What I’m Watching: Romance Films

I don’t know if the genre term ‘rom-drams’ has already been coined, but basically I’ve been watching ‘romantic-dramas’ all week. Get it? Like I said in the ‘Fault In Our Stars’ review/post, I love romance movies. I really enjoy seeing two people fall in love. It’s really a beautiful thing. In terms of rom-coms, it’s a funny thing. But in terms of the rom-drams, it’s a very passionate and somewhat unraveling and unnerving thing to watch. Which I love. The movies that I watched are ‘Mona Lisa Smile’ (which was more of a drama about being an educated and empowered woman in the 1950s than a romance), ‘City of Angels’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Hope Floats’,’Notting Hill’ (rom-com), and ‘While You Were Sleeping’ (rom-com). Yes, I do love Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts. They are my favorite actresses. But in terms of romance movies, I love Jennifer Lopez and classic Meg Ryan as well.

What I really want to say about these films is that they made me feel GOOD. I loved how the men fell for the women. Most of the time in the films, the man was mesmerized by the woman’s beauty and her passion for her job or role or aloofness of him. Most of the time, the women were somewhat lost or there was an emptiness or longing for something more – love. Each of these movies were very different even though they were all about love or had romance linked with other themes. I’d already seen most of these movies when I was younger. However, watching them now, as a young adult looking for my next path (not to be too poetic), the films gave me a glimpse at what could happen if I journeyed through life with only my job in mind and if I was closed off to love for too long. I could find love too late or it could find me when I’m already dark and twisty (Grey’s Anatomy reference – review SOON). But you know, what if I’m too removed from the possibility of believing in love? I don’t know if I want to just hope that love will find me when it finds me. Later on. Eventually. That’s kind of risky isn’t it? But at the same time, isn’t it romantic to think so? The films were a reminder that I should keep love in mind. I don’t have to necessarily seek it, but I do need to keep an eye out for it.

Watch these movies if you haven’t already and if you have – watch them again! They’re great! Plus, Nicholas Cage’s eyes in ‘City of Angels’ are just beautiful!

Nicholas Cage in City of Angels

‘Til next time…

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Music: ‘Ghost Stories’ (album) by Coldplay

Alright, it has taken me longer than usual to listen to a newly released Coldplay album. I mean Coldplay is my #1 favorite band and I am usually frantically waiting for their new music to be released. However, after my disappointment of Mylo Xyloto (album #5) – I was a little more hesitant to listen to Ghost Stories. First off, I really had stopped following the band as a result of my little interest in Mylo. *I’ll do a review on Mylo itself to explain why my interest in the band lessened.* As I stopped following the band, I had little knowledge of their production of Ghost Stories, so when the album was announced, I was taken aback. It was odd not being in the know of what Coldplay was artistically up to. I mean, I have been a huge fan of them my entire adolescence and their music pretty much saved and changed my life. I still need to talk about their impact on my life in a separate blog. Basically, the band meant everything to me.

Anyway, today I decided that I should finally give the album a chance. I mean, it’s COLDPLAY. I have a huge poster of them in my room so I see them everyday.

The album is a lot more mellow than Mylo for sure. It reminded me of the ‘Parachutes’ and ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ days without the semi-sadness. Of course, the band is marketing toward a generation that’s more concerned with dancing and having something ‘catchy’ to listen to. Basically – they’ve become more mainstream than they previously were. Their audience is more so ‘the youth’. I mean, I’m only 22 so I’m considered ‘the youth’, but I never identified with my own generation. If that makes sense. I was listening to Coldplay’s first two albums when I was super young. These albums were so much more mature and abstract. I say ‘mature’ meaning the heaviness, sorrow, and metaphors of the loss of love, the lack of love, and the questioning of identification. *I’ll talk more about those things when I finally get around to discussing their previous albums.* I promise. Mylo was a bit too pop a CD in at the club and lets party with glow sticks. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it was not something I expected from Coldplay. They were getting close to that with Viva la Vida…but for the most part, the album was still very chill and mellow. In fact, it was chilling as in eerie. Which I LOVED!

Now, what this album, ‘Ghost Stories’ sounds like is very chill and there’s definitely an ambient tone to it. I can hear the Bon Iver influence for sure. My favorite tracks on the album are (the radio hit) Magic, Always in My Head, True Love, Midnight, and Ink. The album is basically a love letter. Or, better yet – it feels like a dream composed of mini dreams about falling in love or seeing your true love for the first time. Yes, this album is DEEP without being too jolting or obvious. Listening to it just made me smile and feel like ‘love’ actually does exist and I’ll find it – someday. The album reminded me of the simpler times when you could just tell someone you love them and it was true. Like black and white movies from the 30’s and 40’s. The album just sounds very genuine and with less fluff. It’s straight to the point – I love you.

Give it a listen if you’re into love songs and if you love classic Coldplay’s mellowness. I think the next time I jam this album, it’ll be me, laying under the stars with my head phones on. I don’t live by an ocean, but I’ll dream that one is near by.

‘Til next time…

31 One Tree Hill Quotes That Will Warm The Heart Of Your Inner Tween

Words to live by.

Thought Catalog

One Tree Hill was my generation’s Saved by the Bell, The Wonder Years, and Melrose Place all rolled into one. It was also the backdrop to my over-anxious, bookworm-ish, braces-filled adolescence. Tree Hill was the kind of place I wish I lived…everyone was beautiful, even the popular kids were super nice, the plot twists were salacious and wildly dramatic, and, DAMN, could they turn a phrase.

