Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12pm


Harry Styles Goes 'Lights Up'

Harry StylesAfter two long years, Harry Styles has finally returned with his new single, ‘Lights Up.’

In very Harry-esque cryptic fashion, news broke on Thursday morning that there were posters plastered around cities displaying only the phrase “Do you know who you are?”

Along the bottom of the posters were four letters: TPWK. This is an abbreviation of Styles’ mantra “Treat People With Kindness,” hinting that an announcement was quickly approaching.

Shortly after, a website of the same name was released, which generated compliments for fans. (I was told that I was “fantastic.” Thank you, Harry.)

I began to wonder if “Do you know who you are?” was the name of a single, or even the album. The rest of the internet also exploded with excitement and speculation.

Spotify then provided some answers when they released a New Music Friday playlist with Styles as the cover star. It became evident that there was new music coming at midnight.

Then came the moment that every fan had been waiting for: the first Instagram post since 2018. It showed Styles in a blue blouse, which would end up being a screenshot from the video for “Lights Up.” This was followed by two more pictures, including the single’s cover art.

His Instagram profile picture changed, his Twitter page changed too, and then the song was available to the world.

The HS2 era has begun.

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El Camino Ain't That Bad

breakingbadThe much anticipated Breaking Bad spin-off film, entitled El Camino, was released on Netflix on Oct. 11. 

The rumors of a spin-off film by creator, writer, and director Vince Gilligan circulated around the internet last year. Then there was radio silence until late August when we got a surprise trailer.  The movie was filmed entirely in secret.

El Camino begins in the immediate wake of Breaking Bad, with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) a fugitive on the run, and Johnny Law hot on his heels.  He forms a plan as he goes.

Since this movie is attached to one of the biggest shows of all time, I’m not spoiling the show or the film.

Since the series finale in 2013, fans have had some serious burning questions about the loose ends left unanswered.  This movie does a fantastic job of answering many of those questions.

There’s also plenty of familiar faces from Breaking Bad reprising their roles.  On top of that, a lot of little Easter eggs and references throughout.

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No Happy Faces in Joker

No Happy JokerYeesh, it’s hard to put on a happy face for this one.

Even Arthur, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who turns into the Joker, can admit to that. In Gotham, everyone is mean to Arthur. He’s mocked for his strange nature, mental illness, and failed comedy attempts. But when he kills Gotham’s wealthy and gains notoriety for it, Arthur gets a dark new calling in life.

With all its hype and controversy, Joker doesn’t quite live up to it. The film boasts a great performance by Phoenix and is well made compared to other DC flicks, but it’s not entertaining.

In the darkness of this movie, Phoenix shines bright. The actor’s drastic weight loss is startling and his creepy laugh can give chills.

However, this movie’s more likely to give you the blues. It’s a slow-paced toilet bowl movie, where the Joker continuously spirals down. Nothing good happens to him; it’s a bad thing after bad thing. Plus, he lives in a dump city filled with rats, so I just felt upright sad after watching this.

What doesn’t help is the lack of entertainment. I was hoping for a blend of action and drama, like the Dark Knight did with the Joker. But this is 90 percent drama with nothing to chew on action wise. It’s a comic book movie so I expected a little something.

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Nick Cave Explores Loss in Ghosteen

Nick CaveNick Cave and the Bad Seeds have returned with their 17th album, Ghosteen, on Oct. 4. Just in time for Halloween!

The Australian band, formed in 1983, continues to be one of rock’s more obscure, yet beloved acts. In 2015, Cave lost his 15 year-old son, Arthur, after he fell from a cliff in Brighton, England.  His album Skeleton Tree featured a documentary on him.

The album cover of Ghosteen is a mystical forest, with lush trees, and beaming sunlight; a depiction of the Garden of Eden, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or perhaps, the Garden of Gethsemane.

The Bad Seeds’ music emphasizes Cave’s cold baritone voice. He croons and entrances listeners with a voice like a shudder.  Ghosteen is no different.  This album is a difficult listen;  it’s minimal, emotive, and hurting, but beautiful nonetheless.

The first song, ‘Spinning Song,’ begins with an ambient synthesizer, then a flourishing piano.  Cave’s vocals are slow and methodical, almost speaking.  I think the song is about Elvis because his lyrics include, “It was a spinning song/About the King of Rock and Roll…With his black jelly hair/He crashed onto a stage in Vegas.”  Then, the refrain of the phrases, “I love you,” and “Peace will come,” echo until an abrupt silence.

