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Saturday
January 22nd, 2022

minions spotlight page“Minions: The Rise of Gru” is one of the movie projects being particularly anticipated for 2022. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

As everyone knows, 2020 was a  (ahem) challenging year when it came to entertainment, with 2021 seeing postponed movie and TV projects finally being released (looking at you especially, “Black Widow” and “A Quiet Place, Part 2”). 

With a year of successful releases in the books, 2022 is hoping to repeat some of that success with confirmed movie and TV project releases, some of which I am particularly looking forward to seeing. 

 

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness 

Currently scheduled for release in early May, this will follow the events of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and the first season of “Loki” (Disney+) and see Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) cast a spell that opens the door to the multiverse, including an alternate version of Strange, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange and his allies. The trailer for this movie was part of the end credits for “No Way Home” and I was HOOKED because not only does the storyline seem super interesting, but it also looks like this will see the Marvel Cinematic Universe delve into the horror genre to a degree. Like the first “Doctor Strange” movie, the visual effects look like they’ll be appropriately amazing and trippy, and I honestly can’t wait to see the end result. And since I mentioned Spider-Man ...

lhs drama rehearsalLHS students rehearse a scene from the upcoming winter play “Murder’s In The Heir.” The play will be performed later this month. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Those looking for some live entertainment will need to look no further than the Liberal High School Drama Department later this month. 

The department is currently in rehearsals for its upcoming winter play 'Murder's in the Heir,' a play by Billy St. John. The show is being directed by LHS students Viridiana Barraza-Rivas and Brady Kappelmann. Performances of the show will take place Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m., and all of the performances will be in Maskus Auditorium at Liberal High School. Tickets are $3 per person for admission. 

“The show follows an eccentric billionaire who has gathered his heirs together to tell them he is changing his will and they will not receive the inheritance they were expecting. He is found dead later that night, and the investigation begins into who could have done the deed,” Barraza-Rivas said. “What's really cool is it's interactive with the audience, and the ending will be different each night because the audience gets to vote on who the murderer is during the show's intermission, which means each night could be different. I wanted to do something really fun, and this show is so interesting because it's interactive with the audience, and it's also really funny. That's what really caught my attention, so when the chance came to direct it, I jumped on it and got really excited.”

With the show being her first time in the director’s chair, Barraza-Rivas said her favorite part has been seeing her fellow classmates grow in their respective roles. 

spider man no way home spotlight pageSpider-Man (Tom Holland) prepares to take on a villain in this scene from “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

I’ve gone to the movies many times throughout my life and typically, the atmosphere in the theater is pretty quiet and restrained as people just sit back and enjoy whatever’s playing on screen. This past weekend, however, was pretty much the exact opposite when I ventured to see “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which saw cheers, some tears, and many other emotions across the spectrum. And each one of those emotions was definitely deserved.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” sees friendly neighborhood Spider-Man Peter Parker (Tom Holland) ask Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make his identity as Spider-Man a secret again with magic following its public revelation in the previous film “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” This request, however, ultimately brings about some serious consequences for Parker and those he cares about.

The first thing I enjoyed about the movie is how everyone works so well as an ensemble. Everyone is given the chance to have the spotlight on them for a bit, and there’s also so much great chemistry between everyone involved. Holland, along with Zendaya and Jacob Batalon, especially make a really great golden trio as they work to figure out how to fix what’s going on and do a great job playing off each other. The movie’s ensemble includes new and familiar faces (who were revealed in the movie’s trailers before its release, so no spoilers here) and while watching the movie, I felt like everyone involved just had an absolute blast being part of this project. Every one of the cameos in the movie brought about audible gasps and cheers from the crowd in the theater I was in, and that added a lot to my viewing experience, which was great. There are a few moments where the movie feels a bit crowded, but since everything is pretty slickly done, it didn’t ultimately really feel like a big problem. 

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