Main Feature

The Boise State Broncos were able to upset #24 Colorado State 82-78. With the win the Broncos have won five in a row and are tied for third in the MW standings.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

“American Sniper is lighting up the box office with over 200 million dollars in the United States alone, and, in addition, the film has six Oscar nominations. It goes without saying there is a lot of hype surrounding this film.

So does this movie live up to all the hype? Yes it does–for the most part. While it is no “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Sniper” is a refreshing take on the war genre of film and focuses on the psyche of war that few movies have taken on over the years.

I really loved how the film was able to focus on the humanity of war and what it does to a person like Chris Kyle. The movie could have focused solely on Kyle’s being the most deadly sniper in American history and the glory found in his war tactics. But, It didn’t, and I loved how director Clint Eastwood didn’t fall in that typical war movie trap. Eastwood was instead able to bring out the human condition of war that many people don’t often think of. His focus on PTSD was an excellent choice and definitely added more layers to the film by bringing humanity to Kyle’s character.

The portrayal of Kyle is done magnificently by star Bradley Cooper.  Cooper shines in the role and does a terrific job of bringing Kyle’s war torn soul to life. He is certainly deserving of his best actor Oscar nomination.

While the movie does bring up and mention Kyle’s mental toll, it doesn’t follow it through all the way.  The film could have gone deeper and, at times, feels like it only scratches the surface of this man’s psyche. Why does he choose to go back to war over and over again while ignoring his family’s pleas to stay home? Issues like these could have been better explored in the film.

The film has many nail biting and tense war scenes to go along with Kyle’s emotional journey. This gives the film a nice, steady balance. The film explores several moral dilemmas, including an intensified scene where Kyle has to decide whether or not to shoot a mom and her son that appear to be threatening a platoon of soldiers.

Overall, “American Sniper is a well-acted and well-told story of Chris Kyle’s military accomplishments in the field of battle. Its emotional exploration of what Kyle goes through brings out the true human spark that we don’t see often in war.

8.5/10

The annual Beauty and the Beast event took place at Taco Bell Arena on Jan. 23. Here is a video recap of the event along with several interviews with coaches and players from both the wrestling and gymnastics team.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

The first “Taken” movie is still, to this day, one of my favorite action movies. It was simple and straight forward, and the action sequences were great.

Fast forward seven years later, and we have come to this. This movie had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, none of that was ever realized in the film.

In this installment, Bryan Mill’s ex-wife has been killed. The police think Mills did it, so he is on the run, trying to find out who really did. If this plot sounds familiar, it should. It’s the exact same plot of a much better movie, “The Fugitive.” However, “Taken 3″ is not nearly as well executed.

The story is sloppy and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. “Taken 3″ tries to be fresh and original and fails. The plot is a combination of of every action movie cliche possible. The action sequences are not impressive and are instead masked by shaky camera. For a lover of action movies, this is frustrating. It adds nothing to movie except for nausea and aching eyes. The film didn’t need this, especially considering the bona fide action star Liam Neeson, who is more then capable of doing great action scenes.

What makes this movie slightly watchable and entertaining is Neeson’s performance.  He, like in the previous two installments, kicks some serious ass. It’s great seeing him sneak around and be the best at what he does–even if, at times, it’s to an unrealistic degree. There are several moments where he should be dead, but he manages to get out of it. Apparently he is God and can never come close to being killed.

Forest Whitaker, who plays a detective, is also good, even though his character feels like a big movie cliche. For example, he has a few little ticks, like playing with a chess piece. This supposedly means he is the best and knows his stuff. You have to just laugh and roll your eyes.

I will say that I liked seeing him team up with a group of fellow agents, especially those that have been used little throughout the franchise. There are a few good scenes of them all working together in an effort to clear Mills’ name and protect his daughter.

That’s really all the compliments I can give this film though.

If you can accept this movie for what it is, which is another over the top, cheesy action movie, then it does its job. It’s not an unbearable movie, and you can watch it in a guilty pleasure type of way. But that doesn’t mean it gets a pass for being a bad movie.

5.5/10

Senior Derrick Marks has averaged 19.5 points a game over the last two for the Broncos.

