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Trailer | Lucy (Aug 2014)

An involuntary drug mule, with a surgically implanted cargo, is assaulted causing the package to leak. This leads to her slowly ramping up the percentage of her brain she can use, resulting in abilities people dream about.

04.03.14 0

Trailer | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Aug 2014)

I see Megan Fox + Michael Bay made up. I thought this was going to look horrible but it’s not too bad. I’m glad Leonardo (my fav) is featured a lot. Cowabunga?

03.27.14 0

An Ode To Ashanti

Album Review | “Braveheart” - Ashanti | 3.5/5

It’s been 6 years since Ashanti’s last album and the singer has been hard at work crafting her latest release, “Braveheart.” The project has been 100% funded by Ashanti herself. She’s also produced the album on her own independent record label, Written Entertainment. According to the singer, this era is about being brave and being more open with the public about her life. It’s also about her indie record label (the Scotts) going up against the major record labels (the Brits) on the charts and coming out on top, hence the title inspiration from the 1995 Mel Gibson film of the same name.

After a few listens, I’ve concluded this: Overall, the album is a solid effort but there hasn’t been much growth in 6 years. At least not shown or chosen for this cd. For me, “Braveheart” is on par with her 2008 effort, “The Declaration.” It’s not bad, it’s not great. It’s just okay. The cd has a little bit of everything for everyone but because of this, it feels disjointed and incomplete. And once it starts to get good, it’s over. There are, however, a few stand out tracks:

Braveheart" - Ashanti’s voice soars with confidence and vigor on this L.T. Hutton produced opening track. This is a great mid-tempo ballad that really shows that long gone are her days of simply cooing alongside rappers hardcore beats. She can handle her own now and this is definitely an excellent way to open up the album.

Count" - This is the most radio/club friendly track on the album. It’s in the same vein as Rihanna’s "Birthday Cake" but better, in my opinion. Here, she challenges so-called "ballers" in the club by asserting on the bridge, "Don’t make me count that money, if you’re spending like you’re saying then lay it out in front of me!" Her swagger on this track is incredible and I can see this being a big crossover hit with the right promotion.

Scars" - Ashanti is her most vulnerable here and she should be since the song is about her 10 year on-again, off-again relationship with rapper, Nelly, and his infidelity/commitment issues. She goes from being angry and vindictive with lyrics like, "And I’ma make sure I’m drop dead gorgeous every time he sees me so he want it more" to ultimately heartbroken with confessions like, "Thought we were going to build, thought what we had was real, thought we were going to live in a house on the hills, maybe 3 or 4 kids, Bentley’s and drop Benz’s, we were supposed to ride out and be best friends!" This is Ashanti at her best: raw and relatable. 

I Got It" (Feat. Rick Ross) - The first "official" single off of the album, this is a great comeback track produced once again by L.T. Hutton, her collaborator of choice. The beat is infectious and the lyrics are catchy. The video is just as good but a lack of promotion/performances on TV coupled with a lack of radio play has snubbed it’s success, which is truly a shame.

In conclusion, If you’re a dedicated fan of Ashanti, her past music or solid r&b in general, get the album. You won’t be disappointed. However, if you are a fan who, like me, was hoping for something a little more gritty and emotional, skip buying the complete album and purchase the tracks you enjoy. Ashanti claims to be more open on this cd, but truthfully she still seems hesitant about putting her heart out there entirely for the public to see.

*Extras*

Let me end my review on a more personal note. I’ve been a fan of Ashanti since 2001. Everyone has one or two artists that they go crazy over as a teen and one of mine was Ashanti. What drew me to her vs. her peers like Beyonce is that she seemed more real and reachable. She writes her own music, writes about a variety of subjects (love, domestic violence, death, etc.) and has more of a personality. However, there are three major things setting her back. 

1) Performance: This has been always been her weak point. What bothers me is, in my mind, this is an easy fix. She’s talented but she needs to refine her skills through a vocal coach and a better choreographer (Brice Vick’s choreography has always been terrible). She’s grown over time but she should be at the top of her game at this age and after 13 years officially on the music scene.

2) Management: She needs new management and a new team all around. Her mom and dad did a great job in the beginning of her career but now that Ashanti is a “seasoned” veteran and her fan base is waning, she needs a to hire a new team if she wants to regain the spotlight. I know there are a bunch of sharks in the industry and this is why she’s trusted her family with this part of her career but there ARE companies out there doing right by their artists. 

