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Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm

Entertainment

Rapid Fire Recommendations

You’ve got 3 papers, a group project and 800 pages of reading. So I’ll try not to be offended that you don’t want to read 700 words on why an album was awesome or crap-tastic. To make your life easier, here is a quick list of songs you should be listening to.

“Going to Hell” by The Pretty Reckless is a rock song will definitely up the creepy factor if you’re looking to set the mood for Halloween.

“Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood hit the alternative charts in the summer, but now it feels seasonally appropriate. Maybe that’s why it started to appear on mainstream charts.

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Student Spotlight: Sal Mastrangelo and Dan Robinson

If you take a walk across campus on any given night, you may catch freshman Sal Mastrangelo and junior Dan Robinson jamming out in the underpass that connects the academic side of campus to the residential side, a place they consider to have the best acoustics. Having grown up in musical families, the two cousins were bound to be musicians.

As children, both boys were forced to take piano lessons, and they didn’t enjoy it at all. Yet as they continued to learn how to play, their love for music grew.

Reminiscing, Robinson talked about how, as a surfer, he has always loved the beach, but his mother would make him take his piano lessons before he could go to the beach. What once seemed a punishment to him soon grew into a passion.

As the boys grew older, their involvement in music grew as well. Mastrangelo began playing the drums his freshman year of high school, and he is currently learning guitar.

Robinson began playing guitar about a year ago, and started singing about half a year ago.

The boys come from a close-knit family, so they have always had a good relationship, but their bond became stronger because of their love for music.

“That sealed the deal,” joked Mastrangelo.

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“Carrie” Is not Very Scary

We can all agree that being a high school student is tough. It is hard enough dealing with relationships, schoolwork, and finding your own identity. Then throw in telekinetic powers, a vengeful queen bee, and a religious fanatic for a mother and you have entered the world of Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz).

As a fan of horror movies, I was disappointed with this updated version of Stephen King’s novel “Carrie” which has been transported from the seventies to today’s society.

Director Kimberly Peirce said in an article from The New York Times that she “wanted to get inside this girl’s journey. And particularly her bond with her mother, which was huge for me.”

However, there are weird camera angles that made certain scenes appear, for a lack of a better word, awkward and brought me out as a viewer. For example, there are multiple times when the camera is facing upward, getting a lovely shot of Carrie’s nostrils instead of her face during key moments when she is breaking ground in her character development. Those points were made to be point-of-view to create the fly-on-the wall effect, but it did not achieve that goal.

Overall the plot moved at a decent pace. There were some stagnant scenes that were not featured in the original, which helped the plot move fluidly. However, most of the film seemed a little too light-hearted leading up to a few gory moments that left me nauseous, more than they left me on the edge of my seat. The comedic scenes did break up the little suspense the film had, but this movie felt more like a sequel to “Mean Girls” than a horror flick.

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Julian Sands Celebrates Harold Pinter

Julian Sands spoke at Pollak Theatre on Friday Oct. 18. The renowned actor presented “A Celebration of Harold Pinter,” his own lecture on the famous playwright.

Sands has been in Oscar nominated movies such as “A Room with a View” and various television shows, including “Smallville” and “Dexter.”

It’s easy to see why there would be a celebration of Pinter. The English playwright and actor won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005.

Sands referred to him as the “defining dramatist of the twenty-first century” (though Sands mentioned that, according to Pinter’s widow, Pinter would have given that title to Samuel Beckett). Pinter is definitely considered one of the great playwrights of the era, having written 29 plays and having won countless awards (including a Tony).

Sands came onstage in his suit to a stage that was almost entirely bare, with the exception of a small table with some books and notes for Sands to read from. Sands rarely read from his books and notes. He would hold them up, but mostly, he had the material memorized.

Sara Rimassa, junior English and education major, really enjoyed this aspect of the performance. Rimassa said, “I thought he was great. I mean, he’s so dynamic and just the way he read. I thought, personally, that he was just going to be reading from paper, but he was almost acting and engaging with us personally. It made the time fly by.

