movies

Classic College Cinema

With “sweater weather” on the horizon nothing is better (and cheaper) than skipping the movie theatre, inviting the significant other over to the dorm (within visitation hours of course), slightly burning a bag of popcorn and watching a movie. Whether you still stack DVDs to the ceiling or you are a total Netflicker, there are some classic films about “the four best years of your life” that every undergrad should go out of their way to watch. Here are a few of my “oldies but goodies.”

Animal House

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If you’re in a fraternity, then this is your Godfather. Though this is a film set in the 1960’s, many of the movie’s events are time honored college traditions; from the toga party to the random road trip. Fun fact; during filming, the actors portraying the Delta fraternity were encouraged to have rambunctious parities (resulting in a piano being stolen from the hotel lobby) to promote cast bonding. The Delta actors also harassed the actors portraying the Omega fraternity in order to fuel their onscreen rivalry.

 Best time to view: The beginning of pledge semester.


Roadtrip

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A cheating boyfriend on the east coast accidentally mails a videotape of his sexcapades to his girlfriend on the west coast. What is the logical next course of action? If you said getting your buddies together to go on a cross country excursion to intercept said tape while making a bunch of hilarious stops along the way, then this is the movie for you. When I came to college, this was one of the only DVDs I owned. Needless to say, it was viewed at great frequency. This movie is also proof that, at one time, Tom Green was actually funny.

Best time to view: Right before your weekend road trip to the party school one state over.


PCU

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This one is a little more obscure than the others on this list but it is an absolute cult classic. For many students, college is a time to take up a cause to be passionate and active about. PCU (Politically Correct University) humorously riffs on what happens when people take these causes a little too far.

Best time to view: Right before the silent, candlelight protest over the rising prices of chicken nuggets in the student union.


Revenge of the Nerds

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A quintessential 80’s movie, Revenge of the Nerds is a cautionary tale of what happens when you push people who are smarter than you too far. This film is pure fun as the war between jocks and nerds (before being a nerd was cool) spawns prank after hilarious prank.

Fun fact: Curtis Armstrong is the actor that provides to voice for the character “Snot” on the show American Dad. Snot is based upon a character from Revenge of the Nerds named “Booger”, also played by Armstrong.

Best time to view: After going pocket protector shopping.


Legally Blonde

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For the life of me, I can not remember which girlfriend talked me into seeing this; however I’m glad she did as this is easily the most inspirational film on the list. Underestimated by her jerk boyfriend, sorority president Elle, decides to one up him at his own game by gaining admittance in Harvard Law school. Despite starring the gorgeous Reese Wetherspoon and being hilarious, Legally Blonde carries the message that a girl can be beautiful, sociable and smart; excelling in one of the hardest collegiate program while being a master of the good old bend and snap.

Best time to view: When someone is telling you that “you can’t.

10 Summer Movies to Look Forward To

Summer is nearly upon us, meaning the box office will be jam packed with new releases. After a long day of interning or on a not-so-beachy weekend, here are some must-see movies to pass the summer days away (and spend some of that hard-earned cash!).

1. The Avengers

Is anybody not excited to see this film, set to release on May 4th? Honestly, what more can you want? We get some dreamy actors, like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth, a creepy bad guy trying to take over the world, and a ton of action. It’s the summer’s ultimate must-see!

2. The Amazing Spiderman

This movie makes Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman look lame. In a re-make of the series, adorable off-screen couple Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield work to save the world from an evil lizard man. At the very least, you should check out this flick on July 3rd to see which Spidey you prefer.

3. The Dark Knight Rises

Yet another comic book hero making the list, but you all know you’re dying to see this one! Christian Bale takes on Batman for his final film of the trilogy, facing Bane (played by Tom Hardy) and a new identity as the enemy of Gotham City after he took the blame for Two Face’s Crime. Christopher Nolan surely has another epic film on his hands, hitting theaters July 20th.

4. Prometheus

Prometheus is for those of you looking for a new, chilling alien flick. A team of explorers, including Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace, find clues to the origins of mankind that leads them to a race to save Earth. Legendary Ridley Scott directs what looks to be one of the most intense, jaw dropping, action packed movies of the summer. Find Prometheus in theaters near you on June 8th.

5. Brave

Looking for some animated fun? Brave is Pixar’s latest masterpiece, following the story of Princess Merida whose bravery and profound archery skills (like Katniss Everdeen!) are the only hope to break her kingdom’s curse. This redheaded heroine is sure to capture our hearts. Brave comes to theaters on June 22nd.

