Archive for October, 2012


It’s impossible to be sure, but I think that the first time I saw the Ichabod part of this double feature, is when my love of the macabre began. That chase scene through the cemetery scared the snot out of me…and I loved every minute of it. You all probably know the story of the headless horseman and the scaredy cat schoolmaster, but the comedic elements are really kicked up a notch in this retelling. The rivalry between Ichabod and Brom for the affection of fair Katrina Van Tassel culminates in some pretty hilarious slapstick, what with trapdoors, flying horseshoes and a chubby brunette who just wants to dance. Bing Crosby as the narrator and voice of the two male leads is very funny and obviously having a blast.

And as for the Mr. Toad portion of the film, Basil Rathbone narrates and lends some gravitas (maybe too much?) to the Wind in the Willows story of a toad who just wants a motor car of his very own. This pursuit gets him into all sorts of trouble, but fortunately, Mr. Toad has good friends who help to get him out of the several jams he finds himself in.

Both of these short films are good fun and completely entertaining (unlike some of the older full-length Disney features that I could name…but won’t). There are plenty of laughs and catchy tunes. A definite holiday must.

My polish today is Cirque’s Dark Horse, a very cool glitter polish (it looks holographic, but it’s not) that flashes every color in a black glitter base. This picture is 4 coats (although 3 would have been enough, but I messed up and needed 4 to even things out) plus 2 coats of topcoat to smooth it out. The picture below is without topcoat, and you can see how grainy it is. Another cool thing about this polish is that it smells lovely, kind of a mix between fruity and flowery. So awesome. I can’t stop looking at it…and I don’t want to. ~K

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I got dumped right before I saw Monster House for the first time.  You’d think that with an experience like that, I would hate the movie, but I don’t.  I guess that’s a testament to what a good movie it is.  I mean, it’s not one of my absolute favorites, but it is one of my favorite Halloween movies.  I think that may be because Dan Harmon (all my Community buds out there will recognize that name) helped to write the screenplay and he is hilarious.  So is Monster House.

I will admit that the motion capture technology used in this movie is not perfect, but at least the characters are stylized enough that you know they aren’t trying to look like real people.  I only saw The Polar Express once, but the animation was a little iffy for me.  They looked like real people, but not, if that makes any sense.

The movie is a about a tween boy named DJ, his best friend Chowder, and the new girl they both like, all trying to defeat the monster house across the street.  Mitchell Musso is the voice of DJ and his parents, who are only in the movie for a short time, are Catherine O’Hara (always hilarious) Fred Willard (kooky, but funny).  Since they are going out of town, they hire a babysitter (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who invites her boyfriend, Bones (Jason Lee), over.  There’s a pretty funny scene with him and his “totally awesome” kite.

Also in the cast is Steve Buscemi (Mr. Animated Halloween Movie himself, see Monsters Inc, Igor, and Hotel Transylvania) as the cantankerous occupant of the monster house and Kathleen Turner as his long dead wife.  Kevin James and Nick Cannon have some of the best lines as the cops the kids call to report the suspicious goings on of the monster house.

Glitz in a Bottle has a fun little polish called Monsters in the Mansion.  It is more of a top coat than an actual polish, but it is still pretty awesome.  It had tiny little glitter, but then it also had large square purple and blue hexagon glitter as well.  This picture is three coats and a top coat.  It actually could have used another layer of top coat, as just one didn’t really level anything out.  The color combination actually made me think a lot of Monsters Inc, at least Sully.

Monster House and Monsters in the Mansion are both quite a bit of fun!

Glitz in a Bottle polishes are available at etsy.com.~E

Hocus Pocus & Disney Forever Young

Hocus Pocus is one of the movies that scared me when I was little (but in an “I’m scared but fascinated” kind of way) and now I watch and wonder why (like Beetlejuice or Sleeping Beauty). This movie is so campy the actors are practically winking into the camera, but I love it and in my family it’s a Halloween tradition.

It starts off with the legend of the three Sanderson sisters, Winnie (Bette Midler, having sooo much fun), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), a group of witches whose goal is to suck the life out of children (apparently are quite tasty) and live forever. A monkey wrench is thrown into their plans when they are hung for witchcraft by the family of a boy they turned into a black cat (voiced by Jason Marsden), but Winnie’s evil spellbook reveals a prophecy that they will return to life when a virgin lights a certain candle…and, well, you can see where this is going.

