Category Archives: Arts + Entertainment

A+E: Online Music Festivals Have Taken Over Following Ban On Public Events

by Alex Rotter

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, all events that were supposed to happen were canceled because of the outbreak.Since then, companies are trying to find a way to still do the events from home.

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A few weeks ago, the Insomniac company hosted an online music festival that hosted different types of artists. The online concert was two days and it lasted from 8 PM – 12 AM. The first event got over one million people from all around the world to watch the Livestream. The best part about the virtual concert is that it is free to tune in. Since they got really good viewers on the first online festival they did, they have been hosting one every weekend so people have something to do. Insomniac wants people to have fun watching the stream since you are limited to activities at home. On May 15, 16, and 17, they will be hosting a three-day event for EDC Las Vegas and you will be able to watch different sets on different channels. 

Another event called the Digital Mirage was hosted by Proximity and Brownies & Lemonade, this festival was able to raise up to 300,000 dollars for people who have the coronavirus. This concert was also free to attend but they recommended that you donate so they can raise more money for the coronavirus.   The event lasted from 12 PM – 2 AM and they were able to gain over 4.1 million viewers in total for three days.  Some really popular music artists are also hosting music events on Instagram live. The artists are playing a lot of their popular songs and they also play some unreleased music that people haven’t heard yet.

Another festival that is happening is the Dreamworld online music festival. This online festival is raising money for the Heart Water Foundation. If you also buy their water bottles, they are also helping improve the lives of children suffering from poverty, disease, and addiction. When someone donates to the charity, they will send money to hospitals so they can help with COVID-19. This festival lasted for three days and had over 50 artists performing.

The Room Service festival is another event that happened on April 14-16. It was a three-day event that had over 50 plus artists attending. Each day, the festival would last from 12 PM to 1:30 AM. The music festival was hosted by Chill Nation and Trap Nation which are Youtube channels that have over 30 million subscribers. They delivered a music festival that got up to 2.5 million viewers in total for all three days. It was also a music festival that was raising charity for Feeding America and Sweet Relief. Feeding America is a charity that helps people that need food and starving from hunger. The Sweet Relief charity is for music musicians and industry workers that are struggling because of illness. In total, they made over 135,000 dollars for all three days.

Fortnite hosted an online concert for Travis Scott and there were about twelve million players online. Fortnite also added a Travis Scott and Astroworld skin that you were able to buy from the item shop. The concert insisted on really colorful animations that made the concert very special to people who love Travis Scott. The concert lasted for ten minutes but it was a really exciting concert to attend in a game. 

The music festivals have been a great way for people to take their minds off COVID-19 while also contributing to great causes. There will surely be many more events to follow, as their popularity is only increasing.

A+E: Roddy Ricch’s newfound fame and publicity draws the envy of former superstars Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez

by Joshua Whitfield

Roddy Ricch has become one of the most popular rappers over the past couple of months through his intelligent social media tactics, and catchy songs.

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In 2019 new upcoming rapper Roddy Ricch dropped his most successful album to date titled “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”. This album featured 16 songs and was released on December 6, 2019, on all major streaming platforms. It would soon take the nation by storm and put his name on the map, thanks to the help of the second song on his album titled “The Box”. 

“The Box” for two consecutive weeks held The Billboard Hot 100 spot above two other major artists namely Justin Bieber’s “Yummy” and Selena Gomez’s “Rare”. They were neck and neck, but neither of the artists could overtake Roddy Ricch’s new fame and publicity. 

Justin Bieber released “Yummy” January 3, 2020, and was expecting to topple over “The Box” and take the number 1 spot, yet it didn’t happen. “Yummy”, which is also the name of the album, had the utmost importance for Justin Bieber. Overtaking Roddy Ricch turned into a social media fiasco and Bieber told his audience of over 120 million on Instagram to stream on Spotify and raise his song to number one. Justin Bieber on Instagram Live had him lying down while begging his followers to go listen to “Yummy”.

“Stream Yummy like please,” said Justin Bieber on his Livestream. 

As Justin Bieber tried to share and publicize loopholes to get his recent project to the number 1 spot, his direct competition Roddy Ricch tweeted out on January 11 to go and listen to Justin’s “Yummy”. This promotion that Roddy gave him gathered so much attention, with 25,000 retweets and 138,000 likes on twitter.

“Stream yummy by Justin Bieber,” said Roddy Ricch.

This had the opposite effect of what it was meant for and it just put artist Roddy Ricch in a better light than Justin Bieber because even though Justin tried to get ahead of him in a very underhanded way, he still supported Justin. This indirect support for Justin turned into more support for Roddy Ricch because more people streamed his new hit “The  Box” more than before. This kept him ahead of someone who used very blatant manipulation techniques to game the system for his own benefit.

