Bests of 2015. Dicey’s Year in Review.

Well, we’re at the end of another busy and exciting year. Just so happens I didn’t make President Barack Obama or 12030301_10207987293382989_4000045188758674967_oFirst Lady Michelle Obama’s Best Author of the Year list. None of my books made their Best Book of 2015 list either. Matter of fact, they don’t even know I’m alive…but it gives me something to work towards in 2016. #SilverLining It also makes me reflect back on my bests of 2015. What did I love most about this year? Get ready for my year in review.

Go here for the POTUS and FLOTUS’s Favorite Things of 2015 list. Keep reading for mine.

Favorite Movie. ALWAYS a tough one for me. If you know anything about me, you know I absolutely love movies. I would watch them all day and night, if I could. I will watch the same one back-to-back. I will watch one I hate all the way through just because there’s “something” to like about it. I watch comedy, horror, action, romance, indie, Blockbusters, old, new, black-n-white, subtitled, foreign… It doesn’t matter. So, as usual, I watched quite a few of them this year.

Some of my favorites were Mad Max: Fury Road (might as well add anything with Tom Hardy to my favorite list), Creed (gosh damn, Michael B. Jordan is fine, and he put his heart and soul into this), South Paw (whew…Jake Gyllenhaal did that…and you might be noticing a trend by now), Avengers: Age of Ultron (what do you think I liked about it? Everything), Inside Out (ha! I’m losing cool points now, but this movie is deep), Hotel Transylvania 2 (well, I loved the first one, and it’s about vampires and monsters, so duh), Goosebumps (say what you will–that movie was great!), Straight Outta Compton (’cause I need some street cred now), Magic Mike XXL (yeah, I said it! WHAT! I mean THIS happened), and The Road Within (a funny ass indie movie y’all need to freaking watch!).

This is faaarrrrrr from listing all of the movies I watched in 2015. These are the ones that left me feeling WOW!!! at the end. These are the ones that I would watch again and again. And this is just from my New Release list. Oh–and the year’s not over. By the end of December, I will have my butt in a theater seat for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Crap! I forgot about Run All Night. I saw it so early in the year when I was kind of crushing on Joel Kinnaman (from The Killing and Robocop) so… Wait. Selma was damn good too. I saw that sometime around January. Geez…how do I choose ONE favorite?

Which oMad Maxf these entertained me all the way through, left me feeling great afterwards, and I’ve watched it more than once already? I’ve seen Magic Mike, Mad Max, and The Road Within three times each. Has to be one of these.

You know what? I’m going to go with the first movie that popped into my head when I sat down to do this list. When I heard this movie was coming out, I got excited immediately–and that was in 2010. Not only was I a big fan of Mel Gibson’s version, but when I saw who was cast as Max in the 2015 version–SOLD. I waited and waited for 5 years, stealing glimpses of promotional posters and leaked vids here and there. Even with all the build-up and anticipation, it did not disappoint. It was an insane, high-octane, action-packed ride that I thoroughly enjoyed. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is my favorite movie of 2015.

Favorite Book. This one’s easier, because I didn’t read for entertainment this year as much as I have in previous years. Not sure what happened, but suddenly I found myself enjoying…*gasp*…NONfiction. So I read autobiographies and memoirs of successful people I respect and admire. I figured I could learn something from them, and I did.

12308921_10208283780754988_1409927075_nThe one I enjoyed the most was Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes, the writer/creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy other books. I just really connected with where she was in her life when she wrote it, and where I need to be mentally in order to be closer to where she is now. Does that make sense? I read it over my Thanksgiving break, and it was just what I needed when I needed it: motivational, inspirational, and food for my soul.

A noteable mention is The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson (with Neil Strauss). If you read my books, you’ll probably guess that I’m a huge Marilyn Manson fan. We have more in common than you’d think. I’ve sort of been undercover with this obsession until recently. But I am enamored with the man, the artist, the performer, th11990577_990175531004724_4084347531625430331_ne writer, the actor, the philosopher, the musician, the singer…

Which brings me to…

Favorite Song. It’s off Marilyn Manson’s 2015 album, The Pale Emperor. It’s got the right amount of darkness, rhythm, passion, sexiness, and ambiguity. Deep Six, ladies and gentlemen, is my #1 of the year. I jammed to it like a mad woman while in the mosh pit at The End Times Tour concert in July. It was my first MM concert, my first mosh pit experience, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Going to The End Times Tour concert, in case it’s not obvious by now, was one of my favorite things in 2015. *Pictured above: Hubby and I after the concert.*

Other songs that I loved this year: The Weekend (Can’t Feel My Face, Earned It), Pentatonix (ALL of their songs, covers and originals), Demi Lovato (Confident, Cool For the Summer), Nick Jonas (Chains, Levels, Jealous), Selena Gomez (Good For You, Same Old Love), Joe Thomas singing Adele’s Hello… *deep breath* I could go on. I’d embarrass myself even more by throwing some Justin Bieber in there (Sorry and Where Are You Now are hot. What are you talkin’ ’bout?). My music tastes are all over the place. I vibe to what I like, and that’s that.

Just for the record, this is why I haven’t been writing daily on my blog within the past year. I’m just too long-winded. This was supposed to be a short 1-2-3 post and then I was supposed to go to bed. Instead, it’s 2:15 AM. I have to be up at 6:00 AM. And…I have to list about 500 tags from all the name-dropping I did in this very informative post.

I’ll have to schedule this post to go live in a few hours and do a Part II later. I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my bests of 2015.

Good night. 😉

 

Review of 300: Rise of an Empire.

300_Rise_of_an_EmpireSince 300 is one of my favorite movies, I wasted no time going to see 300: Rise of an Empire 3D. I highly recommend it for those who loved the first one and Starz’s Spartacus, though I don’t think this movie was better than either of those. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it serves more as a good filler for the void our other favorites left us. It’s more of all the blood splatter, slo-mo violence, ripped shirtless men, and fiesty no-nonsense women we’ve come to enjoy. Yes, there is also nudity and a sex scene to raise your eyebrows. In case you’re unfamiliar with its predecessor, be forewarned: This is NOT for the squeamish.

The timeline runs alongside the occurences in 300 and continues beyond. We also get Xerxes’s backstory, battles that take place at sea as well as land, and a history lesson of how the death of 300 Spartans helped to unify all of Greece against the Persians. Although it’s easier to root for Greece in this one, I don’t think there are any real villains and heroes here. These are barbaric times when everyone is loyal to their home or seeking revenge. Everyone is brave and willing to risk everything for what they believe in, which is mainly freedom and power. And in the end, the side with the most people left alive after so many sword-weilded deaths are winners.

My only problem–I didn’t connect to the leader, Themistocles, as well as I did Leonidas. And for that matter, I didn’t feel as strongly about his army as I did the fearless 300 who went to their glorious deaths mocking Xerxes. 300 pulled on my emotions. Rise of an Empire did not. Of course, that may be a good thing for other viewers.

It was good to see Jack O’Connell (Cook on 2nd gen of UK Skins) in the cast. Also good to see Eva Green (The Dreamers, Casino Royale, Camelot) in her deliciously dark and wicked role, opposite Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, The Mortal Instruments, Gossip).

I WILL be adding this movie to my collection.