Monday, May 31, 2010

Brief Thoughts on the 8 acts in tonight's Britain's Got Talent.

I'm afraid I didn't jot down names so some of them are guestimates.

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ThreeBees - I enjoyed their delightfully bright costumes, and thought some of the female dancers had bodies to die for. The mashup of music was fun too. As for the dancing, I was left wanting. There are just too many other more talented dance acts in it this year for them to stand out, plus I always assess the level of talent with the could I? test - asking if I could see myself (having done due practice of course) giving that performance. Sadly for Treebees, I just about could.

Olivia Archbald - I get kinda bitchy towards kids who sing, but I enjoyed her audition, chiefly due to the fact that she sang a Sarah McLachlan song. The song she picked tonight, though - Kate Winslet's What If, didn't suit her tone of voice, nor the acoustics of the BGT hall.

Kevin Cruise - not a fan at all I'm afraid. Downright tacky.

Stevie Starr - on one hand, I could barely watch as this guy swallowed a lightbulb and coughed it back up, then proceeded to swallow Amanda's engagement ring, then swallow a locked lock, unlock it with his intestines and lock her ring into it. But on the other, holy cow. By all intents and purposes, this was something different. And, for the wow factor and the fact that he surely is one of a kind, I hope he goes through later.

Tobias Mead - good, I enjoyed what he did with the floating ball, but his audition impressed me more. Piers seemed to love it, which surprised me as he wasn't keen on him in the auditions when I actually found his act a lot more innovative.

Sean Shaheen- I'm a big wimp, so, as with Stevie Starr, I could barely watch. But, unlike with Stevie Starr, I was not interested at any point either in the wellbeing of the guy cutting wood and wearing a ridiculous  anglo-saxon outfit.

Josh Barry - ohgod, this was beyond lame. Bieber Mark II, from the swagger to the poor singing. The backing dancers held far more interest throughout, truth be told. Amanda was all over this boy so I really hope it doesn't come to the judges decision tonight because I just know she'll put him through when it's totally undeserved.

Spelbound - Astounding doesn't even begin to cover it. Each and every gymnast on stage got their every move in perfect time, and wow, there was so much excellence all over the stage!! You could tell a lot of time and practice had gone into this. They would make worthy winners of the whole tournament.

And that's that. More tomorrow. I miss football.
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

On to the Next One.

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Catwoman (Pitof, 2004)
Halle Berry plays Patient Philips, a mild-mannered artist who, after stumbling upon the secret that a popular anti-aging cream is toxic, is killed by some henchmen, only to come back to life thanks to a cat, Midnight. In doing so, she has also inherited super-human powers from the cat, such as agility, eyesight, etc, and whilst she uses most of these new powers for the greater good, there are times when it overtakes her and turns her into someone she doesn't quite recognise. In retrospect, every bit as silly and bad as the critics slated Catwoman to be, but still rather good fun in short bursts (Benjamin Bratt is and always has been, lush) if you don't take it seriously enough.

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People Will Talk (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1951)
One of Mankiewicz's most underrated films, People Will Talk centres around Cary Grant's well-liked Dr. Praetorius and two strands in his life, firstly, that of him falling in love with one of his patients Deborah (Jeanne Crain), who tries to top herself when she finds out she's pregnant out of wedlock (this was the 50s, after all), and the second of his affiliation with his elderly friend Mr Shunderson. The performances here are uniformly excellent, particularly from the two romantic leads, who have a very passionate (despite no real action) scene when he visits her house. There are engaging subplots and one-liners aplenty, and the usage of Brahms was excellent, rendering the film an extremely enjoyable comedy of manners.