Justin Bieber was not the only one to be outshined as “The Box” dominated the charts, artist Selena Gomez participated in these very petty social media outbursts to increase her ranking.

Selena Gomez released her new album called “Rare” on January 10, to then turn to Instagram in the exact same way as Justin did. Selena on Instagram live said to her 169 million followers to go stream her album.

“I would love for the most important album I’ve ever released to become number one, so if you don’t mind streaming it or listening to it on all the platforms it would mean the absolute world to me,” said Selena.

Selena didn’t go as far as Justin did, but Selena had to beg for fans to stream her album to overtake an artist who is on the rise. Selena a few days later would go on to Instagram live with her and three friends to go on a run to three local convenience stores to buy the album herself, so it would count towards her overall sales. 

“Am I kind of desperate for doing this, I don’t care, I don’t care,” said Selena. 

Unlike Justin, for a moment Selena overtook Roddy Ricch and came out on top with her album at the number one spot. Many people expressed on social media how she lost respect from a lot of people because of the clear desperation that was shown to get her album to number one and the methods she used to do so. As well as how her competition Roddy Ricch tweeted out to stream Selena Gomez’s album the same way he did with Justin Bieber. 

Unbeknownst to Roddy, his clear support of his direct competition had the opposite effect and gave him more publicity, streams, and a better PR after the fact. People know Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez gave up their dignity to get more sales, yet a recently popular rapper who had hit the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in his career, defeated them by trying to help.

A+E: Direct My Actions Not My Love

by Matthew Ruiz

When watching a romance movie, naturally they end in matrimony, but what about a movie that begins with a marriage ending?

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When watching Noah Baumbach’s New film “Marriage Story” Starring Scarlett Johansson as Nicole and Adam Driver as Charlie, it’s intense to see their marriage falling apart. It’s a tear jerker, frustrating, and funny film at times the plot jumps around and shows the audience the realism and heartbreaks of families going through a divorce. 

Nicole and Charlie are a very active couple who together have an eight year old child named Henry played by Azhy Robertson. They live in Brooklyn and both work in Charlie’s Film Theater. Nicole is a former Hollywood star, she’s very brave, competitive, infectious, and full of love. Charlie is a Director/Actor who’s a persistent man, self Sufficient, and a very good cook. As the film opens we see how each partner describes the other and we learn just who each of them are and what their internal feelings are before anything happens. 

What follows is rage and awkwardness between them. Happiness is a very inexpressible and a very special privilege to have within a family. When they split, they find a new look for themselves with Nicole finding her own path in going back to Los Angeles and doing her own acting there. Charlie on the other hand stays in Brooklyn, but he will soon be traveling back and forth from New York to Los Angeles. The aftermath shows the misery of getting a divorce, the Lawyers. Nicole and Charlie become pawns in a drama filled divorce case neither want to be in. 

Nicole goes with a very successful and well known LA Lawyer named “Nora”, who’s a published author and Lawyer. Charlie is stuck between two lawyers who want to crush Nicole and her lawyer in getting custody over Henry, while the other wants to go the safe route. If Charlie wants custody of Henry he needs to “Change the Narrative” and move the case to New York. 

The most irritating part of this movie is how both Nicole and Charlie are acting like dense and greedy children sometimes. With Nicole, she doesn’t want to tell Charlie the truth in terms of when things need to be done with the divorce papers, who is supposed to have Henry for special holidays, and ignores the fact that Charlie has a heart too, who just wants to spend time with his son. Yet Charlie acts like a child during their marriage. Charlie had an affair with the costume designer he works with, but the audience has to feel some sense of remorse or pity for the guy. 

He’s a hard working father that is trying to balance his family life, work, and divorce. The struggles he goes through and the position Nicole puts him in was hard to watch. Adam Driver did a phenomenal job of showing his emotions and bringing out the realization of being a single father, while also trying to direct a play on the other side of the country. Scarlett Johansson also did a good job acting like a mother but also acting like a “villain”. 

One of the most powerful and intense scenes in the movie is when Charlie and Nicole finally want to “talk” but what ends up happening they get into a really heated argument saying some threatening words and bringing up family members to compare to. The disconnection this family has is very well presented in this scene, and the hatred they both have for each other is incomprehensible. Charlie is in an emotional wreck and Nicole is already moved on and has found a new man. The case closed with Nicole winning and both parents have to share Henry every other weekend. This movie was very sad and depressing, and it was like a hard pill to swallow on how the reality of a hard marriage can be.

A+E: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

by: Joshua Lucero

Marking the end to a 40-year story arc that the world fell in love with, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was released on December 20, 2019. George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars series, was the sole creative director for the forever beloved, Episodes I-VI before selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012. Episodes I-III showed who the chosen one was prior to his fall to the dark side. The fan base was able to get to know Anakin Skywalker as a Jedi Knight versus his role in episodes IV-VI as Darth Vader. 

