Week Later Review

Week Later Review: SZA -Ctrl

The Week Later Review
By Jakina Ado
S.Z.A
‘Ctrl’
Release date: Friday June 9, 2017
Record Label: Top Dawg Entertainment/RCA
Szactrl.com

Ctrl sounds like the movie version of my teen angst in quarter life crisis form. From the release of the lead single “Love Galore” I couldn’t anticipate the masterpiece that is SZA’s long anticipated debut album. Yes I said masterpiece.  It’s not that I didn’t like the track, I do, its not like I wasn’t already a fan, I was, I just wasn’t expecting to get what I’ve been yearning for all at once. If I was expecting anything it was just to like some songs because I like her, but an album I can listen to in its entirety, I don’t know that I was prepared for that. Last year was back to back with amazing albums particularly from women I don’t even have to name but the instant impact of ctrl was melodramatic, it was like not wanting to miss a single beat, it was staying up late to be being able to sing the song word for word the next day, it’s influential. SZA summed up every “different” girl in 14 tracks and simultaneously told you why she’s so relatable, with songs like “ Normal Girl” and “Pretty Little Birds.”

SZA’s teasing tone is as much on display and her earnest writing.  Her sultry rasp matches rap styles and oozes over hints of jazz to touch nostalgia. The blend is elevated and all encompassing from a 15 year old to a 35 year old, ctrl is a journey through self-discovery, acceptance and maturity. She didn’t make an album that has to followed up immediately, she made something to keep coming back to.

Skip-  20 something
Repeat- Go Gina and Garden (Say It Like Dat)

Writing Fics

Me: *posts chapter*
Me: *waits*
Me: *waits more*
Me: *refreshes email and waits*
Me: “WHY AM I NOT GETTING REVIEWS YET?”
Me: “I’m not a good writer, am I?”

*days/weeks later reviews/follows/likes come in*

Me: “I FEEL VALIDATED!”
Me: *goes to write next chapter*

*repeat the process over and over as if I never learned to be patient*

“We’re going out soon, right?” Éponine says as she passes the bathroom. She knows Cosette is in there, doing her hair or whatever, even though Éponine has explained to her a million times that the whole point is to not do your hair.

Silence comes from behind the door, but Éponine doesn’t have time to think much of it, because she gets too distracted by the sight of Montparnasse in her living room.

“Wow.”

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Hey guys! I logged off tumblr for a while due to the Nazi-on-tumblr strike thing (which no surprise nothing happened lol) but I still worked out!
On the left is me bright and early after my workout on Friday. The pic on the right is me a few minutes ago lol

I’ll be posting a week in review later on today. Hope you all have a great Sunday!

missvanillacchii  asked:

Hi! i love your blog a lot! um.... The iwatobi and samezuka guys' confession and first kiss with their s/o?

combining these two cause it seemed relevant

Haruka: The relationship between him and his partner was very casual, neither of them going out of their ways to do overly-romantic things. Simple dates at the pool were enough for both of them, and Haru clearly remembered when he had swam to the end of the pool and back to his waiting partner who pecked his lips and sweetly remarked that they liked him a lot. He smiled, pressing his wet forehead against theirs, “Me too.”

Makoto: After class was over one day, he had gone to his locker, only to find a love letter from an anonymous person. Three minutes later, he’d met them, only to realize that they were just his type. Their first kiss came many weeks later, as they sat reviewing notes before a big test. He had leaned in and kissed them as gently as he could before fumbling with excuses. “I-I’m sorry, I just…” He exhaled, before smiling, “I like you, ___-chan.”

Nagisa: It’s no surprise that he was first to confess and first to kiss his partner. His partner had mildly scolded him for the pace they were running at, as he led them to the ice cream parlor where he gleefully made them pick out their favorite flavor. After they were seated on a park bench, Nagisa had gone and made his move, “___-chan, you have something on your lips.” He wasted no more time in kissing them and then gently nuzzling their shoulder, “I like you, okay?” 

