Archive for May, 2012


Body Sculpting – Week 42

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  2. Do full body workout before & after meals
  3. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  4. Replace white carbs with beans
  5. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  6. Add the following routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

Well it’s been a bit of a juggle, making sure I add the following workouts to my normal exercise routine (chest & back day, abs day, legs day, just cardio/rest day):

  • one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  • full body workout before & after meals
  • myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  • kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week

I feel like I’ve been constantly checking and re-checking my food/fitness journal to make sure I’m doing the right workouts on the right days, hehe.

The workouts/actions I think will really produce 6-pack results though, are the following:

  • full body workout before & after meals
  • myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  • kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week

I left out the love handles workout because I think the other three workouts are more compound (whereas the love handles workouts would be isolation workouts); and, from what I’ve read, compound exercises produce better results than isolation exercises.  So, I’m going to cut those love handles workouts from my weekly routine.

I also think doing a full-body workout right before meals will really help produce a 6-pack, as the science behind it really makes sense – if you stimulate your muscles, the calories you ingest are channeled more towards your muscles, so says Timothy Ferriss from The 4 Hour Body.

When I’m at home, and not at the boyfriend’s house, I do pretty well about replacing carbs with beans & legumes, since food is included in the rent.  So far, it’s been great, because I feel full and not as heavy.  I applied for food stamps yesterday, so I’m planning on using that money to buy beans, legumes, and spinach for when I’m at the boyfriend’s house, among other food.

Next week:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add the following routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

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Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day

I put all my tasks on hold due to the discovery of a certain book – What Color Is Your Parachute?, by Richard Bolles.  A friend from the Landmark Education recommended  it, and it’s proving to be extremely useful in job hunting and figuring out a career.  I’m only half way through it, and I feel very hopeful reading Bolles’ different suggestions and advice on job hunting techniques.  For example, in one chapter, Bolles lists the 5 least/most effective job hunting techniques (craigslist, networking, cold calling, etc).  Turns out that job hunting via craigslist is one of the least effective methods; networking is among the most effective methods.

So I’ve been devouring this book and am just now doing a self-inventory exercise to determine my skills, passions, knowledge, etc.  Apparently, this is the most effective method of job hunting (don’t ask me how just yet, as I’m still figuring that out).

Have NOT been reaching out to other websites centered on film/movies, because last weekend I got two calls – one from a technical writing agency regarding working for them (turns out the majority of their work doesn’t start till June), and one from a temp agency regarding a temp job that was supposed to start on Monday (that job fell through).  So, in my excitement, I celebrated by not job hunting and writing Thursday – Monday.  Oh well.  I’ve been feeling guilty about it, but I know guilt doesn’t accomplish anything, so I’ll let that go and move on to better things.

Also have not been diversifying my writing portfolio for the same reason as above.

So I have been making reading this book my number on priority, because I believe it has some great job hunting techniques, and I should probably reassess my transferable skills.

Next week:

  1. Finish reading What Color Is Your Parachute?
  2. Complete all relevant exercises in What Color Is Your Parachute?, to better aid my job hunt and goal of getting a flexible, part-time admin job by May 31st
  3. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  4. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  5. Diversify my writing portfolio every day

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day
  4. Attend BNI networking events in Kirkland, then assess whether I should attend those of surrounding areas

Been doing pretty good about checking craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs.  I applied to some ideal positions.

Great news!  Campus Point (a local recruiting agency for college graduates) called and said they might have a temporary full-time job for me starting Monday!  It’s right by my house and it’s a data entry position for an entertainment-like company, which is great, because I’ve been wanting to work in the entertainment industry.  I should hear today whether I got the job, but even if I didn’t get it, I feel like things are happening.  Plus, I got a phone interview for a technical writing agency this morning, thanks to a great friend from a money management class at a local Center for Spiritual Living.  Woohoo!

Reached out to about 10 movie websites last week and offered my writing services, so I’m hopeful they will see my potential and respond.  I’m excited to reach out to more, as I got really excited at the idea of writing about movies/entertainment.

I started diversifying my writing portfolio even more, after a professional writer recommended I use the site, WritersDigest.com.  I found one section to be particularly helpful – the Weekly Writing Prompts section.  So in an effort to maintain and strengthen my writing muscle, I will start creating content based off of these writing prompts.  I’m looking forward to seeing my imagination and writing style diversify and expand to colorful, gargantuan proportions!  You can see these weekly writing exercises in myWritings section.

