Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Day Halloween Challenge!

1) Favorite Halloween movie
This is going to sound kinda weird coming from a 19 year old college student, but there's one Halloween movie that I've never been able to get past since my childhood- Double Double, Toil and Trouble. Yes, the 1993 Mary-Kate and Ashley movie. I always loved it when I was younger, and I still have it on VHS. I don't know why, but that's a Halloween movie I've always loved... even though I'm too old for it now.

2) Halloween costume this year
Unfortunately, I've become a boring person who just sits inside on Halloween insead of dressing up. And I'm not a party person, so I don't even have that to dress up for.

3) Favorite Horror Movie
I love horror movies SO much, so I have a lot of favorites. The Shining is amazing, Evil Dead, Saw, The Ring, and Sweeney Todd... I'd say those are probably my top 5.

4) Best Halloween/Fall themed food
Those sugar cookies with pumpkins on them! Yummmmy!

5) Your first horror movie
I think the first one I watched was One Missed Call. I got into horror movies in junior high, and it was fairly new and looked cool, so I decided to watch it. I also watched The Skeleton Key and When A Stranger Calls about that time too.

6) What type of monster do you want to be?
Monster? I've always thought vampires were cool... does that count?

7) Favorite Halloween character
This question seems a little vague. Favorite to dress up as? As said above, I like vampires!

8) One of your paranormal experiences
Hate to burst y'all's bubbles, but I just don't believe in ghosts. I do, however, really enjoy watching Ghost Adventures and laughing at their claims. I also really like when Zak taunts the "spirits."

9) Do you believe in witchcraft?
Well obviously people practice witchcraft, but I don't think that the things they worship actually exist so basically they're doing all these rituals for nothing, IMO.

10) Best costume you've ever worn
My senior year of high school, I dressed up as Hermione from Harry Potter! I was so excited that I went all-out just to get it perfect!

11) Favorite candy
Oh goodness... I love candy so much. My favorite chocolates are Reeses, Butterfinger, and Snickers... as far as sweets, I love sweet tarts, gobstoppers... basically any wonka candy.

12) How you act when watching a scary movie
I really like watching with friends because I enjoy laughing at their freaked out reactions. I'm pretty chill while watching horror movies. I kinda just don't have a reaction. Just sometimes I jump because of jump scares, but that's about it.

13) Best pumpkin carving you've done
I've actually never carved a pumpkin, because my parents never let me when I was younger. I just drew on it with sharpie.

14) Do you believe in ghosts/spirits?
Not in the slightest, which is why I can watch anything without fear.

15) Halloween decoration tips
I think anything creepy is fine, but it's not cool when people purposely try to scare people when they come up to their house, because you could terrify children. It happened to me several times as a child. If someone's going to purposely scare people at their house, they need to make sure it's only older children through adults. Scaring little kids is not ok.

16) What do you use to hold candy when you trick or treat?
I've used cheap buckets, buckets with my name on it, and pillow cases.

17) Your Halloween traditions
When I was younger, sometimes we had creepy dinners. Now, it's just horror movies!

18) Best Halloween pranks or dares
I like anything scary. Seriously, anything!

19) Biggest fear
I'm absolutely terrified of birds, especially ostriches and emus. I also don't like clowns and spiders.

20) Best TV show Halloween episode
I love, love, LOVE the Halloween episode in season 2 of Community. Everyone turns into zombies and it's both creepy and funny.

21) Opinion on October weather
Depends where I am. I live in Tennessee in October, and I'm pretty OK with the weather here. It's cool, but generally not too cold, except at night. I lived in Texas, and liked October weather there... my parents live in South Dakota, and last year on fall break in October, I almost froze to death... and they have snow right now. So, as long as it's just cool or at least fairly warm, I'm good.

22) First Halloween Costume
I think I was a pumpkin my first Halloween!

23) Worst Halloween Candy
Don't hate me, but I absolutely CANNOT stand candy corn! It was always THE Halloween candy as a child, but I absolutely hated it. I got annoyed every time someone gave those out. Just yuck.

24) Trick or Treating OR Halloween Party?
Trick or Treating, FOR SURE. I'm not a party fan.

25) Favorite Halloween Song
This is Halloween! Duh!

26) Have you ever used an Ouija board? Experiences?
Nah. Ghosts aren't real, so I've never felt the need to try Ouija boards.

