Tag Archive: 2012


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

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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

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

The Lorax

When I was little, I really liked the hand-drawn cartoon version of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and I think that made me hesitant to give this newer version a chance. Plus, I felt inundated by an advertising campaign that, quite frankly, made this movie look childish and stupid.

Although I can’t completely say The Lorax isn’t a bit childish (some of the musical numbers-especially the opening and closing ones-are pretty cloying and most of the forest animal pratfalls are directly aimed at younger viewers), it definitely isn’t stupid. There were several scenes that genuinely touched my heart in a similar way to the original story.

The movie begins in idyllic Thneedville, where everything is seemingly perfect, but the residents have to buy fresh air from nasty Mayor O’Hare and all the of plant-life is artificial. Young Ted Wiggins (Zac Efron) has a crush on his neighbor Audrey (Taylor Swift) and sets out to find a tree for her. His Grandma (Betty White) sends him to see the Once-ler (Ed Helms), a mysterious individual who lives far outside of the city. Ted is astonished by the desolation and pollution beyond the city walls and the Once-ler is reluctant to explain what happened. Eventually Ted learns the truth about the fate of the Truffula trees and how the magical protector of the forest, The Lorax (Danny DeVito) tried to save them.

The voice cast is quite good, especially Ed Helms who has the best musical numbers and really gives the Once-ler a soul. I find it really odd that they cast Zac Efron and Taylor Swift in a cartoon musical and then didn’t give them any songs to sing. Maybe their songs were cut? Anyway, I wish there was a little more of the source material here, but that’s nitpicking.

China Glaze Tree Hugger

My polish for this movie is China Glaze’s Tree Hugger from their Spring 2008 Ecollection. This is a shimmery, almost lime green that is quite striking on the nails. The formula was a little thin, and required 3 coats for full coverage. ~K

Moonrise Kingdom

I figured I would like this movie. Something about Wes Anderson’s quirky worldview appeals to me, and Moonrise Kingdom had quirks to spare. But I was surprised at how much I liked this movie (and a little disappointed that I didn’t see it before we made our best of 2012 list).

It’s the story of a small New England island, right before a huge storm, where the search is on for two preteen runaways. Sam and Suzy are in love and want to escape from their lives (something I think we all wish we could do at one time or another), much to the chagrin of most of the adults around them.

The locations are breathtakingly beautiful, like in a fairy tale. And the score encourages that feeling as well. The acting is great all around, with special mention going out to Edward Norton as a devoted Scout leader and the two young leads who, although maybe not technically proficient, add a maturity to the proceedings that the adults seem to lack. In fact, I would say that the children in this movie act far more like adults than the adults themselves. And maybe that’s why I liked this movie so much, because when I was a kid, I felt so very grown up and now that I’m a grownup, I’m just a big kid. I don’t know…maybe everyone feels that way?

Sally Hansen Moonstone

I was surprised by how much I liked this polish, too. Sally Hansen’s Moonstone is a white shimmer that shifts to pink and green in certain lights. I’m not really a big fan of white, frosty polishes, but this was just too gorgeous not to love. This would make for a lovely wedding manicure–traditional, but just a little bit edgy. The above photo is 3 coats and a topcoat. ~K

 

People Like Us

There really is no need for me to reiterate how much I love Chris Pine, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I have loved him since I first saw his beautiful blue eyes in The Princess Diaries 2, all the way to his days as James Kirk.  With all that Christ Pine love, you’d think I would have seen more of his movies in theaters.  For all you Star Trek fans out there, don’t worry, I’ll be seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, probably opening day.  Partly because of Chris Pine, but also because Benedict Cumberbatch is another of my celebrity crushes (okay, so let’s be honest, I have a bazillion celebrity crushes).

So now that I have gotten way off track, People Like Us.  I liked this movie, but that was kind of unavoidable.  After all, I love Chris Pine, and I quite like Elizabeth Banks, and they are both quite good.  Chris Pine is Sam and he is kind of a screw up that gets by on his charm and good looks.  After he gets himself and his company in big trouble, he finds out his record-producer father has passed away.  Because of his bad relationship with his father, he doesn’t really want to go home for the funeral, but he eventually makes it back to his childhood home.

Sam receives his father’s shaving kit from the family attorney, which is filled with $150,000 and a note asking Sam to give the money to Josh Davis.  Because Sam has no idea who Josh Davis is and because he needs the money to dig himself out of the hole he created, he decides to keep the money.  Curiosity gets the better of him and eventually he finds out that he has a half-sister named Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), who is a recovering alcoholic and a single mother of the aforementioned Josh.  Sam gets all mixed up in their lives but lacks the courage to tell Frankie who he really is.  You probably can guess what happens, but she eventually finds out and things don’t go well.  Of course it all turns out okay, since this is a movie after all.  The ending is actually quite sweet.

China Glaze Cowardly Lyin'

In honor of Sam, today’s polish is China Glaze’s Cowardly Lyin’, since he did a lot of lying and he was kind of a coward.  The polish is a gold base with gold glitter.  This picture is three coats, and it’s still not quite opaque.   I’ve never been a huge fan of gold, and this polish is really no exception.  I personally would pick silver any day of the week over gold. ~E

Dark Shadows

I am a pretty big Tim Burton fan. Have been for as long as I can remember. And as for Johnny Depp, well, I am in love with him. I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed by their version of Alice in Wonderland, but that is nothing compared to the hot mess that is Dark Shadows. Johnny stars as Barnabas Collins, a man who is cursed to be a vampire when he spurns the love of a witch named Angelique (Eva Green). Not only does she curse him, she also kills his fiance, Josette (Bella Heathcote), and buries him alive (or rather undead) in a coffin. Almost 200 years later, Barnabas is dug up and moves back in with the remnants of his family (Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Grace Moretz and Gulliver McGrath). He revitalizes the family fishing business and attempts to woo the family governess, Victoria (also Bella Heathcote), while trying to avoid the still vengeful Angelique.

The plot lacks focus and feels like a hodge-podge of several movies. I couldn’t tell if I was supposed to laugh or be scared most of the time. There is a serious lack of character development (something that makes me crazy) and the opening scenes feel rushed and tacked on. Johnny gets a real chance to shine and makes the most of it, but it feels like most of the other actors are vastly wasted. The one exception is Eva Green’s Angelique, who probably could have filled her own movie and I wouldn’t have minded. The production design is (of course) astounding and the culture shock of 18th century Barnabas in the 1970’s is quite funny, but it feels so rushed with a lot of montages set to a soundtrack of the time period.

All in all, this one is a pass for me. I feel the need to go watch Edward Scissorhands and get the yucky taste of Dark Shadows out of my mouth.

Pretty Serious Viscous Vampire

I originally planned on painting my nails with Orly’s Buried Alive (from the Dark Shadows Collection, of course!), but then I decided to go with something a little less obvious (and because I thought of another movie where I could use Buried Alive). This is Pretty Serious’ Viscous Vampire, from this year’s Monster Mash Collection. With a vibrant, blood-red base and tons of glitter (pink and purple, as far as I can tell), this is an awesome polish. My one complaint is that it is a little bit thick and gloopy, but just a teeny-tiny bit. This picture is 2 coats and a topcoat. ~K

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