movie

Movies You Should Watch in College

April 10, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Reviews, Top 10 Lists

I’m gonna be bold and say that movies are THE best past time in college. Literally, nothing is better than sitting around with your roommates and watching a good movie when you’ve got nothing else to do. There is also nothing better than finding the perfect movie to fit the mood that you’re in at the moment. Here are some movies that ALL college kids should see before they graduate – no exceptions.

Action!

Action!

1. Animal House: This is one of those movies that will NEVER get old. It’s downright hilarious and has a great cast to match. I’m personally a fan of older movies myself, which is why I love this one so much. This is the original funny college movie that all college kids should see!

2. Old School: Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell, need I say more? This is another hilarious movie that will keep you laughing the entire time. The lengths that these men will go to to restore their youth is not only entertaining but also ridiculous! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

3. The Breakfast Club: If you’ve never seen this movie you’re missing out on a great classic. It’s one of those movies that you can watch over and over again and it will still be relevant. It’s also one of those movies that leaves you feeling pretty pleasant, which is always nice. It has some great actors and dialogue that you’ll love!

4. Good Will Hunting: This is such an amazing and inspiring movie. Matt Damon and Robin Williams are so good as always, and it’s a great story. My favorite part of this movie in particular is the bar scene where Matt Damon’s character shuts down this pretentious jerk – it’s one of those moments where you literally get up and root for the protagonist.

5. Crash: This one is kind of random, but I think that it’s a really powerful movie that teaches a lot about life and also makes you think about how you treat others. It’s a really cool concept and there are also a lot of great actors in it. It also has one of those endings where everything suddenly comes together.

6. 12 Years a Slave: I put this in here because I think that it’s really a movie that everyone should watch. It’s definitely a hard movie to watch because of it’s content and the history behind it, but it teaches you more about slavery than any book or class could. It really hits on your emotions and makes you think about your life and how much you have.

7. Dear Zachary: Alright, I had to throw a documentary into this because I love them. This is a documentary on Netflix that will literally leave you speechless. It’s a heartbreaking story that is almost unbelievable to fathom, but it’s true and it’s a beautifully made. You will shed some tears watching this.

8. Bridesmaids: This is a fairly new movie that has some great actors and dialogue in it. This is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, and it has some great scenes that you’ll want to quote. You have to see it.

9. Billy Madison: Who isn’t a fan of Adam Sandler? I have to say that this is one of his best films besides “Big Daddy”. It’s obviously hilarious and will also leave you with so many quotes you’ll be laughing at forever!

10: The Goonies: This is such a classic if you haven’t seen it you’re doing it wrong. It’s such a great story and gives you such nostalgia as you watch it. “Goonies Never Say Die!”

There you have it – my top picks for great flicks for all you college kids. I promise, all of these movies are worth watching! Enjoy!

Fun Activities for the College Student

June 27, 2014 in Campus Life

Typically wherever you’re going to college, there are some great places nearby that offer discounts if you show off your student ID.  No one has much money to spend while they’re in college but there are still ways to have a great time. Here are some things you can do without emptying your wallet:

1. Order in and have a game or movie night. If you split the cost of a pizza with a few other students, it won’t be that much, and use the games or movies that you all already have or that may be provided by the dorm. Just make sure that you don’t order from the same place every time; you’ll quickly get as tired of that as you are of the dining hall. Make sure that everyone pays their fair share so no grudges start because of someone trying to get free food.

2. If you’re looking for something very low budget, organize your friends for a campus-wide scavenger hunt. You can go a step further to actually hide clues throughout the campus (something I know that a few clubs at my school do throughout the year) or simply make it a photo scavenger hunt and have teams bring back photo evidence that they completed the tasks. Set a time limit or see who returns to home base with all of their pictures completed the fastest!

3. Grab some ice cream! The ice cream parlor closest to my college has all different kinds of discount days. On Wednesdays it’s buy one get one free. Every other day we can get 25% off just by showing our school ID. That makes a big difference when I don’t want to spend a lot! This would be a great idea especially when the weather’s warmer and you can choose to sit outside to enjoy your treat.

4. Participate in school trips. The College of New Jersey, which I attend, is constantly giving bus trips to different cities like Boston and Baltimore. Some of these are completely free with a small deposit that it returned on the day of the trip! Some are so highly discounted that it’d be silly not to take advantage of them. While you may think that these trips don’t sound appealing because they’re run by the school, usually once you arrive you are given the freedom to wander and do as you please. You’ll get a new experience plus get off campus for a day or two. You don’t even need to worry about driving! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your little trip.

5. If all else fails, look up your local movie theater. Again this is probably one of those places where you’re sure to get some kind of discount. If not, there may be a certain day of the week or time of the day when they offer tickets at lower prices. Because everyone’s schedule is different now that you’re in college, you don’t need to limit your activities to the weekend. Treat yourself if you’ve had a long day or finally got through that test you’ve been dreading all week.

