‘The Meddler’ offers charm, yet it fails to keep viewers’ attention

‘The Meddler’ offers charm, yet it fails to keep viewers’ attention

Director Lorene Scafaria’s sophomore film The Meddler focuses on overbearing widow Marnie Minervini (Susan Sarandon) who latches onto her daughter, Lori, (Rose Byrne) and anyone who will keep her company. The film opens with Marnie’s move to Los Angeles where her daughter works as a screenplay writer. Lori, however, is depressed from the loss of her father and a recent breakup, busy with work and feels smothered by her mother’s constant phone calls and text messages. Marnie, desiring to feel needed, begins volunteering at a hospital and giving large amounts of time and money to people she barely knows. A therapist suggests she may be spending so much because she feels guilty having her husband’s money. Marnie focuses most of her time on others but feels lonely in the process. She is rarely placed as a priority in anyone’s life until she meets a retired police officer named Zipper (J.K. Simmons) who is instantly attracted to her. The film follows Marnie’s journey in pursuit of her daughter’s time and her own happiness. She is led to find a balance in her life, and with the help of Zipper, finds love and friendship, too. The comedy-drama, while charming at times, lacked an apparent message and coherent storyline. There was no obvious struggle or villain which made it lack an aspect of entertainment that is usually crucial to a movie. The film was ultimately not engaging, but it was filled with extraordinary acting. Sarandon and Byrne’s delivery seems effortless. Sarandon’s strong Brooklyn accent is consistent, while Byrne, an Australian native, speaks with a flawless American accent. The Meddler certainly has sweet,...
Lumination staff members to graduate Saturday

Lumination staff members to graduate Saturday

Several Lumination Network staff members will graduate with a degree in journalism and new media. Each of them played a major role in producing content for Lumination, as they have written stories for the website, worked on the TV newscast and been heard on the radio.           Brianna Langley, Journalism and New Media What has been your favorite Lipscomb memory? My favorite memory of my time at Lipscomb is probably the entire semester I spent abroad. Living, studying and traveling all over South America with a small group of girls was an experience I’ll never forget. I learned more about life, God and myself in those three months than I have in any classroom. I highly recommend taking advantage of an opportunity like that. What have you been involved with on campus? I’ve been involved in a lot of little things here and there, but the one organization I’ve stayed involved in all four years is Lumination Network. The family we’ve created and the growth we’ve experienced together are things I wouldn’t change for the world. What are you planning to do after graduation? On May 18, I’m moving to Morant Bay, Jamaica, to help kick-start a ministry and plant a church with my boyfriend. The ministry we’re partnering with is One53 and the church he’s been receiving mission training from is Ethos. We plan on living and ministering on the island for at least a year or two before either of us pursue graduate school. Would you give any advice to upcoming seniors? Don’t be afraid to be “non-traditional.” Maybe graduate school isn’t for...
‘Hail, Caesar!’ delivers enjoyable, well-acted comedic satire

‘Hail, Caesar!’ delivers enjoyable, well-acted comedic satire

After watching other films by the well-known and acclaimed Coen brothers in the past, my verdict on the films tends to be the same: “It was technically good, and I enjoyed it, but I don’t know what to make of it.” My verdict for Hail, Caesar! is almost exactly the same. While it’s not as heavy as Fargo, Hail, Caesar! delivers similar quirkiness and strangeness of plot. The film trailers promised an amazing cast with lots of lighthearted laughs in a love letter to old Hollywood films. While all of these things are delivered, there’s an entirely different layer about communism and manipulation and an extremely underdeveloped villain. Despite this, the strong suits of this film are the comedic acting and the atmosphere. George Clooney plays a wonderful dopey star. Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton all deliver hilarious cameo performances. Alden Ehrenreich is absolutely hysterical as another stupid leading man from the cowboy genre struggling to fit into a period drama, and Josh Brolin leads them all with a strong performance as the film studio’s management. There are even two unnamed extras that deliver a performance that laughed me to tears without ever saying a word. I especially enjoyed the vignettes of different films on different sound stages in the time period. I almost think the film would have been near perfect and certainly very fun if it just focused on telling separate stories from each soundstage with their quirky leading characters. The strange communism plot point pulls away from the enjoyable mains, leaving the majority of them underdeveloped and throwing the audience...
Top five movie picks of 2015