3) Writing: I respect and love that Ashanti writes her own songs and hence gets more money for her hits but she needs to allow others to write songs for her and/or co-write with her. Her style of writing has become predictable after 13 years and a pair of fresh eyes or a new way of approaching tracks would help tremendously. 

That’s the end of my rant. I truly want her to do well but if she doesn’t change a few her ways, her career is going to continue to go down hill from here. If she’s ok with not reigning on the charts, trying other ventures (TV, Movies, etc.) and collecting her many royalty checks from writing hits for herself and others, I can understand that. However, I know music is her passion and to get back in the game is going to take a major but very possible overhaul. 

03.05.14 0
Zoom Finally made it to the new #WorldTradeCenter. So tall…but not as tall as I thought it would be. | #NYC #911 #NewYork #2001  (at One World Trade Center)

Finally made it to the new #WorldTradeCenter. So tall…but not as tall as I thought it would be. | #NYC #911 #NewYork #2001 (at One World Trade Center)

03.01.14 0
Zoom 
NOS4A2 (novel) - Joe Hill | Rating: 4/5 (No Major Spoilers)

"NOS4A2" tells the story of Victoria "the brat" McQueen, a Massachusetts teen who has a knack for finding lost things. This gift can only be triggered on her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike and a trip across an imaginary (but once real) bridge named "The Shorter Way." Each journey across the bridge takes a little something away from Vic but one trek almost ends her life. After a fight with her parents, Vic goes looking for trouble on her Raleigh and finds it in Charles Manx, an 100+ year old serial killer with a similar gift but instead of a bike, Manx uses his vintage 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith to find (kidnap) children and take them to his pseudo paradise, Christmasland. The day Vic and Manx meet, they forge a rivalry that will span 20 years and culminate with Vic fighting not only her life, but the life of her son.
I really enjoyed this book and it’s characters. The detail and imagination that went into creating this work is amazing. Joe Hill is, like his father, a great writer but I’ve had one similar problem with all of his stories: I hate the endings. Granted, I’m not looking for happily ever after but I never seem to get any kind of closure from the epilogues of Hill’s novels. Besides this little annoyance, “NOS4A2” is a superior horror-drama and an easy read. I definitely recommend it.  

NOS4A2 (novel) - Joe Hill | Rating: 4/5 (No Major Spoilers)

"NOS4A2" tells the story of Victoria "the brat" McQueen, a Massachusetts teen who has a knack for finding lost things. This gift can only be triggered on her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike and a trip across an imaginary (but once real) bridge named "The Shorter Way." Each journey across the bridge takes a little something away from Vic but one trek almost ends her life. After a fight with her parents, Vic goes looking for trouble on her Raleigh and finds it in Charles Manx, an 100+ year old serial killer with a similar gift but instead of a bike, Manx uses his vintage 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith to find (kidnap) children and take them to his pseudo paradise, Christmasland. The day Vic and Manx meet, they forge a rivalry that will span 20 years and culminate with Vic fighting not only her life, but the life of her son.

I really enjoyed this book and it’s characters. The detail and imagination that went into creating this work is amazing. Joe Hill is, like his father, a great writer but I’ve had one similar problem with all of his stories: I hate the endings. Granted, I’m not looking for happily ever after but I never seem to get any kind of closure from the epilogues of Hill’s novels. Besides this little annoyance, “NOS4A2” is a superior horror-drama and an easy read. I definitely recommend it.  

02.21.14 1
Life is but a dream.
02.16.14 274105

Song of the Day | Stevie Nicks “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You”

This song. Man. 

02.16.14 20

Good Fucking Design Advice | “Because Sometimes, Being Your Own Worst Critic Is Not Enough”

02.16.14 196652

Music Video | “I Got It” - Ashanti (feat. Rick Ross)

First single from her new album “Braveheart,” due out March 4th. Listen to album snippets here on iTunes. Tracklisting below:

1. Intro/Braveheart 
2. Nowhere 
3. Runaway 
4. Count 
5. Early In The Morning feat. French Montana 
6. 3 Words 
7. Love Games feat. Jeremih 
8. Scars 
9. Never Should Have 
10. She Can’t 
11. Don’t Tell Me No 
12. I Got It feat. Rick Ross 
13. First Real Love feat. Beenie Man/Outro 
14. Bonafide Survivor (Target Exclusive) 
15. RIP (Target Exclusive)

02.11.14 1

keylaleigh:

psychoholic:

buster, you’re 8 years old. stop having an existential crisis.

