A Dog’s Purpose amid controversy during opening weekend

A Dog’s Purpose amid controversy during opening weekend

A Dog’s Purpose, directed by Lasse Hallstrom is a film based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron. The movie follows Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad), a lovable and spirited dog who finds himself being reborn again and again. As Bailey discovers something new with each life experience, he begins to wonder what his purpose is in life. The film, which also stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson and Juliet Rylance, is rated PG even though it contains several jokes that only the older viewers will catch. Be sure to bring a box of Kleenex for this film. Since Bailey goes through many different lives, each one has to end for the next to come. The Golden Retriever also spends time as a German Shepard named Ellie and a Corgi named Ellie, among others. The best part of the movie has to be the connection between Bailey and one of his owners, Ethan. Their relationship carries on throughout the movie and is an essential part to making the story come full circle. It also highlights one of the main themes of the movie: the unbreakable bond between owner and pet. While the plot line is at times sappy, the film succeeds in its purpose of engaging sentimentality in its viewers. Intertwined with several different stories, some pleasant and others sorrowful, each section inspires a variety of emotions in the two-hour run time, as Bailey the dog goes on his journey. Rest assured, Bailey does discover his purpose, and when he does, you’ll be happy you packed that Kleenex. Unfortunately, the film’s touching story has not been what has made headlines...
‘Sherlock’s’ ‘The Final Problem’ leaves viewers questioning if it’s the series’ finale

‘Sherlock’s’ ‘The Final Problem’ leaves viewers questioning if it’s the series’ finale

Many flocked to theaters nationwide on Monday evening to view the season four finale of the popular BBC television series, Sherlock. The show, which is a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective series, follows the beloved, sociopathic detective, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), and his sidekick and best friend, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), as they tackle case after case in present-day London. While the “The Final Problem” aired on TV screens Sunday night, the show is offering viewers a unique opportunity to see the series’ latest episode on the big screen, including 15 minutes of bonus behind-the-scenes content on Monday, January 16 and Wednesday, January 18. Whether you watched the show since the very beginning, binge-watched it over winter break or are viewing it for the first time, “The Final Problem” serves as a mini-movie that is easy to follow for all viewer types. If you are new to the series, the bonus content that airs prior to the showing offers a mini recap of prior events to catch you up on the latest case Sherlock and co. are attempting to solve. As for the actual episode, be prepared for an emotion-inducing thrill ride that will have you still trying to wrap your mind around everything that happened as the credits roll. Show creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat promised season four would have a much darker tone than previous years, and that was certainly the direction it went, with tragedy and heartbreak occurring in the very first episode of the season, leading into what is arguably the most emotional episode of the series in the season...
‘SING’ is family-friendly, entertaining musical that falls a little flat

‘SING’ is family-friendly, entertaining musical that falls a little flat

With an all-star cast and several hit songs, SING is exactly what you’d expect from an average musical — shining in musical numbers, lacking in an original story. The story revolves around Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) — an optimistic, sometimes annoying Koala who fell in love with musical theater at a young age — and his theater, which is not doing as hot as it once did back in its glory days when young Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Hudson) was still performing. However, Moon comes up with a surefire plan to revive his theater — a singing competition (basically American Idol with animals). Contestants pour in for auditions in hopes to get their hands on some of the prize money, but he narrows it down to the lucky few: Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) — the housewife pig who is currently just using her voice for lullabies to her many piglets, Mike (Seth McFarlane) — a jazzy mouse who’s down on his luck, Ash (Scarlett Johansson) — the husky-voiced, better half of a hard rock, porcupine duo, Gunter (Nick Kroll) — Rosita’s entertaining, disco-loving partner and Johnny (Taron Egerton) a young, misunderstood gorilla with a natural talent for crooning. Meena (Tori Kelly), a shy elephant with some powerful vocals, also eventually makes her way into the production. This summer, Illumination proved its worth outside of the Despicable Me universe with the highly enjoyable, The Secret Life of Pets. Noting the all-star cast and hit songs in SING’s amusing trailer and recalling the entertaining action from Secret Life, I likely went in with too high of expectations. SING doesn’t quite reach its potential and falls...
‘Rogue One’ takes us back to a galaxy far, far away

