• Campus protest to echo ‘Slut Walk’

    | Marcus Clem editor in chief |

    Jessica Crabtree says she’s taking an idea that’s seen global success and applying her own twist to it. This may seem like conventional innovation, until one learns her inspiration: The Slut Walk.
    Crabtree is rebranding the international movement for her demonstration, the Strut Your Stuff event, set for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3. It will follow a southern route around campus from the Oval.
    The concept is basically the same as a Slut Walk; a group of scantily clad people marching to protest the trope that a provocatively dressed person is inviting sexual aggression.
    “That idea is preposterous,” Crabtree said. “I should be able to stand somewhere naked and not be raped or assaulted. The only invitation for sex is an actual invitation.”
    Strut Your Stuff is meant to make it easier for people to get involved in this idea.
    “I wanted to put my own spin on it,” she said, “to organize it along the same lines but with my own take.”
    Slut Walk events, such as the protest that occurred at Pittsburg State last fall, are typically open to all. Crabtree says she hopes to focus the event on inclusion.
    “We want to maximize turnout,” she said. “I’m hoping that the result will be a greater reaction on campus.”
    Crabtree says that the ideas that inspire Strut Your Stuff are a key way to improve awareness of how people perceive a form of dress at, for example, a party.
    “Sexual assault is a problem everywhere,” she said. “It’s underreported; victims are too scared to talk, or perhaps the morning after, they don’t remember everything.”
    Crabtree and event volunteers will hold a fundraiser in the Oval on Friday, May 2, in support of Safehouse, a shelter in Pittsburg that supports victims of domestic violence, located at 669 S. U.S. Hwy 69.
    For more information, call Safehouse at 620-231-8692.

  • Summer music preview

    | Jay Benedict writer |

    Summer entertainment is known for its blockbuster movies, TV repeats and songs that encapsulate the spirit of the season. They’re songs that sound best while driving with the windows down, with the volume pumped up and belting them out shamelessly until you’re stuck at a stoplight and people start giving you looks.
    Last summer saw hits like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” and Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us.” Hits from established acts will be popular, but undoubtedly some newcomers will make a splash as well.
    Here’s a preview of albums that have been announced that might just contain the singles that will be overplayed on the radio and listened to at pool parties, bonfires and bars.
    Next week, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Lily Allen and Atmosphere are dropping albums. This will be Atmosphere’s sixth studio album. This one may make a little more of a mainstream splash because of the success that Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis saw last year. Atmosphere channels that same sound but has been doing it longer.
    The week of May 12 will see Rascal Flatts and The Black Keys, among other artists, with releases.
    The Black Keys achieved a more mainstream following after “Gold on the Ceiling” was used as the theme song to the 2012 NCAA basketball tournament. The duo holds a secure place in the blues-rock strata and is coming off their best-reviewed album. Expect a solid follow-up.
    The following week sees a release from folk-country-turned mainstream-country singer Brantley Gilbert.
    His early career isn’t mentioned much, but his best music was made prior to his last album when he added more Southern rock to his compositions and a lot of gravel to his voice.
    Coldplay also releases “Ghost Stories” this week. The first single, “Magic,” is already very popular.
    Jimmy Fallon’s house band The Roots and Jam-rockers O.A.R. also have a release this week.
    June kicks off with 50 Cent, Miranda Lambert, and Yiddish rapper Matisyahu releasing albums.
    50 Cent has been wallowing in mediocrity since the last 2000s but still gets airtime.
    Country superstar Lambert churns out hit after hit and her new album “Platinum” should be no different.
    Matisyahu made a splash in 2006 with “Youth,” but has released several albums since then relatively quietly. This new album may be a true return to form, though.
    The week of June 10, Jack White’s follow-up to the mostly good “Blunderbuss” will be released. White can be hit or miss, but can be relied on to generate discussion between rock fans. Count on “Lazaretto” to be loud and inevitably catchy.
    Jennifer Lopez, Linkin Park, Sia and Ed Sheeran have new music dropping as well.
    This represents only a fraction of what is being released in the next month. Undoubtedly, hits will come from other artists and the highlighted artists are just some of the most well-known that are putting out new music.
    Album announcements become spotty after mid-June.
    Some release dates haven’t been locked down or official announcements haven’t been made yet. So far, the pop and country genres seem to be underrepresented. That will surely change and the songs you’ll be humming for days will probably be one of those.

  • Street art

    Art Walk proves to be sucess

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Several booths were set up last Friday, April 25, for the Pittsburg Art Walk, an attraction that brings local artists out to sell and showcase their talents.
    Photographers, caricaturists and other artists lined the streets, and work done by aspiring artists from local high schools was also displayed in various shop windows.
    Although the majority of the Art Walk comprised local artists, the Art Practices II: 3-D Visual Thinking class from Pitt State had an interactive display at the Markham Travel building.
    “It was fascinating,” said Ithaca Marlier, senior in art education. “Everyone had different ideas, but we came together like a family of Gorillas.”

    Seventh grader Laney Bevins paints a junk car at the Pittsburg Art Walk Friday, April 25.Seventh grader Laney Bevins paints a junk car at the Pittsburg Art Walk Friday, April 25.

    Seventh grader Laney Bevins paints a junk car at the Pittsburg Art Walk Friday, April 25.

    A fog machine and streamers greeted Art Walk-goers as they entered Markham Travel. Holiday lights covered by ping-pong balls lined the halls as well. The theme of the class project was “Celestial Dreams.” To help make the project interactive, cutouts were placed on a table and visitors were encouraged to write their dreams on a cutout and then attach it to a nearby streamer for others to view.
    “The idea is that you can come in, and by walking among the stars, you become inspired by everyone else’s dreams, and then you become inspired to go out and live your own dreams,” said Shandara Richardson, junior in art education.
    Throughout the planning of this exhibit, the class had separated into committees such as installation, signage, and design and construction. Each committee was in charge of figuring out what needed to be done and communicate with the rest of the class to discuss who could do what and when.
    “It’s not how we imagined it at first, but it all came together well,” said Tiffany Haase, freshman in art education. “It’s good to learn how to work together.”
    Robert Raio says the biggest problem the class ran into was communication, but that was to be expected in any group project.
    “I think there are problems with any group project but is a matter of how you work through those problems,” said Raio, senior in art.
    For this year’s Art Walk, a mural was painted on the side of 505 at Fifth and Broadway. The mural is designed to represent the life of downtown and show the community spirit.
    PSU alumna Elizabeth Cosby was painting her section of the mural during the Art Walk so passersby could see the work in progress.
    Cosby’s submitted idea involves theater, art, love and the beauty of life. She was asked by the committee who chose her design to let it flow, as if leading people to the downtown area. Her section of the mural was not the only one chosen, and she is working with five other artists to create the mural. There will be a filmstrip painted along the top to capture the spirit of Pittsburg.
    As a teacher of seventh- and eighth-grade art at Carl Junction, Cosby was able to have her students’ work displayed in one of the participating shops.
    The SEK Art Fest also had a booth allowing viewers to learn about the coal buckets that were decorated and displayed last year and showed a replica of the footballs that will be decorated and displayed at the June 20 Art Walk. The footballs will be displayed until the Pittsburg State University homecoming game.
    A total of 24 artists were chosen to decorate footballs based on designs that they submitted.
    “Some of the same artists have been chosen this year that were chosen last year,” said Leslie Harris, chairperson of the SEK Art Fest. “Three jurors who have art backgrounds chose the designs.”

  • F.A.M.E. to host annual fashion show

    | Kelsea Renz managing editor |

    Fans of fashion in Pittsburg need look no farther than down the street to find a fashion show of professional caliber.
    Pitt State’s Fashion and Merchandising Entrepreneurs (F.A.M.E.), along with Wax: Beauty and Barbour Factory, will conduct a joint hair and fashion show at Parrot Bey at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26.
    “Dani contacted us around January and asked to pair up for the show,” said Alyssa Marsh, senior in fashion merchandising and F.A.M.E. president. “It will help to bring more people and makes the show longer.”
    Dani Pollard, owner of Wax, wanted to do her half of the show for publicity of her new salon and to bring as many people as possible to the event.
    “I’m obviously getting rewarded by getting to be creative and getting my ideas out there,” Pollard said. “And we were already going to do the hair for F.A.M.E.’s fashion show, so I figured instead of doing two small shows, we could have one large one.”
    The show, titled “Back to Life,” will feature 11 models for Pollard to showcase hairstyles and 11 models for F.A.M.E. to showcase fashion.
    The models for Pollard will start the show. They will be dressed all in white and have hairstyles that are colorful and wild.
    “I wanted to take that white and purity and collide it with the boldest and brightest and softest colors and hairstyles,” Pollard said.
    F.A.M.E.’s models will be dressed in a postmodern 1980s look with a twist theme and have simple, clean hair and makeup.
    “I got really inspired from the song ‘Back to Life,’” Marsh said. “I wanted to put together looks that went with that song but had a modern twist to them.”
    Marsh was focused mainly on the business side of the show but had a hand in choosing the looks.
    “Most of the looks were a group effort. We went through the F.A.M.E. closet, which has trends from the ‘60s through now, and put pieces together that worked with the theme,” she said. “And four of the looks are original designs by Darrel Holland.”
    The show will cost $5 at the door, with 60 percent of the proceeds going to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. There will also be a silent auction to raise money for the charity.
    “This is the first year we will be doing the auction,” Marsh said. “We wanted to be able to raise even more for the charity.”
    Marsh also says this event has been very beneficial to the members of F.A.M.E..
    “This is a great thing to have on a resume,” she said. “It opens a lot of doors and it’s good for fashion students to know how to put on a fashion show.”

