Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm


"Call Me By Your Name" Calls for an Applause

Call Me By Your NameStarring: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg.

It’s Jan. 4 in Trenton, New Jersey.

Most of the day has been spent shoveling because of a massive snow storm that covered the sidewalks and streets.

In the evening, I went sledding with my old pal and we got a thrill ripping down a padded down staircase in a toboggan.

The next day, nearly all the streets were plowed, which presented an ample opportunity to attend a movie, which I was so badly craving to do.

It was a 40 minute drive to get to the theater, which was tough in 20 degree, limb-numbing weather.

The wind was gusting around my car, but luckily the heat hasn’t broken yet.

At the theater, I sit in Call Me by Your Name, which is set “somewhere in Italy” during the hot summer.

The blistering sun beams from the summer sky.

People walk around the cobblestone streets in loose short clothing.

Dips in the lake are encouraged throughout the day to keep cool. Bike rides are a nice way to get around town, with the cool breeze running through a cyclist’s hair.

Can I get on a plane to “somewhere in Italy” now?

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University Alumnus Brings Grammy Preview to Pollak Theatre

Lecture Series 1Bob Santelli, University alumnus and Grammy Museum Founding Executive Director, took to the stage of Pollak Theatre to give a backstage look of the logistics behind and the history of the Grammys.

Santelli, who was a member of the class of 1973, has quite the resume, considering he served as the vice president of education and public programs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, held the title of artistic director of the Experience Music Projectspoke as part of the University’s lecture series, and is even an author of several music-inspired novels.

 His visit was presented by the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music as well as the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The alumnus was introduced by University President Grey Dimenna, Esq.; Santelli quickly captivated the audience and commanded the stage.

He told the audience that he darted to the lecture from New York City where his expertise was necessary to the planning of the renowned Grammy Awards.

Santelli’s appearance was strategically timed so that he could convey his most recent experiences and backstage insight of the 60th anniversary of the Grammys, which aired this past Sunday evening on Jan. 28, and was presented by CBS.

An average of 36 million people worldwide tune in their televisions each year to experience the magic of the Grammys in the comfort of their own living rooms.

 Suprisingly, ratings took a stumble this year-- a big stumble.

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2018: The Year Ahead for Film

default article image2017 was an excellent year for film that’s set the bar high for 2018. Can this year’s upcoming features replicate the same magic as the last? These ten movies are the ones I highly anticipate.

The 15:17 to Paris

Even at 87 years-old, legendary director Clint Eastwood continues to bring spectacle to the screen as he takes a fresh approach to his latest film coming next month. Based on a recent event from August of 2015, two soldiers on a train heading to Paris foiled a sporadic terrorist attack that saved hundreds of lives. To play the two soldiers, Eastwood casted the real-life heroes. Hopefully this ambitious casting choice will keep it on track to be one of the most thrilling experiences of the year.

Best F(r)iends

2017 saw a wave of new fans rally behind the cult classic The Room following the release of director James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, which showed how the best-worst movie was made. After fifteen years, the two main actors of The Room, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, are reunited in Best F(r)iends expected in March. Although it looks much more artsy than the cult classic, it doesn’t look any more intelligent. But that’s what we want!

Creed II

Creed was one of 2015’s best with its authentic and gritty Philadelphia feel. Director Ryan Coogler exceeded expectations by giving a fresh face to the Rocky franchise. Three years later, the second installment is expected to arrive later in the year. Supposedly the sons of Ivan Drago and Adonis Creed will face off, which is symbolic of today’s political climate. Could this be a knockout like the first?

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

2010’s Swedish Millennium Trilogy is one of the greatest film series of the 21st century. The first installment, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, particularly grossed very well in the international box office. Eight years later and a fourth installment is supposedly in the works for a release this year. After the unfortunate passing of one of the Trilogy’s leading stars, Michael Nyqvist, and with Noomi Rapace not reprising her incredible role as Lisbeth Salander, will a new international continue their legacy?

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The Post: Definitely Newsworthy

The PostThe Post...many people hate it because it costs a lot of money each year, takes a while to get through and adds to clutter, but it’s right in your hands. The newspaper is a dying medium of mass communication whose end has been making front page headlines for years. In a time where young audiences wish to only receive news through their smartphones and a climate where the press is attacked by the Trump administration, it’s important to remember when paper journalism shined in the country’s darkest days.

Those dark days overshadowed the United States starting in 1965 when young men were sent into combat for the Vietnam War. Spanning to 1975, the war killed 58,220 young people, but why? Some answers came from the Pentagon Papers, which was a study of the country’s involvement in Vietnam conducted by the Department of Defense. The Papers were classified, but their information showed the government’s secrets on the United States’ true objective in Vietnam.

When the Washington Post obtained the Pentagon Papers in 1971, their executive editor, played by Tom Hanks, and owner of the newspaper, played by Meryl Streep, had to make the crucial decision of publishing the information when the press was targeted by the Nixon administration.

