The Five: Five Favorite Super Smash Bros Characters

It’s been awhile since I’ve done “The Five” but I got inspired about the last Nintendo Direct talking about Super Smash Bros Ultimate that’s dropping on Nintendo Switch next month.  This is one of my favorite video game series and has been so much fun to play over the years.  So for this edition of “The Five”, I will look at my five favorite Smash Bros characters to use in the game.  So here are the five (in no particular order):

1.) Mario

The OG Nintendo character.  He’s always a good well rounded character to use so he’s helpful to those who are just starting the series or for those who are Smash veterans.

2.) Pikachu

I haven’t been one much into Pokemon games.  So Smash games were my way of getting to know some of the Pokemon characters.  Pikachu was always good due to his lightning strikes.  Anytime I needed a good spamming of attacks, I’d rely on Pikachu.

3.) Link

Another OG Nintendo character.  Link is great with his sword for close quarters attacks as well as his bow and arrow to attack at distance.

4.) Mega Man

Mega Man is a newer character to the Smash franchise (joining in the Smash Wii U edition).  But as soon as I used him for the first time I enjoyed it.  The Mega Buster cannon is great to attack from distance which can be helpful to keep enemies at bay.

5.) Cloud

He was added as DLC for the Smash Bros Wii U edition.  Of course being a character from one of my favorite games (Final Fantasy VII) he quickly became one of my favorite Smash Bros characters to use.

So this is my five.  What are yours?

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MoviePass Adventures: Month 12

I’ll say at this point I’m surprised there still is a MoviePass and that I’ve had it now for a year.  Here’s the latest films I’ve seen with it (not counting Life Itself, A Star is Born, First Man which I saw with AMC A-List):

1.) Little Women

A modern retelling of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women tells the story of the Marsh sisters and their lives including the ups and downs of growing up.  I loved the film.  It was a fun film and had a lot of heart and charm to it and told a classic story in a new way.  One of my favorite films of the year.

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 53

(Number of unique films seen overall: 51)

(Number of films seen in 2018 with MoviePass: 39)

(Number of unique films seen in 2018: 38)

The Five: Five Albums on Constant Rotation

It’s time for another edition of “The Five”.  This time I thought I would look at the five albums that I would have on constant rotation.  It is kind of a correlation to the TV shows question but if I could only listen to five albums for the rest of my life, what would they be?  Granted I have very eclectic musical tastes so to narrow down is tough but here’s my five (one caveat, no greatest hits albums…that would be kinda like cheating):

1.) Switchfoot Nothing is Sound

This was probably the easiest one to pick for “The Five”.  Switchfoot is right up there as far as favorite artists.  I got introduced to them in college at Union by my best friend and roommate and I’ve been a fan ever since.  This album released in 2005 while I was living and working in Seattle.  Pretty much every song on the album has resonated with me at some point in my life through the ups and downs of life and ministry.  I can listen to it beginning to end and it just flows from one song to the next.  For me, this album is a no brainer for the list.

2.) Coldplay X&Y

I don’t know why but 2005 was that kind of year for music and me.  This album by Coldplay just hit me right in the feels as the kids would say.  So many of the songs on this album just stick in my head and I feel the words as I sing along.  So many of the songs resonated with me at that time and place and in a lot of ways still do.  So I have to include it in my five.

3.) Third Day Offerings:  A Worship Album

I knew some Third Day songs at a teen but it really wasn’t until I got to college that I really heard their stuff.  This album released in 2000 is one that was in regular rotation when I was in college.  I got to know these songs by heart and were a part of my time growing in my faith in college.  Just as my faith is integral to who I am, I definitely think it’s important to have an album like this in The Five”.

4.) Garth Brooks No Fences

I feel like I need a country album given how I grew up listening to country.  So I went with Garth Brooks and his album No Fences from 1990.  There are a lot of iconic songs from this album and it’s one that I can go back to and listen to with fondness of my childhood.

5.) The Fray The Fray

I was having a hard time narrowing down the final entry here.  There are several albums from several artists that have a lot of meaning to me.  But I decided to go with The Fray and their self titled album that released in 2009 is one that still sticks with me.  I’m a fan of the band ever since their debut album so it was a toss up between that one and their follow up self titled album but the number of quality songs on The Fray pushed it over the top.  It was a go to album that I listened to frequently during my time in seminary.

