Hollywood loves a remake. They really do. Sometimes, these movies turn out better than the originals did. But most of the time, I find myself cringing. Take the news of the remake of the classic 1960 film The Magnificent Seven, for example.

via WiffleGif
via WiffleGif

No joke, ^this^ was me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, but how can you possibly replace Yul Brynner in a black cowboy hat?

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Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven, via The Red List

That’s right, you can’t.

(Before anyone comments, yes, I am aware that The Magnificent Seven is itself a remake of Seven Samurai. Am I a hypocrite? A little, because Yul.)

At any rate, I could talk for days about the original films that I far prefer to their remakes, but I have narrowed it down to five.

When my friend Emmy text me to ask if she could crash on my couch this week so that we might make a pilgrimage to Misha Collins’ jogging path through the Hollywood Hills, I didn’t know what to say at first. Well, yes, I did. I called her crazy.

“Crazy good, or crazy bad??” She text.

“Both.” I replied. “Both.”

Emmy left her home in San Francisco to make the six hour drive to Los Angeles, arriving in time for a late lunch/early dinner at In ‘N’ Out and a movie night that consisted of “Saturday Night Fever” on Netflix, which was a much more problematic film than I remembered it to be, if I’m being honest. We went to bed at a decent hour because we planned to leave early enough to beat the SoCal heat on the hills, and set out before 9am to Hollywood, California to visit the Griffith Park Teahouse, a piece of installation art built by a group of anonymous artists from the area with reclaimed wood from the 2007 fires.

The June 30th sunrise unveiling of the Teahouse was covered by the Los Angeles Times and sparked the interest of our overlord, who tweeted the article, quickly causing fans to draw conclusions that our quirky, woodworking, GishWheS masterminding, Hollywood Hills jogging ringleader just might have something to do with the project.

Hmmm…

It’s almost 2015, which means the Croatoan virus did not take over the country, and that, my friend, is something to dance about.

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This year, I was inspired not only by music, but by the spirit of the artists creating it.

Here are the 10 albums (plus a bonus) I listened to obsessively in 2014 and will continue to bump in 2015. This list includes feminists, a transexual, a gay icon and other progressive and socially conscious artists. If you haven’t heard of the band or the album, click the links, check out the videos and give ’em a listen. If you’re against revolution via music, move on now, because it’s about to be 2015 and the times, my friend, they are a-changing.

A special thanks to my honey!! for helping me compile this list, across the span of three days, picking up conversations as if no time had passed at all.

Listen to my Top Ten Spotify playlist here or watch my Top Ten video playlist here.

xoxo

The Collectiva Diva

1) Beyonce Platinum Edition by Beyonce

I love me some Queen Bey and the self titled album Beyonce, released as a visual album December 2013 and reissued as a platinum edition November 2014, is her best yet. With musical appearances by Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Frank Ocean and more, this eclectic powerhouse continues to surprise at every turn and has birthed more than a few feminists this year.

“Flawless”

I am a bit of a music snob.

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Meaning, I regularly turn my nose up at popular music, preferring instead to listen to the tunes that inspire rather than the blather played on the radio or on the charts. The thing is, in 2013, those lines were blurred, and not in a rape-y, Robin Thicke sort of way.

I not only gorged on my usual obscure, artsy music, but I happened to fall in love with some of the hottest albums released on 2013. Here are the 10 albums I listened to obsessively in 2013 and will continue to bump in 2014. If you haven’t heard of the band or the album, click the links, check out the videos and give ’em a listen.

I hope you will find something on this eclectic list that catches your fancy.

xoxo

The Collectiva Diva

The Music

1) Born to Die the Paradise Edition by Lana Del Rey

Released in November 2012, The Paradise Edition of Born to Die is a double album with 8 extra songs in addition to the original Born to Die discography. Lana’s voice is ethereal and her lyrics are hardcore. She is a perfect mixture of a Lolita seductress and a ride or die chick. The singer reminds me of that bad ass party girl I know from the streets of Hollywood; as comfortable piss drunk at a house party in burbs of West Covina as she is lounging by the roof top pool at The Standard. Interested in watching a 27 minute short film set to the tune of Paradise? Check out Tropico, starring Lana Del Rey as Eve, a stripper and other archetypal roles she’s bloody good at playing.

“Yayo”

Your arguments are invalid.
Your arguments are invalid.

So Benedict Cumberbatch. Where do I begin? It’s different, with Benny. He’s been creeping slowly into my veins since I first saw him bumbling around with Martin Freeman on Sherlock. Suddenly, I’m searching him on YouTube, watching interviews and red carpet appearances and correcting my friends and family when they pronounce his name wrong. Then, I’ve seen every film, commercial, sitcom, television series he’s been in. That quirky smile, the ginger hair, the voice that sounds like a jaguar purring inside of a cello, the fact that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, that he wants kids and every leading lady he works with ends up gushing about Benedict and what a great dad he will be and Ben is just so sweet. The fan girls (and boys), we swoon over him in an overly dramatic, teen angsty sort of way, regardless if we hold PhD’s in Comparative Literature or not. The thing is, Benedict is a legitimately talented actor not to mention his bloody gorgeousness sneaks up on you. He’s my tall, lanky alien boy that I just want to keep in a gilded cage so he can read Keats to me as we drink tea in the late afternoon (well that was specific).