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The Da Vinci Code (Ron Howard, 2006)
Complete and utter nonsense, and at 140 minutes running time, the nonsense outstayed its welcome by a good hour. That said, I did enjoy Ian McKellan's kooky performance as Leigh Teabing, and was indulged by some of the touristy shots of Paris and London. Hans Zimmer's score was the stuff of musical dreams and it suited the tone of the film perfectly, and I've always liked the source material (frivolous as it was), so there was an element of adventure that appealed to me. That said, there were far too many gaping flaws for me to ignore. Firstly, the all-round quality of the acting. Tom Hanks does nothing other than half-gurn, half-groan his way through the film, Audrey Tautou (someone who I ordinarily adore) looks awkward and Alfred Molina, Jean Reno and especially Paul Bettany as Silas are borderline laughable. And then there's the direction from Ron Howard, which just doesn't fit. Bah.

Two Girls and a Sailor (Richard Thorpe, 1944)
I enjoyed the dancing, but I tired of playing guess who with the romantic plot. Choc a bloc full of talented performers, the film ended up somewhat less than the sum of its parts.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Strong inside but you don’t know it, good little girls they never show it.

Disney princesses – or leading ladies of Disney films in general – all have, without failure, the gift of radiant beauty. From Snow White’s skin so white and lips so red that the Queen feels the need to do her off, Cinderella’s neat blonde hairdo and svelte figure to Ariel’s eye-catching red hair and seashell bra that leaves nothing to the imagination, Disney females have are all without fail, beautiful, no matter what their hair or eye colour, face shape or character. However, in the three that I’ve mentioned are also noticeable character flaws, or even lack of character whatsoever. Snow White is guileless and child-like to a point where she accepts food from strangers The counter argument that she is just a child seems empty if we consider that at the end of the film she goes off with a man much older than her, so either Disney accepts she’s dumb, or they accept they’re basically administering paedophilia to young kids. Either way, they’ve gone wrong somewhere. Cinderella is the epitome of the beleaguered lady who is mistreated by all those around her, but thankfully, she’s pretty, so she catches the eye of the Prince. And being absent minded and losing a shoe? Well, she’s pretty, and she seems to have a remarkable sized food that no-one else in the kingdom has, so that’ll work to her advantage too. As for Ariel, she sacrifices her one gift – her voice, abandons her family and her roots to pursue the man she’s had her eye on. These three women don’t really say much for feminism, truth be told.
Luckily, it isn’t all that way. There are a few Disney females who I was genuinely inspired by, and rooting for throughout, rather than gnashing my teeth at. Here they are:-

Jasmine (Aladdin, 1992)
Being the sultan’s daughter should, in theory, be the sweet life. But not for Jasmine, who feels repressed and cloistered. Whereas previous Disney films had centred around the princess, Jasmine is but a secondary character to Aladdin. But that doesn’t make her inferior in terms of strength of personality, not at all. Standing up to her father and refusing to marry someone she doesn’t love is one thing, but her lack of interest in class or marrying for money is completely inspirational, particularly in this sad day and age, where women will happily plump for a footballer husband who cheats on them as long as they get fancy things. My only lament about Jasmine is that we don’t find out enough about her, and her backstory. For example, she doesn’t seem to have any female friends in the film, and one can’t help but wonder why.

Megara (Hercules, 1997)
From one loner to another. Megara has actually done the whole “giving up her life for a man” thing, quite literally in fact, when she sold her soul to Hades in order to settle a debt her then boyfriend had with him. Sadly for her, he left her as soon as a hotter model came along, leading her tied to the devil, and feeling jaded and disillusioned with men. Meg is by all intents and purposes more of a “woman of the world” compared to other Disney females, but by being older and wiser, she makes for a more relatable and watchable characters.
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Armed with a whole arsenal of sarcastic put-downs, it’s no wonder that Hercules becomes so fascinated with her (interestingly, it is he who is the more “feminine” of the two in his innocent ways). And, for all the obvious beauties of Aurora and Cinderella, Meg’s feistiness and sassiness gives her a kind of swagger that makes her, for me, the sexiest Disney character.

Mulan (Mulan, 1998)
Although depicted to be clumsy dolt and constantly speaking without thinking at the start, there’s no denying she has a fierce fire inside her. This fire is unleashed when the Emperor calls for a man from every family to fight for their country. There are no other men in Mulan’s family apart from her dad (she hasn’t a brother), but her father is ill and frail. Despite her protestations, he insists that “it’s my place. It’s time you learnt yours.” Any inferior Disney princess would accept that as a queue to munch into another apple or lie in a bed and sleep until their prince comes, but not for Mulan. Shedding her lustrous locks and donning the less-than-flattering soldier’s uniform, she disguises herself as Ping, her father’s “Son”. At the start she is less-than-convincing, though her ineptitude as a soldier is partially disguised by the blunderings of all those around her. But as time goes by, she cements her place as one of the best and most loyal fighters and catches the eye of the General leading them. Resourceful, brave, and with a never-say-die spirit that many Disney princes could do with, Mulan is a film that makes me proud to be Chinese, and Mulan a character that makes me proud to be a woman.

Tiana (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)
Tiana isn’t actually a princess, only mistaken for one (she is in fact a poor girl working as many jobs as she can, determined to reach her dream of owning a restaurant). And she and Prince Naveen don’t even get off to a good start. Both characters have their flaws; Naveen is a hedonistic, selfish brat and Tiana is the opposite, so hard-working she barely pauses for breath, and in doing so occasionally comes off as judgemental, and has no time for any of that namby pamby “romance” stuff. However, she is also inventive and clever, and it is mainly thanks to her wits that she and Naveen manage to survive so long, never mind at all, as frogs. Both characters grow up and change through the course of the film, and it is this mutual understanding and friendship which builds between them that makes their romance so moving, as opposed to carbon copy “HE SAW HER AND WAS SPELLBINDED BY HER BEAUTY” of the 50s and 60s Disney films.

So that’s me. Who are your favourite Disney gals?

x

Beautiful World Cup Art.

Wieden + Kennedy New York commisioned Capetown artists Am I Collective to create 32 murals, each one inspired by one of the 32 countries participating in the World Cup. Some of them are based on national themes, others inspired by film posters. There are my favourites:

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 source

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Glee episode 20: Theatricality.

Never one to fall behind on the latest crazes, Glee begins with Principal Figgins, in the deluded belief that vampires exist, bans Tina from dressing gothly due to her attire's links with Twilight and vampirism. Despite the Twilight craze being lost in Tina, "My mom won't let me watch Twilight; she says she thikns Kristen Stewart looks like a bitch", her and Mr. Schue's protestations are ignored, and all black clothing is banned in McKinley High. The rest of the Glee club offer her suggestions for different ways of dressing, bike chick, cowgirl, hoodrat, computer programmer, but Tina disregards them all. But Mr. Schue's assignment for the week - Lady Gaga - gives her, and all the rest of the girls (plus Kurt) some new costume ideas of their own.

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I found this week's episode of Glee somewhat disappointing given all the hype built up for the episode. For one thing, I'd expected Lady Gaga to actually be on this episode, which she wasn't. Furthermore, for all the reputation it'd gained as the "Lady Gaga episode", there were only two covers of her songs - a fun, frenetic Bad Romance cover, and an acoustic rendition of Poker Face between Lea Michele and Idina Menzel. The former and the latter form the main plotline of this week's episode, wherein Rachel meets and tells her maternal mother of her identity, leading to some half-arsed soul-searching and lamenting over missed opportunities. Whilst there is a startling physical resemblance between Michele and Menzel - the face shape, the hair, the eyes, the two failed to summon any huge amount of chemistry when they were acting; the only real chemistry coming when they sang together.

