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Hays Academy of Hair Designs sweeps competition -1/28/2015, 12:06 PM

Hospital restrictions in place at HaysMed -1/28/2015, 10:25 AM

Battling the flu -1/28/2015, 10:06 AM

Comedian, author Rainn Wilson coming to FHSU -1/27/2015, 1:37 PM

Serving up a unique treat with frogmore stew -1/27/2015, 9:12 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsors coffee, conversation -1/26/2015, 11:04 AM

Many can suffer from seasonal disorders -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 25, 2015) -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Winter, spring options for winter annual weed control in wheat -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Bishop from Ghana visits area -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Eating well while spending less actually is possible -1/22/2015, 9:55 AM

One of 5 finalists for FHSU provost position withdraws -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Away from home, and longing to be back in Kansas -1/21/2015, 8:44 AM

New Year babies abound at Rooks County Health -1/20/2015, 1:37 PM

'American Sniper' hits its mark in U.S. theaters -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

HaysMed leads patient safety program -1/20/2015, 9:22 AM

HaysMed joins trend, expands Point of Service collections -1/19/2015, 1:46 PM

Couture-Lovelady assigned to House Rules Committee -1/19/2015, 11:22 AM

Watch out for effects of post-holiday depression -1/19/2015, 8:38 AM

Save some trouble, get agriculture leases in writing -1/18/2015, 3:14 PM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 18, 2015) -1/18/2015, 3:13 PM

-1/18/2015, 2:00 PM

Hays to host Western region farmers market conference -1/17/2015, 3:23 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 17, 2015) -1/17/2015, 3:14 PM

Going crazy with a series of new projects -1/16/2015, 2:09 PM

Nex-Tech acquires Computer Solutions -1/15/2015, 2:01 PM

Senior Companion honored -1/14/2015, 2:49 PM

Lang Diesel donates $1,000 to elementary school -1/13/2015, 2:58 PM

For Your Information (Jan. 13, 2015) -1/13/2015, 1:37 PM

Inside a daughter's mind; making play dough for children -1/13/2015, 9:57 AM

Holidays can be manageable, even as a stepfamily -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 12, 2015) -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 11, 2015) -1/11/2015, 4:00 PM

Calling all precision agriculture geeks -1/11/2015, 3:51 PM

1st film in series on water to feature Cheyenne Bottoms, KWEC -1/9/2015, 4:27 PM

Female farmers shift production trends -1/9/2015, 4:09 PM

Halls of Ivy -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Regional farmers market vendor workshop Jan. 30 in Hays -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 8, 2015) -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

'Into the Woods' strays from the path -1/6/2015, 9:48 AM

Orscheln acquires building in Abilene -1/5/2015, 3:41 PM

Strategies can help stepfamilies through holidays -1/5/2015, 8:46 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 5, 2015) -1/5/2015, 8:46 AM

Make New Year's resolutions that stick -1/2/2015, 9:44 AM

Acceptance, gratitude and joy -1/2/2015, 9:44 AM

Patterned trail -12/26/2014, 2:42 PM

-12/26/2014, 1:28 PM

Holiday activities for family bonding -12/25/2014, 1:21 PM

'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' is surprisingly passable -12/23/2014, 9:43 AM

Using tips can help stepfamilies during holidays -12/22/2014, 9:17 AM

2014 Farm Bill decision making steps upcoming for consumers -12/21/2014, 4:27 PM

Clubs and meetings -12/21/2014, 4:26 PM

The Brady Bunch: Remembering to stay the course when things are gloomy -12/21/2014, 4:26 PM

FHSU joins other institutions in alternative-credit consortium -12/20/2014, 6:01 PM

Community members encouraged to vote for favorite cause in spirit of giving -12/19/2014, 4:17 PM

God can be our light during bleak times today, tomorrow, future -12/19/2014, 9:38 AM

Sneak exercise into your holiday activities -12/18/2014, 9:13 AM

Natoma Auxiliary spreads cheer -12/18/2014, 9:13 AM

The joys of the holiday season are all around us -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

