Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 13, 2024

Arts & Entertainment

Rings is horror at its most boring, brooding

2016 featured lots of great horror films that were mainly independent, but the wide release fare also made a great showing. Sequels like The Conjuring 2 and Ouija 2: Origin of Evil (and what a shocker when that film turned out to be good) helped buff a somewhat average wide-release horror showing.

 KATHRYN PARSON/cc-by-nd-2.0
Sam T. Herring is the frontman of Baltimore-based and 4AD-signed indie rock band Future Islands.

Album releases to look out for this spring

Another semester has started and another (corporate) year for music has begun. In an appropriately Sisyphean fashion, I have been experiencing my yearly hankering to write a short list of the five releases I just can’t wait to download.

Mill Valley and Gather Baltimore are about a mile away from campus.

Affordable, ethical food in nearby Remington

Food insecurity is a real threat for many families in Baltimore. But at the corner of Sisson Street and W. 28th Street just off I-83, sits a little-known warehouse of social action. It houses three great entities: Mill Valley General Store, a bulk-buyer’s paradise; Gather Baltimore, an organization providing affordable produce to residents; and The Baltimore Whiskey Company. We’re going to focus on the first two.

Black History Month in Baltimore made easy

February is upon us, and with it come halfhearted internship applications, daunting exam schedules and the quagmire that is Greek life recruitment. But outside the snobbish “bubble” of Adderall and tech startups that we call Homewood, February means education and celebration during Black History Month.

Neil Patrick Harris stars as antihero Count Olaf in Unfortunate Events.

Unfortunate Events TV adaptation outshines film

The first page-to-screen adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events was released in 2004. I was 10, and despite positive reviews, I didn’t care for it. It lacks faithfulness to the original books and, as a child, this was essentially the sole barometer of a good film adaptation.


San Fermin frontman talks artistic process

On Jan. 13, the Brooklyn-based band San Fermin released the second single, “Bride,” off of their forthcoming third LP, Belong. The band, the brainchild of Ellis Ludwig-Leone, was founded in 2013. Since then, they have released two studio albums, toured North America as well as Europe, and received critical acclaim from the likes of  NPR, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Come this April, San Fermin will once again be on tour in support of Belong. This week, Ludwig-Leone was gracious enough to take time out of his schedule to discuss life on tour, his creative process, and how San Fermin continues to evolve with the Newsletter.

Producer Knxwledge performs live at the Hi Hat in Los Angeles after five releases in 2016.

Three fringe musicians to watch in 2017

One of the central tenets of music listening is “putting somebody on,” or introducing a person to an artist or song that they haven’t heard before. In this article, I want to put you on to three projects and musicians that aren’t getting (and probably will not get) mainstream appeal.

Emma Stone stars as Mia in Damien Chazelle’s new film La La Land.

La La Land revives the Hollywood musical

Romantic musical comedy La La Land has taken critics and audiences by storm since its widespread release in early January. Many have praised the film’s writer and director Damien Chazelle and applauded soulful performances from Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and the award-winning original soundtrack.

Ma Dong-seok stars as Sang-hwa in Train to Busan, a zombie film.

Train to Busan excels using typical horror tropes

Although there were plenty of strong films such as The Witch and Don’t Breathe, horror films released in 2016 were missing something, in my opinion. At a certain point I, as a horror fan, have a craving for something I know, just executed extremely well. Everyone wants to reinvent the wheel nowadays and sometimes all it takes to make a great film is to wear cliches and tropes on your sleeves and execute them in an amazing way. That’s what Train to Busan does and it excels because of it.

Bleed For This tells inspiring tale of perseverance

Towards the end of Bleed For This, a 2016 biopic focusing on the car accident and recovery of ‘90s boxing champion Vinny Paz (played by Miles Teller), his cornerman and coach Kevin Rooney (played wonderfully by Aaron Eckhart) gives him a speech that is cut over a montage of Paz working to get back into the ring.

 Angela N./CC-BY-2.0
Oasis playing a concert at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. in 2008.

Supersonic pulls back the curtain on Oasis

Equally as known for their wild antics and rocky relationships with one another as for their music, the band Oasis firmly established their place in rock history in the ‘90s with songs including “Champagne Supernova,” “Supersonic,” “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Directed by Mat Whitecross and produced by Asaf Kapadia of the critically-acclaimed documentary about Amy Winehouse, Amy, Oasis: Supersonic sheds light on the band’s origins, tracking their lightning fast rise without shying away from their less favorable attributes.

A Vine featuring Denzel Curry’s “Ultimate” popularized the use of these pixelated glasses in memes.

Iconic video sharing app Vine rests in peace

Of all that’s happened in 2016, it would probably be over-the-top to say that the most hard-hitting tragedy has been the death of beloved video sharing app Vine. However, because of the app’s pervasive influence on popular culture over the last few years, its departure marks a significant loss for the world of arts and entertainment.

Best albums of 2016: honorable mentions

The News-Letter’s Arts & Entertainment staff gathered last week to discuss the best albums of 2016. It was a long, contentious debate to say the least. Several albums’ omission in the finalized list reviled some of us, and thus we give you: The Honorable Mentions.

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