Category Archives: Entertainment

Two Taylor Swifts: Old vs. New

Life changes every single day. One minute can turn a person’s entire journey upside down. As we get older, it is only natural that we grow. We mature physically, our likes and dislikes become different, and chapters close and new pages open in our book of life. We may not notice these differences because we are the ones experiencing them. It is much easier to see how other people grow and mature. One of the best examples of this is celebrities. They can’t go out the door without a paparazzi calling out that they are wearing a new designer shoe. Their whole lives are captured frame by frame as the world sees a close timeline of their journey. It is obvious to see how certain celebrities break away from where they began to where they are now. No one is a better example than Taylor Swift.

I still remember the first time I heard of this blonde hair, country singer who strummed her guitar as she sang about relationships, breakups, and love. I was driving home from school one day and the radio played her single “Love Story”. I was instantly hooked by the storyline and metaphor. She was in love with this guy that she knew her parents wouldn’t be happy with. So they kept their love a secret until her father finally approved. Not only were the lyrics catchy but her voice was so smooth and beautiful. I wasn’t posting statuses about my new favorite artist in fear of being judged by my friends, so I secretly just played the song on loop for a good few months on my car drives.

She wasn’t just a one hit wonder either. I downloaded her two albums Taylor Swift and Fearless and couldn’t stop listening. Every song seemed like it was written about another memory of my life. I don’t know how she did it but she was so honest with her lyrics that it felt like she stole they from your life. She didn’t hold anything back and wrote the more personal moments in her life like her album was a diary. There is no way that anyone could say that there isn’t one line that they can’t relate to in any Taylor Swift song.

The innocent singer has now broken away from her country image and turned to a more modern look. She still puts her true emotions and stories into her lyrics, but is far from the beginning singles like the song “Tim McGraw”. She has added a more pop beat into her music and with some electronic beats. A lot of people are complaining that they miss the old Taylor who sang with her guitar in music videos wearing blue jeans and cowboys boots. It is still the same singer, she has just matured. You can see her progression through each album. Her debut album was that country singer with nothing but a hope and dream pouring her emotions into every word in her lyrics.  She has still kept that truth in her songs, but has evolved from the more pop album of Speak Now to the modern sounds of Red. The point of being an artist is to progress and show her maturity. I admit, I was a little taken back when I saw the video for “We Never Getting Back Together” with furry animals. But after listening to the album a couple times, I have fallen in love. I still can relate to her messages. If she didn’t grow as an artist, then everyone would be complaining that she is just writing the same material.

Taylor Swift is definitely not the same girl we first fell in love with. And this is a good thing. She has given us classics, but also matured to give us new music that we enjoy and appreciate. Because of her status as a celebrity, everything she does is captured and put under a magnifying glass. Yes, she is a young woman and will meet guys and become involved with them. But imagine for the past five years that every person you have talked to and been together with was publicized for the world to know. It would probably be a bigger number of people than you would expect. So instead of attacking everything she does, we should enjoy her growth not only as a person but as an artist. It is nice to finally see someone that has accomplished so much and not faltered from her true self.

Movie Review: Side Effects

Reluctantly, my girlfriend dragged me to go see the new Channing Tatum movie Side Effects last night. I saw the preview a bunch of times and wasn’t that impressed. It just seemed like an uneventful, suspense drama about a girl with psychological problems that no one could explain. I didn’t know who the leading actress was, but I noticed that the preview showed flickers of another famous actor Jude Law as the doctor. Besides his role in Sherlock Holmes, I can’t remember the last time he was ever in a movie. I guess the big draw for this motion picture was the presence of Tatum.

As the open credits began to roll, I noticed that this was directed by Stephen Soderbergh. I really didn’t know the movies he has done before, but his name rang a bell and gave me a bit of excitement. The first few minutes were pretty slow, but I was already getting drawn in by the love relationship between Channing and his wife Rooney Mara. It started to pick up soon after, and I have to say I was on the edge of my seat for the entire time.

I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so I won’t give away any spoilers. I loved the way this movie was shot and have never seen it done like this before. Everything was so clear that you could actually see every detail in the actors’ faces. It wasn’t shot from a far away angle, but instead up close as if you were actually there. It even felt like you were inside this girl’s head and battling all the problems she was going through. The acting was superb and nice to see Tatum in a serious film, since I’m still catching my breath from laughing so hard watching 21 Jumpstreet. Another surprise was seeing Catherine Zeta Jones in this film. Maybe I’m too young, but I don’t remember ever seeing her act except for in the T-Mobile commercials. She nailed her role and put on an amazing performance. However, the breakthrough star of the movie had to be Jude Law. I never really was a fan of his earlier work, but this has now made me be on the look out for his next roles. Maybe it was his British accent or his facial gestures, but I just loved his acting as the shrink. He carried around a very professional demeanor, but then you get to know him personally and see his true self shine through. I hope to see him play more roles like this in the future.

