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Entertainment

Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

Spring is Here, but Winter is Coming:

Game of Thrones Returns for Season 3

GoTGame of Thrones opened its third season Sunday night with “Valar Dohaeris.” The title of the episode translates to “all men must serve” from the language of Braavos.

Send a raven to all corners of the realm- Season three is off to a fast start and I’m already counting the hours until the second episode airs.

The 9:00 pm premiere was picked up by 4.4 million viewers, according to Deadline.com, which is a record for the original airing of any episode. After two replays at 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm, the show totaled 6.7 million viewers, despite competing with the third season finale of The Walking Dead.

The beautiful sights that we have grown accustomed to are back. The vast frozen land of the wildling camp, the beautiful view of Blackwater Bay from the heights of King’s Landing, and the scenic shores of Astapor in the east prove that we are in for a visual treat all season long.

As great as the scenery is, the plot is what keeps HBO as rich as a Lannister.

North of the Wall, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) and the Night’s Watch, along with Jon’s direwolf Ghost, burn a white walker and realize that winter is FINALLY coming (We’ve been waiting for it since Ned Stark (Sean Bean) said the Stark words in the first episode of the series). The Lord Commander (James Cosmo) warns that, if the white walkers are not stopped, “Everyone you’ve ever known will be dead.”

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Pine Barons Prove Strong On Debut Album

“Children of the Forest; Conceived by the root. Lived by vascular contraptions.” So describes Pine Barons, an up-and-coming indie rock band from South Jersey. Oh wait, maybe they’re talking about the forest. OK, now I’m confused.

Indeed, the band does take its name from the dense, expansive woodlands close to their home territory, but the band has much more to do with the forest and the description above than location. The groups self-titled debut album is a rustic, sprawling affair that fits comfortably amongst the weathered bark and towering leafy canopies of their namesake.

It’s clear that Pine Barons present themselves as a big “nature” band, and, to this respect, the group’s sound appropriately conveys this.

The group’s debut is packed front to back with dense arrangements and open, reverb-soaked guitars.

Although their name is rooted in the forest, Pine Barons’ music travels across wide open ranges and some rather rocky terrain, offering an interestingly mixed, yet fully organic, bag of influences and surprises.

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Monmouth Catches ‘Spring Fever’

The Spring Fever Tour made its one and only NJ stop at the University on Saturday, April 27 in the sold out concert at the  Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC).

Crowds lined up hours before doors opened, wrapping around the building, to get a good spot to see their favorite pop punk bands live.

The first band was You Me at Six, a bunch of boys from the UK who started before the whole line was even in the venue. They have a huge fan base in the states and were able to charm the non-fans in the crowd with their British accents between songs.

Mayday Parade took the stage to play a more emo, soft rock set, but that didn’t stop the crowd from dancing. Lead singer, Derek Sanders, with his signature long hair and bare feet, kept the crowd’s energy high by jumping around and throwing the mic.

The crowd was singing louder than the speakers during Mayday’s song “Jersey.” They serenaded the crowd with a cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and were joined on stage by Pierce the Veil (PTV) singer, Vic Fuentes.

With a jaw-dropping stage design full of neon colors, spinning gears and fat monsters,  PTV’s entrance was greeted by thousands of screaming fans.

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Academy Award Nominee Brings Impossible Screening

Sam Green was at Pollak Theatre for the visiting artists showcasing What We Need Is The Impossible, a collection of his various documentaries on Monday, April 22.

The full film is 80 minutes long and consists of seven short documentaries that cover a wide variety of subjects.

The first documentary was Utopia 3. The eight minute long film was about the world’s largest shopping mall, the New South China Mall. It was the most interesting of the short films seen, most of the documentary showcases the vast emptiness of the mall.

The New South China Mall is located in southern China in the city of Dongguan. Not only is it too “out of the way” for most shoppers, those that do come to the mall are the working class locals, who don’t even have the money to make purchases. As of now, the mall is considered a dead mall and will soon be torn down.

The next documentary was Pie Fight 69, another eight minute film that used found footage of the independent film company Grand Central Station starting a pie fight at a film festival.

A more humorous topic, the pie fight was orchestrated by Grand Central Station to get publicity and hopefully funding, but unfortunately all the company got was 15 minutes of fame.

The next eight minute documentary was The Fabulous Stains, showcasing how an initial failure for a movie showcasing a wannabe feminist punk rock band eventually turned into a cult classic.

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Only Living Boy visits WMCX

Lead singer and guitarist Joe Cirotti of the gritty blues trio, Only Living Boy, discussed their new record on WMCX 88.9 FM this past Tuesday.

Dripping with influences of Hendrix and other raw blues elements, Cool Collected Headcase dropped April 30 after their CD release show at the Asbury Lanes this past weekend.

Cool Collected Headcase will be the first of two consecutive EPs released by the band.

“This first one is pretty much straight ahead rock and roll, and the second one has more melodic and softer tones, more acoustic guitars and stuff like that, but we intentionally made this one more straight forward,” said Cirotti.

While the two EPs will be released separately, they are intended to coincide with one another and in the future will be debuted under one vinyl record.

Cirotti explained, “The thought process behind that I guess is instead of releasing one record a year, one big one, we would split it up. Just releasing more material over a period of time, trying to stay fresh and always have something to look forward to and something different to hear.”

He added that both albums are strong enough to stand on their own and when listened to side by side, they cohesively fit together.

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Singing Hawk Soars

While most kids in second grade enjoy riding bikes and playing kickball, Sarah Gulbin found her love for singing. Grade school started as a place for education and evolved into learning that not only did she have a passion for singing, but she had a voice that could carry it.

Gulbin, a junior at the University, has been yearning to perform ever since she joined the school chorus in second grade. That same year, after competing and earning first place in her first talent show, performing “Singing in the Rain,” she began to realize that this was something she wanted to do as her career.

The Staten Island born singer/songwriter was startled by her success after realizing the talent she had and the devotion towards music. As years progressed, so did her interest in pursuing her calling as a performer. Her little girl dream was slowly turning into a reality.

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Fall Out Boy Saves Music (Kind of)

Fall Out Boy has returned to save rock and roll. I’m not quite sure they saved the genre, but they certainly helped it.

Save Rock and Roll starts off with the strong, anthem-like “Phoenix.” The fast paced song says “I’m gonna change you like a remix/Then I’ll raise you like a phoenix.” I can’t help but assume that they’re talking about the genre of rock and roll. Granted, Fall Out Boy lyrics are sometimes harder to decipher than the New York Times crossword puzzle, but it seems likely. The song is a great rock song, but that doesn’t mean that this album is full of great rock songs.

Most of the songs lean much more towards pop-punk than rock and roll. This isn’t that surprising because Fall Out Boy came in a wave of pop-punk and emo-pop bands that rose to fame in the early 2000s.

“Alone Together,” “Where Did the Party Go?” and “Miss Missing You” all use heavy synthesizers that scream pop radio. “Alone Together” is a track that could have been cut from the album. It’s weak in comparison to the other songs. The chorus isn’t as catchy, the lyrics aren’t as strong and it feels just a little generic. Fall Out Boy songs tend to unmistakably belong to Fall Out Boy. “Alone Together” could be anyone’s song.

“Where Did the Party Go?” and “Miss Missing You” have a pop sound, but they’re good. They are catchy and will probably end up as Top 40 songs. The great songs, however, don’t come until the latter half of the album.

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New App Has the 4-1-1 on Local Shows


Okay, so the Bandsintown app is sweet. If you are a fan of music and going to shows, this app should definitely be on your phone. Maybe it should even accompany the starting four on the bottom, which for me would fit in snugly next to Spotify, Music and Messages.

I was first introduced to Bandsintown through Facebook. I hardly ever download  those apps, but I took a chance on this one. Since then, I would regularly get emails whenever a band I “liked” was playing near me. This is pretty cool, I thought, and then I just rocked on that for about six months.

Until tonight.

So, the Internet in my apartment is out tonight. Tragic, I know. I was using my trusty iPhone to take care of all my email needs. Bandsintown tells me Black Sabbath is playing at one of my many local watering holes, the PNC Bank Arts Center. I think to myself, “Wow, Sabbath, that’d be a cool show to go to, I’ve never seen them before.” So I click it, figure I’ll check out how much tickets cost.

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Seniors Display Art at Final Showcase

Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall became home to the second, and final, segment of the Senior Art Exhibition, which took place from April 12 to the 19. While the first senior show displayed works by graduating students majoring, particularly, in computer graphics and animation, the second showcase had several works by seniors who will be graduating at the end of the semester with a degree in fine arts.

The opening reception of the show, which ran April 12 from 7 pm to 9 pm was a time for enjoyment and congratulations for the students on their completed works. Guests, faculty, and students alike were invited to eat and gaze upon the works hanging upon the walls; which ranged from photography pieces to paintings, drawings, and other types of hand crafted works on several different types of mediums.

Graphic design professor, Patricia Cresson, was highly impressed by the second show; despite the difference in art from the one she is more accustomed too. “It was a well attended opening and the work looked exceptionally well in the new gallery,” said Cresson.

Although all of the works were fantastic, Cresson notes a particular collection that caught her eye upon entry. “I was particularly impressed with the photographic portraits of Marissa Sottos as you walked into the gallery on the right- [they were] very dramatic and powerful,” Cresson stated.

The collection showed several portraits of different people from all walks of life, bare shouldered and staring into a camera- all with differing ranges of expressions and emotions. But that wasn’t the part that made the piece as powerful as it was. The grandeur factor lied within, because, upon further inspection, the viewer found very faint star constellations within the positioning and posture of the people.

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Roger McGuinn Rocks Pollak

The University’s Pollak Theatre was home to singer, songwriter and guitarist Roger McGuinn, Friday, April 19. The lights dimmed and the crowd that filled the lower section of the theatre.

The crowd disappeared as McGuinn walked on stage. He was accompanied by his acoustic guitar, two electric guitars and a banjo. McGuinn’s stage was accented by a few trees that had the audience in a musical trance for the two hour period.

The crowd received their money’s worth as McGuinn paired his musical talent with his comedic talent. One of his comedic stories came when McGuinn stopped the show to share his thoughts on why the banjo is hated so much in the family of musical instruments. “The banjo gets a bad rap sometimes,” McGuinn stated.

He also gave the audience a few jokes he had heard about the banjo. “What’s the difference between an onion and a banjo?...No one wants to cry when you peel an onion.” That received a few laughs and also a few jeers from the audience, but McGuinn took it in stride.

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National Record Store Day

The days of buying physically packaged music at a small, independent record store may seem long gone, but this Saturday, these humble businesses will be making a triumphant comeback.

The Sixth Annual Record Store Day event will be held on April 20 at independent record stores all over the world. The event is held to raise awareness and support for independent record stores in the digital age of music.

According to the RSD website, “Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread word about the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally.”

On Record Store Day exclusively, independent record stores are provided with a large assortment of limited edition vinyl and CD releases from hundreds of popular and more obscure music acts and record labels for that day specifically. Along with special releases, many record stores also hold a number of other festivities, including live performances, meet-and-greets, cook-outs, and more, according to the RSD website.

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Scary Movie 5 Lacks Laughs

Yes, someone actually made a fifth one of these movies. Like you, I also wish they would have left them alone and stopped years ago.

Am I missing something? Was there some massive following that I was completely oblivious to that was begging for another entry? Well, apparently someone thought so, because here it is, Scary Movie 5: the desperate struggle to make one of these movies without the Wayans Brothers funny.

David Zucker is in desperate need of a paycheck, so he recruits his old team of writers to show the world that they can still make movies. What? You were expecting these parody movies to have a self-respecting plot?

I’m not bashing David Zucker. He has worked on some of the classic comedy movies from my childhood, like Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies. At one point, he had a funny bone and knew what he was doing. I’m assuming it was before he met Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the guys who made such box office bombs like Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie.

I’m impressed with these two. Honestly, I am. Out of the six writers for the first two Scary Movie entries, which were actually kind of funny, these two are known as being the least funny. Despite this, they are the only ones that have gone on to make other movies.

But for something that’s supposed to be a comedy, it’s fascinating when 90 percent of the jokes have the punch line of “Hey, this movie/TV show/other piece of media is currently popular.” Although, in this movie’s case, they were popular last year, and even now are considered dated.

Really, let’s take a quick look at some of the movies Scary Movie 5 is “parodying”. Such movies include Paranormal Activity, Mama, Scream 4 and The Cabin in the Woods.

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Matt Kenyon’s High Tech Art

Visionary Matt Kenyon presented “Art Now: Multimedia Art” in Hawk TV’s studio this past Tuesday as apart of the Global Understanding Convention.

While a co-founder of SWAMP (Studies of Work Atmosphere and Mass Production) with Douglas Easterly, the event focused on Kenyon’s wide range of unique work, highlighting the relationship between global corporate operations with the public, mass media and communication and the tie between life and artificial life.

One of the discussions that had the audience laughing was Kenyon’s experiment with a drive-thru at McDonalds, titled McService. Kenyon and his accomplice circled a McDonalds drive-thru 57 consecutive times, consistently ordering and paying for food, until two police cars were called by the fast food chain. “We were interested in how replacing this variable demographic with us would cause a reaction,” Kenyon explained.

Growing up in the small town of Hammond Louisiana, where Ma and Pa shops thrived, Kenyon developed a different perspective and an intrigue with the relationship between global corporations and consumers. So when a mega Wal-Mart was built on the edge of his community, it only made sense for one of his artistic endeavors to involve the global corporation.

“We had to perform the art of shopping, even though we weren’t,” he stated. Kenyon began his relationship with Wal-Mart by developing different routines to partake in.

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Thrills and Chills Abound in Dark Moon

Whoa, there is another Luigi’s Mansion game? Yup! It has been quite a while since the Gamecube launch title hit stores and won over the hearts of many gamers, myself included. Now there is a sequel on the Nintendo 3DS. Dust off your flashlight and vacuum- it is time to go ghost hunting.

The original Luigi’s Mansion was released in 2001 as a launch title for the Gamecube. It was the first Mario game with Luigi as the main character, and up until now, the only other to do this was Mario is Missing. Luigi’s Mansion was one of the first games to be re-released as a player’s choice and is the fifth best selling Gamecube game in the United States.

The plot of the game is pretty basic. Professor E. Gadd, from the first game, is working together with ghosts when the Dark Moon, the object that keeps the ghosts in check, is broken and the ghosts go on a rampage. Gadd calls Luigi in through a television to help solve the problem.

Normally, I would complain that the plot is so simple that I could sum it up in one sentence, but since it gives us the excuse to explore haunted mansions with the younger Mario brother again, I could not care less.

The graphics are very nice, especially for a portable game. Nintendo is really pushing the envelope for what the 3DS can do.

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Boom Roasted Productions Make a Splash on Campus

A quality education is about more than what you learn in the classroom. Most students know that the key to getting your money’s worth out of your time at the University, and making sure you are prepared for life in the real world, is by joining any clubs, activities and organizations that are related to your interests.

The students behind Boom Roasted Student Productions (BRSP) have been extremely successful in getting involved outside the classroom, most recently by putting on Almost, Maine, which ran at 8:00 pm last Friday and Saturday.

