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Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019)

Your Summer, Your Music Festivals

Summer Music FestivalsThe warm weather is officially here to stay, and that means music festival season is already in full swing.

Music festivals are an event that have the potential to be an incredible weekend with people you care about watching dozens of bands you love. Or it can end in being lost, dehydrated, and exhausted surrounded by people you don’t like or recognize.

This begs the question: what are music festivals worth going to? 

There’s a lot of factors to consider. First, realistically, music festivals are harshly different from the pictures you typically see of girls in flowing dresses wondering through a field with Beyoncé preforming just over their shoulder.

In most cases, festivals have a lot more sweating, pushing, and watching the performers than that.

For the layout, there is typically a main stage in the center of the venue where the headliners and a handful of relatively well-known bands preform.

The main stage is surrounded by a couple smaller stages that the smaller acts cycle through.

Near the entrance there’s a large sign with the times and stages in which each act will be preforming and scattered in between are a bunch of tents with merch and (if you’re lucky) overpriced food and water. 

The first thing to consider when choosing a festival is the lineup, which is most important because it is the backbone of the whole event.

Some of the best sets coming up this summer are as follows: Lollapalooza’s headliners are Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Twenty One Pilots, and Kacey Musgraves.

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To Our Readers and Writers: Thank You!

Thank YouUsually this small space is saved for one of my glowing Carly Rae Jepsen track reviews or a quick movie rant, but I’d like to use it to thank the wonderful people who made the entertainment section so fun to assemble every week.

A special thanks goes out to our writers: Erica Barbara, Nick Manduley (who sent his pieces from London every week), Danielle McClelland, Erin Mulligan, Gabriella Pisacane, Katherine Rivera, Matthew Schaffer, and Dylan Surmonte.

Every week our writers worked hard on putting together incredible pieces by doing in depth research, talking with professors, and submitting their work in a timely fashion.

They are the very foundation of our section and without them I am nothing.

We also had contributions from our awesome editors this year: Jenna Puglisi and Ray Romanski.

Not only did they juggle their own section, but they were nice enough to help out ours.

To make our section the most stylish in the paper, our graphic design specialist, Angela Mascia, created photos that fit perfectly with every article. She is our “PNG Queen.”

The Outlook’s editorial staff helped this section improve every week with their revisions and recommendations. Thank you to our leaders at the paper, Nick Coscarelli, Caroline Mattise, and Nicole Riddle for the effort you pour into each publication.

As a finance & real estate student, I was lucky to have the guidance of professor John Morano throughout the year.

His stops by the office and advice helped shape the articles you read every week.

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How Much Star Wars Is Too Much Star Wars ?

Too Much Star WarsA long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Those words are entrenched into the cultural fabric of American film.

The Star Wars saga is one of the largest—if not the largest—film empires in the world.

Since the bookends of the 1970’s, Star Wars has spread through generations, sparking wonderment into parents and children through the magic of cinema.

George Lucas, the mastermind behind the whole operation, told his story throughout six films, some good and some bad.

He gave a glimpse into the present storyline and the past, providing a story fit for one of the most infamous movie villains of all time: Darth Vader.

Lucas has since sold his property to the bigwigs over at Disney and they have taken control of his story.

Over the past four years, Disney has been pumping out Star Wars content left and right, with no signs of slowing down.

They have released four separate Star Wars films, with another film and television series on the way later this year.

It’s clear that Disney wants to maximize their profits off a hefty investment they made but is their content reaching a point of over saturation?

In 2015, J.J. Abrams directed the triumphant return of the saga with Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the tune of a $936 million box office splash.

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Young Celebrities, Big Pockets: Do You Feel Like an Underachiever?

Celebrities Pockets 1Take a stroll through any school campus around the globe, and the stress that many of today’s young students experience on a day-to-day basis is palpable. Especially regarding the overall work ethic of modern youth, there is an expectation to do so much more starting at a rapidly declining age.

Then, take a look at today’s pop culture media: it might explain why career expectations for very young people, particularly students, are skyrocketing. Anxiety and feelings of lacking accomplishments have come to be social normality, and those feelings are taking a significant toll on how we view ourselves as relative to the world around us.

Virally spread across televisions, smartphones, computers, newspapers, and magazines are the faces of the freshest fleet of mega-ingénues, constantly shoved into blindingly hot media spotlights. Kylie Jenner, Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes,  Lorde, and Zendaya, to name a few, are all younger than 23 and yet they are all shiny new million-to-billionaires.

In an age where anyone can be granted fame on social media platforms like Instagram or YouTube, more rags-to-mega-riches stories are popping up every single day.

Teens and young adults who strike it rich and appeal to ample spenders can be set financially for their entire lives in a matter of a few months to years, beating out hundreds of thousands of their peers who attend an average four-year college for the chance to make a good living from their career path.

