Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Alice In Wonderland Film Review

I finally went to see Disney's Alice in Wonderland, having had a half day and Orange Wednesdays (YAY) . . .Disney's Alice In Wonderland is directed by Tim Burton, and one of the most hyped films released this year... does it live up to the hype?

Having seen the previous animated version, I did know what it was about and the general plot and themes, and knowing this would not be a direct tranlation, meant that it was a fresh, blank canvas (in a sense) Tim Burton and Disney could work on...

So here we have Alice, all grown up and at the ripe age for marriage, and upon being proposed to, runs away only to fall into the rabbit hole and enters Wonderland once again... meeting the characters we are all familiar with: Mad Hatter, Chesire Cat, The White Rabbit... and they are all whisked on a quest to restore Wonderland to the White Queen.

Whilst the reason for Alice to return to Wonderland is rather forced, with the marriage and all, once she does enter, it becomes a very typical animated adventure with our heroine Alice, being feisty, witty and on a journey of self discovery.

The inclusion of characters and themes are subtle, despite changing the storyline, and works to great effect. We think we may know what will happen and not know what will happen at the same time. Using a well known story and twisting it in this case works fantastically.

I found the film slow to start, and slightly boring until Alice enters the Red Queen's castle- - - it could definitely be speeded up and the climax could be reached much earlier... nonetheless, the detail is present, and we get a more dynamic development of characters this way.


The ending I found to be acceptable with regards to what happens IN Wonderland, but when she returns to the real world; again, another weird plot, where she is whisked away to China. For the whole world's sake, I hope they don't make a sequel to this where she is in China and enters Wonderland again- XD A Chinese Mad Hatter? Imagine that.

There is a long list of cast for this film, with the following main ones:

Mia Wasikowska- Alice
Johnny Depp- Mad Hatter
Helena Bonham Carter- Red Queen
Anne Hathaway- White Queen
Stephen Fry- Cheshire Cat

With appearances and voices also from Alan Rickman, Barbara Streisand, Matt Lucas and Crispin Glover.

Wasikowska was much better than I expected, and she was quite a good Alice, whilst Helena Bonham Carter was really enjoyable to watch on screen as the evil Red Queen... Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter was interesting yet peculiar, I couldn't understand everything he said lol... but anyway, the cast did a great job.

I did watch this in 3D and thought there was great depth throughout, although objects and other things did not come out of the screen as much as could do, and the only improvement is the depth and a greater realism. There were trailers that made use of the 3D more than this!!! It was good seeing Toy Story 3 and How to Train your dragon trailer in 3D- gives you an idea what it will be like.

The film was extremely enjoyable despite being slightly longer than necessary and took a while to climax. There is a subtle humour, a blend of dark themes and a mix of madness! This was much more enjoyable than the previous Disney animated version in my opinion, and would highly recommend it. It's not the best film in the world, but not a bad one at all. I would rate it 3.5/5 stars.

Scarlett Mango Fall Winter 2009

Scarlett Johansson featured in the Mango Fall/Winter 2009 shoot:

She has her blonde hair back!! YAY!!! I think this shoot is far better than the Spring Summer one, despite the clothes being better in that shoot~ she does look best Blonde- and this hairstyle is a first for her~ Looks stunning!

Scarlett Johansson Mango Spring Summer 2010

Scarlett Johansson featuring in Mango's Spring Summer 2010:

The clothes are great in the collection. The trench and the shirts with belts are the best in my opinion. Why Scarlett is flopping around all over the place is anyone's guess, but atleast she looks great in doing so.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Telephone- Lady Gaga- Sims 2 Music Video

OK, so I had a bit of a free afternoon yesterday and got back into the Sims 2 as well as made this Sims 2 Music Video for Lady Gaga's Telephone... partly inspired by the official music video, but some other stuff just jammed in there as well... notice the spontaneous Gaga claws midway through the dance scene (which I laughed out loud when I saw it in game- I was like YAY)


Monday, 29 March 2010

Cute Animals- Animal Love

Animals on their own can be cute, but there's nothing cuter when animals interact with each other! Call it Love or whatever, but you can't deny that these animals are uber-cute and just makes you go awww!! For some reasons monkeys seem to show the most affection, there are so many monkey animal love images on the internet- haha!!

