzzled, ﬂat and vacant expression that suggested they didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. This was a hilarious and heartfelt movie that just came out of nowhere and deserves all the success it’s getting. Underrated Underdog Award: I’m going to hand this award to Dominion: The Prequel to the Exorcist. Keep in mind I’m not talking about Exorcist: The Beginning directed by the loathed Finn, Renny Harlin. No, I’m talking about Paul Schrader’s movie. For those of you who don’t know the story it goes like so: Schrader was hired to direct the prequel and he did just that. But when the studio saw the ﬁnal cut, they decided to hire Harlin to remake the ﬁlm and add a lot more blood and violence. Well, the Harlin version is cinematic crap. Now, the studio decided to release Schrader’s version in 2005 in limited number of theatres. And guess what? Dominion is superior. And although not the scariest of horror ﬁlms, Dominion takes a very sincere look at evil and the human spirit. Bounced Back Award: This was actually a tie between two of the best directors out there — Wes Craven and Steven Spielberg. How many of you saw Cursed? And if you did, how many of you regret See REVIEW, page B10
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The University Star - Page B7
Blogs help diversify tastes of music enthusiasts By Jim Higgins Milwaukee Journal Sentinel In today’s decentralized music universe, how can you hear new stuff that you might like to listen to? This is deﬁnitely an essay question, and if you were trying to answer it completely, you’d likely need more than one blue book. Publications that describe and review music abound, in print and online, but it can take some effort to discern what the heck the writers are talking about: Anyone for screamo? Sadcore? Acid techno? There’s plenty of streaming radio stations online, if you’ve the patience for it, and the wherewithal to jot down the names of songs and bands you liked. One friend prefers to do his research by whiling away the occasional afternoon at a big chain store sampling music through its listening-station headphones. But I have my own listening stations right at my home or (don’t tell my boss) work computer. MP3 blogs serve as a combination of tip sheet, word of mouth and free-sample table. Over time, they function as a virtual mix tape of their enthusiastic creators’ passions, the online equivalents of that mythical record store clerk (whom I never met) who would turn you on to some dynamic music. Collectively, they’ve become a wave of Johnny Appleseeds who spread new music around the country (and the world), to the point that many performers and labels service them with promo recordings in the same way they’ve traditionally courted radio stations and print music writers. When Matador Records recently released a promo MP3 of “Another Sunny Day,” a song from the forthcoming Belle & Sebastian recording “The Life Pursuit,” it spread with viral
speed through the blogs. Deﬁning any species that lives on the Internet is risky, but here goes: In general, MP3 blogs either host or link directly to music ﬁles — most often in MP3 format —that visitors can download and play on their computers and portable music machines. They’re labors of love, though some are popular enough to draw advertising. Many concentrate on justreleased music, while some revive popular or neglected music from the past. There’s a preponderance of indie and alt-rock stuff, but you can ﬁnd MP3 blogs for every taste and subtaste. You like hip-hop? Try Cocaine Blunts and Hip Hop Tapes (www.cocaineblunts.com/new). Cover versions of songs, chosen for both their musical and unintentionally humorous value? Step right up to Copy, Right? (copycommaright.blogspot.com). The swinging sounds of contemporary Sweden? Say hello to Swedesplease (swedesplease. blogspot.com). Lee Hartsfeld shares his hard-earned knowledge of popular culture and his massive vinyl collection at the truthfully named Music You (Possibly) Won’t Hear Anyplace Else (musicyouwont.blogspot. com). Some of my favorite music blogs are ones that delight in making and breaking discoveries. David Gutowski’s Largehearted Boy (blog.largeheartedboy. com) is a Lexus of the genre, a classy vehicle with lots of extras. Cheekily described by Donewaiting.com as “the oldest hipster in north Alabama,” Gutowski blogs about books and pop culture as well as music. The musical core of LHB is its Daily Downloads, 10 daily links to free and legal music downloads. “Every day, the posts are a musical stream-of-conscious-