‘Rogue One’ takes us back to a galaxy far, far away

One of the most anticipated films of 2016, Rogue One succeeds in taking viewers on a different kind of Star Wars journey. Rogue One is not your typical Star Wars film. In fact, it doesn’t even have the classic opening crawl viewers have come to expect at the beginning of any Star Wars-associated movie. Jedi and lightsabers are hardly mentioned, and for the first time, Obi-Wan Kenobi is not seen or heard. That’s not to say that Rogue One isn’t a good film. The action takes place in between Episodes III and IV, and it fills in the gap between the prequels and the original trilogy perfectly. However, it also works well as its own standalone film. It tells the story of how the rebels got the plans which tell where the Death Star’s weak spot is. For moviegoers who have seen Episode IV, we know that the plans Leia sends out had to come from somewhere, and Rogue One tells us of the struggles and battles endured to get those very plans. Felicity Jones’ portrayal of Jyn Erso is especially convincing, but the whole cast delivers admirable performances. Notably, there’s a new droid in town, and Alan Tudyk’s portrayal of K-2SO might make you love this imperial-turned-rebel droid just as much as some old favorites like R2-D2 and C-3PO. Speaking of old favorites, there are some classic characters with cameos that you don’t expect to see, but of course, you’re glad you do. Rogue One is complex, but, since it is a standalone film, it wouldn’t be too difficult for someone who hasn’t seen any of the Star Wars films to...
Thank you Lipscomb

Thank you Lipscomb

On April 30, 2013, I was confused as I sat in my home in Jackson, Mississippi. I was scared, lost and was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was stranded. It had been a few days since I sat in the parking lot of the church I played at in Starkville, Mississippi, while attending Mississippi State and legitimately tried to commit suicide. I was helpless and in a dark hole. I didn’t know what was next for me. I didn’t know where my life was going to go. There was a level of trust that I knew was broken with my parents and friends. It was going to take everything to earn that trust back. The girl I had dated for two and a half years had left me and had already replaced me. I gave up so many ambitions to go to MSU with her. I was hurt, upset, alone, and I didn’t know where to start. A year later I was sitting in a community college questioning everything. I had graduated high school a year early in 2010. I remember seeing people from my class of 2011 at the community college and asking me why I wasn’t in Nashville. The whole point of me finishing early was to come to Nashville and pursue my passion. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to say what really happened. I felt like I had failed so many people back home. I failed my school, my church, my family and friends, but also myself. I knew I wanted to get to Nashville. I knew music was my goal....
‘Moana’ sails its way into Disney animated Hall of Fame

‘Moana’ sails its way into Disney animated Hall of Fame

Moana isn’t your typical Disney princess. In fact, despite being the daughter of the village chief, having an animal sidekick and occasionally breaking out into song, even Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) herself insists that she is not a princess. Originally, I thought Disney was trying to make Moana the newest installment in the Disney princess franchise, but it appears they’re trying to mix it up a bit by providing an animated young female who doesn’t have to be a princess and doesn’t have to have a love interest to be a heroine. The film is reminiscent of Pocahontas with its focus on heritage and mythology; the story places a heavy emphasis and theme on mythological Hawaiian island gods and demigods, perhaps Disney’s most religious-oriented film to date. In fact, this focus is almost a little unsettling for an animated movie. The story is a journey, typical of a Disney animated tale with a young girl simply trying to “follow her heart.” She’s smart, capable, encouraging and independent — a heroine who does not incessantly complain about the problems of her situation before attempting to fix them; rather, she solves them by initiating the action herself. On this journey, its beginning and its end are its strong points. The story seems to get a little lost in the middle, especially when the quite odd and unlovable coconut-pirates come into play, but it finds itself again with the fiery ending and Moana and Maui finally working together as a team. Speaking of Maui, he’s not quite as lovable a character as Moana. Even after his heroism at the end, it still feels difficult...