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Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

Darkest Hour Shines Bright

Darkest Hour Shines BrightIt’s May of 1940 and Great Britain is in its Darkest Hour. Thousands of British troops are pinned on the beaches of Dunkirk, where the Nazi forces are attacking by the land, sea and air.

Meanwhile, the Nazis are steamrolling through Western Europe by taking over countries such as France, Belgium, Holland and others.

In a time where people look to their leaders, there seems to be no hope. The incompetent Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is encouraging peace talks with the Nazis, but we all know how loyal dictator Adolf Hitler is.

Then, on May 10th, the course of history changed when Great Britain elected Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.

Right from his first day in office, Churchill, played by Gary Oldman, must make difficult choices that have historical consequences.

How will Churchill save the immobilized troops in Dunkirk? Also, will Churchill cave to the Nazis’ “peace treaty?”

Churchill’s colleagues try to sway him to fulfill their party’s desires, but the Prime Minister acts in the best interests of Great Britain.

Although the subject of Dunkirk is recycled for the third time in a year, Darkest Hour still gives the audience a fresh story as to how Churchill handled the high stakes. It’s nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Gary Oldman’s performance.

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I, Tonya Brings Home the Gold

I Tonya GoldIt takes the country by storm for one week every four years and we never hear about it outside of that time frame.

No, I’m not talking about an update on Bob Barker’s health, a New Year’s resolution to get back on the treadmill, the anxious wait for a new Carly Rae Jepsen album or Joel Embiid’s availability to play twenty-minutes of a basketball game.

Figure skating dominates the major television channels for a brief moment and holds all boyfriends across the country hostage in their girlfriend’s living room. Although some boyfriends might be chained to the living room couch, there’s plenty to appreciate about the sport.

The skaters glide on the ice, gracefully place their feet one in front of the other, lift their bodies high in the air, spread their arms out like the medal is in reach and elegantly nail the landing; triumphant classical music plays in the background.

As gracious as figure skating may sound, it takes hours of hard work and dedication to master. But what happens when dedication goes too far?

Tonya Harding, played by Margot Robbie, was a figure skater who started at the age of four.

Her mother, played by Allison Janney, is a toxic and abusive intimidator who forces her daughter to pour everything she has onto the ice.

At fifteen, Tonya meets her husband, played by Sebastian Stan, who also torments the figure skater with punches to the face and pushes at the wall every day.

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Kylie Jenner Wins the Super Bowl: Confirms Pregnancy Rumors with Birth Announcement

Kylie Wins Super Bowl1After nine long months out of the spotlight, Kylie Jenner, 20, reveals the reason why she was missing-in-action from the public eye and social media.

She went from sharing every detail of her life and body to leaving her posts infrequent and vague.

Little did we know, Jenner was preparing for the “role of a lifetime” of being called “Mom”

Her healthy daughter was born on Feb. 1, at 4:43 p.m.

She broke the news first with an Instagram post which, in summary, states that she was sorry for not including her fans in this journey with her and not addressing the speculation and rumors upfront.

Jenner then said that she knew she had to deal with this situation the “only way she knew how;” which, ultimately, was by being out of public view because it could cause both her and the baby stress.

Her full post can be found at the bottom of this column along with a photo of her during her pregnancy.

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"Hostiles" Has True Grit

HostilesStarring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and Wes Studi.


Somewhere out in the desolate deserts of America stands a tombstone that reads, “The American Western: 1903 to the 21st century.” 1903’s The Great Train Robbery marked the beginning of an era where audiences lined up to see cowboys gun down foes under the great big sky, but it’s hard to pinpoint when the genre officially died.

There have been unsuccessful attempts to revitalize it throughout the past eighteen years.

A notorious example is 2013’s The Lone Ranger that had a budget of $375 million and flopped by earning only $260.5 million when the dust settled.

With those results it’s clear: westerns have steered clear of people’s interest.

And why would audiences be interested in westerns today anyway?

Marvel has been spitting in the genre’s spittoon over the past decade with glittery CGI action and cash cow franchises.

Today, no one has the endurance to appreciate the stripped down grit of westerns, which is why audiences might overlook Hostiles.

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"The Shape of Water" Drowns in a Cliche Plot

The Shape Of WaterStarring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg


At Nino’s Pizzeria, there was a large fish tank towards the back where customers could admire the beauty of salt water creatures. From yellow tangs to clown fish, I’d find myself gazing at them in the background rather than staring at an empty plate waiting for the sicilian pie to come out. Over the years, the number of fish have dwindled. The beauty that was once nestled in the back is now filled with a bunch of bottom feeders hiding in the pebbles.

