Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Bad Teacher Film Review

Having seen the trailer to this film, I was quite interested to see how the film would play out, knowing Diaz's usual comedic characters, but was totally surprised by this one.


~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
In Cameron Diaz's latest film 'Bad Teacher', she plays teacher Elizabeth Halsey who 'doesn't give an "F"' and lazes about waiting for a rich man to take care of her. When she meets rich substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), she goes all out trying to impress him. Seeing that his last girlfriend was well endowed, she aspires to get a boob job in order to catch his eye.


Hearing that the teacher with the best grades will get a bonus, she changes her attitude to teaching and strives to get that extra money for the boob job. However, she's not the only one who has her eye on Scott. Fellow teacher Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) has won the bonus every year and after seeing Scott fall for Amy, Elizabeth goes to extreme lengths to win that money, and hopefully Scott.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Love Bites Season 1 Episode 8 Recap (SERIES FINALE)

So this is the last episode of the season, and of the series, as the show was unfortunately cancelled! It was just getting good with the very clever story linkages in the episodes and the return of hilarious Becki Newton, bringing in some sort of more continuous storyline among these truncated escapades. 

Anyway, the first segment is titled "Bad In Bedbugs" and features Michelle Trachtenburg's return! YAY! Jodie moves in with her boyfriend but starts to itch and thinks he has bedbugs. They call in a "bedbug exorcist" with a hilarious dialogue between the two. 


Jodie's BF: "My friend knows a guy, they call him the bedbug exorcist."
Jodie: "I don't want to convert them to christianity, I want to KILL them".

They get evacuated from their home and ejected from the hotel which causes trauma between the pair. Jodie's boyfriend goes back to him home but Jodie doesn't. She calls Annie. As Annie is producing breast milk after giving birth, she is trying to stop them by icing them; she tells Jodie her "boobs are producing ice cream" and that she has "boobsicles". LOL. Anyway, Jodie goes back to her boyfriend's flat after Annie offers her flat to Jodie.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Cute Animals: Baby Sloths


This will unfortunately be the last cute animals for a while... atleast it won't be a weekly thing anymore- I'm running out of cute animals to post about!! Perhaps it will be more of a monthly thing, I don't know! Maybe you can send me some suggestions of what animals you want featured, and I'll do it! Will also do some compilations of your favourite albums, so let me know which ones you liked best!
 
This week's cute animal is the sloth... now the adult form is somewhat scraggy and strange, but the babies are so cute with their big eyes; they remind me a bit of meerkats for some reason :P

Check out more images below:


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Kelly Clarkson 'Stronger' Album Preview

We have been waiting a while for a new Kelly Clarkson album since 2009's 'All I Ever Wanted' and one is coming soon, titled 'Stronger'.


The lead single "Mr Know It All" will be out in about a week's time on September 5th, but it has just leaked online (poor Kelly)! 'Mr Know It All' is catchy and I'm liking her rough voice, definitely a nice step up from the bubblegum that is 'All I ever Wanted' and returning to the 'Breakway' sound. She has been the victim of so many leaks: "Cleopatra", "Lover Stay", "Tell Me A Lie", "Let Me Down", "I Forgive You", "Dumb+Dumb=You", "What Doesn't Kill You" and "Dark Side".


Some of these may still appear in her upcoming album as the singer insists that none of them are the "final" version. Personally, I love 'Dark Side' as well as 'Dumb + Dumb = You'; the former being angsty yet catchy (competition to 'Since You Been Gone') and the latter is just sheer indulgent pop rock with candifloss lyrics... I hope they will make the cut!

If these songs are anything to go by, 'Stronger' will be an incredible album that will rival her perfect album and one of my all time favourite albums 'Breakaway'. I can't wait!

The album cover and official tracklist are yet to be released. I'll keep you updated on any more news!

The album will be out October 25th, in time for my birthday *hint hint* haha. but don't all go rushing to buy it for me ;)

UPDATE: Some new info has been released from Kelly's first livestream.

UPDATE: OFFICIAL TRACKLISTING (Deluxe Edition):
  1. Mr. Know It All
  2. What Doesn't Kill You
  3. Dark Side
  4. Honestly
  5. You Love Me
  6. Einstein
  7. Standing In Front Of You
  8. I Forgive You
  9. Hello
  10. The War Is Over
  11. Let Me Down
  12. You Can't Win
  13. Breaking Your Own Heart
  14. Don't You Wanna Stay (w/ Jason Aldean)
  15. Alone
  16. Don't Be A Girl About it
  17. The Sun Will Rise

I'm glad Let Me Down is on the album. I wonder if Einstein is the same as Dumb+Dumb=You? I'm surprised her other collabs aren't on the album yet 'Don't you Wanna Stay' will be on it. :S Excited!!!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Rihanna Cheers (Drink to That) Official Music Video

Rihanna's video to her latest single 'Cheers' is out now, featuring concert footage and some clips of her having fun on tour as well as short cameos from Miss Avril Lavigne, whose song 'I'm With You' is sampled in the track!


Miss Lavigne is seen having a drink, as well as being pushed into a pool. There are other shots that look like they could be Avril, but are too dark to be recognised. Rihanna on the other hand enjoys eating a coconut and having fun backstage.


This was one of my fav tracks on Rihanna's LOUD album [See review HERE], so check out the music video for Cheers below:



Taylor Swift also recently released a video using concert footage of single 'Sparks Fly'. Also check out Avril Lavigne's latest album 'GOODBYE LULLABY'.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Watford Grammar School Leavers Ball 2011


I went to my school's leaver's prom on Tuesday night~ had no idea what expect having never been to something like this before but had a great time! The food was a complete disappointment though. Described as a 'three course buffet', I thought the sandwiches were the starter, along with samosas, some meat bits, fried fish-like things and doritos. The dessert was perhaps the best thing there (strawberry cheesecake and some chocolate mousse-like cake) though expected there to be more.


Our 'surprises' of the night included fireworks and chinese lanterns which I really enjoyed- it was very much like the scene in 'Tangled' :3. Funny to see a few people's lanterns go bust, and hope the neighbours of Sopwell House won't have too many fires in their garden as they fall and combust.


And we pretty much killed the photobooth that was available; we just couldn't get enough of the crazy posing... luckily the guy forgot to open the curtain when our second go had ended, so we hurriedly pressed 'start' again to get another set XD 



Thanks to Si and Ange for organising the event- (will need to get that pic of my message to him made out of chocolate, silver stars and candle wax)!

It was really great seeing everyone in the year (well, nearly everyone) and just bookending this chapter of my life (as cringe-inducing as that sounds)... can't wait to start uni now! :D 

[NOTE: Some of these photos have been stolen from someone who just told me they read my blog- loool- you know who you are and thanks for reading! XD]

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

This Dark Endeavours by Kenneth Oppel Book Trailer Preview

I can't wait for Kenneth Oppel's upcoming new book, This Dark Endeavours, and the newly released trailer for it is even more of a tease!


Synopsis: "In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life. Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science, and love – and how much he is willing to sacrifice." 

At first, I kind of question whether this will be a bit too 'Twilight-esque' but I trust Oppel's writing ability having read the 'Airborn' trilogy and even if it is of THAT sort, I'm sure it'll be far better. The book will be out in the UK on Oct 6th.

Check out the trailer below:

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Drawings and Prints by Matt Shlian


Matt Shlian's drawings and prints are really interesting in that they are technical drawings but completed with an artistic element. The mode he uses with such concept and surrealism makes your mind try to work out the logic behind the imposed reality.


[My Doodle]
Some of his more abstract drawings resemble some doodles I've done in the past- and it kind of freaks me out- because his style of textured tone is something that I've almost always done on doodles.


 [My Doodles]

See more images below:


Monday, 22 August 2011

Cute Animals: Baby Quokka

by Lass with a Camera via RedBubble

Sorry I forgot to post this week's cute animal blog! Here is is... now... I've never heard of this animal before... I mean if you asked someone what a Quokka was, they'd probably just give you a weird/dodgy look. Quokkas are related to kangaroos and wallabies (they look somewhat similar too) and can be found in Western Australia. 

Although these animals have no fear of humans, you can be fined for handling them according to Wikipedia. BOO! They seem cuddly enough to hug! However, they currently hold the status of vulnerable, so clearly still need protection!

Check out a few more pics below:


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Jane Randall London Test Shots (August 2011)


Jane has been busy recently in London for some test shots and modelling work and this recent shoot is evidently taken in London somewhere! I love these black and white shots and they really highlight the contours of her face and works well with the simple black clothes she is wearing.

Check out more shots below:


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Janet Devlin's audition on X Factor 2011

So X Factor 2011 has just started and I'm usually one of those viewers who just watch one or two audition episodes and then forget about the whole thing until the semi-finals. This year seems even more like a miss with new judges Kelly Rowland, Gary Barlow and Tulisa from N-Dubz, but I was pleasantly surprised at how likeable Kelly and Gary were. He's like a less-mean, younger, better looking Simon with a nicer smile. It's obvious he's meant to be the mean one and that's the character the producers are trying to edit.


