A Doctor Strange Experience egnartS rotcoD A

Stephen Strange, or more popularly known as Doctor Strange is the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has the power to, other than heal patients, control time and show off amazing bright yellow circles. Kidding aside, the latest movie about him is one of the best I’ve seen from Marvel.

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I was hesitant at first to see this film. I felt as if that Doctor Strange was an unnecessary addition to the Avengers and that he wasn’t popular enough for people to crave about him. Before I watched the film, some of my friends already knew who Benedict Cumberbatch was, the actor behind Doctor Strange, and he was already acclaimed with his other works with Sherlock and The Hobbit. In other words, he is a great actor, together with his other co-actors in this Marvel film. He even worked out a lot to be in great shape, such a pro. The hype already got me, especially their marketing and teasers online. What really made me watch the movie is when I saw the behind the scenes, it was already intriguing and exciting. They had a lot of yellow sparkling circles and mind-bending visuals, something I haven’t seen in a regular Marvel film, it really got me hyped. Then I told myself, that’s it, I have to see this film!

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I was waiting for an invite to watch the film; I didn’t want to watch Doctor Strange alone. My co-Marvel fanatic is already in Canada so I was waiting for someone else. Then two of my friends were gonna watch it, so I asked if I could tag along. It was a Wednesday night, and it was a night that my perspective would change about Marvel movies.

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So the movie started with a fight scene between The Ancient One and some thieves. I was already in awe. The fight scene is already jaw-dropping and the visuals were literally mind-bending, something I haven’t seen in a superhero film, a kind of superpower I wanted to have. Also, the back-story of Doctor Stranger got me interested in the character even more, and how his personality developed throughout the film. He was someone I can relate to, actually, or maybe there was this specific connection between me and his character? I don’t know. It’s just that the process of getting his powers and his power itself is something unique, no other superhero in the Marvel Universe got me this excited, not even Vision or Scarlet Witch. Doctor Strange was REALLY powerful. His costume was even surreal! I love how he looked sleek wearing those amazing clothing, he really looked like a mage or a magician, a classy one.  The story isn’t even boring, the humor was there, brilliant acting was there, heart-pumping twists were there, and even a small love story was evident. But Doctor Strange’s story was so relatable I felt we would have the same choices and decision in the entire film.

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I can’t say that this film has topped off Captain America: Civil War, but all I can say is that it exceeded my expectations. His character was really everybody else, someone aspiring to be the best, someone who saw his hard-works come to life and, his life may not be perfect, but he is contented. He may not be the strongest, but he is wise, he knows what he is doing. The only thing I hate about this film is that they featured a Beyonce song, they should’ve selected a Britney song instead. Nevertheless, it is still one of the best films of 2016 and it didn’t disappoint me. It got the kid in me really excited and I am looking forward for more Doctor Strange films, for more mind-bending scenes and for more intense fight scenes. Definitely, this film, Doctor Strange, has changed the game, and the next Marvel films should take notes, they did well this time and they have to exceed this on their next ones, just saying, or else they’ll have to bargain. 😉

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Britney Spears: The Glory of Music

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           It’s been almost three years since we last had a compilation of amazing songs from the Legendary Miss Britney Spears. And alas, August 26, 2016 marked the release of her 9th studio album “Glory” worldwide. As glorious as it sounds, fans and critics alike claim this to be her most mature album to date. Fans all over the world has declared it as the third album completing the holy trinity of the Britney Army, together with Blackout and In The Zone. Eagerness to hear this new record resulted to some songs, and afterwards, the whole album leaking ahead of its release. But me, as a loyal and patient fan, I only listened to this amazing album recently to coincide with its release digitally here in the Philippines.

           I admire that her team did their best to prevent the trend of albums “leaking” as it is very damaging especially to their sales. I remember Femme Fatale and Britney Jean leaking, for like a month or two before the release. But this time, Britney’s team teased us by releasing one song per week before the release to avoid illegal downloads. But then as eager as they are, some “fans” really just want to see artists suffer and leaked the album 1 week ahead of the release. Still a good job for team Britney but I hope the next time this will be totally eradicated. I mean totally! I read somewhere that this illegal download totaled to 200,000, which would have been added to the actual first week sales of “Glory”.

           Personally, even though the release was ahead in some countries, I wanted to be patient and just listen to the whole album once I have the physical copy. But some mix-ups are happening with our local distributor, hence, I still don’t have the album. My co-armies advised me to listen in Spotify, but I chose not to. Because, for me, listening to it digitally destroys the essence, the hype and the excitement of listening to songs played from a CD. But since I’m still hopeless as to when we’ll get the physical copy, I decided to actually hear the album from Spotify. And indeed, the long wait was worth it, and it was a “glorious” moment, an unforgettable experience marked in my own history.

