Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Love You More

Stevie Wonder wrote a great Christmas song for the 5th "Very Special Christmas" album. The lyrics display a wonderful love of Christ at Christmas. Read them and enjoy. Merry Christmas.
More than I love the first of spring,
I love you more.
More than the sweetest song I sing,
I love you more.
More than the Christmas bells that ring,
I love you more my Lord.

More than a star filled summer's night,
I love you more.
More awe than viewing a wondrous sight,
I love you more.
More than the Chirstmas cards I write,
I love you more my Lord.

More than the days, more than the nights,
More than seasons and reasons for every life,
More is my love for Jesus Christ,
And my God who made it all.

More than the autumn's falling leaves,
I love you more.
More than snowflakes dancing in the breeze,
I love you more.
Much more than Santa and Christmas trees,
I love you more, my Lord.

SW: Mistletoes and everything wow
Christmas just as I pictured it
KB: Mistletoes and everything wow
SW: Champagne, Pineapple juice

More than the days, more than the nights,
More than seasons and reasons for every life,
More is my love for Jesus Christ,
And my God who made it all.

More than the autumn's falling leaves,
I love you more.
More than snowflakes dancing in the breeze,
I love you more.
Much more than Santa and Christmas trees,
I love you more, my Lord.

With every single breath of life you give me,
I love you more.
More than I love the first of spring,
I love you more.
More than the sweetest song I sing,
I love you more, Lord, I love you more.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Biblical Films

I have come up with a few random ideas for movies based on Biblical stories that I think would intrigue and interest the general public. Why? Because a) they hadn't thought of these stories and b) the stories are compelling / visually interesting. Here are my ideas including suggested film titles.
The Judge - This would be a film chronicling part of the story of the Biblical Judge, Gideon. What part of his life story? The fighting of the Mideonites and the vengeance he sought from the kings who killed his brothers. Gideon's well crafted battle plans allowed his small band to scare and confuse the Mideonites in the middle of the night. In so doing, they were able to force them to flee and be cut off by a larger group of Israelites. The sneak attack and ensuing battle could be epic if filmed properly. Follow this with Gideon's tracking down of the enemy kings to avenge the death of his brothers could make for an incredibly compelling movie. The History Channel's Bible Battles does a great job describing the event and helping you to visualize it.

My Revelation - Revelation written by John of Patmos, at the end of the New Testament has been attempted to be interpreted by many for years. I say, why interpret. Instead - make a full length motion picture visualizing the entire book of Revelation on screen. Try to help people understand John of Patmos was seeing and let them interpret it as they will. I think a film like this should begin with John on Patmos shaking while sitting at a desk. You look about the room and see a dark, cave-like room in shambles. John then takes some paper and a pen, and begins to write to the new Churches. Then begin with his visions and visualize the entire thing on screen. That's it. Don't try to tell us what the film creators think Revelation is about - make it as detailed and as accurate to the text as possible. Again, no interpretation - just literal visualization of the book. I think that will marvel many with the intense imagery of Revelation.

Reluctantly Condemned - The story of Jonah is one of the more well known stories of the Bible. But, most of us only remember parts of the story. If I were to make a film regarding Jonah, I would begin by showing the fire and brimstone style preacher giving a sermon. A fiery sermon about how evil sin is and how evil sinners will be condemned by the Lord. Then as he leaves, introduce God directly confronting him and telling him to go to Ninevah. Jonah then goes on the run trying to hide from God. But, of course, God finds him and Jonah eventually does what the Lord required of him. The story is the interesting tale of a reluctant preacher who did not want to go to where God wanted him to go. His story is relatable. The problem? The Book of Jonah ends aburptly, so in a film format it would be difficult to have an ending. Then again - it may almost be worth having the film end with a dumbfounded Jonah listening to the Lord explaining what he should have known in the first place.
Thoughts on my 3 ideas are always welcome. In each case, I'd be talking about a live action film.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Albums I'm Looking For

For my own reference - I've put together a list of albums that I'm interested in hearing and potentially picking up.
Cage the Elephant - Cage the Elephant
Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted
Crush 40 - Crush 40
Dr. Dre - The Chronic
John Frusciante - The Empyrean
Jurassic 5 - Power in Numbers
Muse - The Resistance
Royksopp - Junior
Thoughts on other albums I should look into?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Brother's Killer

I am uncertain how to write this into a detailed story - but here's the idea for a Civil War era story entitled "My Brother's Killer."