The Forbes’ 2018 edition of 30 Under 30 included a multitude of YouTube personalities, including Manny Gutierrez (MannyMUA on YouTube), Gigi Gorgeous, and other recognizable names. As a general public, we saw their rises to fame from relatively unknown celebrity-hopefuls to massively-wealthy entrepreneurs.

According to Forbes, Gorgeous has a net worth of over $2 million as a lifestyle and makeup blogger.

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Superhero Movies Stink But They Save the Box Office

Superhero Movies StinkI hate superhero movies. I know you’re probably already labeling me as a villain, but let me explain.

First, there’s too many comic book movies out there because every time I blink, a new one comes out. Marvel is releasing five movies this year, while DC is releasing two.

With these films, it’s not like you can watch one on it’s own; the comic book diehards implore you to melt your brain by watching 300 Marvel flicks so you can understand the latest one coming out.

For example, leading up to Avengers: Endgame, AMC hosted a 22 Marvel movie marathon, which lasted 59 hours or two and a half days.

I’m sure many parents were concerned when they couldn’t find their 30 year old son in their basement.

Considering so many superhero movies come out, there’s little concern about what happens to the main character.

Before the flick comes out, the studio announces that there will be another three movies to come in their series, along with appearances in collaborative superhero movies.

Hence, while watching the movie, you already know the fate of the hero because the studio needs them alive for a hundred more!

Not only is the main character’s fate cemented, but every other aspect of the movies are cliche and bland.

Most of the stories are the same, where the main character discovers their power, joins forces with quirky friends or heroes, and the bad guy always loses.

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American Idiot Rocks Woods Theatre

Rock Woods 1Marked by blasts of frenetic energy, political and social symbolism, and unabashed rebellion, the MU Players production of Green Day’s rock opera American Idiot proved that punk is far from dead in the minds of youth today.

With ever-striking lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong and a book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer, Woods Theater was filled to the brim with the rage and love of a talented student-run cast and crew from April 12 through 15.

Serving as the spring musical, the players detonated their heart grenades in American Idiot to the tune of songs from the rock trio’s 2004 album of the same title.

Direction and production by Kayla Mingino, musical direction by Olivia Mingino, set design by Victoria Lohnes and Ryan McNaught, and choreography by Dennis Breslin and Azalia Whitlock ignited a unique fire that blazed bright.

In an address to the audience, director Kayla Mingino, a junior communication major, commented on the importance of the show to modern viewers, “The story needs to be told now more than ever.”

“Through suburban revolution,” Mingino, continued, “we too can speak up for causes we believe in. Whether that be addiction, or the current political climate, or anything that makes you want to fight back.”

“That is the beauty of this show, and the culture that preceded it. No one is too small to make a difference,” she concluded.

In the fictional setting of Jingletown, USA, American Idiot follows a hot-blooded young Johnny (Ray Laux and Tom Lynskey) and his angst-filled friends Will (Joe Marano), and Tunny (Scott Buksbaum) who decide to leave their hometown out of dissatisfaction.

Will is begrudgingly stopped by his pregnant girlfriend, Heather (Dylan DiRobbio), and must stay home.

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Foreign Film Spotlight: Sunset Can’t Shine

Foreign Film SpotlightAs I said in my article on page eleven, this year has been rough for film thus far.

I can’t remember the last time I saw something decent, so I decided to take a 40 minute drive to catch Sunset by Hungarian director László Nemes.

The director’s last film, Son of Saul, won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

And folks, I can’t even catch a break on foreign films.

In the Hungarian Sunset, we follow Írisz Leiter (a little too closely because of the jarring cinematography), who goes back to Budapest so she can work at a hat store that bares her last name.

However, Leiter uncovers a dark past and a brother she left behind when she split from Budapest as a little girl.

There’s a good story to be told, but Nemes has trouble telling it.

A glaring issue is the camera work by Mátyás Erdély. Throughout, the camera is closely up against Leiter as she navigates through Budapest.

Although, it’s hard to see where exactly she is because the background is always out of focus.

You can’t tell there’s a $10 million budget to this movie because it’s all blurred out in the back!

While you could say it makes the viewer feel uneasy, I say there’s certain times for that. It feels like you’re on a nauseating piggyback ride for two-and-a-half hours.

It’s also hard to hang on to the ride because the plot is incoherent.

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Monmouth Alumnus to Play Vans Warped Tour

Monmouth Alumnus PlayBrick-based pop rockers The Ones You Forgot shook the New Jersey music scene last week when they announced they will be playing the Vans Warped Tour this summer in Atlantic City on June 29 and 30.

