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Robots taking over!

[Longhorn Review] Robots taking over!

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: human, robots, robots taking over, second variety, terminator — Posted on December 9, 2010, 3:32 pm

By: Philip K. Dick

The “Second Variety” by Philip K. Dick occurs in the aftermath of a widespread
nuclear war between the Soviet Union, sometimes called the Russians, and the United
Nations. Major Joseph Hendricks is the commander of a small American force stationed
in the slag and ash of nuclear ravaged France. A few miles away are a group of
Soviet soldiers, and in between is an army of technological killers known as “The
Claws”. Early Soviet victories forced the North American government and technology
production team to flee to a moon base, leaving the majority of the troops behind.
To counter the almost complete Soviet victory, United Nation technicians developed
robots, nicknamed claws – the basic models are “a churning sphere of blades and
metal” that ambush their unsuspecting victims “spinning, creeping, shaking
themselves up suddenly from the gray ash and darting toward… any warm body.” United
Nations forces are protected from the claws by a special wrist tab that disables the
robots from attacking them. Within six years, the robots are repairing and
redesigning themselves in automated underground factories run without any human
supervision.

The United Nation forces receive a message from the Soviets asking for
a policy-level officer to meet them for an urgent conference. Hendricks is sent to
negotiate with the Soviets. On the way to the Soviet base, he meets a small boy
named “David” who asks to come with Hendricks. When he gets to the base, the
soldiers immediately kill David, revealing him to be a robot. The three Soviets met
by Major Hendricks – Klaus, Rudi and Tasso – reveal that the entire Soviet army and
command structure collapsed under the onslaught of the new robots. From salvaged
internal metal identification plates, two varieties are identified: I-V, a wounded
soldier, and III-V, David. The II-V – the “second variety” – remains unknown. The
Soviets also reveal that the United Nation protective tabs are ineffective against
the new robots. Hendricks attempts to transmit a warning to his United Nations
bunker, but is unable to do so.

A crowd of David and Wounded Soldier model attack,
but Tasso destroys them with a very powerful hand grenade. They search for a hidden
escape rocket to hopefully escape to the moon base, only to find that the rocket is
a single-seat spacecraft. Hendricks attempts to leave, but Tasso quickly subdues
him. She convinces him to let her leave and send back help. In his injured state, he
has no choice but to agree. Alone, Hendricks discovers that Tasso was the true II-V
and recognizes that he has doomed the Moon Base by sending a robot to them.

Dick, Philip K. “Second Variety”. Gutenberg Ebook of Second Variety. May 1953.
www.Gutenberg.org Web. 17 April, 2010. .

Reviewer: Tam Pham

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Good Book

[Longhorn Review] Good Book

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: French Novel, Motorcycle, Rebecca, Travel Narrative — Posted on December 9, 2010, 3:32 pm

By: André Pieyre de Mandiargues

The book “La Motocyclette” better known as “Girl on a Motorcycle" by André Pieyre
de Mandiargues takes place in Europe, more specifically in Haguenau, France. The
main characters are Rebecca Nul, her husband Raymond Nul and her ex-lover Daniel.

The book starts off with Rebecca Nul in bed having dream. The dream she was having
was about how there was no traffic and it would have been the perfect time for a
motorcyclist to really go mad on the road. The description of the dream is really
vivid and a really good start for the book.

The book then goes on to talk about
Rebecca getting ready for her journey, the journey where she is going to go see her
ex-lover Daniel. It talks about Rebecca putting on the all black leather suit. The
leather suit is a symbol. It represents the theme of sex, which is a big theme in
this novel. Rebecca puts on the suit over her naked body; she loves the feeling of
being naked. When her husband see’s her in the suit he looks at her with sadness and
mistrust.

Another symbol seen in the book is the motorcycle. The motorcycle is a
massive Harley Davidson which in the time of the book was the latest and fastest
model around. The motorcycle is such an important part of the book because it is
what she takes her journey on to go see her ex-lover Daniel. It’s the tool that
helps her commit adultery.