Two brothers from Maryland end up on opposite sides in the United States Civil War. The story follows the Union brother, James Davis. James felt that the war needed to be fought to end slavery. His brother felt that slavery was a red herring and that the real battle was between the rights of the states and the power of the federal government.

James joins the 1st Regiment Cavalry out of Baltimore early on in the conflict. In his first battle, James kills a number of men in battle. As he charges forward with his unit and finds that one of the fallen Confederates in the battle is his brother.

After the war, with a heavy conscience, James leaves Maryland and in 1866, he ends up in Oklahoma territory. There he sees attrocities performed by Union solders. He defends local Native Americans and after joining them one night discovers that their tribe sided with the Confederates in the Civil War.

The story follows a man torn and confused. He feels pain and disgust in himself and no longer supports the cause that led him to kill his brother. I'm unsure how to end this story. Part of me had the idea of him joining the Native American tribe and dying with them in a guerilla attack on a Union barracks, but I'm unsure.

Thoughts are welcome. Again, this is only the beginning and bare skeleton of a story.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Music Video Ideas

Recently I've been coming up with random ideas while listening to music - about how I would present the song in music video format. Here's a spattering of ideas I had for a few randomly selected songs.

Katy Perry - One of the Boys
The video would be a classic teenage girl falling for the popular boy music video...except the girl would be played by a dude and the popular boy she's into, is actually Katy Perry dressed as a boy with a very bad fake moustache. Preferably have other male musicians that she's close to / worked with (FOB, Gym Class Heroes) to play other girls in school. The video would be mostly a daydream of the tomboy about how she (played by a he) is a tomboy, treated like a sister, but wants to be treated like a girly-girl.

Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal
I would make this actually a realistic depiction of what's going on in the song. The song would open with a girl sitting at home watching TV in her living room. It then shifts over to a window being forced open, then comes the intruder into the apartment. A friend of hers is on his way to visit when all this is going on - so, it goes back and forth between him looking at the apartment from the outside, to her struggle / attack from the intruder. He then realizes as he's trying to call her from outside that something isn't right and gets in the apartment just as the intruder is jumping out the window. This could be a very scary video with realistic depiction of Annie getting struck by the intruder and her friend trying to save her, but coming just that much too late. It ends with the friend comforting Annie as the police arrive.

My Chemical Romance - Cancer
Video would begin with the intro tune playing very quietly and see a younger, but obviously sick lead singer of the band lying in a hospital bed asleep. Two people are standing next to him, one holding his hand and the other rubbing the one person's shoulder and just looking at him. One says to the other, "I don't know if he'll make it." That's when the lyrics begin with the person slightly waking up and singing. When he gets to the line "favorite colors" it goes to him in his gown watching the events happening and singing, with the version of him in bed just laying there and the family members crying. The next verse will go back and forth between the ghostly lead singer singing the song in the hospital to the family members wearing all black in mourning, and in the funeral procession. The video would end with the ghostly version of him walking over and pulling a plug out from the wall, with the version of him in bed dying. The music stops and the machine's flatline. You see the family members begin to cry and a happy ghostly version of the lead singer walk off into a bright light.

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
Begins by showing a speech by John Edwards on a television screen, then back off to show someone dressed as John Edwards walking past a television store. He's lip syncing the song. As the video progresses, it goes back and forth between flashbacks and John Edwards walking sadly down this road. The flashbacks include meeting Rielle Hunter, telling his wife about the affair, and watching his Presidential hopes crashing and burning through a flurry of news coverage. This video would almost serve as a chronicle of the fall of John Edwards from the good graces of the mainstream / liberal media and his continued denial to be the father of Rielle Hunter's baby.