The group draws its name from an episode of “The Office”, during which Steve Carrell’s character has a roast of the other staff members. This became an inside joke among the members of this campus organization and grew to the point where it inspired the group’s name. As such, the audience is “boom roasted” by viewing a BRPS production.

Samantha Myers, English and secondary education major, is a member of the production group. “[My] best experience is working with everyone and being proud of the actors I directed,” she commented. “My fellow cast members are naturally talented. With bits of direction, we created an awesome play and I’m proud of all of us.”

Building off her experiences, Myers wants to continue to direct plays for whichever high school she works in after graduating.

Zoe Bulitt, sophomore theater and social work double major, serves at the vice president of the group, helping to organize their work, relay information and reach out to important officials on campus. “This group as a whole has probably been my best experience here at Monmouth,” she said. “We are such a close group of people that have really taken this club far considering it is only our first year as an official club on campus. Every individual person really makes this group what it is.”

Bulitt went on to add, “We had read through this script before in our acting class last year and we were pretty stuck on what to do for this semester’s show.”

Almost, Maine has a lot of different roles to offer to the cast and has very relatable situations. Although at times it can be a little cheesy and not realistic (like for instance, one girl keeps her heart in a bag after it has been broken and turned to slate) it shows us the different sides to every type of relationship and how any possibility could be going on all at the same time,” Bulitt commented.

She also said that the group’s advisor, Maurice Moran, professor of theater, was instrumental in putting on a great performance. Though it was a student-run performance, Bulitt said his experience and vast knowledge made him the ideal faculty member to help the new production group create a successful, enjoyable experience. “You could not ask for a better advisor,” said Bulitt, adding “We really wouldn’t be anything without the support of our community.”

Another dedicated member of the group is Gavin Ó Cianáin, a theater major and study abroad student from Regents College, London. He ran props and played the roles of Phil and Pete in the show. “I would say the best thing about the process overall would truly have to be having gotten to know everyone in the cast and crew, and also having been exposed to the structure involved in doing a show at Monmouth,” Ó Cianáin said. “I think all of the cast did an amazing job and it was such a nice experience to be welcomed into such a supportive and focused group.”

“Having seen the work which has been put into the production and the focus which the group members have has inspired me to look further into developing something similar at my school or further down the line,” he added.

Henry Siebecker, the senior theater arts major who founded the group three years ago, did so in hopes that they would be able to put on more than one show per year in Woods Theater.

“When Boom Roasted first banded together we managed to do a selection of monologues and scenes from a big book of little scenes called, Heaven and Hell,” Siebecker said. “Since then we’ve done a one act collection of vignettes called Check Please, a short one act play called Dog Sees God and this year have produced The Vagina Monologues as well as our full two act play, Almost, Maine.”

Siebecker formerly served as president of BRPS, directed “Dog Sees God”, and has designed the lighting for the past two of the four shows he’s worked on. He hopes to one day be an actor, though now considers technical designing or production managing as potential career paths.

Siebecker encourages all theater majors and interested students to join, especially men, because “there is commonly an influx of too many girls to too few boys.” The group helps to “instill a pride in theatrical work” and makes each member “a more rounded thespian.”

Whether you intend on being a professional actor or just want to get involved with theater on campus, Boom Roasted Student Productions offers an unforgettable experience.

 

Algonquin Arts Theatre Offers Culture and Opportunity to Students

If you’re looking for a night of culture and art, there is Algonquin Arts Theatre in the middle of downtown Manasquan.

The Algonquin’s mission statement reads, “Our mission is to provide cultural enrichment and arts education for the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs.”

Brooke McCarthy, business administration major, participates in three community theaters and does acting at the University. “Community theater is a great way for people to express their love for and talent in the arts without it necessarily being professional. The locations are key as well because not everyone can travel to the city all the time for rehearsals,” said McCarthy.

She also said, “Participating in community theaters has helped me as a person because it allowed me to step farther out of my comfort zone to audition in front of complete strangers. It gave me more experience auditioning and getting comfortable being in front of people.”

McCarthy can be seen in “Almost, Maine,” a student production at Woods Theater this weekend.

According to David Applegate, Head of Marketing for Algonquin Arts Theatre, they attempt to have seven to nine Broadway or musical-style productions each year. He also said that the reason for adding live theater was because it was a passion of Jack and Fran Drew, the owners.

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Film Festival in Pollak

Film enthusiasts, eager students and curious locals gathered in Pollak Theater for the 32 annual Black Maria Film Festival on April 4.

Chad Dell, chair of the communication department, opened the night with an Alfred Hitchcock-styled, “Good Evening.” He followed this with a brief introduction to the night’s agenda and his own take on the gathering. “I have enjoyed watching this festival for the past 17 years,” he said. “But I have more pleasure in bringing you the woman who brought it here 24 years ago.”

Donna Dolphin, professor of communication, stepped up to take the microphone and discuss the importance of the event, saying it was meant for “fiercely independent and experimental screen arts.” She went on to add, “I want you to understand, this is not an amateur festival. This is professional work. These are professional artists,” she stated. “We’ve even had work by Disney animators.”

This event celebrates independent film makers from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, granting awards for excellence in writing, directing, filming and animation. The festival had 32 movies this year, but only 10 were screened at the University’s portion of the tour.

Feral, a 13 minute animated film by Daniel Sousa, received a Juror’s Stellar Selection. It displayed the story of a young boy who grew up in the wild, but is found by a passing man from a nearby city and is brought back to civilized society.

Here and Away, a movie inspired by “Two Boys on a Country Road” by Franz Kafka, ran for 11 minutes. It was created by Meena Nanji and received a Juror’s Stellar Selection. It features two African boys going through their day, living simply but happily, in the end remarking that the wealthy but stressful lifestyle of the city dwelling folk is a foolish one.

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Senior Art Exhibit Shows Specialized Skills

In Rechnitz Hall, graduating graphic design students had their creations on display for fellow students, potential employers, and soon-to-be former mentors alike in the annual two-part senior show.

The turnout was rather large and, according to art and design professor Vincent DiMattio, the opening night turnout on the 28 rounded at a crowd of about 400.

Showcased with the assistance of man-made window and sales floor displays, frames, tables, and an assortment of shelves, seniors had a wide arrangement of projects accumulated over their years to put out.

Ranging from, but not limited to, race car designs, promotional posters spanning several fields of media, advertisements for prototyped products, to fully developed storyboards for video games and movie animations. All of the pieces set out appeared to be convincing on appearance alone in regards to the ability of the students.

Each student display contained business cards and resumes in front of their artwork; all with the individual’s personalized logo. Some students even went beyond the basics, going so far as to involve the audience in their display; Christina Mantak, for example, had a guestbook alongside her cards for visitors to sign and help document the experience.

Although some projects were of the same assignment, it was easy to see how each individual in the show tackled the task in their own unique way. Mecal Lindsey particularly had an eye-catching display, what with his kaleidoscope-like tiles, which framed all of his works, and an aesthetically pleasing color theme, which assisted in tying everything in the collection together. The standout pieces though were his intricate pieces of creatively generated logos, all of which shared the overall appeal of professionalism and high methodology.

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No Need To Be Afraid of This Album

The Flaming Lips’ New Release Excites

the-terroflaminglipsThe Terror might go down as the most aptly named album of 2013. Though not scary in the sense of a slasher movie, the latest album from psych rock veterans The Flaming Lips is a cold, chilling, and nerve-wrecking experience that will send chills down your spine. And I mean that in the best way possible.

It’s a somewhat unexpected move from the band, but then again, unexpected moves have been this band’s calling card for 27 years. Throughout their career, The Flaming Lips have pretty much done everything there is a band can do, from releasing four-disc albums that need to be played simultaneously for the full experience, to reimagining Dark Side of the Moon, to releasing a 24 hour song on a flash drive encased in a human skull (yes, you read that correctly).

But going this dark? Unheard of! One thing that has been fairly consistent for the group is their bright, creative level of imagination and fun. Many of the groups most well known songs, like the soaring anthem “Do You Realize?” carry an uplifting, triumphant vibe, and are featured in commercials quite often. The group’s most recent single, “Sun Blows Up Today,” was used in a Super Bowl commercial this year.

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"Mad Med" Makes Marvelous Return

mad-men-season-6-photo_514x360“Mad Men” returned to AMC Sunday night for its sixth season with a two-hour premiere.

Darkness loomed over the offices of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce as the advertising agency moved into the year of 1968. Even as the firm itself is flourishing and late 1960s social change is growing through cultural cracks, a sense of morbid anxiety permeates throughout.

This doom and gloom is especially apparent with the show’s perennial cad, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), who is back to his womanizing antics after a season of fidelity following his marriage to the lively, young actress Megan (Jessica Paré).

The opening shot of Draper shows the adman laid out in what looks like a Hawaiian paradise, however, soon the words of Dante’s “Inferno” are heard and Don is diving into the book as a “heavy” beach read. Could Don, on a vacation in paradise, really be entering the gates of hell ready to confront his past demons?

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University Musicians Form an Alliance

music-allianceMaybe you’ve heard about The Music Alliance (TMA). They’ve been giving out free CDs in the Dining Hall, and they’ve been putting on concerts at Brighton Bar. The Music Alliance is a new club designed to give students who want to work in the music industry some experience.

Co-founder Andrew Boxman described The Music Alliance: “We had an idea to unite the members of the music industry program at Monmouth by creating a club where we could promote all of our music while gaining the experience of actually working in the music industry...Whether as a musical artist, solo or in a band, or someone who wants to work behind the scenes, TMA allows individuals to follow their dreams of playing music for a living while gaining career building, team building experience,” Boxman said.

Boxman, a sophomore, raps as a part of Joe and Box with Joe Urso, and co-founder Steve Curtis raps under the name Slick Chops. That doesn’t mean anything about the acts with The Music Alliance. Their promotional album contains rock, folk, pop and rap. They welcome all genres of music, and they regularly have jam sessions on Fridays.

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Doctor Who Rings in Spring with “The Bells of Saint John”

drwhoThe “Doctor Who” 50th Anniversary season is finally here. The time-traveling alien time-lord is back for more action-packed fun and adventure in an epic blockbuster season.

If you are not a Whovian yet, this is definitely the season to become one according to the show’s lead writer, Steven Moffat. “Doctor Who” is the perfect show for anyone who loves adventure, crazy plotlines, some science fiction, and most importantly, time travel. While the season is mid way started, it’s not too late to catch up and join the fandom that continues to grow and captivate many.

While the one question the universe constantly asks continues to float around (“Doctor who?”), we are now confronted with a new mystery: who is Clara Oswald? The newest companion (Jenna Louise Coleman) of the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) is unlike any we have had in quite some time.

After her first appearance in the season premiere, “Asylum of the Daleks,” and her return in the Victorian Era in the Christmas special, “Attack of the Snowmen,” the newest sidekick has everyone on the edge of their seats and scratching their heads along with the Doctor.

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Actor Nick Offerman Performs in Pollak Theatre

nick_offermanWith no shirt on, Nick Offerman took the Pollak Theatre stage Thursday night with a guitar in one hand and an American flag shirt in the other. He approached the mic and gave a simple, deep-voiced “Good evening.”

“Life can be this delicious,” he said as he rubbed his stomach, which is far from a six-pack. Before placing his patriotic shirt on, he said, “I warned you. Minor nudity advertised; minor nudity achieved.”

Offerman plays Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit comedy Parks and Recreation. Besides the mustache, the audience got to see just how far the similarities between him and his character go.

He prepared the crowd by warning them of sing-a-longs, sea shanties, Bible talk and that, of course, meat would be mentioned.

Through the course of the 135-minute set, Offerman told stories about him and his wife, Megan Mullally, who is best known for portraying Karen Walker on Will & Grace. He shared how he believed The Bible was created, his times as a born-again Christian, and The Hobbit.

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Dave Grohl Releases Epic Collaboration

davegrohlDave Grohl is hands down one of the greatest musicians of all time. He played drums for the legendary grunge band Nirvana and founded the Foo Fighters, who are one of the biggest rock groups around today.

Last year, Grohl decided to give directing a chance and made a documentary called Sound City, which is about the iconic rock studio of the same name in Van Nuys, California. The soundtrack to the movie is called Sound City – Real to Reel. The album was orchestrated by Grohl, along with several other artists who recorded records in the studio. The album is one of the strongest rock releases of 2013 so far.

The album kicks off with the track “Heaven and All,” which features Dave Grohl on drums, Black Rebel Motorcycle Clubs’ Peter Hayes on guitar and Rob­ert Levon Been on vocals. The song is a great way to kick the album off and is pure rock and roll. All of the musicians are in sync and start the album off with a lot of energy.

“Time Slowing Down” is the next track, which no pun intend­ed, slows down the pace of the album only for a moment. Each verse is slower paced and me­lodic, followed by an up-tempo chorus with booming drums and blaring guitars. Grohl plays gui­tar on this track and is accom­panied by Chris Goss on vocals. The rhythm section of Rage Against the Machine is also fea­tured with Tom Commerford on bass and Brad Wilk on drums.

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Students and Faculty Enjoy Reading by Prestigious Author

Gaitskill-MaryAuthor Mary Gaitskill visited Wilson Auditorium on March 12 to give a reading and speak about her writing process.

Gaitskill has written three nov­els as well as various short stories and essays. She has received much praise for her work, including nominations for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Award. One of her short stories, “Secretary,” was even turned into a film of the same title with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal. With a career spanning over twen­ty years, the author had plenty to share with the audience about her experiences.

Assistant Professor of Eng­lish, Josh Emmons, introduced Gaitskill with a quote from Joyce Carol Oates: “Art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one an­other. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.” Gaitskill’s work tends to be anything but comforting.

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New Timberlake Album Mirrors Perfection

JustinTimberlake_2020Experience-1024x1024If the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is true, then the end of the late 90’s boy band craze must have given Justin Timberlake superpowers.

Ten years after ‘N Sync bit the dust, he’s still one of the most well re­spected pop stars the world has today, and his latest monster of a record, The 20/20 Experience, is undeniable proof of this.

Where the rest of his boy band brethren have all but faded into ob­scurity, Timberlake has been a con­sistent, omnipresent force in the world of pop culture since his 2002 solo debut Justified, along with his breakout mega-single “Cry Me a Riv­er,” took the music world by storm.

His second album, 2006’s Future Sex/Love Sounds, was an innovative album that further cemented Timber­lake as an important figure in mod­ern pop music. Basically, Timberlake could not be stopped.

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A Serious Look at a Practical Joker

ArCDozens of people filed into the Pollak Theater for Abel Raises Cain, the latest installment of the On Screen, In Person series on Thursday, March 14. The audience was varied, but due to some nu­dity, sensitive viewers and minors were encouraged to use discretion when deciding to attend.

The event began at 7:30 pm with a brief introduction from Matthew Lawrence, specialist professor of communication, followed by Jen­ny Abel, one of the co-directors, giving a short discussion of what the film would be about.

