Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Mixed Use Development, California by B+U Architects

B+U Architects have developed this design for a Mixed Use Office/Retail building in California. Looking like a scoop of ice cream from above, this building will consist of three floors and will be made from steel, glass and concrete.

From the images below, I am in love with the fluid shapes and the ultra modern feel of the design. The interiors also look stunning and there is nothing to dislike about this! I can't wait for its completion!

The project is currently in progress.

Heather Kuzmich in Eastweek

We've not heard much about Heather Kuzmich recently so it's nice to see a new shoot from her. These shots were found in Eastweek and features Kuzmich in several different gowns. My favourite is the first picture, it is both styled the best and her pose is most natural.

For some reason she is in a really awkward pose in the last image wearing that short dress... let's hope she gets more work so she can improve- though this is a great shoot overall!

Nicole Fox by Steve Madden

Nicole Fox is the surprisingly successful winner of America's Next Top Model's "short" cycle, and here we have another set of print work shot by Steve Madden. The concept of the shoot is simple and Nicole's orange hair is blazing... I love that she has not changed her hair at all- it really makes her stand out more and almost like her trademark. She is really growing as a model and hopefully we will see some high fashion spreads from her!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Dirk Rees Photography: In Motion

Dirk Rees is a photographer who has shot with Ricky Gervais and Marco Pierre White. Of all his shoots, I particularly like this one called "In Motion". It is a beautiful fluid shoot which is dynamic and colourful (pictured). Not all the movements are very natural, but the first shot with the rainbow coloured dress is a particularly good one. It reminds me of the photographs of Alix Malka which were taken underwater, but this was obviously achieved above.

I also like his other shoots "Future Love" and "Cube".

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Changeling Film Review

I was really interested in this when I first heard about it, which was near the time I watched "A Might Heart", in which Angelina Jolie plays a woman looking for her husband. This time, in Changeling, she is looking for her missing son. I finally got the DVD and watched it!

Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) returns from work one day to find her son is missing. With help from the police, she is one day reunited with her son. Only it isn't her son, and she continues to fight to find him. The police tries to manipulate her, with extreme results. Elsewhere, boys were being abducted and killed by Gordon Northcott, with Christine's son, Walter amongst them but his survival is unknown.Christine's hope and strength leads her to overhaul and change the corruption that is found in the police force.

I was initially put off by the long two hour plus length of the film. Having seen it, at no point do you really get bored or wonder how long there is left to finish. The film pulls you in straight away. Whilst some films will drag out the beginning, this film instantly intrigues, with Walter's abduction within 10 minutes of the film starting.

We can see instantly the motherly pain of Christine and her plight for her son's return. When her "son" is returned to her, who isn't actually her son, the emotion that is expressed is genuine and believable. This is the same throughout. We are taken through an extreme emotional journey that comes through in a wide range of settings, which really reflect the time it was set (around 20s-30s).
The themes found through the film are strong and focussed, including the roles of men and women, where women are inferior, emotion-driven and powerless; and the corruption of the police, government and social heirarchy. The manipulation that is placed upon Christine Collins is unheard of today, and we can really feel and relate to her fight for justice.

But what I love most of all is the ending. Whilst most of the loose ends are tied, the return or survival of Christine's son is never known from the movie, giving a message of hope. What she also did was overturn the government and political corruption; and represent a woman of power.

Christine Collins- Angelina Jolie
Detective Ybarra- Michael Kelly
Rev Gustav Briegleb- John Malkovich

Also stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gattlin Griffith and Devon Conti.

The film received three Oscar nominations and eight Bafta nominations, both included Best Actress. Angelina Jolie did a fantastic job, and again, having seen A Mighty Heart, I thought it was a great fit. She was much better in this though. The emotion and persona she conveyed felt genuine and true, perhaps because she is a mother herself.

Apparently, Reese Witherspoon and Hilary Swank were also interested in the role, but really neither of them would have done the film justice compared to Angelina Jolie, and I'm glad they picked her.

The other characters were not really given enough a role to stand out, but they made appropriate supports to Angelina Jolie's role as Christine Collins.

