Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones is a 2009 supernatural thriller drama film directed by Peter Jackson, starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, and Saoirse Ronan. It is based on Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel of the same name, which follows a young girl who is murdered and watches her family from “the in-between” as they try and move on from their loss while also trying to find answers. In 1973, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), a 14-year-old girl, is walking home from school through a corn field one night when she is stopped by a neighbor George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). He coaxes her into a hideout he made underground, telling her it is meant to be a clubhouse for the children in their neighborhood. He proceeds to kill Susie, and from that point on the main character moves throughout the film as a ghost watching her family and friends. Another dead girl, Holly (Nikki SooHoo), attempts to get Susie to leave “the in-between,” where she watches her family from, and go to Heaven, but Susie is unwilling to leave her family between until they can find clues from her murder. During this time Susie’s father, Jack (Mark Wahlberg), and younger sister, Lindsey (Rose McIvver), begin to suspect Mr. Harvey of the murder and set out to prove his guilt. In this blog, I will talk about the changes made between the two adaptations like the timeline of events, character development, and how Susie’s death and afterlife are portrayed. 

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Britt’s Anime and Gaming Adventures: Resident Evil Welcome to Raccoon City: An Adaptation by Fans, for Fans

Over Thanksgiving break, I saw Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. I’d been looking forward to this movie for a while because it was going to be more faithful to the original games, as opposed to Paul W.S. Anderson’s film series, which spawned six movies and was very loosely based on the games. While Anderson’s Resident Evil series is a guilty pleasure of mine, it was time the iconic video game series got a faithful movie adaptation. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a 2021 action horror movie written and directed by Johannes Roberts and stars Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Avan Jogia, and Neal McDonough. The movie begins with Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) hitching a ride in a truck to Raccoon City, where she grew up with her brother, Chris. The driver she is riding with accidentally runs into a woman, who is actually a zombie. Sensing that something is seriously wrong, Claire rushes into the city, hoping to find Chris. There, she meets a variety of people, both alive and undead, and learns the dark truth about the zombie outbreak and Umbrella, the pharmaceutical company responsible for it. A reboot of the original film series, and based on the first two Resident Evil games, this movie was clearly made for fans of the game series. While not a “good” movie by any means, Welcome to Raccoon City perfectly captures the first two games’ campiness and foreboding atmosphere, and even makes some changes that I feel the original games would have benefitted from.

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Britt’s Anime and Gaming Adventures: The Psychedelic Uniqueness of Control

Released in 2019, Control is a third-person action video game. The game was developed by Remedy Entertainment and stars Courtney Hope as the voice and character model of protagonist Jesse Faden. The game begins with Jesse entering the Oldest House, which is the headquarters of a mysterious organization known as the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC). Not much is known about Jesse, except for the fact that ever since an incident from her childhood, she has been psychically linked to an entity known as Polaris; it is Polaris that brings Jesse to the Oldest House. Sensing that her long-lost brother, Dylan, is inside the Oldest House, Jesse searches for him in the seemingly infinite FBC headquarters. She quickly learns, however, that the Oldest House and many of its inhabitants have been possessed by The Hiss, a supernatural energy force that is responsible for the deaths of numerous FBC workers, including the Director. As the new Director, it is up to Jesse to rid the Oldest House of The Hiss.

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Britt’s Anime and Gaming Adventures: Celebrating 50 Years of Thievery with Lupin III: The First

50 years ago this month, one of Japan’s longest-running franchises, Lupin III, premiered on TV for the first time with the pilot episode of Lupin III Part 1. For further information on this beloved series, feel free to read my post on The Castle of Cagliostro. Throughout its impressive half-century in animation, the Lupin series has spawned numerous anime series, theatrical films, and OVAs (original video animations). In 2019’s Lupin III: The First, Lupin and friends were fully animated in CGI for the first time in the series’ history. The film was a critical success and satisfied longtime fans of the franchise, and even helped bring in new ones as well, specifically Western audiences who had never heard of the series before.

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Meet the Editors: Brandon Peck

Happy Halloween, readers! This evening we will be introducing the last (but not least) of our new batch of editors, assistant prose editor and layout editor Brandon Peck. Brandon Peck is a senior at Lewis University. He holds a great interest in painting miniatures and writing stories in his spare time. In addition, he enjoys many different kinds of media, ranging from movies to anime to video games, always keeping up to date with the latest trends of the time. Some of Brandon’s favorite pieces of writing include Devastation of Baal, Baneblade, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, and Fallout: New Vegas.