Rebecca has only been married to Raymond for only two and
half months. When Rebecca is with her husband she feels lifeless. However by running
to Daniel she feels rebellious but as it turns out she is just running away from one
form of dominance to another. She thinks leaving her husband is a form of liberation
but it really is not. She is running to Daniel who plays mind-games with her and who
dominates her which is what she wants but it is not being independent as she claims.

Rebecca leaves a good man to run into the arms of a man who is an arrogant bastard
and he always treats her like crap, and tells her that he is only using her for sex.
But she would rather have that than live a happy life with her schoolteacher
husband.

Reviewer: Lauren Oritz

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Jacob gets Eclipse'd

[Longhorn Review] Jacob gets Eclipse'd

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: Eclipse. Vampire, Jacob, Meyer, Stephenie, Twilight, Werewolves — Posted on December 9, 2010, 3:31 pm

By: Stephenie Meyer

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was released this past summer in theaters. The film is
based on Stephenie Meyer’s 2007 novel, Eclipse, and it picks up from the previous
book, New Moon. Immediately, the first scene portrays Victoria in the process of
creating her newborn army of vampires. Through the creation of an army, Victoria is
attempting to exact revenge against Edward, the Cullen vampire who killed her
eternal mate. However, Victoria specifically targets Bella instead because by
killing Edward’s love, she may truly achieve the vengeance she had been desperately
craving.

On the other hand, the love story continues with Edward and Bella who are
very much in love. Bella is in the process of contemplating about becoming a vampire
and finally marrying Edward but Jacob will not allow it. Jacob attempts to interfere
with Edward and Bella’s relationship due to his own feelings for Bella that started
in New Moon. He claims that Bella is making a mistake and that she would not have to
change for his love, as opposed to becoming a vampire for all eternity. Upon
discovering Jacob’s true intentions, Edward then becomes enraged and creates a
situation where Bella begins to distrust him. She then considers Jacob’s reasons to
be with him and stay human.

Eventually, the love story becomes intertwined with the
upcoming war and both werewolves and Cullen vampires reluctantly join forces to
protect Bella and defeat Victoria. The overwhelmingly powerful newborn vampires, led
by Victoria, are a force to be reckoned with but Jacob and Edward continue to focus
on the fight for Bella’s love. As both clans of vampires and werewolves prepare for
the imminent battle, Bella is battling her own mixed-feelings for Jacob and Edward.
Bella knows Victoria is coming for her and yet she does not dismiss Jacob’s advances
which creates a dramatic and competitive atmosphere, in the midst of battle.
However, when Victoria and her army finally arrive, Edward and Jacob’s collective
efforts successfully protect Bella and defeat Victoria and her army. In the battle,
Jacob suffers mortal injuries and in spite of this, Bella’s concern for Jacob’s
injuries resumes a platonic role. Edward wins Bella’s love, again.

Reviewer: David Ko

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Guilty Pleasure

[Longhorn Review] Guilty Pleasure

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: New Moon. Meyers, Vampires, Werewolves — Posted on December 9, 2010, 3:30 pm

By: Stephenie Meyer

New Moon by Stephenie Meyers is the sequel to her bestseller Twilight. New Moon
is the continuing story of Bella and Edward as they face new challenges to their
relationships. A fantasy novel, the book deals with the disconnect between the human
life, Bella, and that of vampires, the world in which Edward exists. An especially
close encounter at her birthday party involving one of his family members brings the
real dangers of their relationship to light. As Edward leaves Bella behind to keep
her from the dangers she encounters as his girlfriend, Bella struggles with the loss
of her love and the subsequent darkness into which she is plunged hence the symbolic
title New Moon, the darkest phase of the lunar cycle. After months of depression and
what feels like months of reading, Bella’s horizons brighten when she rekindles her
acquaintance with an old family friend, a young member of the Quileute tribe named
Jacob Black. As Bella and Jacob’s friendship grows deeper, Bella seems to come out
of her funk, but she also clings to the memory of Edward by throwing herself head
first into dangerous situations that cause his apparition to appear discouraging her
from putting herself at risk. Although her friendship with Jacob helps her through
her break up, a secret Jacob keeps threatening to tear them apart. Despite her
growing attachment to Jacob, when Edward’s life is at risk because one of her
exploits leaves him thinking she is dead Bella rushes to Italy to keep him from a
suicide mission.