Abel Raises Cain portrays the life of Alan Abel, described as a “professional hoaxer,” who made a career out of pulling large-scale pranks on both the media and the public. However, the film didn’t just showcase his work. It also went into detail about what in­spired him, his financial hardships and his life today. Some of his major works were highlighted, in­cluding a satirical film he worked called Is There Sex After Death? Most of the nudity was confined to this portion of the documentary.

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Rejoice for Tomb Raider Reboot

Whether you’ve played the original games or not, you’ve probably heard of the “Tomb Raider” franchise. Made from nine games, two movies, three novels, a number of comic books and an animated television series, this wildly successful venture has always revolved around the protagonist Lara Croft, a young, female, British archeologist.

However, all of these have had a very similar outlook on the leading lady. She’s purported as a fiercely independent, able-to-handle-anything woman who can be shot at, blown up and stranded in a hostile wasteland without breaking a sweat. To top it off, she’s known for her disproportionate frame (huge breasts and a disturbingly narrow waist), which is squeezed into a v-cut tank top and booty shorts.

The “Tomb Raider” reboot doesn’t have any of these features, and I couldn’t be happier.

Throwing the player into the perspective of 21-year-old Croft, the game begins with her aboard the Endurance, a ship exploring the Dragon’s Triangle, a place that “makes the Bermuda Triangle look like a picnic.” She is one member of a team looking for the lost Japanese Kingdom of Yamati, home to the mythical sun queen, Himiko. Minutes into the opening sequence, a storm rips the ship in half, casting Croft into the surging ocean.

She wakes on a foreign shore, only several hundred feet from the other survivors, but they can’t see her. Moving to call out, she’s struck across the face, once again getting knocked out.

You get to control Croft when she wakes, having been hung by her feet from the ceiling of an ancient cave in preparation for sacrifice. Though you manage to free her, she is impaled in the fall when a small spike rams through her side. Gasping for breath, you guide her through the cave, lighting material that blocks her path on fire.

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Justin Townes Earle Rocks Pollak

earleThe soulful Justin Townes Earle made his way to Pollak Theatre at the University this past Saturday, March 9. The blues inspired country-alternative singer nearly packed the theater and the charming country artist Tift Merritt was there to open for his performance. The show was originally scheduled for November 4 and had been rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy.

Merritt opened with her powerful yet soft acoustic song “Sunday” off of Bramble Rose. She appeared to be running off of nervous energy and halfway into her set she accidentally told the audience how great it was to be in Red Bank. Merritt bounced back and explained that she’s been on tour for a while so it’s been hectic keeping up with the names of different towns. She continued with a heartfelt performance and played some tunes off of her record Traveling Alone released back in October 2012. “It’s my favorite thing in the whole world to play in a theatre with well behaved people,” Merritt said to the crowd before closing with “Another Country.”

After intermission, Earle took the stage and was welcomed with a warm round of applause from the audience. He fired off with his quick guitar finger picking and began singing “They Killed John Henry” off of Midnight At the Movies. He performed a variety of numbers from his discography including tracks like “Maria” from his upcoming album Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now due for release on March 27, 2013 with Bloodshot Records. Earle also announced early on that he’s in the middle of writing a new record and will start recording this May.

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Irish Peace Activist Performs on Campus

sandsThe Irish folksinger Tommy Sands paid a visit to the University on Monday, March 4. The Irish peace activist performed here as the start of a tour across America.

Sands has been a peace activist for much of his life. Being the son of two musicians, he used his talent to write songs in order to bring to light serious issues such as The Troubles, a brutal religious and political military conflict that lasted for roughly 30 years in Ireland.

Sands also recently paid a visit to Reno, Nevada, and wrote songs for imprisoned juveniles to help appeal to a local judge.

Sands performed live in Wilson Hall with his son Fionan Sands. The Sandses performed many of their more popular songs, such as “There Were Roses,” a song about a friend of Sands’s being murdered during The Troubles.

Sands also stitched his songs together using various stories, such as a famous fiddler player he knew growing up who managed to heal his dad through music when doctors failed.

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Great Discussion Built from "The Ruined Cottage"

The University hosted a talk entitled Imagining Harmony: Loss, Literature, and Human Flourishing on Monday, March 4. The event took place at 4:30 pm in Wilson Hall as part of the Distinguished Speaker series, run by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The talk was led by Adam S. Potkay, English professor at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. He is also the author of a wide variety of articles and books, including “The Story of Joy from the Bible to Late Romanticism” which won the Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. In addition, he had “Wordsworth’s Ethics” published through the Johns Hopkins University Press in 2012.

The intention of the talk was to discuss the strange correlation between loss and human happiness by focusing on William Wordsworth’s narrative poem “The Ruined Cottage.”

Wordsworth (1770-1850) is widely considered to be one of the founders of romantic poetry. He later attended Cambridge University. In 1838, he was given an honorary doctorate in civil law from Durham University, then received the same honorary degree from Oxford in 1839.

The poem is about a small house that has fallen into disrepair, since those who once inhabited it passed away some time prior. Despite seeing a formerly happy home overrun by nature, the narrator, Armytage, turns away in joy, a paradox that confuses some. Potkay would not only discuss this scene, but its extension onto literature as a whole.

After a brief introduction by Jeffrey Jackson and Dr. Lisa Vetere, both professors of English, Potkay stood in front of a full room to discuss and critique “The Ruined Cottage”.

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“Two Trains Running” is a Runaway Hit

Two-Trains-Running“Two Trains Running” came to its final stop this week after a successful month-long run at Two River Theater Company.

The play takes place in 1960s Pittsburgh and is part of playwright August Wilson’s 10-play cycle. The cycle depicts the lives of African Americans in each decade of the 1900s.

Taking place in the 1960s means dealing with the civil rights movement in a big way, but that does not mean the play is full of tears and angst. Wilson expertly demonstrates how characters find hope in an era of oppression.

Chuck Cooper shines in his sarcastic moments as diner-owner Memphis. Memphis is trying to prevent the city from buying his diner. Pittsburgh authorities hasn’t offered him nearly enough money for the building and he isn’t giving up what is his without a fight. He would probably keep to himself if it weren’t for the regular customers who keep him on his toes.

Wolf (John Earl Jelks) is a slick bookie who runs numbers in the diner while Holloway (James A. Williams) sits back and plays the numbers with his social security. West (Harvy Blanks), despite being the richest man in town, drops by often for a cup of coffee served by Risa (Roslyn Ruff), a quiet, depressed waitress.

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Songs for the Season

song-seasonWe’ve had three long months of winter, and it seems like it will never end. And suddenly, like the leaves on an oak tree, things begin to change. Cue the beautiful songbirds and bushy-tailed critters that got to sleep through that freezing mess. Spring has arrived, and it couldn’t have come sooner.

Now how do you approximate this feeling to an album’s worth of music?

It seems completely arbitrary to assign a piece of music to a particular season, but it’s not hard to see characteristics often identified with a season like spring emulated in an artist’s music. Excluding pieces by composers (sorry, Vivaldi), these six albums, ranging from a number of decades, are all very distinct from one another, yet all six manage to conjure up, through sound alone, the feelings, images and sensations associated with the pristine beauty of springtime. Those with strong seasonal allergies can rejoice, as there’s no pollen to water your eyes here, just blissful, unique music.

1) Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968) – How did Van Morrison choose to follow up his sunny hit single “Brown Eyed Girl?” He created the cosmic, groundbreaking wonderland known as Astral Weeks. Though it failed to make the commercial splash that his debut and subsequent albums would make, Astral Weeks is Morrison’s finest moment, an adventurous and challenging experience that blends blues, jazz, folk and pop into Morrison’s own unique swirling concoction.

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Welcome Back Fall Out Boy

falloutboyThey’re finally back. After a hiatus lasting a little over three years, which commenced promptly at the end of 2009, American pop-punk band Fall Out Boy has completely come out of the dark.

Consisting of 33-year-old bassist Pete Wentz, 28-year-old vocalist Patrick Stump, 32-year-old guitarist Joe Trohman, and 32-year-old drummer Andy Hurley, the members of Fall Out Boy have come and spoken out about their disappearance in the music scene; all which happened after their last musical showings with fellow musicians Blink 182 and Panic! At the Disco at their August 2009 show in Chicago.

The group started off by addressing the various rumors circulating about a very quiet break-up between the band members, stating on February 4 in a Tumblr post: “This isn’t a reunion because we never broke up. We need to plug back in and make some music that matters to us.”

Although the speculations about the relationships of the members were justifiably up in the air, primarily because of the individual works going on after the 2009 concert; including the side projects of Wentz’s band, The Black Cards; Stump’s solo album, Soul Punk; and at one point Trohman and Hurley’s collaboration with members of the band Anthrax to create The Damn Things.

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Student Spotlight: Dead Precedents

Dead-precedentsUniversity students Nick Ruroede, Dylan Maynard, Sam Maynard and Thomas Blaney brought the punk to the airwaves of WMCX 88.9 F.M. February 26 on the specialty show Alternative Riot. With Sam and Nick on guitar, Dylan driving the bass and Thomas on the drums, the four students formed the gritty hardcore punk band called Dead Precedents.

Although Dead Precedents might be a fairly new group to the New Jersey music scene, the members of the band certainly are not. Ruroede is also the current bassist for Lost In Society, a punk group based out of Asbury Park that has experienced the chaos of life on the road during Warped Tour 2012. Sam and Dylan Maynard shared the experience of performing in local venues and sweaty college basements in their previous band The Black Top Kids, while Blaney used to be a member of the progressive rock group Give Me Light.

The need for change came when Dylan and Sam started writing new music and wanted to find band members who could help drive their latest focus. Ruroede explained, “My other band, Lost in Society, and Black Top Kids played together for a lot of shows and then Dylan asked me about doing new music and then I was like, yeah alright I’ll find us a drummer.”

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PlayStation Preps for Round 4

PS4Sony officially unveiled their next-generation video game console, PlayStation 4, at their live “Future of PlayStation” press conference in New York City last Wednesday. The console is expected to be released this holiday season.

The system will be the first new home gaming console released by Sony since the PlayStation 3 launched back in 2006. Sony representatives stated that the console was to be the “most powerful platform ever” released by Sony, and it will have a strong focus on social networking in gaming. Currently, there is no official confirmation regarding price from Sony.

Andrew House, the current president and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said that the PlayStation 4 will offer the kind of multi-dimensional experience gamers deserve, and will “unleash imaginations to create next generation experiences that will surpass gamer’s wildest expectations.”

The announcement follows weeks of strong speculation after a teaser video popped up on Sony’s Facebook and Twitter page on January 31, which stated that “the future” of PlayStation would be revealed on February 20 at 6:00 pm eastern time. This was followed by a number of retrospective videos released by Sony chronicling the history of their previous consoles, as well as leaked information regarding the systems new controller design.

According to Mark Cerny, the lead system designer of the PS4, the console had been in development since 2008. The goal in developing the system, according to Cerny, was for it to be, “a consumer focused yet developer centric in its design,” with the hopes that the console would, “unleash the creativity and innovation that would result in a true next-generation experience.”

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Gender Bender at Woods Theatre

twelfth-nightThe Lauren K. Woods Theatre is a bit of a wreck right now. Actually, it’s a shipwreck. No, none of the winter storms threw a boat into the theatre. The spring musical, William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” or “What You Will,” involves a shipwreck. It also involves mistaken identities, cross-dressing, fight sequences and plenty of comedy.

Forget the dramatic and depressing Shakespeare that was required in high school. Doomed lovers and cursed kings are nowhere to be found in “Twelfth Night.” Instead we have Viola (Alexandra Appolonia), a girl who is shipwrecked and must find work when she washes up on the shores of Illyria, believing her twin brother to be dead.

When it doesn’t seem like she can find work as a woman, Viola disguises herself as a man named Cesario to work for Duke Orsinio (Henry O. Siebecker). Viola starts to fall in love with Orsinio, but he needs Cesario’s help to court Olivia (Brooke McCarthy). However, Olivia is in love with Cesario who is actually Viola, and that’s just the beginning.

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Film Poster Exhibition Excites

poster_exhibitionEver want to see a musical movie starring The Black Eyed Peas? Or would you prefer to see Selena Gomez in a Vietnam movie? In the hallways of the new Rechnitz Hall, the community can find some unfamiliar movie posters. Students from Professor Karen Bright and Professor Pat Cresson’s digital imaging classes have created their own movie posters based on film concepts they created. The gallery consists of students who have taken the class in the last three semesters.

Students were given a random selection of colors, locations, names, dates, adjectives and film genres. The students used that information to create their own movie summary, which served as a basis for the poster. Amanda Stojanov, junior and graphic design major, found this to be nerve-wracking.

Stojanov said, “I was hesitant because there are so many things that I wanted to do before we even picked our criteria and so it was changing everything. The criteria actually turned out to help a lot when we were writing our own short stories for the poster. We were required to use this criteria in our short stories [which] would be the background to our movie poster. This was also a challenge because this meant that we had to come up with our own movies.”

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Two Lifetimes of Horror

lifetimes_of_horrorFew people get to be called living legends, but two that exist right now in our lifetime are literary giants Clive Barker and Robert McCammon.

Both of these men are being given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writer’s Association, showing that they have made their mark on the industry as well as on society itself through their work.

According to horror.org, “The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious of the Bram Stoker Awards®, given by the HWA in acknowledgment of superior achievement not just in a single work but over an entire career. Past Lifetime Achievement Award winners include such noted authors as Stephen King, Anne Rice, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Ramsey Campbell and Peter Straub. Winners must have exhibited a profound, positive impact on the fields of horror and dark fantasy, and be at least 60 years of age or have been published for a minimum of 35 years. Recipients are chosen annually by a committee; this one chaired by Yvonne Navarro and including John Everson, Kathy Ptacek, Lucy Snyder and Tim Waggoner.”

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are going to be presented on June 15 during the Bram Stoker awards banquet at the World Horror Convention 2013 in New Orleans.

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The Outlook’s Oscar Options

This Sunday is the only time it’s respectable for filmmakers to say they want to go home with a tiny naked golden man: The Academy Awards. It’s Hollywood’s prom night. The Academy decides who their favorites are, and audiences decide what they have to pick up on DVD. As entertainment writers, we all have our own personal favorites. These are our picks for the coveted Best Picture award.

Violeta Pietronico’s Pick: The story of Les Misérables, one of the longest running musicals in our history, has once again captured the hearts of people around the world. The film opened on Christmas Day to generally positive reviews from critics and audiences alike—despite the fact that the film clocks in at a whopping 158 minutes, includes virtually no spoken dialogue, and is entirely musical.

To old fans, the tale of ex-convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) attempting to avoid capture by his former prison guard Javert (Russell Crowe) after avoiding his parole will undoubtedly be familiar. However, to new generations that are seeing Les Misérables for the first time, the stories of Valjean, his desperate employee Fantine, her daughter Cosette, young student Marius, and the relationships that bud between each of these beloved characters during the time of the French Revolution will certainly reel in the young audience members.