Top five movie picks of 2015

Out of several okay movies I saw this year, five films stood out as great. Whether they made me laugh, cry, cheer, scream or all of the above, I enjoyed all of these films immensely, and I’m sure a lot of you did, too. Pitch Perfect 2 Despite some of its cheap jokes and shortcomings, this movie was still a lot of fun to see. The a cappella music is amazing as always, and the whole movie is worth it just for the riff-off halfway through. Definitely best to watch with a group of friends, PP2 is currently available to rent through Redbox or on DVD everywhere. Amy I love documentaries, and this one was definitely a great one. I knew nothing about Amy Winehouse outside of her death and rehab stints when I entered the theater, and I walked out wanting to fight whoever said a bad word about her and her angelic voice. Definitely heart wrenching at times, this film paints a beautiful, though truthful, portrait of the life of the jazz singer. Amy is available to rent through Redbox or for purchase on iTunes. Star Wars: The Force Awakens As if this surprises anyone, the new Star Wars is smashing box office records worldwide, and with great reason. With enough nostalgia to make any fan squeal mixed in with the perfect amount of new scenery and characters, The Force Awakens is the most classic, wonderful entry in the Star Wars saga since Return of the Jedi. The Force Awakens is still playing in theaters everywhere, but get your tickets fast! Inside Out I’ve seen this movie...
CWJC offers Lipscomb students paid positions, community service experience

CWJC offers Lipscomb students paid positions, community service experience

The anxious scramble to find a student worker position is a feeling experienced by many college students. On-campus positions, of course, often take precedence over off-campus ones. However, there are a number of off-campus job opportunities affiliated with the Financial Aid Office that offer the same opportunities for federal work study and a chance to make a difference in the Nashville community. One of these places is the Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC), a non-profit housed downtown in First Baptist Church. The CWJC specializes in teaching impoverished women valuable job skills in the hopes of creating a better future for them. The women are placed into classes that teach courses in areas such as GED test preparation, computer skills or conversational English. Tutors in these classes are always needed, and college students have the opportunity to apply for this position and hopefully give back to those who did not have the same educational advantages. The CWJC’s ministry is not limited to adults. The majority of the women involved in the program have children that need to be looked after as well. This is where most college students, including four students from Lipscomb, are employed. The youth in the program range from three months old to about 12. Although the age gap is wide, the basic goal remains the same. The job involves genuinely connecting with the children, building relationships and being a Christ-like example. This is not your usual babysitting job. These kids often come from broken homes and are constantly surrounded by a culture that promotes destructive behaviors. Those who work with this non-profit have the opportunity to have a positive...
The five stages of grieving: finals week edition

The five stages of grieving: finals week edition

Do you feel it yet? Do you feel the lump in the back of your throat, the pounding in your chest, the goosebumps all over your body? It’s like someone or something is following you, lurking behind the nearest bush. You don’t know how it happened. You don’t know how you got here. But all of a sudden you’re in the middle of the scariest horror movie ever made: finals week. Welcome to the worst part of the semester. It’s time to begin mourning the loss of decent grades and the downfall of your GPA.     Stage 1: Denial                 Via www.hercampus.com You’re a strong, independent college student and you don’t need an exam grade to determine the outcome of your life. If Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t graduate from college, then you don’t have to either. Stage 2: Anger               Via www.illtumblrforya.com What’s worse than getting hit by a burrito? Your teacher not knowing what’s going to be on the final that you’re taking in 5 days. Or perhaps your teacher giving you a study sheet with information you never covered in class. Did you ever even buy your textbooks? Studying won’t make it better, but canceling the final will. Maybe getting hit with that burrito wasn’t so bad after all. Stage 3: Bargaining                   Via gifmovie.tumblr.com “Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if I could get a grade above a C?” It’s never too late to start begging your professors for a higher grade. Extra credit might do the trick. Maybe you can...