February 11, 2010 Volume CXXVII Issue 2

Short but sweet

By MOLLY SHOULTA
Staff Writer

I, for one, had never heard of Eric Hutchinson until about three weeks ago when some friends of mine at UK invited me to his concert. Since the proceeds would benefit cancer research, I decided to go along with three other girls. For someone who had already graced the stages of Leno and Conan’s late night shows and opened for Kelly Clarkson, the $15 for the ticket proved to be a deal for an amazing show.

Eric Hutchinson absolutely lit up the stage. He was funny, quick-witted, and truly a great live performer. Similar in style to Jason Mraz with a little mix in of Jack Johnson, he used both guitar and piano to serenade the room last Thursday night. He presented his top hits “Oh,” “Food Chain,” and “Ok, It’s Alright With Me” from his first album “Sounds Like This.” The most popular of his tracks, “Rock & Roll,” ended the concert on a dancing note. The crowd was interactive and responsive to his humor and attitude throughout the show.

To show off some talent, towards the middle of the performance, he threw together an improv song that appealed to the UK fans in the room. His band, consisting of a bassist, a drummer and one musician who switched between keyboard and bass, followed the whole way. The loudest laugh came after what Hutchinson deemed the audience’s “one second clap solo” in the middle of a song. The concert only lasted about an hour and a half, but was still packed with amazing talent and vocals. He presented a few new songs that will be on his future albums. His jazzy but acoustic style kept the audience hooked and calling for an encore. The entire hour and a half was well worth the $15 ticket.


Georgetown graduate makes “The Very Worst Thing”

“The Very Worst Thing,” a documentary film about the worst school bus crash in U.S. history, will make its central Kentucky premiere at the Kentucky Theatre in Lexington, Ky. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010. The film will be played at 8 p.m. and will be followed immediately afterward by a ‘question and answer’ session with the filmmakers and the cast. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the Kentucky Theatre at 859/231-7924 or in person at the theatre, located at 214 E. Main St. in Lexington.

THE TRAGEDY: On the morning of Feb. 28, 1958, a school bus carrying 48 elementary and high school students on U.S. Highway 23 in Floyd County, Ky. plunged into the swollen waters of the Big Sandy River. Twenty-six children and their driver perished that morning, making it the worst school bus accident in U.S. history. The tragedy not only shook the small, eastern Kentucky community, but also the entire nation. The cause of the wreck remains a mystery even to this day. Additional information about the tragedy can be found at http://www.thekapt.com and http://www.floydcountytimes.com.

THE FILM: Remix Films revisits the tragedy with their documentary film “The Very Worst Thing,” which was shot in 2009 throughout Kentucky. Several individuals who were personally affected by the tragedy are interviewed, including:

* Martha Burchett (Marsh), who was one of the 22 students who survived the accident, escaped the sinking bus and was rescued to shore.

* John Crum, a student who was supposed to board the bus that morning but at the last minute decided to stay home. He watched as the bus plummeted down the embankment and into the river.

* Azie Meade, whose 8-year old brother Jimmy Meade perished in the accident.

* James Chapman (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ret.), who first spotted the bus after it had been missing for two days in the river.

“The Very Worst Thing” also includes several original photographs taken during the recovery effort, many of which have been unseen by the general public. Also included is a rare radio broadcast from the rescue scene, recorded just hours after the accident. “The Very Worst Thing” also features an original instrumental score by musician John Hoerr, as well as the 1958 Stanley Brothers song “No School Bus in Heaven,” which was recorded to help the families and community grieve after the tragedy. Also featured in the film is the original song “Strength to Go On,” written and recorded by filmmaker Michael Crisp specifically for this documentary.

The film is set to appear at film festivals throughout the country and additional screening dates will be announced in the coming weeks. For additional information about the film, visit http://www.theveryworstthing.com. The film is not yet rated and has a run time of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

ABOUT REMIX FILMS: Remix Films is an independent film company that consists of filmmakers Michael Crisp (of Georgetown, Ky.), Andrew Moore (of Cincinnati, Ohio), and Scott McBrayer (of Columbus, Ohio). Prior to the creation of their film company, Crisp, Mooreand McBrayer performed for several years as mobile disc jockeys.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Remix Films
Michael Crisp
101 Boston Square
Georgetown, KY 40324
(859) 509-0494
theveryworstthing@gmail.com

Press Release

Student reviews Mass Effect 2

“An unforgettable, galactic romp…”
By AUSTIN CONWAY
Staff Writer

Right off the bat there are two things that should be noted about the successor to BioWare’s 2007 critically acclaimed hit Mass Effect; number one being that it is the first “inhouse” developed follow-up to their own game. Number two—and more important—it is one of those rare situations where a sequel turned out to be superior to the original. While the first Mass Effect suffered from glitches, bugs, and to some degree a limited audience due to its genre, its sequel rises above all the preestablished handicaps and hindrances (save a few characters that walk through walls), and gives us a refreshing look at the universe established three years prior that anyone can enjoy.