The Five: Five Go To TV Shows

This edition of “The Five” answers the question: “What are my five go to TV shows?”  These would be shows that I could pick up and watch anytime anywhere.  Kind of that “If you were on a deserted island and you only have five TV shows you could watch for the rest of your life, what would they be?”  I will put the caveat that these are live action show.  I will go back and probably address animated shows another time.  So here’s “The Five Go To TV Shows”:

1.) Law and Order

The classic.  The original.  Law and Order.  A show that started when I was in 5th grade and ended when I was in seminary (and that included middle school, high school, college, grad school, time in between grad school and seminary).  That how long that show ran.  But it was so good.  To this day, I can be randomly flipping channels and it’ll be on TV and I’ll get drawn right into watching it.  Probably the hey day of the show to me was mid/late 90s-early 2000s.  The casts during those years were probably my favorite.  The show had such as simple premise.  The first half of the show dealt with the crime and the police.  The second half of the show dealt with the trial and the prosecutors.  But yet it told such deep, compelling stories including those “ripped from the headlines”.  For me, I have to include Law and Order in my five, not only for the quality of the show but the number of episodes as well.

2.) Ed

Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good love story.  And who would’ve love the story of a lawyer who runs a bowling alley who tries to win the heart of his high school sweetheart?  Ed to me was that show that was quirky, heartwarming, lovely, funny all wrapped up in one.  The show debuted when I was in college and after watching one episode I was hooked.  Tom Cavanaugh and Julie Bowen were the couple you were rooting for getting together as Ed and Carol.  Add to it all the great co-stars, it was just a great show.  It was only 4 seasons but I would love to rewatch them over and over again.

3.) The Amazing Race

There are very few reality shows that I am interested in and watch.  The Amazing Race is one that I love and will rewatch again and again.  The main thing I love about the show is the locale.  All the different places the contestants travel to are ones that are so cool and is both a great geography lesson and historical as well.  Each season has those teams you root for (and root against) and it has been cool when the people have went to places that I have been to and seen in person.  So if I have to include a reality show in the list, The Amazing Race is the one for me.

4.) Saved by the Bell

I feel like I have to include this show because during my tween years it was the show for me.  Zack, Slater, Screech, Kelly, Lisa, Jessie.  There wasn’t a Saturday morning (or a weekday afternoon in syndication) that went by that I wasn’t watching this show during my tween years on into my teen years.  So for sentimental reasons, I have to put it in “The Five”

5.) Smallville

To be honest I was having a tough time coming up with a 5th show (because I love animated shows so much and wanted to make sure to save those for a different list).  But I keep coming back to Smallville.  It is probably my favorite live action superhero TV show of all time.  Granted there were a couple of season midway through it’s run that was meh.  But overall I love the show and the actors/actresses that were in it.  And I love the theme song as well.  So yeah, it has to be in “The Five”

So that’s my “The Five” go to TV shows (at least for live action.  What are yours? Comment below on what you would say are your go to TV shows.

Updated 2018 Book List

It has been a long time since I updated the book list for this year.  I got bogged down over the summer and didn’t read much.  One book really bogged me down (haven’t finished it yet and had to switch to another).  But here’s the updated list:

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller

Replant: How Did a Dying Church Can Grow Again by Mark DeVine & Darrin Patrick

Transformational Discipleship:  How People Really Grow by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley & Philip Nation

Street Gang:  The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis

The Stark Truth:  The Most Overrated & Underrated Players in Baseball History by Jayson Stark

The Five: Five Films That Define Me

It has been awhile since I had a series of posts.  I like doing series but sometimes I either finish them or run out of inspiration.  I mentioned recently how I was in a writer’s block for a time but I feel like (at least at the moment) I’ve got some more inspiration to write more often again (which is good because it helps me express myself).

One of the big trends the last couple of months on Twitter are these questions that people ask that get trending where people ask about favorite films or books or TV shows and such.  And I’ve participated in some of that on there.  And I thought, “Hey, how about I do like a series on such things on my blog?”  Hence the creation of “The Five”.

