Category Archives: Entertainment

How popular are the ads compared to the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl 51 was played last night to an average of 48.8 rating and 72 share according to Nielsen ratings.
Super Bowl 51 was played last night to an average of 48.8 rating and 72 share according to Nielsen ratings.

On Sunday February 5 , the Super Bowl was viewed by 70 percent of the country according to variety.com. In-between all the balls passed, the touchdowns, and halftime show, commercials were shown to sell their products to the viewers of the game.

According to statista.com, 111.9 million people in the U.S. watched the Super Bowl last year, and each year more and more commercials are added to showcase the company’s’ different ways of persuading us over to their side. After looking around different articles about “Best Super Bowl commercials”, these few stuck out due to the year and views on each video.

Older viewers of the Super Bowl might remember the Bub Bowl ads or even Apple’s first commercial back in 1984, while the newer generation recognize Volkswagen’s “The Force” and the Ebates baby commercials. Volkswagen and Ebates have a total views of 87 million on YouTube where the first Bud Bowl and Apple’s first commercial only have a combined view total of 888,000

With the advent of the internet, the newer the generation the more views older and more modern ads receive. While viewing inc.com, four out of the ten ads listed were ones made for Doritos: Crash the Super Bowl contest with views ranging from 28 million to 56 million views on YouTube.

This year commercials had a tougher time to be sell their products due to each 30 second commercial costing $5 million. Most if not all the commercials were longer than 30 seconds, so companies were shelling out $5+ million just to get us to buy their products. The ads that stand out to the media sources after the game are the ones that tell stories in them (not counting movie trailers due to them having a story in a two hour film.) and gets us connected to the people in them.

When talking to a someone who know little about football, but loves to watch the big game for the excitement of the event and the commercials that come with it a few questions pop up, such as, which commercials do you remember the most, what makes a good commercial to you, why do you enjoy the commercials and what commercial was the best this year?

Alison Parsons, a sophomore at Elizabethtown College was the only person to respond to these questions out of the three people asked. When asked about what makes a good commercial Alison said “A good commercial must be unique and positively focused. I also like commercials that have a family friendly humor that makes them memorable.” Out of all the ads shown last night she lists the Buick-Pee Wee Football, Honda- Yearbook of celebrities, Bai-Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken, and Mr. Clean-Cleaner of your dreams as the ones she remembers the most. With different people enjoying different ads Alison enjoys them because “They’re creative and display humor that makes me chuckle.”

That wraps up the Super Bowl. Here’s hoping more ads make an impact next year.

Fantastically Fantastic Beasts

Released on Nov. 18, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has launched the world back into the world of Harry Potter as created famously by J.K. Rowling. The film follows Newt Scamander [Eddie Redmayne] through New York City with, quite literally, a suitcase full of fantastic beasts. As soon as Newt gets to the city, he’s presented with anti-witch sentiment, a former Auror named Tina [Katherine Waterson], and a “No-Maj,” otherwise, a Muggle, named Jacob [Dan Fogler]. Tina and Jacob grow close with Newt and are the first to tag along with him as his beasts begin escaping and running all over New York City.

And, boy, are his beasts believable. I think this movie has some of the best effects that I have seen in a long while. Not only are the beasts represented in ways that look similar to some animals that we No-Majs have, but the level of communication that Newt, their “mummy,” has with every single one is incredibly real. Without receiving much backstory on why Newt has all of these beasts, we can see how dedicated he is to both studying and saving them.

I think the movie also did a great job of setting up the franchise. This could easily work as a stand-alone movie, but with a giant twist at the end, I’m sure that won’t be the case. There were definitely a few strings left untied that I hope to see taken care of in the future.

Additionally, the screenwriters did an amazing job of tying in old elements of the Harry Potter films into this one. Newt using spells like, “Alohomora,” and, “Petrificus Totalis,” tugged at my heartstrings, as well as the subtle mention of the beloved Hogwarts headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. Other subtle name drops have also really set the audience up for this new filmic environment, taking what viewers knew about the series and applying it here. Needless to say, I’m excited, and a bit scared, to admit that I will most likely find myself neck-deep in this franchise just as I found myself with the original Harry Potter series. I’m already ready for more.

