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liberalfirstlongoriginal
Wednesday
April 01st, 2020

alita battle angel spotlight pageCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

I’ve been taking a break from Netflix for Lent this year so lately, I’ve been getting a lot of entertainment from the library with DVDs and books and audiobooks. During one of my most recent trips to the libraries, one of the movies I picked out was Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel.” 

I’d heard very little about this movie other than the fact that it existed and after viewing it, I ultimately decided I hadn’t missed too much. The movie, based on artist Yukito Kishiro's 1990s series “Gunnm” and its 1993 companion adaptation “Battle Angel” and follows heroine Alita, a cyborg who awakens in a new body with no memory of her past, as she sets out to uncover her origins and how she ended up the way she was. 

While my ultimate feelings about the movie ended up being more “meh,” there were a few things I liked about it, including the performances. Rosa Salazar did a great job as the titular heroine and it appears she had a lot of fun in her role, and given the right opportunities, I foresee a good film career for her. She starts out as shy and quiet and unsure of her place in the world and then as the film goes along, we see her evolve into a tough, strong character who’s prepared to forge her own path. I also enjoyed Christoph Waltz’s performance as Alita’s father figure and he put forth a strong, steady performance and was one of the few supporting actors who was enjoyable to watch. 

The special effects and overall visuals of the movie were also done very well. From what I’ve seen of his work, Rodriguez is a very visual director, and the level of detail in the visuals was very high and overall very well done. The action sequences throughout the movie (particularly with the Motorball sequences) and Alita’s fight scenes were especially well done and very enjoyable to watch. My favorite scene with this aspect of the movie was Alita’s bar fight she starts shortly after she becomes a bounty hunter – the fight overall is very well done and there are also a few humorous moments injected in there. 

catch and kill spotlight pageELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Being in charge of this page, I follow quite a bit of entertainment news and keep up with some of the bigger headlines. One of the bigger headlines that came up in the past year was the story of the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment against people throughout Hollywood (in particular, Harvey Weinstein) and their respective stories. 

During one of my more recent trips to the library, I found a book about just that story, titled “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators” by Ronan Farrow. Throughout the book, Farrow details not only the information he got during the course of his journalistic investigation against Weinstein (and ultimately others), he also details everything it took to put together his story, which ultimately ended up in The New Yorker instead of NBC after being repeatedly cancelled.

As a journalist myself, one of the things I enjoyed about this book is how there’s no there’s agenda or bias toward one side or another, and Farrow presents the facts and everything he was able to discover, and everything he presents is backed up with interview quotes and his sources, so there’s no assumptions or any doubt of credibility to the stories. That presentation makes the book’s tone steady and sure and overall, Farrow’s story makes for a compelling read as we follow him on his journey to put together the story. I liked how the story also included all the stress and frustration Farrow had to deal with while putting his story together – I haven’t had as big a story as this one to cover with the paper here, but I have had stories that either fell through or turned out way different than I had planned. So to a rather limited degree, I could totally relate to Farrow’s frustration as parts of his investigation didn’t unfold quite the way he thought it would. 

josh abbott band spotlight pageCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

The halls and walls of the Seward County Activity Center will be filled with high-energy country and rock music in early April thanks to a pair of groups making their way to Liberal. 

The Josh Abbott Band, with opener Lendon James and The Highway 34 Band, will be performing at the Seward County Activity Center Friday, April 10. Tickets for the show are $30 for general admission and are available at Seward County Community College, The Crazy House and at KSCB-The Legend  radio station in Liberal, with proceeds going to the SCCC scholarship funds. 

“The people are amazing and the hospitality we see from people when we're in that area is just outstanding. Our fans in that area are just amazing and they travel to see us and hear us play, so that's just amazing,” Josh Abbott Band guitarist Caleb Keeter said. “We all love touring in general and we've enjoyed everywhere we've visited, but that area just has such a different energy and we love it. The best part is show itself, honestly, because we have a great time playing for people in that area because our audiences really appreciate us making the trip up from Texas, which is where we do most of our touring and stuff, so it's always really fun being in that area because the crowds are so awesome.”

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