Football Ticket Sales Prove Support, Anticipation for 2003

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: Justin Goldman

With a month remaining until the Rams football team begins the 2003 season, CSU athletic department officials have announced that season ticket sales have surpassed 9,600, beating last year’s total by three tickets.

The Rams open their season on Aug. 30 against the in-state rival University of Colorado Buffaloes at INVESCO Field in Denver. The Rocky Mountain Showdown is being televised nationally on ESPN with a kickoff time of 5:45 p.m.

Gary Ozzello, media relations director for CSU athletics, said he was excited for the upcoming season, and shed some light on the recent good news.

“In 1998 we had over 12,000 season tickets sold, so it’s looking to be the second highest total ever,” Ozzello said.

CSU is again the home team for the Rocky Mountain Showdown, which tops a schedule brimming with conference battles. Appearances by Weber State, Miami Ohio, Utah, Fresno State, Air Force and San Diego State give season ticket holders many great home games to attend at Hughes Stadium. CSU will be visiting BYU, Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV and California for their road games.

A CSU has slated Aug. 23 for the student-ticket distribution, which takes place during Ram Fest 2003. Ram Fest is a five-day celebration of the new school season that concludes on the first day of classes. A list of events can be found online at ramfest.colostate.edu.

With all the news and pubic statements being made about ticket sales and stadium renovations, Ozzello spoke as if its no surprise that support is so overwhelming this year. Anticipation is building up with green and gold infecting not only the fans but the players and coaches as well.

“We’re very excited for the upcoming season. Coach (Sonny) Lubick has a great group of returning players,” Ozzello said. “At the same time, every game on our schedule is difficult, but we will take it one game at a time.”

There are 15 returning starters. The list starts with Bradlee Van Pelt at quarterback for a third year and ends with Dexter Wynn on special teams. Lubick and his staff have been working diligently with their returning starters to build another successful football team.

Not only are the Rams under construction, but also in the works are the planned renovations and expansion of Hughes Stadium and Sonny Lubick Field. Crews have already started working on an artificial practice field south of Moby Arena that should be completed in the next few months.

At the end of the 2003 season, crews will install a new giant video screen, and two more scoreboard screens at Hughes Stadium. The biggest change however is the new playing surface on newly-named Sonny Lubick Field and the 18 percent increase in the number of seats to be installed on the north end zone.

The lengthy changes to Hughes Stadium have begun and should be completed before the 2005 season, Ozzello said.

The renovation and expansion of Hughes Stadium was made possible by a 15.2 million dollar donation from the Bohemian Foundation. President Pat Stryker gave the gift to CSU during a presentation in Fort Collins back in May.

Season tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 491-RAMS or by visiting CSU athletics official Web site at CSURAMS.com. Single game tickets for the CSU-CU game are only available through Ticketmaster, said Interim Athletics Director Christine Susemihl.

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Rice, Sapp being watched as Broncos training camp begins

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

*Editor’s note: From July 27 to August 18 Cecil Sapp and Frank Rice will be

at Broncos training camp attempting to make the team. The Collegian will be

there to mark their progress on a weekly basis.

They know it. They feel it. They sense it inside. They are being watched.

Judged. Rated against each other and against the system. And they love every minute of it.

Friday the Broncos kicked off their training camp with an early morning practice session and with the Ed McCaffreys, Rod Smiths and Jake Plummers were Cecil Sapp and Frank Rice, two former CSU football players trying to prove that they belong.

“I feel like I’m in the mix,” Rice said after a sweltering

Saturday afternoon session that left the receiver with a cramp in his right calf. “They are giving me reps and I’m running on the second and third (offensive) teams and getting ample time to show what I can do.”

Rice put his abilities on display Saturday at the Broncos training facility in Dove Valley impressing coaches so much that when the receiver pulled up lame after making a superb sideline grab, head coach Mike

Shanahan promptly yelled: “Frank you can’t afford to get hurt.”

“That made me feel good,” Rice said of Shanahan’s comment. “Makes me know that he’s watching me and pulling for me to make the team.”

Rice, who was a member of the team’s practice squad last season and signed a future contract Dec. 12, 2002, knows he has his work cut out for him with the Broncos having nine wide receivers vying for a limited number of spaces.

