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After a five-year hiatus between his last album, Last Year Was Complicated, and now, listeners will find much to love with Nick Jonas’ latest album Spaceman. This is the artist’s fourth solo album following his career, which started back in 2005 with his first album, Nicholas Jonas. After an initial listen-through, I was honestly impressed with every track, and this is coming from someone who is a moderate fan of Jonas. Spaceman is a huge step up from his 2016 album due to its more uplifting, fast-paced tempo and catchy lyrics. From the surface, the 11-track record is impressive, but as I got into the nitty-grittiness of the work, the waters became murkier as to how Jonas pulled off a valuable piece of art.
by Mason KupiainenEver since Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, one question swirling around has been how Marvel will implement the Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Information about the Fantastic Four was revealed at the Disney executive meeting in December 2020, revealing that they hired Jon Watts, director of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, to helm the project. News on the state of Deadpool has also been announced, revealing both the writers and that the third film will still hold an R rating. However, news on the state of the X-Men has remained silent, until now.A recent rumor has suggested that Marvel will be naming the first X-Men film The Mutants. Whether they will still be called the X-Men within the film has yet to be revealed. Although many fans may be hesitant about the name change, there are a few things that suggest this may be an ideal change for the franchise.
By Conner Tighe After a five-year hiatus between his last album, Last Year Was Complicated, and now, listeners will find much to love with Nick Jonas’ latest album Spaceman. This is the artist’s fourth solo album following his career, which started back in 2005 with his first album, Nicholas Jonas. After an initial listen-through, I was honestly impressed with every track, and this is coming from someone who is a moderate fan of Jonas. Spaceman is a huge step up from his 2016 album due to its more uplifting, fast-paced tempo and catchy lyrics. From the surface, the 11-track record is impressive, but as I got into the nitty-grittiness of the work, the waters became murkier as to how Jonas pulled off a valuable piece of art. Floating in music ecstasy Jonas introduced a new side of himself with his R&B-inspired Last Year Was Complicated, and that tradition continues with Spaceman; however, it's in moderate doses this time. The artist knows how to carefully balance his pop roots with R&B, and I would go so far as to say he includes some soul-inspired hits like “Sexual” and “Deeper Love.” Accompanying the tracks comes brilliant piano work, moderate drums, and of course, Jonas’ vocals to solidify the A-plus-quality journey of sound. Spaceman is not an album for background music: The album is above that level of mediocrity and is for bass-playing technology and loud atmospheres. I can personally see more than one track here winning an award or two. It’s assumed Jonas worked on the album during the band’s revival and his marriage to Priyanka Chopra back in 2018; explanation as to what lies underneath the words. The tracks “Don’t Give Up On Us” and “Heights” talk about the conflict Jonas had with Chopra, although it’s unclear when. However, roughly 75 percent of the album is a love ballad to his wife, and he admits to taking inspiration from Stevie Wonder and the Bee Gees. Any sign of his brothers and the story behind their rehash remain out of the album, perhaps for privacy. One thing is clear, and that is that Jonas is at the highest point in his personal life. This is Heaven / And I don't know how this could get much bettеr (Yeah) / Than you and me, herе right now Better off alone Jonas and his brothers, Joe and Kevin, collaborated on their 2019 album, Happiness Begins, which touched on their heartfelt reunion after years of divide. Happiness Begins, as well as the brothers’ other collaborative projects, have been sparks of pop fun, but frankly, they aren’t comparable to Nick’s solo works. Jonas has proved himself more worthwhile to listen to besides Joe and Kevin, and Spaceman further proves that point. Jonas cares about the care and presentation of his vocals and sound, which are beautifully represented here. No single track feels rushed or created for a quick cash grab of sales. That’s why the album knocks his brothers’ work down some pegs. Top tracks: This Is Heaven Sexual Deeper Love Recommended if you like: Miley Cyrus Demi Lovato Justin Bieber Sources: BuzzFeed News, Seventeen Featured Image: Genius
AJ Mitchell’s latest single, “Cameras On,” presents another beautifully crafted piece of artwork differing from the rest of his music. “Cameras On” talks about Mitchell’s loneliness and reality check he faced at the beginning of his singing career in 2017. When the cameras are on, as he talks about, everyone is friendly and happy, but when the cameras turn off, things change. Mitchell talks about the entertainment industry's fakeness and inner workings through his personal experiences and what it means to be famous.