Considering today’s communicative and political environment, director Steven Spielberg has released a timely film that’s initially slow, but intense in its second half.

The first half of Spielberg’s film is spent setting up story lines that become crucial down the stretch. Most of the beginning is excitingly spent sitting in board meetings talking about the stock market and Tom Hanks pacing around his office saying in a croaky voice, “the damn New York Times!” If you work a nine to five office job, watching The Post will start to feel like overtime. However, once the Pentagon Papers come into play, the film picks up steam. It’s like a kid sifting through the dull first pages of the newspaper filled with bland articles like “President Calls North Korean Dictator ‘Rocket Man,’” then finally reaching the sports section.

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The Phantom Thread is Beautifully Woven

The Phantom 1I’m notorious for my poor fashion choices. As a Resident Assistant in Laurel Hall, many people rag on me when I mosey around the building in flip flops and ankle socks. After many run-ins with the fashion police, I decided to up my game and wear a pair of Philadelphia Eagles moccasins.

They’re dubbed as, “extra” by the folks I live with, but at least they’re comfortable. Oh, and my mother picked up my first pair of khaki jeans a few months ago, which matches well with my Leonard Cohen embroidered sweater.

Meanwhile, Daniel Day-Lewis’s character, Reynolds Woodcock, in Phantom Thread can be seen in a green checkered blazer with a light green scarf tucked into his dark brown dress shirt just for getting breakfast.

Set in the 1950s, Reynolds Woodcock is a world-renowned fashion designer who creates elegant dresses.

While on a trip to the country, Woodcock becomes interested in a waitress named Alma, played by Vicky Krieps, and takes her into his world of design.

As a meticulous designer Woodcock has an overbearing work method which frustrates Alma, played by Vicky Krieps. However, Alma petrifies the style genius with her own quirks. With their different mannerisms, their relationship isn’t exactly chic.

Surprisingly, Paul Thomas Anderson directs one of his most straightforward films that serves as a fitting end to the incredible career of Daniel Day-Lewis.

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Welcome To Corrupt Ebbing, Missouri

Corrup Ebbing MissouriStarring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Peter Dinklage

Every day I get in a workout running Westwood Avenue up and back. For the four-mile trek I wear shorts, no matter what the weather, and a fanny pack which blasts Carly Rae Jepsen from my phone.

I may get a lot of side eyes during my run, but something that gets even more attention are the huge billboards towering over the train tracks further down Westwood.

Usually the billboards support a typical advertisement like car insurance or new Guy Fieri pasta sauce, but what if there was a stronger message hovering over those tracks? How about something like, “RAPED WHILE DYING. AND STILL NO ARRESTS? HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?” That may gain more attention than me wearing a fanny pack.

Mildred Hayes, played by Frances McDormand, is a single mother who works at the local gift shop where tourists can find the perfect Missouri engraved ashtray. Seven months ago, Hayes’s daughter was raped and burned to death. Since then, the Ebbing Police Department have not arrested a single suspect or found any evidence leading towards one. In protest, Hayes rents out space on three billboards to grab the attention of the police and townspeople.

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Lady Bird Spreads Its Wings

Lady Bird Spreads WingsJune 23, 2015 was the final obligation of seniors at Steinert High School. It was a scorching hot day as I picked up my friend of ten years, Tom, in my father’s 2000 Buick LeSabre.

Dressed in our Shrek green gowns, we were sweating in bumper to bumper traffic on Hamilton Avenue because the air conditioning and back windows were broken. Today the air conditioning works, but the heat went just in time for winter.

When we entered the cool Sun Center in Trenton, we were directed to our chairs. For the last time, the class of 2015 would be together under the same roof. It was nerve wracking sitting in those chairs because after each speech the end was drawing near.

All the school dances, hanging out with friends, asking the teacher to use the restroom and pasta Thursdays in the cafeteria would all be over. Once our caps were thrown into the air, it was the beginning of a new chapter.

This day serves as a precious moment not only for being with my high school class for one last time, but for the memories that led up to it.

Senior year in particular was a pivotal moment for all students to determine what path to choose after graduation.

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Thor Ragna - "Rocks"

default article image“I don’t hang with the Avengers anymore,” explains our titular hero Thor (Chris Hemsworth). “It all got too corporate.” This quickly mentioned, throwaway line is so much more poignant when it’s applied to the Marvel cinematic universe. It was by removing Thor from the rest of the gang and giving him a new identity that Thor: Ragnarok easily becomes one of the most engaging, downright hilarious, and best Marvel films ever.

