Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alice in Chains new album excites fans

90’s Seattle grunge band Alice in Chains is releasing it’s first album since the 2009 album “Black Gives Way to Blue.” The band took the four-year hiatus because guitarist Jerry Cantrell had surgery on his shoulder. Recently the band announced that they will be releasing their all new album, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,” May 28.
     Alice in Chains released their first studio album in 1990 called “Facelift” with their original lead singer Layne Staley. This album is most known for their popular songs like “Man in the Box” and “We Die Young.” In 1992 the band released their first EP called “Sap” with songs such as “Brother” and “Got Me Wrong.” The same year AIC released their second studio album “Dirt.” This album is the most popular of all their albums. “Dirt” reached number 6 on the Billboard top 200 with songs popular songs like “Rooster,” “Would?,” and “Down in a Hole.” Two years later in 1994 the band released their second EP “Jar of Flies.” This was the first EP to ever reach number 1 on the Billboard top 200 and is known for slower songs such as “Nutshell” and “Don’t Follow.” The next year Alice in Chains released their final studio album with their lead singer Layne Staley, the self-titled album “Alice in Chains.” This is a darker, more sorrowful album with songs like “Heaven Beside You,” “Over Now,” “Grind,” and “Again.”
     April 5, 2002, Layne Thomas Staley was found dead from an overdose. He was 34. Staley’s death was very hard on the band members, so they went on hiatus until 2009 when they released their first studio album in seven years called “Black Gives Way to Blue.” That album was in commemoration of Layne.
     Now they are back with their brand new album, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,” which will be released Tuesday, May 28. Both fans and critics are looking forward to the album’s release. Soon after the release of the album, the band will be going on tour. Although not all of the dates have been released, hardcore AIC fans are patiently awaiting them to be announced. The first single off the album called “Hollow” was released online December 18, 2012 and the second single, “Stone,” was released March 26 of this year. Preorders are available on Alice in Chains’ website and iTunes.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kevin Ware comes close to ending his career

By: Emily Goode
   Imagine being a great college basketball player. You have everything to gain, and in a moment when you are expecting triumph, you fail. This is just a small bit of Kevin Ware’s story. After playing for the Louisville Cardinals for a year and a half, and having minimal injuries, Ware basically snapped his leg in two. This crazy, tragic event took place April 1 against the Duke University Blue Devils.
   Ware is a respected player of his team. He plays as a starter, which led him to his horrific injury. With 6:33 left in the first half, he landed awkwardly while trying to block Duke’s guard, Tyler Thorton. This caused him to break his lower right leg.
   The fans in the stands gasped, and some even cried. Ware’s fellow players grimaced and turned their heads from the scene. It took about 10 minutes to clear him from the floor. Afterwards, the rest of the game went up for the Cardinals. They made their comeback, when they had been losing, to win the final score. The victorious game is now known as the greatest game in NCAA, as well as the break was known as the most gruesome in basketball history.
   Over the next couple of days, Ware received numerous “get well” cards from fans and loved ones. He also received tweets from other major basketball players like Kobe Bryant and a condolence tweet from NFL player Joe Theismann.
   “My heart goes out to Kevin Ware,” tweeted Theismann.
   Although the injury was unfortunate and had a terrible timing, Ware’s athletic director says there are no long term effects. People say everything happens for a reason. It’s a possibility that the reason for his injury was to motivate his players to win the game. Without Ware’s injury to encourage them to win, they might have lost.


'Injustice' soars above competition

By:  Faythe Maston
   Everybody wants to be the hero, right? Well, in NetherRealm’s newest video game, you can. As your favorite DC Comics characters you go toe-to-toe with fellow heroes and villains. Welcome to “Injustice:  Gods Among Us,” the newest love letter for comic book and brawler fans everywhere. Injustice”, rated T, was released on April 16 for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and the Wii U. A separate version of the game was released for iOS April 3.
   The game opens with a shot of the destroyed Daily Planet building and the TV headline “Metropolis Destroyed, Millions Dead.” The shot then turns to Gotham City, where Batman is interrogating the Joker about where he got the nuke used on Metropolis, when a furious Superman arrives and begins to attack the Joker. Through his next couple of lines, it is revealed that Joker drugged Superman, who in the haze killed his wife, Lois, and his unborn child. Joker continues to taunt Superman asking him if he’ll “ever love again?”, to which Superman pins Joker to the wall. The screen fades to black as Superman kills Joker, by seemingly ripping his heart out. From here on, the characters begin to split between Superman’s Regime, aiming to preserve order through violence, brutality, and fear, and Batman’s Insurgency, who decides to fight back against Superman’s near tyrannical rule. As Batman’s army discovers a gateway to an alternate reality where Joker’s plan failed, they decide to use it to help them bring down Superman.
  The fights for “Injustice” take place on a two-dimensional plane, but the environments are modeled in three-dimensions with environmental hazards that can be used in combat. Fights consist of one round, but each player has two health bars and a “super meter” that allows special attacks and can be wagered in events known as Clashes to break or interrupt combos. The characters playable include famous characters such as Superman, Batman, and Joker, while also including characters like Shazam, Raven, and Solomon Grundy. The combat of Injustice divides the playable roster into two sections: “power characters”, who use raw strength and abilities to win, and “gadget characters”, who use weapons, items, and other abilities to win. For example, a “gadget character” could cause a car to explode, while a “power character” could pick up the same car and smash their opponent with it. The controls buttons will be used to activate light, medium, and heavy attacks, along with a “character trait” button that causes a unique ability to activate. Lastly, by connecting a heavy attack at the end of the stage, players will be sent to another area of the arena with new traps and tricks.
     Numerous pre-order bonuses and downloadable content were released when the game hit shelves. These DLC packs include things such as alternate outfits, extra missions, and a “zombie mode.” A season pass is also being offered that will allow discount prices on up-and-coming DLC, including new characters, like Lobo. So far, “Injustice” has been awarded high praise at the time of its release. Many reviews cite the excellent combat as being similar to the famous “Mortal Kombat” series. However, reviews are debatable on the perfection of the Clash System and the storyline’s believability.  
   “Injustice” was announced on May 31, 2012. However, it did not gain a following until a demo for the game was showed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which was held June 5-7. So far the game promises to push the T rating with crazy, comic-book-style action sequences. Either way, the game is sure to become popular as we see our favorite superheroes face-off. With the high amount of buzz that the game has generated, Injustice has a high standard to fill.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Louisville is crowned NCAA champs

