Archives for category: videos

​Not letting critics put me off a movie was a good thing when I watched Passengers. I really loved it, except for the early part staying too long on just one character. Apparently a lot of people complained about that, so it’s not just me.  Otherwise, it’s one of my favorite movies I’ve seen this year. It’s sweet and romantic, yet still actiony that’s at times terrifying, all the sf colonization stuff is so, so cool, the ship is so awesome that I want to travel on it, and the ethical question at the movie’s center is fascinating. Chris Pratt is moving as Jim, especially while agonizing over whether to remain alone, then still wrestling with a combination of guilt and pure joy for much of the movie. Jennifer Lawrence displays a gamut of emotions, as Aurora endures different but equally brutal decisions. Michael Sheen’s robotic bartender adds enjoyable comic relief, with an accompanying touch of pathos. Lawrence Fishburn? What more need I say? He’s Lawrence Fishburn! As the movie unspooled, it reminded me of the final Futurama finale, which is a real compliment from me. Cautiously watching Passengers turned out to be an unexpected delight…the kind I can only wish happened more often.

Passengers Official Trailer

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My Moto Z Play takes decent video, so I’ve been experimenting. Honestly, though, I got a Nikon Long Zoom late last year that’s even better and I don’t remember which one I took this with. I got out of my car last spring and noticed the soothing ripples water dripping off the edge of the roof was making in a puddle. The dripping sound, the birds singing, along with the green grass and little wildflower made it a charming micro scene. Fortunately, this particular nine seconds didn’t manage to capture a dog’s frantic and intrusive barking. I’m working on holding the camera perfectly steady, but I think this is a pretty good job for a newbie. 

What an amazing thing to stumble across in the middle of the night. I found it on Twitter, so why am I surprised? This video of blooming flowers set to music is breathtaking. An artistic flower lover’s dream, it perfectly displays the intricate, delicate beauty we sometimes take for granted. We are moved from unfolding flowers to the New York City skyline to the stars. A spellbinding treat for often jaded minds….and hearts…and, yes, even souls.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/spring-timelapse-flowers-blooming?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=atlas-page

​Aimee Mann is one of my all time favorite singer songwriters. According to my taste and experience, she’s never done any bad music. I didn’t discover her until her solo career, but enjoy her ‘Til Tuesday days too. The combination of her voice, lyrics, and melodies has run through my mind like a stream moving as fast as she can produce albums. 

Some music inspires my fiction way more than the rest. Aimee Mann’s has been known to help me generate plot almost faster than I can keep up with it. Some of the best scenes I’ve ever written are connected to her work on the Magnolia Soundtrack and most of all, Bachelor No. 2, or the Last Remains of the Dodo. The latter is my favorite of her albums, and Mental Illness reminds me of it quite a bit. Drenched in strings that are the perfect companions to guitar and piano, Mental Illness is lavishly melodic. She also displays her wonderful ability with often subtle vocal acrobatics. 

Mental Illness strikes me as Dodo’s charming older sister. Containing several waltzes and her usual complex lyrics, this album is amazing and quickly became the kind of thing I have to keep listening to at odd moments. Especially when the unusual, catchy, and beautiful Goose Snow Cone pops into my head. I looked up what it’s about. Turns out Goose is a cat she knows, who also stars in the sweet video. This one is going to keep me listening, as I wait for whatever comes next from Aimee Mann.

This gorgeous video is titled Memories of Paintings. It was created by Thomas Blanchard. I have to say after watching it that he is a very talented and visionary artist. Perhaps unique. I don’t know, because I’ve never seen anything like it before and have no idea how unusual it may be. What I do know is that it is the most innovative, beautiful, and graceful use of paint imaginable. The swoop and swirl, blending, remixing, and changing of colors all set to lovely music make up a visual experience I know I won’t be satisfied to see just once. Amazing art.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/watch-and-be-hypnotized-by-the-flow-of-moving-paint

Hearing X Ambassadors’ song Renegades on the radio is one thing…enjoying a great song. Seeing the official video is another thing entirely…being inspired. The extremely challenged athletes featured are absolutely incredible. Their physical strength alone is remarkable. Their grace, humility, and courage serve as an unspoken challenge to those of us who do not face the realities of their daily lives. I know I’m now much more aware of the need for gratitude and grace when faced with adversity.

X Ambassadors Renegades Official Video

I got Ryn Weaver’s The Fool album on a whim, while browsing my Amazon Music app. It can be a good place to discover new music, if you’re patient enough to go through stuff like New Music and Recommended For You, sometimes even $5 Albums. I got lucky when I bought this one.

Ryn Weaver has an interesting style and beautiful voice. Both are showcased in this video Ryn Weaver — The Fool ( Acoustic) . I glanced over some reviews that compared her to Heather Nova and Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine. I have to agree. She has that vibrato thing going too, though in a unique way.

This video is also cool because of the setting. It looks like an empty pool, which makes for unusual acoustics…pristine and expansive at once.

I like the album, but find some of it more produced than I typically care for, at times coming off as almost experimental. I wish I had an entire album of these unique acoustic versions. I see that there are more than one video on YouTube recorded in the same place, so I’ll have to dip into them more when I have a chance. No pun intended, believe it or not!

Ryn Weaver — The Fool (Acoustic)