You’re Only As Strong As Your Next Move: A Review Of Begin Again

You’re Only As Strong As Your Next Move: A Review Of Begin Again

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Before you decide that TFiOS is the best movie of the summer, watch this heartfelt story about chasing your dreams and making something special happen. 

I recently saw a movie that is going to become one of my favorites, and one that I fully intend to buy the second it comes out on DVD. Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, and Hailee Steinfeld, is a wonderful film about love, music, and starting over.  

The movie is raw, honest, and genuine – much like the music of Keira Knightley’s character, Greta. It’s rated R, mostly because they swear quite a bit. But in the real world, who doesn’t? The characters – even the broken ones, like Mark Ruffalo’s Dan – are people I would want to be friends with. It is set in New York City, with incredible scenery and a low-key vibe. There is no trace of the distracting glitz that could have ruined the movie if it was set somewhere predictable like LA. Through the dialogue and production, the viewer can see how everyone involved with making the film is dedicated to their craft. The movie’s title aptly states its main message: there is so much beauty in second chances. 

The story is simple: Dan, a once brilliant record executive, is now a faded image of his former self, spending more time getting drunk than he does signing promising new musical acts. His business partner, finally fed up with him, fires him. In a stereotypical fashion, he goes out and drowns his sorrows at a dive bar, where he hears Greta quietly strumming a ballad on stage. In what could be seen as the creative imagination of a drunk man running wild, instruments come to life on stage and Dan hears Greta’s rough song as a full-realized production. He also sees a second chance for himself, a way to get back to the life he once knew. Of course, it’s not that easy. Dan begs Greta to sign with him, but she refuses, saying that she is headed back to England to nurse her broken heart. Slowly but surely, he convinces her, and they set out to make her first album. Since Dan isn’t actually a record exec anymore, he makes a deal with his former partner: they will make a demo album, and from there, the record label will decide whether or not to sign Greta. They enlist Greta’s musical friends to assemble a band, and they make their album on the streets of New York City. The movie itself is a love story to New York and starving artists, and it is an incredible thing to experience as a viewer. The story strips away the crazy showmanship and faux-reality of Hollywood, and the spotlight is able to truly shine on the music, which is what’s important. It’s impossible to not be inspired to chase your dreams when watching this movie. 

The music is all extremely well done, unlike the over-produced pop that dominates the radio these days. The words spill off of Knightley’s tongue so delicately that you really do believe she wrote them. She makes a convincing young musician, and is a beautiful breath of fresh air. Mark Ruffalo does a great job portraying a record label exec who has lost his way, and manages to come off endearing when he should seem like a tool, something Ruffalo has done well before (think The Kids are Alright, except he doesn’t end up being a huge jerk by the end this time around). I also love how Hailee Steinfeld’s character Violet was written – she is witty, sharp, and mature, but you can still see that she is just a lost young girl trying to find her way and impress her erratic father. Adam Levine was even pretty good in his role, and I’m not even a huge fan of his. Months ago, when I first heard he was going to be in this movie, I laughed, remembering his fairly pathetic role on American Horror Story – but I thought his acting actually wasn’t too bad! 

There’s not much more I can say – After all, I’m not a professional movie critic – except, go see this movie!!!

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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5 Quick Tips To Improve Your Focus And Time Management Skills

Here are five easy tips that helped my sense of productivity along the way.

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Lately, I've been pretty disappointed in my time management skills. I've been struggling to not only maintain all of my obligations but also my sense of joy while completing each task. And although I'd love to rain check on my responsibilities, I know that extended mental vacations are not a beneficial solution for long-term purposes. With this in mind, I've recently observed the ways that I manage my time as well as the methods I use to better improve my work ethic.
As a result of my personal inventory, I decided to make a brief list of tricks that I use to better improve my time management skills and focus.

1. Find articles that encourage organization

I've been reading articles about managing obligations and discovering cool methods to better organize my life. A specific blog post that I've found helpful is "Get Your Life Together Tools" by Mariah Dyson. This brief article is extremely easy to read and filled with useful apps to help readers stay focus on their tasks at hand. The link to this gem is below:

https://www.andsoitcurls.com/blog/majorkeys-tools

2. Listen to a podcast that you enjoy


If you're anything like me, you probably work best with background noise. Now, while I love my Netflix account, I've recently discovered that binge-watching my favorite shows is only a distraction when I'm trying to meet a deadline. So, instead of compromising my focus I've recently decided to save my favorite podcasts episodes for when I'm bogged down with work.

3. Approach your 'to-do' list with positive perspective

THIS IS A MAJOR ONE FOR ME! I have a terrible habit of complaining about my workload. And while it's easy to murmur about my obligations the effects of my comments are detrimental. I've been purposely replacing the phrase "I have to" with "I get to," to remind myself that every obligation is a blessing. I'm blessed to have a job and opportunities to fulfill.

4. Color-code your planner to better prioritize your day

I learned this trick while working on my bachelor's degree and honey, please believe me when I say that this tip alone saved my undergraduate experience. I'm a huge advocate for visual representation, and having my planner organized by color is a quick way to check in and manage my priorities throughout a hectic day.

5. Manage your progress

Lately, I've been taking great joy in checking off tasks from my "to-do list." Again, being a fan of visualization, it's rewarding to know that I've completed yet another task. This technique also serves as a healthy dose of encouragement to keep on trekking along, because the reality is if you could buckle down to achieve your goals once before, you can certainly do it again.

If anything, I hope that this list leaves you with healthy options to consider, when trying to tackle a stressful day.

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