Will Smith as the Genie makes me blue

The trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action Aladdin remake premiered during Sunday’s Grammys ceremony. The trailer gave us breathtaking glimpses of the kingdom of Agrabah, the Cave of Wonders and perhaps the most heartstopping sight of all — a blue Will Smith. The hilariously terrifying computer animated reincarnation of the beloved Robin Williams character has left fans flabbergasted. Twitter has been ablaze since with hot takes and quips regarding the new look of the Genie, and there’s no shortage of memes comparing Smith to everything from a member of the Blue Man Group to Paul Giamatti’s character in Big Fat Liar. New York Times pop culture reporter Kyle Buchanan tweeted, “Honestly the Will Smith genie feels like a spoiler for BIRD BOX because I finally understand what image would make them so fascinated but also want to kill themselves.” “The Will Smith genie looks like it's airbrushed on an unlicensed rollercoaster that dislocates shoulders,” tweeted comedian Tom Walker. The choice to make a computer animated character resemble the actor voicing the role isn’t unprecedented. In last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” Josh Brolin’s face was easily recognizable as Thanos. However, the major difference between Thanos and the Genie’s looks lies in execution.

By | 2019-04-09T14:52:21+00:00 Feb 11, 2019 | 11:12 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Columns, Film and Television, Today|Tags: , , |

Black musicians deserve proper recognition at the Grammys

Over the past 60 years, the Grammys have only awarded 10 Black musicians with the coveted Album of the Year trophy. Many Black artists have taken note of this fact and decided not to attend the ceremony this year. The 61st Annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday night, and noticeably missing from the star-studded list of performances were nominees Drake, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar. Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich told the New York Times he offered all three men performance spots but he was turned down by each. “The fact of the matter is,” Ehrlich told the Times, “When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad.” The Grammys have famously snubbed many Black musicians for some of their most critically acclaimed work in recent years, instead, opting to give them their wins in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category. Beyoncé and Frank Ocean both won in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category but were shut out of any Album of the Year wins for “Channel Orange,” “Lemonade” or Beyoncé’s self-titled album. I’d argue that all three of those

By | 2019-02-11T10:34:55+00:00 Feb 10, 2019 | 6:16 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Columns, Showcase, Today|Tags: , , , , , , , |

‘The Ted Bundy Tapes’ provide an in-depth look at the serial killer sensation

Netflix has recently acquired the rights to “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” a film about the life and crimes of Ted Bundy. The film was acquired by the streaming service for $9 million, following the close-out of the Sundance Film Festival Feb. 3. The role of Bundy in the film is played by Zac Efron, leading many to be skeptical of how his story will be told. The move by Netflix is no surprise following the wildly successful premiere of its latest docu-series “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” which coincidentally is helmed by the same director as “Extremely Wicked…” Joe Berlinger. Despite the social media frenzy that ensued following the premiere of the docu-series, many fear that recent public interest in the life of Bundy will lead to an overt romanticization of the gruesome crimes he committed. While this is a valid concern, the docu-series and the feature film serve different purposes. “The Ted Bundy Tapes” lays out all of the facts on Bundy’s life in a very plain, matter-of-fact way. At no point does the series skip over the fact that Bundy’s father was absent in his youth and took an interest in graphic pornography

Why can’t we just have fun at the movies?

While critics are often known for being harsh in their reviews, audiences are becoming worse when it comes to the quality of a film, which raises the question: What’s wrong with just having a good time at the movies? So often when we go to a movie, we have our own expectations for a film to the point that if they’re not met, we judge the film in an overly harsh fashion. Whether it’s because of a poor actor, bad special effects or some lazy scripting, it seems as though we’ll find any reason to not enjoy it during its two-hour runtime. But as moviegoers, the ones who fund the projects more often than the actual studios, we have an obligation to give most movies a chance in our reviews and try to see it from the perspective of entertainment value versus total quality. One such example is the connotation behind the word “fun” when it comes to describing how a movie was. So often when we hear that word used, something in our brains tell us that while the movie had that entertainment value present, it was missing a lot of actual quality or was actually a really bad

By | 2018-12-13T12:54:48+00:00 Dec 12, 2018 | 10:32 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Columns, Film and Television|Tags: , , , |

The one with the $100 million deal

It’s no secret that Netflix is not the only streaming service out there, but how many different services does this world really need? The internet and I freaked out when Netflix announced that they were taking the comedy sitcom, “Friends” off of Netflix on Jan. 1, 2019. The reason for the removal is that unfortunately, just like every other major movie industry out there, Warner Bros. announced they would launch their own streaming service in 2019, meaning they would take back all of their movies and TV shows and put them in their service instead of having them available on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and more. Their service is going to be paired with HBO as well. On Dec. 3 an article posted by “Student Problems” on Facebook about “Friends” leaving Netflix on New Year’s Day blew up with over 45,000 comments with people hating on the article. Though I did not partake in the hating of the article, my heart sure agreed with the rest of them. “I wonder how long it’ll take until Netflix is full of nothing but Netflix originals,” one commenter said. Another said, “Ok, it’s time for me to leave Netflix, too.” A few hours

By | 2018-12-11T23:24:22+00:00 Dec 11, 2018 | 11:23 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Columns, Film and Television, Today|Tags: , , , |

Column: More than just a semester abroad

Wollongong is a beautiful city. Stretching along the East coast of Australia, just south of Sydney, it has amazing beaches, nightlife, café culture and a thriving local art and music scene. I go to school at Wollongong University and am in my third year studying marketing. I am currently studying one semester here at Long Beach State. One of the reasons why I came to LBSU for my study abroad experience was that students from all over America come to Wollongong to study and without fail, they say it’s the best decision they have ever made. Hearing this, I knew that I had to study abroad too. I am halfway through my semester abroad at LBSU, and I can say that it’s the best decision I have ever made, too. Studying abroad is more than just studying in another country. It is an opportunity to travel the world and meet new and incredible people. On my way to LBSU, I took the opportunity to do some travel of my own on the way and spent three weeks in Europe. In this time, I visited eight countries including England, France, Italy, Germany and Holland. This is something I only did as

By | 2018-12-06T21:52:19+00:00 Dec 6, 2018 | 9:51 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Columns|Tags: , |

Grab your AirPods, it’s time to listen to podcasts

Music, movies, television and Youtube. These forms of entertainment have had their run in the media industry — but now it’s time for the era of podcasts to shine. Podcasts are convenient. You can listen as you drive, while you workout and it provides the perfect distraction while not needing your full attention. Podcasts took off in 2004 with Adam Curry and Dave Winer  who came up with the idea. Now, anyone can start a podcast about any possible niche, fandom or genre they can think of. According to,The 13 Critical Podcast Statistics of 2018,an article written by Jay Baer, founder of the Convince & Convert site, one third of Americans ages 25 to 54 listen to podcasts monthly and in 2018, six million more Americans listen to podcasts weekly than in 2017. The Daily 49er has podcasts of their own such as Beach Weekly and Chugg it at the Nugget, talking about news and sports respectively. I’ve been listening to podcasts since I was in middle school, starting with “Welcome to Nightvale,” created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor on June 15, 2012. I listened to it before bed almost every night and I fell in love with its

By | 2018-12-05T19:13:30+00:00 Dec 5, 2018 | 7:10 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Columns, Today|Tags: , , |
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