Fri07192019

Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm

Entertainment

“All My Children” Says Farewell to Daytime Television

All My Children FarewellThe soap opera “All My Children” premiered on ABC over 40 years ago and its star, Susan Lucci, has played the venerable Erica Kane for nearly just as long.

However, on April 14 the network announced the show would be cancelled and last Friday the final episode was broadcasted, a day that will live on in daytime TV history.

Created by Agnes Nixon, “All My Children” followed the residents of Pine Valley, a fictional Pennsylvania town. Erica was the local bad girl you loved to hate then came to love.

She was the heart of the show, and over the years audiences saw her go through several careers, 11 marriages, raise her children, grandchildren, overcome drug addiction, disfigurement, prison terms, and heartbreak.

In Pine Valley’s last moments, Erica had just been dumped by occasional lover/ex-husband Jackson Montgomery after she put her career ahead of their relationship again. This took place at a party full of their friends, neighbors, and children. Just as Erica squared her shoulders with determination to get her man back, a gunshot rang out, and the screen went black.

Audience members will have to wait and see whether their favorite character(s) will return… if their show actually survives. In true soap fashion, both these cliffhangers left viewers anxious to know what comes next.

“All My Children” was not just about family and friends; it became like one’s family and friend. It was something that was always there for audiences and expected to never leave.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers Play To A New Beat

default article imageSomething I loved about the Red Hot Chili Peppers is how they introduced the alternative/ funk music genre during the 1990s. That genre was something that stood out.

When they released their fifth studio album, Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik, songs like “Give it Away” and “Suck My Kiss” had a funk and jam groove element that were unique to them.

Following Stadium Arcadium in 2006, the band went into a five year hiatus where guitarist John Frusciante announced his permanent departure from the band in December 2009.

 I became nervous once Anthony Kiedis announced the new guitarist was Josh Kling Hoffer since Klinghoffer had big shoes to fill.

Regardless, once I heard the Chili Peppers were releasing their new album, I’m With You, in August, I was ecstatic.

However, the album was not what I expected when I first heard the songs. To me, every song in the album was not what the Chili Peppers were like earlier in their career. There are elements of funk in their songs, but there is an overabundance of experimental rock.

Now I’m not a hater for the experimental genre, however, I think the Chili Peppers aren’t the right band for that specific type of music.

For individual musicianship, I was not disappointed at all. Kiedis’ voice still sounds as pure and clear as in his earlier albums. As a bassist, Flea is still one of the most notable musicians ever to live.

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“On Screen, In Person” Offers a Movie and Commentary

On screen In personA captivated audience got the chance to watch the powerful documentary Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives on Sept. 12 at Pollak Theatre and had the chance to hear from the director herself, Nancy Kelly, as part of “On Screen, In Person.”  

Trust was the first film on campus for “On Screen, In Person” where filmmakers’ works are presented followed by a Q & A.  This was sponsored by the Department of Communication, the Performing Arts Series, and funded by the National Endowment of the Arts’ Regional Touring Program.

Kelly’s documentary followed Marlin, an 18yearold Honduran immigrant whose life has been anything but simple.  She was raped as a young girl at church while going to the bathroom and then continuously abused by her brother, Carlos, as they came to America. 

Depressed and suicidal, Marlin went to a hospital where a counselor told her about Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) in Chicago, where group members have their hardships recreated through live performances.

As Marlin works with APTP, she confronts the difficulties in her life as others act them out, finding comfort with her fellow performers and directors.

Chad Dell, chair of the Department of Communication, welcomed the crowd and said “On Screen, In Person” is a film series held around the East Coast.  He said six films and filmmakers will come to campus with three films each semester. 

He also said Trust’s themes are tough and Lynne Lehrkinder, LPC, of Counseling and Psychological Services was present if anyone needed to talk.

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Captain America Claims Victory at Summer Box Office

default article imageWith films like Thor and Bridesmaids coming out on DVD/Blu-Ray, it’s like the summer movie season is happening all over again.  Based on what was viewed, here are my top and bottom five summer 2011 films.

Top Five

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger

Director Joe Johnston with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely crafted a fast-paced origin story for Steve Rogers/Captain America that managed to feel new again.  The WWII setting offered action and brought Cap to life as a soldier fighting against the evil Hydra.

Chris Evans personifies Rogers with self-confidence and a strong spirit to make him a hero but remain a regular guy in an incredible situation.  Hugo Weaving is chilling as Hydra commander, Johan Schmidt/The Red Skull and created a worthy adversary for Captain America.

