Sat04202019

Last updateWed, 17 Apr 2019 4pm

Entertainment

American Idiot Rocks Woods Theatre

Rock Woods 1Marked by blasts of frenetic energy, political and social symbolism, and unabashed rebellion, the MU Players production of Green Day’s rock opera American Idiot proved that punk is far from dead in the minds of youth today.

With ever-striking lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong and a book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer, Woods Theater was filled to the brim with the rage and love of a talented student-run cast and crew from April 12 through 15.

Serving as the spring musical, the players detonated their heart grenades in American Idiot to the tune of songs from the rock trio’s 2004 album of the same title.

Direction and production by Kayla Mingino, musical direction by Olivia Mingino, set design by Victoria Lohnes and Ryan McNaught, and choreography by Dennis Breslin and Azalia Whitlock ignited a unique fire that blazed bright.

In an address to the audience, director Kayla Mingino, a junior communication major, commented on the importance of the show to modern viewers, “The story needs to be told now more than ever.”

“Through suburban revolution,” Mingino, continued, “we too can speak up for causes we believe in. Whether that be addiction, or the current political climate, or anything that makes you want to fight back.”

“That is the beauty of this show, and the culture that preceded it. No one is too small to make a difference,” she concluded.

In the fictional setting of Jingletown, USA, American Idiot follows a hot-blooded young Johnny (Ray Laux and Tom Lynskey) and his angst-filled friends Will (Joe Marano), and Tunny (Scott Buksbaum) who decide to leave their hometown out of dissatisfaction.

Will is begrudgingly stopped by his pregnant girlfriend, Heather (Dylan DiRobbio), and must stay home.

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Foreign Film Spotlight: Sunset Can’t Shine

Foreign Film SpotlightAs I said in my article on page eleven, this year has been rough for film thus far.

I can’t remember the last time I saw something decent, so I decided to take a 40 minute drive to catch Sunset by Hungarian director László Nemes.

The director’s last film, Son of Saul, won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

And folks, I can’t even catch a break on foreign films.

In the Hungarian Sunset, we follow Írisz Leiter (a little too closely because of the jarring cinematography), who goes back to Budapest so she can work at a hat store that bares her last name.

However, Leiter uncovers a dark past and a brother she left behind when she split from Budapest as a little girl.

There’s a good story to be told, but Nemes has trouble telling it.

A glaring issue is the camera work by Mátyás Erdély. Throughout, the camera is closely up against Leiter as she navigates through Budapest.

Although, it’s hard to see where exactly she is because the background is always out of focus.

You can’t tell there’s a $10 million budget to this movie because it’s all blurred out in the back!

While you could say it makes the viewer feel uneasy, I say there’s certain times for that. It feels like you’re on a nauseating piggyback ride for two-and-a-half hours.

It’s also hard to hang on to the ride because the plot is incoherent.

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Monmouth Alumnus to Play Vans Warped Tour

Monmouth Alumnus PlayBrick-based pop rockers The Ones You Forgot shook the New Jersey music scene last week when they announced they will be playing the Vans Warped Tour this summer in Atlantic City on June 29 and 30.

The two-day festival will include performances from iconic bands from Warped Tour history such as Blink-182, The Offspring, A Day to Remember, Bad Religion, and many more.

The Ones You Forgot, fronted by University alumnus Jenna Bruno, will be performing songs from their summer 2018 release Too Afraid to Say.

“It’s really so exciting to be playing this year. A huge thanks goes to Kevin Lyman- Warped’s founder, for those who don’t know,” said Bruno, who graduated from the University in 2018. “This could not have happened without him giving us a chance, as well as all of our friends, family and fans who have supported us from day one.”

The band’s upcoming performance at the Warped Tour brings back a flood of memories to the band’s lead singer.

“2010 was my first year as a 13-year-old,” reminisced Bruno. “It’s a bit of a blur, but I remember seeing bands like Hey Monday, Mayday Parade, Bring Me the Horizon, Artist Vs Poet and I distinctly remember crowd surfing for the first time to The All-American Rejects and We The Kings.”

That year, Bruno would be introduced to a plethora of bands that would soon become her favorites by the following the summer.

However, her introduction to music occurred long before entering the realm of music that gets played in Hot Topic nationwide.

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Your Quarterly Film Report: Everything in 2019 Sucks

Quarterly Film Report 1Last week, I finally gave up. After months of watching garbage at the movie theater, it took one movie to break me.

Watching The Beach Bum made me feel like I was losing brain cells with every second.

There I was, in a practically empty theater watching Matthew McConaughey drink booze, drug out, have sex, and fall asleep on repeat for about two hours.

Within that time frame you could see the life get sucked out of me while I slowly sank in my chair.

When I made it out of the theater (somehow alive), it made me wonder: when was the last time I saw a good movie this year? I’m not talking about something mind-blowing that could break the Marrone rating scale; just something decent.

The time seems long ago and far away when I walked out of a theater and said, “I enjoyed that one.”

The answer: only twice. The only two movies I liked this year were Stan & Ollie and Greta. Those two weren’t amazing either, but they were just enjoyable!

The other 16 movies I’ve seen so far this year have sucked in their own special ways.

Mind you, I’ve even avoided other movies that have low ratings or don’t have a decent trailer.

Before I take out the trash, I’d like to say that I’m not some sad sack who finds something to hate in every movie.

I have the AMC Stubs A-List, where I can go to the theater up to three times a week because I love going there and watching a good flick.

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Game of Thrones: The Last of Its Kind

Game Of Thrones 1Television is almost as American as apple pie.

It’s been a hallmark of the average household since the end of the 1950’s and has woven its way into the world’s culture.

Unlike film, TV is a more intimate medium; we invite these stories and characters into our homes and invest time out of our day to immerse ourselves with them.

Every once in a while, a show transcends the comfort of our homes and launches into a countrywide phenomenon.

Game of Thrones launched their final season last Sunday, sparking a mass conversation on social media platforms and pretty much every major news outlet in the world.

It is, without a doubt, the biggest cultural show to air in the past decade.

The show returned after a near two-year hiatus and will air its remaining episodes within the coming weeks.

Thrones isn’t the first show of its kind.

Yes, it’s budget and literal size is probably the first of its kind, but the way it fits into pop culture is not anything new.

Massive television events becoming standard water cooler talk have been a thing since M.A.S.H. aired its record breaking final episode all the way back in the 1980’s.

Other shows would follow in popularity like Seinfeld, and Friends, both becoming synonymous with American pop culture, that even the most obscure reference from either show would be recognized by the average viewer.

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A Return to The Twilight Zone

Peele Twilight ZoneLove the iconic thriller and mystery show The Twilight Zone from the 1960’s? Well you’re in luck!

Welcome back to The Twilight Zone, 60 years later. It’s back for ten episodes on CBS’s streaming service.

The Twilight Zone first aired from Nov. 1958 to June 1964 and had five seasons.

It was created by Rod Serling and marketed as a horror and mystery show.

The show changed the landscape of television and created a demand for psychological mystery thrillers. However, it was one of a kind and Serling’s formula is difficult to replicate. So why now for the reboot?

Michael Chattalas, Ph.D., a specialist professor of marketing recognized a resurgance of old TV show comebacks.

“Every generation has an interest in ‘reliving’ a past era, which is typically perceived in an idealized manner, as compared to present times… networks often choose to revive successful television franchises, as it is quite hard to score a ratings success with brand new content concepts.”

While it may not be as unique as it was in the 1960’s when it came out, the episodes do put a modern spin on some of the stories which is thought-provoking especially to audiences at the college and young adult age, who did not watch the original.

Today’s reboot is hosted by Oscar winner Jordan Peele, the mastermind behind thrillers like Get Out and Us.

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Attention Jersey Shore: Shoobies Have Invaded

Attention Jersey Shore

 Shoobies, an NJ-based indie band, is currently hard at work to mold all your favorite throwback vibes into modern grunge-pop.

Not unlike the tourists from Nickelodeon’s Rocket Power that they’re named after, Shoobies are ready to invade.

But rather than beaches, they are moments away from invading every concert venue around the country… and then the world.

Drawing from 80’s and 90’s influences like The Cure, Nirvana, and Erasure, the band is not afraid to bring something different to today’s alternative scene.

I once read that “alternative” is merely “a label for the label-less.” Shoobies aptly matches this description.

With a heavenly debut album set to be released early next year, their fans have plenty of new songs to look forward to.

Shoobies has already put 70 hours of studio time into the album with producer Tim Panella at Lakehouse Studios. They shared their progress on Twitter, calling it “the coolest indie-pop record of all time.”

The album will also be joined by a book and film, allowing listeners to become immersed in the creative vision that Shoobies has been developing since their start in 2016.

The film will serve as an adaptation of the novel, with the album acting as a soundtrack to the entire story.

Led by singer and writer Casey Marley Breidenbach, the band masterfully blends together yearning and happiness, staying true to the “all-encompassing” love that inspires their projects.

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Pet Semetary Should Play Dead

Pet SemetaryIt’s hard to say goodbye to our pets. They bring such joy to our lives when they beg for food throughout the entirety of dinner or chew through pillows, so it’s difficult to imagine a life without them.

