The Pitt News

‘Caesar’ pales in comparison to past Coen bros’ films

‘Caesar’ pales in comparison to past Coen bros’ films

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

February 3, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Take a look in the mirror, Hollywood — you might not like what you see. That’s the sentiment behind the Coen brothers’ latest film, “Hail, Caesar!,” which follows Eddie Mannix — a slim, mustachioed and suited Josh Brolin — as a major Hollywood studio “fixer.” His job is to make sure...

Bee joins late night, Stewart club

Bee joins late night, Stewart club

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

February 2, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Samantha Bee may become the first woman in late-night television this week, but she’s also extending the genre’s latest trend — emulating Jon Stewart. While the state of late-night talk shows is unsurprising, what is surprising is that almost half of all late night talk shows lead back to one man: Stewart. He left a void in comedy and journalism with his departure from “The Daily Show,” but his influence on televis...

Hollywood, time to act

Hollywood, time to act

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

January 28, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Every year in Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, movie stars celebrate themselves together — but now they need to protest together. For the second year in a row, the Oscars caused controversy by not nominating a single actor of color in any of its four acting categories, causing Will Smith — an unnom...

“Anomalisa” an animated achievement

“Anomalisa” an animated achievement

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

January 25, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

While “Inside Out” advanced the potential of modern animated cinema last summer, “Anomalisa” matures the field into serious critical consideration.  “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Adaptation” screenwriter Charlie Kaufman derived his stop-motion “Anomalisa” from a pla...

Laskas discusses ‘Concussion’

Laskas discusses ‘Concussion’

By Elaina Zachos / Staff Writer

January 18, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies

Before a slew of NFL allegations, outcry over football and a blockbuster film, a journalist was chasing her curiosity to concussion research. Jeanne Marie Laskas’ GQ article-turned-book and now film adaptation “Concussion,” didn’t start as the controversial lightning rod it is today. The story, abo...

‘Hateful Eight’ leans on familiar tropes

‘Hateful Eight’ leans on familiar tropes

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

January 12, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

For as much as Quentin Tarantino delights in shocking, bloody spectacles, the director is a cliche of himself in “The Hateful Eight.” The filmmaker’s usual — shock violence, rambling dialogue and hilarity via overt self-awareness — populates his latest work’s whopping three-hour runtime. By non-Ta...

Exit Starman: David Bowie dies at 69

Exit Starman: David Bowie dies at 69

By Amanda Reed / Staff Writer

January 12, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Music

In 1977, David Bowie sang “I will be king, and you, you will be queen.” Little did he know how literal that would become. After a nearly 50-year career that transcended musical and societal labels, Bowie’s cosmic career as one of Pop music’s most important figures came to an end when he died Sun...

Golden Globes offers few surprises

Golden Globes offers few surprises

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

January 12, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

For as much predictability as TV and film awards bring every year, it always feels better when the obvious choice isn’t the same as last year’s. Sunday night’s 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards saw much of the usual winners but with a few highlights that, while expected, will prevent this year’s awar...

The Pitt News editors review “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

The Pitt News editors review “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

By The Pitt News Staff

January 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Long before “The Force Awakens” hit theaters, a conflict started within The Pitt News staff the likes of which hadn’t stewed since 2005 — who would review the newest Star Wars film? After much argument and anticipation, we decided to let the every willing staffer review it, no matter if this wa...

“Danish Girl” a subtle masterpiece

“Danish Girl” a subtle masterpiece

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

January 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Long before Caitlyn Jenner, there was Lili Elbe. Although one of the first traceable transgendered artists, Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl” (Artemis Productions, Pretty Pictures, Working Title and others) is certainly not the first trans story on television or film. The film appears at a time when...

Vine star Enick finds comedy in seconds

Vine star Enick finds comedy in seconds

By Annabelle Hanflig / Staff Writer

January 6, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies

One switch of his camera to selfie mode, and Pitt student Nathan Enick becomes someone else. He’s Sherri, the neighbor who loves to brag about her exceptional baking skills while casually showing off her artisan baguettes. Or he’s Will, the roommate who only sees the light of day for emergencie...

A pop culture review of 2015

A pop culture review of 2015

By Jack Trainor / Culture Editor

January 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Music, Television

“Back to the Future Part II” may have predicted tablets, flat screen televisions and video conferencing in 2015, but not even Doc Brown could have foreseen Jon Snow’s fate. Last year hosted many unpredictable scenarios and return-to-forms, from Justin Bieber’s chart-topping comeback to “True Detective...

Jumbled ‘Concussion’ tackles too many subjects

Jumbled ‘Concussion’ tackles too many subjects

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

December 31, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

If anything, “Concussion” teaches us not to lead with the head. “Concussion” is the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist at the Allegheny County Coroner's Office from Nigeria, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE. CTE is a disease that d...

