Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 21, 2024

Arts & Entertainment



GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY-SA 2.0
Paul Rudd returns as Ant Man in Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is an entertaining adventure to be expected of the Marvel franchise

Is there any movie franchise bigger than the Marvel franchise? After a quick Google search, I received my answer: a resounding no. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has, according to CNBC , grossed over 22 billion dollars at the global box office. For reference, the second highest grossing franchise, Star Wars, only grossed 10.2 billion, and it started roughly 30 years before Iron Man was released in 2008.



COURTESY OF MARY KATE MCCORMICK
This week’s picks include Season 5 of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, The Quiet Girl and Janie Chang’s book The Porcelain Moon: A Novel of France, the Great War, and Forbidden Love.

To watch and watch for: Week of Feb. 19

It’s a quieter week here in the arts world. Big-budget releases and superstar artists have taken the week off — but all the better for it perhaps. It makes for a fantastic chance to dive into the indies, the debut artists and the up-and-comers.


DAVID TORCIVIA / CC BY-SA 2.0
Your Place or Mine, starring Reese Witherspoon, lacks the essential rom-com spark.

Your Place or Mine: A romantic comedy trying to do too much

What makes a great romantic comedy? Is it option A, the absurdly attractive romantic leads masquerading as average Joes and Janes? Is it option B, the juicy, far-fetched and highly preventable misunderstandings that bring them together? Or maybe it’s option C, the moment when their eyes meet or their shoulders brush and you think, “Yup, they’re endgame.”


COURTESY OF MARY KATE MCCORMICK
This week’s picks include Hidden Blade, Trustfall and The Shamshine Blind: A Novel.

To watch and watch for: Week of Feb. 12

As we leave January behind, releases are picking up in the art world. Beginning with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Marvel Studios’ latest entry marks the first blockbuster of the year. For fans of crime, neo-noir Marlowe and Chinese espionage thriller Hidden Blade are both out this week too. If those dark and twisted alleys aren’t up your alley, take a look at the indie biopic Emily.



AARON WEBB / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Netflix’s Lockwood & Co. is based on the book series of the same name by British writer Jonathan Stroud.

Lockwood & Co. is a dystopian gem among supernatural teen dramas

I love a good dystopia. Maybe it’s a callback from the early 2010s when The Hunger Games and the Divergent series were at their peak. Maybe it’s a reminder that life and the world could always be worse. In any case, whenever I see a dystopian series getting good reviews, I have to watch it. With a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and as one of the highest-watched shows on Netflix this past week, Lockwood & Co. was a no-brainer. Given the popularity of shows like Wednesday and Stranger Things, this show felt like a natural progression of supernatural teen shows.


 COURTESY OF MARY KATE MCCORMICK
This week’s picks include Raven, Code Name Sapphire and Barry Lyndon.

To watch and watch for: Week of Feb. 5

As the semester takes off into the usual chaos, it is important to take care of yourself and unwind with some movies, books and music — a lot of new entries in these genres are waiting to be explored!


COURTESY OF ALICIA GUEVARA
This year’s I-Show involved creative plays all set in the same location: a hotel lobby.

Witness Theatre’s I-Show is a wonderfully fun collection of creativity and mayhem in the very best way

It’s always a bold move to sit in the front row of any group of people. Whether it be a huge lecture hall, a small classroom or an interactive magic show (a mistake I will not make again), back corners have become my safe space. I routinely linger at the edges of rooms, but, at Witness Theatre’s I-Show 2023 in Arellano Theater on Feb. 4, I sat front and center.



THE COME UP SHOW / CC BY 2.0
According to McShea, rapper JID is one of the artists that was unfairly left out from this year’s GRAMMY nominations.

GRAMMY nominations overlook hip-hop masterworks

When the GRAMMYs revealed their list of nominations for the 2023 awards, I immediately scrolled to the category “Best Rap Album of the Year.” Not because I hold the award in great regard but quite the opposite — the GRAMMYs have a vile history of botching the awards for rap/hip-hop artists, showing a partial disregard and ignorance for their culture. 



DANI CHARLES / CC BY-SA 3.0
The director and cast of the biggest South Indian blockbuster of 2022, RRR, have won multiple awards.

In Focus: RRR

A long-standing debate in film has been whether cinema is entertainment or art. While I find this idea of a zero-sum game quite sad and unfair, every once in a while there comes a movie that decimates this misconception by being an incredibly entertaining and artistic masterpiece simultaneously. There were a couple of films like these in 2022 but, in my opinion, none more viscerally representative of my point than S. S. Rajamouli’s RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt).


COURTESY OF MARY KATE MCCORMICK
This week’s picks include Turn Every Page, The Snow Hare and My 21st Century Blues.

To watch and watch for: Week of Jan. 29

Welcome back! As we settle into the semester, I always enjoy finding some time to hit the theaters and check out a new title on the shelves. It’s one of the few sweet spots before classes turn busy, and you won’t regret making the most of it while you still can.



COURTESY OF ALIZA LI
Li highlights the moving and memorable flavors of sound showcased at the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra’s final concert of the semester.

Hopkins Symphony Orchestra concludes season with Mussorgsky, Takemitsu and more

Since the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra’s (HSO) return from pandemic restrictions in fall 2021, I’ve had the pleasure of attending almost every one of its concerts. Although the reason for this has more to do with my friends’ participation in the orchestra rather than any particular affinity for classical music, the viewing and listening experience has been extremely enjoyable.


GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY-SA 2.0
The Fabelmans is Steven Spielberg’s new semi-autobiographical movie.

Thank you, Mr. Spielberg

In the opening scene of Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, a young Sammy Fabelman watches his first film — The Greatest Show on Earth — in 1952. As he watches a train crash on the huge screen, his world is lopsided by the grandeur and magic of cinema. While watching The Fabelmans, I felt the same thrill as Sammy, albeit my emotions were due to the beauty of a simple and incredibly personal story that Spielberg brings to the film.


COURTESY OF HELENA GIFFORD
Though important in highlighting the diverse student body, the annual Culture Festival yielded low attendance numbers.

Culture Fest shows off student cultural organizations in near-freezing temperatures

The annual Culture Festival, which took place on Keyser Quad, featured cultural performances, music and food on Dec. 2. The event was hosted by the Multicultural Leadership Council, with funding from the Inter-Asian Council (IAC) and the HOP. Each cultural student group present at the event had a booth where members talked about their culture and organization.


COURTESY OF MARY KATE MCCORMICK
Picks this week include George & Tammy, The Light Pirate and Unity.

To watch and watch for: Week of Dec. 4

Welcome to December! This time of year boasts an excellent line-up in the art world, with holiday-themed releases close on the horizon. The last week of classes is finally upon us, so be sure to take this time to curl up with a little something before final exams hit.


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