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Since Disney bought the franchise in 2012, the series has become nothing more, but simply a dollar sign to them. Episode VII gives followers a decent backstory for the new main characters Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Finn (John Boyega). The Trilogy first introduced to us with the main character Rey (Daisy Ridley), who is a force sensitive scavenger. She was abandoned as a young child, on a desert planet and was forced to live her life with no explanation of what she came from. 

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Episode IX is the final episode of the Skywalker legacy. This film is a prime example of what happens when money takes over a well-oiled franchise. The last episode of the Trilogy shows how Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is torn between the dark and light side. His goal is to find the sith planet Exegol and once he locates the planet he discovers Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who has been pulling all the strings from behind the curtains since Episode VII. When Kylo found this planet he swore his allegiance to the dead Palpatine and would go on a mission to find Rey and kill her to solidify his role in Palpatine’s empire. On this planet Palptine had a massive army of Imperial Star Destroyers that he commands at will. Kylo sets out to find Rey and kill her to be part of Palpatine’s rule. They eventually encounter each other and have a fight similar to the one from Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, which takes place on the Death Star ruins. During the fight Kylo’s mother, Leia, reaches out to him one last time before she dies. He gets distracted and Rey stabs him and escapes with Kylo’s ship to the planet Ahch-to. Kylo then gets persuaded back to the light by his father’s essence. 

Rey, now on her own, seeks to find out who her family… who she really is. During the midpoint of the movie she discovered she is of the Palpatine bloodline, the grand daughter of Darth Sidious. Further into the Episode, Rey and Kylo, who was turned to the light, with the help of the Resistance fleet, attack Exegol. During the siege on Exegol, the Resistance, in addition to the ships rallied by Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), fight Palpatine’s army head to head. While the Resistance is holding the fight in the air, Rey and Kylo fight Palpatine and ultimately win with the cost being Kylo’s life. The film concludes with Rey burying Luke and Leia’s lightsabers.  

This film lacked fluency, there was no real story connecting it to the other movies. There was seemingly no real preparation for this film. The main focus around the film was to bring Emperor Palpatine back to the throne. This does not make sense as George Lucas’ films intended that the emperor stay dead. There was no explanation on how Darth Sidious survived. He appeared out of the woodwork attached to some sort of life support machine keeping him alive. This is poor planning by Abrams and Chris Terrio because of the unlikeliness that Darth Sidious would have been alive if Lucas was involved in the film. It was almost like Abrams and co writer Chris Terrio took bits and pieces from previous films, the Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, added Palpatine, and hoped and prayed that it would stick on the wall somewhere. 

sw11This film lacked the “Star Wars umph”, there was no real connection to the film that made it meaningful, which it should have been, considering this is the end to an emotionally attaching series. This film was seemingly rushed to the point of desperation. They reached in a bag and pulled out whatever they found. Rey and Kylo’s “love” felt fake. It felt as if they were forced to love one another simply due to the fact that Rey was a Palpatine and Kylo was a Skywalker. It seemed they wanted a dramatic love story just like Padme and Anakin from Episodes II & III. They wanted something that was never there in the first place. Their “love story” was fake and did not connect well with the main story line. 

The ending fight scene between Rey and Palpatine as well another forced scene. Rey engaged in a fight with Palpatine, Palpatine struck with his sith lightning then Rey countered it by holding two lightsabers against the lightning. She pushed against the lightning and forced it back to Palpatine, killing him and all his Sith followers. There was no real battle between them and it was pointless how Rey would just push back the lightning and kill Palpatine. 

There is a lot that the filmed lacked to be called a true Star Wars film. Many, myself included, were disappointed on how this long line of emotionally jerking Episodes ended. This film was watched because it was the end of a Star Wars era that started it all. It lacked the family aspect that would be created from films that would be carefully constructed rather than be controlled by a dollar sign. There are some aspects of the movie that can be praised, such as the visual performances that involved with CGI and the actors themselves were very involved but other than these few drops of water this film went up in flames.

A+E: The Mandolorian Offers a Fresh New Look at The Star Wars Galaxy

by Ryan Tavera

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there was a lone gunslinger known as the Mandolorian, played by Pedro Pascal, first appearing on November 12, 2019, on the launch of Disney’s new streaming device known as Disney+.

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When Mando’s character was introduced, it is revealed that he is from a creed known as the Mandalorians, a group of people who are distinguished by their distinct armor and impressive combat skills. Mando is a bounty hunter for a living and takes up a job from a shady ex-empire official, who directs Mando to obtain an asset with the promise of a large fortune. 

Mando is helped by IG-11 a bounty hunter droid and Kuiil a resident of the planet, as they shoot their way through countless guards to obtain the target. As Mando slowly creeps up to the floating orb at the climax of the mission, his device begins to beep faster and louder. He opens the orb to find perhaps the show’s most talked-about character, the notorious Baby Yoda that has spread through the internet like wildfire. Thus at the end of the pilot, a worldwide obsession with baby Yoda was born.  

