Talented at the age of four, AJ Mitchell grew up in Belleville, Illinois, where he learned his piano skills from his father, a pianist. At six years old, Mitchell wrote his first song and, in high school, he was a member of the choir group. He performed at local coffee shops and bars until finding fame in 2016 on social media. His debut single “Used to Be” was released in 2017, which Mitchell claims it’s his favorite song of his to perform.
As 2020 comes to an end, I realized that even though I have spent more time inside this year than just about any other person, I have yet to read a book. I then decided that my mission for the last month of the year was to read the top books of 2020. I originally planned to space out the reads throughout the month, but due to schedule changes I spent most of the week before Christmas completely immersed in books. I struggled to find a list of top books that I found to be both interesting and credible. I finally stumbled upon the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020.
Kingdom Hearts’ combat system, Disney references, and the overall plot remain unparalleled as one of the finest family-friendly titles and a title everyone should experience at least once in their life. As the series continued, it had its dips and rises but remained unyielding in its replay-ability. These are the titles that performed and underperformed.
Even if you’ve never picked up a book from one of the greatest writers ever, aka Stephen King, chances are you’ve either heard or seen one of the many films inspired by his work. Probably the most recognizable author living today, King has written 63 novels, 120 short stories, 20 novellas, and five non-fiction books. Movies and shows still are being made, with many more in the works, but what makes King’s work memorable and always on the radar of filmmakers? What about his work continues to draw in audiences? There are countless reasons, but here are a few major standouts.
As we end this COVID-stricken year, many of us are still quarantining in our homes or are following social-distancing regulations and having to find safe alternatives to celebrate the holiday season. It has been especially difficult getting in the holiday spirit with the unusually warm weather, but listed below are some ways you can still feel festive while following CDC COVID-19 Guidelines.
With the struggle to find Santa’s existence, the movie’s score, and an ending that continues to leave me in awe, The Polar Express continues to be the best Christmas movie for all ages. It is unrivaled by both live-action and animation Christmas movies alike.
Growing up, punk music always had a special place in my heart. It offered me a way to let out all of my built-up emotions and frustrations. Recently; however, I noticed that all the punk music I had been listening to growing up consisted of all-male bands. Which disappointed me, because I knew that there must be bands full of women who are also furious at the world and at how they’re treated. Women who also had an attitude and humor that was so commonly a part of punk. Here are some female bands I found that shared even more viewpoints on music, the world, and what punk really means to them.
It’s a commonly held belief that the book is better than the movie. Fans can get quite irate when a film adaptation leaves out some of their favorite moments from the novel, or the movie isn’t quite how they pictured it in their minds. Book lovers also become angry when a movie drifts too far away from the source material, sometimes becoming unrecognizable to the book on which the movie is based. However, there are some exceptions when a film adaptation surpasses the novel.
Although Skywalker’s character was explored decades after the well-known Star Wars trilogy, he’s the most interesting in terms of character arc, the past that separates him from most Jedi, and his turn to the dark side. His dark past and lust for power make Skywalker the most influential and memorable character of the entire franchise.
2020 has been one of the best years for music, with many artists coming out of this strenuous year’s woodworks. Some artists returned after leaving the spotlight for a bit, while others have dropped some of their best music out of nowhere. Although 2020 has had its share of mystery with the pandemic, the music industry has addressed issues worth discussing, such as love, masculinity, staying mindful, and saying what it means to have fun with music and friends.
A world dominated by advanced technological progress/prowess, invasive corporations industrializing the planet to catastrophic levels, and millions of volumes of new information flooding the digital landscape every second. Sound familiar? I am talking about cyberpunk; a subgenre of science fiction exploring dystopian futures filled to the brim with neon billboards stretching into the stratosphere and cybernetic enhancements that make you more machine than man. With the launch of what might be an entire generation’s first foray into this style of storytelling, here are a few movies that will prepare you for the world of Cyberpunk 2077.
