Archive for January, 2013


Vertigo

The first time I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (which wasn’t very long ago, I’m ashamed to say), I was left scratching my head. What in the heck was that? I wondered. I didn’t feel like I’d enjoyed it very much, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I finally forced E to watch it, she didn’t like it either. But on second viewing, I found I enjoyed it thoroughly. I knew what was coming. I understood the character’s motivations even before they did. And I didn’t expend all of my energy trying to figure out if I was watching a paranormal romance, a thriller, or a whodunit mystery. The truth is, Vertigo is a bit of each. Or none of the above. Watch it yourself, and you’ll see what I mean.

Vertigo is the story of “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart, looking a little old, but still swoonworthy), a retired policeman who has a big problem with heights. Since he can barely stand up without getting debilitatingly dizzy, he feels he isn’t good for much until an old friend hires him to do a little private investigating. The friend wants Scottie to follow his wife, Madeline (Kim Novak) around and find out what she’s doing all day…not because she’s cheating, but because he believes she is being possessed by the suicidal spirit of her great-grandmother. Scottie is reluctant at first, but he quickly falls under Madeline’s spell and she under his.

Now, if that doesn’t sound complicated enough, just wait. That’s just setting the scene for the real meat of the film…which I won’t give away here.

The score is amazingly effective and surprisingly subtle (unlike the Psycho score, which is effective but totally unsubtle). This is Hitchcock at the top of his game and definitely a must see (twice!).

China Glaze Bad Landing

This is China Glaze’s Bad Landing, a shocking pink shimmer that applied like a dream (the above picture is 2 coats). If your eyes can stand this much pink, then you need this color. It’s kind of awesome, and I’m not even a pink fan. ~K

The Words & NYX Buzz Worthy

The Words

As I have mentioned before, I love Ben Barnes.  I love him so much that I watched the entire movie The Words just for him.  Okay, so maybe I was a little intrigued by the story, but it was mostly for Ben.

In the movie, Dennis Quaid is Clayton Hammond, a best-selling author who is doing a reading of his most recent book. His book tells the story of Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) who is an aspiring author just waiting for someone to fall in love with his writing and publish his book.  Zoe Saldana plays his super-supportive wife, who buys him a gift that dramatically changes both their lives.  On their honeymoon in Paris, she buys him a briefcase in which he discovers a manuscript for a novel.  Apparently, this is the novel that every writer wishes they could write–we’re talking life changing stuff here.

Once his wife reads it and insists that it is the best thing he has ever written, Rory faces a serious moral dilemma, one that would be hard for just about anyone.  Should he attempt to get the book published and take the credit for someone else’s work and open the door to getting his other writings published, or should he close that door and do the honest thing?

Well, it wouldn’t be much of a story if he didn’t get the book published, now would it?  Rory is an overnight sensation and everyone loves his book.  Everyone, except for an old man (Jeremy Irons) who begins stalking him. Eventually, Rory comes to find out that the old man is the actual author of the book he has claimed, and tells him about how he came to write the book.  This puts Rory in another moral dilemma.  Should he come clean and tell the world he is a phony, or keep his mouth shut and do as his agent suggests and pay the old man off?

This movie is essentially three stories in one package: Clayton’s story, Rory’s story, and the old man’s story. I think the concept is interesting, but I almost think I would rather have seen a movie that focused more on the plot of the infamous book.  Every time someone talked about how astonishingly good the book was the more I wanted to know what made it so earth-shattering.  I think the cast gave it their all, and I could relate to Rory’s moral dilemmas, but other than that, this really was kind of a blah movie.

On a side note, I find it kind of funny that a movie about a plagiarizer was also accused of plagiarism.  Apparently there is a German novel with roughly the same plot as this movie.

NYX Buzz Worthy

NYX’s Buzz Worthy is a super shiny gold glitter polish.  This picture is three coats and it’s pretty well covered.  I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth this polish was; I didn’t even need a top coat, which is usually a necessity for polishes that are essentially just glitter.  It’s a little flashy for everyday wear, but totally awesome for a special occasion when you want your nails to stand out. ~E

National Treasure 2

The second National Treasure movie is very much like the first:  Benjamin Gates (Nicholas Cage) follows many clues leading to a ginormous treasure, Abigail Chase (Diane Krueger) follows him and harangues him, misbegotten Riley (Justin Bartha) comes along for tech support, and they drag Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) into the thick of things. Also, there’s a bad guy out to swipe the treasure out from under Ben’s nose, only this time it’s Ed Harris as a ruthless mercenary. Another difference is that Ben’s mom, Emily (Helen Mirren) puts in an appearance as an expert on obscure, pre-Columbian American cultures.

Book of Secrets is pretty much a rehash of the first movie, but I don’t mind at all. Both movies are fun and exciting and allow Nicholas Cage to loosen up a bit. In fact, the scene he causes at Buckingham Palace is the funniest I’ve seen him since Raising Arizona (which is a brilliant little movie, check it out if you get the chance). All of the other actors seem to be having a blast as well, especially Helen Mirren, who is awesome in everything.

I almost think of the National Treasures as one long movie, the second is such a natural continuation of the first. That is a rare thing indeed for a sequel. This isn’t a masterpiece, but it is definitely a fun diversion.

Nubar Gold Feather

This picture is 4 (!) coats of Nubar’s Gold Feather, an orange-pink-brown/green duochrome. A very sheer formula, but also a very interesting color. ~K

National Treasure & Nubar Treasure

National Treasure

I have always been a history buff, particularly American history.  I’m pretty sure I can thank my parents for that, since my family spent several weeks of the summer before I turned 10 years old visiting several of the bigger Civil War battle sites.  We then spent several weeks of the summer before I turned 15 roaming around New England and visiting several of the Revolutionary War battle sites.  Not to mention, last September my father finally achieved his goal of visiting all of the Presidents’ graves when he made it to Grant’s Tomb in New York City.  With parents like that, it was kind of a given that their kids would grow up to be history nuts.

This background is to give you a bit of an understanding of why I love the National Treasure movies so much.  Not only do they have quite a bit of history in them (both real and fantastical), but I have been to many of the places they visit in the movies.  They are also a whole lot of fun and full of amazing adventures, plus the cast all seem to be enjoying themselves.  I particularly love Justin Bartha.  He’s great in both, but particularly the first one.

Nicholas Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, part of a family of historians who have spent their lives looking for a treasure hidden by the freemason founding fathers of America.  He partners up with Ian (Sean Bean) and Riley (Justin Bartha), but when the next clue leads to the Declaration of Independence, Ian turns on Ben and Riley.  In order to save the Declaration, Ben and Riley decide they have to steal it first, which doesn’t make Ian and his gang very happy.  Dr. Abigail Chase, (Dianne Kruger) from the National Archives is eventually pulled into the craziness, as is Ben’s father, Patrick Henry Gates (Jon Voight).  Eventually, Ian catches up with Ben and gang-presses him into helping to find the treasure.

Nubar Treasure

I am super excited to debut my first Nubar polish, which is aptly called Treasure.  It’s a very pretty purple holographic polish and I’m pretty sure I love it.  The formula was lovely and it went on quite well.  This picture is three coats and I skipped the top coat because K says it can ruin the holo effect. ~E

Listed from least favorite to favorite. 🙂

Orly Ingenue

(2) Orly Ingenue is plum pink with thick gold shimmer (2 coats)

Orly Au Champagne

(1) Orly Au Champagne is a matte white shimmer (2 coats)

Coming Soon:  Oui, Androgynie, Le Chateau and Ma Cherie

Sense and Sensibility

Emma Thompson is the coolest. She’s won an acting Oscar and a writing Oscar (a combo Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have been dreaming about for years), and she strikes me as someone who you could hold an intelligent conversation with about pretty much any topic. One of my favorite Emma Thompson movies is her adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Not one of Miss Austen’s easiest books to read, but Emma managed to bring the story to life with wit and humor. In it, she plays Elinor Dashwood, a young woman whose family is thrown into instant poverty with the death of her father. Fortunately, Elinor is sensible and manages to economize, while hiding her love for unavailable Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant, at his adorably bumbling best) and dealing with her overly passionate sister, Marianne (Kate Winslet).

This is a very sumptuous adaptation, with gorgeous locations, costumes and beautiful music courtesy of Patrick Doyle. All of the actors are fabulous (I like to play “Who Played Who in the Harry Potter Movies” while I watch), with special mention going out to Alan Rickman as the brooding, lovestruck Colonel Brandon. I have never found him more attractive than I do in Sense and Sensibility. Another interesting fact about this movie is that both Thompson sisters (Emma and her sister Sophie) found their husbands during filming. Emma later married the actor who played John Willoughby (one of Marianne’s love interests) and Sophie married the actor who played Robert Ferrars (Edward’s younger brother). That’s kismet for you!

Orly Ingenue

This is Orly’s Ingenue, a pretty plum pink polish with tons of gold shimmer. I put on 2 coats, but I probably could have done another one for complete opacity. I know that these shimmery polishes are a dime a dozen, but I can’t resist them. They are so beautiful on my fingers that I just want to sit an stare at them all day. ~K

 

Pride and Prejudice

I know, I must sound like such a pessimistic person.  I’m always taking about how I expected a movie to be bad or an actor to be terrible in a certain part.  I can tell I am a pessimist because the majority of the time, I am pleasantly surprised.  This was very much the case with Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice.  When I heard Keira Knightley was going to be Elizabeth Bennet, I was not best pleased.  I thought she was much too pretty to be Elizabeth and not a skilled enough actress to do the part justice.  Again, I really shouldn’t have worried.  Although Keira was still pretty, she was a little muted and she was the perfect blend of witty and bratty.  I think she got Elizabeth down to a t, and so did a lot of people since she was nominated for an Academy Award for the role.

I must confess to also being nervous about Matthew Mcfadyen as Mr. Darcy.  I mean, there is no doubt in my mind that Collin Firth is Mr. Darcy and poor Matthew was never going to fill his shoes.  Although I still equate Mr. Darcy with Mr. Firth, I thought Matthew was excellent.  His Darcy comes off as aloof at the beginning, moving to shy, and then finally relaxed when he is in comfortable surroundings.  I thought the chemistry between the two leads was awesome.  That scene in the rain when they are telling each other how much they loath each other and then almost kiss, poetry!

I have to also mention Rosamund Pike’s Jane and Simon Wood’s Mr. Bingley.  I thought she was lovely and sweet, just as Jane should be, and he was adorably goofy.  Of course, I will always love Simon Woods for being in Penelope, but he is terrific here as well.  It’s also fun to see Keira interact with Tom Hollander (Mr. Collins), since they are in the middle two Pirates of the Caribbean movies together.

It’s hard to imagine anyone not knowing the plot of Pride and Prejudice, but here is an incredibly brief synopsis.  Jane and Elizabeth are the two oldest of five daughters in the Bennet family.  Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy are old friends.  When Mr. Bingley buys an estate near the Bennet family, their worlds collide.  Mr. Bingley is instantly smitten with Jane, and even though he doesn’t want to, Mr. Darcy falls for Elizabeth.  Instead of demonstrating his admiration, Mr. Darcy acts like a snob, which turns Elizabeth off.  Throw in a handsome soldier, some sister/family dramas, and an odd clergyman to spice things up, but the big questions of the movie are whether these two main couples will ever get together and if everyone can get over their own pride and prejudices.

Nicole The Gold Shoulder

This picture is three coats of Nicole by OPI’s The Gold Shoulder.  When I put the first coat on, I was sure it was going to take at least five coats to be opaque, but I was pleasantly surprised that it filled in so nicely after just three.  Although the polish is called The Gold Shoulder, it’s pretty straight-up silver, and very glittery.  It didn’t dry as quickly as I would have liked, since I completely demolished one nail and had to paint it all over again.  Overall, a nice polish, but nothing earth-shattering about it. ~E

Finding Neverland

Johnny Depp and Peter Pan? I’m so there.

Before I even saw Finding Neverland, I already knew I would love it. And I was right, of course. It is a (highly) fictionalized account of how J.M. Barrie wrote the play Peter Pan, but the licenses taken by the screenwriter don’t really detract from the beauty and ultimate sadness of the story. In fact, some of those touches of whimsy elevate this movie from a bit of historical fluff to something truly magical.

Mr. Barrie (Johnny Depp, unusually clean-shaven and normal looking, which I am not complaining about) has just written a flop and is searching for inspiration for his next play. Enter the Llewelyn-Davies family–Sylvia (Kate Winslet, lovely as ever) and her four sons George, Jack, Peter and Michael. (This movie rather conveniently forgets the fifth Llewelyn-Davies boy, Nico…which is just a shame since a lot of what we know about this time period comes from him.) As he entertains these younguns he weaves a magical world where children never grow up and happy thoughts can lift you into the air. He writes his masterpiece, only to find that his professional success is tempered by personal tragedy.

The music is perfectly gorgeous and (deservedly) won an Oscar. Depp is marvelous and pulls off a creditable Scottish accent (at least in my opinion). The child actors are quite good as well, especially Freddy Highmore as Peter. I choke up every time I watch this movie because some of its themes strike a little too close to home for comfort, but that doesn’t make me love Finding Neverland any less.

Sparitual Flight of Fancy

I wasn’t expecting to like SpaRitual’s Flight of Fancy at all. It’s one of those pearly colors that just make me shudder, but this was surprisingly un-streaky. It is a buttery cream shimmer with a slightly sheer finish (this photo is 3 coats). The application was smooth and I was pleasantly surprised. Not my favorite, but exceeds expectations. ~K

When In Rome & OPI All Rose Leads To Rome

When In Rome

When in Rome is sort of a silly movie, but silly isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The story centers on Beth, a workaholic who thinks finding an internet connection is just as important as attending to her bridesmaid duties at her sister’s Roman wedding.  At said wedding, she meets Nick, a very handsome sports journalist, and she starts to let her walls down.  After seeing what she thinks is him sporting with one of the groom’s relatives, Beth gets drunk and goes dancing in the Fountain of Love.  To spite the fountain, she takes four coins, four individuals’ wishes for love.  Little does Beth know, if you remove a coin from the fountain, the person who threw it into the fountain will instantly fall in love with you.

Enter some very interesting characters, all professing their love for Beth: A tortured Italian artist who sees Beth as his muse (Will Arnett), a sausage magnate (Danny DeVito), and a street magician (Jon Heder).  Nick also re-enters the picture, and even though Beth is awful to him, he keeps coming back.  This leads Beth to be suspicious of his motives and she believes he is the owner of the fourth coin.  To break the spell, Beth has to return each coin to each suitor, but now that she’s fallen in love with Nick, she’s not sure if she wants to give his back.

Like I said, it’s a bit silly, but it’s also a lot of fun.  I have loved Kristen Bell since her Veronica Mars days and Josh Duhamel is incredibly handsome, but goofy at the same time.  Their height difference is a little funny, but it seems like everyone in the cast is having a great time reveling in the silliness of it all.  Silly, but still fun.

OPI All Rose Lead to Rome

OPI’s All Rose Lead to Rome is a super pink polish, which is really not my thing.  Luckily, the polish also has a pink shimmer to it, and I do enjoy a shimmer.  Considering this is an old polish, the formula was still pretty good and this picture is three coats.  I can’t say I love it, but it is a pretty and anyone who likes a hot pink polish might try checking this one out. ~E

Ladyhawke & Orly Fowl Play

Ladyhawke

There are some who think Ladyhawke is a silly movie with a totally anachronistic score (I’m not naming names…*cough*…my sister). Maybe their right…but I love it anyway. It is the story of a pickpocket (Matthew Broderick) who is swept up in the epic love story of a man (Rutger Hauer) cursed to be a wolf at night and his lady (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is a hawk by day. This is a particularly cruel curse in that they are always together, but can never truly be…you know, together. They need this particular pickpocket to help them get revenge on the bishop who cursed them.

Sure the music is a little dated, but I still think it’s beautiful. I have the soundtrack on my ipod and listen to it a lot. The cinematography is breathtaking and the story is magical. They just don’t make movies like this anymore.

Matthew is adorable (like a medieval Ferris Bueller). Michelle is completely gorgeous, while Rutger is super intense and strangely attractive. Definitely a good, watch, so check it out sometime.

Orly Fowl Play

For this movie, I chose Orly’s Fowl Play from their Birds of a Feather Collection. The above photo was 3 coats plus a topcoat. This polish is kind of sheer, but I think it was worth it. Look at all of the things it’s got going on: deep purple jelly base, tiny silver glitter, larger iridescent glitter and color-shifting flakes. It’s pretty much gorgeous, right? Definitely a winner, Orly! ~K

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