By Jase Brandt

Sterling College senior Kaitlynn Little will be taking an internship with New Beginnings Language Training Center in southeast Asia this summer. She will be teaching English to students in middle school. More details can be found in the interview below.

Kaitlynn is currently raising funds for her trip. At the time the interview was recorded, Kaitlynn’s cost for her trip was $3,500, but recent changes in flight scheduling has since raised her costs to $4,500. So far, she has raised $1,280 of the $4,500 total and is accepting donations until May 19thand will begin her trip the following day. If you can, please consider supporting Kaitlynn by donating to either her GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/teaching-english-in-southeast-asia or sending money to her home church at the address below:

Kaitlynn Little
First Baptist Church
404 Juniper Dr.
Holton, KS 66436

Kaitlynn is deeply grateful for the support she has received from her friends and family. If you would like more information, you can contact Kaitlynn by emailing her at klittle@sterling.edu. More information regarding New Beginnings Language Training Center can be found at http://www.nbcenglish.org/.

By Jase Brandt  Sterling, KS — Feb 18, 2018, 12:25 P.M.black panther

Release Date: Feb. 16, 2018

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture

Runtime: Two hours, 14 minutes

Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

 

 

Black History Month continues with the release of Black Panther. Possibly being Marvel Studio’s 18th and boldest film yet in their universe, Black Panther continues to make bank at the box office and holds its Certified Fresh status on Rotten Tomatoes. It not only lives up to the series’ positive reputation, but may also exceed it in some ways. But how?

The film follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War as he struggles to take up the throne of his African home country of Wakanda, a seemingly poor country that hides its invaluable riches to not interfere with the wars of the rest of the world. T’Challa must prove his ability to rule the country to not only his royal subjects, but to himself. He doesn’t want to ruin his father’s legacy, but he also has the responsibility to fix the mistakes that have been created from it.

The story is very similar to many of the other Marvel Studios films, especially the Thor and Iron Man series, with the protagonist inheriting his father’s role as the main leader of his kingdom/company and the antagonist having a beef with both of them and trying to overthrow our hero and claim his title. Given its unoriginal core storyline, Black Panther makes up for it by introducing issues we have not yet seen in a superhero film, notably seclusion from world trade and immigration. T’Challa’s reasoning for this decision is based on fact that, in order to accept people from other countries, he must also accept the problems that come with them and doing so would endanger his country’s prosperity. T’Challa’s main enemy, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), seeks to use Wakanda’s resources to aid his fellow blacks in their revolution against the whites of America, saying that they are less privileged than them due to their unfair lack of firepower. This creates an interesting dynamic that not only affects T’Challa and Killmonger personally, but the black community as a whole.

The film is well made. Director Ryan Coogler leaves his signature of Steadicam usage throughout the film and its action sequences. While there are several night scenes involving a lot of black, there is also a lot of color elsewhere in the film, whether it comes from colored lighting or the traditional clothing of the Wakandans.

The cast is very strong. Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan lead the mostly black cast with their strong and, at times, emotional portrayals of their characters. Andy Serkis is one of my favorite actors. Of course I find his performance to be strong and enjoyable, especially since this is one of his few non-motion-capture performances. This is also Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan’s third collaboration, the first two being Fruitvale Station (2013) and Creed (2015).

Ludwig Göransson is credited for creating the film’s score and fulfills that responsibility. He doesn’t create anything substantially memorable, but he gets the job done. As for the soundtrack, Kendrick Lamar is credited for producing and being a prominent performer on it. I have not listened to it, but it currently holds critical reception that is above average.

Not only is Marvel getting bolder with its story and message choices, but they are also allowing violent content than they are previously known for. The violence is typical for a Marvel film, however, it isn’t as bloodless as its predecessors. Several characters are shown getting cut or stabbed with several of them creating gashes and sometimes small blood squirts. The sexual content is light. It doesn’t go beyond shirtless males, females wearing traditional skirts and tube tops, and a non-explicit suggestive joke or two. Along those lines, the language is lighter than most PG-13-rated films, with the worst being a small handful of s-words. You may or may not have noticed that the film’s rating includes “a brief rude gesture.” It comes as no surprise that it is the middle finger. However, it should be noted that it is a teen girl who gives it to her older brother for laughs. Other negative content includes a scene at a casino featuring gambling and drinking. Also, there is a considerable amount of rituals, dances, chants and ancestor worship. It can also be inferred that T’Challa receives his heightened abilities from a drug that is native to Wakanda. He is given the Power of the Black Panther from the Panther God by drinking a liquid made by crushing the seed of a native Wakandan flower.

Black Panther stands out in Marvel Studio’s synonymous but extremely successful franchise by exploring lots of things that haven’t been done in a Marvel movie before. The strong cast, visuals, and messages will certainly keep this film in the news for a while. I had the opportunity to see the film twice, the first time with friends who weren’t entirely caught up with the rest of the series and the second time with friends who were. Both groups yielded positive reactions and, while there are a couple flashback scenes to review select plot points, I highly recommend you catch up with Captain America: Civil War before Black Panther. I’m ready for Avengers: Infinity War!