Directed by Marvel newbie Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) and written by Eric Pearson (ABC’s Marvel television series Agent Carter), Craig Kyle (the animated programs Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Wolverine and the X-Men), and Christopher Yost (Thor: The Dark World), the plot is pretty classic superhero fare, but with some twists. After the death of his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Thor must face his most powerful threat yet, Hela or “The Goddess of Death” (Cate Blanchett). When he and his nefarious brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are thrown out of Asgard into the ragged, dumping zone planet of Sakaar, Thor is forcibly entered into a gladiator type battle with old friend the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Desperate to save his home from not only Hela but also an ancient prophecy about its demise, Thor attempts to enlists the help of other misfits of Sakaar in order to escape the eccentric clutches of The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and save Asgard.

For most of the Marvel cinematic universe, it would be appropriate to label the character Thor as nothing more than “handsome guy with hammer.” The original Thor was fun, but not entirely memorable. It had some comedy, but was all too melodramatic for a Marvel film. Similarly, Thor never developed much of a personality outside handsome and haughty, besides just loving his homeland of Asgard and Natalie Portman. The sequel, Thor: The Dark World, was even more abysmal: boring, forgettable, and it added nothing new to the character. Even outside of his own films, Thor was nothing more than a side character. There was a reason Tony Stark always referred to him as Point Break: he seemed to be all style, no substance. But just like the ridiculous 90s surf movie starring Keanu Reeves, Thor really is more than meets the eye, once you have the chance to really appreciate him.

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The Square Pushes Boundaries

default article imageA lady stands at the center of a busy plaza filled with people rushing to work or to get lunch. She asks the people walking by, “Would you like to save a human life?” One man replies with, “I’m busy,” while another says, “Not now.” 

A man goes into a 7-11 for a sim card. A homeless woman in the corner of the store asks, “Could you spare some change?” The man says he only has credit card, but is willing to buy her something instead. The lady requests, “a chicken ciabatta sandwich with no onions.”

How much do we care about others and how far can it go? Palme d’Or winner The Square puts us in uncomfortable situations to explore these questions.

Christian, played by Claes Bang, is a curator at a Swedish museum of modern art. On his way to work, he attempts to help a lady in a “life threatening” situation.

In return, his wallet and phone are stolen. Christian tracks down his phone to an apartment complex and gets an idea with one of his employees. To get his wallet and phone back, Christian will stuff a note into each mailbox calling the person a thief and demanding his phone back. Meanwhile, a new exhibit is coming to the museum called The Square.

The description of the exhibit reads: “The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring. Within it we all share equal rights and obligations.” To promote the exhibit, a PR team uses an aggressive campaign to grab attention.

Swedish director, screenwriter, producer and editor Ruben Östlund throws us into satirical scenarios that questions our moral compass and the role of contemporary arts in society.

The scenarios Östlund presents pushes our boundaries and tests the extent of our values. For instance, there’s an artist holding a press conference at the museum.

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Riggi & Piros: Sitting Down With One Half of House Music's Next Big Thing

Riggi and Piros 1Their names are Anthony Riggi and James Piros— but you can call them by what their fans scream: Riggi and Piros.

With well over 66 thousand followers on their “verified” Instagram, wrecked repeat buttons on SoundCloud, and a record deal with Armada Music—record label that is home to names like Hardwell and Armin van Buuren—DJ duo Riggi and Piros seem to be dropping beats and taking names wherever they go.

Riggi, one half of the musical pair, took the time to explain the journey that turned their last names into headlines.

Born and raised Jersey boys, the two grew up just shy of an hour north from Monmouth County in Clifton, where years trace back to their first encounter in first grade.

It all started where most premature friendships begin: At recess over a friendly game of basketball, when they were just “Anthony” and “James.”

What set this friendship apart from other elementary interactions was not only their instant connection, but also their passion for all things music at such a young age.

“Since I can remember, our whole lives revolved around music. We were, and still are, completely obsessed,” Riggi said. “We started to play instruments and joined the school band in elementary school.”

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer Doesn't Disappoint

Imagine living the perfect childhood. You have it all: a big house, wealthy parents, any item desired, and above all, great health. However, one morning it all comes crashing down. You wake up for school and cannot get out of bed. It’s not because of a big exam you didn’t prepare for or meatloaf day at the cafeteria.

You toss and turn, frantically look around the room, and your heart is racing. You cannot move because your legs are numb. Your father keeps yelling at you to get a move on, but with all of your strength, your legs are paralyzed.

Why after so many years of perfect health that suddenly your torso completely shuts down? Is it because of some bug bite, or a serious health issue? Maybe it’s hereditary and your parents never mentioned it.

 The doctors deny each one of these questions and cannot figure out how this happened. With your condition out of the doctors’ hands, maybe it’s the act of some higher power.

But what if that higher power is physically in your presence? This is the situation Dr. Steve Murphy finds his family in.

A few years ago, Dr. Murphy, played by Colin Farrell, was intoxicated and performed open heart surgery on a car accident victim. The victim died because of Murphy’s careless practices, leaving a son and wife behind.

Out of pity, Dr. Murphy attempts to be a father figure to Martin, played by Barry Keoghan, the son of the deceased. As he uncovers the truth behind his father’s death, Martin seeks revenge.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151