Category: a-england

A Month By the Lake

I really didn’t like A Month by the Lake. I mean, I didn’t have super high hopes, since it is a film I had never heard of before I saw it at the library and usually, word spreads about good movies. On occasion, you can find a little-known gem, but those are less common than finding little-known time wasters.

The story opens with Miss Bentley (Vanessa Redgrave) at an Italian villa on Lake Como. She and her father used to stay there for a month every year, but since her father has recently died, she is the only English guest. That is until Major Wilshaw arrives and he (or rather his ears) catch Ms. Bentley’s attention. Uma Thurman comes to the villa as a nanny, and she catches Major Wilshaw’s attention.

For being considered a romantic comedy, this movie isn’t very funny. Not only that, it’s confusing. It was difficult to understand anyone’s motivation. Why does Miss Bentley like Major Wilshaw so much when he treats her so terribly? Same goes for Major Wilshaw and Ms. Beaumont (Uma). The story was hard to follow, and it just wasn’t interesting. If I was Miss Bentley, I would have paid a lot more attention to the young and attractive Italian fellow that followed her around like a puppy dog. So much better looking than the major, plus he was totally smitten.

Watching this movie just made me wish I was watching another Vanessa Redgrave in Italy movie, Letters to Juliet, which is by no means the best of the best. It was just a lot more fun than this movie. I will admit that the locations for this movie were incredible, and for Star Wars fans, you might be able to pick out locations from Attack of the Clones, as this is the same area that stood in for the lake country in Naboo.

a-england Lady of the Lake

On the other hand, I absolutely adored a-england’s Lady of the Lake.  This is a purple holographic polish that has a subtle gold shimmer.  The formula was great and this picture is two coats.  It dried nicely and it is just so pretty! ~E

So, 2012 was really the year of action movies.  I love chick flicks, but there weren’t many worth mentioning this year (maybe Salmon Fishing in the Yemen or One For the Money, but they didn’t make it into my top ten).  Here’s my top ten list, which are in no particular order (and bear in mind that there are many movies from this year I haven’t seen yet):

The Avengers-Robert Downey Jr + Chris Evans + Joss Whedon + Mark Ruffalo + Chris Hemsworth = Total and complete awesomeness!

The Dark Knight Rises-This movie blew my mind.  Anne Hathaway was amazing.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey-I love Martin Freeman.  I can’t wait for some Benedict Cumberbatch and Lee Pace in the next ones.

Les Miserables-I love music and I love Hugh Jackman.  I was kind of blown away by the singing and acting in this movie.  I anticipated being disappointed, but I wasn’t.

Brave-I have been told I am Merida, but that’s mostly just for my crazy, curly red hair.

Wreck-It Ralph-I thought I would hate this movie, but it just wasn’t to be.  Loved it!

Pitch Perfect-With a little less puking and a little less sex-talk, this movie would have been just about perfect.  Like I said, I love music.

The Hunger Games-I’m so glad they downplayed the violence.  Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson were great.

People Like Us-I know that this wasn’t a super popular movie, but I quite enjoyed it.  Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks were completely believable as siblings.

The Life of Pi-This movie was amazing.  I don’t know if I will ever watch it again because it took such an emotional toll on me.  I mean, a girl can only cry so much.

Honorable Mentions:

John Carter


Mirror Mirror

Rise of the Guardians

Trouble with the Curve

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

E’s Favorite Varnishes

(These are not necessarily polishes that came out this year, just ones that were reviewed by us this year)

Sephora + Pantone Universe Rose Dawn

Sephora + Pantone Rose Dawn (Sleeping Beauty)

All That Glitters Book Smart Beauty

All That Glitters Book Smart Beauty (Beauty and the Beast)

Zoya Anthea

Zoya Anthea (Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan)

Duri Unexpected Kiss

Duri Unexpected Kiss (Flipped)

OPI Mermaid's Tears

OPI Mermaid’s Tears (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides)

Butter London Lady Muck

Butter London Lady Muck (The Princess Bride)

Sephora by OPI Who Let the Dorks Out

Sephora by OPI Who Let the Dorks Out (Sydney White)

OPI Ocean Love Potion

OPI Ocean Love Potion (Ponyo)

OPI Skull and Glossbones

OPI Skull and Glossbones (Peter Pan)

OPI Out of this World

OPI Out of This World (John Carter)

K’s Favorite Varnishes

Butter London Victoriana

Butter London Victoriana (The Young Victoria)

Color Club Gift of Sparkle

Color Club Gift of Sparkle (Ramona and Beezus)

Zoya Blaze

Zoya Blaze

a-england Princess Tears

a-england Princess Tears (Tangled)

Sephora + Pantone Universe Purple Parachute

Sephora + Pantone Universe Purple Parachute

Revlon Whimsical

Revlon Whimsical (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium)

Cirque Dark Horse

Cirque Dark Horse (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)

Pretty Serious Creature Crush

Pretty Serious Creature Crush

Hare Polish The Monster

Hare Polish The Monster (Monsters Inc.)

Barielle Falling Star

Barielle Falling Star (Stardust)

This one is actually a request from S, my sister from another mister. (My first request. Yay!)

I remember being so offended when Disney changed the title from “Rapunzel” to Tangled and shifted the focus of the ad campaign away from the princess and onto the swashbuckling rogue. Disney has always been a boys’ club, but now they’ve turned their backs on what made them great (and rich) in the first place (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, just to name a few). John Lasseter will always have a special place in my heart because of Pixar (who took their own sweet time in giving us a leading heroine), but shame on him for burying the princesses.

Now, having said all that, I do love Tangled. The story is considerably reworked from the original fairytale, but the basics are still there: girl with impossibly long hair is locked in a tower by an evil witch (we even get to hear the famous “Let down your hair” line a couple of times). But now we have more of a backstory as to why the witch keeps Rapunzel locked up and why her hair isn’t cut (beyond the obvious virginity metaphor). Also, the prince is now a charming outlaw on the run named Flynn Rider who acts as Rapunzel’s guide to the outside world.

The animation is lush and bright, with a faintly hazy quality, like old French paintings. It’s so good to have Alan Menken back on board, doing that voodoo he does do so well. The songs are catchy and I wish there were more of them. As for the cast, Mandy Moore is adorable as Rapunzel, full of pluck and sweetness, while Zachary Levi (who can do no wrong in my book) made me fall in love with Flynn right away. Donna Murphy is sheer perfection as the villain, Mother Gothel, and it is clear that she is having a ball.

When S requested a review of Tangled, I couldn’t think of an appropriate polish off the top of my head, so I turned to my list. A-england was the first brand (my list is alphabetical, ’cause that’s how I roll) and my first a-england polish is Princess Tears. And for those of you who have seen Tangled, how perfect is that?


Natural Light

Princess Tears (from The Legend Collection) is a pale lilac holographic varnish with a flash of pink/green duochrome (you can see the pink in the first picture and the green very faintly in the second picture). This is two coats (because all a-england polishes apply like buttah) and isn’t it just gorgeous? ~K

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