Fri11242017

Last updateWed, 22 Nov 2017 8am

Entertainment

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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Tuesday Night Record Club: 'Rumours'

Tuesday Night Record ClubTuesday Night Record Club presented “Rumours” from Fleetwood Mac on Nov. 7.

Four televisions hung on the wall in Wilson Auditorium and those who were in attendance, the chilled rain that came down outside, quietly dried off while listening to Fleetwood Mac’s live performance of the “The Chain.”

Many in the audience closed their eyes to focus on the harmony, swayed with the music, or tapped a foot to the beat as they sat. The song concluded and the discussion began.

The panel was led by Dr. Kenneth Womack, Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Nicholas Messina, communication instructor.

The discussion began with pre-”Rumours” music and history of the members-- romantic, musical, and otherwise.

“‘Rumours’ was the second best-selling album,” Messina noted. 40 million copies were sold worldwide and many Record Club members reminisced buying the album when it was first released on February 4 1977. “Black Magic Woman,” which was written by Peter Green and released in 1968, played for a few moments to give the members a taste of the music produced prior to “Rumours.”

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Murder On The Orient Express Could Pick Up Some Steam

We all hate riding the NJ Transit trains. They’re slow, expensive, have stiff seats, loud passengers, and window views of construction sites.

Also, let’s not forget that lingering Jersey landfill smell bidding farewell to those as they head into New York.

Rewind ninety years back and there were trains such as the luxurious Orient Express.

It had cozy cabins, room service, star studded passengers, window views of towering mountains, and, oh, a murderer on board.

Well, I guess we take the NJ Transit for granted sometimes.

Before we hop on the Orient Express, we meet Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh.

Poirot is an accomplished detective who has just wrapped up a case in Jerusalem.

When Poirot gets another case in England, he takes the Orient Express to get there.

On his way, Poirot is approached by Ratchett, played by Johnny Depp, who asks for his protection. Poirot denies his request and later that night, Ratchett is found dead.

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Is Mumble Rap Mumbo-Jumbo?

Well known Hip-Hop artist, Nas, has expressed his passion for his genre of music by saying that “Hip-hop is the streets.”

The rapper continued this thought by explaining, “Hip-hop is a couple of elements that it comes from back in the days…that feel of music with urgency that speaks to you.  It speaks to your livelihood and it’s not compromised.  It’s blunt.  It’s raw, straight off the street – from the beat to the voice to the words.” 

Hip-hop has become a genre of music that almost everyone cultivates to. 

Over the recent years, Hip-Hop has taken a turn in which no one truly thought it would.         

This new era has been described as “Mumble Rap.”

It is a type of rap in which the listener is posed with a challenge of strugging to make out the words that sound like marbles coming out of the mouth of the artist.

Most of the popularity mumble rap has accredited is due to catchy phrases or instrumental beats that fans seem to enjoy.

The question that remains, however: is this type of rap and hip-hop here to stay?

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LBJ: Doesn't Go All the Way

LBJ 1It’s Nov. 22, 1963 and President John F. Kennedy has arrived in town. There’s an exciting buzz around Dallas, Texas for the President’s arrival because he embodies everything about America: hope, energy, excitement, and strength.

For the President’s arrival, a grand parade is scheduled where Texans will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to greet Kennedy as he rides along the streets of Dallas. The weather is perfect too.

There’s not a single cloud in the sky, great for letting the hood down and taking in that Texas sun. At around 12:30 PM, you are one of the many visitors waiting for a glimpse of the President as he breezes by Dealey Plaza.

Once the President finally reaches the Plaza, you see him in all his glory, waving to raucous crowd. Then suddenly, shots are fired and the President has fallen over in the backseat of the vehicle.

The First Lady is hysterical as blood covers her hands. The motorcade speeds out of sight and there is confusion in the crowd. Later that day, President Kennedy is announced dead and there is a new man in charge: Lyndon Johnson.

Despite the pressure of filling in Kennedy’s shoes, President Johnson passed important pieces of legislation, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Wilderness Protection Act.

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Wonderstruck: A Wonderful Silent Film

Eighty-two years ago, silence was golden for the film industry. Actors like Charlie Chaplin could make audiences laugh until they cried, while actresses like Mary Pickford stole the hearts of America. Silent films could move an audience without uttering a word because a great deal of effort went into storytelling and performances.

Decades later, we are so spoiled by the magic of sound that we take for granted how far film has come. However, with movies like Wonderstruck, we can appreciate film’s roots.

Since the death of his mother, Ben, played by Oaks Fegley, longs to find his missing father now more than ever. Ben goes through his mother’s old room to find traces of his father, where he comes across a book mark stashed in a museum exhibit book.

The book reads an address located in New York City. After coming across the bookmark, Ben is suddenly struck by lightning and becomes deaf.

Despite his hearing impairment, Ben sneaks away on a bus heading to New York City to find his father. Meanwhile, there’s another story parallel to Ben’s, which features Rose, played by Millicent Simmonds, who is also a deaf child in search for someone.

While it may sound far-fetched, the story is told beautifully by giving the audience a perspective on hearing impairment, while nailing the time periods of Ben and Rose’s narratives.

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Ghost Quartet: A Spooky Delight

Ghost QuartetGhost Quartet is a delightfully bizarre gem of a show, small and intimate, performed by just four cast members in a black-box theatre seating just 63 audience members.

Currently in the midst of a five-week off-Broadway run at the New York Theatre Workshop’s NYTW Next Door location, the run sold out in 29 minutes flat - and I was lucky enough to be able to see it twice.

Written and composed by The Great Comet’s Dave Malloy, the show is dense and lyric-heavy, inspired by dozens of stories that came before it - including an Edgar Allan Poe tale, the Arabian Nights stories, a variety of religious theories, and an urban legend about a woman who grinned up at an unluckily-timed photographer seconds before she was hit by a subway train.

The plot itself spans seven hundred years and several generations, but also takes place directly in the moment.

Basically, very little makes sense, time does not exist within the boundaries of the production, and every actor is playing half a dozen characters, while also playing themselves.

Having seen the live show twice now, I memorized the cast album. And still, only about 80 percent of it makes sense to me.

However, for those willing to pay attention to every word, something resembling a coherent plot emerges.

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Jigsaw Isn't a Puzzle Worth Solving

Two months prior to the release of Jigsaw, I set an impossible goal to watch all seven installments of the Saw franchise series. I went out and bought used copies of each film for $1 a piece.

The first Saw was surprisingly an entertaining horror feature with a decent story, considering the low $1 million budget.

 Next, Saw II was a misstep for the franchise because of its plot-holes, nauseating editing choices, excruciating moments of torture, poor character choices, terrible acting, and a head scratching ending.

Then, while suffering through Saw III, something miraculous happened.

About half way through the unbearable experience, the DVD broke. For fifteen-minutes I tried to get it to work again, but I accepted this as a sign.

Instead of watching the next four installments, I would watch Jigsaw only with two and a half Saw films under my belt. It turns out I did not miss much.

Although Jigsaw, played by Tobin Bell, has been dead for ten years, there are a string of murders that point towards the killer’s gruesome games. As usual, a couple of cops try to track down who is killing these people.

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Sweeney Todd Serves Satisfaction

Sweeney Todd Serves SatisfactionBarrow Street Theater’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been running in downtown Manhattan since February 2017, selling out at almost every performance. Before that, it enjoyed a similarly stellar run in London.

Both times, the show has been a wildly immersive production - the theatre has been turned into a functioning pie shop (essential to the themes of the show), and the cast paces every inch of the theater, surrounding the audience, performing on tables, and even using audience members as props.

Taking place in 19th century London, Sweeney Todd tells the story of Benjamin Barker (played here by a wonderfully dark Hugh Panaro), a wrongfully convicted barber who was sent to Australia on trumped-up criminal charges. The judge who sent him away, Judge Turpin (played by Michael James Leslie), had him convicted because he was in love with Barker’s wife.

Barker returns to London on the ship of sailor Antony (played by Jake Boyd), now calling himself Sweeney Todd and driven nearly mad with revenge after he finds out that Turpin destroyed his family, leading to the death of Todd’s wife, Lucy, and leaving Turpin the guardian of Todd’s daughter, Johanna (played by Eryn Lecroy).

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There's a Lot to Love in Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent is an Oscar-winning film that is produced by two studies:
“Breakthrough Films” and “Trademark films.”

The movie, which pays tribute to the legendary artist, Vincent Van Gogh and features an applaud worthy cast of Douglas Booth, Saoirse Ronan, and Chris O’Dowd

Before I critique, I challenge you to think for a moment:

What comes to mind when one thinks of Vincent Van Gogh?

Maybe it is the iconic “Starry Night,” painting, with its strokes representing his struggles and thoughts on the next life through obscure expressionism with short gestured lines.

Or, it could also be the Bedroom in Arles, which focused on a solid color for each object and later depicted by texture.

Digging deeper, there is then  the famous Van Gogh “Self Portrait,” in which is resembles similar gestures and artistry from the renowned “Starry Night” background, by means of focusing on the dramatic color scheme, which is usually shown throughout his works.

From the swirly lines to the short strokes, we enter the life of a man who struggled to find his place in the world.

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Netflix's Big Mouth Has Room for the Crude and the Heart-Felt

Netflix’s new animated adult comedy from comedian Nick Kroll is not for the faint of heart. 

With a tagline like “coming of age all over the place,” did you have any doubt?

Despite the show’s constant crude humor, Big Mouth is still wildly entertaining, original, and even heartfelt. 

The series follows a group of friends attempting to survive the minefield that is middle school: first relationships, bullying, and, of course, puberty.

And not to give anyone the wrong idea, the honest summary of this program is that it is about a bunch of young kids going through puberty and discovering their bodies in the most uncomfortable and awkwardly relatable ways. 

Nick Kroll, known for his roles on The League and in his own Comedy Central sketch show The Kroll Show, voices the prepubescent Nick, who just wants to hang out with his friends and finally hit puberty.

The audience follows Nick and his much more interesting friends and family. Nick’s entourage including his nerdy, terrified, and puberty-stricken best friend Andrew (John Mulaney), the headstrong, mature Jessi (Jessi Glaser), magician and certified creep Jay (Jason Mantzoukas), and the awkward, walking encyclopedia Missy (Jenny Slate).

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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