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Adult Swim Provides Adult Laughs

“Ladies and gentleman, it’s the ERIC ANDRE SHOW!” Consider these first urgent lines more of a warning for you to brace yourself than an introduction, as this latest Adult Swim (a section of Cartoon Network) oddity is one of the most chaotic, surreal, and captivatingly bizarre shows on television today.

Debuting last year and recently entering its second season, “The Eric Andre Show” is, like much of Adult Swim’s original programs, comedy not for the faint hearted, and last week’s episode, “Lou Ferrigno; Downtown Julie Brown,” was a perfect testament to the show’s dedication to outlier comedy.

Brought to you by the same production company behind the brilliant, divisive “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,” “The Eric Andre Show” compares heavily to its predecessor with its jarring, occasionally gross-out take on comedy, but differs by focusing itself more into a late night talk show parody centered on the outrageousness of its titular host and dazed, straight-man sidekick, Hannibal Buress (who himself is a rising star in the world of stand-up comedy).

But this is less like a David Letterman/Jimmy Fallon kind of talk show and more like some strange, public access project where the cast thinks nobody is watching as the show slips into unorganized chaos quickly. On the set of “The Eric Andre Show,” nothing is off-limits, and practically nothing is impossible.

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The Outlook’s Top 5 Women Who Rock

There are few things I love more than a good rock band with a woman on lead. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the era of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the Spice Girls’ “girl power” trend or maybe it’s just because I wish I was a rockstar. Either way I really love girls who rock, so why not share my top 5? They might not be on the level of Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett yet, but they’ll get there one day.

1. Gwen Stefani has more recently been in the spotlight for her pop career and her fashion line, but she is coming back to rock music with No Doubt. When the band went on a reunion tour in 2009, Stefani performed all of their high energy hits without missing a beat. It was like they hadn’t taken a break at all.

Stefani is what makes No Doubt different. The Orange County native is pretty, but tough (her arms rival Michelle Obama’s). Her voice sounds like no one else, which makes it perfect for the blend of rock and ska that No Doubt plays. Her style creates trends that extend beyond the world of music and into the world of Vogue. The boys of No Doubt definitely have talent, but Gwen Stefani is what makes people look at them. The fact that she can still do all of this after 20 years of playing music is pretty amazing.

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Student Spotlight: Alexis Fox

How London Brought Out One Student’s Inner Rockstar


Senior Alexis Fox is an English education major who has been singing for as long as she can remember. She first picked up the guitar when she was 12 years old. Fox said, “I actually traded in my elementary school grade clarinet for it! It was a left-handed guitar, but for some reason it was strung right handed, and that kind of just stuck.” Since then, Alexis has started writing her own songs and giving live performances.

Fox wrote her first song when she was in the sixth grade after starting a band with some friends. Fox explained, “We’d write our own lyrics and come up with tunes, and then sing them along with karaoke versions of other songs. It didn’t last very long.”

When asked about what initially inspired her to begin writing her own songs, Fox stated, “I just wanted to have my own music to sing along to. I wanted to be able to create something instead of just copy what’s already been done.”

Despite writing her own music, Fox never really performed live, “I’d only really played in front of people I knew and, generally, only with covers. I’d been writing songs for quite a while, but I’d never felt confident enough in them to bring them out into the open.” But all this changed during Fox’s study abroad trip to London during her sophomore year at the University.

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“American Horror Story” Thrills

“When witches don’t fight, we burn,” says a deliciously dark Fiona Goode (played with excellency by Jessica Lange). This statement alone assures the audience that they’re in for a magical and wicked good time for “American Horror Story: Coven,” the third season in the hit anthology series. With each season comes a new theme of fantasy and real horrors, and this time around, the witches of Louisiana are here to cast a spell on you.

It’s modern day New Orleans and after discovering that she is a witch possessing a unique bloodline (traced back to the Salem Witch Trials), Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) is sent to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. It’s a mysterious school where she encounters three other young witches, who too possess magical powers and this bloodline.

