Category Archives: Columns

Mile of Movies: The Magnificent Seven

By Miles Barber (CE ‘18)

The Magnificent Seven, remake of the 1960 film of the same name (which was itself a remake of the 1956 Japanese film Seven
Samurai
), tells the story of seven gunslingers and knife-throwers who band together to defend a small western town from a ruthless capitalist named Bartholomew Bogue. The first scene in the film sets up the stakes and throws the film into motion as Bogue visits this town, leaving many dead and the rest terrified to stand up to him without some help.

They find that help in the form of seven men including Sam Chisholm (Denzel Washington), Joshua Faraday (Chris Pratt), and Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) around whom the film centers. Most of them have unique personalities that help you distinguish each one on more than just a physical level, making them more memorable. The performances, however, vary in authenticity. Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke give the only performances that felt like they actually belonged in this old-style western. Coincidentally, their characters, Sam Chisholm and Goodnight Robicheaux, are the only ones with real backstories, as they have some history in the Civil War. Chris Pratt’s Joshua Faraday seemed like he was trying way too hard to mix his “wild west” cowboy character with his character from Guardians of the Galaxy. The result was a performance that was quite fun, but just felt a little out of place in the film.

Performances aside, the film did a great job on a narrative level. Each facet of this straightforward tale makes sense as events lead into each other. The two shootout scenes in the film are very intense, featuring some truly fantastic stunts, many great practical effects, and some hilarious moments.

On a technical level, the film was also quite good. The mountainous landscape is perfectly captured in some beautiful shots that really show off not just the natural beauty of the area but also how great it looks at night. There are a couple shots of distant clouds around dusk that just make you appreciate how amazing the Midwest looks. The final confrontation is also beautifully captured in a mix of wides and closeups to show off both the stunts and the scope. Add in a great score by James Horner (sadly passed) and Simon Franglen and you have a pretty well-made western.

Overall, The Magnificent Seven is a well-made film that proves a worthy remake of the 1956 film. It adds little new content, its characters are a little thin, and Chris Pratt’s humor may be a little out of place, but the music, cinematography, and intensity of this film make it worth your time. ◊

Grade: B

I’m Wild About Boring Things

By Vanessa Ritz (Art ’18)

I’d like to control the weather. If I were able to do so, I wouldn’t go crazy and you probably wouldn’t even know that I took over.

Right now the weather tries to control me but I refuse to succumb.

I became infatuated with this power while walking home from school after it had rained. I realized that I walked around the corner that I normally walk on because of a puddle. The power of this puddle to determine how I walked home bothered me. This happened over a year ago and I still think about it. After I found myself stepping around my normal path, I emailed this revelation to myself for a permanent documentation. This was the moment I decided the weather would not control me. I would always be one step ahead.

How to be ahead of the weather? Proper preparation. One must check the weather daily. When I have moments to kill on my phone, I check the weather. When I wake up, I check the weather. When I go to bed, I check the weather.

Stay informed. Defy its control. If it is going to rain, don’t let the weather stop daily routines or postpone plans. Rain dates are a bitch, so stick to the initial plan. Be as powerful as the weather. Invest in rain boots, snow boots, a tent for events, a rain jacket, an umbrella, and a headlight for blackouts.

There are two approaches to confront the weather.

1. Ignore it. Simple. Wear jackets when you want to, wear shorts in the snow, walk through puddles in sandals, drink hot coffee in august, eat Mexican food in the sun.

2. Mock it. Plan in advance. This is all about efficiency. You become so overtly prepared for the weather that it doesn’t matter what is happening outside because your gear leaves you virtually unaffected.

Personally, I like to ignore it. I like to have ice cream in the winter and hot tea in the summer. So, moral of the story: ignore the fucking puddle.

 VRitz - Wild About Boring Things

Wild About Boring Things

Vanessa Ritz (Art ’18)

I have realized that I am falling in love with microwaves. This is one of those unexpected things in life. I used to believe that microwaves were deadly inventions that I would never use. I was that person that would spend an hour convincing you that the radiation coming off of microwaves is basically killing humanity. There is always that person. Bitches.

I had this image of microwaves being house- hold death rays. Just an easy way out. I don’t trust things that are too easy. I feel like this has a lot to do with childhood. I never liked cartoons or kid shows but I really liked Emeril. For those of you who don’t know, I’m talking about Emeril Lagasse. For obvious reasons there was no plush toy, so I had the apron. Emeril had a cooking show that I became hooked on. It’s called Emeril Live and it came on Food Network.

