“To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before”
As an avid rom com lover, I can pretty much sit through any cringe-worthy movie without batting an eye, and recently Netflix has taken to releasing their own original rom coms and many of them are just objectively terrible movies – think “The Kissing Booth” or “The Christmas Prince.”
However, one of its recent releases is a book-to-movie adaptation of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” I was ecstatic the movie was being released, and quickly re-read the first book in the series to prepare myself.
When the movie released, I was excited to see a few unfamiliar faces as the lead characters in the movie – mainly the female lead Lara Jean, played by Lana Condor, and her younger sister Kitty, played by Anna Cathcart. Both actresses shine in their roles and it was exciting to see the movie remain true to the novel and portray the leads as Korean Americans, as a large part of the novel discusses the girls’ Korean heritage.
The film portrays the stereotypical drama and romance that high school rom coms usually feature. That being said, the dynamic among the characters on screen shines through and makes for a fast-paced film that leaves the viewer satisfied.
Jenny Han, the novel’s author, created an inspiration board to develop the costume for Lara Jean. Her character’s outfits feature soft, bright colors with fun patterns – something reminiscent of the early 1990s.
“To All the Boys” provides rom com lovers with a fun, lighthearted film with an upbeat soundtrack and a cast dedicated to their roles.
Death Grips – “Year of the Snitch”
Asst. Arts & Features Editor
Following the chaotic, 22-minute-long “Steroids,” Death Grips’ sixth studio album, “Year of the Snitch” contributes even more chaos to the prolific hip-hop trio’s discography.
The synth melodies and pitch-shifted chorus vocals on the album’s opener, “Death Grips is Online,” let us know that “YOTS” is not going to be your average Death Grips album.
A major theme of the album is dichotomy – many of the tracks feature two distinct vocal styles from Stefan Burnett. He often interlaces a more soft-spoken delivery between lines of aggressive shouting, such as on the track, “Flies.”
Lyrically, the band also explores this theme through discussing the relationship between themselves and their, let’s say lively, fanbase.
However, in all this chaos, the band manages to keep the album cohesive. “YOTS” is by far Death Grips’ most ambitious record to date, with tracks ranging from mellow to chaotic, and in the case of “The Fear,” downright evil.
Touché Éclat All-In-One-Glow
This summer, I rediscovered some of my favorite makeup products as I didn’t spend nearly as much time out in the sun and heat as I typically would – which would make makeup useless as it would just slide off my face with sweat hours later.
One product stood out to me in particular – Yves Saint Laurent’s Touché Éclat All-In-One-Glow. Typically, I stay away from any YSL releases. The shiny gold packaging and astronomical price points remind me that I am a college student on a budget rather than a makeup guru with 25,000 points at Sephora. However, after trying a sample of the product at Sephora, I knew I had to have it.
When the semi-annual Sephora sale rolled around in August, it was the first thing in my cart.
This product is marketed as a medium-coverage, water-based, tinted moisturizer. YSL was really thinking about makeup lovers with dry skin – the formula contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. What I love about this product is the natural finish. It leaves my skin looking smooth and soft, without the appearance of texture or layering as some heavier foundations would.
This is only the initial release, so I’m hoping to see YSL include more shades in their range. Though there are only 12 shades currently available, the formula is versatile enough to allow for any wearer to go up or down a shade or two without the color-matching being completely off.
The only downside? The price. At $48 for 1.01 ounces, it’s on the pricier side. But, sometimes makeup is worth the credit card debt.
“World of Dance”
Robert Johnson Jr.
The second season of “World of Dance,” Jennifer Lopez’s dance competition, at least so far, has been a rollercoaster of emotional backstories, devastating upsets, and phenomenal performances from almost every contestant and team that has stepped onto the circular stage in their attempts to win the coveted $1 million prize.
After last summer’s incredible first season, JLo and her production team had a grand order to undertake to make this season better than the first, and let me assure you that she has accomplished that goal with flying colors.
From the returns of season one veterans such as Eva Igo and The Lab, along with the introduction of the Junior Team division and the entry of new, international teams such as the Lock ‘N lol Crew from South Korea and The Bradas from New Zealand, this season provides much more content than its predecessor. And that is always a good thing for a show in the style of “World of Dance.”