New Moon is a fantasy novel that spins a tale of vampires and
werewolves with the human emotions of love, passion, and longing. Themes of
immortality and the blurry lines of the conflict between right and wrong propel the
plot of the story as the characters struggle through the difficulties of family,
friends, and significant others. The depth of the relationships and their
definitions and boundaries are a major conflict throughout the novel as well as well
as the cause for much of the action. New Moon uses allusions to classic literature,
especially drawing from the tragedy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering
Heights, the classic stories of star-crossed lovers faced with challenges, as Bella
and Edward are similarly encountering. The complex nuances of the immortal world
present the lovers with problems that could end in tragedy, and the battle to
achieve happily ever after, or even just safety, drives the plot of the novel
through the actions of the characters. Meyer’s prose leaves something to be desired,
and lines such as “They have a name for someone who smells the way Bella does to me.
They call her my singer—because her blood sings for me”(Meyer, 490) feel sappily
sentimental, but her expert characterization, especially in the case of Bella and
Edward, makes the novel engrossing and worth reading. The extensive cast of
characters creates an intricate plot that keeps the novel diverse and surprising,
although it is not intricate or complex. Bella’s emotionally driven actions create a
sense of the depth of the characters’ love for each other which creates interest.
This book falls under many genres making it universally appealing as it is romantic,
a buddy story, and the classic battle of good versus evil in a complex world where
everything seems to be shades of gray. New Moon is well classified as a Young Adult
Novel, and while it is a decidedly easy read, it is a guilty pleasure that gives
back with its uplifting message that true love really can conquer all, both mortal
and immortal.

Meyer, Stephenie. New Moon. N.p.: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006. Print.

Reviewer: Jessica Glosson

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Acerca de "Luz en la senda"

[Longhorn Review] Acerca de "Luz en la senda"

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: Argentina Díaz Lozano, ficción, Guatemala, Honduras, Luz en la senda, novela — Posted on December 9, 2010, 3:29 pm

By: Ariel Batres Villagrán

Argentina Díaz Lozano (Argentina Bueso Mejía, Santa Rosa de Copán, 1912 -
Tegucigalpa, 1999)

Al contar con veinticinco años de EDAD, Argentina Díaz Lozano
publicó su segunda obra literaria, "Luz en la senda" (1937), con los auspicios de
Talleres Tipográficos Nacionales, en la Ciudad de Tegucigalpa, capital de Honduras.

"Luz en la senda" se organiza en siete páginas para la sección preliminar (foto de
la autora y dedicatorias), noventa y ocho páginas de contenido (9 a 107) y quince
para la sección complementaria (Algunos juicios de varios literatos sobre el primer
libro de su autoría, "Perlas de mi rosario"), que van de la 109 a la 124.

En 1937 la Autora està casada con Porfirio Díaz Lozano, y la Dedicatoria de la novela (Página
5) no es para él, como lo hará en su novela "Mayapán" (1950), consignándolo como su
mejor crítico, sino para su progenitora y el género femenino, según se transcribe a
continuación:

"A mi madre
A la Mujer
Con y especialidad
a la Mujer Hondureña
dedico
"Luz en la Senda"
Cuyas Páginas van a Ella
Como un mensaje de
Comprensión y simpatía
LA Autora "

Aunque se trata de una novela, Díaz Lozano trata de presentar "Luz en la
senda" como un cuento, pero extenso, dando un entender -con la ayuda de puntos
suspensivos- que se trata de una historia verdadera, toda vez que en página 7
advierte: "A manera de cuento muy largo… donde las cosas se cuentan, sencilla y
llanamente, como pasaron…”.

