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I’m a Punk: My Emo Album

So a while ago I wrote a blog about my Nostalgia Album called “Crazy Happy Nonsense”, the album of nostalgic songs that I would do covers of if I was, you know, a singer and someone asked me to do a personally nostalgic album. Well, I’ve had multiple other “albums” or themed playlists I’ve been working on, but this one was the one I finished next.

When I say this is my “Emo Album”, I think of the overly dramatic and “woe is me” songs, either full of self-pity, doom and gloom or just kind of making fun of sad things in life. Not all of these songs fit the “Emo” category perfectly; some of them are more pretty than funny, and I have a few reverse Emo songs to bring some cheerfulness into the doom and gloom attitude. But this might very well be a playlist that I would enjoy listening to if I wanted to feel sorry for myself while keeping myself from getting too depressed at the same time. This album is titled “I’m a Punk”.

1. Close Every Door (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)
This was clearly one of the obvious choices for my emo album. While Joseph definitely has a good reason to be as sad and discouraged as he is, this has great dramatic lyrics full of angst and woe. This is one of those songs that I can sing both in a sad way and in a “having fun with the drama” way. I figured this was a good one to start the album with; jump right into that emotion!

I do not matter, I’m only one person
Destroy me completely, then throw me away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N5NccUC-CE

(I don’t know what the Swiss Army Knife is doing on the screen)

2. I’m a Punk (The Cat in the Hat cartoon)
This is the title song mostly because it’s the personification of the overdramatic emo to me. If ever I’m feeling down on myself and thinking that no one likes me, I  can express my insecurity through song at the same time as I’m reminding myself how silly my fears are. How can you not laugh at yourself when you’re singing lines like “I’m untouchable unless you wear antiseptical gloves”?

I’m a punk; a kratunkulous schnunk
Nobody loves me, not one tiny hunk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X70iQVdvfg

3. All Alone in the World (Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol)
Mom used to sing this depressing song to us kids, and then a year or two ago we finally decided to watch the Mr. Magoo cartoon. This song is one of those super sad ones that has a lot of emo lyrics for a kids’ show, hehe, but it always makes me giggle. Clearly it belongs in this album.

A hand for each hand was planned for the world
Why don’t my fingers reach?

 

4. I’m So Blue (Madame Blueberry)
When I remembered that this song existed, this had to go on the list of options. I was actually debating between this and “Pizza Angel”, which has more drama, but I personally like this one more. Sometimes you just gotta whine and boo-hoo-hoo the blues.

I really can’t stand it, I think I might die
Now where is that hanky? I’m going to cry!

5. All for the Best (Godspell)
And here we have a bit of an optimistic song! While it is directed at people who are feeling very emo, it has the positive attitude of “hey, it’s all for the best, so don’t be too distressed”. I wanted to put a few “reverse emo” songs in this album in order to help lighten it up, and to remember that you can still sing about how your temples are graying and teeth are decaying and yet have a positive outlook. 🙂

Your mood and your robe are both a deep blue
You bet that Job had nothing on you

6. Adelaide’s Lament (Guys and Dolls)
I wanted to have something about being single in the list (though this song just means it in the legal sense) because that’s one of the biggest issues of angst in society, right? I was also considering several other sad love songs, but this one has the word “lament” in it and has far more drama than just sadness.

From lack of community property and a feeling she’s getting too old
A person can develop a bad, bad cold

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNuLf17xuVw

7. Happy Happy Happy
I recently discovered this song on my MP3 player by Groovelily and actually listened to the lyrics, and while the emotion in this song is more anger than sadness, it’s still full of lyrical self-pity. I like the way that the music becomes more angsty as he sings about how unfair life is for him, and then instantly switches to the gentle ukelele when he’s telling his friend how happy he is for him. Groovelily is great at making the words and music do exactly what they want it to, and this is a fun example of that.

But still, I’m simultaneously wishing you were dead and feeling
Happy, happy, happy, happy for you

8. Not in Nottingham
I wanted to make sure I included a sad Disney song, and this is one of my favorite overlooked ones. It’s very short, and this song is less “emo” because their sorrow is not more than what should be felt according to their situation. But it does have a very melancholy tone with some “things’ll never get better in THIS town” kind of lines, so I wanted to include it.

Can’t you see the tears we’re crying?
Can’t there be some happiness for me?

9. Oh, My God (Jars of Clay)
I recently discovered this song, and while I don’t know what it’s talking about entirely, I’m fascinated by it! I think it’s about the depravity of the world and the sovereignty of God. But it’s mostly about the depravity of the world. It has haunting lyrics, and I wanted to include a dark Christian song in this list, and as soon as I thought of this I figured it was the perfect candidate. 🙂

All the cries of thirsty children – this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers – this is our greatest offense

10. Agony (Into the Woods)
I was needing one more love song for my emo album, but I couldn’t come up with a good one… until I remembered Agony. This fabulously encompasses the drama that is often associated with emo, and while the characters singing it are clearly not insecure about themselves, their competitive misery is a great lament about the tortures of unreachable love.

Agony! Far more painful than yours!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVEG6oEb6rw

10. Mad World
This is another song that I don’t think I entirely understand, but it’s one of the saddest sounding songs I know, with dramatically-written, melancholy lyrics. It seemed like an obvious choice when it comes to “emo”, and I wanted to include a bit of a modern song. It’s a bit overplayed maybe, but the haunting tone works great for this album.