6. Dark Shadows

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have teamed up again for a vampire movie that has nothing to do with Twilight. Barnabas Collins, a man turned into an imprisoned vampire by a jealous witch seeking his love, is finally set free into the 1970s. While the witch continues to vie for his affections, Barnabas must protect his family against her evil ways. Catch this flick on May 11th!

7. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Did you know the 16th President of the United States found vampires lurking around and took it upon himself to hunt them down? Another film by Tim Burton, we’ll surely see good old Abe in a new light with some magical twists and turns. See history like never before on June 22nd.

8. Men in Black III

Ten years later and we have a new installment! This 3-D alien loving flick will bring Will Smith to the past looking for his beloved side kick, Agent K, who mysteriously disappears/dies. New weapons, new aliens, and the same old mind swiping will be a nice blast to the past, coming to you on May 25th.

9. Snow White and the Huntsman

Sure it’s not original, but it looks much better than its counterpart Mirror Mirror. Charlize Theron takes center stage as the evil queen, who hires huntsman Chris Hemsworth to get Kristen Stewart’s heart so she can live forever. Before you know it, there’s a crazy war scene going on. This is definitely more intense than the cartoon. You can see it June 1st.

10. The Odd Life of Timothy Green

A more original movie, a couple desperate for a child buries a box in their backyard with wishes of an infant. Presto, Timothy Green is born, and since he sprouts out of the earth, it’s pretty much guaranteed this movie will be full of magic and weird happenings. Learn about Timothy on August 15th.

-ToonyToon

I’m reading New Perspectives on Microsoft Excel 2010

How to Have a “Staycation” in College

I’m all for going away. I love getting a break from campus life, and a little room to breathe. But what if that’s not possible? It’s not always practical to leave your school stomping grounds, and for whatever the reason—cost, distance, timing, you can still make the best of your time at school. Why not try relaxing and taking a little “staycation” right on your very own campus?

So how do you staycation? What does that even mean? It’s means taking a break, and having fun right where you are—no beach or resorts necessary—and all without ever leaving your college campus!

The options are endless when trying to plan a mini getaway for you and your friends all without really going anywhere. Try to spice up your regular routine and add a little fun.

It’s Friday night, everyone is out and you and the roommates are staying in. This would be the perfect opportunity for a movie marathon! What are your favorites? Chick flicks? Scary Sagas? Action Adventures? Warm up your Netflix account, dust off your pile of DVDs and grab your snuggie! To really get the night going, dare I suggest picking a pint or two of your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? This can be a girl’s night, guy’s night, bring your friend and your neighbor night, whoever, wherever, bring out the inner film critic in you and settle in for a night of movie madness.

Another great option to spice up your school stay? Have a themed night in your living room or closest dorm lounge. Why not try a pizza party, a Mexican fiesta, heck why not throw a friendly luau and hula with your friends? When you’re cramped on campus it’s all about stretching your imagination and getting the best of situations you may already be in—i.e. home on a Friday, studying in a lounge, roaming around the quad! Look up fun recipes, have an arts and crafts party to make “decorations”, go all out! It’s not like there are hundreds of your college peers watching from afar—they aren’t even on campus. This is your time to get creative.

So you’re not into costumes and umbrella drinks? No Problem! You can always get up and go out! Your school probably offers a variety of late night programming or activities. Check the schedule, find their website, or visit your programming office to get more information. If none of those work, become a local tourist in your neighborhood or city! Have you seen all the sites? Tried a few different dining favorites, or local gems? Look up the city’s visitor center—often times there will be tons of free or discounted coupons for entry into city attractions, museums, shows, etc. Another great resource if you’re looking to be surprised and to try something new is UrbanSpoon. Using this app you can find hidden restaurants and yummy places to try all just by shaking your phone! Go out on a whim and let your phone, budget or mood pick a place for you! Grab some friends and pretend you are on a real vacation trying the cuisine for the first time!

The thrill of vacations is often centered on the feeling of adventure, and trying something new. While that is all fine and dandy, sometimes the best vacations can be focused instead on “catching up” and rejuvenating.  College students need sleep and time to rest. Definitely do a few, fun, and “out of the box” type of activities but also remember to take time for yourself and catch up on things that are important to you. Sleep is a big one for most students, but what about reading? When is the last time you sat down with a good book and actually read the words instead of just pretending to highlight them? Take this break time to unwind and prepare for the rest of the semester. Spring Break is here, but that means finals and the end of the semester are just around the corner. Try a few low maintenance activities like baking, or a little service in your community (walks, cleanups, soup kitchens, etc.).

