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Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm

Entertainment

Where’s the Disney Magic?

Why Disney is Rebooting Old Movies


Disney Rebooting Old MoviesIt was 1996 when the first Disney live-action remake was released, which starred Glenn Close dressed as a cunning fashion connoisseur with a large number of spotted puppies.

It was such a box-office success that it even gained itself a sequel four years later.

Disney was onto something cinematically daring for them, but nonetheless it was a financial success. 

That 101 Dalmatians VHS tape was always on standby whenever my family had to take a rather long trip, with my sisters and I piled in the backseats of the SUV watching the same scenes over and over.

The kids of that time, which would include most of us college students, loved Disney’s shift into live-action film.

How about now though? Is the magic of live-action film lost for Disney?

Disney remakes are not new to the big screen.

The first Disney live-action remake was 101 Dalmatians, which recreated the magic from the 1961 animated feature and broke box office records the weekend after it was released in theaters.

The sequel, 102 Dalmatians, was released a few years later and performed just as well in the box-office when it grossed $180 million.

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Box Office Blizzard

Why January is a Historically Bad Movie Month


Bad January Movies 1We’re in the midst of award season. The year’s best films are being honored and paraded around Hollywood ramping up for the Academy Awards later this month.

It’s a huge time for movies; it should—in theory—give audience members the chance to flock to the theaters to see a new slate of films to start the new year.

The month of January has proven to be a tumultuous time for moviegoers everywhere.

With all the hype surrounding the Oscars and other award shows, it would seem like an ideal time for studios to push some of their better stuff to January.

Consistently, the films that are released in January are duds, not just normal duds, but gigantic duds.

January has just passed us over, and looking up and down the release calendar you really need to squint hard to find a good movie.

Replicas, which starred Keanu Reeves, received terrible reviews along with only grossing a mere $4 million.

However, M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero drama Glass was the highest grossing film at the box office for the month, but received lukewarm to negative reviews.

When your top movie of the month isn’t an overwhelming hit, it’s going to be a tough order to get people to come to the movies.

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Maroon 5 Shows Some “Sugar” at the Super Bowl

Maroon 5 Super BowlLast Sunday, Mercedes Benz Stadium hosted Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta, GA.

It was two halves of the old versus the new: Brady and Belichick of the New England Patriots versus Goff and McVay of the Los Angeles Rams, and right in between, the iconic halftime show.

Maroon 5 headlined the halftime show with super star guests Travis Scott and Big Boi.

Front man Adam Levine started off the show strutting down the lit up “M” shaped stage wearing a long trench coat while holding his microphone over his shoulders like a baseball bat. 

Fireworks set off when Levine began with the band’s 2002 single, “Harder to Breathe” alongside flames lining the stage. As the flames died down, the band began “This Love” with Levine grabbing his electric guitar leading up to his solo.

Once the music and lights went down, a tribute to Spongebob creator Stephen Hillenburg, began with the one and only Spongebob star, Squidward, appearing on the screen alongside Spongebob and Patrick Star as they subtly introduced Travis Scott.

A cartoon fireball fell out of space and flew through the city of Atlanta into the Falcon’s stadium. Travis Scott began singing his hit single, “Sicko Mode.”

As Scott crowd surfed, a marching band began an intro for Maroon 5’s single, “Girls Like You” as a Gospel choir filed onto the stage as backup singers.

The lights went down and lanterns lit up as “She Will Be Loved” started.

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Honey Lung’s Sweet EP

Honey Lung Sweet EPLondon indie rock quartet Honey Lung has been making waves all over the globe since their inception in 2015.

Despite having only a small back catalog of songs, they’ve amassed a respectable social media following.

The group released their first EP Kind of Alone in 2016, following up with the single “Sophomore” in August of 2017.

The band released a small handful of singles throughout 2018, the most recent being “Complete,” which dropped Jan. 25.

A music video for the single “Export the Family” was released in November 2018, which has gained over 3,000 views.

Tracks such as “Sophomore” feature atmospheric clean guitars, paired with ripping, fuzzy choruses that don’t hold back on the catchy melodies.

Vocalist Jamie Batten’s lyrics wrap the listener in dark cocoon of raw emotion and riveting story telling.

