The Epitaph

The Reel: Tension

The pub scene from Quentin Tarantino's

By Mark Lu

March 6, 2017

Any sort of on-screen entertainment must invoke emotion in the viewer. Sadness, happiness, anger, pity, laughter, the invocation of emotion is pretty much the definition of entertainment. In order to maximize the extent of this emotion, movies need to employ plot development or character developme...

The Bye Bye Man disappoints

The Bye Bye Man only receives $22.2 million box office.

February 28, 2017

R eleased on Jan. 13, 2017, The Bye Bye Man follows the story of three friends who discover the legend of a man to is capable of very malicious acts.   Elliot (Douglas Smith), John (Lucien Laviscount) and Sasha (Cressida Bonas) are all college students and have recently moved into an old house off-campus. ...

The Reel: The five least-boring Best Picture winners of the 21st century


By Mark Lu

February 25, 2017

The Academy Awards is made up of 6,687 members who vote every year on the best movie of the year, through a weird voting style called “instant-runoff voting” in which voters rank the nominations in the order in which they enjoyed each one. This is a much more complicated process that seeks to choose a ...

The Reel: A beaut. And fin.

By Mark Lu, Columnist

February 10, 2017

You’ve probably seen a good film before. Did you enjoy it for its visuals or story? It probably depends, right? For example, “Fantasia” (2000) is purely based off of visual stimulation and how the narrative of the music correlates with the implications of what’s on the screen. Others like “T...

The Reel: 2017 Academy Awards Predictions

By Mark Lu, Columnist

January 30, 2017

On Monday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars. Oscars are more than just golden statues; they represent the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work, creativity, ingenuity and talent. The ...

The Reel: ‘Seven,’ the greatest suspense thriller there ever was

‘Seven’ is a 1995 crime-suspense thriller starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey. (Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema)

By Mark Lu, Columnist

January 24, 2017

It’s difficult to create a thriller. To properly “thrill” an audience, film creators must structure a story that purposefully manipulates the attention of the watcher and keeps them in the dark while sheltering an underlying titillation, hidden in the shadows. Meanwhile, the director must paint an intima...

“Hidden Figures” shoots for the stars

“Hidden Figures” is about three black women who fight against adversity as they prove themselves to be some of the smartest minds at NASA. Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

By Katie Fung

January 12, 2017

In 2011, we watched “The Help,” a movie about a white author in the midst of the Civil Rights era who decides to write a book about the African American maids and their views on the families they work for. In 2013, “12 Years A Slave” hit theaters and shocked its viewers with its depictions of bla...

The Reel: screenwriting – the biggest snub at the 2017 Golden Globes

By Mark Lu, Columnist

January 9, 2017

AN UNHINGED FENCE -- Little squeezing through, doesn’t look back as the other boys attempt to shimmy and wiggle their way though, too big to glide through like Little. LITTLE hauling ass, chest heaving as he rounds the corner on this condemned building. On instinct, the stairs taken two at a time...

The Reel: Disney’s bipolar mindset

By Mark Lu, Columnist

December 25, 2016

Two Disney animations came out in 2016: “Zootopia” and “Moana.” Both are excellent movies with engaging storylines and visuals - but are also jarringly different in their narratives. Earlier this month, I wrote a piece on the effect that “Shrek” had on animation films of the 21st Century,...

The Reel: Quentin Tarantino- eight eras, one style

Christoph Waltz (left) and Jamie Foxx (right) in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”, which was rated the #1 movie of 2012. (Image courtesy of the Weinstein Company)

By Mark Lu, Columnist

December 18, 2016

So, you’ve clicked on this column. If you did, you probably know exactly who Quentin Tarantino is. Perhaps you don’t. Tarantino is a legendary writer and director, the creator of such masterpieces as “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Django Unchained” (2012), the “Kill Bill” movies (2003 and ...

Miss Sloane: One Woman Army

Miss Sloane: One Woman Army

By Manfred Lau

December 15, 2016

Miss Sloane takes its title character and shoves her in your face. Rarely does a scene forget to show or remind you of the film’s main protagonist. When Elizabeth Sloane stops speaking, others talk about her. She outshines every other character, completely dominating the scene. Thankfully, Jessica Cha...

New historical retelling gets audiences “Loving” it

Image courtesy of Focus Features.

By Gabriella Mrozowski

December 14, 2016

The soft-spoken nature of “Loving” grants watchers a digestible historical movie. Director and writer Jeff Nichols opted for the focus to be cinematography, rather than creating a film filled with choppy facts in each scene. With a holistic view of the South in the 1960s, the movie flows smoothly...