But if they came back with a missing eyeball, a constantly loud hiss, and the intention to kill your family, maybe saying goodbye wouldn’t be so hard after all.

That’s the dilemma Louis, played by Jason Clarke, faces when he moves his family out to the Middle of Nowhere, Massachusetts. Life was a fur ball of happiness until his neighbor Judd, played by John Lithgow, introduced Louis to the Pet Semetary on his property.

When Louis’s cat dies, Judd helps him burry it at the Semetary (on Halloween night on the side of a dangerous cliff, of course).

The next day, the cat is back alive and kicking, or shall I say, scratching. This raises the question: could Louis resurrect anything or anyone?

Here’s a better question: could you watch this movie without rolling your eyes ten times?

I’m all for horror films, but there are plenty throw-away titles in the genre that follow the same

 formulaic grave plot, and Pet Semetary fits right in.

There aren’t any natural thrills, but rather, plenty of cheap jump scares.

The film features more jump scares than there are natural thrills. It doesn’t try to scare you by the terror slowly unraveling, but through a truck driving really fast in front of the house.

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Jacob Landau: Exploring the Colors

J Landau Exploring ColorsJacob Landau’s culmination of his lifetime’s work, Exploring the Colors, is currently on display through April 19 in the living room of the Guggenheim Library.

His work was greatly inspired by his adverse experiences growing up during the Great Depression, as well as fighting in World War II.

Landau was able to illustrate his experiences through mediums such as oil pastels, ink, photogravure, watercolor, and others.

“I see a lot of work in [Landau’s] collection that doesn’t get to come out to be viewed, so each year we pick a theme and try to find something we can kind of focus on”, said Gallery Director Scott Knauer.

“This year it’s color, and there’s so much color in what Jacob did throughout his career, it’s really amazing to see.”

It was apparent that Landau engaged in other creative pursuits, starting with one of his first jobs being as an illustrator on the original Captain Marvel comics, and earning national acclaim for his art as young as 16 years old.

Through attending the gallery’s opening last Monday, seeing his displayed works, and speaking with many organizers of the event and Landau’s colleagues, it was clear that the exhibit was an exploration of his life as an artist.

Later in Landau’s life, he combined his love of teaching with his passion for art and worked as an art teacher for over fifty years.

Susan Dogulass, M.A., a specialist professor of history, elaborated on the significance of Landau’s perspective.

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Your Guide to Record Store Day

Guide Record StoreFor record collectors, Christ­mas is right around the corner. Record Store Day (RSD), which is celebrated at local record stores around the globe, will take place on Saturday, April 13.

RSD was first held in 2008 to encourage people to shop at their local record stores through ex­clusive releases from artists big and small.

In its first year, RSD didn’t at­tract too many big names.

However, over time, it seems like every major artist young and old have something to offer for RSD.

Whether it’s a ’45 single of “Rocky Ground” from Bruce Springsteen or a cassette tape of N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Comp­ton from years past, artists from different backgrounds come together to celebrate one of mu­sic’s greatest institutions.

Just because it’s called RSD doesn’t mean that artists must re­lease records. Artists can release their exclusives through any medi­um they wish, like CDs, cassettes, or even 8-tracks.

When an artist comes out with a RSD release, it’s usually a single or b-side you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Therefore, you may see lines go on for blocks with collectors foam­ing at the mouth.

I’ve been attending RSD since 2012. There are some years I skip because the stock isn’t too ripe, but this year is a must go.

Here are some of the releases that many will try to snag for their vinyl collections on April 13:

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Eilish Stuns in Debut

Eilish Stuns DebutAmerican pop singer Billie Eilish, released her debut full-length record When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? on March 29.

Eilish hits a memorable home run with her new record, with singles such as “bury a friend” charting as high as No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The record opens with the 12-second track “!!!!!!!” which simply features Eilish cheekily joking about her retainer, before verbally introducing the album whilst she and her older brother and producer/co-writer Finneas O’Connell burst into laughter.

The first song, “bad guy,” begins with a ferocious bass line that will surely command movement on the dancefloors of clubs everywhere.

Bass seems to be a major staple on this record, with most of the songs being driven by a catchy bass guitar or a bass-boosted drum beat.

Anyone who enjoys listening to music on their daily commute will certainly notice their rearview mirror vibrating along to the bass frequency during the chorus of “xanny.”

Songs such as “8” and closing track “goodbye” take some different instrumental approaches; “8” features Eilish singing softly while strumming a ukulele, while “goodbye” features a cascade of vocal harmony, with Eilish at the helm. “goodbye” would certainly prompt some acapella covers popping up online.

The 17-year-old singer addresses a small variety of issues on When We All Fall Asleep.

Songs such as “xanny” touches on the issue of prescription medication abuse amongst young people.

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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