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Top Movies of 2015

Top Movies of 2015

Isaac Owens and Conor Battles

February 29, 2016

Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Andy Weir’s sci-fi yarn about a marooned astronaut manages to combine grounded, realistic science with pulse-pounding action and endearing characters. In a role that mostly consists of explaining plot points to a camera, Matt Damon engrosses the audience in his captivating and frequently funny performance. Being no stranger to the sci-fi genre, Scott delivers one of his most lighthearted yet intense space epics in recent memory. Resurrecting what was one of history's worst summer blockbuster seasons, The Martian was just what the industry was looking for. With its incredible visuals and visionary storytelling, it is one of the most exciting and satisfying blockbusters of the year.

Top Games of 2015

Top Games of 2015

Cristian Flores, Conor Battles, and Isaac Owens

February 29, 2016

Another massive open world game of complete destruction and shenanigans is Just Cause 3. Actually Just Cause 3 is currently the game with the largest open world map in any RPG and to be honest the amount of destruction and creativity and the amount of different things you can actually do in this game is almost endless. Yet it seems the biggest issue with this game is that the story itself doesn’t really hold most people enough to keep them constantly playing.

Kanye West’s “album of the life” discordant, triumphant

Kanye West’s “album of the life” discordant, triumphant

Conor Battles, Editor-in-Chief, Arts & Entertainments Editor

February 15, 2016

'The Life of Pablo' lacks the distinct, unifying sound that underpins past releases. Rather, West takes up a more abstract, harder-to-define sonic palate, blending orchestral gospel, murky R&B, and trap-influenced beats to create a sound as unique as it is derivative. Kanye trades in his unabashed sense of perfectionism for a distinctly broader brush, and The Life of Pablo can feel more than a little disjointed at times. There are soaring, anthemic moments on 'TLOP' that fit in well on an album once known, briefly, as 'So Help Me God,' and there are goofier, mindless moments befitting an album formerly known as 'SWISH.'

‘5th Wave’ presents a heroine who can get things done

‘5th Wave’ presents a heroine who can get things done

Lizy Stubbs, Opinions Editor

February 10, 2016

This film does follow the trend of other dystopian novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in heart. There are several touching moments, not limited to Cassie herself, and these moments prevent the movie from becoming just another alien horror flick. There are also a few one liners, and while they don’t make the film a comedy, they do bring some lightness to an otherwise heavy tale.

Classic Review: Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Songs for the Deaf’ (2002)

Classic Review: Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Songs for the Deaf’ (2002)

Joe Conry, Reporter

February 4, 2016

While the majority of this album is made up of the hard rock/desert rock jams that Queens is best known for, it's the songs where they go offbeat from their normal style that really stand out. The best example of this being the closing track “Mosquito Song”, an eerie folk ballad featuring a multitude of instruments including accordion, brass and string sections, piano, and of course acoustic guitar. Clashing symbols, quivering vocals, and a false ending give “Mosquito Song” an epic feeling unlike any other track on the album.

Anderson .Paak defies genre on ‘Malibu’

Anderson .Paak defies genre on ‘Malibu’

Conor Battles, Editor-in-Chief, Arts & Entertainments Editor

February 1, 2016

Malibu is that rare album where the opening track is easily the best on the record, but don't let that turn you off; just about every track on Malibu is exquisitely crafted and utterly enjoyable. The lush, summery production, courtesy of living legends like Madlib and 9th Wonder, is some of the tightest .Paak has ever boasted, merging West Coast classicism with boom-bap and chipmunk soul. Simply put, Malibu was made to be bumped in low riders down Rosecrans Avenue and danced to at a vogue night club with equal aplomb. There is nary a dull moment over its 61 minutes.

Rihanna underwhelms with long-awaited 8th release

Rihanna underwhelms with long-awaited 8th release

Conor Battles, Editor-in-Chief, Arts & Entertainments Editor

February 1, 2016

Rihanna barely feels like the star of her own album. The production, from heavyweights like Boi-1da, DJ Mustard, and Timbaland, is more multifaceted and interesting than the uninspired vocals laid over them. The roster of guest features, from SZA on opener "Considerations" to Drake on "Work," outshine Rihanna herself in their performances.

‘Spotlight’ an unflinchingly heavy drama

‘Spotlight’ an unflinchingly heavy drama

Isaac Owens, Broadcasting Manager

January 26, 2016

The subject matter of Spotlight is incredibly heavy and it shows as it eats away at characters, but that does not mean McCarthy needed to follow the Hollywood impulse of having characters constantly snap. While there is a scene of excited anger, it is portrayed naturally and is well deserved.

Jesu, Sun Kil Moon collab a disappointing miss

Jesu, Sun Kil Moon collab a disappointing miss

Conor Battles, Editor-in-Chief, Arts & Entertainments Editor

January 25, 2016

There are a few moments on Jesu/Sun Kil Moon where that erratic blend manages to converge. Tracks like "Father's Day" and "America's Most Wanted Mark Kozelek and John Dillinger" are undeniably solid, and the differing styles of Jesu and Kozelek manage to combine to a greater sum, but such moments are few and far between over the album's daunting eighty minutes.

‘Blackstar’ David Bowie’s perfect swan song

‘Blackstar’ David Bowie’s perfect swan song

Conor Battles, Editor-in-Chief, Arts & Entertainments Editor

January 11, 2016

Why else would Blackstar reek so thoroughly of death? The jarring imagery of the album, from the dusty, bejeweled skeleton of a lost astronaut in the video for the ten-minute title track to the Biblical-epic-turned-musical-number of "Lazarus," explores death and decay in ways only one close to the end could. If, then, Blackstar is meant to be viewed as Bowie's mournful last goodbye, a reappraisal of its content and message is in order.

‘The Big Short’ flawed in direction but excelling with performances

‘The Big Short’ flawed in direction but excelling with performances

Isaac Owens, Broadcasting Manager

January 8, 2016

Overall, The Big Short is quite a good movie; beholding a compelling story and an excellent ensemble cast. The film falters with McKay’s at times sophomoric direction, but it is a compelling and perhaps needed insight into the U.S.’s economy.

Queens of comedy reign in ‘Sisters’

Queens of comedy reign in ‘Sisters’

Lindsey Guenther, News Editor

January 7, 2016

The women of SNL know how to create amazing comedy movies that viewers will want to watch over and over again. Memorable films like Mean Girls, Bridesmaids, and now Sisters prove that the women-in-comedy take over has been successful.

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