‘Thor: Ragnarok’ delivers another action-packed movie experience

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ delivers another action-packed movie experience

The third installment in the Thor series, Thor: Ragnarok once again delivers fans an action-packed, visually-stunning movie experience. In the Taika Waititi directed film, viewers first find Thor (Chris Hemsworth) attempting to prevent Ragnarok — the prophecy of darkness to destroy Thor’s beloved city of Asgard — by killing the demon beast, Surtur. After killing Surtur, Thor comes back to Asgard to find that his father has been replaced by his brother, the god of mischief, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Oden (Anthony Hopkins) tells his sons that Ragnarok is still coming in the shape of their sister, the goddess of death, Hela (Cate Blanchett). While attempting to escape Hela, the two demigods get knocked out of the portal and into another planet where warriors are forced to fight against each other. The ruler of the planet, only known as the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), forces Thor into fighting, claiming that he will let Thor go if he defeats his champion. A fellow Avenger, The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), soon appears, which sets up a new dynamic duo within The Avengers franchise. The film does a remarkably good job at completing Thor’s journey to becoming King of Asgard. In the past two movies, viewers have seen Thor find himself be the hero of Earth. Now that his relationship with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has ended, and Earth is protected for the time being, Thor sees this as a good time to focus on his home world and his people. Nevertheless, Jane Foster’s abrupt departure lacked any emotion. The couple dated for nearly two years, so there should have been more explanation as to...
‘An American in Paris’ thrills with lovely, complex production at TPAC

‘An American in Paris’ thrills with lovely, complex production at TPAC

Music City has been beautifully transformed into the City of Light this week. The anticipated production of An American in Paris has officially come to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, featuring a jaw-dropping array of color, dance, music and emotion, sure to delight any hopeless romantic or musical-enthusiast. A ballet set in Paris right after WWII, An American in Paris tells most of its story through striking musical numbers, complete with big sets and authentic-looking costume work by Bob Crowley that will take you straight to 1940s Paris. Real-life husband and wife duo Matthew and Kirsten Scott steal the show as Adam Hochberg and Milo Davenport, who both convey a groundedness to round-out the overall mysterious and lush-nature of the show. K. Scott’s timing is spot-on, and M. Scott gives an endearing and down-to-earth performance as an ex-GI living in Paris. The story centers on an American soldier, Jerry Mulligan (McGee Maddox), who decides to stay in Paris after the war and focus on his artwork. Here, he meets Adam and Henri (Ben Michael), and the three immediately become the “Three Musketeers,” as they aptly put it during one of their song and dance numbers. Although intending to focus on his artwork, Jerry is, after all, in one of the most romantic cities in the world, so of course he meets Lise (Allison Walsh, who served as the Lise alternate in the Broadway production), a mysterious yet beautiful ballerina who has an interesting and complex past with Henri. Meanwhile, Milo, an American heiress, also joins the picture, and a complicated love triangle ensues, which will keep unfamiliar playgoers guessing....
‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ is poignant look into the relationship between father and son

‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ is poignant look into the relationship between father and son

Goodbye Christopher Robin chronicles the relationship between author A.A.“Alan” Milne and his son, Christopher Robin “Billy” Milne, who inspired the beloved children’s books, Winnie the Pooh. Directed by Simon Curtis, the biography-drama, which stars Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie and Kelly MacDonald, offers a poignant look into the life of a family impacted by the children’s book’s success. In the beginning of the film, viewers meet Alan Milne (Gleeson), a successful playwright living in London’s West End in 1916. Alan, who has just returned from fighting in World War I, is clearly haunted by his time in service and suffers from shell shock. Alan’s wife, Daphne (Robbie) decides the way to cheer him up is to have a child, but she is left distraught when she has a son instead of a daughter, telling Alan she refuses to get attached to a child who will just be sent off to fight in a war later. Initially, both parents are distant with their new son, Billy, leaving him in the care of his nanny, Olive (MacDonald) while jaunting off on holidays and attending social events. But, when Alan’s PTSD from the war becomes too much, he moves his family to the English Countryside to start fresh and live a more relaxed life. When the opportunity arises for Alan to get to spend some time with Billy, the father and son begin to bond, and, through their adventures together, inspiration strikes for Alan’s next work, Winnie the Pooh. The stories immediately become a hit, bringing enchanting tales of comfort to post-war England, but as Winnie the Pooh reaches world-wide success, it takes a...
Grammy-award winning Fairfield Four to perform at Lipscomb tonight

Grammy-award winning Fairfield Four to perform at Lipscomb tonight

The Gospel music quartet Fairfield Four will bring acapella music to Ward Hall on tonight at 7:30 p.m. as part of the George Shinn College of the Entertainment & Arts’ Artist Series. The quartet was originally founded as a trio, organized at the Fairfield Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, in the early 1920’s. The Fairfield Four have stuck to their roots, performing traditional style gospel songs similar to groups such as the Bessemer Sunset Four, the Birmingham Jubilee Singers and the Famous Blue Jay Singers. While the group’s members have changed over the years, the founders’ fundamental idea of using music to lift up the Lord has stayed the same. “We are are a Bible based group,” Fairfield Four member Larrice Byrd Sr. said. “We believe in the Bible and God, and our performance’s main focal point is to lift up the name of Jesus.” The Fairfield Four have received many honors since their inception, including three Grammy Awards and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. In 1999, the group was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Readers may recognize them from their appearance on screen and in the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou, with “Lonesome Valley.” Byrd says the group is looking forward to their performance at Lipscomb, which will be their 15th performance this year. “It’s a good feeling to be back, because most of the gigs we have are around the country in other places,” Byrd said. “When we get to perform in Nashville, it’s special to us.” The group will perform tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and can be purchased through Lipscomb’s...
Lipscomb welcomes 48th annual GMA Dove Awards for gospel music’s biggest night

Lipscomb welcomes 48th annual GMA Dove Awards for gospel music’s biggest night

Artists such as Reba McEntire, Lauren Daigle and Pat Boone gathered together in Lipscomb’s Allen Arena to celebrate another year of Christian and gospel music. The GMA Dove Awards celebrated its fifth consecutive year on Lipscomb’s campus Tuesday night to honor outstanding artists, songs, albums, films and more. Kari Jobe and Tasha Cobbs co-hosted the event, which centered on a “Sound the Remedy” theme. “We believe the message of gospel and Christian music offers God’s remedy to the world,” GMA President Jackie Patillo said. A unique aspect for this year’s Dove Awards, a 40-foot-tall replica of the Gutenberg Gates was displayed outside Allen Arena October 16-17. The display was part of a five-city tour by the Museum of the Bible set to open in Washington D.C. on November 17. Attendees had the opportunity to visit the replica prior to entering the concert venue. Photos by Anna Rogers Country music star Reba McEntire takes home first Dove Award Legendary country music artist Reba McEntire took home one Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Album of the Year. The album category was a brand new award this year.  From the stage, McEntire expressed humble gratitude in receiving the award, praising her fellow nominees as well. “It’s not mine,” McEntire said. “It’s God’s. We’ll give him all the glory. I’ll put it up on the mantle and think of Him every time I look at it.  “It [music] is a way of expressing our thanks to God for giving us and allowing us this opportunity to use our God-given gifts to help other people.” McEntire added that she finds music to be very healing,...