Tag Archives: movies

Film Fridays: “The Losers”

Apparently, this year’s movie trend is the macho guy–team movies, far from the “Oceans 11” series (had to throw that reference. See trailer and you’ll know why).  I’m serious, there’s a formula: The Alpha male (the leader); his team of extraordinary gentlemen who each specialize in something, whether it be gathering intelligence, sharp shooting, or knife throwing; the one beautiful girl, who is usually with the Alpha male; and there’s the bad guy. The Alpha male and his team of extraordinary gentlemen are framed for something and they must do what they can to clear their names. And that usually involves a lot of ass kicking. Yes, this sounds a lot like “The Losers.” You won’t get disappointed there. But it also sounds a lot like the upcoming “The Expendables” and “The A Team.”

What I Expected

I expected lots of action and lots of people dying from flying bullets or fist fighting.

What It’s About

The Losers are a team of elite soldiers on a mission in Bolivia. They are framed for a heinous crime and must go silent to recover. A mysterious girl shows up to help the Losers clear their names, but she has an agenda of her own.

You’ll Like

The One Liners – It’s an action movie with some comic relief thrown in.

Chris Evans – he’s hilarious. In this movie, he brings a lot of that charm and laughs that he brought to Johnny Storm (“Fantastic Four”). And to think he’ll soon be playing badass Captain America.

Zoe Saldana – She’s hot–didn’t think she could pull off a killer because of her body type. She proved me wrong. However, I couldn’t help but see her as her Avatar character as she fought the bad guys.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan – he’s no Johnny Ocean, but he definitely has some on-screen chemistry with Saldana.

The Action Scenes – Did I mention this was an action movie?

You’ll Dislike

The Comic Book Mix – yes, it’s a movie based on a comic book, but it holds its own as an action movie. I didn’t like how they cut into comic book mode when they introduced the characters.

The Main Villain – come on, can you please be more evil. The character is just a narcissist with a temper and a trigger finger. Can you do more things, please?

The Plot Line – it’s an okay plot, but I wish there was more to it.

The Character Development – I like how they introduce the audience to some of the main character’s families–it humanizes for killing all those people. But I wish there was more developed.

The Cheesy Music – There are some slow motion scenes where the Losers wear sunglasses and walk out of a building looking all badass. But the music…jeesh. It only made the scene cheesy and corny. I don’t like cheese on my corn. I don’t like cheesy corn period.

Rating

I’d give it 3.5 stars out of 5. It was a great action movie for what it was–it definitely delivered. But it lacked the emotional character development as well as a great plot. The Losers aren’t exactly losers, but they aren’t exactly winners with this film either.

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A Reader’s Response to “The Book of Eli.”

One reader wrote in about “The Book of Eli.” I love his response and you can see how passionate he is about the message of the movie–things that you and I may have missed on. We’ll give him an identity–we’ll call him, “The Scholarly Engineer.” Thank you for your refreshing response Scholarly Engineer.

You see, the Book of Eli is nothing more than a modern day analogue of the stories of the past. You may or may not recall it, but in the time period shortly following World War II, there was a huge movement for personal rights. After seeing Nazi Germany and Socialist Russia, the people of America and other free nations became very afraid of one thing – oppression. Out of that spawned cultural revolutions, such as beatniks and hippies. Many stories, and parodies of stories, were made to fulfill one of two purposes: spread the idea or capitalize on it. Books and movies were made, such as 1984, Soylent Green, Sleeper, and Fahrenheit 451.

People were very afraid of losing their freedoms, rights, and even identities. These stories took place in not-too-far-off futures where “big brother” was always watching. Perhaps these were all made in an effort to keep the people aware of the government so that they did not fall victim to it, but they were all widely accepted and popular.

In these modern times, we face a new fantastical disaster: the apocalypse. People are no longer afraid of losing their identities, but rather their lives altogether. You’ll easily notice a trend of stories and movies that depict the end of mankind. With this age of climate change, everybody wants everybody else to wake up and save mankind from a catastrophe.