hilosphically, record labels might decide to be glad that MP3 bloggers are in action. They’re spreading a passion for new music in a person-to-person way that other media can’t. ness experience, usually inﬂuenced by what I listened to the day before,” he wrote in an email. “Most of the music is indie rock and alt-country, but I try not to limit the posts to speciﬁc genres. “Jazz and pop music have snuck into the daily downloads.” His Daily Downloads section for Jan. 4, for example, linked to recordings of live shows by Local H, Ween, Matisyahu and Fugazi, as well as downloadable tracks by the less well known Colored Shadows and Feverking (www. largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2006/01/daily_downloads_706.html ). “I get many e-mails and several discs in the mail daily from bands, labels, and PR ﬁrms,” Gutowski wrote. “I actually encourage musicians to get in touch with me and listen to everything sent my way.” “I received an EP from the singer-songwriter Alina Simone last year,” he wrote, “and fell in love with her music from the ﬁrst spin. I had been a fan of her former band, Emma Le Reina, but her solo stuff blew me away with its intimacy and strength. I have since posted several of her tracks and her solo album is one of the discs I most anticipate in 2006.” Gutowski’s favorite music blogs: “My favorite music blog is Chromewaves (chromewaves. net), a mostly music blog that captures the indie zeitgeist without chasing the ‘next big thing.’ Said the Gramophone (www. saidthegramophone.com) and Fluxblog (www.ﬂuxblog.org),
though dinosaurs in MP3 blog history, remain my favorite places for downloadable music and smart commentary. Indie Interviews (indieinterviews. com) is less MP3 blog and more podcast, but there is no better indie music podcast. “Another great place to start sampling the music of MP3 blogs is the MP3 blog aggregators. The Hype Machine (hype. non-standard.net), elbo.ws (elbo.ws), and Indieum (www. indieum.com) all collect MP3 blog posts and/or stream the tracks made available on MP3 blogs in a central place.” Robbie McCown started his classy blog Womenfolk (womenfolk.net) to share his passion for female singer-songwriters. Many of the performers he highlights are “independent artists or obscure in U.S.,” he wrote in an e-mail. In recent months, he’s showcased Missouri singer Hilary Scott (www.hilaryscott.com), Air collaborator and singersongwriter Beth Hirsch (www. bethhirsch.com) and Swedish songbird Britta Persson (www. brittapersson.com). As part of its Cover Girls series, Womenfolk also has posted songs by better-known singers Kristin Hersh (of the Throwing Muses), Leigh Nash (of Sixpence None the Richer), Marti Jones and Annie Lennox (from a pre-Eurythmics band). “Actually, I’ve received a surprising number of submissions from independent artists themselves; people like Alison Breitman, Rachel Ries and Victoria George among others,” wrote
McCown, who lives in Vacaville, Calif., and is the online editor for a small newspaper. “Generally, I think these songwriters and many like them are realizing the signiﬁcance that MP3 blogs have in the promotion of their music.” McCown started a series within Womenfolk called “This Woman’s Work” to showcase the biographies and samples of independent performers who’ve contacted him. McCown’s favorite music and MP3 blogs: Aurgasm (www.aurgasm.us), Songs: Illinois (songsillinoismp3.blogspot.com), Fingertips (ﬁngertipsmusic. blogspot.com), and The Big Ticket (the-big-ticket.blogspot. com). “Each offer a steady dose of new and/or deserving listens served up in an easy-to-read format.” While some MP3 bloggers post commercially available music, they haven’t attracted the legal wrath of the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group that polices copyright infringement. For one, MP3 blogs deal in small amounts of music when compared with the deluge of il-
legally shared music that moves through ﬁle-sharing networks. “MP3 blogs often make available songs for a limited time only and often take tracks down when rightsholders complain,” Urs Gasser writes in his succinct summary of the legal and practical issues around MP3 blogs and copyrighted music on blogs.law. harvard.edu/ugasser/2005/08/ 03#a106. Gasser is a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. MP3 blogs often post a prominent disclaimer, like this one found on Gorilla vs. Bear (gorillavsbear.blogspot.com): “MP3s for sampling only — if you like it, support the artist. Buy the record. Go to the show. Wear the T-shirt. If you are the owner of a sound ﬁle and would like it removed, just let me know.” Philosophically, record labels might decide to be glad that MP3 bloggers are in action. They’re spreading a passion for new music in a person-to-person way that other media can’t. “When I hear something I like, I am more than happy to share the love and post a link to their music,” Gutowski wrote.
