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Followup to March 2014 Academy Awards Article

So, I messed up. Big time.

I may have gotten a little too cocky when giving my predictions for the Oscars this year. Let’s take a look at where I was wrong and figure out why.

Firstly, I need to say this now to encompass a lot of what happened this year at the Oscars: I did not expect Gravity to win that many awards. Like jeez, I was gonna give it a few big prizes and maybe one or two technical awards, but it ended up getting almost every technical Oscar there is. My predictions for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Original Score were me trying to give other films the benefit of the doubt, but Gravity blew them all out of the water. I was getting pretty annoyed at how many awards it won, and I thought the movie was marvellous.

Next, let’s talk about the acting awards. The girl from 12 Years a Slave getting Best Supporting Actress was a nice surprise, and lent more to my confidence that it would end up winning Best Picture, so there’s that.

For Best Actress, going up against the likes of Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, I truly didn’t expect any of the other nominees to win, especially not for a Woody Allen film that got basically no other nominations. That said, I’m extremely happy for Cate Blanchett and it definitely gives me more reason to want to see the movie.

I called it for Supporting Actor, yes, but I truly didn’t expect that the same movie would net Best Actor as well. I especially didn’t expect Matthew freaking McConuaghey to win the gold. But I gotta say, his acceptance speech was simply delightful and I’m glad he was given the spotlight. (It is known that other elected officers of the Generator Magazine were not as much of a fan, but phooey on them!)

Finally to top it all off, I did end up being right on Picture, Director, and both Screenplays. So I get to keep some of my dignity, even though my prediction for how many I would be right about didn’t even come close to being fulfilled.

Also, Ellen was simply amazing and acted as a perfect comeback for this ceremony after last year’s awkward hosting by Seth MacFarlane.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my followup. Look out for more addenda (or even full articles) here in the near future!

Hunger Games Review By: Deana Hasandjekaj

Hunger Games: Fantastic, or Flop?

Going into the Hunger Games, I was expecting a kind of “Twilight Effect” to occur-back when I actually used to like it (sorry if I’m offending any fans or frankly anyone by saying this). What I mean by the “Twilight Effect” is that I had high expectations for the movie but when I saw it, it was absolutely dreadful. As a reader of all three Hunger Games books, I was curious how they’d portray the movie, especially with all of the gory scenes.

After the movie, I felt nothing close to the “Twilight Effect.” Instead, I was very happy with how the director chose to film it. The movie overall followed the book very well; it was as if I was reading the book as each event happened on screen. The only modified idea was the concept of how the mockingjay pin was brought about, but I thought it still made a lot of sense. For those of you who have not seen the movie, it is simply a pin that Katniss Everdeen, the main character, (played by Jennifer Lawrence) wears in the Hunger Games.

From the very beginning of the movie, I loved the places that were chosen to film the movie. The entire concept of the book was explained perfectly in the movie, during the exposition. What I enjoyed most was that the information wasn’t overbearing, yet it was crucial for the audience members who haven’t read the book.  Another aspect of the movie I enjoyed was that there was no “Team Gale ” (Liam Hemsworth) and “Team Peeta”  (Josh Hutcherson), as was the case in the Twlight series . Gale Hawthorne, Katniss’ best friend from home, and Peeta Mellark, chosen as District 12’s male tribute, were shown as possible love interests, but the movie did not harp on romance at all.  However, I did wish that the movie focused on Peeta and Katniss’ closeness before and during the Hunger Games a bit more.

The movie also followed the order of the book almost exactly. It went from the reaping, to preparing for the hunger games, before finally entering the Hunger Games. The most important part of the movie are the Games themselves. I had no idea how the movie would depict them-would it be a hit or miss? I thought the way the movie portrayed them was pretty much spot on. As I watched the movie, it looked exactly how I pictured them in the book. What was great about the movie was that you got to see perspectives other than Katniss’. For example, you could see President Snow and the member of the Capitol (the government system) creating and manipulating the Hunger Games as they went on.

The one downside of the film is that I felt was that it did not leave as much of an impact as the book did on me. In the book, I was able to hear Katniss’ feelings more, and find out more about Gale and the other tributes. In the movie, some of the tributes names weren’t even mentioned, which kind of annoyed me. However, the most important scenes were done very well. The one thing I liked about the movie that you miss out from the book is actually sitting in front of a screen and visually seeing people getting killed. Although it is a lot gorier in the book, you still get a clear image in the movie of what happens. I wish there was a little bit more gore in it, but since Hunger Games was released as a PG- 13 film, it is understandable why it would not be as much violence

Overall, I thought the film portrayed the book very well. It followed the story for exactly what it was and it was cool to see the characters and the Capitol come to life. The acting of the main characters was very well done, especially Jennifer Lawrence , Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch (the coach for District 12). Definitely check it out if you had not seen it. Rotten Tomatoes and fans have given it a mostly positive reception. Additionally, I highly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, as it fills in some of the information that the film leaves out.