Hide my head, I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXGBWQdHsyQ

 

12. How Lucky You Are (Seussical)
And now it’s time to jump into something slightly more cheerful after some majorly heavy songs! It’s time to remind yourself that, even though the world is mad and depraved, and even if your world is literally tilting upside down, you haven’t died yet, so you’re pretty stinkin’ lucky! But yes, your world is literally spinning. But you’re still lucky!

And if worse comes to worse, as we all know it will
Thank your lucky star you’ve gotten this far

13. Still Small Hours (Sleeping Beauty Wakes)
I wanted to throw another category in here to be emo about, and what better topic than insomnia? It’s not a pleasant song to listen to, but its lyrics nicely capture the distress of lying awake throughout the night, and the music gets good and frantic in an anxious way during the bridge of the song. (There’s no video but you can listen to it on their site through the link.)

All the horror, all the dread, just restore me to my bed
At least then I could sleep while I scream

http://groovelily.bandcamp.com/track/still-small-hours

14. Larry Sings the Blues
And finally, I wanted to end the album on a semi-happy note, so I figured this “anti Blues” song was a good way to complete my album. The ever-cheerful Larry just does not sing the Blues very well, despite Lemon Lincoln’s attempts at teaching him the point of it. So, on this note, while it’s fun to occasionally lament dramatically, remember what Larry knows: you can always find joy!

My cookies and ice cream, they both gone away
But that don’t bother me none!

 


My Five Woody Allen Movies of April

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Hannah had a great discussion with Wax Woody Allen in this picture.

(Well I’m reviewing these all at once because I forgot to review them as I watched. I usually have to wait a few days, at least, in order to see how a movie settles with me, but writing them all together may mean that they get kind of combined in my head. But I’ll do my best.)

Hannah loves Woody Allen, my mom hates him because he’s too dark, Dad doesn’t like his comedic timing as an actor but enjoys his stories, and I think Elizabeth likes him fairly well, so I was interested to see where I would come out on the subject. The only one I’d see before was Midnight in Paris, which I liked and is the only one my Mom likes. So, here are my 5 Woody Allen movies that my sister, Hannah, gave me in April.

 

Annie Hall

This was a good story, and probably one of the top of the week. I thought both Allen and Diane Keaton did a great job, and I enjoyed the format of the story; the way that Woody Allen’s character kept talking to the people around him and you could see into his head.

My older sister loves this movie, and so I think I was expecting to be a little more emotionally moved by it than I was. It might’ve been that for her, this was one of the first movies where she’d seen a good representation of a realistic relationship ending, but ending well. This didn’t feel like the only movie I’ve seen that’s done that (though I can’t think of any other examples) so I think it just didn’t connect with me as strongly as it did for her. But I thought it was very well done, it entertained me along the way, and I cared about the characters. It was a solid one.

 

The Purple Rose of Cairo

I had no clue what this one was about, and as soon as the major thing happened that made this movie what it was, I was like, “What? It’s THIS kind of movie?” The story gripped me quickly, and I very much wanted everybody to do well. The main guy was so charming! It was a great story that blended fantasy and reality beautifully, with moments of whimsy alongside the mundane. I was warned ahead of time that it ended sadly, so I was prepared for that and ok with how they did it by the time the ending came. It was definitely sad, but not necessarily hopeless. This one definitely entertained me and drew me in.

 

Take the Money and Run

The second one starring Woody Allen (see how nice my pattern was? He starred in every other movie) started off setting the tone right away, with its documentarial narration filled with zany silliness and morbid humor. It had me giggling all along the way, even for the jokes that didn’t make sense (him being a rabbi as a drug side effect made me laugh out loud even though it was nonsensical), and the movie kept its tone throughout the whole thing. It was surreal and making fun of itself, and while there clearly wasn’t a lot of depth to it, it was definitely a fun one to watch.

 

Bullets Over Broadway

“Yay John Cusack!” I’m pretty sure that’s what I said when I saw that he was in it. Anyway, this one was the most NORMAL feeling movie of the month; the one with the least amount of weird reality dimensions playing throughout. I liked this one pretty well, too, though I remember having some negative emotions towards it after finishing it; I can’t remember what they were now. The movie took an unexpected turn through the middle, which amused me, and I think when it climaxed that it resolved itself quickly but efficiently by the end. I remember being a bit worried that it wouldn’t end well, but overall I was satisfied. (Though I found it quite annoying when the lady kept going “don’t speak” and clamping her hand over his mouth constantly.)

 

Mighty Aphrodite

This one was a mix for me, because it had some very sweet moments, but it also had many more explicit innuendos (not surprising, considering the story) which I never enjoy, and the weird-reality-dimension-narration in this one was… odd. Maybe if I understood anything about whatever mythology they were talking about and how it connected to the story, it would make more sense and feel less out of place. So I just ignored it and assumed I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to get it. But despite those aspects, I did think it was a sweet movie and it had characters I rooted strongly for. (Also, Little Red Riding Hood from the recorded stageplay of Into the Woods with Bernadette Peters was in it, and I was very excited when I recognized her.)

PUTTING THEM IN ORDER
5. Mighty Aphrodite (sweet story but had several things I disliked)

4. Bullets Over Broadway (solid story and characters but I had conflicting emotions; maybe that would change on a rewatch)

3. Take the Money and Run (a solid silly one that was great fun)

2. Annie Hall (a very good story that I expected to like more than I did)

1. The Purple Rose of Cairo (the one that I was most connected to emotionally)

That was almost the exact reverse order of how I watched them! 🙂 Overall, I think Woody Allen has some great concepts and executions of stories, and while I’m a sucker for happy endings and his aren’t always happy, I love how he throws surreal atmosphere throughout the movies; it keeps them interesting, and I think he does a good job of the ending matching the tone of the story.