Metal-core/pop-punk band, A Day to Remember (ADTR) has been around the block before. They’ve written teenage pop-punk anthems like, “Have Faith in Me,” metal-core ragers like, “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail,” and of course emo ballads like “If I Leave.” They were on many Vans Warped Tours and helped put metal-core into the mainstream with records like Homesick and the almighty Common Courtesy. Unfortunately, ADTR flopped hard with 2016’s Bad Vibrations, full of filler and basic metal-core songs. However, throughout their career, the band established a sound and used it as much as possible. But You’re Welcome is a true anomaly. The record is an attempt to bring ADTR back into the mainstream. Every song feels like the band is trying to do an impression of popular, radio-friendly, rock bands. The songs feel too produced, repetitive, bland, and forgettable. But the biggest headache of You’re Welcome is that it has no idea what it is.
By Mason Kupiainen After ruling the box office with Avengers: Endgame, the Russo Brothers moved away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to take on smaller, more niche projects. While they produced 21 Bridges and wrote the screenplay for Extraction, Cherry is their first directorial project since their string of Marvel films. Cherry follows the corruption of Nico Walker (Tom Holland), a war medic turned drug addict, to cope with his PTSD. While his relationship with his wife falls apart, they both turn to drugs to cope with their pain, leading them down a dark path. This path takes Walker into robbing banks to pay off the debt he’s gained while fueling his and his wife’s drug addiction. Rough first half Each of the Marvel entities the Russo’s directed, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, showed off their unique approach to action and visualization. All four of the films were beautifully shot and well-directed, and that skill translates over into Cherry. However, it felt as if the Russo’s were desperately trying to show off their artistry skills while trying to shed the innocence the Disney brand brought them. Although the book is dripping in dread, the film felt as if they made every attempt to expose the dark and grim nature more to shock the audience. The film is a dark, dread-fueled ride that shows the hopelessness of Walker’s life, but it does so in a way that’s unappealing to watch. Along with this, Holland’s performance is similar to the Russo’s, since he’s become synonymous with playing Spider-Man, it felt as if he, too, was making every move to present himself as a darker and more dramatic actor. His last performance in The Devil All the Time took this similar approach, but he was more subtle with his performance and could disappear into the role. In Cherry, he completely subjects himself to the cruelness of Walker’s character and doesn’t give a believable performance in the first half of the film. When the movie moves past the college and military years of his life around the halfway mark, Holland’s performance surprisingly improves. He was able to pull off the PTSD suffering war vet while executing the drug addict as well. Overall, he still felt heavily miscast in the role as he doesn’t present himself as an edgy and hardened criminal. He lacks shedding his youthful charm he’s known to have, leaving him being another distracting element. Artistry gone wrong In terms of consistency, the film is a complete mess. As mentioned before, it felt as if the Russo’s were trying to demonstrate their skills in this film. Without the restraints of Disney and Marvel Studio’s president Kevin Fiege, it felt as if they were given complete creative control, which turned out to be an issue. One of the major issues is the use of fourth-wall breaking. A few times throughout the film, Holland will turn to the camera to give a monologue or give a quick comment to the audience, but it’s used so sparingly that whenever it happens, it feels strange. The film will also change aspect ratio and color grading, adding to the film’s odd creative choices. There are also these oddball moments that felt like bizarre choices for this type of film. For example, there’s a moment in the film during the training sequences where the doctor is examining him, and we get a shot from inside Holland's butt as the doctor does his examination. Decisions like these made for uncomfortable and weird moments that didn’t fit in line with the film’s tone. Most of these creative decisions are well presented, but they’re executed so oddly that it becomes distracting throughout the entire film. Along with the odd creative choices, there are many elements in the film that made it feel like the filmmakers were trying to adapt elements of the book that don’t work for the film. For example, the book will pause to explain the background of a character to set up certain elements. With many characters in the film, they will be introduced but don’t hold much value in the context of the film. They are given quick cuts to give some useless information on those characters and end up being throwable moments. With the film being about two and a half hours, it would have helped trim down the bloated run-time and make the film more tightly packed. Similarly to how a book will explain information to the audience, the movie relies on voice-over