Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 12pm


Does Farewell Really Mean Goodbye? The Curious Case of the Farewell Tour

Curious Case Farewell TourSaying goodbye to the things we love is one of the hardest things we do.

We so desperately want to hang onto the things or people that made us happy throughout our lives. We never want to leave those precious moments in the past.

Musicians make songs that can create moments and memories that transpire through generations, making it even more painful to relinquish those who we’ve listened to over the years.

The farewell tour presents the audience an opportunity to see their favorite artists perform their final swan song before hanging it up for good— the problem is; it’s hardly ever the final performance that was advertised.

A frequent trend in the music industry, specifically for older acts that have charmed the world with a bevy of hit tunes, is the idea of having a farewell tour: to give the world one last run of performances before retirement from live shows.

It certainly has an appeal, being a member of an audience that gets to watch a legend do their thing one last time sounds pretty enticing.

However, by taking a step back to look at the history of farewell tours, it tends to be nothing more than a clever advertisement.

In this year alone, musical titans such as Paul Simon, Joan Baez, Ozzy Osbourne, and Elton John have announced, finished, or just started their so-called farewell tours.

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Get Happy Together with Harry Styles

default article imageThe brand-new CBS sitcom, Happy Together produced by Ben Winston and Harry Styles premiered Oct. 1.

The show is inspired by a part pop singer Harry Styles’ life.

Like any other One Direction fan, I was ecstatic to find out that Styles was getting involved in television.

After taking a break, the five guys of One Direction decided to try solo work and different career paths.

Styles was between ending a sold-out international tour with his best friends and beginning an acting career in which he portrayed a British soldier in the 2017 Christopher Nolan war thriller, Dunkirk.

During this time, Styles ended up living in the attic of where The Late Late Show with James Corden is taped, which was co-executive producer, Ben Winston and his wife, Meredith’s house.

Winston also produced the 2013 documentary One Direction: This Is Us, where he met the boy-bander.

The new sitcom stars Damon Wayans Jr., Amber Stevens West, and a new face to the screen, Australian actor, Felix Mallard.

Wayans plays the Ben Winston inspired character, Jake Davis, a goofy accountant in the entertainment industry.

Stevens portrays the character inspired by Winston’s wife, Claire Davis, who is a restaurant and bar designer who shares the same humor and interests as her husband.

Last but not least, Felix Mallard, plays the up and coming international pop star, Cooper James, inspired by Harry Styles.

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CRJ’s “Party for One”

CRJ Party for OneEven though pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen is hosting a “Party for One,” you’re still invited.

Last Thursday, Nov. 1, the Queen of Pop released her latest single “Party for One.”

It’s the first single since last year’s “Cut to the Feeling,” and the first hint at a new album since 2015’s Emotion.

The artist’s last album was a triumphant achievement, which emulated the 80’s pop sound with a sense of authenticity.

Also, CRJ’s single from last year was an energetic and joyful rush that literally “Cut to the Feeling,” because it wasted no time in getting to the point.

In the case of “Party for One,” Jepsen still has that touch of authenticity, but she doesn’t emulate that 80’s sound we loved from her latest work.

Instead, the Queen’s single gravitates toward a mainstream tone.

Like other songs “When I Needed You” and “Boy Problems,” this is another anthem of self-empowerment.

Jepsen doesn’t need no man to be pleased, so she sings in the chorus, “Party for one/If you don’t care about me/I’ll just dance for myself/Back on my beat/I’ll be the one/If you don’t care about me/Making love to myself/Back on my beat.”

The chorus is catchy, but the buildup to it is okay.

At one point, the song gears up for a big bass drop, but it falls a little flat.

The overall sound of “Party for One” feels like something that could be heard on the radio, compared to the uniqueness of her past work.

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The Wild West Comes to Life in Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2I like to think just about every kid at one point had a fantasy about living out life in the wild west.

Gun slinging your way through a desolate town, taking out any desperado that gives you an imposing glare as tumbleweeds roll through the scene. Red Dead Redemption 2 breathes life into that fantasy, but this isn’t the west like you imagined.

Red Dead 2 is the newest release and highly anticipated sequel from Rockstar Games, the same developer that created the wildly successful Grand Theft Auto franchise.

The game creates a vast landscape of the west in the late 1800’s where the main character, Arthur Morgan, roams with his crew of outlaws.

As Morgan and his gang drift through snowy mountains and into wider territories, it’s up to the player on how Arthur acts in this lawless land.

The game is an open world story mode that features everything you could think of whether it’s robbing a train, to fending off wild bears, or getting into shootouts with the rival O’Driscoll gang.