I attended my first BNI networking event this week and it was very productive.  It was amazing to see so many driven people helping each other succeed.  Turns out you have to be a member (which costs about $350 per year) to attend the networking events, so I’m not sure I can afford that at this time.  And once a member, you have to attend one meeting per week, which sounds like a big time commitment.  Regardless, I met some great people made some great contacts, so I am really glad I attended the event.  I’ve been questioning whether or not to attend surrounding BNI group events, since I can only go to two events per group before they ask that I decide to become a member.  I think I might attend one in Fremont, since the lady that suggested the BNI attends those ones, so I would have a great connection.

Next week:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day

 

Body Sculpting – Week 41

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Do full body workout before & after meals

Well I think I’ve read all desired sections of “The 4-Hour Body”, which basically includes the following:

  • how to maximize weight loss/muscle gain
  • how to improve quality of sleep

There’s a lot of information to process, and some of it is a bit unorthodox (i.e., no fruit in his prescribed, “The Slow-Carb Diet”, a plethora of supplements).  But Ferriss does a great job at reassuring the reader that, yes, some of these tips/ideas may sound bizarre, but Ferriss follows up with supporting evidence and explanations (lots of in-depth explanations for those who really want to know the science behind his gospel).

Here are the most useful tips I gleaned from “The 4-Hour Body”:

  • Doing full body strength training exercises (pullup, pushup, air squat) right before eating (to better channel calories to muscle instead of fat) and about 90 minutes after eating
  • Replacing white carbs (bread, rice, pasta) with beans
  • One binge day per week (to offset metabolism)
  • Kettlebell swing (for fat loss/muscle gain)
  • Myotatic crunch (for more defined abs) 2X/ week
  • Cat vomit exercise (for more defined abs) 2X/week
  • Philips goLITE (for better quality sleep)
  • Nightwave Pulse Light (for better quality sleep)
  • Before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

Below, I’ll go into more detail on each of the above areas:

I have already replaced a lot of my carbs with beans, and they have proven to fill me up very sufficiently.  I probably need more fiber & protein in my diet anyways, so I’ll most likely stick with this change to my diet.

Remembering to exercise BEFORE eating has proven to be tricky, as I’m usually raring to eat before every meal.  But like any habit, it just takes practice, and I’m getting better at remembering every day.  Like I said in a previous post, I think this habit will coincide nicely with my goal of doing a full-body exercise once a day.  I had been wondering how to break up the reps throughout the day, and this book gave me a pretty great suggestion.

Binge day sounds like an awesome idea, though I still do eat some carbs throughout the week, so I probably won’t go overboard on carbs on binge days.  But the concept of offsetting your metabolism sounds fairly logical, so I will toy around with this.

I’ve been wanting to get a kettlebell for a while now, so this book just strengthened my resolve to get one.  However, I never would’ve started out with a 20-lbs kettlebell, so I’m glad this book recommended I get a 20-lbs one.

I’m excited to start doing those two ab exercises (myotatic crunch & cat vomit), as I can’t tell you how frustrating it has been to see that extra bit of tummy fat everyday.

I had thought about using the Philips goLITE, or some variation of a light therapy appliance, but again, Ferriss’s explanations just strengthened my desire to actually buy one.  Along with the Nightwave Pulse Light, I’m excited to start falling asleep and waking up easily, and feeling refreshed.

And I’m glad I decided to write a post today, because I nearly forgot about doing one of those love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform, hehe.  I will do that in about an hour, after I have digested my dinner.

Next week:

  1. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  2. Do full body workout before & after meals
  3. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  4. Replace white carbs with beans
  5. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  6. Add the following routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

By July, I will have six-pack abs!!!

 

After a professional writer recommended I use the site, WritersDigest.com, I found one section to be particularly helpful – the Weekly Writing Prompts section.

So in an effort to maintain and strengthen my writing muscle, I will start creating content based off of these writing prompts.  I’m looking forward to seeing my imagination and writing style diversify and expand to colorful, gargantuan proportions!

When Your Favorite Characters Don’t Get Along

Your parents have thrown you a surprise birthday dinner and have invited your two favorite fictional characters (can be literary, television, movie, etc.). There’s only one problem: Turns out, the characters don’t get along and, after some mild bickering, they get into a big fight following one particular insult. Write this scene.

Characters:

Edward Cullen (Twilight series)

Jacob Black (Twilight series)

I looked out amongst my party guests – people were putting Buggles on their fingers and pretending to be witches, random chatter & laughter amongst small groups of people, and the high afternoon sun, completing this sunny picture.

“Thanks for throwing this little shindig”, said Jacob Black, as he stood before me shirtless and radiating heat.

“Thanks for coming”, I responded.  I had gotten semi-used to seeing Jacob wearing just his shorts, as I knew he had to turn into a huge wolf at random times.  So inconvenient, I thought.

