Author: Kyle Massa

Not Your Typical College Movie

Somehow, the subject of college doesn’t seem like it would translate well to a kid’s movie. Sure, college is great, but many activities that happen on campus aren’t exactly PG, especially those conducted by fraternities.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

However, Monsters University is yet another Pixar gem, a film that entertains both kids and older audiences alike. The film is not a sequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc. but a prequel, telling Mike and Sully’s story before they were friends. They enter school as enemies and rivals, but they must form an unlikely friendship in order to earn their degrees.

First and foremost, I loved the college setting, and I think that any current or former student can find humor in the jokes. The filmmakers nailed college life while still keeping it appropriate for kids. That said, the humor isn’t only targeted at a younger audience. It’s an ageless sort of humor, and I saw people of all ages in the theater. In fact, there were far more adults than children, and they were all laughing.

The voice cast is particularly excellent, with many of the main character’s remaining unchanged. The numerous newcomers are also excellent, including such big names as Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Charlie Day, Nathan Fillion, and Aubrey Plaza. This impeccable voice talent allows for some great gags that may not have been so amusing if not delivered by veteran actors. Plus, they all were cast perfectly––Charlie Day in particular.

True, Monsters University is not as innovative as its predecessor. It may lack some of the laughs and some of the surprises that made the first Monsters film so wonderful. But don’t get me wrong––it’s by no means a boring film. Monsters University is a cute, lighthearted way to return to school on your summer break, and I highly recommend it.

View the final Monser’s University trailer here. And go see the movie! You won’t regret it.

Pass on Lassie: An Argument Against Having Pets in College

If you’re considering bringing a pet to college, you might want to try a goldfish––anything bigger or furrier might turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. I myself have considered buying a puppy for school, but after a little research and some brief experience in the matter, I came up with quite a few reasons to hold off.

pets in college

A friend of my roommate had a bunny (named after Hugh Hefner) that she asked us to watch overnight this past year. We thought it would be fun to have company, so we took little Hughie for the night. The poor rabbit didn’t sleep at all. Instead, he made a mess of his cage and thumped nervously on the floor all night, keeping everyone up. Clearly, the little guy didn’t want to be there.

The most important lesson I learned from the furry Mr. Hefner is this: college life is not for a pet. It is simply too busy and too loud for most animals, with the exception of frat boys. You’ll be playing music, doing work, having people in your room, or attending class most of the day. Meanwhile, your pet will be sitting in its crate craving attention that you won’t have time to give. Want to go out of town to visit a friend for the weekend? Good luck finding someone to watch your puppy.

The second problem is going to be money. The “poor college student” is a common stereotype for a reason. Even if your furry new friend is affordable upfront, there are many other expenses associated with raising it: food, vaccinations, accessories and housing, just to name a few. In addition, you might want to take into account all the things that your animal will invariably ruin and that you’ll need to replace.

That brings me to my next point: young animals are destructive, even the sweetest ones. They’re going to chew on your shoes, have accidents on the floor, tear up your furniture and yes, maybe even eat your homework. We’ve lied about it many times in elementary school, but when it actually happens in college, professors won’t care. Room damage and homework destruction are distractions you can’t afford, especially if you live in a dorm or small apartment. And if that’s the case, your roommate will want to kill you anyway.

You do not want to be stuck in the unfortunately common situation of buying a pet and later realizing you can’t care for it properly. So for yours, your roommate’s and your dorm room’s sakes, think twice before getting a pet in college.

Iron Man 3 Entertains, Surprises

Iron Man 3

There’s no better way to start a summer movie season than with a Marvel superhero film.

The third installment of the Iron Man franchise and the seventh in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man 3 picks up where The Avengers left off, focusing on billionaire playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his battle with an international terrorist, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), and a ruthless businessman, Aldritch Killian (Guy Pearce). I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from this one; Iron Man 2 was decent but nothing special, and director Jon Favreau was dropped in favor of Shane Black, who’s only other directing credit is 2005’s Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Robert Downey Jr. delivers yet another excellent turn as Tony Stark, filled with the same charming arrogance we’ve come to know and love. This is his fourth time playing the role, and yet it seems like the first. Credit goes to Downey Jr., but also to Black and co-writer Drew Pearce. They present us with a Tony Stark who has doubts and anxieties stemming from his experiences in The Avengers; a very interesting new spin on a now familiar superhero. I loved the decision to link the films with more than just a few off-hand references. Instead, the events of The Avengers actually affect our hero’s behavior in a tangible way.

My favorite part of Iron Man 3 was definitely Ben Kingsley’s performance. He positively steals the show as the The Mandarin, Iron Man’s best known nemesis from the comic books. Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle also provide solid support.

If you’re in the mood for actions, humor, and more than a few surprises, go see Iron Man 3. You won’t be disappointed! Watch the trailer now.