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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Album Review:Songs

Artist:Rich Mullins

Songwriters and composers:Rich Mullins, Beaker, Steve Cudworth

Genres:Praise and worship

Notes:Album art taken from Christian

General thoughts:Here's another big artist in the Christian industry. And even though he's been dead for over 15 years, a lot of his songs are still pretty popular today. What he is to praise and worship is not unlike what Johnny Cash is to country.

Overall, if you want to get into Rich Mullins, this is a good place to start.

Thoughts, Theories, & Trivia:Disney's Beauty And The Beast

The review is here.

..I've been thinking.
A dangerous pass time.
I know.
-This explains something.

  • Turns out Gaston isn't against just women thinking.

  • Is Belle adopted? It would explain why she has brown eyes but Maurice has green ones.

  • Gaston stopping to examine himself in the mirror while he proposes to Belle is a perfect illustration of his character. It shows not only his vanity, but how little he actually cares about what Belle wants.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Album Review For We Walk The Line:A Celebration Of The Music Of Johnny Cash

Genres:Country, folk

Notes:Album art taken from Amazon.

General thoughts:As I've said before, it's difficult to listen to country music and not eventually encounter a Johnny Cash song. He is just one of those artists that is huge in his particular genre. So how does this tribute measure up?

Many of the lyrics are half-screamed, which doesn't really work for the style of music. Others are just drawled without any real emotion behind them. Most of the artists here just don't do it justice. They fail to really make the songs their own. And given the bad quality of the the music on the CD, I didn't even bother with the DVD.

Overall, it's a mess and I don't recommend it.

Random Things I'd Ask Celebrities

Image source:Open Clipart

If I met one of my favorite movie stars or musicians, there are a few things I'd want to learn. Now assuming I don't clam up and freak out, here is what I might ask.

  • Can I take a picture?
  • Out of all the characters you've played, who's your favorite? Least favorite?
  • What's your favorite movie/music genre?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Movie Review:The Princess Bride

Premise:A grandfather reads his sick grandson a story about love and fighting.

Cast:Robin Wright as Buttercup, Cary Elwes as Westley, Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdink, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, André the Giant as Fezzik, Peter Falk as the grandfather, Fred Savage as the grandson, Wallace Shawn as Vizzini, Christopher Guest as Count Tyrone Rugen, Billy Crystal as Miracle Max

Director:Rob Reiner

MPAA Rating:PG

Genres:Romance, fantasy

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:Good banter.

Cons:Flat protagonist.

They say true love conquers all. But what if things got a little complicated? Maybe your love got murdered and now you're engaged to the prince. And it doesn't stop there.

Annoying Romance Clichés

I like romance just fine when it's written well. But sometimes, nobody's lucky enough to see that.

Instant soulmates & love at first sight
You cannot base a healthy relationship entirely on one meeting. Just because you had chemistry when you met doesn't mean it's going to last.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Album Review:Collide


Songwriters and composers:John L. Cooper, Kevin Kadish, Korey Cooper, Paul Ebersold


Notes:Album art taken from Amazon.

General thoughts:I seem to be hearing most of Skillet's newer stuff first. Now for a little of their older stuff.

Almost every song is hard rock, and many of them are about plain old pain. A few of them seem aimed at teens who are feeling out of place, though it can apply generally to people who feel like failures.

Overall, it's worth a listen.

What About The End?

The end of the world has somehow been discussed by more than one source in my life lately. And frankly, I'd like to push it back to one of the back corners of my mind. It's one of those subjects like politics and news:I know I should study it further, but I hate to because it's depressing and leads to a lot of people arguing.

Now this is connected to Christianity for me. The Bible has plenty to say about it, especially in the confusing and disturbing read you'll find in the book of Revelation. You can't be %100 percent what all the symbolism means, but there's a lot of death, suffering, and evil going on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Movie Review:Disney's Beauty & The Beast

Premise:A beautiful bookworm takes her father's place as hostage to a beast who needs to love and be loved by a woman to turn human.

Cast:Paige O'Hara as Belle, Robby Benson as the Beast, Richard White as Gaston, Rex Everhart as Maurice, Jerry Orbach as Lumiere, David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth, Jesse Corti as Lefou, Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, Jo Anne Worley as the Wardrobe

Directors:Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

MPAA Rating:G

Genres:Romance, fantasy, animation

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:Great characters. Good animation and story.