Los personajes principales en la novela son dos, él y
ella, con nombre propio (Eugenia y Alfredo); casi igual planteamiento hará Díaz
Lozano en 1956 cuando ofrezca al público su novela 49 días en la vida de una mujer,
con la diferencia que en ésta él y ella no tienen nombre. Aparecen designados
solamente así, dentro de la trama de un amor otoñal que vive su pasión en medio de
la vorágine que significó el derrumbe del gobierno de Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán en 1954,
gestado y financiado por la CIA y el Departamento de Estado norteamericano. Véase el
trabajo intitulado: 49 DÍAS EN LA VIDA DE UNA MUJER Y GUATEMALA DESGARRÁNDOSE EN
1954. Publicado en The Blackbox, La Bitacora Economica y Politica de Guatemala, 12
de octubre de 2010, en el post “La contrarrevolución de 1954 en una novela”,
http://ca-bi.com/blackbox/?p=4321. El Diario del Gallo, 18 de octubre de 2010,
http://diariodelgallo.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/49-dias-en-la-vida-de-una....
Monografías. com, 19 de octubre de 2010,
http://www.monografias.com/trabajos-pdf4/dias-vida-mujer-guatemala-desga....

Sea novela, cuento muy largo o bien una nouvelle, Díaz Lozano expone por medio de la
ficción de Luz en la senda la azarosa y complicada vida sentimental de Eugenia del
Valle, en un “país” que no designa por su nombre pero que al menos señala se
encuentra ubicado en tierras centroamericanas (página 12, con la “Naturaleza bravía
de nuestros trópicos” (página 29). Y lo hace por medio de dieciséis capítulos
identificados solamente con numeración romana.

Atentamente,

Ariel Batres Villagrán,
Guatemala

NOTA: SI HAY CAMBIOS GRAMATICALES, ES PORQUE ESCRIBÍ EL TEXTO EN ESPAÑOL Y
EL TRADUCTOR AUTOMÁTICO SE ENCARGÓ DE VOLVERLO DIFÍCIL DE ENTENDER

Reviewer: Ariel Batres Villagrán

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First Blood Review

[Longhorn Review] First Blood Review

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: awesome, First Blood, Motorcycle, Rambo, Teasle — Posted on November 30, 2010, 3:52 pm

By: Kevin Berry

Ted Kotcheff’s rendition of the novel First Blood, written by David Morrell, is a
dark depiction of a Vietnam Veteran who has lost his identity and defaults back to
his military training throughout the movie. He keeps having flashbacks that haunt
him and control decisions he makes while evading law enforcement.

John Rambo, played by renowned actor Sylvester Stallone, starts the movie walking around a wooded area
looking for an old war buddy’s home. His depression with the war starts here as he
finds out that his friend has passed away. Later, he is waking towards Hope,
Washington and Officer Teasle spots him to try to give him a lift through town.
Rambo is very primitive and ill mannered towards Teasle but yet he still follows his
directions to get into the car. After many scenes of altercations, Teasle takes
Rambo into the police station and writes him up for a few infractions. Rambo takes
abuse from many of the officers. These officers remind him of the abuse he took as a
prisoner of war. In one scene when he is being forced to shower and shave, Rambo
loses it and breaks his way out of the jailhouse and escapes. He runs out the front
door and commandeers a motorcycle from a civilian out riding. This leads into a
chase scene between Rambo and Teasle. Teasle chases after him in a police cruiser.

The motorcycle Rambo rides is an off road style bike. Riding through town with
Teasle on Rambo’s back, Rambo decides that it would be best to make use of the off
road bike and cut through farms and woods. After Teasle tries to push his car to its
limits off roads, it slides down a slick embankment and rolls as Rambo continues
into deeper forest.

The rest of the movie is a manhunt for Rambo. Using his military
expertise, he injures and evades all of the officials after him. He takes his
revenge on the town of Hope by burning half of it and firing his gun at multiple
buildings. The movie concludes by Rambo’s old commanding officer, Colonel Samuel
Trautmen, talking Rambo out of killing Teasle and saving the town from more
destruction.

