Over/Under: Platoon and Jarhead

Over/Under – Platoon and Jarhead

In Over/Under, the Blog writers will discuss two similar pieces of film, music, book, or other culture and which of these is overrated by the popular consensus and underrated by most people.  Feel free to comment below with your own views!

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48 Hour Video Race!

The prop: a frisbee.

The line: There are bits of it in your vaccuum cleaner

The fee is $5 per group and the winner gets 50% of the money.

The screening and judging will be held in King auditorium at 5 pm on the 22nd.


Babylon 5 (1993 – 1998) is second only to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in my mind.  In my last post I took the time to discuss one of Babylon 5’s most important characters – Londo Mollari – and so I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the show in its entirety (spoiler free of course).  The show is not only solid entertainment, but its background offers insight and advice to anyone who wants to tell a rich, thought-provoking story in television.  Each season is like a chapter in a book, or rather a novel in a book series.  The next season builds on the former while telling events critical to the overall story that make it distinct from the other five.

Babylon 5 is unique among all television shows, and indeed, all movie franchises, in that the entire story was planned out, from beginning to end, before the show’s pilot aired across America.  However, the story originally envisioned by the creator, J. Michael Straczynski (JMS), was not the one that aired.

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The Modern Tragic Character: Londo Mollari

I like to think I have seen plenty of movies in my young life. I also like to think that I’ve seen plenty of television, having over 128 seasons of television on DVD.  While I have not seen all the great movies, or all the great TV shows, I’m reasonably comfortable in the title of this blog post.  Across all the characters I remember from the many hours I’ve sunk into modern entertainment, none come across to me as tragic as Babylon 5’s Londo Mollari.  Certainly there are other characters that give Londo a run for his money – Dukie from The Wire to name one – but none are so grandiose in scope – so Shakespearean without the melodrama – than the life of Londo Mollari.  From “Midnight on the Firing Line,” the very first episode of Babylon 5, we know of Londo’s fate: He will die being choked by G’Kar, another main character of the series. 

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Jordan Raup – Movie Enthusiast and Co-founder of thefilmstage.com

An interview with Jordan Raup, movie enthusiast and co-founder of the website The Film Stage (www.thefilmstage.com).

First off, the basics. Tell us who you are, your favorite movie ever and why, and a little about your website.


My name is Jordan Raup and I’m the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Film Stage. I started the site back in September of 2008 with a friend, while studying film at the University at Buffalo. We both loved the medium and figured we could provide our own look at the industry. A major proponent was the lack of interest in current Hollywood trends, in both arthouse and blockbuster cinema, at our college. Frustrated, we created this site to provide a mix of both, but leaning towards the former.

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Commentary: Making Twilight Alright

In my eyes there are two types of movie watchers:

1. Those who wait to buy their favorite on DVD, and then watch it three more times along with all the special features…..
2. And those who don’t.

You could also divide up the movie-watcher population another way:

1. Those who think Twilight was a genuinely good movie…..
2. And those who don’t.

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Over/Under: Community and Psych


In Over/Under, the Blog writers will discuss two similar pieces of film, music, book, or other culture and which of these is overrated by the popular consensus and underrated by most people.  Feel free to comment below with your own views!

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The Best Documentaries of 2011

For a long time I have loved the documentary style of filmmaking.  Few other kinds of cinema can change the world as quickly or be as entertaining.  Two of my highest loves are film and journalism, so logically adding the two together suits me greatly.  I had planned on possibly writing reviews on some of these films, yet I instead decided it would be more useful to aggregate them together to talk about the ones I planned and others that I think you should see as well.

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TV Shows You Learn From: The West Wing

            To date, The West Wing remains unique in American television history.  The show’s story lives, breathes, and talks American politics.  The only show of its kind to last more than two seasons.

It was created, produced, and mainly written by Aaron Sorkin (writer of The Social Network) for its first four seasons.  (Mr. Sorkin departed after the show’s fourth season concluded).  The show in its entirety concentrates on the day-to-day operations of Democratic President Josiah Bartlett and his personal staff.

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How to raise hell, and do it well: What the 400 Blows means to film

Showtime Photos

Some of you are probably wondering why that title is on the by-line; after all, “raising hell” isn’t exactly a phrase of pure etiquette.  The film, if you haven’t seen it, is a French piece from 1959.  Its title directly translated to English is “The 400 Blows”, but it loses the cultural meaning of the phrase.  More appropriately translated, it would mean something awfully similar to “raising hell”.  It is about a young boy who causes trouble in his Paris boy’s academy, his Paris flat home, the outskirts of Paris, and just most of Paris in general.  It is a story of a boy thrust into thinking like an adult when he discovers his mother’s affair and is sent to a juvenile detention academy when he makes the wrong decision.  It is about filmmaking itself, albeit indirectly.

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