‘Bright Horses,’ ‘Waiting for You,’ ‘Night Raid,’ and ‘Sun Forest’ act together as a movement in an opera, with recurring elements and refrains.  The themes of faith, bereavement, and joining together with Arthur in Cave’s stirring honesty is heartbreaking.

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Five Bags of Popcorn

Five Bags PopcornNeed advice on what movies to see? On Cinema’s most likely not going to help. But if you need some mindless mayhem, fill up those bags of popcorn.

On Cinema is back for season 11 and is up to their third episode, with a new one airing every Wednesday at 9 p.m. on Adult Swim’s website. Only online, the production hosted by comedians Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington is an off the rails movie review show that has nothing to do with movies.

The duo pose as film critics, yet it’s 99 percent certain that they’ve never seen the movies before they walked on set. Every movie they rate receives five bags of popcorn, the highest rating possible (which is especially challenging when the rating is given to bombs like Nine Lives). Tim is the frontman of the show who spins it out of control with his own drama, while Gregg tries to keep the show strictly on movies, but always fails.

Although the show is extremely silly and sounds like something anyone can pick up, it’s actually hard diving right into. There are plenty of long running gags inserted in season 1 that carry all the way to season 11.

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Springsteen's Western Stars Film: What to Expect

KRCCWe’ve seen plenty of The Boss in the past year with the recent wrap on his long running Springsteen on Broadway, which had a Netflix and album release, along with his new solo album Western Stars released last June. But this week, Springsteen gives Western Stars the movie treatment, out in theaters this week on Oct. 19 and 23.

So what can we expect from Springsteen’s flick? According to his website, the film is a retelling of Springsteen’s album, with a full orchestra performance of Western Stars from Stone Hill Farm in Colts Neck. Also, in the trailer, there appears to be old home videos from The Boss and some behind the scenes footage of the making of Western Stars to give it a documentary feel.

Although she has yet to see the film, Eileen Chapman, Director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center For American Music, shared some inside information she has received on it.

“In speaking with people directly and indirectly involved with the production we will see Springsteen perform the entire album with all of the original musicians who performed on each track,” Chapman said.

She continued, “Western Stars was not recorded with  one particular band but with many different performers playing on each song and they all came together in the Springsteen barn to record the album in its entirety in front of a small audience.”

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Sarfaz Manzoor Shares Blinded by the Light at Monmouth

Blinded Light 1The subject and screenwriter of the acclaimed Bruce Springsteen-themed film Blinded by the Light, Sarfraz Manzoor, came to speak at Monmouth’s Pollak Theatre to share his story and the truth behind the movie’s main character, Javed, on Oct. 8.

Inspired by Manzoor’s true life story, Blinded by the Light is set in 1987’s Luton, England and follows Javed, a teenager starting his freshman year in college. Although he’s unsure of what direction to take his life, he gets inspired to become a writer when he discovers the relatable music and words of Bruce Springsteen.

At the event, Manzoor gave a lecture with a slideshow and spoke about his own family life. His father moved to England before he was born to begin a life there for his family. Manzoor was an immigrant in England from Pakistan who lived in a small town and faced racial hardships.

What inspired him to pull out of town and make a name for himself was the powerful lyrics of Springsteen. In particular, Manzoor said the final line of ‘Thunder Road’ encouraged him with, “It’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling here to win.”

Not soon after Manzoor got out of town and pursued his college dreams, his father passed away when he was in his early twenties. Manzoor discussed how it was one of the darkest times of his life.

However, he made the decision to turn this pain and hardships into something amazing. Manzoor wanted to channel all of his energy to be something that would help him heal, so he began his healing process through his writing.

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You'll Go Delusional Over Eliza & The Delusionals

DelusionalEliza & The Delusionals, an Australian-based indie-rock band, has been taking over the radio waves. Every song in their discography begs the question: how are they not the biggest band in the world yet?

Led by frontwoman Eliza Klatt, the band got its start in 2015 and is now gaining some serious momentum.

One of their latest singles, “Just Exist,” has become a pop­ular member of the Alt Nation Critical Cut on Sirius XM. The track also landed the top spot on the Alt 18 Countdown sev­eral weeks in a row.

It may be because the track is playing every time I turn on my car, or it may be because Klatt’s energy is instantly infectious, but I’m addicted to this song.

After reaching out to the band via Instagram, Klatt was kind enough to chat and comment on the meaning behind the single.