A storyline in Glee that is ongoing and one that I feel has outstayed its welcome, also, is the issue of Kurt being gay, and those around him being uncomfortable with it. In Theatricality, Finn's mother, who has been dating Kurt's father, moves in with them, and Finn is less than pleased to find himself sharing a room with Kurt (whom harbours feelings for his soon-to-be step-brother). Frustratedly cursing the decor that Kurt has so meticulously chosen, he disregards all the ornaments as "faggy". Of course he doesn't mean it with any real malice, but Kurt's dad is understandably furious when he overhears, thus throwing Finn out. Whilst it's good to see Kurt's father sticking up for him, the confrontation made for uneasy, somewhat cringe-inducing viewing.

Despite my foibles with the plot and storyline, the musical performances on Glee just about make it worth watching. The Glee club rise to the occasion commendably on the Lady Gaga uniforms front, Dianna Agron looking particularly head-turning in her pink number. (the pink streaks in her hair and the ball in her hand are a particularly nice touch).

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As has been the way with Glee, things end on a predictably cheesy note. One of these days, I will probably tire of Glee, but for now, even when it doesn't get out of second gear, it still entertains me.
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--
I was doing some research for my Summer quest to lose weight, and looking/envying the bikini bodies of selected celebrities. These particularly stood out for me: Penelope Cruz, Whitney PortBeyonceEvangeline Lilly, and Hayden Panattiere, the former of whom is the same age as me. Gar, so jealous. Though that said, I do commend her honesty in admitting that she has to deprive her body of carbs in order to remain in shape. I appreciate that kind of honesty- Girls Aloud expect us to believe they keep that fit by gorging on pizzas?! OK then.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Soundtrack Review.

PhotobucketI'm yet to see the film, but rest assured, when it hits UK cinema screens this Friday, I shall be one of the first ones in the queue to see it. Sex and the City is far and away my favourite television programme of all time; I love it so much that I was able to delude myself into thinking that the first film was good. The second film, I'm sure, will be just as pants, if not more so, but such is my love for the franchise and those four New York ladies, that I won't even give a damn. As such, it's a given that I'd grab hold of the soundtrack as soon as it was out.

I wasn't sure about it when I glanced over the tracks, what with its seeming mishmash of gospel choir, power ballads, and smooth jazz, but I soon found that every single song on the soundtrack had something to recommend. My highlight is easily Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind Part II, which takes the theme from the original, but instead of collaborating with Jay-Z, her piano features prominently here. "Some will sleep tonight with a hunger for more than an empty fridge" is a particularly beguiling song lyric from it. And it is Alicia Keys, who, like Fergie in the first SATC movie, sings to the well-known SATC theme, in a song called Rapture. It's catchy and sassy, not unlike the four protagonists. the Sex and the City men's choir feature with renditions of three songs; If Ever I would Leave You (so-so), and two stronger ones, Sunrise Sunset (the usage of the violin and the call-and-answer is beautiful) as well as 'Till There Was You, a song originally from the 1957 musical The Music Man. Songs from musicals are clearly a popular motif in this soundtrack, as Shayna Steele, Jordan Ballard and Kamilah Marshall cover Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, the show tune from the 1940 musical Pal Joey, to extraordinary effect. My favourite rendition of this song remains Ella Fitzgerald's version, but the girls' delivery of the line "Lost my heart, but what of it. He is cold I agree." is positively haunting.

Other highlights of the soundtrack include Liza Minelli's fun, if not totally polished cover of Beyonce's Single Ladies (yep, you heard right), the original True Colours by Cyndi Lauper, and a collaboration between Jennifer Hudson (who appeared in the first film) and Leona Lewis on Love is Your Colour. But there really is something for everyone; the film takes place in the middle East, and Euphrates Dream by Michael McGregor sets the tone for this aptly. The funniest part of the soundtrack is without a doubt SJP, Kim Catrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristen Davis' complete karoake rendition of I'm a Woman. I love them all deeply, but really loves, don't quit the day job.

California Gurls, you’re unforgettable. Daisy dukes, bikinis on top.