In Fahrenheit 451, the oppressive government burns all the books of mankind in order to keep men uninformed of culture and identity, where as in The Book of Eli, mankind burns books in an attempt to deter its extinction. In Soylent Green, the oppressed are forced to eat the dead in ignorance, while in The Book of Eli, the dead are eaten out of necessity.

I believe that this movie is a very intelligent criticism of the change of mankind’s fears. This would slip past the normal person as merely an action movie in a post apocalyptic world. Perhaps I am seeing connections where there aren’t any, but I believe that The Book of Eli could be interpreted as a parody of past stories.

Perhaps the movie is reminding us of the past books and movies in order to remind us what they taught. In this day and age, we no longer fear the government, but rather want to protect it more than ever. Movies like Live Free or Die Hard and Eagle Eye teach us to blindly protect our government. In the end, we may fall victim to what the past decades vehemently warned us against.

Perhaps this movie is criticizing the fact that our current generations are ignorant of the past, and that we’ll buy the same book our parents did if the cover were changed just a little. It’s the easiest thing to change a past trend and put a new face on it for the next generation to eat up. Maybe this is a sign that the oppression warned about is already occurring. The ignorance of the populous allows the powerful to manipulate it. It may be for money now, but money is just a form of power, and a sign that greater oppression is yet to come.

And that is the true identity of The Book of Eli revealed. I may be an engineer, but I am quite the scholar.

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2009: A Year in Movie Reviews

Photo credit: I Watch Stuff

2009 was a year of surprises (more on that in a later blog entry), and some movies just took me by surprise. Take for example, “Star Trek,” which was released on my birthday and jumped started a dying franchise. Now, I’m not a Trekkie, and I don’t know much about it, but I did like how it didn’t alienate (excuse the pun) people who weren’t into sci-fi. And then there are your CGI movies like “Up.” As much as I love all the Pixar movies, I didn’t think I could relate to this movie because the main character was an old man and an Asian boy in the boy scouts. I was wrong. When I saw that 3 minute montage (or however long it was) of an entire lifespan of a marriage being played out, I almost cried at how beautiful and tragic it all was.

Now, I got a chance to see 30 movies this year. By my calculations, if a movie ticket costs an average of $10, that means I spent $300 at the theaters, not to mention all that money on popcorn. But luckily, I watched 95% of the movies for free, thanks to the UCLA Blood and Platelet center, where for every time you donate platelets, you get 3 movie tickets for free.  I could only judge movies that I’ve seen. But keep in mind some of my biases: I’m a sucker for action and fight scenes; I love psychological dramas; I like movies that teach me an important lesson on life; I love comic books or movies that relate to some kind of power; and I love adventure movies.

What you get is this list of the Top 20 movies I loved:

