Category: 2010s


Shrek Forever After

Okay, so I’m back again. Hopefully the posts will be a little more consistant this week, but…we’ll see. My review for today is the last of the Shrek movies, and although Forever After isn’t the best of the four, at least it’s not the worst. In fact, it’s actually okay…for a fourquel (yup, I just invented that word).

Shrek finds himself longing for the happy days when he was a “real” ogre, not the domesticated one that family life and fame has made him. On a stupid whim, he makes a deal with creepy little wish granter, Rumplestiltskin, and finds that he never befriended Donkey, never rescued Fiona and never saved the kingdom of Far Far Away. In fact, he was never born at all and at the end of the day will cease to exist entirely. He sets out on (another) quest to accomplish all of the things he already did in the first three movies and set everything right again.

Puss and Donkey are hilarious as usual, although I find that the scenes with the other ogres fall flat. There are several jokes that I know are supposed to be funny, but aren’t. I do like the introduction of the Pied Piper as an assasin who can make any species of his choice bust a move and Rumplestiltskin, though a little bit annoying, has possibly one of the best villain lines ever (“Nobody’s smart but me!”). I don’t know that this installment was necessary, since it retreads a lot of ground already covered, but it did give me just a taste of why I fell in love with the first two movies. (Oh, and did I mention Fat Puss? Hilarious!)

OPI Who the Shrek Are You

This picture is 3 coats of OPI’s Who the Shrek Are You (from the collection that came out at the same time as this movie). It is a perfect Shrek green although it was a little bit runny and tended to drag during application. It’s not really my color, as it makes my skin look very red, but I’m sure it would look fabulous on people with darker skin. ~K

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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

The Decoy Bride

We are big Doctor Who fans in my family, well at least most of us are.  It seems like most of us fell in love with the show when David Tennant was the Doctor, so he holds a special place in all of our hearts, especially K’s.  When I was picking up something from the library recently, I was quickly scanning the movies as I walked past and The Decoy Bride immediately caught my eye.  There was a movie that has David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald (who I have thought is wonderful ever since the first Nanny McPhee movie)?  How was it possible that none of us had ever seen this movie?  The situation needed to be rectified immediately!

In the movie, Alice Eve is Lara Tyler, one of the biggest stars on the planet, and she is trying to marry author James Arber (David Tenant) in a quiet, paparazzi free ceremony.  Unfortunately, this seems like an almost impossible feat, until Lara decides she wants to get married on the tiny Scottish island of Hegg, which is the setting of James’ one book.  Although the plan seems brilliant, the paparazzi inevitably finds out so a new plan has to be hatched, one involving a decoy bride.

Kelly Macdonald is Katie, a local girl who escaped the island only to return after her fiancé breaks her heart.  She is recruited to be the decoy bride and fool the paparazzi into thinking the wedding has happened so they will leave Lara to get married in peace.  James and Katie end up spending a lot of time together, and James starts to have doubts about his and Lara’s relationship.

I thought this movie would be kind of silly, and it is, but in a good way.  This is mostly thanks to Kelly Macdonald who is an absolute mess, but a totally adorable one.  David doesn’t really have too much to do, but there is a bagpipe scene that is funny and sweet at the same time.  It’s sad that David Tenant is in a movie set in Scotland but didn’t get to use his native Scottish accent.

China Glaze Diva Bride

China Glaze’s Diva Bride is a super light pink cream.  Honestly, I didn’t love this color.  It took four coats to be even close to opaque, and application was rough at best.  The color was cute, but also kind of blasé.  It just wasn’t really worth the effort. ~E

Mirror Mirror & Orly Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror

When I heard they were doing two Snow White movies last year, I was a little surprised, as Snow White is not my favorite fairy tale. I’m not really a Kristen Stewart fan, but I rather like Julia Roberts, so I elected to see Mirror Mirror in theaters instead of Snow White and the Huntsman (a girl on a tight budget can only shell out the big bucks for so many movies, ya know?). After finally seeing the latter, I knew I had made the right choice with Mirror Mirror. I like a good, epic-type movie as much as the next person, but Mirror Mirror was just so much fun! I know, I know, parts of it are really silly, but other parts are genuinely hysterical (Armie Hammer licking Julia Roberts’ face, comedy gold my friends!).

