Northern Star

Guitar rock glides across space

Jessica Coello

August 25, 2004

It’s time again for playback. This week’s installment comes from Kyle Hershberger. Hershberger is a freshman biochemistry major from Cary, but originally hails from Kentucky. He misses his friends and family back home, but enjoys DeKalb and all it has to offer. Due to his tastes in music of the 1...

Is there a liberal bias in the media?

Greg Feltes

August 24, 2004

Editor’s note: Every Tuesday until the Nov. 2 elections, Sweeps will take on the local, state and national political scene with its own unique perspective. With most polls showing the race for the White House as a dead heat, the impact of media coverage has never been greater. There remains some doub...

Local artist graffiti’s it up

Greg Feltes

August 23, 2004

A.J. Solorio is one of DeKalb’s most prominent artists, but his work is rarely featured on conventional canvases. Instead, the 31-year-old small-business owner favors electric guitars, T-shirts and even boats as his media of choice. Solorio, who bills himself as a glorified graffiti artist, opened...

Runaway Jury

Joe Fletcher

October 23, 2003

The suspense thriller “Runaway Jury” exhibits a marvelous screenplay as well as an all-star cast. The story, adapted from the John Grisham novel, takes place in New Orleans. The widow of a man killed in an office shooting files a lawsuit claiming a gun company is responsible for the death of her husband. The odds are stacked against the plaintiff -- no court has ever found a gun company responsible for a death caused by a firearm. After the jury pool is manipulated by two consultants, Lawrence Green (Jeremy Piven) and Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman), bribery, blackmail and deceit take precedence as the case spins out of control. The performances turned in by the cast are phenomenal. John Cusack, as one of the jurors with a plan of his own, is great as usual. Hackman shines in the best performance of his career, since he did Captain Frank Ramsey in 1995’s “Crimson Tide.” Dustin Hoffman, who plays prosecuting attorney Wendell Rohr, maintains a subtle intensity throughout the film that can be described only as brilliant. In one of the most intense scenes -- not only of this movie, but from any movie this year -- Fitch (Hackman) and Rohr (Hoffman) argue over the nobility of law and the moral conscience of a lawyer. The character progression follows along perfectly with the story. The suspense builds and recedes without a hitch. This allows the climax to be much more exciting, yet the rest of the movie leading up to it can be appreciated for its own merits. Finally, the movie is yet another successful adaptation of a Grisham novel. Despite prior success with such films as “A Time to Kill” and “The Pelican Brief,” “Runaway Jury” is the best. However, the movie differs from the novel. The book depicts a trial against “Big Tobacco,” whereas the movie shows the trial against a gun manufacturer. This discrepancy has bothered some movie-goers and critics alike, but if you haven’t read the book, the movie is still a success. Although it opened against “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Runaway Jury” made its presence felt by grossing $12 million, and nearly knocking “Kill Bill” out of the No. 2 spot in the box office. “Runaway Jury” is certainly a winner, and merits a trip to a theater near you.