 

By Jase Brandt  Sterling, KS — Feb 13, 2018, 10:12 PM

Warm Bodies DVD Cover
DVD cover courtesy of Lionsgate Publicity.

Release Date: Feb. 1, 2013

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for zombie violence and some language

Runtime: One hour, 38 minutes

Genre: Comedy | Horror | Romance

In light of the Sterling College theater department’s preparation of Romeo and Juliet in March, I had the opportunity to watch Warm Bodies. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not much for romance or horror films. I’ve never really been interested in horror films to begin with and I typically find romantic films to be full of cheesy clichés that never happen to me in real life. I will, however, always be ready to watch a comedy. I am always ready to laugh ‘til my stomach hurts. Warm Bodies isn’t that kind of comedy, but it does have enough clever narration and dialogue to get me to sit down and watch it.

The film follows a corpse (the film’s name for a zombie) named R who yearns for more to his undead life than walking around an airport until he decays to nothing. While searching for food one day, he comes across a non-zombie girl named Julie and the two of them develop a relationship that would be frowned upon in any society. The film is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and features a lot of Easter eggs from the play, such as the famous balcony scene and the naming of characters. As you may have already guessed, R is Romeo and Julie is Juliet. Other characters include Julie’s ex-boyfriend Perry as Paris, R’s zombie friend M as Mercutio, and Nora as Juliet’s nurse.

The story, though not original, is done in an interesting way. It is a new interpretation of an old story. The acting is surprisingly good for a zombie movie. With that genre, the tone of the film is mostly dark, however, it does have the “heartwarming” (You’ll have to see it to get the joke.) characteristics of a romance throughout, along with some humor. I found the music to be one of the film’s stronger points. The score isn’t any more dramatic than it needs to be, but the choice of instruments makes it unique and memorable. The soundtrack also stands out. Most of the songs played in the movie are from different characters’ music collections, including R’s vinyl collection and Nora’s iPod collection, and they range from Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ to M83’s ‘Midnight City.’

My main area of concern regarding the film’s content has to be the violence depicted in it. It is a hard PG-13. The corpses and other zombie-like characters can sometimes be disturbing in appearance, and they also become ravenous as they attack humans and eat them. Most of their meals are offscreen, but there was enough onscreen blood and brains to make me question its rating. The language is somewhat tame, except for a single use of the f-word by a corpse. The sexual content in the film is also somewhat tame. It is a romance with some flirting and kissing, but the furthest any character goes is a female character taking off her soaking wet shirt from behind before she lays down in bed to keep warm and dry. I do not recommend this film for younger viewers.

Of the three genres Warm Bodies is attributed to, it doesn’t quite fit into any one of them perfectly. Instead, it does its own thing and it works. If you’re expecting a romance, you’ll find a thriller. If you’re expecting a horror, you won’t get very scared. If you’re expecting a comedy, you’ll most likely be bored. It blends each genre in a way that it is balanced and refreshing and can appeal to multiple audiences. I had mixed feelings sitting down to watch it, but I ended up enjoying it and would be up for possibly watching it again in the future.

If you’re a young adult looking for a movie that will interest both you and your significant other, I’d say Warm Bodies would interest both, and just in time for Valentine’s Day. Also, don’t forget that the Sterling College theater department is hard at work preparing for their performance of the original Romeo and Juliet March 1-3. Be sure to come out and give them your support!

By: Cathryn Cavazos

The Sterling College communications department has had many changes within the past
couple of years, and along with changes came upgrades.

SCTV, or Sterling College Television, is the fruition of an idea that has been discussed for a few years, and is now a place where aspiring journalists, filmmakers and radio hosts alike can come and hone their craft while getting their work out to the public.

Ryan Corwin, assistant professor of communications, said that before this year, there
was never a “uniform” place where the communications students could showcase their work.

sctvhero-2

“We had In The Know lab where students were creating chapel announcement
videos…we had The Stir newspaper lab…we had radio lab,” but there was nowhere for all of those projects to live in one place.”

A website was then created just for that purpose, located at mysctv.com, and Corwin has
been “thrilled” by the student response so far this year.

“None of this can happen if students aren’t involved, and there have been several
students that have picked up the ball and said ‘I’m going to run with this,” said Corwin.

One of the most important things for the department this year was that students would have projects for their portfolios once their time at Sterling was complete.

“If a freshman student came in and took advantage of our video lab every semester, by
the end of their senior year they could have about 40 [broadcast news] videos for their portfolio…[those students] are here to come and learn some skills and to make [themselves] marketable as future employees, and so that is what we’re excited about.”

The site will cover everything from sports to academics, popular culture, campus happenings, and breaking news.

“We overlook sometimes that, while it feels like we are in the middle of Kansas on
an island, people here are affected by things that happen around the world,” Corwin said. “That’s one of the things that we’re really interested in exploring.”

To submit a topic for the SC.TV news staff to cover, visit mysctv.com/contact/

Thanks for visiting SC.tv, the new media hub for student journalists and filmmakers at Sterling College (Sterling, Kan.). This site is a new venture for us, and takes place of the print version of The Stir.

Plan to find weekly news broadcasts here, written stories, podcasts, and films made by our students.

Have an idea for a story? Want us to make some content for your organization or business? Fill out the contact form below.