While the film has received some backlash over the possibility that director Tom Hooper—who also directed The King’s Speech—created this film as simply a means to get awards, Les Misérables has mostly been praised for its undeniably incredible musical performances. Hugh Jackman anchors the film with his powerful voice, while Anne Hathaway absolutely nails her big scene in which she sings the famous number “I Dreamed A Dream.”

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Robert Pinsky Performs at Pollak Theatre

The University was host to Robert Pinsky and his accompanying musicians, Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison, on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 pm. Dozens of people, local and otherwise, gathered to see Pinsky perform his renowned poetry to impromptu jazz. He was available for book signings after the show.

Pinsky, a three-time United States Poet Laureate, had dedicated his life to bringing a dynamic, invigorating focus to the spread of the love of poetry. He has published numerous books of poetry, including An Invitation to Poetry and The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996. The latter received the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. He also published a translation of The Inferno of Dante that received the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and the Howard Morton Landon prize for translation. Pinsky has written one prose book, The Life of David, which retells the biblical stories of David.

Pinsky is also the poetry editor for Slate, a teacher in the graduate writing program at Boston University, and has appeared on “The Simpsons.”

Having grown up in Long Branch, many wondered as to how many of Pinsky’s poems reflect his life in the local shore town. “All of my poems are about Long Branch,” he laughed.

The bassist for the evening, Ben Allison, is known for his ingenious sounds and unique melodic style. Through the groups The Ben Allison Band, Man Size Safe, Peace Pipe and Medicine Wheel, Allison has traveled the world and performed in many distinct venues. In recent years alone, he has been on stage at Carnegie Hall, Teatro Manzoni, The Capitol Theater, and Queen Elizabeth Hall.

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A Good Movie For Die Hard Fans

a_good_way_to_die_hard_5-wideWhen I was a little kid, my father sat me down and introduced me to the Die Hard franchise. He was the one who taught me what I refer to as my “golden rule of action movies” – if the bad guy dies in an extremely violent fashion at the end of the film, it is a good action movie.

This rule is what I use to judge the Die Hard films. In the original, the villain, Hans Gruber, falls to his death from a skyscraper. One could judge the rest of the films by this standard.

In the sequel, Die Hard 2, the two bad guys are killed on board a jet plane – one is sucked into the turbine, while another dies when Bruce Willis’ character, John McClane, lights the jet on fire.

The next two films, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard, fall short of these high standards with their endings. In Die Hard with a Vengeance, bad guy Simon is killed by a power line hitting his helicopter, while in Live Free or Die Hard, cyberterrorist Thomas Gabriel is simply shot by McClane (albeit, McClane does this through his own shoulder while being restrained by Gabriel).

After seeing Live Free or Die Hard in theaters with my father, I remember being disappointed by the lack of brutality that John McClane killed his nemesis with. Gabriel hardly “dies hard.” So when I went to see the fifth installment in the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, I was praying that excess action would make up for my dissatisfaction with the previous chapter. Without giving too much away, I was more than satisfied.

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Hawk Video Project Flies Around The World

Dozens of students, parents, faculty, friends and locals gathered in the Wilson Auditorium for a screening of 24 Frames, 24 Hours on Monday, February 15. This project was headed by Dr. Max Schleser, a visiting scholar from the Massey University in New Zealand, and involved students making brief documentaries on the Hurricane Sandy aftermath through the use of cell phone video cameras.

Schleser, whose academic focus is on mobile phone documentary making (or ‘mobile-mentaries’) guided 58 students to completion of the project through lectures as well as one-on-one sessions over the course of three weeks.

He also worked to develop the Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa (MINA) app, which can be used to document where a photo is taken, as well as allow others to ‘like’ or comment on the images.

The event began at 6:00 pm with an introduction from Anne Massoni, specialist professor of art and design. “The Jersey shore is my adopted home, as it is for many of you,” she began. “What appears in these videos is a sense of pride, of strength, and that unbreakable bond that makes Jersey so strong.”

She also noted that Schleser would be making his own video based off of those created by the students.

After this, Schleser took the stand, saying how proud he was of the students involved. “I think we’ve achieved something quite amazing, quite extraordinary,” he said.

The idea behind the project was to make a two minute video on a mobile phone, beginning and ending with a demonstration of what time the video was taken. Some people showed a watch or clock while others showed a whistling tea kettle or a beer at last call to illustrate it more creatively.

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My Bloody Valentine Makes a V-Day Return

my-bloody-valentineI don’t think a single album released this decade will have had more weight hanging over it than m b v, the long, long, LONG awaited new album by Irish indie rockers My Bloody Valentine. Now, you might be asking yourself, “My Bloody who?” or “I hated that movie,” but stick with me here, as it’s quite an interesting journey.

Before m b v, the world had not seen a new album from the group since 1991. Yes, as in 22 years ago, before some of you reading were even born or just barely in diapers. And let’s just say that this album, the magnum opus known as Loveless, is, to this day, regularly considered a masterpiece of such unique and groundbreaking quality that it single-handedly defined an en­tire genre known as “shoegaze.” Now, after 22 years of break-ups, reunions and near total si­lence save for a few dispersed hints and rumors, a follow up is abruptly released almost out of thin air. No pressure, right?

Living up to those expecta­tions is just about impossible, and the fact that Kevin Shields, the group’s guitarist and driv­ing creative force, even had the guts to finally put out an album after keeping fans in the dark for so long seems almost insane. In the past few months that the finished product was teased, fan reactions were everywhere. Could this be the greatest album of our generation, a catastroph­ic disaster or simply a sick prac­tical joke played on unsuspect­ing fans?

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Student Spotlight: Climax Race

Untitled-5Any students hanging out at Brighton Bar on Saturday night had the opportunity to see Cli­max Race rock out with their guitarist Mike Baranowski. The senior has been playing with his band for the last couple years and has been playing guitar for 12 years. We got the opportu­nity to chat with Baranowski about his passion for music.

“I owe it to my parents for my love of music. They introduced me to their music and I took it from there,” Baranowski said. “I first got into music when I was about 11 years old. The first band I fell in love with [was] the band AC/DC. My dad put on a their album Back In Black, and I instantly felt like rock and roll was calling me to join ‘cause I’ve been missing out.”

Baranowski cited 60s and 70s rock staples like The Doors, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles as his influences. Baranowski explained, “I felt like these art­ists were more than just making music. I felt that I could identify with their music and the culture they expressed. By age 14, I was completely in love with music. I was listening to a wide variety of artists from BB King to Nine Inch Nails.”

The Brick native was specifi­cally influenced by Led Zeppe­lin’s Jimmy Page’s guitar prow­ess. “The rock riffs Jimmy Page created just thoroughly ap­pealed to me during my begin­ning stages as a guitar player,” Baranowski said.

Baranowski has been dedicat­ed to his guitar skills. He took three years of lessons when he first started and continued to learn from professionals at the University. Baranowski said he has taken three semesters of guitar lessons with professor [Aaron] Leone. His talents also extend to the piano and drums, instruments he taught himself to play.

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Rising Stars Come to WMCX

stellaryoung2Stellar Young stopped by the WMCX studio this past Tuesday to talk about their tour and latest al­bum, Everything At Once.

John Glenn (Vocals/Keyboard), Erik Flora (Guitar/Vocals), Curt Mulick (Drums), Kyle Hatch (Guitar) and Dave Parker (Bass) pulled up to the Plangere Center for Communication in their white mini shuttle bus, ready to hit the airwaves hours before their show later that night at The Trash Bar in Brooklyn. The band was featured on the WMCX specialty show, “Al­ternative Riot”.

I caught the indie-pop group in the middle of their “Nor’East Tour” and when asked how the road has been, Flora replied, “Pretty good, you know so far we’ve had the two dates, one out in Oneonta, which is kinda like our home away from home, and our second one was down in Woodstock.” Originally from Upstate New York, Stellar Young explained they were keep­ing this tour within the New York area.

“Actually, the way this little tour came together, we were just try­ing to book shows around the area and they kind of all came together in the same week and we were just like, let’s call it a tour. I’m glad it came together the way it did so we can just hop on the bus and make a little trip,” said Parker.

“We all met each other in Al­bany,” explained Glenn. When Mu­lick, Flora and Glenn met in high school, they formed a band called The City Never Sleeps. Shortly after, they asked Hatch to join the band (who replied enthusiastically “hell yeah!”) and from there they were introduced to Parker, an ex-live keyboardist for Coheed and Cambria, at an open-mic.

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Award-Winning Poet Astounds on Campus

janice01The University was host to the renowned poet Janice Harrington on Tuesday, February 5, as part of the Visiting Writer series. The event took place in the Wilson Auditorium at 7:30 pm, where she recited her work and discussed the inspiration behind it to a nearly full house.

Harrington has written two books of poetry, the first of which is titled Even the Hollow My Body Made is Gone, which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions as well as the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her second book is In the Hands of Strangers.

She has also published sev­eral children’s books, titled Go­ing North, The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County, Roberto Walks Home, and Busy-Busy Lit­tle Chick.

According to her website, she is also the winner of a 2007 Na­tional Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry and a 2009 Rona Jaffe Founda­tion Writers’ Award for emerging female writers. In addition, she now teaches in the creative writ­ing program at the University of Illinois.

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Coheed and Cambria Ascends to New Heights

coheed-and-cambria2Although Coheed and Cambria’s freshly released sequel album in The Afterman series might be labeled Descension, this musical composition is proving to be far from a decline.

Coheed and Cambria, composed of lead vocalist and guitarist Claudio Sanchez, lead guitarist Travis Stever, drummer Josh Eppard, and bassist Zach Cooper, is recognizable to many and is usually found as a curious oddity amongst the wide span of musical libraries.

Despite their beginnings in 1995 as metal-headed rock group with pop-punk habituals, the band seems to have finally found a stable identity as a progressive rock group in their Afterman project and is flying high as a result.

Things were not always as positive as they are currently for Coheed. They were initially thought to have reached the glass ceiling with their hit 2005 record Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness and with the assistance of chart-topping singles such as “Welcome Home,” “Ten Speed (Of Gods Blood and Burial),” and “The Suffering.” Through critical opinion the band fell down with their following two albums, appearing to have run out of creative compositions with the 2010 release Year of the Black Rainbow. But with The Afterman, Coheed appears to be setting aside any past inhibitions and melodic faux pas.

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Warm Bodies Heats Up Theaters

warm2While movies and television have lately been plagued with the apocalyptic and zombie genres, few have really delved into the mind and emotions of the flesh-eating monsters. Rarely are the movies or shows ever written from their point of view, and they hardly ever have a zombie romance.

However, Warm Bodies, written and directed by Jonathan Levine, seems to have created a genre of its own-meshing together romantic comedy and zombie-horror in a clever way.

The zombies are not portrayed as the villains per se, but rather  are victims of a plague in limbo between their former human lives and their ultimate demise. The film is narrated by R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie, whose only memory of his human life is that his name began with an R.

During a routine feeding on some of the few humans who have survived the mysterious zombie-causing epidemic, R meets Julie and becomes immediately drawn to her after eating her boyfriend’s brains (romantic, huh?). R then adopts some of the late boyfriend’s memories with Julie and is inclined to protect her.

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Peter’s Picks: Video Games Coming in 2013

Bioshock-Infinite-previewGamers, we’ve finally made it to 2013, and now that we’ve gotten that whole ‘Mayan apocalypse’ thing out of the way, it’s time for us to shift our focus towards an exciting, interesting, and impressive looking year for video games.

There’s no doubt about it: this year will bring about some exciting advancements to the world of video games, as it seems that the next generation of consoles is right around the corner.

Both Sony and Microsoft plan to unveil their newest consoles at some point this year, and this also happens to be the first full year for Nintendo to prove the might of its latest console, the Wii U.

But while we can speculate and debate about the future these three new devices all we want, there’s a much more vital question to address first: how many games can we look forward to playing this year? The short answer: quite a bit, actually.

The video game industry is known for many of its high profile titles being sequels and reboots and, for better or worse, 2013 looks no different. With games like God of War: Ascension for PlayStation 3, Gears of War: Judgment for Xbox 360, and countless other titles like Dead Space 3, Dark Souls 2, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Tomb Raider, and TWO Metal Gear games on the way, it seems like nearly every major video game series of the past few years is making a return to the limelight.

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Lumumba Enlightening Yet Tragic

LumumbabaThe Provost Film Series screened their second movie, Lumumba, on Monday, January 28, in Pollak Theatre.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Thomas S. Pearson hosted the event. The 2012-2013 Provost Film Series focuses on the theme of African Journeys: Haunting Legacies, Fragile Futures.

Lumumba tells the story of Patrice Lumumba, an ambitious leader whose powerful words were a threat to those who opposed his vision of an independent Congo from Belgium in 1960. It’s a tragic yet inspiring historical film surrounding one visionary man and country that received its independence 50 years too soon.

“I think tonight’s film could not be more timely,” Pearson said as he introduced the movie. He discussed the plot of the film along with topics of racism and colonial independence in today’s world.

Lumumba was packed with oppressive violence and an inspiring story told in a non-linear structure. Economic, social and cultural issues within the territories of the Congo were brought to light and the film touched on the themes of love and devastation.

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The Best of Both Worlds

bestofbothworldsWhen a popular piece of media gets remade, there’s a fine line that all design teams must be wary of. The makers of the reimagining have to create something that captures the spirit and entertaining qualities of the original, but still make it different enough that it doesn’t seem like an exact replica.

A lot of people didn’t think Ninja Theory would succeed in their reboot of Devil May Cry, but many were surprised when the new game hit shelves and blew them away- myself included.

The remade version of the original hack-and-slash game features a new Dante, the son of Sparda, a demon knight who saved humanity from his own kind. The son of the demonic general and twin to his katana-wielding twin brother, Vergil, Dante is now also the son of the angel, Eva. This is a huge difference, considering that the original Dante’s mother was human.

With his parents gone, Dante must team up with his brother to free the human race from the clutches of Mundus, the demon king.

For those of you who haven’t seen the trailers for this game, DmC takes place in the fictional location of Limbo City, the home of Mundus. The original Devil May Cry games typically took place in gothic castles or cities that had been corrupted by the ‘demon-world’.

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Beating the Odds with Jon Kilik

jonkilikShortly before the winter commencement on January 18, 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Jon Kilik, the producer of The Hunger Games as well as 40 other major motion pictures, including The Limits of Control, Babel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Miracle at St. Anna.

Kilik is known for producing films that focus on giving voice to groups or people that otherwise have none. As such, his work tends to have passionate social or political themes. He had come to campus to deliver the Winter Commencement address as well as to receive an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.

When asked what inspired him to produce The Hunger Games, Kilik said that one of his friends, the director Gary Ross, had children who read the books. Ross recommended Kilik read them, and Kilik found them to be very enjoyable. Ross was looking to direct another film, and since he’d worked with Kilik on Pleasantville, they decided to team up once again. 

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Snow Means New Shows: Midseason Television Brings Hits and Flops

newshowsMidseason television is, for lack of better term, a crapshoot. Sometimes viewers get fantastic, long running cult favorites (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and other times viewers scratch their heads wondering how certain shows get the green light (these shall remain forgotten). This season is no different.

