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The Setonian

Cinco de Mayo meets the Hall

As the last full month of school concludes, end-of-the-year celebrations draw near. But before seniors congregate to celebrate graduation, this year there is the conveniently-placed-on-a-Thursday holiday for all of campus to enjoy, Cinco de Mayo.


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The Dish: Fighting the Flu

It is that time of year again. No, not time to play Christmas songs nonstop in the library. It is that time where you go to sleep at 3 a.m. because you were finishing a project and wake up at 5 a.m. just to study for exam.


The Setonian

Deathly Hallows Delivers

July 21, 2007 marked the end of an era in our generation with the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter series. In the ten years between when these books were published, readers everywhere have been captivated by the fantasy universe of British author J.K. Rowling. Following the craze of the Harry Potter series, it was without surprise that the film industry caught on and has so far produced six movies based on each of Rowling's books. On Nov. 19, the first part of the 7thand final installment was released in movie theaters all over the world.


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A lot of love goes the distance

Bringing a real-life romance to the big screen is not an easy feat (see "Gigli.") However, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long achieve this effortlessly in their new film "Going the Distance."


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New and old styles combine in Stallone film

It is a simple fact that as the times change so must the styles and trends. The American film industry is no exception, more specifically the action/adventure genre. In recent years we have seen countless displays of martial arts, new weapons, and ever more complex and thought-provoking heroes.


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Intriguing new album from Crowded House

In the modern music industry, longevity is a very rare feat. With constantly shifting opinions of what is classified as worthwhile music, new genres taking the popular spotlight, and individual band members often looking to take their music into new and different directions, it isn't uncommon for a band to release an album or two and then break up, leaving their fans yearning for more.


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Inception' Creates Intrigue through Mysterious Plot

In 1999, Laurence Fishburne indelibly changed the movie industry with just 3 simple words: "Free your mind." Fishburne's advice in "The Matrix" seemingly inspired directors, as cinema's special effects became more advanced and the makeup of films changed: stories became grounded in physical landscapes as well as the inner workings of the human mind. The latest edition to this trend in filmmaking is Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller, "Inception."


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Dreams of "Inception"

In 1999, Laurence Fishburne indelibly changed the movie industry with just three simple words: "Free your mind."


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SOPAC Hosts Local Celebrities in Star-Studded Gala

The South Orange Performing Arts Center is holding "Small Town, Big Talent," an all-day benefit event this Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Celebrities and artists such as Zach Braff, Max Weinberg (of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band), Lauryn Hill, and AJ Calloway highlight the event, with all the proceeds going to SOPAC. Scott Sullivan, SOPAC's Director of Marketing and Communications, describes the event as a celebration of local arts.


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Oscar winners bring story of death and discovery to the big screen

Upon first glance, "The Lovely Bones" is a tragic story about having something taken from you. In the movie based on the popular teen novel by Alice Sebold, the protagonist Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) loses everything when she is murdered at the age of fourteen. By taking a closer look, though, it becomes clear that Susie's story is one of discovery. After her death, Susie becomes trapped in the "in-between" – the magical land between Heaven and Earth where she must find the courage to let go of her life and accept her death, allowing herself as well as her family to heal. Unfortunately, director Peter Jackson's adaptation of "The Lovely Bones" fails to match the quality of the novel. Through her writing, Sebold creates a poetic world wedged between heaven and earth that is, until now, unknown to mankind. In Jackson's film version, Sebold's creation is clumsily transformed into a surreal fantasyland.The fact that Jackson has been out of the spotlight for nearly five years after 2005's hit film, "King Kong," may have something to do with the poor transition from novel to screenplay. In addition, the movie's release date was pushed back several times (originally it was supposed to be released in December 2008, then March 2009, now January 2010) which may have given its audience a sense of hope that the film would be out of this world. Sadly for Jackson and fans of the novel, the film did not live up to its hype, although it was not a complete failure either. "The Lovely Bones" is narrated by Susie after she was murdered by her perverted neighbor, Mr. Harvey (Stanley Tucci), who now haunts her entire neighborhood. From the "in-between," Susie watches as her family falls apart in the wake of her death; she witnesses her parents being torn apart in her absence, her mother leaving home to forget the past, and her father's obsessed longing to solve the mystery of his daughter's death.Ronan, the Oscar-nominated star of 2007's "Antonement," did an excellent job at portraying 14-year-old Susie. She is obsessed with the lives that are continuing without her, constantly watching over her home and hoping that her father (Mark Wahlberg) will soon discover the secret behind her death– that her neighbor raped, murdered, and dismembered her body. Aside from Ronan, Wahlberg is the only other actor who fully dives into his role in the film. His character, Jack Salmon, ambitiously searches for his daughter's killer and stops at nothing to solve the mystery. Abigail Salmon (Rachel Weisz) is possibly the least passionate character in the film. Weisz, despite being an Oscar-winning actress, does a poor job conveying the tragedy of a mother who just lost her 14-year-old daughter. Even the scenes where she is sobbing or reminiscing about her daughter, the audience can clearly see right through the façade she puts on.Stanley Tucci, on the other hand, deserves an award for his role in the film. He is excellent playing the perverted neighbor and Susie's murderer, Mr. Harvey. His voice even has the ability to send chills down the spines of the audience. Tucci's performance, along with Ronan's and Wahlberg's, gave the film everything it needed to be a success.The film could have been slightly better if played out properly. Despite the fact that Jackson's rendition of the "in-between" was somewhat far-fetched, the rest of the movie was truly a work of art that will keep audiences on the edges of their seats. From the very beginning, Jackson builds up the suspense by not allowing the audience to get a clear image of the killer's face until Susie herself is face-to-face with the man in the cornfield. He also gives tiny clues away throughout the film, which can only be noticed by those who know the story well.While Jackson's version of "The Lovely Bones" may never quite reach the level of awe of Sebold's novel, he has successfully touched upon her ability to create a world in which one can exist in the afterlife. Though his version of the "in-between" differs slightly from Sebold's, the film as a whole was a success. Had there never been a book, the film probably would not receive nearly as much criticism as it has. Jackson has done a fair job at turning, what seemed to be, an entirely spiritual world into a reality.


