Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm


Blade Runner 2049: Feels like a Marathon

Blade Runner 2049Blade Runner 2049: Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, and Sylvia Hoeks

Finally, the long wait is over! Rick Deckard is back on the big screen! The only price to pay is sitting through two-hours’ worth of moody Ryan Gosling shots to reach this point. Is it worth it? Not quite.

Officer K (Gosling) is a young blade runner who hunts old replicant models. One case leads K to a secret that has big implications for society.

As K digs deeper into the case, he follows a trail to Rick Deckard (Ford), a former blade runner.

Thirty-five years after director Ridley Scott’s acclaimed Blade Runner, established director Denis Villeneuve gives the sequel a strong production effort while revisiting the same questions.

However, the film is overbearingly long and surprisingly much duller than the original.

1982’s Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott underwent seven different cuts over the span of twenty-five years for the true message of the story to get across.

Out of all the different versions, The Final Cut is the definitive Blade Runner film; credited to director Ridley Scott having complete control.             

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iPhone X : Say Hello to the Future

IPhoneX Hello FutureIt was in 2007 when the first iPhone was released by Apple.

Now, almost a decade later in 2017, the iPhone X will be the latest and most advanced model to be available for purchase on Nov. 3, with preorders getting taken Oct. 27.

This phone will be unlike any iPhone that has preceded it. 

A statement on Apple’s website states the following:

“Our vision has always been to create an iPhone that is entirely screen. One so immersive the device itself disappears into the experience. And so intelligent it can respond to a tap, your voice, and even a glance. With iPhone X, that vision is now a reality. Say hello to the future.”

One major change in the iPhone design of this new product is the lack of the home button.

The screen fills the entire front side of it. This means an even bigger display for games, videos, and photo sharing.            

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‘Ex Libris’ is Booked with Library Footage

Ex Libris: New York Public Library is a Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman explores the New York City Public Library as it enters the digital age.

Although many may think libraries are a dying institution, Wiseman beautifully shows how they continue to thrive in a digitized world.

However, at close to three-and-a-half-hours, it can be a challenging watch.

Instead of employees or patrons of the New York Public Library approach the camera and explain to the audience how each function benefits their community, Wiseman brilliantly lets the camera roll during the events to show of the library’s importance, rather than tell of it.

There are a myriad of programs provided by the library like classes on how to read braille, job fairs, robotics clubs, slam poetry, and author conversations that help bring a community together through education.

Outside of programs, patrons can use the many educational resources of a library like books, microfilm, laptops, and take-home broadband hotspots for those who do not have an internet connection.

Behind all of the library’s functions, there are meetings concerning their budget and patrons, where the president and his administration discuss how they can improve the public institution.

There are plenty of meetings where the president encourages funding from both public and private resources to tackle their current problems in the technologically fast-paced world, like digitalizing their entire print collection.

Although the library may face this problem, it is still amazing to see many patrons continue to use microfilm and read newspapers.

Wiseman tells of all this information just by placing the camera in the middle of a function or program. For instance, during a class trip to the library’s picture collection, Wiseman captures employees explaining the importance of the collection to the class.

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ARK: Survival Evolved Review

Ark Survival Evolved ReviewDark and Light recently became available on Steam’s early access, and many of its systems were taken from Ark: Survival Evolved, making the two easily comparable. Studio Wildcard’s controversial but popular title, which I recently reviewed, had just left Early Access.

My greatest criticism of Ark was its developer’s unethical acts and ineptitude. Perhaps Dark and Light’s greatest advantage is that the title has little to do with that studio. Dark and Light has been developed and produced by Snail Games USA, Wildcard’s parent company, who appear to have had little to do with Ark’s development. Essentially, Dark and Light is built off the same foundation as Wildcard’s Ark, in that it uses the same engine and incorporates many of Ark’s game systems, but it is being further developed and maintained by a different developer.

Whereas Ark was meant to be a first-person action survival game, Dark and Light is locked to third-person on official servers, and draws more influence from MMORPGs. Dark and Light features multiple player races and factions, a currency, trade, human NPCs, and towns. Players can invest in these NPC towns, rent housing, or even attack the NPC residents.

