Thu06222017

Last updateTue, 20 Jun 2017 11pm

Entertainment

New Beauty and the Beast is a Must See

Beauty and Beast Must SeeDisney’s live action remake of Beauty and the Beast is both a visual spectacle, and a treat for fans of the original. The film is true to its animated predecessor, follows the storyline of the animated film almost scene for scene, and contains just the right amount of nostalgia and Disney magic.

While Beauty and the Beast stays almost identical to the original, both visually and narratively, Director Bill Condon manages to incorporate some modern concepts while simultaneously keeping the whimsical, old-fashioned camp of musicals that one would have seen in the 1960s. Belle (Emma Watson) is still a non-conformist in her small village, and yearns for adventure and excitement in ‘the great wide somewhere.’

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Local Cold War Surf Contest Postponed

Cold War Surf Contest PostponedThe Cold War surf contest, a team-based surfing battle, was recently set to run in Asbury Park before the end of March 2017. However, according to ColdWarSurf.com the event organizers said, “after much discussion with the surfers, sponsors and organizers, it has been decided that it is in the best interest of the event, to push back the 2017 Cold War to late fall/early winter of 2017.”

The second annual Cold War contest ran into inclement weather and improper conditions for months. ColdWarSurf.com said, “People have put in a lot of time and energy in putting the 2017 Cold War together and making this difficult decision. Sure, we are bummed, but at the same time, the team is excited to run the contest as fall turns into winter.”

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Does Drake’s More Life Need More Life?

Drake's More Life Need LifeThe highly-anticipated moment has finally arrived. On Mar. 18, popular rapper, Drake (and actor if we want to #TBT to his Degrassi days), released his new album, More Life.

As a Drake fan, I was really excited for this album’s release. Once it was out and I realized that there were now 22 new songs on the album for me to listen to, I had really high hopes. However, this album is quite trivial for me. Personally, I find that the album can be categorized into three sections: songs that I love, dislike, and am bored by.

There were definitely a number of successes on this album; I am not a hater of More Life. The album started out strong with “Free Smoke,” the first song on the list. It starts out with a 35-second introduction of a woman singing, accompanied by a piano intro. Suddenly, Drake speaks for a quick sentence and instantly hits us with a great beat drop; the energy at this part of the song was strong.

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Bravo Amici Performs at MU

Bravo Amiei Preforms at MUThe Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are on sale for a special benefit concert, featuring the vocal ensemble Bravo Amici, presented on World Autism Day, April 2.

At 8 p.m. inside the recently refurbished Pollak Theatre, the event represents an encore appearance for the touring sensation led by New Zealand native Geoff Sewell — the tenor, impresario and philanthropist who co-founded “the world’s first opera band,” Amici Forever. For the crowd-pleasing show’s return to the West Long Branch campus, Bravo Amici will deliver its signature mix of modern Broadway classics (Phantom’s All I Ask of You), songbook surprises (Dean Martin’s novelty That’s Amore), and favorite operatic arias (La Traviata’s Brindisi) — with an extra dimension of relevance to the Autism Day cause, and a special treat in store for the Monmouth audience.

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Come See the Rock N’ Raise Benefit Concert

Rock N Raise Benefit ConcertWhen: Mar. 31, from 3-5 p.m.

Where: Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication at Monmouth University, West Long Branch.

This is a benefit concert that will be broadcasted live on Hawk TV and WMCX. Performances include sets from bands Halogens, Shark Club, Jake Ewald of “Slaughter Beach Dog,” and Drive, Kid.

Tickets are on sale for $5. To purchase a ticket you can stop by the Hawk TV Office in Plangere or email hawktv@monmouth.edu.

Sponsors of the event include American Cancer Society, Avid, ZTA, Relay for Life, University Subs, Bagel Guys Deli, The Outlook, Bubbakoo’s Burrito’s, Amy’s, and Scala’s Pizzeria.

Prizes will be raffled off to attendees. All money raised is donated to The American Cancer Society and Relay For Life.

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Record Club Reviews Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Record Club Review SPLHC BandTuesday Night Record Club took a look at “the act you’ve known for all these years,” The Beatles, and covered the album that inspired bands like The Who, The Beach Boys, and so many others to change their sound in a big way. Over 100 people – MU students, faculty, and other community members alike – met in Lauren K. Woods Theatre to discuss the influence of one of The Fab Four’s most iconic albums, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on Mar. 21.

Beatles fans were welcomed into Woods Theatre to dive into the stories, production, and musicianship behind the album. The discussion was led by the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kenneth Womack, and professional photographer and Beatles enthusiast from New Orleans, Jason Kruppa. The two began by explaining how the making and release of the single “Strawberry Fields Forever” was a big turning point for the band. The single was supposed to be a part of the album, but ultimately was released in February of 1967, four months before Sgt. Pepper’s was released on June 1, 1967.

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Shadow Warrior 2 is a Success

Shadow Warrior 2 SuccessThe first Shadow Warrior title released in 1997, and is considered by many to be one of the best games of its decade. It is best known for its implementation of role playing game (RPG) elements within the first-person shooter genre. Shadow Warrioralso had something of an unusual and compelling plot, which helped make it a crowd favorite. The newest entry in the series, Shadow Warrior 2, attempts to create a successful, modern game from this classic hit, and, at least in my eyes, it succeeds with flying colors.

