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February 24th, 2020

locke and key spotlight pageLocke siblings Kinsey, Tyler and Bode share a discovery during this scene from Netflix’s “Locke and Key” series. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

I’m a fan of a good mystery series or novel and recently, as I was searching for some entertainment on Netflix, I came across the series “Locke and Key,” which is an adaptation from a graphic novel series by Gabriel Rodríguez about the Locke family as they move to the small town of Matheson, Mass. after the murder of their father. Throughout the season, the family discovers keys throughout their new home that give them new abilities and unlock several doors in their new lives, so to speak, all while battling an demon who wants the keys for its own evil purposes. I watched the season over the course of a few days and overall, I felt rather “meh” after finishing it. 

One of the things that has to be addressed about the show is the scenery and location because it’s gorgeous. The show was filmed throughout a handful of spots in Toronto, Ontario, and Nova Scotia and those locations end up being a great choice because everything is just so pretty and picturesque, so the show definitely has a lot going for it in that department. I particularly liked the scenes that take place near the ocean because again, it’s just such a cinematic and picturesque place. I also liked the house that was used for the Locke family’s new home, the set designs for that were also very well done. 

One major problem I had with the show was its tone, because it was rather inconsistent. For the parts that deal with the mystery and macabre of what’s going on in the Locke family’s lives (in particular when the functions of the respective keys are discovered), they’re done very well and those parts are actually one of the few factors that kept me watching. The parts where the family is dealing with the death of their father are also done well and do a good job portraying grief rather accurately. Among all of that, however, there are also several sub-plots (including daughter Kinsey becoming involved in a friend’s film project and the handful of different teen angst/love story plotlines) that are just annoying and serve little other purpose than filler to pass the time – if there’s some teen fiction cliché you can think of, they put it into this show. I feel like if those sub-plots and other “fat” (so to speak) had been trimmed from the show, it could have been outstanding. 

1917 spotlight pageDean-Thomas Chapman and George McKay in an early scene from 2020 Best Picture contender “1917.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

The 2020 Academy Awards are set to be telecast Sunday and this past weekend, I took the opportunity to go online and find Best Picture nominee “1917,” which is based in part on an account told to director Same Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes and follows the story of two young British soldiers, Lance Corporal William Schofield (George McKay) and Lance Corporal Thomas Blake (Dean-Thomas Chapman) during World War I who must deliver a message (which is especially important to Blake as his brother is taking part in the pending attack) calling off an attack doomed to fail soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich in 1917.

The first thing that captured my attention was the camera work and cinematography, because it is outstanding. As the result of movie magic, the movie uses long takes and very detailed, choreographed moving camera shots to make the movie appear as those it was shot  in one continuous take and the end result of the movie is as a smooth, uninterrupted story, as stories should be. The cinematography is done in such a way that I somewhat felt like I was following the main characters and going with them on their mission, almost at an interactive level, and the overall effect is dazzling for viewers, and I can only imagine what this movie would have been like viewed in the IMAX or 3-D format. 

oscars contest at libraryThe community is invited to take part in Liberal Memorial Library's Oscars Prediction Contest, which will feature some prizes for the top three winners. Courtesy photo/Shannon MooreELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

The 2020 Academy Awards are right around the corner, with nominee luncheons and other similar events taking place in Los Angeles before the big night Feb. 9. Several predictions are being made about who will take home the statuette in each category and with the number of great performances seen throughout 2019, the speculation will likely continue until the big night. 

Liberal Memorial Library is getting into the Oscars spirit by hosting a prediction contest of its own for the next several days. Ballots for the contest are available at the library’s front desk. 

“If you predict the Oscar winners, you could win a prize. All people need to do is come in to the library to get a ballot, fill it out and return it by Saturday, Feb. 8, since the Oscars will be Feb. 9,” Liberal Memorial Library Assistant Director Shannon Moore said. “The three closest predictions will win a prize, and the winners of the contest will be announced Feb. 10.”

This is the second year the library has hosted such a contest and Moore said she is excited to see how everything turns out. 

“We always look at the next upcoming month and think about what will be coming up during that month and what we could build some programs around. And with the Oscars being so big, we thought it would be great to do an Oscars prediction contest again. We did this last year and we had a great response to it, so we thought it would be fun to do it again this year,” Moore said. “it's something that's just really fun and I know a lot of people are interested in things like this, so it's cool how we get to have something like this at the library. We have a lot of programs that go on here, but this is something that's not really intense or time-consuming or anything like that – you fill out the ballot and go about your day and then ultimately you either have the right predictions or you don't, and there's no pressure with any part of this.”

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