By:  Baylee VanKirk

   The Louisville Cardinals defeated the Michigan Wolverines 82-76 on April 8 in Atlanta Georgia.  Luke Hancock was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament with 22 points and going 5-5 in three-point-land in 30 minutes of action.  The only shot he missed was a mid-range jumper in the second half. He also shot 7-10 at the free throw line.  For Michigan the National Player of the year, Trey Burke, scored 24 points in the game shooting 7-11 from the field and grabbing 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

   This was a big day for the Louisville coach, Rick Pitino.  He got inducted to the Hall of Fame; his son got the head coaching job at Minnesota University; and he won his second national title.  (His first was with Kentucky in 1996)  This is the third championship for the Louisville basketball program but the first since 1986.  From the Michigan sidelines this was Coach John Belien’s first appearance in the National Championship in five years at his current job.  This was Michigan’s first appearance, as a school, to reach the finals since the “Fab Five” in 1989. 

Controversy in the third dimension

3-D isn’t a new invention when it comes to the way we watch movies. In fact, it first became popular in 1950’s and has consistently varied in popularity over the last few decades. In this age, 3-D seems to be as popular as it was in the 80’s when virtually every movie sequel had to be in the third dimension or else it would be shunned from the average movie viewers who wanted to see “shark attacks they could almost feel” in “Jaws 3-D” and the “feeling of having a machete shoved in front of their face” in “Friday the 13th: Part 3.” The fad tapered off in the 90’s, but has since made a comeback due to popular 3-D films like “Avatar.” In the last few years, there has been much praise and condemnation of the use of 3-D in popular movies. Many have described it as merely a gimmick while others see it as a way to enhance their entertainment experience with increased depth perception and enjoyment.

3-D is something that people are interested in right now and studios are willing to give it to us…but is 3-D actually worth it? In some instances, yes. In others, no. Typically the movies that look the best when viewed in the third dimension are those that were shot with 3-D cameras. But even if a movie was shot in a traditional format such as digital or on film (a sad rarity these days), it can still easily be post-converted to 3-D for a couple million dollars (pocket change to a movie studio). However, movies converted to 3-D in post-production tend to lack the depth perception presented in those shot in the format and can instead leave the viewer wishing they had just watched it in 2-D like a sad peasant (even though that’s probably the better idea). Because of this, 3-D has been targeted by film critics such as the late Roger Ebert who criticized 3-D for its dim look and declared 2-D to be the essential film format, something many others on his level agree with.

In recent years essentially all major blockbusters and even a few lesser-known movies have been released in the controversial format. Anything from “The Darkest Hour” (a critical and box office failure) to “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (a critical and box office success) have taken advantage of the format in the last two years. So, naturally, movie studios have thought of ways to exploit the usage of the third dimension while spending as little money as possible. This is when rereleasing “classics” (any movie that made a ton of money during its initial release) to make millions off of them once again takes place. Possibly the most successful of the 3-D rereleases would be “Titanic” which added nearly $350 million to its currently second place international gross of over $2 billion. Other movies that were successful during their initial release and benefited by a conversion to 3-D have been the recent “Jurassic Park,” “The Lion King,” “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

But honestly, are these post-converted classics really taking advantage of the format or the cash in your wallet? It seems to depend on the film. Some look great such as “Titanic,” which received favorable remarks about its usage of 3-D despite being post-converted to the format. On the other hand, movies including “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Phantom Menace” were not well-received. This isn’t because they’re bad films (even though “The Phantom Menace” is), but more or less because their 3-D doesn’t look good and, if the 3-D doesn’t look good, what’s the point? But really, is there a point for these rereleases at all? There may be for the die-hard fans, but for the average movie viewer it would be much more beneficial and probably cheaper to simply buy the DVD or Blu-Ray and watch in the comfort of their own home.

Whether any of us like it or not, 3-D is going to be around for at least a couple more years. If it tapers out again like it has in the past, we’ll enjoy/be bored through a decade or so of 3-Dless movies before something revolutionary happens and everyone loves it again. Right now it’s simply best to deal with/enjoy 3-D while it’s around and anxiously wait for/dread the day movie studios decide to stop using it for a while. It won’t be the end of the world and it will assuredly be back again in the future. And if you really, really do hate it, just remember that in most cases there’s a 2-D version waiting patiently for you and others on the DVD rack at Walmart. 

Prom 2013: Big City Bright Lights

Most Importantly
Prom Queen and King Carlie Wolfe and Andy Mellert
 lead their fellow students in a dance.