Last updateWed, 08 Apr 2020 5pm


Gomez Moves on from Bieber In To New Singles

Gomez SinglesIt’s been nearly four years since Selena Gomez released her last full-length album, Revival. But with two new singles released a day apart from each other, it’s safe to say that she’s ready to get back in the game.

Gomez released her highly anticipated single ‘Lose You to Love Me’ with a music video to go along with it on Oct. 23. If you haven’t noticed by all the ads on Gomez’s Instagram, it was shot on the new iPhone 11 Pro.

The ‘Lose You’ music video was released at midnight and Gomez scored almost 5 million views that Wednesday morning. The video for this song is simple; it’s black and white with Gomez sitting in a chair singing directly towards the camera with all of her emotions. Because Gomez lays it all out there, you can’t help but feel a person connection with her in the video.

It’s hard to love the slow pace of the single, but you can love the lyrics. Gomez throws shade at her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber with, “In two months, you replaced us/Like it was easy/Made me think I deserved it.” When Bieber dumped her and got engaged to model Hailey Baldwin just two months after, it’s clear Gomez felt pain. But after a long time of healing, she declares she’s moving on with the final lyrics of, “And now the chapter is closed and done/And now it’s goodbye, it’s goodbye for us.”

While ‘Lose You’ is a slow ballad with a grand piano and modern synthesizer, Gomez dropped another single with a completely different tone on Oct. 24.

In ‘Look at Her Now,’ Gomez thanks her fans for being her “ride or dies.” The lyrics in this song are far more upbeat that you’ll want to get up and dance. This music video was released at the same time as the song and is entirely different from its prequel.

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The Great Alaskan Race Is an Endurance Test

Alaskan RaceYou could say last week was a slow week for movies, with low-level releases like Black and Blue and Countdown out. But let’s go lower, shall we?

I enjoy seeing low-budget movies and exposing them all to you because sometimes you can do a lot with a little.

Unfortunately, for The Great Alaskan Race, it has so much potential, but it’s wasted because of so little effort.

It has a great story: set in 1925, a dypheria outbreak hits Nome, Alaska, which leaves many children sick. A serum is needed to heal the children, but Nome is remote and no planes can get there.

To bring the serum home, a group of dog sled mushers create a relay spanning 674 miles. With temperatures dipping to below 40, it was a grueling test of strength for the dogs and mushers.

At least this is what the credits tell us, because I didn’t see much of this at all.

The first half is slow because the children fall ill and the leaders in town figure out what to do, which takes a while because everyone communicated via telegraph. Things definitely could’ve picked up if they could just text, what’s the deal there?

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Disney+: Can it Make Streaming Magic?

Disney StreamingThere’s a lot we can expect from the new streaming service that Disney is releasing in a few weeks on Nov. 12.

So far, audiences and Disney fans everywhere have heard that Disney+ is bringing the best of the best to their new platform including new shows and films such as The Mandalorian (A Star Wars live-action television series following a bounty hunter), a live-action version of Lady and the Tramp, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (yes that’s the actual name), and many more titles.

Disney+ will charge customers $6.99 each month or $69.99 for a year to watch hundreds of Disney titles that you might haven’t seen in a long time, or even ever. The price makes the service stand out the most since it’s so cheap, compared to Netflix’s $14.99 or Hulu’s $11.99 per month.

With all that competition, how will Disney make their streaming platform different than others?

Streaming services like Netflix have years of experience behind them and that helps them know their customers better and create a variety of movies or television shows. Meanwhile, Disney has never released something like this, so it may take a while for them to get comfortable in the industry.

They’re also only offering movies and shows based on the companies they own, so if you miss That’s So Raven and other shows like it, this service is for you!

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Jesus is King: Kanye West and His Brand of Faith

Kanye West FaithKanye West has always been open about his Christian beliefs, but recently he’s really turned up the hallelujah.

West officially labeled himself as a Christian artist and just dropped an eleven-song album titled JESUS IS KING (yes, in all caps) along with an IMAX movie companion. He also has been going around the country holding what he calls “Sunday Services” at a different church each week.

But unlike most Christian masses, these services are invite-only. Attendees sign a non-disclosure agreement upon entering, and Father Kanye is the one preaching. Even his clothing brand has taken a turn for the holier, and started selling “Sunday Service Apparel,” with the cheapest item being a $50 pair of Sunday Service socks.