way too much. This method of presenting information could have been the Russo’s trying to be more creative and artsy with their work, but it simply came off as a lazy approach to present information without showing it. Most of these elements could be forgiven if the story and script were exceptional, yet the film lacks in this region as well. The film often cuts away and moves quickly past interesting moments of his life, and lingers too much in the duller aspects. Since the movie moves past certain elements too quickly, it will gloss over characters that become important later on, yet when the film asks you to care about these moments, they did a lazy job setting it up so that it falls apart. The film is juggling too many elements and jumping around so that you cannot grab hold of anything, leading to the film feeling distant and lifeless. Sources: Box Office Mojo, IMDB (21 Bridges), IMDB (Extraction), IMDB (Cherry) Images: Variety, IGN Featured Image: YouTube
By Conner Tighe AJ Mitchell’s latest single, “Cameras On,” presents another beautifully crafted piece of artwork differing from the rest of his music. “Cameras On” talks about Mitchell’s loneliness and reality check he faced at the beginning of his singing career in 2017. When the cameras are on, as he talks about, everyone is friendly and happy, but when the cameras turn off, things change. Mitchell talks about the entertainment industry's fakeness and inner workings through his personal experiences and what it means to be famous. Excellent production A dramatic piano opening with Mitchell’s soft vocal turns all ears in this heartfelt single. Many of his singles like “Slow Dance,” “Like Strangers Do,” and collaboration “Hate You + Love You” with Cheat Codes include those sweet, intimate verses talking about his struggles with love and stardom. “Cameras On” goes for a different performance, with Mitchell not focusing on love but on the music industry's reality. After listening to the single, listeners will find no better way to proclaim sadness and inner truths unless it’s with bittersweet vocals. Cameras on/And I see the faces changing/I wanna run, I wanna run/Cameras on/Now I'm friends with every stranger/I wanna run, I wanna run Harsh realities “Cameras On” is a courageous delivery of patience and servitude to Mitchell’s self-care. The single was a three-year project in the making, and the final delivery is astonishing. The artist’s vocals, usually the main focal point, are only a side matter in his latest single. It’s rare in the pop genre and with Mitchell’s track record to focus on something felt more worldwide rather than individual pain. It’s been confirmed that “Cameras On” is a small peek into Mitchell’s upcoming album Skyview, which was inspired by his hometown Belleville, Illinois. Since the hype and anticipation have been ongoing for some time, it’s possible the album will blow us all away. Recommended if you like: Justin Bieber HRVY Shawn Mendes Sources: Facebook, Totalntertainment, Tmrw Magazine Featured Image: Genius
Welcome back to another episode of Byte's news podcast, "Wrapped Up"! In this episode, Kellyn Harrison reports on HuffPost layoffs, Directors Guild of America nominations, the PowerPuff Girl's live-action show, and Netflix implementing a new verification system for user log-ins.Host: Kellyn HarrisonEdited by: Kellyn HarrisonGraphic by: Emily Hanes.
Ball State Daily · Wrapped Up S1E6-Journalists leave their Huff-Post
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.
by Arianna SergioThe opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. It’s no secret that the film industry lacks diversity and inclusion. In 2015, the Oscars were called out with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite because every category listed lacked an artist of color. And I mean literally every category. This movement was the beginning of the shift that the film industry is slowly making to be more diverse and inclusive. When April Reign, a media strategist and advocate for diversity and inclusion, created the hashtag and spilled it onto every social media platform known to man, the Academy membership was 92% white and 75% male. Since then, the membership has improved. In 2020, the academy membership was 84% white and 68% male. The UCLA 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report is an analysis of the top-grossing films of 2018 and 2019. It includes a workplace analysis of 11 major and mid-major studios, which found that 91% of corporate-level executive positions were held by white people and 82% were held by men. Among all senior executive positions, 93% percent were held by white people and 80% by men.
by Mason KupiainenThe opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. Over the past decade, we’ve seen an increase in female directors given the opportunity to direct more high-profile projects including Wonder Woman, Charlie's Angels, Captain Marvel, and Mulan. Other films like Booksmart, Little Women, and The Babadook get high praise for their quality, as well as being directed by women. However, there have been many other great films from previous decades that were helmed by women that were exceptional, and maybe even better than ones directed today. However, they have not received the same praise or been even mentioned when discussing films directed by women.