  • Solid last production, plot ‘phones’ it in

    | Jay Benedict reporter |

    “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” is the final production the Grubbs Studio Theater will hold. Strangely, its final show also features something the theater has never seen before.
    Local band Deadeye scored the play and performs the songs, as well as the sound effects, live. It adds something special to the experience. That’s a good thing because without this gimmick the play might have trouble standing on its own.
    At their cores, plays or any entertainment production seek to accomplish a goal. Plays are comedic for enjoyment, tragic and take the audience on a dramatic journey. They have a motive. Sometimes that motive is simply artistic and other times it’s to make a point.
    It’s hard to tell what “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” is trying to do. Part of it draws laughs, yet it feels like it’s trying to be dramatic, as if it’s trying to be a commentary on our dependence on technology. And then, it becomes a morality play. Throw in the live band and it’s a lot to take in.

    Breezi Hancock, freshman in communications education, pass out gifts during dinner in The Dead Man's Cell Phone on Monday April 21.

    Breezi Hancock, freshman in communications education, pass out gifts during dinner in The Dead Man’s Cell Phone on Monday April 21.

    The main character, Jean (Breezi Hancock), picks up a dead man’s cell phone in a cafe because it won’t stop ringing and starts taking his calls. This leads her down a rabbit hole with no way out. Soon, she’s meeting with lovers and family members and making up stories to comfort them in their loss. She’s telling them nice, comforting things about a bad man she never met.
    She briefly falls for the dead man’s brother, Dwight (Logan Qualls) and sort of gets mixed up in an international organ-smuggling ring. Eventually, the dead man’s phone almost leads her to her own demise.
    The play’s liveliest parts are when its namesake “Gordon” (Austin VanBecelaere) is on screen. He delivers a powerhouse soliloquy just after intermission. His scene later in the play is also strong.
    Megan Reed plays Mrs. Gottlieb, Gordon’s mother. The character is definitely over-the-top and that’s the way she plays it. Catie Almond’s Hermia pulls off the grieving/scorned widow well. Hancock and Qualls play well off each other, too.
    Deadeye’s compositions are light, folky and catchy. The opening number is one of the best. Folk/red dirt country fans might recognize it as reminiscent of The Damn Quails’ “Fool’s Gold.” Watching the band perform its songs and create the sound effects adds something special to the performance.
    Logan Qualls, a junior in communications, and Breezi Hancock, freshman in communications education, hold each other in The Dead Man's Cell Phone on Monday April 21.

    Logan Qualls, a junior in communications, and Breezi Hancock, freshman in communications education, hold each other in The Dead Man’s Cell Phone on Monday April 21.

    The acoustic setting fits the mood and is a better sound for the band. Lead vocalist Megan McCoy tends to over exert during part of other live performances and reins it in here except for the song following intermission.
    The technical elements are pulled off well and the presentation is fun to watch. The glaring issue is the play itself. The premise is simple enough, but playwright Sarah Ruhl’s script is overly complicated and confusing. The characters are dragged back and forth through the convoluted story without much of an explanation for their motivations, and the denouement is abrupt and unsatisfying.
    Director Cynthia Allan surely saw something in this play that enticed her to bring it to Pitt State. Maybe others will see it, too. Fortunately, the biggest issue with the production comes from outside the university.
    The cast does well, the production is solid and the live music adds life to a stiff of a script.