In the game, you play as Japanese mercenary Lo Wang. The story is character driven, and Lo Wang makes an excellent driving character. If you’re familiar with Deadpool, you more or less know what you’re getting with Lo Wang; he’s a wisecracking character with a tendency to both amuse and annoy friends, enemies, and Shadow Warrior 2 players alike. The game starts out with Lo Wang accepting a contract from the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) to rescue one of their associates; unfortunately, Lo Wang is somewhat late with his rescue, and his target falls victim to a nasty case of demonic possession. Without giving too much away, the rest of the game is pretty much Lo Wang attempting to pick up the pieces from this debacle, while saving the world (again). Shadow Warrior 2 never takes itself too seriously, which makes the plot a pleasant and entertaining ride.

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Ed Sheeran Makes Comeback With Divide

Ed Sheeran ComebackAfter a year-long break, Ed Sheeran made a comeback with Divide, which dropped March 4. Since his 2014 release of X, Sheeran has accomplished a lot, including winning two Grammy’s. He has become one of the most popular male artists in the industry and has worked with big names like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and One Direction. His fans were impatiently waiting for any of his new material and he came back with one of his best works yet.

The highly-anticipated album ÷ (Divide) was named the best-selling album on 2017 within its first week of being released. This record is definitely different from his previous records because of its diversity. Each track individually unique, which makes sense with the album title being Divide.

With “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You” being the two singles, it was just a preview of how different each song would be. “Castle on the Hill” takes you back to the English countryside in Suffolk where Sheeran grew up with an incredibly catchy chorus, and “Shape of You” is perfect for pop radio with its fun and dance-y beat; it was originally intended to be written for Rihanna.

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Teens Excel in Shakespeare at Two River Theater

Shakespeare Two River Theater 1When high school students are able to perform Shakespeare for young audiences and get them invested, that is a testament to the enduring quality of his plays. I was skeptical at first about the impact that Shakespeare’s plays can have on young people. My experience with reading Romeo & Juliet in high school was not a pleasant one, but after watching high school students perform in “A Little Shakespeare,” I underestimated the adaptability of Shakespeare’s plays which can be modernized and engaging to this young generation growing up today. It definitely speaks volumes about his artistic work imbued on posterity.

Two River Theater has been presenting “A Little Shakespeare” every year, apart from their regular scheduled productions, and it’s wonderful to see the outpouring of love and response to this endeavor for young people. I had the opportunity to see a talented group of high school students from around the Monmouth County area perform a 75-minute version of The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is currently running performances as well, except it has a cast of three actors. Thankfully, I was able to see both versions of this play -- one performed by adults and the other performed by teenagers. Although both versions are geared toward a particular demographic age group, it struck me that the humor in this comedy resonates with everyone who watches it.

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Three Decades of Final Fantasy

Three Decades Final FantasyFinal Fantasy is one of the longest running series of Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPG’s); the fact that the core series just released its fifteenth title is testament to this. Each numbered Final Fantasy title takes place in a unique world, with new characters and plot elements, yet most titles have a number of features tying them together. Final Fantasy games are all fantasy titles, typically rife with magic and arcane technology; recurring elements in the series include powerful magical crystals, Chocobos (birds which are ridden like horses) and the idea of a “hero of light” (the player character who brings salvation to worlds plagued by darkness).

Final Fantasy, the series’ first title, was released in Japan in 1987, however, it did not receive a North American localization until 1990, and only experienced moderate success. Final Fantasy IV was the second title to receive a western localization in 1991, and to avoid confusion, it was titled Final Fantasy II. Ironically, the protagonist and first memorable warrior of light, Cecil, was originally a dark knight in service to a cruel empire before he went on a journey of self-discovery and developed as a person. This was the first Final Fantasy game I ever played; while I personally was not infatuated with it, I did enjoy it enough to complete it, and I can see why many in the west consider it the series’ breakout title.

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Final Fantasy XV is Worth the Wait

Final Fantasy XV Worth WaitFinal Fantasy XV is a game I, and many others, have been waiting to play for a very long time now. The game was originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII way back in 2006, it spent about seven years in development before many elements of its core concept was scrapped and the title changed to Final Fantasy XV. FFXV released in Nov. of 2016, 10 years after it was announced. I guess at this point, the big question is, was it worth the wait? My answer would be yes, Final Fantasy XV is the core series first masterpiece since Final Fantasy IX.

Final Fantasy XV follows Noctis, the crown prince of Lucis, in a tragic story of brotherhood and loss. The story is multi-media, with parts being told via a movie, Kingsglaive, an anime webseries, and a demo (available for free via the Playstation store). The world of Final Fantasy XV is beautifully designed, and aside from linear narrative sections, the game’s experience is largely an open world one. At the start of the game Noctis’s father, King Regis, is killed, and his kingdom occupied by the Niflheim empire. Noctis had been on a journey to wed his childhood sweetheart, Lady Lunafreya, and establish a treaty with the Niflheim Empire, her captors. His father’s assassination changed the situation, forcing him to turn around and go on the offensive. Players spend most of the game traveling around, helping Noctis’s subjects and disrupting Niflheim in an open world environment.

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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