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Entertainment

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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Award-Winning Poet Astounds on Campus

janice01The University was host to the renowned poet Janice Harrington on Tuesday, February 5, as part of the Visiting Writer series. The event took place in the Wilson Auditorium at 7:30 pm, where she recited her work and discussed the inspiration behind it to a nearly full house.

Harrington has written two books of poetry, the first of which is titled Even the Hollow My Body Made is Gone, which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions as well as the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her second book is In the Hands of Strangers.

She has also published sev­eral children’s books, titled Go­ing North, The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County, Roberto Walks Home, and Busy-Busy Lit­tle Chick.

According to her website, she is also the winner of a 2007 Na­tional Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry and a 2009 Rona Jaffe Founda­tion Writers’ Award for emerging female writers. In addition, she now teaches in the creative writ­ing program at the University of Illinois.

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Coheed and Cambria Ascends to New Heights

coheed-and-cambria2Although Coheed and Cambria’s freshly released sequel album in The Afterman series might be labeled Descension, this musical composition is proving to be far from a decline.

Coheed and Cambria, composed of lead vocalist and guitarist Claudio Sanchez, lead guitarist Travis Stever, drummer Josh Eppard, and bassist Zach Cooper, is recognizable to many and is usually found as a curious oddity amongst the wide span of musical libraries.

Despite their beginnings in 1995 as metal-headed rock group with pop-punk habituals, the band seems to have finally found a stable identity as a progressive rock group in their Afterman project and is flying high as a result.

Things were not always as positive as they are currently for Coheed. They were initially thought to have reached the glass ceiling with their hit 2005 record Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness and with the assistance of chart-topping singles such as “Welcome Home,” “Ten Speed (Of Gods Blood and Burial),” and “The Suffering.” Through critical opinion the band fell down with their following two albums, appearing to have run out of creative compositions with the 2010 release Year of the Black Rainbow. But with The Afterman, Coheed appears to be setting aside any past inhibitions and melodic faux pas.

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Warm Bodies Heats Up Theaters

warm2While movies and television have lately been plagued with the apocalyptic and zombie genres, few have really delved into the mind and emotions of the flesh-eating monsters. Rarely are the movies or shows ever written from their point of view, and they hardly ever have a zombie romance.

However, Warm Bodies, written and directed by Jonathan Levine, seems to have created a genre of its own-meshing together romantic comedy and zombie-horror in a clever way.

The zombies are not portrayed as the villains per se, but rather  are victims of a plague in limbo between their former human lives and their ultimate demise. The film is narrated by R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie, whose only memory of his human life is that his name began with an R.

During a routine feeding on some of the few humans who have survived the mysterious zombie-causing epidemic, R meets Julie and becomes immediately drawn to her after eating her boyfriend’s brains (romantic, huh?). R then adopts some of the late boyfriend’s memories with Julie and is inclined to protect her.

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Peter’s Picks: Video Games Coming in 2013

Bioshock-Infinite-previewGamers, we’ve finally made it to 2013, and now that we’ve gotten that whole ‘Mayan apocalypse’ thing out of the way, it’s time for us to shift our focus towards an exciting, interesting, and impressive looking year for video games.

There’s no doubt about it: this year will bring about some exciting advancements to the world of video games, as it seems that the next generation of consoles is right around the corner.

Both Sony and Microsoft plan to unveil their newest consoles at some point this year, and this also happens to be the first full year for Nintendo to prove the might of its latest console, the Wii U.

But while we can speculate and debate about the future these three new devices all we want, there’s a much more vital question to address first: how many games can we look forward to playing this year? The short answer: quite a bit, actually.

The video game industry is known for many of its high profile titles being sequels and reboots and, for better or worse, 2013 looks no different. With games like God of War: Ascension for PlayStation 3, Gears of War: Judgment for Xbox 360, and countless other titles like Dead Space 3, Dark Souls 2, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Tomb Raider, and TWO Metal Gear games on the way, it seems like nearly every major video game series of the past few years is making a return to the limelight.

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Lumumba Enlightening Yet Tragic

LumumbabaThe Provost Film Series screened their second movie, Lumumba, on Monday, January 28, in Pollak Theatre.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Thomas S. Pearson hosted the event. The 2012-2013 Provost Film Series focuses on the theme of African Journeys: Haunting Legacies, Fragile Futures.

Lumumba tells the story of Patrice Lumumba, an ambitious leader whose powerful words were a threat to those who opposed his vision of an independent Congo from Belgium in 1960. It’s a tragic yet inspiring historical film surrounding one visionary man and country that received its independence 50 years too soon.

“I think tonight’s film could not be more timely,” Pearson said as he introduced the movie. He discussed the plot of the film along with topics of racism and colonial independence in today’s world.

Lumumba was packed with oppressive violence and an inspiring story told in a non-linear structure. Economic, social and cultural issues within the territories of the Congo were brought to light and the film touched on the themes of love and devastation.

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The Music of 1940’s comes to Pollak

1940Pollak Theater had a full house on Sunday when audiences came for a 1940s music revue, In the Mood. The revue has come to the University every year for the last three or four years, making it an annual event. The sold out show even had to add extra chairs as general admission seats to meet the demand for tickets.

The show took the audience back to the year 1940 and asked audience members to turn off all their electronics because, “They were not invented when this show takes place, and they are annoying. We’d also like you to take this time to unwrap anything in cellophane, which was invented during this time period, but is also annoying.”

The show had The String of Pearls Orchestra, a 13 piece band, playing with six singers and dancers. Each orchestra member got their own solo throughout the night and even contributed their voices to a couple songs. Each of the six singers and dancers got to show off their talents with both song and dance solos.

Unfortunately, the singers were sometimes hard to hear over the big band orchestra. However, their high notes were loud and clear all the way in the back of Pollak Theater.

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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