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Last updateWed, 13 Nov 2019 12pm

Entertainment

Visit The Cabin in the Woods for Your Horror Movie Needs

entertainment-cabin-in-the-woodsOn the surface, The Cabin in the Woods might look like every horror movie about teens being pursued by a psychopath or super­natural forces, but underneath, it’s one of the wittier, more creative, and most unique horror films to come out in a while. Writers Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Drew Goddard (Clo­verfield) do a fantastic job of fol­lowing the blueprints of similar pictures like Evil Dead a nd t wist­ing them around to develop their own design.

For instance, the film answers specific questions that viewers might have had with horror films, like why characters decide to have sex when there’s something sinister on the loose. Maybe you’ve won­dered why groups split up when they should stay together or why the virgin is the lone survivor? All are answered. However, this isn’t the sole way the filmmakers work with- and around- the genre to cre­ate a very smart horror film.

The Cabin the Woods features five friends: studious Dana (Kris­ten Connolly), stoner Marty (Fran Kranz), new guy Holden (Jesse Williams), stud Curt (Chris Hems­worth), and hot blonde Jules (Anna Hutchison). The group leaves for a weekend at, where else, a cabin in the woods. While traveling, their GPS stops working and they meet an eerie gas station attendant, Mordecai (a creepy Tim De Zarn).

When they arrive at the cabin, it’s fairly homey but Marty feels funny about it. This isn’t quelled by a wolf head on the wall and a two-way mirror between rooms yet these friends still find ways to have fun.

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Comic Books Get a Dose of Reality Television

default article imageWhen you turn on the televi- sion, you will find a whole host of reality TV to enjoy. Some have wide appeal (“American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent”), are edu- cational (“Pawn Stars”), or are just plain odd (“My Strange Ad- diction”).

However, while reality TV seems geared to this medium, it has found a way to be explored through the comic book pages. These books aren’t copying real- ity TV, but are using the platform as an interesting background for superhero tales.

One of the more recent comics to utilize the popularity of real- ity TV is “America’s Got Powers” from Image Comics, written by Jonathan Ross and illustrated by Bryan Hitch. The series focuses on Tommy Watts as he enters a super competition where vari- ous young heroes compete with one another using their powers to become rich and famous. They battle against each other on the hit show called “America’s Got Pow- ers.”

While talking to comicbookre- sources.com, Hitch mentioned how the idea for the series evolved to become more about the char- acters and the story rather than about the show itself. He said, “Jonathan’s original one line pitch was ‘X-Factor for Super Heroes’ and it was a great idea, but as we started putting a story to that idea, it became much less about the show. Once we put living breath- ing characters into the scenario of the show, it became their story, not the show’s story, and the show became an environment.”

It seems as if the idea of he- roes fighting on a reality TV show struck a chord as a second printing has been announced via a press release on comicbookre- sources.com.

However, competitions haven’t been the only way for the comic book medium to include real- ity TV in its pages. Sometimes, it could be just a real show about heroes trying to fight the good battle, which is what Marvel did when they redeveloped their ‘90s superhero team, New Warriors.

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Provost Film Series Struggles With Life Under the Bombs

entertainment-under-the-bombs-posterAs part of the Global Understanding Convention, the final film in this year’s Provost Film Series, Under the Bombs, was screened on April 5 in Pollak Theatre.

The evening included speakers Thomas Pearson, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Azzam Elayan, professor of chemistry, and Saliba Sarsar, professor of political science.

The movie was set during Israel’s brief but devastating attack against Lebanon during 2006. Here, hundreds of air raids, as well as other bombings, took place, killing thousands of civilians. This film focused on the fictional narrative of one woman, named Zeina Nasrueddi (Nada Abou Farhat), as she attempted to find her sister Maha and son Karim.

Pearson was very concerned with the social and political issues that created the situation in Lebanon. “I chose the film Under the Bombs because of the issues involving Christians and Muslims in the Middle East. I wanted a film reflecting those cultural interactions and collisions.”

It is difficult to find a movie that is simultaneously enjoyable and enlightening. Films like Under the Bombs, which are sometimes called docu-dramas for combining elements of fiction and documentaries, can have difficulty being judged as a quality movie because either the fiction doesn’t always blend well with the drama or such a film is written with too much focus on the documentary, leaving the fiction bland and tasteless. The viewer of a docudrama may often think the film is boring or “tolerable at best.”

Let me put this in the most direct manner possible: Under the Bombs was fantastic.

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These Short Stories Are a Real 'Knock' Out

entertainment-suddenly-a-knock-on-the-doorCritically renowned Israeli author Etgar Keret released another collection of short stories titled “Suddenly, a Knock at the Door” that fans will laud over for weeks. This is the fifth collection of short stories released in the United States by Keret, translated from Hebrew, and shows that even the most overused cliché can open a door to a world full of possibilities and strange people that make a story unique and life-like.