“It’s a competition,” he said. “Everyone is trying to make a spot on the team. It’s no secret as to how many people they can take. The numbers just don’t add up.”

Through competing against his teammates, Rice said he has also learned a lot from them during the past year.

“(Wide receiver) Rod Smith has helped me out tremendously,” he said. “The atmosphere around (the wide receivers) is good. They’re ally trying to make other guys better there is a lot of camaraderie and a lot of competition. “

If he does make the team, Rice knows what his role will be as a back up to the Broncos’ main wide receiver tandem of McCaffrey, Smith and

Ashley Lelie, but he said it is a role he is ready to take on and perform in if given the chance.

“Our job is to come in and play at the same level if they get hurt,” he said. “We have to produce the same way they do.”

Sapp has made an equally impressive showing thus far in camp as he vies for a roster spot after being snubbed in the 2003 NFL draft.

“He showed some flash today,” said Broncos running backs coach Bobby Turner. “This is just our second day out here so most of these guys are just trying to learn the offense, they’re just thinking and trying to get comfortable with their surroundings.”

Sapp’s chances of making the team increased dramatically over the weekend as two running backs, KaRon Coleman (broken foot) and Quentin

Griffin (broken left leg) suffered a pair of injuries that will leave them out for a month at least, allowing Sapp to move up on the team’s depth chart, which includes six other running backs.

After watching him utilize his size and soft hands during Saturday’s drills with the second and third team offenses, Turner said he believes Sapp should see some significant playing time in the team’s first preseason game against the Houston Texans in Houston, Aug. 9.

“I’m happy with his attitude and where he is right now,” Turner said. “Our goal is to have him ready to make the team, and once he makes the team we’ll see where it goes from there. But you have to make the team first.”

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Communication and respect

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: J.J. Babb

Adam turned to God one day and asked, “Why did you make Eve so beautiful?”

God replied, “So that you would love her.”

Adam thought for a moment and asked again, “Well, why did you make her so stupid?”

“So that she would love you,” God answered.

* * *

Although my father insists my mother is not stupid, he does say this joke has a hint of truth to why my parents’ marriage has lasted.

Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, my parents, Sam and Kathy will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

They were married Aug. 5, 1978, in a small Methodist church in WaKeeney, Ks. The wedding was simple and the reception even more simple in the basement of the church. There was no five course meal- just mints, nuts and cake and there was no dancing or drinking.

Yet, the bond they began on that day is one I pray and hope every married couple shares.

With almost half of all marriages ending in divorce, it is striking to see a couple still married, and even more amazing to see one as happy as my parents.

My parents’ tribute this on-going happiness to two main things: communication and respect.

“Communication,” my mother named as the main ingredient in good marriages, “You can’t read people’s minds so you have to be able to talk about things, from small everyday things to bigger issues.”

She stresses that although love is very important, without good communication a marriage cannot survive the ups and downs of life.

My father on the other hand contributes their quarter-decade marriage to respect of one another.

“If you don’t respect someone you don’t treat them properly,” he said.

But although my parents disagree about the one-essential ingredient for a strong marriage, they gave the same advice to couples striving to create and maintain a strong marriage: Discuss things like money, religion, politics and sex before and throughout the years.

While my mom described, “liking each other and knowing how to have fun with one another” as being important in a good marriage, my father was at a loss of words and turned to my mother for assistance.

“Respect, love…. I don’t have a clue…. ask your mom,” my dad said.

Besides the given advice, I have learned countless lessons in love, relationships and friendships from my parents’ example.

They have taught me:

– Love may be the foundation of a marriage, but communication and respect are the glue.

– The little things in a marriage, like yellow roses on a Wednesday or a card in the mail at work, make each day joyous.

– The meaning of commitment-sticking together even when times get tough, money gets tight and kids get in trouble.

– An argument or disagreement does not automatically mean a divorce; it just means something needs to be worked out.

– It’s okay to seek help from someone outside of the relationship, such as a counselor, when problems get overwhelming.

– A marriage can also be a friendship.

And most of all my parents have taught me in a country filled with failed marriages; a simple loving couple can make marriage last a lifetime.

Congratulations Mom and Dad, happy 25th wedding anniversary.

