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Entertainment

Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

The Rebirth of the American Spirit

Rebirth American SpiritThe critically acclaimed documentary, Rebirth, was shown in the Wilson Hall Auditorium last Wednesday, September 22.

The documentary chronicles five lives that were directly affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The viewing coincided with Constitution Day, a day which is intended for Americans to honor their freedom and celebrate the signing of the Constitution.

Rebirth forces its viewers to reflect back to those dark days in 2001, and remember the source of strength that pushed our country forward throughout those trying times – each other.

Dr. Thomas Pearson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said that the documentary summed up the spirit of the country post 9/11. “[Rebirth] shows the entire American experience during this time. The link between Constitution Day and the film is that they both illuminate we are the people and we are Americans.”

The documentary lapses from 20022009. The five lives that are chronicled in those years give a glimpse to how suddenly life changed on that horrible day, and how challenging it was to persevere.

Rebirth was directed by filmmaker Jim Whitaker, who also acted as a producer.

“The documentary was very emotional. It shows the human journey and discovery process of these individuals who represent the American people, which makes it an extraordinary film,” Pearson said. On 9/11, Pearson watched the media coverage in the auditorium.

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Daughtry’s “Spell” Comes to the MAC

Spell Comes to MAC 1Over 3,200 people packed the MAC to see the former “American Idol” star turned rocker, Chris Daughtry, made his way to campus last Friday as part of his self-titled band’s 2012 Break the Spell tour. There were 3,283 tickets sold for the event.

Mary Ann Nagy, Vice President of Students and Community Services, said “This was a great concert for us to get and a great evening for the University and our concert promoter partner. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we look forward to having bands like this in the future. It’s great to be able to bring in well-known artists.”

Daughtry played 19 songs that evening, which mostly consisted of his biggest hits and several of his new songs.

The band kicked off the show with one of their newest singles off Break the Spell titled “Renegade.” Sophomore student Nicolle Rodriguez felt this was a great way to start the show.

“One of my favorite parts was when he performed ‘Renegade’ and the curtain dropped revealing his band. The song got the whole crowd excited and pumped up for his show,” said Rodriguez.

The top part of Daughtry’s set was loaded with songs off Break the Spell as they played “Break the Spell,” “Crawling Back to You,” “Losing my Mind,” “Crazy,” and a song intended to get the crowd dancing, called “Outta my Head.”

In the middle of all those songs they played “Feels Like Tonight,” which was one of the biggest hits on their self-titled debut album Daughtry.

Following the new songs, the rest of the band left the stage for a little bit, leaving Daughtry alone to play some songs acoustically. He played “What About Now,” and “Home,” which he noted was the song that helped him get signed for his first record deal. The crowd was also treated to a new song called “4 am,” which he recorded a few weeks ago as part of Esquire magazine’s songwriting challenge.

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Adam Pascal & Anthony Rapp Rent Out Pollak

entertainment-adam-pascal-and-anthony-rapAdam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, better known as Roger and Mark from the Broadway musical and film Rent, performed at Pollak Theatre this past Saturday.

Pascal is currently starring in the Broadway musical Memphis while Rapp is on tour with his one-man autobiographical show Without You, based on his memoir about being on Broadway as well as his family life.

Pascal entered with a medley of Jeff Buckley’s “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” and “Johanna” from Sweeny Todd. The next song, “Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel, was more upbeat. The audience cheered when Rapp came on stage to join Pascal as a duet.

It was slightly disappointing when Rapp left the stage afterward. It was almost a tease to hear the two singers perform together and then separate. After all, their collaborative selections are what most of the audience came for, but my attention was captured once again when Pascal began his set.

Pascal introduced a song called “Turn the Lights On” from his new record, Blinding Light, which he recorded with his pianist and musical director Larry Edoff. Pascal then graciously handed the stage over to him for a song Edoff wrote titled “Love Will Always Come Back.” Toward the end of the song, Pascal presented strong vocals for a more intense musical impact.

