Catch this fire

Logan Qualls | reporter With the bar already set high from the huge success of the first film in the trilogy, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” blazes forward with a degree of ferocity and excellence that matches the girl on fire herself. With the addition of a new director, Francis Lawrence, the trilogy’s sophomore effort proves to be a stunning success. Fans of the book series, by Suzanne Collins, can appreciate the care that went into creating an accurate and entertaining adaptation of the book. Following Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence; “Silver Linings Playbook,” “X-Men: First Class”) victory in the previous games, she has returned home to grapple with piecing together her life before and after the…

Recital in the rough

Hastings, York bring Colonial Fox, PSU Department of Music together to entertainment Logan Qualls | reporter Despite the chill from the cold outside, the Colonial Fox’s backstage was soon warmed by the wonderful voice of Stella Hastings accompanied by the brilliant Barbara York on piano during the Backstage Series, Recital in the Rough on Friday, Nov. 15. The third installment of the series is the first collaboration between the Colonial Fox and PSU Department of Music. The night began with an original piece from Barbara York and ended with featured selections from the musical “Colette.” Next, the duo performed a series of religious chants interspersed with cabaret-esque tunes. An interesting matching, as it required Hastings…

‘Thor’ improves upon predecessor

Logan Qualls | Reporter As far as sequels go, “Thor: The Dark World” improves upon its predecessor in every way. The first “Thor,” as well as the events of “Marvel’s The Avengers,” has set in place some interesting dynamics between certain Asgardians, and the sequel does a fantastic job of exploring and expanding on those relationships.   Eons ago, Odin’s father, Bor, battled the forces of the Dark Elves, led by Malekith, (Christopher Eccleston; TV series “Doctor Who,” “28 Days Later”) to stop them from unleashing a weapon called the Aether that would destroy the universe. After vanquishing his foes, or so he thought, Bor ordered the Aether to be locked away in a stone…

‘Enders Game’ satisfies but barely

Logan Qualls | reporter “Ender’s Game” offers audiences an exciting adventure with chaotic battles, impressive and imaginative technologies and conflicts of human morality. Held together by a tense plot and strong performance from the film’s protagonist, the film offers something for everyone, even those who have not read the book of the same title, by Orson Scott Card. In 2086, Earth is attacked by aliens called formics. The ensuing battle claims many lives until Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley; “Iron Man 3,” “Shutter Island”) drives the formics away by sacrificing himself in order to destroy a formic ship. Years later, military leaders realized that children were better at learning and integrating complex information, quickly recognizing patterns…

‘The Counselor’ questions ‘primal instincts’

Logan Qualls | reporter Despite a talented cast, gripping cinematography and intense action oozing with style, “The Counselor” fails to satisfy. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film explores the real life consequences of avarice using the volatile area around Juarez, Mexico and Texas border as the backdrop. The Counselor (Michael Fassbender) delves into the darker side of the drug business, upon the advice from his friend, Reiner (Javier Bardem). At the same time, he becomes engaged to a beautiful woman, Laura (Penelope Cruz). Driven by greed, the Counselor’s risky investment becomes a very real threat and the status, the world he’s created, comes crashing down around him. Reiner does well for himself, opening numerous nightclubs…

Jackman is ‘outstanding’ in ‘Prisoners’

Logan Qualls | reporter We have all had that moment when are our worst fears are confirmed. When our nightmare becomes a terrifying reality. Denis Villeneuve, director, explores this experience while engaging audiences to question how far they would go to make that nightmare end in his latest release “Prisoners.” Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman; “X-Men”, “Les Misérables”) is a religious man with a wife and two kids, a son and daughter. He and his family join their friends, the Birches, for a Thanksgiving meal. Amid the fun, his daughter Anna asks to take Joy to look for her emergency whistle back at their house, which is just down the street. The girls leave and the…

Day of family fun

Annual event continues to grow Logan Qualls | reporter The brilliance of the shining sun was matched by the smiles of students and their families for the annual Family Weekend celebrations at Pittsburg State University on Saturday, Sept. 21. PSU held a number of events welcoming families, including a brunch at 10 a.m. with Steve Scott, president, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom. Scott welcomed the families to another Family Weekend at Pitt State. “You will find if you’re here very long, this is a place that really embraces family,” Scott said. “Pitt State has a long tradition of fostering the relationship between the university and the families of its students. “Between classes, student organizations,…

Insidious

Logan Qualls | reporter Audiences flocked to the theaters Friday the 13th expecting a frightening experience from the latest chapter in the “Insidious” series. They were not disappointed. “Insidious: Chapter 2” delivered a spectacularly spooky cinematic experience. Beginning in 1986 at the Lambert residence we encounter a concerned Mrs. Lambert (Barbara Hershey, “Insidious,” “Black Swan”) who has called upon the help of a medium, Carl (Steve Coulter, “The Conjuring”) to help with her son Josh (Patrick Wilson, “The Conjuring,” “The A-Team”). Carl concludes that there is definitely a supernatural presence in the house but lacks the expertise to confront the spirit. Calling upon the help of his friend Alise (Lin Shaye, “Insidious,” “Snakes on a…

Glimpse of Gil

Logan Qualls | reporter A man of many hats, Gil Cooper is not a new face at Pittsburg State University. Joining the Communication Department in 1992, Cooper has taught a number of courses over the years. “This is the start of my 22nd year teaching at Pittsburg State University,” Cooper said. “Initially, my contract was only for three years.” Before coming to Pitt State, Cooper was the director of speech and theatre at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri.   A speech generalist, Cooper focuses on presentational communication, small-group communication, speech communication and communication education. Cooper is also an active member of Pitt State’s theater faculty, directing a number of shows over his tenure at…

It Is Coming

Students gear up for fall’s biggest distraction Nevin P. Jones | reporter eople to dive back into the shows that they love. Possibly the most hotly anticipated returning show is AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. After the season three finale’s record-breaking 12.4 million viewers, the show became the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history. The previous season left viewers with many questions and an appetite for answers. “ ‘The Walking Dead’ starts back up soon, and I’m pretty excited about that,” said Seamus Hamilton, junior in psychology. A sentiment that fellow PSU student Abby Spillane, senior in graphic communications, shares. “I can’t wait for ‘The Walking Dead’ to return,” Spillane said. “I love zombies…