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CSU needs more diversity

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

If talk about race and affirmative action was a trading stock, that stock would be climbing, especially after the Supreme Court University of Michigan ruling and especially after Gov. Bill Owens publicly announced he would support a bill that would eliminate race from college admission consideration.

When it comes to admissions, CSU takes into account different factors; when the school does look at race, it is long after the student meets the index scores he or she needs to be admitted into CSU.

After talking to some at the office of admissions, I learned that the office considers extracurricular activities, sport participation, interest in the arts, rural or urban background among other considerations but every student attending CSU should feel confident they got into this school on merit and not because of race. To my understanding, race is not going to determine admission to CSU and it should not at any college campus, but colleges should be encouraged to diversify their campuses – the way to do that is to start early and start preparing K-12 students earlier and increasing the number of underrepresented students in the application pool.

If white Colorado politicians want to eliminate race from consideration, that is fine. I am not opposed to the idea, but it seems to me they are not interested in making sure only qualified students are accepted at state colleges, but politicians like Sen. Jim Dyer, who filed a request for the bill, put forth these kinds of legislation because of white pride.

What positive consequences will this bill have for young Coloradoans applying to college? How will the bill benefit anyone?

I’m sure future supporters of the proposed bill will claim it will level the playing field for all students. Does the playing field need to be any more level when the 11.2 percent minorities at CSU do not represent the more than 20 percent of minorities living in Colorado?

This bill is simply a statement coming from white politicians that feel they are losing their share of the pie to minorities unless these same politicians come up with a program or system that will help underrepresented students get on state college campuses. And I’m not just talking about students of color but rural students, students coming from poor families and first-generation students.

I am not convinced passing a bill eliminating college admissions from considering race is going to solving anything let alone the negative consequences white politicians claim come from affirmative action.

And unlike my colleagues who feel we need to be colorblind (“Our View,” July 23), I feel as a society we need to look at a person’s skin color and background or we are stripping that person of his or her identity.

For a lot of people, their race is a big part of their identity and to try to look past only sets up opportunity for discrimination and prejudice.

Prejudice and discrimination comes from na/ve thinking and not understanding different cultural backgrounds and trying to implicate this colorblind legislative would only further prejudice and discrimination because it removes opportunity for underrepresented students and does not allow institutions to recognize students coming from different background.

The only way this bill will benefit anyone is when Colorado politicians realize they represent not only white Coloradoans but also all Coloradoans and start proposing legislation that will benefit everyone. This bill is fine but it needs to be followed by a proposal that will diversify our campus more than it is now.

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GOCO aids Horsetooth Reservoir

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: Jason Kosena

Larimer County Parks and Open Lands recently received two grants from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) totaling $459,000 to be used in the Horsetooth Park and Reservoir area.

The two grants have been awarded to the county from GOCO to help expand the land around Horsetooth and also to aid in the remodeling of the Inlet Center, according to Kerri Traynor, fund development and outreach specialist for Larimer County Parks.

“Both grants that have been awarded will go toward the Horsetooth area. One will be used for the Inlet Bay Visitor Area and the other will be used for a 288-acre addition to the southwest side of the existing Horsetooth Park,” Traynor said.

The land that is being acquired will remain a protected area, and that will help add to the beauty of the area and the surroundings and feel of the park, Traynor said.

The Inlet area will also have many advantages for park users after the reconstruction is completed, Traynor said.

“The (Inlet Area) project will include expanding the boat ramp and day use areas for people to use,” Traynor said.

In addition to new picnic tables and barbecues, the inlet area will have a one mile trail connecting the Horsetooth Area with Rimrock Open Space, giving park users better access to both of these areas from the other, Traynor said.

“The trail will serve as a regional connection from the two areas and it will serve as a passage for campers to Inlet Bay,” said Traynor.

The grants received by the area are not small accomplishments, said Chris Leding, the communications director for GOCO.

“We receive three times as many requests for dollars as GOCO has dollars available to give away,” Leding said.

Larimer County was chosen to receive the grants because of the nature of the projects being completed and also because of the history of the county, Leding said.

“Larimer County has a very strong track record of getting projects done and completed,” Leding said.

“We also like to see connectivity in the things we fund, and the Inlet Area will be a project that will have high public use,” Leding said.