Anyway, hope these images below will melt your heart, if not, atleast brighten up your day!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Barbie goes "Gaga" Again by Veik

We saw Veik create Gaga Outfits for Barbie, and now there is a whole new strain of Gaga Barbies wearing clothes and having crazy hair like the outrageously dressed singer. Lady Gaga's crazy fashion sense is not set to subside, with her saying she would "rather die than have fans see her without a pair of heels" which only means we will continue to see more and more Barbies going "Gaga".

Check out Veik's Flickr with his collection of Gaga Barbies.

Lady Gaga Cookies by Matt Mayer and Devonne Ditinick

First we had someone (Veik) making Lady Gaga Barbie outfits, and now someone else has decorated their cookies to Gaga's eccentric fashion taste. Matt Mayer and Devonne Ditinick has decorated their otherwise plain cookies with icing, colouring, sprinkles and all sorts to recreate the looks. They surely do resemble the outfits if only vaguely... let's hope they taste as good as they look.

Riot- Paramore- Album Review

Riot is the second album by Paramore and was released in 2007, and has gained double platinum status. Having heard Brand New Eyes first, then All We Know Is falling, I didn't know what to expect from this.

The album cover is a simple, effective cover with Riot! written all over it in black and one in red. I think this is definitely a much nicer cover to their first- it is much more intriguing and rocky. . .?

The album contains 11 tracks.

1. For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic 4.5/5
The album starts off with an exciting and addictive song which reminds us all why we love Paramore. This is a guitar heavy song with a great beat... and an amazing start to the album.

2. That's What You Get 4.5/5
The second song is an upbeat and exciting song which reminds me of "Whoa" from the previous album, and really puts you in an upbeat mood... one of my favourite songs on the album.

3. Hallelujah 4/5
This song shows off Hayley's vocals whilst maintaining an upbeat and exciting song. It is yet another great song on the album; this one is slightly different and has a different tone, yet the consistency in their style is maintained.

4. Misery Business 5/5
The intro to this song misled me into thinking this would be a ba-a-ad song... but the guitar backing quickly rectified my presumption, and unveiled perhaps the best song on the album... but that intro! WHY!

5. When It Rains 3.5/5
A slightly more dull verse which does not provide much uplift in the chorus, and is rather flat and does not excite. There is a great backing beat though.

6. Let The Flames Begin 5/5
This song is extremely upbeat, and another favourite. It is slightly shouty but emotive.

7. Miracle 4/5
Another strong track with all the Paramore aspects you'd expect. Again, as with the previous album, it starts to feel the same, yet the songs are different... This is a good track nonetheless, and I especially like the bridge part.

8. Crushcrushcrush 3.5/5
This track is slightly darker than the other tracks, yet there is something addictive about it... not as fond as the chorus as the verse, and some parts remind me of Amy Studt's Paper Made Men album...

9. We Are Broken 4.5/5
We are nearing the end of the album, and this song is much softer than anything else we have heard from Paramore. It is a great song, and I only wish they had slot this in the middle, so we get a slight break from all the upbeat guitar heavy tracks.

10. Fences 5/5
This song is addictive, up tempo and really catchy!! It is slightly pop and is different to the typical style... which makes this song stand out and I love it!

11. Born for This 4/5
The last song on the album has a heavy guitar beat and the song is good, but not amazing... Nonetheless a great end to an awesome album!!!

TRACKS TO LOVE: That's What You Get, Misery Business, Let The Flames Begin, Fences
TRACKS TO SKIP: These aren't necessarily BAD, but just isn't as good as the rest~ When It Rains

I wasn't sure what to expect from this, as I wasn't really feeling their first album having first heard Brand New Eyes. This album, Riot, is a real gem, with a majority of tracks really upbeat with great guitarring, a strong beat and good vocals. I love many of the songs such as Fences and Misery Business, but 90% of the songs on here are really good and I can listen to them non-stop!!

I would highly recommend this album as well as their third album, Brand New Eyes, if you like rock/ pop rock/ alternative rock.

Cute Animals- Baby Owls

Owls are such amazing and majestic creatures- and their babies- so cute, fluffy, big-eyed... SOO adorable!!! Owls used to be my favourite bird, it probably still is, along with penguins... and the barn owl especially- so beautiful- words just cannot describe... I remember seeing a real one when we went to the Peak District... curious and just beautiful...

Just look at the images below and tell me they aren't cute! :D

Saturday, 27 March 2010

All We Know Is Falling- Paramore - Album Review

All We Know Is Falling is Paramore's debut album which was released in 2005. I only got into Paramore with their third album, Brand New Eyes, and found this album rather disappointing.