You’d have one too if you were 8 for 14 seasons.

Haha! 

02.09.14 453605
Zoom The Wolf of Wall Street (Film) | Rating: 3.5/5 (May contain spoilers)

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

"Sell me this pen."

Let me start off by saying this: I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio has been cheated out of winning an Oscar numerous times (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” / “Shutter Island”). Dicaprio does a great job in this film, however, considering the “Best Actor” competition this year, if he finally wins the Oscar for this, I’d be surprised + honestly, a little disappointed.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" tells the story of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), who starts off as a low-level stockbroker on Wall Street in the 1980’s, right before the stock-market crash of 1987 (Black Monday). Through the encouragement of his then wife Teresa, Belfort takes a lesser job selling penny stocks in a Long Island boiler room. Due to his aggressive selling technique + charisma, Jordan makes a small fortune off commission using the "Pump & Dump" scam (artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false/misleading positive statements in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price). Due to his success, Belfort decides to open up a firm of his own with a group of shady friends he’s taught the tricks of the trade. The group quickly become millionaires + lots of sex, drugs  (aka tomfoolery) + the FBI follow.  

All in all, this movie was just okay to me. It’s very much a “bros” film. I can see a lot of 20 something college frat guys, ivy leaguers, or NYC financial district yuppies loving this but I couldn’t get into it due to the subject manner and all of the characters being scumbags. The cast did a great job…maybe too great because I just really didn’t have anyone to root for.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" makes for good entertainment but I can’t say I’ll be eager to see it again any time soon. 

The Wolf of Wall Street (Film) | Rating: 3.5/5 (May contain spoilers)

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

"Sell me this pen."

Let me start off by saying this: I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio has been cheated out of winning an Oscar numerous times (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” / “Shutter Island”). Dicaprio does a great job in this film, however, considering the “Best Actor” competition this year, if he finally wins the Oscar for this, I’d be surprised + honestly, a little disappointed.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" tells the story of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), who starts off as a low-level stockbroker on Wall Street in the 1980’s, right before the stock-market crash of 1987 (Black Monday). Through the encouragement of his then wife Teresa, Belfort takes a lesser job selling penny stocks in a Long Island boiler room. Due to his aggressive selling technique + charisma, Jordan makes a small fortune off commission using the "Pump & Dump" scam (artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false/misleading positive statements in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price). Due to his success, Belfort decides to open up a firm of his own with a group of shady friends he’s taught the tricks of the trade. The group quickly become millionaires + lots of sex, drugs  (aka tomfoolery) + the FBI follow.  

All in all, this movie was just okay to me. It’s very much a “bros” film. I can see a lot of 20 something college frat guys, ivy leaguers, or NYC financial district yuppies loving this but I couldn’t get into it due to the subject manner and all of the characters being scumbags. The cast did a great job…maybe too great because I just really didn’t have anyone to root for.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" makes for good entertainment but I can’t say I’ll be eager to see it again any time soon. 

02.09.14 2
Zoom Totto Spicy Ramen: Chicken + paitan ramen with spicy sesame oil, chicken broth, scallion, bean sprouts + nori. I will definitely be going back! | #Japanese #NYC #HellsKitchen #Food #Ramen at Totto Ramen 51 (at Totto Ramen 51)

Totto Spicy Ramen: Chicken + paitan ramen with spicy sesame oil, chicken broth, scallion, bean sprouts + nori. I will definitely be going back! | #Japanese #NYC #HellsKitchen #Food #Ramen at Totto Ramen 51 (at Totto Ramen 51)

01.31.14 2

The perks of advertising. #SleeperAgent performing a few songs here at #PKT. Sounding good! Support on iTunes. (at Publicis Kaplan Thaler)

01.30.14 0
Zoom #CookingForBae. Lol jk. Got a free trial of #BlueApron from a coworker. I made the Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Lemongrass & Red Curry. So good! | #FoodPorn #Foodgasm

#CookingForBae. Lol jk. Got a free trial of #BlueApron from a coworker. I made the Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Lemongrass & Red Curry. So good! | #FoodPorn #Foodgasm

01.12.14 3

Pro Infirmis | Because Who Is Perfect? Get Closer.

Things like this help me remember that some people aim to do good. 

01.04.14 0