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Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm

Entertainment

PlayStation Preps for Round 4

PS4Sony officially unveiled their next-generation video game console, PlayStation 4, at their live “Future of PlayStation” press conference in New York City last Wednesday. The console is expected to be released this holiday season.

The system will be the first new home gaming console released by Sony since the PlayStation 3 launched back in 2006. Sony representatives stated that the console was to be the “most powerful platform ever” released by Sony, and it will have a strong focus on social networking in gaming. Currently, there is no official confirmation regarding price from Sony.

Andrew House, the current president and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said that the PlayStation 4 will offer the kind of multi-dimensional experience gamers deserve, and will “unleash imaginations to create next generation experiences that will surpass gamer’s wildest expectations.”

The announcement follows weeks of strong speculation after a teaser video popped up on Sony’s Facebook and Twitter page on January 31, which stated that “the future” of PlayStation would be revealed on February 20 at 6:00 pm eastern time. This was followed by a number of retrospective videos released by Sony chronicling the history of their previous consoles, as well as leaked information regarding the systems new controller design.

According to Mark Cerny, the lead system designer of the PS4, the console had been in development since 2008. The goal in developing the system, according to Cerny, was for it to be, “a consumer focused yet developer centric in its design,” with the hopes that the console would, “unleash the creativity and innovation that would result in a true next-generation experience.”

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Gender Bender at Woods Theatre

twelfth-nightThe Lauren K. Woods Theatre is a bit of a wreck right now. Actually, it’s a shipwreck. No, none of the winter storms threw a boat into the theatre. The spring musical, William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” or “What You Will,” involves a shipwreck. It also involves mistaken identities, cross-dressing, fight sequences and plenty of comedy.

Forget the dramatic and depressing Shakespeare that was required in high school. Doomed lovers and cursed kings are nowhere to be found in “Twelfth Night.” Instead we have Viola (Alexandra Appolonia), a girl who is shipwrecked and must find work when she washes up on the shores of Illyria, believing her twin brother to be dead.

When it doesn’t seem like she can find work as a woman, Viola disguises herself as a man named Cesario to work for Duke Orsinio (Henry O. Siebecker). Viola starts to fall in love with Orsinio, but he needs Cesario’s help to court Olivia (Brooke McCarthy). However, Olivia is in love with Cesario who is actually Viola, and that’s just the beginning.

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Film Poster Exhibition Excites

poster_exhibitionEver want to see a musical movie starring The Black Eyed Peas? Or would you prefer to see Selena Gomez in a Vietnam movie? In the hallways of the new Rechnitz Hall, the community can find some unfamiliar movie posters. Students from Professor Karen Bright and Professor Pat Cresson’s digital imaging classes have created their own movie posters based on film concepts they created. The gallery consists of students who have taken the class in the last three semesters.

Students were given a random selection of colors, locations, names, dates, adjectives and film genres. The students used that information to create their own movie summary, which served as a basis for the poster. Amanda Stojanov, junior and graphic design major, found this to be nerve-wracking.

Stojanov said, “I was hesitant because there are so many things that I wanted to do before we even picked our criteria and so it was changing everything. The criteria actually turned out to help a lot when we were writing our own short stories for the poster. We were required to use this criteria in our short stories [which] would be the background to our movie poster. This was also a challenge because this meant that we had to come up with our own movies.”

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Two Lifetimes of Horror

lifetimes_of_horrorFew people get to be called living legends, but two that exist right now in our lifetime are literary giants Clive Barker and Robert McCammon.

Both of these men are being given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writer’s Association, showing that they have made their mark on the industry as well as on society itself through their work.

According to horror.org, “The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious of the Bram Stoker Awards®, given by the HWA in acknowledgment of superior achievement not just in a single work but over an entire career. Past Lifetime Achievement Award winners include such noted authors as Stephen King, Anne Rice, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Ramsey Campbell and Peter Straub. Winners must have exhibited a profound, positive impact on the fields of horror and dark fantasy, and be at least 60 years of age or have been published for a minimum of 35 years. Recipients are chosen annually by a committee; this one chaired by Yvonne Navarro and including John Everson, Kathy Ptacek, Lucy Snyder and Tim Waggoner.”

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are going to be presented on June 15 during the Bram Stoker awards banquet at the World Horror Convention 2013 in New Orleans.

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The Outlook’s Oscar Options

This Sunday is the only time it’s respectable for filmmakers to say they want to go home with a tiny naked golden man: The Academy Awards. It’s Hollywood’s prom night. The Academy decides who their favorites are, and audiences decide what they have to pick up on DVD. As entertainment writers, we all have our own personal favorites. These are our picks for the coveted Best Picture award.