PS Vita Review By: Lucas P. Scharf

The Playstation Vita: Should you buy it?

I got my PS Vita on launch day, which some of my friends deemed a ‘dangerous decision.’ Along with my Vita, I bought Uncharted: Golden Abyss, ModNation Racers: Road Trip, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  I plan on reviewing these games separately, but for this review, I will focus mostly on the Vita itself.

First and foremost, the Vita’s looks are top notch.  It has an absolutely gorgeous OLED display, meaning it sports some seriously awesome color depth.  It has two small thumb sticks, one on each side, with the normal Playstation buttons in their normal places.  The display is touch screen, and most of the back of the device is a touch-sensitive pad.

The main user interface of the Vita is touch gesture only.  There is no way to navigate any of the menus with the D-pad or face buttons.  Luckily, the responsiveness on the main screen is nearly 1:1.  Unlike the PSP, the vita’s home screen resembles the iPhone and Android devices with little app icons.  You can also have multiple home screens, just like on your smartphone.  Also, rather than normal menus, each icon is an application.  For example, the settings icon will launch the settings app, which can then be minimized to either start another app or stop the current one.

 

Some of the gestures on the Vita are pretty cool.  To stop an app, you simply peel it off the screen starting at the top right corner.  Also, if you have multiple apps running at the same time, you can swipe horizontally through them.  Other than that, the gestures are normal, but functional.

Of course, the main draw of the Vita over its better selling competitor (the Nintendo 3DS), are the unit’s graphical capabilities.  The Vita really does deliver in this aspect.  In particular, Uncharted looks absolutely stunning, even if it isn’t quite as good as its console brethren.  The Vita also has an amazing depth of color palette, so games look better than on any other handheld device.

You would think that it would be hard to play shooters on the Vita, but, to my surprise, this is not the case.  Even with my huge thumbs, I can control my reticle just as well as with a full-size PS3 controller.  The Vita is just the right size, not too big or too small, and the buttons are all in the right places.  It’s just confortable to hold.  Also, the face buttons have a very nice clicking feeling when they are pressed, and the D-pad is properly sized.  

The PS Vita has WiFi connectivity, allowing it to connect to your PSN account.  There is a Playstation Store app pre-installed, so it’s easy to find more ways to give Sony your money.  Speaking of which, Sony is currently asking $250 for the WiFi only model, and $329 for the 3G/WiFi model.  For the 3G model, tack on a $15/month AT&T data plan-you’re looking at some serious coin. Indeed, this may be scares off so many potential buyers.

I’m here to tell you, however, that it’s not the awful purchase many feared it would be.  The Vita is honestly a great handheld, even if it costs a bit more than its competition.  If you’re looking for console quality graphics and gameplay, look no further.  But, if you’re looking for a cheaper, more child-oriented handheld, the 3DS is the better choice.  

The launch line-up for the Vita was a little underwhelming, but if nothing else, it showed the potential this system has.  Think of how a game like Call of Duty 2 looked back in 2005, and how games like Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3 look like today.  Things can only get better from here on out.

If this review didn’t convince you to buy a Vita right away, that’s fine. However, consider buying one in the future.  I’m predicting some pretty awesome things for it in the future.  Just think, Call of Duty multiplayer on the go?! 

Summer Movie Outlook: By John Paul Welsh

Summer Movie Preview

By John Paul Welsh

   This summer is going to be ridiculous for movies.  The only summer in recent memory that was so designed to make money and garner so much critical acclaim as this one happened in 2010, with Toy Story 3, Inception, and Despicable Me, among others.  Luckily, it will be a treat for moviegoers as well, since many of the moneymakers this year are also expected to be very entertaining and worth the ever-rising price for tickets.

   Just to cover the huge amount of worthwhile movies coming out this summer, I will begin my overview with the beginning of May instead of a more summer-y month.  First on the list is one of many heavily anticipated superhero movies, The Avengers.  There is a huge amount of buzz for this Marvel film, for many different reasons.  Primary for me is that the director is Joss Whedon, a legendary presence on television for his invaluable contributions to humanity (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, two of the greatest pieces of fiction ever committed to the small screen).  But enough gushing; Whedon at the helm should come as a great relief for many, considering how his wonderful way of writing dialogue and awesome action scenes will interact with the already great cast.  Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man is one of the great superhero performances, and seeing him spit sarcastic acid at the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America (all introduced in their own movies over the past five years) will be worth more than the price of admission.  And then there are the fighting sequences, which will surely be both exciting and impressive, a combination that too many modern movies fail to capture.  I’m lining up for the midnight showing.