Anyway, I'm not going to be blogging about the X Factor week by week- hell no- but the shining star of this week's episode, Janet Devlin, truly blew me away with her audition, singing Elton John's 'Your Song'.

From Northern Island, shy Janet has a really sweet voice and it reminds me of Roxanne Emery so I'm rooting for her to win the show. I don't really need to watch the other auditions- she's going to be my favourite.
 
Just found out she has a Youtube Channel where she does song covers- her version of Adele's Someone like You is pretty good! She'll definitely get a record deal even if she doesn't win the show- the next Youtube -> Singer sensation!

Check through below to see her audition (plays automatically)...

Jane Randall by Christian Bragg

 

New shots of Jane by Christian Bragg has surfaced. She looks stunning with the slightly messed up hair and there is certainly some simple narrative going on here! Jane is currently working in London for a few weeks and I can safely say she is definitely the most successful contestant to have come out of Top Model recently.

We will see how well the contestants of the All Stars Cycle fare when it premieres on September 14th.

Check out the rest of the shots below:


Friday, 19 August 2011

Beijing South Railway Station by Weston Williamson Architects


Having recently visited China [read about my trip], especially Beijing, I have learnt and witnessed that the architecture stems greatly from the history and culture of China [See my photography of Chinese architecture] and this design for the Beijing South Railway Station by Weston Williamson architects does just that, being inspired by the Chinese knot.

I love this idea and it works really well, hopefully the trains will also be red, so that the railway lines will be like the tassles coming off the chinese decorative knot!


"This is the largest station project in China. The design concept comes from the Chinese decorative knotted cross, an important cultural object. Its shape and colour have influenced every area of the design concept, maintaining an idea that is wholly cultural and wholly Chinese. 

From the original cultural concept, to the selective use of colours and the subtle borrowing of traditional Chinese architectural features such as up-turned eaves, this station building belongs to no other city but Beijing." Weston Williamson Architects

Check out more images below:


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Results Day 2011!

So it's that time of year again, where students are frantic about their results. This morning, we were all scrambling to log onto UCAS Track, only to find that it's servers can't contain all of us and the result is that none of us could get on... *sigh* and it was still down at around 11am. Not sure if it's up now, but I got my grades and a confirmation letter from UCAS so screw Track!!

I predicted my worse case scenario was AABC and my best case scenario was AAAB, omitting A*s as I wasn't actively aiming for them, but they'd be a nice bonus. I got somewhere between my two scenarios, getting A*A*BB which I guess you can say averages out to AAAA (lol), and including my A in Chinese, that's an average of 5 As. YAYs to that!

Extremely pleased that I managed to get a B in Chemistry, given I pretty much gave up on the subject halfway through the year when I didn't understand a single thing we were being taught, and the chemical reactions we had to learn for the exams were insane. There was no POINT to any of it and I just wasn't going to waste my time doing, so glad I got what I got! Surprisingly, I got a D in my coursework and a C and E in the written papers, so happy I did well at AS to get myself a B, without much effort this year!

I was slightly disappointed with my Biology, given I really think I deserve an A having done two retakes (getting an A from a C, and a B from a D), but the module I did in the summer and the coursework, I got a B in both... and the result was that I was only 4 UMS short of an A. ARGHH It's most frustrating when you're SOO close! Though I'm not going to bother with a remark as it doesn't really affect anything, and I know myself that I did well and feel proud of my achievement!

Maths and Art both A* very happy with that; Maths especially, given I was not at all aiming for it, then after both exams I felt really confident about it and even felt bad that it's within reach but I didn't do as much as I should to get it, but I got it, so YAY!! Plus I got my first 100% in the C3 module and 98% in the C4!

So I'm heading off to Nottingham to study architecture- can't wait- so excited!!

For all of you who achieved your grades, congratulations! And for those of you that didn't get what you wanted, don't worry, there's always more than one path you can take to achieve your dreams!

Love Bites Season 1 Episode 7 Recap

Titled 'Ben and Marissa', Colleen's heartbroken nephew Ben is staying as she and Judd go away to New York, whilst her friend Marissa crashes at her house because her husband forgot her birthday. Ben starts clinging to Marissa after a night together and she returns to her husband, telling him that the reason Gwendy or whatever that girls name is broke up with him because he's too clingy and they need space. 