Plenty of actors will be getting six degrees closer to Kevin Bacon on “The Following” (FOX, Mondays at 9 pm). This is probably the most buzzed about show this winter, but is it actually good? The pilot was actually really fantastic. Bacon stars as a former FBI agent who is called back to duty after a serial killer he originally caught has broken out of jail. The killer is concise and organized, planning every kill to relate to Edgar Allen Poe’s works. He isn’t working alone anymore though. He has developed a cult-like following on the internet. The thriller pushes boundaries for blood on network television. Be prepared to cringe. The acting is fantastic as is the writing. Kevin Williamson proved his knack for writing mystery with “The Vampire Diaries” and he brings that talent to “The Following.” It’s fast paced and creepy. It’s definitely worth watching.

“The Carrie Diaries” (The CW, Mondays at 9 pm) also has a lot of buzz but is not really worth the hype. The teen drama is a spinoff of the HBO hit “Sex and the City.” Viewers get to know Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) in 1980s Connecticut as she deals with her mother’s death and gets an internship in New York City at a law firm. The book series by Candace Bushnell are bestsellers, but the show falls flat. It’s missing the wit and snark of the original series, which is surprising since Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (“The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl”) are executive producing. Also, there is a slight issue where the original series stated that Carrie’s father abandoned her and her mother when she was four, and the prequel series portrays him as a supportive single parent. The acting is better than usual for a CW show, but unless they figure out how to pick up the pace of both the plot and the dialogue, this spinoff will sink fast.

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A Dark Fairytale Disappoints

Do you ever wonder what happens to fairy tale characters after the endings of their stories? “And they all lived happily ever after, the end” is a sweet little wrap-up for small children, but as I have grown older, I have become dissatisfied with this unrealistic sentence. I find myself wondering if Cinderella divorced her Prince Charming after finding him cheating with another, fairer princess, taking half of his money and shacking up with another prince half her age. The perfect world of fairy tales and children’s stories never appealed to me because they do not reflect what the world really is: imperfect and, sometimes, not so happy

So when I saw a preview for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a dark and violent extension on the classic Grimm children’s story, I felt compelled by curiosity to see it. Finally, a real-world (well, besides the witches) sequel to a classic fairy tale! There are no breadcrumbs leading the two little German children home to their perfect families and a happy-ever-after in this film.

Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are abandoned in the woods by their parents, only to wander into the candy-crafted home of a hungry witch hell-bent on devouring the two children. After stuffing Hansel full of enough candy to give him diabetes (literally, his “sugar sickness” is a recurring character flaw throughout the film), the witch is stabbed and burned to death by an angry Gretel. The two children never see their family again, and spend their lives hunting down and killing every witch they can find, due to their mysterious immunity to black magic.

I was excited to see the movie for a number of reasons. First, I love profanity, violence and disturbing plot twists in films. What that says about my psyche, I don’t know, but I cannot turn down watching a nice bloodbath on the silver screen. As for disturbing plot, two innocent little kids who get lost in the woods spend the rest of their lives on a cold-blooded killing spree, using futuristic weapons like tasers and automatic pistols to brutally murder practitioners of the occult? I’m sold.

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The Music of 1940’s comes to Pollak

1940Pollak Theater had a full house on Sunday when audiences came for a 1940s music revue, In the Mood. The revue has come to the University every year for the last three or four years, making it an annual event. The sold out show even had to add extra chairs as general admission seats to meet the demand for tickets.

The show took the audience back to the year 1940 and asked audience members to turn off all their electronics because, “They were not invented when this show takes place, and they are annoying. We’d also like you to take this time to unwrap anything in cellophane, which was invented during this time period, but is also annoying.”

The show had The String of Pearls Orchestra, a 13 piece band, playing with six singers and dancers. Each orchestra member got their own solo throughout the night and even contributed their voices to a couple songs. Each of the six singers and dancers got to show off their talents with both song and dance solos.

Unfortunately, the singers were sometimes hard to hear over the big band orchestra. However, their high notes were loud and clear all the way in the back of Pollak Theater.

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Country Star Shines at the MAC

entertainment-martina-mcbrideAs the holidays inch closer and closer, I’ve been in my room grinching away with my pup. In a desperate attempt to cheer myself up, I went to the Martina McBride “Joy of Christmas” Tour (which involves 16 charity performances) this past Sunday night. Did her cheerful and upbeat collection of Christmas beats make my heart grow three times its size? Realistically, no, as that would lead to a boatload of medical problems.

McBride has been awarded “Top Female Vocalist” by the Academy of Country Music three times and received “Female Vocalist of the Year” from the Country Music Association four times. She is a Grammy-winning artist who has sold more than 18 million albums throughout her career.

Emotionally, I’d say it got me feeling considerably better. I was very happy to hear that the concert donated five dollars for every ticket sold to the New Jersey Hometown Heroes, a group dedicated to helping those devastated by Hurricane Sandy. They were founded in 2008 to support families facing sudden crises, and they’ve been a major presence in the past few weeks, though they also help the elderly, the disabled and victims of domestic abuse regardless of natural disasters.

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Peter’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

As finals week approaches and winter break comes within arm’s reach, it’s clear that 2012, and potentially the world as we know it, is coming to a close. With the end of the year approaching, I’d like to reflect on some of my favorite music releases from the past year.

While there have been many albums this past year that I obsessed over and played to exhaustion, I narrowed it down to 10 albums that really left a strong impression on me. Give these albums a chance if you’ve missed any of them this year.

1. Cloud Nothings, “Attack on Memory”: In what is easily my favorite album of 2012, the Cleveland rock band Cloud Nothings add some serious muscle and grit to their previously scrappy sound, resulting in a hefty album of raucous yet surprisingly catchy post-hardcore. From the moody opener “No Future/No Past,” to the harrowing epic “Wasted Days,” to the infectious pop punk of “Stay Useless,” Cloud Nothings manage to put together equal amounts of angst, passion, and hooks to create a masterpiece, in all of its loud, soar-throated glory.

 2. Mount Eerie, “Clear Moon / Ocean Roar”: Though a “singer-songwriter” by nature, Phil Elverum, who records atmospheric folk music  as Mount Eerie, uses his songwriting abilities to try and capture the majestic yet powerful essence of nature, while simultaneously searching for his place among it. His two back-to-back releases this year, in this sense, act as something of a yin and yang: The soothing, graceful beauty of “Clear Moon” both matches and contradicts the feral brutality of “Ocean Roar.” Though they are separate releases, it’s hard to imagine the two without one another.

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Student Spotlight: Guy Battaglia and 99 Regrets

entertainment-99-regretsFreshman Guy Battaglia has spent a lot of time on stage this semester. He played antagonistic redneck Owen Musser in “The Foreigner” at Woods Theatre, and he will take the stage in Anacon Hall on Friday night as the lead singer and guitarist of the band 99 Regrets.

The Park Ridge native has been playing music for nearly half of his life. Battaglia said that he grew up with many musicians in his family, so it wasn’t surprising when he developed an interest in music. “I began playing alto saxophone when I was in fifth grade, but then realized that I could not play the music that I enjoyed listening to on it. So, when I was 11 years old, I picked up the electric guitar and took lessons from my uncle,” Battaglia said.

 The type of music Battaglia enjoyed listening to was rock, and 99 Regrets is an alternative rock band. When asked to describe their sound, Battaglia said, “99 Regrets has the alternative sound similar to that of Green Day, Weezer, Foo Fighters, and even blink-182. To this sound, we have powerful guitar solos that make the songs unique in the genre.”

99 Regrets was formed two years ago while Battaglia was still attending Park Ridge High School. “Going through various lineups since my freshman year of high school, I finally discovered Samir Tawalare (drums) at the beginning of my sophomore year of high school.  Then junior year I asked fellow theatre/marching band friends Kevin Leone (bass) and Bryan Zeug (guitar) to join.” The band has been going strong ever since.

The four boys have played at many different local venues including The Stone Pony. Battaglia is particularly fond of that experience. “Playing The Stone Pony for the final round of the Break Contest (to play the Bamboozle Festival) was like a dream come true.  The sound system was incredible and it was definitely a performance we will never forget,” said Battaglia.

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Holiday Concert Brings Joy to All

The University’s Department of Music & Theatre presented its 14th annual salute to the holiday season with this year’s production of “Holiday Joy,” a performance of seasonal favorites featuring student, faculty, and special solo talents on Thursday, December 6 at 7:30 pm. In the splendor of Wilson Hall, family, friends, and students gathered to enjoy the holiday music.

Wilson Hall was lit up in holiday spirit with numerous beautifully decorated Christmas trees, garland wrapped up the rails on the main staircase, and twinkling lights hung throughout. Performers were dressed to impress, from evening gowns for the opera singers to simple black dresses for the glee club.

Attendees paid $15 to sit on the first level and watch members of the University perform. President Paul Gaffney was also in attendance. Student admission was free as the concert sold out and had standing room only. Students stood on the second and third level, watching below and waiting for the show to begin.

Megan Roberts, freshman English and theater major said, “I’m here to see my friends. I’m excited because I love holiday music and I know my friends will be great.”

Among the performers were the University Chamber Singers and Concert Chorus, under the direction of Professor David Tripold, performing the classic “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “A Hanukkah Remembrance.”

The Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Professor Michael Gillette, assisted by Professor Bryan Jenner, performed “Christmas Festival” and Ralph Vaugn Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite.” Returning from last year’s debut is the “Harmonic Joules,” the glee club, under the direction of senior Jasmine Walker, performing “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire)” and “This Christmas.”

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Hubbell Makes it Easy to Understand Dyslexia

entertainment-albert-einsteinThis past Monday, December 3, I saw a very exciting and involving documentary called Dyslexia: The Movie, directed by Harvey Hubbell V.

This was part of this year’s On Screen, In Person film series, once again moderated by University specialist professor Andrew Demirjian, who chose this film, along with a committee of people, “Because I think it operates on lots of different levels, it’s really smart, it’s really funny, and it has an important message and it really makes you reconsider how you view other people and how you think about disabilities.” Did I think it operated on different levels, was smart, was really funny and carried an important message? Read on and find out.

In this film, Hubbell, a dyslexic himself, seeks to inform and educate the audience through his own life experiences as well as by discussing the topic with people who are researching dyslexia.

It also involved other dyslexic individuals who came forward about their lives and how they deal with the condition. Many of them were celebrities such as Billy Bob Thornton, Sarah Joy Brown, and Steven J. Cannell, the creator of television shows such as 21 Jump Street.

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Potentially Exciting Television

By now you’ve probably heard that “Boy Meets World” is coming back. Well, it might be coming back. The spin off series, titled “Girl Meets World”, could be on Disney channel next year if the series gets picked up. Right now it is considered ‘in development,’ the same place that Joss Whedon’s The Avengers spin off is along with what could be the new “Downton Abbey”. Networks are developing pilot episodes before to determine if these would be successful series. These are just a few of the series that television fans are keeping their fingers crossed to see on their screens next year.

“Girl Meets World” centers on 13 year-old Riley, Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga’s (Danielle Fishel) daughter, according to TVLine.com. Savage and Fishel have officially signed on to do the show, should it be given the green light for a season. There might not be too many original cast members hanging around.

Rider Strong, who portrayed Shawn, announced that he would not be joining the cast right now. Don’t count him out completely. On his website, Strong wrote, “There might be a chance to see some of the BMW cast in a guest spot, and I think it would be nice to find out where our characters have been all these years. But Girl Meets World will be, and I think it should be, [its] own show. It will be about Cory and Topanga, their daughter, and a new set of characters.”

 Don’t expect the new show to be all about Cory and Topanga because this is being developed for Disney channel. The channel is aiming to attract kids today, kids who didn’t necessarily grow up with life lessons from Mr. Feeny. The show is about Riley, her older brother Elliot, and her best friend Maya, an edgy girl who might not be as dark as she seems (who sounds like the Shawn to Riley’s Cory). They will probably be learning their lessons from their history teacher, Cory Matthews.

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The Return of Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino fans will have plenty to talk about this week as two of his iconic films are being shown once again in theaters. In commemoration of Reservoir Dogs’ 20 year anniversary, the film was re-released in theaters on December 4 and Pulp Fiction is set to follow on December 6. According to Derek Feit, the General Manager of the AMC Lowes Theatre in the Monmouth Mall, the re-releases are shown only once at 7 pm on the days scheduled.

Reservoir Dogs is Tarantino’s first motion picture that he both wrote and directed. The plot revolves around six men hired to participate in a jewel heist and are given code names to protect their identity. The film premiered at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival and gave Tarantino recognition among the movie industry. Actors Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and more star in the film along with Tarantino himself. The movie is just under two hours and is jam packed with witty dialogue and gruesome scenes that make Reservoir Dogs hard to forget.

The violent comedy Pulp Fiction was the second movie both written and directed by Tarantino. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta play two mob hit men who find themselves in some messy situations that intertwine with the lives of other characters. Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis star in the film, which is just under three hours long. Pulp Fiction won Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen at the 1995 Academy Awards.

Professor John Morano, author of “Don’t Tell Me The Ending!”, a book for aspiring film critics, describes Tarantino as “Auterish”, meaning that audiences can expect certain traits in the film before they even enter the theatre. “For me, he’s unique among directors because he has films that I love like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs and at the same time he has films that I loathe like Kill Bill and others,” said Morano.

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Student Spotlight: Bryan Haring and Seasons

Bryan Haring is quite the entertainer. The junior dazzled audiences with his best cockney British accent as Staff Sergeant Froggy LeSeur in the fall play, “The Foreigner”. While Haring seemed pretty comfortable on the Lauren K. Woods Theatre’s stage, he is a bit more at home playing with his band Seasons.

Seasons is an electronic hard rock band in which Haring sings and plays synthesizer. Haring describes his band’s music as “a mix between Muse and Panic! at the Disco.”

Seasons didn’t come together in the easiest way. Haring and guitarist Dylan Sorkin had to really search for band members who would play together well after multiple bands they were in separated.

Haring said, “After [the last band] dissolved, I sought out Ryan Kroon (drums), a classmate of mine from high school. After he agreed to join, we held auditions to find another guitarist. We also auditioned candidates for lead vocals (I had planned to play bass and sing backing vocals) and bass. Kyle Rinfret (vocals, guitar) really wowed Dylan and I at the audition, so we welcomed him aboard on the spot. After I decided to remain on lead vocals, we looked into a bassist. I phoned another classmate, Joe Vena (bass), since we had been in a band years earlier. He accepted, and the line-up was completed.”

Those who have heard Haring’s voice might find it surprising that he had not originally intended to be Seasons’ lead vocalist. Haring has only been singing for four years and playing piano for three. Haring’s interest in music started with the saxophone when he was ten. Haring said, “I joined the school band on alto saxophone when I was ten. I was hooked after that.”

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Wii U Launch Fails to Reach New Heights

Nintendo and I have been going to counseling lately. I want to see new people because Nintendo just isn’t delivering what they promised me. I told them that the Wii U was their last chance to win me back. Did they succeed? Uh… let’s just say I filed for separation.

The Wii U is supposed to be our first glimpse at the next generation of gaming. As far as first impressions go, this was a very lackluster experience.