Sensitively, Spring Awakening

Elizabethtown College students, faculty and staff walked into the Tempest Theatre at various times in the past two weeks expecting a show, and it was a show they got. The college’s theatre department decided to put on Frank Wedekind’s “Spring Awakening,” directed by Michael Swanson with music by Duncan Sheik. Despite the various warnings posted in the programs, outside of the box office and the announcements prior to the show, the risers were packed with people who came to be awakened and watch their peers be awakened themselves.

“Spring Awakening” takes place in a small town in Germany in 1891 and focuses upon the minds of the youth and changes going on with them at that time. From 1890 to the end of World War I, Germany experienced a kind of social and moral conservatism that was promoted by state government officials and prevented a lot of “body” knowledge from reaching their youth. Michael Swanson said that the adults held a “unified but ancient discipline and the teens [yearned] for modern freedom.” Most of the cast represent characters who are in their pubescent years, discovering their bodies and minds, and, generally, figuring out how the world works. Although the characters in this musical are played by college-aged students who are in a different stage of life, several actors have found similarities between the actors whom they played and their own lives.

Kevin Hughes, a senior communications and German as a foreign language double major, played the main male lead named Melchior. “Wanting to know all things all the time is definitely something that I can relate to,” he said. “It’s very easy to let yourself slide into a bad place, and there’s a certain amount of self-checking that you have to do throughout the show. There are abuse scenes, sex scenes, a suicide, a funeral. There’s a certain part where I have to ‘hit’ my counterpart, Wendla, with a stick, and, of course, I don’t actually hit her, and the first thing we do after we get off-stage is to check to make sure that both of us are alright and that there aren’t any emotions that are left brewing in us after that. It’s a lot to consider and more to handle.”

It is important to remember that these actors are not being paid for what they are performing. Hughes continued to say that he has absolutely no connection to the theatre department on campus aside from the fact that he enjoys performing. But what kind of toll does this take on the students who are performing in these sensitive roles and balancing schoolwork and looking to see how their peers are reacting?

“There were certain moments when I was emotionally overcome by the stuff I was portraying, and that’s a lot to say because I’m participating in this just because I can,” Hughes said. “My studies have definitely slipped under the radar. Sometimes I think we all forget we’re at school, not just in the theatre.”

Connor Burke, a senior theatre major, played Moritz in “Spring Awakening.” Even with a clear interest in theatre, Burke found it hard to be involved. “My sleep definitely suffered,” he said. “You’d think it would be good for my time management skills, but sometimes we drown in our schoolwork and three-and-a-half hour practices. It’s alright. It helps that my friends are all in the same boat too.”

It seems to be a sensitive balancing act for the student-actors to keep their “real life” and “stage life” separate from one another. With constant reminders that these students are here to learn, the directors and play selection committee seemed excited to put on “Spring Awakening.” Burke, a member of the selection committee, was especially ready to participate since he had a role in picking what to put on.

“It’s been a huge learning experience for all of us,” Hughes said. “We’re not being paid. I’m still a kid, just like Melchior. Still trying to figure stuff out. There wasn’t anything we could do but take it one scene at a time, something I suppose we, metaphorically, do in real life, too.”

Pirates Baseball: 2016 Season

pirates stadium
PNC Park with the Steel City skyline in the background
PNC Park
PNC Park, Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
pirates post season hat
2015 Pirates post season hat

Finishing last year with the second best record in all of MLB baseball with 98 wins, the Pittsburgh Pirates are very likely to be a major contender for the 2016-2017 season. The past few years the team has fallen just shy in the postseason. Misfortune has fallen upon the Pirates in the past years. This was the second straight year that the Pirates season has ended with at-home in a wild card matchup. Last year, the Buccos had to face against CY Young Award winner Jake Arrieta who pitched a five-hit shutout in a 4-0 Chicago Cubs win, and, the year before, they faced the giants with Madison Bumgarner, who pitched a four hit shutout.

This year, there have been some changes made to the roster concerning the bullpen as well as position players. There were two major position player changes, one of which was first baseman Pedro Alvarez, who was given to the Baltimore Orioles. Alvarez led the team in homers but had a consistent low batting average and struck a lot. The second change is at second base. Neil Walker was traded to the New York Mets for pitcher Jon Niese. Walker hit .269 with 16 homers and 71 RBIs. To fill this empty spot, the Pirates could put in either Josh Harrison or Jung-Ho Kang.