Theatre and dance majors will be performing in the first dance show of the spring 2021 season in "Tribute." "Tribute" is a 50 minute show choreographed by Anne Beck and Michael Humphrey showcasing the African roots of popular musical stylings such as Jazz and swing, and how it even affects modern styles of dance and music. The show will be only shown as a livestream on March 13, at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, please visit bsu.edu/theatre. [ngg src="galleries" ids="44" display="basic_imagebrowser"]
By Brandon Carson Metal-core/pop-punk band, A Day to Remember (ADTR) has been around the block before. They’ve written teenage pop-punk anthems like, “Have Faith in Me,” metal-core ragers like, “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail,” and of course emo ballads like “If I Leave.” They were on many Vans Warped Tours and helped put metal-core into the mainstream with records like Homesick and the almighty Common Courtesy. Unfortunately, ADTR flopped hard with 2016’s Bad Vibrations, full of filler and basic metal-core songs. However, throughout their career, the band established a sound and used it as much as possible. But You’re Welcome is a true anomaly. The record is an attempt to bring ADTR back into the mainstream. Every song feels like the band is trying to do an impression of popular, radio-friendly, rock bands. The songs feel too produced, repetitive, bland, and forgettable. But the biggest headache of You’re Welcome is that it has no idea what it is. Familiar faces ADTR has always held a recognizable sound and mainstream qualities. Homesick saw the band hone in on what makes ADTR great: the catchy hooks, hard-hitting riffs, brilliant pop-punk screams, and vocals from Jeremy McKinnon. What Separates Me From You pushed their boundaries further, bringing the band deeper into the mainstream and on the radio as well as Common Courtesy. But on You’re Welcome, they keep trying to sound like other popular mainstream rock bands, when they already are one. “Bloodsucker” takes a page from Imagine Dragons’ book with a big “Woahs” and “Ohs” chorus and heavy percussion. “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend)” starts quite promising with a heavy, Code Orange-esque riff. But then, out of nowhere, McKinnon does his best Ivan Moody, of Five Finger Death Punch, impression with the lyrics, “Twist the blade/Leavin' a wound that never heals inside me/Twist the blade, let it die/Vengeance is hereby mine.” “Resentment” is what probably happened when ADTR listened to Bring Me the Horizon’s newest record, POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR, and “High Diving” has Twenty One Pilots written all over it. The problem here isn’t that ADTR has modern influences, but they get so washed up in them that they barely try and stay original with their sound. Generic madness ADTR has never shied away from their clichés. Their sound contains many metal-core and pop-punk clichés. But in their earlier records like Homesick, What Separates Me From You, and even Common Courtesy, they would balance that with excellent hooks and creative breakdowns. They would have plenty of generic, relatable qualities, but the way they crafted a song around it was interesting and unique. You’re Welcome is the complete generic package: with no unique qualities, filler tracks, repetitive structures, and an overproduced mix. The first offender is “Only Money,” which begins the song with the tried and true, “My momma called me…” The song is basically every radio ballad you hear on the radio. The lyrics are bland and repetitive, the definition of filler. “F.Y.M.” is equally as generic and bland, not even sounding like the same band. The third offender, “Mindreader,” is the band on autopilot, with the same structure that every song on the record contains. Among the fillers in the record are: “Resentment,” “Degenerates,” “Permanent,” and “Re-Entry.” But the biggest misstep on the record goes to the closer, “Everything We Need.” Not only is the instrumental a bland, overproduced mess, but the lyrics are painfully dull and clichéd. It sounds like the first chorus they came up with for the song and never wanted to make it any better. “Cuz I know I got you/And you know you got me/We got everything we need/We got everything we need/I know I got you (I know I got you)/And you know you got me/We got everything we need/We got everything we need.” To give credit where it’s due, “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend),” and “Resentment,” have some explosive, heavy moments that blend well with the new songwriting style. It should also be acknowledged that they are taking a big risk, changing their sound from something pop-punk/metal-core to radio-friendly hits. No identity This record suffers the most from having no identity or vision with its bland lyrics and instrumentals, each track sounds completely different from the next, and not in a way that still connects it all as a whole. The result is that the record suffers an identity crisis. It’s constantly changing moods and styles, but still managing to contain the bland and annoying mainstream clichés. It jumps from the seemingly Imagine Dragons inspired, “Bloodsucker,” to “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend),” to “F.Y.M.,” in a row! Then the filler tracks arrive and throw off the pacing of the record near the end. Fortunately, “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend)” has a brutally heavy riff. Top tracks: “Looks Like Hell” “Resentment” “Re-Entry” Recommended if you like: Pierce the Veil Bring Me the Horizon We Came As Romans Sources: Revolver Featured Image: Genius
