Game of Emmys

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” knows about high-stakes competitions, even when the prize isn’t a seat on the massive Iron Throne. The show earned 23 Emmy nominations for the 2016 award ceremony, missing last year’s number by just one. “Thrones” could still break it’s own record of most Emmy wins for a series in a single year. The number to beat? Twelve.

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This year also brings added significance to the race. “Game of Thrones” is currently tied with “West Wing” and “Hill Street Blues” for the most wins for a drama over the course of the show’s run. “Thrones” is sure to pass that number after this year’s ceremony.

Both Kit Harrington and Maisie Williams earned their first nominations in the Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress categories for their portrayals of Jon Snow and Arya Stark, respectively.

With an all-star cast and episodes like “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Door” nominated, there’s no doubt “Game of Thrones” will win big. But who will take home a golden statuette? You’ll have to tune in to find out. Jimmy Kimmel will host the 68th Emmy Awards Show on September 18th from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on ABC.

 

Dear Paul Ryan

On June 8 at 5:30am, I sent a letter to Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, to express my disappointment at his continued support of Donald Trump, even after his acknowledgement that the presumptive Republican nominee made “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

The full letter is below.

Dear Speaker Ryan:

I don’t understand how you can classify Donald Trump’s attack on the Mexican heritage of a federal judge as “the textbook definition of a racist comment” and then continue to support him as your party’s nominee. I understand that you’re under a lot of pressure to unify your party, but this is not the way to do it. By continuing to support Trump, you automatically condone his behavior, despite your attempt to disavow what he said. You are asking the Republican Party to unite behind a racist nominee. Any policies that you may try to put forward under his leadership would be overshadowed by his hatred and incompetence.

Speaker Ryan, you are not the leader of my party, but you are a leader in my government. This isn’t about Democrats vs. Republicans anymore. This is about the future of the UNITED States of America, and Donald Trump has no part in deciding that future. I think you know that, too.

As an American, I urge you to revoke your endorsement of Donald Trump. Prove to the American people that the Republican Party is not complacent to his racist comments. Find a different option, a true Republican option, because Trump puts you to shame.

Sincerely,

Jordan Bierbower, 21, (D) California

I Just Graduated! Now What?

After a week of procrastination and all-nighters to finish up our final semester of college, my peers and I attended our commencement ceremony, walked across stage to receive an empty diploma cover, and flipped our tassels to the side. (Was it left to right? Or right to left? I still don’t know if I did it right.)

We hugged our families and friends, thanked our favorite professors and mentors, and probably didn’t take enough pictures. We went our separate ways too fast, rushing to graduation dinners and parties.

We returned to school the next day to pack up the rest of our apartments, and drove off campus for the last time.

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Book-To-Film Friday: “Allegiant” diverges from novel…

…and not in a good way.

Allegiant, the third film in the Divergent series based on the trilogy by Veronica Roth, and part one of a two-part adaption, hit theaters for an early release last night (Thursday). The following review is spoiler-free.

Like many Divergent book series fans, I was not happy with the way things played out in the Allegiant novel’s storyline. I came into the theater hopeful that some productive changes were made in the plot, but it fell short of admittedly low expectations.

As far as character, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Tobias (Theo James) fall flat. Their chemistry is better than it was in the first two films, but both Shailene and Theo seem disengaged. As Tris herself becomes more significant in relation to the rest of the world, her relatable qualities dwindle. Tobias’ character improves from previous films, as he reacts to certain revelations and opens up emotionally, but his stoic nature adversely affects his performance. Most supporting characters are easily forgettable, or poorly introduced, and sustain little emotional connection to the audience. The exception is Peter, played by Miles Teller, which is a testament to Miles’ acting ability and Peter’s dynamic character.

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What the film lacks in character development, it doesn’t make up in plot. Blatant exposition overshadows the shock-value of the Bureau, and “hidden” agendas can be seen from a mile away. With a 121 minute runtime, it should have paced well, but it drags on in certain areas.

While strong SFX and VFX help the film as a whole, the visual effects were sometimes laughable. I had to hold back a few giggles as Tris and Friends were surrounded by bubbles a la Glinda the Good Witch and carried off to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. It came across as childish, rather than futuristic.

And for all you fans of the books: beware, yet again, that Uriah is pushed-not just to the sidelines-but to the nosebleed seats at the back of the stadium. He can be seen as Johanna’s (Octavia Spencer) right-hand man in a few shots, but for a fan-favorite character so integral to the novels, it’s disappointing to see such minor involvement of his role. At the same time, Matthew, who is described in the books as Asian, is played by Bill Skarsgård, who looks like a young German during World War II.