Tracks like “Exploit the Family” paint a tale of turbulent relationships against a cacophony of noise and whooshing guitars with an infectious back beat.

The band cites The Smashing Pumpkins, The War on Drugs, and Alex G. as the main influences on their sound in an interview with Dead Press.

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Springsteen’s “Journey” Takes a stop at Monmouth

Springsteen Journey“Bruce Springsteen: The Journey,” a student-curated exhibit at the University’s Guggenheim Memorial Library, is on display for students, faculty, and the public to explore.

The gallery, which showcases the life and times of  New Jersey rock star Bruce Springsteen, is the perfect opportunity for fans and critics alike to learn about The Boss’s roots in our state, particularly right here in Monmouth County.

The project was supervised by specialist professor of public history Melissa Ziobro M.A. in the fall and officially opened Dec. 4.

When asked about the project and the process of putting it all together, Ziobro said, “The exhibit was a wonderful way for the students in my Museums and Archives Management Basics class to apply what they had learned in their textbooks and our class discussions.”

“It also allows the University community, and the general public, to get a glimpse of the holdings of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music,” Ziobro added.

Divided into six separate cases throughout the first and second floor of the library, the exhibit begins with Springsteen’s years growing up here along the Jersey Shore, then his inevitable take off into international rock and roll stardom.

But this exhibit also provides guests the chance to experience and explore up close some of the written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts of Springsteen’s journey captured along the way.

For example, the first case of the exhibit, “Growin’ Up,” includes rare photographs of Springsteen and his family growing up in Freehold in the 1960’s.

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Watch Out! Facebook Watch is Changing Streaming

Facebook WatchIn a recent influx of easy-access streaming sites, Facebook has fully released its newest free extension, aptly named Facebook Watch.

2018 marked Facebook Watch’s first significant year.

According to a Dec. 13 Facebook press release, “Watch launched to every country around the world...opened to videos from all Pages, and...debuted dozens of Facebook Originals.”

This video-on-demand service was first announced on Aug. 8, 2017 and advertised personalized video recommendations to users.

Watch takes a little bit from other popular websites to make their own viewing experience unique.

It has the YouTube and traditional TV component, because viewers can watch regular TV shows to short clips on anything. Then, there’s also the social aspect, where users can comment and react to different episodes or videos.

The new concept of ‘content bundles’ was mentioned as a Watch feature, which would provide users packages of social-media-trending content related to their interests.

Since 2017, Facebook Watch has evolved from an imagined concept to a full, content-packed service with tens of millions of viewers. Facebook reports that “on average... 75 million daily visitors spend more than 20 minutes in Watch.”

Boasting celebrity-headlined originals (with Jada Pinkett-Smith and Elizabeth Olsen, to name some stars), Facebook’s newest idea closely resembles YouTube’s original premise.

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New Year, New Movies 2019: The Year Ahead for Film

New Movies 2019 1Other than being at the YMCA for Zumba class or at home for my mother’s specialty pasta dish with Guy Fieri spicy tomato sauce, I found myself in the movie theater throughout most of last year.

Although it was filled with plenty of lows with films like Superfly, the good outweighed the bad.

Last year, an unprecedented four films achieved the highest rating on my scale, while over 20 others battled to get on my top 15 list.

There were many flicks worth going out to the theater for (especially when Moviepass still worked), but what does the field look like this year? In no particular order, here are ten movies that I’m highly anticipating in 2019:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Oct. 18.

It feels like it was meant to be. Yes, Tom Hanks will play as Mr. Rogers for the children’s show host’s biopic. Last year we were graced with the incredible documentary on Mr. Rogers called, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? But can Hanks bring the same magic in this trip to the neighborhood?

Cold Pursuit, Feb. 8.

It’s funny how a few years ago Liam Neeson said he was done with action movies. Coming off two recent action flicks in Widows and The Commuter, Neeson will play a snow plow driver who seeks vengeance against a drug cartel who killed his son. As long as my street is plowed, I’ll definitely be at the theater for this one.

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The Records Keep Spinnin’!

2019’s Most Anticipated Albums


Anticipated Albums 20192018 was a monster year for music. With big returns from artists like Artic Monkeys, Lil’ Wayne, and Sleep, to stacked pop tour de forces from Ariana Grande and Cardi B, 2018 will prove to be one tough act to follow.

