Editors’ Picks 2015

Check out these recommendations from Cedars editors about what to watch and listen to for the rest of the semester and summer:


Jurassic-World‘Jurassic World’ – June 12

by Erik Johnson

It’s back. Twenty-two years after the original “Jurassic Park” and 14 years after the release of the third movie comes the fourth installment in the “Jurassic Park” series, “Jurassic World.” Chris Pratt, of “Parks and Recreation” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” takes the lead role in the epic film due to be released on June 12. It is directed by Colin Trevorrow.

Unlike the previous three movies, this time the park is open. And while it is no surprise that dinosaurs will escape and terrorize the island, this time the center stage belongs to the lab-created Indominous Rex, a blood-thirsty and intelligent dinosaur that kills for sport. Join Chris Pratt and his trained velociraptor squad as they try to stop this deadly creation before it is too late.

“Jurassic World” also features one of the most interactive websites ever designed for a movie. The website acts like the main site for an actual, fully functional “Jurassic World” with live feeds from exhibits, schedules of events, weather forecasts and anything else you could expect from a park. Be sure to check it out if you are even close to being as excited to see this as I am! Also, read the book by Michael Crichton that all the movies have been based on. It’s really good.

Believe-Me‘Believe Me’

by Mary Kate Browning

The term “Christian movie” has become synonymous with low-budget films that often come across as hokey or trying too hard. Released in the fall of 2014, “Believe Me” intentionally, and successfully, defies that stereotype.

When senior Sam Atwell needs help paying for his last semester of college, he convinces his friends to help him create a fake nonprofit and use the money they raise to pay Sam’s tuition. And who better to hit up for donations than well-meaning Christians looking for a good cause to support? Sam’s deception quickly snowballs, landing him and his friends on the national stage, where they must continue pretending to be Christians in order to keep the ruse alive.

The clever script, cinematography and top-notch acting are equal to those of secular films and are what set “Believe Me” apart from other Christian movies. But what makes “Believe Me” truly unique is its portrayal of Christian culture from the perspective of those outside the culture. The movie pokes fun of everything from Christians’ hipster fashions to overly zealous worship leaders to the idea that people give money just to feel good. While some may take offense at this type of humor, to do so would be to miss the satire at the film’s core.

“Believe Me” is available for $10 at Walmart or online at http://believemefilm.com


August-Burns-RedAugust Burns Red in the Summer

by Jonathan Gallardo

Christian metalcore band August Burns Red has released a new album every two years since 2005, and this year, its 10th anniversary, it is releasing its sixth studio album, “Found in Far Away Places.” On top of that, the band will play on the main stage on the Vans Warped Tour all summer long. If you’re looking for a rock band that’s not content to make the same music over and over again (I’m looking at you, Skillet), then give August Burns Red a listen.

Drummer Matt Greiner and guitarist J.B. Brubaker are two of the most skilled artisans of their respective crafts, and lead vocalist Jake Luhrs growls like a grizzly bear on steroids. The band is notorious for rocking the stage in T-shirts, cargo shorts and flip-flops, not stereotypical metal apparel.

But while ABR has some of the heaviest breakdowns and smoothest riffs in their genre, it also excels at writing meaningful lyrics. From addressing God’s sovereignty (“Provision”) to hypocrisy (“Poor Millionaire”), from human depravity (“Meddler”) to the end times (“The Seventh Trumpet”), August Burns Red is not afraid to use its songs to address tough issues.

From the brutal, in-your-face “Thrill Seeker” to the anthem-heavy  “Constellations” to the technically sound “Rescue and Restore,” ABR’s catalog is one of maturity, as it’s gotten better with each release. When it comes to making music, the band chooses to sprint ahead instead of jogging in place.

So catch August Burns Red on tour this summer, or pick up the new album on June 30. The band has already released the first single, “The Wake,” from the album, and if that song is any indication, “Found in Far Away Places” has the potential to be the band’s heaviest and best release yet.

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 5.06.12 PMSpotify ‘Chill’

by Anna Dembowski

You’re familiar with Spotify. You’ve listened to your favorite artist or latest album on repeat for days — well, unless that artist happens to be Taylor Swift — and you’ve made playlists titled everything from friends’ names to days of the week.

But some of the beauty of Spotify comes in the pre-created playlists categorized by genre and mood. The “chill” category is where it’s at. There are dozens of playlists compiled by Spotify users all around the world with the craziest of playlist names.

Take for example “Train Station Sleepover” with a description none other than, “You missed the last train out, and the station is now your home for the night. This will help.” Because music obviously makes that cold bench you’re laying on seem a little less hard and a bit warmer.

Or if you’re more of a breakfast person than an avid train rider, maybe “Continental Breakfast” is for you. Tip: listen while you eat, but don’t eat what you listen to.

And what do college students like more than coffee? Nothing. So the five-hour and 28-minute playlist “Your Morning Coffee” from Spotify UK may be the perfect length to last you the whole semester – that is, if you only sip your coffee for about three minutes each day.

But don’t fret, Spotify has not forgotten the tea people with “Early Grey Morning.”

And if the semester has you defeated, Spotify UK has crafted a special playlist just for you: “Songs for Slackers.”

So as finals week is now a reality, let Spotify choose what tunes will beat in your headphones. You’re tired. You’re stressed. You’re ready for summer. But first, chill. You may be pleasantly surprised at the artists you’ll discover.

Hans Zimmer

by Emily Finlay

Have you ever watched a movie without music or imagined what an epic fight scene or romantic moment would be like without an appropriate soundtrack? Awkward, that’s what. If you don’t believe me, just YouTube “Star Wars Minus Williams ­- Throne Room.” You’ll see what I’m talking about.

One of the masterminds behind movie music is German-born composer Hans Zimmer. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you almost certainly know his music. He’s known for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, “Gladiator,” “Inception,” Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, “Pearl Harbor,” new movie “Interstellar” and many more. He has written the scores for children’s classics, such as “The Lion King,” “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar.”

Zimmer’s first work in the music world was not a score, but a pop band, The Buggles, in  the 1970s. The group was best known for its song “Video Killed the Radio Star,” the first music video to air on MTV. He later began working on film scores in London, where he began mixing traditional orchestra music with electronic music, the first to do so. Zimmer has received 108 awards and 158 nominations for his work and has created over 100 scores.

A common theme through Zimmer’s work is his ability to infuse emotion into the musical background of the films he works on. Whether through the beautifully melancholic “Tennessee” from “Pearl Harbor” or the relieved triumph in “Now We Are Free” from “Gladiator,” Zimmer makes you feel. So, open Spotify, search Zimmer’s name and get lost in the music.

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