  • Final Curtain Call

    | Andrea Hucke reporter |

    The simple act of answering a call isn’t usually a life-changing event. However, for the main character in tonight’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” picking up the phone does just that.
    Pittsburg State’s Department of Communication will be presenting the play at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 24, until Saturday, April 26, in the Grubbs Studio Theater. A final performance will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 27.
    The play, a comedy, depicts modern society’s fascination with technology in a surrealistic and quirky way.
    “It’s all about technology and how we can get caught up in it so easily,” said Cynthia Allan, chair of the department and director of the play. “It shows how we’re connected with more people than ever before, but at the same time we’re not in touch.”
    Ruhl’s piece demonstrates this connectedness by following the life of a woman who unknowingly becomes intertwined with the family and associates of a recently deceased man, all because she answered his cell phone.
    All of the play’s action will be accompanied by a new aspect of the performance: a live soundtrack provided by local bluegrass and alternative rock band “Deadeye.”
    “One of the most exciting parts of putting on this production has been collaborating with ‘Deadeye,’ which has written original music for the play,” Allan said. “They’ll also be playing music between scenes and providing sound effects to go along with the show.”
    The coordinators of the play first contacted Deadeye about writing the music last summer, when the piece was selected. Since then, those involved with the production have been hard at work.
    “It’s been in the works for at least the last 10 months,” Allan said. “Auditions and rehearsals started in early March, we had design discussions in January, and our last practices have been all about ironing things out and getting the timing down.”
    Apart from Allan and the local band, the cast features 11 students, majoring in various fields across campus. Students are also in charge of the lighting and set design.
    “It’s a completely student-run show because they’re involved in almost every aspect of putting it on,” Allan said.
    The upcoming performances of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” are not only the last of the semester, but are also the final productions to attract audiences to the Grubbs Studio Theater.
    Beginning in February, the communication department’s presentations will be in the Center for the Arts.
    “I’m really excited to be moving over there and I hope everyone is too, especially the students,” Allan said. “With complete scene and costume shops, it’ll be a terrific learning environment.”
    Allan says she is confident that theater supporters in the community will attend this year’s final production of the department.
    “We’ve always had great audiences for our shows and I think that will only continue as we transition over to the Performing Arts Center,” she said.

  • Good people doing bad things: ‘Fargo’ is a must-see

    | Jay Benedict writer |

    “Your problem is, you’ve spent your whole life thinking there are rules…there aren’t.”
    Thus begins one of the most fantastic short monologues in recent television history.
    Billy Bob Thorton brings chaos to a small Minnesota town and a bunch of tragically funny characters get caught up in the mix.
    This is the recipe that FX has implemented in its new and wonderful dark comedy/drama. It borrows pieces of its blueprint from the Coen brothers’ 1996 film by the same name, but the series is neither a sequel or prequel; it’s more of spiritual re-imagination.
    The original “Fargo” won more than 60 awards, including two Oscars, so taking a page from the Coens’ book sounds like a good idea on paper.
    Movies like “Fargo” rarely, if ever, translate well to television. It’s difficult to translate plots that are so condensed and naturally seem like one-offs to the small screen.
    However, FX and FOX have seen success with shows that initially seem like they’d be better suited as a miniseries at most. Series like “The Following” and “Sleepy Hollow” have held up well over time. Now “Fargo” is poised to join the previous two shows, “Justified” and “The Americans” in the studios’ stable of great TV series.
    Most premieres spend a lot of time on exposition, and can risk boring the audience it’s trying to intrigue. “Fargo” forgoes the majority of the typical exposition. The writers may have hoped that the audience knows the basic idea from the film or they plan on letting action and the actors draw people in to this character-driven dramedy.
    Any reservations about Thorton need to be thrown out the window. His previous work has been questionable, but he shines here. Thorton’s Lorne Malvo is a motivational sociopath whose hit-man exploits accidentally bring him to Lester Nygaard’s (Martin Freeman) small Minnesota town.
    Freeman takes William H. Macy’s place as the not-that-lovable, constantly-down-on-his-luck loser. Freeman has come a long way since playing a minor part in “Love Actually” in 2003. He’s now world-famous for portraying Bilbo Baggins in the “The Hobbit” movies and John Watson in the BBC phenomenon “Sherlock.”
    After a chance meeting in an ER, Malvo brutally solves a problem that Nygaard didn’t really even think he had. We get zero backstory for Thorton’s character, but he’s obviously a bad dude. For some reason, he takes Nygaard under his wing and attempts to liberate him from his bullies, emasculating wife and oppressive job.
    It would be easy to root for Malvo if he weren’t so damn dark. His monologues are fantastic and the ideas behind them are reasonable, but, in exercise, they are brutal.
    There are several contentious aspects, but a little perspective can explain them away. Should Nygaard have cracked so easily after meeting Malvo? A stable person would not, but Freeman conveys a man who has been bullied his whole life. He finally sees an absolute way to rid himself of his problems, and he takes it.
    There’s no good reason that a psychopath like Malvo would take Nygaard under his wing, but, again, we don’t know his story. Maybe it’s as simple as he feels bad for the guy, maybe he had a traumatic past, or he’s nuts, maybe he’s just in a good mood.
    Whatever the case is, this show is equal parts fascinating and fantastic. It sets up a plot that doesn’t seem viable for a full season or multiple seasons if it gets picked up again, but it’s been done before.
    The movie “Fargo” got a bit slow in the middle. This premiere started with a bang and just kept going. If the writers can pull it off, there’s a good chance that this could be one of the best Spring premieres and an outstanding series going forward.
    FX’s new series takes its Oscar-winning source material and improves on it. Buckle up. It’s going to be a hell of ride.