'Steffi and Tommy' is the second segment. After waking up with Tommy, Steffi gets told her dad had a heart attack and needs to rush to hospital, forcing Tommy to give her a lift despite him having to go to a football game. As he leaves the hospital to go to the game, he realises she left her phone and so must return it to her.

Meeting her family at the hospital, he then gets dragged along to her house to help Steffi pick up some stuff for her dad. After comforting her, and finally saying something right, they get together. This was quite a sweet storyline and has some really deep emotional themes! 


Third segment 'Dale and Audrey' sees Dale (Christopher Gorham, Henry from Ugly Betty), a lawyer, prepare for having a baby, though tempted by their hot French receptionist (who has the essence of Amanda from Ugly Betty, who was played by Becki Newton). In the end, he overcomes temptation and realises he's more excited for the baby than anything.


We soon find out that this is the couple Annie is having a baby for. This episode has done some really impressive links with the three storylines, especially in the scene when Colleen is on the phone to Ben, which is also when Dale comes out of the restaurant with the receptionist, as well as when Steffi and Tommy are stuck in the car. 


Another segment cross is when Dale runs into the hospital to grab the wheelchair as Tommy and Steffi are in the lobby. Also, the recurring giraffe with top hat toy.

At the end of the episode, Becki Newton reappears. Annie has given birth. Becki has given birth (in real life). It was really interesting to see her face as she seems genuinely fond of babies- it must be a motherly thing given she just gave birth. Also, there is real chemistry/buzz when Christopher Gorham interacts with her, which must be due to their previous work on Ugly Betty, which is really cool. I am beginning to really like how the show is tying the segments together, with some segments having some real heart and emotion. I am also really glad that Becki Newton is back and hopefully see her in the final episode.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Phil Wickham 'Response' Album Review

Two years after his last album 'Heaven and Earth', Phil Wickham returns with his latest album 'Response'. I love Phil Wickham's music as they are not only encouraging and inspirational but they are extremely engaging musically and instantly captivating. So I was extremely excited when 'Response' was released.


~~~ALBUM COVER~~~
The album cover for 'Response' is a far more grown up cover compared to 'Heaven and Earth'; and is unlike any of the previous covers. Simple yet sophisticated, the album art reflects the music perhaps more so lyrically, as they are the main focus, with some beautifully written songs within.

~~~TRACKLIST~~~
There are 11 tracks on this album:

1. Heaven Fall Down 4/5
Sounding very much like a continuation of 'Heaven and Earth', 'Heaven Fall Down' is a great bridging point between the two albums, a song that is upbeat and catchy. Whilst this is the longest track, at over five minutes long, it flies by and very easily engages you.
 
2. Joy 4/5
This song did not grab me instantly, but it took a few listens for me to really like this song. I initially rated it as 3/5 but after a few more listens, I like it more! This song showcases Wickham's voice in yet another consistently upbeat and 'joyful track'.

3. One God 5/5
This song is a wonderful song of admiration for God, the lyrics are fantastic; I particularly like the explosive chorus which goes: 'There's only one God who can make the stars, one God who can save out hearts, one God who will reign over all, one God who can set us free, one God alive in me, one God, you reign over all".

4. At Your Name 5/5
This is the song that has perhaps gotten the most attention as it was written with fellow Christian artist Tim Hughes, who also released a version on his album. I like Phil's version equally if not more, due to the slower verse but slightly more upbeat and catchy chorus! 

Really like the meaning of the song and how we should shout God's name more often! It's definitely the first time I've heard a song use God's name 'Yahweh', we call him so many names, but very rarely 'Yahweh'. Favourite track on the album!!

5. This is the Day 4/5
Another catchy track, 'This is the day' is slightly more reminiscent of the 'Cannons' era, but nonetheless an exciting track, which invites us to a new beginning with God, but will we accept him? "This is the day when the lost are found, the day for a new beginning... the day when life begins".

6. All I Want is You 5/5
Back to a 'Heaven and Earth' sound and at a slower pace, 'All I want is You' is a nice change in tempo from all the previous upbeat and catchy tracks. The line "We all want something more" reflects our yearning for something greater and the verses beautifully show us God's amazing work in our lives.

7. God of Our Salvation 4/5
A song of praise, 'God of our Salvation' is a great song to listen to as it is encouraging, reminding us that "God sent his Son for us and we can come to him just as we are".

8. Sun and Moon 5/5
A beautifully poetic song, 'Sun and Moon' showcases Wickham's writing ability at his best. "If you are the sun, then I want to be the moon, I want to reflect the light that shines from you". Musically resounding his best from 'Cannons', this is yet another brilliant track which I can easily call one of my favourites.