The case to land Star Wars in Pittsburgh

The case to land Star Wars in Pittsburgh

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

December 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Who says Tatooine has to stay in a galaxy far, far away? With the resurgence of the “Star Wars” franchise coinciding with Pittsburgh’s erupting big-ticket film scene, Steeltown seems as poised as any other American city to host the Millennium Falcon. From the plethora of abandoned industrial ...

Phone home: Aliens in film depict human history

Phone home: Aliens in film depict human history

December 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

From “Transformers” to “E.T.,” no other media has had a turbulent fascination with aliens as film. The science fiction genre would be moot without consideration of intelligent life somewhere in the infinite reaches of space. Filmmakers’ consideration of aliens and our contact with them h...

Star Wars countdown: Episode VI: “Return of the Jedi”

Star Wars countdown: Episode VI: “Return of the Jedi”

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

December 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown concludes this week with Episode VI: “Return of the Jed...

Inarritu’s “Revenant” a triumphant return

Inarritu’s “Revenant” a triumphant return

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

December 10, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

In many ways, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “The Revenant” is the opposite of his previous project, the Oscar-winning “Birdman.” For one, no character’s career is on the verge of breakout or implosion, as Michael Keaton’s was as “Birdman’s” titular character. But despite its title, “Th...

Star Wars countdown: Episode V: “The Empire Strikes Back”

Star Wars countdown: Episode V: “The Empire Strikes Back”

By Walter Howard / Staff Writer

December 10, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown continues this week with “Episode V: The Empire Strike...

State budget woes vary among filmmakers

State budget woes vary among filmmakers

By Elaina Zachos / Staff Writer

December 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Lights, camera, no action on the state’s budget is shoving film production crews out of Pittsburgh, hurting the hospitality industry and pulling the curtains on the city’s reputation as the next Hollywood. With Pennsylvania’s state budget in flux since July, the state’s reserved $60 million film...

‘Brooklyn’ sails above stereotypes

‘Brooklyn’ sails above stereotypes

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

December 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

From its universal ideas to its Oscar-bait-period-piece aura, everything about “Brooklyn” feels familiar — in a good way. The film’s magnetic central performance in Saoirse Ronan alone could warrant Academy attention, but “Brooklyn” is an otherwise elegant examination of an Irish girl...

Star Wars countdown: “Episode IV: A New Hope”

Star Wars countdown: “Episode IV: A New Hope”

By Dan Sostek / Contributing Editor

December 3, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown continues this week with Episode IV: “A New Hope.” ...

Knock out: “Creed” one last breath in Rocky franchise

Knock out: “Creed” one last breath in Rocky franchise

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

December 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Don’t let the trailer fool you — “Creed” is not just another “Rocky” sequel. At first, another “Rocky” movie, let alone a spinoff, seems ridiculous — at this rate, his retirement comeback count rivals Brett Favre’s. But “Creed” proves that not every comeback has to be one’s own jou...

Q&A: Kicking out of the Bond Girls

Q&A: Kicking out of the Bond Girls

By Walter Howard / Staff Writer

December 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

For every Bond film there is a “Bond girl,” destined to shack up with the secret agent.    Then, cut, roll tapes. Since 1962, Bond has received gadgets and Aston Martin cars, and the actresses have been reduced to vessels of the male gaze. With the latest installment of the daring man’s saga s...

American “Secret” not so mysterious

American “Secret” not so mysterious

By Jack Shelly / Staff Writer

December 1, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

The appeal of the newly-released movie “Secret in Their Eyes” is not much of a secret. Producers cast some of the most bankable actors in Hollywood and  purchased the rights to remake the 2009 Argentinian blockbuster of the same name, which is arguably the most famous South American film of all ...

Star Wars countdown: “Revenge of the Sith”

Star Wars countdown: “Revenge of the Sith”

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

November 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown continues this week with Episode III: “Revenge of the Sit...

True or false: rating TV’s dorm depictions

True or false: rating TV’s dorm depictions

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

November 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

Small dorms, nonexistent closets, communal bathrooms, annoying roommates — these grievances compose the reality of college housing. Sure, it’s entertaining to see how the other — fictional — half lives, but these details give younger viewers false expectations of their new home away from home....

Film frontier: Pittsburgh in the movies

By Nick Mullen & Jack Trainor / Culture Staff

November 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Hollywood is beginning to discover the City of Bridges as the next city of movie sets. In recent years, Pittsburgh has served as a blue-collar backdrop for a multitude of notable films and genres, from bloody horror to coming-of-age dramas. With Pennsylvania’s film tax incentive laws, active since ...

The spy who lost me: ‘Spectre’ disappoints

The spy who lost me: ‘Spectre’ disappoints

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

November 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

'Spectre' Starring: Daniel Craig, Christolph Waltz Directed by: Sam Mendes Grade: C+ As Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig returned after the dizzying Bond bliss of “Skyfall,” fans were likely expecting a marginally better film than “Spectre.” Craig, the durable center of the Bond canon since 20...

