March 4, 2010 Volume CXXVII Issue 5

“Crash” challenges students to consider racial tensions at Georgetown

Contributing Writer

“I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” It’s one of the most compelling lines of the movie “Crash.” Detective Graham (played by Don Cheadle) states the need for people to crash into one another to acknowledge and perhaps correct racial tensions beneath the surface. A group of Georgetown College students viewed the 2004 film as part of a “Dinner and a Movie” held last Thursday. Students were treated to a buffet-style meal before of the movie’s showing. Afterwards, the crowd broke off into separate groups to debate the racial and social tensions in the movie with emphasis on how they might influence life at Georgetown. The group then rejoined for a larger discussion on the movie’s impact.

“Crash” is set in Los Angeles and stars Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris and Cheadle. Fraser and Bullock portray a white district attorney and his pampered wife whose car is stolen by two thieves, one of whom is Ludacris. Dillon is a white Los Angeles Police Department officer who has racist tendencies against African Americans. Cheadle is a black detective juggling a sick mother and thieving younger brother. The Georgetown Activities Council (GAC) sponsored the “Dinner and a Movie.”

Junior Triston Mullins, GAC’s Vice President of Education, set up the event. Students in attendance received Nexus/CEP credit towards graduation. Ticha Chikuni, Georgetown’s Area Coordinator for Student Activities, also helped to organize the movie showing. He does not believe racial tensions are a major problem at Georgetown, in part because of the school’s push for diversity. But the movie and discussion were productive in getting students to consider future encounters with racial and social divisions. Chikuni said, “When they get out in the workforce they will be working with people of many different backgrounds.”

Megan Redditt works as a counselor at the Georgetown College Wellness Center and viewed the movie alongside students. Aside from racial situations, Redditt said her group discussed how people from different parts of Kentucky treat each other. “Students from western, central and eastern Kentucky will not treat each other the same because of different economic backgrounds or other reasons,” said Redditt. Chikuni said a reaction survey will be distributed on Thursday or Friday to students who attended the event. He hopes to gather more feedback on how effective the movie was in challenging students to explore deeper issues at Georgetown.

“Fun” is our new hope

Staff Writer

The band Fun is the result of the collaboration of three exceptionally talented musicians coming together to create an album of hope. The hope comes packaged in a complex mixture of influences from folk to 1970s arena rock. With their debut album “Aim and Ignite,” Fun has taken a chance and succeeded beautifully. The front man Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format, is once again helping to record music that is an inventive blend of pop and ingenuity. Along with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff, Ruess has moved away from the forlorn and wistful sound of his former band.

“Aim and Ignite” is a fresh sigh of relief for Ruess; the lyrics are happy and hopeful as they intertwine and jump around complex musical scores. ‘“The Gambler” is one of the best songs from the album as it reminds the world to slow down and enjoy the “time left to be lazy.” Piano, guitar and Ruess’ unique set of vocals blend on the track so that it is nearly impossible not to listen to the song over and over again.

There are much more jubilant songs on the album, however, the most of which is probably “All the Pretty Girls.” With this song, Fun sprints onto ground left untouched since Queen during the 1980s. The harmonies of the chorus and joyful exploration of youthful uncertainty are catchy and perfect for getting one into a good mood. The entire album is passionate and vibrant, full of something inexplicable that reaches that which pop music today simply cannot. The resourcefulness of the band is evident in the talented use of a myriad of instruments from horns to guitar to something similar to an accordion and many others.

Surely “Aim and Ignite” will not be the only album to which Fun treats the world, but until something else is put out this exceptional work will suffice.

“Heavy Rain” of Maturity

Staff Writer

Every now and then, you see a piece of entertainment rise above its station and become so much more than what it was initially intended to be; this very thing can be said about “Heavy Rain.” Coined as an “adventure game,” it is this and so much more, perhaps even the closest thing we have seen in regards to an interactive film in both atmosphere as well as plot. This pure example of interactive entertainment is dark, gritty and unforgettable and most importantly, so much more than a video game.

The story of “Heavy Rain” is perhaps its greatest feature due to its ability to deliver a plot that is both gritty and mature. The narrative is divided up into the personal odysseys of four people, individuals who typically would have nothing in common if it weren’t for the fact that they are all in some way or another involved with the case of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who has killed young boys by drowning them in rain water. Because the game belongs to the “adventure” genre, it is held to some existing standards, including the game play one would expect out of an “adventure” game.

It is this factor that might alienate some and dissuade them from playing “Heavy Rain,” particularly by the combat. There are no combos or anything to that extent, mostly (if not completely) the game’s action is delivered through Quick Time events that require you to hit the button as/when displayed (as made famous by “God of War”). The result are scripted movements by the character on screen, sometimes even requiring you to hold down at least four buttons at a time, feeling more like playing Twister with your fingers than a game. Newcomers to the genre will no doubt be irritated by your lack of “control” of the character, but I assure you the awkwardness will pass over time, or at the very least be something to overlook in order to enjoy the phenomenal story.

Visually, “Heavy Rain” is a real treat to the eyes. The environments seen in the game are both gorgeous and life-like; the cities are appropriately filthy and the night clubs bright and lavish. Graphic-wise the game is extraordinarily impressive, teetering on photo realism at times. While it is a beautiful game, I would not go as far to say that it is leaps and bounds over the best looking games on the market. Technology has advanced significantly since the original tech demo was first revealed in 2006 and the “interactive cut scenes” do seem to use some pre-rendering that doesn’t exactly match up with standard game play.

Taking a page from role playing games, the developers at Quantic Dream seem to have added a decision-making mechanic, making this “adventure game” far less linear than what we typically see in the genre. The choices you can make vary from telling your son to do his homework to deciding whether or not to shoot a suspect who reaches in his coat for something at the last second. Each choice you make will play a role in the grand scheme of things sooner or later, even resulting in the possible death of one or more of your characters, so be careful and choose wisely, because once it happens there is no going back, and there are many tough (and emotionally charged) choices to be made.

Some flaws that hold this game back from perfection deal in the fact that it isn’t the longest adventure game out there, clocking in at only about nine or so hours, but what little time there is is exceptional, being a fair trade of quantity for quality. Another thing I had issues with was the game freezing; at least four times I had to turn the system on and off, hoping that the auto-save had done its job.

Putting these few flaws aside, I can’t say enough good things about “Heavy Rain.” It’s provocative, emotional and enduring, a game you will think about long after its gone and one which all other “adventure games” will be held to the standards of. Unlike most games out there, this one doesn’t need a movie adaptation to follow, it’s already cinematic enough.

Kappa Delta Shamrock Event

Southern Style Dinner with
Silent Auction
Friday, March 26
Faith Baptist Church
5:30-7:30 p.m.
*Tickets will be on sale for $5 each*
*All proceeds benefit Prevent Child Abuse America*


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