Playlist of the Moment

I decided to randomly post the current "On-The-Go" playlist from my iPod that I'm currently listening to on my rides into / from work -
Drake - The Calm
Drake - Fear
Fuel - Hemorrhage
Fuel - Shimmer
Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
Gym Class Heroes - New Friend Request
Gym Class Heroes - The Queen and I
Hard-Fi - Cash Machine
Insane Clown Posse - Juggalo Homies
Insane Clown Posse - Under The Moon
Insane Clown Posse - How Many Times?
Jack's Mannequin - The Mixed Tape
Jack's Mannequin - Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)
Kid Rock - Wasting Time
Lemon Demon - The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny
mc chris - The Tussin
My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade
My Chemical Romance - Cancer
Mötley Crüe - If I Die Tomorrow
Moxy Fruvous - King of Spain
Moxy Fruvous - Big Fish
MC Lars - iGeneration
Darius Rucker - Drinkin' and Dialin'
Tenacious D - Tribute
Tenacious D - Wonderboy
Carly Smithson - The Show Must Go On (Queen cover)
Jay-Z featuring Eminem - Renegade
Brad Paisley - Online
Darius Rucker - All I Want
Katy Perry - Hot N Cold
We Are The Fallen - Bury Me Alive
Coheed and Cambria - The Suffering
Coheed and Cambria - Wake Up
Backstreet Boys - Incomplete

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Club Nintendo Game and Watch Collection Review

Club Nintendo is Nintendo's system to promote registration of video games. You get points for each game you register and additional points for filling out surveys related to each game. For collecting 800 points, you can get a copy of a Game & Watch Collection for the Nintendo DS. Those who follow me on Twitter know that I recently did that.

For those of you who don't know, Game & Watch were a series of individually packaged games that Nintendo made in handheld format. Each game was its own unit. This included such classics as Mario Bros and Donkey Kong. This DS collection includes three of those classic games - Oil Panic, Donkey Kong, and Green House.

Yesterday, the game arrived. What followed was about an hour of me sitting while watching TV playing games much older than most of my siblings. The gameplay has withstood the test of time - very simple gamplay for each game composed of using the directional pad and, at most, the A button. It is this simple gameplay that makes it so magical. It provides all manner of fun with just a few buttons.

Now, many people are familiar with Donkey Kong. I personally have played Donkey Kong many a time on many a console. But, before getting this collection I had never played Oil Panic or Green House. Let me tell you a little about each game.

Oil Panic is comprised of a main character on the top screen trying to collect dripping oil which falls at a set time period from random locations. Once his container is filled - he then dumps it out to a person below who must be directly below him to catch it. If you let the oil spill above - a small fire starts and you lose one chance. If you spill oil below, it falls on your gas station customers. The controls are simple to learn, but difficult to master. It is frantic fun trying to collect the oil and drop it so that your gas station patrons are kept content filling their vehicles.

Green House is a game where you protect your flowers from bugs. You have a can of bug spray and need to kill the bugs as they approach your flowers. If your flowers get attacked three times, the game is over and you have lost. It seems simple, but jumping between screens on the DS to catch insects before they take out your flowers can become fastly challenging.

All in all, for the price of free because I had registered my games - this was well worth the price. I would suggest registering products with Club Nintendo - because you never know what promotion they will come up with next.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Video Game Idea

Welcome to my 100th post on Newman's Narratives. For my 100th post - I'm going to post a video game idea that I've had for years...but just now figured out how to make it work.

The game would be entitled Mario and Sonic. It would be an adventure platformer akin to Super Mario Galaxy in gameplay with some intermixed high speed levels. The plot is as follows -
An FMV opens with Mario and Luigi walking with Princess Peach in the Mushroom Kingdom. The Kingdom is at peace and the people are having a celebration akin to the beginning of Super Mario Galaxy. An envoy from the neighboring Robo-Kingdom has come offering a peace treaty to the Princess. The envoy is Metal Sonic and he hands the Princess a letter which, when opened, causes smoke to fill the room. Metal Sonic grabs the Princess and flees the scene at high speed while the Mario Brothers cough and wheeze in the smoke filled room.

