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Entertainment

Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

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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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