Culture on Court Street: a visit to the Athena Cinema

The Athena Cinema, which first opened in 1915, is one of the oldest movie theaters in the country. Located at 20 S. Court St., the Athena shows a variety of movies genres on their three screens, from acclaimed independent films to movies produced by Ohio University students. The Athena will host its 44th annual International Film and Video Festival from April 3 to April 9.

This video delves into the history and current uses of the Athena, and tells of two students’ experiences with the theater:

The Athena is more than just a place of work for some employees

Speed review: 3 decent movies in theaters right now

During Thanksgiving break I was able to sacrifice enough of my hard-earned free time to watch not one, not two, but three new feature films in theaters right now.

I’ve also used said free time to briefly review these movies. So without further ado, here are three decent movies you can watch in cinemas near Athens or your hometown.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2

An overall satisfying conclusion to the series 

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via moviepilot.com

Mockingjay Part 2 is the fourth and final Hunger Games installment and is a thoroughly enjoyable action film. After seeing all the previous Hunger Games films each previous year, it’s safe to say this film was a satisfying conclusion to the series. But it really had to be after last year’s Part 1, which felt unnecessarily split. The franchise made like Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hobbit by splitting its final film into two movies. Yet while the previous film felt devoid of plot and action, Part 2 was full of it. The film contains many enjoyable action sequences perfect for popcorn-munching blockbuster fun. The plot moves along quickly and never slows down until the movie’s conclusion.

Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress and does a great job portraying Katniss once again, but the same can’t be said for the film’s other actors. Though this film is an adaptation of a novel, it seemed like it kept adding random characters the audience really doesn’t care about and isn’t emotionally invested in. On top of that, after four movies, the “love triangle” with Gale and Peeta seems very forced. The only other thing I disliked about the movie was its ending. It seemed that it adopted the Return of The King ending disease in that the film’s ending dragged on and on. This is a *spoiler*, but the final scene in the meadow with Peeta seemed like way too much of a cliche “happily ever after” ending for something that’s trying to be a dystopian political film. Regardless, Mockingjay Part 2 is still a very enjoyable movie and, all in all, a satisfying conclusion to the series.

This film receives 3/5 Athens bricks.

 

THE PEANUTS MOVIE

A well-done homage to the beloved comic strips and cartoons

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via peanutsmovie.com

I went into this movie as a diehard Peanuts fan with high expectations, and left extremely satisfied with what I had seen. I read the Peanuts comic strip all the time growing up, and the Halloween and Christmas holiday specials are an annual tradition in my family. When I saw the trailer for the film, it looked like another cheesy adaptation that ruins its beloved source material. However, in this case, I was proven wrong.

The Peanuts Movie is an extremely well-done homage to Charles Schulz’s original comic strip. Though you might expect that the classic feel of the comics and classic animated specials would be lost with 3D animation, it actually worked pretty well. Though the movie is in 3D, most of the scenes are set up like an actual comic strip because much of the movement is two-dimensional. For me, the film really had the look and feel of reading the comics. Besides aesthetics, however, the story was sufficiently entertaining. It combined several popular storylines from Shulz’s comics into one cohesive movie. The plot is centered around Charlie Brown trying to impress the little redheaded girl, and combines the stories of other well-known characters, such as his dog Snoopy, who embarks on a love story of his own. If you go into this movie looking for nostalgia, cuteness, and classic humor, you won’t be disappointed.

This film receives 4/5 Athens bricks.

 

THE NIGHT BEFORE

An extremely hilarious comedy that will get you in the Christmas spirit

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via rollingstone.com

I’m a sucker for raunchy comedies. For most movies, I’ll be trying to analyze it as much as I can to come to some kind of conclusion. But with hilarious, inappropriate comedies I get distracted and can only conclude that such movies were very, very funny. The Night Before was one of those movies. Though it’s definitely not the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, nor has is surpassed Elf in the world of Christmas comedies, it was still thoroughly entertaining.

