Thursday, July 26, 2012

Attempting Blogging from My HTC Rhyme

So. Bloody. Hot.

Can someone please explain to me why people are forced to work when it's too hot to concentrate? We just got moved to a new area of my building and there seems to be less air flow over there. I think I need a fan for my desk because this is NOT working for me.

Sleeping is hard when it's hot, too. Jane becomes very affectionate in the summer. Don't get me wrong. I love cuddling with her, but she has to keep a super high temp which makes me push her away. And she wakes me up in the middle of the night. A lot. I'm going on dozey sleep and it's unpleasant.

In other, non-heat related, news, voice lessons with Shelby are done. She got an amazing new job and doesn't have time for outside students anymore. It's a little sad, but I feel like I learned a lot from her and I wish her the best.

And now, typing on my phone is getting annoying, so I'm gonna read now. Ciao!


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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spiderman

I have to first start off this review by admitting that I am NOT a comic book geek. I may be geeky in many respects, but I was never a huge comic book reader. Before seeing The Amazing Spiderman, I did some Wikipedia to get a bit of background on secondary characters (Gwen Stacy, Dr. Curtis Connors, etc). Interesting (and heartbreaking!) stuffs!

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.
Anyway, spending the weekend with my sis, and we decided to see this movie, starring the adorkable Andrew Garfield (Never Let Me Go, Dr. Who), the quirky Emma Stone (Easy A, The Help) and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1). I saw the last three Spidey movies, and I wasn't really a fan. I'm not a huge fan of Kirsten Dunst or James Franco, so all it had going for it was Tobey Maguire. I never thought there was much chemistry between Maguire and Dunst, either.

That said, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone had OODLES of chemistry! Reading interviews with them, Garfield said that when they did their first reading together, she walked in and it was electric. You could just tell that they really liked each other, they enjoyed each other's company and it wasn't JUST acting for them.

Seriously, hot. 
Synopsis time!

Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner.

I really enjoyed this movie. We saw it in 3-D (without the intention to), and I feel like it definitely added to the world the ironically named director, Marc Webb was trying to build. There was a scene, before Peter was bitten, where he is looking at this area where they keep the radioactive spiders, and they're in this incubator-type thing, each spider making its own web, and Peter's just watching them all carefully. I kept thinking "I would NEVER get that close to so many spiders!" 

I wasn't familiar with Dr. Connors, or The Lizard Man (Like I said, I didn't read the comics), but I felt more bad for him than anything. Here was a man who had spent his life working with mixing the DNA of animals to create a superior being. He'd also lost his arm (if they explained it, I was in the bathroom, so I don't know, honestly), somehow, and wanted more than anything to regrow his limb like some lizards were able to do. When Norman Osborn's flunkie said they were going to cancel his research, and he got a little crazy. Took the concoction that they'd only tested on mice for himself, and slowly became the Lizard Man. He was a good man who let bad circumstances get the better of him.

Maybe this is why I wasn't a science girl?
I also loved that Gwen Stacy wasn't just a pretty wallflower. She was really smart. She was a scientist, and knew exactly what was at stake and what needed to be done. She did what was necessary to save her city, ignoring Peter and her father to get the job done. She was badass. Mary Jane Watson was not. She had to be rescued. A LOT.

Andrew Garfield was a witty, sarcastic Spidey. He was just nerdy enough, but with a hint of hipster that all geeks seem to have these days. There have been several memes on Pinterest and Tumblr going on and on about Garfield's hair in this movie. While he does have some good hair, I have to laugh at how much of a fan club it's gotten. He's always pretty awkward, which he does well. He seems to be caught in a state of wanting to be a kid and wanting to prove how grown up he is (Just saw in in the Doctor Who episode "Daleks in New York," and also in the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, he does the same thing). I think he's got a lot of growing up to do, but he's definitely coming into his own. 

I hope he'll always have that great hair.
I enjoyed this movie. My uncle didn't because he's a comic book snob. Apparently, they changed the origin story. They changed the origin story of Star Trek a few years ago, too. It's making way for a new audience, it's creating an alternate universe, which most comic books (from what I understand) take part in, so I don't see a problem with it. Though, I suppose if someone tried to tell ME that Jane Bennett ends up with Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, I'd scoff at that, too.