1. Invitation
This is definitely a good choice to start the album. Her voice sounds heavenly and sexy. I can say this is a perfect slowjam to start the album. Coincidentally, she is inviting me, the listener, to a glorious spectacle, which is her new record.
2. Make Me
The perfect song next to Invitation. It continues to deliver the sexy vibe from the previous track. From my first listen when it was released, up until now, I NEVER GOT TIRED OF IT. This song has perfect production, melody and lyrics. JUST PERFECTION. I think Britney hasn’t had a perfect feel-good song in years, and this just proves that she is not just all about dancing but she can be chill, too. G-eazy is also a perfect choice for a collaboration, she complements Britney very much.
3. Private Show
When I first heard it from her fragrance commercial, I can’t stop thinking about it! I can say this is definitely classic-sexy Britney, and at the same time experimental. In this song, Britney still proves she puts on a show, that she is still the ringleader, center of the spotlight, the entertainer not the observer, and we are here as spectators of her suprises.
4. Man on the Moon
The melody of this song is very addicting! The first line itself gave me shivers! It has a beautiful melody and I can’t remember the last time she had something like this. With the lyrics, I find Britney’s fascination with the heavenly bodies very fascinating. I can’t help but say that this is Alien 2.0, continuing the story as wanting not be alone anymore and waiting for that Man on The Moon to come pick her up. I can also say she is lamenting to a long-distance relationship, I like how it is open to interpretation.
5. Just Love Me
So the album already had a lot of R&B and slow-jam songs, and we get another one. Not hating, but, I’m just not really a fan. I’m more of an upbeat person. But on the first listen, the song sounded like a Fifth Harmony song, but also kinda similar to her earlier work “Early Mornin'”. The line “Oh No, I won’t, I promise I promise” is very 2001ney, gave me chills, very CLASSICney, definitely the highlight of the song.
6. Clumsy
This song is very fun and playful, but unfortunately it didn’t give me the eargasm that I was looking for. Still the same feeling when I first heard it when team Britney released it weeks before the release. It felt like a filler for the album. Though I think it’s an anthemic EDM, it’s perfect for partying. I also like the facts that it gives ode to OIDIA. Definitely how a “will.i.am-produced-song-done-right” sounds like.
7. Do You Wanna Come Over?
ONE OF THE PERFECT SONGS OF THE ALBUM. This is “2003 Britney meets 2016 Britney”. The guitar strumming is perfect, THIS SONG IS JUST PURE PERFECTION. The song is just SEXY all over. I also feel it gives an 80s vibe, with a modern twist. Along the way, the song sounded a bit like “Fashionista” by Jimmy James, also sounds a bit Selena Gomez, but it’s not that of a big deal, the song has its own identity either way. This is another experimental Britney, and she did it right this time, I’ll definitely come over!
8. Slumber Party
This song shows “Britney being poetic”. At first I thought this is just another random filler, but SEXY REGGAEney is back y’all, giving us some STUTTERney a la “I Wanna Go”. The “oohs” also reminded me of Canadian Band Hedley’s “Dreaming’s For Sleeping”. What’s surprising to me is the lyrics which would sound like about making porn, very surprising! I also think this is an ode to Miley’s “We Can’t Stop”. This is would how 2001 Britney would sound like in 2016, having slumber parties and having fun all night!
9. Just Like Me
I’d say one of the weakest songs of the album. It’s also a bit awkward with it’s title similarity to Just Luv Me. The message of the song seems like She’ll Never Be Me 2.0, less fierce but more playful. ALTERNATIVEney strikes here, and it seems she’s loving some more guitar strumming. I believe this is Britney’s best attempt to go country pop after the disaster that was “Chillin’ With You”. Somehow this song feels rushed, but maybe it just has a stripped concept. I’m also getting a bit tired of her breathy vocals since we’ve got a lot from previous tracks.
10. Love Me Down
The fun part of the album starts here! I like that this song starts bringing life to the album. This is RAPney at her best, y’all, bringing us Britney-meets-Fergie vibes. I’M SO IN LOVE WITH THIS SONG, something I’ve been longing for from Britney for a long time. This is something very new to Britney, and in some parts she’s giving us GWEN STEFANIney, definitely experimental but still Britney. This is the perfect song from the album that utilized “baby” properly. URBANney at it’s finest!
11. Hard To Forget Ya
Another fun track! She has some shocking lines here such as “since I tasted you”, should I be worried? Well the song itself describes how a “perfect sex” left her wanting for more. Haha. I can also say this song has perfect melody. This is also the return of EDM-DUBSTEPney and gives us another dance anthem.
12. What You Need
“I love Rock And Roll” who? “Do Somethin'” who? “Rock Me in” who? “Don’t Keep Me Waiting” who? This song is the most rock and roll she can be! I’m really surprised! Britney gives us ELVISney and TINA TURERney, she even seems to sample “Proud Mary”. I love how the song sounds very 70s, it’s very fun, fierce and her best effort to have her some “Back To Basics” vibes. I can feel Britney’s drive in making this song, she seems having so much fun. This song also has some James Bond vibes to it. I would get up and dance to this song, definitely. Definitely another perfect track from this album!!! #Obsessed
13. Better
Better sounded like it would fit in Britney Jean. It also sounded like the love child of Hard To forget Ya and Just Love Me combined. The song seems like Fifth Harmony meets Justin Bieber meets Britney. It’s a good song, but I’ll say it’s a grower, you have to listen to it a lot to appreciate it.
14. Change Your Mind
Guitar Strummingney strikes again! It sounded like a soundtrack for a remake of Zorro. I don’t get the essence though of having a song with Spanish parts, maybe an ode to her Latin, Spanish or South American fanbase? The song also has an awkward title but it fits the song. This song is also a grower, nothing special at first but it takes a few listens to appreciate it.
15. Liar
This song sounds like Chains by Nick Jonas meets E.T. of Katy Perry. In some parts, it sounded a bit KPOP. This song is something Rita Ora or Iggy Azalea will record, but it fits Britney. It’s very experimental. It also sounds very early 2000s R&B POP, delivering us some CLASSICney. The chorus also sounds similar to some Meghan Trainor production. ONe of the best bonus tracks, I must say, and I wanted it to be a regular track in the album (replacing Just Like Me :p).
16. If I’m Dancing
It’s an amazing dance song. It sounded like Britney meets Missy Elliot, production wise. It’s a mid 2000s R&B POP, another Classicney y’all! Britney delivering us some In The Zone meets Femme Fatale vibes. She also mentioned “chakra”, like really? She’s watching Naruto? Overall, the song had good production, good potential, but has weak lyrics and vocals. Again, I’ve had so much Breathy Britney in the album.
17. Coupure Electrique
This song is very random. Not hating on it but also not a fan. It feels like it’s trying to be Blackout meets Britney Jean but it failed. It seems like a slow-jam Break The Ice. I’m not sure though if im playing this song again because it is in full French. I appreciate FRENCHney, but not in a full song, it was too much to handle and the song didn’t give anything special.