Next time… Elizabeth’s pick of 5 Best Picture Winners!


My Five Brad Pitt Movies of March

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Elizabeth actually got a picture with him last year! (Well, with his wax figure self.)

Well, I watched 10 new romances in February, so I’m continuing the movie-watching pattern! With the help of my family, I’ll be choosing a different category each month (by genre, by actor/director, year, etc.) and watching 5 movies in that category that I haven’t seen. Most of the movies are recommended by my sisters Elizabeth and Hannah, and this month was Elizabeth’s doing, as she loves Brad Pitt. I had already seen Ocean’s Eleven and Mr. and Mrs Smith, his best in her opinion, and so these were her next choices. Enjoy!


MEET JOE BLACK
I was told that this movie was silly… and it was definitely odd. It was one of those things where I could never predict what was gonna happen so it just kept doing things I didn’t expect. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. At first it was fun and felt like it was making fun of itself, but then it got all serious, which threw me off. I giggled everytime Brad Pitt did his Jamaican accent. Anyway, I guess it was sweet, but it was definitely a weird movie, and way too long. But it was a nice try.

(*SPOILERS* Also… did they EVER give a reason why Anthony was gonna die? I mean, he just believed him and walked off into the distance! Did he keel over out there? Did death just decide they didn’t want him to live anymore and manipulated him into following him? Were they just trying to be mystically “your time has come” without any physiological reason for his body to give out? I don’t get it! *SPOILERS*)


MONEYBALL
I’m never particularly interested in sports movies, but I don’t hate them either, they just tend to blur together (stand-outs being Remember the Titans and The Blind Side). However, this was a good one. The plot of them trying to switch up the structure and strategy of the team was more interesting than just “c’mon guys, we gotta train and be inspirational!”. (Though I might’ve enjoyed it even more if I had ANY idea how the structure of baseball worked.)

I really enjoyed the friendship between Brad and Jonah. It was sweet and fun to watch, and we all cheered when he first hired him. (Also, Chris Pratt! :-D) I also kind of liked that they didn’t have a triumphant final win, just because all the movies do. (Though that makes me sound like a terrible person.) Anyway, I enjoyed the watch and though I may not remember it a whole lot, it was a good movie.


FIGHT CLUB
*SPOILERS*
I was quite intrigued by this movie. The first half of the movie had me cracking up, with the support groups and his deals with Marla. Then I was just along for the ride with Ed and Brad, trying to figure out where this was heading but compelled all the way. I guessed the twist at one point (when Ed said something about “we” and Marla said “who’s we?”) but then wrote it off as silly because, of course, people SAW them fighting! But then, it turns out I was right and he was just completely insane! So that was fun.

I’m not quite sure if I bought the ending, at least not right away. Why didn’t Ed die and why did she go back to him so quickly just because he said he beat himself up? But I talked it over with people and I’m pretty sure the gun was fake, and I’m guessing that if I hadn’t watched an edited version (which took out a lot of Marla’s plotline) that her choice would make more sense. All in all, a fascinating movie that was entertaining to watch with a fairly satisfying ending! *END SPOILERS*


TWELVE MONKEYS
Now THIS, on the other hand, was frustrating to watch because I always felt like I was about to figure out what was going on but it never quite got there for me. I was mentally trying to rush to the end just because I thought maybe with the whole picture I could understand it, but I still didn’t. (*SPOILERS*) Why was his child self there at the airport? Why did the scientists send him back in the first place if they were the ones responsible for the virus? Why didn’t the police run after the guy that they were claiming had a deadly virus? *END (SPOILERS*)

It was mostly Bruce Willis, but Brad Pitt was entertaining to watch in his manic state of insanity. It kept my interest but I would have LIKED it a lot more if there was some sense of satisfaction in comprehending the point of the movie. Oh well.


SPY GAME
I get Redford and Pitt mixed up sometimes because they often play similar characters, and they have similar faces, (though Pitt’s voice is lispier and higher than Redford’s) so it was fun to see them both in the same movie. I think I was generally more interested in the “present day” storyline than the back-story (sorry Brad, since you were mostly IN the back-story) but I did like it the whole way through. I thought it was interesting and well-done, and I thought they both did a good job. I liked watching the two of them together. I might’ve felt the ending for Redford was a little too ambiguous for my taste, but all in all I thoroughly enjoyed this one.


RANKING THEM IN ORDER

1. Fight Club (Most fascinating)

2. Spy Game (Solid and entertaining)

3. Moneyball (Forgettable but good story and characters)

4. Meet Joe Black (Strange, discombobulated, long but made me giggle)

5. Twelve Monkeys (Frustrating to watch, unsatisfying ending, really wanted to get it but didn’t, unpleasant visually)


Join me next month as I discuss my 5 Woody Allen movies I’ll be watching in April! 😀


My Ten Romances of February 2015

So last month I watched 10 romances that I had never seen before. Most of them were watched in the very last week of the month, hehe, but I did it! I originally had Juno, Once and Shop Around the Corner on my list but switched them out for the last three because they were easier to find. So here are my reviews and various thoughts! But first, disclaimers:

  1. I didn’t bother putting “spoiler” in front of any give-away opinions, so if you haven’t seen the movie and plan to, don’t read the review.
  1. Though I made it through all of the movies, there was definitely a lot of sexual stuff in the majority of them, whether it was in the form of innuendos or inappropriate scenes. However, because none of them were stand-alone in this issue, I didn’t bring it up in any individual review, so take any recommendations with a grain of salt because there are definitely scenes I skipped and would recommend skipping.