The thrill of vacations can be about whatever you choose, but the joys of a “staycation” are endless! Think big and small and cater your break to fit your needs and fill any voids! Just remember to take everything with a grain of salt, your friends may be away—maybe on a beach—but they have to come home eventually and catch up on reality, you on the other hand can be snuggled up with a good book, a cupcake, watching reruns and relaxing.

-Ring Queen

I’m reading A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present

Best Movies of A Current College Student’s Lifetime

I have been watching movies since the cradle. With older siblings, those rated R movies have been in my grasp since third grade. But how many of these movies were actually good? Hollywood today keeps cranking out the remakes, “people” versions of Disney classics, and putting “new” spins on old favorites. Let’s cut out the garbage and stick to the hits—whether they did well in the box-office or just in our hearts. (These are in no particular order, because I am super indecisive and have a list of about 100 favorite movies).

15.  The Lion King (a.k.a. the best Disney classic there is) – I saw this bad boy in 3D and I still sob like a baby when—spoiler alert!—Mufasa dies. Not only did these singing African animals top the box office again in 2011, but it has been a movie after any child’s heart, whether they’re really into Disney or not.

14.  Titanic – This movie is also getting the 3D treatment in April (I am SO seeing this in theaters!), but this cash-boat doesn’t even need to make money. Only second to Avatar now in all-time money made at the theaters, this film will make you laugh, sob, smile, and likely cause you to yell at Rose: “You liar! You did let go!”

13.  Mean Girls – Who can forget Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lacey Chabert as the ultimate high school girl clique? This film basically is our generation in a nut shell. Four for you, Mean Girls! You go, Mean Girls!

12.  Fight Club – Obviously, I’m not allowed to talk about it.

11.  Inception – One of the most original movies I’ve seen in a while, with some of the best original tracks I’ve ever heard. And yet another film in which Leonardo DiCaprio was snubbed at the Oscars. Do you think he won the award in a dream? Maybe a dream within a dream?

10. Harry Potter series – If you haven’t read the books—which is sinful, in my opinion—you’ve probably at least seen the movies or heard the iconic theme song. They also got progressively better with each new sequel. Unlike the Twilight series, there is some substance of good story telling. We grew up with the Potter kids and they won’t be forgotten any time soon.

9.  X-Men movies – We just love all those mutants, especially James McAvoy as Professor X and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. I’d pay good money to see young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) square off against old Magneto (Ian McKellen).

8.  The Hangover – What college student didn’t see this movie? It’s basically our worst nightmare—in a hilarious film version with older, mostly employed guys.  This movie gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Walk of shame”.

7.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Who hasn’t wished they could erase someone from their memory? I’d pay top dollar to rid myself of my annoying ex boyfriends. Plus, Kate Winslet is basically perfection in every role she ever takes on.

6.  War Horse – Easily the best movie of 2011 and it has the Oscar nomination to prove it. I love most war movies, but this one was more moving than Saving Private Ryan.

5.  Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Peter Jackson created the most amazing world and Elijah Wood got lots of screen time. They pretty much paved the way for nerdy fantasy movies. These movies are my precious…es.

4.  Jurassic Park – These movies will forever be the best dinosaur movies ever…and a new one is being made. Hear that, Littlefoot? Although the first movie is by far the best, the last twenty minutes of its sequel where a T-Rex is rampaging through L.A. is 100% pure Hollywood awesomeness.

3.  Edward Scissorhands – We can learn a lot from Eddie. How to sort-of cover scars with the Avon lady’s help. How we should decorate our lawn with shrub sculptures. And just how bad a bad haircut can be.

2.  Forrest Gump – Forrest Gump is such a great character.  This is one of Tom Hanks finest and most quotable roles of all time. I believe that almost every college has seen and loved this movie.  Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Just like this list.

1.  The Usual Suspects – The fine art of storytelling in many ways. You instantly sympathize with all of the main characters; especially poor Verbal. It also has one of the greatest twists in movie history; even rivaling Fight Club. Who is Kaizer Soze?

-ToonyToon

I’m reading Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing