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Game Night Leaves Audiences in Confusion

Have you ever seen one of those movies that is so stupid that it’s actually good? I would say that that is probably the most accurate way to describe Game Night.  It was really a whirlwind.  I laughed, I was scared and I was definitely confused.  I’m pretty sure I even said, “wait, what?” out loud a couple of times.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Black Panther: Good King, Maad Nation

“You are a good man with a good heart. But it is hard for a good man to be king.”

These are the deceased T’Chaka’s final words to his son T’Challa before the latter is crowned king of Wakanda, an African nation that poses as a third world country, when in reality it is one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world, thanks to the natural resource of vibranium. Throughout the Black Panther, T’Challa has a hard time accepting the contradiction of this statement: there is a disconnect between the man he is and the king he must be. As a whole, the film questions (and answers) its own permutation of T’Chaka’s proclamation: can a good superhero film have heart and explore themes of race, power and privilege, or will its genre conventions — namely CGI spectacle and quippy one-liners — reduce it to simply being blockbuster entertainment? Black Panther shows that the two can be harmonious; Ryan Coogler’s film is at once a celebration of blackness, a sobering analysis of the responsibilities and obligations that people of privilege and power have and a dazzling superhero film in its own right.

Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) carries Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) in Fifty Shades Freed.

Freed At Last! Fifty Shades is Finally Over

There’s nothing I hate more than a mediocre movie. As weird as it may sound, bad movies are usually fun to watch through a critical lens. There are far more usable synonyms for “bad” than for “meh.” I’ve come to love the Transformers and Fast and Furious franchises because they make it easy for me to exercise my growing superiority complex. However, when faced with a truly middle of the road film, I’m faced with a dilemma. If I like it too much, I’ll lose credibility as a “critic.” On the other hand, if I like it too little I get told I’m being negative for the sake of being negative.

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SWAN | The Collective Anxiety on Little Dark Age

Last week, MGMT released Little Dark Age, the duo’s fourth studio album. Admittedly, I haven’t listened to much of MGMT beyond their hits from last decade like “Kids” or “Electric Feel,” but nevertheless I really enjoyed listening to Little Dark Age. The album appears to have received generally positive reviews, with most critics asserting that Little Dark Age is a welcome return to MGMT’s commercial-pop sound after their foray into a more experimental quality during the early 2010s. Little Dark Age is rather quick to convey a retro vibe, made apparent from the breach by songs like “She Works Out Too Much,” “Little Dark Age,” and “When You Die.” MGMT seems to have pulled from the vernacular of 1980s pop music, with warm, analog synthesizer tracks on essentially every piece of the album. “Little Dark Age” the lead sample from the album which was actually released back in October, contains a machinated drum beat and near monotonic vocal track, both of which bring “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats to mind.

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SPINNING SINGLES: Kurt Riley, “Love is in My Heart”

Kurt Riley ’16  just released a new single for Valentine’s Day. “Love is in My Heart” represents the importance of love to Riley, as well as his musical inspirations. Riley’s performances feature bright letters spelling out his name, which is very similar to the way that The Killers — one of his biggest musical inspirations — tend to put a K on the stage when they perform. Additionally, just as The Killers do on holiday season, Riley has released a single today. However, this does not mean that Riley is simply following what The Killers do.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Sony Turned Peter Rabbit into a Remorseless Killer

Most of us grew up with Beatrix Potter’s stories, the most famous among them being her debut work The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1902. It’s a charming little morality tale about a young rabbit warned by his mother to not raid a farmer’s garden. He does so and lands himself in trouble. It may not be the headiest of literature, but it’s a cultural touchstone. Three years ago, the Sony email hacks revealed that they were planning on bringing Beatrix Potter’s beloved character to the big screen.

Courtesy of Magic Light Pictures

Oscar-Nominated Animated Short Films Delight at Cornell Cinema

With the Oscars right around the corner, Cornell Cinema recently screened the nominees for best Animated Short. All five films showcase completely different styles of animation and stories. A love letter written by NBA legend Kobe Bryant, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s dark take on fairy tales and frogs uncovering a chilling secret are just a few of the shorts included in this years selection of nominees. Dear Basketball is based on a poem of the same name written by Kobe Bryant. It utilizes a sketch-based animation, helping draw the audience in with a black and white color scheme that created a youthful look and fast pace.

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Arts To-Do List for Valentine’s Day

For Happy Couples

Movies:

La La Land — Damien Chazelle

Start with a cliche, heartwarming love story and you have a good movie. Throw in a soundtrack that’s impossible not to dance along to, Ryan Gosling’s beautiful bone structure and an ending that renders me incapable of movement every time I rewatch it and you have a V-Day must-see. The Proposal — Anne Fletcher

If you’re looking for that perfect “wanna come over and watch a movie or something” film, look no further. The Proposal combines raunchy comedy with a story of unexpected love to create fun for the whole family. But be warned — your significant other will ask, “why don’t you look as good as Ryan Reynolds/Sandra Bullock naked?”

– Pete Buonanno ’20

The Philadelphia Story – George Cukor

A witty script and great comedic timing from the cast make this 1940 film a classic.

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Doug Hall’s In Silence — A Wondrous Architecture

The acclaimed artist Doug Hall has worked in a variety of media and his work is currently being exhibited through his photography. Located in the Bibliowicz Family Gallery in Milstein Hall, In Silence brings together some of Hall’s most celebrated photographs which feature stunning scenes of archives and examinations of the human relationship with knowledge. In “Remembrance of Things Past” (Marcel Proust), the title of the photo alludes to the central figure dominating the entirety of the piece, the Proustian work of the same name. The luscious prose which sprawls across the page is hypnotic and is one of the initial pulls of the work. The book in the photograph radiates the appearance of being effortlessly unplanned yet at the same time astonishing.