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May 28th, 2023

my life is a symphony spotlight pageELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite things is discovering new music while I’m working on my assignments and recently, one of those discoveries happened while I was thinking of what I wanted to write about for this week’s page. 

Especially recently, I’ve been more into bossa nova jazz for background noise while I’m working and earlier this week, while I was listening to that, I inadvertently clicked on a video for a new song of Kate Ceberano, a jazz singer who’s been in the music business in Australia for several years. The song was from her new album “My Life Is A Symphony” in conjunction with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and after the song I accidentally clicked on, I knew I immediately had to listen to the rest of the album, which I later found out was actually released last week. The entire album is almost akin to a greatest hits album and has 10 songs ranging from her different albums throughout Ceberano’s career. 

The album begins with her song “Brave,” and I loved everything about this song – the opening instrumentals from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra are fierce yet soothing at the same time and complements Ceberano’s vocals (which are powerful and absolutely ooze her passion) so, so well. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra provided the perfect accompaniment and admittedly made my band geek heart pretty happy. The album then continues with “Earth & Sky,” which is also full of feeling – the song is a less melodramatic breakup song and focuses on how couples just drift apart sometimes through no fault of anyone involved. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra again provides the perfect accompaniment, and the song is sad yet rather soaring at the same time, which is great. 

guardians 3 spotlight pageThe Guardians of the Galaxy prepare to help save a friend in this scene from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Back in 2014, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) were introduced to a ragtag group of misfits dubbed as the Guardians of the Galaxy and since then, the group has enjoyed a big role throughout the MCU. The group’s most recent (and final) outing came with last week’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which follows the Guardians as they embark on possibly their most important mission: to protect Rocket Raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) from the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).

To start off, “Vol. 3” is definitely the Guardians’ most emotional outing yet in the MCU (which I know might raise some eyebrows given the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”), but for me, this movie was truly a rollercoaster and made me feel just about every emotion under the sun throughout the entire 150-minute runtime. 

The movie’s cast also does a great job throughout. Rocket Raccoon's backstory (which was only VERY briefly alluded to in Vol. 1) is finally revealed, and it was even more heartbreaking than I could ever have imagined. “Vol. 3” is definitely Rocket’s story and I would consider it Bradley Cooper’s best performance in the role because it gives a great exploration into his arc. I’ve enjoyed Cooper as Rocket in the “Guardians” films and other MCU appearances, but this is definitely the outing that lets him shine. If anyone had told me almost 10 years ago that I would be this invested in the backstory of a CGI/comic book raccoon, I wouldn’t have believed it. Chukwudi Iwuji is also absolutely outstanding in the villainous role of the High Evolutionary and makes him a complete megalomaniac (perhaps he sought inspiration from other demagogues throughout history?) and gives him absolutely NO redeeming qualities, which is actually kind of refreshing since a lot of modern villains have been given some form of a redemption arc. During the movie’s later scenes that dive deeper into just how awful he is, my primary thought was “I HOPE ONLY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO YOU FROM HERE ON OUT,” a wish which I was mostly granted. 

elemental spotlight pageA scene from the upcoming Pixar film “Elemental.” The film is one of many expected in theaters this coming summer season Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


A new season is upon the area, which means it is also time for a new season with a full slate of new movies. 

Backing up slightly, Mitchell Theaters owner Brian Mitchell said the fall and winter was a good time for the movie business. 

“Fall was when we started REALLY getting a good slate of movies again, but starting at Thanksgiving and then throughout the winter, there was a bit of a dip. We did have a few particular hits during that time including 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' and 'Avatar: The Way of Water,' but we did notice a dip during that time period, which happens,” Mitchell said. “Then it was about February and March when we started seeing some stronger releases and started seeing higher numbers with the movie, and I would say that all started with 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie,' that was HUGE for us. We met our expectations, but we didn't really have sky-high expectations this time around because we were still waiting on some pandemic-delayed movie releases, so our schedule wasn't as full as usual, which meant we had some slower weekends because of the lack of strong product. That first weekend in March, when we had those three big releases, that restarted the trend of us getting two or three new movies per week for our customers like what we'd seen before. We had movies like 'Creed III' and 'John Wick: Chapter 4' and some others that REALLY over-performed, which showed us people still want to get out and go to the movies when there are good ones in the theaters.”