  1. Up, released May 29, 2009 – Loved the innocence of the story, had lots of laughs, dealt with death and moving forward (quite mature for a Pixar movie) and finishing things that you started. There was definitely a lot of healing, and I felt like I appreciated life even more. It was somewhat a tear-jerker. It has quickly become my all-time favorite movie.
  2. Star Trek, Released May 8, 2009 – It was action packed! It was a refreshing take on the series. Superb casting. Being a nerd is cool. Heck, I even bought a Star Trek costume for the UCLA Dance Marathon.
  3. 500 Days of Summer – A bittersweet romantic tale, lots of times when you can laugh, and the twist in the end…very punny.
  4. Avatar, Released Dec. 18, 2009 – Can I just say wow? Sure, the storyline lacked a bit, and it felt like an alien version of “Pocahontas” and “Dances with Wolves,” with a mix of the Green Movement, but watching it in 3D was so worth the extra dollars. The jungle looked magnificent. I want my own avatar.
  5. District 9, Released Aug. 14, 2009 – I thought it was going to be like “Cloverfield.” I was glad I was wrong–I can’t take any more shaky camera movements. I loved the special effects and the “realness” of the storyline. And those robot weapons were cool too!
  6. Sherlock Holmes, Dec. 25, 2009 – It was quite a bromantic comedy filled with mystery. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were hilarious as the 18th century Batman and Robin without the costumes. I loved the mystery too. I didn’t mind the storyline.
  7. Inglourious Basterds, Released Aug. 21, 2009 – Lots of blood, but not as much as “Kill Bill.” It was still fun and smart and quite artistic. Go Bear Jew! And Brad Pitt’s performance was comedic! And the villain…was just psychologically cruel. It made the movie leaving you wondering when he’ll get scalped. I only wished they introduced more of the Basterds though.
  8. The Blind Side, Released Nov. 20, 2009 – This was just an inspiring movie and I loved the fact that it was based on a true story. Loved how it taught about how family is beyond blood, that we need to be color blind, and how we can just start over if we could only be given a chance. Everyone should watch it. Great performances by the cast, especially Sandra Bullock.
  9. The Proposal, Released June 12, 2009 – Another Sandra Bullock movie with Ryan Reynolds. I thought it was going to be a chick flick. It was. But it was quite an entertaining chick flick at that, I’m not ashamed to say that. I never knew I could laugh so hard in a chick flick and still have my manhood intact.
  10. Invictus, Released Dec. 11, 2009 – Sure, it started out slow, but it was an inspiring movie. Matt Damon was excellent, and he had the South African accent and rugby body to prove it. I never realized how sports can bring a nation together. And it was definitely eye-opening to see what apartheid and segregation was like in a country that wasn’t the U.S. My only problem was they didn’t remain historically accurate. Mandela didn’t give the “Invictus” poem to the captain of the Rugby team.
  11. Harry Potter 6, Released July 15, 2009 – Harry Potter grows up and becomes even darker. I loved the action sequences. And Potter gets to kick Malfoy’s ass.
  12. Zombieland, Released Oct. 2, 2009 – Rule #1: Cardio. It was a fun flick. I loved all those survival rules.
  13. Taken, Released Jan 30, 2009 – It was a thriller about a father who would do anything to save his daughter from the sex trafficking industry. Liam Nielson was bad ass. And the beginning scene when the daughter gets kidnapped–it was so real and definitely every father’s worse nightmare.
  14. The Informant, Released Sept. 18, 2009 – Chubby Matt Damon as an informant to the FBI. It was pretty funny, although there were some things I didn’t quite get.
  15. Terminator 4, Released May 21, 2009 – A lot of people hated it, but I liked it. I wasn’t quite fond of Christian Bale’s performance in this one, because the storyline didn’t really need him. But I liked the whole reverse Pinocchio effect that the terminator doesn’t realize that he’s a robot.  And, I have a man crush on Sam Worthington. He could protect me any day.
  16. Transformers 2, Released June 24, 2009 – Lots of explosions, wished there were more robots. Not much of a storyline either, but I was okay with it.
  17. Wolverine, Released May 1, 2009 – It sucked. Well, I guess I thought it would be better because it was a bad-ass character like Wolverine, but the whole Deadpool fiasco was just stupid. I wished there were more mutants who displayed their powers. I did like the cameos–just not Will.i.am.
  18. Watchmen, Released Mar. 6, 2009 – I liked the whole deconstruction of the hero, which is sort of the same effect with Nolan’s “Batman.” And I liked how it stayed true with the comic book for the most part. I felt like there was something missing, I just don’t remember what it was–it’s been a couple months.
  19. Push, Released Feb. 6, 2009 – It was good, not great. I loved the fighting scenes when there were those kinds of scenes, but the heroes don’t even get to face-off with the main villain. What kind of superhero storyline is that? I did like all the twists at the end and how it came together. I just felt it was missing a huge conflict and the heroes who needed to avenge or redeem something.
  20. Twilight: New Moon, Released Nov. 20, 2009 – I surprisingly liked it. Loved the werewolves and the scene where they hunted down the red-headed Victoria. It was some-what artistic.