Every little detail is fleshed out and fundamental to the immense success of this game. Playing for the first hour gave me the itch to go horseback riding, dressed head to toe in denim, and equipped with a cool cowboy hat.

I, self-admittedly, haven’t played the first iteration of this game and dove fresh into the sequel.

Not to worry, the events of the game actually take place prior to the first version and setup to introduce the game mechanics for new players.

It’s a rare example of a video game that is so rewarding on a granular level that it makes every minor action exciting and new.

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Bombs Away! Why Do Movies Bomb at the Box Office?

Movie Bombs Box OfficeIn a given lifetime, a viewer has definitely seen a trailer for a film that just didn’t click with their interests.

It flew past their eyes and out of their heads.

There are other trailers that could have sparked a distinct reaction: ‘we have to see it!’ or ‘God, who made this?’

Movies have been fighting for public viewership since their inception. Some succeed dazzlingly, many movies coast along, and others nose-dive into an always-growing cinema graveyard.

But how does a movie ‘bomb?” What must happen for a film to fail so badly, that it has virtually no attendance and falls quickly from our collective memory?

This was the case for the neo-noir flick London Fields directed by Matthew Cullen, which was released on Oct. 26.

This film follows a “clairvoyant femme fatale” named Nicola Six, who predicts her own murder. Nicola begins love affairs with three oh-so-handsome men, despite knowing one of them will murder her.

Recently, this film snatched the title of one of the lowest box office grosses, with a production budget of about $8 million and a bombastic box office revenue of $249,686 over two weekends.

Knowing this, what happened to London Fields, and why did this seemingly inconspicuous movie burn so harshly?

Robert Scott, a specialist professor of communication with previous experience behind the camera in film, lent some ideas.

“Movies can fail financially as a result of numerous factors today,” Scott said, “a weak marketing campaign can impact ticket sales. Timing can be a factor. The type of release can also have an impact.”

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Bohemian Rhapsody Will ‘Rock You’

Bohemian Rhapsody“We’re four misfits who don’t belong together but sing to the other misfits.”

This is how lead singer Freddie Mercury defines Queen in Bohemian Rhapsody.

It’s a humble definition given the global success of the band, and the prominent influence they have had in so many people’s lives.

Bohemian Rhapsody shows another side of the globalized rock sensation, from Mercury’s sexual discoveries to his relationship with family; the man who sang in tight white pants and sported a theatrical mustache becomes just like the rest of us.

You sometimes wonder if someone as daring and bold as Mercury is just born that way.

Played with great vigor by Rami Malek, Mercury is a quirky, confident guy with dreams of grandeur that nobody seems to take seriously, not even his family.

After displaying his gritty and soulful vocals for his future bandmates after their original lead singer quits, it seems as if Queen was brought together by great timing and pure coincidence.

Mercury struggles with his own demons, such as his need to always be the life of the party, causing him to push many people away and destined to be a party of one.

Filled with relationship turmoil and a historically memorable musical score from the band, the film captures Mercury in his darkest and triumphant moments.

Malek had his time in the sun with this film, and his rock and roll persona was captivating.

When Malek performed as Mercury, he became the icon.

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Michael Myers Returns for Another Halloween

Michael Myers ReturnsI hate horror movies. I fear the reality of them, but I suppress it with harsh criticism and insensitive and poorly timed jokes.

In spirit of doing “fun” fall things, I ventured to the theater to scare myself into a sleepless night.

I binged the first three Halloween movies over the “Halloweekend” and was disappointed to find out that the latest flick was going to be sequel to the original, completely disregarding its other predecessors.

Director David Gordon Green invites us 40 years after John Carpenter’s frightening classic, where Lauri Strode, played Jamie Lee Curtis, seems to have lost all of her sanity.

Even all these decades later, the trauma from that terrifying Halloween night still resides in Lauri as she battles against the  threat of Michael Meyers.

The slasher is institutionalized and has captured the attention of over 50 psychiatrists and reporters.

Two foreign reporters hope to find clarity in the case from eons ago that still has everyone talking.

Unfortunately, their efforts end up taunting Myers into making what is considered, poor life choices.

In this spooktacular film, there are a plethora of comedic scenes that lighten the mood and let your guard down. Ultimately, it’s a great way to add more ‘scare’ to jump scares, because the viewer is so vulnerable with the humor used.

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The Horror! What Makes a Great Scary Movie?

What Makes a Great Scary MovieTis the season for Halloween! Whether you are trick-or-treating with the young ones, barhopping, or contemplating the reasonable amount of money to spend on a costume, the holiday calls for some festivity.

