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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Meet the Editors: Julie Nettles

We hope you are enjoying this lovely Sunday evening! This week we will be introducing poetry and prose editor Julie Nettles.

Julie Nettles is a Senior at Lewis University majoring in Secondary Education and English Studies. She is currently completing her student teaching at Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet, Illinois, and hopes to start her career using the tools obtained during her time at Lewis in the Spring of 2022. Julie is also a recipient of the Give Back Foundation Scholarship and hopes to live up to the Give Back promise by cultivating analytical thought within her students. She looks forward to reading your submissions and watching emerging writers refine their craft.

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Britt’s Anime and Gaming Adventures: Lycans, Vampires, Giant Babies, Oh My! A Look at Resident Evil Village

Welcome back, readers! Over the summer I played some great games and watched some excellent anime that I am absolutely thrilled to cover this semester. I would like to kick off this semester of blogging by reviewing the first game I played this summer: the highly anticipated Resident Evil Village.

I vividly remember how ecstatic I was on release day, and I have a feeling I’ll remember my giddy excitement for years to come. This being a game I and countless other fans had been waiting over a year for, I preordered it the day the game was available for pre-order, way back in winter 2020. (Technically the day after because the website was acting weird with everyone and their mother pre-ordering a copy). A few agonizing months later, release day–May 7th, 2021–arrived. I’d been tracking my package all week, and every time I saw a UPS truck in my area I’d get all jumpy, thinking my copy was on the truck. It was an excitement I hadn’t experienced in literal years, which is kinda depressing now that I think about it. Anyway, when I got an alert on my phone saying my copy had been delivered, I sped home, popped the disc into my Xbox, and waited (ugh, MORE waiting) for the game to install. I spent the next few days playing it, then replaying it. I could not have asked for a more perfect start to my summer. 

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Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth is a 2008 American science fantasy action-adventure film directed by Eric Brevig and stars Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, and Anita Briem. It is an adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1864 novel of the same name. The film starts with volcanologist and lecturer Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) as he finds out that his late brother, Max’s, lab is being closed. While trying to deal with this, his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) comes to visit him for 10 days. When Sean’s mother drops him off, she gives Trevor a box of his brother’s things, which includes a copy of Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. In the book, there are extensive notes and Trevor, along with his nephew, go to his brother’s lab to figure out what the notes mean, and the two soon realize they will need to travel to Iceland to get answers for themselves. When they get there, the two meet a woman named Hannah (Anita Briem) whose father believed Verne’s books included factual accounts, like Trevor’s brother did. Hannah agrees to be Trevor and Sean’s guide up the mountain where an instrument used by Max is strangely working again after being inactive for 10 years. When they get up to the site, a lightning storm starts and the three end up trapped in a cave system, and with no way out are forced to go further into what turns out to be a mine system. The three find themselves going deeper in the Earth, and eventually reach the center. In this blog post, I will look at how the adaptation is different from other films based on books and how this affects the characters and their actions. 

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Meet the Editors: Emilio Franchini

We have quite a few new editors this semester, and we hope you are as excited to meet them as we are to introduce them! The first editor we will be introducing is Emilio Franchini, who is joining JFR as an assistant poetry editor, assistant prose editor, and copy editor.

Emilio Franchini is from Joliet, IL and now lives in Plainfield, IL. He holds a particular interest in both writing and drawing, frequently crossing over the two disciplines as his preferred methods and techniques in storytelling. Additionally, he enjoys exploring music, movies, and other mediums of entertainment in search of inspiration for his written works.

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A Community Collaboration: Golden Shovels

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Jet Fuel Review Issue #21 Cover

For our Spring 2021 issue of Jet Fuel Review (cover art by Deedee Cheriel), we devoted a special section to golden shovels. If you are unfamiliar with the form, it is an interesting take on acrostic poetry where a poet chooses a line and puts each word from that line at the end of each of their new lines. Terrance Hayes created the form and based his poem “The Golden Shovel” on Gwendolyn Brooks’s “We Real Cool.” (In Hayes’s poem, he explores his childhood and memories of his father).

We felt that it was necessary to take this golden shovel form beyond the confines of our journal. Like previous issues that had special sections, we would often have a call-out throughout Lewis University in order to foster community engagement and celebration. This time, unlike our 19th issue that focused on collaborative poetry, we chose the golden shovel form. To celebrate the successful launch of our 21st issue, and to witness a mosaic of creativity at the end of the Spring 2021 Semester, we asked students, faculty, and alumni to join together to create golden shovels. These shovels could be from a line of poetry or music that inspired the community member to write.

Presented below is an excerpt from the Special Section’s introduction written by JFR Assistant Managing Editor, Jo Spangler, that discusses the form in more detail. Located underneath the excerpt from our journal, there is a collection of fantastic golden shovels written by some of our own editors of Jet Fuel Review as well as some faculty and alumni of Lewis University. In summation, each of these golden shovels represents communication between the original author of the line and the poet using it. This community project is one that connects to the theme of our special section and gives a glimpse into the creativity and talent of our community. I hope you love Jet Fuel Review‘s 21st issue and also enjoy reading some golden shovels from the Lewis community.

Thank you, and I hope the blog has served you well during this difficult semester!

— Christian Mietus, Blog Editor

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