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Over-The-Summer Entertainment Recap

By Laura Brack and Conor Pepin in Arts & Culture

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MOVIES:

Summer is the season for blockbusting action movies and franchises. This year’s crop was particularly full of new entries into already established franchises; “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” was all kinds of awesome, and “Ant-Man” turned one of Marvel’s most unpopular and justly hated characters back into somebody cool.

According to Variety.com, “Jurassic World” - the fourth installment in the “Jurassic Park” series - became the third highest-grossing film of all time, despite widely being considered to be pretty okay at best.

“Cinematically, the filming of [Jurassic World] was a lot better, and the CGI and stuff was a lot better,” said junior Tierney Higgins. “But the plotline was not as good as ‘Jurassic Park.’”

“Jurassic World” was tons of fun, sure, it just wasn’t an awesome movie. The characters - aside from Owen, who was admittedly mostly made interesting by Chris Pratt’s charming smile and general cuteness - weren’t much more than basic tropes (the unattached career woman, the snarky teenager who doesn’t want to be there, the adorable child who is essentially there to be an adorable child) put inside a dinosaur theme park.

Things go wrong when a man-made dinosaur decides to start hunting for sport, which...somehow convinces all the dinosaurs to go crazy and eat people. Still, there’s just something so amusing about watching tons of people trying and failing to run away from man-eating dinosaurs.

Still, the highlights of 2015’s summer movies were the non-action movies. If you’re one of the many who disliked the tragically doomed romance in “The Fault In Our Stars”, you should check out “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”, which is a bit like TFIOS except ten times more relatable, funny, and tear-jerking. “Shaun The Sheep” was a masterpiece, there’s no dialogue, but the score and amazing claymation tells the story better than any words could. “Mr. Holmes” added a heartbreaking twist to the famous detective, and showcased just how awesome Ian McKellen is at acting.

Perhaps most notably, "Straight Outta Compton" is a very well done biopic of the world's most dangerous group that couldn't have come out at a better time in history. Sure, the movie is slightly inaccurate - Dr. Dre's reputation as a woman beater in the 90s is almost completely glossed over, and founding N.W.A. members Arabian Prince and Krazy Dee aren't included at all - but the casting is absolutely immaculate. Ice Cube's son looks just like him, which makes sense, but the other actors manage to look uncannily like their real life counterparts with no blood relation involved. The fact that people are discovering and rediscovering N.W.A.'s music thanks to this film is, frankly, awesome.

MUSIC:

Meek Mill, "Dreams Worth More Than Money"

Meek Mill, "Dreams Worth More Than Money"

Summer kicked off immediately with the release of A$AP Rocky's new album: “AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP”. The LP was consumed by a different, more psychedelic Rocky that we have not seen before. It received mixed reviews, ranging from disappointed die hard fans to people that got turned on to him by his change in tone. This album is for driving through town with the windows down. Hot tracks to check out are “L$D”, “Canal St.”, and “Everyday”.

The Weeknd took the music industry and radio stations by storm when his hit after hit album "Beauty Behind the Madness" was released. Canadian born, Abel Tesfaye proves with songs like "Can't Feel my Face" and "The Hills" that Canada breeds radio musicians. With his popularity exponentially rising after his sophomore album, we are all very excited to hear what The Weeknd will drop next.

Meek Mill dropped "Dreams Worth More Than Money" in late June. With features from Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, and Drake, the album was widely accepted by the public. However, Meek sparked controversy when he called out Drake for not writing his own lyrics on the hit song "R.I.C.O." Drake responded unhesitatingly, first with "Charged Up," showing that he was not in the slightest worried about the allegations. "Back to Back" was released the same week. Line after line he bashed Meek on him being less successful, his relationship with Nicki, and failing to produce any retaliation to "Charged Up."

Meek responded with "Wanna Know." The song had hot hot lyrics, and accused Drake of using Quentin Miller as a ghost writer and bringing up Drake's life before he was "king." The beef boosted popularity for both rappers, yet because of Meek’s humiliation, neither his fans, nor his girlfriend will ever look at him the same way again. Drake, on the other hand, is no longer just a sentimental sweetheart. He has proven that he is at the top of his game, and with his new album “Views From the 6” dropping at the end of this month, he will not be coming down any time soon.

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