Rei: He looked over to see his partner of a few months squeezing his hand and pointing out a constellation above their heads. His partner stared up at him in curiosity, quietly asking why he was looking at him like that and he acted impulsively, leaning down to kiss them-only to knock foreheads and see a different set of stars. “I-I’m sorry, that was terrible! I-” He squeaks when his partner grabs a fistful of his shirt and drags him towards him, effectively silencing him with both a confession, and a kiss. 

Rin: He was such a crybaby that the waterworks came as soon as he saw their face illuminated by the television screen and realized that his feelings were 100% real. He leans over and rests his cheek against the top of their head, “___, listen…” He doesn’t get far when his partner looks up and smiles, and suddenly his whole world is different. “Shit-I…” They kiss him softly, and he swallows back a sob, “I’m only saying this once… but I like you, alright?” 

Sousuke: It was hot, the sun was shining, and he was out with his partner of a few months on a date in the park. He presses a kiss to their temple when he gets the chance, playing it off as though it wasn’t him. ‘Hey, don’t look at me.” But when they admit that they liked him a lot, his cool demeanor crumbles and he falls back against their picnic blanket, “God, when you say that it makes me-” He grabs their arm, pulling them into him and kissing them sweetly. 

Aiichirou: When he watches his partner-the ace of their volleyball team-play with such zeal, it makes him both proud and envious. If he could be like them, he would be so much more confident. After the game is over, he approaches them with a clearly shaken exterior, handing them a water bottle and complimenting their playing. “When I see you… I get really… happy inside and…” He swallows, “I l-like you, ___.” Ai ends up chickening out, but manages to kiss their cheek and then runs off, leaving his partner very confused. 

Seijuurou: His partner had been putting away their things in their locker when he approached, slamming it shut, and successfully kabe don-ing them. “Yo.” he says, appearing disinterested before taking pleasure in his partner’s bashful expression at having so many people watching. He leans in closer to them, “I like you, alright?” His smile is as wide as the seas when his partner giggles and brings their face in for a kiss.  

Momotarou: “I’m totally gonna win this.” He says, concentrating on the game on the screen, “If I do, you have to kiss me, ___-chan!” Fast-forward five minutes, and Momo ended up losing, leaving his pride in pieces on the ground. But not for long. He takes his partner’s hand and squeezes tight before pecking their lips nervously, “I-I forgot to tell you that if you won, I’d kiss you!” His goofy grin breaks apart and he nuzzles their neck with his nose, “It’s not fair! Why do I have to like you so much?!” 

Interstellar Review

Alright, alright, alright. Reviewing a film such as Interstellar is a monumentally difficult task. It says a lot about a motion picture when you’re so utterly speechless and at a total loss for words to describe what you’ve just seen. That being said Interstellar was one my most anticipated films of 2014, and when I saw it last weekend I was not disappointed. It was a utterly spell-binding film. I decided since then to gather my thoughts in this review of sorts, of which I’ve kept the first half spoiler-free. That being said, do read on at your own discretion, as spoiler tendencies will vary from person to person. I am going to write spoilers, particularly about the ending, but only after a jump in the text. With that out of the way, let’s begin!

I suppose I can expand upon this summary I’ve come up with. 

Interstellar is Christopher Nolan’s beautifully poetic love letter to the human ideals of exploration, hope, sacrifice, and love, in a film that’s replete with stunning visuals, phenomenal acting, and an intelligent story line which triumphs despite a slightly clunky second act.

Interstellar of course is Nolan’s first film since finishing up his Dark Knight trilogy with the The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. It’s scripted by himself and his brother Jonathan, who initially wrote it as a project for Steven Spielberg, but was revamped when Spielberg departed the project and Nolan came on board. It’s very much based on the work of Caltech theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, noted for his work on black holes and astrophysics, who aided the production crew and was credited as an executive producer. 

The premise is basically that at some point in the near future, Earth has been ravaged by blight. Numerous crops have failed, with only corn remaining, and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Matthew McConaughey’s character, Cooper, is a widowed Air Force pilot turned farmer, who raises his two young children Tom (Timothee Chalamet) and Murph (Mackenzie Foy) with his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow). When Cooper and Murph stumble upon a secret NASA facility, they meet Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) who inform Cooper that they have discovered a gravitational anomaly near Saturn, which is in fact a wormhole which leads to an entirely different galaxy full of potentially habitable worlds for humanity to migrate to and start afresh.  Brand convinces Cooper to lead an expedition along with Amelia and two other scientists (played by Wes Bentley and David Gyasi), a sarcastic robot TARS, (voiced by Bill Irwin) and another more reserved one, CASE, (voiced by Josh Stewart). Although Cooper accepts, he must face the fact that due to the nature of interstellar travel, it could take decades for him to see his family again, something Murph does not take particularly well. 

