At the Movies: A Review of Recent Box Office Films

Reviews by Avery Callaway and Gaius Straka,

Bridge of Spies

Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “Bridge of Spies,” is pleasant, but not very memorable. There are no standout moments that can really push it over the edge from being good to great. Even with the Coen brothers writing and Tom Hanks’ star power elevating the film, it never tries to go any farther than it has to with it’s story and characters. The story focuses on James Donovan (Hanks), an insurance lawyer who has been given the difficult task of representing a captured Soviet spy in 1950s America. His ethics as an attorney are tested when his own country seems to turn against him. There are no glaring issues to be seen within “Bridge of Spies.” It achieves everything it wants to accomplish with gusto. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks, he never gives a performance that isn’t superb. The plot can switch seamlessly from tense to lighthearted on a dime and not be jarring in the slightest. Unfortunately, it never tries to go farther than it has to, and that holds “Bridge of Spies” back.

Accent Rating B+ Avery Callaway


“Goosebumps” gains some points immediately for being one of the more inspired young adult novel adaptations to come out recently. Instead of just adapting one of the novels, “Goosebumps” tells an original story by throwing many of the series’ monsters into the same setting. That, and some sharp performances early on earn the film some merit. However, “Goosebumps” quickly loses it due to a lack of consequences and a bad script.

The plot is a mess. There are so many unnecessary characters and subplots that nothing is ever accomplished scene-by-scene. Every time the audience might feel some progress has been made, the film finds a way to waste time, usually with some awful computer generated effect. Even at a run time of just over 100 minutes, it still seems like it’s an half hour too long.

It’s a shame, because sometimes a glimmer of creativity can be seen in this mess of a film. However, these moments are not frequent. The greatest sin “Goosebumps” commits is that it decided to be a feature-length film.

Accent Rating D Avery Callaway


“Sicario” is a great example of mechanical film-making at it’s finest. Every scene and music beat work toward creating a feeling of dread and tension that immediately engrosses the audience in the events that play out.

The cinematographer, Roger Deakens, deserves recognition for his work because every frame is purposeful and precise.

The story is focused on Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an idealistic FBI officer who is recruited onto a task force, headed by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), designed to bring a major cartel located in Juarez to justice. However, the longer Kate works with her new team, the more her ideals conflict with the shady actions of her higher ups.

If there were a complaint about “Sicario,” it would be that some of the dialogue in the film was stilted at times. Some of the dialogue was too light-hearted for events taking place. However, this should not keep you from seeing the film.

Accent Rating: A- Avery Callaway

The Martian

“The Martian,” is an exciting action/adventure film about a man surviving in a vast unforgiving world millions of miles from home.

Mark Watney, brilliantly acted by Matt Damon, is an astronaut stationed on Mars and presumed dead after an intense storm strikes his base during a rushed departure off the planet.

Watney shows how much of an elite specialist he is by surviving for years on the desolate Red Planet with few resources. He even manages to make his own garden.

The movie brings out the good of humanity in many ways including the portrayal of how far the astronauts are willing to go to bring one of their own back home.

Despite the dire situation, Matt Damon’s character doesn’t fall into a gloomy depressed frame of mind. Rather, he turns to making fun of himself through his failures while remaining confident and driven to survive, and eventually, leave Mars.

Director Ridley Scott has even more to offer in “The Martian” than he did in “Exodus.” The cinematography and special effects are stunning, creating gripping scenes and a feeling of realism.

Accent Rating: A- Gaius Straka

Honoring Hard Work: NSCS

Story by Gaius Straka, reporter

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars held its first induction ceremony at ACC.

Ranging from high school aged to senior citizens, 91 ACC students received NSCS membership pins during the October 28 ceremony at the Eastview Campus. The inductees took the oath of membership, officially recognizing them as part of the collegiate honors society.

Invitations to join the organization are only offered to first and second year college students who carry a 3.4 GPA or higher.

Breanna Miller, a high school student enrolled at ACC who plans to major in Psychology, advised anyone interested to not take the organization lightly. “This is a great accomplishment,” she stated.

Another inductee, Lambert Maddy, a second year student and petroleum engineering major, urged students desiring an invitation to “keep up your grades and work hard in school.”

NSCS offers $1 million in scholarships each year, more than any other honors society.