Cons:Stockholm syndrome. Confusing timeline.

You know the story:Pretty woman lives with father, father winds up taking shelter in a beast's home, beast holds father hostage, daughter exchanges herself for Dad's freedom. And there just could be spell breaking along the way.

A Writer's Block Poem

Tuesdays are now poetry days.

I need a new idea
Can't think of anything right now
Should get up and write

Hey brain, cooperate
Why are you ignoring me?
Help me out here, please

© 2015 by M.R.R.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Doing Some Changing

I'm rearranging stuff again.

A couple of reviews and other posts I've had just sitting around have been shelved indefinitely. And I'm trying to figure out some kind of more specialized routine.

Sign-ups for the A to Z challenge are up now. I've gotten both blogs signed up, and I've been thinking that I'll do two posts a day here instead of just one for April. Yes, I am out of my mind. But I've realized that I already do two posts a day (except for Sundays), so it's not a huge change. It's visiting other blogs I'm worried about, particularly on the first day because Insecure Writer's Support Group is that day too.

I haven't got a theme for here, but I did write some short rants and crap for April. It seems to be consuming my brain even though it won't be for just over 2 months from now.

Also, I messed with the template again. I just can't seem to stay satisfied for long.

Anyway, good luck in the next few months.

© 2015 by M.R.R.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Album Review For Shine:The Hits


Songwriters and composers:Peter Furler, Steve Taylor, Phil Joel, Toby McKeehan, Jeff Frankenstein, Jody Davis

Genres:Christian pop

Notes:Album art taken from the official site.

General thoughts:This is an old "greatest hits" album with a few previously unreleased recordings. Many of the songs here are the kind that make you bob your head, tap your foot, and just move to the beat.

Overall, if you're getting into Newsboys and want to hear some of their older stuff, this is for you.

Thoughts, Theories, & Trivia For Captain America:The Winter Soldier

Image source:IMP Awards

The review is here.

See, this is why I have trust issues.
-That's not surprising.

  • What is the name of that one agent who resembles a snake? Did they even give him a name?

  • Notice the sad irony of Peggy telling Steve sometimes all you can do is start over - that's the last thing she says before her memory goes.

Spoilers below

Friday, January 23, 2015

Movie Review:Warm Bodies

Premise:A zombie and a human fall in love during the midst of a zombie-human war.

Cast:Nicholas Hoult as R, Teresa Palmer as Julie, Dave Franco as Perry, Rob Corddry as R's friend M, John Malkovich as Julie's dad, Analeigh Tipton as Nora

Director:Jonathan Levine

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for zombie violence and some language

Genres:Romance, comedy, horror

Notes:Based on the book by Issac Marion. Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:It's funny.

Cons:The dad.

Star-crossed lovers have been a thing since probably before Romeo And Juliet. Then zombies and paranormal romances have gotten pretty popular recently. Throw them all together, and you get this movie.

Sayings That Are False

Image credit:RRZEicons at Wikimedia Commons

I haven't had a lot of progress with this one, so I'll just put it out there.

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
The person who thought this up was probably a bully. Who else would be so quick to deny that words can and often do hurt?

There's an exception to every rule/Nothing is set in stone
If this true, isn't it a rule, and does that mean there's an exception to it? And wouldn't that mean not every rule has an exception?

Opposites attract.
Image credit:Aney at Wikimedia Commons
Like opposite ends of a magnet.

This one is more of a half-truth. Sometimes opposites do attract complement each other. But you have to have at least a few things in common with a person you're dating, or else it could turn into a mess. What if you like doing stuff outside while he prefers staying inside? Or if she likes watching sci-fi dramas and you prefer comedies?

© 2015 by M.R.R.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Movie Review For Captain America:The Winter Soldier

Premise:As Steve Rogers adjusts to life in the 21st century, he starts to question the morality of SHIELD's methods.

Cast:Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Maximiliano Hernandez as Jasper Sitwell, Emily VanCamp as Sharon/Agent 13, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter

Directors:Joe Russo and Anthony Russo

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay, and action throughout

Genres:Sci-fi, action

Notes:Takes place after Avengers. Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:Gets into the characters emotional state. Friendships. A plot that will hit you hard. Effective villains.