Sonic and Tails are racing in the Green Hill Zone. The two are just zipping along frantically with Amy following the two of them yelling, "Wait up, Sonic." That's when Sonic trips over what appears to be a small, brown mushroom. The Mushroom then stands up, it's a Goomba. The Goomba whistles and a small army of Goomba's surround Sonic. He goes on the attack (similar to the intro to Sonic Unleashed), taking out a number of Goombas. All the while, a Hammer Brother sneaks from behind and grabs Amy.

We then pan to room with a large, round metallic table. Two shadowy figures enter the room and shake hands - it's then revealed to be Dr. Eggman and Bowser. Eggman then says, "This plan is foolproof and when completed, we will easily capture our respective worlds." The two then laugh as they fade to the intro screen.

The idea for the game would be that Bowser would be going after Sonic and Eggman after the Mario Brothers. Gameplay would go back and forth between Mario and Sonic levels. Starting with Mario (or Luigi allowing the player to pick from the start and freely switch), the levels would be akin to Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy levels. Sonic levels will be like Mario levels, but faster. Sonic levels will have more straightaways. Halfway through the game - the two meet up and, simultaneously, Eggman betrays Bowser - implanting him with a robotic chip which makes Bowser his drone. The remainder of the game involves Mario, Luigi, Tails, and Sonic fighting Eggman's minions, Bowser's minions (controlled by Eggman), and eventually the two of them. It would make sense to allow the player to switch freely between the four characters - and it would be awesome to allow Co-Op mode where one player is Mario and the other Luigi - or, when the point is reached - allowing one player to be Sonic and the other Mario or Luigi or Tails.

I think there's a lot that can be done in a crossover game, that could be much more exciting than the two sets of characters meeting at the Olympics. Don't get me wrong - I love Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games, but I think that a richer gaming experience could be created with a teamup game. Thoughts area always welcome.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Templar: Buffyverse Story Idea

After watching a LOT of Angel lately (finished Season 4 and starting Season 5), I had come up with my own idea of a completely separate Buffyverse character / show idea. The show / story set would be entitled "The Templar." Here's an explanation of the world setting.

The main character is Sir James, the Templar knight assigned to protect the Christian community in / around Washington, DC. The Templar knights have survived their official dissolution by the Roman Catholic Church and have been operating autonomously for centuries. They currently have one primary Templar in every major city around the world, each named for a book of the Bible. Sir Thomas Genesis is the Cheif Templar, based on Jerusalem.

The stories would involve Sir James protecting Washington, DC from supernatural as well as human threats. The stories would lead James to a few realizations - the fact that anyone can be a Christian, no matter what they look like; that non-Christians are important at keeping the world safe; and that working as a team helps.

The first few stories I had ideas for were as follows -
  • James comes to DC as the official Templar relieving the retiring Sir Jonah II. An Representative (from a made-up district) who publicly claims to be a Christian, has recently been appointed House Minority Leader through an internal coup of Republican leadership. Representative Patterson has been a leading voice for conservatism - and at night has been sacrificing babies to Moloch in order to gain power. James and Jonah in his last mission uncover this demonic underbelly of Congressional pages and Congressmen to prevent Representative Patterson from continuing his hypocritical and evil crusade.
  • James is contacted by a small congregation in a DC suburb. Pastor Neiman is a Parasite demon (like Merl from Angel), and much of the congregation are demons / supernatural beings. An anti-demon brigade has been picking off congregants indiscriminantly - ignoring the fact that they were peace loving Christian creatures. James realizes that even non-humans can be Christian and good. Pastor Neiman's son, Marvin, asks to train with him as a potential Templar apprentice - James takes him on.
  • James is contacted by a Rabbi in DC who needs help. A man claiming himself to be a Christian missionary had been coming around his Synagogue, congregants have been disappearing since then. This leads James to find this underground group that who uses a warped version of Christianity to justify the murder of non-Christians. James for the first time sees how someone with ill intent can warp and manipulate the words of his faith for evil.

