Thu09192019

Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 12pm

Entertainment

Imagine Dragons Lacks Imagination

Imagine Dragons’ highly an­ticipated debut album, “Night Vi­sions,” came out last Tuesday. The band released their most recent EP last winter, which included the hit track “It’s Time.” It seems like the band rushed the studio process when “It’s Time” started gaining momentum last spring. They have about half of a really great album.

The Las Vegas-based rockers have a lot of different influences on the LP. The electronic ele­ment is really obvious on many of the tracks, but that doesn’t mean “Night Visions” is a dubstep production by any means. This band takes inspiration from many types of music, from hip-hop to folk. It’s clearly indie rock, but this band isn’t afraid to mix their genres.

The album opens with “Radio­active,” in which frontman Dan Reynolds sings “Welcome to the new age,” which is a fitting in­troduction to the disc with a very epic feel (it sounds like it should be in a Michael Bay film trailer). Their sound is different, and so are their ideas.

Rock music has a tendency to be dark. Anger, frustration and heartbreak have inspired some of the best rock recordings. Imag­ine Dragons wanted to derive an album from their depression, but they didn’t want to wallow in their darkness. They aimed to have an uplifting album about overcom­ing the hard times and they some­what succeeded.


“Tiptoe” is also a good song, though the intro sounds eerily similar to the opening bass line of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” However, it was sort of unneces­sary. The lyrics make it sound like a build up to a battle, which is the same thing the first track does.

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The Art of Being an Artist

entertainment-satchmoA modern “renaissance man” by the name of Steven Brower came to our humble campus on Thursday, September 13.
Dozens of people- including members of Marywood University, where Brower teaches Graphic De­sign- gathered in the Wilson Audi­torium to hear his lecture, “Influ­ence, Parody and Process.”
Luis Flores-Portero, lecturer of foreign language studies, came because Brower’s art resonated with him. “I was attracted to this talk by the quality of the flyer in the email,” says Flores-Portero. “I like Louis Armstrong and wanted to know more about the man who designed it.”
In addition to serving as head of the graduate graphic design program, Brower has worked with Print magazine and was the art di­rector for the New York Times and The Nation. He also has work stored among the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum.
Brower began the lecture by dis­cussing his inspirational origins, such as the comedy and style of Groucho Marx. He said the man’s humor was “so sardonic and irrev­erent” that he couldn’t help but love the comedy style. A notable portion of Brower’s work, especially his earlier work, features references to Marx.

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No Retribution for Resident Evil

entertainment-resident-evil-retribution-posterThousands flocked to the box office last Friday to catch Resident Evil: Retribution, the latest install­ment in the franchise.
This series took off with a bang when the first game was released in 1996. In 2002, this zombie-infested franchise took to the big screen. While it was met with some box office success and succeeded as a stand-alone movie, long-standing fans become irritated at the fact that it lacked resemblance to the ca­nonical games that inspired it. This irritation grew as further movie releases became more and more distant from its classic roots; oth­ers became bored with the movies’ lack of plots, shallow emotions and focus on little more than action.
Sorry, folks, but Resident Evil: Retribution didn’t live up to its namesake. Directed and written by Paul Anderson, this was a barely decent movie (and an affront to the video games).
The movie opens with a lengthy and tragically boring synopsis of the previous films, narrated by the main protagonist, Alice (Milla Jovovich). While helpful for those who did not see them, Jovovich’s cold, emotion­less character did little to hook the viewer. Even lines like “[Umbrella] turned my friends against me” were said without a hint of feeling.
Soon after the movie begins, it becomes clear that a few significant things have happened: Alice has been captured by Umbrella and is being interrogated by Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory); the “biohazards” (mutant zombies) are becoming more powerful; and Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) is now a good guy.

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What to Watch: Fall TV Preview

Entertainment_TVFall might mean that it’s time to hit the books again, but it also means that new television shows are starting almost every night. This season, there is a little something for everyone.

“Revolution” (NBC September 17 at 10 pm) is one of the most anticipated shows of the fall. From “Lost” creator, J.J. Abrams, and “Supernatural” creator, Eric Kripke, comes a futuristic dystopian drama where electricity stops working. New governments form and society has to learn how to function without technology, which seems to result in a lot of people learning archery and swordplay.

The show takes “Supernatural’s” road trip tone as our heroine Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) who has to track down her uncle (Billy Burke) in Chicago after a group called The Militia to take her brother and kill her father. We watch Charlie travel, encounter enemies that her father has made, and learn what’s lurking in the world outside of her quiet farm town. Electricity might not be as lost as everyone believes.

