It’s football championship season…

It’s about as American as apple pie and baseball.  Every Friday through Monday, you can guarantee that someone you know is watching a football game.  In honor of Mizzou (GO TIGERS! M-I-Z S-E-C!!!) going to the SEC Championship, I have made a list of my favorite football movies.

1.  The Blind Side

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Bring your tissues for this one folks. Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is a homeless teen who has been drifting in and out of the school system until Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) takes him into her home. With the help of the Tuohy family, a devoted tutor and a football team, Oher un-taps his potentially and later becomes the first round pick for the NFL draft. I mean this is as heart warming as it gets. It’s a classic story about how to never give up and to work hard to achieve your goals. This true story teaches the audience how every person deserves an opportunity. Also, Bullock won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this so that’s also worth seeing.

2. Remember the Titans

Will Patton And Denzel Washington In 'Remember The Titans'

This is a movie that every person needs to see during their childhood, and again when they are older. Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) becomes the new coach for a newly integrated high school in Virginia during the early 70s. This true story has so many complexities from race relations to team loyalty that is perfect to introduce to all audiences. There are also current movie stars such as Ryan Gosling, Hayden Panettiere and Kate Bosworth making their early acting appearances. And that catchy song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the month.

3. We Are Marshall

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The Marshall University football team takes a flight to an away game.  The plane crashes and tragically kills everyone on the flight: Football players, coaches and boosters. Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) decides to become their new coach and tries to rebuild the town and the grieving community. This is sad and depending on what kind of person you are this movie and release the “ugly cry” that is deep inside you. But, it’s also extremely moving and incredibly inspiring. There are also familiar faces such as Matthew Fox, January Jones and Kate Mara.

4. Rudy

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All Rudy (Sean Astin) wanted to do was play football for Notre Dame, even though he did not have the grades nor the size to do it. With the help from his tutor and friend D-Bob (Jon Favreau), Rudy was able to get into Notre Dame. The next challenge: Fight his way to get on the team. After watching this movie, you will chant “RUDY! RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!” for a solid month. This is a great movie to show to people of all ages. It’s a fantastic movie about overcoming adversity to pursue your dreams.

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Citizenfour (2014)

When you hear the word “Edward Snowden,” a lot of people have mixed responses.  Snowden leaked NSA secrets to journalists who then published the story to The Guardian by Glen Greenwald, which then led to a snowball (sorry for the pun) of news stories about internet and phone privacy.

Citizenfour is a documentary about how Snowden contacted Laura Poitras in an encrypted email always signing off as “citizenfour.”  Snowden, Poitras and Greenwald then met in Hong Kong before, during and after the story unfolded.

As a journalism student, the amount of access that was granted for both Poitras and Greenwald is amazing.  To have the chance to talk to the guy that leaked highly classified secrets of the NSA to the world is both incredibly frightening and amazing.

I only knew a few details about Snowden, I mainly associated him with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, but this movie was incredibly informative. Citizenfour of course had some bias to it, but it wasn’t anything that made me upset while watching it.  I liked how Poitras styled it so that the average person who doesn’t really know that much about the NSA and privacy laws could follow and understand how big of a deal that it is that the government is constantly watching its citizens.

There is certainly a paranoia feel to the film, which can be seen at the final seen where Snowden and Greenwald only speak to each other sitting in person and writing messages on a white piece of paper, which they tore up at the end.  The audience walks out of the movie feeling that Big Brother is always watching, so the fact the Poitras was able to convey that so well in her film speaks volumes about her work.

This film was incredibly interesting and had the action feel that one has after watching the Bourne movies.  It is dark and has this spy-danger feel.  I enjoyed it and would suggest it to those action film goers for a nice change from fiction to reality.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Dear people who want to make a book into a movie,

First things first:  I love book-to-movie adaptations.  If you do this well, you could have a Harry Potter on your hands.  Do this poorly and the fandom mob will show up to your house with flaming touches and angry dispositions.

Why write this letter to you now?  Well, I finally decided to see The Giver, a book that I (finally) read this summer. When I first heard that the book was going to be a movie, I was excited to say the least. Oh, and Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Alexander Skarsgard is in it? Even better.  But sadly, it just wasn’t as good as it could have been.  My main problems was that the movie plot line veered from the book’s original plot line.

Diverging from the book’s original plot line is always a muddy territory: One wrong step can sink you deeper into the ground.  But I get it, either way you produce the film that isn’t doing the book enough justice with the original plot or it’s way too different.  People are going to be grumpy either way.

And maybe I’m spoiled because I grew up with Harry Potter that had both fantastic books and movies.  This is definitely an option, but don’t make a movie from a book to just try to make a ton a money.  It is very obvious if a director is making a movie from a book that has had recent success (cough cough Fault in Our Stars).

So before you decide to make a movie from a beloved book, remember that the fandom can work for you or against you.  Twilight, for example, had the fandom to back up a not-so great book.  Take more consideration of what made this book loved by many, then form your script and cast.

From a movie/book dork-Annie

Why I hate scary movies

Halloween is arguably the best holiday of the year.  You get to dress up as whatever you want (unless it’s racist, cultural appropriating or sexist…) and get free candy from strangers.  What’s not to like about that?!  It’s the time of the year where there is an increase of “sexy” inanimate object and puny costumes, all of which I live for.

But there is something about Halloween culture that I do not understand:  scary movies.

Maybe it’s because I had a frightening (God I’m so puny) haunted house experience when I have five.  Sidenote:  y’all it was awful.  My only memories from that day is walking in all happy with my dad and being carried out while sobbing on my dad’s shoulder.  It was terrible. But anyway, yes this could have something to do with a) why I am frightened easily and now have a “fight” instead of “flight” instinct and b) why I already hated scary movies.

There are fantastic scary movies out there like Silence of the Lambs, Rosemary’s Baby, and many others, but a lot of scary movies have now gone down the path of bloody gore that often have women as their victims.

There is even a stereotype of who gets killed first in a horror film: the black guy, the funny guy, the smart hero protecting the girl, and then the hot girl in the end.  WHYYYY?? To me this speaks volumes about our culture.

It is also so graphic about the torture of a women in film, yet movies like Blue is the Warmest Color have higher ratings than horror films who depict women being tortured on screen.  Again, this speaks volumes about our culture.  Why is it ok to show an attractive women in pain than to show a sex scene?

So other than the fact that horror movies scare the crap out of me, films are making money off of torturing women.