“The idea behind the lyrics of “Just Exist” was the balance of feeling depressed, but also feel­ing inspired by those sad feel­ings. Without those feelings, I would plainly just exist,” Klatt said.

“It was one that when we re­corded it in the studio, we really felt that it had something special about it compared to anything else we’ve recorded,” Klatt con­tinued.

The idea that pain is a neces­sary part of living is universally relatable. Even if the lyrics are a little melancholy, the guitar-heavy song calls for happily screaming along to the lyrics. It radiates with a golden quality that is guaranteed to make you hit the repeat button.

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Judy is a Bit Off Tune

Judy Off TuneWe all know her for her clicking heels in The Wizard of Oz and hitting incredible notes at Carnegie Hall, but Judy Garland’s life wasn’t a walk down the yellow brick road.

This is shown in Judy, where Garland, played by Renée Zellweger, is in a downward spiral near the end of her life. Garland is hooked on pills as she attempts to find income to put a roof over her head and gain custody of her children. In a last ditch effort, Garland plays shows in London to get cash.

While Zellweger does an incredible job as Garland, it doesn’t dive as deep as you’d like.

Without a doubt, a star is reborn in Zellweger. It’s been a while since she’s had a breakout role, but the actress looks, talks, and sings just like Garland. Zellweger impressively uses her own vocals as Garland and sounds great.

Zellweger captures the star, but the film is just short of. This isn’t a cradle-to-grave biopic; rather, a look into her life at that particular time.

It gives us insight on how Garland struggled through her custody battle, London concerts, and bad habits. There’s even some flashbacks of Garland’s dark upbringing on Hollywood sets.

The film makes clear that Garland was a victim of the Hollywood machine. She was an incredible talent who loved to perform, yet Hollywood ate her up and spat her out.

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Woodstock & Beyond: The Visionary Art of Mike Frankel

WoodstockThe period of a person’s life when they’re in college is often associated with exploring new kinds of music, sexuality, newly found freedom, and using substances for the first time (legal ones after you turn 21 of course). But teenagers and young adults today are nothing compared to the wild, young, and free spirits of the 1960’s.

If you were to go back to Monmouth University (or as it was called then, Monmouth College) 50 years ago today, instead of talking about the Jonas Brothers and Post Malone concerts, you would hear every student on campus talking about the concert of the year, Woodstock. In celebration of the 50 year anniversary, students, Long Branch residents, art enthusiasts, Woodstock fans, and the general public alike all gathered at the Pollock Gallery to celebrate the opening of the Woodstock and Beyond exhibit on campus on Sept. 27.

Woodstock and Beyond is an exposition in Pollak Gallery of photographs taken by Mike Frankel, at Woodstock, along with notable concerts in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The gallery was put together in celebration of both an incredibly talented photographer’s life work and the 50th anniversary of a historic event.

When you walk in, you’re greeted by gleaming photos on every wall. The photos displayed have been printed directly from the original versions taken on 35 mm transparencies onto metal sheets. I was confused at first as to why they were printed onto metal and not canvas, but once you see the photos in person the reason is literally and figuratively, clear. The quality and finish of the photos makes them look almost as if they’re a window pane with the subject of the photo standing behind it.

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Feeling Old Yet? Your Favorite Games Are Becoming Retro

Feeling OldRemember the days of coming home from school, crashing on the couch, and firing up the ole Xbox or PlayStation? Then maybe later, a couple friends would come by for a few levels of Super Money Ball?

Ah, those were the days. I can just see my broken Xbox mic, which was the result of a fit from dying for the hundredth time on Call of Duty 2. After that, no one heard me yelling.

Surprisingly enough, the systems we grew up on like the GameCube, Wii, PS2, PS3, Xbox, and Xbox 360, are turning into modern vintage gaming.

Usually when we think of vintage gaming, the classics come to mind like the NES, SNES, or SEGA Genesis. All of these have gotten a mini console reproduction, where the companies remake a tiny version of the consoles and load them with a bunch of games. Even Sony gave the original PlayStation this treatment.

However, with the PS5 and Xbox Scarlet on the horizon, the system that might be collecting dust in our rooms are becoming or have become obsolete.

It’s hard to believe that our beloved consoles are an artifact of the past, considering how well the graphics hold up. Recently I’ve been playing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pac Man World 2, and Frogger Beyond on the Xbox, and those games are still fun to play. Sure, the picture isn’t in 4K ultra HD, but the graphics are still impressive.

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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