MORE ABOUT MUSIC In addition to the MP3 blogs mentioned in this story, here are some other good bookmarks for browsers who like to troll for free, legal downloadable music: Insound www.insound.com/mp3/ mp3s.php. Large collection of downloads from a popular online record store that highlights indie labels and performers. Internet Archive Live Music Archive www.archive.org/audio/ etree.php. The mother lode
of fan-made live concert recordings, posted with the bands’ permissions. Salon.com Audioﬁle www.salon.com/ent/audioﬁle. If you’re willing to watch Salon’s online ad ﬁrst, you can explore a nice archive of daily downloads. Amazon.com’s Free Music Downloads www.amazon.com/music. Several hundred free music downloads in virtually all genres. You need an Amazon account to download them.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The University Star - Page B8
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Page B9 - The University Star
Presently, the past sells Hollywood trend to bring back the classics fares well with public
By Andy Roberts Ball State University (U-WIRE) MUNCIE, Ind. — Nostalgia can come in many forms. You can leaf through your old high school yearbooks or search for your former classmates on Facebook — which might make you wonder how the shy kid turned into a partier holding four Heinekens in his picture after just a year in college. You can look at politics, where Bush is the president and troops are in Iraq — just as the case was some 15 years ago. You can watch old Eddie Murphy movies and remember the days when he was actually funny, not just starring in yet another crappy family ﬁlm.
Increasingly, however, there is a market for nostalgia like there never was before: in the electronic media department of your local Best Buy or Circuit City store. Nowhere is that clearer than the television shows found in the DVD aisle, where you can now buy complete season sets of “The Jeffersons,” “All in the Family” or various other staples of your parents’ childhood television viewing. For the younger crowd, shows from the earlyto mid-90s, like “Boy Meets World” or “Doogie Howser, MD,” are available. And for the instant-history crowd, you can get — yes, it’s true — the complete set of “Tommy Lee Goes to College.”
f the 10 highest-earning movies of 2005, only a few were not sequels or remakes.
Whatever your era of choice, it seems Hollywood can’t get enough of harking back to previous days. Whether it’s releasing television shows on DVD, making movies out of television shows, like Starsky and Hutch or Bewitched, or making movies they’ve already made, like Fun With Dick and Jane or The Longest Yard, Hollywood seems to be telling us: “You can always go back to being a kid
1. A burden, impediment, or hindrance. 2. A lien, mortgage, or other ﬁnancial claim against a property. Liberated from the encumbrances of Washington, the editor and his creation were free to embark on the happiest period of their history. — Edward L. Widmer, Young America www.dictionary.com
again.” But it’s not just watching the shows and movies of your past that has become increasingly popular, either. More and more, the video game population has seen a rise in the throwback market. This trend can probably be traced to “Sonic & Knuckles,” a Sega Genesis game that allows you to go back in time and play using the red critter in the
“Sonic 2” and “Sonic 3” games. But the time-travel trend really exploded with the release of Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, which immediately pumped out portable versions of the “Super Mario Brothers” games from the original Nintendo days. For those who believe video game innovation should have stopped at “Mario Kart,” this trend is a wonderful thing. But is this nostalgia a nice refresher from new media, or is it being overemphasized? After all, many pundits, such as those in Entertainment Weekly, credited the 2005 theater box ofﬁce drop to a lack of original ideas in the movies — and they have a point. Of the 10 highest-earning movies of 2005, only a few
were not sequels or remakes. If you go back to 2004 video game sales, only one of the top 10 sellers was not a sequel. The nostalgia market and the increasing number of sequels in the media today might not seem linked on the surface, but both of these markets point at a possible lack of originality in the television, movie and video game industries. For now, it seems audiences will tolerate this as long as they get good product. But what happens if the quality of even the recycled ideas is compromised? This article was originally published in the Daily News on Jan. 13.
