Archive for June, 2012

For any of you familiar with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you know that it’s kind of a mess.  I mean, you have two lover’s eloping into a forest because her father wants her to marry some other guy.  The other guy goes chasing after them, followed by the girl who is in love with him, and oh yeah, she also happens to be the first girl’s best friend.  That plot alone is convoluted enough, but then Shakespeare throws in a fairy king and queen in the middle of a spat, and a bunch of craftsmen practicing a play (one of which has his head changed to the head of a donkey).  I know, craziness!

In spite of all this, I think A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays.  I remember reading a watered down version way back in 7th grade.  Even with all the characters and plot, Shakespeare keeps the action moving pretty well.  There aren’t too many of those soliloquies that he’s so famous for here, which is why I think the craziness works.

The film version from 1999 is a decent adaptation.  Most of the actors seem to be having a good time, Stanley Tucci in particular, and they all play their parts well.  Michelle Pfeiffer is gorgeous as Titania, Calista Flockheart is whiny, yet sympathetic as Helena, and Rupret Everett seems to relish playing the fairy king (and let’s be honest, not many actors would enjoy being covered in glitter for an entire movie).  And because I have loved Kevin Kline ever since I saw him as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, I have to mention that his Bottom is wonderful as well (did that sound wrong to anyone else?).

There are a few things about this film I don’t understand.  Like, when the four lovers are all found naked the next morning.  Wouldn’t this all be pretty scandalous?  I mean, I get that the fairies had to wash their muddy clothes, but they got them off didn’t they?  Couldn’t they have put them back on?  I kind of think this was a filmmaker’s decision to just include a bit more skin!

Also, I thought it was interesting that they gave Bottom all that back story.  He has a wife?  An unpleasant seeming one at that.  As mentioned, I love Kevin Kline, but I have always been much more engrossed in the shenanigans in the woods than anything that happens in Athens.

Since most of the play’s action takes place in the forest at night (and those are my favorite bits), a blue polish called Late Night Rendezvous (from Finger Paints Summer in the City Collection) seemed fitting.   Although I love this color, I think the name is a little off.  When I think of a Late Night Rendezvous, I picture a deeper, more mysterious blue.  Finger Paints Late Night Rendezvous is a blueish, tealish sparkly color.

Aside from my personal feelings about the name, I really love this polish.  The color is awesome and it just screams fairy mischief to me.

After the first coat, I admit to being a bit disappointed.  It didn’t go on very well and looked terrible.  I’m going to chalk that up to my inexperience with glitter polishes.  I have always enjoyed looking at them, but I don’t really think I have ever worn them.

If you get discouraged after just one coat, my recommendation is to keep going!  After the second coat, the rough parts were smoothed out and the sparse spots were filled in.  I only put on two coats, and I think that was plenty.  This polish also lasted quite a while before getting too chipped, about five to six days (although I did put on a top coat).

Although A Midsummer Night’s Dream isn’t my favorite Shakespeare play (is it weird that I really like Othello?), it is a fun romp.  I enjoy pulling this DVD out every once in awhile, and I think I’ll have to return to Finger Paints Late Night Rendezvous every once in awhile as well. ~E

The last (filmed) installment of the Star Wars saga begins with Luke’s crazy elaborate plan to rescue poor Han Solo from Jabba’s desert palace (for a hilarious interpretation of this escapade, check out the “How Return of the Jedi Should Have Ended” video here) and ends with the final battle for freedom on the moon of Endor. (I don’t care what anybody says, Ewoks are adorable and I like ’em!)

In between, we have the death of Yoda (boo hoo!), the promotion of Lando to general (who thought that was a good idea??? the guy’s awesome and all, but he’s betrayed the Rebels to the Empire once already…), and the big reveal that Leia is (SPOILER) Luke’s sister. (Which makes their kiss in TESB the kind of dirty that don’t wash off.)

In my opinion, all of these plot twists are just proof that George Lucas is making a lot of it up as he goes along.

And now, for my big pet peeve of RotJ: the insertion of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker with his ghostly Jedi buddies in the final scene. I understand GL’s reasons for doing this (the last time Vader truly was Anakin Skywalker was circa RotS) and though it does cause a girlish flutter in my heart every time I see HC, I am always taken out of this triumphal moment by the change. Dear George, the tinkering should stop now. Thanks buddy.

I was reading another nail polish blog where Zoya’s Shivon (from the Flourish Collection) was described as Princess-Leia-Kicking-Butt-In-Gold-Bikini, and the description could not be more spot on.

Shivon has a lovely fuchsia base with a ton of gold shimmer that gives this polish a metallic sheen. Application was a dream (but I find that’s pretty much the norm with Zoya polishes). This picture is two coats and a top coat.~K

What is the coolest thing that came out of The Empire Strikes Back? I think we all know the answer: Yoda. Yeah, it’s awesome that Han and Leia get their flirt on and Darth Vader has his big reveal, but the little green guy is definitely the best part of this movie.

In the new trilogy, Yoda seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s so serious. (Although it’s pretty awesome seeing him wield a light saber and do that insane jump and flip action when he fights Count Dooku and the Emperor.) Yoda just has so much more personality in this movie because of his crazy antics (like when he laughs almost manically while rummaging through Luke’s stuff or saying gems like, “How do you get so big eating food of this kind?”). You can tell that Frank Oz is having a blast doing Yoda’s voice in Empire Strikes Back, so much more so than in any of the other movies.

In honor of Yoda and his adopted homeland of Dagobah, as well as the overall dark tone of the movie, I decided to use Sinful Colors What’s Your Name. This polish is a black base with green and blue glitter. It kind of reminded me of the swampy area where Luke crash lands, but in a good way. The blue glitter really sticks out, and you have to be in the right light to really see the green glitter.

As for the polish itself, it went on pretty smoothly. The glitter is fine, so there wasn’t too much clumping. I know this will shock you, but I only did two coats and I think it turned out pretty well.

Because the polish is so dark, I do have to add a warning that if you get any polish on your cuticle, or the skin right up against the side of your nail, there’s a good chance that all the nail polish remover and cotton balls in the world won’t get it off. Also, I wouldn’t use this, or any dark nail polish, without a base coat. Your nails will still probably suffer from a bit of discoloration, but nothing too noticeable.

As I have mentioned in the past, I enjoy putting dark colors on my nails, and I can’t really give a great reason; I just do. This was a nice little polish. I think the best thing about Sinful Colors in general is that they are decent quality polishes that are affordable. I don’t know if all Walgreens carry Sinful Colors, but if you are interested, that’s where I would start my search.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is quite possibly the best of the Star Wars movies. It’s dark and dramatic, but it’s also so full of life. I don’t know that What’s Your Name is the best nail polish ever (I’m going to go with probably not), but it has many of the same intriguing qualities—dark and dramatic, but sparkly and fun. ~E

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” and with just half a sentence, George Lucas changed the world.  Okay, maybe not the world, but at least the world of pop culture.  Not a lot of movies can make that claim, which is one of the reasons the first Star Wars movie is so much fun—you feel like you’re experiencing something totally different, in a good way.

This last week was the 35th anniversary of Star Wars opening.  I wasn’t alive then, but I do remember watching it back when I was a kid.  I didn’t get it, but I knew Princess Leia had funny hair and Darth Vader was freakin’ scary.  Now that I’m older and have seen the movie several times, I still think Princess Leia has funny hair and that Darth Vader is freakin’ scary.  Watching the movie this time around, even after watching Hayden Christensen as Anakin in the prequels, I still got a chill when Darth Vader’s theme started (that dum dum dum dum de dum dum de dum) and he came on screen.

I can also appreciate Luke’s heroic journey from whiny farm boy to intergalactic hero.  Nobody can portray this journey quite like George Lucas (for additional proof outside of Star Wars, see the movie Willow).

In honor of Luke’s heroic journey, I decided to choose a polish that went along with the jumping off point of his adventure.  Luke, like his father, was raised on Tatooine—a desert planet—so OPI’s Sand in My Suit (2009 South Beach Collection) was the polish I chose.

When my sister recommended this polish, I wasn’t very excited.  I had just worn Sun Streaked (for a full review, please see my post on Attack of the Clones), and I didn’t really want to jump back to a light, sort of boring color.  I decided to give it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised.  This color was a bit darker than I anticipated, which I liked.  I also didn’t think it would look great with my skin tone, but it worked out quite nicely.

The polish itself was up to OPI’s general standards.  It went on smoothly, and I only put on two coats.  My only concern was that it was runnier than I was prepared for, so I got a lot of polish on my first nail.  I guess that’s a good lesson for any polish—always start slow, or the skin around your nails will feel the brunt of your impetuousness.

If you couldn’t tell from this review, I am a fan of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and now, I can say I’m a fan of OPI’s Sand in My Suit. ~E

Oh, Hayden Christensen. So handsome, so wooden. I know this fella can act–I saw Shattered Glass. There’s even a fair number of similarities between the characters of Stephen Glass and Anakin Skywalker (yes, the journalist and the Jedi knight):  a sense of entitlement, lying, paranoia and vulnerability. And yet, as Anakin, HC still comes across as a pretty face with no soul.  Granted, he’s much better in RotS than he was in AotC), but a lot of that can be attributed to the meatier material. For example, we finally get the moment we’ve all been waiting for since we saw the original Star Wars–the big showdown between Anakin and Obi-wan (I know they fight in ANH, but they’re older there and kinda unimpressive). This lightsaber duel is the very definition of epic and has me on the edge of my seat every time I see it. I read somewhere that Steven Spielberg helped direct this bit, and it shows. (Sorry GL, but SS is the master.) The sequence culminates in the birth of Darth Vader as we know and love him (all masked and gaspy and awesome), juxtaposed with the birth of the galaxy’s favorite twins, Luke and Leia.

Some other notable occurrences in this installment include:

  • Mace Windu’s death. (They shouldn’t ought to have done you that way, Samuel L.)
  • Palpatine’s unmasking. (If I were Anakin, I never would have sided with someone that ugly. Am I wrong?)
  • Chewbacca!!!
  • Yoda vs. Palpatine. (And Palpatine wins?! Yeah right!)
  • Padme’s death. (Died of a broken heart?! No mother of Leia’s could be such a wussy! Maybe a mother of Luke’s…)

My overall opinion of RotS is that George Lucas finally started to turn his unsinkable ship back into safer (and much more better, as Jack Sparrow would say) waters, but not soon enough to avoid scraping the iceberg a bit (sorry for the dumb Titanic analogy there). Watching any of the Star Wars prequels makes me positively long for the original three, so that’s where E and I are headed for our next spate of reviews.

I have to say, if the Sith were to endorse a nail polish, Lubu Heels would be it. Not only does it look sexy and evil, it’s the very devil to apply–both runny and thick at the same time.  It’s a black base with bright red glitter that not only shines through the black, but also gives it a beautiful depth that will make you just want to stare at it.

This is two thick coats (probably should have gone for three because there are some bald spots) with a top coat to even out the slight grittiness of the glitter. ~K

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