That’s all that can really be said about the plot without going into full-blown spoiler territory, but I can safely say that what follows is a thought-provoking and visually arresting odyssey into the far reaches of the cosmos but is grounded in its transcendent otherworldliness in the love story between a father and the family he leaves far behind. 

You really don’t need me to tell you how utterly brilliant the special effects are. You’ve probably seen bits of it in the TV spots and trailers, but they absolutely live up to - and exceed- the hype. Nolan, infamous in the industry for having a reputation as a traditional director, (who amongst other things eschews shooting in digital in favor or film and relying as much as possible on practical effects) incredibly managed to shoot a film of such massive scale without the usage of green screen. All the spacecraft were physical models, so nothing really looked cartoony and it conveyed a sense of actually *being* inside the film. It was a refreshing change in an era of cinema that’s dominated by special effects, and I’m looking forward to what J.J. Abrams does with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a film that similarly utilizes many practical effects. That being said, when the film does use CGI (inevitably for a movie that takes place in space) it’s jaw-dropping. Particular highlights for me would be the initial trip through the wormhole, an amazing, eye-opening, slightly trippy journey that really made you feel as though you were in the spacecraft. Another would be how the black hole, Gargantua, was realized on screen. It is apparently the most accurate depiction of a black hole yet, and the effects crew worked directly with Thorne, using his own equations, to create this massive, spinning illuminated disc. I was awestruck throughout this sequence.  The alien worlds encountered, the water world and ice planet were a spectacle to behold in their terrifying beauty. A tip of the hat to cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema and production designer Nathan Crowley. Oscar-worthy stuff. In light of all this, and the fact that much of the film was itself shot with IMAX cameras, I’d have to say IMAX is the only proper way to enjoy Interstellar, so do go for that option if you can. It’s definitely worth the slightly more expensive cost of admission. 

Comparisons with Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey, are inevitable. Nolan hasn’t been shy to describe the influence 2001 has had on his career, and there are a number of homages throughout the film which harken back to Kubrick. Pre-release hype was dubbing Interstellar “this generation’s 2001” or “the next 2001” and some even “better than 2001”. In retrospect it was probably the hype which led to Interstellar’s rather mixed and decisive reception at the box office, but in my view I do think it’s a worthy spiritual successor. And it’s also worth noting that 2001 received a similarly frosty reception when it was first released, but went on to become a cult classic that is now revered as one of the finest films of all time. Perhaps Interstellar will age like a fine wine, and people will appreciate it more as the years go by. It just seems like that sort of movie. 

As with all his previous films, Nolan surrounded himself with a phenomenally talented cast. There were no less than 5 Oscar winners and/or nominees, and I really couldn’t find fault with the principal cast. Matthew McConaughey made for a compelling protagonist, and continued his amazing run of form on the back of performances in True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club. As Nolan described, they were looking for a “cowboy” astronaut in the mould of famous American pioneers like Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong, and McConaughey pulled it off so well, I simply can’t imagine anyone better in the role. Jessica Chastain was similarly brilliant, with a very nuanced performance. And while I had a few minor complaints about the motivations of Anne Hathaway’s character, there’s no doubt she too was marvelous and played off McConaughey quite well. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the actress who played the young Murph, Mackenzie Foy, who had some pretty emotionally charged sequences with McConaughey early in the film, and pulled them off remarkably well for a child actress. And as always, it was lovely seeing Michael Caine, it what is now his sixth collaboration with Nolan. Bill Irwin injects some well-needed comic relief into proceedings in a turn as talkative monolithic robot TARS (what a legend he is). A fairly well-known Hollywood star also pops up in Interstellar’s second act in an extended cameo, though I’ll get to him in the spoiler portion of this review. 