GOCO, which is flooded each year with grant requests, believes that Larimer County is a good choice because Larimer County’s requests match the goals of the GOCO organization.

“The grants given to Larimer County meet all of the GOCO missions,” Leding said.

As for Mitch Blanc, a retailer from Nebraska who is vacationing in Colorado, the grants seem like good ideas.

“My family and I have been coming out this way for many years,” Blanc said, as he set up an early picnicking spot for the day at the Inlet Area.

“The more land out here being protected and preserved is a great thing,” Blanc said. “Maybe with a little more of it, my kids can bring their kids here and have the same great views to look at as I do today.”

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Virus found on campus

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: Colleen Buhrer

The numbers of dead birds and other animals are increasing, the first human may have contracted the virus and the CSU campus has found its first infected bird, signaling that West Nile Virus is in full force in Larimer County.

On July 22 a 31-year-old male from Loveland, working in the Fort Collins area, was reported as the “first probable human case of West Nile Virus infection in Larimer County,” according to a press release.

The test has not been confirmed by the Department of Public Health and Environment’s lab, but it is likely the tests will confirm that he has been infected, the press release said.

He first became sick on July 6 after reporting having multiple mosquito bites. He had severe headache, back ache, eye pain and a rash on his back and chest. He was not hospitalized.

The first dead bird infected with the West Nile Virus on the CSU campus was reported Friday. The magpie was found near the Statistics Building, according to Earlie Thomas, director of CSU Environmental Health Services.

There are about five more birds currently being tested, he said. CSU has been sending birds in for testing since the first cases arrived in Colorado in 2002 and this was the first positive.

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has recommended that a mosquito control program be implemented. Loveland is the only city in Larimer County with a mosquito control program. Fort Collins is working out the details to implement a program, said Ann Watson, health education supervisor for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.

A mosquito control program involves “applying a biological agent to storm water catch basins along city and county streets and roads where there is urban density development,” according to a press release.

“(Citizens) should pay attention to protecting themselves with repellent,” Watson said. “Twenty percent of people who become infected will have symptoms.”

These symptoms are flu-like such as fever and muscle aches, she said.

A “tremendous” amount of birds are being turned in for testing, Watson said. So much so that residents in the middle of Fort Collins are being asked to stop bringing in birds. They have acquired enough information from that area.

Birds are still needed from areas north of Trilby (County Road 34), east of Zigler (County Road 9), west of Taft Hill Rd. (County Road 19) and north of Douglas Rd. (County Road 54).

Thus far, 32 birds and one horse have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Larimer County, Watson said.

Thomas welcomes anyone with questions or concerns to call the CSU Environmental Health Services at 491-6745.

Outbox:

Ways to protect from mosquito bites:

* Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn

* If outside during dusk and dawn, cover up with long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks

* Use mosquito repellents with DEET

* Eliminate standing water in tires or similar water-holding containers as these may serve as mosquito breeding sites.

Source: Larimer County Department of Health and Environment press release

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Stepping up? Or down?

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: Shandra Jordan

After 17 years of association with the No. 1 veterinary program in the country, Cornell, David Lee joined CSU, the No. 2 program.

“The only thing more fun than working for the No. 1 school is helping the No. 2 school become the No. 1 school,” Lee said.

On June 1 Lee took over as director of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at CSU after a nation-wide search.

“There are only a handful of schools I would have considered and Colorado State was certainly one of them given its excellent reputation,” Lee said, “and its location doesn’t hurt either.”

Lee has a master’s of business administration, a doctorate in veterinary medicine and a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences, all from Cornell.

He has held several positions at Cornell including executive director of external affairs and marketing for the College of Veterinary Medicine, executive director of strategic planning and business development and assistant director of the endocrinology section of the diagnostic laboratory.

He has also taught in the areas of practice management, hospital administration, community practice service, and ethics and professional development, according to a press release.

“Dr. Lee is an excellent fit,” said Lance Perryman, the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “He’s a veterinarian with experience in private practice, he has an MBA degree so he has the knowledge base to be an effective manager and he’s absolutely committed to client satisfaction.”

Additionally, Lee worked for a private small animal practice in Portland, Maine.

One area Lee hopes his experience and education will benefit the teaching hospital is in customer service and business practices.