It has been a tough few weeks for the Boise State men’s basketball team.

The Broncos lost their leader in senior Anthony Drmic for the season with an ankle injury. The team has started conference play 0-2 and are the losers of three straight games including a heart breaker to Utah State.

“On that last play we defended it absolutely as good as we could,” head coach Leon Rice said.  “We got them out on what they wanted to do and they had to throw one up. The kid made a heck of shot.”

The Broncos have been on the cusp of winning those games only losing by a combined 10 points.

“It hurts and I don’t have anything else to say about it,” senior guard Derrick Marks said.  “I’m not going to sit back and keep thinking about it, I am just going to move on.”

Despite all the struggles the team is remaining resilient, believing they can turn things around.

“We have a tough group of guys that are going to compete,” Rice said.  “We are a team that is going to get better and that’s the way we have to approach it.”

A highlight for the Broncos during this stretch has been the play of Marks.  In Drmic’s absence Marks has averaged 19.5 points a game despite battling a sprained ankle.

“With the way he has been feeling it has been a pretty courageous effort on his part for putting us in positions to win those game,” Rice said.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Broncos as they have tough games against Wyoming, UNLV, and New Mexico.

“It is a really tough stretch,” Rice said. “We don’t care though, we are just going to chunk it out and get ourselves better.”

The Broncos hit the court today Jan. 10 at 4 pm. on the road against the current MW leader Wyoming and are hoping to put all the tough bounces behind them.

“We can all get better from here and look forward to the next 16 games of conference and go from there,” sophomore forward Nick Duncan said.

 

 

"Gone Girl" was my personal favorite movie of the year.

There were a lot of great movies that came out in 2014, but only 10 could make the final cut for Walton’s Movie World’s best movies of the year.  If you are wondering where certain notable movies are, chances are I have not seen them. Some movies with great reviews like “The Imitation Game”, “Whiplash”, “Boyhood”, or “The Theory of Everything” are not included, as this list is instead comprised of my favorite films that I have been able to attend and thoroughly enjoy.

10. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”- There are a lot of other movies that are technically better than this one, but I’ve always loved going to Middle Earth. To be able to go there one last time with this film was quite the ride, and I’m sad it had to come to and an end. The film does a good job of transitioning to “The Lord of Rings” trilogy’s story line, as well as an emotional ride perfect for the conclusion of an epic saga. 

9. “Nightcrawler”- In this character-based movie, Jake Gyllenhaal gives, without a doubt, the best performance of any actor this year. He is nearly unrecognizable in the role of a video reporter willing to cross any lines. His performance is unsettling, but, strangely, the film still makes you root for him despite his demented qualities.

8. “Interstellar”- Christopher Nolan is one of the best filmmakers in the business, and with this movie it really shows. This was the most original film of the year, telling a harrowing, emotional story.  In typical Nolan fashion, this film features a complex mind-teasing and thought-provoking story that lasts beyond the credits. The visuals are what truly make this movie fantastic, as the recreations of outer space were spectacular. To top it all off, Matthew McConaughey gives an gripping and remarkable performance.

7. “The Raid 2”- Most movie-goers have not heard of this foreign Indonesian film, and I went into this movie expecting very little. But by the end of it, I was blown away. This is undoubtedly the best action movie I have seen all year.  It may top all other action movies I have ever had the chance of viewing. The fighting sequences are amazing, and the action this movie packs will knock you out of your seat.

6. “Edge of Tomorrow”- An Alien invasion action version of “Groundhogs Day,” this film lives up to the most badass of descriptions. This was one of the most original science fiction movies that I had seen in quite some time, which has become a rarity in the genre today. This is refreshing take on the concept of reliving the same day over and over again and adds some much needed intrigue to the whole ordeal. Getting to see Tom Cruise’s character refine the same situation each time for the better is fun and interesting to see.

5. “X-Men: Days of Future Past”-  Director Bryan Singer returned to the franchise and righted the wrongs of what was “X-Men: The Last Stand. ” He brought the series back to superiority with its best entry yet. The story is magnificent and heartfelt but still maintains that exciting action needed for this type of movie. For a film that has so many characters involved, it handles all of them remarkably well. It gives each of them their own unique feel, making them further relatable for the audience and central to the plot’s core. It also humanizes a lot of classic characters from the franchise, ultimately telling a beautiful story about hope.

4. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”- I had almost lost faith in Marvel after the disappointments that were “Iron Man 3” and “Thor: The Dark World.” However, the Captain brought me back to being a Marvel fan boy in a big way. The Winter Solider wasn’t just a great superhero movie, but it was also a great espionage movie, which showed that all superhero movies are not necessarily the same. This movie had a lot of good twists and turns that flipped the Marvel cinematic universe on its head. It did everything a sequel should do: It took what made the first one so good, expanded upon it and made it better.

3. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”- Speaking of terrific sequels, this movie  proved to be, by far, the best sequel of the year. This is “The Empire Strikes Back” of sequels. It improves upon everything that made original so great, with a magnificent, unexpected story. The performance of Andy Serkis as Caesar is spectacular as he is able to shine through the barriers placed by motion capture to deliver a strong performance. The way he is able to capture the raw emotion of Ceasar is fantastic and, in the end, it makes you empathize with him and his cause.  This movie will certainly leave you pumped and excited for what the next installment of the series may hold.

2. “Guardians of the Galaxy”- Watching this film was the most fun that I had at the movies all year, which was incredibly surprising. I would argue that this movie is just as much of a comedy as an action adventure. This was the funniest movie of the year. With its witty dialogue, it had me keeling over at times. The ensemble cast that they were able to gather for this rag-tag, unlikely group of superheroes is incredible. This was Star Wars meets Star Trek and is my favorite Marvel movie to date. I can’t wait to see this improbable group of heroes return.

1. “Gone Girl”- This was by far the most disturbing and unsettling movie I have seen in quite some time. Director David Fincher creates a dark, eerie world, setting the stage of what is to come. Viewers are only let in on facts portrayed by the fictional media, creating a powerful tone for the film as a whole. The representation of the media in situations like this is spot on. Our media today, in cases like this, always jumps to assumptions, and that is what the film is really able to bring onto the screen. The countless twists and turns within the film’s plot will keep you guessing up until the very end.  This is a movie that will stay with you long after its over.

Middle Earth is one of the greatest cinematic universes ever created, and in the final chapter of “The Hobbit” trilogy, “The Battle of the Five Armies,” we get to go there one last time.

There is always a lot of pressure in the final installment of a trilogy, not to mention the series as a whole, to deliver. As a huge “Lord of the Rings” fan, I am happy to say it more than delivers, even if there are a few flaws.

I have not read the original book, so I can’t judge the film based on its depiction of Tolkien’s beloved novel. I am judging it strictly as a movie.

The concluding third installment picks up right after Smaug has decided to leave the mountain and head to the town to wreak havoc upon it. This time around, the mountain is up for grabs between the armies of the dwarfs, elves, and humans. At the same time, Sauron is on the rise, and the orc armies have been brewing for two films now.

For those complaining about how the first two installments in the series were lacking in action, this film more than makes up for it. The last ninety minutes of the movie is all action. It’s fantastic with its epic battle scene that have everything from elves and dwarfs teaming up to orcs riding gigantic beasts into battle. The highlights for me have to be Legolas throwing down with Bolg and Thorin’s showdown with Azog.  This is the Helm’s Deep of the “Hobbit” franchise and it delivers some of the best action scenes you will see in theaters this year.

This movie is not just all about action though, as the film has several well-done story arches. They are filled with great emotional scenes that will hit you right at your core, highlighting the relationships between all the characters, including the relationships of Bilbo and Thorin or Gandalf and Bilbo. This is great because the relationships are what have made this series so good. Without that, it just wouldn’t have the same impact.

Getting to see all these beloved characters again like Bilbo, Thorin, and Gandalf is great and reminds you why you loved these characters in the first place. I also enjoyed the several tie ins to the original trilogy as well.

As good as this movie is, there are a few flaws that bring it down a bit. The fact that “The Hobbit,” a short novel in and of itself, was stretched into three movies lends itself to filler and unneeded additions. There are some scenes of added fluff that really do nothing for the film. They feature stretched out drama scenes and so-called ‘romances’ that don’t work. In addition there are scenes that feel shoe-horned in, a bit confusing and out of place within the context of the film.  This is particularly apparent with Sauron.

