The Highlighter’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

By WSN Arts Staff Whether you’re into pop, rock, rap, or whatever, this year was an exciting one for music. Tweets were fired, tongues were flailed, new names appeared and old favorites returned. In music, the album has long been the unit of prestige. While its omnipotence may be waning, we’re all a little scared…

The Highlighter’s Top 10 TV Shows of 2013

By WSN Arts Staff It goes without saying that 2013 has been an incredible year for television. Writers and actors alike have been turning out superb content all year, and our means of viewing have evolved as well. Three of this year’s top ten series aired exclusively on Netflix — a never-before-seen trend, and an…

“Therese” fails due to unlikable character, story

by Alex Mujica Claude Miller’s “Therese,” an adaption of the legendary French novel by François Mauriac, follows the life of an unhappily married woman, Therese Desqueyroux (Audrey Tautou), and her quest to free herself from her husband, and ultimately, societies’ restrictions. While the premise of the story seems appealing, the lack of character and plot…

“Europa Report” compels with minimum special effects, sci-fi tropes

By Valerie Nelson As a science fiction film that’s light on science, “Europa Report” captivates through its rawness and ability to allow the audience to relate to its characters. The minimalist approach used by director Sebastian Cordero ultimately results in a thought provoking, emotional film that explores the depths of the human condition and the…

“The Hunt” asks difficult questions of accusation

by Nora Chang Known to American audiences as the villain from “Casino Royale” and Dr. Hannibal Lecter from NBC’s “Hannibal,” Mads Mikkelsen shifts gear into playing a “good guy” in “The Hunt,” which was selected for the In Competition category at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. However, the “good guy” image doesn’t last long when…

“V/H/S/2” proves not as innovative as predecessor

by Ben Marques When “V/H/S” came out last year, it was a huge success. The premise was simple—a bunch of goof-off teenagers go searching a house for a mysterious tape. The film was intentionally vague and allowed for a gimmick so the group could watch an eclectic mix of tapes of varied content, all containing…

“Blackfish” exposes horrors behind SeaWorld’s treatment of whales

by Marissa Elliot Little As hopeful blockbusters flood movie theatres this summer, “Blackfish” proves to be more than a worthy alternative to zombies and attacks on the White House. The second feature-length documentary from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite shatters the illusion of family-friendly fun that SeaWorld has used to create a million-dollar industry. “Blackfish” begins with…

“Reconstructing Amelia” explores terrifying dynamics of high school

by Jeremy Grossman If author Kimberly McCreight’s actual experience attending private school was anything like that of her character in “Reconstructing Amelia,” it’s a miracle that she made it out alive. In her debut novel, McCreight takes readers into Grace Hall, a prestigious school in Brooklyn that not even the bravest of the brave would…

“The Way, Way Back” shines as standout summer film

by Nivea Serrao Families looking for something other than “The Lone Ranger” and “Despicable Me 2” to watch this Fourth of July weekend should definitely check out FOX Searchlight’s latest offering, “The Way, Way Back.” This funny coming-of-age tale follows 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) as he’s forced to spend a summer vacation with his mother…

“Absence” works as alternative to big-budget horror films

by Nivea Serrao Though still months away from the release of “Paranormal Activity 5,” fans of thrillers now have something to tide them over as indie thriller “Absence,” hits theatres Fourth of July weekend. The latest in the found footage genre, “Absence” opens with Liz (Erin Way), a young expecting mother, waking to find her…