A constant debate is the dispute between which streaming service is better: Apple Music or Spotify? Apple die-hards stick to their guns and defend Apple Music to the ends of time, while Spotify users hold their ground and refute every claim that Apple Music lovers throw at their face. So, which streaming service is better?
This year has been disastrous for film fans. There were countless incredibly huge blockbusters originally slated for this year including Dune, Black Widow, Eternals, A Quiet Place Part 2, and No Time to Die. There were also some interesting smaller titles such as The Green Knight, Willy’s Wonderland, and Spiral. In what felt like a blink of an eye, all these films and more were pulled from their schedules and tossed into 2021. The next 12 months were slated to be jam-packed with an abundance of films scheduled to roll out. However, Warner Bros. has completely changed the landscape and broken all the rules, doing the unthinkable with their latest announcement.
When 'The Last of Us Part II' released on Jun. 19, its thrilling performances, pulse-pounding gameplay, and breathtaking visuals were all acclaimed. However, the same cannot be said for its narrative. Said narrative saw 19-year-old Ellie, one of the protagonists from 2013’s ‘The Last of Us’, go on the warpath in order to avenge the death of Joel, her father figure, and the other protagonist from the original game. The person responsible for Joel’s death was a young woman named Abigail “Abby” Anderson. In a shocking twist, players were made to control her for nearly half the game’s runtime. Such a tactic allowed for her perspective of the game’s storyline to be illustrated.
Shawn Mendes’ cover of “As Long As You Love Me” brought his name into fame that would later lead to three studio albums with an incoming fourth album, Wonder, hitting shelves Friday, Dec. 4. The singer’s career has been crafted with bridges, scars, and love that only furthered his path to continue forward instead of turning back.
Streaming services seem to be popping up almost daily. Just within the last year, we’ve seen four major new services join the already crowded market: Apple+, Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock. One of the other streamers to launch during this time was Quibi. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with this service, don’t worry because everyone else is as well. Quibi seemed to have come out of nowhere, just to leave as quietly as it came. But what led to this service being a failure?
Jennifer Lawrence’s acting skills expand well beyond The Hunger Games. Over the past decade, Lawrence has appeared in various genres like horror, drama, romance, and action. The actress can separate her real-life persona from each character’s personas and comes off as a strong, independent, and fierce actress. Here are the actress’s top five films that are a must-watch.
With the popularity of big-budget, high profile fantasy shows popping up everywhere recently, streaming services seem to be looking for the next Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones to fill in that empty void. Shows like The Witcher and the upcoming Wheel of Time, Lord of the Rings, and the Game of Thrones prequel will hopefully continue to provide great, epic fantasy entertainment. There are many other fantasy book series that often get overlooked by bigger series however, they deserve the same, if not more, recognition as the bigger show stoppers. These series could also make for great book-to-screen adaptations, like some of the others. Considering the state of the world right now, we all could use a break and jump into a fantastical world where our problems don’t seem quite as bad.
Whether it is the unique animation-style music videos, canned lemonade, organic environment flourishing within a warehouse in Chicago, or Summer Smash music festival; Cole Bennett, 24, has quickly become a prominent figure in the music industry and he is nowhere near slowing down. What originally formed as an idea for a blog, quickly became more after Bennett swiftly established himself as a prominent figure amongst the hip-hop/rap community. Bennett released his first music video in high school, at the age of 17. Thus, his brand, Lyrical Lemonade, has spearheaded itself to be a symbol of attaining any dream, no matter the depth.
For anyone looking for new music, I highly recommend checking out Sammy Rae. Last year when I was getting prepared for a long car ride, I reached out to people asking for new music recommendations and a friend of mine told me about Sammy Rae’s EP, The Good Life. Unlike some groups where if you’ve heard one song you have heard them all, Sammy Rae keeps the listener interested by reflecting many genres such as jazz, pop, blues, and rock in her music. With a diverse array of genres in her music, every song has a distinctive sound.