 

 

GONE WITH THE WIND

I was warned by my sister, “This movie is super long, and both of the main characters are terrible people”, so I wasn’t taken surprise by the length, or the anti-love theme. While the romance in this isn’t a great example of what love looks like (except for Melanie, who is of course the only good character in the movie) I think it was actually an interesting look at how Scarlett’s selfishness brought her misery all her life. She was a fairly interesting character when she wasn’t constantly whining, and the first half of the movie really helped to set up why she became who she did. The visuals and music were very good, and everyone did a great acting job, so I can see why it won all those awards. (Also, I always thought that the famous line was, like, the ENDING ending of the movie, so it was nice to have that extra 30 seconds that gave her a little bit of hope. It made it feel slightly less depressing than I expected.)

 

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO

I was also warned about the length of this one. “It’s long and depressing and full of people looking at the snow and talking about the cold.” Despite how true that is, it was still an interesting movie. I thought that Yuri was very sweet. But I was a bit more bothered by the infidelity in this than in Gone With the Wind. I think that’s because it felt less negative because both of the characters were “good people”. It was kind of like, “it’s war times, we’re in trouble, so we are justified in grabbing our few moments of happiness we can get”. And I was sad he never went and looked for his family. Overall, though it was fairly boring, it was artistically pretty.

 

SAY ANYTHING

All I knew about this movie was the visual with the boombox, which is a fun visual that has very little significance in the actual movie. John Cusack is super cute as a teenager, but then I’ve always liked him as an actor. Anyway, I liked the movie. The story was enjoyable, as well as the two main characters and their development. There’s nothing about it that quite stood out to me as amazing, but it was a good watch and had some very sweet moments.

 

SIXTEEN CANDLES

I enjoyed this one, too. It was sweeter than I thought it would turn out to be going into it, and it had a fairly satisfactory ending. I thought the scenes with Samantha and her Dad were really sweet, and I was glad that she had someone who knew about her life by the end. I also really thought she was gonna get together with Anthony Michael Hall, so the ending wasn’t something I would’ve guessed early on. But I liked it.

 

THE NOTEBOOK

This one wasn’t bad. I thought the opening scene with the music and the boat on the water was really pretty, but I thought the opening scene with Ryan meeting Rachel was really annoying. As a whole, though, I enjoyed it but wouldn’t rave about it. I didn’t particularly like either character but it worked with what they were trying to do; the fact that they acknowledged that they fought all the time and that it would be hard was better than just ignoring it and pretending that their relationship was wonderful. I really liked James Marsden’s character. The scenes at the end of their life were sappy but sweet. I can see why people like it, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite.

 

TITANIC

I did not expect to like this one this much. The visuals were amazing, the love story was very sweet and believable, and the music made me cry at the end. I was expecting this to be much more cliché and “our love can get us through anything”, but it really wasn’t. This love story of two people meeting and really having an honest connection and impact on each other was very moving. (Plus the infidelity wasn’t as bad because they didn’t actually do anything until after she left the break-up note.) Glad I finally watched this, and I’m glad I liked it. Leo’s character was great, and Kate was very good, too. Very sweet and well done.

 

A WALK TO REMEMBER

When I was a teen, I got this movie mixed up with “Gone With the Wind” because they were both romances that girls said they loved, with 4 words in the title, one with a W, and neither of them I knew anything about. But the stories are SO different. It was a sweet one, but I didn’t get into it the first half. I felt like her character was awkward and weird; not necessarily as a teenager who is awkward, but as a character that I didn’t get what she was trying to do. Maybe I just didn’t like the acting. But the movie grew on me as I watched it. I think I liked the guy character, and it was a fairly sweet story. But I don’t have a lot else that particularly impressed me about this one.

 

THE LUCKY ONE

This is the Nicholas Sparks story movie that I liked the best so far. Maybe it’s just that I like Zac Efron, hehe. His expressions when he was trying to win the chess game cracked me up so much. But I liked the characters in this better than in some of the other movies, and it felt like a steadier romance, as well as story. The kid was cute, and I liked the way they slowly built up the relationships between all of them. While not something I would rave about, I thoroughly enjoyed the watch.

 

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

The first half of this movie was so lovely, and so charming, and I instantly fell in love with the characters. Guido was great, and his steady cheerfulness and trying to keep his son from terror throughout the entire last half of the movie was very touching; the last scene of him, when he walks funny to his death just so that his son will laugh…. ah man, I wanted so badly for things to come out ok for this family. And when the boy finally saw his mother at the end, I burst into tears. I knew going into it that this was “a sad movie that I might not like”, so I expected somebody to die and hoped not all of them would, so the ending gave me hope enough to like the movie. If I had had different expectations my emotional reaction might have been very different. Either way it had beautiful characters and was very well done.

 

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

I liked this movie, though not as much as I expected to. I wouldn’t have pegged it for a Best Picture winner, but it definitely had good acting and a good story. Everyone did a very good job and it was fun and sweet and very poetic. I might have gotten into it more had I known more about Shakespeare. There were possibly references that went right over my head due to my lack of expertise. But otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the watch and thought it was fun, well-done and satisfying.