Hans Zimmer again does not disappoint. The score for Interstellar is markedly different from Zimmer’s previous one, with a significantly less number of bombastic BRAAAAAAAAMs and more ethereal, celestial motifs played with a church organ. The main theme of the film, the one heard in the very first teaser trailer, is prominent throughout, and the different variations are all so beautiful despite their similarities. It’s a simple 3-4 note theme, just like “Time” from Inception, and in my opinion, is up with the very best of Zimmer’s work. There were however, a few occasions where the loud background music would make it hard to comprehend the dialogue spoken by the actors, especially with the dulcet Southern drawl of Matthew McConaughey in the mix. 

But in my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad. I can’t guarantee that you’ll love Interstellar. Reviews are after all completely subjective, and everybody’s going to take something different from it. I can only say that if you’re on the fence, you should go for it, if only for the special effects. Go for the breathtaking effects, and S.T.A.Y (folks who’ve seen the film will get this reference) for the incredibly tear-jerking emotional story that’s at the center of this stunning journey through time and space. Here I am a week later, writing this review still utterly in awe of what I saw. This is one of the films that really stick with you. I’m dying to get it on Blu-ray to watch it again. And again. And again. And probably again. 

Rating: 4.5/5 

Spoiler section coming up! Thanks for reading if you’re leaving now. 

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It’s been about 2 weeks since I last saw MJ part 2 and I only now feel like some of the impressions I had settled and like I could write about it.

Another thing that got me to write is a conversation I had with someone who didn’t read the book, and someone who did this weekend. Both of them saw the movie and had the same complaint- why is Katniss not more affected after Prim dies?

I have a related problem with the movie- the end was just….Hollywood polished? No scars and no grief, but numbness. There was no Katniss losing it completely, singing to herself, being addicted to morphling and searching for pills she threw on the floor. And I get it that partially it’s to save some time, but also I think numbness is just prettier to show than what I described up there.

I guess why I’m disappointed by this is because in MJ part 1 they didn’t hold back (at least not this much). The movie opens up with Katniss being hidden next to some pipes, and ends with Peeta looking horrible (the outline of his shoulder blades through that hospital gown will haunt me forever) and with the violent strangling scene. And then MJ part 2 drops the ball in the last 15 minutes. Did they lose the concentration during editing of the very last scenes? Did they lose their courage at the very end? What happened?

To add to this, I get that they probably wanted her to be numb so the cat scene would be more powerful. But then they really could’ve showed the numbness a bit more and could’ve showed Katniss’ PTSD more (we don’t see any of Katniss’ PTSD this time around). What already would be great is if they showed Katniss not speaking after Prim’s death. Imagine the scene like in the beginning- dr.Aurelius touching her throat, and asking her to say her name. But this time Katniss just stares straight ahead blankly. Haymitch talking to her and she’s just quiet. Dr Aurelius tells them that Katniss doesn’t speak because of shock. Katniss mom completely not responding to this big just quietly tending to Katniss’ scars and doing nothing else.

Then maybe a few scenes in Snow’s mansion where she doesn’t look totally polished (seriously there’s not a hair out of place the whole time at the end) while wandering the halls. Maybe having a nightmare or hiding in a closet and then going around to wander and finding Snow and finally speaking when she hears the truth about the bombs. It would take like 2 more minutes and it would show so much more of Katniss’ mental state. And people wouldn’t think the movie showed Katniss not to be affected by Prim’s death but would really get the numbness.

The Week Later Review: ANTI -Rihanna

The Week Later Review
By Jakina Ado

Rihanna
‘ANTI’
Release Date: Thursday January 28, 2016 leaked date?
(February 5, 2016 for physical copies)
Record Label: Westbury Road | Roc Nation
rihannanow.com

Week Later Review… because it takes time for things to become clearer.

In my almost four-year-old review of Unapologetic, Rihanna’s last album, I called it ‘genere-less.’  ANTI, her 8th studio album continues this trend and pushes it to what seems to be the outer limits. This album isn’t just personal; it comes off as self- reflective, making the long wait for it understandable.

Early the morning of Thursday January 28, 2016 I get news that Rihanna’s album has been released and by 6:30AM I’ve listened to “Consideration” twice before going on to the next track. Outside of maybe J.Cole in recent history, I can’t recall an opening track that hits as hard as that. “I got to do things my own way darling…”with the help of SZA, Rihanna simultaneously speaks for the free spirited woman and sets the tone for what’s about to be 41:41 minutes of Rihanna explaining how to love her where she is, if you dare.

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that I even noticed that ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ wasn’t even on the album – it wouldn’t have fit, and speaking of ill fit, the assist from Drake on what would be the lead single ‘Work’ does nothing for the song.

On almost every track Rihanna seems to experiment with her voice, she doesn’t really just sing she asks, teases, tells, pleads, swoons and undulates. When it comes to the much debated topic of her voice I have to refer to what @ghengiskellz of the Combat Jack Show podcast said “she not the best singer, she not the best dancer but she bends shit to her will… she not doing a whole lot but it looks fly as fuck.”

The Week later review… 
By Jakina Hill

Rihanna
‘Unapologetic’
Release Date: November 19, 2012 (Monday)
Record Label: Def Jam
Rihannanow.com

 Unapologetic is my first Rihanna album purchase since ‘Music Of The Sun.’ I burned a copy of a copy of ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ and lucked up on a free download of the entire ‘Rated R’ album after that I definitely considered buying the other two albums but songs like ‘California King Bed’ and ‘We Found Love’ made me happy to keep my very few dollars.
Still, over the years I haven’t been immune to the massive image that is Rihanna. She has inspired countless time wasting Internet sessions of just looking at her cloths, hair, jewelry, makeup, shoes, and of course tattoos, I love it all, the look, the apparent lifestyle, it just seems so fun. Her brand of entertainment has moved beyond dance moves and next level graphics, but with video footage, Oprah moments and Twitter its like the ultimate, celebrity Vlogger and I’m admitting that I subscribe, to the point that I’m back to buying her music.

By the end of the second ‘Diamonds’ remix it becomes clear that not only does Rihanna carve her on lane with the already established celebrity vlogging but she has the first truly genre-less album that I ever heard. On song likes ‘Pour It Up’ she flirts with rapping then glides into the already hood popular pop&B sounding ‘Loveeeeeee Song’ featuring Future. She doesn’t forget her electro dance fans on “Right Now’ nor her reggae roots with the ‘Man Down’ reminiscent ‘No Love Allowed.’ Tracks 2-6 are the height of the album with a few more standouts like ‘Get It Over With” sprinkled in after. The much talked about Chris Brown assisted ‘Nobody’s Business’ doesn’t live up to a fraction of the hype. Unapologetic is a bold statement made with a bunch of good batch of safe songs, maybe the boldness is more in the cover and album art that made sure to include more look at me smoking images that seem manufactured to further perpetuate a new angle on her -gone bad-persona which seems to be the only thing she may have to answer for. 

The week later review…
By Jakina Ado

Kendrick Lamar
‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city’
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Record Label: Aftermath/Interscope Records
Kendricklamar.com

So I started listening to the second disk first, somehow thinking that there might actually be a short film, like moving images on it for the $16.42 I paid for the Deluxe edition of good kid, m.A.A.d city, (yes I still go to Best Buy and purchase actual CDs). Of course there wasn’t, but there was three songs. I felt a little cheated, but the songs were good and when I put the 12 track original CD in is when the movie began.

 Kendrick Lamar vividly paints tales from the hood and offers a fly on the wall glimpse inside his coming of age story. The story is set in Compton, and the main characters are the homies, Sherane, his parents, and his mama’s van. One standout track ‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst’ the story becomes more that just Kendrick’s but the story of many people from any hood. “ … daughter is dead, mother is mourning, the stray bullets, AK bullets, resuscitation was waiting patiently but they couldn’t bring her back, who got the footage, channel nine, cameras is looking…”

Kendrick continues to go in an out of Nicki Minaj-esque voices throughout the songs and every time he goes into one I question whether they add or take away from the song, I guess it does neither.

With the exception of songs like ‘m.A.A.d city’ that encompasses the anxiousness of doing dirt, the album maintains a laid back California vibe.
Standouts are ‘Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter’s Daughter,’ ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ and ‘Black Boy Fly.’