I was having a bout of insomnia last night, so I ended up on the internet, perusing weheartit.com, a website that collects pretty images for our browsing enjoyment. One of the motifs I looked at were that of bikinis, and some of the photos are beyond lovely: -
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Anyway, it got me thinking. It’s about time I at least made the effort to try and get my body bikini-presentable. I’m not fat but I’m certainly not thin, and I think I could do with shedding about 8 or so pounds, especially as I’ve never in my 20 years given any thought to the consequences of what I consume, nor done any decent amount of exercise. I aim to change that.

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… says she, munching into a cinnamon bun.

But yes, I’ve set mid-July as the deadline. I shall keep you posted on how things go, and if I do, ever – get anywhere near the bikini bod I’d so like. It's going to be such a test because as you know, I bloody love my food  

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Youth in Revolt (Miguel Arteta, 2009)

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Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a horny teenage youth with a twist - he wishes to be a writer, lives by the songs of Frank Sinatra, appreciates the films of Fellini, wryly observing the lives of his divorced parents - his father, who lives with a much younger, blonder model, and his mother, who takes whatever men/f-buddies she can get. Under all his witticisms, he just wants to fit in. Whilst accompanying his mother and her current lover on a trailer park holiday, he sets his eyes on Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), whom, to him, is perfection. They have a sweet but short-lived Summer fling (a strictly first and second base one, which Twisp's virginity remains intact from), but Nick wants it to last forever. Adopting a double persona as Francois, his badass alter ego, Nick sets to doing all he can in order to get thrown out so he can go live near Sheeni. At the start of the film, Nick had noted "In movies, the good guy gets the girl. In reality, it's usually the prick", and sets about righting this for once. He is, to all intents and purposing, fighting for her love.

Youth in Revolt plays, at times, like a cross between Superbad and Fight Club, what with the plot revolving around a teenager's quest to lose his bunginity, as well as the fact that he (in his mind) constructs another, cooler vision of himself, one who has the balls to do the things that he normally dare not. It is R-rated (15 in the UK), but not terribly explicit or rude, it just doesn't hold back on the cursing and has a few sex jokes that would go beyond what would be allowed at a 12. There are some hilarious comedic sequences-  one in particular involving the protagonist's bad attempt to fake his own death, but on the whole, the film is funny in a downbeat, quiet way. The quirky style of the film is complemented with performances by indie stars Steve Buscemi and Ray Liotta, both who own the camera for the brief moments they are in.

My main concern with Youth in Revolt was that I was simply never convinced that Sheeni reciprocated Nick's (admittedly extremely strong) feelings. It doesn't help, of course, that Portia Doubleday isn't a very good performer, but on the whole, I found her character cold, confused and a little annoying. Part of the joy of Youth in Revolt is enjoying all the escapades to Nick's climb to his destination, and not necessarily the destination, but I couldn't help but feel throughout the film that Sheeni wasn't a worthwhile one. (Though perhaps that doesn't matter, and what matters is that Nick thinks it is). All that said, I did very much enjoy the adorable animated sequence that played through the credits involving the two.

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Michael Cera, who warmed hearts in Juno and Superbad, is completely at home in the role of dorky teenage boy, and once again, he steals the show - and my heart - here. His Nick Twisp certainly has a warped, bordering on psychotic idea of what it means to fight for someone's love but there's an everyday quality to Cera's acting and looks that renders him totally likeable, no matter what the creepy scenario he finds himself in. If it weren't for Cera, I may have found the film annoying and not all that funny, but thanks to him, it mostly manages to be bright, sweet and engaging. Cera is definitely one to keep an eye on; mark my words, that lad'll go far.

