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    Nashville News: Monday, 8/3 The last time Alabama put original music out, the country genre looked a little different, and the band  itself did too. Now 14 years later, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook are slated to release a brand  new album, Southern Drawl. Since country music has changed a bit since their last go round, their sound will too.  Southern Drawl will drop on Sept. 18. There is no track listing or pre-order information available yet, but it is expected to be announced as the release date draws nearer.   The Dixie Chicks thrilled European fans recently by announcing they’d be reuniting and going on  tour across the pond, but is it possible the band will take a tour stateside? According to Natalie Maine’s  Twitter page, it might be in the cards. Shes responded to a fan who asked if they were “ready to play nice” (a reference to their song “Not Ready to Make Nice”) yet and perform in the States, giving American fans hope for a U.S. Tour. She said, “I'll never make nice, but I will tour the states again.” I will keep you posted on all things chicks that are dixie! Read More
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Here comes the seasons first big blockbuster, Russell Crowe stars in the big budget film, Noah.

Let me be the first to tell you this is big in about every single way. And for may reasons, this is not for everybody.  This is deep, and heavy, and pretty tough to take at times for very young or casual viewers.  And for some, this will look nothing like the story they've read in the Bible.  There is plenty of creative license, and that's fine.  It is their interpretation of this story. 

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Crowe stars as Noah, and leads an all-star cast including Emma Watson, Jennifer Connolly, Anthony Hopkins and more.   This movie has also generated more than just buzz, it has created a fervor for some by the replacing of the word God with Creator for the entire movie.  Also, for not following the story literally from the Biblical one.  The basics are in place.  Noah is charged with the starting over of the world after the great flood, and is also charged with building the Ark to do so. 

Read all of my movie reviews

That's about where I can stop telling you the story, because you'll want to see where they go.  But we can instead focus on the movie making.  This is pretty intense carrying a PG-13 rating. Clearly, there is no foul language, and of course nothing really objectionable in its form.  But some of this is very tough to take.  There is brief, but quite disturbing animal torture, and there is a significant amount of violence that is lengthy, albeit mostly computer generated.  So just be aware.

But there is good here. The sets when they are real or computer, are sensational. The costuming is great, makeup too.  They successfully transport us back to biblical times and this looks very authentic.  There is a big musical soundtrack that accompanies this, that adds to the mystique, and to the drama.  And that's exactly what this is.  A drama.   Two hours and twenty minutes of deep drama. Crow is terrific as Noah, who is depicted here as a highly devoted and deeply conflicted man, who comes to understand the gravity of the charge the "Creator" has given him.  Sadly, as good as much of this is, there are segments that look out of place, and video-gamey at times, and they stuck out like a sore thumb.

Overall, there is a lot to like here for many But for some this will leave them flat.  And keep in mind, true or historical events are seldom told 100 percent accurately in cinema. And that holds true with this.  But since it is a biblical story, there seems to be less wiggle room for movie makers.  This is not a defense of the these makers, it is just how it's done.  My suggestion would be watch the movie if you choose to, on it's script, and if it differs from your own interpretation of events, just know that is nothing new.  People have been debating many biblical stories for centuries around the dinner table so it should be no surprise we can do it with the movies.

Noah. Harsh at times, very good at times, and big all the time.  Big budget movie season is underway.

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