Overall, the movie is an amazing action thriller. You get a great since
of how the war affected many soldiers and how life was for “drifters” or “hippies”
back in the seventies. Seeing life out side of war from a veteran’s perspective
gives the watcher great insight on how difficult coming back can be. I would highly
recommend this movie.

Works Cited Morrell, David, and Mickael Kozoll. First Blood.
Ted Kotcheff. 1982. Orion Pictures Corporation, 1983. Lions Gate Home Entertainment,
2006. DVD.

Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer

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Summary for The Terminator

[Longhorn Review] Summary for The Terminator

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: awesome, Connie Steel is the bestest professor EVERRR, Machines, Nuclear Apocolypse — Posted on November 30, 2010, 3:51 pm

By: James Cameron

In the film, The Terminator, director/writer James Cameron conducts an amazing,
new age movie that would forever change movie making in the future. This film starts
off in the year 2029 in a post-apocalyptic world. We see that cyborgs have taken
over the planet and that they are trying to eliminate the human race, but there is a
human resistance that is turning the war around lead by one leader, John Connor. It
then fast forwards to the year 1984 in the city of Los Angeles where we see that the
machines have sent a cyborg back in time, the terminator, played by Arnold
Schwarzenegger, to kill Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton, so that her son John
Connor cannot be born. We then see that the human resistance has too sent someone
back in time, Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn, to protect Sarah from being
killed my the terminator. The terminator then goes and looks up Sarah in a phonebook
and finds that there are three listed in the area. Being that he is a machine he
does the easiest thing and just goes kill each Sarah in order of the phonebook. Kyle
also goes to the phonebook and looks up Sarah Connor, but being that he already has
previous knowledge of her he knows which Sarah to go to, to help. Once the
terminator sees that he has not killed the correct Sarah he finds out that the right
Sarah is at a night club and goes to find her there. As he approaches Sarah at the
night club Kyle comes in and they escape narrowly.

Being that Sarah has no idea what
is going on other than the fact that something is trying to kill her, she is very
resistant to Kyle. Kyle tries to explain to Sarah that he is from the future sent to
protect her from the terminator because her son is the key to the victory of the
resistance. He explains that a company named Skynet created artificial intelligence
and that the machines became self-aware and sought to destroy the human race. Skynet
in the future goes on to cause a nuclear holocaust to wipe out the human race. Kyle
then went on to explain to Sarah why the terminator was sent back to kill her and
how it is nearly impossible to destroy it.

Kyle knows that the terminator will not
rest until he has completed his mission so they are continuously on the run, the
terminator attacks them yet again through a high speed car chase. This is when all
the action really starts. We can see how terminator will not stop for anything. This
chase then leads to the arrest of Kyle and Sarah taken into police custody. The
police put Kyle into the psyche ward where he tries to explain what time he is from
and that everyone is in danger if they do not release him. Of course, the police do
not believe him and they ultimately pay the price, the terminator tracks them to the
police station where he kills almost everyone in his way, we see that no amount of
bullets can stop him. Luckily though, Kyle and Sarah narrowly escape yet again and
they hide out in a local motel, where Kyle and Sarah fornicate, which would lead to
the birth of John Connor, the resistance leader. The terminator again tracks them to
the motel and another chase occurs while Sarah and Kyle try to escape the grasp of
the machine. As Kyle and Sarah seek refuge in a factory, Kyle sees that the only way
to save Sarah is to place a pipe bomb inside the terminator through his robotic rib
cage and this almost completely disables the terminator but it also kills Kyle in
the process. Sarah is now all alone with the terminator still pursuing her, she
retreats to the factories compressor which the terminator gets crushed by which
destroys the machine.

Sarah continues her journey after her new found knowledge of
the future and heads towards Mexico. While on her way there she records tapes that
warn her son about the future and how important he is to the human race.