Let’s start by taking a look at the Wii U hardware. We’ve got a new controller that has a touch screen and, in some cases, shows the game on the screen as well as the TV, kind of like the Nintendo DS. This is actually a really cool controller; props to Nintendo for their creativity here.

It’s a neat idea, it works pretty well and it’d probably be a great new controller for the Wii- wait, this isn’t a new controller, it’s a new console that costs 300 bucks. That’s ok, I just happened to have 300 dollars that I was going to flush down a toilet.

Well, if a DS controller isn’t your cup of tea, you can use the Pro Gamepad. What is this? It’s an Xbox 360 controller. Yes, it’s literally an Xbox 360 controller with Nintendo’s logo slapped on it.

I know this is the default controller most gamers use and it’s perfectly fine to use, but this is Nintendo- they pioneer in developing new and unusual things, then making them work. I wanted Nintendo to try something new and take risks like it usually does.

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Full Ice House for Senior Art Majors

Dozens of students, faculty and supportive loved ones gathered at the Ice House Gallery for the December Senior Show reception on November 30. This event celebrates the work done by those majoring in art with a concentration in photography. It lasted from 7 pm to 9 pm. Refreshments were served.

Walking in the door, viewers were greeted by three different photography series. Samantha Suchavski shot the “Amplified Tendrils” series, Nicole Armitt was behind the “Longing” collection and Rebecca Lennon took the “Torsi” sequence. All are art majors with concentrations in photography.

Suchavski’s work showed nature at its most raw level; by photographing a variety of branches, she was able to use contrasting colors- or the lack thereof- and different degrees of depth to engross the audience.

“It’s about entanglement, about getting down to our roots,” Suchavski noted. “It’s simple, yet at the same time, so complex.”

Armitt’s photos featured old radios, which most might not look twice at, sitting in fields or other wild settings. The shock of seeing that one item sitting alone in the middle of nowhere was great at evoking the feeling for which the images were named: longing. Headphones rested below most frames, allowing the viewer to put them on and listen to a broken tune that would likely be playing from such a discarded device.

“Longing is about broken relationships and the symbolism involved,” Armitt commented, adding that the songs playing could be seen like a couple’s song after the couple broke up- sad, even mournful, with no one left to listen.

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A Side-Splitting Comedy by MU Students

The Foreigner, Monmouth University’s play for the fall semester, opened on Friday, November 16. With a book by the deceased Larry Shue and direction by theatre department chair Dr. John Burke, The Foreigner is a side-splitting show that anybody,  can find a lot of laughs in.

“It was fantastic,” said Kevin Long, a junior and music industry major. “Just fantastic.”

The Foreigner takes place at a fishing lodge in Tilghman County, Georgia, in “the recent past” (the time period the set and costumes put in my mind was the mid 1980s). In it, Charlie Baker (Henry O. Siebecker) is a simple science fiction proofreader visiting his British friend, Staff Sargent “Froggy” LeSueur (Bryan Haring). Charlie is upset that his unfaithful wife may be dying in the hospital and tells Froggy that he wishes to speak to nobody because of an anxiety problem. As a result, Froggy decides to tell the owner of the lodge, Betty Meeks (Taylor Bogan), that Charlie is a foreigner from a distant country. Betty, who has never travelled, is eager to have the exotic Charlie, who does not speak a word of English, in her home.

 As a result of his assumed obliviousness, the lodge patrons and their friends discuss all sorts of personal matters in front of Charlie, allowing him to be, for the first act at least, a silent window through which the audience learns the subplots and setting of the play.

We learn that the other people living in the lodge are Catherine Simms (Zoe Bulitt), a wealthy but bored Southern debutante, her younger sister Ellie May Simms (Jamee Shea), who is assumed to be slow, and the shady Reverend David Marshall Lee (Brandon Wiener), who is engaged to Catherine. Often visiting is David’s friend from town, the equally shady Owen Musser (Guy Battaglia), who reveals himself as one of the primary antagonists of the show.

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Racism is the Real Battle in Camp de Thiaroye

This past Monday I had the pleasure of seeing the film Camp de Thiaroye, the first film in this year’s Provost Film Series. It was hosted by Dr. Thomas S. Pearson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

“I believe these films will give us a much deeper appreciation of not only the configuration of Africa and the different states and the different factions, but also we will come to appreciate the traditions and the communal practices and emphases of various African cultures,” said Pearson.

This year’s film series, titled African Journeys: Haunting Legacies, Fragile Futures, is about the tribulations faced by African peoples from Algeria to Rwanda. “We’re doing a lot of initiatives with diversity… as an area, many Americans need to know more [about Africa]. Many people have little exposure to films by Africans about life events there,” said Pearson. He also noted that this series is part of the cultural series of events occurring across campus, including lectures and performing arts series installments centered on African culture.

This is indeed a deep film. This semi-autobiographic film focused on a squad of West African soldiers who fought for the French during World War II. They come back from their tour of duty as heroes but, while waiting to be shipped home, they are first held at a French prison camp. They came out of an international war only to fight a personal one.

Director Ousmane Sembene starts the film off with a celebration, and for pretty much the rest of the film, that’s the happiest the audience will see the soldiers. It is a study in the prejudice black soldiers face even when they risk their lives to save others. The camp is located in the desert. It’s a very barren, dry, and lonely looking place. They have no one to turn to except each other.

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“So You Think You Can Dance” Comes to the MAC

entertainment-SYTYCD-webThe top 12 finalists of FOX’s reality show “So You Think You Can Dance” performed at the MAC on Saturday night, one of the last few stops on a 30-city tour. The tour gave fans a chance to see their favorite dancers perform dance routines from the competition as well as entirely new routines.

“So You Think You Can Dance” is a FOX reality dance competition. The Emmy award-winning show was started in 2005 by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, two of the minds behind “American Idol.” In his pre-recorded introduction of the show, Lythgoe called the program “America’s favorite summer series.”

The audience was mostly female. The few men there looked to be bored dads with their seven year olds. The pre-show included commercials for sponsors such as Libman Mops and Just Dance 4. It’s safe to say that this was their expected demographic. Of course, not only little girls went with their parents. Danielle Febus of Hackettstown is 27 and attended the show with her mother. She said she was attracted to the show because she used to dance.  

Many attendees had dance experience. Sue Suozzo of Ocean Township has been following the television series since the beginning. She used to coach gymnastics and cheerleading in addition to choreographing school plays. Suozzo said that she loves the show because, “It gives a great opportunity to young people to share their talent.”

One of those young people is finalist Amelia Lowe, a native of Butler, New Jersey. The 18-year-old has been dancing since she was three. In an interview with FOX.com, she described the rehearsal process as being very intense. “Not only are you doing dances that you’ve done on the show, but you’re doing new ones,” she said.

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Breaking Dawn’s Fantastic Finale

Fans all over have been waiting for the premiere of the epic conclusion to The Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn: Part Two. The first part of the fourth movie left fans with the long-awaited turning of Bella into a vampire, complete with the opening of her eyes to reveal their blood-red color.

Part two picks up where the last one left off. Bella is now awake and is looking at her surroundings with her super-enhanced vampiric sight, until her focus rests on Edward. The couple has a tender reunion, only to turn humorous as Bella crushes Edward in a hug with her newborn vampire strength. She is then reunited with the rest of the Cullen family in addition to Jacob Black and Renesmee, her daughter. The rest of the movie follows Bella and the crew as they adjust to their new lives and worry over the fate of the rapidly-growing Renesmee. There is then the threat of the powerful vampire government, the Volturi, who believe that Bella’s daughter could pose a danger to all vampires.

 Fans of both the books and the movies alike will be delighted with this final installment of the saga. The action of the film followed the novel almost perfectly, and paced the action in a way that held the audience’s interest. As in the other movies, the setting was beautifully done, and the cinematography captures the essence of the area in which these characters live. The actors put on a solid performance, making you see past the hype around Stewart and Pattinson’s personal lives and focus entirely on their characters. Not only were the main cast members phenomenal in their performance but so were the supporting cast members, including Mackenzie Foy, the little girl chosen to portray Renesmee.

The young girl did a surprisingly good job at remaining serious in her role, acting wiser beyond her years and fulfilling an image readers all over the world have had in their heads. Expectations like that can be tough on anyone, let alone an eleven year old, but Foy shines in her role.

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Green Day’s Second Strike

entertainment-dosTime sure flies, doesn’t it? It seems like it was less than two months ago that I was reviewing the last album from Green Day. Oh wait, it was less than two months ago.

Back in September, we saw the release of “¡Uno!”, an alleged “return to form” for Green Day that really just amounted to a mostly watered-down, sterilized attempt for the band to reclaim their glory years, with only a few worthwhile moments to be found. Ultimately, Green Day couldn’t live up to the hype.

Now we find ourselves in November, and with the release of “¡Dos!”, the second installment of their “epic” trilogy, we can finally look past the hype and judge the album for what it really is: an almost completely watered down, sterilized attempt for the band to reclaim their glory years, with even less worthwhile moments to be found.

I honestly can’t say that I was surprised by this outcome in the slightest, as “¡Dos!”, along with the soon-to-come “¡Tre!”, were produced during the same sessions that spawned “¡Uno!”, a marathon of sorts by Green Day to write as many sub-par power-pop songs as they possibly can. Unfortunately, this means that “¡Dos!” suffers from nearly all of the same problems found on “¡Uno!”, only now, after just going through this ordeal less than two months ago, it feels like insult to injury, like getting slapped on your already sunburned back.

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Student Spotlight: Mike Burke and Suburban Cliché

The Outlook recently had the opportunity to interview Michael Burke, sophomore music industry major, about his experience as a musician. He plays the guitar in the rock band Suburban Cliché alongside Cole Gallagher (vocals, guitar), Frank Toledano (vocals, bass), and Tom Bell (drums).

The Outlook: How did you first get started in music?

Michael Burke: I remember first getting started in music around 6th grade. Like in a lot of elementary schools, everyone got to play their little recorders and learn jingle bells during Christmas, but nothing really more than that. It was a small school and we didn’t have a ton of funding for the art programs. I remember wanting to do a little more than play a few notes on a squeaky plastic toy, so I took private saxophone lessons through a program after school. I couldn’t stand the saxophone; I only stuck with it long enough to play one school concert and quit after that. A little while passed, and I remember my dad casually telling me to mess around on a guitar, just to pick it up and get a feel even if I didn’t know how to play. I remember sitting in my den strumming the guitar, open string and awful sounding, just getting the beat to some Bruce songs. From there on, it just progressed a little more each time until I was actually playing some notes and chords.

The Outlook: What instrument do you play?

MB: Guitar is my most comfortable instrument. I’ve been playing it for about 6 years now. I also play bass, drums, and piano.

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Taylor Swift Shows Many Colors on “Red”

Taylor Swift is perplexingly amazing. Her lyrics aren’t phenomenal, her melodies are predictable and her voice is only average. Yet, somehow, she still always manages to churn out an album that I will listen to on repeat for weeks. She continues this trend with her latest effort, “Red.”

The Pennsylvania native’s fourth studio album is titled “Red” because the moments in her life that she writes about are all moments that she sees in the color.  In her album booklet, Swift has a prologue where she explains the moments that inspired the album: “These are moments of newfound hope, extreme joy, intense passion, wishful thinking, and in some cases, the unthinkable letdown. And in my mind, every one of these memories looks the same to me. I see all of these moments in bright, burning, red.”

The country singer hasn’t just been influenced by pop music; she has started writing with some of the best names in pop. Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback co-wrote three songs with Swift: “I Knew You Were Trouble.”, “22”, and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. Martin and Shellback have collaborated with Pink, Adam Lambert and Britney Spears.

Taylor Swift, while she sells to the same demographic, isn’t really the same type of pop star. She has typically strayed away from synthesizer driven, overproduced tracks. Those three tracks are all very heavy on the electronic elements, and they don’t sound like typical Taylor Swift songs.

The Max Martin songs are irritatingly high pitched and repetitive. Yet, they have helped her sell records. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was the first and only single released before the album dropped and Swift sold 1.2 million records in her first sales week alone. It was the largest sales week for an individual album in a decade, according to Billboard.

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A 17th Century Play with Timeless Value

No matter when you were born, whether you like or don’t like theater, you probably know the name ‘William Shakespeare’. He is arguably the greatest playwright of all time, and his works are very well known, but are his works are still relevant?

The University’s honor school recently sponsored a trip to see Shakespeare’s Henry V at the Two River Theater Company. Honor students, especially those in the first year clusters, were allowed to attend free of charge.

Kevin Dooley, Dean of the Honors School, felt this was a very important experience for the students, especially in today’s political climate. “Political dramas always have the same themes of intrigue, revenge and justice, whether we’re talking about Henry V or Julius Caesar,” Dooley said. “Good literature has many layers. Shakespeare wrote for the comman man and expressed very human themes.”

The play is about King Henry the Fifth’s fight to become the rightful heir of France. Though he is already the King of England, he can lay claim to the French throne since some of his ancestors had been French nobles. He’s also coerced to go to war by the Catholic Church, who would make a large financial contribution to support the war if Henry pursues the French throne, but that is only because they want to distract him from passing a new law that requires the church to give up much of its money and land to the crown.

Jeffrey Jackson, assistant professor of English, particularly enjoys the timelessness of this play. “With Henry V, you also have a play about the role war plays in our overall perception of a leader, an issue that remains timely and controversial. During World War II, the play was celebrated for its patriotism in the face of Nazism’s threat. We’re a little more ambivalent about war now, especially when it’s seen as bolstering a ruler’s power or popularity, so the play continues to hit a nerve. Henry V is the story of the young, wastrel son who is forced to grow up when he inherits the throne and does so through war: I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere down the road we get an adaptation set in the Bush-Cheney White House!” said Jackson.

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Strong Characters Dominate Red Dawn

Movies with as many explosions as Red Dawn are not supposed to make me want to cry. Yet that’s what happened with this movie. This is an action flick with a lot of heart and it exceeded my expectations.

The film depicts a small town in Washington that has just been invaded by North Korea. A group of young adults escape capture and form a retaliation team known as the Wolverines. The Wolverines don’t blow everything up simply for fun (though they have a lot of awesome explosions). These teenagers are fighting for their lives and their country.

They follow Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth), a marine on leave from Iraq. Jed teaches his brother Matt (Josh Peck) and his friends how to be soldiers. Hemsworth is fantastic as a jaded marine. He immediately goes into soldier mode when their town is attacked, and he keeps his emotional brother Matt in check. Matt thinks more with his heart than his head, and, as high school quarterback, he isn’t used to having someone else call the shots.

As Matt, Peck has a lot of dramatic material to work with. It’s easy to have doubts about casting him in a dramatic role, since he’s most known for his roles in Nickelodeon comedies such as “Drake and Josh”. As it turns out, Peck can bring on the tears just as well as the laughter. He is really the character that has the more emotional role in this film. While Jed puts up a cold, stoic front due to his training, Matt reacts with sorrow and anger to the ones he loves being killed or captured, much like anyone would.