The album cover is interesting and features a bright red couch in the middle of nowhere- I guess it reflects their album title... although I would not pick it up based on the image, and now having listened to the songs, perhaps I shouldn't have picked it up at all!

The album has ten tracks as follows:

1. All We Know 4/5
The song starts off with a great backing beat and rhythm, and is an exciting track which sets the style of Paramore which is to be found in their next two albums. This is a great start for the album, but I grew tired of this song quite quickly.

2. Pressure 4/5
Another strong song that is slightly more upbeat than "All We Know". This is one of my favourite songs from the album, but wouldn't rank very high on favourite songs of all time...

3. Emergency 3.5/5
The verse is a bit too shouty for me, but there is a nice beat to the song throughout and the chorus is good... Already I cannot tell which song is which- they start to sound really similar... nonetheless the track is listenable, just not an amazing one.

4. Brighter 3.5/5
Whilst the song throughout has great potential and has everything I love in a pop rock song, the vocals are drowned by the instrumental and is too strong and forceful.

5. Here We Go Again 4.5/5
The best song of the album comes exactly at the halfway point of the album. This track is addictive and has real longevity and a great vibe. The beat and the guitars are still present, just not overpowering.

6. Never Let This Go 3/5
I was misled by the intro- I thought this would be just as good as the previous track, but how wrong was I. It's not by any means BAD, but comparably it doesn't inspire. However, this song is one of the more lyrically good ones...

7. Whoa 4/5
An exciting song that is slightly different, but still guitar heavy. What makes this song great is its catchy chorus; it is slightly more mainstream and upbeat. This is another addictive track.

8. Conspiracy 3.5/5
By now, I am a bit tired of the songs all sounding the same, and it is very similar to everything else- beat wise, rhythm wise... On its own as a single, great, but part of this already repetitive album, just doesn't do anything for me.

9. Franklin 2.5/5
At last, literally, we are given something a bit softer. Too Little Too Late, I say. And when they give change, there is too much change, and the song as a whole is rather flat. It still vaguely has a Paramore style, but it doesn't excite, and doesn't have the power that other songs in their genre have.

10. My Heart 3.5/5 (without listening to the bridge; that brings it down to 2/5)
The album ends with a track that has a great intro, which gives way to another flatly sung verse- and whilst the chorus redeems the song slightly, it is still rather uninspiring... By the bridge, I was really scared I thought she was possessed- the backing was really rough and it definitely sounded demonic and scary!!!

TRACKS TO LOVE: Pressure, Here We Go Again, Whoa
TRACKS TO SKIP: Franklin, My Heart; listening to the album too much would make you skip all of it as they all sound very similar!

The album overall has a few gems (Here We Go Again, Whoa), and everything else is good, but too much the same. Had they been musically different, it would've given the album more variety. I still can't tell between the songs based on their intros as they are so similar!

The whole album is guitar heavy, which is great for pop rock lovers like me, but at times a bit too much overpowers the song, and doesn't work. I get a bit of a headache listening to the album on repeat!

The album started off really great, then it all sounded the same; there was a slight uplift from "Here We Go Again", and then it went on a steep decline into blandness, ending the album with the lead singer sounding possessed...

I would recommend this to those who like alternative rock/ pop rock, but for those who have not heard of Paramore, and would like to test drive them, I highly recommend their third album, Brand New Eyes, instead.

For a debut album, it is pretty good, but compared to their third, Brand New Eyes, this is amateur.

Animator VS. Animation By Alan Becker

A video entitled Animator VS. Animation was made by Alan Becker, and it is simply hilarious and stunning... it is a fun battle between the animator and the animation made in Flash, and the effect is genuine, real and really exciting. I love the use of the tools as weapons and the drawing of weapons and all that- - - it reminds me of something; I can't remember exactly what it is right now, but really cool... an awesome video- and I hope he makes more, as it is extremely entertaining...


Hand In Hand Clock by Yen-Wen Tseng

Yen Wen Tseng developed this clock called "Hand In Hand Clock" whilst in college, and it is an extremely simple time piece, but it isn't just time it shows. The relation between the hands, the movement as the dials move... the shapes and angles that are formed are interesting, and the documentation of this over time is so intriguing!

Whilst it would take a few more seconds than normal to work out wha the time is, this could well be improved for domestic use- and could doubly up as a constantly changing wall decoration :P

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Ugly Betty Season 4 Episode 17 Recap

This episode was highly anticipated as Betty was getting her braces off... everyone knew that. What they didn't know was how this episode would be carried out, and I have to say, it contained every aspect I love about Ugly Betty, rendering this episode one of my favourites of the season!

