I somehow wound up with a bunch of free time in March, & found myself spending a lot of it at the movie theater. I saw eight movies at the theater in the last month, which is probably a new record for me. For the most part, I made good choices. Three were great (Selma, Kingsman, It Follows), two were really good (Run All Night, Cinderella,) one was decent (Focus), and there were only two I didn’t like (Chappie, Unfinished Business.) Thank goodness for the Movie Tavern near me & their $5 matinees.
- Chappie (2015)
- Cinderella (2015)
- Focus (2015)
- It Follows (2015)
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
- Run All Night (2015)
- Unfinished Business (2015)
- The Interview (2014)
- RoboCop (2014)
- Selma (2014)
- The Tourist (2010)
- Toki o kakeru shôjo [Time Traveler] (2010)
- Shaolin Soccer (2001)
- Alien Ant Farm – “Homage”
- Kid Rock – “First Kiss”
- Sixx:A.M. – “Gotta Get It Right”
- Take That – “Get Ready For It”
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook)
- 20 Master Plots: And How To Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias
December was a month of sequels & Christmas movies. Mockingjay Part 1 was fantastic, as was Desolation of Smaug. I thought Battle of the Five Armies was a little too heavy on the ‘battle’ portion (and felt more like the second half of Smaug than a movie in its own right), and Anchorman 2 was made all worth it by the giant brawl sequence that was filled with cameos. As for the Christmas movies, Muppet Christmas Carol reminded me that Michael Caine is the best Scrooge of all time, I Am Santa Claus was a very interesting documentary on real-life Santa Clauses (including one of my all-time favorite wrestlers, Mick Foley,) Dear Santa was a disappointing piece of saccharine, and Christmas Bounty was silly, but proof that The Miz can make a mediocre movie worth watching.
- I Am Santa Claus (2014)
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
- Christmas Bounty (2013)
- Empire State (2013)
- Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
- Red Dawn (2012)
- The Expendables 2 (2012)
- Dear Santa (2011)
- Moonshot (2009)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
- White Christmas (1954)
- Holiday Inn (1942)
- As Bees In Honey Drown by Douglas Carter Beane (play)
- The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner
- As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes (audiobook)
- Bossypants by Tina Fey (audiobook)
- Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler (audiobook)
- Nightwing, Vol 1: Traps and Trapezes by Kyle Higgins (graphic novel)
- Oleanna by David Mamet (play)
- Fall Out Boy – “Centuries”
- Frank Turner – “The Way I Tend To Be”
- Hozier – “Take Me To Church”
- Tony Lucca – “Never Gonna Let You Go”
There are a lot of good movies out there right now, and I’ve been lucky enough to have some free time this month to get out and see them. Interstellar lived up to the hype for me, but I’m a big mark for Christopher Nolan, so that’s no big surprise. I really enjoyed Big Hero 6, and was surprised when it got to the credits and I saw that Scott Adsit (Pete from 30 Rock) was the voice of Baymax. I think it was a smart move to get someone who’s a great improviser for that role, because it gave them a lot of room to play and make Baymax’s personality really stand out. Gone Girl was a great adaptation of the book; very true to both the content and tone (that’s what happens when you let the author also write the screenplay.)
Finally, John Wick was the big surprise for me. I wasn’t expecting much more than a mindless action movie, which it kinda was in the sense that the story was just a simple revenge story. But that’s really all it needed to be, because it had a great cast and some of the best action scenes I’ve seen in recent memory. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that they let you actually SEE the fight scenes, rather than hide it all behind edits.
- Big Hero 6 (2014)
- Gone Girl (2014)
- Interstellar (2014)
- John Wick (2014)
- World War Z (2013)
- Hotel Transylvania (2012)
- Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (audiobook)
- Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne (audiobook)
- Butch Walker – “Battle Vs. The War”
- Fall Out Boy – “Immortals”
- Luke Bryan – “I Don’t Want This Night to End”
- OneRepublic – “Something I Need”
The movies, music, books, and more that have kept me entertained this month.
- Houdini (2014)
- Constantine (2005)
- Miss Congeniality (2000)
- Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
- The Frighteners (1996)
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar #1) by Tad Williams (audiobook)
- Buckcherry – “Say Fuck It”
- Butch Walker – “End of the World (One More Time)”
- The Killers – “Shot at the Night”
The movies, music, books, and more that have kept me entertained this month.
