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Pushing the envelope

observe_and_report1Seth Rogen has surged onto the entertainment scene recently because of movies like Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and Zack and Miri.

But his recent movie, Observe and Report, has put Rogen into a role where even though he is the central character, he’s not exactly “hero” but is more or less a type of bad guy.

One scene, in particular, is being criticized for crossing the line.

 The scene  in question involves Seth Rogen’s character, delusional mall cop Ronnie Barnhardt, in bed with the women on his dirty dreams, Brandi (Anna Faris). At dinner, Ronni had plied his date with Valium washed down with tequila shots to the point where she pukes and passes out. But there’s Ronnie on top of Brandi in bed, grunting away over her dead-to-the-world body.

It appears to be a classic date rape case, until Brandi wakes up to say, “Did I tell you to stop motherfucker?”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, “The thing that must be pointed out is that the bipolar Ronnie is acting totally in character. Consent or no consent wouldn’t faze Ronnie, who has completely lost touch with his moral center, if he ever had one.”

So what do you think, is it rape or consensual?

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Electronic Arts sent out brass knuckles to promote their newest video game: Godfather II.

Electronic Arts sent out brass knuckles to promote their newest video game: Godfather II.

To promote their new game, The Godfather II, Electronic Arts mailed a set of brass knuckles to video game journalists together with other goodies including a cigar, a silk handkerchief and a book of matches in attempt to complement the game’s mafiosi theme.

 

There is only one problem.

Possession of brass knuckles is illegal in many states and can carry hefty penalties which would make the recipients of the promotional tchotchkes common criminals.

According to a Yahoo games article, “the publisher began a flurry of hush-hush phone calls to arrange the return of the weapons. EA declined to comment beyond expressing a desire to assist journalists in proper disposal of the items.”

Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if the game didn’t suck so hard too. I rented it from Blockbuster from Friday and played for maybe a couple of hours before I gave it up. Their attempt at mixing strategy and action failed miserably and totally ruined the Godfather franchise in less than one day. 

Read GameInformer’s review of Godfather II, here.

Earlier this semester, the SGA passed the “Promoting a Healthier Campus” resolution during a meeting. The resolution would prevent students from smoking on campus after a six month “soft launch” term and would take full effect beginning in January. 

However, the Arkansas legislature just passed the Arkansas Clean Air on Campus Act, which will prohibit smoking o any campus of a state supported institution of higher in education in Arkansas beginning August 1, 2010.

Since the SGA proposal would go into effect more than a year before the state law’s restrictions. Under the SGA resolution, smoking would still be permitted on Greek, staff and faculty housing and athletics’ facilities.

But the state law would prohibit smoking on ANY part of campus.

The SGA resolution still needs approval from Chancellor Robert Potts and the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees.

So what are some of your thoughts? If public schools in Arkansas are entirely smoke free, will that effect your decision to attend school in Arkansas or look elsewhere? How important is being able to smoke on campus to you?

Read Herald Opinion Editor Meghan Allen’s story here.

It doesn’t take much to get thrown off an airplane these days, as Kyla Ebbert found out when a Southwest Airlines employee told her she was too bare for the air. Two months later, she’s still trying to figure out what was wrong with her outfit.

southlandMight be more than just another cop drama.

“Southland” will premiere tonight on NBC. But I have already seen it thanks to the free download off of iTunes.

Based on the 9,800 cops that patrol the city of Los Angeles, “Southland” seems to be headed in the right direction. The show had a very good pilot and as long as it keeps up the fast pace plot movement than I think this show will do well because it doesn’t try to hide behind special effects or inter office relationships but rather the struggles of being a cop.

Gang violence, kidnapping and police shootings are in a days work for rookie officer Ben Sherman (played by actor Benjamin McKenzie The O.C.). The story, for the most part, follows Sherman and his training officer on patrol as he is learning the ropes and his training officer has little pity for his “wet behind the ears” look.