So, the episode started off with Betty on a high and excited about removing her braces, to the extent that her family even said goodbye to them!!!

At the orthodontist, she was just about to have them removed for her work photo ID day when the fire alarm went off... Coincidence? I think not! her photographs came out awful and Marc did a little photoshopping to produce an Un-betty and unnatural photo for her ID.

Mode is doing a cover shoot with a million dollar bra, and as Betty goes to set, the is stopped by security as her ID does not match, and her braces set the sensors off... She forced her way through and upon seeing her friend, shouting her nickname A-bomb sent security flying at her, and she fell to the ground, previously wishing she was born with perfect teeth.

In TRUE Betty style, Betty enters a virtual/parallel reality where she WAS born with perfect teeth but with adverse consequences. First up, she looked AMAZING- - - The orthodontist walks out and proclaims to be the "tooth fairy"... ok- slightly crazy, but it's Ugly Betty.

Her home she thought she lived in, she did not... instead this ghetto family lived here, and threatened to get the baseball bat.. LOL

Betty and family lived HERE... now what happened? Hilda and Ignacio walk out... and Hilda is FAT. Tooth fairy woman explains: "There can only be one beautiful sister" XD. Notice Ignacio's earring- he's like mafia lol! Hilda shows Betty an old year book in which she wins prom queen.

Now we know this world is all messed up... and obviously NOT reality... we wonder what else is wrong and how will she get back? She goes to Mode to be welcomes by Marc + adopted baby, who is now receptionist...

... whilst Amanda is Betty's Bestie (they bitch about Marc LOL) and is also married to Daniel.

Betty, having perfect teeth, is not hired as Daniel's assistant, but Willhemina's... and in a matter of minutes, we see a range of different looks by Betty, which all work well. :D

There are SO much other wrong things that exist in this parallel world. Not only does Daniel hate Betty, but so does Claire, and their verbal exchange was hilarious, especially what Betty said:"I'm a vampire, but it's too early to feast on you and get drunk" or something to that effect. Justin also was NOT born due to Hilda's ugliness and she is marrying the local butcher instead of Bobby.

In this parallel world, they are still on the same page, and Betty in her parellel world persona, has been scheming with Willhemina to take over the company. As real world Betty, she tries to help Daniel by securing the million dollar bra, which was otherwise overscheduled. Parallel world Willhemina, sensing her betrayal, took the bra... and a Betty/Willhemina confrontation ended with Betty again jumped on by guards and sent back to the real world with a wish that she was normal again.

Sent plummeting back to the real world where we left off, she is quick to try and secure the shoot, requesting the help of A-bomb (this time without the heavy security), only to find that the bra has again gone missing. Betty sees Willhemina walking off arrogantly like before, and catches her to expose her... only to find Willhemina did NOT have the bra... and again in true Betty style, stepping frantically backwards and turning around, her braces get caught on the bra!

Betty saves the day by being allowed to use the bra for a shoot, and the onyl way to remove her is to cut her braces off!! So this is the scene- I did not expect- to be infront of everyone... but finally, it is gone... once and for all!

Like I said before, this episode had a bit of everything we love about Ugly Betty, so let's not forget about the fashion... they managed to get a snippet of the shoot of the $1,000,000 bra, which added greatly to the episode to tie it up.

Speaking of fashion, Amanda again wore stunning clothing, although she wore this throughout- I would've thought she'd have more costume changes... anyway, Amanda basically is seeing Tyler, and she told Daniel she wants to pursue something serious with him... Tyler seeing them in a friendly embrace gets jealous, and Amanda calls it off, telling him to sort out his brother issues with Daniel.

Ending the episode, Willhemina approaches Tyler, and from this anyone can guess that they will somehow enravel into an evil scheme... just how innocent Tyler will be used by Willhemina is anyone's guess...

A happy ending for Betty where her family has prepared a feast for her with all the foods people with braces find difficult eating... I have to point out that she should NOT be eating those foods, her braces only JUST came off, and she needs to wear a retainer, and that her teeth are too sensitive to masticate any of that!! Tut tut... but again, it's UGLY BETTY, screw realism!

Ending the episode was in fact Austin's return, seeking Justin out... which I guess is a precursor for the focus of the next episode...

I cannot wait to find out what happens. Only three episodes left! I am excited and sad about it ending- I wonder how!!!


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