Seen, but it was just blah or okay (In no particular order):

  1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Released Jan. 16, 2009
  2. Gamer, Released Sept 4, 2009
  3. Whiteout, Released Sept. 11, 2009
  4. 2012, Released Nov. 13, 2009
  5. Inkheart, Released Jan. 23, 2009
  6. Race to Witch Mountain, Released Mar. 13, 2009
  7. Fast and Furious 4, Released Apr. 3, 2009
  8. Dragonball, Released Apr. 10, 2009
  9. Crank 2, Released Apr. 17 2009
  10. Angels and Demons, Released May 15, 2009
  11. G.I. Joe

Yet to See (In no particular order):

  1. The Reader
  2. Coralie
  3. Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs
  4. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
  5. Duplicity
  6. State at Play
  7. Night at the Museum 2
  8. Surrogates
  9. Men Who Stare at Goats
  10. Precious
  11. The Box
  12. The Fantastic Mister Fox
  13. Me and Orson Welles
  14. Ninja Assassin
  15. Brothers
  16. Up in the Air
  17. The Princess and the Frog
  18. Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus

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Jailbait

TaylorLautner1

Taylor Lautner on GQ. Photo Credit: Gossip Teen

I woke up to a horrendous display of advertisement–or really, it was a rerun clip of Access Hollywood‘s Shaun Robinson interviewing Taylor Lautner in the “New Moon” premiere in Westwood a couple weeks ago. Robinson is seen showing off a shirtless Mattel doll version of Lautner’s character, Jacob Black, and asking him of his opinion. Lautner was embarrassed–seemed uncomfortable. The whole thing was sort of awkward. You could see it for yourself at the end of the entry. Over at Twitter, a female friend of mine joked about how she was counting down the day that Lautner turns legal. He is only 17, but in the words of Jacob Black, “Age is just a number, baby.”

Britney1999

Britney Spears was 17 on April 1999 cover of Rolling Stone, Photo Credit: Dolly Mix

I have to admit, I am interested in this Taylor Lautner phenomena, mainly because of the ramifications that who he is and what he’s done is steering the change of how we view masculinity and femininity today. Don’t quite follow me yet? Take for example this countdown that a fan made to countdown the days that Lautner turns 18. Now let’s go backwards in time–countdowns like this have been used to celebrate past “jail-baits” as Britney Spears, the Olsen Twins, and Lindsay Lohan. Grown men that counted down the days were seen as perverted and disgusting. Now, fast forward to 2009. It’s the women’s turn. Now, I’m all about equal opportunity, but are women getting as much flak ove their comments on Lautner and the fact that he is “jailbait?”

I don’t think so–and definitely not at the same degree as men. Actually, there isn’t much clatter about cougars eyeing the shirtless Lautner, except on sites like Just Mommies, a message board for moms. So apparently, it’s okay that a shirtless seventeen-year-old boy can pose provocatively, but when a seventeen-year-old girl (and she doesn’t have to be shirtless, i.e., Britney Spears) poses provocatively, it turns heads. Double standard?

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I discovered that they made a more realistic Taylor Lautner-Jacob Black action figure. And yep, you guessed it, he’s shirtless. I have to agree with fellow blogger,  Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner, when the blogger writes:

“I’m not saying that you can’t have him as your object of lust-eyes because you can do whatever you want, but I am saying it’s difficult to forget how, unless you’re another teenager, those lust-eyes are technically statuatory-rape-eyes.  Sure, the thought police aren’t throwing anyone in jail over the a few idle thoughts, but still: He’s only seventeen, so YIKES!!!”

