The Oberlin Review

OMTA’s Spamalot Presents Hilarious Monty Python Adaptation

OMTA’s Spamalot Presents Hilarious Monty Python Adaptation

May 3, 2019

A student production of Spamalot, a musical based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, opens this Friday, May 3 in Wilder Main Space. I was able to watch one of the final rehearsals of the show, and found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience with a talented cast and ensemble that engaged the audience in some lighthearted and escapist fun. Holy Grail is a comedic parody of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail, and Spamalot follows the same path.  “There is a lot maintaine...

“Avengers: Endgame” Rocks the Box Office

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

May 3, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

Editor’s Note: This review contains major spoilers for the movie Avengers: Endgame. With a $1.5 billion worldwide gross in its opening week, Avengers: Endgame is undeniably one of the biggest cinematic events in recent history — and perhaps the biggest of all time.  To start, I have to confess to being a Marvel fan. I have watched every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and am deeply invested in the characters and world. As the culminating moment of the series, Endgame has little in the way of emotional stakes for viewers new to the franchise, but excels as a finale. It has no small amount of crowd-pleasing moments and spotlights several touching new developments in character relationships establishe...

Andrea Lawlor, English Professor, Author, and Poet

Andrea Lawlor, English Professor, Author, and Poet

April 26, 2019

Author Andrea Lawlor is a visiting lecturer of English at Mount Holyoke College and a fiction editor at Fence magazine. They published a chapbook of poems, Position Papers, in 2016 and their first novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, in 2017. A 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards, Paul tells the story of a queer shapeshifter as he makes his way across the United States, navigating a series of complicated relationships. Last week, Lawlor visited Oberlin for a r...

Review: “Game of Thrones” Premieres Eighth Season

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

April 19, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1.  The much-awaited eighth and final season of Game of Thrones started strong this week with a character-driven episode that set up the epic battles soon to come. While the episode was light on action, it had plenty of feel-good moments, finally bringing all the characters we love back together as Jon Snow returned to his hometown of Winterfell, with his new lover-aunt Daenerys in tow. The episode also stepped up the horror quotient, taking the visceral imagery of the White Walkers to new, gruesome levels. In the early seasons, Game of Thrones was largely character-driven, focusing on developing a vast array of protagonists and following thei...

DC Turns out Delightful Superhero Comedy with “Shazam!”

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

April 12, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

The latest Warner Bros.’ DC Comics film, Shazam!, is a pleasant deviation from their usual darker fare such as Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The cheerful, funny Shazam! is the first DC Extended Universe film to go beyond its role as a superhero action movie — it also serves as a coming-of-age story with strong family themes. While the action and visual effects are a little lacking at times, an excellent script with relatable characters, genuine emotional stakes, and spot-on humor more than makes up for it, making Shazam! my personal favorite of the DC films so far. Stars Asher Angel and Zachary Levi do an excellent job playing the protagonist, Billy Batson, and his superhero alter-ego, Shaza...

Captain Marvel: A Solid Superhero Movie, But Nothing More

Captain Marvel: A Solid Superhero Movie, But Nothing More

March 15, 2019

As a die-hard Marvel fan and a general superhero buff, I was more than merely excited to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female superhero-led movie. Yet, perhaps spoiled by last year’s Black Panther, I was somewhat disappointed by the movie. Captain Marvel is a fine film, and a much-needed step in the right direction in terms of female representation within the MCU, but it never truly excels, instead feeling like a by-the-numbers superhero movie with nothing special going for it. Pa...

Book Review: “The Fork, The Witch, and the Worm”

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

March 8, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts

Christopher Paolini, the author of the popular Inheritance cycle, is known for taking a while to write books — so when he released a collection of short stories titled The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm without much warning at the end of 2018, most fans were pleasantly surprised. As one of Oberlin’s many fantasy nerds, I grew up reading Paolini and got a copy of his new book as soon as it was released.  The collection was a great read, providing a much-needed return to the world of Alagaesia and the characters from Paolini’s first series. Yet it fails to live up to the standard of the original series because of the limits of its format — the short stories don’t provide the same in-depth look at the nuance of ...

Final “How to Train Your Dragon” Installment Warms Hearts

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

March 1, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

Editor’s note: This review contains major spoilers for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The How To Train Your Dragon franchise has always held a special place in my heart, largely because it’s very loosely based on Cressida Cowell’s book series, which I loved as a child. With stunning visuals, one of my all-time favorite scores, and unusually mature themes for children’s movies, How To Train Your Dragon is undoubtedly one of the best animated series of the last decade. Although the latest installment, The Hidden World, pales slightly in comparison to its predecessors, it is still a thoroughly enjoyable movie and provides an emotional end to a fantastic trilogy. A large part of the franchise’s a...

Best Picture Countdown: “Vice”

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

February 22, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

Vice tells the story of Dick Cheney, allegedly the most powerful vice president in American history. Despite being scattered at times, Vice is overall an engaging film for its target audience, taking the viewer through Cheney’s highs and lows and painting a picture of one of the main powers behind the Bush administration. For an alleged satire, Vice is low on laughs and instead focuses on the development of political rhetoric during Cheney’s time in Washington.  Christian Bale impresses as Cheney, showcasing his journey from a bumbling, aggressive college dropout to a collected and reserved politician. Bale plays the part well, yet one of the film’s biggest issues is its written portrayal of Cheney. The film mak...

Best Picture Countdown: “Green Book”

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

February 15, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen shine in Green Book, a by-the-numbers film about a Black pianist and his white valet on a tour through the Deep South. Oscar-bait through and through, what the movie lacks in innovation it makes up for in execution. Director Peter Farrelly deftly handles the film’s sensitive subject matter, making the movie feel cliché at points, but never heavy-handed or forced. Green Book is character-driven from the start, opening with a scene that has no relevance to the plot but sets up Mortensen’s Tony Lip as the stereotypical Italian-American New Yorker of the 1960s. When this rough-talking, hot dog-guzzling club bouncer is hired to drive and protect Black pianist Dr. Don Shirley on hi...

Best Picture Countdown: Black Panther

Kabir Karamchandani

February 8, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

Marvel Studios is notorious for churning out movies that are fun to watch but lack substance and depth, which makes Black Panther a pleasant surprise. The film sets a new bar for the genre, with a compelling villain and a semi-nuanced debate of a politically relevant issue. In a time rife with xenophobia and immigration issues, Black Panther tackles serious questions about whether a country’s responsibilities extend beyond its borders and whether those in power have a responsibility to help those who are not. The film handles these issues with surprising tact, painting them as a debate rather than the black-and-white depiction of disagreements usually found in superhero films.  Despite this, the film still remains somewhat hamstrung by its g...

Best Picture Countdown: Bohemian Rhapsody

Kabir Karamchandani

February 8, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Theater & Film

A music-packed ode to Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody is, unfortunately, more style than substance. While the score is sure to entertain any Queen fans, the biopic is far from true to its source material and lacks coherence and a consistent story thread. The movie is scattered from the opening. Within the span of a few minutes, the focus quickly switches from scenes of Mercury’s home life to a musical performance, to his introduction to his future band-mates, and finally to his first meeting with his future wife. The beginning chaotically sets up up various elements of the plot that never quite come together. Instead, the film jumps from song to song for the majority of its runtime — which isn’t actually a bad ...

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