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Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies is a 2013 American romantic zombie comedy film written and directed by Jonathan Levine, and stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, and John Malkovich. The movie is based on Isaac Marion’s 2010 novel of the same name, which in turn was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. When the movie opens, the viewer learns there was a zombie apocalypse roughly eight years ago and the main character R (Nicholas Hoult), who is a zombie, spends his days wandering around a deserted airport with others of his kind. This includes his best friend M (Rob Corddry), who he is able to communicate with through grunts, moans, and rudimentary conversation. One day R and a group of other zombies go hunting for humans to eat and they encounter Julie (Teresa Palmer) and her group of friends, who are on a supply run for the human survivor group they live with. When R sees Julie for the first time his heart starts beating again and he is drawn to her. But when Julie’s boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco) starts shooting, R kills him, and eats some of his brain, getting the boy’s memories of Julie and making the zombie more attracted to her. He takes the rest of Perry’s brian to eat for later, then goes to a scared Julie and puts some of his blood on her, so the other zombies will think she is dead, and takes her back to his home at the airport. R lives in an airplane by himself, which is where he takes a thoroughly freaked-out Julie, telling her he is going to keep her safe and that once the other zombies forget about her he will let her go. As he eats more of Perry’s brain, he learns about the relationship between the dead boy and Julie, which makes R start to fall in love with her. A few days later, Julie tries running away, having grown impatient waiting, and gets caught by several zombies that want to eat her, including M. R comes to save her and they try to escape together, not realizing the two of them have set in motion the end of the zombie apocalypse. In this blog post I will be looking at the world building and the mythology given to the zombies for this story, as well as the change in the ending between mediums.

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Britt’s Anime and Gaming Adventures: Cinematic Horror in The Evil Within 2

A direct sequel to 2014’s action-horror video game The Evil Within, The Evil Within 2 is a cinematic experience from start to finish. Three years after the events of the first game, protagonist Sebastian Castellanos, an ex-detective, is confronted by his former partner in crime, Juli Kidman. She informs him that his young daughter, Lily, had survived the fire that consumed the Castellanos household prior to the first game. Kidman explains that all this time, Lily was being used as a test subject by MOBIUS, a shady organization that was also responsible for the events of The Evil Within, and that MOBIUS needs Sebastian’s help to save his daughter. Sebastian is understandably skeptical of Kidman, as she had been working undercover for MOBIUS in the previous game, although during the time skip she’d been working to bring down the organization. Not to mention, he clearly has PTSD from the horrors he witnessed in the first game, so he isn’t exactly jumping at the opportunity to work with the same organization that ruined his life. Kidman eventually resorts to tranquilizing him, leaving Sebastian with no choice but to enter MOBIUS’ STEM system. Once in Union, a world created by STEM, Sebastian realizes that Lily is actually trapped there. In order to save her, he must fight his way through endless hordes of zombies-like creatures, body horror monsters, an artist turned serial killer, a crazy cult leader, and Sebastian’s estranged wife, Myra.

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Meet the Editors: Caeley O’Connor

Caeley O’Connor

Welcome back, readers! We hope you are enjoying your Saturday. For this week’s Meet the Editors, we’d like to introduce assistant poetry editor Caeley O’Connor.

Caeley O’Connor is a senior at Lewis University, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. She is also a copy editor for the school’s newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys writing, solving logic and cryptogram puzzle books, and listening to instrumental music. She is currently in the process of writing a fiction book, which she plans to publish in the future. Upon completing college, she is planning to go into the book publishing industry to help aspiring writers achieve their goals of publishing a book of their own.

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Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science-fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and stars Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, and Neil Patrick Harris. It is an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1959 novel of the same name. The movie drops the viewer into the middle of a battle between humans and an alien bug species as a reporter is giving news on the progress of an ongoing war. It is complete chaos and the Earth’s military is being quickly killed off by the bugs, including the reporter and his cameraman. After this, the movie jumps back in time one year, to before the battle where the audience is introduced to Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien), Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards), Dizzy Flores (Dina Meyer), and Carl Jenkins (Neil Patrick) who are high school seniors in Buenos Aires. The four high school students all end up deciding to join the military after graduating high school, with Johnny and Dizzy heading to Mobile Infantry basic training, while Carmen becomes a starship pilot and Carl joins military intelligence. Johnny performs well in basic training and is soon given leadership over the soldiers in his group, but after an accident kills one of his men, he decides to leave the military. As he is about to go, the training base gets word of an attack from the aliens, which included the destruction of his home, Buenos Aires, and the deaths of his parents. This prompts Johnny to stay with the Mobile Infantry and service in the war against the bugs. In this blog I will be looking at the use of female characters in the adaptation and how the film dealt with themes presented in the book.

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Britt’s Anime and Gaming Adventures: The Biting Social Commentary of Seoul Station (2016)

An animated prequel to the highly popular South Korean horror movie Train to Busan (2016), Seoul Station deserves just as much praise as its sequel, if not more. While Train to Busan has since had a sequel, Peninsula (2020), and is supposedly getting an American remake (because apparently us Americans always have to profit off iconic Eastern horror films), the animated movie that started it all is often sidelined. Released the same year as Busan, Seoul Station details the events that led to the zombie outbreak in Seoul. The story follows three characters, including Hye-sun, a prostitute who desperately wants to get off the streets and return home to her ailing father. It also follows Ki-woong, Hye-sun’s boyfriend who took her off the streets and gave her a place to stay, and Suk-gyu, her father. As Suk-gyu and Ki-woong are searching for Hye-sun, a zombie epidemic breaks out in Seoul, and chaos, naturally, ensues. I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Train to Busan, so I won’t compare the two. Instead, I’ll explain why Seoul Station deserves more recognition, as well as emphasize the need for more adult animated horror movies.

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