Since episode one, the story has been quite simple and easy to follow yet remains interesting and fresh. Mando returns Baby Yoda to the shady ex-empire official and claims his immense sum of rare Mandalorian steel named Beskar. Mando then fashions it into some bright and shiny new armor but decides that Baby Yoda is too adorable for him to let go so Mando returns to the ex-empire official’s hideout and picks off his guards one by one as he attempts to claim the child back. 

The plan doesn’t go so well and Mando is being cornered by a surplus of blaster fire. The music begins to rise, and a handful of powerful and elite leveled Mandalorians help Mando out so he can achieve his righteous quest of leaving with Baby Yoda to protect him. Mando and Baby Yoda leave, making countless friends and enemies along the way trying to protect the mighty yet minuscule Baby Yoda. 

In episode 4 “Sanctuary”,  Mando and Baby Yoda land on a remote planet named Sorgan which is sparsely populated, and perfect for hiding. The pair encounter an ex-soldier named Cara Dune (played by Gina Carano) who is taking refuge on the planet as well. They team up and talk to two villagers from a nearby town, who show up to ask Mano and Cara Dune if they can help defend their village from a club of raiders who keep terrorizing their home. Mando and Dune accept and help train the village in hand to hand combat along with how to shoot a blaster. The village succeeds in defending themselves from the raiders, but end up forcing the Mandolorian to desert the planet with Baby Yoda since their cover is blown. 

Mando grows as a character along with Baby Yoda who’s not the same vulnerable kid when we first met him. Baby Yoda begins to use the force in small bursts force choking Cara Dune and force healing Greek Karga.

The pair travels through the galaxy, and The Mandolorian ends up reaching out to his old friend Ran, who has assembled a crew consisting of ex-Imperial sharpshooter Mayfield, the Devaronian strongman Burg, the droid pilot Zero, and the knife-wielding Twi’lek woman Xi’an, to rescue Xi’an’s brother Qin. 

This episode takes a more horror movie type approach. The mercenaries turn on Mando and attempt to lock him in the ship to be captured. The plan doesn’t exactly work out though, as Mando breaks out in one of the most chilling shots of the show. The ship’s lights are blinking red, the sirens are letting out an eerie and nerve-racking screech, and Mando one by one hunts each of the mercenaries taking them out with stealth and precision. 

The last two episodes of the Mandolorian are easily the strongest, as the show concludes with a bang. Mando is called to help Karega’s town, which has been overrun by Imperial troops led by the Client, who is desperate to recover the child, baby Yoda. Karga proposes that the Mandalorian use the child as bait in order to kill the Client and free the town. In return, Karga will square things out with the Guild, which would allow the Mandalorian and the child to live in peace. 

Things don’t go so well and Mando, Greef, and Cara are surrounded by stormtroopers and death troopers commanded by Moff Gideon. Mando orders Kuiil to take Baby Yoda and leave the planet urgently. As Kuiil hustling back two scout troopers take off in an attempt to capture Baba Yoda.

I was on the edge of my seat as the music rises and Kuiil is running his hardest in his best attempt to protect Baby Yoda. The screen cuts to black and Mando’s voice fades over as he yells at Kuiil asking if he made it. Our view then pans over to Kuiil’s slumped over the body, only a couple of feet away from the ship, as scout troopers pick up Baby Yoda.

The season finale Chapter 8 “Redemption” is exactly what it says it is. While the Mandalorian, Dune, and Karga are trapped, IG-11 rescues the Child. Gideon gives them until nightfall to surrender, or he will order his troops to fire. The Mandalorian and IG-11 remain behind while Dune and Karga take the Child into the sewers. IG-11 removes the Mandalorian’s helmet to treat his injuries before they join the others in the sewers. 

As the group is escaping from the Empire’s grasp, they take an underground lava river where they find out they’re going to be ambushed by a large group of stormtroopers. IG-11 elects to sacrifice himself for their safety, and walks through the lava while self-destructing, succeeding in protecting the group. All the troopers are gone due to IG-11’s heroics, and The Mandolorian departs from the planet taking Baby Yoda, as the episode ends in redemption. 

Overall The Mandolorian is a breath of fresh air for Stars Wars fans and a good one at that. The show has many things going for it Baby Yoda, Mando, and the support of many Star Wars fans. I can easily recommend The Mandolorian to any Star Wars fan who is seeking for more content to satisfy their itch.

A+E: Oscar 2020 Predictions and Story Lines

By Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the Oscar Nominations being released this last Monday, the buzz for the Academy Awards has gone into full swing with as much excitement as there is controversy.