- A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)
- Houdini (2014)
- This Means War (2012)
- Unstoppable (2010)
- 1408 (2007)
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
- Carrie by Stephen King
- The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger Files #3) by Jonathan Maberry (audiobook)
- Assassin’s Code (Joe Ledger Files #4) by Jonathan Maberry (audiobook)
- Amos Lee – “Chill in the Air”
- Barenaked Ladies – “Did I Say That Out Loud?”
- Beware of Darkness – “All Who Remain”
- Sheppard – “Geronimo”
The movies, music, books, and more that have kept me entertained this month!
- Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
- Epic (2013)
- Oblivion (2013)
- The Purge (2013)
- R.I.P.D. (2013)
- American Reunion (2012)
- Magic Mike (2012)
- Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
- All’s Faire in Love (2011)
- Sucker Punch (2011)
- The A-Team (2010)
- 12 Rounds (2009)
- The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
- Knowing (2009)
- See No Evil (2006)
- The Island (2005)
- Just Like Heaven (2005)
- Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
- Hard Magic by Larry Correia
- Artful by Peter David
- Fozzy – Do You Wanna Start a War
- Fozzy – “Tonight”
- Fozzy – “Unstoppable”
The movies, music, books, and more that have kept me entertained this month!
- How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
- X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
- 22 Jump Street (2014)
- Man of Steel (2013)
- Sexy Evil Genius (2013)
- We’re the Millers (2013)
- Prometheus (2012)
- Red Tails (2012)
- Rise of the Guardians (2012)
- 21 Jump Street (2012)
- Jackass 3-D (2010)
- Beyond Sherwood Forest (2009)
- Dragonball Evolution (2009)
- Hot Fuzz (2007)
- Jackass 2.5 (2007)
- The Holiday (2006)
- Savannah’s Ghosts by Al Cobb
- Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War: Authentic Accounts of the Strange and Unexplained by Christopher K. Coleman
- Artful by Peter David — in progress
- Day of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Lord of the Wrigley: The Fellowship of the Cubs at The Public House Theatre (Chicago, IL)
- All That Remains – “What If I Was Nothing?”
- Art of Dying – “Breathe Again”
- Butch Walker – “Let It Go Where It’s Supposed To”
- Ed Sheeran – “Lego House”
- Eve to Adam – “Immortal”
- We the Kings – “Just Keep Breathing”
- 3 Pill Morning – “I Want That For You”
Last year I compiled a list of my favorite songs from 2010, because I love lists. I did the same thing this year, only I’ve been so busy over the last few weeks that I haven’t had time to actually type it up and post it. But today I needed a break from editing photos & working on the movie, so I decided to get this done (and if you look at the time stamp, you’ll see I stayed up all night to finish.) Hope you read and enjoy, and if there are songs on here you don’t know, I highly recommend checking them out!
- Amos Lee – “Windows Are Rolled Down”: This song just makes me want to go for a long drive.
- Sixx:A.M. – “This Is Gonna Hurt”: The first of several adrenaline pumping songs on here that are on my playlist for the novel I’m writing.
- Stone Sour – “Hesitate”: You were my fire, so I burned til’ there was nothing left of me
- Daughtry – “Renegade”: Another song on the playlist for my Phoenix novel. — I’m breakin’ out of this town like a renegade, so baby get ready to run
- Danko Jones – “I Think Bad Thoughts”: I admit it, I’ve done a few things that I shouldn’t be proud of. I got no remorse, no regrets, never happy endings on these dark sets.
- Hinder – “What Ya Gonna Do”: What ya gonna do when the whiskey ain’t workin’ no more? Life don’t feel like before…
- Hot Chelle Rae – “Tonight Tonight”: Sometimes you just want a fun song that makes you want to dance.
- Red Line Chemistry – “Ultragigantor”: I used to be somebody who could control myself, but I can’t anymore. I used to have a grip on reality but I keep on slipping down.
- Butch Walker – “Summer of ’89”: Can I go back to when I was a winner, way before the rain came and washed away the sinners? Everyone was something and I could never do any wrong.
- AWOLNATION – “Sail”: Just simply a good rock song.
- Mayday Parade – “Bruised and Scarred”: Call my name if you’re afraid. I’m just a kiss away.
- The Script – “For the First Time”: Great song about getting through the hard times and finding what it was that made you fall in love in the first place.
- Alter Bridge – “Ghost of Days Gone By”: Yesterday is gone, we can’t go back again. Do you ever cry for the ghost of days gone by?