My name is Lucas Scott. I’m a senior at Tree Hill High School. I play basketball…at least I used to. I have a girlfriend…at least I used to. And I have a best friend. Tree Hill is just a place somewhere in the world. Maybe it’s a lot like your world, maybe it’s nothing like it. But if you look closer, you might see someone like you, or someone like you. Someone trying to find their way. Someone trying to find their…

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Film: The Fault In Our Stars

You know the whole time watching this film, I told myself “Im not going to cry”, because of the subject matter and obvious ending of the film. If you’ve read the book beforehand, then you probably struggled with whether or not you would cry while watching the movie based on if you did or did not cry while reading the book. I tried to read the book, but I just had to to watch the film. I was about halfway in before I was like “ok, I want to see what this looks like cinematically”. Curiosity of sight got the best of me. So yeah, I didn’t know exactly how the film would end, but the story involved cancer and love, so I took a pretty good guess. But, the whole point of TFIOS isn’t about feeling sad for cancer victims though. It’s about love and what two people go through once they surprisingly find it.

I can only speak for myself, but I love romance and rom-coms. I’m a huge fan of films with Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, and Ashton Kutcher. I love watching TV shows with a really great couple and their moments always has a bad ass soundtrack. Lately though, I have had a hard time getting into modern romance films like The Vow. I really hated that movie. I don’t think it gave that couple’s story justice. Maybe it was chemistry of the actors. Or the script. I don’t know. I honestly just couldn’t ‘feel it’. Anyway, after several modern romance films, I gave up and decided that my generation was doomed in the romance department…at least on film.

Then comes The Fault In Our Stars…

I think the hook of the film (and the book) got me interested. The love story is from the perspective of two people dealing with something that I couldn’t imagine going through and I have nothing but love and respect for those having to go through it and go through it gracefully. Life’s a bitch sometimes and cancer is one of its hired henchmen. One of my aunts and one of my uncles passed away from cancer and it took a toll on my family. So right away into the book I was curious to read a personal perspective on living life with cancer.

What I enjoyed about Grace and Augustus was their appreciation for literature (Grace) and video games (Augustus). Even living life without an illness, I find that getting lost in some kind of story helps grasp your own perspective on life itself. I guess it was a meta-kind of way of looking at the story, because that was why I was reading it and soon to be watching it.

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort really brought a nice maturity on screen. I love my teen dramas, but I really wanted to see something that could be REAL and I think they were successful at bringing a realness to the story. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. And Laura Dern as Mrs. Lancaster…wow, she was amazing. She didn’t have to speak much for me to feel the emotion. Her facial expressions and overall demeanor contributed a lot to the story. She is one reasons why I loved Jurassic Park as a kid. She just has one of those faces. (Kind of like Jewel Staite in Firefly and Rosamund Pike in Pride and  Prejudice). A face that says sadness and kindness…

I’m sort of cynical about love in life and finding a soulmate. Personally for me, time would have to stop and some sort of weird flux in gravity would have to pull me toward a person for me to even insist that they were my soulmate (This is one reason why I love the film Big Fish). Yes, I know sounds very unrealistic, but I think it has to be for it to be real. I take love very seriously and a lot of movies and TV shows fail to make me believe it, but this movie made me believe it and in it. I really think it was the chemistry of the actors. Their acting wasn’t perfect, but I absolutely did not want to leave the theater and I did not roll my eyes once while watching. I was hooked and got butterflies when they were together.

Anyways, this post is becoming way too long and I just wanted to say in so many words that I liked the film. I need to finish the book now, because I’m sure there are moments that will reach out to me more and things will be more detailed and defined. Hollywood always leaves a huge chunk out, ya know. I say this as someone who loves movies and TV and has studied the art of filmmaking.

All in all, I say watch the movie if you love romance movies or just love movies.

‘Til next time…

Music: “Night Birds” by Ryan Adams

You know something guys, I really love Ryan Adams’ music. I love his very laid-back, soothing, walking-down-the-street-seeing-nothing-but-city-lights sound. His music really makes me feel calm and reflective. It’s strange because when I read articles about his live performances, people are spitting close to calling him a jerk. Well, some of them actually call him a jerk. I honestly think these articles are based on his earlier performances. Ryan has been around for a long time (he used to be a part of the band, The Cardinals) and you know, sometimes musicians have to go through some things for their music to be so honest and soulful. I mean that’s the age old saying right? Drugs, Sex, and Rock ‘n Roll…

Well, I judge music based on what I feel when listening to it and it’s critical that I feel the artist’s soul. I know, that sounds totally cliche. Think about it though, what is music for? What does an artist get from making music? I’m talking a real musician. Why the drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll? No, I’m not appreciating or supporting the use of drugs and overuse of sex as a means to make real music. I’m saying that the music comes from emotion. Powerful stuff. Maybe I’m not making any sense, but in essence, I’m saying maybe Ryan Adams’ jerk-like behavior (according to some music journalists) came from a selfishness that comes with having to fight with one-self  and others to share beautiful music with thousands (maybe millions) of people. I think music is suppose to come from the soul and finding it and performing it isn’t always going to be pretty (I’ll talk about this more with a later entry on Cat Power). From what I’ve read lately though, Ryan is doing quite good. I really want to see him play live someday. I really need to catch up on his newer music.

The main purpose of this blog though is to talk about the song, “Night Birds”. The song is one of many of my favorite Ryan Adams songs. It’s off the album 29 (2005). The song makes me feel like I’m on a beach at night and the waves are crashing. It’s amazing. The song has a bit of eeriness as well with the overlapping of “…into the ocean” towards the end of the track. I can sleep to the song too, which means a lot to me. I hate to have my sleep disrupted and this song definitely keeps me dreaming. The song is just great stuff. Very soothing. Don’t just take my word though, listen to it. If you’ve heard it before, let me know what you think. This won’t be the only time I talk about Ryan Adams so look forward to knowing what I think about some of his other music.

‘Til next time…