Monday, March 2, 2015

Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover

Since technically music month is over, naturally I want to write something about music.  While most current rap artists now a day have little to no talent and luck into the celebrity status that they don't really deserve, there are a few that are extremely underrated and I personally feel like need more recognition.

One that I am listening to on repeat lately is Childish Gambino.  You may recognize his hit 3005 but as far as I am aware, not many more of his songs are frequenting the radio waves.  Which is a shame because lyrically he is pretty smart and the beats that coincide with said lyrics are very catchy and extremely pop worthy.

If you are not familiar with 3005 (educate yourself immediately) and have no clue who Childish Gambino is, you may be familiar with some of his acting credits.  He is on Community, he has done bit parts in HBO Girls,  The To Do List, Alexander and the Horrible...Day, and will have a part in the upcoming anticipated sequel Magic Mike XXL.

He was recognized in 2014 for his album Because the Internet and his single 3005 both were nominated for Grammys.  You can purchase his new album Kauai on iTunes or listen to it on Spotify (my personal favorite music app).  Some of the better songs from that album are Retro and Pop Thieves.  You can hear it now on my blog or look it up for yourself on the You Tube!

50 Shades of Blah

It is becoming more apparent that in our society, if there is a hit book that sweeps the nation, it will probably be a hit movie within a year.  As a person who enjoys to read and loves book versions 9 times out of 10 better than the movie version, you could imagine my dismay when I heard they were turning 50 Shades of Grey into a movie.  Not because I thought the integrity of the book would be compromised because honestly, it's just a well written romance novel and could be interchanged with any love story. This love story just so happens to be one that embodies a lifestyle that many people are curious about but maybe not interested in pursuing themselves.

If you have read the books then you will understand how intense the chemistry and relationship is between Anastasia and Christian.  It's something that while reading will consume your thoughts and make you question certain things about your sexual appetites.  At first you may think it's just some perverse book about a woman who is giving herself over completely to a man and letting him completely take over.  This simply isn't the case.  The book depicts a relationship of a woman trying to figure out who she is, what love is and if the man she loves is worth loving.  The gratuitous sex is just a bonus and quite frankly refreshing.  It doesn't give the illusion of some "white knight" scenario and that as adults, whatever your choice may be, it's still your choice.

After hearing that this franchise was going to become a movie, I was very flabbergasted.   How can you possibly make books that are this graphic into movies, with ratings that are acceptable and not compromise the book?  The answer, you can't.  When they originally cast Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey, I was briefly excited because I felt like his work on Sons of Anarchy would be a great contribution to the character.  Then they cast Dakota Johnson, who has had some minor roles in various projects, she's still fairly unknown.   While I wasn't necessarily pleased with the choice of leading lady, I understood why they would need someone like her.  No actress that has any major credit behind her would want to touch this project.  It's way too controversial and there would be a substantial amount of nudity.   Then it was announced that Charlie Hunnam was having to back out of the project due to "scheduling conflicts" with Sons of Anarchy.  It's my belief that they hadn't fully disclosed the nature of the book and before signing anything, the actor actually read the material and decided that this probably wasn't the best choice to further his career.  

Once they finally landed on Jamie Dornan and cemented the premier date on 2/14/15, I knew the project was going to be everything that the bleeding hearts of the world wanted it to be, a diet coke version of the material that E.L. James had written.  Not one to completely write something off though, I decided that I should see the movie and give it a chance.  

After deciding to watch the movie opening night and seeing the crazed fans that were there to watch the film, I let myself get optimistic, hopeful even.  Maybe this could be a film that wouldn't disappoint it's written work.   Unfortunately I was disappointed and not at all surprised.  While Johnson and Doran slip beautifully into the roles given to them, the writing and direction of the film were meh at best.  I knew it wouldn't be as intense as the books but I also felt like the attraction between these actors wasn't quite there and it had nothing to do with the actors themselves but the body of the work.  I wasn't buying what they were selling.  At the end of the movie, I could actually see her never coming back and being able to survive.  Granted her being a virgin would compromise her a little bit emotionally, if you are putting things into real life terms, this girl would have quite the story to tell.  She lost her V card to a billionaire philanthropist, not too shabby in the grand scheme of things.  Not wanting to live this lifestyle of getting "rewarded" when good and "punished" when bad is also understandable because this type of behavior would only happen really with children and not adults.  Since you have no real idea why someone would feel the need to act this way  (because they haven't explained any of his background in the first film) it gets a little muddled and her reaction to leave the apartment at the end is the same reaction that anyone would have in that same situation. 