“NSCS is not solely academic,” Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas, ACC english professor and faculty advisor for the organization, said. “It’s social as well.”

“When members enter a four-year college” Sankaya Hall, Associate Director for NSCS said, “they can have a family to belong to.”

NSCS is integrated into local communities through various service programs such as book drives to support local schools, and 5k races benefiting breast cancer research.

Minimum Wage: No Money — Mo’ Problems

Story by Gaius Straka, reporter

Abraham Benski has found a solution to the minimum wage issue, or so he proposes.

A former ACC student, Benski developed a proposal to raise the national minimum wage primarily affecting middle class U.S. citizens. However, his proposal has not yet been submitted for review to any member of a legislative body.

“If a person’s working full-time, regardless of the job they are working, they should be able to live a decent life,” Benski said.

Benski believes that Bernie Sanders’ proposal of raising the current minimum wage to $15 an hour is plausible. To achieve this, Benski proposes reallocating 1 percent of the military budget.

“Simply and clearly, the military budget is the largest portion where the federal funds are being allocated,” Benski said.

His proposal would eventually eliminate governmental programs such as food stamps and federal housing. The funds would be redirected towards raising the minimum wage through what he called an “incentivised buffer program” where states would apply for funding based on local inflation. Benski emphasized taking gradual action in redirecting the funds.

Win Win Po, a current ACC student, sees things differently. In reaction to Benski’s proposal, Po answered inconclusively saying that the plan is effective overall, but does not approve of ending social programs as a means of funding.

Businesses with more than 100 employees would not receive a buffer program. Instead the government would expect large businesses to tighten wage disparities between upper and lower level employees.

Use of a business’s tax information would certify that employers filing for assistance had a legitimate business with U.S. citizens as employees.

Taryn Bias, an ACC recreational therapy major agrees. “I like the idea because it discourages illegal aliens.” However, Bias also said that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is too much.

Benski put forward the proposal because raising “the national minimum wage would be empowering,” he said. Benski hopes his proposal will be enacted by being noticed.

Student Voice: Commuting to Campus

Gaius Straka, Reporter — Anthony DeVera, Photographer

What can ACC do to improve your commute?

FREDRICK JOHNSON — The parking spaces should be bigger. Even when you have a compact like I do, if one person parks off, it can mess up the whole row.
VICTORIA CERVANTES — Bus stop areas could be closed off for shade. Right now it’s cold, so a shelter.
BRITTANY OKORIE — More space for visitors. There’s tons of space for students. For visitors, there’s not enough space for parking.
JOANN FIELDS — Students should be able to park up closer. It looks like all of the teachers get the close spots and then we’re all rushing to find a spot. There’s really not enough room, unless you’re parking far away.

TIPA 2015

Six members of Accent’s student staff attended the 2015 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference April 9-11 in San Antonio.
Congratulations to Accent Editor in Chief Noor Alahmadi who was elected Secretary of the 2016 TIPA student executive committee.
Congratulations to the following Accent students for being recognized in five categories including two First Place awards:
  • First Place Critical Review – Joseph Van Vranken, Multimedia Editor
  • First Place Picture Story – Dave Creaney, Photographer and Preston Bezant, Layout/Design Editor
  • Honorable Mention News story – Manal El-Haj, Reporter
  • Honorable Mention Feature Page Design – Preston Bezant, Layout/Design Editor
  • Honorable Mention Illustration (Non-photo) – Daniel Groh, contributor
TIPA was established in 1909 at Baylor University and is the oldest collegiate press association in the nation.
This year 442 students and 76 advisers attended the convention from 62 member colleges and universities. The convention hosted journalism contests ranging from TV News Broadcasting to Newspaper Headline Writing. Professional journalists and journalism professors held workshops on networking, resume writing, and various aspects of journalism.
“The contests were very competitive and drove me to put my best foot forward,” Ryan Fontenette-Mitchell, Accent reporter and business clerk said. “The workshops were detail oriented and gave me a lot of information that I can apply in my career.”
Accent Staff
Accent’s spring 2015 staff members complete registration at their first Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference April 9 at the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio. This was the time attending the convention for (left to right) Ryan Fontenette-Mitchell, Chloe Kwak, Noor Alahmadi, Gaius Straka, Joseph Lee and Shannon Mullery.