Wait.

I forgot about Lost in Austen. That DID happen. And it DID upset me.

Ah well. To each their own. I loved this movie and am looking forward to the sequels. Hopefully Garfield and Stone continue with them.

Theatre in the Park: "Urinetown"

I'm in Kansas City this weekend! Spending a little quality time with my sis, Kiri, and aunt, uncle and cousins. So far, it's been very low key. Yesterday, after Kiri got off work, we went to Red Lobster for a late lunch. I haven't been to Red Lobster since I was a kid, so probably twenty or so years. For the record, Cheddar biscuits are amazing, and I'm over my aversion to shellfish (I haven't been able to stomach it since I saw "Drop Dead Gorgeous" when I was in high school (Bad shellfish, LOTS of upchucking. Blah). But, I had pasta with lobster and shrimp and lived to eat another day.

After returning to their house for a two-hour nap (It's really hot here, and add that to a carb-heavy lunch. READY for sleep!), we drove down 435 to Shawnee, Kansas to visit my friend, Actress and Singer, Danielle Gibbs, and we saw the show, "Urinetown" at Theatre in the Park.

Yes, that is a giant toilet. Fitting, no?
I wish I'd taken more pictures, and gotten pictures of Danielle and I, but we got there when the show was about to start, so no dice. :-(

For those who aren't aware, here's the basic plot of "Urinetown," which is a musical dramedy.


Urinetown tells the story of Assistant Urinal Custodian Bobby Strong. The show opens with a grim welcome from Officer Lockstock, a policeman, assisted by the street urchin Little Sally. ("Too Much Exposition").[6] According to Lockstock and Little Sally, a twenty-year drought has caused a terrible water shortage, making private toilets unthinkable. All restroom activities are done in public toilets controlled by a megacorporation[7] called "Urine Good Company" (or UGC). To control water consumption, people have to pay to use the amenities. There are harsh laws ensuring that people pay to pee, and if they are broken, the offender is sent to a penal colony called "Urinetown", never to return.

The Cast singing "Too Much Exposition"
 It was a fun show, but definitely NOT an upper. When I was in college, our theater department did it, so I kept comparing it to the show my friends did back in 2007. I might be biased, but I think my school did it better. I loved the location of the theater, though. It was in a park. They've been doing shows here for 34 years. It was a beautiful evening. Being in the grass definitely cooled things down a bit, and at intermission, there were Italian Ices to be had (I had rainbow, which was lemon, lime and blueberry. Danielle and Kiri both had Bomb Pop). Good stuffs.

That is day one of my weekend. Now we're off to go see the "Amazing Spiderman." Excited!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

EdenEden by Keary Taylor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book. I really REALLY did. It fits the type of book that I'm interested in now, the plot sounded fantastic and interesting, and it started that way. However. It slowly went downhill because of the so-called "love" triangle.

I don't mind love triangles. When they're done well, I think they're fantastic. I find it's usually best in a story like this when the love-triangle takes a backseat. For three-fourths of this book, it is the main storyline. I didn't feel anything for Eve and Avian. I didn't think he was really in love with her until he told her, and even then, I feel like it was only because West came in and stepped over Avian's "territory." I just didn't feel it.

A lot of the story dragged because Eve was teetering back and forth between West and Avian. She was such a tease! If she had any respect for them at all, she wouldn't have led them on as much as she did. While I was wondering what was happening at the forefront of the battle, Eve was pandering between who she loved the most.

What I was most disappointed in was how throw-away Sarah seemed. I don't know why or how, but I feel like her demise should have warranted a better send-off than she got. She was Eve's conscience, basically, but at the same time, she didn't seem to care that Eve was playing with Avian's feelings.

I also thought a lot of the action was coincidental. Running into the doctor that had a hand in what happened to Eve when she was a child? Talking about it, and in he walks? Seriously?

I commend Keary Taylor for attempting to build a strange new world, but I would have loved more description. More backstory. More of anything and less of that love triangle. I think West got the shaft, and he didn't deserve to go down like that. I might read more of Taylor's work in the future, but I don't think I'll ever read this one again.