Is there a theater near your college?

Is there a theater near your college?

Movie Night Favorites

June 27, 2014 in Alive Campus, Reviews, Videos

Watching movies is the best way to spend some quality time with your family and friends sometimes by yourself to relax and have some “me time”. While there are movies coming out in theaters every week, we as college students, forget about great movies that are already out and ready to watch. Here are some movies college students should watch that I highly recommend:

Stand by Me: Although some people have already watch it or heard of it, there are a lot of people who have not. I recently watched this movie for the first time and it was an amazing movie about friendship. I highly recommend other college students to watch this movie even if you have already watch it when you were little because the message about what an friendship is and the struggle family problems can have on a child will make you cry and laugh. Even the soundtrack of the movie will make dance and sing along.

Laughing and Crying (Best Movie Nigh Ever!)

Laughing and Crying (Best Movie Nigh Ever!)

12 Years a Slave: Made in 2013, this movie was the most talked about when it came out. Although I have not watch this movie yet, I highly recommend other college students to watch it, I heard it is incredible. Warning: I heard it may contain graphic scenes such as lynching. I always wanted to watch this movie, but never had the time to watch it. This is a movie that must be watch because it will give you an insight on how horrible life as a slave was and the fear slaves had of being lynched or killed.

Lolita: Based on the novel with the same title by Vladimir Nabokov. I highly recommend reading the novel and then watching the movie. It is about a middle age man who is obsessed with a teenage girl. This movie might not be for everyone, but everyone should give it a try. I know the plot may sound weird, but it is a great movie.

Accepted: I love comedy, so I highly recommend this movie and it is about college life. If you want to watch a movie about students who did not get into any college they applied to and decided to create their own college/own classes then watch Accepted. As college student, we can relate to the fear of not being accepted into any college and waiting for acceptance letters.

Paranormal Activity: If you love horror and comedy than this movie is a must watch. My friends and I love to watch what people may consider “scary movies”, but we always laugh and do not find it scary at all. This movie and the sequels are funny to watch (at least to me), but if you get scared easily and want to watch a scary movie than give this movie a chance.

Instructions Not Included: Directed by one of my favorite Mexican comedian/actor, Eugenio Derbez, this movie will make you laugh and cry. Personally, I feel like those who watch this movie will relate to the characters and plot because it will bring up questions about parenthood, love and single parents. 

Top 5 Movies for the College Student

June 20, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

When you are looking for the perfect movie for your movie night, it can be a tough decision. Sometimes there are recent movies playing on campus; sometimes you’ll drive to the theater. And sometimes you will need to sort through what movies everyone has brought to school (or find someone with a Netflix account). Here are my top recommendations for college studentswhen you don’t know what to watch!

1. Accepted. Maybe you forgot that this movie existed or that you own this, somewhere in the back of all of your DVDs; maybe it’s a favorite you like to pull out every so often. I think that this is a good movie to watch, especially right after you’re accepted to college. Watch these students pool together and create a fake university. It’s funny even several years after the movie was still made and afterwards you’ll probably find yourself talking with all of your college friends about all of the crazy things that have happened at your school and to you guys, after you see the antics in the movie.

2. Anything that’s based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. This one’s more for the women, as well as those looking for a good romance or something to watch with a significant other. Some of these are actually pretty well-done and interesting. Depending on which actors you prefer to watch and what kind of story you want to follow, you have so many options to choose from.  Go for The Notebook, which is always a favorite, or maybe put on whatever is the most recent release.

3. The Hunger Games. With so many YA books being made into movies, this is one of the best so far. Whether you’ve all read the books or you just sit back and enjoy the films, this is a great action-packed selection. Have a marathon and show the sequel, Catching Fire. Then go out to see the midnight premiere of Mockingjay when part one hits theaters this November. Hopefully the first two movies can keep you busy until that release date!

4. 21 Jump Street. Sometimes you need a good comedy and the sequel to this is going to be set in a college, so why not watch the first to prepare for it? This is one of those movies that’ll appeal to a larger amount of your friends and it’ll have a good chance of making everyone happy. Even if you don’t think that this movie will fit your typical sense of humor, give it a try!

5. Pretty much any Disney movie. Seriously. I’ve never drawn a crowd like I have whenever I told people that I was going to watch a Disney movie (especially after Frozen came out). Sing along to your favorite songs and bask in the glow of your childhood. These are especially a must around exam time or when you’ve had a stressful, bad day. Let the bad things roll away and bring in the magical moments instead.

Classic movies will always go over well.

Classic movies will always go over well.

4 Millennial Movies That Depict the Best and Worst of Greek Life

January 11, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Reviews

DISCLAIMER: This article is filled with spoilers. If you do not want to read spoilers, I suggest you watch the movies listed and return.

