Category Archives: Features

Movie Review

Get Out

Jordan Peele, from the popular Key and Peele comedy duo, has been receiving a lot of attention for his newest film Get Out. Many good things have been said about the film, as well as Peele as a director, including remarks by Olly Richards in a recent review that described Peele as “one of the most exciting new directing voices we’ve seen in a while.” His directorial debut has been well-received by audiences and has done extremely well in the box office. Reviews of the movie range from “funny with a good plot,” to the much deeper with a comment by Observer film critic Mark Kermode, referring to it as a “chilling satire of liberal racism in the U.S.” It has received very positive reviews and ratings with an 8.3/10 on IMDb and 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Read more...

Leave a comment
ALBUM REVIEW

More Life curates Drake’s talents

Drake’s newest album—or rather “playlist,”—titled More Life dropped on March 18, and by all metrics was worth the absurd wait it brought with it. The wait was longer than most people would have liked: first announced for late 2016, then pushed back to early 2017. Finally, a cryptic tweet teasing at a March 4 release date all served to get fan hopes up and create hype. When the album finally came out, I, along with a record-breaking amount of people, rushed to Spotify and Apple Music to stream it. 61.3 million people got to experience More Life together, and I’m pleased to report that it was an enjoyable experience. Read more...

Leave a comment
CAMPUS EVENT

EMPAC hosts RPI Players

Anxious theater attendees clustered in the lower lobby of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, awaiting entry to the RPI Players’ performance of Our Town. The excited crowd was led into EMPAC Studio 1, where they were seated nearly beneath a screen that wound about the performance space in a near-complete circle. There was no stage, and the props were limited to a series of gray boxes and a few ladders kept in the back. Read more...

Leave a comment

PSS: Spot Dessert Bar

Click on any photo to enlarge it:

All photos: Sidney Kochman/The Polytechnic Read more...

Leave a comment
ON-CAMPUS EVENT

Genericon draws crowds for 30th anniversary

Cosplay, art sellers, and panels galore decorated RPI during its annual anime convention

This past weekend, Genericon XXX was held across campus—walking into Darrin Communications Center on Saturday afternoon, I received quite the shock. Genericon is an anime, science fiction, and gaming convention hosted by volunteers from the Rensselaer Science Fiction and Anime club, in collaboration with the Rensselaer Union. It runs for 48 hours, with the majority of the events being held in the DCC. Now, the XXX doesn’t mean what you think it does—there were 18+ events, but the name comes from the fact that this is the thirtieth year that Genericon has been held. As a first-time convention-goer, walking into the DCC Great Hall was quite a culture shock. I stood there for a few minutes trying to digest it all, and I was lucky enough that I ran into familiar faces not too long after. There were all sorts of events and showings you’d expect from a convention, including merchandise, panels, and 24-hour showings, but my review will largely focus on one overarching thing that ties together the experience of being at a convention: cosplay. Read more...

Leave a comment
CLUB SPOTLIGHT

RPI Ambulance provides for the community

Did you know that there’s a club on campus that could save you hundreds of dollars in an emergency? RPI Ambulance is a completely student-run Basic Life Support transporting ambulance agency that is funded entirely by the Rensselaer Union. If you call 911 or Public Safety on campus and EMS is needed, RPIA will most likely be dispatched. An ambulance ride to the hospital can cost anywhere between $100 to $3000. With RPIA, the ride and any materials used are completely free. Read more...

Leave a comment
GAME REVIEW

Barebones indie game delivers A+ simulation

A few weeks ago, I picked up the latest deal on Humble Bundle 47 games for just $30, a deal that no one could pass up. Out of the pile of untouched games in my Steam library, I plucked out one that interested me: Mini Metro. I went into Mini Metro expecting a complex, sophisticated public transportation simulation. What I got was completely different, and yet it was quite appealing. Read more...

Leave a comment
GAME REVIEW

Facebook’s dragon tales

“It’s extremely addicting and eating my life” says Gavin Mays ’20, when asked about his latest addiction. He’s not talking about anything illicit however; just the latest mobile craze in the form of Everwing. Developed by Blackstorm Labs in 2016, the Facebook Messenger exclusive game has taken my contact list by storm - transforming pleasant conversations into tallies of scores and achievements. The premise is simple, and maybe that’s why it’s so addictive. Like the Space Invaders of old, Everwing is simply a race to outlast your friends and acquire the ultimate reward: bragging rights. Read more...

Leave a comment
ON CAMPUS EVENT

BSA fashion show wows reviewer

This past Saturday, the Union’s McNeil room played host to a fashion show held by Rensselaer’s very own Black Student Alliance. Called “Vanguards,” the show featured several local designers and many aspiring student models. Lasting two hours, the various fashion walks all correlated to a specific theme. One walk was formal themes, with men donning suits and overcoats while women showed off gowns and dresses of various materials and patterns. A different walk was themed on recycling. With the help of local designer Laura Andrighetti, models exhibited clothing that was created with reused fabrics and materials. Examples include an outfit whose top resembled a cloth net, a dress with a floral print reminiscent of either flour sacks or rolls of fabric, and a dress made out of a single sheet of flannel. Read more...

Leave a comment
VIDEO GAME REVIEW

Halo Wars gathers high praise with second title

Halo Wars 2 is not like your regular Halo, it is a real-time strategy game. You build bases, command armies, and manage resources to play. This game scratches my Halo itch and has fun and engaging gameplay to boot. Read more...