Bill Skarsgard as Matthew in ‘Allegiant’

The YA genre has been criticized for it’s lack of people of color, but even when characters exist in the books, they are glossed over, or whitewashed, in the film adaptions. Tobias’ mother Evelyn (Naomi Watts), is explicitly a person of color in the books, but with Naomi Watts’ portrayal, that is lost along with Tobias’ identity as mixed race.

Naomi Watts as Evelyn in ‘Allegiant.’ Book’s description of Evelyn: “curly black hair, olive skin, and stern, angular features.”

Although recasting Evelyn would be confusing at this point, Uriah should have gotten the screen time he deserved. In the book, he escapes with Tris over the city wall, and becomes somewhat of a love interest for Christina. This change wouldn’t have dramatically changed the existing movie plot, but it would have given justice to Uriah’s character when he’s been so poorly represented in the films.

Allegiant, like many recent YA adaptions since Potter, is split into two films. Instead of a “Part 1” and “Part 2,” the people with the corner offices decided to name the fourth film Ascendant. This has caused some confusion with casual movie-goers, as they expected Allegiant to be the final installment. As the audience walked out of the theater, distressed fans could be heard questioning the ending of what they thought was the last film in the Divergent franchise. Ascendant is set for release on June 9, 2017, from Insurgent and Allegiant director Robert Schwentke.

Adapting other ‘Potter’ spinoffs

Last Thursday, J.K. Rowling confirmed via Twitter that the Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, will be a trilogy.

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If a somewhat inconsequential Care of Magical Creatures textbook can become a movie, what other books in the Potter universe could be adapted into film?

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(The following are all real titles from the Wizarding World.)

Quidditch Through the Ages

Sports Drama

Reminiscent of Remember the Titans, Rudy, and Field of Dreams, Quidditch Through the Ages is a heart-wrenching sports drama. With action-packed scenes on the Quidditch pitch and inspiring team captain speeches, a film centered on the underdog team who played in the world’s longest Quidditch match, which lasted a staggering 3 months, gives moviegoers something to root for.

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A History of Magic

Period Piece

An epic saga covering witch hunts, goblin rebellions and giant wars through the end of the 19th century. The film features notable figures throughout magical history, including Uric the Oddball, who was famous for wearing a jellyfish as a hat and was briefly mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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Magick Moste Evile

Horror

From the deepest, darkest depths of the Restricted Section, comes a horror film unlike any other. Godelot, the author of Magick Moste Evile, was thought to have written the book that advanced the Dark Arts with the help of the Elder wand. Magick Moste Evile delves into Godelot’s “research” during the Middle Ages, explores his discovery of Horcruxes and why he chose not to describe them in detail in the published version of his work.

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Broken Balls: When Fortunes Turn Foul

Comedy

Briefly mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban, this Flourish and Blotts Divination book would work best as a comedy. An “unlucky in love” wizard seeks the advice of a Divination expert to provide some guidance in his romantic escapades. Just when everything he was told to do falls apart, the rest of his life falls into place.

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The Hairy Heart: A Guide to Wizards Who Won’t Commit

Rom-Com

He’s Just Not That Into You for the modern witch.

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And my personal favorite…

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Fairy-tale

A collection of five fairy-tales, with the potential to turn into a five-part series, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, include the well-known Tale of the Three Brothers, as well as, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump, and, of course, the Grimm-like and gruesome Warlock’s Hairy Heart.

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What other Potter spinoffs would you like to see move from page to screen?

All Aboard the Internship

Make connections to land your dream internship.

Simply uttering the word “networking” can strike fear in the hearts of most undergraduates. The word brings about thoughts of sweaty handshakes, forced conversation, and pantsuits (they may work for Hillary, but you’re not ready for that just yet).

But networking doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, you may be doing it already without realizing it. Any connections that you make in college can help you once it comes time to search for an internship.

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Summer Reading List | #JordansReadingChallenge

Summer is here! Without the demands of the school year, I decided to do a summer reading challenge. 
I’ve been meaning to read many of these books for a while and I finally have free-time to go through them all. Some of the books are past or upcoming book-to-film adaptations, so I mixed in a few classics to change it up. 
Let me know in the comments which books you’re reading over the summer! If you’d like to read along with me, I’ll be checking #JordansReadingChallenge periodically on Instagram and Twitter to follow up with everyone. Read along with my list, or create your own with books you’ve put off reading for too long. Post a picture of you with your book, or tweet your favorite quote!
Happy reading! 

Book-To-Film Friday | Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

It’s Book-to-Film Friday! Don’t know what that is? Every Friday, I will be looking at upcoming book-to-film adaptations.

 

This week’s adaptation is “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” starring Dylan O’Brien.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is:

Doesn’t it look amazing?

WARNING ***SPOILERS AHEAD***

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