First Care Clinic gets grant -12/16/2014, 4:16 PM

Westar Energy expands commitment to Kansas wind energy -12/16/2014, 12:48 PM

Brownback appoints new Cheyenne County commissioner -12/16/2014, 12:48 PM

'The Battle of the Five Armies' lacking -12/16/2014, 8:23 AM

Baby keeps family active -12/16/2014, 8:23 AM

Hays native serves as intern for Moran -12/15/2014, 11:55 AM

Several ways exist to integrate stepfamilies, holidays -12/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Business Briefcase (Dec. 14, 2014) -12/14/2014, 2:59 PM

Soil test information can lead to bountiful financial returns -12/14/2014, 2:59 PM

Clubs and meetings (Dec. 14, 2014) -12/14/2014, 2:59 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Dec. 13, 2014) -12/13/2014, 3:11 PM

The heart of Christmas -12/12/2014, 8:49 AM

DHDC announces new board members -12/11/2014, 4:17 PM

Area student selected to livestock judging team -12/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Bake ahead, freeze for holidays -12/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Extension estate planning workshops announced -12/10/2014, 3:31 PM

Remembering the Japanese invasion, World War II -12/10/2014, 10:12 AM

DHDC kicks off annual partnership program -12/9/2014, 12:05 PM

A few holiday movies to enjoy -- again -12/9/2014, 9:31 AM

New addition to family brings smiles to faces -12/9/2014, 8:18 AM

Steps can be taken to help stepfamilies adjust to holidays -12/8/2014, 9:41 AM

Genetically modified organism fact or fiction -12/7/2014, 4:12 PM

Clubs and meetings (Dec. 7, 2014) -12/7/2014, 4:11 PM

Yes, there is a Santa Claus -12/5/2014, 9:03 AM

Getting out of balance disrupts life satisfaction -12/5/2014, 9:03 AM

A month of busyness at Hays Public Library -12/5/2014, 9:03 AM

Cookie exchange raises money for children -12/4/2014, 3:27 PM

Master honored with inaugural award -12/4/2014, 8:55 AM

DCF unveils new Hays service center -12/3/2014, 3:29 PM

What's in a color -12/3/2014, 8:57 AM

Several honored for milestone celebrations -12/3/2014, 8:57 AM

A chance encounter overseas -12/3/2014, 8:57 AM

FHSU bands to perform Friday -12/2/2014, 10:19 AM

Dealing with stepfamilies during the holidays -12/1/2014, 8:48 AM

Study finds GMO's safe for livestock -11/30/2014, 3:36 PM

Business Briefcase (Nov. 30, 2014) -11/30/2014, 3:36 PM

Clubs and meetings (Nov. 30, 2014) -11/30/2014, 3:35 PM

Real Black Friday began thousands of years ago -11/28/2014, 9:22 AM

A lifetime of achievements in 4-H -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Fort Hays honors courses will serve as pilot courses -11/26/2014, 7:35 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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'Captain Phillips' is commanding

Published on -10/16/2013, 9:49 AM

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"Captain Phillips" tells the true story of Capt. Richard Phillips and the crew of the Maersk Alabama during the cargo ship's hijacking by Somali pirates in 2009. Very simply, this is a fantastic -- and powerful -- movie.

Much like there was in "Gravity," there is a scene in "Captain Phillips" that transcends the films greatness and blows through the barrier into iconic territory. In both cases, however, I feel I would be providing a disservice to describe these scenes more than I already have -- even saying where they occur within the movie is information enough to spoil some of the effect.

I will simply say this: When Tom Hanks is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Captain Phillips," the highlight reel that will be shown will be almost exclusively from the scene I am describing.

Cryptic acting achievements aside, "Captain Phillips" is a tense thriller that displays wonderful focus on its narrative. There are no distractions here, there are no cop-outs. There is very real and intimate danger.

What's more, "Captain Phillips" does an excellent job of putting different worlds on display. The film starts by introducing the world of commercial shipping, which is something I would imagine isn't familiar territory for most viewers. Next we see the turmoil of Somalia. The contrast between those two perspectives is startling, and the film does a great job of showing how heavily the circumstances of our birth affect the course of our lives.

It's very rare for a film to earn a six out of six from me. I cannot remember ever giving two in a row. "Captain Phillips" very much deserves its rating and its hype.

It is one of the best films of the year, and it is certainly the best Tom Hanks movie I've seen in close to a decade.

6 of 6 stars

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation. james.gerstner@gmail.com

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