Movie Review: The Love Witch

“The Love Witch” is a horror-comedy that was released just last year. The most captivating aspect about the movie is that it seems like it was filmed and released back in the 60s. As I began watching, I started to wonder if the film was supposed to take place in current times or from a few decades ago. It wasn’t until DNA testing was mentioned, when I knew it couldn’t have taken place in the 60s or 70s. But I really love the vintage vibe.

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The main character, Elaine, is such an enchanting character that you really want to like her when you know that you shouldn’t. Elaine is witchcraft practitioner who uses spells and whatnot to find true love. However, her spells work too well, and she ends up somehow killing every man who falls for her.

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This film is not exactly a ha-ha comedy, although some parts will make you laugh, don’t expect to be smiling the entire time. It’s also not your typical horror film; there are a few graphic scenes, but nothing that will give you nightmares. The film mixes a bit of comedy and a bit of horror to create its own unique genre.

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The 2-hour film takes it time to tell the story without rushing everything so you don’t miss a single detail. (Another characteristic of old films – not too fast-paced.) The plot line is quite interesting, but it would be nothing without the remarkable film style that makes you feel like you have truly entered another world.

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Because the movie revolves around witchcraft, there is also a great emphasis on the medieval and Victorian eras. I absolutely adored the makeup, costumes, and scenery setup. This film is a piece of art.

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Overall rating: 5/5 stars

Album review: “Divide” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran just recently released his third new album, “Divide.” I bought his last album, “Multiply (X)” when it was released back in 2014. I am a big fan of Ed Sheeran’s music, including his duets such as “All About It” with Hoodie Allen and “Lay It All On Me” with Rudemental. His new album is quite similar to his last one, however, I would say that this one is even better. Sheeran continues to show raw honesty through his lyrics and spill the details about his family, friends, and romances.

1. “Eraser”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “I used to think that nothing could be better than touring the world with my songs, I chased the picture-perfect life, I think they painted it wrong.”

The album starts very strong with this track. It’s one of those tracks where he sounds like he’s rapping but he’s “just a singer with a game plan” (direct quote from “All About It”). This song is extremely honest and blunt. Sheeran discusses the psychological torture that comes with fame. You don’t really hear singers talk about that kind of stuff in their music.

2. “Castle on a Hill”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “Tasted the sweet perfume of the mountain grass I rolled down, well I was younger then, take me back to when…”

This track is also quite strong. It’s pretty cute, too. He sings about his childhood memories (hey Ed, I also broke my leg when I was 6-years old!) and how he misses the good old days. This song is extremely uplifting.

3. “Dive”

4/5 stars

Favorite line: “I’ve been known to give my all and jumping in harder than ten thousand rocks on the lake.”

This is a song about falling for a person who seems like a player. Sheeran debates whether or not he should pursue someone who seems to be stringing him along. In my opinion, the lyrics are strong, but the melody isn’t my favorite.

4. “Shape of You”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “One weekend we let the story begin, we’re going out on our first date. You and me are thrifty so go all-you-can-eat, fill up your bag, and I fill up your plate.”

Chances are you have already heard this song on the radio since it’s the lead single! I absolutely love this song! The beat is my favorite part about it. On top of it, the lyrics are adorable. The song is about Sheeran beginning to date a new girl and feeling excited about it.

5. “Perfect”

4/5 stars

Favorite line: “She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I share her home.”

Such a sweet song! It is the first slow-paced ballad on the album. People count on Ed Sheeran to deliver beautiful love songs like this. This is Sheeran’s ode to the love of his life.

6. “Galway Girl”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “She played the fiddle in an Irish band but she fell in love with an English man.”

Oh my gosh. One of my favorite tracks on the album. It is a beautiful blend of modern hip-hop and Celtic folk. Only Sheeran could pull off a melody like this. This song is extremely catchy and lighthearted. It makes me very happy.

7. “Happier”

4/5 stars

Favorite line: “You look happier, you do. My friends told me one day I’ll feel it too.”

Here comes another ballad. This song is both happy and sad, both full of peacefulness and regret. Sheeran runs into an ex who looks happier with her new man than she ever was with him. He misses her; but he is happy that she is happier now.

8. “New Man”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “He wears sunglasses indoors, in winter, at nighttime.”

Just like Galway Girl, this song is also super catchy. Sheeran’s lyrics are full of sass. He don’t wanna hear about your new man! It seems to me that Sheeran is describing an old lover who still talks to him, but she’s changed into a prissy narcissist because she started dating a total d-bag.

9. “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here”

3/5 stars

Favorite line: “Daisies, daisies, perched upon your forehead.”

It’s a pretty cute song. Once again, the sweet ballads continue. However, it doesn’t necessarily stand out to me. It’s a wonderful song but it’s not my favorite.

10. “What Do I Know?”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “Everybody’s talking ’bout exponential growth and the stock market crashing and their portfolios, while I’ll be sitting here with a song that I wrote saying, ‘love can change the world in a moment,’ but what do I know?”

