Author: Emily Ballstaedt

Full of heart: Disney’s ‘Tangled’ delivers smoothly

This Thanksgiving, Disney Pictures presents Tangled, the newest installment in their collection of fairytale animation. Rapunzel, a feisty princess with 70 feet of magical, golden hair and a hankering to see the world, has been locked in a tower for 18 years of her life by Mother Gothel, a controlling, manipulative and over-protective villain who is also the only mother Rapunzel has ever known. Flynn Rider is the kingdom’s most wanted bandit who’s always relied on his charm, wit and good looks to get him out of trouble. When Flynn hides out in Rapunzel’s tower and she takes him hostage, the two strike an unlikely alliance. The ensuing adventure is a modern twist on a classic fairytale that will enchant audiences with its warmth, humo, and stunning visual appeal. “Tangled is so full of hilarious characters, but it also has tremendous action and a lot of heart,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, in a press release. “We wanted to create a unique world and story that evoke the rich, dramatic feeling that is classically Disney, but is also fresh and humorous, and that gives the audience something it has never seen before in computer animation. The filmmakers have created a world that builds on Disney’s heritage but transports us to a land that is completely new.” The story of Rapunzel has...

Read More

Consider the lillies

Many Christian contemporaries recognize the growing need to honor the Earth, and some of them have even included nature in their modern practices of worship. For some non-Christian spiritualists, however, the Earth and nature play a bigger role. “If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone,” said herbalist Carol McGrath. “Our bible is the wind and the rain.” For those whose primary spiritual experience is with nature, the term “pagan” is commonly used. The original, Middle English use of the word “pagan” referred simply to people who lived in the country. While it has developed various connotations over the centuries, a number of them still remain negative. Therefore, the term “neo-pagan” has been coined to denote modern practices of paganism which believe that every living thing, as well as rivers, rocks, trees, land and other forces and cycles of nature has a spirit. Many environmentally conscious Christians today share the same belief. There are a number of religions with pagan or earth-worshipping elements, including Buddhism, Shintoism, Native American religions, Hinduism, Taoism, Wicca, Druidism, Jainism and Shamanism. Some of these religions teach or practice non-violence and a deep respect for all living things. Others revere the earth as part of Goddess-worship. This stems...

Read More

2nd Season of the Joseph Smith documentary releases DVD

KJZZ TV has released the second season of its documentary series The Joseph Smith Papers. This series takes an in-depth look at the life of Joseph Smith, the accredited first latter-day prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The box set contains 42 episodes spread over six DVDs dedicated to examining the life of a prophet. The series explores the events of Smith’s life that led him to becoming a prophet, and eventually to his untimely death. It also includes the opinions and debates of over 50 scholars of early Mormon history. If one has inquiries about the minute details of Smith’s life, all one would have to do is spend a weekend watching these episodes to be considered an expert on this fascinating man. This should not be watched with the hopes of being thoroughly entertained, but that is not the goal of the creators of this series. It is meant to inform, and it does just that. The documentary has been marketed as a more scholarly approach to the details of the life of Joseph Smith. It is amazing to think that all of these contributors were able to come up with enough facts, personal histories and ideologies to fill all 42 of its episodes, but they have certainly accomplished it. A third season could probably be made if there was a strong...

Read More

Days of ’47 Utahans celebrate Pioneer Day

In the coming week, several events celebrating Utah’s pioneer heritage will take place across the state, including all-day festivities on July 24. The Days of ’47, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that was organized to commemorate the arrival of Mormon pioneer leader Brigham Young and his followers to the Salt Lake Valley. In the week before July 24, the activities gain momentum with the Days of ’47 Rodeo and culminate in the annual parade. A pageant sponsored by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers was held in April to select this year’s Days of ’47 Royalty; Christine Messick of Bountiful was crowned queen. The competition is open to descendants of pioneers that arrived in Utah between 1847 and 1869. The Royalty attends many of the Days of ’47 festivities, including the rodeo and parade. The Days of ’47 Rodeo runs from July 19-24 at the Maverick Center in West Valley City. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association  consistently votes the Days of ’47 Rodeo as one of the top rodeos in the nation. Each night of the event will have a different theme, such as Family Night and Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night. The Pioneers of Progress dinner on July 22 recognizes outstanding individuals in the community. Awards are given in seven different categories: Science and Technology Development; Business and Enterprise; Education, Health and Humanitarian Assistance; Historic and...

Read More

The Wedding Singer is bright, fresh: HCT produces live musical remake of the movie

Hale Centre Theatre is currently running its production of THE WEDDING SINGER, a Broadway musical based on the 1998 film starring Adam Sandler. From the moment the multilevel, revolving Plexiglas stage lights up from beneath the floorboards, an energetic cast keeps the energy moving and doesn’t stop until the final bows during which they are surrounded by at least 20 disco balls. None of the performers give in or go halfway, especially Bryan Matthew Hague, who stars as Robbie Hart in the Tuesday- Thursday-Saturday cast. Hague has particularly large shoes to fill for audiences who are familiar with the film; he manages to retain the humor of some of Sandler’s comic moments while creating his own unique character for the audience to love. Ali Bennett, who stars opposite Hague, gives a sweet and quirky performance as Julia Sullivan. The supporting cast also carries a lot of the momentum, such as the standout rock vocals by Ashley LaRue Grant in the role of Linda, Robbie’s ex-girlfriend. Cory Stephens also plays an eccentric sidekick as George, a member of Robbie’s band. There are times when it seems the supporting characters are about to steal the show, which actually helps spice up a potentially boring plot for audience members who have seen the movie and know how it ends. It’s a refreshing new musical for a young generation and those who appreciate...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2