The premise of Dark and Light is that the various elven, human, and dwarven civilizations fled their destroyed mother planet, Gaia, making their home on a new one, Archos. However, Archos is primal and inhospitable, so players need to tame the land’s creatures and build new homes. To make matters worse, dark creatures leftover from the destruction of Gaia are raiding Archos, attempting to destroy this new world. As with most MMORPGs, plot is secondary to gameplay, but the premise is well supported by various gameplay systems, such as undead invasion events.

Dark and Light uses the same building system as Ark, one where players gather resources, build them into various pieces, like floors, walls, or pillars, and create more complex structures by snapping these together. There are also different tiers of building materials, such as straw and iron, which create structures that are different in both aesthetics and durability.

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Tom Petty: 1950-2017

Brads StatusThe news that Tom Petty had passed away Monday, Oct 2., due to cardiac arrest was a true “heartbreaker” to the nation. He was a rock legend that inspired so many modern artists. John Mayor tweeted upon hearing the sad news, “I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted to know what it felt like to fly.” Petty’s music will live on for generations to come. Inevitably, he will always make his fans feel like they can fly whenever a Petty song comes on the radio or they hum his tune. May he rest in paradise and memories of his music live on forever.


Stiller Still has it in Brad's Status

Brad’s Status Starring Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, and Michael Sheen

Brad Sloan (Stiller) lives a respectable life as the owner of a small nonprofit. With a loving wife, good son, and a nice house, many would assume Brad has a balanced life. However, Brad is going through a midlife crisis, assessing his existence compared to those who went to college with him.

While dealing with this situation, Brad goes to Boston with his son to tour colleges.

The study of Brad’s midlife crisis is intriguing by exploring the pros and cons of his situation.

Additionally, it successfully uses narration, while providing Ben Stiller’s best performance in years

At 47-years-old, Brad has a midlife crisis where he asks himself a series of questions to determine the quality of his life. There are many instances where Brad takes stock into his life, and compares himself to others. One of Brad’s old peers is Craig Fisher (Sheen), a famous author who has connections all the way to the White House and is featured on T.V. often.

Another is Jason Hatfield, the owner of a multi-million-dollar company with his own private jet and a beautiful family.

Then there is Brad, the owner of a small nonprofit, who works at home. While others are living a seemingly fruitful life, Brad feels like he is stuck in purgatory. 

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Ed Sheeran Sells Out Barclays Center Three Nights in a Row

Ed Sheeran Sells Out BarclaysEd Sheeran sold out Brooklyn’s 18,000 seated arena, Barclays Center’s, for the 3rd night in a row on Sunday, Oct. 1st.

Opening for the world’s best solo male artist was James Blunt, who announced to the crowd he was a distant relative of Sheeran.

“I know you all aren’t here to see me,” Blunt told the crowd over his microphone. “And that’s okay. I know you only know one of my songs, and I am not going to sing it.”

Blunt was referring to his one-hit-wonder of a song, “You’re Beautiful.”

The crowd was mixed with laughs and sighs of disappointed as the singer continued on his musical agenda.

Before he introduced Sheeran to the stage, he surprised the crowd with singing the one song he refused to sing; the entire crowd belted out the lyrics after the first strum of the note: “My life is brilliant/my love is pure/I saw an angel/Of that I’m sure.”

When Blunt left the stage, crewmembers flooded the stage to reset for Sheeran and the audience waiting excitedly for what would soon be the best concert of their lives.

The red haired, bestselling international artist opened up with one of his first singles “Castle on the Hill” from his new album, “÷.”

Sheeran entered center stage and the crowd shrieked in star-struck unison.

Altogether, the choir of strangers came together for the first line of the song: “When I was 6 years old I broke my leg/I was running from my brother and his friends.”

Sheeran ended “Castle on the Hill” and greeted the crowd as soon as the prolonged applause ceased.

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Blue Hawk Records Auditions for Fall Release

The fall semester is off to a quick start with the Music Industry II class jumping right into their 11th compilation album.    

A lot of new faces and amazing talent came to Woods theatre on the night of Sept. 20 last week to showcase what musical assets they bring to the table.

The music students are able to get hands on experience with this record label imitation class; each has their own role including A&R, street team, set up, live, publicity and so on.

Once artists are chosen, studio time will be scheduled for our talented musicians.

Followed by this action, the process of promotion, news articles and pop-up shows are all exciting pieces to the puzzle to come together.

The final album release concert will be held sometime in December with a venue still in the works.

Auditions were open to all Monmouth University students of all grade levels and majors for the album.