Reviewer: Nicolas Arredondo

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New Moon Review

[Longhorn Review] New Moon Review

Material Type: All, Books — Posted on November 30, 2010, 3:50 pm

By: Stephenie Meyer

The novel New Moon by Stephenie Meyer picks up where Twilight last left off. The
last time we saw Bella Swan, she was narrowly escaping the clutches of a
“non-vegetarian” vampire, James. After recovering from the near fatal vampire
attack, Bella celebrates her eighteenth birthday with Edward and the whole Cullen
family. The joyous day suddenly takes a turn for the worse when Bella gives herself
a paper-cut while opening one of the cards. With blood shed, Edward’s brother,
Jasper, cannot contain himself and nearly attacks Bella. “Every second that I’m with
you is about restraint…and you’re too fragile,” Edward tells Bells (143). Proving
too intense for the Cullen family, the family, along with Edward, abruptly leaves
Forks, Washington for the safety of Bella. Heartbroken over the sudden disappearance
of Edward, Bella finds comfort in reckless living in which she can hear Edward’s
voice telling her to be careful. Realizing that she can hear Edward’s voice in times
of danger, Bella begins to live as an “adrenalin junkie,” including restoring bikes
with Jacob Black, one of Edward’s archenemies (129). Through time and distance from
Edward, Bella’s friendship with Jacob begins to flourish.

When Victoria returns to
Forks to avenge her mate, James, death, Bella does not seem to care. Fed up, Bella
decides to go cliff jumping, something so dangerous and reckless that she should
hear Edward’s voice for days. After hitting the water, something goes terribly
wrong. Bella realizes that Victoria is in the water with her and she is pulling her
under. Almost drowning, Bella is pulled from the water by Jacob. Edward’s sister,
Alice, who has visions of people’s decisions, sees Bella jumping off the cliff and
informs Edward that Bella has taken her own life. Heartbroken and feeling as though
her death was his fault, Edward rushes to Italy, where the Volturi live, in order to
be killed. However, upon realizing that her vision was wrong, Alice contacts Bella
and tells her that Edward “is going to the Volturi! He wants to die too!” both begin
their trip to Italy in order to save Edward (386).

Along with saving Edward, Bella
runs into the Volturi. Because it is against the rules for humans to know that
vampires exist, the Volturi tries to punish Edward by using their minds to induce
pain onto Bella. When the Volturi realizes that Bella is immune to vampire tactics
and would make a strong vampire, the Volturi agrees that Bella can live but only
under the condition that she be turned into a vampire in the near future. Having
survived yet another set of vampire attacks, Edward promises to never leave Bella
again, especially since it is known that Victoria is out there and wants revenge.
The novel ends with the Cullen family moving back to Forks and restoring
order.

Reviewer: Sidney Krawczyk

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The Wild One Review

[Longhorn Review] The Wild One Review

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: Gangs, Motorcycles, Riots — Posted on November 30, 2010, 3:49 pm

By: Laszlo Benedek

In the movie The Wild One, directed by Laszlo Benedek, a motorcycle gang creates
havoc on a small town disrupting the townsfolk and causing one character to die. In
this movie the motorcycle gang displays a typical motorcycle rider stereotype. They
all wear leather jackets, drink mass amounts of beer, smoke cigarettes and do not
care about the law or abide by its rules.

This lack of abiding by the law is seen
within the first five minutes of the film. One of the club’s members steals the
second place prize at a motorcycle race, only because the first place prize was too
big to steal. Later on in the movie, a girl asks what BRMC means which is written on
the back of all the club members’ jackets. Johnny replies, “Black Rebels Motorcycle
Club”. When asked what he was rebelling against he says, “What do you got”. These
are examples of how the club does not follow rules but they almost look for ways to
break them and disrupt the peace because they want to make a scene.

In the movie, an
opposing gang led by Chino comes into town too. Chino and Johnny used to be in the
same gang but are now in separate gangs. Johnny’s ex-girlfriend is also in Chino’s
gang. It takes about five minutes for Johnny and Chino to start handing out punches.
The sheriff eventually stops the fight only to arrest Chino after he grabbed a
townsman. Johnny, seeing how unfair it is that Chino was arrested but the townsman
was not, takes Chino’s side. Although Chino and Johnny are in two different gangs,
and obviously have some differences between them, they both put their differences
aside and join forces against the law.