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Washington takes on post-apocalyptic earth in "Eli"

For years the film industry has exploited the concept of the apocalypse and how humanity would survive after being brought to the edge of extinction. Such a notion has given birth to countless films that detail the post-apocalyptic world, including the "Terminator" series, "Escape from New York," and the classic "Mad Max" trilogy.


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Chris Brown back with a vengeance

Probably best known for his altercation earlier this year with R&B princess and former girlfriend, Rihanna, Grammy nominated and highly decorated Chris Brown is back again, this time with his third album, "Graffiti."


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Jersey Shore makes for a scandalous situation

Controversy has erupted in the past few weeks as the new MTV show "Jersey Shore" has left many audiences, especially the Italian-American community, offended over their ethnic stereotypes of "guidos" and "guidettes." The new reality show aired last Thursday yet, prior to its release on television, previews of the program had many Italian-American organizations protesting its release. In a press release by UNICO National in cooperation with the Sons of Italy in America and the National Italian American Foundation, supporters are urging to "pull the plug" on the show by attempting to convince Jersey Shore sponsors to cut all advertisements and affiliations from the show and its network. Macy's, Sony, Domino's Pizza, Verizon and Victoria's Secret are among those to vouch for support.


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Dahl's childrens' book gets a fantastic new spin

After its theatrical debut on Nov 25, audiences have been mesmerized by "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." Originally a children's novel by renowned author Roald Dahl, this story has come to life in a unique way with the help of director Wes Anderson.


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mtvU Woodie awards honor indie cred

mtvU held the sixth annual Woodie Awards on Nov. 18 in New York City's Roseland Ballroom. mtvU – the obviously cooler television station for college students that actually plays music – opened their red carpet access to college newspapers and invited hundreds of college students to come to the show for free. The standing room floor audience had access to three bars and two different stages to watch the five amazing performances up close and personal, with celebrities and VIP's mingling within the crowd all evening for a real rock n' roll award show.


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Chris Walla talks Twilight

The Setonian had the opportunity to speak to Chris Walla, producer and guitarist of Death Cab for Cutie, before he performed Death Cab's new song, "Meet Me at the Equinox," live at the MTV Woodies.When asked about the band's motivation to write a song specifically tailored for the "Twilight" soundtrack, Walla admitted to being a fan of the series and said the recording process was "unlike anything we've ever done. It was the first time that we put a song together with something really specific in mind."Outside of vampires and werewolves, Walla acknowledged the recent success of Death Cab's latest record, "Narrow Stairs," discussing the band's emergence into the mainstream world. Not feeling the pressure to maintain mainstream standards, Walla said, "I don't think that anybody really gets anywhere by sort of specifically tailoring their music to fit what a particular audience wants to hear.""I think that I think we're just going to keep doing what we've always done, which is just trying to make records that we like and that we would listen to if we were buying them," Walla said.For all the fans yearning for the lo-fi albums from the "Something About Airplanes" heyday, Walla will not make any promises. "You're really in a dangerous place if you are trying to make decisions, musical and creative decisions specifically, to please some subset of your fans," he said.There are no new plans for a Death Cab album just yet, though Walla acknowledged that the new record will "probably be a little bit more accessible than ‘Narrow Stairs' was." For now, Walla fans can listen to his studio mastery on the albums he is currently producing from groups like Tegan and Sara, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and The Thermals.Kevin Stevens can be reached at kevin.stevens@student.shu.edu.

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