Written by Rebekah Martin, author of Sugar and Spies

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hair

Have you ever let something get to you? How long did you wait before you snapped?I can actually hold off and am a pretty patient person. Except with one thing.

So, as people around me know, my hair gets to a certain point when I decide that I must either hack it off myself or get it cut professionally. When I was in college, I had a cute haircut (I loved my salon in Columbia, Missouri, Varsity Clips! Well-priced, and they always did a great job!) with shoulder-length layered hair and side-swept bangs. Loved it. After Christmas, my bangs started growing out, so I decided to cut them myself. I thought they turned out okay, and I went with it for awhile.

Post-Personal Bang Cut. And new lipstick.


Last year, my hair got so long and annoying, that when my parents went to Kansas for our family reunion (Sis and I had to work), while on a break from our Harry Potter movie marathon, sis and I got our hair cut.

Going back to red hair this weekend. This was a poor dye job on my part.
Such a welcome relief!

Well, I was in the same boat last weekend. For the last month or so, I've been waiting for my hair to DO something (Sometimes, if I wait long enough, it does something. Mainly in the winter. Maybe in the summer, it's too humid), but it never did. It was time to take drastic measures.

Last Friday after work, I went to THREE different Salons, but each had about an hour long wait. Deciding to just forgo the haircut that particular night, I went to Walgreens and got hair dye instead. Decided to go red again. Not a super-bright red, but a warm mahogany color. I think it'll look nice. Going to dye it when I visit my sister at my aunt's house this weekend (yes, pictures and blog to follow).

Saturday morning, I went to the eye doctor, got new glasses (that I have to wait 7-10 days for. *pouts*) and then went to Great Clips. Not too long of a wait, but I'm not sure if I'd go back there. It was way more expensive than I'd originally intended ($50 for cut/shampoo/straighten?! Varsity Clips did it for $35, PLUS and eyebrow wax!), plus, I feel like my stylist didn't really realize I was in her chair. She kept talking to people besides me, she didn't know why I was there (they put it into the system when I got there), and when she realized I wanted a style, she seemed to be annoyed that I wasn't done yet. Yeah. I need to find another Varsity Clips-type place. I loved it there.

Anyway, it is a nice hair cut. But two hours is a long time for just a cut/style. Just saying.
Please ignore the mugshot face. I really actually like it.
One last question. Does it make me look like a brunette newscaster?

  • Have a favorite haircut/style that you prefer your hair to be cut as?
  • Ever have a bad stylist experience? How about a great one?
Hollywood Scandals  (A Hollywood Headlines Mystery #1)Hollywood Scandals by Gemma Halliday
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book cracked me up. I mean, seriously, abs-hurting, snorting, pain because I have to be silent while giggling cracked up. I loved Tina Bender and found I could somehow relate to her. I loved her crazy fashion-sense and purple hair. She had attitude, but was also very caring of her elderly aunts, who were pretty funny because they were all out insane. With age comes Daffy, I guess. I pretty much knew who her penpal was throughout the entire book, but that's okay. I love Halliday's descriptions and dialogue and especially Bender's inner-dialogue. Reminds me of my own half the time. A fun book to break from real life.
Written by Rebekah Martin, author of Sugar and Spies

View all my reviews
Undercover in High Heels (A High Heels Mystery, #3)Undercover in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love how Hollywood likes to make fun of itself (just watch the Bones episode "The Suit on the Set"). Gemma Halliday knows this, and ran with it to make the LA in her High Heels novel.
"Undercover in High Heels" starts out with Maddie and Dana catching up on their "Desperate Housewives"-esque prime time soap. Setting the scene like that is always a good way to make the characters relatable. Who doeesn't watch TV with their friends.
After the Murder du Dour, Maddie and Dana get it into their heads to solve the mystery by working on the set. Dana does a really good job at convincing Maddie to get involved, even when she shouldn't. Maddie wants to be left alone. She doesn't want to go, but Dana is one persuasive chick. Which Ramirez probably hates. He also hates that Maddie associates with Felix. Ramirez is really protective to the point of obnoxious. I know why Maddie goes along with Dana's schemes. She's trying to get Ramirez to believe that she can take care of herself. Unfortunately, while she usually solves the crime, Ramirez doesn't think of her as an equal. Just a dumb blonde.
I enjoyed this book, but Ramirez is really starting to annoy me and Felix is looking better and better.