- Rise Against – “Make It Stop (September’s Children)”: A great song that speaks to the bullying issue that’s been so prevalent in the last year. — It’s always darkest just before the dawn. So stay awake with me, let’s prove them wrong.
- Lifehouse – “All In”: I’ve fallen harder than a landslide; I spent a week away from you last night.
- Runner Runner – “Hey Alli”: Says she wants to move to New York City and dance on the stage. On the crowded street you look so pretty, or in the pouring rain
- Christian Kane – “Different Kind of Knight”: This was an acoustic track at the end of Christian Kane’s last album. — See I’m a different kind of knight. You’re gonna find your fairy tales are lies. I don’t have a white horse, but you can come along for the ride.
- Neon Trees – “Sins of My Youth”: I’ve got these habits that I cannot break, and as I’m older there is more at stake. Go ahead and call me fake, but these are the sins of my youth
- State of Shock – “Have a Nice Day”: All you do is take ‘n break ‘n say it’s my mistake. Ready, set, go, here comes the heartache. I hope you have a nice day, ’cause you’re never gonna get another me.
- Stone Sour – “Say You’ll Haunt Me”: Say you want to stay, you want me too. Say you’ll never die, you’ll always haunt me. I want to know I belong to you.
- Coldplay – “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”: When I’m walking down the streets of Chicago at night, I love it when this song pops up on my iPod.
- Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”: The scars of your love remind me of us. They keep me thinking that we almost had it all.
- The Script – “You Won’t Feel a Thing”: ‘Cause everything the world could throw, I’ll stand in front, I’ll take the blow for you.
- Every Avenue – “Fall Apart”: I want you to fall apart like I did, you to hurt for all of this. All the pain you put me through… I wanna hear you say I don’t deserve you.
- Never Shout Never – “Trampoline”: Heh, and sandwiched between two breakup songs is a sweet ditty about helping someone move beyond her past relationships and see what’s right in front of her — You’re all shook up from a terrible relationship. He broke your heart, he tore you into pieces. But I promise you, dear, I’ll never touch you like he did.
- Bowling For Soup – “Here’s Your Freakin’ Song”: And because it’s BFS, here’s a breakup song that’s just plain fun!
- Incubus – “Promises, Promises”: When I first heard this, I had no clue that it was Incubus. It’s a new sound for them, but I love it. — I’m on the road of least resistance. I’d rather give up than give in to this. So promise me only one thing, won’t you? Just don’t ever make me promises..
- Deftones – “Sextape”: I’m usually not a Deftones fan, but this song is sexy as hell. — Take me one more time. Take me one more wave. Take me for one last ride. I’m out of my head.
- TV on the Radio – “Will Do”: If “Sextape” is sexy, then “Will Do” is two people actually humping in your ears. — I’d love to collapse with you and ease you against this song. I think we’re compatible, I see that you think I’m wrong.
- State of Shock – “Runaway”: I love State of Shock’s music, but sometimes I feel like the lead singer just needs a hug. — I heard that you found somebody new, and I heard what he’s been doing to you. How’s it feel to deal with someone like you?
- Adele – “Someone Like You”: I don’t care what type of music you make, I’d imagine that every musician wishes they’d written this song. — I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited, but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it. I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded that for me it isn’t over.
- Brett Dennen – “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog)”: Fun, upbeat, & optimistic. Great song.
- The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – “Dive Too Deep”: If I dive too deep you’ll pull me out. If I try to speak you’ll hear me out. If I get too weak you’ll hold me close and tell me I’m fine.
- Christian Kane – “Thinking of You”: When a new moon shines through your window or you hear a sad song on the radio, and you don’t know why but you just start to cry. Or you’re driving ’round on a sunny day and outta nowhere comes the pouring rain. Then a memory hits you right out of the blue… That’s just me thinking of you.
- Jonas Sees In Color – “Sky Keeps Falling”: I absolutely love this line: Like a shell found by the ocean that still sounds like the sea, you’re nothing but an echo of something that was deep.
- The Maine – “Listen to Your Heart”: Don’t listen to the world, they say we’re never gonna make it. Don’t listen to your friends, they would have never let us start. And don’t listen to the voices in your head. Listen to your heart.
- The Cab – “Bad”: You love me just the way that you should. It’s nothing that you do, no it’s nothing you say. I know that you’re good, but I don’t want a good girl, no not today.
