Lit Up

The Voice of WIC

“Cloverfield” Falls Flat January 29, 2008

Filed under: TV & Movies — NYU WIC @ 11:59 am

In the spring of 2007, an eerie poster of a headless Statue of Liberty fueled rampant speculation about J.J. Abrams’ (creator and exec-producer of ABC’s Alias and Lost) new horror project. Questionable promotional tactics and constant Internet gossip seemed to have sparked a burning curiosity in the minds of thousands of devoted movie fans. Expectations for the film were so immense that, in retrospect, I should have realized would be nearly impossible to meet. Maybe those expectations warped my opinion a bit, but if you ask me, Cloverfield was one of the biggest cinematic letdowns in years.

cloverfield.jpg“I just wish it had a plot!,” I heard someone say as I left the theater. Well, the plot is there, kind of, but not enough to revive the movie from its ultimate face plant into the ground. The film starts by introducing star-crossed lovers Rob and Beth. Rob is leaving for Japan, and best friend Hud tapes goodbyes from friends and family at his going-away party. The entire film is seen through this lens, Blair Witch style, and tests your patience in the area of visual disorientation. The shaky camera watches a vicious monster attack the city in an unexplained attempt to destroy all of Manhattan.

The ending was not much of an ending at all, leaving way too many unfinished plot points; there are already rumors of a sequel to tie things up.

So would I see the sequel? Probably not. The first one didn’t make such a great impression on me. It was a good try, but not quite good enough. You let me down, J.J.!

–Ali Feinstein


Roosevelt Island – NYU’s new campus? January 26, 2008

Filed under: Around the city — NYU WIC @ 6:45 pm


Earlier this week, NYU announced a plan to house 58 faculty members on Roosevelt Island. As a student who lived on Roosevelt Island all of last year, I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Roosevelt Island is quite an interesting place. The tiny island lies in the East River halfway between Manhattan and Queens, but it feels like a completely different world. I had never even heard of the island until my boyfriend suggested looking at an apartment out there. I had my doubts, but I fell in love with the place when I saw it – it’s like a small haven in the city. There are trees, and grass, and even open land. It has the feel of a college campus, something that NYU is entirely lacking. It’s also said to be the safest area to li ve in all of New York state.

The island is primarily known for its tram car, which enjoyed a spot in the Spiderman ri-tram.giffilm. Before the F train started running to the island in 1989, the tram was the only way to get directly from the island to Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island, named after Franklin D. Roosevelt in honor of the monument that was planned but never build, formerly went by the name of Blackwell Island and, later, Welfare Island. It was home to the city’s undesirables—prisoners, chronically ill, and the insane. But in the 1930s, Roosevelt Island rid itself of the prisoners due to the opening of the Rikers Island penitentiary. In the 1950s, the insane asylum moved over to Manhattan. All that remained were the sick, residing in two hospitals on opposite ends of the island.

ri-apartment.gifThese days, the island features several luxury apartment complexes at a considerably lower rent than right across the river. Due to the proximity, it’s home to a large number of United Nations diplomats, and the reduced cost has recently been drawing in a large number of young people. If you can deal with the slight inconvenience, it’s totally worth it – the apartments are gorgeous. There’s not much to the island, but it has your basic necessities – a grossly overpriced Gristedes (FreshDirect is a much better option), Starbucks, a deli, diner, hair salon, library, dentist, florist, and video rental store. It was nice to live in a place that felt like a suburb while still being a part of the city.

walkway.jpgAfter a year of living there, though, the seclusion started to bother me. It’s easy to feel trapped on the island, especially when they’re doing work on the subway or when the tram car is closed (both of which happened fairly often). If you want to drive from the island to Manhattan, you have to take a bridge over to Queens and navigate your way over to the Queensboro Bridge – there’s no direct route to Manhattan.

The Washington Square News article says it’s less than 20 minutes to campus from the island, which is a blatant lie. It’s more like 30 on a good day, 40 on a typical day. The F train is arguably the worst in the city.

While right now NYU is only housing faculty on the island, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if the next step was building dorms out there. I would expect nothing less from a school that houses half of their students 30 minutes from campus… and at least this is a much nicer (and safer) area than Water Street.

 –Kristen O’Gorman


Report: Actor Heath Ledger Found Dead at Manhattan Residence January 22, 2008

Filed under: Media Briefs — NYU WIC @ 6:23 pm


AP and Fox News reports that actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence in what authorities say is a possible drug-related death, the NYPD said. He was 28.

Check out the story here.

-Tiffany Chang


News From Around the Media World

Filed under: Media Briefs — NYU WIC @ 5:38 pm

Obama Is First Democrat to Run National Ad
Advertising Age
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is launching the first national advertising of the Democratic presidential campaign — a cable buy on CNN and MSNBC of a biographical spot — and he’s immediately getting ripped by rival Sen. Hillary Clinton for the purchase.

Hundreds of Layoffs Expected at Yahoo
The New York Times
Yahoo is planning to lay off hundreds of employees in an effort to increase its profitability, prop up its deflated stock price and narrow the focus of its sprawling Internet portal to a smaller number of crucial areas.

Hyundai Decides to Keep Its Ads in Super Bowl
Advertising Age
After jitters about the weakening economy and uncertainty about its Super Bowl ad spots, Hyundai has made a final decision–it will stay committed to the ad time they have bought for the Super Bowl.

-Tiffany Chang