View all my reviews
Killer in High Heels (A High Heels Mystery #2)Killer in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've never been to Vegas. All I know about Vegas is what I've seen in movies, and I think Gemma Halliday did a great job of setting up this place I've never been.
Maddie Springer just can't seem to stay out of trouble. As soon as she solved the mystery from the last story, she gets a phone call from her estranged father, only to have him hang up before she can get any information. With the help of her friends, Dana and Marco, Maddie heads to Vegas to find the man she hadn't seen since she was a child, but things are not as she remembered, and Hot Cop, Jack Ramirez, on her trail.
Maddie has no problems getting herself into trouble, despite trying to keep out of it once she gets there (Marco and Dana are terrible influences), luckily she has Jack who always manages to bail her out. I did feel that Jack got REALLY condescending and chauvinistic in this installment. Now that he knows Maddy better, he's still acting like she's a little weak woman.
Felix was a fun addition, and I love the banter he shares with Maddie, and it was nice to uncover a bit more of Maddie's past by finding her father.

View all my reviews
Spying in High Heels (A High Heels Mystery, #1)Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book when I had recently downloaded the Kindle App for my smartphone, and it was one of the first books I read on it. I haven't read much fiction since I graduated college, but I finished this book in about a day. I couldn't put it down. I thought it was fast-paced, exciting, and hilarious. I loved Maddie's crazy family and friends, and I think I could relate to the craziness, to a point.

As for the mystery, I feel like I SHOULD have realized who the murderer was, but when it all came out, I was thinking "What?!" I got this book for free, and once I finished, I realized I wanted to finish the series. It was enjoyable and I've enjoyed Gemma Halliday's writing.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time to Market My Face Off.

So, after looking at dismal sales since Saturday (aka NOTHING. Sad panda!), I've been researching the best ways to market myself and my work. If I want to make this work, I have to actually work and get my name out there for people to see. Time to border on the obnoxious.

Daleks are obnoxious. Sure, they're lethal. Lethally obnoxious.

I've already sent a note to the alumnae association of my college, so hopefully it'll be in our Fall/Winter publication, and I included my blog, so I might even get a touch more traffic on the blog. Today I joined a few writers groups on Goodreads, and I hope I can make some friends and fans that way. I also found a book review blogroll that I hope to make use of, even if I have to send off a couple free copies.

Thankfully, my friends have been wonderful about sharing links to their own Facebook pages, and my aunt shared it today, too. The next issue on my agenda is to rework my entire Twitter account. I'm actually going to have to make conversation with people other than my friends on Twitter, which will be interesting.

Anyway, after all that, I'll be continuing work on my dear friend, Lauren's book. Glad to be home, and I can't wait until the day I can do this all full time. Hopefully REALLY soon. :-)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why I chose the Indie Publishing Route

I got the first look of disdain for choosing Indie Publishing today. Four days post first publication. I'm trying my damnedest not to let it get to me. Honestly. This person hasn't really been in my life for years, and this person was never really that supportive when we worked together in high school. Unless it benefited her/him.

So, to be completely open since I'm not ashamed of the route I'm taking, I'm going to explain why I chose the Indie Publishing Route. I know I like to take the Mary Poppins route and never explain anything about myself (more people should take that route), but there is a logical reason, and I want to clear up any questions people might have. There's really only one reason I chose it.

Publishers scare the stuffing out of me.

It probably sounds ridiculous, but I had to deal with so much naysaying when I was in college about the kind of stories I write (I write for the masses. Deal with it), and I didn't want to go through another go-round when I got into the real world. I didn't want to take this book that I spent a year working through (characters, planning, and actual writing. I hope subsequent books don't take nearly as long) and just have someone ship it back to me with a mass-produced letter that said 'No.' I know that someone could have been like "It's fantastic! I want to publish it! Give Ms. Rebekah Martin the Standard 'Rich and Famous' Contract!" (Brownie points for the reference) followed by awards and accolades, but I'm a bit cynical and a bit of a realist when it comes to things like that (Jim Henson didn't prepare me for that. College had to do the dirty work there).