When I began to entertain the idea of college, I knew that Greek Life was going to be a part of my college searching process. The unfortunate situation is, my idea of Greek Life was shaped by the media. I had it in my head that many fraternities and sororities hosted crazy parties, hazed, contributed to social ranking and many other negative things. It wasn’t until I got to college, that I realized that some frat and sorority houses do have that ( though they are often reprimanded), but there is also good in joining one. I eventually chose a campus that did not host Greek Life, but, I was able to meet someone from a fraternity that shaped my idea in a much more positive light.

Here are are four media influences (movies), that shaped my negative and positive opinions of Greek Life. Once again, I do summarize the movie in regards to how Greek Life shaped the plot, as well as explain how the actions of the houses effected my view. In short, spoilers.

21 & Over (2013) (US)

The day after his 21st birthday, Jeff Chang has the most important interview of his life. However, the day of his birthday, his friends, Casey and Miller, take him out for what was supposed to be a “few drinks” and ends up in a night long debauchery session. When he passes out from drinking, his friends must search all over campus and town to find where he lives so he can be ready for his interview in the morning.

Casey with Nicole, sporting a sweater with her sorority’s name

As they search for Jeff Chang’s home, they follow the idea that Nicole, a lady Casey met at the first bar, knows Chang so maybe she’ll know where he lives. However, they can only guess that she lives in a sorority house because she was wearing a sorority T-shirt, and they begin to stumble around campus to find her.

Nicole is a part of “Sigma Zeta something” for the majority of the film. They encounter Sigma Zeta Theta first, and after a cold reception at the door they decide to break in. We find two sets of pledges. The first set is wearing dry erase boards around their neck because their forbidden to speak. The second set of pledges are blindfolded in a dark room and are waiting to be paddled by the pledgemaster. They are taken advantage of by Casey and Miller, when Miller paddles them and later orders them to make out. When the pledges discover the three, they are chased out of the sorority house, where they find Nicole and her house, Sigma Zeta Phi.

Casey and Miller at the mercy of the Sigma Zeta Theta sisters.

Later in the movie Casey and Miller are kidnapped by the girls of Sigma Zeta Theta. They are blindfolded, stripped naked (except for a sock on their genitalia), shackled, and spanked by robed, masked sorority girls and later commanded to kiss. They are dumped in the morning and forced to walk around campus in just the socks on their genitalia towards Health Services, where they need to “rescue” Jeff Chang.

This movie does not depict Greek Life in a positive light in any manner, nor does it depict a positive outlook of Greek Culture by the non-Greek Miller. He demeans the pledges by forcing them to kiss, thus perpetuating a stereotype.

An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)

Max Goof is off to college and with it carries the dreams of competing in the X Games with his buddies. When Goofy Goof loses his job, he returns to college -the same one Max goes to- in order to obtain a degree so that he may re-enter the working world.

In the movie, many Greek Life houses are depicted on “Frat Row”, but, only one is expanded on. Gamma Mu Mu brothers ( shortened to just “Gammas”) act as the main antagonists throughout the film. It is unclear if the entire fraternity is depicted, or if only a portion are selected to compete in the X Games.

Bradley Uppercrust III, leader of Gamma Mu Mu

The Gammas are lead by Bradley Uppercrust III. Bradley approaches Max in the film and asks him, and only him, to join his fraternity and ultimately, his X Games team. When Max refuses, Bradley takes it personally.

The Gammas are completely loyal to Bradley,do whatever he says without question and are often happy to do so. In the coffee shop scene during Max’s attempted recruitment, they stand straight and at-the-ready when Bradley snaps his fingers. They also “fetch” and “play dead” according to Brad after Bobby asks. Throughout the games they are seen cheating in order to win the X Games (such as hurting Max’s friend ‘accidentally’, dislodging the bolt of Max’s team’s bicycles, and more). In the end, Bradley activates a rocket on the end of Max’s skateboard which causes an accident, nearly killing his fraternal brother, Tank, in the ensuing damage. Not only does Bradley not try to save Tank, but he pushes ahead in an attempt to win the race as Max helps him out of the rubble. Tank becomes the new Gamma leader after he kicks Bradley out for his treachery.

Gamma Mu Mu vs. Team Max for the X Games

In this movie, fraternities are not depicted in the best of lights and it more than likely attributes to the poor attitude towards them in media. Yes, loyalty is prized in most fraternities, but, not to the extent (trained dogs) that this depicts. And, I believe, that most fraternities would not condone the acts that the Gamma Mu Mu fraternity did during the games.