Yes, big YIKES!!! With 3 exclamation marks means extreme warning. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to create such an action figure. Apparently, it was revealed in Comic Con for the Twihards (a term for die-hard Twilight fans). Poor Taylor Lautner. Poor Tay-Tay. Will he ever escape his identity of just being eye-candy instead of being an actor? I mean, that is what he wants–to be recognized for his acting talent. A Showbiz Spy article reveals Lautner’s ultimate desire:

“I worked hard to get in shape for this role,” Lautner explains. “My motivation was the movie and the fans, but I don’t want to become known as just a body. If I had to choose, I would never take my shirt off again in a movie, but I guess that’s not very realistic. I certainly won’t be asking to do it, though.”

Well, that’s a start. I’m no fortune teller, but I predict that the next few roles you’re going to get will continue to exploit you. Sex sells, eh?

Now you may be thinking, what’s the big deal? Am I advocating that it’s okay for older people–men and women–to lust over underage teens as long as there is equal flak on both sides? No. I’m just quite concerned that people forget that Lautner is still a boy with a man’s body–well, at least until February 11, 2010. People should stop and take a look at themselves. Let me repeat again, he’s 17!

jacobblackactionfigure

Jacob Black action figure. Photo Credit: Twilight Book Addicts

Now, you might be saying for me to take a look at myself, that I’m just jealous that I don’t look like him. Heck ya I’m jealous–me and every guy that doesn’t look like him gets jealous. And the men of the world felt the same way when 300 came out. But that’s exactly how Lautner is changing, or rather, adding to masculinity. Men are running to the gym again, and cougars are on the prowl. Now, women are the ones with the “lustful eyes” and men are the ones “lusted after.” As 2009 comes to a close, we find ourselves at a changing landscape: the image of “jailbait” isn’t a girl; it’s a boy…a really buff boy at that.

What do you think?

“Do not get me upset. Things are gonna get very ugly!” – Jacob Black in “New Moon”

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It’s All So Draining: Exploring Vampires

Edward Cullen

Photo Credit: CSPA Workshop

The end of Halloween and the beginning of November can only mean one thing for girls all across America. Their two-year wait can now be count down to a matter of seventeen days before they see their precious heart-throb without a heart-throbbing in the big screen. Enter twenty-three-year-old British actor Robert Pattinson, who plays forever seventeen-year-old American vampire Edward Cullen. Girls seem to fall madly in love with him. One girl I asked described the actor-character as, “Gorgeous. I want him to come rescue me. And if he wants to bite me, all the better.” Another girl said, “His eyes are just beautiful.” Sorry, excuse me if I barf. I don’t quite understand his charm–he looks like a drug addict, especially around his eyes! But maybe that’s why he brings that specific appeal to Team Edward, rather than his rival in Team Jacob (the werewolf in the movie). Before angry girls start writing in, I’m not bagging on Pattinson–just his alter ego, the way he looks in the movie and pictures. I’m a big fan of him as squeaky clean Cedric Diggory. But enough with “Twilight” and “New Moon.” This post isn’t about them, but rather about our fascination with vampires.

Vampire mania seems to be the trend these days. Heck, when you’re sitting on gold, you got to exploit it while you still can, right?  When “Pirates of the Caribbean” came out, just about everyone wanted to be a pirate–even porn stars. And I’m sure the Halloween costume sales for pirates or naughty pirates increased during the trend. But these past two years, vampires are in. Case in point, “The Vampire Diaries,” which air on the CW. It’s about two teenage vampire brothers fighting for the love of a teenage girl. One vampire doesn’t drink human blood, the other does. Sounds somewhat familiar to the vegetarian Cullen clan. Then, there’s “The Vampire’s Assistant.” It’s about a teenage vampire who doesn’t drink human blood and who has to fight against his best friend-turned vampire who does. Yes, things sound quitet familiar. And the success of HBO’s “True Blood,” which is an adult vampire story also about a vampire that doesn’t drink blood who is constantly challenged by vampires who do drink blood, opened my eyes to why we’re so fascinated with them.