Suggestions for ideas / thoughts on this idea are welcome.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What If 2000

I've been toying in my head with two alternatives to what historically occurred and have a few ideas as to what might have happened. The first one is as follows:

What If Gore Won in 2000?
It's an idea that many have come up with and has been tackled to varying degrees of bias. Remaining as unbiased as possible - this is what I came up with.
Gore's term in office is marked by the war in Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks on September 11th. The economy struggles, but with less of a budget shortfall than under President Bush, it manages to steady itself almost entirely by 2003. 2002 sees major Democratic gains and the capture of both houses of Congress. During his first term in office, Gore signs into law the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the McCain–Feingold Act, and the No Child Left Behind Act. No Child Left Behind is fully funded. He supports the Kyoto Accord and pushes for some far reaching anti-global warming legislation towards the end of his first term in office. Taxes are increased on top earners in the United States in 2003. In 2003, Afghanistan has its first democratic election under its new Constitution.

In mid-2004, President Gore pulls out of Afghanistan. Gore/Lieberman win against the ticket of John McCain/Lamar Alexander. A high profile speech that some consider the best from the Republican convention, was given by recently elected Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. After the 2004 election cycle, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele becomes the Republican Party chairman. His tenure begins with a number of public missteps and gaffes, but by the end of 2005 his face seems to disappear from the news.

Federal taxes rise a bit during Gore's second term as he continues to push his anti-global warming agenda in Congress. 2005 sees North Korea and Iraq testing rockets over neighboring airspace. The United Nations condemns their actions. Iran, Iraq, and North Korea each claim that they are working on nuclear programs. Gore calls for multi-party talks with China, South Korea, North Korea, and the United States to halt North Korea's nuclear program. He calls for talks with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United States to help halt the Iranian and Iraqi nuclear programs. Progress is very slow and does not happen in the Middle East as Iran and Iraq refuse to participate in talks. Economic downturn begins in late 2005 and after years of Democratic party rule, 2006 sees large Republican gains. 2006 sees the Republicans recapturing the House of Representatives and the selection of new Speaker of the House Michael Pence.

In 2007, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal forgoes a bid for reelection endorsing Republican State Senator Walter Boasso as his successor. Boasso defeated Democrat and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

In the 2008 election, Vice President Joseph Lieberman decides not to seek the Presidency citing that serving as Vice President for eight years was all he needed. In the first open election in years, many jump into the fray. The Democratic primary was primarily between former US Senator John Edwards, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Clinton eventually won the primary in early May and selected Howard Dean as her running mate.

The Republican primary appeared to be more divided at first with former Governors Bobby Jindal and Mitt Romney facing off against former Senator Fred Thompson, and Congressman Ron Paul. Following a huge win in Iowa and South Carolina (Romney wins New Hampshire and ties Jindal in Michigan), Jindal has large momentum going into Florida. Thompson endorses Jindal after his South Carolina loss. Jindal edges out Romney in Florida and then wins huge on Super Tuesday. Romney drops out after Super Tuesday to support party unity and endorses Jindal. With Jindal as the nominee, he waits until Clinton selects Howard Dean as her running mate to pick former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell as his running mate. Jindal/Powell defeats Clinton/Dean in an extremely close election. Looking very similar to the 2004 election in the real timeline.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Modern Macbeth Adaptation

I've come up with the idea for the skeleton of a modern adaptation of Macbeth. It chronicles the rise and fall of Vice President Jonathan Macbeth.
Characters and Macbeth Equivalent:
Vice President Jonathan Macbeth - Macbeth
Second Lady Hillary Macbeth - Lady Macbeth
President Thomas Duncan - King Duncan
Secretary of State Jennifer Baquette - Banquo
Secret Service Agent Arnold Duffy - Macduff
Speaker of the House Malcolm Duncan - Malcolm
Palm Reader Lady Hecate - Hecate/Three Witches
General Plot:Story begins in the middle of President Duncan's second term in office with Representative Malcolm Duncan sworn in as the youngest Speaker of the House in history following mid-term elections. Vice President Macbeth was a retired General who was a critical supporter of the President and important in helping define his foreign policy platform. Following giving a huge speech in Ohio, Macbeth passes a palm reader at the state fair. Lady Hecate invites him in and offers him a free reading. Lady Hecate tells Vice President Macbeth that he will become President one day and that the Secretary of State will beget Presidents. Lady Hecate tells the Vice President that no politician could stop his rise to power. This becomes all the Vice President can think about.