There’s a special connection we can feel with the creatures who swim around in the water. Sure they don’t talk much or play fetch, but their presence is missed when they’re gone. I may have liked the fish that swam around in the tank, but Eliza Esposito, played by Sally Hawkins, has taken her admiration for amphibians a little too far.

Eliza is a mute who works as a cleaning lady at a top secret government laboratory. She has a couple of friends in her support group, but Eliza is a single and lonely woman. While cleaning one of the facilities in the laboratory, scientists bring in a creature for observation. Although the scientists mistreat the creature, Eliza sparks a connection with it. The creature does not see the faults in Eliza many others may judge her for; he sees Eliza for who she is.

The Shape of Water holds the most Oscar nominations this year at thirteen. The nominations include Best Picture, Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer, Best Supporting Actor for Richard Jenkins, and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro.

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"Call Me By Your Name" Calls for an Applause

Call Me By Your NameStarring: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg.

It’s Jan. 4 in Trenton, New Jersey.

Most of the day has been spent shoveling because of a massive snow storm that covered the sidewalks and streets.

In the evening, I went sledding with my old pal and we got a thrill ripping down a padded down staircase in a toboggan.

The next day, nearly all the streets were plowed, which presented an ample opportunity to attend a movie, which I was so badly craving to do.

It was a 40 minute drive to get to the theater, which was tough in 20 degree, limb-numbing weather.

The wind was gusting around my car, but luckily the heat hasn’t broken yet.

At the theater, I sit in Call Me by Your Name, which is set “somewhere in Italy” during the hot summer.

The blistering sun beams from the summer sky.

People walk around the cobblestone streets in loose short clothing.

Dips in the lake are encouraged throughout the day to keep cool. Bike rides are a nice way to get around town, with the cool breeze running through a cyclist’s hair.

Can I get on a plane to “somewhere in Italy” now?

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University Alumnus Brings Grammy Preview to Pollak Theatre

Lecture Series 1Bob Santelli, University alumnus and Grammy Museum Founding Executive Director, took to the stage of Pollak Theatre to give a backstage look of the logistics behind and the history of the Grammys.

Santelli, who was a member of the class of 1973, has quite the resume, considering he served as the vice president of education and public programs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, held the title of artistic director of the Experience Music Projectspoke as part of the University’s lecture series, and is even an author of several music-inspired novels.

 His visit was presented by the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music as well as the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The alumnus was introduced by University President Grey Dimenna, Esq.; Santelli quickly captivated the audience and commanded the stage.

He told the audience that he darted to the lecture from New York City where his expertise was necessary to the planning of the renowned Grammy Awards.

Santelli’s appearance was strategically timed so that he could convey his most recent experiences and backstage insight of the 60th anniversary of the Grammys, which aired this past Sunday evening on Jan. 28, and was presented by CBS.

An average of 36 million people worldwide tune in their televisions each year to experience the magic of the Grammys in the comfort of their own living rooms.

 Suprisingly, ratings took a stumble this year-- a big stumble.

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2018: The Year Ahead for Film

default article image2017 was an excellent year for film that’s set the bar high for 2018. Can this year’s upcoming features replicate the same magic as the last? These ten movies are the ones I highly anticipate.

The 15:17 to Paris

Even at 87 years-old, legendary director Clint Eastwood continues to bring spectacle to the screen as he takes a fresh approach to his latest film coming next month. Based on a recent event from August of 2015, two soldiers on a train heading to Paris foiled a sporadic terrorist attack that saved hundreds of lives. To play the two soldiers, Eastwood casted the real-life heroes. Hopefully this ambitious casting choice will keep it on track to be one of the most thrilling experiences of the year.

Best F(r)iends

2017 saw a wave of new fans rally behind the cult classic The Room following the release of director James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, which showed how the best-worst movie was made. After fifteen years, the two main actors of The Room, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, are reunited in Best F(r)iends expected in March. Although it looks much more artsy than the cult classic, it doesn’t look any more intelligent. But that’s what we want!

Creed II

Creed was one of 2015’s best with its authentic and gritty Philadelphia feel. Director Ryan Coogler exceeded expectations by giving a fresh face to the Rocky franchise. Three years later, the second installment is expected to arrive later in the year. Supposedly the sons of Ivan Drago and Adonis Creed will face off, which is symbolic of today’s political climate. Could this be a knockout like the first?