Vampire Diaries

Photo Credit: TV Fanatic

First, we have to understand the past. Perhaps it’s human to want to know what happens to us after we die. Is there or isn’t there an afterlife? And what if you can live on, even after you die, but the price you pay to live is by killing another? From the Dark Ages to the Victorian era, to the early 20th century, we’ve been fascinated by the vampire mythology. For several hundred years, that fascination was more of a fear of the dead and of the unknown. I just watched The History Channel’s special on vampires, and it was remarkable for me to learn that even to this day, some European graves have corpses with stakes in their hearts because of the vampire paranoia. But if we used to fear vampires for several hundred years, why are we in love with them today?

Perhaps it’s because we are no longer afraid of seeing dead bodies. Thanks to shows like CSI and NCIS, who have pushed the envelope into seeing how a human body looks on the inside, we don’t cringe as much when we see the dead bodies. We’ve been habituated to death and death isn’t quite a mystery in our Age of Enlightenment. Or perhaps we like to flirt with the ideals of the vampires. Vampires are rebellious and live (ironic, I know) freely, who live life dangerously and in a constant mode of excitement. Deep down each of us, we all secretly want to rebel from a life of mediocrity, a theme I know all too well from “Fight Club.” Or maybe, we don’t fear vampires because they’re just darn too sexy. The classic Dracula was a middle-aged man dressed in a cape who fed on beautiful virginesque (I made up that word) women. It’s definitely creepy. But nowadays, the vampires are dressed like you and me and with the exception of the “True Blood” vampires, I have not seen a vampire over the age of 30 who is not physically fit or not physically attractive. And when we make out with a vampire, such as the case with Kristen Stewart, we are literally making out with death and figuratively flirting with death. I thinking the “flirting with death” part intrigues people, and thus attracts them to the vampire mythos. There you go, today’s vampires have undergone image reconstruction, and whoever is doing the PR work for vampires needs to get promoted or get a raise. It is now cool to be a vampire.

But with all that said, can we lay it off with all these vampire stories that seem to be recycled? It’s all so draining! Enough with the “vampire who drinks human blood versus the vampire who doesn’t” storyline. Well, I guess I have to wait until the next trend. What does our fascination with vampires reveal about our own identities? Maybe the fact that although we understand death scientifically, we still fear death spiritually. Is there life after death? The vampire flirts with us and entices us with his answer.

Photo Credit: CSPA Workshop

Photo Credit: TV Fanatic

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Disturbing Images Disturbing Minds

As much as we are a culture of information, obtaining it simply with the click of a button on a mouse, we are a culture of images. I realized this when I saw that my Facebook contained more than 2,000 images of yours truly. I looked through the album and just had to laugh at my foolish antics of who I was and who I am now. What was I thinking? How vain or narcissistic have I become? But I’ve also come to another realization–I am not the only one. Most people on socil network sights invest in their image by creating their profile to reflect or extend who they are. They post up pictures, have quotes, have likes–all for show.

Images have been ingrained in the structure of our culture–they’re invading our lives.  Whether you’re on Facebook or Myspace, whether you’re walking or driving down the street, whether you’re watching TV or movies, we can’t escape images. Images are trying to sell you something, they’re trying to communicate something to you. Close your eyes, and your mind will wander to an image.

Photo Credit: Gov Archives

I recognize the importance of images and how powerful they can be. Take for example the famous Iwo Jima picture. The image of these soldiers putting up the glorious American flag at the battle of Iwo Jima, an island in Japan, must invoke some kind of emotion. For me, this image invokes one of courage, heroism, and sacrifice. It’s a photo that can move a nation to change and to action. This photo inspires.

But lately, our images have become dark and somewhat perverted. Maybe it’s the spirit of Halloween that made me dwell in my thoughts about what our society has become. Or maybe it’s because watching the “Saw” series has resulted to my mind being incredibly disturbed at the commentary of how cruel a human being can be to another. I don’t know.