If you have not watched an episode of “World of Dance” and you are looking for something that fills the void “America’s Best Dance Crew” once held before its cancellation, I highly recommend you check this season out on Hulu or wait until next July to start fresh with season three.
“Sorry to Bother You”
American rapper Boots Riley’s directorial debut, “Sorry to Bother You,” is a science-fiction film featuring Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius Green, Tessa Thompson as Detroit and Omari Hardwick as Mr. Heactuallydoesnthaveaname.
The story focuses on Cassius Green, an African American who struggles with money and finding his purpose in the world. This leads him to work as a telemarketer, as all he needs to do is read from a script.
This doesn’t stop him from failing, and he quickly learns it is harder than it seems. This is until a fellow black coworker tells him that he needs to mimic a “white voice” in order to make sales over the phone.
This leads to massive success, and even a top position at work.
The people he once struggled with are now on strike, and this puts Cassius in an awkward position between financial security and helping his friends.
Cassius decides to keep going with the company and finds himself at a dinner party where he is the only black man, and they make it very apparent in the scene.
From there, absolute insanity, confusion, and amazement commence. To avoid spoilers, I can’t say very much about it, but the last act of the movie is a twist that no one could ever predict.
Kids See Ghosts – “Kids See Ghosts”
Asst. Arts & Features Editor
I am a sucker for good artwork. This summer, I had already been underwhelmed one time by Kanye West in that department, with the cover of his eighth solo studio album, “Ye,” by the time “Kids See Ghosts” dropped on June 8. However, the cover art for this collaboration project between Kanye and his new-school protégé, Kid Cudi, blew me away and drew me in immediately.
Designed by Takashi Murakami, famous already for his design of the “Graduation” cover art for Kanye back in 2007, the cover features a traditional Japanese watercolor style, with natural shapes of pink, yellow, and blue set behind white, spectral faces. The effect created is a mix of beauty and fright.
If the art was what drew me in, it was the music that made me come back and play the album again and again. From “Feel The Love” to the “4th Dimension,” where a Louis Prima sample eerily backs one of Kanye’s best beats of all time, this project is a wild ride through the psyches of two of modern rap’s most enigmatic characters, and is easily one of the best albums from Summer 2018.
Louis Cole – “Time”
Asst. Arts & Features Editor
Louis Cole is the newest member of Brainfeeder Records, a label made for oddballs and weirdos, and he fits in perfectly.
You may be familiar with Cole’s viral music video for the song, “Bank Account,” which has been showing up on Facebook feeds for about a year now.
His debut studio album, “Time,” is full of upbeat neo-funk peppered with a few low-key interludes. It’s consistently entertaining, fun, and dripping with personality.
The opening track, “The Weird Part of The Night,” totes an infectiously catchy synth bassline and hilarious lyrics about how Cole’s most confident and creative moments come to him “between three and six” in the morning.
Cole’s style is reminiscent of his Brainfeeder counterpart Thundercat, who appears as a featured artist on the track, “Tunnels in the Air.” While similar, Cole manages to take elements common in Thundercat’s music and put a quirky spin on them to make them his own – Cole never sounds like he’s mimicking Thundercat’s sound.
On “Time,” in addition to his catchy choruses and hooks, Cole’s greatest strength is his sense of humor. Tracks such as the aforementioned “Weird Part of The Night,” “When You’re Ugly,” and “Trying not to Die,” still have me trying not to laugh out loud when I listen to them in public.
Asst. Arts & Features Editor
The new Spike Lee joint, “BlacKkKlansman,” is a comedic-drama crime film with a meaningful voice. A voice that sends a serious message on racism and brutality, while capitalizing on the film’s “Crazy, outrageous, incredible true story!” All in a way that keeps the audience interested and entertained throughout.
“BlacKkKlansman” tells the story of Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, the first African-American cop to serve the Colorado Springs Police Department, who orchestrates a plan to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. With the help of co-worker Flip Zimmerman, played by Adam Driver, Ron goes undercover in the ranks of the KKK, using his voice to chat with the Klan’s members on the phone, while Flip plays Ron in person.
“BlacKkKlansman” manages to balance several genres in a way that feels consistent, unique, and downright delightful. You’ll laugh, you’ll feel, and you’ll think about every passing second in the film.
The cinematography is definitely some of Spike Lee’s best work. Each setting provides its own style, and they all look phenomenal. This was clearly a passion project for Lee, as the joint paints a beautiful image.