What “The Five” will be is a series where I will take a topic and give a list of five that ties into that topic.  It’s not necessarily a ranking but just a list (so in no particular order).

For this edition of “The Five” I wanted to look at the films that define me.  As in, if I was meeting someone for the first time and they asked me what films should I watch to get a definition of me, these would be the five films I would recommend.  For people that know how much I love films this is a tall order.  I will add this caveat.  For a film series, I will only pick one film in that series.  Like instead of watching the entire Lord of the Rings I could say Return of the King (that’s not one in “The Five” but just an example)  So here’s “The Five Films that Define Me”:

1) Return of the Jedi

Of course there had to be a Star Wars film in the list.  I don’t think it would be even possible to have a list without one on there.  So why Return of the Jedi?  First, it was the first Star Wars film I ever saw in the theater.  Granted it was a year after it released and I was 4 and I barely remember it then but that’s the record.  Second, as a kid I loved the Ewoks (and to be honest I still do).  But really as I’ve gotten older I’ve really resonated with the maturation that Luke has in the film.  He’s not the young farm boy he was in A New Hope.  He’s not the impetuous Jedi student he was in The Return Strikes Back.  He is battle tested and carries scars with him.  He still struggles but he has grown.  Plus Jedi has the iconic scene in the Emperor’s Throne Room when Luke is hiding from Vader and the light catches his face in such a way that half his face is lighted and half is in darkness.  Such an iconic moment that sticks with me to this day.  If there is one Star Wars film that defines me, it’s Return of the Jedi

2) Short Circuit 2

I went back and forth between the first Short Circuit or the sequel.  Both are films that are a part of my life growing up.  But I think I would lean with Short Circuit 2 because of one particular scene (which I have blogged about before here).  That scene in and of itself merits watching (and being included in The Five) but the film as a whole is good as well.

3) The Holiday

I am a hopeless romantic.  So anytime there is a romantic film, I’m usually sucked into watching it.  Yes I’m a single guy who loves romantic films.  And out of all the romantic films, this one I connect with.  Particularly with the character of Iris (played by Kate Winslet).  Unrequited love is a dagger and it is one I have dealt with personally.  And yet, I still am hopeful that someday I will find the right one and get married.

4.) From Up on Poppy Hill

I figure to best include a film that is an anime in “The Five” because of my love of anime (especially of Studio Ghibli films).  So out of that list I would say From Up on Poppy Hill.  From the animation to the story to the music, it all comes together in a manner that just clicks.  And while in my ranking of Studio Ghibli films I had The Wind Rises ranked higher, in defining my story I would say From Up on Poppy Hill resonates more.

5.) I Can Only Imagine

My faith is a big part of my life.  I would not be who I am without Jesus Christ.  So I have to have a film that reflects my faith and to me that film is I Can Only Imagine.  Not only is it a good film that speaks on faith, love and forgiveness but that song released at a time in my life (college/grad school) when I say that I really took ownership of my faith.  So that song resonated with me then and still does and the film does the same as well.

So this is the first edition of “The Five”.  I hope to have more of these to come.  I would love to know what you would say are the films you would recommend someone to watch that define you?

MoviePass Adventures: Month 11

This has been a month I didn’t expect to see.  Given all of the self inflicted wounds MoviePass has caused, I was actually able to see some movies with it still.  Here’s the list:

1.) Operation Finale

This film is based on the true life events of the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann from Argentina by the Israelis.  Eichmann had been hiding out for decades and eluded justice but finally was brought to trial in the early 60s.  The cast was great especially Sir Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac.  I will say this is one of my favorite films of 2018.

2.) Juliet, Naked

This film is the story about a young woman named Annie who is dating a man who is obsessed with a 90s rocker named Tucker Crowe.  One day an old demo CD comes in the mail and through hapenstance Annie connects by e-mail to Tucker and develop a friendship and later a relationship.  They both share about their regrets about the past as well as dealing with the struggles of the present.  This was a really good film.  I’m a fan of Rose Byrne already and this was another film of hers I enjoyed.  Ethan Hawke also had a tremendous performance as Tucker.  It was a good film to spend 2 hours watching

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 52

(Number of unique films seen overall: 50)

(Number of films seen in 2018 with MoviePass: 38)

(Number of unique films seen in 2018: 37)