The movie is ideal for those who are wanting to pretend to have a spicy romantic life and it could open up the topic of conversation to heat things up in the bedroom with your partner but ultimately this movie is the equivalent of a Twilight or Divergent series.  Something that wants to be as successful and awesome as the Hunger Games or Harry Potter but never being able to reach its true potential.   

Shane Vaughn takes on 50 Shades of Grey

Two words can sum up what kept me on this film's side throughout: Dakota Johnson. Daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, she's definitely a star. She brings quiet strength and slyness to a rather blandly written character. Anastasia Steele is much like Bella from 'Twilight'- a stand-in character for a variety of audience members to place themselves in that character's shoes. I'm not even saying that as a bad thing. I liked Kristen Stewart in those films and I like Johnson here too. I haven't read the literary smash book for which it's based. What I have heard regarding the books has been nothing but negative. I can't say whether what I took from the movie was what the book was actually trying to say or not. Is this a tale of a domineering man being taken to task by a meek, virginal woman?

That's what I see, and would explain the book's phenomenal success with it's target audience. But the sex scenes felt tame and held back, lacking the danger I felt the story needed. Johnson brings that in with her facial expressions and performance. Underwear model Jamie Dornan doesn't deliver on her level and does bring the film down. I can imagine a different, more experienced actor really making something of this character. Bringing more to it than the script and story lays out for him. See James Spader in 'Secretary'- the original "Fifty Shades of Grey".

 I enjoyed the direction by newcomer Sam Taylor-Johnson. She doesn't fluff the film visually or sonically, giving the film some ice-cold cinematography and well chosen music cuts. That icy look and slow burn nature does a disservice to the burning sexual tension, which never really takes off, but adds to my view of Grey being someone really capable of hurting Anna. Once again, Dornan doesn't deliver that danger, but I felt it through the direction and Dakota Johnson. I heard Taylor-Johnson and E.L. James butted heads on the ending, which really drove home my impression of the film overall and I felt was worth debating. Apparently the book ends with Anna telling Grey "Red!" to get him to stop and Johnson wanted to end the film with her saying "No". To me it fit more with the story to not have her playing HIS game saying the "code word" for stop but legit "Stop, No!". I think it plays well at the end, drives home the ultimate message I feel is being addressed that women (and men) around the world need to hear.

 So I guess I'm coming down in favor of the film overall. I don't like to hear that E.L. James wants to fully write the sequels, I'd say let the story tell itself rather than force it into arbitrary and lame corners. I expect "Fifty Shades Darker" to indeed be darker and more dangerous, push the limits more!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review off! (Like a riff off but not at all)

So naturally I'm not doing so well with the musical month but I'm not giving up!  My friend gave me a great idea of doing reviews on the same movie and since I'm all about equal opportunity, it's boys vs girls!  The first review is going to be over the "controversial" 50 Shades of Grey.  I've read his review and soon it will be ready for the world!  I'm really excited about this concept and I hope you all are too! 

On another note, I also have all my Hunger Games posters up finally! It's looking super sweet.  Have a great night peeps and remember, the odds are never in our favor! Lol!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Oscars!!!

It's that time of year again, the Oscars.  There are many nominations this year that I agree with but there were some people that I wish had bade the cut.  Currently I am watching some Oscar pre-show, checking out the lucky fans who have a front row seat and of course the fashion.


Ok so I am not going to go through the entire list because quite frankly I don't care about some and it would be exhausting for me to pretend like I do.


Now, I love these nominees but I have to say that the woman I think will win is

The film she was in is one that is inspired and kind of a revolutionary idea.  Boyhood is one that should be seen just to be apart of something amazing.

Who will win if she doesn't...

The queen of the Oscars, Meryl Streep gave a fabulous performance in Into the Woods and so it wouldn't shock me entirely if she continued her winning streak and took this award home.

Who I want to win...

She is adorable, funny, witty and a great actress who I feel can play nearly any role.  Emma Stone is one that I would see no matter what she played in.


Who I think will win....

As previously stated, Boy Hood is a revolutionary film and I think it is going to sweep the Oscars this year.  Richard Linklater is a great director and some of the films he has done speak for themselves (Dazed and Confused, Me and Orson Wells)

Who will win if he doesn't...

This director hasn't really had any break out hits in America besides the Imitation Game but if this doesn't jump start his career here, I am not sure what will.  Imitation Game is a great film and this would be a win that I wouldn't mind in the slightest.

Who I want to win....

