Commentary by Kendall Aronson, Campus Carrier Social Media Manager
This past summer has had its share of many great hits and disappointments in music, television and movies.
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” was a great summer blockbuster and an excellent sequel in Tom Holland’s iteration of the famous character. Tom Holland is one of the most realistic portrayals of Spider-Man in the past decade, and this movie was almost as funny and moving as “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.
Disney’s latest live action remake, “The Lion King,” also came out this summer. The star-filled cast included Beyoncé, Donald Glover, John Oliver and Seth Rogen, among many others. The movie is almost a shot-for-shot replica of the original animated version. While watching the movie may be worth the nostalgic throwback, it falls flat in many areas. The animation is extremely realistic, and some may even feel it falls into the uncanny valley. However, the greatest downfall of the movie is the lack of emotion they were able to portray through the characters. This was most evident during [spoiler] Mufasa’s death scene, in which a heartbroken Simba does not seem to display any emotion other than in his voice acting. Even if they were unable to change Simba’s face emotionally, there is also no body language reflecting Simba’s grief.
I watched “Toy Story 4” with relatively low expectations, and I left the theater with tears in my eyes. While it may be the fourth movie of an animated series, it is far more emotional and sweet than one would imagine. The animation was beautiful and the story was heart-wrenching. Ten out of ten, would recommend.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was a great movie. While the movie is certainly not Tarantino’s best film, it shows a vivid depiction of Los Angeles in the 1960s. The film itself is completely reliant on the actors and less on the direction of the plot. Luckily, the acting quality is exceptional throughout the film. Brad Pitt in particular did an amazing job.
Season three of “Stranger Things” premiered on July 4, and it did not disappoint. The creators continued to develop and expand upon the characters from previous seasons and introduced new characters, such as Robin and Alexei. This season was funnier and more loveable than the previous seasons of the show, and the finale was phenomenal. My only complaint would be that the show seems to get less strange and less scary as the season continues, largely because the viewer’s understanding of the Upside-Down expands with each passing season.
Another Netflix Original, “Blown Away” premiered this summer. It is a reality TV show in which ten glass blowers compete for $60,000 in prize money and an artist residency at the Corning Museum of Glass. I learned so much about glass blowing through this show, and it is incredible to watch these artists create such beautiful and diverse pieces each episode.
“Chernobyl,” an HBO five-episode miniseries about the Chernobyl disaster, was one of the best things I watched all summer. The actors all do an amazing job, and the cinematography is also great. It shows humanity in so many different ways and forms. It is entirely based around real people and events from the disaster, and the truth is shocking and compelling.
Commentary by Taylor Corley, Campus Carrier Arts and Living Editor
The Jonas Brothers, also referred to as the “Jo-Bros,” have failed to disappoint after their return in February. This summer, they released their first full album since the band’s reformation, “Happiness Begins,” which has delighted fans across the country. It is quite obvious from this album that the band has matured from their original 2005 punk-rock sound to a more fully pop band that appeals to both their older, ride-or-die fans as well as a new, younger audience. While songs like “Burnin’ Up” and “Love Bug” will always hold a special place in my heart, I would say the brothers have done a fantastic job ensuring the success of their new music as well. The band is already on tour and stopped in Atlanta on August 12.
Tame Impala released two singles earlier this year in March and April. After three long years without any new music from the Australian psychedelic rock band, “Patience” and “Borderline” were definitely on repeat all summer long. Front man Kevin Parker has the unique ability to distract listeners from reality and transport them back to a disco lounge in the mid 70s. Between the funky electric piano and stimulating lyrics, these songs were perfect for a quick “enoing” session or dancing around the house.
Ed Sheeran has released “No. 6 Collaborations Project,” which includes 15 songs, all of which are collaborations with many different artists including Justin Bieber, Young Thug, Chance the Rapper and Cardi B. Since his last album, Sheeran has married his then-girlfriend Cherry Seaborn. His new marriage status is evident in a few songs, like “I Don’t Care,” in which the English singer throws in a few loving verses about “his baby” here and there. However, the album still holds more vulnerable songs, like “Beautiful People” featuring Khalid, which are the artist’s trademark pieces.
On June 14, the alternative band Bastille released their project “Doom Days,” whose track list attempts to tell the story of “a night out during the apocalypse,” according to the album description. I have been a fan of Bastille since their 2013 hit “Pompeii” and loved all of the tracks on “Doom Days” just the same. The track progression and lyrics throughout the album leave listeners with a sense of hope for the future. This album is in perfect timing with the social climate and has a powerful message about making change. It’s great to listen to with friends or alone if you need powerful songs that provide food for thought.
Taylor Swift will be releasing her new album “Lover” on Aug. 23, and fans are waiting with much anticipation to see what the singer’s newest era will bring. We’ve gotten a sneak peak from four early released songs including “You Need to Calm Down,” “The Archer,” “Lover” and “ME!” If this album is anything like “Reputation” I believe all the tracks will be worth the wait.