I also have done my research. Publishers nowadays expect the manuscript to be perfectly edited by the time they edit it, and if they want to publish it, they just print it. You may or may not get marketing for your book. You might get popular, you might not. It's a craps shoot. Several independent authors have done very well for themselves. Since they're not waiting on publishers to give them the go-ahead, they're able to continue to produce work (the good ones go through and meticulously edit so that their work is quality), and market their books without a middle-man, and most of the profit goes directly to them.

When I made the decision to independently publish my book, I went on amazon to look for any how-to books (I'm nothing if not a planner). I bought two. The first is "How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months" by John Locke, which I didn't care for. I got about halfway through it when I started (MONTHS ago. I should really read it again), but his tone wasn't what I was looking for. He kept talking about how you don't have to be a great writer to be successful (It's true. I'm looking at YOU, Stephenie Meyer!), but you just need to know how to sell yourself (sounds dirty). His tone was very cocky and I realize he has a right to it, as he sold a million books in 5 months (Hello, Student Loans!), but it was a little off-putting.

The second book I bought (Recommended because I bought the previous book) is by someone I could relate to. A young girl, about my age, who wanted to write good stories that people enjoy. She writes paranormal romances, and decided after Indie success to write a how-to book on Indie publishing. Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author by Zoe Winters. I loved this book so much. It was easy to read, sassy, funny, and she gave the best advice while being a little self-deprecating, which I related to. By the time I finished this book, I was so excited to finish my own book that I finished it the following Sunday. I actually felt like being a working author/writer was within my grasp when I read her book. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is looking to get into publishing.


Another thing I loved about  her is that she is ALL self-publishing. John Locke is not. Zoe built her business by herself. She does everything except beta reading (testing) herself. I find that fascinating because I'm of the same mind-set. She is her own boss. She has the job I want to get to eventually. And I believe that I can. I believe that it is within my grasp.

 I believe my Spy Sisters series is going to be a fun series (of about five books, so far. Maybe I'll get more ideas as the novels progress. I hope so!), and that people will like it. I've made the first step. I wrote and published a story that I love, that hasn't been bastardized by what a publisher thinks people might prefer. This story is all me (with few exceptions because my mother knows more medical procedures and terminology than me. lol). I'm immensely proud of it. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The day I can be a full time writer...

Will be the day I can dye my hair a funky color, get a treble clef/bass clef tattoo on the inside of my wrist and focus on what I truly want to do. I'll have a career. I'll be able to work with passion. I had a really long day.

Things I never want to happen again: I never want to listen to someone's lame and disgusting attempt at phone sex with a Philippino lady. I don't want people to come into my store five minutes before closing and then proceeding to shop after we've turned off the music. I want to be a SAHW (Stay-at-home-Writer) as a career so I want have to hear disgusting cursing (For the record, the "C" word is the word I hate most in the English language) along with...other things. It's probably the worst part of main job and it's happened twice this week. I had to listen to Rebecca St. James on my way home and treat myself to a PB Cup Green Monster once I got home! (For the record, I stop listening once it becomes explicit. He dropped that "C" word, and that was it. It was said in a sexually inappropriate manner and I shouldn't have to listen.)

I am very proud of the work that I've done at all four of my jobs (Regular, BBW, Writing, Worship Team), but actually finishing the book and getting it published on Smashwords and now Kindle today (should be available by 12 PM CST on July 7). I set myself (and my mommy!) up as a Goodreads Author, and my book is now uploaded (sadly, not the picture. Not sure how to fix that). I tried to get a Widget for the side of my blog, but apparently either Goodreads isn't good enough for Blogger, or Blogger isn't good enough for Goodreads. I'm too sleepy to really care right now.

Anyway, I hope for anyone who is a Goodreads user (www.goodreads.com), please "Like" my page (www.goodreads.com/martinbeks), and if you've purchased the book, either at Smashwords or Kindle, please write a review to tell others what you think. If you liked it, please tell your friends. Indie Authors rely on word of mouth. I've started working on book two of the series, hopefully I can get it out by the end of August. I have several books planned, it's just getting them out. Hopefully I can.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, Everyone! I'm so excited to be celebrate our nation's birthday by watching fireworks, A Capitol Fourth, and making Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad. We won't actually be celebrating with fireworks until tomorrow, when we go to my aunt and uncle's house. My uncle lives for his fireworks, and they always get the good ones. Always a fun time.