Violeta Pietronico’s Pick: The story of Les Misérables, one of the longest running musicals in our history, has once again captured the hearts of people around the world. The film opened on Christmas Day to generally positive reviews from critics and audiences alike—despite the fact that the film clocks in at a whopping 158 minutes, includes virtually no spoken dialogue, and is entirely musical.

To old fans, the tale of ex-convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) attempting to avoid capture by his former prison guard Javert (Russell Crowe) after avoiding his parole will undoubtedly be familiar. However, to new generations that are seeing Les Misérables for the first time, the stories of Valjean, his desperate employee Fantine, her daughter Cosette, young student Marius, and the relationships that bud between each of these beloved characters during the time of the French Revolution will certainly reel in the young audience members.

While the film has received some backlash over the possibility that director Tom Hooper—who also directed The King’s Speech—created this film as simply a means to get awards, Les Misérables has mostly been praised for its undeniably incredible musical performances. Hugh Jackman anchors the film with his powerful voice, while Anne Hathaway absolutely nails her big scene in which she sings the famous number “I Dreamed A Dream.”

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Robert Pinsky Performs at Pollak Theatre

The University was host to Robert Pinsky and his accompanying musicians, Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison, on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 pm. Dozens of people, local and otherwise, gathered to see Pinsky perform his renowned poetry to impromptu jazz. He was available for book signings after the show.

Pinsky, a three-time United States Poet Laureate, had dedicated his life to bringing a dynamic, invigorating focus to the spread of the love of poetry. He has published numerous books of poetry, including An Invitation to Poetry and The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996. The latter received the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. He also published a translation of The Inferno of Dante that received the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and the Howard Morton Landon prize for translation. Pinsky has written one prose book, The Life of David, which retells the biblical stories of David.

Pinsky is also the poetry editor for Slate, a teacher in the graduate writing program at Boston University, and has appeared on “The Simpsons.”

Having grown up in Long Branch, many wondered as to how many of Pinsky’s poems reflect his life in the local shore town. “All of my poems are about Long Branch,” he laughed.

The bassist for the evening, Ben Allison, is known for his ingenious sounds and unique melodic style. Through the groups The Ben Allison Band, Man Size Safe, Peace Pipe and Medicine Wheel, Allison has traveled the world and performed in many distinct venues. In recent years alone, he has been on stage at Carnegie Hall, Teatro Manzoni, The Capitol Theater, and Queen Elizabeth Hall.

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A Good Movie For Die Hard Fans

a_good_way_to_die_hard_5-wideWhen I was a little kid, my father sat me down and introduced me to the Die Hard franchise. He was the one who taught me what I refer to as my “golden rule of action movies” – if the bad guy dies in an extremely violent fashion at the end of the film, it is a good action movie.

This rule is what I use to judge the Die Hard films. In the original, the villain, Hans Gruber, falls to his death from a skyscraper. One could judge the rest of the films by this standard.

In the sequel, Die Hard 2, the two bad guys are killed on board a jet plane – one is sucked into the turbine, while another dies when Bruce Willis’ character, John McClane, lights the jet on fire.

The next two films, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard, fall short of these high standards with their endings. In Die Hard with a Vengeance, bad guy Simon is killed by a power line hitting his helicopter, while in Live Free or Die Hard, cyberterrorist Thomas Gabriel is simply shot by McClane (albeit, McClane does this through his own shoulder while being restrained by Gabriel).

After seeing Live Free or Die Hard in theaters with my father, I remember being disappointed by the lack of brutality that John McClane killed his nemesis with. Gabriel hardly “dies hard.” So when I went to see the fifth installment in the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, I was praying that excess action would make up for my dissatisfaction with the previous chapter. Without giving too much away, I was more than satisfied.

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Hawk Video Project Flies Around The World

Dozens of students, parents, faculty, friends and locals gathered in the Wilson Auditorium for a screening of 24 Frames, 24 Hours on Monday, February 15. This project was headed by Dr. Max Schleser, a visiting scholar from the Massey University in New Zealand, and involved students making brief documentaries on the Hurricane Sandy aftermath through the use of cell phone video cameras.

Schleser, whose academic focus is on mobile phone documentary making (or ‘mobile-mentaries’) guided 58 students to completion of the project through lectures as well as one-on-one sessions over the course of three weeks.

He also worked to develop the Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa (MINA) app, which can be used to document where a photo is taken, as well as allow others to ‘like’ or comment on the images.

The event began at 6:00 pm with an introduction from Anne Massoni, specialist professor of art and design. “The Jersey shore is my adopted home, as it is for many of you,” she began. “What appears in these videos is a sense of pride, of strength, and that unbreakable bond that makes Jersey so strong.”