It’s not long before the “Supreme” witch Fiona Goode returns to warn them that witches are in danger and that they need to be prepared. After flashing back to New Orleans 1834 with torturous, slave-dweller Madame Delphine LaLaurie (played by a sheer evil Kathy Bates), Goode looks to the past, in order to help their future against voodoo and its Queen.

Without an exceptional cast, then this show would fall flat. Luckily, “American Horror Story: Coven” delivers in episode one, entitled “Bitchcraft,” with excellent acting by the actors, who bring the terror to the small screen. In the first episode alone, there are three standout performances already, and they are here to scare you.

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“Romeo and Juliet”: A New Take on an Old Tale

With so many adaptations of Shakespeare’s classic tale, there was a sense of skepticism as I watched this new version of “Romeo and Juliet.” However, director Carlo Carlei and screenwriter Julian Fellowes were able to breathe some new life into this tired, old love story by creating an authentic piece that not only Shakespeare himself would be proud of, but would also entertain hopeless romantics of the twenty-first century.

In fair Verona is where we lay our scene, Douglass Booth and Hailee Steinfeld play the famous star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet. The on-screen chemistry between the actors was well done and was captured in a different manner.

In other adaptations with pairings such as Leonadro DiCaprio and Claire Danes or Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, the connection seemed overly dramatic or purely emphasized on the lustful passion the young couple was allegedly supposed to share.

However, Steinfeld and Booth interacted with a genuine naïve nature that warms the heart. Steinfeld maintains an incredibly sweet demeanor as Booth chases after her with a delightful goofy boyish charm, which is a nice contrast from the self-pitying Romeo that has been played by other actors.

The main characters are supported by an all-star cast including actors Paul Giamatti who plays wise Friar Laurence and Ed Westwick from “Gossip Girl” who plays Juliet’s enraged cousin Tybalt. The only real problem with Giamatti’s performance was that he did not have a British accent consistently throughout the movie. It might not seem like a deal breaker, but it brought me out of the movie as the vernacular speech wavered in and out while he spoke.

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Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” is Filled with Snoozers

Miley Cyrus: America’s first living, breathing hashtag, and her disjointed Twitter feed of an album, “Bangerz,” make me fear that the impatient excesses of the smart phone age have finally caught up to us. I fear that people, especially celebrities, can now trade their humanity for cheap, hyper-modern personas tailored to fill social media pages.

Until now, I found it best to just ignore the Miley-madness that has swept the nation since her cringe-worthy VMA performance. Like most people who just so happened to be watching that night, I reacted pretty harshly to the performance, feeling every bit of humiliation and awkwardness Miley probably should have been feeling and praying for just one second she’d put that damn tongue away.

However, I quickly got over it when I soon realized what all of this was: Another pop singer’s contrived, misguided attempt at reinventing herself as “edgy” to get as many people talking as possible – and it really worked. Why do most pop singers even do things like this in the first place? To sell albums, of course!

I really don’t have a huge problem with musicians pursuing some sort of persona to tie in with their music. From Bob Dylan’s “drifter/poet” image to Kanye West’s top-of-the-world arrogance, popular artists have often presented themselves in very particular ways as a method of underscoring the philosophy behind their music – and in those cases, with excellent results.

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Justin Timberlake Overload?

Maybe it’s just me, but after two smash hit singles, a massive hit of a comeback album, frequently appearing in commercials, guest-appearing in a mediocre Jay Z song and a VMA performance/tribute that made the man appear as a god amongst mere mortals, I began to think that maybe we’ve had enough Justin Timberlake for one year.

Not to say that it hasn’t been a pretty good ride. “The 20/20 Experience,” for all its excesses, is still one of the sharpest and most dazzling pop records in recent memory, and though I’d love to go a day without hearing one of them, “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors” are still pretty great singles. And yes, I was hit with a few nostalgic warm fuzzies watching JT reunite with *NSYNC for all of two minutes.

But what’s this? Another Justin Timberlake record? The second piece of the puzzle nobody even knew was missing? I don’t really see what more JT had to prove this year, but I’ll bite. “The 20/20 Experience,” after all, is still pretty great, and seeing as how these were all recorded in the same session, so it’s just more of a good thing, right?

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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