Star Wars countdown: ‘Episode II: Attack of the Clones’

By Walter Howard

November 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown begins this week with “Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”...

‘Room’ holds delicate, masterful performances

‘Room’ holds delicate, masterful performances

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

November 10, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Room" Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson Starring: Brie Larson, Joan Allen, Jacob Tremblay Grade: A Some films try to make you see the world in a new way, while “Room” makes you feel like you’re seeing the world for the first time. Indie director Lenny Abrahamson (“Frank”) plunges face-first ...

Star Wars countdown: “Episode I: The Phantom Menace”

Star Wars countdown: “Episode I: The Phantom Menace”

By Amanda Reed / for The Pitt News

November 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown begins this week with “Episode I: The Phantom Menace....

ReelAbilities empowers disabled

ReelAbilities empowers disabled

By Rio Maropis / Staff Writer

October 29, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Thursday night, Dan McCoy will explain how he became a Paralympic gold medalist before graduating college. McCoy, a junior communications major, earned his spot on the U.S. men’s Paralympic sled hockey team when he was 16 — he’ll speak at ReelAbilities, a national film festival focused on rais...

Don’t dream it, be it: ‘Rocky Horror’ offers creative outlet

Don’t dream it, be it: ‘Rocky Horror’ offers creative outlet

By Rio Maropis / Staff Writer

October 27, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Carlisle Walker’s performance in Pitt’s 2014 run of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”  became an intimate, personal transformation in front of 500 audience members. “It was one of the reasons I came out as transgender,” Walker said of his portrayal of Brad Majors’ character in Pitt’s a...

A walk to remember: Zemeckis baths tightrope stunt in beauty

A walk to remember: Zemeckis baths tightrope stunt in beauty

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

October 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

If you didn’t see enough  of Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in 2008’s documentary “Man on Wire,” Petit gets the grand-scale cinematic treatment  he deserves in “The Walk.” For someone who spends so much effort on his visual creation with only middling...

Space oddity: ‘The Martian’ rewrites galactic genre

Space oddity: ‘The Martian’ rewrites galactic genre

By Valkyrie Speaker / Staff Writer

October 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Space may be an empty void, but that doesn’t mean films about space have to be. “The Martian” launched into theatres with a staggering opening gross of over $54 million, and has been orbiting the top of the box office since its release. This could be because of its impressive cast — which incl...

Licensed to act: casting the new 007

Licensed to act: casting the new 007

By Mason Lazarcheff / Staff Writer

September 17, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Spectre” is more than just the next James Bond title — it’s also the job description. With Daniel Craig’s penultimate adventure as 007 slated to open in November, the race to be the next Bond is heating up almost as quickly as the presidential primaries — and actor Tom Hardy is leading...

‘Mistress America:’ Baumbach-stic

‘Mistress America:’ Baumbach-stic

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

September 17, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

There’s something about Greta Gerwig. The “Frances Ha” star steals the show in “Mistress America,” her second collaboration with her beau and creative partner, writer and director Noah Baumbach. This is Gerwig’s fourth time starring in a Baumbach project, all of which tend to be about...

September call-ups: Netflix adds to its catalog

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

September 10, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Good news for anyone looking for new procrastination material after the first few weeks of classes: Netflix is about to shower its catalogue with new movies and TV show seasons. The streaming site added the new selections  on Sept. 1, as the first wave of a series of original shows that will debut...

High school drop out: Efron stars in underwhelming ‘We Are Your Friends’

High school drop out: Efron stars in underwhelming ‘We Are Your Friends’

By Jack Shelly / Staff Writer

September 7, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"We Are Your Friends" Starring: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley and Emily Ratajkowski Grade: C   It doesn’t take much reflection after watching “We Are Your Friends” to realize that Zac Efron’s career probably won’t be the next “McConaissance.” Even the career of co-star Wes Bentley...

Ultra lame: ‘American Ultra’ fails to captivate audience

Ultra lame: ‘American Ultra’ fails to captivate audience

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

September 3, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“American Ultra” Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Connie Britton Grade: C- Everybody can be a superhero. Even your local junkie. That’s the theme of “American Ultra,” the latest in the super-spy genre. The movie follows Mike (Jesse Eisenberg), a phobia-ridden mini...

Scream no more: Legendary horror director Wes Craven dead at 76

Scream no more: Legendary horror director Wes Craven dead at 76

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

September 1, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Horror movie fans, lament: the boogeyman has died. Wes Craven, the man who made a living making you check under the bed at night, died Sunday from brain cancer. The pioneering director behind horror classics like “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Scream” and “The Hills Have Eyes” was 76 years ...

‘Pixels’ stuck in the past

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

August 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Pixels” Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan  Grade: C Run for your lives from this mediocre alien invasion flick. Based on a short film of the same name — and not exactly receiving a glowing recommendation from its creator, French filmmaker Patrick Jean — “Pixels” imagines mank...

