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Samba

[Longhorn Review] Samba

Material Type: All, books — Tags: falstaffpicks — Posted on July 12, 2011, 9:30 am

By: Alma Guillermoprieto

If you (like me) have a fascination with Brazilian Samba culture, then this book
is for you! The author is a former dancer and journalist who spent a year dancing in
a Samba school and living in a favela in Rio. This book is a fascinating tale of
carnival, the Brazilian underworld, and the joy that dances brings.

Reviewer: Karen Holt

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Random Musings: Reflections of a Black Intellectual

[Longhorn Review] Random Musings: Reflections of a Black Intellectual

Material Type: All, books — Posted on July 12, 2011, 9:28 am

By: Dr. Bernard Grenway

Very well written. Deep and expressive ideas on race, culture. Love the section
about Displaced Adulation. Good read.

Reviewer: Davis McHorn

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Ways of Seeing

[Longhorn Review] Ways of Seeing

Material Type: All, books — Tags: falstaffpicks — Posted on July 1, 2011, 12:39 pm

By: John Berger

"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak."
This book, based on the BBC television series with John Berger, is a
thought-provoking look at the way seeing establishes our place in the world. The
essays use words and images to start in the reader a line of questioning - how do
you see the world and how does the world see you?

Reviewer: Alexis

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The Fawn by The Sea and Cake [sound recording]

[Longhorn Review] The Fawn by The Sea and Cake [sound recording]

Material Type: All, music — Tags: falstaffpicks — Posted on July 1, 2011, 12:37 pm

By: The Sea and Cake

Looking for some mellow music to go with a relaxing afternoon? Look no further
than the Sea and Cake's album The Fawn. I've been listening to this album since
2000, and it still feels just as fresh today as it did then. It remains on heavy
circulation at the Fine Arts Library, so you may need to wait in line to get it, but
you'll be glad that you did.

Reviewer: Karen Holt

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State of the Union

[Longhorn Review] State of the Union

Material Type: All, books — Tags: falstaffpicks — Posted on June 20, 2011, 2:23 pm

By: Mitch Epstein

This is a fabulous book of photographs. Really stunning stuff. Epstein has an eye
for the most compelling images.

Reviewer: Laura S.

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

[Longhorn Review] The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: Bella, Chris Weitz, Edward, Jacob, New Moon, the twilight saga, Vampires — Posted on May 4, 2011, 4:28 pm

By: Chris Weitz

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Movie Review

Kyle Smith from The New York Post
believes The Twilight Saga: New Moon did not live up to its hype about being an
exciting love story plus monster action. He says, “Bad dialogue, like bad news, does
not get better with age. This movie moves like the line at the post office” (para
3). I however, completely disagree. New Moon continues with the intense romance that
captivated viewers in the first movie, along with more unveiling secrets about the
supernatural world and who belongs in it.

Before Edward leaves Bella to protect her,
ancient secrets threaten to destroy them, Bella tests fate in several suicidal
actions, and Jacob Black comes to save her, Twilight tells the story of how these
things are possible. Twilight is when Bella moves to Forks, meets Edward, discovers
his secret, falls in love with him, and tries to escape evil vampires. This all
leads to the culminating fight scene in which Edward and his family save her. If you
have not read the book, this is enough to give you the plot line of the story.

Compared to the other movies in the series, I feel like New Moon is equivalent to
Twilight, but Eclipse was the best one by far. One critic, Kirk Honeycutt from The
Hollywood Reporter feels the same. “It took three films, but "The Twilight Saga"
finally nails just the right tone in "Eclipse," a film that neatly balances the
teenage operatic passions from Stephenie Meyer's novels with the movies'
supernatural trappings” (para 1). Jordan Mintzer from Variety says, “While this
second chapter of Summit Entertainment's four-part franchise is as good as
"Twilight" and arguably a shade better, it is indisputably darker in its depiction
of the throes and woes of adolescent love, especially when one gets dumped” (para
2).