Cons:Some characters should have been better developed. Some bad special effects. A couple of nonsensical spy elements.

It can be hard enough navigating the world when you haven't lost 70 years and most of the people you used to know. But when you start doubting the very orders you were used to obeying, things can get a little messy.

Just The Quiet

I should set aside a day specifically for poetry.

Stop the noise
It's all crowding me
Everyone lower your voice
Just let the silence be

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Album Review:12 Stones

Artist:12 Stones

Songwriters:Paul McCoy, Eric Weaver, Patrick Quave, Kevin Dorr


Notes:Album art taken from Amazon.

General thoughts:While their more recent stuff has wandered away from the Christian rock genre, this old album has some definite connections to that industry.

You may find several tracks blending together in your head because they sound so similar it's hard to tell the difference. There's some general rock (and Christian) subjects here like looking for God in the midst of pain, telling someone to back off, wanting to do something with your life, etc.

There was some screaming here, which often felt out of place or unnecessary. I'm not against screaming in rock music, but you've got to do it right.

Overall, while I liked it, it's not for everybody. This is another "one listen, buy the good stuff" album.

The World Outside

This is just a little free verse. Enjoy.

The world outside is full of fear and hate,
But we don't have to be
Stay here inside the quietness,
Where nothing hurts so much

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why I Love Winter

When the weather starts getting cold, you can bet people will start complaining. But I personally enjoy this time of year. Why?

  • It's easier to get warm than it is to cool off. Sweaters, blankets, maybe a hot meal. It can take a while, but I won't stay cold forever. Whereas in summer, cold meals are limited, dressing decently can be challenging, and it's harder to sleep.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Album Review:Bloom

Artist:Audio Adrenaline

Songwriters:Barry Blair, Bob Herdman, Will McGinniss, Mark Stuart

Genres:Christian rock

Notes:Album art taken from Amazon.

General thoughts:Another band/album that I've heard a lot of around here for years.

It sometimes feels like some of those songs that don't express the message in a way that feels entertaining or cool. It sounds kind of like an enthusiastic kid, which might be endearing to some, but not to me. I'm all for expressing your love for God and how amazing He is in music, but I have to enjoy the song in question. And truthfully, there's little here that I do like.

Overall, there are a few good songs, but the album as a whole is a little weak.

Why I Don't Watch Any Awards Ceremonies

Image source:Open Clipart

Whether it's the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys (how do you spell those?), I don't watch it. I understand why it's great for the creators to get something that says "we like what you do", and if you've gotten one, I'm happy for you as long as you don't let it go to your head. But I prefer not to watch the actual ceremonies because....

  • I just don't care. It doesn't matter to me if you got an award as long as you can entertain me. If you can, then I'm happy. That is all.
  • Watching the movie sounds more entertaining. If the movie is so good it's getting awards, wouldn't I be better off watching that instead?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Album Review:Until We Have Faces


Songwriters:Mark Holman, Jasen Rauch, Joe Rickard, Anthony Armstrong, Jason McArthur, Todd Nielsen, Mike Seminari, Clint Lowry, Randy Armstrong, Mike Barnes

Genres:Hard rock, metal, Christian rock

Notes:Album art taken from the official site.

General thoughts:Another rock album by a band I love is bound to come up here sooner or later.

Things are presented as bleak here. Sure, there are a couple hopeful tracks, but they're overshadowed by the more painful or dark ones. And as I've said before, angsty rock is not something I'll grow weary of anytime soon. The tone moves from aggressive to pain to what seems like weary acceptance or waiting.

Overall, RED keeps getting better.

A Lateness Limerick

I forgot to plan for today,
Distraction keep planning at bay,
Then I realized, Oh great,
I'm going to be late
Best start typing away.

© 2015 by M.R.R.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Job Hunt

I loathe job hunting.

First, half of the positions require a lot of qualities I don't have, like being comfortable with strangers, having good communication skills, and generally being cheerful and social all the time. I am not a people person, nor am I particularly cheerful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Album Review:Unbreakable


Songwriters:Rob Hawkins, Allan Salmon, Ben Glover, Kevin Kadish

Genres:Christian rock, hard rock

Notes:Album art taken from Amazon.