Keret has been publishing short stories since 1992, co-authoring some graphic novels released in Israel and working for the Israel film and television industry. Keret didn’t gain world recognition until 2004 when a collection of short stories (“The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God and Other Short Stories”) was released in the U.S. Now his stories can be found in The New Yorker, The New York Times and featured on NPR’s “This American Life.” His stories have also been portrayed in graphic novels and his novella “Kneller’s Happy Campers,” which was adapted into the independent movie, Wristcutters: A Love Story starring Patrick Fugit and Tom Waits (it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival). Keret has won prestigious writing awards including being named a Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters.

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The Material Girl Hasn't Lost Her Pop Sound

entertainment-madonnaSuper Bowl XLVI was the last time that I have seen Madonna perform live, bringing back a sense of nostalgia for all her fans.On her Facebook page, she updated her status on December 17, 2010 which stated, “Its official! I need to move. I need to sweat. I need to make new music! Music I can dance to. I’m on the lookout for the maddest, sickest, most bad a** people to collaborate with. I’m just saying...”

The Facebook update had fans looking forward to her newest album, MDNA, which was released on March 23.

When I was growing up in the 90’s, Madonna was a music icon. Her hit songs such as “Like a Virgin,” “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Vogue” were heard on the radio and TV all the time.

Leading up to today, she has had a successful music and acting career. With the release of MDNA, Madonna is once again the talk of the year.

“Give Me All Your Luvin,” featuring Nicki Minaj, became the first hit single for MDNA. Those who watched the Super Bowl had a chance to watch her perform it live during the halftime show with Minaj.

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Students Discuss the Ocean "Here, There, Then, Now"

entertainment-here-there-then-now-1“Here, There, Then, Now,” a performance presented by students as a part of the Global Understanding Convention and the ART NOW: Performance, Art and Technology series, took place on April 5 in the 600 building courtyard. The outdoor setting was an appropriate venue for a presentation since it was all about the ocean.

The University has a special connection with the ocean, and for some, this is its best aspect while others despise it. That is why Professor Deanna Shoemaker’s Performance and Social Activism class centered their performance on the sea.

The students were required to write their own short stories about the ocean as well as interview five other individuals about what their feelings were on the ocean.

In the actual performance, students came out chanting “Here, there, then, now” and recited a Lucille Clifton poem, “The Mississippi River Enters the Gulf.” The poem details how many only think of the present, ignoring all that came before and will come after.

Dahlia Elsayed, professor of Art and Design and one of the individuals behind ART NOW, said, “We all go to the ocean and leave a mark and the waves come and destroy it.”

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Students Discuss the Ocean “Here, There, Then, Now”

Students Discuss Ocean 1 “Here, There, Then, Now,” a performance presented by stu-dents as a part of the Global Understanding Convention and the ART NOW: Performance, Art and Technology series, took place on April 5 in the 600 building courtyard. The out-door setting was an appropriate venue for a presentation since it was all about the ocean.

The University has a spe-cial connection with the ocean, and for some, this is its best aspect while others despise it. That is why Pro-fessor Deanna Shoemaker’s Performance and Social Ac-tivism class centered their performance on the sea.

The students were re-quired to write their own short stories about the ocean as well as interview five other individuals about what their feelings were on the ocean.

In the actual performance, students came out chanting

“Here, there, then, now” and recited a Lucille Clifton poem, “The Mississippi River Enters the Gulf.” The poem details how many only think of the present, ignoring all that came before and will come after.

Dahlia Elsayed, professor of Art and Design and one of the individuals behind ART NOW, said, “We all go to the ocean and leave a mark and the waves come and destroy it.”

Afterwards, they all said their short stories about their thoughts on the ocean that in-cluded embarrassing or scary experiences. Some, like junior Henry Siebecker, had epiphanies when it came to discussing the presence of the sea. Siebecker said, “I come out of my apartment every day and I see the ocean and I realize how small I am in com-parison.”

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The Material Girl Hasn’t Lost Her Pop Sound

Material Girl Pop SoundSuper Bowl XLVI was the last time that I have seen Madonna perform live, bringing back a sense of nostalgia for all her fans.

On her Facebook page, she updated her status on December 17, 2010 which stated, “Its official! I need to move. I need to sweat. I need to make new music! Music I can dance to. I’m on the lookout for the maddest, sickest, most bad a** people to collaborate with. I’m just saying...”

The Facebook update had fans looking forward to her newest album, MDNA, which was released on March 23.

When I was growing up in the 90’s, Madonna was a music icon. Her hit songs such as “Like a Virgin,” “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Vogue” were heard on the radio and TV all the time.

Leading up to today, she has had a successful music and acting career. With the release of MDNA, Madonna is once again the talk of the year.