She also noted that Schleser would be making his own video based off of those created by the students.

After this, Schleser took the stand, saying how proud he was of the students involved. “I think we’ve achieved something quite amazing, quite extraordinary,” he said.

The idea behind the project was to make a two minute video on a mobile phone, beginning and ending with a demonstration of what time the video was taken. Some people showed a watch or clock while others showed a whistling tea kettle or a beer at last call to illustrate it more creatively.

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My Bloody Valentine Makes a V-Day Return

my-bloody-valentineI don’t think a single album released this decade will have had more weight hanging over it than m b v, the long, long, LONG awaited new album by Irish indie rockers My Bloody Valentine. Now, you might be asking yourself, “My Bloody who?” or “I hated that movie,” but stick with me here, as it’s quite an interesting journey.

Before m b v, the world had not seen a new album from the group since 1991. Yes, as in 22 years ago, before some of you reading were even born or just barely in diapers. And let’s just say that this album, the magnum opus known as Loveless, is, to this day, regularly considered a masterpiece of such unique and groundbreaking quality that it single-handedly defined an en­tire genre known as “shoegaze.” Now, after 22 years of break-ups, reunions and near total si­lence save for a few dispersed hints and rumors, a follow up is abruptly released almost out of thin air. No pressure, right?

Living up to those expecta­tions is just about impossible, and the fact that Kevin Shields, the group’s guitarist and driv­ing creative force, even had the guts to finally put out an album after keeping fans in the dark for so long seems almost insane. In the past few months that the finished product was teased, fan reactions were everywhere. Could this be the greatest album of our generation, a catastroph­ic disaster or simply a sick prac­tical joke played on unsuspect­ing fans?

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Student Spotlight: Climax Race

Untitled-5Any students hanging out at Brighton Bar on Saturday night had the opportunity to see Cli­max Race rock out with their guitarist Mike Baranowski. The senior has been playing with his band for the last couple years and has been playing guitar for 12 years. We got the opportu­nity to chat with Baranowski about his passion for music.

“I owe it to my parents for my love of music. They introduced me to their music and I took it from there,” Baranowski said. “I first got into music when I was about 11 years old. The first band I fell in love with [was] the band AC/DC. My dad put on a their album Back In Black, and I instantly felt like rock and roll was calling me to join ‘cause I’ve been missing out.”

Baranowski cited 60s and 70s rock staples like The Doors, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles as his influences. Baranowski explained, “I felt like these art­ists were more than just making music. I felt that I could identify with their music and the culture they expressed. By age 14, I was completely in love with music. I was listening to a wide variety of artists from BB King to Nine Inch Nails.”

The Brick native was specifi­cally influenced by Led Zeppe­lin’s Jimmy Page’s guitar prow­ess. “The rock riffs Jimmy Page created just thoroughly ap­pealed to me during my begin­ning stages as a guitar player,” Baranowski said.

Baranowski has been dedicat­ed to his guitar skills. He took three years of lessons when he first started and continued to learn from professionals at the University. Baranowski said he has taken three semesters of guitar lessons with professor [Aaron] Leone. His talents also extend to the piano and drums, instruments he taught himself to play.

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Rising Stars Come to WMCX

stellaryoung2Stellar Young stopped by the WMCX studio this past Tuesday to talk about their tour and latest al­bum, Everything At Once.

John Glenn (Vocals/Keyboard), Erik Flora (Guitar/Vocals), Curt Mulick (Drums), Kyle Hatch (Guitar) and Dave Parker (Bass) pulled up to the Plangere Center for Communication in their white mini shuttle bus, ready to hit the airwaves hours before their show later that night at The Trash Bar in Brooklyn. The band was featured on the WMCX specialty show, “Al­ternative Riot”.

I caught the indie-pop group in the middle of their “Nor’East Tour” and when asked how the road has been, Flora replied, “Pretty good, you know so far we’ve had the two dates, one out in Oneonta, which is kinda like our home away from home, and our second one was down in Woodstock.” Originally from Upstate New York, Stellar Young explained they were keep­ing this tour within the New York area.

“Actually, the way this little tour came together, we were just try­ing to book shows around the area and they kind of all came together in the same week and we were just like, let’s call it a tour. I’m glad it came together the way it did so we can just hop on the bus and make a little trip,” said Parker.

“We all met each other in Al­bany,” explained Glenn. When Mu­lick, Flora and Glenn met in high school, they formed a band called The City Never Sleeps. Shortly after, they asked Hatch to join the band (who replied enthusiastically “hell yeah!”) and from there they were introduced to Parker, an ex-live keyboardist for Coheed and Cambria, at an open-mic.

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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