 

 

THINGS I LEARNED FROM THESE ROMANCES:

  1. You will always be happier with a poor guy, because 9 times out of 10 rich guys are jerks
  2. Parents don’t know anything about your love life. Exceptions: if they forget your birthday, if they wish they had married their poor guy, if they’re your grandma
  3. There’s a 30% chance that one of you will die not too long after you get together
  4. Art is a good way to get someone to like you: try learning to draw, write poetry, sing or play an instrument

 

RANDOM AWARDS!

A Walk to Remember: The only movie where the girl had strict physical boundaries and the guy respected them

Shakespeare in Love: The only movie where the girl actually ends up staying with the rich guy she doesn’t like

Gone With the Wind: The best negative portrayal of infidelity and how destruction follows selfishness and jealousy within relationships

The Notebook: The one movie when the rich guy was not a jerk

 

MY ORDER BY PAIRS:

-Least Favorite Movies: A Walk to Remember, Doctor Zhivago

-Least Favorites Characters: Gone With the Wind, The Notebook

-Can’t Differentiate Them In My Head: Sixteen Candles, Say Anything

-I Liked Watching: The Lucky One, Shakespeare in Love

-Favorites: Life is Beautiful, Titanic


The Heaven Songs of Chris Rice

Well, as most of you know, I love Chris Rice’s music. 😀  And so I decided to do a blog on his “Heaven” songs. He sprinkles the theme of Heaven throughout a lot of his music, but there are a few that are specifically Heaven-Centered, and I think he does them beautifully. So here are my top Heaven-Centered Chris Rice songs, and why I like them.

 

Missin’ You
One of his earliest songs I listened to, this one originally stuck out to me when I was a teenager. It’s a beautiful melancholy tune about missing Jesus, even though we’ve never met Him. It’s full of longing, and it was a song that I really connected to emotionally. I have a soft spot for the songs that are just “oh Jesus, I want to see You so badly!” And this one does it beautifully.

‘Cause somewhere behind those stars
Is Someone who belongs to me
And I know in my deepest heart
There’s a place for You until I find the place You’ve made for me
Still I’m missin’ You

 

Smile
This is one that I liked relatively well at first, but on multiple listens has become one of my favorites of his. It’s the perfect way to describe the desire to someday get to Heaven and see Jesus. It’s basically the more cheerful version of Missin’ You, and actually uses some of the lyrics from the former song as background words, which is just perfect. Smile has a nice tune, honest words and make for a great worship song.

I just want to be with You
I just want this waiting to be over…
Every minute takes an hour
Every inch feels like a mile
‘Til I won’t have to imagine
And I finally get to see you smile.

 

Questions for Heaven
While this song may not exactly be deep, it’s fun. It’s a short little song about going through your day and collecting questions you would ask Jesus when you get to Heaven. While the carnival-esque music in this one isn’t my favorite, the lyrics are quite fun. (I’ve also caught 4 lyrical references to other songs of his in this one, which I hope was intentional.)

Why did You bother with so many stars?
Do You ever play tricks on the angels?
And what happened to all of those dinosaurs?
Where’s the Garden of Eden?
And what causes de ja vu?

 

Breakfast Table
This is a song that I more recently discovered and got into. This is a Heaven song/Love song. It’s about a guy who’s spouse has died, and he’s imagining their reunion in Heaven. It’s a very pretty description of just enjoying life in Heaven with someone you love, and whether or not it’s theologically accurate doesn’t change the sweetness of the song.

Save me a seat at the breakfast table
Save me a dance around the milky way…
And, baby, we’ll change our minds just like old times
And maybe we’ll just fly away
Or maybe we’ll stay

 

Circle Up
This song is one of the few of his that is actually about BEING in Heaven. It’s a lovely song with a cheerful tune about dancing with the angels and Jesus as you worship. This is one of my family’s favorites, and it doesn’t have any trace of melancholy in it, though the music is mellow, as always. You can’t help but smile when you listen to it.

Circle up, circle up around the throne
Old and young, saints of every history
Great and small angels are and seraphim
Grab a hand, twirl a dance, circle up and worship Him

 

Deep Enough to Dream
And finally, one of my very favorite songs of his. This was one of the first songs of Chris Rice that I discovered, and I loved it instantly. It’s a mellow, sweet song about a guy falling asleep and dreaming about Heaven. The sleepy melody and beautifully contented lyrics are a brilliant combination.

Deep enough to dream in brilliant colors I have never seen
Deep enough to join a million people for a wedding feast
Deep enough to reach out and touch the face of the one who made me
And oh the love I feel and oh the peace
Do I ever have to wake up?

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

And Your Praise Goes On/Come to Jesus: While these aren’t strictly Heaven songs, they both have storytelling lyrics that end in Heaven. Both beautiful, and the former is another one of my favorites.

O Freedom: I didn’t include this because it’s not an original, but it’s still a super pleasant version and fun to sing.

Wind and Spirit: This is more about God coming back to earth instead of us ascending into Heaven. But I really like this one.

Sneakin’ Into Heaven: This one is a little story about someone who sneaks into Heaven “with a borrowed halo”. Not one of my favorites, but it has Heaven in the title, so I had to at least mention it.

Baby Take Your Bow: This is more of a funeral “we’re saying goodbye to you” song than about Heaven, but it does have the lyric “just be yourself and you won’t help but make the angels smile”.