Swimming Pool Sunday (Madeleine Wickham)

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Louise Kember, separated wife and mother of two, decides to spend a hot Sunday afternoon with her daughters, Amelia and Katie, at the pool of wealthy local family the Delaneys, who open it once a year for charity. Sounds reasonable enough. Except that Sundays are supposed to be the day the girls spend with their father, Barnaby. He had made intricate plans of his own to go fishing with his girls, and now that his plans have been scuppered, he, hurt and bitter, is at the house to glower at Louise resentfully. However, the air soon turns even more sour when their youngest Katie fatally injures herself trying to dive, and suddenly the ill-feeling between Louise and Barnaby is just the beginning in the ensuing recriminations and drama that follow.
Madeleine Wickham (the real name of the author who, under alias Sophie Kinsella, penned the terrifically enjoyable Shopaholic series as well as one of my favourite chicklits of all time, Can You Keep a Secret?) generally tends to write in a slightly darker tone for the few books she’s released under he true name, and with the themes of greed, discontentment and grief in Swimming Pool Sunday, this is no exception. Furthermore, whether as Kinsella or Wickham, the author picks London as the backdrop to most of her stories, particularly the Chelsea/Kensington/Fulham area, where one can only assume is where she grew up. However, she chooses to set this novel in the countryside, something the protagonist Louise is less than satisfied with. After the initial romance experienced with her estranged husband Barnaby, comes the less-than-glamorous minutiae of being a mother. For someone who was once involved in the glitzy process of aiding her father in running for elections, this contrasts starkly with the life she’d dreamed of having, and her resentment at Barnaby’s willing to “settle” for a simpler life is one of the chief causes of their falling apart. Another is the arrival of a smarmy but sexy lawyer Cassian, who immediately sees Louise’s political connections as a route into getting what he wants. It is he who suggests that Louise and Barnaby sue the Delaneys for Katie’s accident, and after some swift and ill-advised thinking, the beleaguered parents are soon on board.

In the Delaney’s household, however, they have a lawyer acquaintance of their own, a far more sympathetic character in the form of Alexis, a mature, older man who immediately senses something may be wrong and tries to do all his can to prevent the Delaneys – who have suffered loss of their own when their son died of a blood clot in his brain – from having to pay for an accident that arose from them trying to do a good deed for charity. This good lawyer, bad lawyer dynamic raised between Alexis and Cassian makes for a intriguing read, and Wickham is clever not to succumb to the much-documented cliché of depicting all lawyers as soul-sucking mercenaries. Alexis himself has a relatively engaging sub-plot involving his Summer romance with a beautiful-but-naïve local musician, Daisy, although Wickham seems unsure as to what the purpose of this little mini-romance is.

Although the novel took a while to get started, once the ball was rolling, we were into the territory that Wickham writes best – about humans, human flaws and doubts, and human interactions. Neither Louise nor Barnaby are bad people; they are, in fact, both good (only Cassian is the downright bad character in the story), but ones who have let their folly shape their paths in the past. People taking their anger out at one person by treating other’s badly is nothing new, but in Swimming Pool Sunday, Wickham allows for them to realise the error of their ways and rectify it before they make the same mistakes again.A satisfyingly deep read.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A football advert for non-fans of football.

I've gota hand it to Nike, they commission amazing adverts. The one directed by Guy Ritchie last year was amazing as it was, but for the 2010 World Cup, Nike have really raised the bar. This time the director is Alejandro González Iñárritu (he even enlists good friend Gael to cameo in the advert), and such is the level of pop culture referencing that even Homer Simpson bungs up, with a good "Ronal-D'oh!" line. Goddamn, this is a fine, fine piece of filmmaking, as good as any film I've seen: -



Become a Fan on Facebook! (My sorry little group has presently just three fans, if you join, I'll love you forever =D))

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Girl, you'll be a woman soon.

So, on a whim, I rented Ronald F. Maxwell's Little Darlings, purely because the DVD cover looked extremely Parent Trap-esque and I was having a random bout of nostalgia for that film. Little did I know that Little Darlings was a fair bit more adult; whilst it, like The Parent Trap centres around two girls who look quite similar in a Summer camp who initially don't get on, the two girls (15 years of age) soon find themselves in a race to see who can lose their virginities first. Grown up stuff!