He continued sharing stories from his experiences on Broadway, including rude audiences and his time performing in what he defined as the show that had the most impact on him as a singer, actor and person, Cabaret. His acting background was evident, even for those who had never heard of him. His natural presence on stage is compelling and humorous. “The stories both performers told were very entertaining, too. It was nice how personal they were,” said freshman Shannon Yingst.

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Audiences Take a Chance with The Lucky One

 

entertainment-the-lucky-oneA lonely, reserved Marine, a single, bullied mother and a little boy who never realizes his true potential tug at your heartstrings in the latest chick flick and Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation, The Lucky One. The film is a promising romance film that includes performances from Zac Efron, Blythe Danner and relavtive newcomer, Taylor Schilling. To Sparks fans, this is yet another cinematic version for one of his novels that you don’t want to miss.

Directed by Scott Hicks, The Lucky One is about Logan Thibault (Zack Efron), a soldier dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder following a tour of duty overseas. The day after a night-raid, he finds a photo of a woman moments before an explosion goes off inches away from where he was standing. He and his war buddies believe the woman in the photo (played by Schilling) is his guardian angel. After unsuccessfully trying to settle back into society months later, Logan embarks on a cross-country trip to find his lucky charm.

Upon arriving in a small Louisiana town, Logan discovers the woman in the photo is Beth Green, who runs a dog kennel with her grandmother, Ellie (Danner). Logan has trouble explaining why he came to see her, and instead takes a job working at Green’s kennel to be close to Beth. As Logan spends more time around Beth, he learns she’s a young, divorced mother with a son Ben and has a strained relationship with her ex-husband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson), head police officer in the same town. Meanwhile, Ben’s caught between his bickering, divorced parents and tends to get hurt the most; he’s often bullied at school and is looked down upon by his father for wanting to play violin, chess and magic tricks instead of being a Little League jock.

Staying true to Sparks’ tradition, the two people are nothing but co-workers in the very beginning, and slowly (but somehow rapidly) develop a mutual respect and eventually strong, passionate love for each other.

Yet, with the nosy Keith and Logan’s secret of what really led him to town, the future seems less than promising. The Lucky One steers audiences into a steamy affair that takes you on a roulette table of love and destiny.

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Cut! That's a Wrap Working for The Outlook

entertainment-matts-goodbye“So begins the first day of the rest of my life.” Growing up, I’ve heard this phrase many times but never understood it. As I prepare to graduate, I finally grasp what this really means as one part of my life ends and the next begins. With this final submission, my time on The Outlook concludes and as I lay out my last pages, I can’t help but recollect on how I got here.

After I transferred from Brookdale Community College, I began writing for The Outlook with my movie reviews, starting with the dark animated film 9. I continued to write weekly reviews, pursuing my passion for both cinema and writing. This was fun as I not only watched movies but felt like a real critic. As a commuter student, writing these reviews helped me become an active member of the campus community instead of just going to and from classes. I feel proud to say that throughout my time on The Outlook I wrote 48 reviews for films I loved like Source Code and those I didn’t such as Clash of the Titans (3-D). When I became Outlook Film Critic, I felt like I had finally made my mark on the paper.

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Cut! That’s a Wrap Working for The Outlook | Matthew Fisher's Senior Goodbye

Cut Wrap Working for Outlook“So begins the first day of the rest of my life.” Growing up, I’ve heard this phrase many times but never understood it. As I prepare to graduate, I finally grasp what this really means as one part of my life ends and the next begins.  With this final submission, my time on The Outlook concludes and as I lay out my last pages, I can’t help but recollect on how I got here.

After I transferred from Brookdale Community College, I began writing for The Outlook with my movie reviews, starting with the dark animated film 9. I continued to write weekly reviews, pursuing my passion for both cinema and writing.  This was fun as I not only watched movies but felt like a real critic. As a commuter student, writing these reviews helped me become an active member of the campus community instead of just going to and from classes. I feel proud to say that throughout my time on The Outlook I wrote 48 reviews for films I loved like Source Code and those I didn’t such as Clash of the Titans (3D). When I became Outlook Film Critic, I felt like I had finally made my mark on the paper.

