During this time of quiet due to the coronavirus situation, I’ve been seeing lately quite a few social media posts about goals and projects people have set for themselves, and one of the things I’ve decided to work on is getting up and moving more, so I’ve been going for walks first thing in the morning before I prepare for the day.
I’m one of those people who needs great butt-kicking music in order to feel in the mood for working out, so in that spirit, I thought it would be fun to share some of the songs I listen to on my phone that really help me get in the mood to get up and out.
“Dead Ringer for Love” (Meat Loaf and Cher)
This is one of the many classic rock songs I grew up listening to (thanks Mom and Dad!) and it’s always rather stuck with me. It’s very catchy and it’s a great song to start any walk/workout to because of the beat, which is quintessential 1980s hair rock. Also, you can’t go wrong with either Meat Loaf OR Cher individually, so putting them together is awesome. If you’re a big classic rock fan or a fan of either of these artists, this is definitely a song to put on your playlist.
For many people, the past few weeks have been depressing and somewhat rough due to the circumstances surrounding the current COVID-19 situation. I admit I have also had a couple blue moments and in that time, I’ve turned to more lighthearted entertainment in order to keep my mind off current events.
With that in mind, this week I decided to put together a list of some of my favorite comedy specials and shows and movies so others might have some ideas of more lighthearted fare to watch in these weird times.
“John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City Music Hall” (Netflix)
This special came to my attention a couple years ago on Netflix and for a while after popping up on my suggestions, I slightly ignored it mostly because I hadn’t heard Mulaney’s name connected with anything. After I watched it, however, I ended up wondering how I hadn’t gotten to watching it before. The material used throughout the special is absolutely hysterical and Mulaney’s delivery and innate comedic timing make the special even better – he’s just overall a great storyteller. My favorite bit in the special (which was hard for me to decide because I love the entire show) comes near the beginning when he talks about the ‘Street Smarts!’ assemblies he attended during his school days given by a local police officer. There have been multiple times when I’ve referenced lines from that bit and it never fails to make me laugh.
I’ve been taking a break from Netflix for Lent this year so lately, I’ve been getting a lot of entertainment from the library with DVDs and books and audiobooks. During one of my most recent trips to the libraries, one of the movies I picked out was Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel.”
I’d heard very little about this movie other than the fact that it existed and after viewing it, I ultimately decided I hadn’t missed too much. The movie, based on artist Yukito Kishiro's 1990s series “Gunnm” and its 1993 companion adaptation “Battle Angel” and follows heroine Alita, a cyborg who awakens in a new body with no memory of her past, as she sets out to uncover her origins and how she ended up the way she was.
While my ultimate feelings about the movie ended up being more “meh,” there were a few things I liked about it, including the performances. Rosa Salazar did a great job as the titular heroine and it appears she had a lot of fun in her role, and given the right opportunities, I foresee a good film career for her. She starts out as shy and quiet and unsure of her place in the world and then as the film goes along, we see her evolve into a tough, strong character who’s prepared to forge her own path. I also enjoyed Christoph Waltz’s performance as Alita’s father figure and he put forth a strong, steady performance and was one of the few supporting actors who was enjoyable to watch.
The special effects and overall visuals of the movie were also done very well. From what I’ve seen of his work, Rodriguez is a very visual director, and the level of detail in the visuals was very high and overall very well done. The action sequences throughout the movie (particularly with the Motorball sequences) and Alita’s fight scenes were especially well done and very enjoyable to watch. My favorite scene with this aspect of the movie was Alita’s bar fight she starts shortly after she becomes a bounty hunter – the fight overall is very well done and there are also a few humorous moments injected in there.