The story starts off in a pretty familiar vein: Evil queen, beautiful princess, handsome prince, seven dwarves, and a magic mirror. Where this story goes off a little is when the dwarves teach Snow White to fight and she has a really fun battle with the prince. In this version, the queen also decides to marry the much younger prince upon learning of his family’s extreme wealth. Since he’s totally smitten with Snow White, even after she bests him in the forest, the queen has a problem, but not one that a little love potion can’t fix. Unfortunately, the queen gives the prince a puppy love potion, hence the face licking. Luckily for the prince, Snow and the dwarves kidnap him before the queen has a chance to marry him and after many failed attempts, they figure out how to break the spell (hint: it involves lips). Of course good triumphs over evil and Snow gets to rub her happy ending in the queen’s face. There’s also a funny, albeit a slightly odd, Bollywood type sequence at the end.

Although the cast of this movie is absolutely fantastic, the real star is the stunning visuals. The colors of the sets and costumes are incredibly eye-catching; the entire production design is just lovely.

Orly Mirror Mirror

When K told me about Orly’s Once Upon a Time Collection, I was pretty excited, since I love me a good fairy tale. Plus it had a polish called Mirror Mirror, which was perfect for this movie. Then the polish came and I was a little disappointed. A plain old gray cream, with absolutely no sparkles to be seen? I mean, doesn’t everyone know that princesses love things that sparkle?

Well, I put on the polish, and of course I liked it.  I always thought I wasn’t a cream polish person, but apparently I am.  I also didn’t realize I liked gray polishes, but they seem to go really well with my skin tone.  Who knew?  Anyway, this picture is three coats and it definitely needs a third coat to smooth everything out.  Even though it didn’t sparkle, I still liked Orly’s Mirror Mirror. ~E

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

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

The Dark Knight Rises

I’ve got to admit, I was a little leery about The Dark Knight Rises.  I mean, how could it possibly be as awesome as The Dark Knight? Not possible, right?  Well, I shouldn’t have worried because The Dark Knight Rises is just as good, and maybe even better than The Dark Knight.  That tricksy Christopher Nolan!  How is it fair that one person is that brilliant and creative?

The story picks up eight years after Batman’s ordeal with the Joker and Two-Face/Harvey Dent.  Thanks to the Dent Act, Gotham City is the safest it has been in years and Commissioner Gordon has almost eradicated organized crime.  After taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s death, Batman has completely disappeared and Bruce Wayne has practically become a hermit, hiding away in his ginormous mansion, pining over his lost love.

Enter Selina Kyle, a bewitching cat burglar who breaks into Bruce’s house to steal his fingerprints to get “the clean slate”, something that will entirely erase her past so she can start a new life.  Meanwhile, a terrorist named Bane is up to no good in the sewers of Gotham and Commissioner Gordon goes down to investigate. He is wounded and later found by John Blake, a young cop who has figured out Batman’s true identity.  Eventually, Batman and Bane meet, and the results aren’t too good for Batman.

I don’t have time to say much more, but this really is an epic conclusion to this Batman trilogy.  The best part of this movie is all the throwbacks to the two previous movies.  That, and the terrific cast.  Not only are Christian Bale, Michael Kane, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman back, but Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt join in on the fun.  Everyone in this cast is fantastic.  Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman is amazing and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is terrific in everything, shines in this.

China Glaze Purr-fect Plum

Catwoman would definitely approve of China Glaze’s Purr-fect Plum.  It is a lovely purple cream polish.  I quite liked the color; this picture is two coats.  This polish has the same problem that most creams have, which is that it takes too long to dry!  That being said, I did like this polish.  Honestly, if cream polishes dried faster, I would really love them!

Brave & China Glaze Red-Curl-Grl

Brave

Brave is Pixar’s first attempt at stepping out of their little boys’ club and giving us a female heroine, and they do a pretty good job.  Is this my favorite Pixar, no.  Did I think Wreck-It Ralph seemed more like a Pixar and Brave more like a Disney, yes.  Either way, the heroine and I both share crazy curly red hair, so I am of course naturally drawn to her story.