  • Gorilla Dash

    Students, community compete to raise thousans foor Sgt. Robertson Memorial Scholarship fund

    | Kelsea Renz managing editor |

    Shin-deep mud, high winds, and intense heat were just the minor challenges that participants faced at the third annual Gorilla Dash, held Saturday, April 12.
    The race, a tough mudder similar to the Warrior Dash, was held to raise funds for the Sgt. Robertson Memorial Scholarship, named for former ROTC instrucotr Sgt. Forrest Robertson, who was killed in action in early November.
    “This was something Sgt. Rob was passionate about,” said John Fatkin, senior in history. “I wanted him to be able to look down and be proud to see us doing something that he was really into, something that he appreciated and came up with on his own.”
    This year’s course has been in the making since around Christmas, with Fatkin heading the project.

    Members of a team work together to flip a tire ten meters during the Gorilla Dash at the SEK Baja Course on Saturday, April 12.

    Members of a team work together to flip a tire ten meters during the Gorilla Dash at the SEK Baja Course on Saturday, April 12.

    “I did not want to be the person who let this drop and see this fail while I’m at this university,” he said. “It’s a big thing, a big event, and I’m kinda glad it’s done so I can breathe.”
    Fatkin did not plan the event alone, however. He enlisted help from several of the cadets, with his younger brother being one of the most involved.
    “I just tried to help out in any way possible, and it really helped me out a lot to see the process up close,” said Jacob Fatkin, sophomore in accounting. “I think it was a big help in my career as a cadet, because I’m gonna be in his shoes in two years in leadership positions.”
    The brothers, along with about five other cadets, set up the course on the old SAE Baja course, which is where the cadets do many of their training exercises.
    “We know this area pretty well and were fortunate that the university was generous enough to let us use it,” John said. “And because we had a small budget, basically what we had to do was use the terrain to our advantage.”
    The finished 5K course had obstacles scattered throughout that included a tire flip, five low crawls, numerous stair steps, a maze and five water obstacles.
    “Anything out here was generally flat, so the hills weren’t something we could really use, but creeks, ponds and those small little ponds that are just muddy and hard to get through we could,” John said. “We just thought, ‘okay what would be the hardest thing to run through?’”
    To test the course, the cadets had a run-through the morning before the event.
    “I was making sure everyone was getting through the course and knew where they needed to go and making sure it all ran smoothly,” Jacob said. “After that, we took what we learned from that Friday run and added a little bit to the course to make it less confusing and a little more fun.”
    44 teams raced the course, with an average time of 23:59, and a winning time of 17:13 by an individual runner with the team name of BMAC. Many of those who raced were area residents.
    “We actually had the older crowd mainly come in the morning, and they smoked the course,” John said. “They were some of the best times.”
    Overall, the event raised approximately $2,000 for the scholarship fund, which will be used to give a scholarship on Friday, April 25, to a qualifying cadet.
    “There were a lot of community people,” said John. “They really came together and supported us so my hat’s off to the community for supporting us and supporting Sgt. Rob.”