27) Halloween costume last year?
I had a pseudo-costume... I dressed kinda as the female Alex Gaskarth (lead singer of All Time Low, one of my favorite bands... I did a 30 day ATL challenge as well, and you can check it out here if you'd like!).

28) Your Halloween plans this year?
Horror movie night with my best friends!

29) Some Halloween events you've attended
I went to several holiday parties when I was younger, but that's about it.

30) Favorite Halloween animal?
Halloween animal? A black cat?

31) Why do you love Halloween?
Candy, Costumes, and Horror movies. The end.

Don't forget to check out my other blogs, From Kristen's Brain, and The CDs On My Shelf!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Dream "And Then There Were None" Cast

Hey, y'all! I thought I'd do something a little out of the ordinary and talk about a book that is near and dear to my heart: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. This is one of my absolute favorite books. And while reading this book, I tended to picture certain actors and actresses as each character. No one has ever managed to make a decent movie version of this book, and no one has attempted to make one since the '70s. So, I figured that I should give Hollywood a little head start to hopefully prompt them to make a new one. Wishful thinking, but it was fun!
I’d also just like to preface this by saying that having all of these actors in one movie together would probably be WAY too expensive, but these are the people I would cast with infinite money. Also, I tried to find pictures that matched the way I want them to be styled as closely as possible. Enjoy :)

Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Anthony Marston played by: Ryan Reynolds

He was one of the easiest to cast. I’m not sure why, but he was exactly who I pictured when reading about Anthony Marston. 

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Mrs. Rogers played by: Meryl Streep

When I first read the book, I pictured both her and her husband as a bit younger (late 40s to early 50s) but I now I tend to picture them as a bit older, and I think that Meryl Streep would fit the bill perfectly.

Eight little soldier boys travelling in Devon
One said he'd stay there and then there were seven.
General Macarthur played by: Anthony Hopkins 

I also considered him for the role of Justice Wargrave, because of how creepy he can get, but I think he could work really well as General Macarthur. 

Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks.
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Thomas Rogers played by: Richard Gere

This one gave me the most trouble. I REALLY wanted Michael Caine, but realized that he's just too old for the part. So, I went with Richard Gere. Honestly, I'd replace him rather quickly if I found someone better.

Six little soldier boys playing with a hive.
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Emily Brent played by: Helen Mirren

I was kinda flip-flopping with Helen and Meryl as Emily, but I felt that Helen had more of the look I'd pictured for Emily. This was a pretty hard one to figure out, because I pictured an older woman, but not a specific actress!

Five little soldier boys going in for law.
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Justice Wargrave played by: Jack Nicholson 

I mean, could anyone play this role better? He's brilliant, and can play characters who are covering up their craziness. I've just pictured him as Justice Wargrave since I first read the book.

Four little soldier boys going out to sea.
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Dr. Armstrong played by: Gary Oldman

I feel like Gary Oldman could be styled in many different ways that would fit this role. Beard would work, the more messy hair would work, clean shaven, glasses or no glasses, there are just many different options here. But I feel like he would do an excellent job.

Three little soldier boys walking in the zoo.
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
William Blore played by: George Clooney

I feel like he could work either clean-shaven or with the facial hair like this. I'm not a huge Clooney fan, but he definitely looks the part in my opinion.

Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun.
One got frizzled up, and then there was one.
Captain Lombard played by: Johnny Depp

Lombard is my favorite character in the book, and I kinda always pictured him as Johnny Depp, but with Captain Jack Sparrow's mustache. He's also the character that I'm still divided on. I think Jared Leto would also be a great choice...

However, I AM a rather biased person, because Lombard is my favorite character and I want him to be as attractive as possible and these are two of the most attractive actors working right now... but that's just in my opinion.

One little soldier boy left all alone.
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
Vera Claythorne played by: Natalie Portman 

I think she would be perfect. I considered Emma Watson for a little while, but I realized that the only reason I was considering her was because she's British and the character is British. But I'm sure Natalie Portman could fake a British accent. 

So, there you go! My dream cast of And Then There Were None. As you probably noticed, actors/actresses were chosen because they were what I pictured when reading the book, rather than for their acting abilities. In all seriousness, however, I really do hope that a *GOOD* movie version of And Then There Were None is made at some point, and I would really love to see these people play the respective roles.