This is a song about politics. In the first line, Sheeran mentions how his father always told him to stay away from political issues. Sheeran partially agrees, but also feels like he should use his music to make a difference. What he wants to do with his music is spread the love because he believes that love is powerful enough to heal us.

11. “How Would You Feel (Paean)”

3/5 stars

Favorite line: “I’ll be taking my time, spending my life, falling deeper in love with you.”

Not one of my favorites, perhaps it still needs to grow on me. In this track, Sheeran expresses his adoration and gratefulness for his woman. What a sweetheart.

12. “Supermarket Flowers”

4/5 stars

Favorite line: “When God takes you back, you’ll say hallelujah, you’re home.”

This is a real tear-jerker. It’s a song about the death of Sheeran’s grandmother. The melody is sweet, simple, and calming. (Very sad way to end an album…)

DELUXE TRACKS:

13. “Barcellona”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “Get up-up on the dance floor tonight, I’ve got two left feet and a bottle of red wine.”

This acoustic guitar track is also a party anthem. I love the way he mixes different styles together to create something new. Best dance track on the album.

14. “Bibia Be Ye Ye”

2/5 stars

Favorite line: “I tell myself in every way I won’t be doing this again and tomorrow’s a brand new day.”

Fun, light-hearted track. However, also very all-over-the-place and kind of cheesy. Personally, I don’t think it’s so great.

15. “Nancy Mulligan”

5/5 stars

Favorite line: “She was Nancy Mulligan and I was William Sheeran. She took my name and then we were one, down by the wexford border.”

Amazing song! It’s very, very Irish-sounding! This is about Sheeran’s grandfather and grandmother when they first met and got married. It’s so heartwarming.

16. “Save Myself”

4/5 stars

Favorite line: “I gave all my oxygen to people that could breathe.”

Good song about how Sheeran realizes that he tries too hard to make people happy or “fix them” while they give him nothing in return, thus draining him. He concludes that before he can try to save anyone else, he first needs to save himself. It’s a great message.

OVERALL: 5/5 stars

In conclusion, this is an amazing album with many strong tracks. Even the weaker tracks are still enjoyable. I highly recommend buying “Division” by Ed Sheeran.

(Author’s note: I seem to give the slower songs lower ratings. The slower songs are just as good though… I guess it’s because his uplifting songs make me happier.)

Album Reviews: Yellowcard, Bastille, & Empire of the Sun

Some of my favorite artists released more great music this fall. I decided I would write a little personal review about these new albums.

Yellowcard: Yellowcard

5/5 stars

This has to be the saddest album review because this is the last time we will ever be hearing from the alternative rock band, Yellowcard. They released their self-titled album with the announcement that the band will be breaking up as soon as they finish their final tour. Yellowcard released their first album in 2001, followed by Ocean Avenue in 2003 that became their biggest hit. Ocean Avenue was a masterpiece and it was hard for them to follow up after releasing such an epic album. I remember getting that album for Christmas in 4th grade. I would play that CD in my boom-box all the time while hanging out in my bedroom. They released several albums following Ocean Avenue, however none of them could compare. Southern Air from 2012 came pretty close, but still couldn’t measure up completely. However, Yellowcard managed to outdo themselves and end their career on a major high note (no pun intended…)

The new Yellowcard album is absolutely fantastic. I can actually say that this one beats Ocean Avenue. The theme of the album is letting go, which makes sense, considering this is the band’s finale. The lyrics are meaningful and the melodies are powerful. “Rest in Peace” is a wonderful song about finding a way to move on from the past without feeling bitter about it. “Leave a Light On” is a beautiful piano medley. A couple of the tracks have a nice country vibe going on. My only complaint is that this is a shorter album with merely 10 songs. However, sometimes less is more. Each song is strong enough to stand on its own.

Bastille: Wild, Wild World

5/5 stars

I first heard of Bastille in 2014 when I heard “Pompeii” playing on the radio. I was hooked right away. They are an alternative-pop band with thick, british accents. They write deep lyrics that causes you to ponder.

Their new album is even better than their last. “Good Grief,” their lead single, is super catchy. As always, their voices are powerful. The theme of the album is about how crazy and wild the world is, especially when it comes to all the fear that the news and media feeds us. There is also a common theme of being in love and trying to be a good person. The album has a powerful message that we need in this hectic, modern world.

Empire of the Sun: Two Vines

4/5 stars

Empire of the Sun is one of my favorite artists! Their sound is a unique use of electronica that comes off as soothing and dreamy. Their lyrics are creative and imaginative. They make very eccentric music videos. Every song of theirs is always uplifting, even the slower ones. Their music makes you feel good, like you’re walking on a dream (which is the title of my favorite song by them!)

In their new album, Two Vines, Empire of the Sun keeps their signature style. It sounds very similar to their previous albums. I deducted a star only because I was hoping some of their tracks would be a little different. However, it’s still an amazing album. I would have been upset if they flipped their style completely. As usual, the tracks are positive and uplifting without being too cheesy. I’m glad they stuck to their original roots, though I hope that for their next album, they are a bit more experimental.