The next year, I became the Comics Editor. While I had a wobbly first two issues, I grew to love this section when I started writing my weekly comic book articles.  This was a fun section because I could discuss whatever I wanted to from the latest DC and Marvel news to unique comic issues.  Whereas other sections always had to announce their story list, I didn’t.  Whether or not people read my section, I was proud of the column I created by informing readers about things they might not have known regarding comics.  Other times, I had the fortune of talking to people who were involved with comics like Janine Frederick and her comic, or Professor. Claude Taylor’s affinity for the medium. Sometimes, it wasn’t easy to write these articles, but I’m a comic book nerd and always found something to discuss one way or another. Of course, I also found the funniest comics to put in the paper and hopefully made you laugh just a bit.

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Graphic Design Majors Showcase Bold Works at Senior Art Exhibit

entertainment-graphic-design-exhibit-2The Art and Design Department hosted its second Senior Art Ex­hibit opening reception last Friday night at the Pollak Gallery and Ro­tary Ice House Gallery as gradu­ating students showcased their graphic design pieces.

Students, professors, family members and friends came to cel­ebrate with the artists while ad­miring their artwork. The gallery walls were decorated with logo and poster designs, including made up movie posters, digitally created creatures and environments and various products with artist de­signed packaging and labels. Each artist also shared a business card and resume for the attendees’ fu­ture needs in graphic design.

“Dead On,” a Grateful Dead tribute band, was playing at Pollak Theatre the same evening, allow­ing audience members a chance to view the art as they were pick­ing up tickets from the box office. Some Deadheads walked around the gallery as they waited for the show to start, pointing at pieces that caught their eye.

The poster designs showcased ranged from humorous and playful to serious and political, like graphic designer Rick Cappetta’s 2010 Global Understanding Con­vention poster which was recog­nized at that year’s award cere­mony. Jon Beebe offered a funny poster on the “Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Bro” that showed a “Bro” equipped with flip-flops, a pink polo and body spray (ap­ply thick and often), along with knowledge of drinking games. Beebe also displayed a three piece photo collage, the final portrait showing various Occupy Movement protestors holding signs in a united image.

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Zombies Aren’t the Only Lifeless Things in Operation Raccoon City

default article imageThe only things evil here are Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and Capcom for putting such a broken and un­finished game on the market. The more I played this game, the more I asked myself, “How could Capcom let such a game that tarnishes one of their flag­ship series loose on the streets?”

Indeed, like the T-virus, this game will make you a blood­thirsty monster. The only differ­ence between the game and the T-virus is the virus will make you a zombie. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will make you shout profanities at your loved ones and land you in therapy.

As soon as I booted up the game, I noticed the company that developed it wasn’t Cap­com. Rather, they handed it over to Slant Six Games, a company I’ve never heard of because they only made four other video games. Let me tell you, it really, really shows.

Where do I even start in dis­secting this game? How about the plot? It had potential, but like everything else, it fell apart with a lack of a narrative and memorable characters.

The player takes control of an Umbrella Corporation wet works group known as the Wolf­pack. The Wolfpack’s job is to dive into Raccoon City in the middle of the T-virus epidemic and erase all evidence linking Umbrella to the outbreak. This could range from documents that need to be burned to survivors targeted for elimina­tion.

A cool feature is that several characters from Resident Evil 2 and 3 appear in story mode, like HUNK (you know, the guy in the gas mask. He’s basically responsible for the Raccoon City outbreak). It is cool to see them again, even if only for a few minutes. Ultimately though, what they do is remind players they could be playing much better games that came out ages ago like Resident Evil 2.

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On Screen In Person’s Final Film Was a BLAST!

entertainment-blastBLAST!, the final installment of this year’s On Screen In Per­son program, was screened on Monday, April 9 in Wilson Audi­torium. On Screen, In Person is a traveling film series along the East Coast that screens films and allows the audience to engage the director in Q&A sessions afterwards.

Used here, BLAST is an acro­nym that means Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope. The film focused on a team of scientists that developed the device, showing the emotional strain and all-too-real problems with scientific innovation.