To prepare for the soiree tomorrow, I made cupcake cones. Red velvet cake, blue cream cheese icing and there will be Teddy Grahams and gummy life savers to look like inner tubes. Found it in a cook book. Pics to come later.

Let's see...what else did I do? Got extra sleep (I've been sorely deprived lately), watched a few episodes of Will & Grace (Season 2/3), went to the grocery store, went swimming, published my book, and watched the old movie The Trouble With Angels starring Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell.

What? Oh, the book?

Okay, I won't be coy because it just sounds pretentious.

I PUBLISHED MY BOOK!!!!!!!!!

I spent my evening formatting it for Smashwords.com, and around 10:20 PM tonight, I hit publish and it's out there in the Smashwords universe. Tomorrow, it'll be available on Amazon. I forgot to make an acknowledgements page, so I'm going to do it here.


To my parents for their love and support. I am completely and totally blessed to be born to you two wonderful people. Thank you for your help with editing, mom, and giving me tough love when I needed it, and for helping me with medical terminology. That was a rough patch. LOL


To my sister, Kiri, for letting me bounce ideas off you for the last year that it took to write. You're a fantastic writer and you help keep me grounded.


To my best friend, Lauren, who also let me bounce ideas, who was unfailingly supportive and helped with the editing. Your ideas and input helped me through the writer's block and my own insecurities. I'm so glad we met.

To my Aunt Donna. Thank you for all you and your family did for me while I was in college, making me one of your "kids," and also for being y last editor before going to print. You're super serious amazing.


To Lindsay Shoemaker for lending your talent to create a beautiful cover that I am proud to put on my book. I hope we can work together in the future.

Always good to have a reminder of your dream...

...an an assurance that good things come in time...

And that they're worth the wait.


Welp, 6:00 comes awfully early, so I think I'd better be getting to bed, but this has been a GREAT DAY!

Happy Independence Day, Everyone!!!!

*To Purchase for Kindle, Sony eReader, iPad, Nook or Kobo, please visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/179196

Monday, July 2, 2012

Movie Review: Rock of Ages


I had a good time last night. After a long weekend that, ironically, went too fast, I had a lot of fun.

For whatever reason, my best friend, Sam, and I don't get together nearly as often as we'd like. She works two jobs, I work two jobs, she has family commitments, I have family commitments. Etc, etc. She finally cut down her hours at one of her jobs, and doesn't work Sundays anymore. We decided to catch a movie once I got off work.

Now, about Sam. She is a rocker at heart. Might not look like it, but she knows her rock music. And she loves it. She saw Rock of Ages when it came out a few weeks ago and despite what everyone else said about it, she loved it. She was gracious enough to see it again with me, though she said I probably wouldn't like it. Since I'm not that into Rock music.

I like it a bit more than she realizes.

I knew most of the songs, which made it a great movie to sing along to, and the story was pretty good (though as much as I love her, I think Catherine Zeta-Jones' character, who wasn't in the original show, was superfluous, and came about because Hollywood, though they hate her, has an odd obsession with Sarah Palin).

We start with Sherrie (Julianne Hough) riding a Greyhound from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Hollywood to become a big star. Tale as old as time. She starts to sing, the rest of the bus sings with her. When she gets to Hollywood, she is promptly mugged of all of her precious Rock albums were in her suitcase, and she meets Drew (Diego Boneta), who works as a barback at the Bourbon Room, which is owned by Dennis (Alec Baldwin) and run by Lonny (Russell Brand).

What struck me as funny is that during the time the movie takes place, 1987, was Alec Baldwin's heyday, and here he is, playing a tired, frustrated Rock lover who isn't really a ladies man. Tom Cruise, too, before Scientology served him the Kool-Aid (though, around the time he was married to Mimi Rogers, who introduced him to the love of his life), was an up and comer at this time.

Anyway, the club is getting ready for the last concert by the rock band Arsenal, before they break up and their lead, Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) goes solo. Drew gets Sherrie a job as a waitress, and the two fall in love through classic 70's and 80's rock music.