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

2010’s Swedish Millennium Trilogy is one of the greatest film series of the 21st century. The first installment, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, particularly grossed very well in the international box office. Eight years later and a fourth installment is supposedly in the works for a release this year. After the unfortunate passing of one of the Trilogy’s leading stars, Michael Nyqvist, and with Noomi Rapace not reprising her incredible role as Lisbeth Salander, will a new international continue their legacy?

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The Post: Definitely Newsworthy

The PostThe Post...many people hate it because it costs a lot of money each year, takes a while to get through and adds to clutter, but it’s right in your hands. The newspaper is a dying medium of mass communication whose end has been making front page headlines for years. In a time where young audiences wish to only receive news through their smartphones and a climate where the press is attacked by the Trump administration, it’s important to remember when paper journalism shined in the country’s darkest days.

Those dark days overshadowed the United States starting in 1965 when young men were sent into combat for the Vietnam War. Spanning to 1975, the war killed 58,220 young people, but why? Some answers came from the Pentagon Papers, which was a study of the country’s involvement in Vietnam conducted by the Department of Defense. The Papers were classified, but their information showed the government’s secrets on the United States’ true objective in Vietnam.

When the Washington Post obtained the Pentagon Papers in 1971, their executive editor, played by Tom Hanks, and owner of the newspaper, played by Meryl Streep, had to make the crucial decision of publishing the information when the press was targeted by the Nixon administration.

Considering today’s communicative and political environment, director Steven Spielberg has released a timely film that’s initially slow, but intense in its second half.

The first half of Spielberg’s film is spent setting up story lines that become crucial down the stretch. Most of the beginning is excitingly spent sitting in board meetings talking about the stock market and Tom Hanks pacing around his office saying in a croaky voice, “the damn New York Times!” If you work a nine to five office job, watching The Post will start to feel like overtime. However, once the Pentagon Papers come into play, the film picks up steam. It’s like a kid sifting through the dull first pages of the newspaper filled with bland articles like “President Calls North Korean Dictator ‘Rocket Man,’” then finally reaching the sports section.

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The Phantom Thread is Beautifully Woven

The Phantom 1I’m notorious for my poor fashion choices. As a Resident Assistant in Laurel Hall, many people rag on me when I mosey around the building in flip flops and ankle socks. After many run-ins with the fashion police, I decided to up my game and wear a pair of Philadelphia Eagles moccasins.

They’re dubbed as, “extra” by the folks I live with, but at least they’re comfortable. Oh, and my mother picked up my first pair of khaki jeans a few months ago, which matches well with my Leonard Cohen embroidered sweater.

Meanwhile, Daniel Day-Lewis’s character, Reynolds Woodcock, in Phantom Thread can be seen in a green checkered blazer with a light green scarf tucked into his dark brown dress shirt just for getting breakfast.

Set in the 1950s, Reynolds Woodcock is a world-renowned fashion designer who creates elegant dresses.

While on a trip to the country, Woodcock becomes interested in a waitress named Alma, played by Vicky Krieps, and takes her into his world of design.

As a meticulous designer Woodcock has an overbearing work method which frustrates Alma, played by Vicky Krieps. However, Alma petrifies the style genius with her own quirks. With their different mannerisms, their relationship isn’t exactly chic.

Surprisingly, Paul Thomas Anderson directs one of his most straightforward films that serves as a fitting end to the incredible career of Daniel Day-Lewis.

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Welcome To Corrupt Ebbing, Missouri

Corrup Ebbing MissouriStarring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Peter Dinklage

Every day I get in a workout running Westwood Avenue up and back. For the four-mile trek I wear shorts, no matter what the weather, and a fanny pack which blasts Carly Rae Jepsen from my phone.

I may get a lot of side eyes during my run, but something that gets even more attention are the huge billboards towering over the train tracks further down Westwood.

Usually the billboards support a typical advertisement like car insurance or new Guy Fieri pasta sauce, but what if there was a stronger message hovering over those tracks? How about something like, “RAPED WHILE DYING. AND STILL NO ARRESTS? HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?” That may gain more attention than me wearing a fanny pack.

Mildred Hayes, played by Frances McDormand, is a single mother who works at the local gift shop where tourists can find the perfect Missouri engraved ashtray. Seven months ago, Hayes’s daughter was raped and burned to death. Since then, the Ebbing Police Department have not arrested a single suspect or found any evidence leading towards one. In protest, Hayes rents out space on three billboards to grab the attention of the police and townspeople.

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151