“Yeah, too bad you have that human lighthouse blinding everyone”, Jacob muttered as he turned to look at Edward Cullen.  Since the sun was out, it was to be expected that Edward’s vampire skin would be sparkling like a thousand diamonds.  Pretty, the first time you see it, but distracting and blinding during the spring and summer.

Having the ability to read people’s minds, Edward went over and picked up his jacket from a chair and put it on with a stylish flair.  If werewolves were warm and chummy, vampires were cold and detached.  I knew the two species, races, tribes (whatever) didn’t mesh well, but I didn’t want to exclude anyone from my party as well.  Let them deal with it, I thought.

“Look at him.  Thinks he’s so cool reading our minds and acting all… cool” sneered Jacob as his arm muscles twitched.

“He’s just being polite.  I’m sure even he forgets about the skin sparkling thing” I reasoned.

“Yeah, look at him all smug….”.  Jacob wasn’t listening.  This was a bad turn.

I thought of directing Jacob to another part of the yard, but I figured that was just prolonging the inevitable.  So I saw an opportunity to amend things between the two, and spend some time getting to know each other and realize that they’re both human.  Well, you know what I mean.

“Come on.  You guys need to get oer this shit.  Just come over with me and chill”, I offered.

Jacob knew the tension between him and Edward was off-putting to us, his friends.  So he grudgingly followed me over to Edward, heavy breathing and all.

“Thanks for covering up your blinding radiance”, Jacob said to Edward.  A compliment and a jab.  God, Jacob.

“Sorry about that.  Sometimes I forget that we get sun here in the pacific northwest”, Edward responded.  Gentlemanly, as always.    Sometimes I wondered if Edward didn’t spend all night taking out his frustration towards Jacob on a mountain side.  He has to do something during those sleepless nights.

“See any food here that doesn’t suite your fancy?” Jacob asked Edward with a mixture of disgust and jeer.

“I already hunted today; didn’t want to come tempted”, said Edward.

“You and your blood-sucking buddies don’t ever happen to hunt wolves, do ya?” asked Jacob, as he puffed up his chest slightly.

“No.  We prefer bears and mountain lions – you know, things that can put up a fight?”, responded Edward with the slightest hint of a grin.

Sensing the oncoming retaliation (verbal or physical), I stepped between the two, facing Jacob with my hands between the two.  But Jacob was gone; only Edward’s back was facing me.  As I registered this oddity, I felt a swoosh go past one side of me.  Edward had read Jacob’s mind and saw Jacob’s attack, so he beat him to it and punched him clear across the 50-foot yard.  Luckily, no one had been in the way.

I let out a big sigh, grabbed my Shirley Temple, and walked heavily back inside my house to fetch a pen and piece of paper.  This wasn’t the first time this happened at my house (can you imagine the state of the rest of the town?); whenever Jacob & Edward got into a brawl, nothing could stop them.  You just had to let them go at it, and give them a list of things they broke, so that the Cullens could replace it all.

“Oh well”, I thought, “I’ve been wanting to get a new deck anyways”.  Maybe I should invite these two over more often when I need furniture replaced.

 

Body Sculpting – Week 40

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  4. Keep doing one full body workout everyday; make it a habit

Been reading more of “The 4-Hour Body” and it’s been great but overwhelming at the same time.  The author, Ferriss, has some conflicting advice about weight loss/muscle building with that of the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”.  Namely, that you only need to eat 4 meals per day, and that Ferriss promotes this diet where most carbs are replaced with legumes.  So, I’m a little torn about which advice to follow.  One piece of advice that I know I WILL try, is where Ferriss recommends doing some sort of strength training exercise immediately BEFORE eating, and then 1 hour AFTER eating.

Also, in Ferriss’s diet, he advises having one binge day a week, in order to offset/charge your metabolism.  This sounds pretty logical and fun, so I’m experimenting with that.

I made a new commitment:

By July, I will have a six-pack

Hold me to it, everyone!

I have not been doing any of the love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout.  I keep forgetting.  So I will do it this week.

I have been getting better at doing one full body workout.  In fact, I’m going to do it before and after eating, like Ferriss advises.  I worry that if I’m not fatiguing my muscles, I’m not building them.  So I’ll just make sure to fatigue them before and after eating.

Next week:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Do full body workout before & after meals

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on interests, and promote myself
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day

I’ve been doing very well with checking craigslist every day for writing & modeling jobs.  I applied to some, which felt great, though at the same time, I think, “It would be a lot better if I got a job through a contact, so there would already be a level of trust established”.  Oh well; I guess either method works, as long as I find a job I love.