“The veterinary profession in general has not been particularly business savvy,” Lee said. “We are part of a profession that is not money driven, which is good. People are in it for the right reasons. But if people end up dropping out of the profession because they don’t have enough money to live, they can’t help very many animals.”

Lee said there is more competition now in the veterinary medicine field, which means the Veterinary Teaching Hospital has to be more customer-service oriented than before.

Many years ago, a teaching hospital was the only place to go if you needed a complicated or unusual procedure done, Lee said. Now, more private clinics can perform those services as graduates of these teaching hospitals start their own practices.

“We need to work on getting people more interested in not just the money but the client customer service,” Lee said. “I think the people here are dedicated to that and we’ll see results pretty quickly.”

Lee also emphasized that continued funding for the hospital was important to not only the hospital, but also CSU in this time of budget cuts.

“Now is not the time to cut programs and staff because that would just create a downward spiral,” Lee said.

Because CSU is a land grant organization, it has a three-part mission of teaching, research and service.

“All three occur here,” Lee said.

The clinical training at the hospital is the most expensive part of veterinary training, Lee said, but it is worth the investment to have a teaching hospital rather than “farming-out” students to private practices.

“The quality of work that’s performed here is excellent, we still have quite a bit of demand for services,” Lee said.

The hospital makes enough money to cover most of its operating costs each year, Perryman said.

The hospital trains about four classes from the College of Veterinary Medicine with about 135 people per class.

“It’s much larger than Cornell,” Lee said. “This school services many of the western states and I think the supply and demand for veterinarians is about right.”

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Drip, drop: Fort Collins’ water restrictions continue

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: J.J. Babb

With temperatures reaching 100 degrees and no rain in sight, Fort Collins struggles again this summer with a drought and the resulting water restrictions.

On April 1, the Fort Collins City Council approved an ordinance putting Fort Collins on a Level 1 restriction. This ordinance was effective April 21. Level 1 restrictions are similar to the ones faced last summer.

“Voluntary reductions in indoor water use during the winter, following last summer’s successful commitment to outdoor water-use restrictions, have resulted in water use so far this year being almost 14 percent below average use for non-drought years,” said Michael B. Smith, general manager of Fort Collins Utilities, in a press release.

Some of the restrictions in place are as follows:

– No lawn watering is allowed on Monday.

– Sprinkler system maintenance is allowed any time with minimal water use.

– Car washing is allowed using a bucket and hose that has a shut-off nozzle.

– The lawn watering schedule is based on the last number of the street address:

Even residential street addresses: Thursday and Sunday

Odd residential street addresses: Wednesday and Saturday

Commercial: Tuesday and Friday .

Some students feel these watering restrictions have destroyed their lawns.

“(The restrictions) killed my lawn,” said Robert Jacobs a senior health and exercise science major.

CSU facilities manager Doug Nagel agrees the restrictions do not help the landscaping, but do help conserve water usage.

According to Nagel, CSU has created a water usage budget and waters about 450 acre feet compared to the normal 650 acre feet.

“We’ve cut back by about 40 percent,” Nagel said.

Nagel and his employees water enough to keep the grass and shrubs alive and the athletic turf safe.

“I think being on a water budget has helped us plan out our usage,” Nagel said.

But even if one does not like the restrictions, it is against the law to violate them. If a resident is caught

Nagel also believes by cutting water usage at CSU others may have water.

“`It helps so other areas have water, it’s just basic conservation method,” Nagel said.

Although some may not like the water laws violating the city laws on watering may result in a fine from $50 to $1,000 per violation, according to the City of Fort Collins Web site, www.fcgov.com.

Although recent rain and the heavy snow in the winter brought Colorado some drought relief, the water supply remains below normal, according to the Fort Collins City press release.

Junior English major Audrey Fisher believes the restrictions not only help save water but also bring about awareness.

“I think it makes people more aware of the water they actually use and makes them more conscious about how they use it,” Fisher said.

To save water and thus reduce the water demand the city recommends also restricting indoor water use.

The three main ways to do this are:

– Find and repair leaks.

– Install water-saving devices.

– Change your habits to use less water.

“Customers are encouraged to continue to reduce water use as much as possible, both indoors and outdoors, as unrestricted use likely would mean demand would outstrip the water supply,” said Smith in a press release.