Oh, and Catherine Zeta-Jones? She's the Mayor's wife, who wants to clean up the Strip in Hollywood, and remove the Burbon Room and Rock Music from existence. She gets her little church group to sing "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" when going up against The Bourbon Room. Kids, you want to know what Ironic means in the correct way? That's it, right there.

Now on to what I really wanted to discuss in this review. I made notes of, so here goes.

I hate when I like Tom Cruise in a movie. I really do. The man freaks me out on so many levels, but when he chooses to go full-throttle into something, he does a great job. Usually, his emotional wingspan is the widening of his eyes. Not the case with Rock. He became Stacee Jaxx, a Rock Star so out of it and disenchanted with his life (after reading an interview he did for Rolling Stone) that he didn't even know which direction was up.

Julianne Hough sounds like Britney Spears, and does better group work than solo. I love Julianne Hough as a dancer. She lit up the ballroom as one of the professionals on Dancing With the Stars, and like her brother, Derek (who had a cameo at the strip club Hough's character started working at. Awkward!), has this ability to turn even the most awkward of people into dancers. She doesn't have a bad singing voice, but I think she's more pop/country than Rock and Roll. She sounded best when singing in groups.

At least she didn't butcher "I Love Rock 'n Roll like Britney.

Russell Brand's hair looks like Joan Jett of The Runaways. Remember when Kristen Stewart (Twilight) chopped off her hair in a mullet for the Biopic, The Runaways last year? Hello, Inspiration.

Actually, this isn't much different from his usual hair


The only difference is a hairbrush and some facial hair.
Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand make a better couple than Alec Baldwin and anyone else. It all started with a bromance, I'm sure, but I think both men have better chemistry with each other than any costars and/or wives. It is what it is.

Russell borrowed props and wigs from then-wife, Katy Perry for this picture.

Paul Giamatti is one smarmy SOB when he wants to be, and can flash gold dollar signs in his eyes. If ever there was a man to play the sleazy Record Agent, it's him. Are they all like that? Also, the 80's can keep their leather loafers sans socks. *shudders* Mr. Giamatti wore several in this film.

Mustaches are just Smarmy!

Catherine Zeta-Jones can do no wrong. It's just such a shame that her part was so unnecessary. She wasn't in the musical, but there was a character she could have played named Regina, who was trying to save the Bourbon room from German Developers, and she ended up falling in love with one of them. THAT would have been a fine storyline to develop. As it was, I felt they were trying to hard with the tired Footloose anti-dance/rock and roll thing (Which Julianne Hough has already done). Love me some CZJ, but I just think her talents could have been used elsewhere. Once again, though, at least America's youth can finally learn what "Ironic" means. Use it wisely.

Ironic: When a bunch of Anti-Rock church ladies sing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" to prove just how Anti-Rock they are.
Not that I would actually do it, but pole dancers DO have talent and muscles most people can't even fathom. Did I mention that Sherrie, after breaking up with Drew (BIG misunderstanding), quits her job and while walking around the rainy streets of LA, gets taken in by Mary J. Blige, who runs a "Gentleman's" (another handy definition of Ironic!) club called the Venus Club. The aerobics that these dancers do is amazing. I'd kill to be able to control my body like that. Personally, I'd never be a stripper, but I have to respect them for what they're able to do.

No Picture. Google tracks you, and I don't want "Pole Dancing" to come up on my ads. I'm sure you understand.

Boy bands are and forever will be stupid. Drew signs a contract thinking he'll be a rocker, but his agent (Paul Giamatti) has other ideas.

NKOTB. Outfits are just as dumb. Music not much better. *shrugs*

I actually adored this movie. I was singing Rock music all the way home, and I need to download the soundtrack and then go through and download the originals. I knew most of the songs, which surprised the heck out of Sam. I'm not a complete Philistine. I believe there is a place for Rock and Roll in Musical History. I might not like all music or know excessively about specific types of music, but I can appreciate it. I will ALWAYS Appreciate Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," though. The Stephens College Anthem, practically, and was played at every Midnight Breakfast.

I was only two when this movie takes place, but a lot of the songs were very familiar to me, and I love that. I think the music can resonate with anyone who lived through it. Great movie.

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