‘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 After killing Surtur, Thor comes back to Asgard to find that his father has been replaced by his brother, the god of mischief, Loki (Tom Hiddleston).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...
‘Battle of the Sexes’ is a slow first serve leading to an entertaining match

‘Battle of the Sexes’ is a slow first serve leading to an entertaining match

Battle of the Sexes chronicles the infamous tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King in 1973. Academy Award winner Emma Stone plays King and Academy Award nominee Steve Carell plays Riggs. This star-studded cast also includes Elisabeth Shue, Andrea Riseborough, Austin Stowell and Bill Pullman. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the film follows one-time Wimbledon champ Bobby Riggs who, now age 55 and ever the gambler, challenges 29 year-old King, currently the No. 1 women’s tennis player, to a tennis match. Riggs claims he can easily beat King because she is a woman. While King initially turns Riggs down, she ends up taking his challenge, not to merely add another win to her record, but to take a stand for women’s equality and the liberation movement. Stone is inspiring as King, and Carell is charismatic as Riggs. Together, they bring an effective portrayal of the sports rivalry to the big screen. You could watch this film just to witness the banter between Stone and Carell, which is the perfect showcase of their expert acting chops and comedic timing. It brings a light and entertaining tone to the movie that at times can also be very dramatic. This drama is brought to life from the very beginning, when we are introduced to the main characters, and quickly uncover both King and Riggs have their share of issues. For Riggs, it’s a bad gambling problem that has led to problems with his wife and family life. For King, it’s being a married woman who is discovering she is falling for someone who is of the same sex. While the trailer...
Lebron Hill shares personal experience at President Lowry’s home

Lebron Hill shares personal experience at President Lowry’s home

President Randy Lowry on Thursday invited the African-American student body to his house for dinner and conversation. I attended, and what I saw that night indeed was insensitive to African-American culture. What stood out to me was the cotton in the Mason jars placed on the dinner tables. Being exposed to it before, I tried to make light of it by seeing the irony — I let go of it, keeping in mind the good intention of the night. We then headed into the president’s house to have conversation. After Mr. and Mrs. Lowry told their story, they gave the floor to the students to share their story. We ran out of time to have discussion, but the president did tell the audience they could ask him anything at the end of the night. The next day, talk began to circulate about what happened. I told one of my teachers professor about it, and he was shocked. At that point, I had no knowledge of the conversations on social media. Later in the day, an apology was sent out to the entire student body. Channel 4 News got word as well, and the conversation surrounding the night grew. During the weekend, many people talked to me about the occasion. On one side, people felt that the décor was more Southern heritage than an offensive material. On the other side, many felt that the decoration was contextually inappropriate and should have not been on display. The conversation continued into the following week. The Diverse Student Coalition facilitated panel discussions featuring students who attended the dinner. I went to one on Wednesday that...
Olivia’s Way: fashion profile — Graysen McConnell

Olivia’s Way: fashion profile — Graysen McConnell

A biology major on track for dental school, senior Graysen McConnell also keeps busy by managing her style and beauty blog and Instagram account “a hint of gray.” McConnell said her double passions in science and fashion make her feel like a walking oxymoron, but it has never bothered her. Fashion is something she shares with her friends, family and faith. “I try to allow my test scores and work ethic to talk for themselves,” McConnell said. “I enjoy marrying together my two passions even though it is unconventional.” Some forms of self-expression haven’t always come easily to McConnell — growing up she noted that she struggled with trying to fit into a “perfect mold,” or what others expected her to be. However, this crushing weight of perfectionism finally began to crack as she discovered the liberation of fashion. “In my opinion, fashion is the free expression and visual representation of someone’s personality,” McConnell said. “To be honest, I have to remind myself that it’s OK not to be 100% put together all the time. I remind myself that I am a human who deserves to roll out of bed and go to class sometimes. The stigma has definitely been a tough one for me to overcome, but I am getting there.” Once the new blogger started to give herself this “fashion leeway,” a new world opened in front of her. McConnell began to experiment more and started to receive feedback from her online community. However, McConnell noted that one of the best parts about her blog is being able to affect the lives of fellow believers. “The ways that...