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (3D)

The best was saved for last with an action-packed, exciting, and heartwarming finale.  Daniel Radcliffe has Harry come full circle by confronting threats and accepting his destiny. This also goes for Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Ron and Hermione.  Alan Rickman still made Snape interesting until the end while Ralph Fiennes has never been creepier as Voldermort. 

Director David Yates balanced the film’s hopeful aspects with its evil ones.  The action scenes were wonderfully captured, but the emotion of the film is never lost as the care these characters share is evident. 

It’s sad to say goodbye to Mr.  Potter, but felt good knowing he left theaters fantastically.

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Returning to Mortal Kombat

Mortal KombatMORTAL KOMBAT!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you didn’t grow up in the 90’s. “Mortal Kombat” was rebooted and came out with a new game a few months back that’s totally awesome.

Before I start this review, let’s get one thing out of the way. This game is very gory. This game is so grisly that it got banned in Australia. If fountains of blood and other gruesome details aren’t your thing, don’t get this game. That’s my friendly warning for the squeamish types.

First, let’s look at the graphics. To put it shortly, they’re beautiful. It’s really hard to tell the difference between in-game fighting graphics and cut scene graphics. The attention to detail is amazing. As the fights progress, each character shows off more damage taken (some of which are pretty icky to look at).

Like I said before, there is a lot of blood and guts but it’s realistic. Anyone who played the old 90’s “Mortal Kombat” games knows that when you killed someone, it was hard to take seriously because the deaths were so over the top (when a person exploded, they had seven legs, three ribcages and four skulls).

Here, when a person is hit, the game makes sure that you see just how much damage they take as they lose life. When an opponent is hit by an Xray attack, it shows each bone that is fractured and each organ damaged. When a fatality is performed, they make sure to keep it to a realistic amount of violence so you can realize this is how it would happen.

The audio is impressive as well. Each character actually has their own voice actor (in the old games it was either “generic male voice” or “generic female voice”). This actually gives each character more of a feeling that they are one of a kind.

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Pollak Gallery Gets ‘WILD’ Photography

Pollak Wild Photography 1The “WILD” Nature Photography exhibit offers visitors a glimpse into some of the most intimate moments of wild creatures, including polar bears, grizzlies, birds of prey, and much more.  The exhibition, curated by photographer and New Jersey resident Eric Sambol, will be on display in Pollak Gallery until Friday Sept. 30.  The gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 am to 7 pm, and is free and open to the public.

The exhibit features wildlife from four distinct areas in New Jersey, Alaska, Manitoba, and British Columbia, and portrays various species in stunning closeness. 

Sambol’s photography brings viewers up close and personal with bear cubs during moments of innocent playtime, and allows people to lock eyes with some of the country’s most powerful birds of prey, including osprey, owls, and bald eagles.

While some of the subjects are from Alaska and Canada, many are creatures that can be found right here in New Jersey. “People don’t understand the amazing diversity of NJ’s wildlife,” Sambol said, who has fond memories of exploring the forests of Toms River as a child in search of animals.  “For many, there is this perception that NJ is a completely developed place where wildlife doesn’t exist.”

Of course, NJ is full of wild creatures, and Sambol’s exhibit illustrates them in a way surely many residents have not seen before.  According to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve rare and imperiled species, there are some 107 threatened or endangered species within the state, including eight amphibians, 52 birds, 19 invertebrates, 11 mammals, 16 reptiles, and one species of fish. 

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Wiz Khalifa Raps Away the Summer Heat

default article imageWhile this summer was hot, the MAC had its own heat wave as rappers Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, and Chevy Woods generated some sizzling beats to a sold-out crowd. 

According to Jon Vena, Marketing Director of AEG Live NJ, 4,000 plus people showed up to the event.

From what Vena saw, he said that the crowd’s overall reaction was “very positive and fanatic.  People loved the show.”

One of those people was Alissa Catalano, an orientation leader at the University and a fan of Wiz, who was also seeing him perform live for the first time. 

She said that the concert “was quite the experience, something I had never really experienced before.”  She also said that seeing the MAC packed with people was a site to see and made the concert better.

Catalano described that the crowd was compiled of a variety of people, “from age 16 to college kids.  Everyone was hyped and having a good time.”

At the concert, Wiz sang a number of songs including “Taylor Gang,” “Roll Up,” and “Black and Yellow,” one of his biggest hits.  Catalano said, “I enjoyed these songs because those were the ones I was familiar with.”

