On Jake Gyllenhaal, Drake & Inspiration


New Year’s Day this year was a cold, rainy one in Manhattan. The bright lights of Broadway had always seemed to warm the chills running through my body, particularly on that date. That evening I was attending “Constellations,” a play brought across the Atlantic from its London roots for American Read more

Why the Undertaker still matters in 2015


Think about it for a minute. We’re in the year 2015. Hot topics of conversation center on cars that can drive themselves, space tourism and head sets that can put us in virtual worlds. And still, one of the major headlines of the Wrestlemania season is how will the Read more

Birdman flies high for 2015 Academy Awards


It’s a time-honored tradition of mine to provide an Oscar recap the day after the annual Academy Awards gala each year. It’s also becoming a regular ritual to summarize what a bore the telecast was. Outside of a few moments of inspired political and social notice during acceptance speeches, the Read more

Alex's Official Predictions for the 2015 Oscars


The Oscars are set to take place Sunday night, and, as usual, most of the winners seem pretty clear-cut before the ceremony even starts. Despite the minor drama in Best Picture, the Academy’s yearly show should be fairly by the books. Could “Boyhood” win Best Picture? Of course. The BAFTA Read more

Inaugural 2015 Groucho Movie Awards


So over the past several years, as 10-15 of you have seen (thank you!), I've done my top movies of the year lists. I've ranked anywhere from my top 25 to my top 50. Even the year I did my top 50, I semi-embarrassingly felt I had to make some Read more

He Said, She Said TV Review: Better Call Saul


Better Call Saul has premiered its first three episodes. As AMC's latest groundbreaking original series spinning off from Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul has had great reviews and ratings. Joseph is a huge fan of Breaking Bad and Palmer never quite got into it. In the latest He Said, Read more

Featured

Memo to the NFL: Clean it up or Close it down

Posted on by Alex Beene in Featured, Football | Leave a comment

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Two weeks ago before a video emerged of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice brutally hitting his wife in a hotel elevator, I gave my students an assignment as a writing prompt. “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said if a player is accused of domestic abuse moving forward, the punishment will be a six-game suspension for the first offense and indefinite suspension after the second. Is this penalty too harsh or not harsh enough?” Read more

What to do if You Just Got Laid Off or Fired

Posted on by Grant Oster in Assorted Wisdom, Featured | Leave a comment

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To me, other than the loss of a loved one, I cannot think of an event more disheartening, more unnerving, more earth-shattering than being laid off or fired from what provides you and your family with basic necessities–food, clothing, and shelter. It seems to me, as of late, that everyone I know is being laid off. I’ve had four friends get laid off in just in as many months. As my friends struggle to find new employment, it really had me thinking (and to be honest, worrying a little about my future). Therefore, I took some time to research “What to do when you’re laid off,” and “What not to do when you’re fired.” I figured that I’d look into the information now, as it would be better processed when I’m not in desperate need of employment. The following are some helpful tidbits of advice that can help you or your friends in their time of need. Read more

Is Ghostbusters the Perfect Comedy? Quite Possibly.

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, Movies | Leave a comment

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When my colleagues recently organized a matinee viewing of the remastered re-release of the 1984 classic, Ghostbustersto kickstart Labor Day weekend, I was all in. I’ve always loved the movie, Ghostbusters, but admitted that I hadn’t seen it from beginning to end in over a decade. Sure, I’d seen clips here and there on late night showings on cable TV, but I did not fully appreciate it as one of the all-time best comedies, a masterpiece which launched a new genre, cemented and catapulted numerous careers, and remains an inspiration for the comic films in the three decades since its release in summer 1984.

Whether you’ve seen Ghostbusters once, can quote the entire film, or have never seen it all, I highly recommend you take the time to read the two oral histories published this year even though there is a decent amount of overlap.

Read more

A (Video) Wake-Up Call

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Football | Leave a comment

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We’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Our favorite actor, sports star or politician finds himself or herself in a bad place. Perhaps it’s an affair that stuns, domestic abuse that horrifies or – worst of all – murder to another human being. We, the fans, are burdened with the task of either choosing to condemn this celebrity with the media bandwagon or defend them. Read more

Joan Rivers: An American Institution

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured | Leave a comment

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“Think positive. Make a list. “One, I don’t live in Bosnia. Two, I never dated O. J.”

I started to write a memorial for Joan Rivers and found the task more difficult than I expected it to be. Why? Celebrity deaths hurt, especially when we feel like we’ve known the personality for years. That concept is nothing new. Read more

Preserving the Phantom Set & Silent Film History

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Entertainment Inspirations, Featured | Leave a comment

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For those of us who grew up loving film, there are certain moments that are engrained in our minds from movies seen on the big and small screens during our youth. Remember ducking your head below the old theater seats when the raptors chased down children in a massive kitchen in “Jurassic Park”? Or how about shedding that first cinematic tear when Simba lost his dad in “The Lion King”?

For cinephiles of my generation, these images remain just as fresh in our minds as the days we first viewed them. And while the scenery above no doubt sounds common in mainstream reflection of mid-90s filmgoers, one memory I often reflect on surprises others. Read more