The show is almost guaranteed to be good. Abrams/Kripke might be the best sci-fi combo. Abrams can do big drawn out stories on an epic scale, as seen on “Alias” and “Lost,” and Kripke, who also flawlessly mapped out “Supernatural’s” first five seasons (also known as before “Supernatural” went downhill), is a mastermind of character development. At its core, the show will be about family and character development will end up being one of the most important things.

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The Summer of Superheroes

entertainment_batmanWhen I think of summer, I think of the awesome superhero movies that are released during the season, and this was a good summer for superhero movies. We got the crossover blockbuster The Avengers, the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man, and the final entry in the Chris Nolan Batman movies, The Dark Knight Rises.

We’ll look at the big blockbuster, The Avengers, first. This film delivered what it promised; a whole bunch of superheroes banding together and doing what they do best. We have the ultra patriotic Captain America, the Norse god Thor, the Incredible Hulk, master archer Hawkeye, the dangerous Black Widow and last but not least the playboy philanthropist billionaire, Iron Man. These six heroes team up to battle the god of mischief, Loki, and take on his plans to take over the planet.

Did any of those names catch your interest? If so then The Avengers is most definitely worth watching. Every character does their part. Not a single hero felt unneeded.

The interaction between the characters was also well done. When they aren’t fighting evil they like to bicker amongst each other. I’m not going to lie, Iron Man stole the show at these parts. We couldn’t have asked for a better Iron Man when Robert Downey Jr. put on the suit.

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Good Things Happen in E3s

entertainment_e3Come every June, video game fanatics know the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), is sure to rock the foundation of the gaming community.

Whether you watched, didn’t watch or didn’t know it was happening, it is easy to get lost in the extensive coverage from the four days of this event. Most companies had their share of hits and misses, but a few announcements blew the audience away.

Nintendo had a few interesting comments, mostly revolving around their upcoming platform, the Wii U. This multi-platform gaming console comes with a tablet, allowing the players to control both the game and the television set - though players can buy a controller for the more traditional experience. Pikmin 3 and Super Mario U have already been announced for this system.

“The next generation is a place where the best idea, not the biggest budget, will win,” says Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo. He obviously had no qualms about unleashing the next generation of gaming. While no release date was given during the convention, most think it will be available this November.

Microsoft was on-point throughout, delivering a series of major game footage, including demos for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Black Ops II, Tomb Raider and Halo 4.

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Train Rolls Through the MAC Facility

entertainment_trainThe widely loved pop band known as Train performed at the MAC on August 30 as part of their California 37 tour. Fans from all over New Jersey swarmed campus to get a glimpse of the famed musicians, whose performance was set to follow Mat Kearney and his band. The two artists have toured together previously.

Mathew Kearney, who was born in Oregon but now lives in Tennessee, has had songs featured on numerous “Top Selling” charts.

Train, which is stationed in San Francisco, consists of Pat Monahan (vocals), Jimmy Stafford (guitar) and Scott Underwood (drums). The band released their first album in 1998 and has since released seven albums, with their latest, California 37, coming out after a three year hiatus.

Some were there just for the experience of a live musical performance, while others were life-long Train fans. “We’ve seen them over twenty times - and I saw them twice on my birthday one year,” said Leslie Brown-Correll, a local Train fan. She then added, “They haven’t done a bad show yet.”

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The Rebirth of the American Spirit

Rebirth American SpiritThe critically acclaimed documentary, Rebirth, was shown in the Wilson Hall Auditorium last Wednesday, September 22.

The documentary chronicles five lives that were directly affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The viewing coincided with Constitution Day, a day which is intended for Americans to honor their freedom and celebrate the signing of the Constitution.

Rebirth forces its viewers to reflect back to those dark days in 2001, and remember the source of strength that pushed our country forward throughout those trying times – each other.

Dr. Thomas Pearson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said that the documentary summed up the spirit of the country post 9/11. “[Rebirth] shows the entire American experience during this time. The link between Constitution Day and the film is that they both illuminate we are the people and we are Americans.”

The documentary lapses from 20022009. The five lives that are chronicled in those years give a glimpse to how suddenly life changed on that horrible day, and how challenging it was to persevere.

Rebirth was directed by filmmaker Jim Whitaker, who also acted as a producer.

“The documentary was very emotional. It shows the human journey and discovery process of these individuals who represent the American people, which makes it an extraordinary film,” Pearson said. On 9/11, Pearson watched the media coverage in the auditorium.

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Daughtry’s “Spell” Comes to the MAC

Spell Comes to MAC 1Over 3,200 people packed the MAC to see the former “American Idol” star turned rocker, Chris Daughtry, made his way to campus last Friday as part of his self-titled band’s 2012 Break the Spell tour. There were 3,283 tickets sold for the event.