He appeared on stage in a fog of blue light where he walked up to a platform and keep the momentum of the show rolling further. 

Being the headliner for this concert, Wiz controlled the stage either through slow walks or dancing to match his raps.

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All Time Low Hits High Note at MAC Concert

All Time Low MAC 1The MAC became punkrock central on July 30 as All Time Low’s (ATL) Gimme Summe Ya Love tour came to the University. 

Fans jumped and sang along to ATL as well as opening acts We Are The In Crowd, Mayday Parade, and Starting Line.  Concert goers also partied to the beats as a mosh pit grew near the stage while fans crowdsurfed to the stage only to be denied access by security.

Before the show, ticketholders and fans waited outside the MAC in a line that stretched to the baseball diamond.  According to Jon Vena,  Marketing Director of AEG Live NJ, about 3,400 people showed up for this. 

Waiting for the show was Dominick Falco, a senior at Red Bank Catholic, who has followed ATL for the last five years.  When asked about his hopes for the show, he said their “past music was good, so I hope it will be just the same.”

A DJ on stage played a number of different chart hits to fill the air with music as the stage was getting prepared.  The DJ continued playing current songs like Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” and oldies like Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” throughout the sets.

The crowd roared as We Are The In Crowd started the show.  Despite no introduction, fans and music lovers got excited as vocalist Taylor Jardine, guitarist/vocalist Jordan Eckes, guitarist Cameron Hurley, bassist Mike Ferri, and drummer Rob Chianelli, brought forth their energy. 

Jardine’s strong voice matched with the band’s punk attitude and generated a loud presence that rocked the house through numbers like “Calendar Babies.”

The band also interacted with the crowd like when Jardine joked around by saying whoever could make it to the stage would get a kiss.

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The Legacy of Two Music Icons

Legacy Music IconsThis year, the music world experienced the loss of two well accomplished musicians with the passing of Clarence Clemons and Amy Winehouse.

Clemons, also known as “The Big Man,” was best recognized as the tenor saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Clemons suffered a stroke on June 12 and died from complications caused by the stroke on June 18.

Besides playing with Springsteen, Clemons also released multiple solo albums and played live in concerts with other bands such as The Grateful Dead and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.

Outside of the music world, he even made a few cameos on TV shows like My Wife and Kids and films such as New York, New York.

When Chris Polhamus, a senior at the University and devoted fan of Bruce Springsteen heard about Clemons’ passing from his father, he actually was not surprised.

“Clemons’ death was saddening, even though I know he’s been ill for years. My dad and I are huge fans of Bruce and especially Clemons,” Polhamus said.

Before his death, Clemons was featured in Lady Gaga’s song “The Edge of Glory,” which was released digitally on May 9.  The music video, which featured Clemons playing his saxophone, premiered two days before his death on June 16.

Jamee Shea, a senior at the University, heard of Clemons’ passing through Facebook where one of her friends posted Springsteen videos to respect the sax player. “I was shocked when I heard of his death. He was in Lady Gaga’s song and he looked perfectly fine!” Shea said.

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Summer Concerts Left Fans Humming Tunes

Summer ConcertsSummer is always a beautiful time of the year. The weather is warm, people go on vacations, and it is also the best time of the year for concerts. This summer, several great concert tours came to the tristate area.

The concert season started May 21 when the PNC Bank Arts Center opened its doors to Sugarland. PNC is one of the few outdoor venues in New Jersey and every year when it opens, I consider it to be the official kickoff of the summer concert season.

June was probably the worst month for summer concerts as PNC featured several bands way their prime like Hall & Oates. 

On the other hand, July featured several solid concerts as Kid Cudi came to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park on July 3, while O.A.R., Kid Rock, 311 with Sublime, Goo Goo Dolls, Weezer, and Motley Crue came to PNC.

On July 24, Warped Tour did its 17th annual roll into New Jersey at the Monmouth Park Racetrack all day. This year’s Warped Tour was much heavier than previous ones with hardcore/scream acts like August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, We Came As Romans, and more.

I was in attendance for Warped Tour and despite the long day in the sun it was still just as fun as it always is.

The bands I found the best were several of the poppunk bands including A Day to Remember, Set Your Goals, and The Wonder Years.  Warped Tour legends Less than Jake also put on a very strong, funny, and entertaining set which included an on stage haircut and a kiss between two random fans on stage.

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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