Excited, anxious, and extremely talented acts practiced in the lobby of Woods Theatre while the auditioners filled a classroom at max capacty in the music school.

Music ranged from soft rock, to acoustic, to funk-rock, to alternative and many more genres that students made their own.

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The Return of Horror Movie "IT" Was Scarily Worth IT

Horror Movie IT Worth It 1“I want to run towards something, not away,” says one of our fearless young protagonists, Beverly “Bev” Marsh (Sophia Lillis). And like the seven children at the center of this film, I would encourage all moviegoers to run toward the scares in this newest adaptation of Stephen King’s wildly popular 1986 novel It.

While not completely terrifying, the film still has enough creepiness and visual frights to make it rise above typical horror fare.

Much like the original novel, the story follows the adventures of The Losers’ Club, seven preteens who are all plagued by strange, frightening encounters with Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård). After the mysterious disappearance of his younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott), the determined leader of the club, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and his friends try to discover the truth behind the multiple murders of children in their small town of Derry, Maine.

For those who followed the behind the scenes struggles of bringing this film to fruition, one might be surprised to see how well executed it is. The film, which has gone on to gross over $180 million dollars and become the highest-grossing horror film of all time in less than two weeks, was plagued with director and production issues in it’s beginning. Original announced to be adapted by David Kajganich (A Bigger Splash) in 2009, then going on to be directed by Cary Fukunaga, from “True Detective” and written by Fukunaga and Chase Palmer in 2012, the film settled on eventual director Andy Muschietti (Mama) and writer Gary Dauberman (Annabelle) after Fukunaga and Palmer left due to creative differences with the studio.

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The Latest "Kingsman" is Far From Golden

Starring in order of most screen time: Taron Egerton, Elton John, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal

A drug lord (Moore) and her network of henchmen launch a missile attack on the Kingsman. With most of their agents dead, Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) team up with the American secret agency, the Statesman, to take down the drug lord.

Remember everything you loved about the first Kingsman? The strong story, unforgettable action sequences, and stellar cast? Now take all of that, throw it in a ditch, and set it on fire. This new installment of Kingsman involves an incredibly ridiculous plot, laughable moments of absurdity, actors phoning it in, hardly any action, and Elton John’s feathered costume.

The plot is overcomplicated and makes no sense for a Kingsman feature. At first it focuses on one rejected agent of Kingsman out to get his revenge on the organization. Simple enough, for the first few minutes. Straightforwardness comes out of the equation when discovered that this rejected agent is a member of the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is the drug lord’s network of henchmen who decide to launch a missile attack on the Kingsman of England, even though it feels like the biggest target of their operation is the United States. From here, everything goes off the wall, and it is only fifteen minutes into the two and a half hour mind numbing procedure. Characters scurry around the entire globe with hardly any objective, while the plot is being spoon-fed through Fox News reports. The drug lord attempts to explain what is happening, but even she does not make sense because her motives are unclear. It attempts to have an intricate plot, and while doing so, has the nerve to deliver a political message.

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Can He Get A Drum Roll, Please?

Sitting Down With Billy Nally, Drummer of Upcoming Alternative Band, the Wrecks

Can He Get A Drum RollIf you have yet to hear of The Wrecks—an alternative band that took the music industry by storm—I suggest you pull up your Spotify app and take a listen. Without a doubt, you will “wreck” your repeat button.

The Wrecks’ sound is unique, yet familiar in a sense. The band is oftentimes compared to distinguished alternative bands like Cage The Elephant, The Black Keys, and The Arctic Monkeys.

The band consists of 5 members: Nick Anderson (vocals), Aaron Kelley (bass), Nick Schmidt (guitar), Weston Weiss (guitar) and and Billy Nally, (drums).

Luckily, Billy was able to find time between sound checks and a 3 hour time difference to give us an inside look at his life.

William “Billy” Nally, 20, the drummer for The Wrecks, was just a small-town guy with Hollywood sized dreams. He grew up in Lacey Township, which is just 45 minutes away from our own Monmouth University.

After posting a few videos on YouTube in high school and sending them around to agents and managers, he began to realize the talent he truly possessed behind that drum set—and so did professionals in the industry. This realization quickly turned into action.

At the brink of just 18 years old, Billy decided it was time to make his passion into a career and move to the heart and soul of music: Los Angeles.

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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