My Pride and Prejudice Spree

Best Old BookSo earlier this year I listened all the way through Pride and Prejudice on my MP3 player during work. That made me want to rewatch my favorite version, the BBC 6 hour show with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle… which made me rewatch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries… which made me go on a Pride and Prejudice spree with 4 other versions! 🙂 So here are my reviews of all the versions I have seen.

 

Pride and Prejudice (BBC TV Mini-Series, 1995, starring Jennifer Ehle)– I grew up watching this version, and so I think it’ll always be my favorite. Watching it this time, Elizabeth Megill and I quoted along with it almost the whole way through. I think Colin Firth does my very favorite Darcy. Maybe it’s because I just like him as an actor or because he was my first model, but I think he does the changeover from Proud Darcy to Trying-to-be-Humble-and-Friendly Darcy the best of any I’ve seen. The fact that they also had 6 hours to show the characters more in-depth also helps.

Colin 2

My favorite version!

This version is very close to the book, with very little, if any, changes to the feel of it. The theme stays true, the characters are all done well, and I really like this Elizabeth. She plays the fun-loving Lizzie who likes to laugh with the equal balance of respectable intelligence; and I think her flaws are portrayed subtly but realistically. Again, I grew up watching this one, so I have great fondness and affection for it.

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (Pemberly Digital, YouTube series, starring Ashley Clements)- This internet VLOG series is a modern adaptation of P&P, with some extreme switch-ups in the storyline. While they had to change circumstances and characters’ reactions due to the vast change in culture, I think they did a great job of staying true to the characters. The most onscreen characters are Lizzie, Jane, Lydia and Charlotte, and so the creators added a lot of new depth to Charlotte and Lydia. I mean, there WASN’T a whole lot of depth to Lydia in the book, which was the point, but I think this adaptation does some very interesting things with her character. But I won’t spoil Lizzie bennetanything else.

While the Lizzie and Darcy romance always has its cuteness and delight, I’m not as big a fan of this Darcy. I don’t think that his stilted behavior feels like it quite fits into the modern setting the way that everybody else does. Don’t get me wrong, he does a good job, but I still feel like he’s incredibly stiff by the end of the show. I hoped with a second viewing that I would feel a bit more connected to his character, but I still can’t quite get it. But that’s ok; it’s hard to do Darcy right, and I think Colin Firth’s is the only one I’ve really liked so far. And that’s only with a LOT of viewing.

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Bride and Prejudice (2004, Bollywood Musical, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan)– This is another modernized version, but set in India and is a partial musical. (It has at least 3, maybe 4, song and dance scenes, which are all quite fun.) I saw it once long ago and then rewatched it for this challenge. It’s fun. The characters ring pretty true, and the songs and culture was enjoyable to watch. I like seeing their new takes on this story, and while it wasn’t superbly memorable, it was a pleasant watch. The modernization of Darcy is done differently than in the Lizzie Bennet diaries; the internet dude uses old-fashioned speak and is very stiff and proper, while this guy is just more of a snob who’s uncomfortable and scornful of the new culture he’s in. I can’t tell which is better, but they both have their different takes, which is fun for comparison.

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Pride and Prejudice (2005, starring Keira Knightly)- This will probably always be one of my least favorite versions. I know lots of people like it, and that’s fine. I appreciate it better on this rewatch than when I first saw it. It has some cool visual moments (the dance scene and the long shot with her on the mountain are my 2 favorites) and the music is very pretty. However, the colors and the look are all kind of ugly. Maybe it’s more realistic, but it doesn’t look very elegant; mostly everyone and everything just kind of looks unattractive. But I’m spoiled with the gaily colored BBC version I guess. 🙂

Keira

Most people’s favorite.

Darcy’s… Darcy. Unsmiling (less than Colin) and fairly boring throughout. I like him when he’s vulnerable, but that’s really it. Also, while Keira tried to give Lizzie a fun-loving attitude, sometimes in this version she just feels a little immature. She giggles at odd times and says things like “(dancing with him) would be most inconvenient since I’ve sworn to loathe him for all eternity”. It feels just a little sillier than how I perceive her character. Oh, and Bingly looks and acts like a complete dork in this version!

Lastly, this version is clearly implying that Lizzie is attracted to Darcy from the start but that she is trying to shove down her feelings because she’s prejudiced. (They almost kiss right after she rejects his proposal! That’s not Lizzie, that’s emotionally-charged-modern-romance-movies.) While this is their interpretation of the story, and I guess I can’t object to them taking liberties to create their adapted version, I personally prefer the story that doesn’t say you have to secretly be in love with someone because you hate them. I am sorry about my harshness for anybody who likes this version. 🙂

Pride and Prejudice (BBC TV Mini-Series,1980, starring Elizabeth Garvie)- This was a decent version, with good acting, characters that were true and dialogue very consistent with the book. The plus about these mini-series’ is that you have the time to delve into the thoughts of the characters as they transition, more so than in a 120 minute movie.

The reason this adaptation is slower and more boring than the others is that it’s very visually limited and plain. It plays very little mood music throughout the movie, and they don’t go to a lot of lengths to engage you visually. The long scene where Lizzie reads Darcy’s letter consists of drawn out shots of her sitting and him walking away while his voiceover recites the letter; this is followed by a long scene of watching her sit and hearing her voiceover thoughts that she’s thinking about the letter. This kind of thing occurs frequently throughout the film, and while it gives you quite an accurate depiction of the story with decent acting, as a movie it’s not particularly engaging or exciting.