General thoughts:You'd think with all the Christian rock and/or trying-to-be-deeper music I listen to, Fireflight would be right up my alley. But to be honest, it's not.

For a reason I can't quite put my finger on, I don't connect to this the way I connect to say, RED or Skillet. Maybe it's the lyrics. I've heard songs like this a million other places. Maybe it's the lack of variety. There aren't any songs about personal relationships with others or feeling wholly defeated. Maybe the vocals just don't seem great. There's nothing glaringly wrong with it, but I'm just not into it.

So if you're a Christian rock fan, you might like this.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fanfiction Review:Fallen Star

Premise:Loki crashes on earth and searches for the Tesserect while under the care of Jane Foster, whom he starts to fall for.

Author:Alydia Rackham

Based on:The Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly Thor. Also Norse mythology.

Rated:T (violence and lots of angst)

Genres:Romance, hurt/comfort, fantasy

Notes:You can read it here.

Pros:Lets the relationship develop. Loki as a sympathetic character. The other characters are written well.

Cons:Somewhat cheesy. Occasional typos and errors. Some mean characters.

After a physically and emotionally taxing battle, no one would blame you for wanting some time to recover. Particularly if said battle was with your brother, whom you recently found out is not your biological relative. Now let's say you landed near his girlfriend, whom you threatened. And that she really needs to keep an eye on you because of your injuries.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Movie Review:Men In Black 2

Premise:J brings back K to help him stop an alien from getting her hands on an artifact while also making sure said artifact doesn't destroy the world.

Cast:Will Smith as Agent J, Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, Lara Flynn Boyle as Serleena, Rosario Dawson as Laura Vasquez, Johnny Knoxville as Charlie/Scrad, full cast can be found here.

Director:Barry Sonnenfield

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some provocative humor

Genres:Action, sci-fi, comedy

Notes:Based off a Marvel comic series. Poster taken from IMP Awards. Edited 12/27/2016 to change the wording.

Pros:A couple good jokes. The worms.

Cons:The romance(s). Uninteresting female lead. Mediocre villain. Poor special effects.

Another alien artifact. Another evil extraterrestrial in disguise that wants to get their hands on it. Another day in the life of the Men in Black.

Things Superhero Stories Should Stop Doing

As you're probably aware, I am a huge fan of superheroes. But there are some plots and subplots that really just should either go for a long vacation, or just leave and never come back because they're either overused or have been mangled too often.

Shoehorning romance into it
Super romances aren't always a bad thing. A few of my favorite couples come from Avengers. And the romantic subplot is one of the few things I liked about Iron Man 3. But that doesn't mean every single hero or their story-line will benefit from relationship drama (*cough* Smallville *cough*). Don't stick a romantic subplot in it just because you think you have to.

Losing powers
At this point, it's cliché and it very rarely lasts. Plus, if you don't have a explanation that actually makes sense, it feels like you pulled it out of thin air.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Book Review:Twilight

Premise:A teenage girl becomes obsessed with a guy she finds out is a vampire.

Author:Stephanie Meyer

Genres:Romance, fantasy

Notes:First book in The Twilight Saga. Cover taken from Amazon.

Pros:Dark romance elements. Late book creepy.

Cons:Slow start. Thin plot. Poor protagonist. Anti-climatic villain. A handful of cheesy/silly elements.

Girl moves to new town. Girl meets boy who doesn't seem to like her. Girl obsesses over him and then finds out he's a vampire. Book series the girl inhabits is (in)famous for its badly written romance and characters, not to mention its rabid fans and equally rabid haters. Let's see how this goes.

Before I read this, I had seen mainly three kinds of people who had checked out Twilight.

1. Those who read it and enjoyed it (be it because they thought it was a good book or so-bad-it's-good) then carried on with their lives,
2. those who became completely obsessed with it and think it's the best book of all time, aka the Twi-hards,
3. the people that hated it with such a passion that they made it cliché to mock anything Twilight (who may hate me for pointing out anything good about this series).

I Feel Like A Mess

As I've said earlier this week, I'm feeling a little messy.

First, I have had several sudden urges to go into solitary mode, when I don't want to talk to or see any other people. Maybe it's the holiday-social stress finally catching up to me, because only this week did I get my usual one night of peace and quiet away from most of my housemates.

