The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Reflector Staff Picks: The Worst of 2008

    Indiana Jones
    Indiana Jones


    Hancock // Peter Berg

    Opinion Columnist
    With Will Smith’s character having troublesome superhero sex, angrily shoving a man’s head up another man’s butt and creating lots of collateral damage “Hancock” is fairly weak
    Pushing the envelope is all very fine, but the movie received an R rating from the MPAA multiple times before Berg edited it down to a PG-13 rating.
    “Hancock” actually starts off well, but the plot seemed grossly undeveloped. A superhero who has been war-hardened into alcoholism because of Superman-like powers, the bad consequences of which overshadow their usefulness, is an excellent idea. And casting Smith as John Hancock should have made an otherwise bad movie entertaining and lighthearted (see M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs”).
    But halfway through the movie, the plot seems to be rushed to its end, the ultimate villain is laughable and unlikely, Smith’s acting was too reserved and (spoiler alert) the whole thing about Hancock and his life-long love being 3,000-year-old gods was cheesy to say the least.

    Twilight // Catherine Hardwicke

    Copy Editor
    Based off the first book of Stephanie Meyers’ vampire + teenage romance novel series, “Twilight” managed to gross $181,396,000 domestically, placing seventh for the year on the domestic gross chart.
    College and teenage girls, their mothers and a few unfortunate_boyfriends stampeded into theaters, selling out showings in record times. Minutes into the movie, the film’s biggest pitfall was immediately evident: it was clearly low budget, namely exhibited through the terrible special effects and sub par acting.
    I’ve read the first two books and knew vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) was weird, but watching him stalk Bella (Kristen Stewart) and inhale her scent on the big screen simply made me realize what a huge creep he is and wonder how in the world I made it through those two books.
    Nevertheless, every girl in the theater delighted in screaming or hopelessly sighing every time the camera panned to the deadly attractive vampire.
    Apparently, it’s still got its niche: Meyers has managed to sell 3.5 million copies of her first three books.

    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull // George Lucas

    Copy Editor
    George Lucas almost single-handedly destroyed my childhood by bringing Indiana Jones out of retirement and tainting the adventurer’s legacy in 2008.
    Indy, as expected, aged. He’s also battling against the Russians. I can live with that.
    But after ditching the Russians, surviving a nuclear blast and helping start a greaser fight in a malt shop, I thought Lucas pulled a rabbit out of his hat.
    Maybe this movie should have been made after all. Maybe this LeBouef kid isn’t so bad.
    Wrong. Because of plot twists, the last two-thirds of the movie are hardly worth mentioning.
    Harrison Ford gets a free pass from me just for being himself. The rest of the cast delivers a mediocre performance, but the biggest problem in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is the plot.
    Aliens? Really, George?
    After this movie I miss the old days of Indiana Jones.


    Anywhere I Lay My Head // Scarlett Johansson

    Entertainment Editor
    In 2008, Scarlett Johansson joined the other young Hollywood actresses attempting at a successful album. Sorry, Scarlett, this wasn’t your best take.
    Rumored to be recorded in an old Louisiana recording studio this album had a lot of potential to be a fairly cool Tom Waits cover album; David Bowie assisted in two tracks and Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio produced the debut.
    New Musical Express named this album the “23rd Best Album of the Year” while Entertainment Weekly and I agreed on naming it the worst album of the year.
    I have high hopes for Johansson if she stays in Hollywood and out of Louisiana instead of whispering into a microphone and selling it as vocal talent.

    TV shows

    “American Gladiators”// NBC

    Opinion Editor
    Perhaps a product of the Writers Guild of America strike, the new “American Gladiators,” hosted by Holk Hogan and Muhammad Ali’s daughter Laila Ali, shouldn’t have been legal in the 21st century.
    The names of Steel, Wolf and Rocket, as well as their fits and growls, scream a lack of creativity that was evident in the ’80s and ’90s seasons of the show.
    Don’t get me wrong. “American Gladiators” was just fine for the people consuming television when I was growing up. Truth can be very relative that way.
    Nowadays, these attempts to bring back old shows and personalities serve to flatter those who remember when our culture enjoyed this crap.
    No one really liked to watch “The Apprentice.” They just liked to laugh at old Donald Trump’s overzealous business tone, like a poor soul stuck in a TV program from 20 years ago.
    It’s time we reject these “redos” and phonies and enjoy quality television the way it was meant to be.
    “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”

    ABC Family

    Copy Editor
    Brenda Hampton (see “7th Heaven”) saw the success of 2007’s “Juno” and “Knocked Up” and unsuccessfully created a copycat show. The big problems with her show are that it doesn’t appeal to a wide audience, scripts are poorly written, characters are all over the place and each other and there’s bad acting.
    Ironically, the show has an endorsement from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. If any parents out there are using this show as sex ed., please stop.
    The same goes for Molly Ringwald (who plays the mom). Please stop.
    There’s a “Viewer Discretion Advised” warning attached to the show. Since when did the network decide it’s a good idea to start airing shows meriting that kind of warning? What happened to the good ol’ days of squeaky-clean ABC?

    Worst song

    “I Kissed a Girl” // Katy Perry

    Staff Writer
    One day while I was working out in the local gym at home, the most melodious song entered into my ears. I was in the middle of a heavy workout lifting about 1,000 grams or so and I heard Katy Perry’s hit song “I Kissed a Girl.” I did not know what to do. I just could not stop in the middle of my workout, so I stayed and listened to the entire song. It was the first time that I heard this song. I hoped it would be my last. The more I heard, the less I liked. The more I listened, the more the song became engraved in my brain. After my strenuous workout was finished, I constantly found myself humming the catchy tune over and over again.
    Though I did not particularly enjoy listening to the song, it was extremely catchy. Long after the song had ended, I felt like I needed to scrub my mind with soap and so I did. It hurt a lot.

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    Reflector Staff Picks: The Worst of 2008