“The Battle of The Five Armies” is a satisfying conclusion to the “Hobbit” trilogy and delivers the emotionally charged punch that you would expect from a finale. While it is not without a few minor flaws, it’s still great to experience Middle Earth one last time.

8.75/10           

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton recap the Mountain West Championship game.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton, Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

With the MW Championship game only a day away, players and coaches from both Boise State and Fresno State talk about what this game means to them.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

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Gifts

1. For the sweet tooth: Cookies in a tube 

Make a conveniently mail-able and deliciously snack-able gift using a mailing tube and a little gift wrap. Wrap the tube in a sheet of colorful wrapping paper. Make a batch of cookies (we recommend chewy ginger spice snaps—view this article online for the full recipe). Let the cookies cool completely. Then, wrap in bright tissue paper and insert inside the tube.

This is a great gift for foodie friends and family, near or far; postmark the tube itself for easy mailing or gift as is.

Chewy ginger spice cookies (adapted from allrecipes.com):

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c butter at room temperature
  • 1 c and 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c molasses

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Mix butter and 1 c sugar together with a hand mixer; add egg and molasses. Gradually add dry ingredients.
  4. Shape dough into rounded teaspoon-sized balls and roll in remaining sugar. (Make sure the cookie balls are not so large that they will be too big for the mailing tube once baked!)
  5. Place cookies on greased cookie sheets and flatten slightly; bake for about five minutes, or until just done.
  6. Serve with milk or a scrumptious glass of eggnog. Ho ho ho.

2. For the boozie: Mulled wine sachet

Be the toast of the party with this libation: Take a square piece of cheesecloth (find this at any grocery store) and wrap up a cinnamon stick, 1 tbsp of whole cloves, 2 star anise, 1 tbsp allspice berries, 2 tbsp turbinado sugar (just brown sugar with large crystals), and the peel of one orange (sliced thin). You can find most of these items in the  spice aisle of a grocery store. Tie the sachet with kitchen twine. Gift the sachet with a bottle of red wine and a decorated note for instructions. For full instructions on how to prepare the mulled wine, visit this article online at arbiteronline.com.

Directions: 

  1. Submerge sachet in a bottle of red wine in a large pot over low heat for forty-five minutes. Make sure that the sachet is tied tightly; you want the wine to absorb the flavors of the spices, not for the spices to go swimming.
  2. Once nice and warm, serve in goblets and make merry.

Decorations 

Is it really the holidays without a few decorations? However all that shine and shimmer can really break the bank for college students on a budget. Here are a couple ways to cut corners without giving up all that glam.

1. Use wrapping paper

Any college student worth their salt knows the old “wrap your door” trick. However, beyond that, wrapping paper is largely underused as a decorating item. Literal yards of the stuff can be acquired for a few dollars in prints that range from upscale holiday to Labrador puppies in hats.

Wrap up whatever you can find and pile them in a corner. (Or you could just get all that shopping and wrapping done early. Make all those presents you have to haul home work for you. Two birds, one stone, all that.)

For a twist on wrapping your door, make individual “presents” for all your roommates and label them with a gift tag. Or with just a few sheets of construction paper turn your door into a reindeer, snowman or Santa as appropriate.

2. Ornament Garland

While this project will cost you more than a bundle of wrapping paper it is worth it. It provides a statement piece that, if stored properly, can be used again next year. All you need is some sturdy ribbon or string and a bunch of traditional ball ornaments. Ornaments are available at nearly every dollar store. Or, if it will break the bank this year, wait until after Christmas. Stores will clearance unpurchased ornaments and they can be picked up for spare change.

Once you have the necessary items, all you have to do is assemble. Tie a loop at the end of your ribbon so you’ll have some way to hang your garland. Then string and knot the first ornament. After that it’s just a matter of adding ornaments until you’ve reached the desired length. Be sure to knot the last ornament and tie another loop at the end.

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton recap the Boise State Utah State game.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton, Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014