And over my break, I decided that the commentary I was running on one of my favorite YouTube channels would be better off posted on my second blog. This has ultimately led to me needing more posts for both blogs and slacking off on writing them. In fact, that's the main reason I wrote this.

Also, it seems like once a month now, I get a headache/nausea day. When this happens, my head starts to hurt and my stomach gets upset, with both getting progressively worse until sometime late at night/early in the morning when I finally puke and stop feeling so crappy. In fact, it's happening as I work on this and I'm starting to think it's PMS. Thanks so much, body.

Anyway, the weekend is coming and that means Sunday, and Sunday means rest and sleeping late without needing to worry about needing to do anything. Hope your weekend is as good as or better than the one I'm hoping for.

© 2015 by M.R.R.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Album Review:The Beautiful Letdown


Songwriters:Jonathan Foreman, Tim Foreman

Genres:Christian rock, alternative

Notes:Album art taken from Amazon.

General thoughts:Switchfoot again. This time with ponderings (is that a word?) about mortality and the human condition, plus a general sense of wanting something more than mediocrity and pain.

To be honest, I find this album a little overrated. It's not that it's bad or I don't like the band. But several tracks seem mediocre when compared to other songs of theirs. It doesn't seem to be the lyrics (they offer quite a few good quotes) so much as the overall impact of a few songs.

Overall, I would say give it a listen to see which tracks you like and then be done with it.

Annoying Things About Waiting For The DVD

I love movies, but I'm in no hurry to return to the theater. But waiting for the DVD has its disadvantages too.

  • Having to wait longer:The simple fact that I have to wait months after a movie's release to see it is the biggest thing.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Book Review:Beastly

Premise:A rich brat is turned into a monstrous creature that can turn back to his old self only if he and a girl fall in love.

Author:Alex Flinn

Genres:Fantasy/supernatural, romance

Notes:Cover taken from Alex Flinn's website.

Pros:Good characters.

Cons:It's kind of cheesy. Some creepy, pseudo-romantic moments.

Kyle Kingsley is not your typical protagonist. You're usually seeing it from the underdog's point of view, the guy who could use a hug and some self-confidence. Not the "popular", shallow, arrogant, spoiled rich kid who thinks he's better than you. To him (and his father), looks are everything.

So imagine their collective distress when a witch decides to teach Kyle a lesson by turning him into a beast. Not like a "can still pass off as normal" beast, more like "Monster! Kill it!" It's not a pleasant situation.


Because Wednesdays are my busiest day and because I'm lazy, I may not get around to visiting a lot of other blogs until tomorrow.

So they said introduce yourself today. Hi, I go by M.R.R. online because I'm too paranoid to use my real name, and what I write mostly is blog posts. And as I say in my profile, I love God, junk food, music, and superheroes. And lately, I have been something of a mess.

I'm just trying to get back into the regular schedule after Christmas. I needed the break, but adjusting to normalcy again could take a little pushing myself.

At least I can keep track of what day it is again.

But lately, I just don't want to go out and do anything, I'd rather just stay at home and ignore everything. And this sometimes means I don't work on new ideas even though I really need to get on them. My mind just seems to be in a dark place. Though that is helping with something I've been working on.

And I can't seem to make this post any better. So how has your year been so far?

© 2015 by M.R.R.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Fanfiction Review:In His Arms

Premise:Peeta and Katniss deal with post-tramautic stress after the events of Mockingjay.


Based On:The Hunger Games trilogy

Rated:T (angst, some language, and mention/fear of violence)

Genres:Drama, hurt/comfort, romance

Notes:You can read it here.

Pros:Writes the characters well.

Cons:Might seem too long (or too short).

After something like the Hunger Games, it's pretty hard to not feel shaken.

More Updates, This Time For The New Year

Image credit:Open Clipart
Hi, hope you had a great December and a happy New Year. And I'm making a few changes here.

  • My commentary on Messy Mondays has been moved to my other blog, as well as a handful of other posts that seemed better suited for it.
  • Someday, I'm going to put ads here. Someday.
  • I finally saw Winter Soldier.

Now let's hope I don't have a breakdown.

© 2015 by M.R.R.