The film follows the antics of three friends (Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Anthony Mackie) who have an annual tradition of fooling around in New York City each Christmas Eve. Seth Rogen’s character was particularly hilarious. He plays a Jewish father-to-be whose wife gives sample of literally every drug as a Christmas present, and he proceeds to be insane for the rest of the film. This happens in most movies he’s in, but “Seth Rogen on drugs” never fails to be funny, in my opinion. The film’s themes of friendship and growing up stay pretty consistent throughout the story, which serves as a satisfying Christmas tale. If you’re looking for a laughter-inducing holiday comedy, this movie is right up your alley, but certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking.

This film receives 4/5 Athens bricks.

Bobcats can party hard while staying sober

It’s no secret that Ohio University students love to party. Most college students are known for crazy, often drunkenly inspired antics, but OU seems to be at the top of the list for some people and publications (ah ahem Playboy) when it comes to wild nights at houses and bars.

While it’s true that many Bobcats love their booze and high times, it isn’t the case for everyone. Whether it’s for health, religious or other personal reasons, a lot of students like to remain sober. There are also students who may like to partake in substance inclusive activities but don’t want to do so every weekend (or weeknight, for that matter).

For students who don’t know where to go to have fun without the presence of these substances, they might feel burdened to stay home, or even to use substances just because they are bored or feel pressured.

Luckily there are student-ran organizations that are making sober options available. From movie nights to scavenger hunts, students are working to provide safe and substance-free activities for anyone to enjoy.

Sober Bobcats is one such organization on campus. According to an article in The Post, the group was founded last fall semester with a grant from the national organization Transforming Youth Recovery.

The organization is an extension of the Ohio University Collegiate Recovery Community, otherwise known as RISE (“Recovery to inspire, share and power”). While RISE acts as a group for students in recovery, Sober Bobcats works to provide a community for students who don’t need recovery support but have decided to live substance-free lives.

On Sober Bobcat’s website, it is stated that the group aims to support students who:

  •  “Want to have fun and socially engage with other students on campus without the use of alcohol and other drugs.”
  • “May have previously encountered negative experiences under the influence and choose to abstain from using alcohol and other drugs.”
  • “May have a family history of alcohol or drug abuse and seek support in their personal decision of sobriety.”

The group hosts a plethora of events in which students can participate. A schedule of events is provided on the group’s website.

“Most of our meetings and events are done on weekends, that way people who don’t enjoy the party scene have things to do and people to hang out with,” said Adrian Blake, the public relations executive of Sober Bobcats, in an email.

IMG_0116Although Sober Bobcats hasn’t been able to pin down an exact number of active members yet this year, Blake said that the group appears to have somewhere between 20 and 30 people. Its email list, which sends out updates about events and meetings, consists of between 200 and 250 people. Events often have people in attendance who aren’t necessarily active members but want to participate in the substance-free activities.

Blake clarified that students don’t have to live completely substance-free lives in order to join the group and attend events. “Members are perfectly allowed to do those things if they want to, so long as they come to our meetings and events sober,” Blake said.

Activities that the group hosts include but are not limited to nights spent bowling, watching movies and playing games. The events are welcome to both active members included on the email list as well as those who aren’t members but have heard about Sober Bobcats’ events through the grape vine.

Sober Bobcats isn’t the only group trying to provide substance-free activities for students. A new student-ran Instagram account called OHIO Late Nights (or its Instagram handle, ohiolatenights), has begun providing substance-free activities for students as well.

According to its Instagram account, Ohio Late Nights meets every Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Living Learning Center at Ohio University, which is one of campus’ new buildings centered in between and connected to the new dorms – Sowle, Luchs, Tanaka and Carr halls – on South Green.

The program offers free food, prizes and activities such as board games, video games, scavenger hunts and movies to watch. Ohio Late Nights encourages its followers and participators to tag them in any Instagram posts and to use their hashtag, #ohiolatenights.

Sober Bobcats and Ohio Late Nights are completely separate programs and are not run by the same people, however Blake said that Sober Bobcats is trying to collaborate an event to host with Ohio Late Nights sometime in the future.

Ohio Late Nights will be meeting at its regular time each Saturday. Sober Bobcats is hosting a game night tonight, Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. in in Morton 115 and a bowling night at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28 at Rollerbowl Lanes. The group’s next full body meeting is on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in Ellis 028.