Side Effects should be on everybody’s must see list for 2013. Not only was it shot beautifully, but all the actors were excellent. They made you really connect to not only the storyline but the people they were portraying. I actually believed Jude Law was a practicing psychiatrist and not some famous actor. If you have a feeling of what this movie will be like, trust me that you are wrong. This suspense has so many twists and turns that you will not be able to keep your eyes off the screen until it is over.

Dysfunctional Sitcom of Life

Recently, I just watched my first episode of Roseanne. I always saw reruns playing on television but never got around to enjoy it. I was surfing through channels and noticed that an episode was just starting. With nothing else on, I thought this would be as good of a time as ever to try it out. The first scene already had me laughing with the daughter and son arguing like most siblings do. I loved the relationship between Roseanne and John Goodman as they bounced jokes off each other but then made the audience relate to serious situations. It was really well written and captivating as I found one episode turned into a full marathon. I don’t know what it is about sitcoms, but I always find myself mesmerized by the chemistry of the actors. The really good shows make you believe they have known each other their whole life and you quickly connect to them. I not only found myself admiring the characters, but wanting to be part of that family.

Not the typical family, but the Tanners in Full House were always having fun even watching television.

Not the typical family, but the Tanners in Full House were always having fun even watching television.

The first sitcom I was hooked on at an early age was definitely Full House. It was the perfect combination of a responsible dad, funny uncle, rebel uncle playing guitar and riding motorcycles, and three sweet, charismatic daughters. I can still remember Stephanie’s famous “How rude” line and Michelle saying ” You got it, dude”. The actors pulled me in with their funny jokes and story lines, even though I found it strange that Danny let his two brothers-in-law free load off him for seven seasons.They always seemed like they were having fun no matter what they were doing. The Tanner family could be sitting at the table eating dinner, and something spontaneous would happen to turn their boring meal into an epic feast with food fights, jokes, and even a talking beaver puppet. It wasn’t about how much they all cared about each other. I had a loving family that would do anything for me and be there if I truly needed it. I think it was the actual story lines of the show that caught my eye. I wanted to go on a vacation to Hawaii and jet ski, snorkel, and find myself leaving the islands with crazy stories that happened. I wished every problem I encountered would be magically solved at the end of every show.  I wanted every day to be like a Full House episode, but unfortunately I didn’t live in San Francisco or have an awesome red Corvette that played a catchy theme song when I drove it. I was stuck just watching from  the outside as I had to deal with the monotony of school and real-life problems.

Another show I started watching after school was Boy Meets World. In my opinion, this has to be one of the best and most memorable sitcoms from the 90’s. Not only did Cory have this great family, but the of closest best friend on tevlesion Shawn and him were inseparable. Even if it seemed overbearing or too much, they would always be there for each other with advice or a helping hand. Shawn even got along with Cory’s soulmate Topanga, as they all hung out and had a memorable four years at John Adams. While most people grow apart after high school, they remained best friends through college. After graduating eighth grade, I was so excited to move on and have these types of memories. I wanted that best friend that I would go on adventures with and could always call up whenever I needed. I wanted an older brother Eric that taught me about life and told me his stories. I was hoping that my next door neighbor would become a teacher and be in my classroom for the next eight years of my education. While I never had an older brother, a Mr. Feeny, or cool teacher like John that took Shawn in to live with him;  I did have some good memories with a close group of friends. But just like Boy Meets World, all things have to come to an end. High school wasn’t going to last forever, and I never found that Shawn that I could call my best friend for my whole life. (On a side note, I really hope the new spinoff Girl Meets World doesn’t ruin the series.)

Corey and Shawn were always up to something in every episode of Boy Meets World.

Corey and Shawn were always up to something in every episode of Boy Meets World.

I still watch sitcoms but can’t help but feel like they are missing something. I always find myself going back to reruns of my favorite shows of the 90’s. I still feel like they have more memorable characters and relatable story lines, but I think they mostly hold fond memories of my childhood. Now that I have grown up, I actually did live all those episodes I wanted to be in so bad. I have gone through relationships and breakups, good report cards and tests I failed, disappointing my parents and making them proud, enjoying friends and losing them, and even graduating. I got to live my own sitcom and not only connect to the characters but actually care about them. I made up my own one liners and catch phrases and decided how I wanted each episode to end. Maybe I won’t remember every lesson Mr. Feeny said or sit down Danny Tanner had with Michelle, but I will always cherish my own memories longer than any series can be on television.

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