For more conservation tips and drought updates, visit www.fcgov.com/water/conserv.php or call the Water Conservation Hotline at 416-2666.

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Denver Center’s new campus opens

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Jul 292003
 
Authors: J.J. Babb

On Aug. 13 CSU President Larry Penley will cut the ribbon marking the grand opening of CSU’s Denver Center.

CSU Denver, which has just moved to 410 17th Street, between 16th and 17th Streets on Tremont in Downtown Denver, will host its grand opening from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 13. Penley will be speaking and cutting the ribbon at 12:15 p.m.

“One purpose (of the open house) is we moved to a new building,” said Debra Spann, CSU Denver administrative assistant for marketing.

The Grand Opening will give visitors a chance to learn more about the Denver Center’s graduate degree programs, certificates offered, professional development and online and distance learning programs.

“Another purpose (of the open house) is that many people don’t know CSU Denver exists,” Spann said. “One of the reasons is to open the doors to the public to show CSU Denver is part of Denver and also part of the CSU community.”

The campus is a self-supporting unity that “develops and delivers quality programs and educational opportunities in support of the University’s land grant mission,” according to their Web site www.learn.colostate.edu.

CSU Denver, which has been offering distance learning since 1967, serves around 13,000 students a year, according to their Web site. The programs are not subsidized by the state of Colorado.

CSU Denver offers graduate school programs including Ph.D. programs on their campus. They also offer distance and online learning programs for undergraduate degrees, certificates and continuing education classes.

The campus also features the Rocky Mountain Institute for Transportation Safety and does on-site and custom training.

CSU Denver’s mission statement is: “To provide customer-focused educational and training programs in response to needs of Colorado citizens and businesses. Continuing Education utilizes face-to-face and distance methods of delivery to carry out the land grant mission of Colorado State University.”

For more information about the Denver Center’s Open House or educational programs visit www.learn.colostate.edu or call 303-573-6318.

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Movie reviews

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Jul 272003
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

28 Days Later

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Let me introduce the Rage, a virus easily contracted by blood and bodily fluids that causes the victim to have zombie-like traits and characteristics; i.e. drunken appearance, a craving for humans, blood-soaked eyes and the ability to scare the crap out of you. We also learn that the virus as an incubation period of about 20 seconds and that is about all you need to know going into this movie.

Our two survivors, Jim (Cillian Murphy) and Selena (Naomie Harris) join up together and their differences are perfectly played out in the movie. Jim, who woke up in a hospital bed from a coma 28 days later, is still trying to make sense of the changed world around him, and Selena, who has survived for a month, has accepted the fact that she will never read another book that has not already been written or see a movie that has not already been shot. When the two meet up with a father and daughter, Selena explains that if they were to slow her down she would leave them but Jim reassures himself and Selena that he would not.

The only downfall in this movie is going to be for people who are expecting another Night of the Living Dead because by definition this movie is not an actual zombie movie; the people who we are suppose to be afraid of are not the walking dead, they are the infected, the term used in the movie for people who have Rage.

The movie becomes a movie more about survival and human nature rather than a running away from zombies and staying away from dark places, but true to horror movies, the characters end up doing things that we know is only going to get them in danger; going through dark tunnels, going into dark buildings for no obvious reasons.

Shot entirely on digital handheld cameras, director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach) delivers a top-notch script with sharp acting and scary fun. This movie is so scary and so frightening that you will have to go see it a second time to see what you missed with your eyes covered.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Warner Brothers

It’s pretty easy to be a terminator now, with cell phones and the Internet and cool fast cars.

In the first scene with the female terminator (Kristanna Loken) time warping to the present day (yes, she is nude) she hijacks a brand new fancy Lexus then precedes to use a cell phone to access the Internet to locate her targets.

More than 10 years ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick were terminators in T2, those poor guys still had to use pay phones and for some reason did not steal cars that had product placement.

If you go see T3 expecting what you saw in the pervious terminator movies you are going to be disappointed. About the only thing the movies have in common is the name and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Director/ writer James Camron and actors Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong do not come back to reprise their roles so what we are left with are distinct mementos of a classic epic in the shape of a summer blow ’em flick.