The two-day festival will include performances from iconic bands from Warped Tour history such as Blink-182, The Offspring, A Day to Remember, Bad Religion, and many more.

The Ones You Forgot, fronted by University alumnus Jenna Bruno, will be performing songs from their summer 2018 release Too Afraid to Say.

“It’s really so exciting to be playing this year. A huge thanks goes to Kevin Lyman- Warped’s founder, for those who don’t know,” said Bruno, who graduated from the University in 2018. “This could not have happened without him giving us a chance, as well as all of our friends, family and fans who have supported us from day one.”

The band’s upcoming performance at the Warped Tour brings back a flood of memories to the band’s lead singer.

“2010 was my first year as a 13-year-old,” reminisced Bruno. “It’s a bit of a blur, but I remember seeing bands like Hey Monday, Mayday Parade, Bring Me the Horizon, Artist Vs Poet and I distinctly remember crowd surfing for the first time to The All-American Rejects and We The Kings.”

That year, Bruno would be introduced to a plethora of bands that would soon become her favorites by the following the summer.

However, her introduction to music occurred long before entering the realm of music that gets played in Hot Topic nationwide.

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Your Quarterly Film Report: Everything in 2019 Sucks

Quarterly Film Report 1Last week, I finally gave up. After months of watching garbage at the movie theater, it took one movie to break me.

Watching The Beach Bum made me feel like I was losing brain cells with every second.

There I was, in a practically empty theater watching Matthew McConaughey drink booze, drug out, have sex, and fall asleep on repeat for about two hours.

Within that time frame you could see the life get sucked out of me while I slowly sank in my chair.

When I made it out of the theater (somehow alive), it made me wonder: when was the last time I saw a good movie this year? I’m not talking about something mind-blowing that could break the Marrone rating scale; just something decent.

The time seems long ago and far away when I walked out of a theater and said, “I enjoyed that one.”

The answer: only twice. The only two movies I liked this year were Stan & Ollie and Greta. Those two weren’t amazing either, but they were just enjoyable!

The other 16 movies I’ve seen so far this year have sucked in their own special ways.

Mind you, I’ve even avoided other movies that have low ratings or don’t have a decent trailer.

Before I take out the trash, I’d like to say that I’m not some sad sack who finds something to hate in every movie.

I have the AMC Stubs A-List, where I can go to the theater up to three times a week because I love going there and watching a good flick.

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Game of Thrones: The Last of Its Kind

Game Of Thrones 1Television is almost as American as apple pie.

It’s been a hallmark of the average household since the end of the 1950’s and has woven its way into the world’s culture.

Unlike film, TV is a more intimate medium; we invite these stories and characters into our homes and invest time out of our day to immerse ourselves with them.

Every once in a while, a show transcends the comfort of our homes and launches into a countrywide phenomenon.

Game of Thrones launched their final season last Sunday, sparking a mass conversation on social media platforms and pretty much every major news outlet in the world.

It is, without a doubt, the biggest cultural show to air in the past decade.

The show returned after a near two-year hiatus and will air its remaining episodes within the coming weeks.

Thrones isn’t the first show of its kind.

Yes, it’s budget and literal size is probably the first of its kind, but the way it fits into pop culture is not anything new.

Massive television events becoming standard water cooler talk have been a thing since M.A.S.H. aired its record breaking final episode all the way back in the 1980’s.

Other shows would follow in popularity like Seinfeld, and Friends, both becoming synonymous with American pop culture, that even the most obscure reference from either show would be recognized by the average viewer.

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A Return to The Twilight Zone

Peele Twilight ZoneLove the iconic thriller and mystery show The Twilight Zone from the 1960’s? Well you’re in luck!

Welcome back to The Twilight Zone, 60 years later. It’s back for ten episodes on CBS’s streaming service.

The Twilight Zone first aired from Nov. 1958 to June 1964 and had five seasons.

It was created by Rod Serling and marketed as a horror and mystery show.

The show changed the landscape of television and created a demand for psychological mystery thrillers. However, it was one of a kind and Serling’s formula is difficult to replicate. So why now for the reboot?

Michael Chattalas, Ph.D., a specialist professor of marketing recognized a resurgance of old TV show comebacks.

“Every generation has an interest in ‘reliving’ a past era, which is typically perceived in an idealized manner, as compared to present times… networks often choose to revive successful television franchises, as it is quite hard to score a ratings success with brand new content concepts.”

While it may not be as unique as it was in the 1960’s when it came out, the episodes do put a modern spin on some of the stories which is thought-provoking especially to audiences at the college and young adult age, who did not watch the original.

Today’s reboot is hosted by Oscar winner Jordan Peele, the mastermind behind thrillers like Get Out and Us.

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