So what did you think of my choices? Do you agree? Disagree? Think I'm crazy for choosing a certain person? Let me know in the comments- I'd really love to hear what you think!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Punk Goes Pop Volume 5- Various Artists

Hey, y'all! It's been a while since I've been on here! But, I've been wanting to do a blog for a while, and decided to talk about another CD on my shelf! As always, I put my iTunes on shuffle and, and the CD containing the first song that played is the one I'll be talking about!

Release Date: November 6, 2012
Genre: Alternative, Post-Hardcore, Punk
Track Listing
Since This CD is comprised entirely of different bands' covers of songs, I'll list the band beside the track.
  1. Grenade- Memphis May Fire
  2. Call Me Maybe- Upon This Dawning
  3. Somebody That I Used To Know- Mayday Parade ft. Vic Fuentes
  4. Glad You Came- We Came as Romans
  5. Some Nights- Like Moths to Flames
  6. Billie Jean- Breathe Carolina
  7. We Found Love- Forever The Sickest Kids
  8. Boyfriend- Issues
  9. Girls Just Want to Have Fun- The Maine ft. Adam Lazzara
  10. Payphone- Crown The Empire
  11. Paradise- Craig Owens
  12. Mercy- The Word Alive
  13. A** Back Home- Secrets

About the CD:  Punk Goes Pop 5 is the most recent release in Fearless Records' "Punk Goes..." series. Besides pop, there have also been releases covering Rap/Hip Hop, Metal, and (my personal favorite) Classic Rock. Other releases include 2 acoustic "Punk Goes..." CDs, as well as an 80's CD and 90's CD. Punk Goes Pop has been the longest running series. The next release will be Punk Goes Christmas sometime near the end of this year.

IMHO: I'm a big fan of the "Punk Goes..." series. The only thing that bothers me about them is that I only enjoy certain styles of unclean vocals (screaming) in songs, and often, I find myself thinking 'I really like that clean vocalist, but not the unclean one' and wishing there were more clean vocals. On one on this CD, that was actually reversed. I feel like each CD, though good, is hit and miss. There are some I'm really excited about and others that I just never listen to. I also sometimes have some issues with the songs they consider to be "pop." Some songs they choose are alternative songs that happened to make it big on the radio, and I don't think that makes them pop, even though they are popular. But I'll get more into that when I get into the songs.

Since there are multiple artists on this CD, I'm going to do something a little different and talk about each song and artist individually... as well as the original song, because there are some songs on this CD that I had definite opinions on before hearing their covers.

Grenade- Memphis May Fire: I think this is a pretty good cover. I don't really listen to Memphis May Fire, but from what I have heard, it seems like they mostly have unclean vocals, so I enjoyed hearing what clean vocals they have to offer. Not my favorite song on the CD, but not a bad start either. I definitely prefer this cover over the original track, but the original isn't too bad. Bruno Mars is pretty OK in my book.

Call Me Maybe- Upon This Dawning:
I have mixed feelings about this song. I really like the parts with the clean vocals. I'm not a big fan of this band's style of unclean vocals. I've never heard of this band, and they're also the only band on the CD that doesn't have a Wikipedia page. So, they seem to be relatively unknown. Overall, I like the clean vocals/vocalist, and what they've done with the instruments. It's hard to be worse than the original, but I feel like if they'd stuck with clean vocals, it would have been more successful.

Somebody That I Used To Know- Mayday Parade ft. Vic Fuentes:
Mayday Parade has been featured on most "Punk Goes..." CDs that I have, and for a good reason: they do really great covers. They improve on the music but keep the clean vocals, which is how I really like to have it done. Also, they have Vic Fuentes (lead singer of Pierce The Veil, one of my favorite bands) singing the girl parts, which is just perfect. As always, I think they delivered a great cover. I also really loved the original song, so I was really excited that they were covering it. Since I love the original so much, it's hard to beat it, but I feel like this is definitely right on par with it. This is one of those songs that I thought shouldn't be considered pop, but this is my favorite song on the CD, so I'll let it slide.