Although Mintzer has something good to say about New Moon, there are more
critics that think the complete opposite. Claudia Pulg from USA Today says, “his
sequel drags and sputters, even in scenes meant to be infused with passion” (para 1)
and “Unless it is a Ingmar Bergman film, watching an expressionless person stare out
a window or trudge around alone in the woods is simply a drag” (para 2). This is
where I have to disagree, especially if you are a person who has read all the books
like myself. Because you have read the book you know that she is depressed and you
know Edward is not in most of the movie. The scenes Pulg mentioned did not bore me
at all. I believe the reason that people disliked this movie is because they either
have not read the book to know the intensity of the story, or they are not a teenage
girl who likes to watch Jacob without a shirt.

Basically, most reviews over New Moon
that I found criticized it in that it was slow-moving, boring, uneventful, and a
complete drag. If you have read the book or you like romance combined with the
supernatural world, then I would recommend this movie. I believe it is perfectly
worth your time.

Works Cited

Honeycutt, Kirk. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Film
Review." Rev. of New Moon, dir. Chris Weitz. The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood
Reporter, 15 Oct. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
twilight-saga-eclipse-film-review-29767>.

Mintzer, Jordan. "New Moon." Rev. of
New Moon, dir. Chris Weitz. Variety. N.p., 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
VE1117941623?refcatid=31>.

Pulg, Claudia. "Werewolves inject life into 'New Moon'
but the sequel still sputters." Rev. of New Moon, dir. Chris Weitz. USA Today. USA
Today, 11 Nov. 2009. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
reviews/2009-11-19-twilight-new-moon_N.htm>.

Smith, Kyle. "'New Moon' Over Bite."
Rev. of New Moon, dir. Chris Weitz. The New York Post. New York Post, 22 Nov. 2009.
Web. 27 Apr. 2011. over_bite_9rWhbK6GVrdRAxGpGNoSDO>.

Reviewer: Hope Talbert

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The Wild One

[Longhorn Review] The Wild One

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: frank rooney, hollister bike riot, marlon brando, the cyclists' raid, the wild one — Posted on May 4, 2011, 4:27 pm

By: Laslo Benedek

Computer-generated imagery, life-like green screen shots, and color cameras
present a new face to films created in the technology era. The Wild One’s seemingly
amateur use of green screen and grayscale color scheme allow the viewers of today to
look past the superfluous technology and to concentrate on the film’s artistic
message.

The director, Laslo Benedek, utilizes Marlon Brando’s captivating,
charismatic appearance on the screen to establish a commanding authority over the
Black Rebels Motorcycle Club. Loosely based on the Hollister Biker Riot that
occurred on the Fourth of July weekend in 1947, the film settles in Wrightsville
with an invading gang of bikers who ransack the town, disturb the locals, and cause
civil unrest. Johnny, the leader of BRMC and played by Marlon Brando, falls for the
sheriff’s daughter over the course of the film, ultimately culminating in the
handing over of his prized trophy to her.

Although the era in which the film was
created relied on lower forms of technology, the obvious visual flaw that the actors
did not actually ride motorcycle in the film created a “cheesy” feel and a negative
ethos appeal, especially towards Brando’s character who leads an entire bike gang.
Other reviews place criticism on Brando’s character being “too distant, just like
the rest of the film”; however, his distance creates an emotionless, simple
character whose rough edge creates an opposites-attract feel to his relationship
with the sheriff’s daughter (Fevang).

As much as actors and actresses make a movie,
the landscapes, costumes, and music provide the ambience in which the movie can
successfully emit its message. Opposite of the landscape of “The Cyclists’ Raid,”
the short story on which the film is based, The Wild One takes place in a small,
western, country town with little more than a gas station and a café. Even the
inhabitants of Wrightsville dress as one would assume that a town in that time, in
that location would.

Fevang, Fredrik Gunerius. "The Wild One (1953)." Rev. of The
Wild One, dir. Laslo Benedek. Film: Reviews. The FreshSite, 12 Apr. 2006. Web. 27
Apr. 2011. .

