Let’s Review: Tomb Raider

 

via IMDB

By Katie Doll

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure movie directed by Roar Uthaug and starring Academy Award winning actress Alicia Vikander as the iconic Lara Croft.

The movie was released in 2018 and finished second in box office behind Black Panther in its opening weekend.

The film is based on the 2013 video game of the same name, with elements from the video game’s sequel.

It is a reboot of the previous Tomb Raider film series which starred Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. The two women portray Lara similarly in terms of charisma, but Vikander does not rely on sex appeal like the previous films and older video games.

In the movie, Lara Croft hopes to solve her father’s mysterious disappearance by embarking on a journey to his last-known destination – an island which withholds the tomb of Himiko, the Queen of Yamatai who controls life and death.

With her fierce spirit and sharp mind, the audience will have no doubt that Lara will conquer this mission, but the movie still keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

The most action-packed and heart-pounding moment of the film sets the stakes: a violent thunderstorm in the Devil’s Sea that leaves Lara washed ashore, only to be captured by Trinity, an organization who plans to use the tomb of Himiko as a weapon.

With a 49 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes scale, the film has mixed reviews by critics. John Nugent from Empireonline.com criticized the film because he felt the content did not fit the genre.

“It’s a different kind of Tomb Raider,” wrote Nugent. “But for an adventure film, it’s disconcertingly dull.”

Even if the plot may not wow the audience, the acting certainly will, according to Neil Soans, writer for “Times of India”.

“’Tomb Raider’ suffers from the tropes of an origin tale, but it gives its protagonist a timely and relevant overhaul to confidently launch Alicia Vikander as this generation’s Lara Croft,” wrote Soans.

Tomb Raider is in theaters now.

 

Let’s Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

 

Displaying IMG_1014.jpegBy Tayla Courage

Rainbow Rowell’s 2014 adult contemporary novel, “Landline,” incorporates elements of science fiction to show how a relationship can evolve over time.

The book centers in on the marriage between 37-year-old sitcom writer Georgie McCool and former cartoonist Neal Grafton. The foundation of their relationship was never solid, but true conflict arises when Georgie announces that she will not be spending Christmas with Neal’s family in Omaha, Nebraska.

Georgie and her writing partner Seth have just learned that the television show they have been pitching for nearly a decade is close to being greenlit, but they only have 10 days to write a complete pilot episode.

She tries to be considerate of her husband’s feelings, but she doesn’t want to sacrifice an opportunity to advance in her career. She suggests flying to Omaha after the holidays, but Neal decides to take their children and go without her.

Not fond of spending the holiday season alone in an empty house, Georgie retreats to her mother’s home in Calabasas, California, where she is greeted with overwhelming concern for the current state of her marriage with Neal.

She’s being treated as though her husband has left her, and while he physically has, their relationship is still intact, or so she hopes. Driven to the brink of madness, she frantically tries to reach Neal to make an attempt at smoothing things over.

 

When Neal, now age 22, answers, Georgie realizes that her childhood home’s yellow landline doubles as a time machine that allows her to communicate with the 1998 version of her then boyfriend.

Everything is simpler with Neal from the past, and Georgie begins to question the timing of her relationship. Maybe she was destined to be with this version of Neal all along.

From her internal monologue, there is no doubt that Georgie is deeply in love Neal, but she puts him on a pedestal so high that she, herself, develops an inferiority complex. In her mind, she is undeserving of Neal’s affection because she is selfish and flawed. She puts her work before her family and that makes her a bad person, but in actuality, she has refused to acknowledge her husband’s flaws.

While he gives up his period of career exploration to become a stay-at-home father to his two daughters, his general apathy toward life makes it difficult to believe that this choice was at all sacrificial.

Georgie eventually makes the connection that everything that is happening in her current marriage with Neal has happened before during the budding stages of their romance.

The landline forces her to realize that she can no longer wait for Neal to make the first move at repairing their dysfunctional marriage. It is her turn to be open and honest about the way she feels in addition to making the necessary compromises that will save her faltering family unit.

In this quick, comical read, Rowell introduces a collection of characters that are relatable, not in the situations they are compelled to face, but in the way they respond to life’s adversities.

Vol State English professor uses service-learning

 

By Riley Holcraft

Kelly Ormbsy, an English professor at Volunteer State Community College, has interests ranging from service to gardening to music. She is an active member of the community and always finds ways to use her talents.

Ormbsy has been a full-time staff member at Vol State for four years. Along with her primary role as a professor of English composition and literature, she is also the faculty coordinator for service-learning and learning support writing.

Her focus remains on student success and access, and she is an executive board member of The Tennessee Association for Student Success and Retention.

“I served through last year as the editor for its professional journal, the Journal of Student Success and Retention. Just this semester, I have presented at the Two-Year College English Association Southeast Conference, as well as the Tennessee Conference on Volunteerism and Service-Learning,” Ormsby said.

Community service has always been a huge part of Ormsby’s life.

“I am the oldest of six children, four of whom were adopted from the foster care system. My mother worked as a child rights advocate,” said Ormsby.

After witnessing the effects of poverty, she was exposed to the positive influence of education which heavily guided her decision to become a professor.  

Ormsby successfully incorporates her value of community service into her profession through service-learning, a teaching and learning strategy that integrates course learning goals with community service to help deepen students understanding of course content and help develop civic responsibility and workplace skills. She also works with the UT Extension Office Master Gardener Program, the Vol State Feed food pantry and the Vol State Garden.