Leave a comment
OFF CAMPUS EVENT

Brain Candy draws very specific audience

About two weeks ago, my roommate offhandedly mentioned that a high school friend might be coming down to see a show that Adam Savage was hosting in Schenectady. And I said, “Adam Savage?” And he said “yes.” And I said, “in Schenectady?” And he said “yes.” So I rushed off to my computer, because like many of you out there, I have been a longtime fan of Adam Savage. His show, Mythbusters, which he co-hosted with Jamie Hyneman, has a special place in my heart. I was excited by the prospect of seeing his new show, Brain Candy Live!, which he co-hosts with Michael Stevens, who runs the YouTube channel Vsauce. Read more...

Leave a comment
CHARITY EVENT

Humble Bundle raises millions for charity

About a week ago, I was minding my own business, probably doing homework or re-watching Stranger Things, when a friend messaged me about this thing called the Humble Bundle. He explained it as the “deal of a lifetime” and a way for me to pick up games that I had always been meaning to play. I stopped playing video games a while back, the only exception being Hearthstone and the occasional game of Overwatch, so although the prospect of lucrative deals on time-wasters seemed appealing, it was an offer I had planned on refusing. It wasn’t until my own editor in chief here at The Poly suggested that I look into it that I actually visited the Humble Bundle website. What I saw there blew me away. Read more...

Leave a comment
TV SERIES REVIEW

The Walking Dead seizes crown as zombie genre forerunner

AMD’s critically acclaimed show, The Walking Dead, sets the standard for zombie-themed television shows and movies. To begin, it is important to understand the origins of the show- it is a television adaption of a major comic book that was published with the same name. Read more...

Leave a comment
ALBUM REVIEW

Post-Grammy look at gilded Coloring Book

Following the 2017 Grammy Awards, the relevance of which is a different matter altogether, I decided to revisit, and rewrite, a review for one of my favorite albums of last year. The album was produced by none other than this year’s Best New Artist, Chance the Rapper. Although the award is thematically incorrect—Chance released his first mixtape 10 Day in early 2012—it serves as a great way to honor a man who managed to become a breakthrough success without signing to any major labels. With his third mixtape, Coloring Book, winning Best Rap Album, Chance seems only to go further and further on his past towards musical stardom. Coloring Book is an experience from start to finish, one where gospel, hip-hop, and jazz blend into a unique cocktail of sound only Chance could deliver. Read more...

Leave a comment
CAMPUS EVENT

Recyclemania promotes collegiate competition

Does your dorm have a convenient recycling system? Many people know about RPI’s single stream recycling, but sometimes it’s faster to just throw things in the trash. In an effort to make recycling simple for students, members of the Student Sustainability Task Force and Ecologic handed out free recycle bins to students living on campus. These bins, provided by Environment and Site Services, were given out in anticipation of a large, nationwide recycling competition called Recyclemania. This competition spans the United States and Canada, and pits college campuses against each other to see which campus has the most recycling per person. RPI will face some tough competition from the other schools, which include our rival Union College! Recyclemania officially starts Monday, February 6 and goes until Friday, April 1. During each week of the competition, County Waste, RPI’s waste hauler, will measure how much we have recycled as a campus. If you care about the environment, want to see RPI win, or just want to beat Union, then recycle as much as you can during the next few months! We hope that you will join in on the competition and recycle as many recyclable materials as possible! Read more...

Leave a comment
PODCAST REVIEW

Hello Internet piques interest

When two people with extensive interest in somewhat obscure subjects come together to talk, you’ve got yourself an excellent podcast. Hello Internet is, in my opinion, the epitome of the “two dudes talking” podcast genre, if you can call it a genre. What started out as an audio experiment between two YouTube friends, CGPGrey and Brady Haran, has blossomed into unique masterpiece of the podcasting world. Read more...

Leave a comment
CAMPUS SPOTLIGHT

Unofficial hug group brightens Fridays for all

On most Fridays, you can hear us chanting “Happy Friday!” and “Have an awesome day!” outside of Russell Sage Dining Hall. Maybe you’ve even seen us dancing to some music. As one of the campus “Free Hug Friday” huggers, I’d like to tell you from my perspective what our little group is all about. Read more...

Leave a comment
CAMPUS EVENT

Chillin with dinosaurs at Jurassic Parka

Maria’s Review:

This past Saturday, I attended my third Winter Carnival: Jurassic Parka. The weather was much more fitting for the event, with the temperature in the 30s, compared to last year with the sun out and the temperature in the 60s! Read more...

Leave a comment
MOVIE REVIEW

Phenomenal dancing one of many remarkable scenes from La La Land

Released in the United States on December 9, the musical drama La La Land saw almost immediate success for its clever and insightful reimagining of vintage musicals for the modern age. The film took the Venice Film Festival by storm at the end of August, and was widely considered by critics to be on this year’s most anticipated list. Owen Gleiberman of Variety described the film as “the most audacious big-screen musical in a long time, and—irony of ironies—that’s because it’s the most traditional.” Through the most aggressive form of retrograding, La La Land proves itself unique in the scope of modern cinema. Read more...

Leave a comment
CAMPUS EVENT

RPI Ballroom social dance teaches waltz

Last Saturday, instead of staying home and doing Data Structures like most of my classmates, I went out and about to explore the world of RPI Ballroom. I had first heard about this event a week before, when I missed their first social dance and was scrambling to find their next one. This led me to arriving to Academy Hall at 7 pm, with nothing but a lack of dancing experience and five dollars to my name. After paying the toll and gaining admission—gaining access to a selection of snacks—I was ushered into the Academy Hall Auditorium for a brief lesson on the waltz. Read more...

Leave a comment