Kang who turned out to be a key player in both the defensive and offensive efforts of the Pirates, batting .287 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs, suffered a major knee injury and a broken leg in September of last year. This was a result of Cubs Chris Coghlan sliding to break up a double play. He is expected to come back mid-May.

When it comes to the outfield, the Pirates have one of the best, if not the best outfield in all of MLB. MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen in center, the speedy Gregory Polanco in right, and Starling Marte in left, this combination of baseball sense and speed leave very little gaps for major league hitters.

Focusing on the pitching staff for the Pirates in the 2016-2017 season will be very interesting. After last year’s season combined ERA of 3.2, which was second in the MLB, and a bullpen going 31-16 with a 2.67 ERA, the pitching rotation has been proven to work.

The two aces that will have to pull a lot of the weight this year will be Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole who finished last year 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and lefty Francisco Liriano (12-7, 3.38). There were several changes to the pitching staff, so the Pirates are relying on these pitchers to stay healthy. As for closers, the Pirates have one of the best in the MLB. Mark Melancon had 51 saves last year.

Predictions for this year, having already started the season 7-6, there is confidence in another successful year. There still is the possibility that mid-season there will be pitching troubles. Even with Kang likely to come back shortly to add to the offense, the Pirates are relying on too few starting pitchers. It would be nice for a young ace to enter the program. Who knows, there is a possibility that they might call up Tyler Glasnow from the minors to bolster the starting rotation.

Baseball analyzers project the Pittsburgh Pirates to go 84-78 on the season, finishing second behind the Cubs.

BATMAN =V= SUPERMAN: not the battle of the century we hoped for

Bman v sman

The mediocre attempt at recreating the legendary DC comic book battle between Batman and Superman was disappointing at best in the recent film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Spoiler Alert. This review will give away small parts of the movie.

The opening scene showing the death of Bruce’s parents was redundant and otherwise pointless, as by now everyone should know the story from multiple Batman reboots. The following scene of Bruce’s perspective on Superman’s death-match with General Zod, however, was tasteful and a successful connector to the previous Man of Steel film.

The film was unoriginal and seemed to be trying too hard to match Marvel’s Avengers. The scene when Superman takes Doomsday into space and the military fires a nuclear warhead is alarmingly similar to the Avengers’ Ironman guiding a nuke into space through a portal to deliver to the alien race on the other side. Superman, like Ironman, takes a hit from the bomb, both risk their lives, and both live to tell the tale.

When the plotline wasn’t confusing, it was horribly predictable. It felt rushed and didn’t always tie together well, lacking a strong sense of flow. There was too much crammed into one movie to really savor and enjoy. For example, Lex Luthor made his first appearance, as did Wonder Woman and Doomsday? Talk about desperate to skip around. Director Zack Snyder may have tried too hard on this film to kick-start the Justice League series and in doing so, ruined the famed title of the potentially epic battle of “Batman versus Superman.”

Batman also seemed to lack solid motivation to kill Superman besides trying to drive him out of his world. The message from the Flash and the several dreams Bruce had were unclear and messed with the already shaky plotline. The showings of the future Justice League members were also too matter of fact and awkwardly placed.

If the film was anything, it was surely entertaining and well-shot. The fight scenes and action still fulfilled the superhero nostalgia inside my childish heart, however, the most exciting action takes place in the much-too-short fight scene between our caped crusaders; long anticipated, short-lived and a terribly cliché resolution connecting Clark’s and Bruce’s mothers to reach a soap-operatic truce.

At times, it was difficult to tell whether this was meant to be a Superman movie, Batman movie, or the actual intended title of Batman and Superman. The film could have been better if Superman’s character wasn’t so non-heroic and arrogant. Viewing this film as a Superman movie, the attention was rightfully placed more on Superman and the question to the necessity and right of his heroics, but this placed Batman in the proverbial shadows of the plot. At times Batman seemed to be a supporting role as opposed to a lead.

While the title was enticing and the action was engaging, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice left viewers with a sour taste in the mouth. If the plotline had been structured better and cheesiness and clichés avoided, this could have been the epic film it was anticipated to be.