“Give Me All Your Luvin,” featuring Nicki Minaj, became the first hit single for MDNA. Those who watched the Super Bowl had a chance to watch her perform it live during the halftime show with Minaj.

Even though this song had a catchy melody, the lyrics were too repetitive and cheesy for me. The first two lines of the song, “LUV Madonna YOU Madonna,” made me feel like I was listening to a high school cheerleader team.

During the halftime show, I guess that the song was appropriate for the game, but I still wasn’t a fan after hearing it.

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These Short Stories Are a Real ‘Knock’ Out

Short Stories Knock outCritically renowned Israeli author Etgar Keret released another collection of short stories titled “Suddenly, a Knock at the Door” that fans will laud over for weeks. This is the fifth collection of short stories released in the United States by Keret, translated from Hebrew, and shows that even the most overused cliché can open a door to a world full of possibilities and strange people that make a story unique and lifelike.

Keret has been publishing short stories since 1992, coauthoring some graphic novels released in Israel and working for the Israel film and television industry. Keret didn’t gain world recognition until 2004 when a collection of short stories (“The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God and Other Short Stories”) was released in the U.S. Now his stories can be found in The New Yorker, The New York Times and featured on NPR’s “This American Life.” His stories have also been portrayed in graphic novels and his novella “Kneller’s Happy Campers,” which was adapted into the independent movie, Wristcutters: A Love Story starring Patrick Fugit and Tom Waits (it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival). Keret has won prestigious writing awards including being named a Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters.

Upon first view of the book, many fans may notice the difference in thickness and weight; it’s much bigger than his previous releases. This is a very good thing for the fans that want longer stories and more to read in one collection. With 35 stories offered that range from a single paragraph to over 20 pages long, any fan of short stories should be thrilled with this release.

They are silly but mature, find the ordinary in the weird, or suggest a unique view of this violent, cruel world. Keret switches hats constantly but his characters never leave the restraints of everyday life, only subtle differences explain their existence or give their purpose in life.

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The 31st Annual Black Maria Film + Video Festival Was Hip

entertainment-hip-priestFrom a Hip Priest to dancing buttons, the 31st annual Black Maria Film + Video Festival treated viewers to a fascinating collection of narrative, documentary, animated or experimental short films on March 26 in Pollak Theatre.

Donna Dolphin, associate professor of communication and juror for this year’s festival, welcomed a large crowd. Dolphin added that this festival has been held on campus for 21 years. She continued to say 13 of this year’s 70 films would be screened at the University. Dolphin also mentioned that “Black Maria is a competition and celebration of indie works, some of which are experimental in nature. The work you are about to see is different from what you are accustomed to on TV or when you go to Loew’s.”

Dolphin added the films “can be challenging at times,” and that “Black Maria engages us with the filmmaker to do a little work.” She then introduced John Columbus, founder and director of the Black Maria Film + Video Festival.

Columbus explained Black Maria, located in West Orange, was the first motion picture studio, where inventor Thomas Edison would make short, silent films.

Columbus also discussed the first six films and said Hip Priest was a “labor of love” for director George de Domenico, “who grew up Roman Catholic and wanted to do something on a street preacher.” Colubmus said that for We’re Part of the City: 4th Movement,dealing with Occupy Wall Street, “What happens to the sound is important… think of a sonic artist put in the middle of a protest movement.”

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Don’t Evade the Comedy of 21 Jump Street

Entertainment-21_jump_streetWhen you think back to high school, do you shudder at the thought of braces and being shoved into lockers? Or do you think of varsity jackets and ruling the hallways? No matter what your repressed memories of the golden years are, 21 Jump Streetwill still keep you laughing all the way to the “Korean Jesus” of this famous address.

For Schmidt (Jonah Hill), his nightmares of high school consist of bleach blonde hair and being rejected by his dream girl for the prom. Jenko (Channing Tatum), on the other hand, looks fondly back on those four years as the football star.

However, several years have passed since the awkward time of adolescence, and Jenko and Schmidt are now partners-againstcrime (or the lack thereof) as police officers. But, being that they are basically inept at doing anything but handing out tickets, they are assigned to patrol the local park on their bicycles.

After a stint involving a local gang of bikers and a lack of Miranda rights, Jenko and Schmidt are given a new assignment: go undercover as high school students to try and bust who is creating and selling a new drug that is taking over the campus and killing students. Their operation is known as 21 Jump Street, which is also the address the operation is based out of, known as the rundown Korean church in town.

Tatum is well-cast as the arrogant high school jock reminiscent of Kelso from “That 70’s Show.” And for every swooning teenage girl (and her mother), the movie frequently pokes fun of his good looks and his stereotypical dumb demeanor. Hill is also well-cast as his nerdyyet- still-kind-of-slow partner, making the pair the true underdogs of the precinct. Together, they form a brotherhood of great chemistry and a goofy sense of humor.

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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