There were many people who refused to listen to the album because they felt Kanye didn’t have the qualifications to declare himself as a voice for righteousness. There’s no hiding that the artist has had a perpetually controversial career.

Most famously he’s been criticized for calling himself both God and Jesus, high-jacking Taylor Swift’s Grammy acceptance speech, and calling out President Bush for not caring about African Americans. In just this past week, at one of his “Sunday Services” he preached that taking race into account when making decisions is a form of slavery.

However, it’s important to note that none of us can be the perfect representative of God. From John 8:7, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

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Film Slam 2019: Can You Make a Movie in 24 Hours?

Film Slam 2019Lights, camera, Slam! Following a stellar success with last year’s competition, FilmOneFest is hosting its 5th Annual 24-Hour Film Slam at  Wilson Hall.

The 24-Hour Film Slam is a free competition where teams have a day to create and submit an original film under two minutes in length. Teams from all over the world can participate, where they will be assigned a location, prop, and line of dialogue as required elements in their works.

After the three elements are announced, the clock starts, followed by a mad dash for actors, cameras, and editing equipment,

This year’s Slam commences on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m, with all entries mandatorily submitted by Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. The general public is encouraged to attend a screening of all of the submitted films in Wilson Hall’s auditorium at 8:00 p.m. on the 2nd. There, a panel of FilmOneFest judges will evaluate each submission based on ingenuity, production value, the strength of storytelling, and the inclusion of the required creative elements.

Corinna Thuss, Founder of Brightwork Events and Managing Director for FilmOneFest, commented, “The Film Slam is an excellent way of seeing what filmmakers can do under pressure and a short amount of time, and it is very impressive what the teams create with the three criteria.”

Last year, a team called “The Flaming Mongooses” captured the top spot for their short, Why Not Now.

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The Office Parody Play Doesn't Win a Dundie Award

Office ParodyDunder Mifflin Scranton came to the Count Basie Center for the Arts for The Office! A Musical Parody on Sunday, Oct. 20.

The actors who played Andy, Angela, Phyllis, Meredith, and Toby nailed their characters, while the other workers of Dunder Mifflin cut the entire production short. Michael, Oscar, Ryan and Kevin were all played by women. I’m all for strong female leads, but these gender changes didn’t feel right.

Michael’s character was too obnoxious and overexaggerated, completely missing the lovable charm that we’ve come to admire in the sitcom. Every time Michael’s character spoke, I couldn’t help but pull a Jim and look into the imaginary camera to my left.

Speaking of Jim, the actor who played him reminded me much more of Pete (Plop) Miller, who first appeared in season 9 of the series. Not to mention, the parody failed to include Darryl and his sarcastic remarks, as well as Stanley and his crossword puzzles.

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Afrofuturist Design: From Ancient Dogon to Wakandan Futures

AfrofuturistRecently, Monmouth welcomed an art exhibit in the Guggenheim Memorial Library called Afrofuturism Design: From Ancient Dogon to Wakandan Futures. The intriguing exhibit features books, comic book artwork, DVDs, and more along the walls of the first and second floor glass cases.

The exhibit is meant to display the struggles and triumphs that African Americans have gone through in the United States. It displays pieces portraying the time of slavery to Wakanda comic book art.

It all started with the School of Education’s Associate Professor and Chair Walter Greason, Ph.D., who writes about the racial wealth gap and patterns of economic globalization.

The exhibit had come up through multiple conversations between Greason and University Librarian Kurt Wagner because of Greason’s constant presence in the library. After the last Bruce Springsteen exhibit, Wagner asked Greason on his opinion of a new exhibit and the decision was made to bring the cultural and educational exhibit to our school.

Greason is an accomplished professor who has trained multiple professions in anti-racism, is the author if six books focused on topics surrounding African-Americans throughout history, and also worked on humanities projects such as The Wakanda Syllabus and The Racial Violence Syllabus, which was inspired by the Oscar-winning film BlackKklansman. Additionally, his Wakanda Syllabus designated the public’s praise of the 2018 film, Black Panther.

Greason’s past accomplishments and expertise were all more of a reason to bring the exhibit here.