However, 2019’s new releases are plentiful and worthy of excessive hype.

I have a list of 105 (no exaggeration, I’m just that neurotic) albums coming out this year. After much struggle, I have narrowed down to a tenth of that original list.

Here are my picks for the most anticipated albums of 2019:

  1. 10. Khalid.

Khalid rose to pop superstardom in 2017 with his debut album, American Teen, which featured pop smash hits “Location,” and “Young, Dumb and Broke.” In 2018, he quickly became a hot commodity in pop, hip hop, and R&B with him being featured in a lot of songs by Billie Eilish, Normani, Logic, Calvin Harris, and more.

Additionally, he dropped an EP in Oct. of last year named Suncity, an homage to his hometown of El Paso. I’m excited to hear what will be next for the rising star.

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Christmas (Baby Please Release New Music)

Christmas New Music 1Everyone knows the iconic, traditional Christmas songs sung by stars such as Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Brenda Lee, and Andy Williams, but what about new Christmas songs?

Many could say that most Christmas songs are overplayed even if the same song is sung by a different person.

You could get tired of the same old lyrics and sound so what about new original Christmas songs?

Is it possible for new tunes to catch on and make it to the radio? If people are so used to the normal traditional songs, could new originals be accepted?

Current music artists such as Ariana Grande and Katy Perry have succeeded at creating original Christmas hits.

Grande’s popular “Santa Tell Me” went to number 1 on Billboards Holiday chart as well as getting to number 39 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40.

While the song received mostly positive reactions, some claimed that Grande was trying to create a holiday staple, but just fell short of Mariah Carey’s famous “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Perry has recently announced her Christmas music. Perry released her brand new Christmas single, “Cozy Little Christmas” exclusively on Amazon Music in early November. The song peaked at number 10 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

Original Christmas songs created by Stevie Wonder and Elton John back in the day, easily caught on with listeners.

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Does Hollywood Know It’s Christmas Time At All?

Hollywood Christmas 1The holiday season has always been an ideal time for the movies.

It’s cold outside and folks are always looking to survive the weather with some kind of indoor activities.

Christmas films always set the mood by filling the room with joy and cheer.

Just like the length of Santa’s naughty or nice list, there are tons of Christmas movies loved by many.

Whether it be the all time classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or Christmas Vacation, there are a selection for all kinds of viewers.

Any movie to throw on with the fireplace burning is something we all look forward to during this jolly time of the year.

With a long history of great Christmas movies, there has been a dip in quality since the turn of the 21st century.

With the exception of Elf, starring Will Ferrell, and a few others, there hasn’t been a classic film good enough to revisit.

It isn’t necessarily that the movies are bad, but they haven’t been anything worthwhile.

Just this November, an animated remake of the The Grinch was released and performed well at the box office.

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Reading While Watching TV? The Stigma of Foreign Films

Reading Watching TV 1A foreign film or television series is an acquired taste.

I recently watched a new television show released on Netflix in early October, and reached a similar verdict when recommending it to my friends.

Met with expressions of disregard, discontentment, and disinterest, I’m left to wonder why subtitles are an inconvenience to most.

The box-office hit Call Me by Your Name, although not a foreign film, gave many people the opportunity to watch a film that does not possess your typical American flare.  Firstly, it is a gay romantic film, and secondly it takes place in northern Italy. 

Call Me by Your Name reminded me of Blue Is the Warmest Colour, which is French.

I watched this film in high school and while it touches on mature themes, I felt that it reflected on teenagers of our time.  The confusion and denial that comes from emerging sexuality realizations is prevalent regardless of culture.

People steer away from foreign cinema mostly because of subtitles.

Subtitles are met with dread and a drawn out “I don’t want to read while watching a movie!” (which, makes me laugh every time my mother says it).  It’s a shame, because foreign films have strong plots and talented actors continuously brushed under the rug in America.

Pamela Diaz, an adjunct professor of world languages and culture, further touches on why Americans are not initially intrigued by foreign films or television.

Diaz said, “I think people steer away from subtitles for the same reason why they steer away from books: lack of engagement; a desire for passive entertainment.”

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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