The one thing in this movie that makes Johnny
uncomfortable and pushes him outside his zone is Kathie Bleeker. Kathie is the
daughter of the sheriff in town and also helps her uncle out with his restaurant and
bar. Kathie is a good girl and respects the law along with the townspeople. Johnny
tries to flirt with Kathie for most of the movie but has little success. It is not
until Kathie is in a sticky situation and Johnny saves her that Johnny and her
really get a chance to talk. Kathie sees through Johnny and is one of the few people
who does not fear him. This is new to Johnny and can be seen through his facial
expressions that he does not know how to act around Kathie. At the end, before
leaving town Johnny gives Kathie the gold second place trophy as a sign of
thankfulness for what she has done for him. He also flashes a smile at her, which is
the only time in the whole movie that we see Johnny show any kind of
happiness.

Reviewer: Stephanie Liederbach

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The Great Escape Review

[Longhorn Review] The Great Escape Review

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: Ally, camp, dig, Escape, Great, history, McQueen, Nazi, POW, Steve, WWII — Posted on November 30, 2010, 3:48 pm

By: John Sturgess

The film, The Great Escape, is a WWII movie centered on a group of Ally POWs that
are trying to break out of a Nazi prison camp in Germany. It is based on the true
story of the elaborate escape plans that the Ally soldiers came up with during the
years spent in the camps. Most of these soldiers are of the Royal Air Force with a
few Americans and various others. The Germans had moved all of the worst soldiers
and escape artists to Stalag Luft III.

Here the prisoners had an entire organization
set up to fool the Germans. Their objective was to aggravate the Germans and attempt
escape. Some soldiers were given the task of security, where they would use an
intelligent alert system to warn others of German patrols. Others were tasked with
making clothing and paperwork to use once out of the prison. Another job was the
digging--soldiers tunneled under ground and out of the camp. Their original plan was
to have 250 men escape through the tunnels in one night. Once out they would spread
out and try to flee the country using their forged documents. Only 76 were able to
escape through the tunnel before the escape attempt was discovered. 50 of the men
who had escaped and been recaptured were murdered. Only 3 men successfully escaped
Germany. All of the others were sent back to Stalag.

Throughout the movie there are
two characters that are especially memorable. Henley, AKA “the Scrounger”, played by
James Garner and Hilts, AKA “the Cooler King”, played by Steve McQueen. Both Henley
and Hilts are American and have an arrogant and rebellious attitude, although they
are fundamentally different. Henley is more of a sweet talker and con man, while
Hilts is sort of a prankster and troublemaker. Henley’s job is to “scrounge” up
items that everyone needs. He does this by bribing guards, picking pockets, and at
one point causing a distraction and stealing parts off of a German truck to use for
pick axes. Hilts has one of the most memorable motorcycle scenes of all time. Once
he escapes he steals a motorcycle and uniform from a German soldier and leads them
on a huge chase. Perhaps most memorable is when he jumps a barbwire fence and tries
to flee to safety. He is given the nickname “the Cooler King” because of his
frequent punishment of being sent to the cooler. The cooler is a solitary
confinement where Hilts spends much of his time throwing a baseball against the
wall. He is sent to the cooler many times for his escape attempts and disrespectful
behavior. Every time he goes, he is given a ball and glove from a friend and adds
humor as he is back in his cell, throwing his baseball to himself. Their comic
relief is very much welcomed after sad scenes of death and adds a much lighter tone
to the movie.

The Great Escape is an excellent film about the rebellious attitude
and enduring spirit of Ally POWs in WWII. The fact that it is based on a true story
makes the movie even better. Knowing that POWs gave the Germans a hard time and
tried until death to escape leaves the audience with a smile and a sense of
satisfaction and sympathy.

Reviewer: Blake Brown

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