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Your Guide to Record Store Day: Black Friday

Record Black FridayDust off your turntables and replace those needles because Record Store Day is right around the corner for Black Friday, Nov. 29! Yes, the main Record Store Day is celebrated around the globe on the second Saturday of April, but there’s another one on Black Friday every year too.

Record Store Day is a celebration of local record shops still selling authentic mediums of music in the digital age. For the occasion, artists big and small release limited edition records only available at record stores on that day.

Usually artists will release EPs with never-before-heard B-sides, live renditions of favorite songs, rereleases of popular albums or hidden gems, or just cool looking records (like Toto’s ‘Africa’ single on an Africa-shaped vinyl). This year, over 150 artists are releasing their own special records.

For the Record Store Day in April, people flood the stores for the special editions. If there’s a year where the list has stuff I want, I hop in line at midnight and wait 10 hours for the store to open.

This way I have a good chance of getting what I want and getting out fast, because if you come when the store opens and think you’re going to get what you want, you have to wait about two hours to get in the store.

However, it’s a different ball game for Black Friday. Not many people come because it’s nice to sleep in the day after Thanksgiving, there’s other shopping to do, or they don’t even know record stores do this.

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The 5th Dimension Brings Soul to Monmouth

5th Dimension SoulThe 5th Dimension brought soul to Pollak Theatre last Friday, Oct. 8.

Walking into this performance, I honestly didn’t have the highest of expectations. While the auditorium was completely full, I was the youngest one in the room by about 50 years, and I felt out of place.

The lights dimmed and a voice came over the microphone introducing the band. The first song started with a thunderous drum solo and after a minute or so five performers took center stage, three men and two women.

All clapping with vivacious energy, my perspective on the night began to change. I had hope.

The 5th Dimension is a motown group that started out in 1965 with its original members including Florence LaRue, Billy Davis Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ronald Townson. These days, the group is led by LaRue, who is the only original member, along with Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker, Patrice Morris, and Floyd Smith.

The first song of the night was ‘September’ by Earth, Wind, & Fire. The energetic crew had a basic yet captivating dance routine for the song. Once the song was over, LaRue asked the mainly 65 and older audience what they remembered from summer 65’.

The best part about the concert was how much the band engaged with the audience. It was not only comical, but made the night more interesting. LaRue had short introductions leading up to each song that was performed.

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Harry Styles Goes 'Lights Up'

Harry StylesAfter two long years, Harry Styles has finally returned with his new single, ‘Lights Up.’

In very Harry-esque cryptic fashion, news broke on Thursday morning that there were posters plastered around cities displaying only the phrase “Do you know who you are?”

Along the bottom of the posters were four letters: TPWK. This is an abbreviation of Styles’ mantra “Treat People With Kindness,” hinting that an announcement was quickly approaching.

Shortly after, a website of the same name was released, which generated compliments for fans. (I was told that I was “fantastic.” Thank you, Harry.)

I began to wonder if “Do you know who you are?” was the name of a single, or even the album. The rest of the internet also exploded with excitement and speculation.

Spotify then provided some answers when they released a New Music Friday playlist with Styles as the cover star. It became evident that there was new music coming at midnight.

Then came the moment that every fan had been waiting for: the first Instagram post since 2018. It showed Styles in a blue blouse, which would end up being a screenshot from the video for “Lights Up.” This was followed by two more pictures, including the single’s cover art.

His Instagram profile picture changed, his Twitter page changed too, and then the song was available to the world.

The HS2 era has begun.

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El Camino Ain't That Bad

breakingbadThe much anticipated Breaking Bad spin-off film, entitled El Camino, was released on Netflix on Oct. 11. 

The rumors of a spin-off film by creator, writer, and director Vince Gilligan circulated around the internet last year. Then there was radio silence until late August when we got a surprise trailer.  The movie was filmed entirely in secret.

El Camino begins in the immediate wake of Breaking Bad, with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) a fugitive on the run, and Johnny Law hot on his heels.  He forms a plan as he goes.

Since this movie is attached to one of the biggest shows of all time, I’m not spoiling the show or the film.

Since the series finale in 2013, fans have had some serious burning questions about the loose ends left unanswered.  This movie does a fantastic job of answering many of those questions.

There’s also plenty of familiar faces from Breaking Bad reprising their roles.  On top of that, a lot of little Easter eggs and references throughout.

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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