   This being the 21st century, it wouldn’t be summer without a trillion unnecessary sequels.  Ice Age:  Continental Drift is the fourth installment for the prehistory gang, which promises to make an absurd quantity of money and solidify the fate of Ice Age XIV, where Sid gets caught up in Soviet communism and hilarity ensues (spoiler:  Scrat’s nut is tainted with DDT).  The Expendables 2 is different from the first one for exactly one reason:  Chuck Norris is in it.  Actually, it might be more worth seeing than the original because of that reason.  Hmmm…

   Luckily, there are good sequels too.  The first one that comes to mind promises to be the biggest action movie since… well, the movie it’s a sequel to.  The Dark Knight Rises is pretty much guaranteed to be a monumental cinematic achievement, especially since it will be the last installment of the greatest series of superhero movies ever made.  Few details have been released other than who the villains are (Selina Kyle and Bane), and I honestly don’t want to know any more before going into the theater, lest it tamper with cinema magic.  Another sequel of note is Men in Black3.  I have high hopes for this one, because even though the second MIB movie was iffy, this one has a secret weapon:  time travel.  The first movie worked because it was funny, exciting, and just fun to watch, and the premise of this sequel (Agent J has to go back in time and stop a young Agent K from getting assassinated by an alien) is a sure bet in my book for satisfying those qualities.  Still another sequel is the fourth Jason Bourne movie, The Bourne Legacy, which is set right after the conclusion of The Bourne Ultimatum and features a new cast of characters dealing with the consequences of the last movie.  I regrettably have not seen any Bourne movies, but I assume that fans of the first three should see this one for sure.

   And then there are the reboots, remakes, and prequels.  The Amazing Spider-man is the first time the reset button has been pressed for the Spider-man movie saga, and it promises to be more faithful to the earlier segments of the comic book series (not that I know much about comic books).  The story mentions Peter Parker’s father much more than the previous films did, and how he is connected to this movie’s villain, Lizard.  The only notable remake this summer will be Total Recall, a reimagining of the 1990 Ahh-nold Schwarzenegger sci-fi movie.  Instead of focusing so much on a trip to Mars as the first one did, this film will give the story (originally by sci-fi guru Philip K. Dick) a more political spin, keeping the espionage and mystery-thriller theme.  Also, Tim Burton is releasing a film adaptation of Dark Shadows, a supernatural soap opera from the 1960s that features pretty much everything:  ghosts, vampires, Johnny Depp.  I really did not like his take on Alice in Wonderland a couple of years ago, so hopefully he treats the source material with the right amount of respect this time around.  Probably the most exciting prequel in a couple years, Prometheus, is coming out this summer as well.  Set in the same universe as the Alien franchise and technically taking place before the first installment of that series (but unrelated to specific events in that movie), Prometheus is picking up steam because of a bit of brilliant viral marketing (TED talks in the future!), and it looks to be a satisfying mix of philosophy and sci-fi thrills.

   I always pay attention to movies whose director or production company I already appreciate, and this summer has no shortage of them.  It is definitely important to note that Pixar is releasing a movie this year called Brave.  Set in Scotland, it is the first Pixar movie with a female protagonist and should come as a return to form after the average Cars II (which I loved in some ironic but honestly youthful sort of way).  Even including the pure moneymakers of the Cars series, Pixar has never made a poor movie, so everyone should be looking forward to Brave.  One of the more surprising releases this summer is Ted, Seth MacFarlane’s first movie.  The creator of Family Guy and American Dad has always been one of the most impressive comedic minds around, and while the premise might suffer in another’s hands (a kid’s teddy bear comes to life and sticks around until the kid is an adult, causing mayhem with his love life and whatnot), MacFarlane’s work always ends up being hilarious, so I have high hopes for Ted.  Another eventful release is The Dictator, the newest mockumentary starring Sacha Baron Cohen, the genius behind Borat (most of my friends don’t appreciate Borat, but I stand by the fact that it is one of the greatest movies ever made).  The Dictator pretty much lampoons Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, but stars actual actors in acting roles more often than his previous comedies have, so it might end up being even funnier to see Megan Fox and John C. Reilly interacting with Cohen’s imaginary leader.