This man has done some truly great films and the Grand Budapest Hotel is just one of the many.  (Life Aquatic, Fantastic Mr. Fox)  I would be tickled to no end if he won but sadly I am a realist and I know that this probably isn't his year.


This category is one of my favorites because a visual story is almost as important as the written story itself.  Also this is pretty much the only category that comic movies get nominated for, which as you may know is something that peeves me but I digress...

Who will win...

The effects of this movie, I have heard are AMAZING but I have zero desire to see another film about the mysteries of space and blah, blah, blah...but kudos for the amazing visuals.

Who will win if they don't...

Those damn dirty apes!  The nerve of them trying to take over the planet and things!  This movie has been over played and played again.  I am done with the apes, past, present and future.

Who I want to win....

Naturally this movie was one of my favorites of the year, so naturally I would want it to win.  I know this is a dark horse but I'd love to see one of my favorite movies win one of my favorite awards!

Now the show has started!  I will keep updating through out the show!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Skipping over the Grammy's

The Grammy's have come and gone and honestly, the only reason to talk about it would be to give acknowledgement to someone with an already enlarged ego, who really just deserves someone to give him a reality check.  All the artists who won that evening deserved their wins.  They are all talented people and congratulations to them!

So with out further delay, I'd love to introduce you a local band in my area.  The band members are good friends of mine and pretty talented.  So world, in honor of music appreciation month, let me present to you Galaxies!

Feel free to check out their song in the newly added widget above at the top of the page! The song is Angel Eyes and is one of my favorites. Feel free to also check out their Facebook page also they are located on reverbnation!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Music Month!

I realize that mostly I have been focused on movies lately.  I can't be blamed for that entirely though, it's in my blood, its on my mind, the Academy Awards are coming soon...can you blame me?!
I am a fickle mistress however.  Music also claims a large part of my heart.  As I am writing this I am listening to Ain't It Fun by Paramore.  This song is catchy and has a great melody but lyrically it's a little stunted.  Pop music is supposed to be fun though and that is what they represent.  A ton of fun.
People get so upset when you say I love Ariana Grande or Fall Out Boy.  They act like the music these artist make is tragic.   If the songs they make evoke an emotion out of you, the artist has done their job.  One hit wonders are that for a reason.  They couldn't get you to talk about any of their music besides one song.

Whether you love them or hate them, these artists aren't going anywhere.

My Top 5 despised artists.

5. Kayne West
This guy makes the list because good grief.  He is SO conceited!  Seriously, he thinks he is so near god status that his tour is called he Yeezus Tour.  His woman that he's with (Kim Kardashian) is most celebrated for her sex tape!  Now probably for her cover on Paper magazine.

Not to mention his out burst during Taylor Swifts acceptance speech.   Dude, you aren't the living end, get a grip and get over yourself.  I know I'd like to get over you...

4.  U2

Now I am not saying that they haven't made some incredible music but what music have they made recently that isn't about saving the world from AIDS or the west nile virus or whatever cause is running rampant around the world.  Give me something Bono!  I am so sick of trying to save the world from typhoid or rheumatic fever!  Can't we have another Beautiful Day??

3. Leann Rimes

First and foremost, what the heck happened to this woman's career?? After 2009 she kind of fell off the face of the planet...unless she was stealing other women's husbands and then marrying that person and from what I can tell, reverting back to a high school mentality and getting into a Twitter war.  News flash, no one cares if you word bitch slap each other.  Get back to making that crappy country that you are known for and then maybe I can care a little bit more.

2.  Taylor Swift

I can't tell you why I don't like Taylor Swift.  She seems like a nice girl who goes through men like paper towels but I can't fault her for that.  The music she makes isn't 100% terrible, it just get stuck in my head more than I would like. (Shake it Off, Blank Space)  She is a great role model and everyone who meets her seems to become an instant fan...maybe we need to meet face to face Taylor so we can become face to face...however, there is something that I just can't put my finger on that screams WHY ARE YOU HERE TAYLOR?!  She seems to pop up and ruin some of my favorite things, i.e. New Girl....

And of course last but not least

1. Nickleback

Do I really need to give an explanation????  I think not.

some honorable mentions for terrible artists that I wish I never had to hear from again are Justin Beiber and all the recent rap artists that all sound the same and have really absurd names that I could care literally nothing about.  It just makes me ill that they will make more money than I could imagine in a lifetime and they have as much talent as a boil on a bull frog.

That raps up my top five!  Don't forget to check out the Grammy's this Sunday!