The screening was hosted by Andrew Demirjian, specialist pro­fessor of communication. He felt such films, which showcase the science as well as the scientist, are great in general, but was quite im­pressed by director Paul Devlin. “I think the director did a great job at introducing detail, holding interest and creating tension. As a young filmmaker, it is so im­portant to learn to do that,” said Demirjian. He is excited about showing the film to his documen­tary film class.

BLAST! focused on Devlin’s as­trophysicist brother, Doctor Mark Devlin, who, with a team of gradu­ate students, set out to photograph the formation of new stars and galaxies throughout the universe. While most scientific documenta­ries would spend the majority of time describing the inspiration and mechanics behind the project, the director wanted a film that show­cased the hu­manity of those involved.

The film starts off with a bang, show­ing a balloon launching in Antarctica. The viewer doesn’t know much about the mon­ey or energy put into the device, but it looks big and expensive (not to mention the fact that the team is in one of the coldest locations on Earth, a situa­tion that could draw sympa­thy without the massive telescope project). At the last moment, the device gets caught in the launching apparatus, crashing back into place.

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Visit The Cabin in the Woods for Your Horror Movie Needs

entertainment-cabin-in-the-woodsOn the surface, The Cabin in the Woods might look like every horror movie about teens being pursued by a psychopath or super­natural forces, but underneath, it’s one of the wittier, more creative, and most unique horror films to come out in a while. Writers Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Drew Goddard (Clo­verfield) do a fantastic job of fol­lowing the blueprints of similar pictures like Evil Dead a nd t wist­ing them around to develop their own design.

For instance, the film answers specific questions that viewers might have had with horror films, like why characters decide to have sex when there’s something sinister on the loose. Maybe you’ve won­dered why groups split up when they should stay together or why the virgin is the lone survivor? All are answered. However, this isn’t the sole way the filmmakers work with- and around- the genre to cre­ate a very smart horror film.

The Cabin the Woods features five friends: studious Dana (Kris­ten Connolly), stoner Marty (Fran Kranz), new guy Holden (Jesse Williams), stud Curt (Chris Hems­worth), and hot blonde Jules (Anna Hutchison). The group leaves for a weekend at, where else, a cabin in the woods. While traveling, their GPS stops working and they meet an eerie gas station attendant, Mordecai (a creepy Tim De Zarn).

When they arrive at the cabin, it’s fairly homey but Marty feels funny about it. This isn’t quelled by a wolf head on the wall and a two-way mirror between rooms yet these friends still find ways to have fun.

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Comic Books Get a Dose of Reality Television

default article imageWhen you turn on the televi- sion, you will find a whole host of reality TV to enjoy. Some have wide appeal (“American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent”), are edu- cational (“Pawn Stars”), or are just plain odd (“My Strange Ad- diction”).

However, while reality TV seems geared to this medium, it has found a way to be explored through the comic book pages. These books aren’t copying real- ity TV, but are using the platform as an interesting background for superhero tales.

One of the more recent comics to utilize the popularity of real- ity TV is “America’s Got Powers” from Image Comics, written by Jonathan Ross and illustrated by Bryan Hitch. The series focuses on Tommy Watts as he enters a super competition where vari- ous young heroes compete with one another using their powers to become rich and famous. They battle against each other on the hit show called “America’s Got Pow- ers.”

While talking to comicbookre- sources.com, Hitch mentioned how the idea for the series evolved to become more about the char- acters and the story rather than about the show itself. He said, “Jonathan’s original one line pitch was ‘X-Factor for Super Heroes’ and it was a great idea, but as we started putting a story to that idea, it became much less about the show. Once we put living breath- ing characters into the scenario of the show, it became their story, not the show’s story, and the show became an environment.”

It seems as if the idea of he- roes fighting on a reality TV show struck a chord as a second printing has been announced via a press release on comicbookre- sources.com.

However, competitions haven’t been the only way for the comic book medium to include real- ity TV in its pages. Sometimes, it could be just a real show about heroes trying to fight the good battle, which is what Marvel did when they redeveloped their ‘90s superhero team, New Warriors.

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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