The film was fantastic and very focussed. The side stories that stem from the main plot receive appropriate closure, whilst the main story of Christine's plight for her son is left open and gives sign of hope. Despite its length, the intrigue builds and maintains throughout so you are never bored. Angelina Jolie does a fantastic job as Christine Collins and deserve her award nominations! This is highly recommended!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

My AS Level Art Exhibition

So I finished another year of art, and this year's work is definitely a step up from GCSE- MILES better!!! It's great to see all the work on display at once and the progression the projects have taken... Below are some images from both projects, but to see all of it, please click here.

PROJECT 1: 21st Century London
I focussed on architecture for this project, mainly reflections off buildings, especially the Gherkin. I loved the way the shapes are distorted ever so slightly and brought these forms throughout the project. Having looked at Mary Martin, I was inspired to build upwards into a relief and using the colour scheme of Fred Kennet.

EXAM PROJECT: Rhythms and Cycles
I decided to look at Destruction and Reconstruction as a cycle, so started off by destroying different objects such as glass and CDS mechanically, as well as chemically, by burning as well. I took those further having drawn them by distorting with plastics and working with silk screen to produce a final result that combines layered silk screen prints, burning and suspended CD fragments, which have been inspired by the works of Alberto Burri and Cornelia Parker.

To see my GCSE project, click here. For other works and photography, click here.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Time Hollow DS Game Review

If you haven't figured it out by now, I love anime style games and this one was an obvious choice to play... even if it is a VERY short game... and the game play is extremely linear, though the story redeems it slightly.

The design of the box art is actually very true to the game and the story, and the whole idea of the portal and time freezing on the other side... which I like about this... It is simple and features the main character, Ethan Kairos, who will be the one doing the time-jumping.

Time jumping?? Let me set the scene. Ethan Kairos, on the eve of his sixteenth birthday is told he will receive a present from his father. He finds a magical pen that can open time portals and after a flashback occurs, he finds that his father and mother disappeared over 12 years ago.

Using the pen and clues he finds from people and places, he can unlock all the information of his flashbacks and draw a portal to that time and place, changing the events that occurred. The main story of the game is for Ethan to rescue his parents, but this isn't put in focus until the very end. Side plots stem from this main one, including:

- Saving Ethan's uncle Derek multiple times...
- Saving Kori...
- Saving Ashley...
- Saving Jason's dog...

The game plays out over six chapters, each representing a new day. You begin by getting flashbacks which usually means something is wrong and you must unlock all the information in order to change it.

This is done through travelling to different places via the map, and exiting with the top right icon... I find this extremely tedious and slow although there is no other way!! Speaking to people is easy, although finding them is another matter... Given the limited locations, just trial and error will get you by when you are stuck. In this way, the game play is extremely linear and there is absolutely no room for deviation- you'd just be visiting locations with no events of interest!

Once you have found all the clues, the pen will automatically start glowing in the correct location and you can draw a ring around the area you want to reach through to the past. The "life" bar at the top indicates how many times you can open a portal, and when that is drained, it is game over. I have never ran out of life, not even close, as you can recharge your life by finding Sox (Ethan's cat) around the neighbourhood.

What I do like about this game is the comic book style replay of events and the short movie clips (thankfully voiced) that are shown. This animates the game and makes the story so much more enjoyable to watch. I really like the story and the deja vu element, but as a game it just doesn't work. It is too linear and boring to play. My only motivation was to find the ending!

Speaking about endings, it was not substantial at all. The short ending is unjustified after so much hard work playing it. I don't want to spoil it but it was vague and I wish they'd just made it so that something happens beyond returning to normality!

NOTE: there is a slightly different ending after you've finished the whole game which is interesting to watch, although it doesn't warrant another play through. I advise you find a FAQ, as it can be done within five minutes of the second play through.

The game can be controlled by the D-pad and buttons or using the stylus. I prefer using the stylus as it is so much smoother and easier to control.

As the game is so linear, I finished the game within a few days, playing sparsely. This can most likely be completed within 5-10 hours.

The anime style drawings of the game are nice and the movie scenes are relayed very well. I just wish there was more of them!! The opening sequence is fantastic and very engrossing. I love the song!!! The music throughout is nothing special, but can be listened to. It adds a slight mysticism but nothing amazing.

This isn't a game. It is an engrossing story that uses game elements for the story to be slowly revealed. It is done in a very un-gamely way which turns out to be a short, linear and boring game. The story however, is deep, engrossing and absolutely fantastic. It has great potential, but the characters lacked depth, the history of the pen was non-existent and the freedom to roam lacking. If only they used the money on the game to make a movie instead.


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