Movie Review: Dunkirk


When the credits roll on Christopher Nolan's latest film - a cinematic experience that brings the full scale of the Battle of Dunkirk to the big screen for the first time - the audience is left speechless. Unlike nearly all of his other films, it's not because you're trying Read more

Dream-Casting a Live-Action Little Mermaid for Disney


Perhaps no task is more difficult for a studio than casting a well-known franchise to match the sky-high expectations of fans. From novels to comic books to animated film remakes, Hollywood has had mixed results with the task; some have spent the big bucks to get the demanded stars, Read more

Best Movies of 2016: The 3rd Annual Groucho Awards


Welcome to the Third Annual Groucho Awards! This is my own platform to nominate and award the movies of my choosing, because it seems that far too often, the movies with the biggest campaigns get Oscar nominations and the little guys are left out in the cold. This year Read more

A compelling case that Corinne is six-years-old, and other Bachelor nonsense


  Written by: @jeremywilson412 In the words of Chris Harrison, "Coming up on this week's episode (recap) of The Bachelor..." The ladies receive their first real test, we pause to remember those we lost this week, I present a theory about Corinne that is bulletproof, and we discuss the contenders and pretenders. But Read more

I was not going to write about The Bachelor, but then...


(Written by: @JeremyWilson412) I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then a girl showed up in a shark costume convinced it was a dolphin costume. I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then a girl showed up who hooked up with Nick at Read more

What I Learned about Chris Pratt's Faith


Most of us have loved Chris Pratt since we first met him as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec. Then he made his dramatic debuts in Academy Award Best Picture nominees Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. The latter revealed that he could be an action star, so it came as no surprise Read more

Assorted Wisdom

Thank You, Rob

Posted on by Alex Beene in Assorted Wisdom, Featured | 2 Comments

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Two weeks ago, I was heading up to Vanderbilt Medical Center to check up on my mother. She had been rushed from my uncle’s home in Franklin to the facility by ambulance. I called my friend Rob Carpenter, but got no answer. He lived less than a mile from the hospital, and I had stayed with him a few times before when I had been in town. I was thinking I’d probably have to use his couch on that evening yet again.

By the time Rob returned my call, the situation had dramatically changed. I had received news my mother was dying. I was calling every family member I could think of, all the while attempting to maintain my composure. When I answered and heard Rob’s voice, I knew if I started talking about mom I’d completely break down. Read more

A Southern White Woman “Wicked” Obsession”

Posted on by Alex Beene in Assorted Wisdom, Entertainment | Leave a comment

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Any time I confront a group of Southern white women, I’m instantly reminded of countless National Geographic specials. Like herds of animals in the African Sahara, this unique species consume new trends in packs. They invade a concept for a short period of time, “conquer it” (at least in their view) and then move on to the next obsession.

Why? It’s in their blood. There’s a reason figures like Scarlett O’Hara stand tall above other female characters in literature: there’s this abundant drive inherent in Southern white women to latch on to certain items of buzz in the culture and make them their own. And similar to the Union solider in “Gone with the Wind,” God forbid you stand in their way, or you could end up with a bullet in you.

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Happy Birthday, Aphiwe Harston!

Posted on by Palmer Williams in Assorted Wisdom, Bright Spots, Faith, Featured, Misc. Posts | 1 Comment

A3-4In August of 2008, I embarked on a journey that irrevocably changed the heartbeat of my family. It was then that I boarded an airplane in Nashville bound for a rural village in Africa. I would be living and working at a village for children orphaned by AIDS. I was leaving a few months after graduating from Vanderbilt to live at Lily of the Valley for a year. Fully realizing the idealism with which I traveled, I hoped that somehow my naivete would be transformed into what James talked about in Chapter 1, Verse 27 of his epistle – “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

While at Lily, I met a small malnourished boy named Aphiwe. Aphiwe was a sweet five year old little boy who was very sick. He had come to Lily only several months earlier and was a virtual loner. Every morning he would sit outside the window of my room, tending the dirt in my flower bed.

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Here’s to the Ordinary Life

Posted on by Warner Russell in Assorted Wisdom, Bright Spots, Faith, Featured, Television | 4 Comments

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Before I start, let me say that I’m a Christian. If it weren’t for my relationship with Jesus, I’d be nothing. What you’re about to read might come across as idolatry, but I firmly believe that the things discussed in this post are all things that happened for a reason and things that God ordained for my good.

The past six or seven months have largely been pretty rough. In late June, my dad was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer. By the time it was discovered, the cancer had already spread to his brain and his lymph nodes. A month later, my mom took a job in Kansas City. We’re pretty close so having her move seven hours away was a shock to my system. In the same few weeks, to a lesser extreme, but still one that had a great effect on my personal well being, I began to grow frustrated with my career and started questioning exactly what I was supposed to “do” for the rest of my life. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck.

About a month before all of this, my wife and I made two decisions that I wholeheartedly believe helped me from going off the deep end. First, we got a dog. Second, we started watching The Office.

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25th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the Nation

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Assorted Wisdom, Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

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This week marks the 25th Anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the Nation. A friend reminded me of this fact this week. Although I’d read most of the speech in excerpts before, I’d never watched President Reagan, “The Great Communicator” himself, deliver the speech. I’d read the words, recited some of them even… but I’d never heard him deliver them as he prepared to leave office.

On January 11, 1989, President Reagan delivered this speech from the Oval Office. It exemplifies so much of what made him such a popular President, invoked today by Republicans and President Obama alike. He’s become one of those iconic Presidents that members of both parties invoke for political gain. While he’s not the mythical hero that some have made him to be, watching, listening, or reading this speech will remind you of what made him such a transformative leader.

Some of the highlights from this speech:

And in all that time I won a nickname – “The Great Communicator.” But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference – it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation – from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries.

We’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important: Why the pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, four years ago, on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did. Well, let’s help her keep her word.

If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I am warning of an eradication of that – of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.

Let’s start with some basics – more attention to American history and a greater emphasis of civic ritual. And let me offer lesson No. 1 about America : All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

That’s how I saw it, and see it still. How Stands the City?

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm.

And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the Pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

Here’s the full video of the farewell address.

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A Great Teacher, a Great Father, and Faith

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Assorted Wisdom, Bright Spots, Faith, Featured, Misc. Posts | Leave a comment

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“When you look at physics, it’s all about laws and how the world works. But if you don’t tie those laws into a much bigger purpose, the purpose in your heart, then they are going to sit there and ask the question ‘Who cares?’”

“Kids are very spiritual — they want a bigger purpose. I think that’s where this story gives them something to think about.”

What is this story? It’s the simple story of a a high school physics teacher, a husband, a father, and a man of faith. It’s the story many of us have lived, are living, and will live. We try our best to love, but we come up short. We have doubts. We have obstacles. Expectations aren’t met. Life doesn’t go the way we had planned it or dreamed it. We fall down. Those we love fall down.

And then we face choices. We face them every moment of every day. Do we give up? Do we throw our hands up in the air? Or do we look to a higher purpose? Do we reach out to supernaturally love one another and sacrifice our own plans, schedules, and dreams to love others who really need it?

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