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One of the biggest disappointments of the nominations is that there is not a single woman nominated in the Best Director category. With the Golden Globes having the same outcome in their nominations for this category, I did not anticipate the Oscars to follow suit. While I’m impressed with the current field and feel that none of the nominees are undeserving, there were many great female directors this past year in Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), and Lulu Wang (The Farewell), just to name a few. 

Another problem I personally had of the nominations was the complete shut out of Uncut Gems from any of the categories. While I found this movie to be quite polarizing in opinions, I thought it was one of the best films of the year and deserving of some recognition. I especially feel bad for Adam Sandler, who is not normally known for Oscar-worthy performances but delivered the best performance of his career and one of the best performances of the year in general.

The Academy Awards still did surprise me in a few positive ways as well. I knew Joker was definitely going to at least grab a few nominations, I did not expect it to completely dominate with eleven nominations in total. This makes it the most nominated movie of the year and also the most nominated “comic-book” movie of all time. Another great surprise comes in the form of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite grabbing six nominations including Best Picture and Best Director for Bong Joon-ho. This was probably my favorite movie of the year and while I did at least expect a foreign film nomination, I did not expect it to be a serious contender in categories where foreign films rarely get recognition.

With all things considered, here are some predictions into who I feel will win and who I want to win some of the major categories that will be announced on February 9th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The Best Picture nominees are Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Parasite.

This is always my favorite category when it comes to the awards season and this year’s race seems to be one of the most competitive in recent years. I could see this going a few different ways, but my favorite and the movie I hope wins is Parasite. It is Korea’s first Best Picture nomination, but I feel that it is simply just going to stay as a nomination, as I just can’t see critics and voters being drawn in numbers to a foreign film, especially with movies from Tarantino and Scorsese in the mix. I also do not see Joker winning in this category, because it has not won the best picture award at any of the major shows and I can’t see the academy ready for a comic-book movie to win the grand prize. My prediction here goes to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as movies based on the movie industry tend to have a slight edge and while 1917 won the Golden Globes, I don’t see it gaining enough support when movies are not split up between comedy and drama.

The Best Director nominees are Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Todd Phillips for Joker, Sam Mendes for 1917, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Bong Joon-ho for Parasite.

This is going to be another seriously competitive category with Scorsese and Tarantino being clear frontrunners that come to mind. Again, Sam Mendes did win the Golden Globe award for Best Director, but I believe the Oscars will stick with more traditional staples and give Scorsese the win for The Irishman. I also like Bong Joon-ho to win the award, but I can’t picture any wins for Parasite outside of the foreign film category.

The Best Actor nominees are Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory, Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Adam Driver in Marriage Story, Joaquin Phoenix in Joker and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes.

I don’t see how this award can go to anyone but Joaquin Phoenix and he is my personal choice to win as well. No one else has really been in the discussion and Phoenix has swept the best actor at all other award shows.

The Best Actress nominees are Cynthia Erivo in Harriet, Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan in Little Women, Charlize Theron in Bombshell, Renée Zellweger in Judy.

Zellweger has to be the clear favorite here and my prediction to win the award as she has won the most awards including a Screen Actors Guild Award this past weekend going into the Oscars, however, I think Cynthia Erivo’s performance in Harriet is definitely more than worthy of the award.

The Best Supporting Actor nominees are Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes, Al Pacino in The Irishman, Joe Pesci in The Irishman and Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Continuing with the trend of these acting awards having clear favorites, this can’t go to anyone else other than Brad Pitt. While I thought Pacino and Pesci were both phenomenal, since they are in the same movie, it’s going to be hard to gain enough votes for one of them. 

The Best Supporting Actress nominees are Kathy Bates in Richard Jewell, Laura Dern in Marriage Story, Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit, Florence Pugh in Little Women and Margot Robbie in Bombshell.

Scarlett Johansson has had herself an incredible year with nominations in both acting categories. I think she has a better chance to win this one with her performance in Jojo Rabbit, but I think Laura Dern will continue to win this award season following her Golden Globe and SAG award.

A+E: Call of Duty Returns to Form

by Ryan Tavera

In 2007, developer Infinity Ward changed the video game industry for years to come and sparked an extensive amount of shooter games to be released, namely Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The game exploded in popularity and was what many considered the glory days of the Call Of Duty franchise. 

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In recent years, however, the franchise has begun to take a dip in quality and originality. The majority of fans are simply not as excited for the new games as they used to be. This year Call Of Duty returns to its “modern roots” with a reboot that many are considering the franchise’s greatest moment.

Call of Duty is a military first-person shooter that continues to be one of the biggest franchises in gaming. Publisher Activision annually releases a new entry developed by different studios and it’s always one of the top-selling games for that year.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is exactly what fans have been wanting for the past 5 years, simple boots on the ground modern military shooter. Modern Warfare ditches all the futuristic themes and weaponry seen in previous installments such as Black Ops 3 and 4 likewise the hero-shooter aspects of previous games have been removed, there are no more special powers cluttering up multiplayer matches.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare is a reboot of the Modern Warfare franchise. The game takes place before the events of the first installment Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare and since this is a reimaging of the franchise, Infinity Ward has plenty of room to reimagine previous events and create new ones, likewise, Infinity Ward can play around with characters how they see fit.