So my mom & I attended a guest speaker event last night at the Landmark Education office.  The event was centered around breakdowns.  The biggest thing I got from it was that it’s so very important to COMMUNICATE, especially during a breakdown, as your peers can help you spot your blindspots and help you think up new actions to take.

So I made a new commitment out of last night

To have a flexible, part-time job that I love by May 30th

As you all might know, I’m also working hard on becoming a writer full-time, so I am writing every day, in order to diversify my portfolio and just to exercise my creative muscles.  But in the meantime, I figured I’d do admin work, since that’s what I have the most experience in, and it seems like it’s a more stable job than writing.  Ideally, I’d love to work with the entertainment industry (i.e., tv, radio, flim, etc).

A lovely young lady sitting next to me last night recommended I check out BNI.com, which is a global networking organization that organizes regular networking events.  She said I should come to the one in Fremont on Thursdays.  Their website also lists networking groups/events happening in my neighborhood (Kirkland), with all of the events taking place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  So, I’ll attend both until I find a part-time job.

Just ordered 250 free business cards from VistaPrint (Christ, I’ve heard that ad so much on Pandora.com).  I’m excited to start using them to promote myself and my skills, and to network with others.

I need to find and reach out to websites centered on film/movies & video games, as I would love to write for free for such industries.

Next week:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day
  4. Attend BNI networking events in Kirkland, then assess whether I should attend those of surrounding areas

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on interests, and promote myself
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day

Been doing better about checking craigslist everyday for writing, modeling, and admin type jobs.  But I find when I reach the end of the list, I get depressed and hopeless about ever finding a job.  I know I’ll find a great job (or jobs, if I can do freelance writing to pay my monthly expenses), but right now it feels totally hopeless.  Can you tell I’m in a low place?

Been doing EFT (tapping) to help work through all this frustration and to get in a positive attitude (law of attraction).

I have been reaching out to websites centered around film/entertainment and video games, as I’m finding that I’m really passionate about those two things.  But I haven’t heard back from any of them, which leads me to believe that my time is better spent networking.

It’s been very fun adding to my writing portfolio every day.  I find that I’m better able to express my thoughts & feelings in more concise and creative ways, as a result of writing every day.

One of my biggest frustrations from networking with other professional writers (or professionals in general), is that the majority of them are so reluctant to give REAL help.  The majority refer me to some great resources (mostly websites) for writers, and say “Good luck!”  But no offer to reach out to see if they know anyone who might be hiring writers; no offer to answer any other questions I may have; no offer for guidance/mentorship.  Did these people forget that they were once struggling, aspiring writers?  Or did their family or peers always hook them up with jobs & opportunities?

I know I have way more people/forces helping me, than those who are not, but at the moment, I feel only anger & frustration at the majority of professionals unwilling to be a guide/mentor.

One of the biggest aspirations I’ve gotten out of this most recent job hunt and from Landmark’s teachings about networking, is to set up some sort of mentorship system in the US public education system.  I remember in high school and college, the most we had was job shadowing, but even that had a lukewarm energy to it.  There was no real effort to ensure a long-lasting, mentor-like relationship between an apprentice and a master.

When I have financial abundance, I’m going to set up some sort of mentorship system in the US public education system.  I’m going to make millions of people realize that they are always both an apprentice and master in at least one area in life.  And, that it’s their duty as a master to educate, pass down, and guide willing apprentices to mastery of that area.

A recent quotation I read really sums up my feelings about this:

“The greatest gift of success is to teach others how to obtain it”

Or something along those lines.

I feel like an old man in his rocking chair on his battered porch, whining about “what’s wrong with this country”.  The problem is that nobody wants to be a mentor to anyone.

In the meantime, I’m tapping at least once every morning before I do anything, in order to get myself in a positive state of mind.

Next week:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on interests, and promote myself
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day

 

Body Sculpting – Week 39

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Read “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”
  3. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform every other day
  4. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  5. Continue experimenting with doing different full body workouts

I know this post is a bit early, but I’ve actually been trying to get back to posting on Sundays or Mondays, so it’s more consistent with a standard week.

Started reading “The 4-Hour Body” and it’s very well-written and entertaining.  The author, Tim Ferriss, writes in a very rapid-fire, concise manner and is definitely very engaging.  So far, one of the biggest hooks he has introduced is that of the Minimum Effective Dose (MED).  For example, “To boil water, the MED is 212 degrees F.  Higher temperatures will not make it ‘more boiled’.  Higher temperatures just consume more resources that could be used for something else more productive.”