by Conner Tighe The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. As a raccoon in thieving wear, scales a wire overhead a museum, a turtle maneuvers the underground sewers searching for tech disaster while a large pink hippo sits patiently in the getaway van. This picture is all too familiar for fans of the Sly Cooper franchise, which has spanned a little over a decade. What made the series so unique was not its concept of a thieving raccoon, but its realistic appeal replaced by a world dominated by animal characters. Locations in the series-like the jungles of India, the city of Venice, Paris, and wastelands of Australia-were all run by animals in place of what would’ve been humans in any other game. The franchise mainly has players sneaking around bodyguards and maneuvering thin wires overtop dangerous heights. Still, the series expanded beyond that, allowing fantastic boss fights, team-led operations, and the inner workings of a hacking device. You’ll find the police, often led by Cooper’s love interest Carmelita Fox, siding with Cooper’s gang at times, as circumstances force the two to band together for the greater good. No other game franchise before or after has taken such a creative concept and created a world so recognizable. It’s only appropriate to show why the series has lasted so long. From the first title released in 2002 to the latest released in 2013, here are the titles ranked from best to worst. Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves [caption id="" align="alignright" width="384"] Image from Pinterest[/caption] Cooper’s second adventure turned out to be the most memorable in more ways than one. Band of Thieves took away the player’s limitations on scene and location by introducing open-world playability. Cooper, Bentley, and Murray return once again, this time allowing players to control all three characters depending on the mission. In addition to, providing the option to explore whichever city/town the gang is holed up in. The humoristic approach is again present in the second title and the familiar animated narration detailing Cooper’s life as a thief, continuing his lineage of master thieves. This bit will be explored in later titles. Interestingly, Band of Thieves is the only title in the series to feature a female character as the main antagonist. Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time [caption id="" align="alignright" width="388"] Image from Venture Beat[/caption] The Cooper series' fourth installment was interesting if not inventive in its approach, compared to previous installments. When pages of the Thievius Raccoonus begin to disappear, Bentley gets the trio back together to discover what’s happening. As the title suggests, players will travel back in time and play as some of Cooper’s ancestors, like the inventor of sushi, Rioichi Cooper, and Western outlaw, Tennessee Kid Cooper, to unveil just what’s going on with the notorious Cooper handbook. The adventure again was incredible, like any other installment, but unfortunately, there was no fifth release. There was a small fight to get the familiar raccoon back on platforms again, but game developer Sanzaru Games claimed there would be no more signs of Cooper after Thieves in Time. Sly Cooper 3: Honor Among Thieves [caption id="" align="alignright" width="381"] Image from IMDB[/caption] When Cooper learns of his family’s vault, locked away on Kaine Island, he gathers a team of experts to break into the vault under the control of Dr. M, the main antagonist of the game. Cooper and Bentley seek out Murray, who seeks a life of peace and meditation after having caused Bentley’s wheelchair-bound condition. Players will have a blast controlling the familiar trio and new faces like Penelope, a tech expert, the Guru, a wildman who has taught Murray how to find inner peace, and the Panda King, who was one of the antagonists of the original game. All the fun aspects of stealing coins, jumping, scaling over walls and wires, and escaping from dangerous foes are included in this installment. Although there were new characters and locations, the experience seemed like another copy of Band of Thieves. Sure, new characters were introduced, the classic animated humor returned, and beating up bad guys in ridiculous fashion stayed consistent, but it was something old at this point. The series giving its predecessor that much more credit for being the best in the series. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [caption id="" align="alignright" width="378"] Image from Moby Games[/caption] The trio’s first mission, players get to experience, involves a break-in of Inspector Fox’s office. The three retrieved a page of the legendary Thievius Raccoonus; a book passed down from generation to generation in the Cooper family. The book details all the tricks of the trade when it comes to being a thief. With this title being the first, it’s understandable the following titles only got better. Players can merely peruse museums, palaces, and temples with Cooper; however, they can collect coins to further upgrade Cooper’s skills, which were also expanded upon in later titles. However, one quality that makes this game stand out is the fact that players can buy the ability to slow down time, making the rest of the game a cinch. Sources: Fanbyte, Sly Cooper Wiki Images: IMDB, Moby Games, Pinterest, Venture Beat Featured Image: Wireframe Magazine
Graham and Blake break down the "newest" addition to DC's competing cinematic universe, Zack Snyder's original cut of Justice League.Checkpoint is Byte's video news series, reporting on recent events in the world of entertainment, tech, and pop culture. Whether its video games, film, television, or music, we've got you covered!Anchors: Graham Harding, Blake Chapman Executive Producer: Aaron DwyerVideo Editing: Graham HardingAudio Editing: Shwetha SundarrajanGraphics: Kellyn HarrisonMusic: Jack McGinnis
Blake and Graham break down the opening of Japan's new Nintendo themed amusement park.Checkpoint is Byte's video news series, reporting on recent events in the world of entertainment, tech, and pop culture. Whether its video games, film, television, or music, we've got you covered!Anchors: Blake Chapman, Graham Harding Executive Producer: Aaron DwyerVideo Editing: Blake ChapmanAudio Editing: Shwetha SundarrajanGraphics: Kellyn HarrisonMusic: Jack McGinnis