   Lastly is a movie I cannot categorize:  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  Along the same lines as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (not a movie… yet), AL:BH began as a “mashup book,” which takes a historical figure or classic novel and throws monsters in there.  I don’t have any idea how this will turn out; it could be overdone action schlock like Sucker Punch, satisfying comedy-horror like Zombieland, or a strange amalgam of both, with a dash of actual drama for the proverbial ‘lulz.’

   So yeah, go see movies this summer.  There is literally something for everyone, and I personally might go bankrupt.  This summer will go down in history as one of the most eventful and memorable in the past 10 years.

Generator December issue!

December Issue

Find it on newsstands near you during finals week!

Our online PDF has exclusive photos from the Marist 2011 Hunger Walk.

Enjoy

Generator Prepares for Second Issue of 2011

It’s that time of year again folks. The “world renowned” Generator Magazine is coming back for a December issue, hitting Marist campus sometime next week. Look for your own free copy in the usual spots. Can’t make it to campus because you’re abroad/not at Marist/too lazy? We will once again be uploading the entire magazine in .pdf format for your online viewing pleasure! This means you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your carefully heated dorm room or apartment to enjoy the musings of Marist’s entertainment magazine.

If you still would like to contribute photos, articles, or other artistic statements, there is still time! Contact us at generatormagazine@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook.

See you next week!

Amazon Kindle Fire Launches- A Perspective

So the electronic world is abuzz with praise and critiques alike for the Amazon Kindle Fire. There’s plenty to like about the new machine, and while it has big shoes to fill, the Kindle Fire is nonetheless a large step forward in the tablet market. Amazon’s previous Kindles were of a monochrome design, printing only in black and white. While this was fine for print, it was lacking if one wished to read magazines. The new Kindle Fire changed all of this, going with a 7” full color screen with touch capability. In a nutshell, the Kindle has the following things going for it:

  • Rock-bottom price: $199.99
  • Portability- weighs under a pound
  • Ability to store books, movies, apps
  • Android apps will work on Kindle
  • Full proprietary internet browser

These are all some killer features, some of which the iPad 2 cannot touch. However, its low cost belies some changes made to save on money. The Kindle Fire only has 8GB of memory, and only a few movies will fill this space rapidly. The 7” screen, while compact, is too small for some eyes. The battery life has shrunk from the regular Kindle’s 16 hours+ to a more standard 8 hours maximum.The app store is limited to apps sold by Amazon.com, although Amazon insists that the number of available apps will increase over time.

Despite this, the Kindle remains an affordable alternative to the pricy iPad 2, capable of full Internet browsing, video playback through Amazon’s own service, or Hulu and Netflix. At its core, it is a beautiful touch screen e-reader, and one worthy of a look at for the upcoming holiday season.

Brian Rees

The Fire That Won @ Cosimo’s Trattoria 11/10/11

The humorously self-described “yacht rock” band The Fire that Won recently played a show at Cosimo’s Trattoria, this previous Thursday night. While not a traditional venue for a concert, the ban played to a large audience around the bar, situating themselves on the staircase area for the duration of the concert. The bar area was packed to capacity, with $3.00 drinks doing a great deal to draw in the Marist crowd. Bacardi Oakenheart girls completed the festivities, but by far the most eventful moment of the night began when the band started playing. Originally slated for a 9:00 p.m. start time, they began playing around 10:30 p.m., to a crowd that eagerly anticipated their set. While the acoustics in the venue were not as good as a traditional concert hall, the intense focus and concentration of the band was evident right from the start. With loud cheers erupting between each song, it is clear that the audience had a great time too.

For more information about The Fire that Won, visit their Facebook page.

Winter (?) On Talmadge St.

Couple views of last week’s snowstorm from an off-campus house. First time we’ve ever seen snow on the ground and leaves on the trees at the same time.

Generator Wants You!

Attention all Food Buffs!

Like to eat? Hell, who doesn’t? More importantly, do you like to take pictures and write about what you’ve eaten? Really?! Then why haven’t you sent work to the Generator yet? We are currently searching for a feature columnist to write food reviews local to the Poughkeepsie area. Anything from the smallest coffee shop to a dining institution is welcome within the Food Review section of the magazine. Sign up now and recieve the following perks:

  • Pizza sometimes
  • Your work in a published format, online and in print
  • Working in an environment that promotes near-total autonomy
  • Free copies of the magazine (as many as you want!) : D
  • Access to the exclusive Generator lounge (location and existence tbd)

If all of this sounds alluring/appealing/interesting to you, then contact us at generatormagazine@gmail.com. You’ll be glad you did.