Cinema city: A guide to Pittsburgh’s movie theaters

Cinema city: A guide to Pittsburgh’s movie theaters

By Chris Estes / Staff Writer

August 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

On behalf of Pittsburgh, we formally invite you to stop scrolling through a disappointing assortment of Netflix movies, put on some pants and go to the theater. The city has become a hub for filmmakers and appreciators alike. For filmmakers, the Commonwealth offers a 25 percent tax break for films...

‘Southpaw’ struggles to stay on its feet

‘Southpaw’ struggles to stay on its feet

By Valkyrie Speaker / For The Pitt News

August 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Southpaw” Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker Directed By: Antoine Fuqua Grade: C+ “Southpaw” is down for the count, and its chance of future success looks poor. The story of “Southpaw,” at its core, is one we have all seen before — a fall, a climb and a happy ...

‘Trainwreck’ drives typical rom-coms off the tracks

‘Trainwreck’ drives typical rom-coms off the tracks

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

August 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Trainwreck” Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton Directed by: Judd Apatow Grade: B+ Amy Schumer’s new romantic comedy “Trainwreck” is anything but. Posters for the rom-com, written by Amy Schumer, who also stars in the film, call director Judd Apatow as “the guy who brou...

‘Ant-Man’ squishes its way into “good movie” status

‘Ant-Man’ squishes its way into “good movie” status

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

August 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Ant-Man” Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly Directed by: Peyton Reed Grade: B+ He has the power to shrink while maintaining his strength. He can communicate with insects. He is Ant-Man — OK, this might be a tough sell. Peyton Reed, known for his comedies “Yes ...

Pitt grad challenges Hollywood with indie ‘The Recall’

Pitt grad challenges Hollywood with indie ‘The Recall’

By Chris Estes / Staff Writer

June 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Ace Yilma wanted to make a movie that started a dialogue about abortion.“There are a lot of stereotypes that males are pretty much OK with abortion, [but] sometimes they’re not,” Yilma, an Ethiopian native who graduated from Pitt in 2010, said. “Sometimes they want the kid.”Yilma’s “The Recall...

MacFarlane’s ‘Ted 2’ stuffed with sparingly funny moments

MacFarlane’s ‘Ted 2’ stuffed with sparingly funny moments

By Chang Zuo / For The Pitt News

June 27, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Ted 2”Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda SeyfriedDirected by: Seth MacFarlaneGrade: B- “Ted 2” forgets what makes a teddy bear come to life.The first movie of the franchise, “Ted,” came out in 2012 and introduced audiences to a lovable teddy bear who magically comes to life after his best friend John makes a wish. The flu...

Cast, crew of “Me and Earl” reunites for Pittsburgh premiere

Cast, crew of “Me and Earl” reunites for Pittsburgh premiere

By Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / Staff Writer

June 25, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Pittsburgh rolled out the red carpet and threw on black tie attire to welcome back the cast and crew of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” at the AMC Loews Waterfront theater on June 16.The theater hosted a star-studded exclusive screening of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” a drama based on th...

Docter embraces metaphor with emotional, whimsical “Inside Out”

Docter embraces metaphor with emotional, whimsical “Inside Out”

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

June 16, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Inside Out”Starring: Kaitlyn Dias, Amy Poehler, Phyllis SmithDirected By: Pete DocterGrade: A-Stock up on Kleenex, because “Inside Out” will leave you sniffling — or outright bawling — in your seat.Pete Docter, known for classics like “Toy Story” and “Up,” and his animation team mas...

Remembering Christopher Lee: the monster and the man

Remembering Christopher Lee: the monster and the man

By Walter Howard / For The Pitt News

June 16, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

On screen, he was Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Rasputin, Saruman and Count Dooku. In life, he was husband, author, singer and World War II hero as a former intelligence officer and Nazi hunter.Christopher Lee spent much of his life a living legend. Lee passed last Sunday, June 7, at age 93, a giant of the silver scre...

Netflix’s ‘Girlhood’ an outdated coming-of-age story

Netflix’s ‘Girlhood’ an outdated coming-of-age story

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

June 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Coming-of-age stories about black girls can’t seem to grow up.Last fall, French director Céline Sciamma, writer and director of nontraditional coming-of-age dramas “Water Lilies” and “Tomboy,” released a teaser for her newest film, “Bande de Filles,” or “Girlhood” in English. The ...

“San Andreas” fails to shake audience

“San Andreas” fails to shake audience

By Chang Zuo / For The Pitt News

May 28, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"San Andreas"Grade: DStarring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra DaddarioDirected by: Brad Peyton“San Andreas” wastes no time in dunking audiences into a pool of action-disaster movie clichés.The movie marks the second time that director Brad Peyton has teamed up with Dwayne Johnson, following “Journe...

Pitt a plentiful, collegiate playground

By Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / Staff Writer

May 28, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Movies, Music, Theater

Ready to experience the magic of the Steel City? Pittsburgh has a lot to offer. From PNC Park to the Andy Warhol Museum, the city has something for everyone’s bucket list. Here are the top five things you’ll want to check off before your time is up at Pitt.Catch a show at the Benedum Center Whether...

6 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make at Pitt

By Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / For The Pitt News

May 28, 2015


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Movies, Music

Your first year at Pitt will bring you late-night pizzas, enough pictures of the Cathedral to fill a photobook and a catalog of opportunities to grow as a person as you navigate the many necessary and unnecessary mistakes that come with leaving the nest.For starters, you’ll bring way more clothing an...

Pitt Arts decorates student life with culture and class

Pitt Arts decorates student life with culture and class

By Chang Zuo / For The Pitt News

May 28, 2015


Filed under Art, Culture, Food & Drink, Movies, Music, Theater

For Pitt student Stephanie Liang, one of her most memorable experiences at Pitt Arts was watching a 4D play. As an audience member, she and other students got up on stage and  followed the actors of “Tamara” at Quantum Theater while they watched scenes unfold.“It showed me how far people can pu...

Gomez-Rejon doses witty, emotional drama in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”

Gomez-Rejon doses witty, emotional drama in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

May 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Me and Earl and the Dying GirlGrade: AStarring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Ronald Cyler IIDirected by: Alfonso Gomez-RejonThe set for both “The Fault in Our Stars” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” Pittsburgh again becomes the epicenter of an emotional and tragic coming-of-age story in ...

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is everything an action movie should be

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is everything an action movie should be

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

May 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Mad Max: Fury Road"Directed By: George MillerStarring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas HoultGrade: A+Move over, Michael Bay, because George Miller is back, and he brought a set of defibrillators.After working on “Mad Max: Fury Road” formore than a decade, Miller gives the action genre a muc...

The World of Kurt Cobain: ‘Montage of Heck’ offers unique, personal look inside the life of late Nirvana frontman

The World of Kurt Cobain: ‘Montage of Heck’ offers unique, personal look inside the life of late Nirvana frontman

By Courtney Linder / Contributing Editor

May 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Montage of Heck"Directed by: Brett MorgenStarring: Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Krist NovoselicGrade: A-Minimum wage workers line shelves at Hot Topic with $15 T-shirts in the Nirvana frontman’s likeness, while antisocial teenagers repost photos of him on Tumblr, portraying him as the spokesman of generational...

Vinterberg’s ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ presents a soirée of Victorian romance

By Walter Howard / For The Pitt News

May 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Far From the Madding Crowd"Directed by: Thomas VinterbergStarring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael SheenGrade: AA treat for those with finer tastes and a tonic for those with sequel-induced headaches, Thomas Vinterberg’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” follows on the heels of classic, well k...

Death of a stoner: Weed too tame for modern, adrenaline-junkie comedy

Death of a stoner: Weed too tame for modern, adrenaline-junkie comedy

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

April 20, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Cocaine is the new weed, and blunts are the new cigarettes — on the silver screen at least.The stoner comedy has been a reliable subgenre for ages, man, but it could be on its last breath. We can’t expect to see new movies from a stoner duo like ’70s and ’80s icons Cheech and Chong or their ...

Garland goes back to the future with ‘Ex Machina’

Garland goes back to the future with ‘Ex Machina’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

April 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

'Ex Machina'Directed by: Alex GarlandStarring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia VikanderGrade: B+Looking past smartphones and Google Glass to the next level of digital advancement, Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina” brings artificial intelligence uncomfortably close in the form of a flirting human...

Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” an earnestly human comedy

Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” an earnestly human comedy

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

April 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

While We're YoungDirected by: Noah BaumbachStarring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda SeyfriedRated R for languageGrade: A-Youth is wasted on the old — or so Noah Baumbach’s new film, “While We’re Young,” seems to argue.“While We’re Young” delivers insight on generational conflic...

DreamWorks’ latest far from a ‘Home’ run

DreamWorks’ latest far from a ‘Home’ run

By Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / For The Pitt News

April 6, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Home"Directed by: Tim JohnsonStarring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer LopezRated PG for mild action and some rude humorGrade: C+Lately, intelligent animated flicks have spoiled us. Blockbusters “Frozen” and “Big Hero 6” came out to please children, as well as the parents they begged t...

Pitt alumna Julie Sokolow talks feature-film debut, ‘Aspie Seeks Love’

Pitt alumna Julie Sokolow talks feature-film debut, ‘Aspie Seeks Love’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

March 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Documentary filmmaker and 2010 Pitt alumna Julie Sokolow guides viewers through loneliness and Pittsburgh with her recently completed her first feature-length film “Aspie Seeks Love.” The documentary film focuses on David Matthews, a 49-year-old Aliquippa, Pa., resident struggling with his late-in-life diagnosis of As...