However, Peck is kind of shoved in the corner of the movie poster. He really carries the movie just as much as Hemsworth, but it seems like advertisers thought that the newfound fame and success of Thor’s Chris Hemsworth and The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson would bring in more viewers. It’ll be very disappointing for any teenage girls on Team Peeta who discover that Hutcherson’s part as Robert is rather minor.

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Award Winning Writer Inspires Hawks

entertainment-meena-alexanderMeena Alexander, internationally renowned poet and scholar, spoke at the University on Tuesday, October 16 as part of the Visiting Writers series. A huge crowd filled the Wilson Auditorium with students, faculty and members of the surrounding community.

Alexander, who was raised in India and Sudan, currently lives and works in New York City, though she taught at several universities in India prior to that.

She earned her PhD in romantic literature from Nottingham University at the age of 22. She is currently a distinguished professor involved with the Masters of Fine Arts degree in creative writing program at Hunter College and the English PhD program at the City University of New York graduate center. 

According to her website, “She is the author of six volumes of poetry including Illiterate Heart (winner of the PEN Open Book Award), Raw Silk and Quickly Changing River. She is the editor of The Everyman Library’s Indian Love Poems. She has written the acclaimed autobiography Fault Lines (picked by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of the year) as well as two novels, one of which is Nampally Road (A VLS Editor’s choice).”

She has also been given the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award in Literature from the South Asian Literary Association.

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American Horror Story: Asylum Delivers Tricks & Treats

entertainment-american-horror-storyIf you’re in need of a good scare, blood or kinky sex, you’ll be happy to know that American Horror Story returned to FX last week. The thriller has adapted an anthology format, meaning each season will be one self-contained story. A different season means different characters, places and stories (but expect some of the same actors). This season, aptly subtitled Asylum, focuses on Briarcliff Manor, a mental institution in the 1960s.

The show opens with present day newlyweds Leo (Adam Levine) and Teresa (Jenna Dewan Tatum) entering the abandoned asylum on the last stop of their honeymoon. The trip included visiting the 12 most haunted places in America and having sex in each.

After they realize that Briarcliff is legitimately haunted, the show flashes back to 1964. Kit Walker (Evan Peters) is committed after supposedly killing and skinning numerous people, including his wife. However, he can’t remember murdering anyone; he only remembers aliens probing him.

AsAmerican Horror Storydid with their first season, they have tons of subplots that are incredibly interesting but hard to track. The subplot involving a reporter investigating the asylum but quickly getting herself committed was predictable.

However, other plotlines are much more mysterious. What lives in the woods and needs to be fed every night? What is Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell) doing to patients without family that causes them to die suddenly? Every character has a storyline, each one more enigmatic than the last.

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Heavenly Howls Heard at The Saint

entertainment-sea-wolfMonmouth County is full of legendary venues; few of those places, though, have the charm and renown of The Saint. This bar is considered the center of the local music scene. Nationally recognized bands, from Lifehouse and Red Wanting Blue to Sick Puppies, Creed and Incubus, come to perform here as well, often for a price that you just can’t beat.

Upon entering The Saint, I was immediately struck by the classic rock-venue décor. It’s a throwback to the era where the music scene was all that people talked about. The walls are lined with posters of the artists that have played there. It’s spacious enough to give everyone room to breathe, but it has a feeling of closeness- of people being brought together by the singular love of great live music.

That’s not to mention their state-of-the-art equipment. A full soundboard, stage and professional lighting bring the quality of a venue that should cost upwards of 100 dollars- but the tickets are typically no more than 15.

As part of their recent tour, Sea Wolf, along with Hey Marseilles performed at The Saint on Tuesday, November 16 alongside a local band called Underwater Country Club, 

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On Screen, In Person: Runaway

entertainment-on-screen-in-personThis last session of On Screen, In Person was the film Runaway directed by Amit Ashraf. This popular event took place in Wilson Auditorium on October 15. It was a great film that gave this reviewer and the audience multiple viewpoints.

Student Tara Cooney said the film was “enjoyable” while student Kevin Kaisian thought the film was “better than expected,” and the ending was a “crazy twist.”

“Enjoyable” might not be the word; “disturbing” was more appropriate, a word that even Professor Demirjian, the host of the presentation, used to describe the ending. Ashraf sought to show that evil can get away and he got his point across. 

Right away the audience is thrown into the film without any exposition about what is going on and who we are supposed to be paying attention to. It’s jarring, but so is the film, and it’s all the better for it.

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Batman Producer Michael Uslan Honored at Founder's Day

batman_headline_imageThe University recently had the honor of awarding the world’s first doctorate in fine arts with a special concentration in comic book literature to Michael Uslan, executive producer of every major Batman movie since 1989. Uslan delivered the convocation address at the University’s 79th founders day ceremony.

He also took time to speak with students beforehand, and autographed copies of his autobiography, “The Boy Who Loved Batman”, after the ceremony.

David Knotts, business management major, thought Uslan was a great inspiration. “It’s interesting to see how somebody who wasn’t involved with filmmaking got there by a different path,” said Knotts.

Uslan is a native New Jersey resident who grew up in Ocean Township, in Monmouth County. He got his start reading comic books, but really broke out into the industry when he began teaching comic book folklore, while pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Indiana. It was the first course to seriously discuss comic books in contemporary society.

His course, “The Comic Book in America,” dealt with the mythology, anthropology, psychology, and thought processes behind how a comic book is made and how it be became popular. This course brought him significant fame-eventually leading to him being contacted by Stan Lee.

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Coheed and Cambria’s “The Afterman: Ascension” Fails to Rise Up

coheedWhether you worship them or can’t get past the singer’s highpitched voice, there’s one thing that’s undeniable: Coheed and Cambria are one of the most unique rock bands to achieve any sort of mainstream success.

With sprawling, science fiction themed concept albums and a sound that marries elements of progressive rock, post-hardcore, and heavy metal, Coheed and Cambria’s ambitions have pushed them past the point of being a typical rock band, with fantastic albums like “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” and “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” operating on a level of epic that most bands only dreaming of ever reaching.

Recently, however, Coheed have been falling somewhat short of delivering these ambitions in the ways that they used to. With their last album, 2010’s “Year of the Black Rainbow”, contained some good ideas but ultimately falling short of the majesty of their previous releases.

However, with news of a planned double album known as “The Afterman” to be released in two thematically differing parts, there seemed to be hope that Coheed could once again reclaim their position as gods of epic scifi rock. Now that the first part, “The Afterman: Ascension,” has been released, does the album prove that Coheed are living up to this possibility?

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Ed Gallucci Comes to Pollak Gallery

gallucciEd Gallucci, a University alumnus and famous photographer best known for his photographs of Bruce Springsteen and Muhammad Ali, among other well-known names, visited the University on October 2. Many of Gallucci’s most famous works are on display in Pollak Gallery in an exhibit considered to be a companion piece to September’s Springsteen Symposium. It is open to the public. The photos on display include a reel of photos featuring Bruce Springsteen, taken in 1972, photographs of Muhammad Ali on a car ride with Gallucci, a few photos of Taj Mahal, and even a picture of John Madden. The gallery also hosted pictures of several other famous names who Mr. Gallucci photographed.

Gallucci was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. Graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri, he majored in graphic design with a minor in photography. Despite it being his minor, photography became one of Ed Gallucci’s main passions.

As he saved money for the equipment he required for professional photography, Gallucci rode taxi cabs to and from work each day, taking photographs of people walking by. He mentioned that these photographs are some of his favorite shots because every person in each photo was in their natural state. No pre-setup was arranged for a photo shoot, no plans were created. He only photographs everyday life.

Gallucci never used flash when photographing his subjects, claiming that flash is a photographer’s prime enemy. Most of his photographs were shot in black and white, with color only being used sometimes when indoors.

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Prepare to be Taken... Again

TAKEN-2When released in theaters in 2008, Taken w as a b ox-office s mash. Audiences flocked to theaters to watch Academy Award nominee Liam Neeson (starring in the role of Brian Mills) mercilessly beat and kill dozens of European gangsters who planned on selling his kidnapped daughter into prostitution. The chilling phone conversation between Mills and the kidnapper, during which he ominously tells the man, “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you,” will undoubtedly become one of those classic clichéd action movie lines, to be quoted often, satirically or not, for generations to come.

The sequel, Taken 2, was released on October 5. It places Brian, his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), on a family vacation in Istanbul. The first half of the movie is primarily background – there is a lot of interaction between Brian and his family and a lot of dialogue revealing that he was not a very good father before his divorce from Lenore. The movie shows romance rekindling between Brian and Lenore, and a better relationship growing between him and his daughter. The sentimentality explored here is boring, but nevertheless important to the plot. After all, the movie needs to establish Brian as a human being before expecting the audience to care whether his family lives or dies.

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No Need to Fear this Impressive Game

It’s that time of the year when fear takes over. Horror and paranoia run rampant as the supernatural rule popular culture for the month. On that note, let’s look at Resident Evil 6, the supposed return to horror that fans of the series have been waiting for.

Resident Evil 6 is unique in that it attempts to please all of the fans of the series through its three different campaigns. For those of you who wanted a horror based adventure, Leon’s campaign was supposed to be your answer. If you wanted good solid action, Chris’s campaign delivered. Capcom even made Jake’s scenario similar to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis for those who wanted to be stalked by a giant tyrant.

I’m sorry to say, there isn’t much horror to be found in this game. If you were looking for the next action packed “kill everything in sight” entry, here you go.

The game sports highly detailed graphics and a superb musical score. They tend to get overlooked in favor of the action packed campaigns, but if you slow down you’ll notice a dramatic piece playing as the camera zooms out dramatically as you cross a narrow bridge over a burning building.

The story of the game is that a new virus, the C-virus, is being used by terrorists all over the world. In an attempt to slow down the new wave of terror, U.S. President Adam Benford was planning to reveal the American government’s involvement in the dreaded Raccoon City incident of 1998. Unfortunately the speech doesn’t go as planned when the president is turned into a zombie shortly beforehand.

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Green Day Frontman’s Public Meltdown

entertainment-billie-joe-armstrong-breakdownBillie Joe Armstrong, the frontman of pop-punk trio Green Day, entered rehabilitation on Sunday following a public outburst at a music festival on September 21.

Armstrong flew into a rage dur­ing Green Day’s performance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Midway through their 1994 hit, “Basket Case”, Armstrong stopped playing when he saw the teleprompter read “1 minute” and launched into an expletive-filled rant concerning the band’s set being cut short.

“You’re gonna give me f***ing one minute?” Armstrong shouted after the music stopped. “Let me f***ing tell you something… I’ve been around since f***ing nineteen eighty-f***ing-eight, and you’re gonna give me one f***ing minute? You gotta be f***ing kidding me!”

Armstrong proceeded with, “I’m not f***ing Justin Bieber, you mother***ers,” earning scattered ap­plause from the audience. “Let me show you what one f***ing minute f***ing means.” Armstrong then smashed his guitar and threw the bro­ken pieces into the audience as the band abruptly walked offstage. But not before cursing a few more times, giving the middle finger to the cam­era, and throwing his microphone across the stage.

This was not the only time Arm­strong has made the news for erratic behavior. On September 2, he was hospitalized in Bologna, Italy, for what Mike Dirnt told MTV was “se­vere dehydration, influenza” forcing Green Day to cancel a performance. The singer also made the news when he verbally attacked Bon Jovi, telling the Belfast Telegraph they are “the worst band” he has ever toured with.

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Creative Expression at the University

Some people have called the Uni­versity a “suitcase” school. While there are few things funnier than a hawk in a suit, some Hawks want more than a briefcase- they want a portfolio to put inside it.

The University offers a wide array of minors that can get you involved with artistic expression. If you don’t consider yourself to be creative, there’s no better time to learn. Be­sides, sometimes a unique minor is just what you need to earn that cov­eted internship.

One beloved minor is creative writing, which is only 18 credits. This teaches the differences of style involved with various forms of com­position. It shows that you know how to reach your audience.

Another such minor is a classic: art. This curriculum teaches basic de­sign and drawing skills. In addition, you’ll engage in art history courses, giving you some background knowl­edge on things that other people have painted. Start planning early if you want to take it, because this is a 27 credit program.

Do you like art but dislike work­ing with your hands? In that case, the graphic design/computer graphics minor may be right for you, and it’s only 15 credits. This teaches the art of computer animation and design.

The 15 credit photography minor is another choice for anyone who wants to really bring a picture to life (and for those who want to show off their fancy college education at the next family reunion).

“Because photography is so ubiq­uitous in our lives, a photo minor pairs well with most MU majors from communications to real estate as it is a skill that can be readily ap­plied to a profession or enjoyed for its creative outlet.” Anne Massoni, spe­cialist professor of photography, said.

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This Movie Might Throw You for a Loop

entertainment-looperJoseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis both star as Joe Simmons, a hit man, or more appropriately, a Looper, in the movie Looper. Sim­mons executes former agents of the mob from the future year of 2074 so that there is no body, and more im­portantly, no evidence in their own time. Time travel is illegal in the future, but like our present, the mob has their ways around the law.

When the mob decides to termi­nate a Looper’s employment, they send the Looper’s future self back to Joe’s present year, 2044, to be executed, along with enough gold for the Looper to live out the rest of their days, until they are sent back to the past. Most targets arrive masked, but when one shows up late and without the usual covering, Joe realizes he’s been told to execute his future self. He hesitates, allow­ing his future self to get away and putting his current life on the line. He must eliminate his future self but also dodge other agents who are sent to eliminate both Joes.

Along with the two Joes, there’s also Sara (Emily Blunt), her son Cid (Pierce Gagnon), and Kid Blue (Noah Segan), another agent and Joe’s rival for the affections of their father figure, Abe (Jeff Daniels) who was sent by the mob from the future to help begin the Looper organiza­tion, and gave Joe a reason for liv­ing.

Confusing? So is the movie. But if you follow the plot and listen care­fully, you’ll walk away quite satisfied by the tale of this hit man, although you’ll probably guess the ending coming from a mile away. The film is directed and written by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) who gives us an above-average action film for those who like movies that make them think. The main character is more prone to reaction than action; this is an interesting idea, and thanks to Levitt’s performance, an idea that is pulled off without shortchanging young Joe’s character.

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Student Spotlight: Natalie Zeller

The Outlook recently had the privi­lege of speaking with Natalie Zeller, freshman music industry major, who performed at the Rock and Register event on September 28. Zeller is a singer, guitar player and songwriter who has performed both on and off campus, including at Hofstra Univer­sity.

Her musical style tends to be what­ever she feels like playing, so audi­ence members can expect to be treat­ed to a wide array of songs. Some of them are very upbeat and lively while others are more sentimental and ro­mantic; she admitted that the slower songs occasionally remind her of Taylor Swift, though she typically dislikes “girly-girl” songs. She’s also done several impressive covers of more widely-known songs, such as “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perry and “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj.

To the delight of the crowd, she performed her cover of “Super Bass” at the Rock and Register, earning a huge round of applause. She also per­formed a few original songs such as “Keep it Simple,” a heart-felt number about not making a relationship over­complicated.

