Tag Archive: 2004

Shrek 2

So sorry about the unexpected hiatus, ladies. The last few weeks have been a little rough on me, but hopefully things are looking up and we can continue with our reviews of the Shrek series. Shrek 2 is by far my favorite of the Shrek movies. In it, Shrek and Fiona are just settling into married life when they are summoned to the Kingdom of Far Far Away to receive her parents’ blessing. Unfortunately for King Harold (John Cleese) and Queen Lilian (Julie Andrews), they weren’t expecting their daughter to marry a big green ogre and permanently become an ogre herself. Also less than pleased is Fiona’s Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), who had big plans to marry Fiona off to her own son, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett). Adding to his odd assortment of groupies, Shrek befriends a swashbuckling kitty named Puss (Antonio Banderas), much to Donkey’s (Eddie Murphy) annoyance.

The voice cast is first rate (I’m particularly fond of Ms. Saunders and Mr. Everett as the baddies) and the story is vastly entertaining (and maybe a bit more believable than the story of the first movie). Hopefully I’m not spoiling anything when I mention how much I enjoy Shrek as a human. Stroke of genius on the writer’s part! Puss in Boots is also a great addition, I just find it a bit odd that he is bent on murdering Shrek one moment, then his best buddy in the whole world the next. A little convenient, right? Another great thing about this movie (and the Shrek movies in general) is the soundtrack. A fantastic listen.

All That Glitters Kissing on a Frog

This is 3 coats of All That Glitters Kissing on a Frog, a polish inspired by Disney’s Princess and the Frog, but I felt that it would work here (considering the ending) and I don’t regret choosing it for a moment. In fact, I pretty much LOVE this nail polish. It’s a shimmery gold/green base with a variety of different sized hex glitters in greens and periwinkle. The application was smooth and lovely and the glitter simply beautiful! My only quibbles are the sheerness of the base and the slight bending of the metallic glitters. Maybe that’s inevitable with metallic glitters, though. Although this polish is no longer available, All That Glitters has many other amazing polishes at their etsy shop here. ~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

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

Growing up, my two sisters both loved Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.  Personally, I was never that interested; gothic romances have never really struck a chord with me.  I’m not sure when that changed, but I did eventually see The Phantom of the Opera when the national tour made a stop in our area and I enjoyed it.  The actor who played the Phantom was phenomenal.

Even after seeing the play, I was still just warming up to the entire spectacle that is TPotO.  Then the movie came out.  I don’t know why I loved it so much, although Gerard Butler might have something to do with it.  Anyway, I saw the movie the day it came out, I bought the soundtrack, and once the DVD came out, I bought that too.

As for the movie itself, it has a lot going for it, and Gerard Butler is just the tip of the iceberg.  I’ll admit, his singing didn’t immediately impress me, but it has definitely grown on me.  Yes, his voice is a little on the gravelly side, but he hits all the notes and there are times when his voice is just so pure, it takes my breath away.  Also, he is so attractive, even with only half of his face exposed—he makes the mask work, and his acting is pretty heartbreaking.

Patrick Wilson is the perfect Raoul.  Personally, I’ve never been crazy about the character, but he was always the lesser of two evils when it came down to him or the Phantom.  Patrick, on the other hand, makes Raoul seem sympathetic and even likeable.  Not to mention, he has an outstanding voice.

The production values of this movie are also impressive.  The scenery and the costumes are pretty amazing.  When the chandelier comes back to life at the very beginning of the movie and the theater is returned to its former glory, it’s magical.

Minnie Driver seems to be enjoying her role as Carlotta, even though her singing was dubbed.  Miranda Richardson, although not the best singer in the world, is very good as Madame Giry.

On the other hand, this movie has plenty of problems, namely, the director and the female star.  Joel Schumacher is famous for directing the movie that put nipples on the Batsuit, and although he didn’t totally destroy TPotO, it isn’t as great as it should have been.  There are odd forward flashes of Raoul heading toward the cemetery to visit Christine’s grave.  There are also several snippets of songs that are spoken instead of sung.  It is weird.

Emmy Rossum as Christine is beautiful, but she just doesn’t have the required voice for the part.  Granted she has the range, but her voice is very nasally and weak.  As K likes to say, her voice never would have carried past the footlights and she would have been booed off the stage at a realy opera in the 1870s.  Her acting is also kind of bland.

My favorite part of the entire movie is the Point of No Return scene.  It just smolders, which I guess was kind of the intention.  Gerard Butler in the black mask and the puffy shirt (if men only knew how attractive puffy shirts were, they would always wear them) is the epitome of sexy.

To compliment this scene, I chose to paint my nails with Milani’s Spellbinding.  Because the Phantom has some sort of unexplainable power over Christine, I also thought this was an appropriate polish.

This is a black base chock full of red glitter.  It really is a stunning polish.  This picture is two coats and a top coat.  The formula is pretty good and went on smoothly.  Because of the glitter, it was a little tricky getting off, but not too terrible.  I also didn’t have too much of a staining problem, which often happens with black polishes. ~E

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