‘Insurgent’ an inexplicable, but entertaining dystopian sequel

‘Insurgent’ an inexplicable, but entertaining dystopian sequel

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

March 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Insurgent"Directed by: Robert SchwentkeStarring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Kate WinsletRated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence, some sensuality, thematic elements and languageGrade: C+Despite its all-star cast and ongoing action, the “Divergent” sequel ultimately...

‘Power/Rangers’: Or (The unexpected virtue of expectations)

By Marcus Ranii-Dropcho / For The Pitt News

March 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Surprise entertainment releases can provide a needed deviation from mundane routine — and set the Internet ablaze. So, it’s not surprising that the spontaneous release of a gritty “Power Rangers” remake garnered more than 12 million views on YouTube in just one week.In short, the 14-minute f...

Stay out of the ‘Hot Tub’: Sequel overflowing with stale ideas

Stay out of the ‘Hot Tub’: Sequel overflowing with stale ideas

By Matt Maielli / For The Pitt News

February 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Hot Tub Time Machine 2"Directed by: Steve PinkStarring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam ScottRated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, drug use and some violenceGrade: C-The gang is back for another dip in space-time. But this time, they’re out of the ...

Oscar’s rejects: The best movies without an awards invite

Oscar’s rejects: The best movies without an awards invite

By Dan Sostek and Shawn Cooke / The Pitt News Staff

February 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Birdman” or “Boyhood?” This question will likely be repeated 1,000 times before Sunday, when we’ll finally know who takes home Best Picture at the Oscars.The big award, Best Director and Best Actor stand to be the only real contentious major awards, with nearly all the major acting catego...

‘Kingsman’ a bloody fun spy send-up

‘Kingsman’ a bloody fun spy send-up

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

February 16, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Kingsman: The Secret Service"Directed by: Matthew VaughnStarring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. JacksonRated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual contentGrade: BVery little about “Kingsman: The Secret Service” sounds fun — based on its title, you might think it’s a swo...

All tease, no climax: ‘Fifty Shades’ not sexy or nuanced enough to satisfy

All tease, no climax: ‘Fifty Shades’ not sexy or nuanced enough to satisfy

By Natalia Blewonska / For The Pitt News

February 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Fifty Shades of Grey”Directed by: Sam Taylor-JohnsonStarring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie DornanRated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior, graphic nudity and languageGrade: DIf you’re just watching “Fifty Shades of Grey” to see some hot, kinky sex and a flash of...

‘Seventh Son’ an abysmal attempt at striking fantasy gold

‘Seventh Son’ an abysmal attempt at striking fantasy gold

By Matt Maielli / For The Pitt News

February 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Seventh Son"Directed by: Sergey BodrovStarring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne MooreRated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong languageGrade: DTom Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of a seventh son. It’s supposed to be what makes him special. This fact ...

‘Jupiter Ascending’: The Wachowskis’ latest epic, indulgent misfire

‘Jupiter Ascending’: The Wachowskis’ latest epic, indulgent misfire

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

February 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Jupiter Ascending"Directed by: The WachowskisStarring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean BeanRated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudityGrade: DThe early-year movie dumping ground just received a new shipment: the overblown and ...

‘Project Almanac’ an earnest, if illogical, found-footage entry

‘Project Almanac’ an earnest, if illogical, found-footage entry

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

February 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Project Almanac"Directed by: Dean IsraeliteStarring: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Sam LernerRated PG-13 for some language and sexual contentGrade: C+It may not contribute anything groundbreaking to either the time travel genre or the now-fading, found-footage canon, but “Project Almanac” is...

Depp walks the plank in ‘Mortdecai,’ one of his worst flops yet

Depp walks the plank in ‘Mortdecai,’ one of his worst flops yet

By Matt Maielli / For The Pitt News

January 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Mortdecai"Directed by: David KoeppStarring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul BettanyGrade: FImagine Johnny Depp as the Sherlock Holmes of the underground art world. Now imagine that he is impossibly bad at his job, then drop him into an unfinished “Pink Panther” movie, and you...

Time Capsule: Linklater’s timeless romance, ‘Before Sunrise’ turns 20

Time Capsule: Linklater’s timeless romance, ‘Before Sunrise’ turns 20

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

January 22, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Although January has become a cinematic dumping ground for mental vacations such as “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” Liam Neeson saving his daughter “one last time” or Kevin Hart movies, the occasional great film can sneak onto the schedule, much like “Before Sunrise” did in 1995. Twenty years la...

Eastwood paints chilling war picture in ‘Sniper’

Eastwood paints chilling war picture in ‘Sniper’

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

January 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"American Sniper"Director: Clint EastwoodStarring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna MillerRated R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout, including some sexual referencesGrade: AAfter Chris Kyle finds out, on his wedding day, that he’ll be shipped out to Iraq, he assures his wife that “it...