Speaking about the story one of Modern Warfare’s strongest aspects is the Campaign itself. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the Modern Warfare’s Campaign it is easily the strongest one I’ve played this decade.

Each level is constructed to play different and give a sense of variety one mission you play as a swat team raiding a house in the suburbs at midnight taking out enemies one by one silently with your squadmates, clearing each floor slowly and methodically.

The next you play as a marine sitting on top of a building fending off waves of enemy soldiers that slowly make it closer to the point you’re defending, yet you continue to hunker down and defend the point guns blazing.

Somewhat innovative, but effective, yes. This generation’s Call of Duty campaigns has a “thrill ride” reputation, a procession of set piece moments with no time to catch your breath. Modern Warfare is more deliberately paced, and better off for it

There’s an intimacy to Modern Warfare’s campaign that I find frightful and fascinating all at once. The game has a gritty realistic tone to it, Infinity Ward really nailed making the player feel as if they were in a real war.

There are only two cons that come to mind when thinking of Modern Warfare’s campaign, sadly its to short for its own good and lacks any real controversy. Modern Warfare hopes to garner prestige from its realistic weapons, great graphics, and lively landscapes but at its core, it tries to be a serious commentary on present-day conflicts yet falls short due to the lack of confronting anything that’s actually controversial.

Ultimately what I took away from the campaign was that Infinity Ward wanted to remind players that “modern warfare” isn’t black-and-white as it was in earlier Call of Duty games focusing on the heroes of World War II.

Neither the enemy nor the “good guys” tend to play fair. War is ugly and messy, and Modern Warfare is an attempt to replicate that. It refuses to gloss over the horrors of war and glorify it in the same way as the previous Call of Duty games.

Moving on to the meat and potatoes of the game, the multiplayer. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare’s multiplayer comes with two halves: Competitive multiplayer and co-operative Special Ops. Progression carries over between these two modes, and bits of the story also cross over between the campaign and Special Ops, while multiplayer maps are often clearly inspired by levels in the campaign.

Modern Warfare’s multiplayer maps have changed quite significantly and possibly for the worst. For starters, Infinity Ward has essentially ditched the three-lane map layouts that players have become used to. Now the maps are quite large, maybe too large for the average six vs six-match, most maps are littered with positions for players to hunker down and sit it one spot. This combined with the very fast TTK (time-to-kill) can lead to a much slower and methodical way of playing.

Personally, I welcome the change of pace to the multiplayer, although at first, it was harder to get used to the slower gameplay and bigger maps. However, the more I played I began to adapt to the new gameplay and found myself having better games and more fun.

Although running and gunning may not work as well as in previous games there are plenty of ways the player is able to tweak their classes to the way they like to play. This brings me to my next point the customization that is given to the player.

Modern Warfare has introduced a new class system called the gunsmith which allows the player to choose up to 60 different attachments for each weapon. That may sound a little overwhelming but the game tells you exactly what each attachment will do to your gun and how it will change its performance.

Each attachment has a clear set of pros and cons, listing exactly what stats are affected and how. For example, you can change the stock of your rifle and gain ++ Aim Walking Movement Speed and + Movement Speed, but at the expense of — Recoil Control, — Aiming gun steadiness and — Idle Sway Control.

What this amount of customization means is you can precisely change and fine-tune your weapon to suit the way you play. The gunsmith opens up a whole other aspect to the multiplayer and way more replay value. As each weapon has up to 60 attachments this will allow players to grind the game and choose the weapon that best suits them.

All in all Modern Warfare is desperately what the Call Of Duty franchise needed. Its a return to form with added features and a great campaign, it’s really the whole package. I can easily recommend this game to anybody who enjoys FPS (first-person shooter) games. The community is excited to see what Infinity Wards plans are regarding Modern Warfare in 2020.

A+E: “Harriet” Offers Cinematic Look at Tubman’s Underground Railroad

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

Although November isn’t recognized as Black History Month, film producers Gregory Howard, Daniela Lundberg and Debra Chase made sure American audiences could relive a major part of black history in America. 

HARRIET

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in 1820. She was one of nine children, all of which resided in Dorchester County, Maryland. Her mother, “Rit” Green, was owned by Mary Pattison. Her father, who eventually bought his freedom, lived in close proximity to Pattison’s plantation.

In the movie, Tubman is portrayed by Cynthia Erivo, a British actress, singer, and songwriter. Erivo won the part over a multitude of actresses who were rumored for the role, including Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis.