Jump 300 hundred years into the future and a certain teenage virgin, Max (Omri Katz) lights the candle to impress a girl (Vinessa Shaw) and scare his little sister, Dani (Thora Birch). The witches appear and resume their evil plans while Max and his posse try to stop them.

Historical inaccuracies aside, it is so much fun to watch the three witches bumble through the 20th century (i.e. paved roads, sprinkler systems, daylight savings time). Bette (of course) gets her own glitzy musical number when she puts a dancing spell on all of the grownups while Sarah and Mary sing backup. (Having two sisters myself, we quote this movie all of the time.) Doug Jones (he of Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy awesomeness) puts in an appearance as a zombie who was once Winnie’s boyfriend, but got all deadified for “sporting” with sister Sarah.

So, not great cinema per se, but a lot of fun (and maybe a scare or two) that the whole family can enjoy.

Disney Villains Varnish Forever Young (from the 2012 Villains Designer Collection) is a deep maroon creme (although it’s kind of sheer, like a jelly) that looks very vampy. This is actually Mother Gothel’s (from Tangled) polish, and since she’s a witch and the Sanderson Sisters are witches and they all want to be eternally young, I figured this one worked on several levels. This picture is 2 coats (I should have done 3 to get rid of the bald spots) and a topcoat. Application was really good and although this wasn’t my favorite from the collection, it definitely captures that witchy look I was going for. ~K

Today I have a comparison of Sally Hansen’s Black Tie (index), Essence’s Chic Reloaded (middle), Pretty Serious’ Gargoyle Ganache (ring) and Misa’s It’s You! (pinky), all gray bases with purple/green/gold duochrome. This picture is 2 coats of each (and pretend the blue in the picture is green…the sky was very bright).

Gargoyle is the odd man out this time, with thicker shimmer and more color visible at all times.  Chic had the best duochrome effect, but it also had a stubby, super thick brush that was hard to work with. It’s had a weaker color change effect and probably the thinnest formula, but I liked the brush. Black had a good shift and a good formula, but the green duochrome looked a little bluer to me than the others. Still, I would say that (aside from Gargoyle) these were close enough to be copycats.

I’m not sure when Sally Hansen’s Black Tie was released or what collection it is from

Ditto for Essence’s Chic Reloaded

Gargoyle Ganache is from Pretty Serious’ Monster Mash Collection (Halloween 2012)

It’s You! Is from Misa’s What I Like About You Collection (Fall 2010)

Listed from least favorite to favorite 🙂

(6) Pretty Serious Liquid Leprechaun is a grass green jelly base with different sized gold (and holographic) glitter (2 coats)

Flash

Shade

(5) Pretty Serious Gargoyle Ganache is a gray/purple/green/gold duochrome with thick shimmer (2 coats)

(Note: Ignore the blue in the shade picture…that’s just a reflection of the sky…)

(4) Pretty Serious Viscous Vampire is a red jelly base with different sized red and pink/purple glitter (2 coats). For more info, check out my review of Dark Shadows.

Flash

Natural Light

Sunlight

(3) Pretty Serious Poltergeist Puddle is a purple with blue shimmer and pink duochrome flash (2 coats)

Note: The second picture is the closest I could get to color correct. I had a hard time capturing the deep violet color…The third picture shows some of the duochrome effect.

Flash

Shade

(2) Pretty Serious Mummy Mush is a pale gold/pink/blue duochrome with thick shimmer (2 coats)

(1) Pretty Serious Creature Crush is a blue-black jelly base with small silver glitter and large hexagon holographic glitter (2 coats)

I had such a hard time ranking these polishes. This collection is amazing! I love all of them. For starters, every single one is opaque in 2 coats. That is amazing! Some of the polishes were a little thick (Viscous Vampire especially) but that’s a fair trade off for such good coverage. The depth of these polishes is also amazing. There’s so much to look at here. Mummy Mush is iridescent, like fairy wings, while Liquid Leprechaun looks just like a smooshed leprechaun who was carrying a pot of gold. And a gargoyle nail polish?! I can’t say enough about my love for this Monster Mash Collection.