‘Inherent Vice’ an engrossing fever dream

‘Inherent Vice’ an engrossing fever dream

By Dylan Galper / Staff Writer

January 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Inherent Vice"Directed by: Paul Thomas AndersonStarring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen WilsonRated R for drug use throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some violenceGrade: AThere are some writers of fiction whose work has never — and most likely will never — grace the si...

The name’s May, Aunt May: Have the studios taken superhero universe-building a bit too far?

The name’s May, Aunt May: Have the studios taken superhero universe-building a bit too far?

By Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

January 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Since their launch to prominence in America during World War II and their cultural takeover from the 1960s onward, superheroes have always represented the best of intentions — whether that’s escapism, entertainment or perpetuating good old American values of bravery and heroism. Superheroes are symbols...

Cumberbatch commands the whip-smart ‘Imitation Game’

Cumberbatch commands the whip-smart ‘Imitation Game’

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

January 7, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

“The Imitation Game”Directed by: Morten TyldumStarring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew GoodeRated PG-13 for some sexual references, mature thematic material and historical smokingGrade: A-Benedict Cumberbatch’s fastidious portrayal of Alan Turing opens “The Imitation Game” wi...

Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ begs for Oscars, but is an unbearable torture-fest

Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ begs for Oscars, but is an unbearable torture-fest

By Dylan Galper / Staff Writer

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Unbroken"Directed by: Angelina JolieStarring: Jack O'Connell, Takamasa IshiharaRated PG-13 for war violence including sequences of brutality, and brief languageGrade: CThe tagline for “Unbroken” reads “Survival, Resilience, Redemption.” This should tell you everything you need to know about what...

TPN’s 2015 pop culture resolutions

By The A&E Staff

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

Almost everybody wants to hit the gym, shave off the beer belly or eat healthier in the new year — but some of us realize those goals are too well-worn and cliched to pan out. So instead, why not pledge for more sedentary goals, like tearing through an acclaimed TV series, tackling a new genre of mus...

Donuts and Dystopias: Inside the pages of doomsday entertainment

Donuts and Dystopias: Inside the pages of doomsday entertainment

By Abbey Reighard / Senior Staff Writer

December 4, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

On the 35th floor of the Cathedral of Learning, high above the noise and lights of the city, a group of about 15 Pitt students gather in a small stone room, which looks like a relic of the past, to discuss tales of bleak futures.Donuts and Dystopias is a group of students who meet every other week th...

Early Oscar Talk: Sorting out phony hopefuls from contenders

Early Oscar Talk: Sorting out phony hopefuls from contenders

By Shawn Cooke and Dan Sostek / The Pitt News Staff

December 4, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

Earlier this week, the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) and the National Board of Review released their awards for the best films of the year. Many movie pundits on the web are quick to tweak their Oscar frontrunners based on these early awards, but it’s only December, and momentum can shift before ...

Home Movie Day set to preserve and share private memories

Home Movie Day set to preserve and share private memories

By Giulia Schaub / For The Pitt News

November 19, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

There’s no denying the charm and timelessness of a good old-fashioned home movie shot on Super 8 film, especially now that most of us shoot Vine and Instagram home videos every day.To honor the vintage format, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is holding the 11th annual Home Movie Day (HMD), an i...

‘Dumb and Dumber To’ brings the gags but lacks the heart

‘Dumb and Dumber To’ brings the gags but lacks the heart

By Dylan Galper / For The Pitt News

November 18, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Dumb and Dumber To”Directed by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby FarrellyStarring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob RiggleRated: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug referencesNow playing at SouthSide Works, AMC Loews Waterfront 22Grade: C+When the Pantheon of great comedic f...

The future of ‘cool’: predicting the next classic college posters

The future of ‘cool’: predicting the next classic college posters

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

November 14, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Rentalguide2014

What’s going to be the next “Pulp Fiction?” The next “Scarface?” The next “Big Lebowski?”No, I’m not trying to guess the next brilliant, scrambled-narrative crime flick, mob boss drama or classic Coen brothers comedy — they’re all vintage posters that more than a few of your frien...

Villainous Simmons brings thriller-like urgency to ‘Whiplash’

Villainous Simmons brings thriller-like urgency to ‘Whiplash’

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

November 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Whiplash"Directed by: Damien ChazelleStarring: Miles Teller, J.K. SimmonsRated: R for strong language, including some sexual referencesStarts Friday at The Manor TheatreThe most intimidating villain you’ll see on the big screen this year doesn’t have horns, fire a gun or come close to demolishing a city — but ...