The beginning of the movie included a key aspect of Harriet’s life that could have jeopardized her escape from slavery: her spells. When Harriet was a young girl, she was hit over the head with a stone that cracked her skull open and began a lifelong trouble of spells. However, the spells, she says, includes her communication with God, who guides her through troubled times. The movie demonstrates these spells a multitude of times that include when she’s running away from her farm, while she is in the North and while she’s rescuing slaves herself.

As she plans to escape her plantation, the movie exhibits an important aspect of slave-life throughout American slavery: negro spirituals. Negro spirituals were slave-made songs that carried tradition, along with messages hidden within the song. In the movie, upon her departure, Harriet sings a famous negro spiritual that acknowledges a slave is running away. In this case, Harriet was saying goodbye to her mother through song. It was an important feature of slave-life that the movie captured perfectly.

The movie also brought in other important aspects and people of the time. As the movie approached its climax, it acknowledged the beginning of the fugitive slave act. The Fugitive Slave Act was an act that was passed by Congress on September 18, 1850, which was part of the Compromise of 1850. The act required that slaves be returned to their owners, even if they were in a free state. The act also made the federal government responsible for finding, returning and trying escaped slaves.

In the movie, when the act was passed, people of color in the North scampered and scurried around and the individuals who ran the Underground Railroad, made it a priority to get Tubman to Canada. Then, leading to another one of her spells.

The Underground Railroad was a secret network organized by people who helped men, women, and children escape from slavery to freedom. It operated before the Civil War and helped end slavery in the United States. As shown in the movie, Tubman has a big part in the success of the railroad.

When Tubman finally captured full freedom, she became acquainted with railroad leader: William Still, portrayed by Leslie Odom Jr. As they became closer partners, Tubman started to make multiple trips to Virginia to collect slaves, including her parents and her brothers.

During her time as a conductor of the railroad, the movie exhibited the many ways Tubman stole slaves, which included the aforementioned spirituals, stealing slaves right off plantations, and hidden messages that only slaves could understand.

At the end of the movie, the film showed the audience Tubman’s time as a Union Soldier, where she freed over 700 slaves and became the most recognized African-American during the Civil War; followed by written facts of her contributions, accolades, and accomplishments while she helped free almost 800 slaves.

“Harriet” exhibited a true American hero through strength, courage, and fight for a greater cause. Erivo could not have been a better choice to show the definition of a truly strong, black woman in the time of American Slavery.

 

A+E: Mr. BBQ in Fullerton Offers Authentic Korean Cuisine for More than the College Crowd

by Aharon Colon, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Known primarily for being a collegetown and an area with an eclectic mix of things to do and eat, Fullerton, CA plays hosts one of Southern California’s best Korean BBQ joints. 

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You wouldn’t expect it. In an area that is primarily Latino and White  (36.4% and 33%, respectively, according to Data USA), not many would think of going straight to Fullerton to get authentic Korean BBQ. To be honest, even I was skeptical of how good this place could possibly be, considering it wasn’t from an area known for having many good Asian restaurants.

Despite this, Fullerton is, in fact, a pretty diverse city. To finish off the data I originally cited, after Whites and Latinos, Asians come next at 24.4%. As you can see, all of the numbers are very close, meaning if you look into it more, there are possibilities of finding delicious authentic food from every culture.

From a personal standpoint, however, I only saw Fullerton as a collegetown. Being that my sister is attending Cal State Fullerton and that my father and mother go there often for meetings, not to mention I want to attend there as well, all I thought about when taking Rosecrans and Imperial Highway all the way down from La Mirada was, “I’m going to college.”

Another thing I thought of when going to Fullerton was of their downtown area. This little strip of shops, restaurants, arcades and tattoo parlors was a favorite for my family to visit because of scenery and multitude of choices it provides.

Mr. BBQ

But after going to Mr. BBQ, that whole small world changed.

It is a hidden spot if you don’t already know about it, almost hiding behind a small court of other fast foods and a CVS. Though it’s hard to miss when you get behind those buildings, because of the line that goes out the door almost every night.

It is just that good. No matter when I go, a Thursday night at 5 pm for example, or a Sunday night around the same time, it is always packed.

As you walk into the restaurant after waiting your turn for a table, you notice the bright lights,the hip aesthetic scene and huge TVs all over the place. I’d say it’s almost like walking into a loud club where everyone is having a good time and the music is just blasting over everyone’s conversations. Some people might not like that, but that’s just part of the experience of going here.

You’ll also find great art on the walls and a waiting area with Jenga, Uno and other tabletop games. The exit sign is definitely my favourite piece though, as you leave the top of the doors say, “Payce!,” with hands making the peace sign.

Anyway, you’re now seated at a table with a very clean stove in the middle of it, already prepared with utensils and good spacing between you and your friends.

The waiters at Mr. BBQ are also a great point. They’re young, diverse, quick to serve and friendly. Every time I’ve been, they were always on par with my expectations.

