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A & E/Reviews

Visual effects and fights make for an impressive “Hamlet”

“Denmark is a prison,” the title character says to his friend Guildenstern in the play ‘Hamlet’. I think the director took this quote to heart in his creative vision for the theatre department’s production of Hamlet, that was performed from November 18th to the 23rd on the center stage in the SCSU Performing Arts Center. Hamlet is a hefty endeavor to undertake. It is William Shakespeare’s longest play ever written, and is considered to be one of the most influential tragedies in English literature. It is difficult for a generally young cast to convey the deep meanings and dark themes clearly while reciting 400 year old Shakespearean language. I believe this production did a pretty admirable job of retelling the legendary play, with impressive costumes, set design, projection, and fight choreography. The set design in Hamlet is dark and dank looking. It’s industrial-looking structure resembles a prison quite well. The… Keep Reading

A & E/Reviews

Springtime Carnivore shows musical progression

Springtime Carnivore’s story is an eccentric one. If you look at Springtime Carnivore’s Facebook page, you’ll see a description that says in a past life Springtime Carnivore died in a gun fight with Annie Oakley. It also describes that Springtime Carnivore joined the circus as a tightrope walker. A fibula-breaking accident ended her career, but in the aftermath she reawakened her dormant love of playing the piano and thus the end result is her debut self-titled album out on Autumn Tone records. But who is behind Springtime Carnivore? For an adolescent, music tastes can change at the flip of a coin. My music tastes evolved over the course of middle and high school, from listening to the country-era Taylor Swift and emo-ish Paramore to listening to indie staples like The National and Animal Collective. In the midst of this music evolution there was one artist whose music had never gone… Keep Reading

A & E/Reviews

Jake Gyllenhaal plays suspense in ‘Nightcrawler’

Director Dan Gilroy brings another action-filled, crime, drama movie to the silver screen with Nightcrawler. This suspenseful film brings up the question “how far is too far?” when Lou Bloom played by Jake Gyllanhaal gets immersed in his film work while setting up himself to be the star of his own show. Lou Bloom is a common thief, struggling for means to get by, but then gets emerged into L.A.’s nighttime crime life by filming graphic events of car crashes, burning buildings, and the aftermath of local shootings and selling them to local news station KWLA. Nina Romina, news director of KWLA channel 6 makes a connection with Lou when he brings in his first footage of a man dying and paramedics trying to revive him. Nina gives him some advice of what kind of footage the new station is looking for After hiring an assistant, Rick, he seems to… Keep Reading

A & E/Reviews

‘The Skeleton Twins’, charming and affecting

Saturday Night Live veterans Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are the leads in the film ‘The Skeleton Twins’, but be warned, this is not a comedy. The film premiered last January at the Sundance film festival and was released in the U.S. on September 12. An independent film, it was directed by Craig Johnson, who co-wrote the screenplay and has only one other film credit to his name, ‘True Adolescents’, that came out in 2009. The ‘Twins’ screenplay was co-written with Mark Heyman, who was the screenwriter of recent notable films ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan’. The emotional baggage and familial detachment that occurred in ‘The Wrestler’ are the main topics of ‘The Skeleton Twins’. ‘The Skeleton Twins’ is about two almost middle-aged siblings Milo (Hader), and Maggie (Wiig), who begin the film each attempting to commit suicide. Estranged, the siblings haven’t spoken to each other for a decade, but… Keep Reading

A & E/Reviews

Laughs abound for SCSU production of ‘Potter’ musical

‘A Very Potter Musical’ was an amateur and unofficial production about Harry Potter that was created in 2009 and put on YouTube by a group of University of Michigan students who have parodied other works of pop culture like ‘The Hobbit’ and Batman. They wanted to put their own spin on something they loved. Five years later, the SCSU Theatre department has recreated this production, adding a personal twist to it, in ‘Almost A Very Potter Musical’. For years I have been a fan of Team Starkid, the theatre company that created ‘A Very Potter Musical’. The show is responsible for Team Starkid’s explosion in popularity, and is the origin of popular ‘Glee’ actor Darren Criss. ‘A Very Potter Musical’ also spawned two sequels, and several more theatre productions, shows, and even concert tours, all from Team Starkid. I’ve watched the very lengthy, almost three hour-long play countless times. I… Keep Reading

A & E/Reviews

Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War

‘Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War’ is a collection of stories from authors who came in direct contact with the recent American wars. Published as fiction, these stories share accounts of being stationed overseas, and the daily struggles of a returning soldier. Trends like readjusting and finding a place in society, alcoholism, coping with traumas and building functional relationships with friends and family are all prevalent within these stories. At certain points, the tales get gritty and can be hard to stomach. They give various perspectives of what war is like and how it can have such profound effects on the people involved. After reading this book, the mindset and experiences that are told within these stories are still a bit unreal for me. It’s hard to really grasp onto such things that seem like a nightmare. However, not every story shared the same intensity as others,… Keep Reading

A & E/Reviews

Marvel movie’s outta this world

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is the latest of the Marvel universe films to draw in crowds to the big screen. And overall, it does quite a fair job of capturing the attention and emotions of the audience. While a far different sort of Marvel film from the popular Avenger series and super hero movies such as ‘Thor’, ‘Captain America’, ‘Iron Man’ and the ‘Incredible Hulk’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ focuses heavily on the main character, Peter Quill played by actor Chris Pratt and his quest to earn a quick buck. After being abducted from Earth as a child—after a very sad and tear-jerking first scene—Quill is later taken under wing of an intergalactic ring of thieves, known as the Ravagers under the leadership of Yondu, played by Michael Rooker. Fast-forward 26 years to 2014 and we find Quill on the planet Morag attempting to steal an object called the Orb. … Keep Reading

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