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SPOILER ALERT!!!
Lost in Austen (2008, starring Jemima Rooper)- Well. …. I can see why Elizabeth hated this. This is a story where Amanda Price, an adoring fan of the book Pride and Prejudice, ends up switching places with Elizabeth Bennett, and her presence causes chaos and mayhem. There is so much different about the plot in this one that I can’t just critique it, so for anyone who wants to know (if you don’t, STOP READING), this is the movie in a nutshell:LostAyusten

-Bingly falls for Amanda
-Collins falls for Amanda
-Bingly falls for Jane after Amanda pretends she’s a lesbian, but Jane thinks he doesn’t love her so Jane marries Collins
-Darcy hates Amanda
-Darcy falls for Amanda
-Charlotte runs off to Africa because she doesn’t have anyone to marry and is never heard from again
-Bingly gets depressed, becomes an alcoholic and ends up running off with Lydia
-Darcy won’t marry Amanda because she lived with her modern day boyfriend
-Caroline hits on Elizabeth
-Wickham actually turns out to be the victim of Georgiana, who hit on Wickham but when he wouldn’t take her up on it she slandered his name
-Jane and Collins get their marriage annulled and she and Bingly get married
-And Elizabeth stays in the modern world while Amanda and Darcy get married.

It’s a bit ridiculous. Clearly they were trying to make a fun story about what would have happened if everything went wrong, but none of the characters actually would have responded this way. Everything that makes these characters who they are was flipped around and destroyed.

However, the best part was when Darcy and Amanda both decide they love each other, and she says, “Will you do me a favor?” and the next scene you see him coming up out of the water while she watches. (Because there’s this thing in England where all the women say that the most acclaimed visual moment is watching Colin Firth as Darcy come out of the lake that he swims in. It turns out to be a visual that doesn’t actually exist. But it’s something bunches of people insist that they saw anyway.) That part was fantastic. But other than that, it was an awkward and disarrayed movie. SPOILER END

So, those are my movie reviews! …. ….
Don’t really have an outro to this blog, so I’ll just leave you with this nugget of wisdom:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”


Bamgelina’s Nostalgia Album

While my sister Hannah does blog after blog about her favorite music, movies and shows… picking any top favorites list is much harder for me. But I’ve discovered a way to do it! Sort of.

Several weeks ago I posed the question to my Dad, “If you could make an album of songs you wanted to sing, which songs would you pick?” The question intrigued me, (does that sound cocky?) and I recently decided to use that question as an inspiration for an outlet on my blog. I don’t have a voice nearly as strong as my Dad’s, so if I picked an album I could actually sing the songs to, I would be very limited. So I’m going to create a hypothetical, alter ego BAM; my singer self who can sing anything she wants! Her name is BamGelina, and she’s going to make albums in categories of what she would sing. Now, the reason this is easier for me than to just “make a list of my favorite exercise songs” is because… well, when I’m saying “These are my favorite exercise songs” I’m saying “THESE are my FAVORITE exercise songs!” It’s unnervingly definitive. But, if I just say, “These are songs that I’m picking to go on a hypothetical exercise album…”, I’m not making a definite statement about my opinions, I’m just making choices. Somehow that makes it less ominous, though it may not make sense to anyone else. (Whether it’s healthy or normal, you can talk to me about it later. 😉 ) So whether or not I keep up with this, I’m going to start with the idea in my head that started it all: the Nostalgia Album!

These songs are songs that make me think of my childhood; songs tucked away in shows, movies and other media that are really quite nice and fun. If I were to pick coverable songs from nostalgic media, what would they be? Here were my choices!

 

“That Crazy Happy Nonsense”
A Nostalgia Tribute Album by BamGelina

1. There It Is (Blues Clues)- The other day a question on Facebook was posted: “If a theme for you played every time you walked into the room, what would it be?” and this was one of my choices. Blues Big Musical is one of my guilty pleasure movies; it’s such charming fun, and this song fits my love to sing and dance. I figured my “Theme Song” would be an appropriate beginning song for my album.

 

 

2. Never Say Never (An American Tail)- I watched this a lot as a child, and I’m sure others can relate to this one. This song was actually one of the ones that gave me the idea of the Nostalgia Album. I like “Somewhere Out There” better, but that’s covered more often, so I’ll go with this one, which is also good. (“A Duo” was also in the running, but “Never Say Never” works better out of context.)

 

3. Good Morning Little One (The Nathan Tape)- This one ONLY my family will get. There was this company that made personalized tapes for your kids, and we got one for Nathan when he was really little. I’ll proudly represent the cassette tape part of my childhood with this opening song about waking up and playing “carefreely” through your house.

 

4. The Magic School Bus Theme Song- I had to do something from one of my favorite shows as a kid, and this was my first choice! This theme is great to sing along with, and I’m proud to know all the lyrics. Though this doesn’t work as well out of context, if Michael Buble can sing a jazzy version of “Spiderman”, then I can sing this one. 🙂

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5. The Neverending Story Song- As one of my most nostalgic movies, and another one that inspired the album, this song had to be included. It’s got quite a pretty melody, and has a sweet, inspirational sound. It’s just the right feel of the album: nostalgia mixed with adult quality music

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6. Stand Up (McGee and Me: Skate Expectations)- I loved McGee and Me growing up! This was my favorite episode, and I remember always thinking the song from it was really cool. I definitely needed a representative for kids Christian movies, and this fits the bill.