9. This Love will Last Forever 4/5
An upbeat 'Heaven and Earth- intro' leads into a song which sounds very familiar, yet different. A very catchy chorus makes you want to shout and sing along.

10. All I Am 4/5
A nice response song dedicating our lives to God and asking him to use us. I wish this was the last track on the album, as it would make a great finish. I really like the guitars in the song and wish he'd use more of it in the album like with his older tracks. Love the lyrics too.

11. The Victory 3.5/5
A song about the victory of God, defeating death and sin and Jesus' resurrection; 'The Victory' is a very soft song which is very atmospheric and emotional. This isn't a song that can be listened to anytime and you kind of need to be in the mood for it. It's not the best finish to the album, but does set the mood to evoke a spiritual response.

SONGS TO LOVE: One God, At Your Name, All I want is You, Sun and Moon
SONGS TO SKIP: None

~~~OVERALL~~~
'Response' is a beautiful album telling us of God's wonderful mercy and grace, showing God's character and love for us. After listening to such an album, it does evoke us to make a spiritual response to God, whether we rededicate our lives to him, meet him for the first time or decide to follow him. 

The lyrics are wonderfully written and sung by Phil Wickham, making this a great gift to give to a non-believer, a new Christian or someone who needs encouraging!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Addicted to... The Sims Social Facebook Application

 

So The Sims Social Facebook application has just gone into beta status as of last week and a few days ago, I finally got myself into the game and I can safely say, I'm hooked! The Sims Social already has over 3 million users (and rising), and will definitely be a contender to other games such as Farmville.

The premise of the game is very much like any Facebook game and very much like any Sims game. Instead of trading cows and sheep, this is a far more social game, based on real life actions. You start off designing your character or persona by customising their hairstyle, facial features and clothes, choose their trait, before being moved into your virtual house...

Web Therapy Season 1 Thoughts


I heard about this show and thought it was interesting so I gave it a go, knowing how Lisa Kudrow's character from Friends gives her a really hilarious persona. In Web Therapy, Lisa Kudrow is Fiona Wallice, a web therapist who has a history in finance, her character being exactly like Phoebe Buffay, except far more grown up. 

There are so many hidden facets about her character that make her so fascinating, such as her failed marriage with her husband, her lusting after an ex-coworker and her flawed relationship with her mother... 

 

Each half hour episode features the web dialogues Fiona has with her clients, family and friends, and how she tries to promote and further this new 'modality'. The outrageousness of the situations, the dialogue, the people she meets on webcam and her hidden agenda, manipulation and meaningless chat makes this show outstanding and hilarious.

For example when Jane Lynch guest stars (ep 4) and she starts throwing licquorice at the camera, and Fiona goes "I hope you're not throwing licquorice at me" in a disgusted way. 

Check out a clip of Fiona dealing with Jane Lynch's character below:



I did not ever think that watching two people chat on a computer screen would be so enjoyable. 'Web Therapy' is definitely a show that is taking momentum with guest appearances from Selma Blair, Friends co-star Courtney Cox, Meryl Streep and Jane Lynch. 


The show airs every Tuesday in the US and I am excited to see where this show could go; I can't wait to finish season 1, hoping there will be more with a second season!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Faces in the Crowd Film trailer preview

"A serial killer has been terrorizing the city. An innocent bystander witnesses his latest attack, but while fleeing, she falls from a bridge and is knocked unconscious. When she awakes in the hospital, she can’t recognize family, her boyfriend or even her own face in the mirror. She is diagnosed with prosopagnosia, or ‘face blindness’. This is a real neurological disorder, like dyslexia but with faces, caused by a lesion of the temporal lobe, the part of the brain that allows us in a heartbeat to compare someone’s face with all the faces stored in our memory. She is incapable of recognizing the same face twice. 

Every time she looks at someone, it’s like she’s never met them before. Being the only witness, she is hunted by the killer, leaving her paranoid in a sea of unfamiliar faces. Where can she turn? Who can she trust? Who is she waking up next to? Who is standing next to her? This suspense thriller takes us on a terrifying ride through the blurry eyes of a woman searching for a monster amongst the faces in the crowd." Official Synopsis


Not really a fan of anyone in the film (Milla Jovovich, Michael Shanks, Julian McMahon) but I'm extremely excited by this movie as I love thrillers and can't wait for it to come out!

Watch the trailer below: 

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