Note: At the ripe age of eight, I got tickets to see the show live and I met Emeril. He held my hand and gave me a chipwich. You can bet I still have that wrapper.

This slight obsession led to many more cook- ing show addictions and I got a false idea of how food is made and microwaves really weren’t how they did things. This explains why I didn’t realize how useful they were sooner, but it only justi es some of my igno- rance. The rest is on me.

It’s kind of crazy that I deemed microwaves impractical because they are so practical. They embody practicality. I aspire to be as practical as a microwave is. It’s the little things like its speedy sweet-potato-cooking and ability to steam all vegetables, even the tough ones such as broccoli. Microwaves are so much more than a way to heat up food. You can use microwaves to completely cook raw food and make dinner in less than ten min- utes. Ef ciency at its nest. Microwaves.

Ask Ruchi

By Ruchi Patel (ChE ’18)

How do I survive Cooper and not gain the freshman 50?! Frankie’s and Two Bros are plotting against me because at this rate, if I fail out, I can be a plus size model right now. What should I do?

Nothing! You have to do nothing! It’s a matter of time before you start studying for Wolf’s Mechanics class and/or eat pizza so delish that 2 Bros. makes you gag. Prepare for the freshman -50.

Seeing as how I have to fight 8 other guys to even talk to a girl here, what do you suggest I do to get some action over here? I mean, boys have needs. 

HAHAHAHA. Every girl at Cooper Union is, deep deep down in her being, so far down that she doesn’t even notice, a guy. You could transfer to NYU, I guess. I hear they have more girls than boys. And as far as your needs go…well, we can discuss that one-on-one.

How come I never get matched on Tinder?

If you answer YES to any of the following questions, you’ll have your answer:
1.) Do you have other not-so-attractive people on your main Tinder photo?
2.) Are you wearing a football jersey?
3.) Is your main photo a Snapchat screenshot?
4.) Is it a selfie?
5.) Is it some type of anime or cartoon?
6.) Are you wearing plaid on plaid?
7.) Is your outfit different shades of the same color?
8.) Are you wearing a lab coat or lab goggles?
9.) Do you work in the computer center?
10.) Are you Zhengqi?
11.) Do you have braces?
12.) Is your bio more than 4 lines?
13.) Did you try to make a joke?
14.) Did you say something nerdy?
15.) Did you mention you go to Cooper Union?

I’m scared because I might kidnap Bailyn and keep him hostage as a pseudo-grandfather. I’ve never had violent tendencies before, but I don’t know what is happening to me! He’s just too precious!!

SO. TRUE. Take advantage of him. Don’t miss a single class. Just be there, and let him make you happy. Let him brighten up your day. Let him teach you somethin g. Always ask questions. Greet him enthusiastically. Just be really really respectful because he is truly the cutest.

On a scale of 1 to America, how free are you tonight?

As free as air and water… both of which are not free.

To have your questions answered by Ruchi, write to pioneer@cooper.edu. 

Volume 95 Issue 1

By Ruchi Patel (ChE ’18) 

This is an advice column and people are supposed to ask me questions to which I offer questionable advice. But I don’t have any questions because this is the first issue of the year! To ask questions, please reach out to me at pioneer@cooper.edu with the subject line “Asking Ruchi.”

Meanwhile, I’ll offer some thoughts without your asking.

If you are a freshman:

Please don’t follow me around. I’m just trying to have lunch in a public space. Really, I can’t help you with your EID 101 troubles. And I definitely can’t relate to them. Why do you need help with EID 101? Stop. Oh my god, stop!

By the way, what are those?

If you are a sophomore:

Why are you complaining about homework? You’re the first and maybe last class to pay tuition. You got betrayed by this school. Don’t do homework if you don’t want to. Don’t even go to class. No one has the right to demand anything from you. Honestly, you’re paying some good bucks, so spend your time here focusing on you. Be a better person. Volunteer in nursing homes. Read poetry for your soul. Don’t give into the scam of a discounted education!

If you are a junior:

I get it. You guys are doing grown-up things like “internships.” Whatever. I’m still never going to forget that time you hit someone with a chair for a pack of Sour Patch Kids. Or when you wrote fanfiction supplemented with anime drawings and posted them on a blog called “Engineering Is My Passion.” Yeah, alright. Grown-ups.

If you are a senior:

OH MY GOD. I’LL MISS YOU SO MUCH! The Cooper Union is nothing without you. Okay, great talking to you! Bye, now. BYE!