Zeller said she did not specifically plan what songs she would play at Friday’s event, though she did plan to start fast in order to get everyone excited and segway into more varied, emotional songs. Her musical talent, as well as her charismatic stage pres­ence, served as a great start to Rock and Register.

Zeller indicated that she is a solo artist, but she’s collaborated with friends before and is open to work­ing with others in the future. She went on to indicate that, in addition to her great singing and acoustic gui­tar playing abilities, she can play the electric guitar, as well as some piano and clarinet.

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Be Wary of the House

entertainment-house-at-the-end-of-the-streetYou move from your home­town to a small community only to find out the previous owners of the House at the End of the Street were brutally murdered by their own daughter, Carrie Anne (Eva Link). The family’s name is whispered by the lo­cals, while others snap that the house should be burned down. Yet one survivor, a young man named Ryan (Max Thieriot), lives within it, trying to make his way, alone, through a world that hates the ground he walks on because of what his sister has done.

Or so you think. It is soon revealed that Ryan has locked Carrie Anne away in the base­ment, since, contrary to popular belief, she did not perish in the woods after killing her parents. Much of the action is centered on his attempts to restrain and control her, especially when El­lisa is near.

Before I continue, let me clar­ify something: Contrary to what the trailers imply, this is NOT a ghost movie. At all. Though several people die, no one, at any point, comes back from be­yond the grave. Many reviews on this movie have been unfair­ly biased by the notion that this film should’ve had ghosts.

House at the End of the Street was a well-crafted psychologi­cal thriller about Ellisa (Jenni­fer Lawrence), who moves from Chicago to a small, unnamed town with her mother, Sarah (Elizabeth Shue), only to be­friend the wounded and scared-looking young man who lives in the house where his family perished.

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Visiting Writer: Professor Josh Emmons

entertainment-visiting-writerProfessor Josh Emmons com­menced the Visiting Writer series last Wednesday in Wilson Hall Au­ditorium. Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr. Stanton Green, senior Jennifer van Alstyne and As­sistant Dean Michael Thomas in­troduced Emmons with nothing but positivity and praise.

Dr. Staton Green began his in­troduction by reminding members of the audience that, “most of the things we enjoy are due to good writing” and how important the ele­ment of writing has become at the University.

“Part of the tradition of the Vis­iting Writers series is to start with someone connected to Monmouth,” explained Thomas. Emmons was initially hired to develop the cre­ative writing program at the Univer­sity and because he was nationally recognized as an author, Emmons was asked to be the first speaker of the year.

Emmons’ second novel, Pre­scription for a Superior Existence, proved to be a hot topic for introduc­tion.

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The Killers Miss Their Target on New Album

The popular rock band known as The Killers released a new album after nearly two years of being on hiatus. The band consists of Brandon Flowers (lead vocals), Dave Keuning (lead guitar), Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums) and Mark Stoermer (bass guitar).

Their beginnings date back to 2002 when they started to record in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After their surprising hit, “Day & Age,” each member de­cided to try their shots at solo careers but no one’s took off as well as they had hoped. Lead singer, Brandon Flowers, had the best solo career with his al­bum “Flamingo” but not nearly as much success as the band ac­quires together.

After taking a year and a half break, the band reunited and re­leased their most current album, “Battle Born.” The band chose “Runaways” as their first single.

While many may believe this was the right song to release as the single, a better decision would have been the title track “Battle Born.” “Runaways” does not highlight their deep lyrics or the way they mix music as much as “Battle Born” does.

Unlike their other albums, The Killers seem to be adapting to the music around them instead of creating their own original sound. This can especially be heard in their first track, “Flesh and Bone,” which sounds like it was inspired by up and coming techno music.

Another song that sounds like it should be as a mainstream hit from a California band instead of The Killers is “The Rising Tide.” The lyrics and music in this song are very bland.

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The Generation Without a Voice

entertainment-gen-silentFor generations, the subject of ho­mosexuality has been one of the most dismissed and controversial subjects that people talk about. Some have looked down on homosexual men and women, while others pay no mind and accept them for who they are. Many are neutral on the subject, saying that it’s a matter for those in­dividuals to decide.

Stu Maddux, director of Gen Si­lent, has directed two other docu­mentaries on adults living alterna­tive lifestyles. He is an outspoken lesbian, gay bisexual and transexual (LGBT) rights activist and has led discussions in conferences across the nation, including those run by the American Psychological Asso­ciation.

Gen Silent follows seven individu­als, all of them in same sex relation­ships, and all of them in their fifties and above. Not only are they dis­criminated by people in general, they have problems that inevitably occur with the coming of old age. These situations clash when anti-LGBT mentalities prevent them from re­ceiving the proper end-of-life care that they deserve.

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Grizzly Bear Shines with "Shields"

The first line uttered on “Shields,” the latest album from indie rock champions Grizzly Bear, goes, “Dreamed a long day, just wandering free.” This line, out by Daniel Rossen on the thunderous “Sleeping Ute,” is not just a retelling of some half-remembered daydream, but is in fact a revealing descriptor of the album itself.

With its brooding sense of atmosphere, patience in song delivery, and weird, often jar­ring details, the music found on “Shields” resembles something of a lucid dream, where the lis­tener has full power to explore every inch of terrain dreamed up. This album comes with plenty of territory to explore.

Since forming in 2002, Griz­zly Bear has become revered for creating some of the most visceral and unique music in the world of indie rock, with incredible albums like the lush, expansive “Yellow House” and the more focused, baroque pop-oriented “Veckatimest” pushing the boundaries of rock, pop, and folk far beyond their limita­tions.

Though “Shields” isn’t a huge departure from the group’s al­ready unique sound, the album instead finds a perfect midpoint between their last two releases to create a highly expansive yet beautifully intimate rock record that manages to create fully re­alized worlds as you listen, with each track enticing you to ex­plore further and further.

The vast, organic environ­ments conjured by Grizzly Bear on “Shields” are largely due to the overall natural sound pre­sented on the album.

While past releases were heavy on orchestral flour­ishes and studio manipulations, “Shields” presents the group at their rawest and most primi­tive, with each song being cen­tered chiefly on the might of the group’s core elements. These el­ements include the jagged guitar lines, the haunting piano melo­dies, and a rhythm section that is breezy and gentle one minute, yet explosive the next.

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The Expendables Are Anything But

It’s September, which means saying goodbye to summer. Be­fore you do, I suggest watching the last great flick of the summer, The Expendables 2.

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stal­lone), along with his right-hand man Lee Christmas (Jason Sta­tham) and the rest of his crew: Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jenson (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), and Toll Road (Randy Couture) along with new member Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth), are forced by Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to find an item of incredible importance to the CIA. The government also forces them to bring along Mag­gie Chen (Yu Nan), an expert on the safe the item is being held in.

When they retrieve the con­tents of the safe they are am­bushed by an­other group of criminals led by Jean Vilain ( Jean - Claude Van Damme) who steals the item and kills one of the group members. With retrieving the item as an afterthought, Mag­gie tags along and leads them to where she believes Vilain is hid­ing so they can take revenge for the death of their brother and blow plenty of stuff up along the way.

During their self-appointed mission, they’ll also team up with fellow mercenary Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Booker (Chuck Norris) and, like Marvel’s The Avengers, everyone man­ages to have plenty of screen time without being shortchanged.

Some people complain that ac­tion films such as this are just hol­lowed out popcorn films without any heart, made to satisfy testos­terone filled manly-men who just want to see things blow up, the bad guy get what’s coming to him during a spectacular final battle, and the muscular hero get the hot damsel in distress at the end. This is not that kind of film.

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Imagine Dragons Lacks Imagination

Imagine Dragons’ highly an­ticipated debut album, “Night Vi­sions,” came out last Tuesday. The band released their most recent EP last winter, which included the hit track “It’s Time.” It seems like the band rushed the studio process when “It’s Time” started gaining momentum last spring. They have about half of a really great album.

The Las Vegas-based rockers have a lot of different influences on the LP. The electronic ele­ment is really obvious on many of the tracks, but that doesn’t mean “Night Visions” is a dubstep production by any means. This band takes inspiration from many types of music, from hip-hop to folk. It’s clearly indie rock, but this band isn’t afraid to mix their genres.

The album opens with “Radio­active,” in which frontman Dan Reynolds sings “Welcome to the new age,” which is a fitting in­troduction to the disc with a very epic feel (it sounds like it should be in a Michael Bay film trailer). Their sound is different, and so are their ideas.

Rock music has a tendency to be dark. Anger, frustration and heartbreak have inspired some of the best rock recordings. Imag­ine Dragons wanted to derive an album from their depression, but they didn’t want to wallow in their darkness. They aimed to have an uplifting album about overcom­ing the hard times and they some­what succeeded.


“Tiptoe” is also a good song, though the intro sounds eerily similar to the opening bass line of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” However, it was sort of unneces­sary. The lyrics make it sound like a build up to a battle, which is the same thing the first track does.

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The Art of Being an Artist

entertainment-satchmoA modern “renaissance man” by the name of Steven Brower came to our humble campus on Thursday, September 13.
Dozens of people- including members of Marywood University, where Brower teaches Graphic De­sign- gathered in the Wilson Audi­torium to hear his lecture, “Influ­ence, Parody and Process.”
Luis Flores-Portero, lecturer of foreign language studies, came because Brower’s art resonated with him. “I was attracted to this talk by the quality of the flyer in the email,” says Flores-Portero. “I like Louis Armstrong and wanted to know more about the man who designed it.”
In addition to serving as head of the graduate graphic design program, Brower has worked with Print magazine and was the art di­rector for the New York Times and The Nation. He also has work stored among the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum.
Brower began the lecture by dis­cussing his inspirational origins, such as the comedy and style of Groucho Marx. He said the man’s humor was “so sardonic and irrev­erent” that he couldn’t help but love the comedy style. A notable portion of Brower’s work, especially his earlier work, features references to Marx.

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No Retribution for Resident Evil

entertainment-resident-evil-retribution-posterThousands flocked to the box office last Friday to catch Resident Evil: Retribution, the latest install­ment in the franchise.
This series took off with a bang when the first game was released in 1996. In 2002, this zombie-infested franchise took to the big screen. While it was met with some box office success and succeeded as a stand-alone movie, long-standing fans become irritated at the fact that it lacked resemblance to the ca­nonical games that inspired it. This irritation grew as further movie releases became more and more distant from its classic roots; oth­ers became bored with the movies’ lack of plots, shallow emotions and focus on little more than action.
Sorry, folks, but Resident Evil: Retribution didn’t live up to its namesake. Directed and written by Paul Anderson, this was a barely decent movie (and an affront to the video games).
The movie opens with a lengthy and tragically boring synopsis of the previous films, narrated by the main protagonist, Alice (Milla Jovovich). While helpful for those who did not see them, Jovovich’s cold, emotion­less character did little to hook the viewer. Even lines like “[Umbrella] turned my friends against me” were said without a hint of feeling.
Soon after the movie begins, it becomes clear that a few significant things have happened: Alice has been captured by Umbrella and is being interrogated by Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory); the “biohazards” (mutant zombies) are becoming more powerful; and Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) is now a good guy.

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What to Watch: Fall TV Preview

Entertainment_TVFall might mean that it’s time to hit the books again, but it also means that new television shows are starting almost every night. This season, there is a little something for everyone.

“Revolution” (NBC September 17 at 10 pm) is one of the most anticipated shows of the fall. From “Lost” creator, J.J. Abrams, and “Supernatural” creator, Eric Kripke, comes a futuristic dystopian drama where electricity stops working. New governments form and society has to learn how to function without technology, which seems to result in a lot of people learning archery and swordplay.

The show takes “Supernatural’s” road trip tone as our heroine Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) who has to track down her uncle (Billy Burke) in Chicago after a group called The Militia to take her brother and kill her father. We watch Charlie travel, encounter enemies that her father has made, and learn what’s lurking in the world outside of her quiet farm town. Electricity might not be as lost as everyone believes.

The show is almost guaranteed to be good. Abrams/Kripke might be the best sci-fi combo. Abrams can do big drawn out stories on an epic scale, as seen on “Alias” and “Lost,” and Kripke, who also flawlessly mapped out “Supernatural’s” first five seasons (also known as before “Supernatural” went downhill), is a mastermind of character development. At its core, the show will be about family and character development will end up being one of the most important things.

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The Summer of Superheroes

entertainment_batmanWhen I think of summer, I think of the awesome superhero movies that are released during the season, and this was a good summer for superhero movies. We got the crossover blockbuster The Avengers, the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man, and the final entry in the Chris Nolan Batman movies, The Dark Knight Rises.

We’ll look at the big blockbuster, The Avengers, first. This film delivered what it promised; a whole bunch of superheroes banding together and doing what they do best. We have the ultra patriotic Captain America, the Norse god Thor, the Incredible Hulk, master archer Hawkeye, the dangerous Black Widow and last but not least the playboy philanthropist billionaire, Iron Man. These six heroes team up to battle the god of mischief, Loki, and take on his plans to take over the planet.

Did any of those names catch your interest? If so then The Avengers is most definitely worth watching. Every character does their part. Not a single hero felt unneeded.

The interaction between the characters was also well done. When they aren’t fighting evil they like to bicker amongst each other. I’m not going to lie, Iron Man stole the show at these parts. We couldn’t have asked for a better Iron Man when Robert Downey Jr. put on the suit.

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Good Things Happen in E3s

entertainment_e3Come every June, video game fanatics know the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), is sure to rock the foundation of the gaming community.

Whether you watched, didn’t watch or didn’t know it was happening, it is easy to get lost in the extensive coverage from the four days of this event. Most companies had their share of hits and misses, but a few announcements blew the audience away.

Nintendo had a few interesting comments, mostly revolving around their upcoming platform, the Wii U. This multi-platform gaming console comes with a tablet, allowing the players to control both the game and the television set - though players can buy a controller for the more traditional experience. Pikmin 3 and Super Mario U have already been announced for this system.

“The next generation is a place where the best idea, not the biggest budget, will win,” says Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo. He obviously had no qualms about unleashing the next generation of gaming. While no release date was given during the convention, most think it will be available this November.

Microsoft was on-point throughout, delivering a series of major game footage, including demos for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Black Ops II, Tomb Raider and Halo 4.

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Train Rolls Through the MAC Facility

entertainment_trainThe widely loved pop band known as Train performed at the MAC on August 30 as part of their California 37 tour. Fans from all over New Jersey swarmed campus to get a glimpse of the famed musicians, whose performance was set to follow Mat Kearney and his band. The two artists have toured together previously.

Mathew Kearney, who was born in Oregon but now lives in Tennessee, has had songs featured on numerous “Top Selling” charts.

Train, which is stationed in San Francisco, consists of Pat Monahan (vocals), Jimmy Stafford (guitar) and Scott Underwood (drums). The band released their first album in 1998 and has since released seven albums, with their latest, California 37, coming out after a three year hiatus.

Some were there just for the experience of a live musical performance, while others were life-long Train fans. “We’ve seen them over twenty times - and I saw them twice on my birthday one year,” said Leslie Brown-Correll, a local Train fan. She then added, “They haven’t done a bad show yet.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu