Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

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Oscar buzz for “The Blind Side

There is much Oscar buzz this year for Sandra Bullock in the Best Actress category for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in “The Blind Side. The movie has also been nominated for Best Picture, going up against other box office hits such as “Avatar” and “Precious just, to name a few.

The Blind Side” depicts the story of Baltimore Raven Michael Oher and his tragic yet miraculous upbringing. Oher, played by Quinton Aaron, is African-American and was born in Memphis Tennessee in 1986. With twelve other siblings, an absent father and a mother addicted to crack, things were never looking too hopeful for Michael. Going to school was never enforced at his house and Michael had to repeat both the 1st and 2nd grade. After breaking out of foster homes and not being able to live with his mother and siblings, Oher soon found himself homeless.

While sleeping on random porches and friends’ couches, one of Oher’s friend

He Sits in Darkness

He Sits in Darkness

He sits in darkness, knowing that he did wrong.
He tries to stop the tears that are flowing down his face,
Thinking why has this hiding been going on so long?
It’s like he is losing his humanity in the cold and dismal place.

Why can he do to put things back together?
His mind spins ’round, trying to find an escape.
Surely this pain can’t go on forever,
Can it be fixed with some superglue and tape?

A knock on the door interrupts his thought,
And when he opens it, on his face is not even a fake smile.
His eyes can’t believe what he has wrought,
When he sees the cops and their guns facing him, hostile.

He sits in jail now, wishing he could go back
And change the way his life was turning out.
But there was a light shining in the pitch black,
His friends still loved him, and he knew without a doubt.

DAALII

Elephant Sculpture by Salvador Dali

The title of this photograph is “DAALII.” I took this during my study abroad semester to London in May of 2009. Positioned in the shadow of the London Eye, this sculpture is of an elephant with spindly, giraffe-like legs carrying an obelisk on its back.

I took this picture because Dali is one of my favorite artists. The elephant is at least 15 feet tall, and I’m marveled by Dali’s ability to create such beautiful and psychotic works of art.

Local bands rock out in the Centennial Battle of the Bands

In wake of Radford University’s Centennial Celebration, Radio Free Radford, along with SGA and R-SPaCE, held the Centennial Battle of the Bands last Thursday in the Bondurant Auditorium in Preston Hall. It featured local bands from all over Virginia. The event consisted of five bands and DJ Mike Andrews, the general manager of Radio Free Radford. Oakroot, Cicatrix, Flight of the Lemming, Vegas on Fire and The Okay Feeling all took the stage last Thursday, Feb. 4 in hopes of placing in the top three.

Oakroot, from Roanoke, Va., was the first on stage at the battle, but did not receive a top spot. Originally known as Commonplace, Oakroot formed in June of 2008 and with their unique alternative sound the band was voted the second best local act in the Roanoke Times Music Poll in 2009.

Next to jam out was Cicatrix of Virginia Beach, Va. Their “reggae/rock” sound turned out to be a great show for the crowd, but still wasn’t enough to place. Either way, Cicatrix rocked the house and brought their beach style along with them.

Flight of the Lemming, a hometown band from Radford, are just starting to put their sound together, and placed second in the battle. Influenced by greats like Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, Flight of the Lemming put together a great show right as the battle began to heat up.

Straight out of the New River Valley, Vegas on Fire rocked out on stage for a third place finish in the battle. Displaying their power, Vegas on Fire is on the rise and throws a great live show. This four man band can be found performing all over the Valley with their electric rock tunes.

Last but not least, The Okay Feeling stole the show last Thursday and came away champions of the Centennial Battle of the Bands. Out of Pulaski County, The Okay Feeling brought their roots and rock to the stage better than any other band at the show and it paid off as they left with the crown. Together since 2006, The Okay Feeling is influenced by artists of many different genres. Their music is meant for nothing more than “pure enjoyment.” If you take the crowd, you take the show, and that’s just what The Okay Feeling did.

As the night came to an end, you couldn’t have asked for a better performance out of anyone, and the Centennial Battle of the Bands was a success. For more information on the bands, check out their Web sites on MySpace and listen in to Radio Free Radford for more great local music.

Cover and story photo by Heidi Chantry

Life Cycle

This stop motion video shows the cycle of nature from life to death. I made a wreath out of live plants I picked from nature. I then created an inner circle of charcoal to signify summer. The I added dead leaves, which represent autumn. The last cycle involved adding sticks and burning the wreath to symbolize the death of winter. The song is “Cherry” by Ratatat.

Link to Life Cycle

Illustration by Heidi Chantry

Couples Retreat, a Retreat or Purgatory

I consider myself knowledgeable on a limited number of subjects. Film is one of them. All you moviegoers better know who the hell Vince Vaughn is. Old School and Wedding Crashers are two of my favorite movies, and Vaughn made his move into print by writing The Breakup and now Couples Retreat. This isn

2009 CMA’s = Great Performances

The 43rd annual country music awards show was a big night for newcomers like Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker. The award show was held at the Sommet Center in Nashville, TN and had several musical performances including the Zac Brown Band, Brooks and Dunn, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood.


The CMA was hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley and was mostly dominated by Taylor Swift, who walked away winning all four categories she was nominated in

Major League: Featuring Cleveland

If you like baseball, then you’ve probably heard of some pretty good baseball movies before. One movie you may have heard of would be the movie, The Sandlot. Another might be the movie, Field of Dreams. Both of which are pretty good movies about baseball, but neither of them really show any good baseball action. None of them do this like the movie, Major League anyway, a film that was originially released in 1989. Major League is a comedy and as you watch the first half of it, it seems like a joke to you at first. However, what begins as a pretty funny movie, ends up being a really great baseball movie. Major League has some good comedic aspects, and it also conveys what it’s really like to be a part of a marjor league baseball team.

The movie begins with a woman named Rachel Phelps, inheriting the franchise of the Cleveland Indians when her husband passes away. Rachel’s plan is to put together a baseball team bad enough to finish in last place in Cleveland’s division, so she’ll be able to relocate the whole franchise to Miami, where she can enjoy her own selfish pleasures. She puts her plan underway, and at first, it looks like she’s doing a pretty good job. The Indians loose their first game 9-0 against the New York Yankees, and it seems that the Indian players have no chance of a very sucessful season at all.

As the movie progresses, you learn about each of the players on Cleveland’s team, and how they have to deal with the issues in their own personal lives. The main character in the movie who faces the biggest issues with his life, is the Indian Catcher, a man by the name of Jake Taylor. While he’s trying to lead a loosing team as a catcher, he’s also dealing with physical problems in his legs, as well as chasing the love of his life who is engaged to another man. The movie has not only a lot of good action and comedy, but it also has a fair amount of drama in it as well.

Anyway, a little over half way through the season, the Indian coach Lou Brown learns of what Rachel Phelps is really trying to do. As soon as he discovers that she really wants the Indians to finish in last place, he tells the team, and they become motivated enough to prove her wrong and turn their season around. They finish in a first place tie with the Yankees, and play New York in a one game playoff for the division as the home team. This is where the movie really kicks in with some good baseball action, and it’s also the turning point in the movie to make the veiwer realize that it really is a good movie.

This movie is by far one of the best baseball movies ever made. There were two sequels that were made after it, Major League II and Major League: Back to the Minors. Neither of these two films were as sucessful as the first. Major League is a movie that you will really want to watch some day if you like baseball, it’s a great movie from the start of baseball season, to the end.



Dragon Ball Z: the good and the bad

One TV show that everyone probably loved when they were a kid would probably have been Dragonball Z; the show staring the Saiyan warrior Goku and his friends who would always save the universe from evil villains like Cell, Freiza, Majin Buu and you’d know them all if you ever watched the show.

The entire show was basically to appeal to young viewer, preferably boys. In fact, not very many girls probably ever watched Dragonball Z or even really knew anything about it. The show was mostly an action show designed with lots of fighting and explosions, and all those cool things that young boys like.

It was a pretty awesome action show, with some pretty cool fight scenes. However, the entire storyline for the series was pretty crappy and it didn’t make sense at times. For one thing, the fact that there’s a separate planet that you go to when you die, and even if that happens, if your friends just bring together all seven dragonballs they can wish you back to life. That whole concept makes death completely meaningless. The entire human race gets wiped out and the Earth gets destroyed in the series, and they just bring it all back like it’s no big deal at all. Also, there are a lot of movies that were released to go along with the TV show. However, because the plot of the TV series was always ongoing, the movies could never fit in with the stories. Many of the movies just simply could have never happened because they wouldn’t have made sense.

Also, the battles against the more powerful villains, sometimes seemed to take forever. One wonders if it was really necessary to make fight scenes go on for as long as they sometimes could in Dragonball Z. The battle against Freiza lasted for a pretty long time when he fought with Goku, and as you watched it, while it probably seemed pretty cool at first, you probably started to wonder, “When is this battle ever going to end?” Also, the next major battle which was the battle with Cell, lasted for almost just as long, and if you’re not a patient person, you probably would have felt the same level of frustration as you did in the Freiza battle wondering when the fight would ever end.

Up until Cell, the plot was already pretty poorly written, but it became even more crappy after the Cell saga. The reason for that was because the person who had been writing the storyline for the show up until then, simply left when the Cell Saga was over. Then a new writer took over to continue writing the story, and he turned the entire storyline into crap. There were so many problems with the way he continued the story such as small children becoming super saiyans or being able to have a tournament, as well as a search for an evil wizards spaceship, then reviving an evil monster, fighting it, and having it wreaking havoc on the Earth, all in only one day.

DBZ, overall, is a pretty amazing TV show when it comes to battles, and it has some pretty bad ass fight scenes in it that young boys simply love watching. However, it really needs to have a better storyline behind it, because the story behind DBZ is absolutely shitty and there are too many things that just don’t make sense. There are other shows that were made to add to the storyline of Dragonball Z as well, such as Dragonball, which is the story of Goku when he was a child. Then there’s Dragonball GT, which is the story that continues pretty much where Dragonball Z left off. Both shows are like Dragonball Z in the sense that while they have some pretty cool action scenes, they could also use much better story lines.

Check out a video from the show:

Photo courtesy of Cartoon Network

Video courtesy of YouTube.com

Ghosts Will Surely Haunt You

When I saw the preview for “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” I was really excited and could not wait to see it. I love Jennifer Garner as an actress and I can tolerate Matthew McConaughey with his slow, seducing, laid-back southern accent. But boy was I wrong, because from the minute I started the film to the very end I did not laugh once and was left stunned asking myself