Along these lines, Ferriss claims that his book is chock-full of such MEDs for different areas of health & exercise.  Exciting, but the too-good-to-be-true voice whispers in the back of my mind.  I’m excited to learn more about it, regardless.

Keep forgetting to read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”.  I think I’ll be devoting more time to reading “The 4-Hour Body” since I have to return it to the library soon.

Well, I did one of the love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform the other day, and my obliques were still burning two days afterwards.  So I might not be able to do these love handles workouts every other day; perhaps I’ll just do them 2-3 days after my normal ab workout, so I don’t overwork my core.  But it felt good to feel that burn on my obliques!  6-pack, here I come!

Been running out of steam about eating five meals a day, but turns out “The 4-Hour Body” also promotes this lifestyle, so I’m thinking I should revisit this possibility and see what I can do to make it work, if only for a week.  I think this will definitely be an easier transition once I have more money and can afford to buy an adequate amount of complex carbs & proteins.

Been experimenting with doing different full body workouts everyday, and so far, my body is fairly exhausted after doing my normal morning cardio + strength training, and just one full body workout later in the day.  So I think I’ll just stick to that routine.

Next week:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  4. Keep doing one full body workout everyday; make it a habit

Drive

Title: “Drive″

Rating: 10 out of 10 (This is a “classic” in my eyes)

Movie Details: View here

Summary:

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver lands himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Story:

Gosling’s character (who doesn’t have a name; people call him “kid” or “the driver” and the character is listed as “Driver” in the credits) helps his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan) and gets emotionally close to her and her son, Benicio.

When Irene’s husband, Standard, returns from jail and owes protection money to some crooks, Driver helps him do a heist to repay his debt.  But when things go sour during the heist, Driver finds himself and Irene in deep trouble with the mob.  Driver goes to extreme lengths to protect Irene and her child.

What worked:

Jeez, what didn’t work???  This is more than a movie; it’s an experience.  It’s a classic.

And I’ve been asking myself, “What makes a movie an experience?  What defines a movie as a classic?”  And to me, a big part of the answer is the soundtrack.  Sure, if a movie has incredible cinematography, you will remember it fondly, but if a movie has both amazing cinematography AND a holistic soundtrack, the movie sticks with you on a deeper level. Just like smell is the strongest of the five human senses for memory, the soundtrack/hearing must be the most powerful in that of the film world (since smell is currently not an option).

Think about any movies you consider to be classics – “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Star Wars”, “The Mission”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Fight Club”, “The Breakfast Club” … these movies invoke a certain nostalgic feeling in most people, I would dare to assume, and I think it’s because of four components:

  • Story
  • Characters
  • Cinematography
  • Soundtrack

But the soundtrack, I believe, really helps to cement the movie in the viewer’s memory and psyche more deeply than the other three components.  But let’s examine those other components of this movie:

Cinematography – Of course, gorgeous and breathtaking.  The director, Nicolas Winding Refn, does an amazing job using the LA sun to create warm emotions during soft and tender moments.

Soundtrack – One of the biggest things that makes this movie more an experience than a movie.  It’s so different and impacting.  Heavy bass and 80s electronic elements make this movie seem like the movie the 80s never had.  I’m currently in love with the main song of the movie, “A Real Hero”, by College.

Characters – It’s really great to see Gosling as this lone cowboy badass, and so many of the characters being who they are more so with their body language and not with their dialogue.  It’s always a great change of pace to see a movie with limited dialogue, because, if done right, you’re forced to pay attention to other ways the actors have to express their feelings, motivations, and motives.  For a similar dialogue-light movie, check out “Hunger“.

What didn’t work:

While I hesitate to write anything here, I must admit that the story was not original.  A cowboy meets a girl, falls in love, protects girl from ruthless enemies.  In fact, one of the two things that didn’t work for this movie are the story and the trailers.

Looking back, I remember reading the plot description of “Drive” on IMDB.com and seeing the trailer, and not being impressed at all.  And I think it’s because, like I said earlier, the story is so unoriginal, but also because the trailer sadly does a horrible job at communicating the awesomeness of this movie.  I’m a huge fan of trailers, because I think they provide such insight to a movie.  They are the 2-min elevator pitch, the clincher, the lure, the hook that needs to draw people in to spend money to see this movie.  And so the trailer producers have to do a really good job.

The Bottom Line:

You need to see this movie.  Your friends need to see this movie.  Your family needs to see this movie.  This is a classic, in case I have not made that clear enough already.

Prudes might not like the movie because of sporadic moments of gratuitous/satisfying violence, but I can’t imagine anyone denying the beautiful cinematography, soundtrack, and overall quality of this movie.

Have you seen it yet?  Do it now.