  • Greek week

    Three sororities, six fraternities face off in annual competition

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    Disney may not know it yet, but its newest feature-length film will be Pitt State’s Airband competition on Thursday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in the Weede.
    “Everyone is really looking forward to it; it’s sort of the finale of Greek Week,” said Abby Carson, sophomore in nursing, member of Sigma Sigma Sigma and Greek Week committee member.
    During the event, six fraternities and three sororities houses at PSU will perform a sketch combined of different Disney films and songs. Participants may lip-sync along with the words but may not make any noise during the performance, including vocal or with props. For example, one person may have a guitar but he or she may not actually play it, only pretend.
    “Houses will be judged on originality of the sketch, creativity, relation to the theme, appropriateness and if it is under the time constraints,” Carson said.
    As Airband is the last competition of Greek Week, houses take the competition seriously.
    “We’ve been practicing for about six weeks,” said Jason Jones, senior in electronic engineering and president of Pi Kappa Alpha.
    Jones says the best part of Airband is finally competing after all the hard work put into preparing for the event.
    “After two hour practices, three times a week, finally getting to do it in front of everyone makes all that work worth it,” he said.
    Carson also looks forward to the event.
    “It is so great seeing the creativity that goes into each sketch,” she said. “Each chapter does its own thing, and everyone interprets the theme differently.”
    Carson and other members of the Greek Week committee have been allowed to participate in certain events for Greek Week, such as volunteering for Big Event last Saturday, April 12, but any points they would have earned may not go towards their houses, since they are in charge of running and sometimes judging competitions.
    Meagan Smejdir, program coordinator for Campus Activities, says the Greek Week committee and chairs have done a great job of organizing a successful and smooth-going week of activities.
    “Each year is different; each year we have different committee members; each year has its own take on Greek Week,” Smejdir said.
    The overall winners of Greek Week will also be announced at the conclusion of Airband.
    Points have been awarded for several events over the course of the week, from highest member participation in Big Event to best Greek Banner, from Greek Games to Chariot Race.

  • Damn. This was good…

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier does not disappoint

    | Ceejay Bachus reporter |

    Captain America is a hard nut to crack. In this film’s predecessor, “The First Avenger,” Marvel had a hard time trying to pin down the character and how he should be portrayed. This unearths an obvious snag in the idea of taking a man from the 1940s and placing him in the modern day among spies, angry monsters and an alien invasion.
    “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is juggling a lot of plates. It’s the most direct successor to “The Avengers,” the narrative predecessor to “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and is tasked with creating characters and storylines that have developed over the course of five films. It also has to finally cement Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers as a believable character. The film does all of these things perfectly.
    Marvel Studios has churned out quality products at least twice a year. This is unusual but not unwelcome, as we get a bunch of really awesome movies – like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – with direct ties to one another that give casual viewers the same geeky chubs that comic book fans get when something kitschy from the source is used in the film.
    Captain America is now working with the black ops division of S.H.I.E.L.D., assisted by the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). His loyalties are being tested frequently and his ideals often conflict with those of the organization that he’s given his life to. All the while, the events of “Avengers” have sent the government into a fervor, which has let to Project Insight, the PATRIOT Act on super steroids.
    After a violent falling out, Cap and the Widow become fugitives hoping to put an end to the corruption of S.H.I.E.L.D. while a ghost from Steve’s past comes back to bite him in the ass.
    “The Winter Soldier” is the action debut for Joseph and Anthony Russo, a duo known for directing “You, Me & Dupree” and a few episodes of “Community.”
    The screenplay, by Stephen McFreely and Christopher Markus, borrows heavily from the source material. They pull not only from Ed Brubaker’s “Winter Soldier” storyline, but “Man Out of Time” from the same run, a seminal ‘80s Marvel spy story, “Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D,” and various other Cap stories from the past 40 years to craft a single story that justifies Rogers’ inclusion in Marvel’s films, but also tears down the walls that the studio has been building for itself since 2008’s “Iron Man.”
    The third act of this movie is so jaw-droppingly ballsy that it will literally change all discourse related Cap and every character and story arc that has been introduced since that first Iron Man outing.
    The performances are fantastic; Evans, Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson remain Marvel’s best decisions since the casting of Robert Downey Jr. The standout comes from Anthony Mackie as the winged military vet Sam Wilson/The Falcon. Mackie’s turn as Falcon fulfills the comic relief and he is an instantly believable action hero in his own right. Also: big ups to Marvel for including their very first black superhero in this film (Falcon first appeared in “Captain America,” #117 in 1969).
    “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is an impeccably paced, well-thought out, expertly realized game changer of a superhero film that at once grounds the Marvel cinematic universe and bursts the door wide open for endless possibilities.
    It’s Marvel’s best solo outing since “Iron Man” and surpasses that film on almost every level. Marvel’s got big plans on the horizon and if it can keep delivering films like this it will remain THE major player in the superhero genre.
    Let’s just hope it doesn’t go to its head and affect the quality of the material – because with great power comes great responsibility.

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