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Both girls are initially shunned by all the others in their camp. Tatum O'Neal's rich girl is laughed at for her posh attire and bad-ass Kristy McNichol's devil-may-care attitude doesn't sit well with the ringleader of the camp girls, a bit-part model and self-professed woman; she is the only girl in the camp who has had sex, though every other girl there aside from the two protagonists make (not very convincing) claims that they've done the dirty. For Tatum O'Neal's Ferris, she's doing it to fit in, and for Kristy McNichol, it's to show that she can.

Both girls pick their prey. Ferris has found hers in the form of their dishy swimming instructor Gary (Armand Assante) and Angel plays closer to her age bracket with Matt Dillon's motorbike-riding Randy. As both girls get closer to achieving their aim, both become more emotionally invested in the men they've marked out, hence complicating matters.

Although dated, Little Darlings nonetheless has many messages that still hold true to this day and age; the dangers of rushing into sex, and how one must be true to their heart, etc. The latter implies the film has a bit of a "Disney" feel to it, and whilst it is extremely tame compared to modern days teenage flicks where the protagonists swear, smoke and shag blindly, the heavy emphasis placed on the loss of virginity here rendered the film extremely endearing in my eyes. Tatum O Neal and Kristy McNichol are both excellent in their roles - the former making her "rich girl" role suprisingly sweet and likeable, and the latter giving a terrifically convincing portrayal of a young girl who gives a tough exterior to hide her less strong inner self, and Matt Dillon, too, gives one of his softest performances. The banter and misdemeanors that the girls in the camp get up to are hilarious - one sketch involving them trying to procure condoms had me in stitches. All in all, although the film was not at all what I was expecting, it turned out to be much, much better. It's a film about sex, but it is sweet and romantic about it, which, one guesses, is what Ronald F. Maxwell feels losing one's virginity should be like.

Words of Inspiration and Wisdom.

I'm tidying my room, and throwing lotsa old notebooks out. One of them is one which has an inspirational quote as a footer. I love the quotes, so I'll type 'em up, so I always have them.

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If you don't have clear goals in life, you are destined to work for someone who does.

Many people are like a wheelbarrow - they go no further than they are pushed.

A winner says, "It may be difficult, but it's possible." A loser says, "It may be possible, but it's too difficult."

If you don't enjoy what you have now, how can you be happier with more?

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The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open.

Forget injuries, never forget kindness.

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed... easy to get into, but hard to get out of.

A sign of greatness is to be able to laugh at yourself with others - and enjoy it as much as they do.

Even a fool is wise if he keeps silent.

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A true friend is one who thinks you're a good egg even though you're half-cracked.

It doesn't matter what you can do, what matters is what you will do.

Don't throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water.

Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence.

Failures are divided into two categories-- those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.

Children are a poor man's wealth.

Better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.

Don't worry about growing slowly, worry only about standing still.

A hundred mistakes are an education if you learn something from each one.

Ask about the neighbours, then buy the house.

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If life gives you lemons, just make it into lemonade!

Give some people an inch and they think they are rulers.

If you cannot get what you like, why not like what you get?

Do not think you are necessarily on the right road just because it is a well-beaten path.

Our strength is shown in the things we stand for, our weakness is shown in the things we fall for.

The main difference between the wise man and a fool is that a fool's mistakes never teach him anything.

Oh and er, here's a Mad Men-style me:
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Hee

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 3498348th photo wherein I sport my Union Jack Lolitas.

Tut tut, this is the second time in a month that I've done an entry consisting of photos of myself. To paraphrase Kanye West, "How could she be so vain?" Anyway, I just had to show off this lovely bright orange Ivory Coast T-shirt I have: -
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I can't wait for the World Cup!! I had a random dream last night that it was France v Germany and Evra and Ballack were all up in each other's faces; Ballack had bodychecked Evra and as retaliation Evra clipped Ballack. Felt SO convincing! Then I woke up and realised that this had actually happened this season in the community shield, heh. Though there's no chance of that actually happening now :-(

Hmmm, speaking of football, here's a photo of me at Eastlands (gorgeous football ground, btw) :


A Look Back at Desperate Housewives series 6.

Last night was the season finale of series 6 of Marc Cherry's multi-award winning Desperate Housewives, a show that has, since hitting UK TV screens in January 2005, firmly cemented itself in my heart as one of my favourite TV programmes of all time. Series 6 began by revealing who it was at the end of series 5 that Mike married - Susan or Catherine. It turned out to be Susan, and the jilted Catherine's pyschotic reaction was just one of the many plot devices and character developments touched upon in series 6, a series that also had characters dabbling in lesbianism, financial crisis, murder, parental rivalry, blackmail, and of course, a whole lot of intrigue and secrets.

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This series was different from the previous ones in that there were two mysteries running parallel, rather than just the one. The first revolved around what it was that new Wisteria Lane housewife, Angie Bolen did, and the second was a simple whodunnit, who strangled Susan's daughter Julie. Although early on in the series it was suggested that it could have been Angie's son or husband (the former who was besotted with Julie and the latter whom was revealed to be having an affair with her) who did it, we soon discovered that this was just the writers throwing us avid watchers a red herring.

In terms of the four main housewives, Bree pursues an affair with Susan's lothario ex-husband Karl, an affair that we all know will be short-lived, and alas, it is. Lynette, meanwhile, is trying to cope with the prospect of having twins, and Gaby has various (moderately) engaging adventures involving either her daughters or her trying to revisit her glory days as a model. But it is Susan's plotline, one that emerges towards the end of the season, that is the most applicable to real life; her husband Mike gets them in financial trouble, and despite all her well-intentioned ways of aiding him recoup their losses, in the end, all that is left for them to do is move out of their house. This is a refreshing good representation of the economic state of the US (and the UK, to an extent)  on TV, especially as we'd been watching the glamorous, sun-bathed lives of Wisteria Lane's women for many years.

As Angie Bolen's storyline developed, the dark, dastardly character of Patrick Logan (played by John Barrowman) was established, and whilst it was pushing it a little to see him as a terrible villain, John Barrowman has terrific fun with his role and it's great to see him broaden his acting horizens.
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One storyline that I thought excellently handled was the who-strangled-Julie strand. As the episodes went on, we go on to discover that the perpetrator goes on to kill more women. However, as the identity of the murderer is revealed, rather than paint him to be all evil, we are shown his backstory and sad life story, so that we truly understand why he has become the way he is. Although he is obviously very damaged, the pathos evoked for his characters is well-done and maturely handled by the DH writers.

On the whole, most of the cast take a step up, especially Eva Longoria, who has been accused of being nothing but a pretty face in the past. In series 6, she is given some deliciously witty lines, and she delivers them wonderfully. Felicity Huffman maintains the strongest actress of the four, but all four of the leads' acting are, on the whole, not to be faulted. Last night's finale was a good representation of the season as whole, it varied from moments of hilarity to scenes of high drama and back again. The season has been a rollercoaster ride, and whilst it has, as ever, tested the bounds of belief, Desperate Housewives remains an explosively good watch.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You know you love me wasting money on tat

Now, I'm usually quite a big fan of Miss Selfridge. My best friend Anna shops there and I think you'll all agree with me that she always looks amazing. That said, I couldn't help but feel cynical when I heard their blatant marketing plot of designing 8 outfits "inspired by gossip girl". The outfits aren't bad at all, but nor are they particularly characteristic of Serena, Blair, Jenny or Vanessa. Between those four girls, they cover the mumsy chic, sexy and sassy, rock chic and boho queen looks, so it's expected that any item of clothing will fit into one of those four style boxes somehow.

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Nothing worth gossiping about  at all, I'm afraid.