It is the story of Mass Effect 2 that stands out as its shining feature, but then again, we have come to expect nothing less than perfection from the masters at BioWare when it comes to crafting a narrative that is both personal and morally ambitious. While the game itself is the second chapter of a planned trilogy, it can very easily stand on its own, though the ability to import the decisions and character from the first Mass Effect make a very persuasive argument to go back and play the first part through, but don’t worry if you lack the time or patience to go back and play the first game, as the game offers a default background story for you.

Picking up two years after the events of the first game, Mass Effect 2 once again puts you in the shoes of Human Alliance hero and Council Spectre, Commander Shepard. It is an understatement to simply state that the game begins with a bang, but I will let you explore that yourself for the sake of not spoiling anything and removing the “Oh wow” factor. The majority of the game is spent with Commander Shepard, now working for the human organization known as Cerberus, recruiting members to embark on a “suicide mission” to stop a race of aliens known as the Collectors, who have been rounding up whole human colonies for mysterious purposes. The plot will lead you through a few twists and turns, revelations, and even bring forth some unanswered questions at the end (but unanswered in a good way, I promise).

Setting aside the story aspect, let’s delve into what makes the game more of an interactive experience. The combat has been adjusted to offer more of a third-person-shooter vibe in the sequel; overheating weapons with unlimited ammunition has been traded in for weapons that feed off universal clips. The act of taking cover while in combat has also received a new-found importance, as this gives your character the ability to recharge his shields, replacing the need for any sort of medical substance. These changes make the combat much more action-oriented, as what you would see in a typical thirdperson-shooter, and less of something tactical. While some “hardcore” gamers might feel the game suffers from its decline in RPG (Role Playing Game) components, they need not fret due to the fact that a leveling option still remains, although severely condensed compared to what was offered in the original Mass Effect. The few remaining RPG elements left in the game seem to center mainly on combat, leaving things like Paragon and Renegade responses up to your actions, not your stats.

While many features have been altered and added, it is also important to note that some have been removed and almost completely revamped. In an attempt to clean up the mess that was the inventory system from the first game, Mass Effect 2 offers only a handful of weapons and armor, cutting back on the need to either sell your extra equipment or convert it to Omni-Gel (which, thankfully, the game no longer incorporates) to find room to keep the stuff you really want or need. The ability of hacking something has also been remodeled into more of a mini-game and less of a “push this button on your controller when it lights up” ordeal. While this approach is certainly much more fun than the previous incarnation, it does get tiring after the first hundred times.

Gone also is the sense of exploration the first game offered, meaning no more hours spent in the land vehicle Mako, cruising mountainous terrain (you would think that we would have something to either level the mountains or fly over them in the year 2183). Even though the Mako setup of the first Mass Effect offered some of the blandest missions and scenarios I have seen in a game this generation, there is certainly a loss of exploring the galactic frontier that this dead feature offered. The Mako’s replacement feature, a mini-game about planet resource scanning, suffers from the same failures of its “hacking” cousin, fun at first but quick to become tedious and boring after the first fifty times doing it.

Mass Effect 2 is more than just a sequel; it is an evolution in a series. With over 40 hours of optional game play and a high replay value (especially if you import the saved files from the first game), it is extremely fair to say this game won’t leave you wanting, which is good because Bioware will be offering substantial amounts of DLC (downloadable content) in the future. To call it just a game is a disservice due to the fact that it offers fast and visceral game play, a dramatic story with evolving characters and a sense of immersion that very few mediums offer. Despite a few technical flaws and yawn-inducing mini-games, this game is not to be missed if you own a 360 or PC. If Mass Effect 2 is an example of how things are shaping up in 2010, it is no wonder why this might be the greatest year for gaming yet.

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