Legally Blonde (2001) and Legally Blonde 2 Red, White & Blonde (2003)

In Legally Blonde, Elle Woods is depicted as a member and president of sorority Delta Nu. She is a fashion major and loved by her sorority sisters. When her boyfriend breaks up with her because he is going to Harvard and he is looking for another type of girl, Elle is determined to get into Harvard and become a law major in order to win her boyfriend back.

The ultimate depiction of the “dumb blonde” stereotype detracts from the minor image of the sorority in the film. However, what is applaudable of the Delta Nu sisters is their firm bonds of loyalty and dedication to each other and especially to Elle. The Delta Nu sisters help Elle study for her exams to get into Harvard, and help her make her admission’s “essay-video”.

Delta Nu Sister's Celebrate Elle's acceptance to Harvard

Delta Nu Sister’s Celebrate Elle’s acceptance to Harvard

Upon entering law school and entering her internship, Elle tells Brooke, accused of murdering her husband, that she is from Delta Nu sorority. Brooke was a Delta Nu in her college days, and this affiliation automatically earns Elle Brooke’s trust. Elle uses her sisterly bonds to speak with Brooke on a personal level and obtain an alibi as well as other information. Two Delta Nu sisters fly from California to the New England area to witness Elle’s first court appearance as a lawyer.

In the end of the movie, Elle uses her experiences in the sorority to prove that Chutney is lying on the witness stand.

Elle Wood’s Delta Nu necklace

Delta Nu Ring on Congresswoman Libby Hauser’s hand

In Legally Blonde 2 Red, White and Blonde, Delta Nu plays an even smaller role. Elle uses her experiences in Delta Nu to introduce the “snap cup” to her team in the Boston law firm and to ultimately break down some of the negativity that surrounds her. Later in the movie, she discovers that Congresswoman Libby Hauser was a member of Delta Nu and Elle reveals herself, which earns Congresswoman Hauser’s support of Bruiser’s Bill. Below, I have a link to the pivotal scene where Elle discover’s the Congresswoman’s affiliation with her sorority.

Delta Nu Bond

While the “dumb blonde” stereotype of Delta Nu certainly detracts from its minor appearance, the sisterly bonds that Greek Life applauds are used as strong tools to help Elle in her massive endeavors. And ultimately, I hope that if I do make Greek connections- that by joining an organization I can use the networking abilities to contact strong alumni.

Monsters University (2013)

The prequel to Monster’s Inc, Mike and Sully are pictured at Monsters University, home of one of the best scare programs that feeds into Monster’s Inc. In this movie, fraternities and sororities are pictured for the majority of the movie and play a huge role.

OK Picture

The Oozma Kappa Boys

The audience follows Mike and Sully as they are evicted from the Scare program at Monsters University. Both join Oozma Kappa (OK) in order to compete in the Scare Games, while wagering the dean that if Oozma Kappa wins the Scare Games, they can rejoin the Scare program.

The Scare Games is a part of Rush Week, and is only available to the fraternities and sororities of MU. The goal of the games is to promote fraternity and sorority bonds, allow the freshman to engage with the upperclassmen, and finally, to crown the best “Scarer”’s at MU.

Sully is thrown out of Roar Omega Roar (RΩR) for being kicked out of the Scare program, because RΩR is only for the top Scarer’s in the school. It is also hinted at that each member is from a long family line of top Scarer’s, like Sully’s family. RΩR is the main antagonistic fraternity in the movie and is depicted as the “popular circle”. They bully and pick on the members of OK and are firm believers that some monsters are built for scaring and that a monster who doesn’t look scary, can’t be a Scarer. This mentality seems to be held by certain faculty as well as other houses.

Roar Omega Roar Fraternity Picture

The RΩR Boys

When Mike and Sully join OK, the are quickly inducted via a hazing ritual. The power to the frat house is cut, and among the darkness and candles, robed figures of their fraternity brothers make them swear an oath while paddling them (until Sully breaks the paddle).

At the mid-point of the movie, OK is invited to a mixer party. At first, they are hailed as awesome people who have extended their social status- then gallons of paint, flowers and glitter are dumped on them and pictures are taken. The next morning the picture is in the school newspaper, hung from the clock tower, pasted in the quad, and sold on t-shirts and coffee mugs. And once again, OK is the laughing stock of the school.

Something that the movie does well though is highlight the bonds of brothers and sisters in Greek Life. Each house is fiercely loyal to each other, and usually not in the “trained” way like An Extremely Goofy Movie depicted. Each house works together to compete in the Scare Games, cares for each other, and helps each other with basic college skills (such as studying).

This movie does well to highlight both the pros and cons of Greek Life in the media. Each house depicts a specific stereotype including jocks, preps, athletes, popular kids, unpopular kids and goths. Each house is “ranked” in social status. And certain houses participate in hazing, and humiliation of other houses. But, is does emphasize the core beliefs, that I believe, Greek Life tries to encompass: loyalty, friendship, and excellence.