Reviewer: Stephen Bourne

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Pretty Little Liars

[Longhorn Review] Pretty Little Liars

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: chick lit, Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard — Posted on May 4, 2011, 3:41 pm

By: Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars is a series of young adult novel written by an American
writer, Sara Shepard. After receiving an undergraduate degree at New York University
and an MFA at Brooklyn College, she published Pretty Little Liars series as her
first publication in 2006.

The novel has its background set in suburb of
Philadelphia. The novel develops around lives of five teenage girls bonded together
in an exclusive clique led by one of the girls, Ali D. Ali is the queen bee who
manipulates the other girls who feel inferior to Ali. The group falls apart
following Ali’s mysterious disappearance after the girls’ sleepover in the sixth
grade. The novel takes place three years after Ali’s disappearance and her dead body
is found. The girls start to get mysterious text messages from an anonymous person
with an initial A. She sends text messages threatening to reveal the girls’ darkest
secrets.

Hanna used to be a fat girl, but after Ali had gone, she lost weight and
recreated herself as a diva at Rosewood. She has a shoplifting habit and a fear of
losing newly gained popularity. Spencer is the smart one who excels in school,
sports, and everything else. Her sister Melisa is the only one she could never
overcome. Her family turns their back on her after she gets caught kissing her
sister’s boyfriend. Aria moves to Iceland and comes back after three years have
passed. The Rosewood considers her as a weirdo. She tries to keep her dad’s secret
of having an affair with his former student. Emily is a swimmer who had secret
feelings for Alison and after Alison is gone, she begins to have the same feelings
for a new girl named Maya. She struggles with her feelings and how the society will
view her.

Overall, the book is excellent for the way it is written. It is divided
into several small chapters. Each chapter covers a story of one of the four girls.
When a novel has so many main characters, it often gets confusing to follow and keep
track of the story and match characters to the story. However, Shepard does a good
job of keeping them in order by dedicating each chapter to one girl’s story. It
makes you want to keep reading to find out what is happening in the other girls’
life while one girl is going through one issue. Its target audience being teenage
girls, the language is easy to read. The author uses slangs and contractions yet it
is completely acceptable because that is part of teenagers’ vocabulary. Shepard
throws in popular culture so target readers can relate to the characters more
easily.

As far as the content of the book, I was slightly disappointed. The novel
pictures the girls engaged in inappropriate behaviors as teenagers, such as stealing
boyfriend’s dad’s car and wrecking it, shoplifting, desperately trying to have sex,
and finding a mom having sex with a police officer to drop charges. Just as how the
public criticizes TV and film for being gruesome, violent, and sexual and how they
promote such behaviors to especially young viewers, this novel is having the same
dilemma. The novel focuses on each girl’s problems that are very likely to occur in
every normal girl’s life in reality, such as breaking up with boyfriend, dealing
with parents’ divorce, being popular at school, trying to lose weight and stay
skinny. However, Shepard goes too far in her effort to create a tie between her
characters and teenage girls in reality. I advise the reader to be aware.

Reviewer: Yoomi Kim

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Letras femeninas en el periodismo mexicano

[Longhorn Review] Letras femeninas en el periodismo mexicano

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: feminismo, Mexico, mujeres, periodismo — Posted on May 3, 2011, 7:21 am

By: López Hernández, Miriam

La inquietud de la autora al elaborar esta obra radica en examinar qué tipo de
periodismo se realiza en la actualidad en México: feminista o de género, tomando
como estudio de caso a la revista Fem, así como determinar las características de
ambos. Parte del supuesto de que en sus inicios, la revista realizaba periodismo
feminista, y en su evolución llegó a elaborar periodismo de género. La obra consta
de tres capítulos. En el primero se abordan aspectos generales del feminismo: lugar
de origen y precursoras, significado, acciones realizadas en Europa y Estados
Unidos, y específicamente se centra en el terreno mexicano. También se señalan las
diversas corrientes feministas y sus objetivos. En el segundo se desarrolla la
historia de las mujeres en el periodismo, partiendo del panorama mundial hasta
focalizarse en los antecedentes más tempranos de la escritura femenina en México,
incluyendo las publicaciones feministas más recientes. En este capítulo se exponen
los elementos que ayudan a definir al periodismo feminista y al de género. En el
tercer y último capítulo, se realiza un estudio de los 29 años de la revista Fem,
partiendo de su pensamiento, tipo de textos, aportes, sus colaboradoras(es), sus
lectoras(es) y etapas de su evolución. La autora distingue tres etapas, las cuales
están marcadas a partir de los tres momentos de dirección de la revista.

Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer

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Star Trek: The Movie (2009)

[Longhorn Review] Star Trek: The Movie (2009)

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: J. J. Abrams, Paramount Pictures, Star Trek — Posted on May 2, 2011, 3:51 pm

By: J. J. Abrams

Star Trek

Over the last half decade, there has not been a better-known franchise
than that of Star Trek. Beginning in 1966, the characters of the USS Enterprise have
transitioned from television to feature films almost a dozen times. In the latest
installment directed and produced by J. J. Abrams, the audience is given the history
and development of two of the most recognizable characters in the series, Captain
James T. Kirk and Spock. Using his unique view on the series and the need to appease
hardcore Star Trek fans (“Trekkies”), Abrams effectively fuses the two styles to
create an entertaining interpretation of what might have taken place. The film shows
how the two came to be in their current positions in the Starfleet as well as how
their friendship formed through mutual experiences.

After opening with the birth of
the heroic Captain Kirk, the film begins to show how both he and Spock mature over
the years. The backstory explains how James is a rebellious youth with no true
father figure (his father died saving the USS Kelvin’s crew including James and his
mother) to emulate. This leads to multiple fights including one in a bar where
Captain Pike plants the idea that James should strive to be a righteous captain in
the Starfleet like his father. Meanwhile on the planet Vulcan, Spock is torn between
what his true identity is between a Vulcan and human (his father is a Vulcan and his
mother is human). Eventually, both choose the path of joining the Starfleet until
their ensuing paths cross. When comparing this first portion of the film, it is
obvious that Abrams’ habitual trait is to give the audience some backstory into the
characters. For example in both the film Armageddon and the television series Lost,
the characters’ past is made prevalent in order to allow the viewers to understand
the thought processes more thoroughly. Indeed, these insights make the film more
relatable because the audience is able to see why the characters have certain
personality traits.

Following both characters’ enrollment in the Starfleet, Abrams
shifts the focus of the film from the individual characters’ personalities into the
emerging friendship. The two might despise each other at first, but the film uses
the common motif of a shared enemy to force them to put aside their differences in
order to rescue Captain Pike and stop the evil Romulan, Nero, from destroying Earth.
While pursuing their enemy, the film again begins to introduce us to many of the
series’ recurring characters (Bones, Sulu, Scotty, Chekov, etc.). With the plot
successfully set-up for the climactic battle between Nero and the USS Enterprise,
Abrams attempts to show the maturity of the two heroes when they are able to finally
agree that they would rescue Captain Pike and stop the terror of the Romulan vessel.
With the successful mission finally completed, the film begins to conclude with Kirk
being officially recognized in his rightful position as Captain of the USS
Enterprise and Spock requesting to be his first officer.

In conclusion, the new Star
Trek is an action-packed film that acted more as a prequel for the actual series.
Abrams attempted to give the audience an insight into the characters so that they
might better understand their history. However, he did not forget to include
portions of the film that would satisfy the hardcore Trekkie fans around the world.
Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock from the 1966 series makes several appearances in
the film and provides advice for the young versions of the characters. Additionally,
the film concludes with Nimoy stating the famous monologue, “Where no man has gone
before,” which was stated in the opening sequence of every episode of Star Trek
produced.

Star Trek. By Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Dir. J. J. Abrams, Prod.
Damon Lindelof and J. J. Abrams. 2009. Paramount Pictures.

Reviewer: Geoffrey Feinberg

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