 

7. Hip Hip Hip Hurray (Hippoptamus) (by Mary Rice Hopkins)- We have an old video tape of MRH, who writes great children’s songs that I enjoy even as an adult. Not to mention that doing motions to songs is my thing, so I highly approve of her videos, and this song is one of the most fun. (The video is of her whole concert, but this song is the first one, about a minute it.)

 

8. Flying Dreams (credit song during The Secret of Nymh)- Here’s another Don Bluth song! I forgot that this existed, but Nathan mentioned it to me and I listened to it and thought it sounded very pretty, and definitely makes me think of this childhood movie. This also has that old-fashioned, nostalgic yet-still-adult feel to it, so it deserves a spot on my album.

 

9. The Adjective Song (Jumpstart 2nd Grade)- I loved this computer game as a kid! And even as an… older person. Lots of the songs in it were fun, but this is the one that my family and I enjoy the most. This educational tune will be quite fun for me, BamGelina, to sing on my album.

 

10. Can You Feel the Sunshine? (Sonic R)- This was a late addition, but this song is so happy-go-lucky that I couldn’t resist. This was one of the few Sonic games I ever cared about, and this hidden gem indeed deserves to be sung on my CD, as this and the one before it both represent songs from video/computer games. (They’re different feels, so it’s ok to have them side by side.)

 

11. Perfect Day (theme song for Beatrix Potter cartoons)- We have a few episodes on tape of some Beatrix Potter stories that we used to watch, and this song always plays at the end. Though I didn’t like the shows as much, this song has a very sweet and melancholy tune, and easily gets stuck in my head. It matches the feel of the album, so it gets a cover.

 

12. Sweep Up the Memories (The Cat in the Hat)- And I couldn’t go through an album of nostalgia without using a song from Cat in the Hat, one of the most nostalgic soundtracks for my family. The music for this Dr. Seuss cartoon is so silly and fun; yet this song has a very pretty, bittersweet tone to it. This one is the perfect choice to end my album with, since it’s talking about saying goodbye to the fun nonsense and memories of childhood.


A Blog About Videos (Not a Video Blog)

So the past few days this week, I have spent WAAAY too much time watching YouTube videos. I watched a Blimey Cow video that someone had posted on Facebook, and when it ended, I found another one to watch, and another one, and another one, until I have now seen almost all of them! 🙂 Then I moved on to watching Emma Approved, a video series my sister Elizabeth has been keeping up with. Basically, I’ve gone a bit nuts with them lately.

So guess what? I’m gonna post 2 videos from each of my 4 favorite YouTube channels! These are pretty much the only 4 I’ve ever actively watched, so here’s a little taste of it for you. Enjoy!

 

1. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Elizabeth introduced me to this last summer. It’s a video blog series by these guys called Pemberly Digital, and they made 100 episodes of a modernized Pride and Prejudice. I’ve seen the first 4th or so of it, and I saw the ending, but I somehow missed some bits in the middle. I’ma go back and rewatch them now that I finished the other channels.

Lizzie Bennet is an independent and sarcastic girl who’s trying to figure out her life in her college-aged years, and she and her friend Charlotte are making a video documentary on her life. For those who know Pride and Prejudice, it’s lots of fun to see how they interpret the characters in different and unique ways, as well as the situations. Since the social norms in the books are not the same as they are today, Pemberly Digital changes the plot up with equivalent situations. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun. I posted the very first episode, and then one of my favorites when you see “Bing Lee” and Jane interact for the first time.

(In this one, Jane and Lizzie are living at Netherfield for a little while due to their house being remodeled, and this is the first time we see the famous Bing Lee. 🙂 )

 

2. Kid Snippets

Ok, ok, I know I posted a bunch of these videos a couple of weeks ago. But I figured I’d reiterate it in this blog. I didn’t go through and watch them all in order, but I did spend a good day or two watching through as many of the videos as I could. They’re not all great, but occasionally you get the gems such as the first one I ever saw, and then this second video that just makes me laugh from its utter cuteness.

 

3. Emma Approved

The Emma version of the Lizzie Bennet diaries! They only have 48 videos up so far, and I watched them ALL yesterday. Emma Woodhouse is making a documentary of her business in helping people, with Harriet as her assistant and “Alex Knightly” as her business partner (eventually to be marriage partner, of course. 😀 ) Again, Pemberly Digital does a very interesting job of transferring the written characters into modern day folk, and I think they do it rather well. I hope they do Sense and Sensibility when they’re done with Emma Approved.

(This is after one of her latest “Making Your Life Better” projects, when she saved the marriage of Annie and Ryan. Now she’s off to find someone for Harriet. In this episode you get to see Elton for the first time, as well as get a glimpse of Harriet.)

 

4. Blimey Cow, Messy Mondays

Most people know about Blimey Cow. Jordan Taylor, his brother Josh, sister-in-law Kelly and other random folks create a video each Monday that has Jordan ranting so sarcastically about things he feels passionate about, or giving tips on how people can relate to one another. He just finished college, used to be homeschooled and is a Christian, so many of his videos have to do with those topics. He also rants about technology, spelling, politics, the media, and more. His over-the-top skits that break up his videos are cheesy but they make me giggle a lot, and Big Head Kid is just silly but so much fun.

The first video about Link Bait made me laugh because it’s SO TRUE, and in the second one he makes some good points about knee jerk reactions.