Gardening and food are other passions that Ormsby connects with her professional and personal life. She volunteers her time with community gardens, but she also has a personal garden that she likes to use to grow food to cook for her husband and nine-year-old son.

Her family enjoys volunteer work, listening to music and attending live concerts, and participating outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and kayaking. Her husband is a Gallatin native, but Ormsby moved to Nashville from Mississippi.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Ormsby originally moved to Music City with an interest in songwriting. She is a published songwriter, and she plays “a little bit of several instruments,” she said.

Ormsby is grateful for the opportunity to play music with other talented faculty at Vol State. Last spring, the faculty hosted a “Humanities Matters” lecture on protest music where they played music from various causes and eras.

Ormsby is consistently involved in events around campus. She remains very active in her field, and is deeply committed to her family and community.

“I love working at Vol State. It is a great place to be because the faculty is committed to helping students and doing that in creative ways. There are a lot of opportunities to try new things, and I always feel supported in the ideas I want to explore,” said Ormsby.

Women in Media Reviewed

This week, we asked the five women staff writers at The Settler to write about their favorite women-centric entertainment.

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via IMDB

Katie Doll – Film

“Wonder Woman,” directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, is a superhero film based on the DC Comics character. When an American pilot, Steve Trevor, crashes into Diana’s home island which is only inhabited by women, Diana leaves to help stop the ongoing World War I, believing it is caused by an old enemy. This film is not only wonderfully directed by a woman, but is the second-highest rated superhero movie, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Breathtaking and thrilling, this film will bring out the superhero in every woman.

 

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via The Daily Beast

Presley Green – Comedy

Chelsea Handler, American comedian, is most known for being a late night talk show host on “Chelsea Lately”. Along with being a comedian, actress, writer, tv host, and producer, she is also an activist for many things such as women’s rights, gun control and LGBT rights.

She wants more women in political office and announced she will campaign for candidates who are fighting for women’s rights. When President Trump was elected, Handler decided to step out of the spotlight as an entertainer and leave her Netflix talk show, “Handler Said,” to be seen as an activist and speak at colleges around the country. She wants to hear from students and learn more about political division.

“I’ve become a better person, and I’m more informed. I’m learning. I have the Trump family to thank for that,” said Handler to Jake Tapper from CNN.

GQ030118SZA_03

via GQ

Tayla Courage – Music

Solána Rowe or SZA, as she is professionally known, received five Grammy nominations for her 2017 debut album “Ctrl.” The album is difficult to label as one specific genre, but the Billboard Top 100 often categorizes it as R&B. Many of its tracks feature brief commentary from the singer’s mother and grandmother, providing generational advice and wisdom that complements the lyrical subject matter. From sexual intimacy to body image to leaving adolescence behind, SZA doesn’t hide behind a mask of pseudo-positivity. She dismisses the sugar-coated reality and shows that there is strength in vulnerability.

image

via Refinery 29

Lauren Whitaker – Television

 Queen Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones” represents a true empowering woman on the HBO network. Daenerys is a ruling queen with grace and integrity in a world where men and deceit reign. She fights for justice and has the best interest of all people around her. She not only empowers women with her grit but also with her beauty. She exemplifies a strong woman who can be multi-faceted and seen as powerful. The most intriguing characteristic Daenerys portrays is her gentleness. She is the mother of dragons, and even though the beasts are large and frightening, the dragons are tame to her love and affection. Daenerys is a woman who has it all, power, strength, integrity, lovingkindness, and beauty.

J.K. Rowling

via Time Magazine

Riley Holcraft – Literature 

J.K. Rowling is one of the most successful and widely read authors in the world. However, Rowling had a less than glamorous background. She was fortunately able to graduate college, but after giving birth to her daughter in 1993, she lived off welfare programs. She began writing the Harry Potter series in 1990 and was rejected 12 times until the first book was published in 1995. Her books flew off the shelves and eventually evolved into an empire of movies and theme parks. She now spends her time and money in political affairs and non-profit organizations.

Squad on the Quad 3/27/18: Favorite Professor

We here at The Settler have one goal: to let the student’s voice be heard. Our Squad on the Quad segment gets students’ opinions, thoughts, and ideas. You can send your question ideas for this segment to aperham1@volstate.edu.

Who is your favorite professor and why?

Granlund. He’s awesome. He cares. – V

Yarbrough. Professor Yarbrough is really, really good because it doesn’t matter, even if you ask the most stupid of questions, she still looks at you, and she’ll answer you in an intelligent way and act like it’s a good, reasonable question to ask. – J

Professor Thomas because he does an actual really good job of being an adviser for theater and anyone who is interested in being in the theater department of any kind. Whether it be art, acting, whatever it be, he is very supportive when it comes to that. – D

Lynn Peterson. The man is probably the best teacher I’ve ever had. He treats me like an actual person. And the fact that he basically runs the school rock band kind of helps with that. – K

Deja Brandeis. She’s awesome. – M

Dr. Carole Bucy seems to love her job – she is always so cheerful and she knows her history! If you don’t have time to read your homework, all you have to do is listen to her lecture. – D.

Professor Williams because he is funny, smart, and if I’m having a bad day, I can always count on his class to cheer me up. – B