Available at http://www.pretty-serious.com/

Igor & OPI Sweet as Annie-thing

As I may have mentioned, I like animated movies.  Even animated movies that are a wee bit on the silly side.  Like Igor.  It’s a fun little movie, but kind of goofy.  I think the most interesting aspect of this movie is how lively John Cusack sounds.  Although he’s no Keanu Reeves, John seems to be a little bored in most of his roles.  As an Igor dreaming of being an evil scientist, Mr. Cusack seems to be having a good time.

In fact, most of the cast seems to be enjoying themselves.  Molly Shannon plays Igor’s “monster”, who turns out not to be so monstrous and has dreams of her own.  King Malpert, voiced by Jay Leno, initiates the Evil Science Fair to allow the evil scientists to demonstrate their evil inventions.  Eddie Izard voices Dr. Schadenfreude, the reigning evil science fair champion with kingly ambitions.  Jennifer Coolidge is his shape-shifting girlfriend who helps him steal the best evil inventions from the other scientists so Dr. Schadenfreude always wins.  Steve Buscemi and Sean Hayes are pretty hilarious as Igor’s sidekicks, a rabbit that cannot be killed and a dim-witted brain in a jar.

After creating life, in the form of a giant woman who takes the name Eva, Igor attempts to activate her evil bone by giving her an evil “brain wash.”  Instead, she decides she wants to become an actress and her dream role is the plucky little orphan Annie.  Igor helps Eva with her audition, secretly directing her to take out all the other evil inventions while singing “Tomorrow.”  In honor of Eva’s starring moment, OPI’s Sweet As Annie-thing seemed like a good polish.

This polish (from the Valentine’s Day 2009 90210 Collection) had great coverage; it only took two coats.  Even though it has a bit of a shimmer in it, the drying time was still a lot longer than I would have liked.  The brush was also a little bigger than I would have liked, as anyone who reads these blogs probably already knows.  As for the color, it was pretty red, which is far from my norm, but I still kind of liked it.  There’s just something about having super red nails that amps up the wow factor. ~E

Sleepy Hollow is one of the rare rated R movies we’ll review on this blog (we try to keep things family friendly here), but it just doesn’t feel like Halloween to me without a viewing of this Tim Burton directed gore fest.

This is a pretty drastic departure from the Washington Irving short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Instead of a snipe-nosed school master, Ichabod Crane is a forward thinking New York detective who, as punishment for his modern crime solving techniques, is sent to the small village of Sleepy Hollow. The residents are slowly being picked off by a ghostly horseman with a penchant for head chopping. Ichabod, who has a sort of supernatural background himself, is convinced that there isn’t a ghost, but the leading citizens of Sleepy Hollow are all terrified out of their wits (with good reason). When Ichabod witnesses a beheading first hand, he becomes a true believer and vows to find the person controlling the horseman.

Johnny Depp may be too beautiful to be a convincing Ichabod Crane, but he does a great job channeling the bumbling cowardice of the character (I love the spider scene…quote it all the time). Christina Ricci plays the lovely Katrina Van Tassell, Ichabod’s love interest, and it’s funny to see her as a blonde (I think Tim Burton gets a kick out of putting pale brunettes in blond wigs…remember Winona Ryder in Edward Scissorhands?). The rest of the cast is brilliant, with wonderful performances from several British veterans (Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson and Richard Griffiths). The real surprise is Christopher Walken as the (fully headed) horseman. He doesn’t have any lines (which is probably for the best), but he looks uber-creepy. (I sort of take offense that the horseman is a bloodthirsty Hessian…some of my ancestors were Hessians and they weren’t there for blood…it was all about the money, y’all.)

The ick factor here is pretty high, but I would say that if you can handle the extended version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, you can probably handle Sleepy Hollow.

My polish for Sleepy Hollow is the intriguingly named Ick-a-Body from China Glaze’s Awakening Collection for Halloween 2010. I don’t know if they were going for the Sleepy Hollow reference, but that’s where my mind went. And if that’s not a thing, there are plenty of icky bodies in this movie. It’s a swamp green-brown base with thick, bright orange glitter. This is two coats plus two coats of topcoat (and it was still pretty grainy). Very sparkly and pretty unusual polish. ~K

Of all the Pixar movies, Monsters, Inc. is my very favorite. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I remember seeing it the day it opened in theaters and bursting into joyful tears during that last scene. I’ve sniffled during other Pixars, but none of them ever recaptured that same feeling.

Monsters, Inc. is a cute twist on the monster in the closet story. These monsters scare because their world is powered by the screams of human children. And the best scare-er is Sully (played by Disney favorite John Goodman), a large blue monster with the heart of a teddy bear. His best buddy and co-worker is Mike (Billy Crystal), a little green monster with one eye and a big mouth. When another co-worker, Randall (played to smarmy perfection by Steve Buscemi) leaves a closet door active in the course of an evil plot, a human girl escapes into the monster world and into Mike and Sully’s lives.

What impresses me most about this movie are the vocal performances. The animation is so-so, not as visually stunning as Finding Nemo or Brave. But when I think of Mike and Sully, I don’t think about John Goodman and Billy Crystal. I think about the adorable two monsters that are so fully realized they have a life of their own beyond the actors.

Can I just say, that I LOVE this nail polish! The Monster by Hare Polish is a sheer, dusty green with green and black glitter. This is 3 coats and a topcoat to make it all smooth. As I was applying it, I wondered if I should have used a petticoat color to make it fully opaque, but in the end I really liked how it turned out. Kind of wet looking, but in a good way. Beautiful! ~K

Arsenic and Old Lace is one of the first black and white movies I remember ever seeing.  Since then, I have seen many, many black and white movies, but this is still one of my favorites.  I love Cary Grant.  Not as much as my sister, but I still love him.  This is one of his most hilarious roles.

Imagine, if you will, Halloween in Brooklyn, back in the 1940’s.  Mortimer Brewster, despite being very anti-marriage, has just married Elaine Harper.  His two saintly aunts are thrilled that their successful theater critic nephew has fallen for the girl next door.  On the other hand, Mortimer is horrified to find a dead body in the window seat.  His aunts explain that one of their “charities” is to poison old men who are alone in the world, and this one was number 12.

Mortimer decides he will pin the murders on his brother, who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, and starts the process for committing him.  He makes his aunts promise to not let anyone in while he goes to get a judge’s signature.  While he is gone, his brother Jonathon and his accomplice invade the house with intentions of burying their own murder victim in the basement.

Although the plot sounds pretty serious, and murder generally is, it is an incredibly funny film.  The entire cast is terrific, including the two aunts who originated the roles in the Broadway play the film was based on.

Essie’s Lacy-Not-Racy is a beautiful polish. When K mentioned it, I kind of imagined an off-white polish, but it was actually a really pretty, jelly-like burgundy.  This is my first Essie polish, and I am pretty impressed.  The formula is good, but it did take a long time to dry, which is typical for these shimmer-less polishes.  This picture is three coats. ~E

Wait Until Dark is a scary movie. And not in a gory or ghostly way, but in an extremely tense and dark way. (Literally dark…there’s a scene that is completely black and you can only hear what’s going on.) The fabulous Audrey Hepburn plays Susy, a recently blinded woman who is targeted by three con-men who are looking for a heroin-stuffed porcelain doll in her apartment. Apparently, Susy’s not so bright husband (Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) brought the doll through customs for a stranger (that’s why you never hold someone else’s bag in an airport, right?) and then lost it. The con-men start a sick game, in which they try to trick the innocent Susy into revealing the doll’s location. Unfortunately for two of these baddies (Richard Crenna and Jack Weston) the third is a real psychopath (Alan Arkin) who is willing to kill anyone (and everyone) to get what he wants.

One of the things that makes this film so effective is its claustrophobic setting. All of the action takes place in Susy’s tiny New York apartment, and when they start turning the lights out, I feel like I’m the one being boxed in.

The performances from the two leads (Hepburn and Arkin) are quite excellent and gripping. The final showdown scene is one of the most terrifying things ever. I prepare myself for it, and yet I still jump every time. (There may or may not have been some girlish squealing, too…I couldn’t say…) Henry Mancini’s spooky, off-key score doesn’t help matters. The jangly, out of tune piano bumps the tension quota up several more notches. Don’t watch this one alone at night. You’ll regret it if you do. You’ve been warned.

This is 3 coats of China Glaze’s Near Dark from their Haunting Collection (Halloween 2011). It’s a very deep green creme, almost black, but not quite. This had a very thin formula, which was pretty disappointing, but I do like me some dark polishes. Maybe just not ones that need so many coats. ~K

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