Movie Review: Mama (2013)

Jessica Chastian, Isabelle Nelisse and Megan Carpenter in "Mama" (Universal).

‘Mama’ scares: Supernatural drama ‘calm, creepy, dramatic,’ 77% Todd Miller | Writer In only watching the trailer for “Mama,” I expected the film to be an hour and a half of horror clichés, one after another. However, “Mama” is also produced by the same man who directed and produced “Pan’s Labrynth,” so I was willing to give it a shot. I was glad to find that the film held a pleasant surprise. The movie starts with two little girls being taken to the woods by their father, where he intends to kill them and himself. But their father suddenly goes missing, and the girls are left alone in the woods for five years. After they’re…

Video Game Review: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (2012)

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (2012, Sony)

3.5 stars Nevin P. Jones | Collegio Reporter Chaos is the kind of element that, if you can harness its power, then the product can be completely amazing. Bringing order to chaos isn’t easy, but Nintendo has proved time and again that it is possible with its “Super Smash Bros.” franchise. Pitting more than 20 years of iconic characters against each other in an arena-style brawl creates frantic brilliance. Sony is looking to cash in on this kind of successful chaos with its new “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale,” which puts some of Sony’s greatest icons together in one game. However, their attempt was good but it never quite reaches the same level of brilliance as…

Album Review: Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire (2012)

Album art from Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" (2012, RCA).

Keys returns to form, a little, with ‘Fire,’ 3/5 stars Carl J. Bachus | Collegio Writer Alicia Keys is nothing if not ever-evolving, especially in terms of genre. She’s hopped from neo-soul to mainstream R&B to top 40 pop in a ma cheap viagra tter of 10 years. Unfortunately, her music has gone downhill a bit since the days of “Songs in A Minor,” with the songs becoming more and more generic with every album. This isn’t the case with Keys’ latest effort, “Girl on Fire,” her most interesting album in almost a decade. The first half of “Girl on Fire” is probably some of Keys’ most fun music in a while. Most of the…

Video Game Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)

"Call of Duty: Black Ops II" (2012), Activision.

Caution: Zombies may explode, 4.5 stars Garett McCollough | Sports Editor Unlike the fans of “Halo 4” and “Assassin’s Creed 3,” who usually go home and play the campaign first, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” players want to get into that multiplayer action as fast as possible. I was no different and as soon as two game updates were complete, I immediately selected play online and was ready to have my mind blown. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The three classes “Call of Duty” starts every player off with were terrible, and all of the gadgets had new names, leaving me confused as to what their uses were. I was basically stuck in the corner figuring out…

Film Review: 007: Skyfall (2012)

MI6 Agent 007, James Bond (Daniel Craig) in "007: Skyfall" (2012).

Craig finds his inner bond at ‘Skyfall,’ 5/5 stars Carl J. Bachus | Collegio Reporter Aside from Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes, Ian Fleming’s secret agent James Bond is probably one of the most famous men in modern fiction. There have been many imitators, but none has come close to matching the classic spy thriller that Bond delivers. The film adaptations are no exception. The newest Bond film, “Skyfall,” finds 007, presumed dead, returning to MI6 to combat a cyber-terrorist with deep ties to the British secret service. Daniel Craig returns as James Bond who, after effectively being terminated by the MI6, is brought back into the fold when undercover spies in terrorist organizations are…

Film Review: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

"Wreck-It Ralph" (2012, Disney/Buena Vista)

‘Ralph’ not a wreck: Great gamer movie provides laughs for all ages, 5/5 stars Todd Miller | Collegio Writer As someone who enjoys video games and gaming culture, I understood “Wreck-It Ralph” had the potential to be entertaining or depressingly disappointing. I can say that “Wreck-It Ralph” exceeded my expectations, and built itself on such strong storytelling, visual and entertaining foundation, that even Ralph could not tear it down. Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the villain in the arcade platforming game “Fix-It Felix Jr.” Although his game has been plugged-in for 30 years, Ralph has been losing his steam as the game’s bad guy, becoming jealous of the game’s protagonist, “Fix-It” Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer)….

Album Review: Brandy – Two Eleven (2012)

"Two Eleven" by Brandy (2012).

3.5/5 stars Carl J. Bachus | Collegio Writer It’s easy to say, without exaggeration, that Brandy Norwood was hot stuff in the ‘90s. She was a multiplatinum-selling recording artist, with hits like “I Wanna Be Down” and “Top of the order cheap cialis online World.” She even had her own television sitcom. Unfortunately, her trademark mix of hip-hop and ‘90s teeny-bopper pop wasn’t able to survive the pop and R&B surge of the early 2000s; not to say she didn’t try. After a couple of lukewarm comeback efforts, Norwood returns with her sixth studio effort, “Two Eleven.” One has to commend Brandy for remaining committed to her own sound and not conforming to the current…

Film Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Aubrey (Anna Camp) in "Pitch Perfect" (2012, Universal).

Cast helps “Perfect” stay on pitch, 4/5 stars Carl J. Bachus | Collegio Writer As the proverb goes, there is nothing new under the sun. Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” is an obvious example. We’ve seen the story before: mediocre team flubs a big competition, too-cool-for-school prodigy shakes things up, there’s conflict and so on and so forth. “Perfect,” however, is one of those rare movies, like 2010’s “Easy A,” that couldn’t have succeeded without a stellar cast and impeccable comedic timing. The film stars Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air,” “Twilight”) as Beca, a charmingly sardonic female character who has become popular in recent years. This time around, she’s an aspiring DJ with dreams of making…

Film Review: Frankenweenie (2012)

Victor Frankenstien and Sparky in Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" (2012, Disney).

Burton’s latest is good, not great, 3.5/5 Todd Miller | Collegio Writer Monster movies returned last week with the release of “Frankenweenie,” an animated remake of an older Tim Burton movie by the same name. The non-animated version was released in 1984, but Disney felt the movie was too scary for children and it was aired only in the UK. After Burton’s other successful films, however, Disney finally released “Frankenweenie” on home video in 1994. Burton gets further retribution in this new animated release, which he also directed. The 2012 “Frankenweenie” is also a feature-length movie, unlike the 30-minute original. Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is a young, shy boy who is attached to his dog,…

Film Review: Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Dracula (Adam Sandler) and Mavis (Selena Gomez) in Genndy Tartokofsky's "Hotel Transylvania (2012, Sony Pictures Animation).

Fun for young and old Todd Miller | Collegio Writer If you took the charm and whimsy of Dr. Seuss and combined it with the eeriness and “gothicism” of Tim Burton, you would get something like “Hotel Transylvania.” It’s always great when a movie reaches my high expectations, and “Hotel Transylvania” did just that. It didn’t excel beyond my hopes, but it certainly was as good as I had hoped. “Hotel Transylvania” was built by Dracula (Adam Sandler) as a safe haven for monsters around the world to get away from the threat of persecution by humans. It was also built to protect his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), from the world he believed too dangerous…