However, there is a very familiar look to this new show. Since the show is produced by the same guy who did ER on the very same network, it is not surprising that this has a very ER look to it. (Fast cameras, shot on scene, etc)

But this show also reminds me of the show Boomtown which lasted about two seasons on NBC back in 2000. Boomtown told a story through a variety of points of view, which I thought was very interesting, but apparently no one else did because of its short run.

Alan Sepinwell from The Star Ledger said “Southland” is the more technically accomplished show, as you might expect from “ER” producer John Wells and frequent collaborators like writer Ann Biderman and director Christopher Chulack. The show is basically “Third Watch” West, minus the paramedics and plus a dose of salty language (some bleeped, some not) not heard on network TV since “NYPD Blue.” It looks great, makes good use of Los Angeles locations and has a solid ensemble cast (including Regina King and Tom Everett Scott as detectives).”

I think Regina King is probably one of the most underrated stars of our time and it is her attitude and ability that has probably saved a lot of movies and television shows before so I believe that this time it will be no different.

If “Southland” has any chance of surviving it will no doubt rest on King’s shoulders.

During my trip to Miami, on Saturday, I was allowed to test drive the Nissan Cube in Miami.

There were three routes that they had mapped out for the journalists. One took us to North Beach, another to South Beach and a third to downtown Miami.

So I paired up with Eric Rogell who is the editor for the Web site, The Bachelor Guy. Rogell lives in Tallahassee, knew the area very well so I believe I did well in choosing him as my co pilot.

Rogell was able to point out some land marks and give me a little history of some of the land marks in Miami. He was able to point out homes that belong to Shaq and Madonna and he said that the only way to reach them was either by boat or a private bridge.

I don’t think I would have gotten the same kind of experience if I had rode with the guy from Alabama.

First Impressions of the Car

Overall, I like the car because it has a lot of headroom which is something I am definitely not used to. The car handles turns very well and has a lot of get up and go speed that surprised Rogell and myself.

However, there were some problems that I noticed about the car. They were very minor details but details that definitely stood out to me and Rogell.

  1. Just in the front area alone there were 8 cup holders that the driver or front passenger could reach. Seems excessive.
  2. While I do like the ability to plug in an iPod or iPhone and the ability to shift through songs or play lists directly through the dashboard, I did not like the fact that there was no place to put the player except in a cup holder. But I would think that the moisture from the drinks would get on the iPod or iPhone. I think if there was some kind of dock that would work better
  3. There was no ash tray. Which also meant there was no place to put loose change for us non smokers.

I realize that these are just small details and they might be changed once the Cube is actually released to the public, but these details did kinda stick out to me.

Also, what is the purpose of the shag carpeting? I think if I had that people would make fun of me.

Although the Cube has been in Japan since 1998, the 3rd generation Cube is scheduled to launch in May.

Although the Cube has been in Japan since 1998, the 3rd generation Cube is scheduled to launch in May.

The Nissan Cube is scheduled to launch in May and I was in Miami this past weekend to get a hands on experience with the car.

Nissan made sure to point out that the Cube was before the Scion xb (it’s highest competitor due to the similar design). The Cube originally debuted in Japan in 1998 but this is the first time for to be in United States.

Nissan public relations director Darryll Harrison said the Cube is about style and Nissan wants the car to “become an extension of the owner.”

Harrison said the Cube has an iconic design, a reasonable price and well developed accessories.

“The Cube should do well with young buyers,” Harrison said.

Harrison said that even though economical times are tough right now, the Cube will sell well because of its lower price. The base model of the Cube starts around 13,500.

The Cube has an estimated 28 City / 30 Hwy gas mileage but Harrison said that the Cube is not really meant for really long road trips.

Nissan said that the Cube is coming in Spring 2009 in a third generation design that is “clever, quirky, witty, fun and uniquely functional. And still totally square.”

Continue to check this blog and Thursday’s edition of the Herald for more information.