Jet Fuel Review Fall 2016 Reading Period

JFR 11Hello, blog readers! Things have become rather quiet here on the blog, but this post may be a sign that we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. As the summer draws to a close and the new semester at Lewis University, the home of the Jet Fuel Review, begins, I have an exciting announcement for you all. The Fall 2016 reading period for the Jet Fuel Review is now open and accepting submissions from you!

This latest reading period opened on August 15th and will remain open until October 15. If you’re interested in submitting, but still need to polish up some pieces, you have some time to prepare. As always, we are accepting submissions for fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and artwork. Submissions are open to anyone who has created a piece of work in one of these genres. In the past, the Jet Fuel Review has published a wide variety of work, from beginning writers to experienced, published authors.

If you are interested in sending us your work, please review the submission guidelines on our website. These are very important if you would like us to consider your submission. If you’re not sure whether your work is a good fit for our publication, you might want to review the note about our editorial tastes.

Of course, you can also review our previous 11 issues to get a better idea of the type of work we regularly publish.

Good luck, and happy writing!

~ Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

I Love The 80s: A Review of “Stranger Things”

You’ve likely already noticed, but the 2010s have somewhat become a 2.0 update of the 1980s — at least in terms of our media. In video games, retro-style 8-and-16-bit graphics are commonplace. In film and television, our most cherished childhood properties are being rebooted seemingly every other week. Even many of today’s biggest pop stars have been modernizing the sounds of some of the biggest hits of the 80s in order to form their latest singles (looking at you Carly Rae Jepsen).

In Netflix’s latest phenomenon, Stranger Things, created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer (credited as “The Duffer Brothers”), it’s The Duffer Brothers’ obvious obsession and adoration with 80s media that is the backbone to what is the best television I’ve watched all year.

Stranger Things is more or less an amalgamation of all the classic horror/sci-fi/family films of the early 80s. There’s a competent mix of genre tropes and direct allusions to the works of Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and other visionaries of the time that the Duffer Brothers clearly grew up admiring. There’re components of films like Alien, E.T., Stand By Me, and countless others — and although there’s fairly little that’s truly unique here, the eight episodes jaunt along at a quick pace, making for an entirely enjoyable series that’s perfect for binge-watching over the course of a couple days (or less than 24 hours, which I did).

Continue reading

It’s Not Just The Villains That Are Bad: A Review of “Suicide Squad”

Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ attempt at rivaling Marvel Studios’ Cinematic Universe is a valiant effort, and I can’t stress that enough. The execs at WB and DC are in a position I would loathe to be in. If only they had one universally liked film under their belt — something akin to Marvel’s first entry in their MCU, 2008’s Iron Man — I’d feel less bad for DC. But so far, the DC Extended Universe’s track record has been unsatisfactory following the lukewarm receptions of 2013’s Man of Steel, and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which saw its release this past March.

Hoping to appeal to a wider audience — one that’s riding on the hype of more comedic comic book movies like Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy — DC’s latest attempt is writer/director David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, which comes off as a direct response to Marvel’s Guardians. Sadly, and I really hate to say this, but it may be the DCEU’s worst film yet. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s downright terrible.

Continue reading

Are You Afraid of the Dark? : A Review of “Lights Out”

Back in 2013, a measly two-and-a-half minute horror short called Lights Out went viral and gained some recognition for its creator, David F. Sandberg. It’s a simple short, but it was notable for its freaky concept of a murderous creature that lives within complete darkness.

Fast-forward just three years later, and we now have a full-length, major studio-produced interpretation of that short. Bearing the same name and original creator, Sandberg’s feature-length directorial debut, Lights Out, is a horror flick that provides a remarkable central concept, plenty of earned scares, and impressive special effects, but is unfortunately bogged down by some shoddily mismanaged plot lines and a rather unceremonious and hollow ending.

Lights Out opens rather spectacularly in a scene that effectively introduces the monstrous star of the film, and sets the stage for the proceedings. The monster in question is Diana, a sort of demonic entity that lives in the shadows. In the opening, a warehouse owner named Paul is closing up shop when he sees Diana’s silhouette in a dark room. As the lights are switched back on, the silhouette disappears, and materializes closer once the lights go out again. Needless to say, Paul does his best to survive, but is quickly dispatched.

Continue reading

Pick-a-Poem: “Techno-Origami”

Hello, blog readers! It’s time for another installment of our Pick-a-Poem series here on the blog. On Wednesdays, we feature a new poem from the website Poetry Daily. This is a great website that features a new poem every day. If you’re looking for something new to read, be sure to check out that site! This week we’re featuring Techno-Origami by Haji Khavari.

According to the In Translation website, Haji Khavari is a young poet raised in Iran. He was a 2014 finalist in a regional poetry competition and currently edits Plastic Rose, a zine of postmodern literature. His work has been translated by Roger Sederat, who teaches poetry and translation in the MFA Program at Queens College, City University of New York.

Techno-Origami by Haji Khavari

Continue reading

Jet Fuel Jukebox for 7/19/16

Jukebox_picAnd we’re back to updating our regularly scheduled Jet Fuel Jukebox!

Pitchfork Music Festival 2016 is officially over, and it was an amazing experience filled with incredible performances. I already plan to go all three days again next year, and I can’t wait for it.

But as for now, Jake and I have come back together to deliver a playlist of 20 songs we believe you’re bound to enjoy. Some of the artists this week include Neon Indian, The Wombats, and Tegan and Sara.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

Continue reading

Jet Fuel Jukebox: Pitchfork 2016 Edition

It has unfortunately been a couple of weeks since we’ve done one of these, and I apologize for that. However, the Jet Fuel Jukebox playlist is coming back strong, with a playlist curated with the help of resident music blogger Dan Fiorio in place of the beloved Jake Johnson.

Dan and I have been waiting for this upcoming weekend for months, as the annual Chicago Pitchfork Music Festival occurs this Friday through Sunday (July 15 – July 17). Dan and I will be going together, so that’s why I’ve asked him to stand in for Jake this week. We’ve each grabbed 1 song from 10 acts we’re excited to see at the festival.

The 20 songs you’ll find on the playlist appear in order of when the artist plays their set at Pitchfork over the three-day period. It features tracks from Carly Rae Jepsen, Broken Social Scene, Sufjan Stevens, and Neon Indian.

If you’re going to be at Pitchfork this weekend, I hope that this playlist acts as a nice introduction to some new artists, or a good refresher for some of the many amazing acts that you can see there.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

P.S. The Jet Fuel Jukebox will continue with a regularly scheduled playlist from Jake and I next week!

Continue reading