Like myself, we might be reminded of the time that kid in our third-grade class wore a Jason mask to the Halloween parade and scared the whole class.

Looking back, that kid had quite an early appreciation for the horror film genre.  

Classic horror films such as Halloween and Scream have stood the test of time, having remakes made over the years along with modern adaptations.

Cult classics such as The Shining and Children of the Corn approach horror from a different perspective, with less of a focus on blatant murder and more on the psychological fears of abandonment or being lost in a foreign environment.

Even the theater genre has dabbled in the art of ghoulish and uncanny themes, with films such as Rocky Horror Picture Show or Little Shop of Horrors, including guest appearances by large piranhas and crossdressers.

A handful of horror films have had multiple remakes or sequels such as Carrie and the newly released Halloween.

There are eleven Halloween flicks, with the first one premiering in 1978, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle.

The films around Michael Myers, a disturbed man who is out to murder the majority of his bloodline every Halloween.

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The Wonder Years Put on a Spooktacular Show

The Wonder YearsThey’re back! The Wonder Years returned to the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey last Friday night for their Occasionally Annual Halloween Extravaganza, and brought along bands Have Mercy, Oso Oso, and Shortly.

This concert featured a costume contest with the grand prize being a 2019 season pass.

I was dressed in all red, complete with an absurd pepper hat and told people I was a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Among the ghouls and ghosts in the crowd, I thought my costume was clever, but alas, the winner was Quailman from the TV show Doug.

Considering he wore a cardboard box and tightie-whities, while others had very impressive makeup done, his victory was a sour robbery.

The fans weren’t the only people dressed up for Halloween, so were the bands!

Each band had a cover set and costumes of esteemed musicians.

Shortly began the show dressed as My Chemical Romance, in black formal wear and red neckties. They performed classics such as “Teenagers,” “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” and “Famous Last Words.”

The female lead singer’s voice complemented Gerard Way’s tenor very nicely, and the crowd erupted in applause following each song.

However, once Shortly played their original material, the trouble began: technical difficulties with microphones and pedal boards led to communal boredom among the concertgoers.

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Moviepass is Left for Dead

Moviepass DeadGrab a shovel and a big enough body bag for your red debit card, because it looks like Moviepass is knocking on death’s door.

Moviepass is the popular movie subscription service that used to let subscribers see one movie a day for only $10 a month.

After a year of such a great deal, the company announced last August that it would limit subscribers to three movies per month and would select the features moviegoers were allowed to see.

Now it looks subscribers may not see any movies on Moviepass’ dime in the near future.

Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (ticker: HMNY), the parent company of Moviepass, announced on Oct. 24 that they will spin off the dumpster fire disaster.

Essentially, HMNY, the company who has helped provide funds for Moviepass’ operations, has decided to cut them off.

When a company spins off one of their subsidiaries, it means that the subsidiary will be traded separately as its own stock.

When Moviepass is allowed to be traded on a market, the unfortunate shareholders of HMNY will also earn some small stake of the new stock.

For example, when Moviepass goes on its own, shareholders will hold a majority of say 90 percent in HMNY and the remaining ten percent will be designated to ownership in Moviepass.

If you want to see something spooky, check out HMNY’s stock price and financials.

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The Rise of Basement Concerts

Rise Basement ConcertsThe rise of basement shows have been sweeping the Jersey Shore and tristate area.

However, you don’t have to go out of your way to New Brunswick or Philadelphia to enjoy a show at one of these places, because there are basement concerts with great live bands in our own back yard

Long Branch, Ocean Township, and Asbury Park are known for their basement scene.

The reason why these venues are gaining recognition is a matter of money, promotion, and the return of something that is sometimes forgotten in the music world: an intimacy between band and audience.

In larger venues, the band is playing to the audience.

Contrarily, in a basement, they are playing with the audience. But if you ask any local or aspiring musician about playing or hosting basement gigs, they will tell you how it has  advantages and disadvantages.

Sara Wojciehowski, a music industry major, has played enough basement performances to identify the pros and cons of this informal environment that is gaining so much traction.

Wojciehowski said, “One advantage would definitely be experiencing that intimacy you can’t get at a formal venue, on a stage above the audience.”

“I like letting people get more involved and feeling like they’re included in that bubble with all our friends, fans, and family. The band [is] family” Sara said.

“But it has its disadvantages too. I’ve played a show in someone’s basement and for a few house parties, but I am not a fan of doing it too often” Wojciehowski pointed out.

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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