Mary Ann Nagy, Vice President of Students and Community Services, said “This was a great concert for us to get and a great evening for the University and our concert promoter partner. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we look forward to having bands like this in the future. It’s great to be able to bring in well-known artists.”

Daughtry played 19 songs that evening, which mostly consisted of his biggest hits and several of his new songs.

The band kicked off the show with one of their newest singles off Break the Spell titled “Renegade.” Sophomore student Nicolle Rodriguez felt this was a great way to start the show.

“One of my favorite parts was when he performed ‘Renegade’ and the curtain dropped revealing his band. The song got the whole crowd excited and pumped up for his show,” said Rodriguez.

The top part of Daughtry’s set was loaded with songs off Break the Spell as they played “Break the Spell,” “Crawling Back to You,” “Losing my Mind,” “Crazy,” and a song intended to get the crowd dancing, called “Outta my Head.”

In the middle of all those songs they played “Feels Like Tonight,” which was one of the biggest hits on their self-titled debut album Daughtry.

Following the new songs, the rest of the band left the stage for a little bit, leaving Daughtry alone to play some songs acoustically. He played “What About Now,” and “Home,” which he noted was the song that helped him get signed for his first record deal. The crowd was also treated to a new song called “4 am,” which he recorded a few weeks ago as part of Esquire magazine’s songwriting challenge.

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Adam Pascal & Anthony Rapp Rent Out Pollak

entertainment-adam-pascal-and-anthony-rapAdam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, better known as Roger and Mark from the Broadway musical and film Rent, performed at Pollak Theatre this past Saturday.

Pascal is currently starring in the Broadway musical Memphis while Rapp is on tour with his one-man autobiographical show Without You, based on his memoir about being on Broadway as well as his family life.

Pascal entered with a medley of Jeff Buckley’s “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” and “Johanna” from Sweeny Todd. The next song, “Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel, was more upbeat. The audience cheered when Rapp came on stage to join Pascal as a duet.

It was slightly disappointing when Rapp left the stage afterward. It was almost a tease to hear the two singers perform together and then separate. After all, their collaborative selections are what most of the audience came for, but my attention was captured once again when Pascal began his set.

Pascal introduced a song called “Turn the Lights On” from his new record, Blinding Light, which he recorded with his pianist and musical director Larry Edoff. Pascal then graciously handed the stage over to him for a song Edoff wrote titled “Love Will Always Come Back.” Toward the end of the song, Pascal presented strong vocals for a more intense musical impact.

He continued sharing stories from his experiences on Broadway, including rude audiences and his time performing in what he defined as the show that had the most impact on him as a singer, actor and person, Cabaret. His acting background was evident, even for those who had never heard of him. His natural presence on stage is compelling and humorous. “The stories both performers told were very entertaining, too. It was nice how personal they were,” said freshman Shannon Yingst.

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Audiences Take a Chance with The Lucky One

 

entertainment-the-lucky-oneA lonely, reserved Marine, a single, bullied mother and a little boy who never realizes his true potential tug at your heartstrings in the latest chick flick and Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation, The Lucky One. The film is a promising romance film that includes performances from Zac Efron, Blythe Danner and relavtive newcomer, Taylor Schilling. To Sparks fans, this is yet another cinematic version for one of his novels that you don’t want to miss.

Directed by Scott Hicks, The Lucky One is about Logan Thibault (Zack Efron), a soldier dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder following a tour of duty overseas. The day after a night-raid, he finds a photo of a woman moments before an explosion goes off inches away from where he was standing. He and his war buddies believe the woman in the photo (played by Schilling) is his guardian angel. After unsuccessfully trying to settle back into society months later, Logan embarks on a cross-country trip to find his lucky charm.

Upon arriving in a small Louisiana town, Logan discovers the woman in the photo is Beth Green, who runs a dog kennel with her grandmother, Ellie (Danner). Logan has trouble explaining why he came to see her, and instead takes a job working at Green’s kennel to be close to Beth. As Logan spends more time around Beth, he learns she’s a young, divorced mother with a son Ben and has a strained relationship with her ex-husband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson), head police officer in the same town. Meanwhile, Ben’s caught between his bickering, divorced parents and tends to get hurt the most; he’s often bullied at school and is looked down upon by his father for wanting to play violin, chess and magic tricks instead of being a Little League jock.

Staying true to Sparks’ tradition, the two people are nothing but co-workers in the very beginning, and slowly (but somehow rapidly) develop a mutual respect and eventually strong, passionate love for each other.

Yet, with the nosy Keith and Logan’s secret of what really led him to town, the future seems less than promising. The Lucky One steers audiences into a steamy affair that takes you on a roulette table of love and destiny.

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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