Merida is the heroine in question.  She is a fiery tomboy who would much rather spend her time outside shooting arrows than inside having princess lessons with her mother.  Yes, Merida is a Medieval Scottish princess who longs for much more than an arranged marriage to one of the sons of the three other clan leaders (and who can blame her, one is a giant who is totally incomprehensible, a cocky wannabe rock star type that has anger management issues, and a tiny fellow with a penchant for biting).  After a particularly unpleasant fight with her mother, Merida runs away to the woods where she follows the trail of the will-o’-the-wisps to a witch’s cottage (a witch who is posing as a woodcarver).  The witch gives Merida a spell to change her fate that sets in motion one heck of a mother-daughter bonding experience.

I am so happy they got an actual Scottish actress to play the lead.  Kelly MacDonald is terrific as the spirited Merida and Emma Thompson, who is always terrific in just about anything, is her mother Elinor.  Billy Connolly is King Fergus and Julie Walters is the witch in the woods (she has some of the best moments).  Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid to you Harry Potter fans), Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson play the three lords from the different clans.  The real scene stealers in this movie are Merida’s triplet brothers.  They don’t have any lines, but they are hilarious.

China Glaze Red-Curl-Grl

China Glaze’s Red-Curl-Grl seemed like the most fitting polish for this tale of a ginger princess.  The formula was terrific.  It was a little wet, but if you just use a tiny bit at a time, the coverage is spot on.  I probably could have gotten away with only one coat, but I went with two just to be safe.  This polish is a red polish with tons of pink shimmer.  It really is a pretty polish.  My only problem with this polish is that it is red, which I don’t love with my skin tone.

All in all, a nice polish for a really beautiful and fun movie. ~E

Rock of Ages & Orly Rock Solid

Rock of Ages

I’ll admit it; I didn’t know a lot of the songs covered in Rock of Ages. I’m not really up on my ’80’s rock (I was listening to ’60’s rock in the ’80’s). So I wasn’t as interested in the premise of this movie as others of my generation might be. However, I like a good musical, so I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good musical. I think Les Miserables has spoiled me for traditionally recorded movie musicals. The actors look so ridiculous mouthing to their own voice tracks–I can’t even take them seriously anymore. But that’s not Rock of Ages big problem. It’s too long, too boring and too disjointed. Even the actors don’t seem to take the proceedings very seriously, except for Tom Cruise who commits fully as Stacee Jaxx, a boozed up parody of veteran rockers. And Tom has a surprisingly good voice…he’s come a long way from the cocky jet pilot who brayed “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” in Top Gun.

The plot is surprisingly uncomplicated for such a very long film. A young singer with big dreams (Julianne Hough, skanking it up as usual) arrives in LA only to become a waitress and then stripper. She meets another young dreamer (Diego Boneta) who actually does make it to the big time, only to be transformed into a boy band wannabe. These two crazy kids fall in love with the backdrop of a failing rock club where the aforementioned Stacee Jaxx got his first big break. This club is on the verge of being shut down by the mayor’s fanatic wife (Catherine Zeta Jones) and her posse of religious housewives, so the owner (Alec Baldwin, looking old and scruffy) stages a comeback for his old friend.

If you’re interested in the music or curious to hear these assorted actors sing, pick up the soundtrack. Otherwise, skip this one.

Orly Rock Solid

This is Orly’s Rock Solid, a gunmetal gray shimmer with large flecks of silver and bits of holographic glitter. The above picture is 3 coats (this one was surprisingly sheer for a polish with so much going on) and no topcoat, which left it surprisingly rough to the touch. ~K

Extraordinary Measures

Until Extraordinary Measures, I knew nothing about Pompe disease.  I still don’t know much, but I knew I wanted to see this for one big reason: Brendan Fraser.  Harrison Ford and Keri Russell were nice additions as well, but really, I love me some Brendan, even if most of his movies are a little childish.

Anyway, he is terrific as a father who does everything he can to find a cure to Pompe disease, which affects two of his children.  In his quest, he meets up with Dr. Stonehill (Harrison Ford), a sort of eccentric doctor who is pioneering research on a drug to treat Pompe.  Even though they butt heads, a lot, they both throw themselves entirely into working on the drug.

I knew going into this I would probably get choked-up, and I did a few times.  The kids in this are really the main emotional tug, but Brendan and Keri (who plays his wife), have their moments as well.  Yes, it’s a little cloying at times, but overall, not a bad way to spend two hours.

Color Club Rule Breaker

This picture is two coats of Color Club’s Rule Breaker.  This polish is a lovely green polish with almost teal shimmer.  It really is beautiful.  The formula was good, after the first coat.  The second coat smoothed everything out nicely. ~E

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