‘Big Hero 6’ has heart beneath layers of visual candy

‘Big Hero 6’ has heart beneath layers of visual candy

By Hannah Marshall / For The Pitt News

November 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Big Hero 6"Directed by: Don Hall and Chris WilliamsStarring: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, T.J. MillerRated: PG for action and peril, some rude humor and thematic elementsNow showing at AMC Loews Waterfront, SouthSide WorksGrade: A-All the way back in 2009, when a bushy-tailed and gray-free Barack Obam...

‘Interstellar’ a stunning spectacle of the highest order

‘Interstellar’ a stunning spectacle of the highest order

By Mason Lazarcheff / Staff Writer

November 5, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Interstellar"Directed by: Christopher NolanStarring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica ChastainGrade: AEvery year, there’s a movie or two that set the Internet ablaze, with fans clamoring for every detail they can find. “The Avengers” of 2012 and the upcoming “Star Wars” reboot c...

More Anderson than Perry: ‘Dear White People’ obliterates stereotypes in sharp satire

More Anderson than Perry: ‘Dear White People’ obliterates stereotypes in sharp satire

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

November 3, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Dear White People"Directed by: Justin SimienStarring: Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Brandon P. BellGrade: B+The execution of an argument can be far more important than its substance, especially in politics. “Dear White People” has so much to say, but holds back in order to say only what is neces...

Renner impresses in ‘Messenger’

Renner impresses in ‘Messenger’

By Mason Lazarcheff / For The Pitt News

October 28, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

 "Kill the Messenger"Directed by: Michael CuestaStarring: Jeremy Renner, Robert PatrickGrade: B+Is anything worth obsessing over? For Gary Webb, the answer wasn’t just a resounding “yes” but a necessary dependence.Based on the true story of Webb (Jeremy Renner), a journalist for the San Jose M...

Former Pitt News EIC gets ‘Brutal’ in strong debut novel

Former Pitt News EIC gets ‘Brutal’ in strong debut novel

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

"Brutal Youth"By Anthony BreznicanGrade: B+There’s a scene near the end of Richard Linklater’s recent opus, “Boyhood,” in which a teacher tells Mason (Ellar Coltrane) that you find your “people” in college. Anthony Breznican’s “Brutal Youth” would beg to differ.In his debut novel, the ...

Good Morning, Pitt: Williams’ character brought radio to Pitt

Good Morning, Pitt: Williams’ character brought radio to Pitt

By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

Saigon, 1965. A conflict brews, President Johnson increases the number of stationed men from 75,000 to 125,000 and Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) just landed a new job with the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS).“Good Morning, Vietnam” combines dark comedy, war drama, love story, travel film and period piece wi...

Murray shines in cliched, but touching ‘St. Vincent’

Murray shines in cliched, but touching ‘St. Vincent’

By Dylan Galper / For The Pitt News

October 22, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"St. Vincent"Directed by: Theodore MelfiStarring: Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthyGrade: BIn his review of Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 film “Broken Flowers,” Roger Ebert wrote, “No actor is better than Bill Murray at doing nothing at all and being fascinating while not doing it.”  While t...

‘Fury’ rips every page out of WWII playbook, but still entertains

‘Fury’ rips every page out of WWII playbook, but still entertains

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

October 21, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Fury”Directed by: David AyerStarring: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeoufGrade: C+If you needed more proof that the war genre has been done to death, here’s “Fury,” a handsomely made, decently acted and robustly entertaining WWII film that lacks any sort of originality and has almost nothing ne...

Downey, Duvall carry compelling ‘The Judge’

Downey, Duvall carry compelling ‘The Judge’

By Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

October 15, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"The Judge"Directed by: David DobkinStarring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera FarmigaGrade: A-A judge is entrusted to dish out consequences for illegal actions. But life has a funny way of deciding consequences on its own, regardless of legality. “The Judge” explores how consequences are...

Twenty years later, ‘Clerks’ the definitive workplace comedy

Twenty years later, ‘Clerks’ the definitive workplace comedy

By Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 13, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

Who ever said that the ultimate workplace movie had to be set in an office?For many millennial college graduates, their first job out of school might be behind a counter — not suffocating in a cubicle. Even though it might seem like we’re all headed toward a sea of TPS reports, migrating desks a...

‘Love Is Strange’ an honest, graceful modern romance

‘Love Is Strange’ an honest, graceful modern romance

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

October 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

"Love Is Strange"Directed by: Ira SachsStarring: Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, Marisa TomeiGrade: B+Movies that grapple with the subject of love often struggle to depict it honestly, and “Love Is Strange” knows it. Instead of unnecessary flourishes and hackneyed drama, the film is unapologetic in it...

‘Friday Night Lights’ just as relevant in current football climate

‘Friday Night Lights’ just as relevant in current football climate

By Richard Koppenaal / Staff Writer

October 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Movies

In 1988, H.G. Bissinger moved to Odessa, Texas, to study and report on the town’s people and politics. But his coverage of the local high school football team, the Permian Panthers, overshadowed the other aspects of the town.His book, “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream,” profiled th...

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