The Vice President returns to Washington and talks with his wife about the prediction. His wife suggests killing the President jokingly. It then becomes all encompassing, all that the Vice President can think about. Macbeth then takes a trip to meet the troops in Afghanistan and meets in secret with an Arabic gentleman who he'll pay big money if he kills the President. Macbeth gives him all the details of a trip him and the President will be having at his cabin in Montana. The assassin sneaks in and shoots the President, as he tries to escape - Macbeth shoots him with a legal firearm making it appear as though Macbeth was defending the President and himself from the would-be assassin. The primary agent responsible for the President was Agent Arnold Duffy. Duffy had been on vacation at the time of the assassination. Duffy immediately suspected the Vice President.

Macbeth then becomes President. The guilt weighs on him and his wife. Macbeth starts to become paranoid. He sends the Secretary of State to a mission in Gaza, knowing that he had information regarding an attack in the area. Secretary Baquette dies in the visit. President Macbeth is concerned about Duffy and has him removed from his post. Around the same time, Duffy finds the information that can incriminate the President. Macbeth goes on a speaking tour trying to build up a good image for himself. The First Lady, while the President is away, commits suicide. The President returns home and continues his descent into madness. He focuses inward and begins to ignore the public, hiding in the West Wing. His cabinet becomes concerned about the President's behavior. Duffy drops off a letter in the mailbox, sending all the incriminating evidence to the Attorney General. The President decides to go out for a speech when Duffy assassinates the President.

The story would end with the Speaker, the late President Duncan's son, being sworn in as the next President of the United States of America.

Thoughts welcome.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sonic Chronicles Review

For Christmas, my brother-in-law got me a copy of Sonic Chronicles for the Nintendo DS. As a ridiculous fan of Sonic the Hedgehog games, and owner of each Sonic collection for the Gamecube, the Sonic Adventure series, and a strong proponent of Sonic and the Secret Rings, this seemed like a good choice for me. It was.

Sonic Chronicles is an RPG created by BioWare. BioWare were the creators of such RPGs as Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Mass Effect. Sonic Chronicles is a quasi-serious RPG about Sonic the Hedgehog taking plot elements and world setting elements from the Sonic Adventure series and Sonic Heroes. The game begins with Sonic in the Green Hill Zone with Tails getting in touch with him. Tails tells him that Knuckles has been kidnapped by some alien creatures who were going after the chaos emeralds and the master emerald. Sonic is then led on a quest to try to save Knuckles and figure out the agenda of these invaders.

The gameplay is entirely done using the stylus. Pointing and dragging the stylus around moves Sonic around the level. Combat sequences are fun, if not the most challenging. Super moves are interesting in that you follow a pattern sequence to complete them in Elite Beat Agent-esque format. It adds a level of challenge to make sure you can pull off the interesting attack maneuvers. The learning curve felt large when I first tried the game, but turned out to be much easier than anticipated.

The story is actually interesting and characters are developed better than one would expect from a video game based on a character such as Sonic the Hedgehog. Shadow is the most developed I've seen him in any game he's been in, and I've played Shadow the Hedgehog. Big the Cat is a lumox, but enjoyable. Amy and Cream are even amusing. Eggman's introduction into the game is also wonderfully crafted as far as I've seen thus far, I'm currently halfway through the game. The dialogue is cleverly written. One fun option is that Sonic is occasionally given options beyond the standard in conversation - being allowed to make snarky comments and those he's mocking act accordingly leading to some fun interactions.

All in all, if you like simple RPGs and Sonic the Hedgehog, try the game. It's a lot of fun and I'm looking for someone else to trade Chao with.