Page B10 - The University Star
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Distinctive voices Student leaves her family’s mold VESTA RODRIGUEZ Star Columnist To say that I have the typical family life would be a lie. I live within an interracial family, so I get to be a part of a traditional Hispanic family on my father’s side and a nontraditional Caucasian family through my mother. Of course, all families are unique or weird in their own way. However, in my family situation, I am the oddball among the women. Everybody in my family has a special quality that I honor and respect, but I feel as though I am taking a different journey in life from any other female family member. The women on my Hispanic side are hardworking, family-oriented and believe in upholding moral values. My grandmother, Tomasa Rodriguez, grew up on the King Ranch, and her father was an original King Ranch weaver. My aunts are all housewives and concentrate on family life. My cousin recently got married, and another just became pregnant. They believe that family comes ﬁrst, even before themselves. I, too, believe that family is important, but I also think independence and self-reliance are essential. I am the ﬁrst female on the Rodriguez side
to attend college, and though I know in my heart this is the smartest decision, I sometimes wonder what they think of my choice. I know because they love me they are proud, but in their traditional mindsets, college is foreign. My other grandmother, Vesta Hase, grew up in the Midwest during the Depression. I once heard a story that she only owned one pair of shoes, and when she accidentally lost one of them, she got the “beating of her life.” For years, she and her family lived in a one-room shack where all the children crowded onto one bed. Though my grandmother was a very smart woman, she was taken out of school in the eighth grade. Neither my mother nor any of my aunts on this side went on to pursue their education. My mother, however, is a very successful businesswoman of whom I am extremely proud. As I continue on my college journey, I remember the women of my family and their struggles. Having this education will improve my lifestyle and allow me to become an educated and well-rounded individual. My brother is currently attending college, but because he is a male, I feel as though he is more appreciated for his efforts. I love and cherish my family and their choices; however, I am choosing a very different lifestyle from the rest of my family members.
2005 REVIEW: Last year’s movie moments remembered CONTINUED from page B6
it? Wes had a lot of us wondering if he lost his magical touch, but then he directs the highly chilling thriller Red Eye and ended up reinforcing our faith in the man and his ability. Next is Mr. Spielberg, a name in which we are all thoroughly familiar. He gave us the terribly toilet-bowl worthy War of the Worlds. Upon ﬁrst viewing WotW you’d never know it was a Spielberg movie. But then he turns around and gives us the great and somewhat controversial Munich. Munich is purely and simply amazing. He went all the way and makes no apologies for it. Now that is the Spielberg I love.
Suck Ass Award: Let’s face it Tom Cruise should just quit. He’s running on fumes. The only thing he’s got going for him is his dimwitted life partner, Katie Holmes. When you’re upstaged by a little girl like Dakota Fanning, it’s time to throw in the towel. As one critic would say, “Tom you deserve two thumbs down and two middle ﬁngers way up!” Tom, don’t leave angry. Just leave. Kick Ass Award: Whoa! This guy is really close to being my number one actor. His name is Terrence Howard and he is just the best at what he does. He had three really strong performances last year; a Hollywood director in Crash, an honest and devoted detective in Four Brothers and
(my favorite) as a low-rent pimp with dreams of being a rap star in Hustle and Flow. This embodiment of pure talent deserves to be nominated by the Academy for best actor. The R.I.P. Award: This is in memory of two really great men in the industry — Noriyuki “Pat” Morita and Richard Pryor. Morita, I’m sure, has a very special place in all our hearts as the Oscar-nominated Mr. Miyagi. It was a sad November day when I learned of his passing. We’ll miss you, man. Richard Pryor was another great loss for us all. He is deﬁnitely one of the funniest men in history. The good ones leave us too soon. They will be missed.
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