‘Let Hope Rise’ offers closer look at Hillsong United

‘Let Hope Rise’ offers closer look at Hillsong United

Over 50 million people around the world sing Hillsong United songs on any given Sunday. The Australia-based Christian-band’s success is so far-reaching that director Michael John Warren decided to make a film documenting their popularity. Hillsong: Let Hope Rise provides an inside look at the band that sprung from the international megachurch Hillsong. The film’s narratives include interview segments from band members, their families and Hillsong pastors. Along with the documentary elements of the film, viewers are invited to join in on an interactive concert experience. Hillsong United came from humble beginnings but rose to international fame with hits like “Oceans” and “Touch the Sky.” Since the band’s formation, they have released 11 live albums and four studio albums. Let Hope Rise shows an overview of their earlier success, but mainly focuses on their mission, their members and their most recent tour. The film succeeds in keeping the audience’s attention throughout, and I appreciated the consistent positive message. Let Hope Rise is an inspirational documentary that is not only family-friendly, but it is also something someone of any age could find interest in. The live concert aspect of the documentary is a nice component that allows viewers to truly experience Hillsong United in the way their music is intended to be experienced. Near the beginning of the film, Joel Houston, a leading band member, stated that music is a way for people to experience God. He claimed that God made music as a connection between Heaven and the human heart. This theme carries on throughout the entirety of Let Hope Rise. The filmmakers and band members say they hope...
IDEAL Program adds residential component

IDEAL Program adds residential component

The IDEAL Program, previously a non-residential certificate program, added a residential component for the first time this year. This fall, Jason Rogers and Bo Hoskins moved in to Sewell Hall as the first non-commuter IDEAL students. “We want our students to be fully included in the campus experience,” Kelly Blankenship, IDEAL’s Program Coordinator, said. “This program allows them to be fully immersed in campus life, and that is our dream for all our students. We want everyone to get the same benefits and opportunities without exclusion.” The TPSID Grant helped with funding to make the residential component of the program possible. Other changes to the IDEAL program included adding an optional third year for students to complete, a trial experience in the summer for prospective IDEAL students and expanded community involvement for the current students to participate in. Lipscomb was one of 25 schools to receive the grant, and it has allowed IDEAL to hire Residential Coordinator Samuel Hutchins who will act as a liaison between IDEAL and residential life. “With the extra money we received, we will be able to provide extra support,”  Blankenship said, speaking of the changes being made this school year. IDEAL has a tentative goal to add two new residential students each year. The new roommates, Rogers and Hoskins, said they are both excited about their move to residential life. They noted that although move-in day was stressful, it was definitely worth it. The two students also said they are excited to get to know more people outside the IDEAL Program and be a more active part of campus life. “These might be the...
Techno-thriller ‘Nerve’ will keep you on edge of seat

Techno-thriller ‘Nerve’ will keep you on edge of seat

Modern-day technology comes to life in Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s thriller Nerve. High school senior Vee Delmonico (Emma Roberts) is tired of living in the shadow of her best friend Sydney (Emily Meade). However, this all changes when Sydney introduces Vee to Nerve, an online reality game similar to truth or dare. Nerve is divided into two categories: watchers and players. Players are dared by the watchers to perform and film embarrassing or dangerous tasks. The only way out for the players is to succeed, bail or fail. Vee decides to try Nerve and is immediately dared to kiss a stranger. This dare leads her into an exciting partnership with fearless veteran player Ian (Dave Franco). Vee and Ian’s partnership quickly becomes popular among the watchers, but as their popularity increases, their dares only become harder. Soon, Vee and Ian find themselves in the top 10 of all Nerve players, thanks to a series of difficult dares, but it all quickly becomes too much for Vee. Freaked out by the intensity of the game, she reports the game to a police officer — going against the only rule Nerve enforces. Vee is now seen as a “snitch” to the watchers, and she is deemed a prisoner while all the money is taken out of her family’s bank account. The only way to win back her money and freedom is to win the entire game. Once she learns that Ian, too, is a prisoner, Vee sets out to win Nerve, but it may not be in the way the watchers expect. I am usually not a fan of thrillers...
‘Me Before You’ is romantic movie event of 2016

‘Me Before You’ is romantic movie event of 2016

Featuring an impeccable cast and heart-wrenching storyline, the highly-anticipated tearjerker Me Before You is the romantic film of the year. The film, which is based on the novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes, follows Louisa Clark’s (Emilia Clarke) journey as a caretaker for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a young, wealthy quadriplegic man. Traynor is initially put off by Clark’s talkativeness and outfit choices, but as time goes on, he finds she is exactly what he needs. A relationship blossoms quickly, but Will’s desire to terminate his life causes a riff between anyone he cares about and himself. Clark dedicates all her time to making Traynor’s life exciting and happy. Though Traynor sees Clark could offer him a good life, he is still hesitant to continue their relationship because he could never have the life he once had. The film keeps you consistently guessing what their fate will be, and it features several tear-jerking moments. Kate Dowd casted the film, and I was impressed by every choice she made. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin deliver extraordinary performances. Many films and television shows have supporting characters that sometimes overpower the main characters. However, Me Before You had clear stars throughout every scene. Clarke and Claflin shown the brightest while the supporting cast subtlety executed their performances in a realistic way that supported the storyline without stealing the spotlight. In a time where romantic films seem highly predictable and redundant, Me Before You offers a charming, completely unpredictable, fresh storyline. I was captivated within the first five minutes — a statement I rarely make. Me Before You is a must-see. Though you will leave...
Wonderland is better second time around

Wonderland is better second time around

Filled with adventure and creativity, Director James Bobin’s Alice Through the Looking Glass captivates a creative-minded viewer and allows one to visit the enchanting land of Wonderland for a second delightful time.  I was skeptical when I first heard Producer Tim Burton, who directed the 2010 Oscar-winning film Alice in Wonderland, would be bringing Wonderland to life once again. However, within the first ten minutes of the film, my fears were instantly put to rest. There are many positive messages portrayed throughout the fantasy film. Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is the perfect role model for young girls. She is a tough go-getter who believes that nothing is impossible. She is not dependent on a man and knows that a woman can do any job a man can do. The Mad Hatter’s (Johnny Depp) storyline focuses on family and rekindling lost relationships. The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and White Queen (Anne Hathaway) demonstrate repentance, forgiveness and the power of sisterhood. The film’s main focus, however, is time. Alice hates time and believes it is a thief, but as the story progresses, she learns time is a gift. After several attempts to change the past, she learns the past cannot be changed, but it can be a lesson applied to the future. The lessons were beautifully portrayed, and I left the theater feeling happy and surprised at the sequel’s fresh and imaginative ideas. Alice Through the Looking Glass is a must-see for any creative individual. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney...