Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

A Gay Man’s Take on Love, Simon

For a while, Love, Simon flew under my radar. Once I first saw trailers for it though, I became intrigued — but also cautious. I didn’t know how a teenage romance movie would handle a gay protagonist. The film, directed by Greg Berlanti and written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Bergerm, could easily go so wrong. Luckily, my fears have been dispelled.

Courtesy of Def Jam

TEST SPIN | Logic – Bobby Tarantino II

From the release of his debut mixtape Young Sinatra, Logic has been dropping the jaws of listeners with his fast-paced lyrical acrobatics. His discography includes three studio albums and seven mixtapes consisting of a diverse collection of bangers and vibes, each packed with jumbles of tongue-twisting talent. Drawing on inspiration from directors like Quentin Tarantino and artists like Jay Z, Logic writes concept albums that tell stories in which science fiction meets street and emotional vulnerability meets eye-rolling confidence. On March 9, Logic released his newest mixtape, Bobby Tarantino II, as a follow up to 2016’s Bobby Tarantino. The original Bobby Tarantino was widely criticized for its lack of a coherent concept, its simplicity and for the aloof, braggadocious version of Logic that it presents.

Courtesy of the Midnight Comedy Troupe

Midnight Comedy Troupe Blends Dark Humor and Social Commentary

Weston Barker ’21 and the Midnight Comedy Troupe are deathly funny. The seven member outfit is Cornell’s newest and only dark humor sketch group that does its best to shock, awe and entertain. They hit the mark, brilliantly. Judged on just their comedic chops, this group stands alone. But what really sets them apart is their secondary goal: to inspire (or incite) meaningful dialogue and bring people together with conversation and laughter.

Courtesy of CBS All Access

Fighting The Good Fight in Trump’s America

The stakes are real and authentic in The Good Fight on CBS All Access. This rawness is visible in the show’s opening sequence, which intersplices explosions of luxury items like aged Scotch and Birkin bags with footage of top news stories, including Trump’s criticizing the media and the rally in Charlottesville. The show’s connection to current America is even deeper than just these references. Each episode is give the title “Day XXX,” which represents the number of days Trump has been in office as each episode airs. This show does not attempt to escape or shy away from reality as some other shows do, but rather embraces the uneasiness and division within the real world.

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Red Sparrow’s Promise Goes Unfulfilled

I had high hopes for Red Sparrow when I saw the trailer. It looked stylish and sharp, and I’m a sucker for a good thriller. At the same time, I had some reservations. A spy using their sexuality as a weapon to seduce targets is a tired trope that never clicked with me in the first place. Nonetheless, I went in with some strong expectations.

Barnes Hall, where the Midday Music concert took place

Midday Music Offers Welcome Respite from Classes

After my morning class the Wednesday before February break, I headed straight for the Barnes Hall auditorium, where one of the Music Department’s weekly Midday Music performances was scheduled. Midday Music, a concert series that takes place around lunchtime (12:30 – 1:15p.m.) on Wednesdays or Thursdays, offers a chance for students to take a break from their hectic schedules to sit down and enjoy some lovely classical music from students and faculty at Cornell. This particular performance was Baroque, with first-year graduate student Morton Wan, currently in the Ph.D. musicology program, performing Bach on harpsichord and Rameau on piano. Wan started with Bach’s third English Suite (BWV 808), which Bach composed around his Weimar period (1708-17) and is part of his first major series of harpsichord works before the Well-Tempered Clavier. This piece in particular demonstrates Bach’s expert knowledge of dances, such as the Gigue and the Sarabande.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Annihilation is a New Sci-Fi Classic

Last September, a trailer popped up on YouTube that immediately captured my attention. Right from the get-go, Annihilation had me hooked with its enigmatic teaser. It seemed to ooze all kinds of clever science-fiction goodness. The film is directed and written by Alex Garland, the mind behind Ex Machina, and the story comes from an acclaimed series of  novels by Jeff VanderMeer. As time went on, I began counting down the days to Annihilation’s release.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Black Panther Roundtable

What was the best moment in Black Panther? Jonvi Rollins: Black Panther taking Killmonger to watch the Wakandan sunset. The moment perfectly exemplifies the “good heart” of the title character while farther humanizing his adversary. The paths of the men finally converge as Panther takes steps to understand, through Killmonger, his duty to others outside of his nation. Andrea Yang: T’Challa’s second visit to the spirits of the past Black Panthers, in which he speaks to his father again and makes a decision about what kind of king he wants to be.

Courtesy of Matador

TEST SPIN | Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy

“You gotta listen to Twin Fantasy!” urged my friend to me at about the same time that Car Seat Headrest’s 2016 Teens of Denial was prompting me to reconsider whether rock was actually dead. I knew lead singer and songwriter Will Toledo had already released a whopping 12 albums under the Car Seat moniker before signing with Matador Records, but after watching Toledo shriek out “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a toy drum set to accompany him in what must be the shrillest Tiny Desk Concert to date, I struggled to believe that his work could get any more lo-fi. When I did finally endeavor into Toledo’s 2011 homemade opus Twin Fantasy, I was torn. While I could recognize the gumption of a kid who self recorded 10 minute rock n’ roll epics about his depression and somehow had the talent to make it all sound convincing, I struggled to plod my way through the blown-out vocals and macgyvered production to find something that resonated with me. Eventually, after several more dogged listens, I finally accepted defeat and admitted to myself that I just couldn’t get into Twin Fantasy.