Knife Chair

Our TV shows and movies have become incredibly bloody and twisted. Some of my favorite TV shows like “CSI” or “NCIS” actively show a dissected corpse. Shows like “Dexter” and movies like “Saw” and “Hostel” push the envelope sometimes with all the blood and realism. Do we really need to show every graphic detail of a guy getting slaughtered. It’s painful to see another person in pain, but to watch it as a form of entertainment, regardless if it’s fake–what does that do to us? It’s become, in a way, like a sense of disturbing pornography–we get off of people’s pain, just as long as we’re not the ones getting tortured. I can’t help but think that movies like “Saw” and “Hostel” get serial killers and potential serial killers off. We’ve become a disturbing society. At least, that’s what I thought, until I realize that it was nothing new. In the Middle Ages to even as recent as the glorious days of the Wild Wild West, public executions such as beheadings or hangings were a family event.

Our attention to detail and making things appear real with the blood and guts has made me desensitized to death. Death isn’t a mystery–it’s after death.

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A Life-Changing Love

love

Photo Credit: Flickr

What exactly is love? Countless of people from philosophers to psychologists to poets and musicians have tried to define it, but perhaps the concept is just too difficult to define or to grasp. Yet it exists somehow. Some define it as a “strong positive emotion of regard and affection”  (Source 1). Authors Lewis, Amini, and Lannon (2000) attempted a more biological definition, that love is an essential human drive, like hunger or thirst and may occur in the form of oxytocin, neurotrophins, and pheromones. The field of psychology looks at love as more of a sociocultural phenomenon.

Hollywood thrives over those sappy films filled with love and romance. They’ve become classics in our homes–movies like “Ghost,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “While You Were Sleeping.”  Unfortunately, sometimes Hollywood’s portrayal of love is really not about love at all. It’s more about lust. You know, those American Pie films that are supposedly about “young love” is really about the pursuit to “score.” Have we forgotten what love is? Or is love just purely “sex and candy” (Marcy Playground)?

The music world, is never without love songs. Nat King Cole cleverly created initials for love (“L is for the way you look at me. O is for the only one I see. V is very, very extraordinary. E is even more than anyone that you adore”). The Everly Brothers sang that “love hurts, love scars, love wounds and mars.” Singers Joan Jett and Hadaway as well as the bands Incubus and Nazareth would agree that love is painful. But although love may be painful, it may be well worth it, as Taylor Swift reminds us with “Love Song,” a song about two modern-day star-crossed lovers. How romantic. The Backstreet Boys are willing to do anything “as long as you love [them].” But they are not alone. Heck, we’ll do anything for love, or at least to feel love.

Sometimes, this pursuit for love or to feel loved leads us to a downward spiral as we find it in the wrong places. We want intimacy, and not in the sexual sense, but in the sense that only love can provide. Intimacy is the feeling of mutual affection. It’s what genuine friendships are made of. And we aren’t getting enough of it. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy makes us cheat on our spouses, instead of doing our best to examine the problem and communicate it with our spouses. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to an addiction to drugs and alcohol–we end up drowning our sorrows away because the temporary high and buzz makes us feel better about our lives. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to harm ourselves, believing that no one in the world cares about us, so it is better to just end our lives right here right now. The tragedy is that we deceive ourselves and that we allow ourselves to be deceived.

Love is out there and it’s not about cute little pink and red hearts. Just recently, I heard a song from Jaeson Ma which basically inspired me to write about this. Jaeson is an outspoken individual who is a culture changer, world shaker, and history maker.

His new song, “Love,” is refreshing because it provides a different message from all those songs and movies about love. What is love? Love is about sacrifice–it’ selfless. It’s thinking about others before yourself. What a radical idea! Perhaps it’s only radical because in our society, we use the word love so much, that it’s lost its meaning: “I love what you’re wearing.” “Do you love the Fray’s new song?” Perhaps it’s only radical in our society because love is self-centered instead of others-centered. We do things because it’ll make us look better. We do things for another only if they do something for us.

I want a love that is life-changing. I think that’s the only sort of love that’s worth it. So why don’t you take a minute and check out this unique message about love, and if you love it, then spread the love:

Photo Credit: Flickr

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