- I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business – “Lame Duck”: Ace Enders by any name is still good. —Give me a reason, a sign that our time’s not up. ‘Cause baby we’re worth so much more than to just give up. I’d like to say we gave it all. It’s so hard to let this go.
- Jack’s Mannequin – “My Racing Thoughts”: Most relationship songs are about the beginning or the end. “My Racing Thoughts” is about that place in between, when you know each other so well you already know how the argument’s going to end the moment it begins.
- Zac Brown Band – “Colder Weather”: And when I close my eyes I see you, no matter where I am. I can smell your perfume through these whispering pines…
- Childish Gambino – “Heartbeat”: I’m a huge fan of Donald Glover (DERRICK Comedy has had a big influence on me and the type of comedy I want to put out there), and his album Camp made me an instant fan of his music.
- Every Avenue – “Tell Me I’m a Wreck”: One of the best breakup songs since SR-71’s “Mosquito.” —You tell me I’m a wreck, you say that I’m a mess. How could you expect anything less?
- The Spill Canvas – “As Long As It Takes”: Another song about helping a girl move beyond her past to see what’s in front of her. Coincidence? — If you let me catch a ride on your road to recovery, you can fall apart on me.
- Ordinary Days – “Hundred Story City” (performed by Hunter Foster): This is the odd track out on the countdown, because it’s from a musical. But after seeing Ordinary Days, I fell in love with it and it quickly became my favorite musical. — What am I doing in this hundred story city, where you’re always moving fast but going nowhere? I don’t care if there’s a hundred million people, I just want to be with one.
- Mayday Parade – “Terrible Things”: Speaking of beautiful music, “Terrible Things” is one of the most heartwrenching songs I’ve heard in a long time. — So don’t fall in love, there’s just too much to lose. If given the choice, then I’m begging you choose to walk away, walk away, don’t let it get you. I can’t bear to see the same happen to you.
- Thriving Ivory – “On Your Side”: Another great song about putting the past behind you and moving on. —See I don’t mind falling in love again, my heart on the line again. No I don’t mind when I’m on your side.
- Parachute – “What I Know”: I really like the message behind this song. When a relationship ends, it does you no good to dwell on all of the what ifs. You know what you know, and it’s so much healthier to just make peace with that. — I stop the car and close my eyes. I can see her face, but It takes a while. It fades in like the morning light, slow and unfocused.
- Butch Walker – “Closest Thing to You I’m Gonna Find”: No music list of mine would be complete without Butch Walker in a prime spot. His latest album The Spade is excellent, and this is the song that instantly grabbed me the first time I heard it. — California girls they have a way of moving their mouths just a certain way, saying things that always seem so right. But when the shine wears off at the end of the day I’m left with the tab and not a word to say, ’cause I see your face when they turn out my light.
- Alpha Rev – “Phoenix Burn”: I took an immediate liking to this song because of the phoenix imagery (I’m getting a tattoo of a phoenix soon, and the main character in my novel is named Phoenix.) I fell in love with this song because it’s uplifting, beautiful, and about the power of love. — I need to push through the undiscovered, find my answers, leave them uncovered. I wanna speak out what I believe in, that love will heal us, give us our freedom.
- Jonas Sees In Color – “Avalanche”: JSiC came in at #3 last year with “Luck and Love,” but this year they took the #1 spot! These guys are awesome; I donated to their Kickstarter to help fund their next album because they need to be heard by more people (also I want them to come do a show in Chicago.) —Everyone writes songs about California. They’re singing for the summer and staying young. But I’m singing about Carolina, because I write songs for you.
And we have reached the end! If you read through this, I thank you, because I love music and love sharing my favorites with friends (or strangers, if anyone wandered by.) Most everything on here can be listened to for free on Spotify, so please check them out.
I missed Butch Walker’s concert in Atlanta last week because I was originally supposed to have moved to Chicago by then, and it was already sold out by the time I realized I would still be here due to delays in filming my movie. Fortunately, he announced an acoustic in-store performance at Criminal Records, and I was able to make it to that with my friend Jenna last Sunday! He played four tracks off his new album, The Spade: “Dublin Crow,” “Closest Thing to You I’m Gonna Find” (my favorite off The Spade,) “Synthesizers,” and “Summer of ’89.” It’s always great seeing Butch play live, even if it’s only for a few songs.
What made this one really cool was they had a photobooth set up to help raise money for Criminal Records, where you could get your picture with Butch. And, of course, I did. Pics below!