Source: Instagram of Jesse Hughes

JONES | An Artist’s Place in the Gun Debate

If you’re a fan of the rap group/radical-left hype-men Run the Jewels, you may have been surprised by the news this weekend. Rapper Killer Mike, who forms one-half of Run the Jewels with El-P, gave an interview with the NRATV host Colion Noir in which he seemed to agree with the NRA and guns-right activists that new gun-control laws are not a solution to gun violence, separating himself from the progressive left that he has often acted as a celebrity spokesman for. In the interview, Killer Mike accused guns rights activists of being “lackey[s] of the progressive movement,” adding that “I told my kids on the school walkout: ‘I love you — if you walk out that school, walk out my house.’”

To be fair, Killer Mike was not simply aping the NRA’s incendiary rhetoric — he was trying to make an argument about the need specifically for African-Americans in poorly-policed areas to be prepared to defend themselves against threats. Killer Mike apologized in two videos he filmed at home soon after the NRATV interview was posted online, saying that he had unintentionally allowed the NRA to post the video as a counter to the March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, a protest which he called “a very noble campaign that I actually support.” However, he has chosen to explicitly align himself with gun-rights activists in the past: he said on Tavis Smiley’s show on PBS last year that “White men don’t want to give up their guns, and I’m with that. If you don’t want to give up your guns, and I have that right — not privilege — but I have that right too, then I’m standing on your side of the room when they say, ‘Who’s for guns?’”

A less surprising attack on gun control activists came from Jesse Hughes, the frontman of Eagles of Death Metal.

Drawing by Sophie Zheng

Pacific Rim Uprising: A Feast for Eyes, Not Heart

Even with a Kanye West endorsement and an all-star cast, many believed Guillermo Del Toro’s mecha-monster film Pacific Rim would bomb when it was released in 2013. While it is unfortunate that the guileless thrills of seeing giant monsters brawl equally colossal robots no longer excites as it used to, Del Toro’s eye for detail and ability to bestow a haunting grace to his extraterrestrial and mechanical monsters alike elevated Pacific Rim above the typical creature features. A stellar overseas performance helped drag the sequel’s status from the depths of development hell and now, Pacific Rim Uprising graces screens five years later. However, the absence of Del Toro’s idiosyncratic and artful touch looms over this Steven DeKnight directed film. While Pacific Rim Uprising never quite “rises up” to the iconic nature of its predecessor, it is fast-paced and undeniably fun, delivering exhilarating and bright action sequences and crisp CGI spectacle that excites in the moment, even if it does not stimulate much afterthought.

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Sherlock Gnomes: Kids Deserve Better

Do you ever hear about something, and after a few words you already know it’s a terrible idea? That’s how I felt with Sherlock Gnomes, the sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo and Juliet. Now, I never saw Gnomeo and Juliet, but from what I know, I feel that it didn’t warrant a sequel. Audience reactions seem lukewarm at best. Its gross wasn’t particularly impressive, only turning a profit thanks to the small budget.

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COLLINS | Free Netflix? No Thanks

During my sophomore year, former Arts & Entertainment Editor Sean Doolittle ’16 wrote a polemic titled “I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore.” Doolittle put Cornell students on blast for failing to value the arts. “We don’t make time for art anymore,” Doolittle wrote, “There’s no urgency for beauty.”

I disagreed with Doolittle’s column. Ways to appreciate arts and culture were everywhere on campus. Every weekend, students presented a cappella concerts, dance performances, live theater and more. Even if you wanted to stay in after a long week, who’s to say that watching Netflix doesn’t count as engaging with art?

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YANG | This One’s for the Theater Kids

When the trailer for NBC’s new series, Rise, popped up on my news feed a few weeks ago, I cursed Facebook’s advertising algorithm and made a mental note about the pilot airing date simultaneously. I mean, a show about a high school theater troupe putting on Spring Awakening, starring Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) and Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and produced by Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton)? It practically has my name written all over it. So naturally I had high expectations going in, but I also worried that Rise might fall into the dangerous trap of clichés. And I believe I was right to a certain degree.

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In New York He Milly Rocks: Playboi Carti at Cornell

Mike Floss was the catalyst to the night, starting off with a high energy set that featured heavy R&B beats, influenced by popular artists such as Travis Scott and Lil Uzi. Arriving in Ithaca from Tennessee, Floss brought his innovative and unique sound, inspired by the regressive rap culture prominent in Nashville. Sporting the finest of urban street wear, Floss took the stage in a black and red tracksuit with an embroidered head scarf, belting out his “Freak of the Week.” Floss’s sound radiated throughout Barton Hall, as his opening track surely set the tone for a high energy night. About midway through his performance, Floss pointed to a section leftward of the stage that just wasn’t keeping up with his energy level. He laughed and said, “Don’t worry though.

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Blockers is the New Sex Comedy for this Generation

It was hard to hear a character’s response after a joke had been cracked during Blockers. The close to two-hour runtime was filled with laugh after laugh  which was unexpected, given the film’s old-fashioned premise of sex and its relation to women. However, after its screening at South by Southwest Film Festival and the positive response it received, it is no surprise that Kay Cannon’s (who wrote Pitch Perfect and several episodes of NBC’s 30 Rock) film solidified itself as an effortless comedy, bringing laughs as easily as Superbad or 21 Jump Street. The only thing different about this film is its attribution of raunchy comedy to women, a recent turn that has been explored in comedies such as Bridesmaids, Trainwreck, and Girls Trip. Blockers follows three parents’ (played by Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz) desperate attempts to prevent their teenage daughters (played by Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon) from losing their virginity on prom night.

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A Disconnect in The Feed

In a period often referred to as the “information age,” the notion of technological addiction is a fairly pervasive reality, and very much a hot topic of conversation. Written for an audience primed with various science-fiction films and novels about this idea, the expectations for The Feed, Nick Clark Windo’s debut novel, were high. With a title that overtly references the main aspect of popular social media: one’s facebook feed, twitter feed, instagram feed, etc., there was a sense of relevancy to the novel that was almost immediately debunked by the end of chapter one. The novel evoked commentary similar to that of Dave Eggers’s novel The Circle (2013) in an atmosphere of mass-death and suspect forces akin to Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood. However, the execution of The Feed lacked the subtlety and mind-warping prose that allowed for the success of its forebears.

Max Buettner '21 acts in last week's Odysseus Wounded.

Odysseus Wounded: A Modern Take on a Greek Epic

At the end of The Odyssey, Odysseus finally journeys back from the fallen city of Troy to Ithaca, where he once reigned as king. Disguised, Odysseus finds his kingdom infested with once-loyal suitors competing for Odysseus’ wife’s, Penelope, hand in marriage. After skillfully shooting an arrow through twelve axes to prove his identity in a now iconic scene, Odysseus, along with his son Telemachus, in rage, proceeds to slay every single one of the suitors in barbarous fashion. The epic poem, attributed to Homer, was composed in oral tradition by a rhapsode, a classical Greek performer of epic poetry. Appropriately, the play Odysseus Wounded, by Nathan Chazan ’19, former Sun arts columnist, and Alexander Lugo ’19 was performed as a live reading.

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GOULDTHORPE | Big Name Leaves Pixar

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Coco’s win at the Oscars, and reflected on the film and what it meant. A couple days after though, a story broke in the Hollywood Reporter. Darla Anderson, the producer behind Coco and a long time Pixar veteran, announced on March 8 that she would be departing the studio. She released a statement saying, “I’ve had a magical and privileged experience working at Pixar for over two decades. The creativity, imagination, and innovation at Pixar is second to none.