They shine brightest, however, when it’s a birthday, where they drop what they are doing to sing and dance to (usually rap) music for the customer. When I say it comes out of nowhere, it comes out of nowhere. You will be in a good conversation with your party, then loud birthday music starts playing and your waiter goes to celebrate with the birthday boy or girl. All in all, everything about the service is just the tip of the iceberg.

When asked of what you would like, you are presented with a large menu of an assortment of different meats, seafoods, and stews. In total, there are 78 (yes, I counted) different items you can choose from those categories. If you can’t decide, they offer three different combos of different meats and seafoods that go the best together. Personally my family goes with the Bulgogi (marinated choice chuck meat), Thinly Slice Beef Brisket, Premium Marinated Beef Sirloin, Oysters, and Spicy Homemade Tofu Soup. It’s as much as you can eat, so we just get that lineup over and over again until we can’t eat anymore. On top of that, we get bowls of white rice to wash it all down after every round.

Before the meat comes out though, you are bombarded with different small side dishes, such as edamame beans, kimchi and others.

But the best part is the meat.

For one, it comes unprepared. For those who don’t know, Korean BBQ is basically a cook your own food style cuisine, and you can just smell the marinated beef as it lands on your table.

The best feeling in the world is seeing it slap down on the stove for the first time, because you waited all day to hear the sizzling of the meat and smell the steam that comes from it. Since you want as much meat as possible, I recommend you section off the stove to fit as much as possible on it.

Time passes, and your meat is now done. It’s veloptuious look and sizzling taste enters your mouth and melts like butter. When I say this meat is premium, I mean it’s premium. 

For us, the brisket usually comes first. This thinly sliced meat is the easiest to eat and the fastest to cook. I usually tend to marinate it in salt for a little bit to get more flavor. Picking it up with chopsticks, mixing it with rice, feeling the slight taste of charcoal and chewing it minimally is why this is one of my favorites.

The next one up is the Bulgogi, Mr. BBQ’s signature dish. As stated before, this is marinated choice chuck, so when you see the meat before it’s cooked it’s bathes in sauces and juices. Once cooked, the meat is almost sweet and a lot thicker than the brisket.

The last meat I recommend is the Premium Marinated Beef Sirloin, which when presented, is one full steak on a plate waiting to be devoured. One thing you might ask when cooking it is, “How do I cut this up?” You actually have to use scissors for this meat, and I confide that you do it while cooking the meat to cook it a little bit better.

As you might expect, this meat tastes exactly like an American steak. The juiciness is unreal, the taste is flavorful, and the meat is marinated. Like a symphony, all the right flavors come into place.

A+E: Disney+ Launches to Widespread Anticipation

by Alex Rotter

The release of Disney+ last week quickly became a wildly successful launch for Disney. On the first day of the launch, about 10 million people became a subscriber to the app. This far exceeded Disney’s initial projections for the first day.

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Disney+ is a subscription-based service that only costs 6.99 dollars a month or if you want to pay a whole year, it would cost you 69.99 dollars a year. If you pay 12.99 a month, you are given access to Disney, Hulu and ESPN+. This is a very good deal because you are given access to two really good streaming platforms and you are able to watch sports for a cheap price.

If you want to check out the app without paying the fee, they give you the ability to get a 7-day free trial to see if you will enjoy the app. This is a very good deal if you enjoy Disney movies and it has a large number of movies from the Disney catalog that you can watch.

What’s really amazing about the Disney+ app is that you are able to watch on all devices. You are able to watch on Apple, Android, PlayStation, and Xbox. This is really good for the app because you can use Disney+ and watch your favorite shows anywhere you go.

On the Disney+ app, there are a lot of movies to pick from the likes of Disney and all of their properties such as Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and short films. There are many movies to pick from so there will always be a movie that you will be interested in. Disney+ also has all of the old Disney shows that kids watched back then. Disney+ has a category called “Hit Movies” and this section displays all of the movies that were really successful for Disney. What makes this app very unique is that they have shows from each decade. Disney+ has shows dating back from the 1920s-1930s and this can bring in older subscribers that used to watch those shows when they were younger.

Disney+ is not just for kids, it provides a variety of films that can be viewed by all. The movie series that can bring in all ages are the Marvel movies. The Disney+ app has most of the Marvel movies that were shown in theaters. They also have lots of animated Marvel shows like Spiderman, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.

Pixar Animation Studios also provides many short films for Disney+ dating back to 1989 with a short film named Knick Knack all the way to short films made in 2019, overall consisting of over 50 short films.

Disney+ consists of a recollection of old memories of most people’s childhood that can be relieved through one app and can be accessed through multiple different platforms. At a price of 6.99 a month or 69.99 a year, it provides a lot of value and entertainment that everyone can enjoy.

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