If you are going to see T3 because you want to see cars blown up and Arnold doing his job as a terminator and terminating things than you are in a for a ride. The movie boosts one of the most spectactular car scenes ever captured on celluloid.

This movie just could not follow the perfectly executed cat-mouse chase storyline that the pervious movie had. This one was more about impressing you with car chases and cheesy one-liners from Schwarzenegger that will never compare to “I’ll be back” or “Hasta la vista” and that is why this movie just did not work, director Jonathan Mostow (U-571) tried to recreate the last movie without the same elements. It’s like winning the World Series one year than losing half your team and trying to play in October with what you have.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Disney Pictures

I’m going on record right now and saying this is and will be the best movie of the summer. You could not ask for a better summer movie, no – a better movie period.

It almost seemed destined to fail: a movie based on a Disney ride, a movie about pirates, a movie on ships and water (Waterworld, Cutthroat Island anyone?) but this movie absolutely will blow you out of the water – get it, a pirate movie that will…forget it, nevermind!

The real treasure of the movie is Johnny Depp, who gives the performance of his career as pirate Jack Sparrow. To see Depp have fun with his character and deliver such a comic performance and has so much fun that you wish more actors would do that and stop being serious about themselves.

The story begins with pirate captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) who must retrieve 88 pieces of cursed gold to lift the curse of himself and his crew and guess who would have the last piece of gold? Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth Swann who has the final piece of the treasure Barbossa needs. When she is captured, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) turns to Sparrow to save her.

Special effects in the movie are nothing too great. Under moonlight, the cursed pirates become skeletons and it seems that the director did not have too much confidence in the special effects, so he shot scenes with the bony pirates cut back and forth a little too much for the audience to get a sense of what is happening in the scene.

Running at 150 minutes, Pirates never runs out of steam unlike most summer movies and do not be too surprised if this movie comes up during Oscar time.

Bad Boys II

Sony Pictures

Hands down the movie with the most unnecessary violence and the most plotlines holes to make your eyes roll back more than you will laugh.

Did the first movie with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence really garner enough support and following to ask for a sequel?

What can we learn about this movie? Special effects are no longer a medium used to elevate the story; they are simply used as eye candy to fill holes in script shot up by the number of gunshots in the movie. Instead of simply watching a bad guy being shot, we now have the pleasure of watching the bullet slowly enter his forehead and watch detailed CGI blood spurt out.

The movie does have its funny moments between Smith and Lawrence but the jokes do not justify sitting through 150 minutes of explosions and gunfire. The only two characters that were built with any support were the two main characters, everyone else was left to dry like Gabrielle Union’s character, Sydney Burnett, who happens to be dating Mike Lowrey (Smith) and his the sister of Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) but also happens to be a federal agent that is on the same case as Burnett and Lowrey. When she is kidnapped by drug lords, everyone rushes to Cuba to save her, risking the lives of thousands to save one girl – she’s cute but not that cute.

This is a sequel no one asked for except for Smith who needed a hit after Men in Black II failed and for Lawrence who between the Bad Boys movies has been playing the same character in a string of duds – National Security, Blue Streak.

Hulk

Universal Pictures

The movie that desperately wanted to be the next Spiderman ended up being the next Godzilla.

Based on the Marvel comics, the movie’s first problem was its director Ang Lee (The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Lee is known for bringing life to ordinary characters in a sense that makes those characters extraordinary, something he was not able to do with Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) or is computer generated image ego, Hulk. It’s hard to bring complexity to an imaginary character and the movie suffers with Lee trying.

The title character does not really surface until the third act and when he does he is overdone in size and ability and underdone in appearance and performance (I cannot be the only person who think Hulk looks like Shrek).

When the movie should have had more Hulk and more havoc, the movie is brought down by Lee’s attempt to tell the story of Banner, his relationship with ex-girlfriend Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly) and his father played by Nick Nolte and his inner struggle with himself.

Unlike Spiderman’s coming to be, the transition from Banner becoming Hulk is dragged by its claws and is at time painful to watch.

Lee, in an honest attempt to bring strong storytelling and sophisticated characters to a special effects heavy movie, failed to give audiences what they were hoping to see, a cult favorite comic character shine on the silver screen, like Spiderman, and delivered a movie so sunk in character turmoil and mush storytelling, it never surfaces.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm