Archive for February, 2013


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Confession time. I know everyone on the planet pretty much loathed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but I didn’t mind it so much. Yes, it’s a little weird with the whole inter-dimensional beings and all, but realistically, all of the Indiana Jones movies are a little on the heavy side when it comes to the super-natural. What it does have is the same manic energy as the original trilogy.

It’s 1957 and instead of Nazis, Indy has to contend with the Soviets, led by the slightly unhinged Dr. Spalko (Cate Blanchett). Joining him on this adventure is Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), a young greaser; Harold Oxley (John Hurt), an old colleague of Indy’s, and Indy’s old flame Marion Ravenwood, who is now known as Mary Williams and is Mutt’s mother.  This rag-tag little group is trying to return a crystal skull Oxley found to a temple in Peru, while fighting off the Soviets who are hot on their trail.  Along the way there’s a fridge nuking, man eating ants, and a trip over three waterfalls.

The cast is first rate.  Harrison Ford is back in his element as the roguish archeologist and Karen Allen is just as feisty and beautiful as she was in Raiders.  Shia LeBeouf does his best Marlon Brando impression, but it works. Cate Blanchett’s Ukrainian accent seems pretty good, but her dark bobbed hair seems a little off, and it’s hard to take her too seriously as an evil villain.

Like I said, it’s not the best of the series, but I don’t think it’s as terrible as it could have been.  My recommendation, give it a chance and don’t think too hard.

OPI Peru-B Ruby

OPI’s Peru-B-Ruby is a lovely polish, but it’s not very original.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve reviewed a similar polish several times before.  It’s almost a fuchsia pink with shimmer.  What did impress me was the coverage of this polish.  I find that shimmery polishes often take three coats, but this picture is only two coats, so not bad.  ~E

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

All fairness? I don’t know what K is smoking but it is totally not fair to stick me with Temple of Doom and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Am I right people? Plus, she got to do her favorite Indy movie, so in all fairness, I should get to do mine!

Ok, enough venting. Like I said, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is my favorite in the series. I love Harrison Ford’s Indiana, but throw in Sean Connery as his dad, and I am at a loss to figure out how to make it better. Oh yeah, bring John Rhys-Davies and Denholm Elliott back as Sallah and Marcus Brody respectively, and make them even funnier than before, and this is almost the perfect action movie, at least in my book.

This story opens with a little look into the back story of Indiana Jones. We find out that Indy’s father is obsessed with finding the Holy Grail, which has the power to give eternal life, and we see where his hatred of snakes stems from (“I hate snakes, Jock! I hate ‘em!”). This opening scene sets the stage for “the Jones’ Boys” quest for the Holy Grail. This involves slogging through catacombs in Venice, hitching a ride on a Zeppelin, and contending with Indy’s old nemeses, the Nazis.

In Raiders, the best parts of the movie were when Indy and Marion were sparring. In this one, the sparring is also terrific, except it’s between Indy and his dad. Alison Doody is gorgeous as Dr. Elsa Schneider, but she is just no match for Sean Connery.

OPI Berlin There Done That

OPI’s Berlin There Done That is a brownish-grayish cream polish (is it just me, or does it seem like I am always wearing creams?)  The formula is quite good and was pretty much opaque after just two coats.  Although I don’t love the wide brush, I have tiny little nails, but I am getting used to it and not slopping polish all over the place, at least not too badly.

I can’t say why, but I have become a sucker for these seemingly odd colored cream polishes (like Orly’s Mirror Mirror or OPI’s Skull and Gloss Bones).  They are colors I didn’t think I would like initially, but once they are on my nails, I sort of loved them, and this is no exception. ~K

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

E says that I don’t get to review both of the “good” Indiana Jones movies (even though in all fairness I should do) so here I am again to review Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I would say this is my least favorite of Indy’s big screen adventures, but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete stinker. There are some great things here, such as Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan), and the entire opening scene in Cafe Obi Wan (sans Willie’s surreal musical number) is just awesomeness. There’s also some funny slapstick in the jungle and later in the Maharajah’s palace as Indy and Willie clumsily seduce each other. And the business in the tunnels with the spiky ceiling and the bugs is just classic Indiana Jones (plus, we get the famous hat grabbing scene that has been parodied over and over).

And for those of you who have lived sad, Indiana Jones-less lives, here’s a quick recap of the plot:  Dr. Jones (apparently before he remembered all of that righteous indignation about how ancient artifacts should be in museums) is in Shanghai to sell a relic to a big shot crime boss and very nearly becomes a relic himself. He escapes (of course!), dragging bratty singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw, woefully miscast in a badly written part) and miniscule sidekick Short Round along with him for a series of misadventures in India. There are bugs, snakes (naturally), and chilled monkey’s brains, and that’s just dinner.

This movie genuinely scared me as a child, but so did Raiders and Crusade. I think the difference here is that (spoilers!) my trusty Dr. Jones becomes one of the bad guys, and that’s just really depressing, even if it’s short-lived. Unacceptable!

OPI Charmed By a Snake

I couldn’t help myself. This is OPI’s Charmed By a Snake from their India Collection. It’s a gorgeous, caramel brown with tons of gold shimmer. This picture is two coats with a topcoat, and can I just say, I’m in love! ~K

Raiders of the Lost Ark

There are not words to describe my love for Indiana Jones. I never get tired of them (no, not even Temple of Doom) and that’s kind of a big deal for me and my infinitesimal attention span. Raiders is my favorite (I think mainly because I want to be Marion Ravenwood when I grow up…) so I’m glad I get to review it. This is where we first meet Dr. Jones, part-time archeology professor and part-time tomb raider (don’t deny it, he’s always going after the treasure). After losing a fancy find to his perpetual nemesis, Belloq (Paul Freeman), Indy is enlisted by the US government to stop the Nazis from acquiring the legendary Ark of the Covenant. To do so, he has to look up an old flame, Marion (Karen Allen) who isn’t completely pleased to see him again, but eventually agrees to help him out.

This movie has everything: romance, adventure, Nazis, snakes, giant boulders, archeology, Harrison Ford…yeah, I think I listed all of the important things. Ford is fantastic as Indiana Jones (no surprise there, he was terrific as Han Solo as well) as are all of the cast in their respective parts. Steven Spielberg is like a kid in a candy store behind the camera and John Williams score is completely iconic. None of the other Indiana Jones movies are as good as this one (although The Last Crusade comes close…gotta love me some Sean Connery). If you haven’t seen Raiders (I think you must live under a rock if you haven’t) go and see it immediately. You won’t regret it.

And on a totally unrelated sidenote: Does anyone else want to marry Seth MacFarlane after watching the Oscars last night, or is it just me? (Call me, Seth!)

OPI Dusk Over Cairo

My polish for this movie is OPI’s Dusk Over Cairo, a coral-y mauve frost monster that was a little bit sheer. This picture is three coats without a topcoat. It’s kind of a matronly color, but I will admit it is a pretty shade and does remind me of a fiery sunset. Still, not my cup of tea. ~K

The Great Race

The Great Race is one of the best movies ever.  Yeah, I went there.  But seriously, if you haven’t seen it, as K would say, go do it immediately.  If you enjoy zany, mad-cap movies, this one’s the granddaddy.  And I love it.

Jack Lemon is at the top of his game, and his game is always good, as the black-clad, mustache-twirling villain, Professor Fate and as his doppelganger Prince Hapnick.  Tony Curtis is equally smarmy and charming as the hero with the sparkling smile, and Natalie Wood is fantastic as a suffragette who insists on equality between the sexes, but uses her feminine wiles to get her way.

The Great Leslie (Tony) and Professor Fate are arch rivals in just about everything they do.  When Leslie comes up with the idea for a race from New York to Paris, Professor Fate is determined to beat him.  Maggie Dubois has determinations of her own, which include being the only journalist to cover the entire race.  They, along with Professor Fate’s assistant Max (Peter Faulk) and Leslie’s (Keenan Wynn), have many misadventures along the way.  There’s a bar fight in the old west, crossing the pacific on an iceberg, and quite possibly the most awesome pie fight ever filmed.

China Glaze Street Racing

This picture is two coats of China Glaze’s Street Racing.  I really like the color of this polish.  It’s weird, but I’m not a huge fan of orange, but I have always liked it on my nails.  Anyway, the coverage was good, but the formula was a little runny, which was a bit problematic.  My only caution, if you use this polish, start slowly so you don’t overdo it.  A little goes a long way. ~E

The Forbidden Kingdom

Jackie Chan and Jet Li in a movie together. You know I’m there. And The Forbidden Kingdom didn’t disappoint. It is the story of kung-fu obsessed teen (Michael Angarano, who I will always think of as Will Stronghold), who is drawn into a quest in an alternate, magical and ancient China. There he is befriended (which might be too strong a word) by a drunken Immortal (Jackie Chan), a stoic monk (Jet Li), and a knife throwing orphan girl (Yifei Liu). They set off to return a powerful staff to the cursed Monkey King (also Li, smiling more in one scene than I’ve ever seen him in all of his movies combined), the only person who is powerful enough to defeat the evil Jade Warlord (Collin Chou).

There are some wonderful action sequences here (obviously) and it’s great to see Chan’s and Li’s different fighting styles up against each other (I’m especially fond of Chan’s use of handy props in his fight choreography). The filmography is beautiful (I so want to visit China) and the acting if pretty darn good. The plot is perhaps the weakest point, but if you just turn off your brain (not too much, or you won’t understand what is going on) and just sit back, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the ride as much as I did.

China Glaze Adventure Red-y

This is China Glaze’s Adventure Red-y from last Fall’s On Safari Collection. It is a deep red/burgundy cream (trust me, it’s a lot darker and vampier in real life than it is in this picture) that applied beautifully. I almost got away with 1 coat, but needed 2 to even out some bald patches. A very flattering color, if a little boring. ~K

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I didn’t love The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  There were aspects of it that I liked, but overall, it left me feeling kind of blah.  I thought the cast was first rate, particularly Dev Patel, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and of course Maggie Smith.  I liked the premise, but there was just something that rubbed me the wrong way about it.

The movie centers around Evelyn (Judi Dench), a recent widow who has to sell her home to pay off her husband’s debts.  This leaves her in a predicament similar to several other elderly Brits: ready to retire but not satisfied with the options available.  This group includes Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Jean Anislie (Penelope Wilton), who have been married for 39 years, Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), a recently retired high court judge, Muriel (Maggie Smith), a racist former housekeeper heading to India for a hip replacement, Norman is a skirt-chaser who is a bit past his prime, and Madge (Celia Imrie), who is out to find herself a wealthy husband.

Evelyn and her troop head out to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in India, run by Sonny, an eternal optimist whose hotel leans a little more on the side of a dump than a perfect retirement place for “the elderly and beautiful”.  Some adjust better than others.  Evelyn thrives, whereas Ms. Anislie struggles.  Graham reconnects with his past, and Muriel starts connecting with the Indians around her.

If the cast sounds like a list of who’s who in the British acting community, it is, and they all bring their A-game.  Unfortunately, the material just isn’t up to par.  I wanted to like this movie, but I just didn’t.

On a side note, if you missed the Golden Globes, check out Will Farrell and Kristen Wiig introducing the Best Actress nominees.  This is what really made me want to see this movie, even though it didn’t live up to their description.

OPI Black Cherry Chutney

Going along with the Indian theme, I give you OPI’s Black Cherry Chutney.  This is a pretty awesome polish, and I’m not just saying that because it reminds me of black cherry soda (I do love me some black cherry soda).  This is a beautiful deep, reddish-purple color.  Application was a breeze and this picture is only two coats.  As opposed to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Black Cherry Chutney is a definite keeper! ~E

Maverick & Pure Ice Royal Flush

Maverick

Here’s another of my favorites. Maverick tells the story of Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) a cowardly card sharp who is in a race against time to win enough money to enter the poker game of a lifetime. On the way, he meets lovely con artist Annabelle (Jodie Foster, who’s never looked lovelier) and aging lawman Coop (James Garner, of course…they couldn’t make a Maverick movie without him), along with a murderous Mexican (Alfred Molina) and scads of other colorful characters.

This comedy makes the Old West seem like a fun and wacky place, a place I wouldn’t mind visiting (except for maybe the corsets). And the actors are having a blast there as well. The banter between Mel, Jodie and James is beyond fantastic and I don’t even mind Randy Newman’s score (it sounds like all of his other scores, of course, but I love this movie too much to care). Keep your eyes out, there are a ton of cameos in this one and several nods to other movies.

Pure Ice Royal Flush

This picture is two coats of Pure Ice’s Royal Flush, one of the dozen purple/gold shimmers I own. This one probably need 3 coats, but it was still nice (and nicely priced too). I would say the quality was comparable to the more expensive brands, so if money is an issue, Royal Flush is your best bet (did you see what I did there?). ~K

Xanadu

I loved Xanadu.  It was a little weird, but completely hilarious.  Oh, sorry, did you think I was talking about the movie?  Yeah, no.  I was talking about the Broadway musical based on the movie, which was about a million times better than the movie.  I mean, for a movie that has an animated sequence where the two main characters turn into fishes and then birds (yeah, you heard that right—birds and fishes), it took itself a little too seriously.  That was the main reason I loved the musical and the movie left me feeling sort of meh.  The musical understood that the plot was absurd and the characters were kind of obnoxious, but they made it work by sort of winking at the audience the entire time.

Okay, so I didn’t hate the movie Xanadu.  I loved the music, and I was surprised to find that I knew a lot of the songs already (I have since found out that my parents used to listen to the soundtrack when I was young).  Olivia Newton-John was adorable, and Gene Kelly, even at 68 was all charm and finesse, dancing all over the place.  As for the leading man, Michael Beck was laughably bad.  I’m pretty sure they could have found someone who could act and had at least a little charisma to play Sonny Malone.

As for the plot, Sonny Malone is an artist, struggling to find inspiration.  Enter Kira, a beautiful woman who turns his world upside down and encourages him to help his new friend Danny (Gene Kelly) open a nightclub named Xanadu.  Eventually, we find out that Kira is a muse who comes to Earth to help inspire creativity in artists, including Danny when he was a young musician.  Despite her best efforts, Kira falls in love with Sonny, but it’s up to a higher power to decide if they will ever get to be together.

L'Oreal The Muse's Inspiration 2

L’Oreal’s The Muse’s Inspiration was too perfect of a fit for this movie to pass up.  I’m not usually a big fan of orange, but I quite liked this polish.  It’s an orange base with gold shimmer.  The formula was pretty nice, and this picture is only two coats, which is lovely for an impatient person like me. ~E

The Road to El Dorado

This is one of the movies I quote the most. I can’t help it. Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline have so much fun bantering and both are so witty that they can’t help but spew scads of quotable nonsense. Sure, The Road to El Dorado is a silly movie, but the two leads elevate it to something wonderful.

Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) and his partner Tulio (Kevin Kline) are Spanish conmen/adventurers. Through a series of misadventures (involving a pair of loaded dice, a treasure map and two barrels of pickles) they end up on a ship bound for the New World. Since Miguel is an optimistic dreamer and Tulio is a gold-hungry schemer, they go searching for the mythical city of gold, El Dorado. And wouldn’t you know it, they actually find the place! Due to an ancient prophecy, our hapless heroes are mistaken for gods by the natives, and with the help of a surprisingly streetsmart young lady named Chel (Rosie Perez), they struggle to keep the pretense going long enough to get a load of gold and escape back to Spain.

As I said before, the cast really makes this movie. I think they pretty much put Kevin and Kenneth in a room with props and a microphone and told them to go to town. It’s awesome. (On a side note: my friend Sarah and I used to call ourselves Miguel and Tulio…I was Tulio, not because I’m a ruthless schemer, but because I have dark hair…honestly…)

Catherine Arley 807

This is one of Catherine Arley’s fantastic holographic polishes, a shimmery gold. This picture is two coats and a topcoat. Gold really isn’t my color, but look at this! It’s just so pretty, right? The application was a little bit streaky, but once it dried, that pretty much disappeared. ~K

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