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Sunday
January 26th, 2020

in the heights spotlight pageThe film adaptation of the hit musical “In The Heights” is one of the highly anticipated movies for 2020. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM •Leader & Times

 

2020 is already a few weeks in, but there are already several upcoming movie releases creating buzz that people are anxiously awaiting as the year goes on. I was looking up what movies are looking to be released this year and there are several I’m already looking forward to possibly seeing this year. 

Like my other lists, I’m not looking to actively exclude any films, these are just some of the films I’m personally excited for this year. 

 

No Time to Die (April 10)

The next film in the James Bond franchise (also reported to be Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007) will see Bond recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist and he finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain (Oscar winner Rami Malek) armed with a dangerous technology. I saw the trailer for this movie the day it dropped several weeks ago and I was instantly psyched after watching it. I’ve enjoyed Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond since his fantastic debut in “Casino Royale” and I can’t wait to see how Craig’s swan song turns out. Malek (who I recently watched and was wowed by in “Bohemian Rhapsody”) should also make for a great villain and I can’t wait to see what he does with his role. I also can’t wait to hear the Bond song this time around, which will be sung by Billie Eillish, so it should be a hit. Overall, Bond’s next adventure should provide plenty of entertainment. 

lady antebellum ocean spotlight pageELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

I follow a handful of musical groups on Twitter and I always enjoy seeing them talk about projects and other happenings in their lives. One of the groups I follow is the country trio Lady Antebellum and since the fall the group has been talking a lot about their most recent album “Ocean,” which was ultimately released in November. 

I finally got the chance to listen to the album earlier this week on YouTube while doing some work here at the paper and ultimately, I was not prepared for everything I would experience with this album. 

One of the things I’ve always liked about Lady Antebellum is the consistency in their sound and how they’ve been able to maintain that as the country music scene has changed throughout the past few years. They maintain that sound with “Ocean” and overall, everything comes out sounding very, very well. The first thing that needs to be praised is the vocals because they are outstanding – leading lady Hillary Scott and fellow lead vocalist Charles Kelly harmonize on every song so well together and you can hear so much emotion and passion in each song as the album goes on. Dave Haywood also does a great job with all the background instrumentals he does and continues showing off his talent in that area. All three of them work extremely well together to maintain the group’s sound and they have great musical chemistry, making for an album full of great songs. 

Another thing I noticed about this album is how many emotions are covered on the album. The album is full of songs about how people are feeling in several types of situations, and the lyrics and in the songs capture all of them perfectly. One of the examples of this is the album’s lead single “What If I Never Get Over You?” which is about someone getting over a former partner and whether or not they’ll actually be able to do so – the lyrics perfectly capture the worry and anxiety of that feeling of “Will I ever find someone else to love again?” after a breakup. Another great example of this is the song “What I’m Leaving For,” which I feel is somewhat of an artist anthem saying “I know I’ll be gone again, but there is a reason for that and I’ll be back home to you soon,” which I feel can be especially prevalent for touring artists with families because there probably is at least a little bit of that guilty feeling for leaving their families while they’re out in the world. Without being all melodramatic, this song perfectly captures those feelings. 

dolemite is my name spotlight reviewRudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) prepares to entertain a crowd as Dolemite in this scene from Netflix’s “Dolemite Is My Name” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

This past weekend for was a rather quiet one compared to the past couple weekends and in that spirit, I spent my weekend watching some stuff on Netflix and otherwise just hanging out. In my Netflix viewing adventures I came across the movie “Dolemite Is My Name,” a biopic starring Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, best known for portraying the character of Dolemite in both his stand-up routine and a series of feature films, starting with “Dolemite” in 1975. The movie starts with Moore finding his rhythm in stand-up and then most of the movie focuses on the filmmaking process for “Dolemite.”

When I saw the trailer on Netflix when the movie came out in October, I must admit I thought it looked rather silly and crude and didn’t think too much of it. During the past couple months, however, I’ve heard a bit of the buzz surrounding the movie (including multiple Golden Globe nominations) and this weekend I finally clicked on it to see if it was worth watching. And ultimately, like with many of my viewing adventures the past several months, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

The first thing that caught my attention about this movie was the costuming. The movie takes place in the mid-1970s, which saw much in the way of crazy fashion (I have evidence of this from some of my parents’ childhood photos) and this movie definitely captured the crazy fashions of that time period. Much like when I saw “Rocketman” last year, I was amused by the costume choices in the movie and wondered how hard the costume crew had to work to find clothing that would fit into that era’s style. My hat is off to those people and they did a great job. 

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