Glad You Came- We Came as Romans:
I actually haven't listened to this track very much. But, as I'm listening to it right now, I'm really liking it. I like the way that they're including the unclean vocals as the background vocals and as part of one verse. I haven't listened to much from this band, but I'm pretty sure they're another that's really heavy on the unclean vocals. I'm really liking the clean vocalist for this band as well. I didn't really have much of an opinion on the song before, and I'd have to say I really enjoy what they did with the cover.

Some Nights- Like Moths to Flames:
When I discovered the original Some Nights in early 2012, I fell in love. That's why this cover hurts a bit. I like the grit that they added to the beginning of the song, and honestly, it's a pretty good cover (a bit heavy on the unclean vocals, but that's subjective). But, I just can't like it. I like the original too much.

Billie Jean- Breathe Carolina: Don't hurt me, but I'm really not a Michael Jackson fan. I like that this cover is a nice little relief from the heavy post-hardcore of the majority of the first few tracks... well, for most of the song. There's a cool breakdown at the end. This is another band I haven't really listened to much outside of this song, but I like this cover. And I like it better than the original, but only because I'm not a Michael fan. Seriously, you're talking to the girl who prefers both the Alien Ant Farm and dueling cellos versions of Smooth Criminal a lot more than the Michael version. Sorry, not sorry.

We Found Love- Forever The Sickest Kids: I really really hate Rihanna. Like a lot. She's probably among my least favorite singers ever. I do, however, like Forever The Sickest Kids. But this song, not so much. The way they arranged some of it is just weird and there was randomly screaming even though FTSK doesn't have unclean vocals normally. I'm just not a fan of the way they handled the cover.

Boyfriend- Issues: I feel like you already probably have an idea of how I feel about Justin Bieber. I absolutely cannot stand him, and the first time I heard the original song, I cringed so many times I probably looked like I was having a seizure. My reaction to this was the exact opposite. I really love this cover, thought I'd never heard of the band before this song. I like the unclean vocals and the way they're incorporated into the song. The clean vocalist isn't my favorite, but I think his voice works for the song. I also really enjoy tricking my friends with it, and when they actually hear it, they appreciate my music a bit more. Overall, this is one of my favorites on the CD.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun- The Maine ft. Adam Lazzara: I'm not a big fan of the original song, and I can't really say that I've ever heard it all the way through. I do really like the cover though. The Maine is one of my personal favorite bands featured on the CD, and I also like Taking Back Sunday, the band Adam Lazzara sings in. I wish they'd done a different song, because there's not too much that could convince me to really like this song. But, I do like what they did with it, so kudos to that!

Payphone- Crown The Empire: Crown The Empire is another band I believe is mostly screaming. Once again, I feel like the song would be stronger with just clean vocals, but I really like the way they incorporated the unclean vocals. They seemed to fit in really well. Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the cover, but I definitely prefer the original. It's really hard for anyone to top Adam Levine in my mind.

Paradise- Craig Owens: This is another one that left me a bit annoyed by what they consider to be "pop". Sure, this song became really popular, but it's still an alternative song. This cover got some crap for being lackluster, but I like that it's true to the original. HOWEVER, I feel like it may be a bit too true to the original. I wish it was just a little more punk. Just a little more punkified and it would get a significant amount more play on my iTunes. Don't get me wrong, though- I still really enjoy this cover!

Mercy- The Word Alive: My least favorite on the album. They literally just scream their way through a crappy song, and then do a barely intelligible rap later in the song. I dunno, I just wasn't impressed. I think I understood maybe like two words of the lyrics. Two thumbs down.

A** Back Home- Secrets: I've never even heard of this band before, but I like what they did with the song. I like the difference between the verses with unclean vocals and heavy guitar and the chorus with minimal instruments. Definitely far above the original song.

Favorite Songs: I'd have to say that my favorite covers are definitely Somebody That I Used To Know, Boyfriend, Paradise, and Grenade. I also like Glad You Came, Payphone, and A** Back Home.


Somebody That I Used To Know cover

Boyfriend cover (lyric video)

Rating: 6/10. Beside the few winners, quite a few of these songs are completely mediocre.

Hope you liked my newest "The CDs on my Shelf" post! Want to know more information about the CD? Less? or just different info? Or is what I put good? What did you think of punk going pop? Let me know all of this in the comments. If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe, because it lets me know y'all are liking them! Hope you enjoyed! Comment, comment, comment! I love feedback! Thanks for reading!