           Though there were some “just okay” parts, the amazing ones were prevalent. I love how the song is like In The Zone, very diverse genre-wise and very experimental. A lot of new materials for Britney that complements her voice. The down side is, she felt too comfortable with the producers she worked with, and some songs lost their glitter. But who am I to judge right? I’m just a listener and this is what my experience with Glory is.

Some noticable points:
It seems some of the obvious most used words in the album were “patience”, “just”, “apologies”, “fools”, “drippin'”, “ocean” and “lotion”, which is cool. It means the album is a story altogether. She also used surprising words like “kamikaze” and “chakra”, something really new for her, and mentioned “creature” and “specimen”, SCIENCEney y’all! I like that “guitar strumming” is prevalent, which made me feel that she wants the album a little stripped and makes us want to feel that her songs are not overproduced.

           I also like the fact that “Glory” is a story, an “Invitation” where Britney asks a guy to “Make Me” ooh in her own “Private Show”. Then waits for her “Man On The Moon” to come back and “Just Luv Me” even if she’s “Clumsy”. She asks him “Do You Wanna Come Over?” to her “Slumber Party”, even if there’s someone “Just Like Me” with him. She will still ask to “Love Me Down” because she knows it’s “Hard To Forget Ya” and that she has “What You Need”. I’m blown, but that’s just me, my own perspective.

           I can say this is her most experimental album and an album where she is more hands on since Blackout. I like the fact that she sounds happy and enjoying every song, that makes me happy. Somehow it feels that this is “Britney jean done right”, but of course it has its own identity. Glory is Britney’s light, proving that she still has that shine, that X Factor, that can still deliver and be at par with recent trends in the music industry. Glory is also the light that will remind other artists who Britney is and where she is currently in the industry. She is a legend, and this album cements her name as an icon, an influencer and an idol among her peers and the next generation to come.

          This is definitely a new era, the growth of Blackout has been surpassed, the comeback of Circus is long gone, the fierceness of Femme Fatale has been eclipsed and the emotions of Britney Jean has been edged. This is a new Britney, a more mature, a more confident, a more vicious and a more magnetic entertainer. Other artists will shine, but mark my words, Britney’s Glory will always outshine whoever comes her way, because it’s Britney B**ch!

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